This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for the Comic Series or Road to Survival counterparts.
"I started drinking right after I quit smoking. How's that for ironic? It wasn't something that got out of control. It was always bad. I was drunk the day Kenneth was born. Hell, I can't even remember the first time I saw him. I joined A.A. after that. But... When Kenny was 2, me and Tammy were barely making ends meet. I guess the stress of it all got to me. I don't know. I was on my way to pick him up from the sitter's, and I saw the sign for McDuffy's off the highway. The sitter could smell the whiskey on me. She told me. She didn't want to hand him over. She tried to grab my keys. I wouldn't give her a choice. I took my son, and I put him in the truck. The next thing I remember, I was pulled off the road and Tammy was there. I called her, I guess, and told her I was drunk. And she came to pick us up and take us home... I thought for sure she'd be gone after that, but she stuck around. She said I was sick that we swore to stay together no matter what and that's what we were gonna do. I never took a drink after that. I wasn't even tempted. At least, not until... Well, you know the rest."
—Earl telling Maggie how he started to drink.[src]

Earl Sutton is a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is a resident and the blacksmith of the Hilltop Colony, alongside his wife Tammy Rose and son Kenneth. Six years later, Earl and Tammy adopt an orphaned Whisperer baby and named him Adam Sutton.

Pre-Apocalypse

Location Unknown

At some point, Earl married Tammy and had a son with her, Ken. He was an alcoholic, to the point that he was drunk when Ken was born and can't even remember the first time he saw him. When Ken was two, Earl got into a fight with the babysitter and drove off with Ken, drunk. He latter pulled over and called Tammy to pick them up. He expected his wife to leave him, but she didn't. From that day, Earl swore off drinking, staying sober for the next twenty years.

Post-Apocalypse

Season 9

"A New Beginning"

At night, at Hilltop, Maggie breaks the news of Ken's death to Earl and Tammy. An emotional Tammy scolds Maggie for getting her son killed, reminding her that she voted for her in the election. Earl tries to calm her down but Tammy doesn't listen and criticizes Maggie's decision to supply the Saviors. A shocked Maggie offers to help with the funeral but Tammy declines and denies her from being present.

Later, the Hilltop gathers for Ken's funeral. Alden sings and Gregory gives a eulogy. A heartbroken Earl helps to place the lid on the coffin and prepare to bury his son.

Gregory then approaches Tammy and Earl with a bottle of whiskey. She drinks herself to sleep, leaving Earl and Gregory to talk, with Gregory breaking Earl's non-drinking policy and taking advantage of him. Through some cunning words, Gregory suggests to Earl that Maggie does not have to be in charge of Hilltop anymore.

When Maggie rushes towards Glenn's grave to investigate, she is attacked by a hooded and drunk Earl, who also knocks over Hershel's stroller. Enid intervenes but gets pushed to the ground hard and is knocked out. Alden and Cyndie arrive and manage to grab Earl and stop him.

The next day, at night, the residents, including Earl in restraints, gather around the gallows as Maggie explains to her people that the punishment fits the crime. She looks on at Gregory, who has a noose around his neck and is sitting on a horse. Gregory pleads for someone to stop this, but no one moves. A couple of kids show up and Michonne yells for Maggie to stop but it's too late as Daryl smacks the horse and it rides off, leaving Gregory to hang to death to everyone's shock.

Maggie tells her people that she wants this to be the last time they do something like this and then orders Daryl to cut Gregory down.

"The Bridge"

Following Gregory's execution, Earl has been immprisoned in Hilltop's cell as punishment. 35 days later, after Maggie is convinced by Jesus, Tammy is allowed to see her husband. She forgives him and misses him, claiming that what he did was a mistake and he's a good and changed man. They talk a little about their past and he claims he needs the forgiveness of Maggie, who listens on and gets a little emotional.

Later, Maggie talks to Earl herself. He mentions how he became an alcoholic, not remembering seeing his son for the first time and how an accident made him stop drinking for over twenty years. He says that despite being drunk he was aware of his actions and says he regrets trying to kill her.

Finally, Maggie releases him from his cell to pay his debt, since he made her remember how her father was an alcoholic too and got a second chance in life.

"Evolution"

Six years later, Earl now acts as a full time Blacksmith and has taken Alden as his apprentice.

At Hilltop, Earl watches as Tara coldly greets Michonne and updates her on Eugene, Aaron, Daryl, and Rosita's situations. Later, at his blacksmithing spot, Enid checks up on Henry and jokes with him. Earl invites him to dinner, but he refuses after seeing Enid and Alden kissing. 

At night, Tara takes Earl down to the jail where Henry sits in a cell as punishment for misbehavior. Henry explains his community is counting on him and begs for another chance. Earl remembers that he once got spared too and promises to talk to Jesus when he returns.

"Bounty"

At Hilltop, Enid treats Earl for an injury and suggests he retire, but he refuses. Tammy thanks Enid for helping and assures her Alden will turn up. Marco then runs up to tell them that the people who killed Jesus are there.

Later, Earl listens as Daryl informs he's going to trade Lydia for Alden and Luke when Magna says Lydia and Henry are missing. He tells everyone to split up and find them.

Meanwhile, Connie runs out of the cornfield, sling-shots a walker, and grabs the baby to save it from a nearby herd. The Whisperers around her unsheathe blades as Connie escapes back into the cornfield. Daryl runs in and kills the walkers around her while Kelly, Earl, and Tammy step in to rescue her.

At night, Earl and Tammy hold the baby together, having decided to adopt the abandoned child.

"Chokepoint"

On the road, Tara and Magna’s group clear a tree from their path to the Kingdom to ensure the roads are cleared for Alden's convoy carrying the food and trade goods for the fair. Tammy tells Earl how happy she is to have the baby.

Later, a small herd of walkers approaches the group. They get in position and remind themselves to watch for the Whisperers. Earl is almost bitten by a walker but is saved in time by Tammy. Suddenly, the Highwaymen ride up on horses and introduce themselves to Tara after helping to take down the herd. They then escort them to the Kingdom, having accepted Carol's deal.

In the Kingdom, Earl and Tammy are greeted by Nabila. She askes them about the baby and Tammy admits to Earl she wants to keep the baby with them. Earl smiles and embraces her.

"The Calm Before"

In the fair, Earl trades some of his blacksmithing work with some residents. Later on, he and Tammy walk with their baby around and talk about a possible name. Later, Earl looks around for Tammy with the help of Connie and Kelly.

The next day, in the Kingdom, Earl listens from the crowd as Siddiq delivers the tragic news, tells them how brave everyone was in their final moments and how he was intentionally kept alive to tell this very story. He encourages everyone to remember the fallen.

Season 10

Earl will appear in this season.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Earl Sutton has killed:

Relationships

Tammy Rose Sutton

Earl and Tammy Rose are shown to have a loving, committed marriage. Tammy stood by Earl through his addiction and never gave up on him, which Earl is shown to be grateful for. Earl is also shown to have regret emotionally hurting Tammy and their son during his addiction pre-apocalypse. When he finds out about his wife's death at the hands of Alpha, he is deeply saddened.

Kenneth Sutton

Though they aren't shown interacting on screen, it can be inferred that Earl and Kenneth had a loving, father-son relationship. Earl is shown to be devastated by his son's sudden death.

Maggie Rhee

Earl and Maggie initially had a stable relationship, as it is mentioned that Earl and Tammy voted for Maggie in the Hilltop Election. Their relationship takes a turn for the worse following the death of Earl's son, Kenneth. Earl and Tammy blame Maggie for their son's death. A drunken Earl is persuaded by Gregory to attack and try to kill Maggie, but ultimately fails and is thrown into the Hilltop Jail by Maggie and kept for over a month. Maggie decides to forgive and release Earl from prison after a heartfelt conversation between the two, and Maggie is reminded of her father and the fact that if he had not been given a second chance that a lot of people wouldn't still be alive. Their relationship is shown to improve following these events.

Gregory

Earl and Gregory are shown to have a negative relationship. Following the death of his son, Kenneth, Earl is manipulated into attempting to kill Maggie by Gregory, who gets Earl drunk. Earl is shown to spite Gregory for this and have great regret for his actions.

Alden

Earl and Alden have a positive working relationship, as Earl has taken Alden on as his apprentice. In "Bounty", it's mentioned that Earl and his wife Tammy Rose have become like parents to Alden and Enid. As a result, Earl takes Alden's disappearance hard.

Henry

Earl is shown to like and respect Henry as he takes Henry on as an apprentice blacksmith and even invites him to dinner with he and Tammy Rose on his first day of apprenticeship. He is shown to be disappointed when Henry stands him up to sneak out with his new friends and ends up in jail from drunken disorder, but Earl forgives Henry as he is reminded of when Maggie forgave him 6 years prior. Earl tells Henry that he will attempt to bail him out. He apparently succeeds in getting Henry only sentenced to the two nights in jail required for a drunk and disorderly and not kicked out of the Hilltop as Daryl later tells Henry that Earl said Henry can't be set free until he finishes his two night sentence.


Appearances

TV Series

Season 9

Season 10

TBA

Trivia

  • It is hinted in "Bounty" that Earl may suffer from arthritis.
TV Series Characters
Grimes Family JudithR.J.RickCarlLori
King County LambertPaulaShaneLeonMr. SiggardMrs. Siggard
Jones Family MorganJennyDuane
Atlanta Camp CarolDarylMoralesGlennAndreaMerleTheodoreDaleSophiaJacquiMirandaLouisElizaAmyEdJim
Nursing Home MiguelFelipeJorgeGuillermoGilbert
Jenner Family EdwinCandace
Greene Farm MaggieBethHershelPatriciaJimmyAnnetteShawnArnoldOtisJosephine
The Living NateRandallSeanTonyDave
Michonne's Group MichonneMikeTerryAndre
The Prison AxelOscarAndrewTomasBig Tiny
Woodbury JeanetteMrs. RichardsMcLeodPhilipCaesarShumpertJacobsonMr. RichardsOwenErynKarenGregMiltonStevensRowanEileenFosterBettyNoahPaulJodyRichardHaleyPennyWarrenMichaelGargulioCrowleyTimEmily
Tyreese's Group SashaTyreeseAllenBenDonna
Military Personnel WellesWilsonBradySeanFranklinCallaway
Prison Newcomers BobLizzieMikaLukeMollyJulioHenryNorisCalebDavidRyanCharlieChloePatrickZach
Chambler Family TaraLillyMeghanDavid
Martinez's Group HowardMitchAlishaPete
Ford Family AbrahamEllenA.J.Becca
Post-Prison Survivors EugeneRositaChristopher
The Claimers DanBillyHarleyTonyJoeLenLou
Terminus MartinGregTheresaGarethAlbertMikeMaryAlex
St. Sarah's Church Gabriel
Grady Memorial Hospital StevenTanakaAlvaradoAmandaBelloLicariPercyMcGinleyFrancoNoahDawnO'DonnellBobJeffriesGormanJoanGavinHanson
Alexandria Safe-Zone AaronBarbaraScottKyleRobinsonNoraCocoDanteMargoBrandonHeathMarcusJonahEnidBobBruceTobinKent AnnaMikeyFrancineSpencerOliviaDeniseDeannaRonJessieSamDavidBetsyNicholasTommyAnnieWillSturgessBarnesNatalieStacyMichaelJefferyRichardsHollySamanthaBobbyCharlyneO'HaraDineshDanErinAdrianParkShellyCarterPeteRegAidenEric
The Wolves OwenAphid
The Saviors NeganLauraQuanAldenGracieAliceSherryDwightAmberTanyaMarkGinaPotterJoséBrookeMelJohnFrankieD.J.RichieRegina JedNorrisArat JustinSimonDukeLanceGaryReillyJaredEvanKatyKenoDerekDeanGavinGomezPaulieDukeZiaLeoYagoJoeyGuntherRudyToddDinoHuckWadeCamNelsonMaraGordonRoyDavidEmmettIsabelleJosephChrisGeorgeNeilRomanJiroMilesPrimoPaulaMichelleMollyDonnieGabeTimmyTina
Hilltop Colony BertieKalEduardoOscarMarcoEarlHershelGageAdelineRodneyTammyCasperMartinMilesHildePaulGregoryKennethStephanieCraigCrystalWesleyHarlanNeilFreddieAndyEthan
The Kingdom EzekielJerryDianneNabilaJennyWilliamHenryDanaKevinKurtAlvaroDanielColtonRichardBenjamin
Oceanside RachelCyndieBeatriceKathyNatania
The Scavengers AnneTamielBrionFarronWinslow
Georgie's Group HildaMidgeGeorgie
Magna's Group MagnaLukeConnieKellyYumikoBernie
The Whisperers LydiaAlphaAdamBetaGammaZionRasmusSeanHelen
Shelter Survivors CyrusAmandaLamarFrankRoseMatias
The Highwaymen AlekOzzy
Jocelyn's Group WinnieP.J.GinaLinusMitchellJocelyn
Unknown Location JulesLucyJenVirgilWayneLizzie
Miscellaneous Survivors SiddiqWilhelmEastmanSamAnaMrs. BlakeClara
Animals DogNellyShivaTabithaButtonsDukeFlameViolet
Walkers CarlaDellyJoe Sr.BillTonyNickErinDougLouiseWayneSummerHannahEddie
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