What is The Walking Dead without Rick Grimes? It looks like the zombie drama series may be exploring that question sooner than you think, as creator Robert Kirkman confirmed that the show's hero will die at some point in the foreseeable future.
Speaking at a New York Comic-Con panel (via ComicBook.com), Kirkman said that Rick won't survive until the very end of the show.
"No-one is safe," he said. "Hopefully there have been points where you go, 'Is this it? Is this where Rick dies?' And he doesn't. One day, the moment will come where you go, 'Oh my god, it is!' It could happen any time between now, and 50 years from now."
Often, we've seen Rick surrounded by walkers but there's always the feeling that he will definitely survive.
No-one really thought that Negan would kill Rick in the line-up which claimed Abraham and Glenn's lives. And the infamous deer episode in Season 7 ("Say Yes") featured an awkward moment when Michonne broke down after believing Rick had died, though nobody was really fooled that Rick had become zombie chow.
However, in the comics, it's a slightly different situation. There's a palpable sense that Rick could be written out, especially since his son Carl is a bigger presence and could take over as the lead.
"I certainly think that there's an opportunity for the show to change at some point, and I think it should," he recently said.
The Walking Dead launches Season 8 on October 22 on AMC.