This is the reason why Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead, and it’s honestly really sweet


Rick’s final days on The Walking Dead are nearly here, and Andrew Lincoln finally reveals his reasons for leaving the zombified show.

Andrew Lincoln is about to face his final season of battling walkers and humans alike on The Walking Dead. There had been some speculation as to whether Lincoln was fully leaving the show, or if he’d appear on Fear the Walking Dead similarly to Lennie James’ character Morgan. Unfortunately for fans of Rick Grimes, this ninth season will indeed be his last, confirmed by the man himself at San Diego Comic-Con.

During a recent interview with EW Radio, Lincoln finally explained his reason for leaving the show. It was a decision he didn’t reach easily, as was apparent during his somber SDCC appearance and the emotional embrace he received from his castmates.

"Completing the show was like releasing air finally. And it was very satisfying the last two episodes in particular. But doing a panel and having to talk to [thousands of] people in Hall H and then have all my friends hug me at the end? The s— got real, is the truth of the matter."

While discussing the show’s upcoming season with castmates Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lincoln said he wanted to “clarify something” to fans of the show.

“Yes, it’s my last season on the TV show, The Walking Dead.” With that, Lincoln shut down any theories he’d return on the main show, Fear or any spin-offs, video games, movies (you never know).

Lincoln went on to explain exactly why he’s putting Rick to rest, finally.

"I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older. It was that simple. It was time for me to come home."

Walking Dead shoots for half a year or more in Georgia. Lincoln’s wife Gael and two children, Mathilda and Arthur, have lived in Atlanta during that time frame, returning to their countryside home of Wiltshire when all is done. We can imagine Lincoln will be happy to have more family time and return to English weather. In 2014, he joked with The Telegraph about missing seasons, swapping English summers for Atlanta’s “sweatbox” of a summer.

Lincoln did offer some season 9 details for fans, saying that survivors will have to deal with a deteriorating world.

"Food is scarce, the Hilltop’s the main sort of food source, communications are breaking down, we don’t have gas anymore and we’re on horseback, and we’ve run out of bullets. So there is an enormous pressure on this group."

Lincoln says his character Rick knows there’s a “long game” ahead. Communities need to find a way to work together, despite old grievances, or else things are “going to fall apart.” He added that a “fellow band of warriors” appears just as things are getting rocky, and there will be a “fragile peace” everyone will have to deal with.

With a terrifying new enemy on the horizon — The Whisperers — fragility is not exactly something any of these communities need right now. Especially with Rick Grimes on his way out.

More. The Walking Dead's S9 to explore 'complicated' relationships. light

The Walking Dead‘s season 9 returns October 7th on AMC.