The departure of Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead will undoubtedly go down as one of the show’s most controversial moments, considering Andrew Lincoln has been the show’s lead star since it debuted back in 2010.
Producers, however, are adamant that the show can – and will – continue without Grimes, and has proved that it could do so with aplomb now that new showrunner Angela Kang has the reins; the series, now on its ninth run, is the best it’s been in years.
Of course, controversy has shaped the DNA of the show since the very beginning. Despite being more hesitant to kill off its main characters in recent years, The Walking Dead made a name for itself by maintaining that nobody in the show is safe (proving its point was the third episode of season three which saw two main characters dispatched of in respectively unexpected manners).
In addition to this, the series has dished out numerous shocks, perhaps peaking with its season seven premiere in 2016 which sparked complaints and switch-offs from its audience.
We’ve put together a gallery compiling the 15 most controversial moments of The Walking Dead to date – flick through below.
The ending of last week’s episode saw Rick impaled on a spike and surrounded by walkers. Any concerns that this was Rick’s demise, however, were dispelled when AMC released a new trailer showing Rick out of his terrifying predicament.
Still, the fact remains that Rick is quite injured – whether mortally so remains to be seen, but let’s not forget there’s a helicopter flying around. With recent talk of a new civilization “a long way” from where our characters are currently based, could Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) be taking Rick away?
Regardless of how he leaves, Andrew Lincoln can stride away from The Walking Dead knowing he’s left his imprint on television. As Rick Grimes, he’s portrayed one of the small screen’s most interesting heroes who, like Walter White and Don Draper, toed the line between hero and villainy with an intrigue most actors would struggle to convey.
The Walking Dead continues in the US on AMC every Sunday with the simulcast airing in the UK at 2am. The episode is also available to watch on NOW TV ahead of its repeat on FOX at 9pm the following evening
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