|This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for his Comic Series, Assault, or Social Game counterparts, or the actor.|
|Age||12 (Season 1)|
14 (Season 4)
|Occupation||Middle School Student (Pre-Apocalypse)|
|Family||Rick Grimes - Father|
Lori Grimes - Mother (Deceased)
Judith Grimes - Sister/Half-Sister
|First Appearance||"Days Gone Bye"|
|Series lifespan||"Days Gone Bye" to Present|
|Carl Grimes (TV Series) Gallery|
Chandler Riggs Gallery
- "He told me the other day that he was proud of me - that I was a good man. I'm not. I know more now, about what he wanted from me. And I tried, but... I still have these thoughts. I'm not what he thinks I am. I'm just another monster, too."
- —Carl to Michonne about Rick's words to him.[src]
Carl Grimes is a main character and survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is son of Rick and Lori Grimes. During the initial outbreak, Carl believed his father to be dead, so he and his mother joined Shane Walsh to travel to Atlanta for the refugee camp. As time goes on, he slowly becomes hardened, due to the severe loss of life and the environment around him.
During the first season Carl is portrayed as a shy and reserved boy, commonly only striking up conversation with his parents and members of the group he feels comfortable with, such as Shane Walsh and Dale Horvath. Carl, being relatively young, is shown to often be frightened by the horrors of the world and thus looks to his parents for shelter and comfort. Carl is a kind boy who does try to comfort those closest to him when he sees them in need, such as his mother when Rick went back for Merle. Carl had also shown to have some belief in God to an extent, such as when his mother asked him to say his prayers at the CDC.
During the second season Carl retains his shyness but he does develop a bolder personality and is seen to be less frightened of the world, no doubt due to the horrors he's seen. He attempts to take on a more active role, wanting to help out in the group rather than be seen as a liability. This is shown when he finds the arsenal of knives for the group and when he helps with the search for Sophia. Like kids would be at his age, he is sometimes disobedient, but shows shame and guilt when his actions negatively impact the group.
After being shot, Carl becomes stricken with negative thoughts. He begins wanting to fend for himself and to prove his independence and maturity - this is shown when he accompanies the adults in gun training. After his best friend Sophia is found dead in the barn, he begins to develop a noticeably colder personality. This is shown when he says he would have put down Sophia himself or when he followed his father into the barn to watch him kill Randall. Carl also is occasionally pessimistic and rude, such as when he insults Carol for speaking of heaven. Despite this he isn't above apologizing and realizing what he says or does is wrong.
After Carl indirectly causes the death of Dale Horvath, he is stricken with immense guilt, thinking himself as a failure and vowing never to touch a gun again. It's not until his father talks to him privately in the barn that his confidence is restored and that Dale's death becomes a lesson. He realizes that he will have to mature to survive in the new world. This lesson was driven home by his putting down of Shane.
By the third season, Carl has become battle hardened from months on the road. His firearm skills have greatly improved, as well as his tactical abilities. He is rarely shy around most of the group, which is assumed to be a result of spending months with them on the road. Despite Carl's maturity, he doesn't appear completely numb to emotion, and he does retain some of his child-like qualities, including cracking a joke now and again and his child-like crush on Beth Greene.
However, after witnessing his mother's death, delivering his baby sister, and taking it upon himself to put down his mother, he becomes much more serious and cold. Carl goes through a stage of depression, not speaking much unless he feels that he has to such as when he told his father to take a break and stop being the leader for a while. Despite the traumatic effect his mother's death had on Carl, it also hardened him immensely. He becomes very brave, constantly helping people and even risking his own life to save others such as when he saves Michonne outside the gates, or his father from Morgan, despite his father's pleading to stay back.
Throughout the course of the season, Carl begins to unwind, no doubt caused from the brutality of the world with the Governor at the center. Carl kills a boy who was projecting dubious behavior after being asked to surrender, evidencing how cold and emotionless he has turned. Rick, frightened of what he's allowed his son to become by being a relatively inactive parent, spends more time with Carl. He encourages him to pursue endeavors such as farming.
By the fourth season Carl has become much more relaxed and accepts the fact that there is more to life than survival. Rick has taken his father role more seriously. It is shown he has become more harsh towards Carl, but we are assured this is for his well-being. Carl understands what his father is trying to do for him and actually tries to honor his father's wishes by trying to be a kid again. Of course, he finds this difficult, no doubt because of the horrors he's seen and the things he has done. Despite his more accepting and relaxed personality, he still retains his more serious and realistic view-point on the world, such as when he chastised Lizzie for naming the walkers and believing they're not that different from living people. Carl's maturity and ultimately his worthiness earned him back his gun, which he accepted honorably, Rick obviously confident in Carl's ability to use the weapon.
Despite Carl being young, he is not afraid to call out his seniors when he thinks they are doing something wrong or illogical. This is shown when he tells Hershel that he's not going to let him go into the woods alone or when he tells Rick that he should let Carol teach the other kids how to defend themselves. Throughout the course of the first half Carl gradually becomes more integrated into the defense of the prison, even fighting beside his father to stop a horde of walkers. By the prison's fall, Carl appears to be shaken up, no doubt due to the loss of the prison, Hershel, and presumed loss of his sister.
Carl was a normal 12-year-old who lived with his parents in King County, Georgia where he attended school during the day. One morning, Carl witnesses his parents fighting and having an argument about whether Rick cared about the family or not. Later that day after he finishes school, Lori comes to Carl and informs him that his father, Rick, was shot and is in a coma. Carl wanted to donate blood for his father as they are of the same blood type, which his mother had to talk him out of.
When the apocalypse started, Carl and Lori were at home. Shane Walsh, Rick's best friend and another survivor, comes and takes Carl and Lori to Atlanta, which is thought to be free of walkers. Shane then tells Carl and Lori that Rick is dead. They realize that Atlanta is overrun and take refuge at a campsite not far from Atlanta City. Carl develops a friendship with a girl of the same age named Sophia and plays with her a lot during his time at camp. When his mom gets angry that Shane isn't allowing her to go out and post warning signs, she marches away. Later, he almost walks in on Lori and Shane kissing. He is seen in the picture in Rick's police cruiser at the end of the episode.
Carl is not seen much in this episode; however, he is seen hanging around the camp with his mother. He is still sad over his dad being supposedly dead and spends a lot of time with Shane, his mother, and Sophia.
Carl is first seen with his mother and is fussing as she's gives him a haircut. Shane bonds with the child and tells him in playful manner: "You think this is bad, wait till you start shaving. That stings. That day comes, you'll be wishing for one of your mama's haircuts. I'll tell you what-- you just get through this with some manly dignity and tomorrow I'll teach you something special. I will teach you to catch frogs." Carl laughs. As Carl and the rest of the group hear the roaring alarm of a car that Glenn Rhee is driving towards the camp, they all approach it with caution. Morales is reunited with his family, Carl begins to cry under the realization that he'll never see his father again, and thus Lori comforts him. As Rick leaves the van Carl sees him and runs toward him in tears - Rick picks him up, embracing him.
Later that night, Carl is seen around the campfire with everybody else as Rick shares his story. The next day, Carl is heard screaming out for his parents shortly after encountering a walker eating a deer. Shortly after, Carl nods in understanding after being told that his father needs to go back for Merle. Later that day Lori tries to comfort Carl and she tells him Rick will be fine, despite her being worried herself about him, to which Carl responds: "Think about it, Mom. Everything that's happened to him so far-- nothing's killed him yet." Towards the end of the episode Carl is seen playing with Shane as he teaches him how to catch frogs. Shortly after, Lori tells Carl to stay away from Shane and tells him it doesn't matter what Shane says as Shane told her that Rick died.
Carl is seen around the survivors' camp talking. He asks Amy and Andrea if they could teach him to catch fish after being impressed by the amount they caught. He later joins the group to see what Jim is digging holes for. Lori tells Jim he is scaring Carl and Sophia. Jim brings up an uncomfortable topic to Carl as he asks him about Rick. At the end of that same day, he joins the group for dinner around the camp-fire, and then the walkers attack the camp and kill many of the survivors. Carl survives the attack and Rick then returns to camp with the bag of guns, and Carl embraces his father, crying.
Just after the walker attack, Carl can be seen resting. Carl is still sad that his father left and asks his him if they are safe now that they're together, to which Rick responds: "I won't leave again. I promise you that. Not for anything. Now give me a chance to discuss some things with your mom, okay?" Carl then later joins the group on their plan to leave the camp and head for the CDC. He says goodbye to the Morales' family and everybody leaves the camp. He is later seen with the others as they arrive at the CDC.
Carl makes it to the CDC along with the group. He takes a blood test shortly before he's seen with the others laughing and enjoying a fine meal. The others entreat Carl to taste the wine and he cringes in disgust after taking a sip. He is later seen playing checkers with Sophia and then heads to bed. Towards the end, after Dr. Jenner informs them that the building's energy has run out and the building will explode, Carl is seen crying as he does not want to die. When Dr. Jenner lets the group free, Carl flees with the others to Dale's RV and watches as the CDC burns in flames. They then head towards Fort Benning.
Carl is first seen in the car with Lori, Rick, Sophia, and Carol. Lori touches on some of their past and explains to Carl that when he was a baby he was taken on a trip to the Grand Canyon. They playfully joked and laughed when told he threw up a lot. Carl expresses how he would like to go see the Grand Canyon one day. Carl is later seen gathering supplies with his fellow survivors. When a herd of walkers approach they hide under the cars. Carl appears very frightened but Rick, who is just a few feet away, attempts to calm him down. Sophia is then chased by a duo of walkers and later gets lost.
Later, after the herd passes by, Carl finds a Gerber bag of tools, which he is ordered by Shane to give to Dale. Carl and the others then go out to look for Sophia; when they reach a church, they decide to split. Daryl leads the group back to the the Interstate, and Rick and Shane keep on looking for Sophia. Carl asks his father to let him help with the search, so Rick says yes. Later, Carl, Shane, and Rick see a buck in the woods. Shane is about to shoot it, but Rick stops him and the two watch Carl approach it slowly. However, the peaceful and happy moment is interrupted by loud gunshot. Both Carl and the buck fall to the ground, as the bullet passed through the buck into Carl. He's then seen laying on the ground unconscious. When Rick goes running to his son, it can be seen that a bullet had passed through the buck and shot almost right through Carl's back.
During a flashback at the beginning, Carl is seen leaving his school like any other regular kid at the time. As he approaches his mother who is waiting for him, he is told that his father has been shot and is in critical condition at the hospital. He begins to cry and hugs his mother as Shane watches on. Back in the present, he is carried by Rick, who runs towards the farm of Hershel Greene after being told by Otis that Hershel can help heal his son. After a lengthy run, Rick arrives at the farm with the unconscious Carl and hurries inside the house. Rick places Carl on the bed, and Hershel checks his pulse, telling him that he is alive. Carl is mainly unconscious due to trauma and blood loss. However, he does wake up while Hershel is performing surgery, because he can feel the bullet fragments and Hershel preying his tools inside. He screams in agony and Rick tells Hershel to stop since he's killing him, but eventually Carl passes out from the pain.
Rick then gives blood to Carl as they are of the same blood type. Hershel confronts Rick about Carl's condition: "He's out of danger for the moment, but I need to remove the remaining fragments. I need to go deeper to get the others. There's more. His belly's distended, his pressure's dropping, which means there's internal bleeding. A fragment must have nicked one of the blood vessels. I have to open him up, find the bleeder and stitch it. And he can't move while I'm in there. I mean, at all. If he reacts the same as before, I'll sever an artery and he'll be dead in minutes. To even try this, I have to put him under. But if I do, he won't be able to breath on his own. Same bad results." Later, Shane and Otis head towards a former FEMA evacuation center which used to be a high school for medical supplies to operate on Carl.
Carl is still unconscious and is losing too much blood due to internal bleeding. Rick is unable to donate anymore blood to him since his blood levels are critically low as well. Later Rick is talking to Lori telling her Carl is going to be okay and that he's in this world now, to which Lori responds: "Maybe he shouldn't be. Maybe this is how it's supposed to be. Why do we want Carl to live in this world? To have this life? So he can see more people torn apart in front of him? So that he can be hungry and scared for however long he has before he... - so he can run and run and run and run and then even if he survives, he ends up... he ends up just another animal who doesn't know anything except survival? If he... if he dies tonight, it ends for him. Tell me why it would be better another way." Carl does wake up briefly in pain, to which his parents quickly rush to his side. Carl tells Lori, "You should have seen it. The deer. It was so pretty, Mom. It was so close. I... I've never been..." shortly before his eyes glaze over and goes limp. He has a horrifying seizure and his parents are forced to watch him convulse on the bed.
Hershel informs Rick and Lori that if Shane and Otis do not arrive in time with the needed medical supplies, they have to make a choice on whether to allow Hershel to perform the surgery knowing the risks of what could happen to Carl. Rick and Lori tell him to go ahead with the surgery. Before Hershel makes an incision, however, Shane makes it back to the farm with the supplies, but sadly without Otis. Later that night, Rick and Lori are waiting outside for the news whether Carl has survived or not, and it turns out that he has indeed survived. Rick thanks Hershel, as Lori goes to Carl relieved and crying.
The rest of the group finds out that the surgery was successful and they sigh in relief. Carl wakes up for the first time and his parents are instantly at his side calming him down from everything he's processing. He asks Rick if they found Sophia yet. Rick lies and tells Carl that she's fine. Carl is told the truth later by Lori since at the time, they didn't want Carl to worry and wanted him to recover. Later, he and Rick talk for a bit and Rick takes his badge off his hat, and gives Carl the hat to wear.
In a flashback, Carl is seen on the highway with Lori, Shane, Carol, her husband Ed, and Sophia. Carl, Lori, and Shane have just evacuated their town and met the Peletiers and are stuck in a traffic jam. Carl asks Sophia and her mother for food, but Ed shuns his wife for wanting to give out food to strangers. Carol consents but still sneaks food for Carl. Lori and Shane, meanwhile, are off watching the military bomb Atlanta. Sophia tells Carl that she likes his dad (as she thinks that Shane is his father), but Carl responds with "Shane's not my dad.... My dad is dead." Carl is seen later in the present day still lying in bed sleeping and recovering from being shot by Otis.
Carl is finally seen walking after recovering from being shot. He is feeding the chickens with his mother at the beginning of the episode. He states that the mother of the chicks was probably eaten, stating "Everything's food for something else." Carl is seen in the back when the group are talking about gun training. Shane approaches him and Carl wants to learn too. He asks if Shane can teach him how to shoot a gun and Shane tells him that that's up to his parents. Before Carl leaves, however, he is caught with a gun on him and Shane informs Carl's parents about it immediately. His mother is furious, but his father says that he does need to know how to handle a gun, for his own protection. Carl then apologizes to his mother, telling her he wants to help look for Sophia and defend the camp. He goes on and says he can't do that without a gun. He goes to shooting practice, along with Rick, Shane, Andrea, and T-Dog. He continues to care about and wants to help with the search for Sophia.
Carl tells Shane that he doesn't want to give up on the search despite Shane's arguments and wanting to move on: "I know you think Sophia's dead and that we should stop looking for her. But that's... that's bullshit. We're going to stay here until we find her." Shane decides to support Carl for now until the end of episode where the group of survivors shoots all of the walkers that were in the barn. Carl is saddened to see that Sophia was in fact a walker and clutches to Lori for comfort, weeping uncontrollably, as Rick shoots Sophia.
Carl talks to Lori, his mother, about Sophia, stating that he wanted to be the one to find her alive, but thinks that Rick did the right thing in shooting Sophia. He states that he would have done the same thing had he been in his father's place. Lori appears shocked that he would say such a thing, and is worried that he's getting too cold. Carl attends Sophia, Annette Green and Shawn's funeral with Lori and Rick.
After Lori is brought back to Hershel's farm by Shane, Shane reveals to everyone, including Carl, that Lori is pregnant. Carl is furious that his mother didn't tell him she was pregnant. He later asks questions about the baby and his mother informs everyone that they never had "the talk." He turns to Dale, expecting him to fill him in, but Dale says that that job is for his father.
Carl does not appear in this episode, but is mentioned by his mother inside the Greene house. He is also mentioned by Rick when he talks to Shane about his family and how it his son his wife and his unborn child .
Carl speaks with Shane about Randall, who had been brought back to the farm after his former group members abandoned him, but Shane tells him that Randall's fate is the adult's business. He later sneaks into the barn where Randall is being held prisoner, but Shane discovers him and tells him to stay away from Randall. They bicker back and forth until eventually Carl backs down and nods in understanding. Carl is seen at Sophia's grave, mourning, shortly before insults Carol for believing that Sophia is in a better place, stating that Heaven does not exist and that she is an idiot for believing in it.
Rick later tells him that he must keep his act together and to consider the fact that Carol has just lost her daughter. He states that if she wants to believe that she's in a better place for comfort, he should not insult her for thinking that. Rick goes on his lecture saying "Don't talk. Think." Carl later steals a gun from Daryl's motorcycle and goes to the woods. He finds a walker trapped in the mud and decides to taunt it. He stares at it for a while and then begins to throw rocks at the walker, intimidating it. Carl then steps onto the mud and holds up the gun, ready to shoot it. He takes too long, however, and one of the walker's legs breaks free. Carl falls back, terrified, and loses the gun in the mud. The walker manages to grabs onto Carl's feet, trying to pull him closer so he can eat him. After a struggle, Carl manages to get loose and he runs back to the house, where he is forbidden to speak of Randall's fate.
Later, he sneaks to Randall's execution and tells his father to kill him while he is watching. Shane takes him away and Rick spares Randall. Later, Dale is attacked by a walker that mortally wounds him. Carl arrives to the scene and sees that the walker that attacked Dale is the same one that he taunted in the swamp. Horrified and feeling guilty, he goes to cry in Lori's lap as Daryl kills Dale out of mercy.
At the beginning of the episode, Carl is seen crying at Dale's funeral. He then goes to Shane, telling him that he stole Daryl's gun, and the walker that killed Dale was the same one he found in the swamp stuck in the mud that got one foot lose and lunged at carl he got scared and did not shoot the walker and that Dale's death was his fault. He asks Shane not to say anything to his parents. Shane, however, tells Rick what happened to Carl. Rick finds Carl in the barn. They have a father and son talk, as Rick tells him: "No more kid stuff. I wish you could have the childhood I had, but that's not going to happen. People are gonna die. I'm gonna die. Mom. There's no way you can ever be ready for it. I try to be, but I can't. The best we can do now is avoid it as long we can. Keep one step ahead. I wish I had something better to say, something more profound. My father was good like that. But I'm tired, son. Please, take it." Rick then hands the gun back to Carl and he accepts it.
When Shane informs everyone that Randall has escaped, Carl is instructed by his mother to stay in the house while Rick, Shane, Glenn, and Daryl go looking for him. Eventually, Carl sneaks out of the house and walks onto the field where Rick is standing over Shane's dead body. Carl is frightened and points his gun in the direction of Rick as an undead Shane rises, unbeknownst to Rick. Rick asks Carl to calm down, thinking he's going to shoot him. Carl instead shoots undead Shane in the head. Carl goes towards the body of Shane, but Rick warns him to stay back. At the end of the episode, a horde of walkers are seen reacting to the sound of the shot and begin approaching the farm.
After shooting a reanimated Shane, the gunshot rings through the woods, and a herd of walkers is seen advancing towards the farm. These zombies followed a helicopter that was flying away from Atlanta and have walked in the same direction since. They heard the gunshot noise that Carl made and they walked towards it. As Carl and Rick walk back to the farm, they see the herd of walkers. Rick ushers Carl ahead and they start running towards the farm but get cut of from walkers so run to the barn instead. Back at the farm, Lori realizes that Carl is missing. As chaos ensues, Carl goes into the barn with Rick they both start spreading gas onto the hay then Rick gives carl a lighter and tells him to drop it when he says Rick lets the walkers in telling carl to drop it when he is half way up the ladder setting the barn on fire killing more than a dozen walkers.
As the pair run, they find Hershel making a final stand in front of his house, shooting walkers. Rick convinces him to leave. After being saved, they go on the road just as the sun rises. Carl asks where his mom is. Rick says that they have to keep moving and Carl begs him not to give up. Rick continues to try and persuade Carl to move on. Carl is next seen getting very angry. Just then, cars arrive with the rest of the surviving group members, including Lori. Ricks car runs out of gas and confesses to the group that every one turns, Later that night he is seen crying into Lori's shoulder as Rick talks to the group, revealing how Shane was killed.
Carl is seen to have a lot more responsibility and an overall more vital role within the group by this time. His parents are no longer overly protective of him, as he is part of the first team of the group (along with Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog) to clear any walkers out of an abandoned house. Rick entrusts Carl to check over the kitchen and other parts of the house on his own, and gives him other important jobs such as guarding the vehicles, killing walkers from a watch tower in the prison, and leaving him to protect the women while he and the others inspect the rest of the prison. He also no longer has any problems with shooting walkers, as he's seen shooting one in the house and shooting others in the prison. Throughout the episode it appears he has also developed a crush on Hershel's 17-year-old daughter Beth, but has not told her because of his apparent shyness.
Carl is mostly seen by Hershel's side during this episode. When Rick and the others come back from the search, Rick calls to his son to open the door quickly because Hershel is bitten and bleeding out becuase rick chooped off his leg. Lori orders Carl to get a towel to hold off Hershel's bleeding. After T-Dog and Rick get provisions from the prisoners, Carl is assigned to organize the food, but also locates the prison's infirmary on his own and says to have cleared out the infirmary's medical supplies, and killing two walkers in the process. Lori chastises him for going out by himself, although she appreciates Carl helping out Hershel. Carl gets angry and told his mother to "Get off his back". Beth scolds him for talking to his mother with disrespect, and Carl runs off in embarrassment. When Hershel stops breathing beth calls for help and Lori gives Hershel CPR bring him back to life Carl is waiting outside Hershel's cell with Beth Carl points his gun at Hershel after he is mistakenly thought to have become a walker. Near the end of the episode, Hershel wakes up again, and Carl smiles at him.
Carl is first seen sitting on a stair while waiting for the others to go outside the prison cell. He smiles at Beth while she helps Hershel walk into the prison yard. As Carl is looking at his father, he notices that the walkers are invading their yard. He runs with Lori and Maggie back into the prison and they get separated from the others. He and Maggie protect Lori along their way until she suddenly goes into labor. They escort Lori into an empty room and Carl watches as Maggie gives Lori a spontaneous Caesarian section for the baby, killing her. Before she dies, she says to Carl; "You are going to beat this world, I know you will. You are smart, and you are strong, and you are so brave, and I love you. You gotta do what's right. It's so easy to do the wrong thing in this world. So, so, if it feels wrong don't do it, alright? If it feels easy don't do it, don't let this world spoil you. You're so good, my sweet boy. Best thing I ever did, and I love you, I love you. My sweet, sweet, boy. I love you." Just as Maggie and Carl are leaving, Carl thinks about his mother reanimating and can't bare it so he hugs her dead body and shoots her in the head, killing her once and for all. After Carl and Maggie walk outside the prison yard with the baby, the group automatically guesses that Lori is dead. Carl just stands there, holding back tears, as Rick sobs with grief.
Carl is first seen holding his baby sister with the others just moments after his mother dies. He walks over to Hershel and they discuss what they will do for formula. Carl then watches sadly as his father storms off into the prison to reach his wife's dead body. He is later comforted by Beth at Daryl's request. Towards the end of the episode, Daryl feeds Carl's sister and he asks him if he's thought of a name yet. Carl says: "Not yet. But I was thinking maybe Sophia? Then there's, Carol too. And... Andrea, Amy, Jacqui, Patricia. Or... Lori. I don't know." His voice begins to crack and he walks off, his mother's death still too raw in his mind.
Carl is first seen eating cereal with the rest of the group and looking very depressed. Shortly after, he's briefly checked on by his father before leaving again. Later, Carl, Daryl, and Oscar go out to clear the remaining walkers from the cell block. Daryl, in an attempt to comfort Carl and get him to open up, reveals to him that he also lost his mother at a young age: "Come on. You know, my mom, she liked her wine. She liked to smoke in bed. Virginia slims. I was playing out with the other kids in the neighborhood. I could do that with Merle gone. They had bikes, I didn't. We heard sirens getting louder. They jumped on their bikes, ran after it, you know, hoping to see something worth seeing. I ran after them, but I couldn't keep up. I ran around a corner and saw my friends looking at me. Hell, I saw everybody looking at me. Fire trucks everywhere. People from the neighborhood. It was my house they were there for. It was my mom in bed, burnt down to nothing. That was the hard part. You know, she was just gone. Erased. Nothing left of her. People said it was better that way. I don't know. Just made it seem like it wasn't real, you know?" Carl then says to Daryl: "I shot my mom. She was out, hadn't turned yet. I ended it. It was real." They exchange sorrows and move on.
Later, a walker sneaks up on them and they kill it shortly before Daryl discovers Carol's knife in the dead walker's neck. Carl and Oscar return to the group. Later, Rick returns and holds the baby for the first time. Carl, Rick, Hershel, and Beth walk outside. Rick hands the baby to Carl when he notices something strange at the fence.
Carl is first seen outside watching Michonne struggling to fight the walkers that are attacking her. After she passes out, Carl makes the call to save her and shoots the two walkers about to eat her. Rick then joins in and both of them take out the remaining walkers threatening her life. Carl takes the basket full of baby formula, and they bring Michonne into the prison. Shortly after Rick finds out Carol is alive, Carl tries to hold back his tears when Carol finds out Lori is dead. When Oscar, Daryl, Rick, and Michonne set off to rescue Glenn and Maggie, Daryl lets Carl know not to worry and that he'll keep an eye on his dad. Rick brings Carl over in private and puts Carl in charge of watching over the prison. He also acknowledges that he had to shoot his mother in the head and tries to comfort him. Carl and Rick agree to name the baby Judith, after Carl's third grade teacher.
Carl is first seen at Beth and Axel's side as Beth cradles Judith in the cell. Axel tries to flirt with Beth, and Carl gets a bit defensive. Later, he, Hershel, and Beth are discussing what to do about formula for Judith. Carl states he will take Carol on a run because he's under the impression that Rick and the others might not come back. After hearing screams coming from the tombs Carl goes to investigate, stopping when he notices faint sounds emanating from the boiler room where his mother died. After killing a walker that almost jumps him, he investigates the noise, only to discover Tyreese's group surrounded by walkers.
Carl assists in shooting and killing several of the surrounding walkers, before escorting the group safely back to the cell block's common room. Carl attempts to shoot the infected Donna, but Tyreese intervenes, stating that their group takes care of their own. Carl locks Tyreese's group out of their cell block, but announces that the common room is secure and that they have access to food and water.
Carl is first seen watching over both his own and Tyreese's group in the prison cell. He is later seen talking to Carol about how loud the world used to be and how quiet it is now. They both joke about being on a jumbo jet. Carol tells Carl how proud his mother was of him. Carl denies that and starts to cry and he feels tremendous guilt from being so mean to Lori; it's all he thinks about. When Rick arrives back at the prison, he hugs Carl in relief. Carl asks about Oscar, shortly before finding out he didn't make it. Carl is later seen watching Tyreese's group again shortly before being scared by Rick during his breakdown.
Carl is first seen mapping out where he helped Tyreese's group for Glenn so that they can get a better idea of where the weak spots are in the walls. He later says that the boiler room is over run by walkers again. He and Glenn later go to check it out before coming back, realizing that it's no good and there's too many of them. Carl is outside when the Governor begins to attack the prison. He and Beth take cover near a wall while someone in the guard tower shoots at them. Carl shoots back, but because he is using a pistol is unable to kill the unknown attacker. The unknown attacker is finally killed by Maggie, then someone drives a van full of walkers through the gate and releases them into the prison yard.
Carl is first seen with the group as they discuss if they should leave the prison or not. After Rick walks off Carl follows him and tells him he should stop "being the leader. Let Hershel and Daryl handle things. You deserve a rest." He stands guard during the rest of the episode, and is present when Maggie spots Andrea from the bushes. Near the end of the episode, Rick states that he will make another run and that Carl is to join him, as Rick reveals that "he is ready." Carl is then seen outside, near the gates on guard duty, observing the prison yard that is overrun with walkers.
Carl, along with Rick and Michonne, are traveling to King County in the hopes of finding more weapons. He stares at a survivor in the road while the car passes by, while Rick and Michonne don't bat an eyelid. Later, Michonne who is driving gets the car stuck in mud and thus Carl appears annoyed. Walkers start banging on their car, Rick rolls down the window aims his python and tells Carl to cover his ears. Rick takes opportunity to bond with Carl and teaches him how to free the car by using traction. Carl doesn't seem to like Michonne and asks "Why'd you let her come? She took you to Woodbury and you said she just split on you. - And Oscar died and you guys--" Before he can continue Rick cuts him off explaining it wasn't that simple and that explains the situation to him. They hear and see the road survivor again shouting for them to stop, only for them to drive off. Arriving in King County Carl and the others walk into Rick's old police weapon locker room to find that it is empty. Carl looks on as Michonne and Rick bicker back on forth discussing where to get more weapons.
After walking around a corner to get to the main street which is filled with walkers and booby traps, a walker walks into a wire and is shot in the head. Carl along with the others are taken by surprise by a man on a roof, telling them to drop their weapons, Rick orders Carl to go back to the car as a shootout begins. The attacker disappears from the roof and tries to shoot Rick, but before he can do something, Carl shoots him in his chest, causing him to fall unconscious. Rick looks at his son with a concerning look, having not wanted him to do something like that, but Carl says he had to. It is revealed that the attacker is wearing an armor, and that he is actually Morgan Jones, whom Rick had first met after awaking from his coma. They drag him back to his building, while avoiding a few close calls with the traps and eventually stumble upon the arsenal Morgan has acquired through the months. While searching the apartment, Carl finds a painted map of King County on a wall, and learns that their old house was burnt down. He is then questioned by Rick if that was the reason he came with them, which he denies.
Carl says he's going on a run. He wants to get a baby crib for Judith. Rick doesn't allow his son to go at first, but Michonne offers to go with him, which Rick allows. Carl tells Michonne that she didn't need to come and tells her to dispatch a lone walker, which gives him enough time to make a run for it. Michonne catches up to him, and he explains that he wants to do this by himself. Michonne notices Carl has passed the baby place, to which he replies that he's getting something else for Judith first. Carl and Michonne arrive at the door to the King County Cafe. Carl wipes away at the window to get a better look inside and grabs the doorknob but before he can open the door Michonne pulls him away. Michonne explains how she wasn't going to let him go in there, to which Carl snaps back, saying: "I just think it's none of your business. You don't know me. You don't know my dad. You came out here for common interests. We have the same enemy and the same problem. And that's why you're here. That's it. This is important. I'm going to do this." Michonne replies saying she can't stop him but he can't stop her from helping him.
Carl rolls the skateboard-traps to get the walkers' attention and the duo sneak in the cafe without alerting the walkers. Carl spots what he wants and stands on a chair to be able to grab it while Michonne stands watch. A walker that was hiding grabs onto Carl's foot but Michonne quickly dispatches it silently before the walker can kill Carl. The duo make their way back, but a mouse manages to escape one of the traps and runs past them, alerting the walkers of their presence .The duo dispatch multiple walkers, but before they get out, Carl drops his prize. Carl is seen getting furious saying how they need to go back, and that it's the only one left. After some arguing, Carl backs down and follows Michonne's order to stay put while she gets his prize for him. It turns out to be an old picture of him, Lori, and his father. He has hopes that Judith could at least know how her mother looked like, and he thanks Michonne.
Later, Carl and Michonne are seen carrying the crib back to the car and Rick asks him if everything went all right, to which Carl smiles and replies "I think she may be one of us." Rick, surprised at this answer, takes his son's input. Shortly after Carl apologies to Morgan for shooting him, saying it was something that had to be done. Morgans tell Carl never to be sorry. On the way back, the road survivor's remains are all over the road and Carl gets out the back and grabs the backpack he was carrying.
Carl is seen helping Glenn, along with the rest of the group, who organizing their new arsenal, while Rick, Hershel, and Daryl are off to the meeting with the Governor. Merle tells him that his father could very much be dead and that his head is on a pike, to which Carl snaps back: "My father can handle himself!" Later he is briefly seen when Rick tells them they are going to war.
Carl is seen first with Maggie on the other side of fence, screaming and shouting while banging on the plates to get the walker's attention to create a diversion. Carl is seen hearing his father's speech regarding decisions that affect the whole group.
Carl is first seen depressingly packing his and Judith's bags as they prepare to leave the prison. As Carl is packing his stuff, he pulls out the old picture of him, Rick, and Lori that he and Michonne recovered previously. He stares sadly at the picture, reflecting on what has happened to him thus far and what could happen to the rest of his family. Before Carl leaves his room, he takes and stares at Rick's old badge before putting it in his pocket so he has something else by which to remember the old world and his father. When Rick tries talking to him, he pushes his dad away and throws his stuff in the car. Everybody notices how angry Carl is, including Glenn, who tells Rick, "I've never seen him this mad. Even with Lori. He just shutdown." Rick says how he's still a kid and it's easy to forget. Rick and the others decide to stay at the prison and defend it. Carl is sent with Hershel, Beth, and Judith to a safe location in the woods. As the firefight ensues, Carl is getting annoyed because he feels that he should be there, fighting alongside the rest and that they shouldn't be risking their lives for him.
When Rick and the others gain the upper hand, the Governor and his army retreat. A fleeing Woodbury soldier named Jody stumbles upon Carl and the others in the woods. Jody is told to drop his gun. Instead, Jody holds the gun in his hands and slowly walks towards Carl, saying to "take it." Before Jody gets too close, Carl shoots him in the head, killing him, leaving Hershel and Beth shocked. They all meet up, and Rick hugs Carl in relief that he's alive. Carl tells Rick how he did his job out there just like everyone else and that he took out one of the Governor's soldiers, and that he's going with them, not wanting to be left out. Hershel tells Rick that Carl murdered Jody in cold blood, which leaves Rick very concerned for Carl.
Later, Rick approaches Carl and tries to talk to him about the boy he shot. Carl dodges his fathers questions stating how Jody had a gun and how he had just attacked us. Rick asks if he was handing the gun over and Carl says that he couldn't take the risk of letting him live, reliving how he had the chance to kill the walker that eventually disemboweled Dale, but didn't. When Rick tries to argue, Carl brings up how he let Andrew and the Governor live, which resulted in the deaths of Lori, T-Dog, and Merle, respectively. Carl tells Rick to go before the Governor kills any more of them, leaving Rick shocked at his son's understandable logic. Rick has nothing to say and before Carl leaves, he drops the badge from Rick's hat on the ground. However, he ends up staying behind and only Rick, Daryl, and Michonne go.
When they come back with all the Woodbury citizens, Carl angrily asks his dad what's going on. When Rick explains that the survivors left Woodbury and will be staying here, Carl angrily walks away, concerned that Rick is letting residents of the town that just attacked them in without caution.
In the six/seven months period between the skirmish with Woodbury, the prison underwent many improvements. Now with kids of his own age, Carl starts to slowly go back to his old self, enjoying his "childhood" and doing things any other boy would do, like collecting comic books and playing soccer. He still retains some hardness from living in a post-apocalypse world, scolding a group of kids for naming walkers.
Rick wakes up Carl early in the morning for the farming chores. He brings up that the fence cleaners will need help, and ask if they can join them. Rick responds, saying that he has other plans, and Carl then asks if he can help them. Rick finishes off saying "We [they] have other plans". Carl then proceeds to say he's sorry, and that he's been trying to live a normal life, to which Rick points out how proud he is. Before they can continue, gunshots, coming from D Block, take their attention. Rick orders Carl to join Maggie in the guard tower. Michonne, who was riding away, returns to help, but walkers enter the open gate and nearly kill her. Carl instinctively grabs a rifle and shoots one of them.
Carl helping Michonne, who injured her leg, they walk back to the cell block and come across Rick returning from the skirmish in D Block. Carl hugs his dad, saying he's sorry but he had to grab the rifle to kill a walker. He is visibly shaken to hear that his friend Patrick has died. Later he's seen crafting a cross for his burial, asking Carol if Patrick was Catholic. She replies, saying that he was atheist. She asks if he told his father about the knife lessons. Carl says that he won't lie to his dad and that he will tell him. And so he does, and Rick, realizing that they're never going back to their pre-apocalyptic lives, hands Carl back his gun.
Carl is first seen packing his things to move to the office blocks, where the healthy but vulnerable people are being isolated. He appears to dislike this as he'd be locked away with the other kids, but in the end he does honor his father's wishes. Rick trusts Carl to patrol the corridor and keep people safe.
Sometime in the day when Carl is patrolling the corridor, he spots Hershel walking off. Curiously, he asks where he's going and quickly gathers that Hershel is sneaking out of the prison to gather supplies, alone. Carl says that he can't let Hershel go there alone, which Hershel ignores, not wanting to be told what to do by a younger person. Carl presses on but, realizing he can't stop Hershel, offers to go with him to help. They both leave to acquire herbs to tend the sick survivors.
Later in the episode Carl is seen guarding Hershel while he examines and picks the medical herbs required. Hershel talks to Carl, acknowledging his maturity and growth. Because of the recent events going on at the prison, Hershel reckons it's safer outside the prison, to which Carl disagrees after seeing a rotting, tree walker. They examine it only for a second walker to spot them. Carl raises his gun towards the walker but Hershel tells him that he doesn't have to, thus recalling his father's same "Don't fire unless you absolutely have to" motto and lowering his gun. They walk back to the prison with the medical supplies.
Carl is first seen in A-Block when Rick comes back from the medical supply run. Three calls of Carl's name it takes but he comes running around the corner, greeting his father. Rick chucks a few bags of food Carl's way, and tells him to tell the others to brush their teeth. Carl asks if he and the others can come out of the quarantine zone, to which Rick soundly gives a no, fixed on keeping his son safe and away from the violence. Shortly after Carl says "Dad, you can’t keep me from it, from what always happens", Rick replies with "Yeah... maybe... but I think it’s my job to try."
Later in the episode the fences seem to be in a crucial state to the point of breaking. A gunshot goes off, and Rick tells Maggie to go back inside. Rick realizing that he can't secure the fences alone goes to find Carl. Another three calls of Carl's name it takes but he comes running around the corner. Rick asks for Carl's help and Carl gladly accepts.
Rick and Carl are later seen working on securing the fences. They're using thick logs to try and add support to the fence, to prevent a collapse. The father and son share a touching moment as Carl helps Rick with the final log but the logs begin to break from the sheer pressure of the increasing number of walkers pressing on the fence. The fence collapses and the duo run for their lives, into the tower and into the inner fences. Rick, knowing that the second layer of defense won't hold for long, brings Carl over to the guns as they prep to unload on the undead. Rick gives Carl a crash-course on the mechanics of the M4A1 assault rifle that he's given and they fire, gunning down any walker in sight.
It's at this point that Rick accepts Carl for who he is: a man. Carl at one point even aids the ammo-less Rick by killing the nearing walker and tossing him an extra mag. Rick watches Carl as he advances on the walkers, clearly in control. All the walkers are defeated and Rick and Carl do a clean up, looking for any surviving walkers and stabbing their heads with sharp metal poles. Carl notices Daryl and the others returning and tells Rick that everything will be okay.
Finally, Carl is seen the following morning, running to Rick, wanting to be with him. He and Rick begin farming and share a pea-pod, two peas in a pod.
Carl briefly appears in this episode, being watched from a distance by the Governor.
As the Governor tells Rick he and the others must leave the prison by sundown, Carl is seen with the others arming up for the potential shootout between the two groups. When the Governor brings out his hostages, Carl states that he could "end this right now," but Daryl tells him no, as it could lead to even worse results. After the Governor slashes Hershel's neck with Michonne's sword, Carl, along with Daryl and Rick, open fire on the Governor, hitting him in the arm. Carl continues to fire at the Governor until they break through the fence. After Michonne saves Rick, he asks her, "Where's Carl?" Stumbling up to the main gate, he sees Carl kill two walkers before they reunite. He asks him, "Where's Judith?" to which Carl replies, "I don't know." As they locate Judith's bloody car seat, Carl, becoming enraged and believing his sister to be dead, unloads his remaining ammo into one of the walker's heads before collapsing in Rick's arms in tears. Rick tells him, "We have to go" and the two leave the prison. The two are last seen limping through the woods surrounding the prison with Rick telling Carl, "Don't look back."
Rick and Carl come across a bar while walking from the prison, finding a few supplies before coming across a house in a neighborhood, where they reside. Rick takes notice of his son's hostility towards him while pushing a sofa up against the door. While sleeping on the couch, Rick falls into unconsciousness and Carl tries unsuccessfully to wake Rick up the next day. Carl leads two walkers away from the house when they try to get in the door, and is almost attacked by a third, but he manages to kill all three. Carl also begins to rant while Rick is still unconscious, scolding him for underestimating Carl's survival skills, as well as failing to protect Judith, Hershel, Glenn, Daryl, and rudely says that he would be fine if Rick died. Carl leaves and goes into another house where he finds food, including a large can of chocolate pudding. Carl is then attacked by two walkers, but kills one of them, but then finds that his gun is empty and barely manages to escape into a nearby room. Rick wakes up and Carl, having returned to the house for the night and thinking his father has turned, cannot go through with killing him and tries to commit suicide by allowing Rick to kill him for being wrong about thinking he would be better off on his own. However, Rick did not reanimate and tells his son after crawling towards him, "Don't go outside. Stay safe." Carl cradles his father's head in his lap and whispers repeatedly, "I'm scared." The two hear a knock on the door the next day, and Rick gets up and looks through the peephole, only to see Michonne standing there. Rick keels over with laughter, telling Carl that it is for him.
Carl is first seen having cereal in the house with Michonne. They joke about soy milk and how he almost threw up once after drinking it in 3rd grade. He accidentally brings up Judith in the conversation, reminding him of the fact that she, as far as he is aware, is dead, which shatters the brief moment of relief and laughter they were having just moments before.
He later goes on a run with Michonne, where she reveals a bit more about her past life, including her deceased son. It is clear through the episode they've built a friendship together, acknowledged by Rick, who said to her earlier that he can't be everything to him, proving they do have a strong bond. He arrives with Michonne back at the house just as Rick flees from the hostile group who occupied it. At the end of the day they stop by a abandoned train freight, seeing a sign reading sanctuary, up in the track. They then start to walk on the tracks.
Carl is seen with Rick and Michonne on the railroad track, competing in a bet with Michonne to see who can walk on the rails the longest without falling off. Carl wins the bet and gets to choose one of the last two candy bars in their supply, which he chooses the Big Cat bar. At the end of the episode, Joe's group is seen walking past the Big Cat wrapper, lying between the ties on the same railroad track Rick, Carl and Michonne were seen on.
Rick, Michonne, and Carl complain about how hungry they are. In an attempt to stave this off, Rick shows Carl and Michonne how to set up a trap to catch a wild animal, such as a rabbit. Upon hearing a scream, Carl runs into the woods to see a man surrounded by walkers. He lifts his gun to shoot the walkers but is stopped by Rick, who tells him the man can't be saved. The trio then return to the woods. They find an abandoned car and decide to spend the night there.
As Rick and Michonne talk by the fire, and Carl sleeps in the car, Joe's group surprises them, holding Rick and Michonne at gunpoint. Daryl, who had recently joined the group but had no idea they were hunting Rick, asks Joe to spare them. Joe orders his men to beat Daryl to death. A terrified Carl is taken from the car by Dan, who shoves him to the ground. As Carl tries to get away, Dan pins him down and begins to unbuckle his pants, clearly planning to rape Carl.
The sight of his son helpless, and the knowledge that everyone with him will suffer and die, cause Rick to launch a feral attack, tearing out Joe's jugular vein with his teeth. In the shock that follows, Michonne and Daryl manage to kill everyone but Dan. Dan holds Carl at knifepoint, begging for his life. An enraged Rick disembowels Dan, as Carl looks on, traumatized, clinging to Michonne.
The next day, Carl overhears his father talking to Daryl about leaving behind the humanity he'd tried to find at the prison, how he now knows what he has to do to survive, and for Carl to survive.
When they get near Terminus, Rick asks the group to split up and stake out various parts of the gates, to get a feel for the place. Carl declines Rick's offer to watch with him, going to Michonne instead. When Michonne encourages him to not shut his father out, he tells her about the darkness he feels and that he hasn't been able to keep a hold on. That he's a monster. Michonne does her best to convince him things will change, revealing her own breakdown following her son's death. She tells him that he, Andrea, and Rick were the ones who pulled her back.
Carl and the others arrive in Terminus, and meet the group, led by Gareth. They briefly forfeit their weapons and agree to be searched for more. When the man frisking them sees how bruised they are, he says he hoped whoever caused that got what they deserved. Carl coldly says that they did.
Rick soon senses danger when he sees various people with items that belonged to other members of the group, like Glenn. He takes a Terminus resident hostage, demanding answers. Ultimately he and the others run for it, but are herded toward a boxcar. At threat of Carl's life, the adults agree to surrender. Carl then slowly makes his way into the boxcar with them. Carl reunites with most of the rest of the larger group who were already in the boxcar (everyone but Beth, Carol, Tyreese, and Judith), along with some new faces. He watches as Rick boasts that Terminus has "screwed with the wrong people."
Carl will appear in Season 5.
This list shows the victims Carl has killed:
- Dale Horvath (Indirectly Caused)
- Shane Walsh (Zombified)
- Lori Grimes (Before Reanimation)
- Joe Sr. (Zombified)
- At least one unnamed members of The Governor's Militia
- Numerous counts of zombies.
- In the first three seasons, Carl usually wore a Science Dog T-shirt, a character from Robert Kirkman's other comic series, Invincible.
- During the season four premiere, when Michonne gives Carl comics as a gift, the comic at the top is Issue #56 from Invincible - Robert Kirkman's other comic book series.
- Rick and Carl share the same blood type, which is A+.
Comparison to the Comic
- In the Comic Series, Carl is initially 7 years old, now being 11, whereas in the TV Series, he starts out being 12, and he recently turned 14 between Seasons 2 and 4.
- In the Comic Series, Carl kills Shane while he was alive to defend his father, and Rick kills his reanimated-self. Whereas in the TV Series, Rick kills Shane during a forced confrontation with him, and Carl shoots Shane as a walker to defend Rick.