After eight years, over 100 episodes, varying beard lengths, multiple 'CORRRRALL's, and countless walker kills, it's almost time to say goodbye to Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes.
It was reported way back in May that Andrew Lincoln was leaving the show, with the actor slated to appear in just six episodes of Season 9. Lincoln himself later confirmed the departure, and now AMC are getting in on the action by heavily promoting the next couple of instalments as Rick's final episodes, promising that he has only two left (which, for those keeping count, is one fewer than reported).
There's been a lot of speculation as to how Rick's departure will go down, ranging from Maggie or Daryl killing him, to suicide, to dying by Negan's hand, but there's also been a plenty of traction for theories that leave him alive and his exit more open-ended. It's an appealing prospect because, no matter how bad The Walking Dead has got, Lincoln has been consistently great and no one wants to see the main hero die.
And yet, when it comes to it, he really has to.