Rick Grimes may be gone, but his legacy lives on.
While the manner in which Andrew Lincoln departed The Walking Dead has been met with mixed feelings, "What Comes After" was without a doubt one of the best episodes this series has churned out throughout its entire run.
The series may have bid farewell to Rick Grimes, but Andrew Lincoln is far from done with the character. And while we will have a bit of a wait for the first of AMC's Rick Grimes films to hit our screens, let's honor the character that we've been behind from the very beginning by checking out the most epically badass Rick Grimes moments!
You can relive these moments and watch The Walking Dead online right here at TV Fanatic.
Rick Steps In To Put Down Sophia
Following Shane's rampage of mowing down the walkers kept in Hershel's barn, the moment Sofia shuffled out left the survivor's -- and viewers -- in utter shock. Rick was the one to step up and do what no one else could at that moment and put down Sofia. It was one of the more emotional moments in the series to date, and one of the first most difficult decisions Rick had been forced to make.
"I Hear Nebraska's Nice."
Rick was forced to kill Dave and Tony in the bar during the Season 2 midseason premiere in order to prevent the dangerous group from discovering the location of the farm. It was an all-around tense scene and it marked the first moment where Rick was forced to do what was necessary to survive and protect those he cared for.
Rick Is Forced To Kill Shane
After Shane went off the deep end, Rick was forced to kill his best friend in order to protect his family and the rest of the group. It was the most difficult decision Rick had been forced to make up to that point, and had numerous ramifications, as he began to embrace the "kill or be killed" mentality.
Rick Kills Thomas
After the group began clearing out the prison to make their new home, they quickly discovered that walkers weren't the only threat behind its walls. Most of the prisoners seemed harmless, except for Thomas, who attempted to undermine Rick and deliberately put him in danger on more than one occasion. Realizing the danger that Thomas posed to the rest of the group, Rick was forced to plant his machete right through the inmate's noggin.
Rick Goes Berzerk In The Prison
Season four was an emotional one for Rick as he gained a daughter but lost his wife. The shock and realization of Lori's death sent Rick into a frenzy as he maniacally ran through the prison dispatching every walker that crossed his path, and almost taking out Glen in the process.
Taking A Bite Out Of Crime
After having a run-in with the Claimers, Rick found himself in a helpless situation as he was about to watch Daryl get beaten to death and worse done to Michonne and Carl. While being held in a bear hug by Claimer Joe, Rick ended up doing the only thing he could think of at the moment and ripped out a chunk of Joe's throat with his teeth. If that wasn't gnarly enough, Rick then proceeded to gut Claimer Dan with Joe's own pocket knife. It was an absolutely brutal moment but also an immensely satisfying one.
"They're Screwin' With The Wrong People."
Following the fall of the prison, Rick and the rest of the survivors eventually found what they thought was a safe haven, only for the group to be herded into a train car like cattle by the cannibalistic Terminus inhabitants. After being reunited with his fellow survivors, Rick knew exactly what his group was capable of and that they would find a way out of their current predicament.
It was a perfect tease for what was to come and Terminus did eventually find out the hard way that they were indeed screwing with the wrong people.It was an epic moment and a shining example of The Walking Dead doing a season-ending cliffhanger masterfully.
Rick Threatens Gareth
Rick has never been the type to plead for his life, and that didn't change even after being brought to the slaughterhouse at Terminus. Instead, Rick uses that sole opportunity to not only threaten to kill Gareth but explains to him in detail exactly how he plans on doing it. Even at his most helpless Rick has proven to be a total badass.
Rick Butchers Gareth
What could have been more epic than Rick threatening Gareth? Rick actually following through on his promise.
After Terminus disbanded, the few remaining members attempted to enact some revenge on Rick's group, only for Rick to end up turning the tables. Rick kept his word as he proceeded to brutally butcher Gareth with his trusty red-handled machete inside Gabriel's church, effectively putting an end to the Terminus arc.
Preventing A Rebellion
Rick's arrival at Alexandria was met with skepticism among its inhabitants. Prompting a small group to conspire to eliminate Rick and his fellow survivors. However, Rick quickly put an end to rebellion as Rick rolled out one of his best monologues: “You really think you're gonna take this community from us? From Glenn? From Michonne? From Daryl? From me? Do you have any idea who you're talking to?”
Rick And Pete's Brawl
When Rick attempted to get Jessie to leave her abusive husband, Pete showed up and confronted Rick which sparked an all-out brawl that spilled out onto the streets of the community. Rick ended up beating Pete to a bloody pulp, but when Deanna attempted to put an end to it and labeling Rick as a threat, he went on a furious tirade. Fortunately, Michonne stepped in to knock Rick out before the situation could escalate.
Rick's Walker Onslaught In Alexandria
Witnessing his love interest, Jessie, getting devoured by walkers on the season six midseason premiere was a tough pill to swallow, but the realization that Carl had been critically injured after being shot by Ron sent Rick over the edge. After getting his son to safety, Rick went into full-on berzerk mode and began viciously hacking his way through the walkers that had overrun Alexandria.
Rick's rage-fueled frenzy culminated in a visually mesmerizing sequence of quick cuts of the entire group coming together to dispatch the remaining walkers and was one of the more stunning shots of the entire series.
While it was frustrating to see our heroes so helpless for the first half of season six, by the time the midseason finale rolled around Rick finally had enough of the Savior's antics and decided to rise up and take a stand against the villainous group. Rick arriving at Hilltop to reunite with the rest of the group was an incredibly powerful and uplifting moment in what was otherwise a very somber season. The fact that not a single word of dialogue was spoken during this scene made it all the more powerful backed by an amazing soundtrack. Once Daryl gave Rick his revolver back we knew our badass Rick Grimes was back and the group now stronger than ever.
After the Kingdom massacre at one of the Savior outposts, Carol and Ezekial failed to prevent Saviors from fleeing with the big guns. Just when all hope seemed lost, Rick and Daryl swooped in like superheroes to save the day. What made this moment even more memorable was Rick's epic Indiana Jones-esque leap right into the Savior's truck in order to stop them in their tracks. The moment was all sorts of awesome, and it will forever go down as one of the the character's most memorable moments.
Fire With Fire
The first time Rick and Negan went toe to toe, the short-lived brawl was a bit underwhelming. However, their second confrontation more than made up for it. After Rick destroyed Negan's motorcade and chased him down, the two engaged in an epic faceoff that included an exchange of quips and punches! The highlight of the entire scene was when Rick picked up a discarded Lucille, set it on fire, and proceeded to stalk Negan. It was an amazing scene that completely flipped the script with Negan realizing just how batsh!t crazy Rick actually is.
Rick Cuts Negan's Throat
Love him or hate him, Negan is one hell of a charismatic character. Regardless of how you feel about the former Savior leader, there's no doubt that a majority of viewers released a huge squeal of excitement when Rick cut open Negan's throat in the season eight finale. While he did end up saving Negan's life in the end, seeing Rick finally enact some vengeance was an immensely satisfying moment.
Rick Blows Up The Bridge
After leading the enormous herd to the bridge in a last ditch effort to save his friends, Rick supposedly sacrifices his life by blowing up the bridge, sending hundreds of flaming walkers to the cascading rapids below. It was one of the most emotional moments on the series, and although Rick did end up (miraculously) surviving and rescued by Jadis, the manner in which Rick was prepared to sacrifice everything in order to protect the ones he loved was a befitting end to the character's arc on the series.