Zombies have dominated the world and all that’s left of what we used to call home are just ruins of days gone by. That’s in The Walking Dead universe of course, and we’ve very lucky to not have to live the life of Rick Grimes, Glen Rhee, Daryl Dixon and a whole bunch of other unlucky individuals.
Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore’s own take on the zombie apocalypse gave the undead aficionados a grim look at the cliché formula; as if it wasn’t grim enough already. Aside from the Walkers, Rick and co. are faced with a far more dangerous foe, other desperate survivors.
Because of the drama and all the horrors that lurk in the fictional world, fans of both the comic and TV series get to see a host of wonderful characters that we couldn’t just take our eyes off of. Rick’s motley crew of survivors include a lot of memorable characters, one of which is Rick’s own flesh and blood, Carl Grimes.
At a young age, Carl was exposed to the horrors of the apocalypse. He even started out the apocalypse whilst his dad was in a coma. Like other kids in The Walking Dead universe, Carl has been through a lot already but one thing certain is that he is one of the toughest survivors out there.
There’s a lot more to Carl than just his one eye, good aim and badass ways. Here are 15 things you didn’t know about The Walking Dead’s Carl Grimes.
15 Carl’s Age
Carl is definitely one of the youngest in Rick’s group and after the deaths of Carol’s daughters, Carl became the youngest member. Fans might be curious as to how old Carl really is but the comics and TV version both have their own takes on Carl’s age.
The comics version of The Walking Dead sees Carl as a 9-year-old when the apocalypse started. As of issue 127 of The Walking Dead comics, Carl is already a 13-year-old. It’s still a pretty young and innocent age but with Carl has done throughout the years, he’s growing up to be a very mature person already.
In AMC’s The Walking Dead, Carl was revealed to be a 12-year-old in season 2 of the series. As of season 4, he was already a 14-year-old. By now, it’s likely that Carl is in between 17 and 18 years old in season 7. It’s an older age as compared to the comics but people his age shouldn’t have to kill humans and the undead yet.
14 The Future Rick Grimes
In a world as dark as The Walking Dead’s, people will soon become dark and tough. As evident by groups like Terminus, the Hillbury survivors and The Saviors, the end of the world brings out the worst in people. Even innocent children like Carl Grimes turn out to be dark and brooding not long after everything’s gone haywire.
Aside from donning Rick’s sheriff’s hat, Carl also carries a weapon that’s similar to his father’s; a pistol. Throughout the course of the comic, Carl slowly began to become like his father. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise as the world calls for tough and brave men. It might not be too long before we see Carl officially take the mantle of Rick as the future leader of the survivors. Hopefully, this time shouldn’t have to come as we’d like to see Carl turn out more normal and not into a cold-blooded killer. Heck, even Negan calls Carl a killer in the making now.
13 The Shirt Is An Easter Egg
Like the majority of shows and cartoons, characters in The Walking Dead are often seen wearing a similar outfit. It distinguishes them from other characters and it makes them more memorable. Moreover, the apocalyptic setting makes the unchanging wardrobe slightly realistic as no one would have time to go shopping with all the zombies around.
The outfits of the survivors have changed throughout the years but there are a few memorable ones. One outfit in particular is Carl’s Atomic Paw shirt. Those who are fans of Robert Kirkman should be well aware that the Carl's shirt serves as a call out to Kirkman’s comic series Invincible. A character named Science Dog dons the logo on Carl’s shirt. It’s a pretty well-hidden easter egg but again, those who’ve been following Kirkman should have noticed the logo almost immediately. Aside from this shirt, he’s also often pictured wearing his dad’s hat.
12 Rick Almost Cut Off Carl's Hands
In the start of the 7th season of The Walking Dead, the show’s producers finally revealed who the first Negan kills were. The skull bashing broke the hearts of fans as Abraham Ford and Glen Rhee were both fan favorites. Before the episode ended, fans were treated to an exhilarating scene starring Carl, Negan and Rick.
Before The Saviors left, Negan had one final lesson for Rick. He ordered Rick to cut off Carl's hands. If he didn’t, everyone else in the group would die. Of course, Carl’s hands weren’t cut off. But Rick almost did it. Those familiar with the comics are sure to have figured out the gruesome scene.
In the comics, Rick’s right hand was cut-off by The Governor but AMC opted not to. Many expected that it would be Carl that’s going to lose his hand but lucky for us, we weren’t treated to the horrible scene.
11 Different Love Interests
The Walking Dead’s comic and TV versions have their similarities and differences. Deaths are different, methods of deaths are different, some limbs are intact, and so many more. Another key difference between the two versions are Carl’s love interests.
In the comic series, Carl had two past lovers. One is Sophia, yes, the very same Sophia that got lost in the TV series. The other is Lydia, a member of the Whisperers, who we’ve yet to see on TV— but we’re betting that they’re coming pretty soon.
While on AMC’s The Walking Dead, Carl has Enid. The strong and independent survivor isn’t part of the comics and is AMC’s original creation. We’ve yet to know how Enid and Carl’s relationship will turn out but so far, we’re liking how the unlikely duo seems to work out. Whatever the case, we’re just hoping that Enid doesn’t die.
10 Carl’s First Human Kill
“Fight The Dead, Fear The Living.” The Walking Dead’s motto still stands to this day as there are a lot of human to human fights. Killing a Walker is one thing, but killing a living and breathing human being is another. In both versions of the series, Carl’s first kill was emotional and heart-wrenching.
From the beginning, it was obvious that Shane, Rick’s best friend and ally, was no longer the same man after the apocalypse. It was only a matter of time before he killed Rick out of envy, but thanks to Carl, it didn’t happen and Shane was rid of pretty early on.
In issue 6 of the comic series, Carl shot Shane in the neck to protect his father. If it wasn’t for Carl, The Walking Dead would be spearheaded by the annoying Shane. It was Carl’s first taste of a human kill and it was emotional as Shane was his father’s friend and his own guardian when Rick wasn’t around.
9 Comic Carl Is No Longer A Virgin
It’s worth noting that the comic’s version of Carl has more action than the TV one. TV Carl went as far as a kiss with Enid, but comic Carl went all the way with the Whisperer’s Lydia; who is the daughter of Alpha, the group’s leader.
Thanks to Carl, Lydia had a better time during her stay as a prisoner in the Hilltop Colony. Carl protected and vouched for Lydia, so the Whisperer leader’s daughter was untied. After a while, the two got cozy with each other and then magic happened. As other things in The Walking Dead’s universe, there’s always an underlying sad story beneath the good news.
Lydia was apparently raped by numerous members of the Whisperers. The poor girl was too naïve to realize what was happening was wrong. It seems as though Carl is her first experience in warranted sex.
8 Chandler Riggs Isn’t Allowed To Have Fun Yet
Chandler Riggs plays the role of Carl in AMC’s series and he plays it excellently. Riggs is given the role of a child growing up in a harsh setting filled with death and sorrow. However, unbeknownst to fans of the series, the death of major characters affects Carl even in the outside world.
Whenever a major character dies on AMC’s The Walking Dead, the cast and crew hold something called a “death dinner” to celebrate the fictional passing. Sadly, Riggs isn’t allowed to attend death dinners because of his young age. It’s likely that death dinners are held in bars to toast the passing of a character so it makes sense that Riggs isn’t invited. There have been a ton of major deaths recently but sadly, Riggs still isn’t old enough to join in on the fun. It makes us wonder what would happen if Carl is the one that bites the big one on the show.
7 Eye For An Eye
Perhaps the most gruesome injury in The Walking Dead aside from Rick losing his hand and Hershel losing his leg is Carl losing his eye. As much as we don’t want to, Carl losing his eye has become one of the most memorable events in the series. However, the monumental scene happened differently in the TV and comic series.
In the comic series, Carl’s eye was taken out accidentally by Douglas Monroe. Alexandria Safe Zone’s own resident inventor was running away from the undead when he got caught and bitten. Before dying, Douglas pulled the trigger once more hitting Carl in the eye.
While in the TV series, Carl’s eye was lost in a very different manner. When Alexandria was overrun with Walkers, Rick and a few survivors including the Anderson family had to go undercover as zombies to pass through the horde. However, when Sam and Jessie Anderson was killed, Ron attempted to shoot Carl but was killed by Michonne before. However, before dying, Ron pulled the trigger and shot Carl.
6 Negan Likes Carl
Negan is very hard to deal with and guessing what’s on his mind is as hard as talking to a walker. One thing that’s for certain though is that this baseball bat wielding psycho leader of the Saviors actually likes and respects Carl. If Negan didn’t like Carl, Rick’s son would’ve been dead early on during the Saviors' arc.
After the Saviors visit Alexandria in the comic series and Hilltop in the TV series, Carl snuck inside the Saviors' van. Sure enough, the kid was caught immediately upon reaching the Saviors' hideout. Everyone expected hell from Negan but things happened the other way around.
Carl’s guts and bravado wowed Negan and he developed a liking to the kid immediately. Negan was even nice enough to bring the kid back home without a scratch. In the TV series, Negan went to Alexandria to cook spaghetti for Carl and his sister.
5 Carl Has Been The Cause Of A Few Major Deaths
In the TV series, Carl has been responsible for the deaths of quite a few main characters and zombies. Some are unintentional, but it’s still partly because of Carl as well. During the first episodes, it’s evident that Carl doesn’t actually want to kill but now, the little killer in the making is beginning to grow.
In the second season, Carl was indirectly responsible for Dale Horvath being eaten by walkers. He was also the one who shot zombie Shane. Then, he was the one who killed one of The Governor’s men, Jody. After that, Carl’s kill list includes a host of henchmen from a few of the factions in the series including The Saviors and The Wolves. We can expect Carl’s hit list to grow by the season as he’s becoming more and more tough than most of the new characters in the series.
4 He Was Almost Assaulted
There’s no doubting that the universe of The Walking Dead doesn’t pull any punches. It’s a pretty dark world that shows the worst side of humans and definitely more. In one of the most harrowing scenes in both the TV and comic iterations of The Walking Dead, the not-so-innocent Carl was almost raped by men.
In the comic series, Carl was almost raped by bandits while he, Rick and Abraham were on a trip to Kentucky. In a spurt of adrenaline, Rick overcame the odds to save his son. On the other hand, Carl, Daryl and Rick were about to share the same fate at the hands of Joe and his men. Rick did the same thing and took care of business as usual.
Both events were gruesome as no viewer or reader would expect such a harrowing scene to occur. Both these scenes initiated the famous “We are the walking dead” line by Rick.
3 The Fittest
Deaths in The Walking Dead are a common thing. In the world that Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore created, a death of a major character shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore. Out of the original survivors from season 1 of the TV series and the first issues of the comics, only a few are still alive.
The only surviving original characters from the first episodes and issues of the comics are Rick, Daryl, Carol (in the TV series), Morgan and Carl. It may be because of Rick’s watchful eye and quick wits that Carl is still alive but him living through Negan, The Governor, Terminus and other humans proves that he’s one tough nut to crack. From his fragile self to what he is now, Carl has definitely changed throughout the years. He’s definitely a Rick in the making and maybe even more as he’s becoming tougher by the moment.
2 Not The Best Of Luck
Living in a zombie apocalypse is bad enough as it is and it’s basically just bad luck to go through it alone. The members of Rick’s team all share the similar fate of having brushes with death in more occasions than one. Aside from Glen, another frequent Grim Reaper caller is Carl.
Early on in the series, for both comics and TV, Carl was accidentally shot by Otis from the Greene family. If it wasn’t for Shane and Otis, Carl would’ve been dead before the Governor came as he was losing a lot of blood.
Another case of Carl almost dying is when he was almost raped by a band of bandits. Luckily, his dad and Abraham came to the rescue. Perhaps Carl’s most death defying feat so far was surviving a shot to the eye by Douglas Monroe. But of course, his survival wasn’t all that smooth as he ended up losing his right eye.
1 Carl’s First Human Kill… Again
Carl’s first human kill in the TV series is way different and way more dark than its comic counterpart. Out of all the people that Carl could’ve killed, it had to be family. What makes the scene even more riveting is that he was still only a poor and innocent child when it happened.
When the prison was overrun with zombies, Rick and the other survivors were scattered all throughout. Left inside and stranded were Carl, Maggie and Lori who was going into labor. To save the child, Carl had to help cut open his mother without any form of anesthetics. It resulted in Lori’s death and Judith’s birth.
AMC’s writers really took the story of Carl’s first really dark act and it was also one of the most memorable parts of the series. Carl did shoot Shane like he had in the comics but he shot a reanimated Shane— definitely not the same thing as a living person, let alone his own mother.