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Why The Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln 'Bullied' AMC Over A Huge Rick Grimes Moment

Contains spoilers for "The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live" Episode 1 — "Years"

Never let it be said that Andrew Lincoln isn't dedicated to making Rick Grimes' journey through the world of "The Walking Dead" universe as true to the comic book series as humanly possible. While fans of the show may have been shocked to watch Rick lose a hand amid a Walker fire, one which was chopped off to free himself from a Civic Republic Military officer and cauterized in the flaming body of a zombie, it's a slightly more brutal version of what happens to him in the comics. It's also something Lincoln admits he's been pressing to include in the "Walking Dead" television universe for ages.

"I just bullied everybody into submission. And there were quite a lot of conversations, particularly with AMC, with people going, 'Now Andy, we love the idea, but are you really sure about this?' But I just thought: This is the time to do what the comic book did and honor that. I've been trying to pitch this for years, and everybody was just shouting me down," Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly in 2024. "The Ones Who Live" showrunner Scott M. Gimple confirmed that Lincoln was the driving force behind Rick's amputation despite executive pressure to make sure the character kept all his limbs.

Aside from keeping proper continuity to the comics, Lincoln cited the story's love-at-all-costs plotline as the reason for Rick's lost hand. But while he's devoted to giving the plot what it deserves and the audience what it wants, the man who created Rick Grimes is less than keen on his choice to let Rick spend much of the comic series one-handed.

The Walking Dead's comic book creator had some regrets about removing Rick's hand

While Andrew Lincoln was devoted to chopping one of Rick's hands off to keep proper continuity with the comic series, the man who created Rick Grimes admitted he had some regrets about the creative choice he made. Robert Kirkman — creator of the "The Walking Dead" comic book series — revealed at a panel during 2011's San Diego Comic-Con that he was strongly opposed to Rick losing a hand on the series.

"When I'm writing a comic book, I don't think about what I'm doing. I go, 'Oh, it'd be pretty cool if they cut his hand off right now. That'd be pretty shocking, right?'. Then I do it, and five issues later, I write 'Rick opens a can of beans' and then I look at the script and think 'He can't do that now'. I didn't even think that through," Kirkman said (via Digital Spy), explaining why he didn't want that frustration to continue along into the live-action drama.

In the comic book series, Rick's hand is chopped off after he refuses to give The Governor the information he seeks. Had the show followed the comic book storyline, he would have lost his limb somewhere around Season 3. Then again, if the show was 100% faithful to the comic book series, Rick would be dead; he loses his life at the tail end of the first run. Fans will have to keep their eyes on "The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live" to find out if he cheats the Grim Reaper one more time.