Since the Season 7 premier, Negan has had an enormous affect on Rick’s mental state. Not only has he killed several of his people, but he has also threatened his son and destroyed the functionality and morale of the group.

Over the past few years, Rick has always lifted himself up — no matter what drove him to his knees.

  • If that meant killing walkers, he killed walkers.
  • If that meant killing people, he killed people.

But he has never been forced to serve under a dictator like this before. In his own words, “He takes it all personal.” The question on everyone’s mind though, including mine, “Will Rick continue playing the victim, or will he finally, stand up again and fight?” Andrew Lincoln has something to say about that.

Rick Takes it Personal

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

“This is such a new regime that he actually doesn’t have the stomach for the fight,” admits actor Andrew Lincoln to AMC. “I think he feels real guilty over the choices that he’s made with the Saviors. He takes it all personal.”

Rick has yet to truly give up, but he’s certainly played right into Negan’s hands with the guns, charitable donations, and general acceptance of the Savior’s actions. While he hasn’t given up completely, he has certainly found himself in a victim’s role.

Lincoln has also said that it was difficult to play Rick in the first seven episodes since he was generally weak in nature, which is unlike the Rick audiences know and love. The actor feels relieved to see the new Rise Up posters that show it’s time for the gang to once again step up and fight. I think we all agree it will happen sometime — but the question is, when?

Time to Rise Up

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

“It’s been thrilling to have such strong opposition, but I have to say the moment that we started to return as a group, and we found Daryl and Michonne, gives that incredibly inspiring speech to bring Rick back, after he witnesses two more murders in front of his eyes,” said the actor.

Lincoln also admitted that Rick is not the same, but this is certainly a good thing as this arc was important to the story. After the Governor exposed Rick’s strengths, Negan is here to showcase his weaknesses as a leader.

“Maybe he’s not the same Rick, but he’s certainly a more considerate and compassionate leader,” said Lincoln. I’m sure the balance of it all is building his inner strength for what will surely come when the show resumes. 

Do you think Rick is really as weak as he currently appears?