Walking Dead Star Set to Leave Series

Rick Grimes was the face of the series, so what happens if he leaves for good?

We all know that no character is safe when it comes to The Walking Dead, with fan-favourites meeting their untimely (and often frustratingly horrific) ends throughout the show's eight seasons.

But now it looks like we may be shedding the series' main man, Rick Grimes, somewhere during the upcoming ninth season.

Reports began surfacing on Collider saying that by the end of the ninth season Rick Grimes would have made his exit halfway through. If you're more scared of spoilers than you are walkers, maybe look away now.

Collider reports that Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, will only appear in about six episodes of the season before leaving the series.

It's pretty massive news considering Grimes has been the face of the series from the very beginning, and with key characters coming, going and getting absolutely brutalised, it'll be a huge shift in the show's dynamic to see him leave for good.

Fans were obviously shocked (and somewhat heartbroken) by the reports, wondering if the news spelled the end of the series.

Lincoln isn't the only long-serving cast member who is reportedly leaving the series. Lauren Cohan-- who's character Maggie joined the fray in season two -- was locked in a months long battle for a pay-rise.

Cohan's final decision was to sign on for six episodes of season nine, before beginning production on ABC's  Whiskey Cavalier where she'll play a CIA operative, Frankie "Fiery Tribune" Trowbridge.

Collider reports that when Lincoln leaves the series his leading-man position will be filled by Norman Reedus whose character Daryl Dixon was introduced early in the first season.

While these are just early reports, and neither AMC or Lincoln have made any official statements as such, the ninth season of The Walking Dead is set to premiere later this year.

Featured image: AMC.