Season eight of hit zombie horror The Walking Dead was a rollercoaster for fans as they were forced to witness Carl Grimes (played by Chandler Riggs) die in a shocking twist for the Alexandria community.
The aftermath saw Rick struggling to pick up the pieces of his life with Michonne (Danai Gurira) and young daughter Judith, which ultimately led to a showdown with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
When bosses explained their decision, showrunner and creator Scott Gimple made it clear Carl’s death was part of a plan to give Rick a new motivation and plot going forward.
What followed was Rick fighting with his instincts to kill Negan, and instead the sheriff decided to let him live.
The rest of the group, including Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), were furious with Rick’s mercy for the killer.
Yet while it seemed producers were set on Rick’s path in season nine, the reports English actor Andrew is leaving after only six episodes has put a major spanner in the works.
Amid the media furore The Walking Dead’s official Twitter account have shared a startling plot twist against the rumours.
“Don’t believe everything you hear,” one tweet read.
While the account is heavily involved with the latest developments on the show, it is actually run by a company called Skybound.
Does the statement refer to Andrew’s potential exit from the series? Or is it the latest development which claims fan-favourite Jon Bernthal, who played Shane Walsh, is making a return?
Taking to social media in a flurry, fans shared their thoughts on the post.
One person began: “And the internet explodes in…3…2….”
“Is that because people know how Rick’s gonna die?” Another fan asked desperately.
A third hopeful viewer guessed: “Awww… Carl is alive, Carol and DARYL are together, the world is going to ALWAYS need Rick Grimes, Rick and Michonne will get their happily ever after… I want to believe.”
While a fourth fan took things even further with a surprising theory.
It suggested: “Rick is consumed by the herd. He closes his eyes. He opens them. He’s back at the lineup. Everything was a panic-induced hallucination. Daryl gets Lucilled like he should have, Glenn eventually gets a ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ mug, Eric and Carl live. Jesus actually gets screen-time.”
Many fans were convinced the tweet simply confirmed the cast have been playing games during the hiatus, and Andrew isn’t leaving the show after all.
One person commented: “Has #AndrewLincoln just been playing an epic prank on all of us fans!?”
“Can’t forget how much him and Reedus love pranks… could be a rumour to throw us off,” another fan added.
The Walking Dead season 9 will air on AMC and FOX later this year.