The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live star "bullied everybody" into including *that* big moment in episode 1

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
(Image credit: AMC)

Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

Andrew Lincoln says he "bullied everybody" into having Rick Grimes cut off his own hand in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

In a flashback in the franchise's most recent spin-off opener, Rick (Lincoln) tries to escape the Civic Republic Military and get back home to Michonne (Danai Gurira), Judith, and his friends. During a routine walker clean-up, the former deputy sheriff lops his fist off with an axe to slip out of his constraints and makes a run for it – though his efforts prove less than fruitful when he's captured and brought back to base.

"I just bullied everybody into submission. There were quite a lot of conversations, particularly with AMC, with people going, 'Now Andy, we love the idea, but are you really sure about this?'" Lincoln explained to Entertainment Weekly, after the episode aired in the US. "But I just thought: This is the time to do what the comic book did and honor that. I've been trying to pitch this for years, and everybody was just shouting me down.

In Robert Kirkman's graphic novels, Rick's hand is cut off by Philip 'The Governor' Blake when the former refuses to give up the location of his group, so the show has given it an interesting twist. For Lincoln, it signifies just how desperate – and dedicated – the character is to getting back home, and isn't just some spiteful punishment brought about by an enemy.

"We had to explain why Rick had never returned," continued the actor. "This is a guy that would do anything to return, so what is the most extraordinary act or effort that he would put himself through in order to try and get back to his beloved?"

Andrew Lincoln as Rick in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

(Image credit: AMC)

Kirkman has previously spoken about his reluctance to have Rick lose a hand in the show, and expressed regret over his decision to do it in the comics, too. "To be perfectly honest, the practical difficulties of having a guy who doesn't have a hand is extremely complicated in the comic and would be impossible in the show," he said during an old installment of SundanceTV's The Writers' Room. But as an executive producer on The Ones Who Live, Lincoln looks to have finally gotten his way...

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live airs every Sunday on AMC and AMC Plus. Ensure you don't miss an episode with our guide to The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live release schedule, or work out how best to binge the franchise with our breakdown on how to watch The Walking Dead franchise in order.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.