Rick Grimes The Walking Dead Season 9 trailer

Andrew Lincoln says exit from the Walking Dead 'would have been greater' without spoiler

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Jul 24, 2018, 6:33 PM EDT (Updated)

Now that Andrew Lincoln has publicly confirmed that he'll be leaving The Walking Dead at some point this upcoming season, the actor has opened up about his feelings regarding how that news came to light. 

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly today, Lincoln admitted that he felt "a certain sense of relief" after giving his formal goodbye to the fans at San Diego Comic-Con yesterday. Still, Lincoln believes that The Walking Dead's upcoming ninth season will suffer a little bit as a result. 

"I still regret that the story broke, because I believe in story," said Lincoln, who's played Rick Grimes since the pilot episode. "It’s gonna be a great season, but it would have been greater if it was not spoiled to a degree."

You can see his remarks in the video below right around the two-and-a-half-minute mark.

Lincoln does make an interesting point here. For the past eight years, he's played the main character on what's now cable's highest-rated show. Killing him off unexpectedly would've been a contender for the most shocking moment of TV this year. 

Of course, back in 2016, the show received substantial blowback when it ended its fifth season with the brutal, POV death of a major character -- without revealing who it was until the sixth season premiered later that year. So, had Rick's death come as a surprise, there's no telling what kind of fallout there could've been. 

As it is, the news is out, and no one will be able to unring that bell. On the upside, there's lots of time to mentally prepare for Rick meeting his fate -- whatever that ends up being. 

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