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The Walking Dead: How One Proposed Death Could've Changed The Series Forever

The longtime AMC staple "The Walking Dead" is chock-full of main character deaths from both the protagonist and antagonist camps alike. Some are memorable, such as Glenn Rhee's (Steven Yeun) death at the hands of Negan Smith (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) or Hershel Greene's (Scott Wilson) sad demise courtesy of the Governor (David Morrissey), while others get lost in the shuffle. However, had this proposed death come to fruition, it's undeniable that "The Walking Dead" would've been a much different show than the one so many tuned in to for 11 seasons.

During an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con 2023, "The Walking Dead" mastermind Robert Kirkman revealed that he had a pretty shocking character death in mind early on in the show's history. He recalled, "I would get in the writers' room and be like, 'Kill Rick Grimes today! I don't care! It'll be funny! People will freak out, and it'll be fun!'" Killing Rick (Andrew Lincoln), the literal main character of the show and the comic it's based on, would've been a huge departure from the source material, which is exactly what Kirkman wanted (via Digital Spy).

Ultimately, Kirkman didn't put Rick on the chopping block, allowing him to become the face of the TV version of "The Walking Dead" and the wider franchise it has spawned.

Over a decade later, Rick remains at the forefront of the Walking Dead universe

Since Robert Kirkman and the "Walking Dead" team elected not to shockingly kill off Rick Grimes, the character and the actor behind him, Andrew Lincoln, got to stand at the forefront of the program for much of its run. From Season 1 to Season 9, Rick leads an ever-changing group of survivors through thick and thin, combatting the undead and generally evil people alike. After being airlifted away from his companions to an uncertain fate in Season 9's "What Comes After," he reemerges in the Season 11 finale while trying to escape the Civic Republic Military.

If that seems like the start of a new Rick story, that's because it is. In the spirit of expanding the presence of "The Walking Dead" on the television scene, Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are getting their own spin-off. Titled "The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live," the series chronicles their attempt to reunite after so much time away. Rick is eager to escape the clutches of the CRM, and upon learning that he's alive, Michonne wants to bring Rick home. "The Ones Who Live,"  which just got its first trailer, aims to premiere sometime in 2024.

To think, had Kirkman gotten his way, Andrew Lincoln's take on Rick Grimes wouldn't have become anything close to the enduring TV icon he is today.