Dear longtime fans of The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln has something to say to you. In fact, he has a lot of things to say. In an emotional letter received by ComicBook.com on Friday, the actor poured his heart out to viewers and the media who’ve stuck by the honorable Sheriff Rick Grimes since the start.
So, get ready — this is Lincoln’s goodbye. And it starts with two simple words: “Thank you.”
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) October 22, 2018
“For coming with us on this journey,” Lincoln continued. “For the nine years of fear, heartache, anger and, let’s face it, guts you’ve shown by making it through these 115 episodes and counting.”
Lincoln touches on how much he appreciates fans for becoming invested not just in TWD as a zombie series but as a character study, saying, “For understanding that despite the high volume of undead, this is actually an ongoing story about what it is to be alive. A story of hope, family and friendship. People with nothing in common discovering that they have everything in common. United in their search for humanity and a place to call home. A story that has perhaps even more relevance now than it did when we began.”
The actor calls the series the “most exciting, challenging and satisfying role” of his career and insists this season “feels like the show I fell in love with all those years ago, and the world where we were always heading toward when we wrapped the pilot episode.”
In a moment of levity, Lincoln hilariously recaps just a sliver of what his character has endured since he first woke in a coma-induced fog.
“By my own rough count, I’ve killed over 400 zombies during the apocalypse,” Lincoln said. “Lost a horse, found a horse. Lost a girl… that didn’t go well. Ate a dog once. Wore a meat poncho twice. Escaped from a bunch of hipster cannibals. Not to mention I’ve been shot twice, baseball batted, stabbed three times, bit a man’s throat out (I’m sorry — that was weird — and tasted like chicken), and had my cowboy boots resoled… 12 times.”
Naturally, he also gives a nod to “Norman Reedus’ extraordinarily luscious hair.”
Lincoln wraps with specific shout-outs to the media (you can read the entire letter here) but really, this letter is for all of us. We’ve earned it, wouldn’t you say?
Ready or not, fans will have to say a final goodbye to Lincoln’s Grimes sooner rather than later — his last episode, “What Comes After,” airs Nov. 4.
Leading up to Grimes’ exit, the show’s ratings have seen a steady decline, falling to a series low of 1.94 in the adults 18-49 demographic. Take that with a grain of salt, though, since TWD remains the top-rated series on cable, per The Hollywood Reporter.
In other words, while 1.94 in their key demo is paltry for TWD, it’s a good day for most other series. According to TV by the Numbers, less than 1 percent of primetime cable shows ever reach a 1.0 in that demo after a week of viewing.
TWD airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.