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Danai Gurira won’t be getting over Andrew Lincoln’s The Walking Dead departure anytime soon

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Jul 24, 2018, 3:09 PM EDT (Updated)

Since finding out for sure that Andrew Lincoln is definitely walking away from The Walking Dead in Season 9, we’ve all been wondering how the long-running AMC hit could possibly replace him. Well, according to Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, they can’t.

“There’s no replacing him,” Gurira told EW Radio. “There’s no just getting over it.”

Not that most fans of the show would disagree, as Walker’s Sheriff Rick Grimes has been the TWD’s beating heart since Season 1, Episode 1, all those seasons back, and the pulse of Issue #1 long before that. But Gurira and company are dealing with loss on a whole other level than us fans, but also one they're seemingly using to the show's advantage.

“It is something that, of course, our characters are dealing with as we deal with it. So it’s kind of in very clear emotional synchronicity with our characters right now because the loss is felt by them and by us,” said Gurira. “But the beauty is, we’re family, and he created the TWD family with a few other folks. So we get to still have him as family, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

She then goes on to explain that Lincoln isn’t just the leader on the show, but the leader of that family — and a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive one at that, a sentiment that echoes what she said at SDCC. So yeah, irreplaceable.

While Lincoln himself has even wondered if perhaps spoiling Rick’s upcoming departure might have lessened the blow a bit, the move has grabbed many a headline, and is regenerating buzz for a show that was lagging, ratings wise. 

And just how Rick will make his exit remains unclear, which has lots of people wondering. So Rick may be gone from the set of TWD, having wrapped for Season 9, but he’ll still be walking around come Oct. 7 when the season debuts on AMC. 

As Lincoln said in Hall H at SDCC this past weekend: "My relationship with Mr. Grimes is far from over, and a large part of me will always be a machete-wielding, Stetson-wearing sheriff's deputy from England."

Bring it on, walkers, ‘cause there will never be a new sheriff in town. 

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of SDCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.