Rick’s Fate On ‘The Walking Dead’ Is Looking Dicey & Fans Are Freaking Out

Gene Page/AMC

Things certainly haven't been going well for Rick in recent episodes of The Walking Dead. Things can't ever be great in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, I suppose, but he's been taking even more serious hits than usual lately. His son, Carl — the only one who's been by his side throughout the entirety of this tumultuous journey — died after a bite from a walker in the show's midseason premiere. As if that weren't enough, fans are worried about Rick's own physical wellbeing now, and wondering if Rick will actually die in Season 8 of The Walking Dead.

It turns out that Andrew Lincoln himself is sharing some of those concerns. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he spoke about that last midseason finale scene in which he's seen leaning against a tree, bleeding pretty severely. "I was very worried," the actor said of Rick's condition. "Especially when we did the makeup test and I said, 'He looks like he's lost quite a bit of blood. Do we want him to be this white?! Can we make him look like he's got a pint of blood in his body?!'" Lincoln also confirmed to THR that the vision of that injury wasn't a trick or a dream sequence — it's a very real injury.

Gene Page/AMC

Despite Lincoln's worries and the bleak outlook Rick's injuries seem to suggest, don't get too worked up, Walking Dead fans — it seems safe to say that there won't be yet another earth-shattering death like Carl's just yet. "I don't expect that," Walking Dead co-creator and author Robert Kirkman said when asked by THR if that scene was meant to hint at a future without Rick. "That's not an intention there. I've said from the very beginning that no one is safe."

The injury is apparently meant to drive home the point that the Rick could die, not necessarily that he will, according to Kirkman, who also authors the comic books on which the show is based. He also added that even without Rick, there's a lot of material to explore — he is the main character and his death would drastically alter the course of the show as we know it, but there are others for the plot to fall on. "I do strongly feel like the show could survive without a Rick Grimes. There's certainly a lot of story to tell without that central character," he said in the same Hollywood Reporter article. "I've talked a lot about how Rick Grimes will definitely die in the comic book series at some point before the series' conclusion, just because I want to make sure everyone knows that no one is safe. But I don't think you should read too much into that [injury]."

Lincoln seems to have his own idea of how Rick's time on the show will come to an end, but he won't say exactly what that looks like in his mind. He does let on that he wants whatever happens to hearken back to the series' early days. "I love doing the show, I love the character, I love playing Rick. It's been one of the most satisfying, thrilling and rewarding parts of my career. But I have always said that I want to finish in the way that we began: big scale, pared down vision of the world," he said in the same THR piece. "There are lots of unanswered questions and we owe a debt to all of the viewers to answer a few of those. So yes, once they're answered, there is an endgame."

It's clear what the character means to both Lincoln and The Walking Dead's viewers, so we can likely expect Rick to have a proper send-off, whether that comes this season or long down the road.