Over the course of 165 issues – and seven television seasons – Rick Grimes has become something of a pop culture icon. The rugged beard, bloodied sheriff’s hat, and intimidating Python have all become synonymous with Rick’s legacy.
After going through near torture in the latest season of The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln’s take on the character has started to take on the shape of another recognizable name. According to executive producer – and showrunner – Scott Gimple, Rick’s recent hardship reminds a lot of the Biblical figure, Job.
During an interview with the LA times, Gimple was asked about Rick’s journey this season. The guy has been beaten, spit on, defeated, and worn down in just about every way possible. Gimple noted that crafting this story was difficult, especially when having to bring so much pain down on a good man. This is where the comparison to the story of God and Job came in.
“What Andy did tested my [desire] to keep torturing him because it was a horrible thing to see — the way he embodied the pain and even felt this pain was very raw. I’d be lying if I say it didn’t put me in a bit of a weird, existential place of me playing God and Andrew [Lincoln] playing Job.”
If you’ve studied the Bible, you probably remember the story of Job. In the Old Testament, Job was one of God’s most devoted followers. No matter what God instructed, Job would obey him without fail. Satan believed that no man could be that true, and tried to prove to God that – if enough sorrow were to fill his life – Job would cast The Lord aside.
So, God allowed Satan to test Job in every way possible. The only rule was that Job was not allowed to be harmed physically. So, Satan systematically took everything from Job. He killed his crops and animals, slaughtered his family, burned down his house, and everything else you can imagine. When it was all said and done, and Job had nothing left, he still called out to God in worship.
This is where Gimple’s comparison makes sense. As the creator of the story arc, he chose what happened to Rick. Even though he knew that Rick was a good man, he had to inflict an incredible amount of pain. He clearly hated putting Lincoln through that as well, as it took quite a toll on the actor.
However, it now looks like that pain is over. Rick hasn’t lost his hope, and he’s readying Alexandria for war.