Characters

Carl GrimesPlayed by Chandler Riggs

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At the outset of the apocalypse, Carl flees his small town with his mom, Lori, and his dad's best friend Shane, who soon becomes a surrogate father to the boy.

Carl worships both Shane and his father, who he believes is indestructible. Carl proves equally resilient after he's accidentally shot while searching for his friend Sophia. Waking up after surgery, Carl remarks to his dad that "I'm like you now," since they’ve both been shot. "Then you get to wear the hat," Rick replies, giving his son his iconic Stetson.

Carl is a kind boy — inquisitive and intelligent — but struggles to maintain his innocence in the face of unspeakable horror. When Sophia turns up a walker and Rick shoots her, Carl confides to his mother that "I would have done it too."

Carl's statement is put to the test weeks later when he stumbles upon his father and an undead Shane in the woods. Summoning a newfound courage, Carl aims at Shane's head and pulls the trigger.

Over time, Carl insists on handling more and more dangerous responsibilities — much to the chagrin of Rick and Lori, who would prefer he stay away from the front lines.

Carl is present when Lori goes into labor during a walker attack. After Maggie performs a C-section on Lori, he sits by his dying mother's side. "You are going to beat this world, I know you will," Lori tells him. After Lori dies, the responsibility for shooting her falls on Carl.

Carl hides his grief from the rest of the group, despite their attempts to console him. He later names the baby Judith, after his third-grade teacher.

As time goes on, Carl begins to bristle under Rick's authority, at one point suggesting that Rick step down as the group's leader. His anger toward his father comes to a head when Rick insists Carl is too young to help defend the prison against the Governor's attack.

While hiding in the woods during the assault, Carl kills a fleeing Woodbury boy. Rick reprimands his son, but Carl insists it was necessary. "You were in a room with the Governor and you let him go," Carl reasons. "I did what I had to do."

Carl is not pleased when Rick welcomes Woodbury's survivors to join them at the prison.

Video: Who Is Carl Grimes? »