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- "I remember my eighth birthday at the KCC with that giant cake and aunt Evie showing up on leave, surprising all of us. I remember Mom. I remember Codger. I remember school and going to the movies and Friday-night pizza and cartoons and Grandma and Grandpa and church, those summer barbecues in the kiddie pool you got me. Could've used that at the prison. You told me about the walks we'd take when I was three, you holding my hand, around the neighborhood, all the way to Ross' farm. I didn't know I remembered them, but I do. 'Cause I see the sun and the corn and that cow that walked up to the fence and looked me in the eye. And you told me about all that stuff, but it isn't just that stuff. It's how I felt. Holding your hand, I felt happy and special. I felt safe. I thought growing up was about getting a job and maybe a family, being an adult, but growing up is making yourself and the people you love safe-- as safe as you can, because things happen. They happened before. You were shot, before things went bad. Kinda of felt like things went bad because you were shot. I want to make you feel safe, Dad. I want you to feel just like I felt when you held my hand. Just to feel that way for five minutes. I'd give anything to make you feel that way now. I wanted to kill Negan. I wish I did. Maybe it would've been done. I don't think it's done now. You went out there again, but I don't think they surrendered. I don't think they will surrender. There are workers in there, Dad. They're just regular people-- old people, young people, families. You don't want them to die, Dad. We're so close to starting everything over, and we have friends now. It's that bigger world Jesus talked about-- the Kingdom, the Hilltop-- there's-- there's got to be more places, more people out there, a chance for everything to change and keep changing, everyone giving everyone the opportunity to have a life-- a real life. So if they won't end it, you have to. You have to give them a way out. You have to find peace with Negan, find a way forward somehow. We don't have to forget what happened, but you can make it so that it won't happen again, that nobody has to live this way, that every life is worth something. Start everything over. Show everyone that they can be safe again without killing, that it can feel safe again, that it could go back to being birthdays and school and jobs and even Friday-night pizza somehow. And walks with a dad and a three year old holding hands. Make that come back, dad. And go on those walks with Judith. She'll remember them. I love you. Carl."
- —Carl's final letter to his father, Rick Grimes.[src]
Carl Grimes is the former deuteragonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is the son of Rick and Lori Grimes and the half-brother of Judith Grimes. During the initial outbreak, Carl believed his father to be dead, so he and his mother joined Shane Walsh to travel to Atlanta to the refugee camp. As time progresses, Carl slowly becomes hardened due to the severe loss of life and the environment around him. He has shown to be more than willing to assist and protect the people he cares about, especially Michonne, another survivor who he regards as a mother figure and his best friend. After reaching the Alexandria Safe-Zone he forms a friendship with fellow teenage survivor Enid. This friendship eventually blossoms into a relationship, though it becomes somewhat strained and uncertain after Enid's relocation to the Hilltop Colony.
During the first season, Carl is portrayed as a shy and reserved boy, only striking up conversation with his parents and members of the group with whom he feels comfortable, such as Shane Walsh, Dale Horvath and Sophia Peletier. Carl, being relatively young, is shown to often be frightened by the horrors of the world, thus looking to his parents for shelter and comfort. Carl is a kind boy who tries his best to comfort those closest to him when he recognizes that they are in need.
In the second season, Carl retains his shyness, but he develops a bolder personality and is seen to be less frightened of the world in response to the many ordeals he has experienced. He attempts to take on a more active role, wanting to help out the group, rather than be known as a liability; he finds the arsenal of knives for the group, and he helps with the search for Sophia. Like most children at his age, he is sometimes disobedient, but he shows shame and guilt when his actions negatively impact the group.
After accidentally being shot by Otis, Carl is stricken with negative thoughts. He develops the desire to fend for himself and also to prove his independence and maturity. This is especially prevalent when he accompanies the adults in gun training. After his friend Sophia is found zombified in the barn, he begins to form a noticeably colder personality, mentioning that he would have put Sophia down himself. In addition, he follows his father into the barn to watch him execute Randall, and he even eggs Rick on to do the act. Carl is occasionally pessimistic and rude. He also insults Carol for speaking of heaven. Despite this, he is not above apologizing and realizes that some of his words and actions are unacceptable.
After Carl indirectly causes the death of Dale Horvath, he is overcome with immense guilt, thinking himself a failure and vowing never to touch a gun again; his growing boldness was an attempt to prove himself worthy of standing alongside the adults of he group. It is not until his father talks to him privately in the barn that his confidence is restored, and Dale's death becomes a lesson. After putting down Shane, Carl finally notices that he will have to mature in order to survive in the new world.
By the third season, Carl has become battle-hardened from months on the road. His firearm skills have greatly improved, as well as his tactical abilities. He is no longer shy around most of the group, which is assumed to be a result of spending months with them out on the open road. Despite Carl's increase in capability, he does not appear to be completely immune to emotion, and he retains some of his child-like qualities, such as cracking a joke every now and then, as well as developing a child-like crush on Beth Greene.
However, after witnessing Lori's death, delivering his baby sister, and taking it upon himself to put his mother down, his despondent attitude amplifies. Carl goes through a stage of depression, neglecting to speak much unless he feels that it is necessary. He even tells his father to temporarily step down from his leadership position. Despite the traumatic impact that his mother's death has on him, it hardens him immensely. He becomes very brave, frequently helping people and risking his own life to save others; he saves Michonne outside the gates and his father from a hostile Morgan Jones, despite his father's pleading to stay back.
Throughout the course of the season, Carl begins to unwind as a result of the brutality of the world with the Governor at the center. Thinking he doing what is necessary to protect the group, Carl mercilessly kills a young boy as the boy was surrendering, which makes known how ruthless he has turned. Rick, frightened of what he has allowed his son to become due to being a relatively inactive parent, spends more time with Carl. He encourages him to pursue other endeavors, such as farming.
By the fourth season, Carl has become much more relaxed and accepts the fact that there is more to life than survival. Rick has taken his parental role more seriously and is stricter towards Carl. Although he still yearns for more excitement and is concerned with the possibility of the Governor's survival, Carl understands what his father is trying to do for him and tries to honor his father's wishes by attempting to be a kid again. Of course, he finds this difficult because of the many tragedies he has encountered and all the morbid things he has done. Despite his now more nonchalant personality, he still retains his more serious and realistic view-point on the world, such as chastising Lizzie Samuels and the other children for naming the walkers and for falsely believing that they are not so different from the living. Carl's maturity and his worthiness ultimately earns him his gun back, which he accepts honorably. Rick is confident in Carl's ability to use the weapon decisively.
Despite Carl being young, he is not hesitant to call out his seniors when he believes that they are doing something illogical. Perhaps the most notable instance is when he tells Hershel Greene that he is not going to allow him to go into the woods alone, and also when he informs Rick that Carol Peletier should be permitted to teach the children of the group how to defend themselves. Throughout the course of the first half of the season, Carl gradually becomes more integrated into the defense of the prison, even fighting beside his father to stop a large horde of walkers, which Carl recognises was a tough thing for Rick to allow. By the time of the prison's fall, Carl is severely shook up, most probably due to the loss of the prison, the decapitation of Hershel, and the presumed death of Judith.
During the second half of the fourth season, Carl struggles to come to terms with what has happened. Scarred from the battle and subsequent loss of the prison, he is recurrently seen to have outbursts of intense anger and frustration, sometimes resembling meltdowns. Driven by a need to pin his anger on something, he directs his rage toward his injured father. Upon Michonne's return, they accept the fact that Carl is becoming an adult in the new world. At the end of the season, Carl reveals to Michonne that he has dark thoughts in his head that he fears would jeopardise his relationship with his father. he believes that he isn't what Rick thinks he is, and that he is a monster.
In the fifth season, Carl's mental state improves significantly. After the escape from Terminus, he begins taking on an adult role in the group. Carl helps with the fortification and defense of the church, as well as taking responsibility for protecting baby Judith. He seems to have cooled down a bit in terms of his emotional and mental stability, as evidenced by his ability to laugh and smile but is still capable of fearlessness and even a degree of coldness. He shows his fearless disposition when confronted with Gareth and the other surviving cannibals, and tries to teach Father Gabriel Stokes how to use a weapon. This attitude makes him potentially dangerous, as he is able to do what is necessary to survive. However, he seems to remain in control of his emotional state. He also appears as though to have grown more optimistic in the events following the fall of the prison and escape from Terminus; he immediately implores the group, particularly his father, to save Gabriel when he hears his desperate cries for help and expresses his belief that not everyone in the world can be bad, even when Rick is warning him that he is never safe.
After the events at Grady Memorial Hospital, Carl interacts with members of the group with maturity and kindness on the road, including giving a grieving Maggie a gift. The group finds it difficult to survive in the wilderness, and Rick becomes concerned about how Carl is coping, but Glenn assures him that Carl bounces back quicker than any of them. Rick says that kids like Carl are lucky because they can adapt to and inherit the new world.
After entering Alexandria, Carl, again, grows fairly sullen,worried that the community will make him weak and dulled to survival. Although he likes the people and enjoys living in large houses, he finds dealing with the other adolescents in the community rather complicated, though he eventually decides that he ought to make friends rather than live in isolation with his outsider group. He becomes fascinated with a withdrawn teenage girl called Enid, who also came in from the outside, and with whom he forms a bond.
In the sixth season, Carl continues to mature. He offers Gabriel lessons on how to use weapons and gives him advice on how to reintegrate after his betrayal of the group. Carl did this when few others would have anything to do with Gabriel. Carl often cares for Judith and even helps Enid during the Wolves' attack. He also attempts to help Ron Anderson, another teen of the community, learn how to adapt, but Ron refuses, revealing his hostility toward Carl due to Rick's execution of Pete, his father. In return, Carl becomes more adverse and somewhat insensible toward Ron. During the herd attack on Alexandria, Ron pulls a gun on Carl, telling him that there is no hope and that everyone is already dead. Carl, displaying his now optimistic and more mature state of mind, disagrees and ensures Ron that there is still hope. Covered in walker guts, the group steps outside into the herd, and Carl hides Judith underneath his cut-up bed sheet and looks on through the herd, exhibiting his sophistication and bravery.
After Carl gets shot through the eye by Ron Anderson and spends the next two months rehabilitating from the incident, Carl seemingly appears to remain normal, showing his usual smile to his loved ones, but it becomes increasingly clear that this is a crudely put up facade at best and that Carl is absolutely not okay. He presents a noticeably rougher edge when his loved ones aren't around such as when he's with Enid, and this rough edge has been noticed by his father. He tends to try and avoid conversation with people he'd usually be happy to talk too such as with Michonne and he's shown to be rather depressed, even when he's babysitting Judith, something he'd usually be a lot more upbeat about. A comment Carl makes to his father could even hint that he's feeling self-conscious about his own appearance which is reinforced by Rick's taken-aback reaction of hurt.
More important and worrying though is that Carl appears to be developing a taste for bloodshed. While initially unnoticeable, he shows some worrying traits when he interacts with threats for the first time since suffering his eye injury. Enid suggests that the reason Carl is joining the journey to the Hilltop Colony with an ailing Maggie is because he wants to run into the Saviors because he wants to make them suffer, and the reaction Carl gives is all she needed to confirm this suspicion. This is quite different to S3 where, even though he was walking down a darker path he was still only killing because he thought he had to, not because he wanted to. Even Rick has noticed this and seems quite worried about his son's new attitude.
Unlike his father and the majority of the group, Carl was completely unshaken by the Saviors' attempts to antagonize him, zoning out in a trance a couple of times, and glaring wordlessly at Negan when face to face. This and Enid's comments suggest that Carl could be developing a more sadistic side. However, when he was alone with Negan in Negan's room in the Sanctuary, and after being forced to take off his bandage and show his exposed eye socket, Carl was shown to be visibly afraid when forced to sing while Negan swung Lucille around. This shows how self conscious Carl has become about his appearance, as well as the fact that he is actually afraid of Negan and the Saviors.
During the preparation for the war against Negan and the Saviors, Carl continued to show his more mature side, no longer going against his fathers wishes. He showed his bravery, and willing to fight, when he was the first one to fight The Scavengers when they held Alexandria at gunpoint, and were distracted by Negan being attacked. Carl was even put in charge of safeguarding Alexandria while the Militia wages war with the Saviors, despite the presence of natural-born leaders such as Michonne and Rosita, a responsibility he took extremely seriously and achieved when he orchestrated Alexandria's evacuation during the Savior's bombardment on the community.
While everyone else during the war focuses on the present battles and bloodshed, Carl develops a more progressive way of thinking when contemplating the aftermath of the war and the future.
Carl was born in 1998 and grew up in King County, he experienced an average childhood where he was raised by his father, Rick Grimes (a sheriff deputy) alongside his mother Lori (a housewife). The three lived together as a typical family in a single-story house in King County, Georgia. He also befriended his father’s closest friend, Shane Walsh. (Photographs depict the three going on several family trips including a trip to the Grand Canyon.)
When Carl was 3 years old, Rick would’ve taken him on a walk to Ross’ farm. This is seen in the season 8 finale when a younger Rick in his old Sheriff’s Deputy uniform led Carl to a field.
In third grade, he had a best friend whom was allergic to dairy products and thus brought in soy-based meals for lunchtime, one day Carl tasted his friend's milk and almost vomited, (which became a humorous memory for him.) As he grew he developed a keen interest in playing video games and reading comic books.
Over time however, his parents' marriage became increasingly strained due to their marital issues and Carl was often in the presence of their parents quarrels, where one day, Carl witnessed Lori questioning if Rick truly cared about his family, an incident which affected to Carl to a degree.
During the very first stages of the outbreak, Carl and his mother Lori were at home. Shane Walsh, Rick's best friend, and another survivor came to the Grimes' house to take Carl and Lori to Atlanta, which was, at the time, thought to have situated one of the best refugee camps. Shane then told Carl and Lori that Rick is dead, believing it himself. After realizing that Atlanta was overrun, they took refuge at a campsite not far from the city. Carl developed a friendship with a girl slightly older than him, named Sophia, and played with her often during his time at the camp. When Lori became angry at Shane for not allowing her to go out and post warning signs about Atlanta, she marched away. Later, Carl almost walked in on Lori and Shane kissing. He is seen in the picture in Rick's police cruiser at the end of the episode.
Carl is not seen much in this episode; however, he is seen hanging around the camp with his mother. He is still sad about his dad supposedly being dead and spends a lot of time with Shane, his mother, and Sophia.
Carl is first seen with his mother and is fussing as she gives him a haircut. Shane bonds with Carl and tells him in playful manner: "You think this is bad, wait till you start shaving. That stings. That day comes, you'll be wishing for one of your mama's haircuts. I'll tell you what: you just get through this with some manly dignity and tomorrow I'll teach you something special. I will teach you to catch frogs." Carl laughs. As Carl and the rest of the group hear the roaring alarm of a car that Glenn Rhee is driving towards the camp from Atlanta, they all approach it with caution. Morales, another member of the group on the Atlanta run, is reunited with his family, while Carl begins to cry under the realization that he'll never see his father again, and Lori comforts him. As it happens, Rick was rescued in Atlanta by the group; when he exits the van, Carl sees him and runs toward him in tears. Rick picks him up, embracing him.
Later that night, Carl is seen around the campfire with everybody else as Rick shares his story. The next day, Carl is heard screaming out for his parents shortly after encountering a walker eating a deer in the woods. Shortly after, Carl nods in understanding after being told that his father needs to go back for Merle Dixon, whom Rick left handcuffed on a rooftop. Later that day, Lori tries to comfort Carl, and she tells him that Rick will be fine, despite her being worried herself about him, to which Carl responds: "Think about it, Mom. Everything that's happened to him so far-- nothing's killed him yet." Toward the end of the episode, Carl is seen playing with Shane as Shane teaches him how to catch frogs. Shortly after, Lori tells Carl to stay away from Shane and tells Carl that it does not matter what Shane says, for Shane told her that Rick had died.
Carl is seen around the survivors' camp talking some of the other camp members. He asks Amy and Andrea if they could teach him to fish, after having been impressed by the amount they were able to catch. He later joins the group to learn why Jim is digging holes. Lori tells Jim that he is scaring Carl and Sophia. Jim brings up an uncomfortable topic to Carl, as he asks him about Rick. At the end of the same day, he joins the group for dinner around the camp-fire. The walkers suddenly attack the camp and kill many of the survivors. Carl survives the attack, and Rick then returns to camp with the bag of guns. Carl embraces his father, crying.
Just after the walker attack, Carl can be seen resting. Carl is still sad that his father left and asks him if they are safe now that they are together, to which Rick responds: "I won't leave again. I promise you that. Not for anything. Now give me a chance to discuss some things with your mom, okay?" Carl later joins the group in their plan to leave the camp and head for the CDC. He says goodbye to the Morales' family, and they all leave the camp. He is later seen with the others as they arrive at the CDC.
Carl is welcomed into the CDC by the only remaining scientist, Dr. Edwin Jenner, along with the rest of the group. He takes a blood test shortly before he is seen with the others laughing and enjoying a fine meal. The others entreat Carl to taste the wine, and he cringes in disgust after taking a sip. He later plays checkers with Sophia and then heads to bed. Toward the end of the episode, Jenner informs them that the building's energy has run out and that the building will explode. Carl is seen crying, as he does not want to die. When Dr. Jenner lets the group free, Carl flees with the others to Dale's RV and watches as the CDC burns in flames. They then head toward Fort Benning.
Carl is first seen in the car with Lori, Rick, Sophia, and Carol. Lori touches on some of their past and explains to Carl that when he was a baby, he and his parents took a trip to the Grand Canyon. They playfully joke and laugh when they tell him that he threw up a lot. Carl expresses how he would like to go see the Grand Canyon one day. Carl is later seen gathering supplies with his fellow survivors. When a herd of walkers approach, they hide underneath the cars. Carl appears very frightened, but Rick, who is just a few feet away, attempts to calm him down. Sophia is then chased by a duo of walkers and gets lost.
Later, after the herd passes by, Carl finds a Gerber bag of tools, which he is ordered by Shane to give to Dale. Carl and the others then go out to look for Sophia. When they reach a church, they decide to split. Daryl Dixon leads the group back to the interstate, and Rick and Shane continue to look for Sophia. Carl asks his father to let him help with the search, and Rick complies. Later, Carl, Shane, and Rick see a buck in the woods. Shane is about to shoot it, but Rick stops him and the two watch Carl approach it slowly. However, the peace is abruptly interrupted by a loud gunshot. Both Carl and the buck fall to the ground as the bullet passes through the buck, hitting Carl in the stomach. He is then seen lying on the ground unconscious. Rick rushes to his son.
During a flashback, Carl is seen leaving his school. As he approaches his mother, he is told that his father has been shot and is in critical condition at the hospital. He begins to cry and hugs his mother as Shane looks on. Back in the present, Otis, the man who accidentally shoots Carl, tells Rick that the farmhouse in which he has been staying is nearby and that the owner, Hershel, is able to help Carl. Rick then hurries Carl toward Hershel Greene's farm. After a lengthy run, Rick arrives at the farm with Carl in his arms and hurries inside the house. Rick places Carl on the bed, and Hershel checks his pulse, telling Rick that he is alive. Carl is unconscious due to trauma and blood loss. Unfortunately, Carl awakens while Hershel is performing surgery because of the pain. He screams in agony and Rick tells Hershel to stop since he's killing him, but eventually Carl passes out from the pain.
Rick then gives blood to Carl as they are of the same blood type. Hershel confronts Rick about Carl's condition: "He's out of danger for the moment, but I need to remove the remaining fragments. I need to go deeper to get the others. There's more. His belly's distended, his pressure's dropping, which means there's internal bleeding. A fragment must have nicked one of the blood vessels. I have to open him up, find the bleeder and stitch it. And he can't move while I'm in there. I mean, at all. If he reacts the same as before, I'll sever an artery and he'll be dead in minutes. To even try this, I have to put him under. But if I do, he won't be able to breath on his own. Same bad results." Later, Shane and Otis head towards a former FEMA evacuation center which used to be a high school for medical supplies to operate on Carl.
Carl is still unconscious and is losing too much blood due to internal bleeding. Rick is unable to donate anymore blood to him since his blood levels are critically low as well. Later Rick is talking to Lori telling her Carl is going to be okay and that he's in this world now, to which Lori responds: "Maybe he shouldn't be. Maybe this is how it's supposed to be. Why do we want Carl to live in this world? To have this life? So he can see more people torn apart in front of him? So that he can be hungry and scared for however long he has before he... - so he can run and run and run and run and then even if he survives, he ends up... he ends up just another animal who doesn't know anything except survival? If he... if he dies tonight, it ends for him. Tell me why it would be better another way." Carl does wake up briefly in pain, to which his parents quickly rush to his side. Carl tells Lori, "You should have seen it. The deer. It was so pretty, Mom. It was so close. I... I've never been..." shortly before his eyes glaze over and goes limp. He has a horrifying seizure and his parents are forced to watch him convulse on the bed.
Hershel informs Rick and Lori that if Shane and Otis do not arrive in time with the needed medical supplies, they have to make a choice on whether to allow Hershel to perform the surgery knowing the risks of what could happen to Carl. Rick and Lori tell him to go ahead with the surgery. Before Hershel makes an incision, however, Shane makes it back to the farm with the supplies, but sadly without Otis. Later that night, Rick and Lori are waiting outside for the news whether Carl has survived or not, and it turns out that he has indeed survived. Rick thanks Hershel, as Lori goes to Carl relieved and crying.
The rest of the group finds out that the surgery was successful and they sigh in relief. Carl wakes up for the first time and his parents are instantly at his side calming him down from everything he's processing. He asks Rick if they found Sophia yet. Rick lies and tells Carl that she's fine. Carl is told the truth later by Lori since at the time, they didn't want Carl to worry and wanted him to recover. Later, he and Rick talk for a bit and Rick takes his badge off his hat, and gives Carl the hat to wear.
In a flashback, Carl is seen on the highway with Lori, Shane, Carol, her husband Ed, and Sophia. Carl, Lori, and Shane have just evacuated their town and met the Peletiers and are stuck in a traffic jam. Carl asks Sophia and her mother for food, but Ed shuns his wife for wanting to give out food to strangers. Carol consents but still sneaks food for Carl. Lori and Shane, meanwhile, are off watching the military bomb Atlanta. Sophia tells Carl that she likes his dad (as she thinks that Shane is his father), but Carl responds with "Shane's not my dad.... My dad is dead." Carl is seen later in the present day still lying in bed sleeping and recovering from being shot by Otis.
Carl is finally seen walking after recovering from being shot. He is feeding the chickens with his mother at the beginning of the episode. He states that the mother of the chicks was probably eaten, stating "Everything's food for something else." Carl is seen in the back when the group are talking about gun training. Shane approaches him and Carl wants to learn too. He asks if Shane can teach him how to shoot a gun and Shane tells him that that's up to his parents. Before Carl leaves, however, he is caught with a gun on him and Shane informs Carl's parents about it immediately. His mother is furious, but his father says that he does need to know how to handle a gun, for his own protection. Carl then apologizes to his mother, telling her he wants to help look for Sophia and defend the camp. He goes on and says he can't do that without a gun. He goes to shooting practice, along with Rick, Shane, Andrea, and T-Dog. He continues to care about and wants to help with the search for Sophia.
Carl tells Shane that he doesn't want to give up on the search despite Shane's arguments and wanting to move on: "I know you think Sophia's dead and that we should stop looking for her. But that's... that's bullshit. We're going to stay here until we find her." Shane decides to support Carl for now until the end of episode where the group of survivors shoots all of the walkers that were in the barn. Carl is saddened to see that Sophia was in fact a walker and clutches to Lori for comfort, weeping uncontrollably, as Rick shoots Sophia.
Carl talks to Lori, his mother, about Sophia, stating that he wanted to be the one to find her alive, but thinks that Rick did the right thing in shooting Sophia. He states that he would have done the same thing had he been in his father's place. Lori appears shocked that he would say such a thing, and is worried that he's getting too cold. Carl attends Sophia, Annette Greene, and Shawn's funeral with Lori and Rick.
After Lori is brought back to Hershel's farm by Shane, Shane reveals to everyone, including Carl, that Lori is pregnant. Carl is furious that his mother didn't tell him she was pregnant. He later asks questions about the baby and his mother informs everyone that they never had "the talk." He turns to Dale, expecting him to fill him in, but Dale says that that job is for his father.
Carl speaks with Shane about Randall, who had been brought back to the farm after his former group members abandoned him, but Shane tells him that Randall's fate is the adult's business. He later sneaks into the barn where Randall is being held prisoner, but Shane discovers him and tells him to stay away from Randall. They bicker back and forth until eventually Carl backs down and nods in understanding. Carl is seen at Sophia's grave, mourning, shortly before insults Carol for believing that Sophia is in a better place, stating that Heaven does not exist and that she is an idiot for believing in it.
Rick later tells him that he must keep his act together and to consider the fact that Carol has just lost her daughter. He states that if she wants to believe that she's in a better place for comfort, he should not insult her for thinking that. Rick goes on his lecture, saying "Don't talk. Think." Carl later steals a gun from Daryl's motorcycle and goes to the woods. He finds a walker trapped in the mud and decides to taunt it. He stares at it for a while and then begins to throw rocks at the walker, intimidating it. Carl then steps onto the mud and holds up the gun, ready to shoot it. He takes too long, however, and one of the walker's legs breaks free. Carl falls back, terrified, and loses the gun in the mud. The walker manages to grabs onto Carl's feet, trying to pull him closer so he can eat him. After a struggle, Carl manages to get loose and he runs back to the house, where he is forbidden to speak of Randall's fate.
Later, he sneaks to Randall's execution and tells his father to kill him while he is watching. Shane takes him away and Rick spares Randall. Later, Dale is attacked by a walker that mortally wounds him. Carl arrives to the scene and sees that the walker that attacked Dale is the same one that he taunted in the swamp. Horrified and feeling guilty, he goes to cry in Lori's lap as Daryl kills Dale out of mercy.
At the beginning of the episode, Carl is seen crying at Dale's funeral. He then goes to Shane, telling him that he stole Daryl's gun, and the walker that killed Dale was the same one he found in the swamp stuck in the mud that got one foot lose and lunged at Carl he got scared and did not shoot the walker and that Dale's death was his fault. He asks Shane not to say anything to his parents. Shane, however, tells Rick what happened to Carl. Rick finds Carl in the barn. They have a father and son talk, as Rick tells him: "No more kid stuff. I wish you could have the childhood I had, but that's not going to happen. People are gonna die. I'm gonna die. Mom. There's no way you can ever be ready for it. I try to be, but I can't. The best we can do now is avoid it as long we can. Keep one step ahead. I wish I had something better to say, something more profound. My father was good like that. But I'm tired, son. Please, take it." Rick then hands the gun back to Carl and he accepts it.
When Shane informs everyone that Randall has escaped, Carl is instructed by his mother to stay in the house while Rick, Shane, Glenn, and Daryl go looking for him. Eventually, Carl sneaks out of the house and walks onto the field where Rick is standing over Shane's dead body. Carl is frightened and points his gun in the direction of Rick as an undead Shane rises, unbeknownst to Rick. Rick asks Carl to calm down, thinking he's going to shoot him. Carl instead shoots undead Shane in the head. Carl goes towards the body of Shane, but Rick warns him to stay back. At the end of the episode, a horde of walkers are seen reacting to the sound of the shot and begin approaching the farm.
After shooting a reanimated Shane, the gunshot rings through the woods, and a herd of walkers is seen advancing towards the farm. These zombies followed a helicopter that was flying away from Atlanta and have walked in the same direction since. They heard the gunshot noise that Carl made and they walked towards it. As Carl and Rick walk back to the farm, they see the herd of walkers. Rick ushers Carl ahead and they start running towards the farm but get cut of from walkers so run to the barn instead. Back at the farm, Lori realizes that Carl is missing. As chaos ensues, Carl goes into the barn with Rick they both start spreading gas onto the hay then Rick gives Carl a lighter and tells him to drop it when he says Rick lets the walkers in telling Carl to drop it when he is half way up the ladder setting the barn on fire killing more than a dozen walkers.
As the pair run, they find Hershel making a final stand in front of his house, shooting walkers. Rick convinces him to leave. After being saved, they go on the road just as the sun rises. Carl asks where his mom is. Rick says that they have to keep moving and Carl begs him not to give up. Rick continues to try and persuade Carl to move on. Carl is next seen getting very angry. Just then, cars arrive with the rest of the surviving group members, including Lori. Ricks car runs out of gas and confesses to the group that every one turns, Later that night he is seen crying into Lori's shoulder as Rick talks to the group, revealing how Shane was killed.
Carl is seen to have a lot more responsibility and an overall more vital role within the group by this time. His parents are no longer overly protective of him, as he is part of the first team of the group (along with Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog) to clear any walkers out of an abandoned house. Rick entrusts Carl to check over the kitchen and other parts of the house on his own, and gives him other important jobs such as guarding the vehicles, killing walkers from a watch tower in the prison, and leaving him to protect the women while he and the others inspect the rest of the prison. He also no longer has any problems with shooting walkers, as he's seen shooting one in the house and shooting others in the prison. Throughout the episode, it appears he has also developed a crush on Hershel's 17-year-old daughter Beth, but has not told her because of his apparent shyness.
Carl is mostly seen by Hershel's side during this episode. When Rick and the others come back from the search, Rick calls to his son to open the door quickly because Hershel is bitten and bleeding out because Rick chopped off his leg. Lori orders Carl to get a towel to hold off Hershel's bleeding. After T-Dog and Rick get provisions from the prisoners, Carl is assigned to organize the food, but also locates the prison's infirmary on his own and says to have cleared out the infirmary's medical supplies, and killing two walkers in the process. Lori chastises him for going out by himself, although she appreciates Carl helping out Hershel. Carl gets angry and told his mother to "Get off his back". Beth scolds him for talking to his mother with disrespect, and Carl runs off in embarrassment. When Hershel stops breathing Beth calls for help and Lori gives Hershel CPR bring him back to life Carl is waiting outside Hershel's cell with Beth Carl points his gun at Hershel after he is mistakenly thought to have become a walker. Near the end of the episode, Hershel wakes up again, and Carl smiles at him.
Carl is first seen sitting on a stair while waiting for the others to go outside the prison cell. He smiles at Beth while she helps Hershel walk into the prison yard. As Carl is looking at his father, he notices that the walkers are invading their yard. He runs with Lori and Maggie back into the prison and they get separated from the others. He and Maggie protect Lori along their way until she suddenly goes into labor. They escort Lori into an empty room and Carl watches as Maggie gives Lori a spontaneous Caesarian section for the baby, killing her. Before she dies, she says to Carl; "You are going to beat this world, I know you will. You are smart, and you are strong, and you are so brave, and I love you. You gotta do what's right. It's so easy to do the wrong thing in this world. So, so, if it feels wrong don't do it, alright? If it feels easy don't do it, don't let this world spoil you. You're so good, my sweet boy. Best thing I ever did, and I love you, I love you. My sweet, sweet, boy. I love you." Just as Maggie and Carl are leaving, Carl thinks about his mother reanimating and can't bare it so he hugs her dead body and shoots her in the head, killing her once and for all. After Carl and Maggie walk outside the prison yard with the baby, the group automatically guesses that Lori is dead. Carl just stands there, holding back tears, as Rick sobs with grief.
Carl is first seen holding his baby sister with the others just moments after his mother dies. He walks over to Hershel and they discuss what they will do for formula. Carl then watches sadly as his father storms off into the prison to reach his wife's dead body. He is later comforted by Beth at Daryl's request. Towards the end of the episode, Daryl feeds Carl's sister and he asks him if he's thought of a name yet. Carl says: "Not yet. But I was thinking maybe Sophia? Then there's, Carol too. And... Andrea, Amy, Jacqui, Patricia. Or... Lori. I don't know." His voice begins to crack and he walks off, his mother's death still too raw in his mind.
Carl is first seen eating cereal with the rest of the group and looking very depressed. Shortly after, he's briefly checked on by his father before leaving again. Later, Carl, Daryl, and Oscar go out to clear the remaining walkers from the cell block. Daryl, in an attempt to comfort Carl and get him to open up, reveals to him that he also lost his mother at a young age: "Come on. You know, my mom, she liked her wine. She liked to smoke in bed. Virginia slims. I was playing out with the other kids in the neighborhood. I could do that with Merle gone. They had bikes, I didn't. We heard sirens getting louder. They jumped on their bikes, ran after it, you know, hoping to see something worth seeing. I ran after them, but I couldn't keep up. I ran around a corner and saw my friends looking at me. Hell, I saw everybody looking at me. Fire trucks everywhere. People from the neighborhood. It was my house they were there for. It was my mom in bed, burnt down to nothing. That was the hard part. You know, she was just gone. Erased. Nothing left of her. People said it was better that way. I don't know. Just made it seem like it wasn't real, you know?" Carl then says to Daryl: "I shot my mom. She was out, hadn't turned yet. I ended it. It was real." They exchange sorrows and move on.
Later, a walker sneaks up on them and they kill it shortly before Daryl discovers Carol's knife in the dead walker's neck. Carl and Oscar return to the group. Later, Rick returns and holds the baby for the first time. Carl, Rick, Hershel, and Beth walk outside. Rick hands the baby to Carl when he notices something strange at the fence.
Carl is first seen outside watching Michonne struggling to fight the walkers that are attacking her. After she passes out, Carl makes the call to save her and shoots the two walkers about to eat her. Rick then joins in and both of them take out the remaining walkers threatening her life. Carl takes the basket full of baby formula, and they bring Michonne into the prison. Shortly after Rick finds out Carol is alive, Carl tries to hold back his tears when Carol finds out Lori is dead. When Oscar, Daryl, Rick, and Michonne set off to rescue Glenn and Maggie, Daryl lets Carl know not to worry and that he'll keep an eye on his dad. Rick brings Carl over in private and puts Carl in charge of watching over the prison. He also acknowledges that he had to shoot his mother in the head and tries to comfort him. Carl and Rick agree to name the baby Judith, after Carl's third grade teacher.
Carl is first seen at Beth and Axel's side as Beth cradles Judith in the cell. Axel tries to flirt with Beth, and Carl gets a bit defensive. Later, he, Hershel, and Beth are discussing what to do about formula for Judith. Carl states he will take Carol on a run because he's under the impression that Rick and the others might not come back. After hearing screams coming from the tombs Carl goes to investigate, stopping when he notices faint sounds emanating from the boiler room where his mother died. After killing a walker that almost jumps him, he investigates the noise, only to discover Tyreese's group surrounded by walkers.
Carl assists in shooting and killing several of the surrounding walkers, before escorting the group safely back to the cell block's common room. Carl attempts to shoot the infected Donna, but Tyreese intervenes, stating that their group takes care of their own. Carl locks Tyreese's group out of their cell block, but announces that the common room is secure and that they have access to food and water.
Carl is first seen watching over both his own and Tyreese's group in the prison cell. He is later seen talking to Carol about how loud the world used to be and how quiet it is now. They both joke about being on a jumbo jet. Carol tells Carl how proud his mother was of him. Carl denies that and starts to cry and he feels tremendous guilt from being so mean to Lori; it's all he thinks about. When Rick arrives back at the prison, he hugs Carl in relief. Carl asks about Oscar, shortly before finding out he didn't make it. Carl is later seen watching Tyreese's group again shortly before being scared by Rick during his breakdown.
Carl is first seen mapping out where he helped Tyreese's group for Glenn so that they can get a better idea of where the weak spots are in the walls. He later says that the boiler room is over run by walkers again. He and Glenn later go to check it out before coming back, realizing that it's no good and there's too many of them. Carl is outside when the Governor begins to attack the prison. He and Beth take cover near a wall while someone in the guard tower shoots at them. Carl shoots back, but because he is using a pistol is unable to kill the unknown attacker. The unknown attacker is finally killed by Maggie, then someone drives a van full of walkers through the gate and releases them into the prison yard.
Carl is first seen with the group as they discuss if they should leave the prison or not. After Rick walks off Carl follows him and tells him he should stop "being the leader. Let Hershel and Daryl handle things. You deserve a rest." He stands guard during the rest of the episode, and is present when Maggie spots Andrea from the bushes. Near the end of the episode, Rick states that he will make another run and that Carl is to join him, as Rick reveals that "he is ready." Carl is then seen outside, near the gates on guard duty, observing the prison yard that is overrun with walkers.
Carl, along with Rick and Michonne, are traveling to King County in the hopes of finding more weapons. He stares at a survivor in the road while the car passes by, while Rick and Michonne don't bat an eyelid. Later, Michonne who is driving gets the car stuck in mud and thus Carl appears annoyed. Walkers start banging on their car, Rick rolls down the window aims his python and tells Carl to cover his ears. Rick takes opportunity to bond with Carl and teaches him how to free the car by using traction. Carl doesn't seem to like Michonne and asks "Why'd you let her come? She took you to Woodbury and you said she just split on you. - And Oscar died and you guys--" Before he can continue Rick cuts him off explaining it wasn't that simple and that explains the situation to him. They hear and see the road survivor again shouting for them to stop, only for them to drive off. Arriving in King County Carl and the others walk into Rick's old police weapon locker room to find that it is empty. Carl looks on as Michonne and Rick bicker back on forth discussing where to get more weapons.
After walking around a corner to get to the main street which is filled with walkers and booby traps, a walker walks into a wire and is shot in the head. Carl along with the others are taken by surprise by a man on a roof, telling them to drop their weapons, Rick orders Carl to go back to the car as a shootout begins. The attacker disappears from the roof and tries to shoot Rick, but before he can do something, Carl shoots him in his chest, causing him to fall unconscious. Rick looks at his son with a concerning look, having not wanted him to do something like that, but Carl says he had to. It is revealed that the attacker is wearing an armor, and that he is actually Morgan Jones, whom Rick had first met after awaking from his coma. They drag him back to his building, while avoiding a few close calls with the traps and eventually stumble upon the arsenal Morgan has acquired through the months. While searching the apartment, Carl finds a painted map of King County on a wall, and learns that their old house was burnt down. He is then questioned by Rick if that was the reason he came with them, which he denies.
Carl says he's going on a run. He wants to get a baby crib for Judith. Rick doesn't allow his son to go at first, but Michonne offers to go with him, which Rick allows. Carl tells Michonne that she didn't need to come and tells her to dispatch a lone walker, which gives him enough time to make a run for it. Michonne catches up to him, and he explains that he wants to do this by himself. Michonne notices Carl has passed the baby place, to which he replies that he's getting something else for Judith first. Carl and Michonne arrive at the door to the King County Cafe. Carl wipes away at the window to get a better look inside and grabs the doorknob but before he can open the door Michonne pulls him away. Michonne explains how she wasn't going to let him go in there, to which Carl snaps back, saying: "I just think it's none of your business. You don't know me. You don't know my dad. You came out here for common interests. We have the same enemy and the same problem. And that's why you're here. That's it. This is important. I'm going to do this." Michonne replies saying she can't stop him but he can't stop her from helping him.
Carl rolls the skateboard-traps to get the walkers' attention and the duo sneak in the cafe without alerting the walkers. Carl spots what he wants and stands on a chair to be able to grab it while Michonne stands watch. A walker that was hiding grabs onto Carl's foot but Michonne quickly dispatches it silently before the walker can kill Carl. The duo make their way back, but a mouse manages to escape one of the traps and runs past them, alerting the walkers of their presence .The duo dispatch multiple walkers, but before they get out, Carl drops his prize. Carl is seen getting furious saying how they need to go back, and that it's the only one left. After some arguing, Carl backs down and follows Michonne's order to stay put while she gets his prize for him. It turns out to be an old picture of him, Lori, and his father. He has hopes that Judith could at least know how her mother looked like, and he thanks Michonne.
Later, Carl and Michonne are seen carrying the crib back to the car and Rick asks him if everything went all right, to which Carl smiles and replies "I think she may be one of us." Rick, surprised at this answer, takes his son's input. Shortly after Carl apologies to Morgan for shooting him, saying it was something that had to be done. Morgan tells Carl never to be sorry. On the way back, the road survivor's remains are all over the road and Carl gets out the back and grabs the backpack he was carrying.
Carl is seen helping Glenn, along with the rest of the group, who organizing their new arsenal, while Rick, Hershel, and Daryl are off to the meeting with the Governor. Merle tells him that his father could very much be dead and that his head is on a pike, to which Carl snaps back: "My father can handle himself!" Later he is briefly seen when Rick tells them they are going to war.
Carl is seen first with Maggie on the other side of fence, screaming and shouting while banging on the plates to get the walker's attention to create a diversion. Carl is seen hearing his father's speech regarding decisions that affect the whole group.
Carl is first seen depressingly packing his and Judith's bags as they prepare to leave the prison. As Carl is packing his stuff, he pulls out the old picture of him, Rick, and Lori that he and Michonne recovered previously. He stares sadly at the picture, reflecting on what has happened to him thus far and what could happen to the rest of his family. Before Carl leaves his room, he takes and stares at Rick's old badge before putting it in his pocket so he has something else by which to remember the old world and his father. When Rick tries talking to him, he pushes his dad away and throws his stuff in the car. Everybody notices how angry Carl is, including Glenn, who tells Rick, "I've never seen him this mad. Even with Lori. He just shutdown." Rick says how he's still a kid and it's easy to forget. Rick and the others decide to stay at the prison and defend it. Carl is sent with Hershel, Beth, and Judith to a safe location in the woods. As the firefight ensues, Carl is getting annoyed because he feels that he should be there, fighting alongside the rest and that they shouldn't be risking their lives for him.
When Rick and the others gain the upper hand, the Governor and his army retreat. A fleeing Woodbury soldier named Jody stumbles upon Carl and the others in the woods. Jody is told to drop his gun. Instead, Jody holds the gun in his hands and slowly walks towards Carl, saying to "take it." Before Jody gets too close, Carl shoots him in the head, killing him, leaving Hershel and Beth shocked. They all meet up, and Rick hugs Carl in relief that he's alive. Carl tells Rick how he did his job out there just like everyone else and that he took out one of the Governor's soldiers, and that he's going with them, not wanting to be left out. Hershel tells Rick that Carl murdered Jody in cold blood, which leaves Rick very concerned for Carl.
Later, Rick approaches Carl and tries to talk to him about the boy he shot. Carl dodges his father's questions stating how Jody had a gun and how he had just attacked us. Rick asks if he was handing the gun over and Carl says that he couldn't take the risk of letting him live, reliving how he had the chance to kill the walker that eventually disemboweled Dale, but didn't. When Rick tries to argue, Carl brings up how he let Andrew and the Governor live, which resulted in the deaths of Lori, T-Dog, and Merle, respectively. Carl tells Rick to go before the Governor kills any more of them, leaving Rick shocked at his son's understandable logic. Rick has nothing to say and before Carl leaves, he drops the badge from Rick's hat on the ground. However, he ends up staying behind and only Rick, Daryl, and Michonne go.
When they come back with all the Woodbury citizens, Carl angrily asks his dad what's going on. When Rick explains that the survivors left Woodbury and will be staying here, Carl angrily walks away, concerned that Rick is letting residents of the town that just attacked them in without caution.
In the six/seven months period between the skirmish with Woodbury, the prison underwent many improvements. Now with kids of his own age, Carl starts to slowly go back to his old self, enjoying his "childhood" and doing things any other boy would do, like collecting comic books and playing soccer. He still retains some hardness from living in a post-apocalypse world, scolding a group of kids for naming walkers.
Rick wakes up Carl early in the morning for the farming chores. He brings up that the fence cleaners will need help, and ask if they can join them. Rick responds, saying that he has other plans, and Carl then asks if he can help them. Rick finishes off saying "We [they] have other plans". Carl then proceeds to say he's sorry, and that he's been trying to live a normal life, to which Rick points out how proud he is. Before they can continue, gunshots, coming from D Block, take their attention. Rick orders Carl to join Maggie in the guard tower. Michonne, who was riding away, returns to help, but walkers enter the open gate and nearly kill her. Carl instinctively grabs a rifle and shoots one of them.
Carl helping Michonne, who injured her leg, they walk back to the cell block and come across Rick returning from the skirmish in D Block. Carl hugs his dad, saying he's sorry but he had to grab the rifle to kill a walker. He is visibly shaken to hear that his friend Patrick has died. Later he's seen crafting a cross for his burial, asking Carol if Patrick was Catholic. She replies, saying that he was atheist. She asks if he told his father about the knife lessons. Carl says that he won't lie to his dad and that he will tell him. And so he does, and Rick, realizing that they're never going back to their pre-apocalyptic lives, hands Carl back his gun.
Carl is first seen packing his things to move to the office blocks, where the healthy but vulnerable people are being isolated. He appears to dislike this as he'd be locked away with the other kids, but in the end he does honor his father's wishes. Rick trusts Carl to patrol the corridor and keep people safe.
Sometime in the day when Carl is patrolling the corridor, he spots Hershel walking off. Curiously, he asks where he's going and quickly gathers that Hershel is sneaking out of the prison to gather supplies, alone. Carl says that he can't let Hershel go there alone, which Hershel ignores, not wanting to be told what to do by a younger person. Carl presses on but, realizing he can't stop Hershel, offers to go with him to help. They both leave to acquire herbs to tend the sick survivors.
Later in the episode Carl is seen guarding Hershel while he examines and picks the medical herbs required. Hershel talks to Carl, acknowledging his maturity and growth. Because of the recent events going on at the prison, Hershel reckons it's safer outside the prison, to which Carl disagrees after seeing a rotting, tree walker. They examine it only for a second walker to spot them. Carl raises his gun towards the walker but Hershel tells him that he doesn't have to, thus recalling his father's same "Don't fire unless you absolutely have to" motto and lowering his gun. They walk back to the prison with the medical supplies.
Carl is first seen in A-Block when Rick comes back from the medical supply run. Three calls of Carl's name it takes but he comes running around the corner, greeting his father. Rick chucks a few bags of food Carl's way, and tells him to tell the others to brush their teeth. Carl asks if he and the others can come out of the quarantine zone, to which Rick soundly gives a no, fixed on keeping his son safe and away from the violence. Shortly after Carl says "Dad, you can’t keep me from it, from what always happens", Rick replies with "Yeah... maybe... but I think it’s my job to try."
Later in the episode the fences seem to be in a crucial state to the point of breaking. A gunshot goes off, and Rick tells Maggie to go back inside. Rick realizing that he can't secure the fences alone goes to find Carl. Another three calls of Carl's name it takes but he comes running around the corner. Rick asks for Carl's help and Carl gladly accepts.
Rick and Carl are later seen working on securing the fences. They're using thick logs to try and add support to the fence, to prevent a collapse. The father and son share a touching moment as Carl helps Rick with the final log but the logs begin to break from the sheer pressure of the increasing number of walkers pressing on the fence. The fence collapses and the duo run for their lives, into the tower and into the inner fences. Rick, knowing that the second layer of defense won't hold for long, brings Carl over to the guns as they prep to unload on the undead. Rick gives Carl a crash-course on the mechanics of the M4A1 assault rifle that he's given and they fire, gunning down any walker in sight.
It's at this point that Rick accepts Carl for who he is: a man. Carl at one point even aids the ammo-less Rick by killing the nearing walker and tossing him an extra mag. Rick watches Carl as he advances on the walkers, clearly in control. All the walkers are defeated and Rick and Carl do a clean up, looking for any surviving walkers and stabbing their heads with sharp metal poles. Carl notices Daryl and the others returning and tells Rick that everything will be okay.
Finally, Carl is seen the following morning, running to Rick, wanting to be with him. He and Rick begin farming and share a pea-pod, two peas in a pod.
Carl briefly appears in this episode, being watched from a distance by the Governor.
As the Governor tells Rick he and the others must leave the prison by sundown, Carl is seen with the others arming up for the potential shootout between the two groups. When the Governor brings out his hostages, Carl states that he could "end this right now," but Daryl tells him no, as it could lead to even worse results. After the Governor slashes Hershel's neck with Michonne's sword, Carl, along with Daryl and Rick, open fire on the Governor and his men,Carl hits the governor in the arm and another man in the shoulder.Carl continues to fire at the Governor and his men until they break through the fence. After Michonne saves Rick, he asks her, "Where's Carl?" Stumbling up to the main gate, he sees Carl kill two walkers before they reunite. He asks him, "Where's Judith?" to which Carl replies, "I don't know." As they locate Judith's bloody car seat, Carl, becoming enraged and believing his sister to be dead, unloads his remaining ammo into one of the walker's heads before collapsing in Rick's arms in tears. Rick tells him, "We have to go" and the two leave the prison. The two are last seen limping through the woods surrounding the prison with Rick telling Carl, "Don't look back."
Rick and Carl come across a bar while walking from the prison, finding a few supplies before coming across a house in a neighborhood, where they reside. Rick takes notice of his son's hostility towards him while pushing a sofa up against the door. While sleeping on the couch, Rick falls into unconsciousness and Carl tries unsuccessfully to wake Rick up the next day. Carl leads two walkers away from the house when they try to get in the door, and is almost attacked by a third, but he manages to kill all three. Carl also begins to rant while Rick is still unconscious, scolding him for underestimating Carl's survival skills, as well as failing to protect Judith, Hershel, Glenn, Daryl, and rudely says that he would be fine if Rick died. Carl leaves and goes into another house where he finds food, including a large can of chocolate pudding. Carl is then attacked by two walkers, but kills one of them, but then finds that his gun is empty and barely manages to escape into a nearby room. Rick wakes up and Carl, having returned to the house for the night and thinking his father has turned, cannot go through with killing him and tries to commit suicide by allowing Rick to kill him for being wrong about thinking he would be better off on his own. However, Rick did not reanimate and tells his son after crawling towards him, "Don't go outside. Stay safe." Carl cradles his father's head in his lap and whispers repeatedly, "I'm scared." The two hear a knock on the door the next day, and Rick gets up and looks through the peephole, only to see Michonne standing there. Rick keels over with laughter, telling Carl that it is for him.
Carl is first seen having cereal in the house with Michonne. They joke about soy milk and how he almost threw up once after drinking it in third grade. He accidentally brings up Judith in the conversation, reminding him of the fact that she, as far as he is aware, is dead, which shatters the brief moment of relief and laughter they were having just moments before.
He later goes on a run with Michonne, where she reveals a bit more about her past life, including her deceased son. It is clear through the episode they've built a friendship together, acknowledged by Rick, who said to her earlier that he can't be everything to him, proving they do have a strong bond. He arrives with Michonne back at the house just as Rick flees from the hostile group who occupied it. At the end of the day they stop by a abandoned train freight, seeing a sign reading sanctuary, up in the track. They then start to walk on the tracks.
Carl is seen with Rick and Michonne on the railroad track, competing in a bet with Michonne to see who can walk on the rails the longest without falling off. Carl wins the bet and gets to choose one of the last two candy bars in their supply, which he chooses the Big Cat bar. At the end of the episode, Joe's group, who took up occupation of the house that they were staying in in "Claimed", is seen walking past the Big Cat wrapper, lying between the ties on the same railroad track Rick, Carl and Michonne were seen on.
Rick, Michonne, and Carl complain about how hungry they are. In an attempt to stave this off, Rick shows Carl and Michonne how to set up a trap to catch a wild animal, such as a rabbit. Upon hearing a scream, Carl runs into the woods to see a man surrounded by walkers. He lifts his gun to shoot the walkers but is stopped by Rick, who tells him the man can't be saved. The trio then return to the woods. They find an abandoned car and decide to spend the night there.
As Rick and Michonne talk by the fire, and Carl sleeps in the car, Joe's group surprises them, holding Rick and Michonne at gunpoint. Daryl, who had recently joined the group but had no idea they were hunting Rick, asks Joe to spare them. Joe orders his men to rape and beat Daryl to death. A terrified Carl is taken from the car by Dan, who shoves him to the ground. Screaming and crying, Carl tries to get away, before Dan grabs him, pins him down and begins to unbuckle his pants, pushing down Carl's pants clearly planning to rape Carl.
The sight of his son helpless, about to be raped, and the knowledge that everyone with him will suffer and die, causes Rick to launch a feral attack, tearing out Joe's jugular vein with his teeth. In the shock that follows, Michonne and Daryl manage to kill everyone but Dan. Dan holds Carl at knife-point, begging for his life. An enraged Rick disembowels Dan, as Carl looks on, traumatized, clinging to Michonne.
The next day, Carl is seen sleeping on Michonne's lap, he has a nightmare, presumably about the previous events, and wakes up in fear. He overhears his father talking to Daryl about leaving behind the humanity he'd tried to find at the prison, how he now knows what he has to do to survive, and for Carl to survive.
When they get near Terminus, Rick asks the group to split up and stake out various parts of the gates, to get a feel for the place. Scared of his father, Carl declines Rick's offer to watch with him, going to Michonne instead. When Michonne encourages him to not shut his father out, he tells her about the darkness he feels and that he hasn't been able to keep a hold on. That he's a monster. Michonne does her best to convince him things will change, revealing her own breakdown following her son's death. She tells him that he, Andrea, and Rick were the ones who pulled her back.
Carl and the others arrive in Terminus, and meet the group, led by Gareth. They briefly forfeit their weapons and agree to be searched for more. When the man frisking them sees how bruised they are, he says he hoped whoever caused that got what they deserved. Carl coldly says that they did.
Rick soon senses danger when he sees various people with items that belonged to other members of the group, like Glenn. He takes a Terminus resident hostage, demanding answers. Ultimately he and the others run for it, but are herded toward a boxcar. At threat of Carl's life, the adults agree to surrender. Carl then slowly makes his way into the boxcar with them, shaking with terror. Carl reunites with most of the rest of the larger group who were already in the boxcar (everyone but Beth, Carol, Tyreese, and Judith), along with some new faces. He watches as Rick boasts that Terminus has "screwed with the wrong people."
When the group trapped inside the train car hears explosions and gunfire, they begin to fear what happened to the four members of their group that were taken. Carl comes out of the shadows on the opposite end of the car, reassuring the group that his father and the others will return, and that they'll need to be prepared when they do.
Carl is seen escaping through the woods after the group makes it over the exterior fence around Terminus. When the group bumps into Carol, she leads them to Tyreese who is holding a safe and sound baby Judith. Rick and Carl run to Judith and embrace her.
Carl is seen with the expanded group as they continue they're journey. As the group are walking through a forest, a cry for help is heard. It is Carl who insists the group go to the strangers aid. Once the person calling for help has been saved from walkers, revealed to be Father Gabriel Stokes, Carl offers him pecans to which he gratefully receives. Carl watches Rick's interrogation of Gabriel closely and joins the group when they take refuge in Gabriel's church.
Carl is later seen in the church looking after Judith by feeding her with a bottle.
When Rick decides to leave on a supply run with Gabriel, Michonne, Bob and Sasha, he talks to Carl first. Rick confesses to not trusting Gabriel, to which Carl states that, 'everyone can't be bad.' Rick warns Carl to not be fooled into a false sense of security and that he is not safe. Anyone could try to rape and possibly kill him at any time. Although he is clearly shaken, Carl promises to be careful, and Rick departs.
When Rick later returns, he is directed to the back of the church where he is told Carl is. Carl reveals he has been trying to figure out what Gabriel is hiding and has found scratch marks on the windows. He also shows Rick the words, 'You'll burn for this', engraved in the side of the church. Carl notes this doesn't mean Gabriel is bad, although confirms he is hiding something.
Carl's last appearance in the episode is when he is seen eating at the group's celebration.
Carl is seen gathering around the injured Bob after he has been brought into the Church.
Later, when Rick leads a group to the elementary school to find the Hunters, Carl is left to defend the church as the Hunters begin their attack. Gareth enters the church and taunts each of the remaining group into revealing their location. Gareth mentions Carl's name knowing he is there. Carl keeps his gun trained on the door of the room the group are hiding in. When Judith's cries give away their location, the Hunters attempt to enter the room only to be deterred and killed by Rick's group.
Carl is present as the group are saying their goodbyes to Bob. When Bob requests a word with Rick, Carl attempts to take Judith from his father, until Bob states that he is fine with Judith being present. Carl leaves the room.
He is finally seen at the front of the church saying goodbye to Abraham's group as they depart to D.C.
Carl is first seen helping the others fortify the church, boarding windows and placing spikes in the entrance. He later convinces Gabriel to pick up a weapon, explaining that eventually he'll come across trouble he won't be able to hide from, and that he needs to learn how to fight.
Carl is with Michonne in the church and helps Michonne pull off the boards and kill a few walkers. They manage to escape the small Herd of walkers that come after them by exiting the way Gabriel left. They then trap the walkers inside the church. As they are about to deal with the Herd, Abraham drives up and smashes the firetruck into the church, trapping them inside. Carl joins the group in their trek to Grady Memorial hospital.
Carl is with the others as they are reunited with Rick and the group that traveled to Grady Memorial and find Daryl carrying a dead Beth, devastating Maggie.
Carl is only seen during Tyreese's funeral in this episode.
Carl carries Judith for the majority of the walk from Baltimore to their next stop, a barn in the woods. He sets Judith down and helps barricade the doors when the walkers attacked.
Carl looks after Judith whilst the group deals with Aaron, then goes out to scout the area. He rides to Alexandria in the RV looking after Judith for the first leg and then the car with his dad and Michonne for the final leg.
Carl approves of Alexandria, marveling at the houses within the town. Rick and Carl split up from the rest of the group to examine the house they were given by the community. Once inside, they realize the house has running water. They use this to their advantage and share a hot shower together, cleaning off all the mud and dirt accumulated while on the road. Rick also shaves his beard off. While Rick finishes shaving, Carl hears a noise in one of the rooms of the house next door, he investigates, knife drawn, but only finds games and a few comics. The next day he takes Judith for a walk and talks to some elderly residents. Rick then allows him to go round Jessie Anderson's house, where he meets her son Ron and two others, Mikey and Enid. In his interview with Deanna Monroe, he tells the truth and reveals he had to kill his mother. The next day he spots Enid climbing over a fence and leaving the community. He attempts to follow her but loses her in the woods. He then runs into his father and fights off a group of walkers, before they return to the zone. He witnesses the fight between Glenn and Aiden Monroe from a distance. Noticing Enid near him, he states that he knows she doesn't like him, which she ignores and walks off.
Carl is seen at the house party carrying Judith in; he is later seen chatting with Mikey and Ron.
Carl first appears in this episode tracking someone in the woods, having apparently lost them. Suddenly, Enid's voice calls him out for being bad at staying quiet while tracking someone. Carl expresses surprise at being caught, and continues trying to find her. She tells him that he scares her somewhat. She reveals herself after she grows bored of hiding, asking why he followed her outside of the walls in the first place.
Carl explains that he didn't know why she was leaving if they were safe inside the walls, to which she replies that she was not meant to hide behind walls. She then invites him to run with her and find the thrill of danger both of them craved. After running through the forest, the two find a walker standing around. Enid lures it in one direction with a kitchen timer, then continues running with Carl through the forest.
Eventually, the two run out of breath and set themselves down upon a fallen tree. Carl compliments her skills and praises her knife. He and Enid discuss that it is important what their past is after she says that it didn't matter what happened to her mom. While chatting on the matter of their parents, a score of walkers enter their area, prompting the two of them to hide inside of a hollow tree.
The two barely have enough room as it is inside the tree as the walkers pass by them. Enid explains to him how their lives should always be the way it was when they were running. Carl rubs her hand affectionately and leans she leans in to kiss him, but when he shows a somewhat awkward reaction, she pauses, making him blush. She realizes that he is afraid of her too, though not for the same reasons. Carl and Enid later sneak back into the community during the fight between Rick and Pete, Jesse's husband.
Carl tries to get his father off of Pete, fearing consequences for himself, Rick, and the entirety of his group. Rick, however, embroiled in the fury against Pete, shoves Carl away as he continues strangling Pete. After Deanna herself talks Rick down, Carl watches in horror as Rick raises his gun on the other residents of Alexandria, raving about how Deanna's system of giving a man special treatment because he was a doctor, and only exiling the people who were most dangerous instead of killing them.
Carl appears when Rick shows up at the house to check on Carl. Carl asks his dad what his plan is, but Rick instead tells Carl to stay at home. Carl asks if this was "home", to which Rick answers "yes". Later, while Rick was ranting about the future at the meeting, Carl appears at the house holding Judith.
In a flashback Carl shows up at the lake where Enid is, sitting next to her. She affectionately touches his hand, just as Ron watches them from afar.
As Carl takes Judith for a walk, he stumbles across Ron and Enid sitting together. Carl appears jealous at this. Gabriel comes by and apologizes for his actions earlier. He asks Carl to teach him how to defend himself. During the attack, Carl stays in the house and guards Judith. When Enid enters the house, he convinces her to stay inside as well. Later Carl goes outside and saves Ron from a Wolf, he tells him to go inside, but Ron, seeing that Enid was with Carl, says no.
After the attack, he looks for Enid and finds a card from her, saying Just Survive Somehow.
Carl is first seen listening to Rick's briefing on the herd mission. Later, he approaches Ron to tell him about Enid, asking his help for finding her outside the walls. The two have a disagreement when Ron says that Carl leaving to find Enid is a stupid idea, and then Rick will send more people to find Carl and they will die trying to save him. Carl and Ron have a brief scuffle which ends up with Carl pushing Ron to the ground. In the end, Ron convinces him to stay.
Carl is first seen with Rick and Ron. Carl watches as Rick teachers Ron the correct to hold and fire a pistol. Carl is later seen walking down the street heading to where most of the Alexandrians are watching the bell tower. Unbeknownst to Carl, Ron is carefully following him with Ron holding his handgun with stolen bullets in an attempt to shoot Carl while he is distracted. Carl watches in horror when the Alexandria tower collapses and destroys a part wall with walkers flooding inside.
Carl first appears when he, Ron, Michonne and Gabriel come across Rick and Deanna as they all flee from the massive herd that have entered Alexandria through the destroyed part of the community's wall. They are then cornered by another group of walkers from the heard ahead of the road they are running on. Jessie then appears, shoots at the walkers and lets them in at her house.
Carl later sees Ron enter the garage and decides to check up on him. He then talks to him about what they are currently in and when Ron says that they will all be dead, Carl tries to assure him that they'll make it, however, Ron locks the door behind him and draws his gun, holding him at gunpoint. Carl is able to knock the gun out of Ron's hand and the two engage in a short fight. Ron grabs a shovel and almost hits Carl with it, but instead hits one of the windows, attracting the walkers outside towards it. Ron begins strangling Carl with it, as Carl cries out struggling to breathe. He is able to push Ron off of him, just in time as the walkers reach outside the window he was pinned on.
Eventually, Rick and Jessie are able to open the garage's door just as the walkers come in. When Rick asks him what happened, he covers Ron by saying that they hit one of the shelves by accident and hit the window. He then follows Ron and holds him at gunpoint and tells him to give him his gun before telling him that his dad, referring to Pete, was an asshole.
He is later seen trying to hold the makeshift defenses they made around the house, just as the herd begins to break in through the front door and windows. He and the others retreat upstairs where Rick and Michonne kill and carry two walkers and decide to use their blood and organs to mask their scent to blend in with the herd below to escape.
Afterward, when he and everyone, except for Deanna, are prepared to leave, Rick hands him Judith and covers her with another bedsheet filled with walker blood and guts and covers her below his own bedsheet. They all then leave and stand at the front of Jessie's front porch, where he, Rick, Michonne, Jessie, Gabriel, Ron and Sam look on as the streets of Alexandria are now overrun by the herd. They all hold hands together and make their way through the herd undetected.
Carl is seen with the rest of the group sneaking through the herd of walkers. The group soon comes to a stop on the side of the road in order to discuss an alternate plan. After Gabriel leaves for the church with Judith, Carl and the remaining group members trek towards the community gate in order to escape and recover the vehicles from the quarry; the trek lasts for several hours into nightfall.
As the group presses onward, Sam freezes in fear after witnessing a boy walker in the herd. Despite Rick's, Jessie's and Ron's attempts to calm him down, Sam starts to complain, drawing the attention of several walkers who proceed to grab and devour him. Jessie, in her state of severe emotional distress, is unable to let go of neither Carl nor Sam, causing her to fall into the feast after Sam.
Carl calls out to Rick, scared, bringing to attention his inescapable predicament. With remorse, Rick unsheathes his hatchet and hesitantly hacks off Jessie's hand to save Carl from suffering the same fate. Ron, witnessing his family's demise at Rick's hands, recovers Carl's dropped gun and takes aim at Rick. Michonne intervenes, stabbing Ron through the chest; his shock from the fatal blow causes him to pull the trigger, accidentally firing a shot that passes through and destroys Carl's right eye. Carl weakly calls to his father before he collapses. Rick quickly scoops him up off the ground and makes a mad dash towards the infirmary while Michonne cuts a path.
Denise, seeing Rick en-route to the infirmary, immediately makes preparations for Carl's recovery with the help of Heath, Aaron and Spencer. Carl is laid on a gurney, where Denise proceeds to tend to his grievous wounds, while Rick and, later, the other Alexandrians work together to thin out the immense herd.
The next morning, Rick visits an unconscious Carl as he is recovering in his room and laments, admitting that he underestimated the residents and that he had seen what they are really capable of, as well as revealing his plans to rebuild and extend the community the way Deanna had envisioned it. Weeping, he goes on to say that he wishes to experience this new world alongside him. Initially unresponsive, Carl then weakly tightens his grip on his father's hand.
Two months later, Carl is called into the room by Michonne as Rick is making preparations for a supply run; he seems to have recovered from his gunshot wound by this time, as he wears a clean bandage over his eye. After discussing the shortage of toothpaste, Michonne notes that Carl's bandage needs changing.
Later during the day, he and Enid head into the woods together. As she wonders why they still go out there, Carl replies, "Because we're kids, that's what they do" To which she replied that she's not a kid. After stopping at a spot to read, they notice Michonne and Spencer also walking through the woods; Enid tells Carl she does not want to come out into the woods anymore.
As they both head back to Alexandria, Carl spots and appears to recognize a walker heading in their direction. Enid wants to kill the walker, but Carl disagrees, stopping her. Enid questions his motives, but Carl replies that she "wouldn't understand". He tells her to leave for home, as she had wanted to before.
Carl is soon spotted running in the other direction by Michonne and Spencer, as he is luring the walker, who is revealed to be a zombified Deanna, in their path; Michonne expresses confusion before catching sight of Deanna.
The same evening, Carl sits with Judith on the porch of their house as they look at the stars above, with Carl describing them to her. Michonne confronts Carl on why he left Deanna for them to dispatch, chastising him for risking his life. Carl argues, saying that the person who puts her down "should be someone who loved her," and further claims that he would do the same for Michonne. Understanding of his reasons, she hugs him.
After discovering Jesus sitting on the stairs in their house, Carl emerges from a room with a gun pointed at Jesus' head, questioning what he is doing inside. He lets Carl know that he is waiting for his "mom and dad" to get dressed, confusing Carl, before he is held at gunpoint by several other members of Rick's group. Rick exits the bedroom and calms everyone down, assuring them that Jesus only wants to talk. Carl notices that Rick is naked, and is taken aback.
As Rick and several others are packing the motor home for the trip to the Hilltop Colony, Carl and Rick discuss Rick's newfound relationship with Michonne, with Rick attempting to explain that their hook-up "just happened". Carl lets him know that he approves of their relationship and that he even seems to like the idea, relieving Rick. When Rick tells Carl to pack his things for the drive, Carl offers to stay behind to look after the community while he's gone, insisting sadly, that "a kid with a messed-up face" would not make much of a good first impression to any intruders. Rick looks saddened by this and hugs his son before leaving.
Carl examines one of the Savior's guns in the armory, which has a baseball bat wrapped in wire engraved on the handle. He puts it in his holster.
Carl is in the armory packing guns into a bag so he can accompany Rick to the Hilltop. Enid begs to come along, but Carl refuses. She doesn't back down and so Carl locks her in the closet. She asks what will happen if Carl and the others don't return and how she is supposed to live with that. "Just survive somehow," he says to her.
Carl steps out of the RV when the group encounter Savior's blocking the road. He listens to Rick and the lead Saviors' conversation before boarding the RV again and setting off.
In the RV, Carl asks Aaron why he didn't stay back and help guard Alexandria. Aaron says he owes Maggie and asks why Carl came along. "I owe them," he says of the Saviors'.
Carl is present as the group encounter more roadblocks caused by the Saviors'. When the group decide to ditch the RV and carry Maggie through the woods, Carl tells Rick that they can do anything and he won't let what the Saviors' did to Denise happen to anyone else. The group hears whistling coming from all directions. They realize they are surrounded and run, but end up back on the road enclosed by over 100 Saviors and their vehicles. The lead Savior from earlier takes their weapons, noticing that Carl has one of their guns. He flicks his hat and forces everyone to their knees.
A man steps out of the RV. In his hand is a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. The man reveals himself to be Negan and explains that the group now work for him, but warns that he has to "beat the holy hell" out of one of them as punishment for killing his men. He kneels down in front of Carl, telling him to at least cry a little as he menacingly stares into Negan’s eyes.
He begins his game of Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. Before he beats his victim to death, Negan threatens to cut Carl’s eye out and feed it to Rick if anyone tries to stop him.
In a flashback it is revealed that Negan had selected Abraham to be executed by being beaten to death. Carl watches the execution in tears. He is further shocked and depressed when Negan kills Glenn in the same manner with his baseball bat Lucille as punishment for Daryl attacking him moments after Abraham's death.
Carl then watches helplessly as his father is dragged by Negan into the RV to take him on a "trip", leaving him behind with the remaining survivors. When Rick and Negan return later in the day, Negan calls Carl over to put his belt on his left arm to act as a tourniquet so that Rick can amputate his arm. Carl complies and lies on the ground. Rick wails in his unwillingness to do so, however Carl calmly tells his father that it is okay. Impatient, Negan counts down to pressure Rick into complying unless everyone in his group is executed. Just as Rick is about to go through with it, Negan stops him, believing him to now be submissive. Negan then declares Rick to be in control of his group.
Carl is then left with the other survivors as the Saviors leave with Daryl taken hostage, looking down at the ground despondently. He comforts a sobbing Maggie by hugging her and then assisting the remaining survivors by carrying Glenn's body away.
Carl pulls a gun on a Savior called David he was about to take all of their medical supplies. Rick and Negan arrive at the house and Carl threatens Negan but the leader of the Saviours doesn't see Carl as a threat and is amused by his show of opposition. Negan threatens Carl he will prove a point again if Carl shoots David Carl understands and lowers his gun.
Carl watches David in anger while he taunts Enid about the balloons, that Glenn and her had used to get Maggie's attention, and looks at Rick after David gives Enid her balloons back.
Carl is playing darts while arguing with Rick about him going away too long on the supply run with Aaron before the Saviors come back for their supply pick up and then argues to Michonne about her not going with Rick and Aaron to look for supplies.
After Michonne, Rick and Aaron leave for the supply run, he spots Enid walking towards the walls and goes to see why, Enid admits she is walking to the Hiltop to visit Maggie and says that Carl went with Rick, Maggie, Sasha, Abraham, Eugene and Aaron to the Hiltop and made it back alive and says she is sorry that Carl had to see Glenn and Abraham get killed but he replies "I'm not" and Enid climbs over the wall.
As Enid is leaving Alexandria she gets attacked by a walker, until Carl appears and rams the walker with a car. Enid asks him what he is doing and he replies "I like to drive".
Carl and Enid are walking to the Hiltop and Carl says he wanted to see Glenn and Abraham die so he could remember it as a motive to kill Negan.
Carl and Enid continue their journey to the Hiltop and Carl finds two pairs of roller blades and Enid and Carl continue their journey to the Hilltop in their rollerblades and the two hold hands.
Carl and Enid are right outside the Hilltop and Enid says Carl lied about him taking a drive when he was going to get her. Carl tells Enid to come with him to The Sanctuary to kill Negan but she declines and asks how he would escape, he then replies by saying "It wouldn't matter." But Enid said it would to her, Carl then kisses her on the forehead, which leads to them kissing on the lips. Enid offers Carl to come with her to the Hilltop but he declines and Enid walks inside.
Later on, Jesus jumps on the back of the Saviors truck and drinks the scotch that Simon stole from Gregory. Carl is happy to see him and says "hi" to him.
Carl and Jesus emerge from their hiding spots in the back of the cargo truck. Jesus proposes they jump out and follow on foot. Carl is hesitant and asks Jesus to show him how. Once Jesus leaps out, Carl waves goodbye and continues on. He picks up a machine gun as the truck slows to a stop. As a Savior begins to unload the supplies, he spots Carl who immediately shoots him. He emerges and tells the Saviors he wants Negan, who appears and tells him he looks “adorable.”
Carl shoots another Savior before Dwight tackles him to the ground. Negan tells Dwight to back off and offers to show Carl around the compound. Despite his initial refusal, Carl allows Negan to help him up and follows him inside the Sanctuary.
Negan takes Carl to a nicely appointed room and introduces him to his “harem.” Noticing that Carl is impressed, he tells him he can look at the women as much as he likes.
Negan takes Carl to his apartment; he orders Carl to sit across from him and remove his hat and eye bandage. After seeing Carl’s scarred eye socket, Negan makes several distasteful comments on how gross it looks. Humiliated, Carl starts crying. Negan apologizes for hurting his feelings. He tells Carl that his eye is “rad as hell” and advises him to leave the bandage off so nobody will mess with him. He orders Carl to sing him a song. Carl reluctantly starts singing "You Are My Sunshine" while Negan practices swinging Lucille. He asks if Carl’s mother used to sing that to him, and correctly guesses she is dead. Carl explains that he shot her to prevent her from turning. They then go to the factory.
Negan orders Carl to hold Lucille as the Saviors gather around a furnace on the factory floor. Carl watches as Negan burns a Saviors face with a hot iron as punishment for sleeping with one of Negan's wives, and he and Daryl exchange glances.
Back in Negan's apartment, Carl asks if he can wrap his head back up but Negan refuses. He taunts Negan for being unable to kill him, Rick or Daryl and tells him he should jump out of the window to save him from killing him. Negan suggests they take a car ride.
Carl and Negan prepare to leave in the cargo truck. On their way out, Daryl warns Negan against hurting Carl. Negan tells Dwight to put Daryl back in his cell and drives off.
Carl and Negan arrive back in Alexandria and Olivia lets them inside. Carl assures her that Enid is safe. He watches as Negan takes a tour of Rick's house. Carl tries to keep him away from Judith's bedroom, but Negan opens the door and discovers her nursery. He watches anxiously as he lifts Judith out of her crib.
Carl and Negan sit on the front porch and Negan rocks Judith in his lap. He contemplates killing Rick and Carl, maybe even settling in the suburbs.
In the kitchen, Carl rolls out dough as Negan cooks spaghetti. He sets the table, and Negan tells him to place a setting for Rick. Along with Olivia and Judith, they wait for Rick to return. Negan eventually grows tired and asks Carl to pass the bread rolls.
Later, Carl watches with Olivia from the porch as Negan and Spencer play pool in the street. He watches in shock as Negan disembowels Spencer, and is horrified when Arat turns and shoots Olivia dead.
Carl, with a new bandage to cover his eye, accompanies the group to the Hilltop, where they reunite with the others. He and Enid smile at each other. Together, they all stride towards the mansion.
Carl is present when Rick tries to convince Gregory to fight against the Saviors. After they leave his office, Enid leads the group to the courtyard where some of the Hilltop residents offer to join the fight against the Saviors. Carl smiles at her proudly. Jesus then tells the group it's time they met King Ezekiel.
On their way back to Alexandria, they encounter a blockade of cars on the highway set up by the Saviors. Carl recalls the Saviors talking about a tripwire trap for a large herd of walkers. He helps to dismantle the explosives so they can take the dynamite and RPGs with them.
Carl works with Tara and Rosita to block the on ramp and they are soon surrounded by the herd. Once they are rejoined by Rick and Michonne, they head back to Alexandria.
Carl is preparing to join the others on their trip to Oceanside. Enid asks if he ever thinks about the people he’s killed; Carl says he does.
Carl holds the Oceanside residents hostage as Rick explains he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Carl helps the group defeat the incoming herd of walkers.
As Carl and Enid gather the guns, he tells Enid he also thinks about the people he didn’t kill.
Carl is first shown when a Scavenger alerts everyone in Alexandria to the Saviors’ arrival. Rick assumes his position at the front gate, with Jadis crouching by his feet, hidden from view. Negan's caravan arrives. Eugene steps out and tries to convince Rick to surrender. Rick hesitates, stricken by Eugene’s betrayal, and asks where Negan is. "I'm Negan," Eugene replies. Rick then gives Rosita the signal to detonate the explosives. Rosita pushes the detonator, but there is no explosion. Before Rick can reach for his gun, Jadis leaps up and aims her gun at Rick. Simultaneously, the Scavengers all turn their guns on the Alexandrians, inculding Carl.
Negan emerges from a truck and taunts Rick as his Saviors open the truck that holds the explosives. Brion opens the gates for the Saviors. Watching the situation unfold, Michonne tries to leave her balcony post to help Rick, but Farron stops her, holding her at gunpoint.
Negan tells him that he knew of his plan to defy and attack him, as Jadis was the "little birdle" that revealed his plans and offers to let her live if Rick turns over all their guns, and Daryl. Even then, Negan will still execute one Alexandrian of Rick’s choosing. If he refuses, Negan will kill them all. Rick insists on seeing Sasha. Negan taps Lucille against the casket, knocking. Negan opens the casket door. However, when a reanimated Sasha attacks Negan, Carl leads the attack against the Scavengers and the Saviors during the distraction. Eric and Aaron follow Carl's lead and help against the attack.
Those on the guard posts open fire on the Saviors outside. Michonne fights Farron on the balcony. In the chaos, Rosita is shot, and shortly after is escorted away by Tara. Rick tries to join the fight, but Jadis holds him at gunpoint.
In the streets below, The Saviors and Scavengers have gained control of the situation; some Alexandrians have been killed, and the rest are in custody. Carl is surrounded by over a dozen Saviors. Jadis leads Rick to Negan and orders him to kneel beside Carl. She reminds Negan of their deal – twelve people in exchange for the Scavengers' help in the attack. Negan swiftly bargains her down to 10. They look on in horror as a body plummets to the ground from Michonne's balcony post.
Negan vows to kill Carl and cut off Rick's hands as punishment for Rick's collusion. Rick swallows his fear and furiously reiterates his pledge to kill Negan, regardless of the threats he makes. As Negan prepares to strike Carl with Lucille, Shiva leaps onto and begins to maul a nearby Scavenger. Negan and the Saviors scatter as The Kingdom arrives. Rick reaches for a gun as a nearby Savior is gunned down by Maggie, who has arrived with the Hilltop fighters. Rick and Carl join the fight. Negan and his men leave under a hail of bullets and gives his attackers the middle finger before escaping. Jadis and the Scavengers retreat as well.
After the fight is over, Rick and Carl rush to where Michonne was last seen, and find Farron’s dead body on the ground. They discover Michonne inside, badly beaten and barely conscious. Rick gently embraces her.
On the side of the road, Carl parks a van in a shot for shot recreation of Rick in the first episode. He is walking to a gas station, carrying a gas can, wearing the Sheriff's hat. He searches a gas station for fuel.
Suddenly, he hears a voice. He comes across a nervous stranger who asks for help. He also says "May my mercy prevail over my wrath," adding that he's quoting the Koran. Carl raises his gun, but the man insists he just wants food. As Carl is considering his request, Rick appears and shoots over his head and chases him off. He was supposed to meet Carl at the intersection. Carl is frustrated by his dad's shooting but Rick insists he could be a Savior and he intentionally missed. If he's not a Savior, Rick hopes he lives, but Carl tells Rick that hope will not be enough in their struggle against the Saviors.
Carl is seen staying behind at Alexandria with Michonne while Rick leaves with a caravan of vehicles that have been retrofitted for battle. As they watch the procession of vehicles, Michonne tells Carl that this is his show; Alexandria’s safety is in his hands and says she is following him.
Later, Carl returns to the gas station and leaves two cans of food with a note, “Sorry.” The mysterious man watches from the bushes.
Carl is seen with Michonne in Alexandria reading reports about the Kingdom and Hilltop outpost battles when Tara and the Alexandria fighters return home.
Carl returns to the woods, in search of the man he met at the gas station. He finds the mysterious stranger and gives him food and water. After introducing themselves, he learns the man's name is Siddiq. Carl tells Siddiq about his community and asks him Rick's three screening questions. Siddiq explains that he's killed 237 walkers to honor his mother, because she believed killing them freed their souls. Carl then invites him to Alexandria.
On their way to Alexandria, Carl and Siddiq come across a small group of walkers feeding on a dead elk. Carl suggests they kill the walkers to honor Siddiq's mom. After a slight struggle, they kill all the walkers and continue towards Alexandria.
In a flashback, Rick and Carl discuss Siddiq and the war with the Saviors. Carl reiterates that hope, whether for Siddiq's survival, or for the new world after the war, is not enough on its own. He implores his father to focus on what things can be after, not on killing as many of the Saviors as possible, but on working together for a better life.
In Alexandria, while the others prepare for their final assault on the Sanctuary, Carl sits alone in a room in contemplation. He writes a letter to Rick and upon sifting through a pile of papers, finds Enid's 'just survive somehow' note.
Later, Michonne finds Carl bringing supplies to a sewage entrance under cover of darkness. Carl tells her that the items are meant for Siddiq. The duo's conversation is interrupted by Negan who, having had the lookouts silently taken out, bangs Lucille against the safeheaven's gates and offers them a deal over a loudspeaker: either the people of Alexandria can line up in front of their homes, decide who's going to be the offering for Lucille, have Rick killed in front of everyone and then everyone can move on with their lives, or the Saviors will bomb the safezone with grenade launchers. Negan gives the survivors three minutes for them to decide.
Carl quickly formulates an escape route from Alexandria. Michonne refuses to leave their homes to the Saviors, but Carl insists they follow his plan
As three minutes have passed, Negan and over two dozen Saviors are preparing to torch Alexandria to the ground, but Negan is interrupted by Carl who tries to defuse the situation. He says that there are children and his sister taking refuge at the town; however, Negan states that they also have young people at the Sanctuary, as well as a baby at an outpost whose fate Negan is wondering about. Carl offers his life as a punishment in the hopes that it would stop the Saviors from attacking. Negan is stunned and asks Carl if he wants to die, to which he replies he doesn't, but will, and is willing to give up his life if it means less blood will be shed.
As Negan and Carl are having their emotional conversation, Daryl leads a convoy of trucks, acting as a decoy, smashing the walls at the back of the safezone and through a roadblock of vehicles set up by Dwight, Laura, and other Saviors who subsequently chase the convoy.
Carl takes the distraction to his advantage and runs off, with Negan cursing out the boy and ordering his men to begin the bombardment. As buildings explode around him, Carl covers his escape with a trail of smoke bombs, and watches as Gabriel's church is torn apart by an explosion.
As the Saviors continue their bomnardment, Carl and other Alexandrians release smoke grenades throughout the dark streets to provide cover as they flee. Shellshocked, he takes a moment to catch his breath bside one of the residences, but hears a window break, and escapes just in time as the building and others nearby explode.
Negan's troops smash their way through Alexandria's gates. He orders the Saviors to capture Carl alive, destroy every other house, and send Rick to him when he arrives. Carl evades capture and descends into the sewers.
Carl is later seen with everyone else who have taken shelter in the sewers when Rick and Michonne join them. They find Carl, laying on the cold, hard floor, and looking sweaty and tired. Carl lifts his shirt, showing Rick an unmistakable bite on his abdomen, explaining that it happened as he helped Siddiq. Rick and Michonne reel in horror as reality sets in.
In a flashback, Carl and Siddiq fight walkers in the woods. Carl is caught off guard and gets bit in the abdomen. He shoots the one on top of him before the other which marked him for death. Siddiq asks if he is okay. Carl says, "Yeah," and walks off. Carl leads Siddiq down the utility hole outside Alexandria and explains that he must talk to Rick before bringing Siddiq into their community.
In his bathroom, Carl takes his shirts and hat off, revealing his bite mark. He gets emotional looking at himself in the mirror before covering it up, putting his hat back on, and marching back outside. Atop the gate, Tobin gives Carl a note from Michonne and explains that she went to the Sanctuary.
Later, Carl sits in the house and writes notes to Michonne, Rick, Enid and more. He explores the sewers with Siddiq. He lights candles and sets up a cot. He sits on the porch with Judith and makes handprints on the porch with paint. They take a photo together on a Polaroid camera. He hands Siddiq cans of food and candy in the sewer. Siddiq hands the candy back and Carl enjoys some bites with him. He later plants in the Alexandria farm. Michonne pulls in in her car. Carl takes his hat off and takes in some sun.
In the present, Carl shows his bite wound to Rick and gives him the stack of letters that he wrote to the group. Carl is becoming weaker. Rick sits by his side in disbelief with Michonne, when asked how he got bit, He explains that his bite was not the Saviors' fault and that it happened while he was helping Siddiq. Rick is in denial when Carl says "I got bit,". Siddiq gives Carl medicine and explains that he was a medical resident. Carl says he brought him back only because "he needed us," rather than because he was a doctor. An explosion causes dust to fall on Carl and he starts coughing. Rick shields him and gives him water. Carl talks to Michonne. He questions her leaving when she should've been resting but says she looks great now. He pleads with her to stop the war. "It's not supposed to be like this," he said. "I know it can be better." Michonne looks to Rick and nods.
Later, Dwight tells Rick the Saviors are gone. Rick doesn't want to make the trip because Carl won't make it. He insists he has to stay with him. Michonne will stay with him, then. "Will you take Judith?" Rick asks Michonne. "She needs to be there." He breaks down. Daryl takes Judith so that Michonne can stay with Rick and Carl.
Carl wants to say goodbye to Judith. They have a emotional moment together. Carl smiles at her. "You be good, okay? For Michonne. For dad." He tells her to listen to Rick but not always. "Sometimes kids gotta show their parents the way." He hands over his hat to her. "This was dad's before it was mine," he says. "Now it's yours. Just having it, I always kept dad with me. It made me feel as strong as him. It helped me. Maybe it'll help you, too."
Carl tells Judith of what Lori's lasts words to him that he was gonna beat the world, he didn't, but tells Judith that she will. Judith starts crying as Rick hands her to Daryl.
"These people, you saved them all," Daryl tells Carl. "It's all you, man." He walks off and Tara follows. Siddiq then kneels down and thanks Carl for helping him honor his mom and for bringing him to Alexandria. He promises to honor Carl by showing his people that what he did wasn't for nothing. Carl congratulates him on being stuck with the group before he heads out. Carl takes his last sips of water. Michonne pats him down with cloth to wipe the sweat. Carl tells Michonne to be strong for Rick, Judith and herself. "I will" Michonne says.
Rick asks for Michonne's help carrying Carl out of the sewer. Alexandria burns as Rick and Michonne carry him across a field. Carl is getting weaker. Rick insists Carl will make it to their house. Michonne suggests bringing him to another building. Rick and Michonne lay Carl down in the church. Carl expresses remorse over killing a boy when they lived in the prison. Rick tries to absolve Carl of his guilt over the boy's death. Carl points out how easy it was to kill another human being. Carl explains that Rick's decision to stop fighting and welcome Woodbury survivors into the prison was instrumental in shaping him. “It can be like that again,” he tells Rick. Rick reminds Carl he can't be who he was and that the war against the Saviors is different than their situation at the prison, but Carl is resolute that he can't kill all of the Saviors and tells him that "there's gotta be something after."
Carl describes his vision for a peaceful future in which the older, white-bearded Rick resides with Judith in a flourishing Alexandria. Rick tells him that everything he did since Atlanta, was for him and nothing's gonna change that. Rick promises to make Carl's vision come true. Carl reaches for his gun and insists on shooting himself before he dies. He tells Rick and Michonne that he loves them. Rick and Michonne wait outside the church, where they hear a solitary gunshot. Rick and Michonne bury Carl's body in the Alexandria graveyard.
Carl's voice is heard in Rick's head as he rereads Carl's letter to him, in which he reminisces about happier times and urges Rick to make peace with Negan and find a way to coexist. Michonne contacts Negan by walkie and reads the letter that Carl wrote him. Carl urges Negan to stop fighting and find a peaceful way forward with Rick. Negan refuses and crushes the walkie with his foot.
Before the final battle against the Saviors, Rick has a flashback to a day before the apocalypse that Carl alluded to in his last letter to him, where he and a 3-year-old Carl hold hands walking down a country road.
After Rick slits Negan's throat with a shard of glass, he remembers once again that day before the apocalypse with Carl. This makes Rick change his mind and to order to save Negan's live at last minute, honoring his son's last wishes.
In the present, he writes a letter to Carl, thanking him for reminding him who he is, and attributes the new world in his honor.
- Killed By
- Zombies (Caused)
- Siddiq (Indirectly Caused)
- Himself (Indirectly Caused; Suicide, Before Reanimation)
While bringing Siddiq to Alexandria, Carl is bitten in the abdomen by a walker.
Ultimately, as he approaches death, Carl chooses to commit suicide rather than forcing Rick or Michonne to put him down before reanimation. Later, as Rick and Michonne are outside the church, Carl shoots himself in the head.
This list shows the victims Carl has killed:
- Dale Horvath (Indirectly Caused)
- Shane Walsh (Zombified)
- Lori Grimes (Before Reanimation)
- Joe Sr. (Zombified)
- Red Jacket Wolf
- Himself (Indirectly Caused; Suicide, Before Reanimation)
- At least 2 unnamed Scavengers
- Numerous counts of zombies
- Carl held the longest lifespan of any child in the series prior to his death in the episode "Honor", lasting 108 episodes for eight and a half seasons.
- Carl shares his name with Robert Kirkman's father.
- Carl is Robert Kirkman's favorite character in the show.
- Rick and Carl share the same blood type, which is A+.
- In the first three seasons, Carl usually wore a Science Dog T-shirt, a character from Robert Kirkman's other comic series, Invincible.
- During the season four premiere, when Michonne gives Carl comics as a gift, the comic at the top is Issue #56 from Invincible - Robert Kirkman's other comic book series.
- Glen Mazzara has stated that he considered killing Carl instead of Axel during the Governor's attack in the episode "Home".
- The first two times Carl has been shot, it has been by accident.
- Everyone who has shot Carl has died due to walkers. Otis, Ron Anderson, and himself.
- Carl's first known kiss was with Enid.
- Both in the comics and in the TV series, Carl is the first minor to be shown driving a vehicle.
- Carl has never appeared in the 14th episode of a season.
- Carl is one of five characters in the The Walking Dead universe to receive a permanent eye injury, the other four being his comic series counterpart, Philip Blake (along with his own comic series counterpart), and Kenny from the video game.
- Ever since he lost his right-eye, Carl's been trying to aim with his left-hand despite being right-handed.
- It is revealed in the episode "Honor" that the flash-forward sequences seen in this episode and the season premiere "Mercy" were fantasies thought up by Carl for a brighter future after the war. These fantasies reveal that he sees peace among all communities and that he even views Negan as redeemable.
- Carl is the third main character to die in a mid-season premiere, the others being Tyreese Williams and Jessie Anderson.￼
- Carl is the third main character to commit suicide, with Andrea being the first and Sasha Williams being the second.
- He is the second main character to commit suicide to prevent reanimation after being bitten, with Andrea being the first one to do so.
- He is the first male main character to commit suicide.
- Carl's last words were "I love you, Dad".
- Following Carl's death, Rick, Carol Peletier and Daryl Dixon are now the only remaining Atlanta Camp survivors that are still alive. This also makes them and Morgan Jones the only remaining characters introduced in Season 1 who are still currently living on the show.