Lori GrimesPlayed by Sarah Wayne Callies
Lori is Rick’s wife and the emotional center of the group of survivors, fighting to maintain their decency and rituals. “We’re providing stability,” Lori tells Andrea, summing up her M.O. “Trying to build a way of life worth living.”
Shortly afterward, Shane and Lori begin having an affair, but when Rick returns alive and well, Lori ends it. Furious with Shane for telling her Rick had died, she warns Shane to stay away from her and her family.
Shane vows to leave, but keeping him away proves harder than Lori anticipated. When Carl is shot and Shane procures the surgical supplies to save him, Lori implores Shane to stay. “I made a mess of things,” she later tells him, apologizing for the confusion their affair created, and thanking him for saving her and Carl’s lives.
Further complicating matters is Lori’s discovery that she’s pregnant – and doesn’t know whether her husband or Shane is the father. (“No matter what, you’re the father,” she tells Rick.) Terrified of bringing a baby into such a harsh world, Lori swallows morning-after pills in an act of desperation, but soon throws them up and admits her infidelity to Rick.
Despite her mistakes, Lori is a fiercely protective mother and wife, determined to keep her son safe and quick to defend Rick against others’ questioning of his leadership. “Y’all look to him, and then you blame him when he’s not perfect,” she admonishes at one point.
But even she is not immune to doubt when it comes to Rick. Despite having warned her husband about Shane’s volatility, Lori is nevertheless shocked when Rick admits to killing him. When Rick adds that Carl also played a role in Shane’s death, Lori recoils from her husband and storms away.
Lori tries to mend her strained relationship with Rick over the ensuing months, but Rick refuses. Carl, too, sides with his father against Lori, telling her to "get off my back" when she worries about him wandering off alone.
When walkers infiltrate a prison in which the survivors have taken refuge, Lori goes into labor and hemorrhages. To save the baby, she orders Maggie to cut her belly open. Before dying, Lori tearfully says good-bye to Carl: "Don't let the world spoil you," she says. "You're the best thing I ever did."