"Until our paths cross again" - Read Andrew Lincoln’s goodbye letter to The Walking Dead and try not to cry, I dare you

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It’s finally hit home. Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead season 9 and Rick Grimes behind very, very soon. While we don’t know how he goes out (here’s hoping it’s in a blaze of glory and Walker guts), Lincoln wanted to say goodbye on his own terms with a farewell letter to some members of the press. In it, he takes us on a trip down memory lane and… *sniff* is someone cutting onions in here?

The letter, including in a press package - the contents of which you can see in full below - isn’t the first time Andrew Lincoln has said goodbye to the show in some form, but it’s almost definitely the most heartbreaking. He calls the part of Rick Grimes “most exciting, challenging and satisfying role of my career” and you can tell he means every word of it.

That’s not to say it isn’t funny though. If you haven’t already bitten back the tears, you probably will upon Lincoln’s ‘apology’ for that whole neck biting thing in season 4, his zombie kill count (400, by the way), and just how much he loves Norman Reedus’ luscious locks. It’s a true love letter to the show from a man who’s been there every step of the way.

Ever the professional, Lincoln also bows out with a hint at the future, specifically regarding The Walking Dead season 9. Rick may only have two episodes left but he firmly believes that “the season feels like the show I fell in love with all those years ago” and that what “[the cast and crew] have planned is quite incredible.”

Goodbyes are hard – but Andrew Lincoln couldn’t have done it any better.

So, how will Rick leave The Walking Dead? We have some theories...