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Watch Andrew Lincoln confirm The Walking Dead season 9 will be his last... and try not to cry

An image of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead

Andrew Lincoln took to the Hall H stage at San Diego Comic Con 2018 (opens in new tab) to confirm what's long been rumored - that his character Rick Grimes will exit the show during The Walking Dead season 9 (opens in new tab). *sob*

In an emotional announcement, which had many fans in Hall H booing the news, he said: "This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes." He went on to ask fans to hear him out as he explained how much he loves the show and how grateful he is to all the fans, and well, it was all a bit emotional! 

Don't believe me? Just watch his full speech via the Twitter video below and tell me you didn't get a little misty-eyed:

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Oh Rick! After playing the main character in such a popular TV show for so many years, it's unsurprising that Lincoln feels a certain amount of emotion when talking about leaving the show behind. 

Interestingly, I actually asked him if he thought The Walking Dead could survive without its main character (opens in new tab), Rick, at San Diego Comic Con 2016. "Absolutely, I think that was always the intention," he told me. "I mean, I’m speaking on behalf of Robert Kirkman, but it was sold to me by my agent that it was seen through the eyes of Rick and then it would turn into an ensemble." Now the question is, how will Rick leave the show? Death seems like the most likely option, but the showrunners might surprise us and just have him walk off into the sunset...

Lincoln also had plenty to add about the upcoming season, saying: "We’re deeply, deeply proud of the work we’ve done this season." And a trailer, as well as a October 7, 2018 release date, were revealed during the panel too. You can watch the trailer below:

Watch The Walking Dead trailer (opens in new tab) in the UK here. 

Looking for more from SDCC? Here's every San Diego Comic Con 2018 trailer (opens in new tab) released so far. 

Lauren O'Callaghan is the former Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar+. You'd typically find Lauren writing features and reviews about the latest and greatest in pop culture and entertainment, and assisting the teams at Total Film and SFX to bring their excellent content onto GamesRadar+. Lauren is now the digital marketing manager at the National Trust.