Since it became obvious that AMC’s The Walking Dead had no issues with deviating heavily from the original comic book’s storyline, fans have wondered just how far The Walking Dead might stray from its source material. One question that has popped up again and again is this: could the writers of The Walking Dead ever kill off Rick? Some fans think the show might be better off without Rick Grimes, while others think that the show doesn’t stand a chance—in ratings or critically—without him. Let’s look at 2 arguments for and against The Walking Dead working without Rick in the picture.
Pro: The show has introduced enough characters for strong storylines
In previous seasons, “the group” essentially meant Rick and company. At this point in season 5, however, the show has introduced enough characters with separate storylines to ensure that the story could continue on even without Rick. A number of characters could step up to fill Rick’s shoes—Michonne, Abraham, and especially Carol have all shown the leadership skills necessary to keep other people alive.
Con: Rick is the original protagonist of the show
What would The Walking Dead be without the character that began it all? It was Rick that viewers followed in that first episode, from the empty hospital corridors to the walker-riddled streets and beyond. Viewers have seen Rick transform from a somewhat naïve and good-natured sheriff who believed in following upstanding moral codes to an intense, dictator-like leader who did anything it took to keep his group alive, to a man striving to find some peace in a weary world—and back again, and everything in between. No other character in the show has seen some dramatic transformations.
Con: No character can live forever in the show’s world
It would be unfair to let Rick live simply because he’s Rick, especially when plenty of other characters in the show have been killed—either from illness, the hand of man, or succumbing to walkers. No character should be safe in the Walking Dead, and that includes Rick Grimes.
Pro: He needs to come full circle
Many aspects of Rick have changed since the show’s first season, but one thing remains the same: he wants to protect his family. Rick needs to come full circle in regards to protecting baby Judith and Carl, and for that to happen, he has to stay alive.