Tonight has been widely advertised as being Rick Grimes’ final episode on The Walking Dead. As many people know, The Walking Dead TV show is partially based on The Walking Dead comics. But sometimes the show diverges. This post has major spoilers for previous episodes of The Walking Dead, along with spoilers about The Walking Dead comics. Read on to learn more about what happened to Rick on The Walking Dead comics.
In the TV series, we all know that Season 8 brought about the death of Rick Grimes’ son, Carl. That was actually unexpected for everyone because Carl did not die in the comics. He played a huge role in the Whisperers, who have not been seen yet on the show. Fans still aren’t sure how the show is going to handle the loss of Carl. Judith doesn’t seem like a good replacement, and neither does Henry.
So as you can see, the TV series is now developing a tendency to diverge quite significantly from the comics. In Carl’s case, the actor Chandler Riggs was actually happy to stay on the show and had bought a house in the area. But he was let go (and his dad posted angrily about that on social media.) In contrast, when Nick’s character left Fear the Walking Dead, that actor did want to leave. It was his decision.
In this case, Andrew Lincoln has been wanting to leave for a while so he can spend more time with his family in England. He had planned to leave in Season 8 but decided to stay one additional season.
But as far as the comics go, Rick Grimes did not die in The Walking Dead comics. In fact, Rick Grimes is still alive and well. So a lot of storylines are going to have to change dramatically on the show in order to accommodate the loss of Rick.
In the comics, Rick survived the All Out War with Negan and the Saviors. There were concerns he might not when he was shot in the back with an arrow that might have been contaminated. Back in 2014, there were major rumors that Rick would die in the comics. But he didn’t, he survived and built a thriving community that lived at peace with the Saviors, led by Dwight. (We haven’t seen Dwight since he was exiled on the show.) Eventually, the communities faced a big issue with a new arc involving The Whisperers, their next enemy.
But Rick survived that too, and eventually found the Commonwealth, which is still murky on the show. In the comics, Rick had just arrived at the Commonwealth in Ohio. (It’s unclear if Jadis or Georgie on the TV series are part of the Commonwealth, or if it will b something different on TV.)
In the comics, Rick is a little worse for the wear. He lost his hand in the comics, which never happened in the TV show. There was some talk when Aaron lost his arm recently that maybe he’ll be taking on more of a “Rick” role. Meanwhile, others have said that Daryl will be taking on that role since he doesn’t exist in the comics at all. But I’ve got to wonder if Jesus might be taking on the role of Rick, since he’s the one who’s been standing up to Maggie and speaking out for other viewpoints, in a way that reminds me a lot of Rick Grimes.