‘The Walking Dead’ Season 3: Carl Grows Up

Published 3 years ago by

Chandler Riggs The Walking Dead The Walking Dead Season 3: Carl Grows Up

Along with the enormous fan base enjoyed by The Walking Dead – in both television and comic book formats – comes a vocal group of detractors looking to air their displeasure at aspects of the show they may find annoying or incomprehensible. One facet that constantly earned the derision of zombie fans everywhere was the characterization of Carl (Chandler Riggs), and his increased irresponsibility – even while facing mortal danger.

Carl’s inability to remain in one place (like the house) or under the less-than-watchful eye of his mother, Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), became such a constant in the show that it – along with many other facets – led to the creation of a number of Internet memes. While most fans were laughing, many called for the removal of Carl and Lori from the show based on the characters’ flagrant ineptitude at surviving in a fictional zombie apocalypse.

Well, fans, executive producer Glen Mazzarra has heard the complaints, and in a recent interview with TV Guide, says the days of Carl wandering in and out of dangerous situations, or inadvertently contributing to the deaths of righteously indignant characters, are at an end. What exactly brings about this change in character is unknown; perhaps Carl has learned from his blunders on Hershel’s farm, or perhaps he comes to realize that in a world where the dead roam the streets and people like The Governor (David Morrissey) exist, it’s simply time to do away with childish behavior.

Mazzara stated:

“We’re interested in exploring Carl as a child soldier in this war against the walkers. He becomes a very, very effective, strong part of the group. He’s no longer the young child who needs to be cared for and who needs to be minded. That Carl is gone.”

While many might cringe at the term “child soldier,” the intent is clear: Carl’s season 3 story arc will revolve around him being a productive member of the group that his father Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is trying so hard to keep alive. Whether or not that will do anything to quiet critics of the character is another question entirely, but Mazzara would like to offer some explanation for Carl’s actions.

Carl Grimes in action The Walking Dead The Walking Dead Season 3: Carl Grows Up

That's some good work, Carl

In a separate interview with The Los Angeles Times, Mazzara pointed out that the writers took a risk portraying Carl the way that they did, and at the end of the day, the littlest Grimes is just a boy, prone to do foolish boy things. Mazzara said:

“Everyone wants to know why Carl’s not in the house. Well, it’s boring to sit in a house. And he’s a little boy and he wants to mix it up and stuff. And he’s walking through the woods and finds a zombie trapped in the mud and he starts doing what any Huck Finn would do and starts throwing rocks at the monster. And then later that is the same zombie that pulls itself free and kills Dale. And the writers were very nervous about that, you know? It feels earned, but it’s a risk. Because Dale is a beloved character and if this other character is involved and responsible for that death, is the audience going to now hate Carl? But I thought the story was worth the chance.”

Season 2 wasn’t without its faults, but it did noticeably pick up in later episodes – which should be credited to Mazzara’s steering of the ship. Also, the showrunner’s willingness to address the concerns/complaints of fans without simply kowtowing to the masses is a sign that season 3 of The Walking Dead is likely in the right hands.


The Walking Dead season 3 will premiere this fall on AMC.

Source: TV Guide, The Los Angeles Times

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  1. I hope Carl ends up more like Shane. Shane knew that he had to do what it takes to survive, which he proved when he shot Otis, which saved Carl’s life. He could make the hard choices better than Rick, and he isn’t stubbornly devoted to his “moral code” like Rick. But I hope he doesn’t end up going insane like Shane though.

    • Seriously? Shane practically murdered Otis in cold blood. I’m not so sure I’d like to see Carl go in that direction.

      • he did not murder him, i mean honestly loo kat the situation.. if he didnt neither of them would of made it! and its either otis or carl.. hmm i think he is picking carl.. afterall he is the one who shot him.. Shane is tough and strong and had to make a super hard life changing decision, of sacrificing otis, and i think he made the right decision!! in the little time that was giving..

        • I think if Shane was such a hero, he should have sacrificed himself. He was nothing but trouble and a sorry excuse for a man. How could he take advantage of a newly widow? Yes he really thought Rick was dead but still….that’s your best friend’s wife! Now Rick is back so move on! He needed to leave the group like he threatened to do in the first place. So Here he is….running with Otis. Why not just let Otis get away to save Carl? No one wanted him in the camp. Well…except dirty Andrea. His death was inevitable. Ugh and Carl needs to get a good butt whooping! That kid is not a baby and not yet a man but should know better in half of the stupid actions he did. I really hope a zombie gets a big chunk of him.

        • If Otis shot Shane and took the supplies then it would have been a better situation and a terrible person would be dead. Your argument is invalid

      • Hey Shane was a bastard but I think Carl will be like his daddy

    • WHOA!! Shane was stupid and only cared for HIS OWN survival. THAT WAS THE FREAKING POINT OF HIM SHOOTING OTIS!! DUH!! That is also why he tried to kill Rick. He wanted a lot of things to himself. I’m glad he is dead and will never be seen agin!

      • no way, Shane believes “you got to do what you gotta do” shoot than ask question later.. Rick is not as strong as Shane..

        • dude you are deeply in love with Shane…

        • Id hate that. I think it would be a horrible thing. So you want carl to feel almost no emotions? Be able to kill no matter what. I really hope he doesnt end up like shane. Cuz if you havent noticed yet, shane is kind of dead.

    • i do to want carl to end up like shane.. itll be the best!

  2. Wish y’all would put season 1 & 2 on every week- End untill season 3 comes on Love this show could never get tried of this show

  3. Bring back shane he is just like me.He to me help make the show.Alot of us don’t like lori so you can kill her off. Thanks

    • Fred I.M. , You say bring Shane back? Rick killed Shane. Shane turned into a Walker….how the heck do you suppose they could write that into the script? Bringing him back that is, just doesn’t seem possible to me…

    • lol ikr kill lori and magically bring back shane lol!!!

    • I was so glad when Shane died he was a two-face scum bag who only cared about himself

    • shanes only views are ends justify the means and save lori/carl

  4. Very seriously? Shane almost killed Otis throughout frosty body. I will less confident I’d want to view Carl get in in which route.

  5. Aren’t there going to be journalists at the prison though how are they going to survive In that thing

  6. Aren’t there going to be more walkers at the prison though how are they going to survive In that thing

  7. Is that the best they can do for the opening of the new season? I was bored stiff, thank goodness for sports.

    Last season we had to endure the slow movement on the farm, now instead of the farm its the prison. & it took them a whole year to find the prison too????

    & why is Andrea sick? She looked fine when she was rescued by Michonne.

    & how old is Herschel’s daughter? Carl making moves on her?

    Ridiculous writing & ridiculous filming.

    Way overhyped show.

  8. SOo over Little Carl and Whorey Lori…. Shane u was the man….

    • Yes shane was the man.I would like to see lori get killed because she thinks she is the Queen B….
      That B.

      • Well she was pregnant what do you think. Carl did what he did man by shooting her in the head so she won’t change like Amy did but the baby is healthy

    • Dude what are you talking about Shane was a duchhbag to Rick lorie and the whole group I’m glad that Carl shoot him in the head he diissseve it

  9. Why this series is not inPuerto Rico television?

  10. Is it just me, or has the kid totally outgrown the hat? He has been annoying throughout season 2, and seeing him in that hat just makes me want to smack it off his head and either make him grow up or stay by his slutty mother’s side… I hope her baby is a walker..

  11. Carl is my farvet in anc’s the walking dead Carl if u see this u r the best person in the walking dead

  12. Carl is the best and my favret person in the walking dead Carl if u see this u r the best

  13. I love the walking dead! it really irritates me though. Dale never should have died it was all Carl’s fault!

    • Well you know yes that dale died but come on Carl is just a kid give him a break

  14. you guys nailed it…..im pulling for carl, and one day he delivers humanity??? like john conner in terminator? john seemed like he never wanted it, but carl will be ready, training is over

  15. is andrea try to have sex with every living guy, considering theres only a dozen, shes got a pretty good head start

  16. I am glad Shane is gone,but I don’t hope Carl dies because he’s just a kid and he could and has turned into an important person in the group. So for people who want him dead, just shut up in that world you should want all the humans to be alive ( as long as they are not a murder/phsyco like the govnor). He is the only one I want dead, and that is just because he is not right in the head. And so far I think Carl is the only sane one in the group sooo yea I want him alive. Also I think Chandler Riggs (Carl) is a little cutie so why kill him? I say kill the govnor, keep Carl!!!

    • He won’t die he’s tough shoot he already made to season 4 by the way it comes out in October

  17. I am kinda yong to watch the Walking Dead (I am like Chandler Riggs’ age) so here is a yong viewer’s point of view. I know everyone wants Carl dead, but I think they should keep him beccause he keeps viewers like me watching because he is cute (I have to say that cause it’s true) and he is becoming a b.a. zombie killer. So for people who want him dead, SHUT UP and just see what happens!!!

    • Uhm no. Yeah you definitely sound very young. Don’t comment on message boards like these until you are old enough to watch the show sunshine.

  18. I agree Carl [Chandler Riggs] did grow up. He has a new responsibility, now he has his little sister named Judith. I am only 9 and 1/2 but I under stand more things than people exspect me to, kind of like Carl. Carl is now not afraid or a kid any more. I would LOVE to act as Judith when she is older. I have always loved acting and I look up to being strong and confident like Carl is. I f you like what I have said and you would like to see how I act I live in grover north carolina. I hope you give me a chance.

  19. I think Rick needed to take his belt off and whip little Carl’s butt. I don’t care how few people are left on earth. He doesn’t need to talk to his own father the way he did. He needs to be grounded in one of the prison cells for a bit. Be sure to take his gun first!

  20. Carl is making some serious yet fundamental decisions – and I applaud them.
    This child is growing up, and learning how to survive in a apocalyptic world and with this world comes a set of rules appropriately so. He is learning along the way and so far so good.
    Andrea needed to go, she was becoming more and more like Dale whom I couldn’t stomach with his old world sensibilities that were dismissing the shear fact of life they are now living. – Andrea failed to remember this and paid with her bad decisions with her life. Good riddance.
    I will miss Merle, though he redeemed himself in the last moments – it would have been good to see him become a contributor to the prison group. Edgy, wild hair and loose cannons can be good to have around. Merle and his relationship with Daryl was interesting. I think Daryl has lost a great deal more than he knows with his brother passing. Hope it all pans out for the good.

  21. I’ve only seen season 1 and 2. My biggest question is why in the world were all these folks living on a farm in tents outside when there was a cathead farm house that only 4 ??? people lived. I’m hoping season three is going to shed some light into how Sophia got in the barn. I think Shane took many more risks than Rick. Since Shane is gone, I find myself hoping for a cure beyond a bullet in the brain. I think Shane’s last scene was shameful for the writers. I don’t think the show will be as good now.

  22. For all of u that say that the Carl should die then u are wrong because Carl has been there since the beginning no one took care of him expect for his mom and once she died he pretty much took care of himself he was his own person so it’s not like he had to be babysited or something an now he’s older waaayyy more mature and he knows how to use a gun incase of an emergency he might no be ready to go out on missions (I can’t find another name for missions) but he can still stay back and protect the jail and that helps alot

    • Agreed
      I mean y would u want Carl dead and become a walker I mean common Carl is so much more mature than the others I personally think.
      He had grown ALOT and yes it was sad when he had to kill his mom,they Carl and his mom were my fav now Judith and Carl are my fav