Look man, I get it. My dad killed your dad, but you need to know something. Your dad was an asshole. – Carl Grimes
What a fitting quote to exemplify Carl.
Look before I get into this I was never expecting to make this post until a long way down the road when The Walking Dead ended and Carl survived it all.
Well at least we have the comics. But I’m not caught up all the way with the comics (only on the Governor/prison arc) so this post is going to center more around the show. I’m going to try not to get into any kind of rant about how much I hate the decision to kill Carl off and how lazy of writing it is to use him as a way to bring Rick’s humanity back.
No promises. I just want to remember Carl for all the reasons we grew to love him, despite his flaws.
*Also, spoilers ahead.*
Stay In The House Carl
For me, early Carl never got on my nerves. When people told him to stay in the house I usually laughed because he’s a kid and even in the zombie apocalypse he’s not going to listen. Even with the world-changing rapidly Carl changed right along with it. He grew to understand the dangers and took risks to face them himself. Might as well learn it early and not turn out like Sam.
Then Sophia went missing and a determined Carl came out. It didn’t matter how little hope the adults (with exceptions) had, Carl just knew Sophia got lost or found a place to hide. Until he died Carl kept that hope with him even through all his angst years.
New Sheriff In Town
Once the group got to the prison and after Carl killed walker-Shane a side started to come out that became more evident in season four. The kid had to kill his mom. It’s not how you want to see anyone grow up, but Carl learned early on what needed done.
And Lori was right, he should’ve beat the world.
This is when the angst years started to come in. Carl wanted to do things on his own, not out of curiosity anymore, but because he believed he could handle it. Around the time he killed a kid lowering his gun. He wanted to learn about defending himself, not play LEGOS.
Of course a lot of what Carl learned he got from the people around him.
He’d Do It For Them
Carl and Michonne’s relationship may be one of my favorites of all time. Post-Governor Carl tried to prove he could handle being on his own, that he didn’t need Rick anymore. Michonne brought him back just like Carl did for her. In the end, even if it never got spoken aloud, Michonne became a motherly figure to Carl (and many could debate a better one.)
Then there’s Maggie. These two went through it all together. Maggie being there during Lori’s death, Carl being there for Maggie after Glenn. I like to think it’s those types of situations that forms a relationship many wouldn’t see.
Of course there’s Daryl, Carol, Enid, Tara, and Judith but the one the story centered around is Rick and Carl. Rick did whatever necessary to keep him safe (who immediately thinks of Rick biting Joe’s neck?) They can say Carl’s death is going to bring back Rick’s humanity, but Carl is Rick’s humanity. It sucks they made it so Carl’s death is how Rick will see that.
He Got Bit
Here comes my tiny rant.
Carl’s been through as much as you can go through by his age. Shot twice, almost raped, Negan, numerous enemies attacking him and his family, watching countless people he loves die, and the angst years. He survived them all.
And a walker took him out.
*sits here and let’s it sink in*
The End Of A Journey
Everything Rick’s done up to this point has been for Carl. We can argue that can shift to Judith but the feel of the show won’t be the same. For me it’s still weird not seeing Glenn but most saw his death coming. Carl still has so much story to be told and room to grow.
He’s the kid who stood up to authority figures. He didn’t let anything hold him back. He took risks and helped those around him keep hope alive even at the group’s lowest. He left an impression to everyone who met him.
But this time Carl, you should’ve stayed in the house.
Just one more time, I have to say it, we’re going to miss you Coral.
What is your favorite Carl moment?
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