Andrew Lincoln finally confirmed at this year’s San Diego Comic Con that he would be leaving The Walking Dead in Season 9. The news didn’t come as a huge surprise like other character exits – mostly because rumors of his departure had been swirling since May. Still, the reason behind his exit might help fans cope with the loss. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly radio, Lincoln cited his family as the main reason behind his decision.
“I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older,” Lincoln said. “It was that simple. It was time for me to come home.” Lincoln has starred on the show, which films in Atlanta, since 2010 while his family has remained in England. Lincoln also mentioned during Comic-Con that he wanted to take a break from acting for a while to focus more on his family. Here’s a clip of him discussing his decision at AMC’s Comic-Con panel:
Although this will be his last season, Andrew Lincoln wasn’t so quick to close the book completely on his character. “My relationship with Mr. Grimes is far from over,” Lincoln teased during the panel. However he leaves the show, Lincoln is satisfied with his exit. “Completing the show was like releasing air finally,” Lincoln told EW. “And it was very satisfying the last two episodes in particular. But doing a panel and having to talk to (thousands of) people in Hall H and then have all my friends hug me at the end? The sh*t got real, is the truth of the matter.”
The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season Sunday, October 7th on AMC. Watch the trailer below and let us know your thoughts on Andrew’s decision in the comments.