Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes has gone up against a number of worthy adversaries throughout the first six seasons of AMC's The Walking Dead, such as The Governor (David Morrissey), the Terminus cannibals and the Wolves, just to name a few, but none can compare to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). We first met Negan in the Season 6 finale, when this iconic villain killed one random member of Rick's group, and while we won't find out that character's identity until the Season 7 premiere on Sunday, October 23, Andrew Lincoln teased that this cold-blooded killing has a huge impact on Rick moving forward.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Andrew Lincoln, whose character Rick was one of the 11 characters lined up by Negan in the Season 6 finale. While no one expects that Rick will be the victim, Jeffrey Dean Morgan teased in a Comic-Con interview that Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon and Steven Yeun's Glenn Rhee are not the victims. While Rick will surely survive, Andrew Lincoln reveals that Negan's killing essentially turned Rick upside down. Here's what he had to say below.
"As the season finished, the story was about Rick being broken, and realizing that basically everything that he thought has been turned upside down in the space pretty of much a day. The world that he fought and strove for for so long has irrevocably changed. You meet a man who's powerless, terrified for his own life and his son's family's life, and everybody else beside him. And he realizes that there's a new world, a much bigger, scarier, and formidable world."
We know that the Walking Dead Season 7 premiere will pick up directly after the Season 6 finale left off, revealing who Negan's victim is. Andrew Lincoln claims that even his own mother felt bad for him, having to get back into that same mindset from the Season 6 finale after a lengthy hiatus, while joking that the premiere episode is "hysterical" with "so many laughs." He also recalls how Norman Reedus explains what happens when they all learn about losing one of their beloved cast members.
"Norman Reedus put it very eloquently. He said, 'You know, somebody's going to lose their job at the end of that.' It's a big deal, man. It's a big deal. It's a family on set. It's just a continuation of a much bigger story. We're heading towards a bigger end point."
While we wait to learn which character was killed, we also know that The Walking Dead will be introducing a few new characters as well. Fans will get to meet King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his pet tiger Shiva, who both rule over another survivor's colony known as The Kingdom. There will also be a new character named Naomi, described as a "grandmotherly type," and Jennie, said to be a "sunny-side-up" teenager. Hopefully we'll get to see new footage with these characters before The Walking Dead returns with its Season 7 premiere on Sunday, October 23 at 9 PM ET on AMC.