We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but at this point, it’s really a question of when Rick Grimes will die on The Walking Dead, rather than if. Andrew Lincoln has hinted at it, creator Robert Kirkman has basically confirmed it and showrunner Scott Gimple has flirted with the matter, too. Rick’s not making it to the end, folks, and you’d best start preparing yourself for what’ll no doubt be an emotional exit.
Again, we don’t know exactly when he’ll bite the bullet, but one thing that’s sure to spring to people’s minds as they contemplate a Walking Dead without Rick is who could take over as leader? Well, that also remains to be seen, but speaking at 2018’s Walker Stalker Cruise, Kirkman hinted that it could potentially be Judith, or even someone that hasn’t been introduced yet.
“Well, that’s a question, right? Who knows? Maybe it’s a character that hasn’t been introduced yet. Maybe it’ll be Judith, who knows,” he said.
Obviously, the major problem with Judith taking over is that she’s still a baby. So, unless The Walking Dead is going to pull off a massive time jump – which I suppose it could – we can probably rule her out as being the one to succeed Rick. Ditto for Carl, who’s now on his way towards the exit door given the events of the last episode.
Presumably, someone like Maggie or Daryl would become the new leader once Rick’s gone, but then again, who knows? Like Kirkman says, it could even be an individual who we haven’t met on the show yet. Really, there are plenty of possibilities and we likely won’t find out for some time. After all, Lincoln has already renewed his contract into season 9, so he’ll definitely be around until then.
After that, though, well, we can’t say for sure, but if one thing’s clear, it’s that Rick won’t still be here by the time The Walking Dead finally draws to a close.