Carl Grimes is one of the Atlanta camp survivors. He fled his small town with his mother, Lori Grimes, and his dad’s partner and best friend, Shane Walsh, after the Wildfire outbreak. He is a quiet introspective boy, struggling to cope with loss and understand what has happened to the world around him.
In Rick‘s absence, Carl bonded with Shane and was confused when Shane rejected him after Lori told Shane to stay away from her family. Carl believed Rick was indestructible after Rick survived his gunshot wound, escaped from the hospital, and turned up at the survivors’ camp. When Rick decided to return to Atlanta to rescue Merle Dixon, Carl tried to reassure Lori that Rick would be okay, telling her “Everything that’s happened to him so far; nothing’s killed him yet.”
Carl’s closest friend was Sophia. When she was found to be one of the walkers in the barn, he cried as his father put her down. He later told Lori he had hoped to be the one to find Sophia and bring her back safely to the group. This little boy fantasy of being the hero was dispelled quickly and a more mature Carl appeared when he went on to say that Rick did the right thing “shooting her like that” and he would’ve done the same. Carl took another step toward maturity when he shot Shane Walsh, who had turned into a walker after being killed by Carl’s father, Rick.
Carl Grimes is played by American actor Chandler Riggs. He has appeared on stage in productions of Oklahoma, The Wizard of Oz, and Peter Pan. He is best known for his performance in the film Get Low and The Wronged Man, a TV movie on the Lifetime network.
- Riggs is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. When casting the series, producers decided only locals should be cast for many of the lesser roles.
- Riggs worked with TWD Executive Producer Gale Ann Hurd on The Wronged Man. He credits that experience as a big part of why he was cast as Carl.
- Riggs has a younger brother named Grayson.
- Riggs was born in 1999, making him close to the age of his character Carl when the series started. (Carl’s age is never expressly stated in the TV series.)
- In the graphic novels, Carl is only 7 years old.
- In the series, Otis accidently shoots Carl when killing a deer; in the graphic novels, Otis shoots Carl, but he does so because he mistakes him for a walker.
- In the graphic novel, Carl shoots and kills Shane when Shane pulls a gun on Carl’s father, Rick.
- Also in the graphic novels, Carl’s shoot skills came in handy when he saved both his parents’ lives in separate incidents.
- In order to cry for the scene when the Grimes family is reunited, Riggs said he thought of how he would feel if his dog died.