While conducting an interview with AMC, The Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln was quizzed regarding his recent acquired lack of facial hair. As I'm sure you know, Rick has been sporting a rather impressive face-warmer since around Season 3. However, at recent PR events he has turned up clean shaven.
This has led to speculation that something major may have happened to Rick, with some even suggesting his character could die in Season 5. Of course, this seems unlikely, and Lincoln provided some less extreme reasons for why he's abandoned his beard. Here's what he had to say:
I’ve seen a lot of fans recently [without my beard], so it’s one of three things: either I’m dead, I found a razor – or both – or we’re in an extended flash back. So, take your pick.
Of these three choices, finding a razor is clearly the most plausible, but it's not exactly the most exciting. On the other hand, an extended flashback sequence would also make sense - especially considering large chunks of time were jumped between various seasons. But, these periods of time were jumped primarily because the showrunners wanted to progress the timeline of the zombie apocalypse. With this in mind, I can't really see them heading back to fill in the blanks - especially with so much going on in the present time.
Personally, I've always seen the length of Rick's beard as corresponding to his growing ruthlessness and willingness to do what he needs to do to survive. Therefore, with Judith back and the group bigger and stronger than ever, could Rick shave his beard in an attempt to become more civilized and less enraged?
Can you think of another reason why Rick would have abandoned his beard?
Why do you think Rick has lost his beard?