It was bound to happen, and I think it happened at the right time.
We all first fell in love with Andrew Lincoln when he portrayed Mark in "Love Actually," the hopeless romantic that fell in love with his best friend's wife. Most know him, though, as Rick Grimes, zombie slayer. Well, his last episode ever on "The Walking Dead" was a couple of months ago, and he had the most 'Rick Grimes' exit ever. I will not spoil it for those who are waiting for it to be released on Netflix, but it was definitely a heroic exit.
Andrew Lincoln was basically carrying the show on his back. Everyone, and I mean everyone, thought that the story was going to end with Rick dying because he was apparently indestructible, considering all he went through. Rick and Andrew's departure from the show allowed for many more characters to grow and develop. After Rick Grimes' last episode, there is a six year time jump. There, we see a ten-year-old Judith Grimes who sports a sheriff's hat sat on top of her head, the same one her father and her brother once wore. But Judith is not the only thing we see in this time jump. We see a roaming Daryl Dixon, Carol Peletier, who is now a wife and mother, and an extremely protective Michonne, as well as many more of our favorite characters.
Andrew Lincoln's departure was for the better because now the show is not just about Rick Grimes; it is about Carol, Judith, Michonne, Daryl, King Ezekiel, Aaron, and our favorite villain, Negan. The show has so much room for development now that we are not solely focused on one man's story. Do not get me wrong, I love Rick Grimes. His story was beyond amazing to watch, but I am so interested in learning about the other characters I and so many other fans have grown to love.
But I cannot end this without giving the show's new showrunner, Angela Kang, some praise. Kang took over at the beginning of season nine, and so far, she has been killing it. She has brought back the scary aspects that "The Walking Dead" has been lacking for the past couple of seasons. Kang has shown us that she likes to get to the important things fast, something the previous showrunner, Scott Gimple, did not do very well. I am excited to see Kang run the show, and with how the first half of season 9 went, I absolutely cannot wait until February 10, 2019, when the back half of season 9 premieres.
I will miss Rick Grimes and the way he leads the survivors, but I was starting to feel like the show needed to be put into the hand of more than just one man. Rick taught us to never give up on finding your family and to make the ones you are stuck with your family. As for Andrew Lincoln, I am wishing him good luck in his future work, and more importantly, I wish him some much needed time spent with his family.