Will Rick Grimes Return in The Walking Dead Series Finale?

Sunday is the final episode of The Walking Dead with the episode, "Rest in Peace", concluding the popular series' eleven season run. But while there are plenty of threads and stories for the finale to wrap up, there are a few things fans are hoping for as the series, which is based on the comic book series of the same name, ends its run. The biggest of those questions? Will Rick Grimes return in the series finale?

As fans of the series recall, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) left the series during its ninth season with Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) taking a gravely wounded Rick to a new corner of the zombie apocalypse on board a Civic Republic Military helicopter. The character's departure was never intended to be the last time fans of the franchise saw him, however as there were plans for a trio of Walking Dead feature films. Then, earlier this year at San Diego Comic-Con it was announced that a spinoff centered around Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) is expected to hit AMC in 2023.

Given that fans already know that there will get more of Rick's story after The Walking Dead wraps up, the odds seem pretty strong that Rick will appear in "Rest in Peace" in some fashion. Having the character appear, even briefly, would let the series set up for the Rick and Michonne spinoff, though chief content officer of the Walking Dead Universe has previously said that the series finale is mostly focused on wrapping up The Walking Dead.

"There's room for those spinoffs, but full-on, The Walking Dead finale concludes the story of this 11 [seasons]," he said during the show's final San Diego Comic-Con appearance. "We didn't want the spinoffs to get in the way of that satisfaction. They live together, I think, very nicely."

Additionally, Lincoln has previously said that he would be open to returning to the series before the end, telling SFX Magazine earlier this year "never say never".

"That's a very good question," Lincoln told SFX Magazine when asked about Rick's return to the main show. "The easy answer is I have no idea. I don't think it's written yet, but I would never say never to that because everybody that's still doing the TV show are dear friends, and it's an extraordinary feat that they're still going and making this beautiful and ground-breaking show that still resonates with the world."

Fans will just have to tune into The Walking Dead Series to see for sure. You can also check out our guide to how to watch the finale event here.