Carl Grimes is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and the American television series of the same name. In the comic series, Carl begins as a normal and innocent child, only to gradually devolve into a murderer with a cold primal mentality. He is currently one of the longest living survivors, alongside Rick, Glenn, Andrea, and Sophia.
Carl is the son of Rick Grimes and Lori Grimes. His mother Lori had planned to evacuate him out of the city to be with her parents, with help from Rick's partner and friend of the family Shane Walsh. They soon formed a camp on the outskirts of Atlanta where they were ultimately reunited with Rick. There at the camp Carl was taught how to shoot even though he was only seven. When zombies invaded the camp, he saved his mother from a zombie. Days after the attack on the camp, he murdered Shane in defense of Rick when he saw the man attempt to murder him.
The group moved campsite shortly after Shane's burial and while wandering in the woods for supplies, Carl was shot by a ranch foreman named Otis and brought to the Greene farm, where the owner Hershel patched him up and healed the boy in a matter of hours. Carl and the rest remained at the farm for a few days until they were forced to leave by Hershel due to an altercation.
They had eventually found an abandoned prison. While there, he and the others enjoyed the luxuries it had to offer, such as hot showers and open space. He faced minor disturbances, such as hearing about and or witnessing numerous counts of violence/death. While Rick was away with other survivors, he frequently gave Lori re-assurance about his well-being. Throughout Lori's pregnancy, Carl was thrilled about the idea of a baby sister, and when Judith was ultimately born, he along with Lori, remained fiercely protective over her. When The Governor and his army attacked the prison, Carl managed to escape with Rick, while his mother and baby sister were shot to death. Once they had reached relative safety from the violence taking place at the prison, Carl and his father then began to mourn the death of Lori, Judith, and all those that had died in the battle.
Carl and Rick took refuge in an abandoned house, and after a brief encounter with another three zombies, Carl was led under the impression that he could defend himself from now on, and blamed his father for his mother and sister's deaths. However, his childlike instinct kicked in, realizing that he was scared still of the outside world and needed support. After reuniting with Maggie and Glenn, Carl is reunited with Sophia at Hershel's farm and the surviving members of the prison that had left prior to the Governor's assault. After new survivors stumble upon the farm, they move to Washington D.C.
Along the journey, while returning to Kentucky along with Rick and Abraham, he's nearly raped by a group of redneck men. In the aftermath of their murders, Carl openly confesses to killing Shane and being a different version of himself than he was before the apocalypse. Shortly after their return to the main group, Carl witnesses a fellow kid survivor has murdered his brother, and ultimately takes it upon himself to murder the kid when he sees that no one is willing to do it because of their preserved morals. He feels deep grief from here on out, however he does not regret his actions.
When they arrive at a gated community in D.C., Carl is unable to fit in amongst the other children due to realizing the true danger of the outside world and the falseness of their surroundings. After a zombie invasion, Carl ends up getting shot in the face and is left in a coma for weeks. When he returns to his senses and begins to be taken care of again by Rick, he develops a darker perspective toward his father and berates him for all of the horrible things that have happened because of him.
Carl was implied to have been in the middle of Rick and Lori's relationship issues. He was devastated upon learning of his father's shooting, and when the outbreak began, was evacuated by Shane and Lori out of King County and toward Atlanta. On the way there, he was told that his father was dead, and gradually began to accept it. After they settled camp with other survivors on the outskirts of Atlanta, Carl began to look at Shane as a father figure, from fishing with him to being given daily advice. He was shown to be oblivious to Shane and Lori's ongoing relationship. He was overjoyed when Rick miraculously returned and was restricted by Lori from being close to Shane. After the attack on the campsite which left many dead, he and the group traveled to the CDC, where they enjoyed all of what it had to offer (such as hot showers). Following its destruction, they were on the road again.
In Season 2, Carl is shown to be yearning to become more active within the group, helping to scavenge for supplies. While on the look for a missing Sophia, he's shot by a man named Otis, who leads them to a nearby farm. The owner Hershel attempts to save his life, and ultimately he manages to pull through (with Shane retrieving needed supplies from in town). He's devastated by the reveal of Sophia as a zombie, and from there, his mindset begins to alter. He yearns to have a gun and fight, while at the same time developing a darker perspective on life, as he refutes the idea of heaven and shows disrespect towards others. He also shot zombie Shane after drawing a Glock and aiming at his father.