Characters: The Walking Dead TV Show Grimes Family
Due to the Anyone Can Die nature of the show and quickly moving plots, only spoilers from the current/most recent season will be spoiled out to prevent entire pages of whited out text. If you have not seen Season 1, 2, and 3 read at your own risk!
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"All I am anymore is a man looking for his wife and son. Anybody gets in the way of that is going to lose."
: Andrew Lincoln
"I'm not the good guy anymore."
Rick was a sheriff's deputy before the outbreak alongside Shane, but was shot and ended up in a coma. He awoke in the hospital weeks after the outbreak began, and quickly learned of the walkers. He headed to Atlanta looking for his family, and found them in a camp outside the city, where he became the leader of the survivors.
While starting off idealistic, the events of the show have forced Rick to become more ruthless and pragmatic, and he will not hesitate to kill any threat, walker or human, to the group. His relationship with Lori has also severely degraded, as he learns of her affair with Shane and is forced to kill him once he becomes a threat due to his jealously of Rick.
Following the move to the prison and the conflict with Woodbury, Rick's mental state has grown increasingly unhinged, a problem compounded by the death of Lori during the birth of their daughter Judith. Following the end of the battle against Woodbury, Rick has stepped down from his leadership position to focus on raising Carl and Judith in the growing community of survivors at the prison.
- Iconic Item: Besides his hat, his Colt Python.
- The Idealist: At first, though by the end of season two lost. He eventually regains some idealism, such as protecting strangers, by the season 3 finale.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Rick early in the show, but it gradually gets deconstructed. Rick starts as one of the most idealistic and merciful members of the cast, but his personality is darkened severely by his experiences. By the end of Season 3 he's realized how far he is slipping and starts to make amends.
- In-Series Nickname: "Officer Friendly" from the Atlanta group, particularly Morales.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: While Rick is primarily known for his excellent marksmanship, he can handle himself quite well in melee combat.
- Kick the Dog:
- In Season 3, Glenn tries to talk to him and comfort him after the death of Lori. Rick's response is to snap at and physically assault Glenn before giving him a psychotic Death Glare.
- Also in Season 3, he leaves a stranger who is literally begging for help to die in the wilderness, then when he is inevitably mauled to death by walkers, steals his stuff. He's basically one tiny step up from the Governor - he won't actively hunt and kill people just to steal their things, but he's more than happy to allow them to die and steal their things.
- Kirk Summation: The defining moment of his Character Development in season 4 displays Rick attempting to settle the conflict with the Governor peacefully. He pleads they live together, avoid any further bloodshed, and that people can come back from things they have done before and no one is too far gone. The Governor, expecting Rick to instigate a fight, is absolutely irritated and Hershel, the Team Dad, proudly smiles at Rick's change this season.
- Knight in Sour Armor: As of the Season 2 finale, adding to his newfound Good Is Not Nice attitude.
- Knight Templar Parent: Becomes one to Carl in season 4. Leading by example by becoming a farmer and settling down, he forbids Carl from involving himself in any danger or the use of firearms in an attempt to salvage Carl's humanity.
- The Leader: Type II.
- Machete Mayhem: Starts using one during Season 3.
- Manly Tears: After waking up from his coma, and coming into his house only to find out that his family is gone, after he kills Shane, and after he finds out Lori died in childbirth.
- Morality Pet: Hershel, whom Rick will often look to for advice and comfort.
- Carl remains one for him as Rick tries hard to do whats right to avoid Carl becoming like him.
- My Way or the Highway: At the end of the 2nd season when he takes full control of the group declaring there isn't a democracy any longer in the group under him. Subverted at the end of the 3rd season when he doesn't want to become like the Governor.
- Nay-Theist: He has moved into this territory ever since he asked God for a sign and, next thing you know, his son gets shot, though he phrases it to Hershel as more "trying to stay out of God's way in hopes he'll stay out of mine".
- Not So Different: He shares some similarities to the Governor, highlighted most clearly with their initial treatment of Michonne. Neither is very trusting, they put the safety of their own group far above the safety of others (although Rick doesn't deliberately murder strangers for his group's profit), both lose a wife, and both are mentally unstable. The Governor plays this up during their negotiations to make Rick listen to him more.
- Papa Wolf: There's almost nothing he won't do if he feels his family is being threatened, though even then he'll first try reason.
- Perma Stubble: Almost a year after his being shot, prior to the Zombie Apocalypse, he still has the same length of stubble on his chin.
- A Protagonist Shall Lead Them: He eventually manages to end all of the conflict in the group and led them into becoming an extremely effective walker killing group.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Shane's Red (Season 1 and 2), The Red to Daryl's Blue (Season 3).
- Reluctant Hero: An important character trait, even if Rick rarely admits it. He tells Jenner that he has no idea what to do, rants at the group in the season 2 finale that he was forced to kill Shane to protect them, and eventually resigns from leadership after going mad in season 3. He eventually is forced back into a leadership role in Season 4 to deal with the new crises.
- Retired Badass: From the end of Season 3 to the episode "Infection", Rick puts down his gun and becomes a farmer.
- Retired Gunfighter: At the start of season 4.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Rick's favored weapon is Colt Python revolver pistol, as he was originally a small-town sheriff.
- The Rival: To the Governor, since they don't hate each other enough to be considered arch-enemies. At least until season 4.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After learning about Lori's death, he grabs an axe and goes on a walker killing spree.
- Sanity Slippage:
- Starts down that path when Lori dies, compounding his Good Is Not Nice attitude.
- Hallucinations: In "Made to Suffer", he believes one of his attackers during the rescue mission to Woodbury is Shane.
- Once again in "The Suicide King," where at the end of the episode, he sees what he apparently believes is Lori's spirit in a cell on the second level of the prison, causing him to completely lose it.
- Hearing Voices: Hears Amy, Jim, Jacqui and even Lori over the phone in the room were Lori died.
- He undergoes Epiphany Therapy after reuniting with Morgan, who after losing his son to his zombified wife crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
- The Sheriff: Technically just a deputy, but damn if that's not a Nice Hat. Senior to Shane.
- Shoot the Dog: After poking holes in Shane's story about Randall escaping (who was already dead thanks to Shane) which led all the men in a wild goose chase and lured Rick in open field to kill him, Rick stabs him in the heart, killing him.
- Slept Through the Apocalypse: He was in a coma in hospital after being shot. Partly justified by Shane blocking his room's door with a trolley to prevent walkers entering, and someone in such a position having a small chance of surviving dehydration.
- Technical Pacifist: In the first two episodes of Season 4, in an attempt to instil similar values in Carl.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: At the end of Season 2. He fully gets over it in Season 3, ending the Ricktatorship in the finale.
- Took a Level in Kindness: At the end of season 3. He fully displays this in season 4.
- Unstoppable Rage: When the situation with a belligerent and distraught Tyresse, who had just found the immolated corpses of Karren and David, comes to a head, Tyresse ends up getting into a fight with Rick, who flies into a berserker rage and beats Tyresse to a pulp.
"I think folks around here can make up their minds without bringing my marriage into it."
: Sarah Wayne Callies
"Maybe this isn't a world for children anymore."
Lori is Rick's wife, who knew he was in the hospital. Shane went back for him, honestly believed him dead, and returned to camp to regretfully inform Lori. Lori and Shane became an item until Rick turned up alive at the camp thanks to Glenn. Her relationship with both Rick and Shane has soured after that, as her affair was revealed and she discovered she was pregnant. She is killed early in Season 3, when Maggie has to perform an emergency C-section to save the baby and Carl is forced to shoot her in the head to prevent reanimation.
- Action Survivor: Making up for her stupidity in "Nebraska", Lori has a Let's Get Dangerous moment right after her car crash. Still suffering from shock, she stabs a walker clambering into the car through the eye with a torn-off piece of the car, and then smacks another over the head with a hub cap before fetching her gun from the car and headshotting it.
- Actor Allusion: Lori must be familiar with prisons don't you think?
- Adaptational Badass: Believe it or not. In the comic, Lori would often fumble with her gun, and Carl saved her on more than one occasion. Here, she is making headshots at night without panicking.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Lori has raven hair in the comics.
- Age Lift: Lori is 27 at the start of the comics. She's in her mid-thirties in this one.
- The Chick: Lori is the least likely of the group to use weapons and instead relies mostly on others to protect herself. She can fight, if she must, though.
- Death by Adaptation: In the comics, Lori died at the very end of the prison arc instead of near the beginning of it.
- Death by Childbirth: Although the C-Section by Maggie (without anesthesia) is the immediate cause, a labor proceeding exactly like Carl's necessitating said operation ultimately did, as she would have died without it.
- Does Not Like Guns: Seems to be why she rarely fights herself and instead prefers to have others protect her. She even tries to argue against it when Rick and Shane want to teach her son Carl to use a gun, despite the fact it's the most viable option for self-defense he has in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When trapped in the boiler room while the prison being overrun by walkers and the stress causing her to be in labor, she decides for Maggie to perform makeshift c-section with a knife so that her child would survive, knowing she would die.
- Housewife: Lori was this before the Zombie Apocalypse and tries to keep it up even with the world gone to hell.
- Hypocrite: She chews out Rick for not telling her that Hershel was going to kick them off of the farm, while she doesn't tell Rick that she's pregnant until he finds her morning after pills. Rick calls her out on this and she admits to it herself.
- Mama Bear: Otis is likely lucky to have died before he met Lori and suffered her wrath for shooting Carl. She's also ready to brave a walker invasion of the farm to go hunt down her missing son, and is only talked out of it by Carol.
- Sacrificial Lion: In Season 3, when she tells Maggie to perform a Cesarean Section on her so Judith can be born, even knowing it could kill her.
- Secret Relationship: What she thought her relationship with Shane was. Turned out Dale, Daryl, and Andrea had all figured it out, and Rick caught on pretty quickly to what had happened between her and Shane while they thought he was dead.
- Stay in the Kitchen: She apparently literally believes this is what the women should be doing during the Zombie Apocalypse, and is annoyed with Andrea for wanting to protect the camp. Andrea is understandably incredulous and pissed off upon being told this. Lori rationalizes that "we are trying to create a world worth living in", meaning she values the normality and comfort of mundane household chores over bloodshed and fighting.
- Who's Your Daddy?: Lori understandably isn't sure if the baby she's carrying was fathered by Rick or Shane.
- Woman in White: In Rick's hallucinations during The Suicide King and Home.
- Your Cheating Heart: Did this with Shane, although they thought Rick had died. The moment she realized Rick was alive she walked away from Shane without looking back.
"Everything's food for something else."
: Chandler Riggs
"Are we safe now, Dad?"
Carl is Rick and Lori's son. In Rick's absence, he has come to regard Shane as something of a father figure. This causes no small amount of friction once Rick returns, as Carl loves his dad but still loves Shane and looks up to him. As the show has progressed, the Zombie Apocalypse
has had an increasingly damaging effect on Carl's mind and personality, as he is forced to fight walkers to survive and other threats constantly surround his family and the group.
- A Day in the Limelight: The mid-season premiere 'After', which focuses on Carl and Michonne. Carl has to fend for himself in a suburb after the prison is overrun and Rick succumbs to his injuries from the Governor.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Carl's comic counterpart wasn't subjected to see his childhood friend Sophia die, nor having to shoot his dead mother so she won't reanimate.
- Age Lift: Went from 7 or 8 in the comics to 12 for the show.
- Anti-Hero: Ends up becoming one after the Season 3 finale, Carl didn't seem to bat an eye when he shoots a teenaged Woodbury militia member just as he was handing over his shotgun to Carl.
- Big Brother Instinct: In Season 3 towards Judith.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Tyreese's group in Season 3 alone.
- Big Eater: Even though he's living in a zombie-ridden hellhole, he still eats like a typical teenager. Case in point, he eats 112 ounces of chocolate pudding in one sitting.
- Children Forced To Kill: Granted, it's Walkers, but he still has had to learn to take care of himself rather quickly. And then he guns down a teenager in the Woodbury militia who may have been surrendering.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Shows signs of this in "Judge, Jury, Executioner," where he at one point entertains himself by throwing rocks at a walker he finds with its feet stuck in the mud at a riverbank, then seems to find a weird sense of pleasure, or at least fascination in Randall's situation. When Rick and Shane are beginning the execution, it's Carl wanting to watch and encouraging Rick to do it that convinces Rick that Dale is right, and that they're starting to lose their humanity. Justified in that he's a young boy and it's the Zombie Apocalypse; he's naturally much quicker to adapt to the far more brutal realities of this new world then older, more experienced people. By the end of Season 3, his experiences have taught him that killing all threats is the best preventive measure.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Downplayed. When Axel flirted with Beth, Carl is glaring at him in an annoyed way.
- Creepy Child: Getting to that territory. Justified, again, by the fact he's growing up in a Zombie Apocalypse, meaning he's developing a mindset that's quite alien to more normal civilised people. Lampshaded in season two where it's noted that Carl is starting to spook the older survivors with the way he's beginning to behave. In Season 3, he shoots his dead mother in the head to prevent her from turning and guns down a surrendering Woodbury militiaman. Both with a blank face.
- This is seemingly subverted or downplayed in Season 4, as interacting with other children, Rick's new pacifism and Carl's stricter routine of farming and no guns has tempered Carl.
- Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto Us: By the end of Season 3 this has become his opinion.
- Driven to Suicide: Temporarily. When he thinks Rick has become a walker, he gives up and allows him to bite him. Turns out Rick was simply crippled by his injuries and was finding it difficult to talk.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Carl is notably pale and is a Creepy Child.
- Growing Up Sucks: Especially in a Zombie Apocalypse.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His reason for killing a young teenaged soldier from Woodbury.
- Kid Hero: Beginning in Season 3.
- Kill the Ones You Love: Shoots Lori's corpse in the head to prevent her from reviving as a walker.
- Likes Older Women: His crush on Beth.
- The Load: Understandable as he's an untrained child, but particularly after he gets shot early in Season 2. Averted in Seasons 3 and 4, as he gathers supplies by himself and is trusted as the main guardian of the group when the principal fighters are away.
- Mercy Kill: In Season 3, after Lori appears to have died from having Maggie cutting her stomach open to deliver the baby, he volunteers to shoot her in the head so she won't come back as walker.
- Morality Pet: For Shane until he stops caring about morality.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: By the end of Season 3 this seems to have become his viewpoint on anything threatening the Atlanta survivors.
- Nice Hat: His dad's sheriff hat, which Rick gives to him after he recovers from getting shot.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- His taunting of a walker stuck in the mud near the Greene Family farm lead to it breaking out of its trap instead of just sitting there, leaving the walker free to wander out to the farm and kill Dale.
- This trope is why he starts showing more sociopathic tendencies in the third season, culminating in killing a member of the Woodbury militia who was surrendering because he'd seen all of his father's attempts at not killing possible threats resulting in disaster for the group.
- Pragmatic Hero: Seems to have settled into this as of Season 4
- Precocious Crush: As of Season 3, Carl has one on Beth.
- Sanity Slippage: Seems to be starting down that road during Season 3. In Season 4, Rick realizes this, and makes steps to revert him to sanity again.
- Tag Along Kid: Until he Took a Level in Badass.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the Season 3 premiere, he's carrying a gun and joins Rick, Daryl and T-Dog in raiding a walker-infested house. He is also given the job of point man when the rest of the group is looking over a map, and hunts for the prison infirmary alone, taking out two walkers with no backup. Tyreese recognizes him as 'the man' after Carl saves the former's group then locks them up.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He seems to be growing into the role of a teenager who's annoyed with his mom a few years too early.
- Youthful Freckles: Chandler Riggs' own.
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Portrayed by: Adelaide and Eliza Cornwell
Judith is Lori's youngest child, fathered by either Rick or Shane.
- Awesome McCoolname: Before getting her actual name she's dubbed "Lil' Ass-Kicker" by Daryl. Some people in Rick's group keep calling her that, too, and it's the name on her first, cardboard box crib.
- Babies Make Everything Better: People tend to calm down and have relatively nice, calm scenes around her.
- Dead Guy Junior: Discussed. Carl proposed the names of all the dead and believed to be dead female members before coming up with Judith, the name of his third-grade teacher.
- In-Series Nickname: Daryl still calls her "Lil' Ass-Kicker" from time-to-time, and it's the name on her first, cardboard box crib.
- Missing Mom: Due to Lori's death while giving birth to her.
- Morality Pet: For Rick's group.
- Never Found the Body: Rick and Carl are unsure of her fate since they only found blood in her carrier given the chaos toward the end of "Too Far Gone". In "Inmates", she survives thanks to Tyreese saving her.
- Spared by the Adaptation: She died along with Lori in the comics. She is still alive as of "Inmate".
- Tagalong Kid: The youngest example in the series.
- Who's Your Daddy?: It was Shane in the comicbook.