Rick Grimes

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Rick Grimes
The Walking Dead (comic book)
The Walking Dead (TV series)
character
Rickgrimes.jpg
Rick Grimes, as portrayed by Andrew Lincoln in the television series (left) and in the comic book series (right).
First appearance Comic:
"Issue #1" (October 8th 2003)
Television:
"Days Gone Bye"
(1.01) (October 31st 2010)
Created by Robert Kirkman
Tony Moore
Charlie Adlard
Portrayed by Andrew Lincoln
Information
Occupation Comic:
Cynthiana Sheriff's Deputy
Leader of the Alexandria Safe Zone
Television:
King County Sheriff
In both mediums:
Alexandria Constable
Family Carl Grimes (son)
Judith Grimes (possible daughter)
Jeffrey Grimes (brother; comics)
Spouse(s) Lori Grimes
Significant other(s) Comic:
Jessie Anderson
Andrea

Rick Grimes is a fictional character in the comic book series The Walking Dead and is portrayed by Andrew Lincoln in the television series of the same name. Created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, the character made his debut in The Walking Dead #1 in 2003. The primary protagonist of both series, Rick Grimes is a small town sheriff's deputy who shares a son, Carl Grimes, with wife Lori Grimes. He awakens from a coma to find the world overrun with zombies, and a fight for survival ensues.[1]

In the comic book series, Rick remains the longest-living survivor, followed closely behind by his son, Andrea (a friend and lover), Carol's daughter (Sophia), and Sophia's surrogate mother (Maggie Greene). In both mediums, Rick awakens from a coma into the apocalypse and searches for Lori and Carl and finds them in the Atlanta camp with his best friend, Shane, and becomes the group's leader. Although Rick quickly adapts to the notion of killing walkers, he retains his morality, which puts him at odds with Shane, whose own morality has diminished. Shane has turned into a survivalist, and his infatuation with Lori, spurred on by an affair with her in Rick's absence, makes him jealous of Rick. Rick's morality is constantly tested to protect his family and friends. Over time, he becomes colder and more brutal, which puts him at odds with his son, who adopts the same mindset. As Rick desires to retain his son's innocence, his brutality is further tested by his own group when encountering non-group members who the group believes should join them. Rick manages to regain his morality when staying at communities, and is able to be a father once more, but antagonists seeking to exploit his group force him to remain hardened.

Rick Grimes has been described as an everyman character who emphasizes moral codes and values.[2][3][4] Lincoln obtained the role in April 2010; Kirkman felt he was an "amazing find". In preparation for the role, Lincoln sought inspiration from Gary Cooper in his work in the American western film High Noon (1952), as well as the television drama series Breaking Bad. Lincoln has been well-received for his portrayal of the character, and has been nominated for several awards, including a Saturn Award for best actor on television.

Appearances[edit]

Comic book series[edit]

Rick Grimes on the cover of The Walking Dead comic book issue #17. Art by Tony Moore.

Before the zombie apocalypse, Rick was a police officer in the small town of Cynthiana, Kentucky. While in a shootout against an escaped convict with his partner and best friend, Shane Walsh, Rick is wounded and subsequently awakens from a coma some time later. After Duane Jones mistakes Rick for a zombie and hits him over the head with a shovel, Duane's father Morgan takes Rick in and informs him about what unfolded during his coma.[5] In search of his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, Rick heads to Atlanta, where it is said people were taken for protection. Rick runs out of gas and stops at a farm. Rick finds the owners inside who have committed suicide. Rick throws up outside and searches their barn where he finds a horse. Upon arrival, Rick is rescued from a large group of zombies by a fellow survivor named Glenn, who takes him to a camp where Rick is reunited with his wife Lori and son Carl, as well as Shane.[6] Tension between Rick and Shane over leadership of the group and Lori's affections boils over in a confrontation which ends with Carl shooting Shane to protect his father.[7] Afterwards, Rick leads the group away from Atlanta, trying to find shelter and safe haven from the undead.[8]

Rick's early settlement plan proves to be disastrous, as the abandoned planned community he thought to be safe is ultimately found to be zombie infested, resulting in a death of one of their own.[9] Lori Grimes, Rick's wife, shamefully admits to Rick that she is pregnant (presumably with Shane's baby), but Rick plans to care for it.[10][11] Carl Grimes, Rick's son, is later shot in the back by a man named Otis, who escorts Rick and another survivor, Tyreese, a recently joined member of Rick's group to the farm of Hershel Greene and his family.[12] The group stays there for a brief amount of time before Rick is held at gunpoint by Hershel and forced to move out. While on the road again, two other members of the survivors discover a prison, where everyone seeks refuge and settles down.[13]

Rick and the group settle into the prison where they meet the former prison inmates who hadn't managed to escape. Rick and Dale soon decide it's best to have as many people as possible at his new settlement, and decides to convince Hershel and his family to leave the farm and join him at the prison, as the farm grows increasingly precarious. The group's concept of the prison being a safe haven quickly diminishes when Rick and Tyreese find Tyreese's daughter, Julie, shot dead in an unsuccessful suicide pact with her boyfriend. Julie surprisingly reanimates as a roamer, which causes the revelation that everyone is infected with the mysterious virus, regardless of being bitten or not.[14] After this event, the inmates try to assimilate with Rick's group with mostly disastrous results.[15] This leads Rick into his first murder, that of the inmate Dexter, during an armed conflict with the other inmates.[16]

Weeks after their conflict with the prisoners, Rick, Glenn, and the mysterious, katana-wielding woman Michonne, search for a nearby crashed helicopter[17] which leads them into the town of Woodbury, Georgia.[18] At the town they meet a man called The Governor, who leads Woodbury by extreme manipulation, cunningness, and ruthlessness. Fooled by The Governor's pseudo-hospitality, like most Woodbury inhabitants, Rick ultimately has his right hand severed in an attempt to get him to reveal the location of the prison.[19] When the Governor sees Rick will never give up his family, he decides to torture both Glenn and Michonne instead, but yet again fails to find the location of the prison.[20] Rick escapes the town with his group and new Woodbury ally, Alice Warren,[21] after Michonne exacts her revenge on The Governor, as she tortures and mutilates him.[22]

Rick happily reunites with his family after his captivity in Woodbury. Alice also begins updating Lori on her pregnancy.[23] Alice delivers Lori's baby, whom the Grimes family name "Judith".[24] However, their happiness is short-lived when the Governor, now horribly disfigured, finds the prison and captures Tyreese and Michonne. He manipulates his followers into believing Rick's group are marauders.[25] During the final assault on the prison, Tyreese is executed in front of the group as an act of force to lure the group out of the prison,[26] and both sides suffer significant losses. Lori and Judith are murdered as they try to escape.[27]

Carl is enraged by Rick, claiming him responsible for their losses. Rick also begins hallucinating his wife.[28] The survivors of the prison assault - Rick, Michonne and Carl - return to Hershel's farm where they reunite with the remainder of the prison group who left before the assault. They meet a new group of survivors who are on a mission to Washington, D.C., which consist of Abraham Ford (the leader), Eugene Porter (a man who claims to have knowledge on the cure, requesting to go to D.C.) and Rosita Espinosa (Abraham's girlfriend).[29]

On the journey to D.C., the group face many threats. As Rick and Abraham take the interstate to Rick's hometown, they are confronted by a group of marauders who hold them at gunpoint, as one tries to sexually assault Carl. Rick, overcome with rage, bites one of the bandits' jugular vein, which distracts the other bandits. Abraham shoots the bandit holding him at gunpoint and comforts Carl as Rick proceeds to stab the remaining bandits to death.[30] Rick later reunites with Morgan in his hometown, who has lost his sanity after his son's death. Rick, Abraham, Carl and Morgan encounter a large horde who follow them back to the survivors' camp.[31] Later, after suffering several losses, the group confront a cannibalistic group of hunters, and slaughter them after they eat one of their own.[32]

On the way to the capital, they find out that their mission is bogus as Eugene Porter has been lying to them about the cure. They decide to still push on to D.C. because of their close proximity, and they find out that the capital is as infested just as the other major cities.[33] However despite these set backs, they are recruited by Aaron to stay in a secluded and secure township on the outskirts of Washington, called the Alexandria Safe-Zone.[34][35] Each person tries to find a semblance of real life, but Rick doesn't trust the leader of the town, former U.S. Congressman Douglas Monroe.[36]

Rick soon becomes the Constable of the Safe Zone, attempting to keep the peace in the town, but is eventually forced to kill Peter Anderson, a man who was abusing his wife and child and soon murdered Regina Monroe, Douglas' wife.[37] Rick having been through so much since the prison, slowly starts resuming more leadership-like roles until finally Rick assumes leadership of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, after Douglas soon finds himself losing his grip on life, and his leadership position exacerbating as a result of this.[38] The town becomes endangered after a scavenging group's attack attracts a nearby horde of zombies that quickly breach the town's defensive walls. Morgan and Rick's new girlfriend, Jessie, are two of several casualties in the distress of the situation.[39] As the survivors fight for their lives, several people are killed and Rick's son is grievously wounded by a gunshot to the head.[40] Using the combined strength of all of those remaining in the community, the survivors fend off the horde and Rick tends to Carl, whose condition is very dire. Following the attack, however, Rick concludes that the undead can be beaten if the survivors put their differences aside and work together. Rick mentions that this is the first time in a very long time that he has hope for the future.[41]

Rick's mindset on survival changes and he gradually develops an optimistic outlook on the community and its true potential. Later, Carl wakes up from his coma, initially with minor amnesia.[42] Rick worries that the son he knew is gone, as he shows no grief over Lori's loss.[43] A small insurrection is later formed, but the situation is defused without bloodshed and Rick forgives the transgressors.[44] Rick and Andrea continue to bond and become very close concerning Carl in his coma. Andrea develops feelings for Rick, who resists out of fear of what might happen to him in the event of her death.[45][46] Paul Monroe, an ambassador from a community of two-hundred survivors called the Hilltop Colony, visits Alexandria to start a trading network with Rick's community.[46][47][48] After some mistrust, Rick agrees to go to the Hilltop Colony and starts the trading network. At the Hilltop, Paul Monroe admits that the Hilltop Colony have enemies, and explain of the infamous Negan, who some speculate may not even be a person. The group learn of the Saviours, the Hilltop's rivalling community, who frequently terrorize them and threaten to damage their community if they are not brought half of their supplies. Rick agrees to defuse their conflict and plans to rebuild civilization.[49] Rick's group are ambushed by a group of the Saviors after they leave the Hilltop Colony. Rick's group retaliates, killing them. He sends the lone survivor back to Negan with a warning to stop terrorizing the residents of Hilltop. Rick and Andrea return to the Safe Zone to discover Abraham has been murdered and Eugene is being held hostage. Residents of the Safe Zone discover the Saviours are outside of the walls, as they quickly respond by killing them.[50][51] Rick and several others including Glenn and Maggie decide to go back to the Hilltop Colony where Glenn and Maggie plan to live.[52] However, Negan makes his appearance to the survivors surrounded by his men, taunting the survivors before brutally beating Glenn to death. Rick and the others watch on in horror and Maggie and Sophia later leaves Rick to go to the Hilltop.[53][54] Now realizing the full scale of Negan's army, Rick intentionally gives in, allowing Negan to take all of Alexandria's supplies.[55][56]

Rick remains at conflict with Negan and the Saviors. Carl reveals to his father that the Saviours live in a factory. Paul Monroe tells Rick that they should see Ezekiel, the leader of the Kingdom. Ezekiel, residing in a high school, greets Paul Monroe and welcomes Rick to his community. He agrees to work with Rick, and explains that he has another visitor, Dwight, a Saviour secretly working against Negan. Rick, initially angry with Dwight's appearance, eventually forms an alliance with him, but remains wary of whether to trust Dwight or not.[57]

During the war, the Alexandria Safe Zone, the Kingdom and the Sanctuary suffer many losses.[58] Rick rescues Andrea and Carl when the Alexandria Safe Zone is bombed by the Saviours.[59] Maggie, now the de facto leader of the Hilltop Colony, relocates the residents to the Hilltop, where all three communities unite.[60] Negan arrives at the Hilltop Colony as the Saviours break down the front gates and swarm the community. Rick orders the survivors to open fire, destroying the truck that smashed through, killing several Saviors in the process. During the firefight, Rick takes Nicholas and Aaron to box in the attackers. While they take cover, Rick unknowingly leaves himself vulnerable from behind. Negan, who separates from the other Saviors with Dwight, finds Rick at a close distance and demands that Dwight shoot him with his infected crossbow. Dwight shows some hesitation, but is ultimately forced to shoot Rick.[61] An arrow pierces Rick's side, taking him down, but Dwight's loyalties are revealed to be on Rick's side as he has not succumbed to the infection.[62] He confronts Negan, showing his perspective, and Negan finally understands Rick's view of rebuilding society. In response, Rick slashes Negan's throat before Negan breaks his leg.[63] Negan passes out, before he is saved by a doctor. Rick chooses to imprison Negan, believing the regrowth of civilization is a greater pain than death for him. Dwight takes over as leader of the Saviours, supporting Rick and the war is won.[64]

Two years later, Rick and the others have rebuilt Alexandria into a thriving sanctuary. He welcomes newcomers, Magna and her group[65] who are initially wary of the safe haven[66], but eventually come to understand the running of the community.[67] Carl convinces his father to let him relocate to the Hilltop Colony to become a blacksmith apprentice, which Rick agrees on.[68] Rick reunites with Maggie Greene and her adoptive daughter, Sophia as he brings Carl to the Hilltop.[69] Rick leaves Carl under Maggie's care.[70] Unaware that his son has joined Alpha and the Whisperers, Rick reunites with Michonne as a ship arrives revealing her presence. He is concerned of her behaviour, telling her to sort out her issues and move on.[71] Later, as Michonne and Rick go to Alexandria to attend a fair, they discover Carl is missing and decide to go after him, along with Andrea. Alpha, however, confronts them, and points a gun at Rick's head as she marches him up to an unknown building where he sees thousands of Whisperers. Michonne's sword is also smeared with blood, and with her left behind, it is unknown if she is alive.[72]

Television series[edit]

Rick and Shane (Jon Bernthal) are described as being best friends since high school and were employed as deputy sheriffs in King County, Georgia. While Shane was a ladies man during high school, Rick's love life was far less active until he met Lori and eventually married her; together they had a son, Carl. However, when Carl was 12, Rick and Lori's marriage began to sour and Lori was even questioning Rick as to whether or not he loved her anymore, in front of Carl. Rick became disturbed that Lori could be that cruel in the presence of their own child.

Season 1

Before the outbreak, Rick is shot and wounded during a gun battle with a band of escaped convicts, and left in a coma for months while the zombie apocalypse began. After awakening alone in the hospital, he walks through a local neighborhood but is mistaken for a walker and hit over the head with a shovel by a child, Duane Jones (Adrian Kali Turner). Duane's father Morgan (Lennie James) takes Rick in and explains the sickness to him. Rick sets off in search of his wife, Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), and young son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), and along the way discovers what has happened to the world. While searching in downtown Atlanta, he is attacked by a horde of walkers and hides inside a tank. A young man named Glenn (Steven Yeun) rescues him from the tank and leads him to a group of survivors scavenging for supplies in a building. The building is attacked by walkers and the group flees the city, forced to leave subdued and chained group member, Merle (Michael Rooker) behind. The survivors lead Rick to their campsite where he happily reunites with Lori and Carl, as well as Shane. However, Daryl (Norman Reedus) demands that they return to the city to find his brother Merle as well as retrieve a bag of guns. However, they discover Merle cut off his hand to escape and return to the campsite just in time to save the remaining survivors as a group of walkers overrun the camp. After many losses, the group leave the insecure campsite and venture to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the hope of finding a cure. The group is hoping for a new home, but unfortunately finds no answers at the CDC. The last remaining employee there, a medical doctor and researcher named Edwin Jenner (Noah Emmerich), reveals that the building will soon self-destruct, and whispers a secret in Rick's ear before the group escapes the doomed facility.

Season 2

Rick's leadership and influence within the group has now overgrown and fully overpowers the authority that Shane once had. Rick struggles with this responsibility however, attempting to weigh being fair and doing what he believes to be right, no matter what the rules of society were like in the past. A search for Carol's (Melissa McBride) daughter, Sophia (Madison Lintz) ensues after she is chased by a walker away on Interstate 85 during the group's escape from Atlanta. Later, Carl is accidentally shot by a man named Otis who leads Rick and Shane to a nearby isolated farm where they are spotted by Maggie (Lauren Cohan), to be operated on by Hershel (Scott Wilson), farm owner and veterinarian who works to save Carl's life by using a transfusion of Rick's blood. Carl pulls through after Shane retrieves medical supplies, which overjoys Rick. Hershel tells Rick that the group will have to leave once Carl recovers, but Rick asks him to reconsider. Tensions between Rick and Shane rise as Lori reveals she is pregnant, as well as the revelation that Hershel has kept walkers in the barn, with his family among them under the belief that they are ill. Despite Rick's refusal, Shane opens the barn and kills the walkers inside, until one is revealed to be Sophia. Rick shoots a reanimated Sophia, as the group mourn in devastation. After Rick is forced to kill two men in cold blood in a bar to protect the group, he takes one of their group members, Randall (Michael Zegen), as a prisoner. Shane, however, believes he should be killed. Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn)'s protests and eventual death lead Rick to rethink and use his humanity with the prisoner. However, Shane uses this in preparation to kill Rick by killing Randall and leading Rick out into the woods during their "search" for him. Rick is able to talk him down; however, at the last second, he kills Shane with a single knife stab to the heart. He is distraught over Shane's death and witnesses his zombified friend get shot in the head and finally finished off by Carl. The shot draws the attention of a nearby walker horde, which overruns the farm. Shane's reanimation causes Rick to reveal to the reunited group that they are all infected, learning of this from Dr. Jenner at the CDC but only now believing it. He tells Lori he killed Shane to protect himself as well as the group, but his wife is horrified that she divided the men. Rick's cold demeanor shocks the group as he dares any would-be traitors to abandon the safety of the group.

Season 3

Eight months have passed since Shane's death and Rick and Lori's relationship has deteriorated. The group find an overrun prison facility and make it a safe haven for themselves, although the threat of a group of prison inmates who survived in the prison cafeteria looms large. They orchestrate a plan to kill Rick, which fails when Rick in turn kills or leaves them for dead. Although one prisoner left for dead manages to survive and retaliates, jeopardizing the group's safety by unleashing zombies into the prison, resulting in several survivors's deaths, including Rick's pregnant wife, Lori, who goes into labour sacrificing herself to save her baby via emergency c-section. In the aftermath, Rick faces a downward spiral throughout the season, hallucinating via answering successive phone calls from dead survivors, as well as continually seeing his wife in distressing times. While regretful of never intimately reconnecting with her, he tries to re-adjust and reconnect with his son and newborn daughter, named Judith. He encounters a wounded, mysterious woman (Danai Gurira). He discovers from the woman, Michonne, that Glenn and Maggie are being held at a town called Woodbury, run by The Governor (David Morrissey). Rick travels to Woodbury and rescues Glenn and Maggie from the torture room with the others, but Daryl is ultimately captured. He successfully orchestrates a rescue operation for Daryl as well as Merle (who was The Governor's henchman until his betrayal), but Merle's presence forms tension among other group members, notably Glenn and Michonne whom Merle was ordered to torture and kill. Later, Andrea (Laurie Holden), having been separated and now a citizen of Woodbury, comes to the prison to negotiate a peace truce between the two communities. Rick and Michonne become closer on a journey as he meets the now mentally unbalanced Morgan Jones, having lost his son, as she reveals she had been hallucinating and speaking to her dead boyfriend, and Carl admits to being fond of her. The Governor later agrees to meet with Rick, but his condition is to have Michonne. Rick refuses to bring Michonne, so Merle decides to go, but ultimately changes his mind to kill The Governor instead. This leads to Merle's sacrificial death. Rick, Daryl and Michonne go out to confront The Governor after he massacres his own troops and fails to take the prison. They discover a bitten Andrea in The Governor's torture chamber after unsuccessfully trying to unite both sides. Rick reaffirms her as a group member, as she uses his revolver to commit suicide, further pushing Rick to bring the rest of the citizens of Woodbury (which include Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and his sister, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) who Rick previously turned away after a mental breakdown) to the prison. Rick confiscates Carl's pistol after he kills a boy from Woodbury, believed to be a threat. Rick then stops seeing visions of Lori, realizing his ruthlessness and cold demeanour were the reason for her appearances.

Season 4

Having relinquished leadership, Rick tries to live a quieter, peaceful lifestyle, taking up farming with Hershel. However, it is disrupted with the threat of an illness breaking out. Two infected inmates are revealed to have been mercifully killed by Carol to avoid other people from getting infected, but Rick believes Carol isn't remorseful for her actions so he exiles her. He is left to resolve problems with zombies carving through the fences as the illness dies out with Hershel's medical assistance. However, The Governor return with a militia to take over the prison and decapitates his hostage, Hershel, calling Rick a liar for trying to persuade him to stop his plan and live together in the community. The militia drives a tank through the fences and into the prison, destroying Rick's home, and causing a battle to occur between the two sides. The Governor and a morbidly wounded Rick fight, but The Governor manages to strangle him. Michonne stabs The Governor through the chest before he can kill Rick, and Rick later finds Carl and escapes, believing Judith to be dead. In the aftermath, Carl blames his unconscious father for their losses, but eventually admits he is wrong after a dangerous supply run. They later reunite with Michonne and travel on the road to a supposed sanctuary, Terminus. They encounter and re-encounter a dangerous group called the Claimers. During their second encounter, Daryl appears to have joined them. They try to kill Rick, as well as sexually assault Michonne and Carl. As one member tries to assault Carl, Joe (Jeff Kober), the leader, is gruesomely bitten in the neck by Rick. Michonne shoots other members of the Claimers, before Rick repeatedly stabs the last who tries to assault his son. The group of four then make their way to Terminus and are met by the inhabitants after sneaking in. Not long after, a conflict ensues after the survivors notice that the inhabitants are wearing gear and articles of clothing that belonged to Glenn, Maggie, and other survivors they knew. The citizens of Terminus trap the group in a boxcar, where they find their friends Glenn, Maggie, Sasha and Bob (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) and new allies Tara (Alanna Masterson), whom Rick recognizes from the prison invasion, Sergeant Abraham Ford, (Michael Cudlitz) Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos). Rick tells the others that the people at Terminus are "screwing with the wrong people."

Season 5

Rick's group escape Terminus as an explosion set off by Carol destroys the compound and infests it with walkers. He reunites with his daughter, Judith and graciously thanks Carol, who resettles into the group. the group meet Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) who brings them to his church to stay before going to Washington, DC in hopes of a cure. However, they are forced to deal with the Terminus survivors as Bob, Daryl and Carol go missing, which include Gareth and five others. They hunt them down and capture Bob, eating his leg and leaving him as bait. The other survivors go to confront Gareth before they return as he is lured and trapped inside the church to be slaughtered. After Bob's death, the survivors are forced to deal with a rescue mission in Atlanta for Beth, and now Carol, as Daryl returns to inform them of their whereabouts at Grady Memorial Hospital with escapee, Noah. A peaceful resolution is ultimately decided with a hostage exchange, as the group captures several police officers for the exchange. However, leading officer Dawn Lerner (Christine Woods) demands Noah (Tyler James Williams) to be brought back as her ward, as Beth took his place and she is losing her. Infuriated by her cycle of abuse, Beth unsuccessfully tries to kill Dawn, causing her reflexes to shoot Beth. Daryl immediately kills Dawn in retaliation as Rick and the others watch in horror, before a stand-off is defused by another officer. They leave as Maggie drops to the ground in tears over her sister's corpse. Rick's group travel to Virginia where Noah's community is and eventually strive for Washington despite the cure being outed as false, in hopes of finding a safe haven, but suffer one more loss with Tyreese. The mournful group are encountered by a stranger named Aaron (Ross Marquand), claiming to be a recruiter for a community named Alexandria. While distrustful, they follow him as well as his boyfriend, Eric and discover he is telling the truth. Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh), a former congressperson and leader of Alexandria interviews the group and assigns Rick as a constable in the community along with Michonne. While Rick remains wary of her, he settles in and befriends Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) but learns of her husband's physically abusive actions. After a confrontation, Deanna holds a meeting to potentially exile Rick, but Rick proves he is trying to ensure the community's protection from the living and the dead, before Jessie's husband, Pete, shows up and tries to assassinate Rick, killing Deanna's husband in the process. With Deanna's word, Rick shoots Pete in public as Morgan Jones arrives at the scene.

Development[edit]

Casting[edit]

Lincoln alluded to several television shows and cinematic works in portraying Rick Grimes, including Gary Cooper's character in the American western film High Noon (1952).

Rick Grimes is portrayed by Andrew Lincoln, who was cast as part of the series in April 2010.[73] Prior to attaining the role, Lincoln had no prior knowledge of the comic book series. "I didn't even get a script the first time —I got sides, because it was so top-secret," he stated. "I was really intrigued and put myself on tape. They got back very quickly from Hollywood and gave me the script." Lincoln approached a bookstore (Mega City Comics) in the London Borough of Camden, where the owner introduced him to the comics. "That's when I went to a comic-book store in Camden, and said 'Have you heard of this comic book?'. The owner showed me this shrine they had to the comic, and said 'This is our most popular and successful comic, and in my opinion, one of the greatest graphic novels of the last ten years'. That's when I got into it."[74]

In preparation for the role, Lincoln sought inspiration from the American drama series Breaking Bad, as well as western film High Noon (1952).[74] Since he felt that The Walking Dead emulated western cinematic works, Lincoln found High Noon to be very useful in projecting a country-like character for Rick Grimes. The performance of Gary Cooper and the moral structure of his character was also cited as an influence; "He's a divided man, between his responsibilities and his marriage. He's not like the Clint Eastwood figure, the loner. It's more complicated than that. He's got a softer heart, so that was definitely an inspiration for me as well."[74] Lincoln avouched that it was difficult to perfect a southern American accent. "I worked really hard on the accent," he stated. "I suppose if you're asked by one of the great channels in America to lead their show, you want to start off getting that right. I worked hard on not just the accent, but also on being American and getting into the feel of that."[74] He traveled to Atlanta three weeks before production of the first season began, and worked with a dialect coach while there.[75] Although weapon training was required, Lincoln had previous experience with weaponry training in the British sextuple-part television series Strike Back (2010).[74]

Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd initially didn't expect Lincoln to portray Grimes. Upon hearing the announcement, Writer Robert Kirkman felt that Lincoln was an "amazing find" and added that he accurately embodied the characteristics of Rick Grimes. "Writing Rick Grimes month after month in the comic series, I had no idea he was an actual living, breathing human being, and yet, here he is. I couldn't be more thrilled with how this show is coming together."[76] Although he was initially shocked upon hearing of the concept of The Walking Dead,[77] Lincoln thought that the script for "Days Gone Bye" was well-written. He stated: "I read it and thought it was well written, and I put myself on tape just for one scene. I didn't know who was involved at this point."[78] The following day, Lincoln's agent called him about the development of the pilot, to which Lincoln called it "kind of like a dream list".[78]

Characterization[edit]

Rick is a much more realistic police officer. I always kind of pictured that Rick Grimes was not a police officer that had used his gun very often. He was just one of those guys that basically just walks by the local malt shop and made sure the kids were getting home on time.

—Robert Kirkman[79]

Rick Grimes has been described as a man that emphasizes moral standards. Lincoln summated: "His intentions are good, though his decisions may be bad many times. He's complicated and flawed, which I find fascinating because it makes him human. He sort of erodes over time because of the world he lives in, and there's nothing more satisfying than playing a character that changes irrevocably, so I embrace all of that."[74] Lincoln added that Grimes was a somewhat inflexible leader, which he opined could potentially put Grimes' group in danger. Despite these assertions, he affirmed that the complexities have molded him into a decisive and peculiar character.[80] "I also think Rick's inflexibility is both a part of his character and a reaction to what's happening around him. This situation [...] has brought qualities out in people that are both good and horrible. And certainly, as I was playing him, I felt Rick [consistently] needed to have a mission, otherwise he was just stagnating. You see this in several characters. They have to keep moving. Without a horizon, they flounder. And it was a big call for Rick to go to the CDC [...] in the fifth episode, but he was looking long-term. I find that admirable, because he's looking to the future for his family, for a cure, and for sanctity."[80]

In both mediums, Grimes adopts a more dark and assertive nature as the story progresses. In the comic, he is faced with dealing against a murderous sociopath that claims the life of two group members, as well as an attempted suicide indirectly provoked by his close and trusted friend. Perhaps the most significant moment, he is eventually put under physical and mental torture by The Governor as a result of vulnerability and mistaken trust, ultimately causing him to become crippled and causing the death of many within the group, including his wife and newborn child. The first hand witnessing of the savageness around him leads him to gradually adapt a more primal mindset, becoming less affected by violence and death (at times brutally murdering/mutilating people). Similarly, his perspective becomes increasingly deluded, as his decreased trust in people and decreased tolerance level leads him to take no issue in risking the life of an innocent. This is specifically shown as Rick struggles when eventually being given the chance to return to normalcy. He is however shown to be very protective of those who have suffered alongside him and most protective of his son, Carl, which leads to him being caring and considerate to them one moment and cold and detached the next. Later in the series, after his wife's death and his son suffering from amnesia after being shot, his long friend Andrea helps him see a brighter future for the community they reside in called Alexandria and Rick begins to embrace his leadership position, as well as start a relationship with her. He then begins a trading network with other communities, which is threatened by the tyrannical Negan who is eventually subdued and imprisoned. He continues to grow and expand his community, and create safety perimeters around Washington, DC to travel to other communities.

In the second season of The Walking Dead progresses. Kirkman discerned that the second season revolved around Grimes' ability to emerge as a credible leader, proving to the group that he can adequately protect everyone in the group.[81] He continued: "This is one more thing emerging where you see that this is a guy who can gun down people when they're a threat and can definitely handle himself when it comes to zombies but also cares about people. He's going to retain some of that humanity, and that's very important for these characters. It makes Rick stand head and shoulders above other people, like Shane, in this world."[81] The gradual change is largely attributed to the death of Sophia Peletier, whom he shot after she had turned into a walker in "Pretty Much Dead Already." These characteristics become more prominent in "Nebraska", and again in "18 Miles Out". Robert Kirkman felt that "Nebraska" demonstrated that Rick Grimes was not delirious, as Shane accused him of being.

The end of this episode proves to Rick that that's not the case. This entire season has been leading up to the moment where he shot those two men. Shane has been beating it into his head that he isn't fit for this world and needs to be a harder man and be able to make the hard decisions. Over the last two episodes, we've seen Rick be the one that has to step up and shoot Sophia when no one else can. We've seen him in the blink of an eye take out two guys who are a clear threat to him and everyone else that's with him. This is really the beginning of Rick emerging as a clear leader and answering that thing that Shane's been saying all this time.[82]

After the death of his wife in the television series, Rick faces a downward spiral to the point of relinquishing his leadership position in the prison community by the end of the third season. At the beginning of the fourth season, Lincoln described Rick as a man "repressing his brutality for the sake of his son". However, at the end of the fourth season after losing the prison and suffering more losses, he described Rick as "a man accepting brutality for the sake of his son", following closely to the comic in which he bites the throat of a marauder who threatens to kill him and assault his son. He further assessed that "Rick is a man who has made peace with the brutality within him that's inherent in him along with the moral sense that is just as valid a part of him. Rick is psychologically the strongest he's ever been. Because he's realized that the only way to stay alive -- to keep his son alive in this new world -- is by actively embracing all sides of his personality including darkness, fury and rage."[83]

In the fifth season, Andrew Lincoln asserted that "Rick is [...] at the most complete place he’s been ever since the apocalypse started. He’s a man who doesn’t doubt himself anymore, and he’s accepted his brutality as much as his humanity. So I think he’s in an incredibly powerful and dangerous place." He also described him as being a leader once again, who is much more uncompromising as he "[drags] a lot of [the group] into a place that is darker, more brutal." Entertainment Weekly assessed that "This is the Rick viewers most assuredly need after watching him mope around on-and-off for two seasons after having very bad thing in the world happen to him. And it’s the Rick that the rest of the survivors need as well if they are going to continue to keep on keeping on."[84]

Reception[edit]

Rick Grimes was named the 26th Top Comic Book Hero by IGN,[85] and Lincoln's portrayal of Rick Grimes has been generally well received by television commentators and audiences. He was nominated for a Saturn Award in the category for Best Actor in Television.[86] IGN's Eric Goldman stated that Lincoln fit into character very well; "For much of the pilot, he's on his own and exudes a lot of believable, shocked emotion, as Rick tries to process what he is seeing."[87] Although he cited that his accent was "dodgy" in the pilot installment, Leonard Pierce of The A.V. Club observed that Lincoln became more relaxed as the series progressed. "His body language and expression here is totally different now than when we saw him before. He's a fast learner."[88]

As the second season commenced, critics became keen to the character development of Grimes in several episodes, particularly in "Nebraska". Reviewing the episode, Los Angeles Times‍ '​ Gina McIntyre felt that Rick emulated Justified character Raylan Givens,[89] while Zach Handlen of The A.V. Club observed that Rick was morphing into "something of a badass".[90] Handlen added that it marked a turning point for Grimes, which established his position "as a guy who can do what needs to be done."[90] Scott Meslow of The Atlantic commented that "there's the surprisingly swift, violent dénouement, when Rick guns down Dave and Tony before they can do the same to him. It's a necessary action, given the circumstances, but it also rings in an honest-to-god character change for our hero, who, having dispatched zombie Sophia, seems to have developed a new recognition of the ruthlessness and self-centeredness it may take to survive in this new world order."[91]

The growing tensions between Rick Grimes and Shane Walsh have been well received by television critics. In a review for "Bloodletting", Joe Oesterle of Mania.com commended the performances of Lincoln and Bernthal. Oesterle wrote, "Andrew Lincoln and Jon Bernthal [...] gave a fine bit of acting, and I found it interesting how the character Rick started looking and walking a little bit zombish after giving blood. The scenes between the two men were moving, and if you listened close you could decipher the main differences between these two cowboy cops. Rick is bound and determined to get back to his wife and let her know their son is in mortal danger, without ever doubting his own ability to successfully complete the mission, while Shane on the other hand is not quite as automatically selfless and heroic."[92]

Several critics lauded Grimes' interactions with Walsh in "18 Miles Out". Writing for CNN, Henry Hanks said that "Rick made it clear to Shane that he had to respect his rules from now on."[93] Alex Crumb of The Faster Times evaluated their physical confrontation as "wholly satisfying",[94] while Entertainment Weekly writer Darren Franich appreciated the fight scene involving Grimes and Walsh; "The Shane/Rick fight was great, a brilliantly extended scuffle that started out with an air of boys-will-be-boys pettiness but quickly escalated into something genuinely homicidal."[95] Berriman of SFX summated: "It's shocking when Shane hurls a wrench at Rick’s head, but even more shocking that Rick is prepared to cut and run and leave him for dead. Rick's change of heart when he looks down at the two dead walkers on the floor and is reminded of the friendship between himself and his former partner is a beautifully played moment, which speaks volumes without a single line of dialogue being uttered. The fact that, come the end, he's willing to trust Shane again after all that has gone on between them is genuinely touching."[96]

By the start of season three, Rick's character arc developed him into a more world-weary, cynical, ruthless, and hardened person. Erik Kain of Forbes said that Rick started out as "the voice of reason, a calm presence, and an earnest leader" in the first two seasons, but had developed into an "anti-hero" by season three.[97] Tom Ward of Esquire noted that Rick was almost a completely different man by the end of the fifth season: "He may resemble the clean-cut law enforcer from the first season, but inside, 'stuff' and 'things' have changed the man with the highest zombie kill count in history...Has Rick become the show's villain?[98] After Rick and his group slaughtered the members of Terminus, Andrew Lincoln voiced that "[i]n Seasons 1, 2, and 3, and half of 4, Rick was a man either restraining or denying a brutal part of his personality, in order that his children grow up and, hopefully, have a father that was morally sound. A father who could give a good value system to his children. The difference in [Season five] is that there is no safe haven."[99]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards
Wins
Nominations

Merchandising[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "The Walking Dead Cast: Rick Grimes". AMCtv.com. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
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External links[edit]