The ninth season of The Walking Dead has just kicked off on AMC, and the premiere featured a significant death as well as illustrated key differences between Rick and Maggie as leaders. Although there were no hints that Rick would be going anywhere any time soon, fans everywhere know that the end is nigh for the poor guy due to the looming departure of Andrew Lincoln. Viewers haven't had to face the zombie apocalypse without him yet, but his co-stars have, and it turns out that Norman Reedus found a weirdly sweet way to honor Lincoln. Here's what Reedus had to say about his pal leaving The Walking Dead:
Norman Reedus knew earlier than most that Andrew Lincoln intended to leave The Walking Dead in Season 9, and he previously admitted that he tried to talk his friend out of moving on from the zombie apocalypse. Their pact to leave together obviously fell through, as Lincoln's departure actually means big things for Reedus on the show.
Despite knowing ahead of time that Andrew Lincoln's time left on the show was limited, Reedus apparently was not able to prepare himself for the emotional fallout of his sudden absence. When faced with the absence of his lunch buddy, Reedus came to the conclusion that he should remember the last time Lincoln was in his trailer by refusing to clean -- or let anybody else clean -- the bloody chair he'd sat in.
On the one hand, Norman Reedus' decision to honor his friend by preserving the chair where he'd last sat is very sweet and sentimental. On the other hand, commemoration via bloody chair isn't the most normal thing in the world. Given how casual Reedus' reveal was at the recent Walking Dead panel at New York Comic Con (and the fact that this is The Walking Dead we're talking about), we can safely assume that it was not real blood he was drenched in.
Since the odds are pretty good that Rick will have to die for The Walking Dead to write Andrew Lincoln out, fans may be a bit nervous at the reveal that Andrew Lincoln was leaving fake blood everywhere on his last day hanging out in Norman Reedus' trailer.
Still, we shouldn't take blood smears on furniture as proof that Rick is going to bite the dust. The characters on The Walking Dead are frequently covered in blood. In fact, considering how infrequently Daryl seems to bathe and/or wash his hair, he's probably coated in at least a little bit of blood at all times. We can only hope that The Walking Dead's fake blood doesn't smell as awful as it looks. If it smells, Norman Reedus is either going to need to break and let the chair be washed or live with the terrible-smelling chair in ongoing tribute to Andrew Lincoln.
Melissa McBride, who plays Carol, went on to reveal another way Norman Reedus is honoring Andrew Lincoln, and Reedus admits that it is also disgusting. Here's what McBride shared:
Apparently, Andrew Lincoln was leaving blood on more than just a chair in Norman Reedus' trailer, and there was a bloody coffee mug left behind as well. We have to add "gross" to "sweet" and "weird" for the bloody coffee mug. According to Melissa McBride, Lincoln had been drinking out of the cup. If there was anything other than water in the mug, there could be some things growing in there or at least attracting bugs if Reedus continues refusing to let it be washed. As we saw via a prank Reedus pulled on Lincoln, it can get very hot and steamy in their area of Georgia.
It's fun to imagine what Andrew Lincoln might think about Norman Reedus preserving his bloody legacy in his trailer. While he might be touched by how far his friend is going to remember him and perhaps even reminded why he actually stayed on The Walking Dead longer than he originally intended, he might also get some enjoyment out of the weirdness of it all. After all, Lincoln and Reedus had a prank war going on in addition to their bromance. While Reedus' pranks generally sounded more elaborate and effective, perhaps Lincoln leaving a bloody chair and mug behind to be preserved is his final vengeance. Can we declare Andrew Lincoln the winner?
For now, we can only hope that Rick and Daryl have some substantial scenes together before Rick leaves -- alive, dead, or undead -- the zombie apocalypse. Rick has obligations to Alexandria as well as Michonne and Judith, but Daryl is the closest thing Rick has had to a brother since Shane went bonkers back in the early days of the series. Despite Daryl's disapproval of Rick's decision to spare Negan, the premiere indicated that he still values Rick's friendship and opinion.
Only time will tell. The next several episodes of The Walking Dead should definitely be worth watching, as we'll soon have to say goodbye to Maggie as well as Rick. At least Maggie's ending will be open-ended, and we already know that there are plans that could bring the character back if Lauren Cohan finds the time. New episodes of The Walking Dead air this fall on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Fans can look forward to at least one more appearance from Scott Wilson as Hershel, as Wilson filmed his final scenes on the show before his death.