Rick Grimes is one of the Atlanta camp survivors although he joined the group well after camp was established. His appearance at the camp surprised his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, who were under the impression that he was dead. He was a deputy for the King County Sheriff’s Department in his previous life; Shane Walsh was his partner and best friend since high school. He is a born leader in many ways and after he shows up at the camp, the group looks to him for leadership.
This causes tension between him and Shane as Shane has been leading the group. Rick is an “everyman” and often provides the voice of moral dilemma for many viewers. He clings to his personal code of what is right and wrong and believes it is his duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves. He is very calm and measured in his decisions, trying to see others’ viewpoints. But Rick’s growing indecisiveness about the gray areas in situations sometimes leads him to self-doubt, which is part of what fuels Shane’s desire to wrest control of the group from Rick.
The conflict between Shane and Rick came to a head at the end of Season 2 and Rick was forced to kill his former best friend. This action was seen by many to be one of the turning points for Rick’s character that made the TV version of Rick more like the Rick seen in the graphic novels.
Rick Grimes is played by British actor Andrew Lincoln, best known for his role as Mark in Love Actually. He also starred in the popular UK series This Life, Afterlife, and Teachers, as well as the made for TV movie Wuthering Heights. Lincoln’s voice is very familiar to UK viewers as he provides voice-overs for numerous television and radio advertising and narration on documentaries.
- Lincoln’s last name was originally Clutterbuck. He changed it while studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in Bloomsbury, London.
- Lincoln, who has been in two walker dismemberment scenes, once called special effects guru Greg Nicotero “the Willie Wonka of gore.”
- The horse that Rick rode in the series premiere – which ultimately became a snack for the walker hoard in Atlanta – was a stallion named Blade. It was wild horse until just a few years ago and, according to Lincoln, “was trained amazingly.”
- Rick’s sidearm is a Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver with a 6-inch barrel.
- In the graphic novel, the Grimes family and Shane all hail from Cynthiana, Kentucky. This is a real town of about 6,200 people located 30 miles northeast of Lexington and is the county seat for Harrison County. There is no King County in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In the TV series, no hometown for these characters is ever mentioned, but King County, Georgia is what appears on Rick’s uniform. Like Kentucky, Georgia has no King County.
- Rick’s melee weapon of choice in the graphic novels is a mini hand axe.
- In the graphic novels, Rick isn’t nearly as calm and collected as he is in the TV series. In fact, on the Greene farm, it is Rick that confronts Hershel and says the walkers in the barn must be put down. Another character, not on the television series, calms Rick down. Like other changes in Rick from the graphic novels to the television show, this is seen as the result of Shane’s continue presence on the show after his character was already written out of the graphic novels.