The Walking Dead: How Rick Will Handle His Guilt, According To Andrew Lincoln

rick grimes the walking dead

Spoiler alert for The Walking Dead. If you haven't seen the Season 7 premiere (what are you waiting for?!), you might not want to read on.

Nearly a week has passed, but The Walking Dead community has still not recovered from the shocking and thrilling Season 7 premiere. After waiting six months to find out who Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan brutally murdered in the finale, we were given the answer in a truly brutal manner. Both Glenn and Abraham were viciously beaten to a pulp by our new villain, as both the audience and other characters watched in horror. With Daryl kidnapped by the Saviors, the group is down three family members, and Rick's guilt is presumably at an all time high.

Rick himself, actor Andrew Lincoln, recently spoke to about the shocking finale. When asked about how much blame Rick will put on himself (and rightfully so) Lincoln said the following:

I think guilt is never far away from Mr. Grimes's shoulder. I think that it's definitely, if you look through a list of characteristics, one of his chief engines would be guilt. I think one of this greatest strengths is the fact that he takes responsibility for everybody's livelihoods, it's why he's such a phenomenal leader, why people fall in beside and behind him. Also it's one of his weaknesses. I think he suffers as a result of that responsibility. Yes, I do think he feels culpable and also he showed a lot of hubris last year. He made some decisions that were, in hindsight, too gung-ho and probably crossed the line of these two family members of his. I'm not going to speak for any other character but I'm sure that there will be some sense of responsibility on Daryl's part, as well.

Andrew Lincoln truly understands every aspect of Rick's mind, which is probably why his performance has the former Sheriff's deputy has been so nuanced and layered throughout the past 7 years. He makes a few interesting points, so let's talk it all through.

The short answer is that, yes, Rick will be racked with guilt over the loss of three of his most valuable and beloved companions. Glenn has been there from the very start, and he completely saved Rick's ass when he was trapped in that tank in Atlanta. He'll see how Glenn and Abraham's death, combined with Daryl's kidnapping, will ripple through Alexandria- with all of the supporting cast mourning their tragic losses. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw Rick starting to go full crazy again, as his mind and heart are both in such agony.

Then again, Andrew Lincoln thinks that Rick's empathy and capacity for guilt is what makes him such a great leader. He understands the weight his decisions have on others, and feels the guilt of his mistakes every day. Rick's guilt and mistakes usually end up being his power, as he adapts and finds ways to move forward with the group. And with the help of other communities and Maggie's determination it's clear that Alexandria isn't out of the game just yet.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.