The Walking Dead is back and to make sure everyone is prepared, we are delving into some of the characters who make the show great. For many fans of the television show, the goings on in the comics remain an unknown, so we decided to dig up the details on the show’s protagonist, Rick Grimes, in an effort to uncover anything and everything folks might not know about the man who is preparing to lead the Alexandria survivors against Negan’s Saviors in what promises to be an amazing season.
Be warned of SPOILERS as the television series has remained (mostly) faithful to the comics! If this trend continues and you either haven’t caught up on the books or are expecting a Spoiler-free segue into season eight, consider yourself warned! We will be discussing details from the comics right up to The Walking Dead #172, the most recent issue published prior to the Season Eight premiere. You have been warned so if you don’t fear the spoilers and want to know all there is to know about the hero of The Walking Dead, continue reading 15 Things You Never Knew about Rick Grimes! (The Walking Dead is written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard and Tony Moore.)
15. RIGHT-HAND MAN
Let’s get the most obvious choice out of the way first: Rick Grimes had his hand chopped off by the Governor all the way back in issue #28. Fans of the show may be scratching their heads when they read this because, as we all know, Andrew Lincoln isn’t wearing a green glove to work whenever he shoots scenes for the show.
There is a very good reason why the show decided not to lop off Rick’s hand. It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about what goes into a show that clearly has a big budget for practical effects, but an obviously low budget when it comes to CGI. Editing out his hand in every shot would be cost-prohibitive. That’s it. That’s the main reason they didn’t go that way with the series. Lincoln even requested it, but the cost was just too high.
14. HE’S AMBIDEXTROUS
This trait certainly comes in (ahem) handy for Rick after the Governor decides he no longer requires his “shootin’ hand.” You might think that a police officer like Grimes would be in trouble without his dominant hand, but unbeknownst to the Governor, Rick doesn’t have a dominant hand: he uses both equally well, which makes him just as deadly a quick-draw with his left hand as he was with his right.
In the series, he has mentioned that he is right-handed, but this isn’t accurate as you can see him effectively shooting with his left and right, stabbing with both, swinging a hatchet through a forehead and grabbing things with either hand as well. While it may not be his biggest ability, he certainly can handle himself with either appendage, regardless of what he may tell people in the books and the series.
13. HE MAY BE SCHIZOPHRENIC
When some people experience great feelings of stress and grief, they can begin to see things that aren’t there. In some cases, this can be the result of schizophrenia, which Rick may suffer from to some degree. After Lori died, he kept speaking with her on the phone, thinking she was calling him. Of course, there is more to it than just that…
Scientists have found that the gene they believe is connected to ambidexterity may also be linked to schizophrenia. We know that Rick is ambidextrous and we know that he has had conversations with people and things that weren’t actually present. We may not be doctors, but that sounds like it’s at least a Google search-style explanation that the man has some serious issues going on inside his head.
12. HE SEES HIMSELF IN CARL
It’s no secret that Rick has a special relationship with his son, Carl. When we first find Carl outside of Atlanta, he is very young and impressionable, but he eventually breaks through the barrier between childhood and adulthood when he kills Shane to protect his father. Rick bestows upon his son his hat, which Carl wears pretty much everywhere he goes and it’s clear that Rick sees himself in his son.
Despite facing the perilous nature of fatherhood in an abnormal situation like the end of the world, Rick continues to maintain a strong father-son relationship with Carl, who he trains to hunt, fish, fight and even lead when he cuts him loose to go live with Maggie at the Hilltop. Rick sees Carl as his successor and it’s clear that he is grooming him to that end, which is clearer in the comics than it is on the show.
11. HE HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH ANDREA
If you’ve been watching the show, you know that Rick and Michonne are, like, totally a thing these days, and Andrea is long since dead and buried. In the books, that’s not what’s been going down. Until very recently, Andrea has been alive and well living with Rick as his wife and mother to Carl. There are no step-moms in the apocalypse, and Carl considered her to be his mother and the family was very close.
Sadly, as is often the case in the series, Andrea was killed in issue #167 thanks to taking a bite by a walker while protecting Eugene. Rick begrudgingly stabbed her in the head so she wouldn’t turn into one of the monsters that bit her and he has been in mourning pretty heavily ever since. He even falls asleep on her grave, which is where people tend to find him in the morning.
10. HE (PROBABLY) KNOWS JUDITH ISN’T HIS
This one might be more of a near-certainty than a 100% fact, but pretty much everyone who has read the books seems to believe that Rick knew Judith wasn’t his biological daughter. This was never outright confirmed one way or the other. Was she Shane’s daughter or was she his and did he know the answer to that question? Most people agree that not only did he know Judith wasn’t his daughter, he didn’t care.
In the comics, Judith was killed at the fight outside the prison when Lori takes a round to the chest and kills Judith when her body falls on top of her. Rick was devastated and still shows how much he cared about her, even years after the event. Was he certain she wasn’t his? We like to think so, but it speaks to his character how little that fact seems to have bothered him.
9. ONCE A COP, ALWAYS A COP
We all know Rick Grimes was a King County Sheriff’s Deputy before the world came crashing down, but he never left the law behind. Initially, he still identified as a policeman for a number of issues before abandoning the job title and accepting that he used to be a cop, but his actions clearly show that he values the law and a just society.
When it comes time to name someone as the Constable of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, Douglas Monroe doesn’t hesitate to name Rick, even though he was a newcomer at that time. It can be tough to escape your past, but when Monroe learned of Rick’s previous occupation, he named him constable and Rick accepted. In some ways, he acts like a benevolent dictator, but his respect for law and order has never left him, which is evident in how he conducts himself throughout the series.
8. HIS WEAPON OF CHOICE
Rick is a practical kind of guy and anyone who knows anything about firearms would be in better shape during the apocalypse than your average citizen. Rick’s weapon of choice when it comes to handguns is the Colt Python .357 Magnum, which is a good choice for a few reasons relevant especially to him; though he does hold it in a very odd way in the series, that doesn’t make him any less deadly.
As a revolver, it doesn’t require him to use his (missing) hand to operate the slide, since revolvers don’t jam like automatics and this model can fire .357 rounds or .38 special ammunition. While Rick prefers to thwack a walker in the head with his hatchet so that he doesn’t attract the attention of others with the sound of a gunshot; when it comes time to draw his weapon, he has the right tool for the job.
7. HE IS VERY DANGEROUS
If there’s one character trait everyone can agree Rick has, it’s that he doesn’t back down from a fight. When he is backed into a corner, he becomes even more dangerous than ever before. In the television series moving into Season Eight, that’s exactly what Negan is finding out. He backed Rick into a corner and all hell is about to break loose.
Even when it appeared that Rick was towing the line and doing whatever was necessary to keep Negan and the Saviors at bay, he was planning, organizing with outsiders and obtaining an arsenal of weaponry, just so he could confront Negan and get out of the corner he was shoved into. Granted, a lot of people are going to die, but that’s what happens when you put Rick into a no-win situation: he finds a way out.
6. HAS THE SECOND HIGHEST KILL -COUNT
This might surprise many people, but when it comes to the highest kill-count in the series, Rick is only shadowed by the Governor. As of the writing of this article, Rick has killed 52 living people — we aren’t talking about the number of walkers he put down, but actual, living people. That makes him one of the biggest mass-murderers in history, but we won’t judge him for it since he often has a good reason to kill someone.
Here’s the breakdown on the top five killers in The Walking Dead: Negan has killed 27 people, Daryl, who isn’t in the comics has killed 35 folks, Carol sits at 38, Rick has 52, placing him at #2 behind the Governor’s whopping 139 kills! We all think of Rick as a good guy, but when you consider how many people he has killed, it makes you think…
5. HE ALWAYS ASKS THREE QUESTIONS
Rick is a cautious guy so when he meets someone new, he has a few questions he likes to ask them, as exemplified in the above image. There is a reason he asks these questions and it has everything to do with what he, himself has had to do to survive. Rick wants to know about walkers because he needs to know if you are the sort of survivor who can take out a threat or are you someone like Gabriel who survives because others do so.
He wants to know how many people a person killed because he knows killing people has become a necessity in this world and he asks why so he can understand where the person is coming from and if they are being honest. The questions originated in the show, but are relevant to the books as well.
4. HE EXPANDED THE ALEXANDRIA-SAFE ZONE
When the dust began to settle after the conflict between the Saviors and the Alexandria Safe-Zone came to an end, Rick and the gang got together and expanded their territory. Rick essentially created a sort of “New Deal” for the survivors and everyone banded together from the Hilltop to the Kingdom down to Alexandria to create a safe place to live, work and play.
This entailed creating safe travel routes by clearing the walkers out to a specific perimeter, establishing regular patrols all the way out to their territorial limits and even creating a sort of militia to keep everything working just right. Their expanded borders eventually make them run into the next big threat, but life is good for quite a while under Rick’s leadership. We won’t be going into detail on the threat to come since that’s likely at least one more season away; but for now, just know that Rick’s expansion kept a lot of people safe.
3. HE HAS A GOOD REASON TO LET NEGAN LIVE
We already told you about the Spoilers, so don’t be too angry when you read the next sentence. Negan survives the war between the Saviors and the Alexandria Safe-Zone and Rick lets him live. You might be wondering why this man, who has killed more than 50 people to protect the ones he loves would let a man like Negan live after everything he has done, but he has a good reason.
When it’s all said and done, Rick decides the killing needs to end. He sees so many similarities between what he was becoming and what Negan was that he decides to put a stop to it. It’s as much about personal growth as it is about doing the one thing Negan didn’t expect, but he ends up respecting Rick for his choice. Eventually, Rick allows Negan to leave on his own, which may have implications in the future.
2. HE IS (SOMEHOW) STILL ALIVE
In both the first issue of The Walking Dead and the pilot episode of the series, Rick Grimes stands alone… well, almost. In the television show, Morgan is still alive while he died in issue #82 in the comics. Given that Rick, Shane, Duane and Morgan were the only other people in that issue and all are dead, Rick stands as the only survivor of that first book until the present issue of #172 suggesting he is unkillable.
In the television show, Morgan is still alive and well, so he is the only other one who stands beside Rick as a living member of that first episode, which is saying something because the first episode of Season Eight marked the series’ 100th episode. This should lead us all to think that Rick is safe from death, but then there’s our last entry…
1. HE ISN’T AS PROTECTED AS YOU MIGHT THINK
As we said, Rick stands alone in the comics and only beside Morgan on the television series as the character who can’t die, but that may not be the case. Kirkman has gone on record saying that Rick will die “eventually” and that there is life for the series after Rick Grimes.
When asked about Rick’s eventual fate and whether or not the series would continue by a fan at San Diego Comic-Con, Kirkman replied “Yeah, I think so. I’ve said before, Rick does not survive to the end. It was years ago so you guys probably forgot but I foresee there being more story after his eventual demise… Next issue.” Granted the “Next issue” remark was meant for laughs, but recent events like Andrea dying point to the mantra that no one is safe… not even Rick.
Did we miss any of your favorite facts about Rick? Let us know in the comments
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