|The Walking Dead character|
Lori Grimes, as portrayed by Sarah Wayne Callies in the television series.
"Issue #2" (2003)
"Days Gone Bye"
(episode 1.01) (2010)
"Issue #55" (flashback) (2008)
"Welcome to the Tombs"
(hallucination) (episode 3.16) (2013)
|Created by||Robert Kirkman
|Portrayed by||Sarah Wayne Callies|
|Family||Jeffery Grimes (brother-in-law; comics)|
|Significant other(s)||Rick Grimes (husband)
Shane Walsh (ex-lover)
|Children||Carl Grimes (son)
Judith Grimes (daughter)
Lori Grimes is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and was portrayed by Sarah Wayne Callies in the American television series of the same name in the show's first three seasons. Created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, the character made her debut in The Walking Dead #2 in 2003. In both forms of media, she is the wife of protagonist Rick Grimes and mother of Carl, and serves as the emotional core of the group. The character escaped the zombie apocalypse with Carl and Rick's partner Shane Walsh, and, believing her husband to be dead, started a relationship with Shane.
For her performance as Lori, Callies was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television in 2010, and was among the cast members of The Walking Dead winning the Satellite Award for Best Cast - Television Series in 2012.
Comic book series
Lori Grimes is an average middle-class housewife living in Cynthiana, Kentucky. As the outbreak begins, she and her son, Carl, are evacuated out of the city with help from her husband Rick's best friend and work partner, Shane Walsh, in hopes of getting to where her parents live. During the evacuation, the guilt that she has been wracked with over abandoning Rick leads her to have a sexual relationship with Shane, which she deeply regrets afterward.[volume & issue needed] She continually brushes off Shane's attempts at advancing and ignores him even more when Rick miraculously arrives at their campsite.[volume & issue needed]
Lori soon finds out, after counting her missed periods, that she is pregnant; however, she hesitates to tell anybody until after Shane's death and their move back onto the road.
Lori faces typical pregnancy issues such as morning sickness and mood swings throughout the first few months of her term. She and everyone else find relative stability at an abandoned prison, with hot showers, supplies, and security.[volume & issue needed] While at the prison, she also begins to deepen her bond with fellow survivor Carol Peletier.[volume & issue needed] Lori is frequently concerned with the well-being of both her family and the rest of the group. After giving birth to an infant girl that she and Rick name Judith,[volume & issue needed] she remains extremely protective over her.
During the final stages of the prison assault led by The Governor, Lori suffers a fatal shotgun blast to the back while she is carrying Judith by Lilly Caul. When Lori falls, Judith is crushed to death beneath her weight.
Lori's death leaves Rick and Carl emotional wrecks. Rick suffers frightening hallucinations, both visual and auditory, at one point even using a phone to have what he believes are actual conversations with his deceased wife.[volume & issue needed] He confides in Michonne, who has also talked to a deceased loved one to help the coping process.[volume & issue needed] Carl frequently blames Rick for Lori and Judith's death.[volume & issue needed]
After Rick is wounded in the line of duty and left in a coma during the outbreak, Lori, believing him to be dead, is accompanied by Rick's best friend, Shane, towards Atlanta. They befriend Carol and her family while on the road, and later both groups settle with other survivors on the outskirts of Atlanta near an abandoned quarry. Lori, convinced of Rick's death by witnessing the military bomb Atlanta, eventually succumbs to her distraught state and embarks on a passionate sexual relationship with Shane (about which Carl is oblivious). In the series premiere "Days Gone Bye", Lori is seen with Carl and Shane at the survivor camp outside of Atlanta. In the episode "Guts", Lori is in the camp when T-Dog makes contact as part of the group that went on a supply run to Atlanta. In the episode "Tell It to the Frogs", Lori is shocked (and overjoyed) when Rick returns with their scavenger group alive and well, though she quickly feels wracked with guilt over her affair with Shane. She bitterly ends her relationship with Shane, leaving him somewhat confused and leading to awkward confrontations between the two. In the episode "Vatos", walkers overrun the campsite, killing and injuring many quarry survivors. In the episode "Wildfire", Lori and the group travel to the CDC. In the season finale "TS-19", when the group briefly spends time at the CDC, Lori is nearly raped by a depressed and drunken Shane, but fights him off leaving him wounded, humiliated and embarrassed by his actions. Following the CDC's destruction, they start traveling again.
In the season premiere "What Lies Ahead", the group becomes stalled on the highway as Carol's daughter Sophia becomes separated from the group and lost. Shane tells Lori that he is planning to leave the group, and they argue about this. In the episode "Bloodletting", Carl has accidentally been shot by Otis and taken to Hershel's farm, so Hershel's daughter Maggie came on horseback to retrieve Lori. Shane and Otis leave the farm to retrieve the needed medical supplies for Hershel to perform the surgery needed to save Carl's life. In the episode "Save the Last One", Hershel informs Rick and Lori that he may need to do the operation without the equipment, and as Rick and Lori relent, Shane returns with the needed supplies but reports that Otis gave his own life to ensure Shane's safety. In the episode "Cherokee Rose", days after arriving at the farm, Lori asks Glenn to bring something back from a pharmacy, which turns out to be a pregnancy test. Lori discovers much to her dismay that she is pregnant, and immediately realizes that the baby could be Shane's or Rick's. In the episode "Chupacabra", Glenn learns that Lori is pregnant, and she begs him not to tell Rick. Lori and Carol make a dinner for Hershel as thanks for letting them stay on his farm. In the episode "Secrets", after struggling with whether to keep the baby (going as far as having Glenn retrieve "Morning After" pills for her and swallowing several before forcing herself to throw them back up), she begins to accept the predicament. However, before she is able to fully come to terms with the pregnancy, Rick, having found the boxes for her pills, confronts Lori about keeping the pregnancy a secret. Lori confesses that she struggled with the pregnancy, admitting the affair with Shane to Rick (which he nobly, if reluctantly, accepts and seemingly forgives her for) and expressing her fears about bringing a child into the broken world, where it would know only fear, hunger and pain. Reinforced by Rick's support, she finally accepts the pregnancy and makes it clear that, regardless of the child's paternity, it will be raised by her and Rick. In the mid-series finale "Pretty Much Dead Already", Glenn tells the group that Herhsel's barn is full of walkers. Shane finds out that Lori is pregnant, and she insists that the baby is Rick's. Shane eventually breaks open the barn and the group kills the walkers as they shamble out; when Sophia is revealed to be a walker, the last one to leave the barn, Lori comforts Carl who had befriended her.
In the mid-season premiere "Nebraska", Hershel leaves the farm, and Rick and Glenn go to town to find him. Lori becomes concerns about Rick and goes off alone to find him, but crashes her car. In the episode "Triggerfinger", Shane goes looking for Lori, and tricks her into thinking that Rick had come back to the farm, to get her to come back with him. Shane and Lori have a private talk, where Shane reveals that his feelings during their relationship were real and that they should be together. When Rick does come back, Lori tells him that Shane thinks the baby is his, and that Shane had threatened Dale, and that Dale told her he felt that Shane killed Otis to save himself and may kill again. In the episode "18 Miles Out", Lori, Maggie, and Andrea take care of Hershel's younger daughter Beth, who was recovering from the shock of seeing her mother killed as one of the walkers in the barn. Beth becomes suicidal, and when Andrea encourages her to make her own choice about living, Lori and Maggie force themselves into the bathroom to find Beth had made an unsuccessful attempt to kill herself. In the episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner", Dale is mortally wounded by a walker and Daryl puts Dale out of his misery. In the episode "Better Angels", Lori's attitude toward Shane softens following Dale's death, as she apologizes for all that she had put him through since Rick's return. However, Shane still sees Rick as a threat and tries to kill him, but Rick was expecting an attack and kills Shane instead. When Shane reanimates as a walker, Carl shoots Shane in the head, but this gunshot attracts more walkers from the woods. In the season finale "Beside the Dying Fire", the group is forced to evacuate the farm and onto the road after a massive herd of walkers descends onto the property, during which time Lori is separated from Carl and Rick, fleeing with T-Dog and Beth. Shortly after reuniting with Rick and Carl at the original rendezvous point on the highway, Lori learns of the circumstances of Shane's death, and is deeply disturbed by Rick's lack of remorse over killing Shane, as well as the fact that Carl put him down when he turned.
In the season premiere "Seed", Rick and Carl have both grown distant from Lori. The group finds a prison that they clear out to make a home out of, so that Lori and Rick can have a place to raise their baby. She has become paranoid about the baby, contemplating a variety of negative outcomes that include death for one or both of them. In the episode "Sick", Lori takes care of Hershel after he is bitten by a walker and has his leg amputated below the knee. In the episode "Killer Within", a swarm of walkers invades the prison, thanks to the escaped prisoner Andrew, forcing Lori, Maggie and Carl to venture deeper into the prison where Lori goes into labor. Due to complications, she ultimately gives birth by an improvised Caesarean section (C-section) with the help of Maggie. The lack of anaesthesia causes her to pass out from shock and presumably subsequently die from blood loss. Carl, present during the operation, insists on being the one to shoot Lori in order to prevent re-animation. Off-camera, the sound of a shot signifies Lori's death.
In the episode "Say the Word", Rick enters the boiler room where Lori gave birth, and finds her corpse missing, and it is suggested that it has been eaten by a single walker with a distended stomach, although there are no skeletal remains. Rick is about to cut open the bloated belly of the dead walker to see his wife's remains, but instead repeatedly stabs the belly in a rage. In the episode "Hounded", when Rick believes that he is receiving phone calls from people who can help his group survive, only to later hear voices of the people he has lost during their struggle for survival, Lori's voice being the last he hears. In the episode "The Suicide King", Rick sees a vision of Lori while deciding the fate for Tyreese's group. Rick lashes out at the vision and orders it to leave, while the rest of the group believe that Rick is lashing out at Tyreese's group, who leave in fear. In the episode "Home", Rick sees Lori first by the makeshift gravesite, then at the bridge outside of the Prison. Rick tells Hershel that he knows Lori isn't there, but he believes that seeing her is a sign of something. In the episode "This Sorrowful Life", Rick sees Lori standing on the prison catwalk as he searches for wire outside to tie up Michonne. Rick tries to convince himself that Lori isn't really there, although Lori doesn't disappear when he glances back up. Rick drops the wire and departs back inside the prison. In the season finale "Welcome to the Tombs", Lori once again appears to Rick on the prison catwalk as the group departs due to the impending attack by the Woodbury group. After Rick, Daryl, and Michonne return to the prison with Karen, Tyreese, Sasha, and the other Woodbury citizens, Rick looks back at the catwalk and notices that Lori's vision is no longer there.
Lori Grimes is portrayed by Sarah Wayne Callies, who was cast in the series in April 2010. Callies saw an issue of the comic book series while at a bookstore in Vancouver. "I was looking through for the latest issue that had just come out and the owner of the comic book store came up to me and said, 'I see you're checking out The Walking Dead," she stated. "It's amazing.' I said, 'Yeah, I'm a huge fan.' And he said, 'You know they're making a television show for AMC. It's supposed to be really good.' I kind of looked at him and I froze. I just went, 'I'll keep an eye out for it.' And I ran out of the store."
In the comics, Kirkman resolved the love triangle between Lori, Shane, and Rick very quickly, but in the TV show he decided to spend more time exploring this relationship.
Callies was in favor of Lori dying while in the Prison, just like the comic character. In an interview she stated, "I argued that it was necessary to kill Lori and I feel very strongly that for all of the other deviations we may have from the comic book, killing Lori does something to Rick that is vital for the story and can't be done any other way."
Regarding the television adaptation of the character, Lori has received generally negative reviews, with Sarah Wayne Callies' performance receiving a mixed response from critics. Critics were polarized with the characters' reaction to Lori opting for an abortion in the episode "Secrets". Writing for The AV Club, Zack Handlen criticized the character's opposing views on the matter, and stated that their reasoning was invalid. Handlen wrote. "I'm not even sure it would be possible for her to abort the pregnancy at this point, but the show's working on the assumption that having a child in a world where death literally lurks around every corner is an unequivocal good. The only person who’s been anti-pregnancy is Lori, and the show hasn't managed to cast her in a very good light, so it’s not like her arguments hold much water—which is also ridiculous, because ultimately, her opinion is the only one that matters." HitFix writer Alan Sepinwall reflected similar thoughts, and stated that Rick's arguments against Lori's attempts were obsolete.
Commentators criticized the character development of Lori Grimes in the episode "Nebraska". Eric Goldman for IGN was angry upon viewing the crash sequence, avouching that it stunted any development intended for the scene. He stated, "The Walking Dead really needs to work on strengthening its female characters, and it doesn't help when Lori has a major accident for such a stupid reason, getting distracted as she looked at a map while she drove. Yeah, yeah, there was a zombie in the road, but it could have been an animal [...] just as easily, and it really undercut the intended drama of her situation when it just seems so stupid that it happened at all." Zack Handlen for The AV Club thought that the foundation set up for furthering the storyline progression was contrived, while Aaron Rutkoff of The Wall Street Journal said that the premise of the dilemma made no sense.
Critics were divided upon the interaction between Rick and Lori after she discovers Shane had died. Commentators were critical of the performance of Sarah Wayne Callies. Although The Huffington Post's Maureen Ryan reacted positively to Lincoln's performance, she affirmed that the contradictory nature of Lori almost ruined the scene. Similarly, New York's Starlee Kine criticized Callies' facial expressions during the sequence. Josh Jackson, who writes for Paste wrote, "If that was a challenge from the writers, though, Sarah Wayne Callies has to feel like they're just messing with her at this point. Her character, Lori, basically tells Rick that Shane needs to be put down, and then treats him like a monster when he’s forced to follow through with it."
The fates of Lori and the character of T-Dog in the episode "Killer Within" garnered favorable reviews from television commentators. According to HitFix writer Alan Sepinwall, the moment when Lori and Carl share their goodbyes was the most heartbreaking event since the ending of the second season episode "Pretty Much Dead Already". Los Angeles Times columnist Laura Hudson felt it was a grim departure for a character who endured long bouts of grief for reasons beyond her control. Erik Kain from Forbes magazine found Lori's death especially difficult to watch, and was shocked by T-Dog's "sudden" death despite the fact that he "was never as prominent a figure" on the program. "As hard as these deaths were to watch," Kain wrote, "they also give me faith in the show." Even though he stated that T-Dog died "a hero's death", Michael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal concluded that Lori's "gut-churning" demise was the more memorable.
Lori's demise was featured in The Huffington Post's list of "The Biggest 'OMG' TV Moments of 2012", and placed nineteenth in Slate's article covering the year's most noteworthy television moments. Journalist Chris Kirk said that the segment was "utterly surprising", and pointed out that the writers beguiled viewers by shedding light onto Lori's crumbled relationship with Rick. In contrast, Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club in his review felt the episode "stumble[d]" in how [...] Lori [was] eliminated and in how the Woodbury storyline repeated what was already known. Handlen commented in his B+ review that "killing [...] Lori earned the show an immediate thrill, but it also meant crossing off [a] potential source[...] of drama, [someone] who had a history on the series, however thin or poorly developed that history might have been."
Sarah Wayne Callies' performance in the episode was unanimously praised, however. IGN writer Eric Goldman commended Callies Sepinwall added that Callies "absolutely sold" the portrayal of a mother saying "goodbye to the son who had to grow up much too quickly".
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