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The Evolution Of Carl Grimes

Guest Author: Joshua Turkin


For many, Carl Grimes has become a very memorable character on the Walking Dead. This little boy is often mischievous and doesn’t do what he’s told, but tends to hold the viewer’s attention as they become gripped in this dead fiction. At times Carl can be quite the brat, but it’s pretty understandable with all of the difficulties and challenging situations that he’s been through. His character has had to face a lot in this series. Many would even call him a brat at times. The evolution of Carl Grimes on the Walking Dead has been kind of interesting to say the least.


The Introduction of a Freckle Faced Little Boy



In the first season of the Walking Dead, the audience is introduced to Carl. It’s not easy to forget Carl’s name as we regularly heard it as he didn’t tend to listen very well. It’s not surprising though as he has had to face the trials of escaping King County with his mother, Lori and his father’s best friend, Shane. Carl dealt with trying to live in this cruel world where he thought his father was dead (even though Rick was still alive, but in a coma from being shot). This freckled faced little boy thought he would be eaten by walkers without a father to protect him and was just trying to deal with that fact. Viewers were able to see a rare, happy moment when Carl learned that his dad, Rick, is alive and the two were reunited.


Rick’s Not the Only One in The Family To Be Shot


Carl and his family couldn’t stay in their campsite long because of the walkers. Unfortunately, Sophia got lost in the process, and Rick and Shane decided to look for her. Otis accidentally shot Carl while they both had their eye on a deer. Carl almost didn’t make it, but somehow pulled through thanks to the Hershel. Unfortunately, Carl didn’t seem to learn from all of this as he still tended to make some bad decisions even though it hurt many of the people that were around him. Often his character seemed not to know the right thing to do and made many mistakes.


All Kids Love Pudding, Even Carl


One of the best scenes from the show that involved Carl was of him just being a kid. Despite the fact Rick was semi-comatose after a battle with the Governor, Carl took it upon himself to explore and ended up on a rooftop eating some chocolate pudding. It did seem that boys would be boys, no matter what battles they had going on around them. This was a particularly beautiful moment to see as at times it was difficult to remember that Carl was in fact still a little kid even though he had to face some very grownup problems throughout the series. 


Not One of Carl’s Finest Moments


Carl sure could make a lot of people mad, especially viewers. One of the most frustrating things about Carl’s character is that he lacks a lot of tacts. One of his least little moments occurred when he went off on his father while Rick was fighting for his life. Viewers were able to hear the frustration in Carl’s voice as he’s had endured so much in his short life. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the best time to take out his frustrations, but it was understandable as everything going on around him was difficult for a young boy to handle. 


The Sweet Side of Carl


Viewers got to see an innocent part of Carl as he held his baby sister, Judith. It’s not often that his tender side is shown. He also explained that he took his role as big brother seriously. He was slowly starting to transition from a difficult child to a confident young adult as he tried to figure out how to survive in this scary new world and protect his family in the process, without getting killed himself.


Tragedy for Carl


As Alexandria became overrun by walkers, Carl tried to escape with Judith. The youngest son of Jessie, Sam, proved to be a hindrance to the team and caused the walkers to turn on them. Jessie was facing a trying time herself over Sam and continued to hold on to Carl’s arm, despite putting him and Judith in danger. Rick desperately wanted to save his children, so he cut off Jessie’s arm. Jessie’s oldest son, Ron, was pretty mad at Rick and tried to shoot him. However, the shot didn’t go off as intended and it hit Carl in the eye. Carl did survive but lost his eye in the process.


Carl Is Spared from The Wrath of Megan


Viewers saw Carl have to fight for his life to keep from the crazy Negan killing him. Fortunately, he was saved just before Lucille was raised by Negan. This did leave fans wondering if Negan couldn’t handle killing a child. Afterward, Carl did have a lot of feelings that he had to combat as he came so close to death. The character ended up being forever changed by this event.



Learning About Himself Through Ron


Once again, Carl learned a little bit about himself. He was almost killed because of how he handled Ron. At this point, viewers got to see Carl starting to come to grips with the fact that this was just how the world was and he would be forever fighting for his life. 

As you can see, the character of Carl has evolved quite a bit over the seasons. Viewers have gotten to see him go from an ornery little boy to a young man who is trying to protect his family. However, his decisions do often still get him trouble just as they did when he was a kid. It will be interesting to see if he ever learns from the mistakes he’s made and becomes a man who can be trusted as a leader amongst all of the chaos.


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