Andrew Lincoln Online

Viewers have met a brand new Rick Grimes this season on “The Walking Dead.” Following the time jump in the Season 3 premiere, we’ve learned that Rick has been hardened by the time the survivors have spent since leaving Hershel’s farm in the Season 2 finale. But has he lost his humanity? That’s something that remains to be seen.

Star Andrew Lincoln and executive producer Gale Anne Hurd held a conference call with members of the press Monday to discuss Sunday’s episode, “Seed,” as well as the rest of what they have planned season and CBR News was on hand to learn what we could about what plans to be the most treacherous season yet for Rick and the other survivors. The conversation lingered on the topic of this new, changed Rick, and Lincoln doesn’t seem to think the central “Walking Dead” character is as far gone as he might seem.

“His humanity is pretty intact, but I think his ruthlessness or his decision making has very much moved into a Shane point of view,” Lincoln said. “He is the most isolated within his group.”

The actor continued, “He is sort of coming apart, but is doing a very good impersonation of someone holding it together at the moment.”

Audiences can see that in his relationship — or lack thereof — with his wife Lori. Rick and Lori aren’t on great terms, and, according to Lincoln, that moment at the end of “Sick” where Rick reaches out and touches her shoulder is the first time the two have touched in eight months. But while Lori sort of understands where Rick is coming from in his need to alienate himself from those around him, it’s Daryl that Rick has the best connection with.

“There’s an incredible mutual respect between the two of them,” Lincoln said. “I think that out of everybody else, Daryl is the one who understands the burden of responsibility that Rick chooses to carry.”