It's the end of the line for Andrew Lincoln's Frank Grimes on AMC's The Walking Dead. The actor has announced that the upcoming ninth season will be his last with the hit series, and the network has just released some new images, which tease a life without Grimes. The Walking Dead Season 9 premieres on October 7th and will be split into two 8-episode chunks, with the second half of the season to premiere in early 2019. As for how Rick Grimes will exit the series, that's a mystery at this time, but fans are still trying to figure out what the surprise will be.

Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes is featured in a few of the new images from the ninth season of The Walking Dead, but it's the other characters on the show that get most of the spotlight this time around. Michonne (Danai Gurira) is seen in a few photos, with fans believing she'll have a much larger part this season. Long-time watchers of the show have been waiting for Michonne to have more lines and do a little bit more than constantly kicking ass.

Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is also shown off in these new images from The Walking Dead Season 9, and she's the leader of the pack, still angry with Rick for not getting rid of Negan when he could have. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is also spotted along with Carol (Melissa McBride) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Jerry (Cooper Andrews) is shown along with Ezekiel (Khary Payton). It's believed that they will also have a larger role in the upcoming ninth season. It looks like Rick Grimes will have a pretty interesting and mysterious exit from the hit show.

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As for leaving The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln states that he wants to spend more time with his family. The actor lives in another country and has explained that leaving for long periods of time has gotten more difficult over the years. However, he has said that he is "very excited" for the ninth season and notes that there will be some big surprises for fans of the long-running AMC series. Lincoln also noted, "no one is bigger than the story, and the story this year is unbelievable," which many believe is his way of saying that the show will go on without Rick Grimes.

Since Rick Grimes has one foot out the door, this will leave room for other characters from The Walking Dead to step up into new roles, which will more than likely cause fractures and new alliances at the same time. There's only 16 episodes in the upcoming ninth season, so it's best to start preparing for a life without Grimes. You can check out the brand-new pictures from Season 9 of The Walking Dead below, thanks to AMC.

<strong><em>The Walking Dead</em></strong> - Season 9 photo 1
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Kevin Burwick at TVweb
Kevin Burwick