At the end of The Walking Dead Season 7, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was finally able to unite The Kingdom and the Hilltop Colony to start a war with Negan and his Saviors. Now showrunner Scott M. Gimple has stated that Rick is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to kill Negan. With Season 8 finally delving into the iconic All Out War comic book volumes, the cast and showrunner Scott M. Giimple have already teased that Season 8 will be much more intense than previous years. This will surely be received well by fans who criticized Season 7 for being too slow. After finally building the courage to stand up to Negan, Scott M. Gimple says Rick is ready to sacrifice anyone, even himself, if it will lead to Negan's ultimate demise.
TV Line recently caught up with showrunner Scott M. Gimple, who explained that Rick has completely turned himself around. Especially after the nefarious Negan killed two of his Alexandria survivors and best friends, Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz). Throughout the first half of the season, in the aftermath of these deaths, Rick was completely subservient to Negan, fearing that he may kill someone else if Negan's orders weren't obeyed. However, in the midseason finale, after witnessing Spencer Monroe (Austin Nichols) getting killed by Negan in cold blood, Rick snapped out of it, and in the back half of Season 7, he tried to get The Kingdom and Hilltop Colony to fight with them. Scott M. Gimple says that Rick is in a much different place now that the real war has begun.
"(Rick) will suffer any loss, even his own self, to give his people and other people the life that they should live, where the world belongs to all of them and not just one person. A real life. That's the only choice. So he's willing to face the losses."
In the midseason finale, Rick admitted to Maggie (Lauren Cohan) that she was right, and that they have to get ready to fight Negan, instead of bowing to his every demand. The plan almost backfired, though, when, during a pivotal moment in the season finale, the mysterious Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) double-crossed Rick and the Alexandrians, revealing that she got a better deal from The Saviors. With a full-scale war on the horizon, casualties will be inevitable, but while Rick would certainly be affected by the loss, he would also understand that these deaths happened for the greater good.
"It isn't that he's willing to shake them off if they were to occur, or immediately rationalize them away, but he understands the enormity of what they are doing and the enormity of the possible cost."
We reported earlier this week that Jadis, Simon (Stephen Ogg) and Enid (Katelyn Nacon) have all been elevated to series regular status. These promotions bring The Walking Dead series regular count to 19, also including Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Chandler Riggs (Carl), Norman Reedus (Daryl), Melissa McBride} (Carol), Lennie James (Morgan), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Christian Serratos, (Rosita), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Austin Amelio (Dwight), Tom Payne (Jesus), Xander Berkeley (Gregory) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan). The Walking Dead Season 8 will debut this spring, and with production likely beginning next month, hopefully we'll have more details about the story being told this season.