The nine year-old son of Rick and Lori Grimes, Carl is capable, intuitive and somewhat wise beyond his years. When the zombie outbreak occurs, he escapes to Atlanta with his mother and his father’s former partner, Shane. The differences between a pre- and post-zombie world become increasingly obvious to the boy, particularly when he is forced to react violently in order to save his father’s life.

Carl is challenged by trying to live as normal a childhood as possible while being forced into making adult decisions. As he experiences increasing loss, Carl becomes increasingly cold and detached, determined to do what he can to benefit the group while feeling less and less of an emotional connection to his peers.

Carl will always do what he thinks is best for the group, even if it requires violent actions. Thrust into manhood too early, he often believes that the ends justify the means, regardless how horrific they may be.