With The Walking Dead in the midst of its eleventh and final season, fans have already been in their feels over saying farewell to many of the flagship series’ main characters. (At least those who won’t be moving on to greener spinoff pastures.) Arguably more upsetting than the show’s overall ending is the absolute lack of Rick Grimes in everyone’s lives ever since Andrew Lincoln exited the series in Season 9. Astoundingly enough, it’s been a full three years since the actor’s final-for-now moments as Team Family’s sharp-shooting anchor, and fans are marking the occasion by celebrating Lincoln’s post-apocalyptic legacy, albeit with some frustration fueling the love.
It was back on November 4, 2018 when The Walking Dead delivered the episode “What Comes After,” which was noteworthy for a ton of series actors’ final performances in those roles, including the late Scott Wilson as Hershel, Jon Bernthal as Shane, and vocal appearances from Sarah Wayne Callies, Michael Cudlitz and Emily Kinney. But it was obviously most important for nearly ending the life of Rick Grimes, who was essentially saved by Jadis, whose actress Pollyanna McIntosh also exited with that episode, though she recently made her debut on The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s second season. And fans have not forgotten the impact Rick had on their lives, as well as the characters’ lives, with “#RickGrimes” already trending on Twitter in the early morning hours thanks to messages like the one below, which is about as clean and simple as such posts could get.
It’s been 3 years since Rick Grimes left TWD 🥺 pic.twitter.com/0ADNK7z6UtNovember 4, 2021
Some fans chose to relive exactly what happened during Andrew Lincoln’s last TV appearance as Rick Grimes, despite the emotional toil the episode put them through.
9×05, “What Comes After”…3 years ago today, I sobbed as Rick Grimes sacrificed his life by blowing up a walker-filled bridge to save his family…only for him to be flown away in a helicopter with Jadis and never seen again 🥺💔 #TheWalkingDead #TWDFamily pic.twitter.com/jIB6VwRZ4mNovember 4, 2021
Along with all the love being showered down on Rick Grimes and Andrew Lincoln, there’s definitely a hardened sense of curiosity over what actually happened to Rick in the aftermath of his rescue. Especially considering the franchise has expanded the story of the CRM group, their helicopters, and at least one of the goals of the group rounding up subjects like Rick.
3 years today that Rick Grimes has left the show.. I miss him a lot you know and can’t stop thinking where is he, what happened to him… (hey what’s up CRM? 👋😅)Hope to see ya soon, I miss everything about you ❤ Hope to see these movies soon, I’m so excited!Love u ❤ #TWD pic.twitter.com/oFHfnwBaXvNovember 4, 2021
Yes, to be expected, many posts reference the trilogy of theatrical movies that were announced following Andrew Lincoln’s Walking Dead exit. Granted, the world was a completely different place 3 years ago, in just about all the possible ways, so it’s somewhat understandable that they haven’t released yet. Although it’s pretty bonkers that it doesn’t seem like any amount of filming has taken place. And the person below isn’t the only fan who erroneously assumed the trending name was tied to movie updates.
Rick Grimes trending made me think we were finally getting movie news. Rude.As a sidenote, it makes me want to go back and watch TWD from the beginning, because Rick Grimes is my #1 top-notch apocalyptic jam. What a well-written and portrayed character he is. pic.twitter.com/vIxMKMxZk1November 4, 2021
Rather than thinking about what actually might happen if the movies ever come together, some Walking Dead fans pondered what might have been had Andrew Lincoln remained part of the TV universe after Episode 905. (As a big fan of the comics, it still seems weird that Rick never crossed paths with the Whisperers.)
season 9 & 10 of #TWD were great on their own but imagine if we had Rick Grimes. We were robbed of all them meeting pic.twitter.com/F790jIiihMNovember 4, 2021
Meanwhile, the Twitter user below pitched what sounds like the sweetest crossover spinoff adventure that could exist within the Walking Dead universe.
Rick Grimes and John Dorie probably go hunting duo now..I miss them 😩😩😭 pic.twitter.com/NJBrY0sLfRNovember 4, 2021
Alas, it’s still sadly very unclear when Rick Grimes might return to live-action in any capacity, even though we know Andrew Lincoln is returning to the world of horror for Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming Netflix series Cabinet of Curiosities. So here’s hoping that will tide everyone over until we see him facing zombies again, or else this fan might lose it.
three years since i lost my comfort character..the new world truly NEEDS rick grimes pic.twitter.com/o0xPj42VSjNovember 4, 2021
While The Walking Dead Season 11 won’t return to AMC until Sunday, February 22, 2022, both Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond are in the thick of their current seasons, with the latter ending once Season 2 has wrapped up.