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Gritty Facts About Rick Grimes, The Hero Of The Walking Dead

Cadeem Lalor

Thangs, Corl. We might make fun of the way he says certain words, but we can’t deny that Rick Grimes is someone you’d want on your side in the apocalypse. Fans might know him best from the TV show, but Grimes also has a richer history in The Walking Dead comic book. Here are 24 gun-slinging facts about Rick Grimes.

[WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD COMIC/TV SHOW AHEAD]


1. Premiere

Rick Grimes first came to be in 2003, when writer Robert Kirkman launched The Walking Dead comic book. The comic begins just like the show, with Grimes waking up in an abandoned hospital and eventually making his way to his old house.

2. Main Man

As the comic book series progressed, it introduced new characters and plotlines, shifting some focus from Rick. However, there was a five-year span from 2003-2008 where Rick Grimes appeared in every issue of the comics.

3. Meant To Be

Writer Robert Kirkman initially wanted Rick and his wife, Lori, to split up in issue 18 of the comics. Kirkman planned for the two of them to have a big argument and go their separate ways, but he found that he couldn’t steer the conversation to a breakup organically. As Kirkman wrote, he found that the two characters took on a life of their own and came together, “It was like I wanted two people to break up—and they started being rational and agreeable to each other right in front of my eyes…and the scene came to a close with them still together.

4. Milking The Cow

Chief content officer Scott Gimple has confirmed that Rick Grimes will star in a television movie trilogy, still played by Andrew Lincoln. Details are still sparse but Gimple has revealed the first film will focus on the “vast mythology” behind the people who picked Rick up in the helicopter.

5. Southpaw

Throughout most of the comic, Rick is missing a hand. The Governor cuts it off in issue #28, when the two first meet (bad first impression). Rick then learns to shoot with his left hand, remaining just as dangerous as ever. He eventually gets a metal hand thanks to The Hilltop’s blacksmith. There was a homage to the comics when Negan asks Rick to cut off Carl’s hand in the show.

Kirkman has admitted that having to write with the injury in mind was a hassle at times, but as of February 2018, he still wanted Rick to lose his hand in the show.

6. Forever Hold Your Peace

After Lori, Michonne became Rick’s main romantic squeeze in the show. In the comics, Rick and Andrea actually marry a while after Lori’s death. Carl even grows to view Andrea as his real mom. Their romantic relationship lasts from issue 90 to 167. Andrea ultimately succumbs to a walker bite, leaving Rick alone again.

7. The South

While Rick hails from Atlanta in the show, he and his family come from the town of Cynthiana, Kentucky in the comics. I guess the showrunners figured that name doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily.

8. Call Now

Rick might still have little Judith in the show, but she and Lori are both shot in issue 48 when The Governor invades the prison. This leads to Rick’s psychotic episodes, where he thinks he hears Lori’s voice on a phone that he carries with him until issue 121.

9. For Good Luck

Rick Grimes radiates hope and confidence in the show. Maybe that is why Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) asked to keep some of Andrew Lincoln’s beard clippings during season five filming. To this day, Lincoln is not sure of the purpose of keeping the clippings.

10. Commitment

Andrew Lincoln (born Andrew Clutterbuck) brings Rick Grimes to life on television. Though English in real life, Lincoln has revealed that he keeps his southern accent going whenever he is in America. Understandably, it throws his family off a little bit, since they live with him while he films in Georgia, “It’s unsettling for them because they don’t know who they’re talking to.”

11. Action!

103 episodes is a lot, and Lincoln eventually felt like it was time to throw in the towel. He left The Walking Dead in 2018, but it wasn’t the end. Not only is he still slated to appear in three Walking Dead films, he’s expressed interest in coming back to direct an episode of the show—though scheduling conflicts have gotten in the way thus far.

12. Family Man

Rick is still kicking in the comics and his departure from the show is mainly due to Lincoln’s desire to spend more time with his family. Traveling back and forth from England to the US was taking its toll on his time with family and Lincoln also stated his kids were becoming “less portable” as they got older.

13. Bon Appetit

One of Grimes’ most popular kills is the moment where he bites into an attacker’s neck in the last episode of season four, and issue 57 of the comics. In the series, a group of men ambushes Rick, Michonne, and Carl. When Rick gets trapped in a bear hug, he gets resourceful. Rick also kills someone the same way later in the comics—it’s kind of his thing.

14. Armchair Psychiatrists

There are some fan theories that Rick Grimes might suffer from schizophrenia. The comics show that Rick is ambidextrous prior to losing his hand, since he wields weapons (axes, knives etc.) with both hands. There is a slight link between ambidexterity and schizophrenia, and Rick shows some signs of schizophrenia when he goes through his period of talking to a deceased Lori on his phone.

Obviously, he might have just suffered a psychotic break due to grief, but that doesn’t stop fans from speculating.

15. Locked And Loaded

Rick’s main weapon in the comics and the show is a .357 Colt Python. The revolver comes in handy for the comic version of Rick since the gun doesn’t require using a second hand to operate the slide.

16. Runner-Up

As of October 2017, Rick Grimes had the second-highest body-count in the TV series. Only The Governor’s 139 tops his 52. This count only includes living people, as opposed to walkers.

17. Trio

Grimes always asks three questions when he is considering bringing a new member into his society. “How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why?” The questions originated in the show but serve a practical purpose: Weeding out the people who can defend themselves and those who can’t, and hopefully weeding out people like The Governor.

18. Final Destination

Although the show didn’t want Rick to die, Robert Kirkman has confirmed that Rick will die sometime before the comic ends. Like the show, the comic will go on after his “eventual demise.” Have fun speculating about how Rick meets his end.

19. Missed Opportunity

Frank Darabont served as showrunner for the show’s first two seasons, and he initially wanted Thomas Jane to play Rick Grimes. Jane famously had starring roles in The Punisher (2004) and The Mist (2007). Darabont was trying to sell The Walking Dead to HBO at the time but the network declined. When Jane was offered the lead role in Hung, he decided to pursue that role instead and admits he regrets missing out on the role of Rick Grimes.

20. Thanks Son

Rick has the dubious distinction of nearly being killed by kids three times in the series. The first instance happens when he’s fresh out of the hospital and returns to his old neighborhood, where Morgan’s son hits him with a shovel. The next comes when Carl mistakenly believes that he died and reanimated as a walker, due to Rick’s guttural moans. The third comes when Ron Anderson takes aim on Rick after walkers claim Ms. Anderson. Michonne saves Rick’s life but Carl catches a bullet in the eye that was meant for daddy.

21. Days Gone By

Rick and Morgan are currently the only characters from the pilot episode who are still alive in the series. All others, Glenn, Carl, Shane, Lori, and Dwayne (Morgan’s son), have bit the dust since.

22. Necessary Evil

Rick claims the life of a living person for the first time in season two’s “Nebraska.” He and Hershel come across two other men in a bar, who are eager to return to Hershel’s farm and make it clear they won’t take no for an answer. Rick’s trusty Colt comes in handy, and the scene marks the beginning of his shift to a more violent persona.

23. Thangs

Lincoln’s pronunciation of Carl as “Corl” led to many memes, which Lincoln was completely oblivious to. Lincoln rarely goes online and as of 2016, still had a flip phone. He also didn’t know what a meme was prior to hearing about the “Corl” ones.

24. Surprise

In the series, Rick has a son with Michonne. Rick Junior or RJ first appeared in the sixth episode of season nine. Fans initially thought RJ might be a figment of Michonne’s imagination since few other characters acknowledged the child as well. The Walking Dead’s official Twitter confirmed that RJ is real. The showrunners said they wanted to show that Rick and Michonne both have faith in their new world, and finally view it as a place where they can raise kids.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18


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