Andrew Lincoln Shares The ‘Heroic’ End For His ‘The Walking Dead’ Character And Puts A Smile On Robert Kirkman’s Face

We’ve spent seven seasons with The Walking Dead at this point and we can expect the cast and producers to oversell a bit when promoting the season finales and premieres. That doesn’t mean the episodes aren’t meaningful or enjoyable, it just means that we can expect a lot of “epic” and “game changing” promises around this time of the year. You can’t blame them, but it also puts you into a weird situation where you might not know what to believe. The boy who cried zombie or the wolf who didn’t end up being a meaningful villain in the end.

With ratings apparently dipping and the show needing a way to turn things around, The Walking Dead cast and crew at Paleyfest were tasked with setting the stage for another epic finale and the future past episode 100. Producer Scott Gimple was quiet on details, but he did point out that episode 100 was “less about the fact that we reached 100, and more about setting up the next 100 episodes” according to IndieWire.

But that’s not what makes this Paleyfest panel interesting. The gem within all the hype is Rick Grimes himself sharing how he pictures going down at the end of the series — or before if things get crazy. Andrew Lincoln was asked to predict the perfect ending for his character and apparently dived into heroic territory according to Indiewire:

“This is how I want Rick to die,” said Lincoln, eliciting gasps from the audience. “We’re going through a desert somewhere, and I jump off the bus in a very heroic act… I jump off and I’m kung fu kicking, earning my action figure. Half way down, I get bit. It doesn’t matter, I keep going. I’m just waiting to die.”

But then, Lincoln’s twist: He patches himself up, and then doesn’t die.

“The final shot is me going, ‘Holy sh*t, maybe I’m the cure!’ The final shot of the whole thing is a high shot of a herd of zombies coming. Rick gets up and follows the tracks to go see [his son] Carl. The herd comes toward him, and they separate.”

And then Robert Kirkman smiled. It’s kinda like that moment where The Grinch’s heart grew and he snatched up the sled, except it was a TV Q&A and no dogs were present. Kirkman called the whole thing “cute” and then likely went home to devise a heartbreaking end for his main character. If Rick ends up dying from septic shock or something, you know how this really went over.

Also,to help out ratings, why not pull a few gimmicks out of the hat? Let’s say Carl ends up getting the Jason Todd treatment at the end of season nine, with the viewers dialing in to either kill him or save him in the next season premiere. Or smell-o-vision with viewers winning a prize if they can guess the mystery scent. Guaranteed ratings winners based on curiosity alone.

(Via Indiewire / TV Insider)