At the end of season 8 of The Walking Dead, actor Norman Reedus was afraid that his character, Daryl, was going to kill Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Lincoln, who has been the star of the series for eight seasons, will leave the show in the first half of season 9. Reedus previously stated that he was aware of Lincoln's departure long before it was ever reported, and that he had even tried to convince Lincoln to remain on the show.
News of Lincoln's exit was first reported back in May and officially confirmed by series creator Robert Kirkman at SDCC 2018. Lincoln is leaving the series so he can go back to his home in England and spend more time with his family. Both Lincoln and Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, will only appear in a handful of episodes during season 9. At this point in the season, Rick has only two episodes left. Though it's been suggested he may be able to return, death hasn't been ruled out, leading fans to wonder how Rick Grimes will finally leave The Walking Dead.
In an interview with The Wrap, Reedus revealed that he at one point feared that it would be his character who would kill Rick. Reedus was concerned that this might happen after filming the shocking cliffhanger in the season 8 finale. In this scene, Maggie has a secret meeting with Daryl and Jesus (Tom Payne) to plot against Rick, who had just decided to spare Negan's life. Both Maggie and Daryl were disappointed with Rick's decision making in the finale. Reedus says that Daryl's presence in the scene was a last-minute inclusion.
And at the end of last season, that very last scene that we shot, it looks like Jesus, Maggie and Daryl are going to turn on Rick - I wasn’t in that scene [at first]. Maybe an hour before that, they’re, ‘we want to put you in this scene.’ And I was, ‘what are you talking about? I can’t go against Rick. What are you talking about?’ And they were, ‘trust us, it’ll play out later.’ And I was, ‘wait, wait, what?’ So I spent my whole hiatus thinking, ‘oh my god, I’m going to kill Rick, or he’s going to kill me.'
At the beginning of season 9, Daryl openly expressed his frustration with the group's current direction to Rick. Like Maggie, Daryl hasn't forgiven the Saviors and doesn't appreciate being told to help them. It's clear that the two have totally different opinions about how they should move forward, which is in stark contrast to the show's earlier seasons where both characters were united behind one common cause: surviving.
While Rick and Daryl haven't been on the same page for quite some time now, it's unlikely that the two would drift so far apart that Daryl would try to kill him. As Reedus has said in the past, Rick and Daryl are still "brothers". Their friendship may be tested by a possible civil war between Rick and Maggie, but it's doubtful that Daryl would ever completely turn against his friend.
The Walking Dead season 9 continues Sunday, October 28 on AMC.
Source: The Wrap