It's been a while since Walking Dead fans have seen episodes airing on a weekly basis, though that will soon be remedied when Season 10 returns to AMC in February with an additional six episodes. But it's been even longer since we've seen a properly bearded Andrew Lincoln at the center of the fictional zombie-verse, and with no clear sign of when the standalone Rick Grimes movies are coming, there's no telling when fans can see him reprising the role again. Lincoln recently shared one unforeseen issue with exiting The Walking Dead, and it's a pretty hilarious non-silver lining.

Whenever Andrew Lincoln made the shocking decision to step away from The Walking Dead going into Season 9, his main reasoning was to allow himself a chance to live with his family for more than a few months at a time between production shoots. But during a virtual Walking Dead reunion held in December in support of the Georgia Senate Victory Fund, Lincoln jokingly revealed that at least one person in his family was seemingly more interested in going back to Georgia than in having Lincoln around the house. While speaking about his connection to the Southern state, Lincoln said:

I mean, the connection that we have to the land, to the place, to the people. Arthur — my 10-year-old son — won't let me take a job unless it's in Georgia now. [Laughs.] He just misses it. He goes, 'Take me back there!' I came back home for the kids, and now they're sick of me, and I wish I'd never left. It was a terrible decision. [Laughs.]

Andrew Lincoln made those comments in jest, of course, but there are no doubt many fans out there who wholeheartedly believe that Rick Grimes' exit was a point of no return for The Walking Dead. (Especially since he didn't even get to witness the Whisperers' gnarly stint.) While the show has definitely evolved into something slightly different from it was during Rick Grimes' eight seasons leading the pack, there's still a lingering "what might have been" feeling when thinking about how the storylines would have played out if Lincoln hadn't decided to bow out in the midst of the ninth season. Since that likely means Danai Gurira's Michonne wouldn't have also left, not to mention Lauren Cohan's Maggie, though at least the latter is back now.

In the scheme of things, it's a lot more understandable that Andrew Lincoln would somewhat facetiously regret leaving The Walking Dead due to his son's increasing fascination with the state of Georgia, as opposed to regretting it because he really loved working 16-hour days in the paralyzing summer heat. Nobody would believe that one.

Maybe Arthur will be able to get his Georgia fix again whenever Andrew Lincoln settles in to play Rick Grimes anew for the upcoming standalone films, which are being co-written by Walking Dead dungeon master Scott Gimple. Assuming he doesn't show up first in The Walking Dead: World Beyond or Fear the Walking Dead, where the story behind the CRM helicopters has been explored. (Not that either of those shows film in Georgia.)

You can definitely find Andrew Lincoln coming to Netflix in the near future alongside Naomi Watts for the drama Penguin Bloom, and you can watch new Season 10 episodes of The Walking Dead on AMC on Sunday, February 28, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Let us know in the poll below where you'd like to see Rick Grimes return next.

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