Kill Zombies, Not Kids

The Trolling Carl

(Warning: If you haven’t finished Season 2 of The Walking Dead, stop reading. There are spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned. Now catch up already.)

I’m just going to be dealing with the TV series here, not the comic. For most people, you probably had no idea comics still exist. Anyways, some fans of the show want Carl Grimes dead. Carl Grimes is a 12-year-old, slightly innocent boy. Visit the official Walking Dead page on Facebook or the Kill Carl (of The Walking Dead) fan page, and look at some of the fan-uploaded photos. Lots of them will be about Carl never being in the house when someone has told him to be. It’s kind of a running joke. Like Lori’s parenting. But I’m not here to defend that, and don’t think I could. I’m here to defend Carl, who like Poochie could be bigger than curly fries if given the chance.

Most of the Carl hate comes from one episode in Season 2: “Judge, Jury, Executioner.” This is an episode where Carl’s actions (not staying in the house) actually affect the story. The only other episode he does that is when he gets shot. Other than that, he doesn’t do much. In “JJE,” after talking to Randall and belittling Carol’s beliefs, Carl steals Daryl’s gun and goes into the woods. Typical kid stuff. What kid doesn’t want to talk to the “bad kid” in class? Calling an adult’s views stupid is a rite of passage. And stealing? Everybody does it, and by everybody I mean the cool kids. That stuff might warrant a spanking, but since our culture is against spanking, Carl received a good talking-to. And like most kids who don’t get spanked, Carl escalates his actions.

He comes across a walker stuck in the mud, and like any typical American child finding an injured or trapped animal, begins to taunt it. You didn’t do that? Neither did I, but I know people that did, like a lot. They went to high school with me. Anyway, after having his fill of taunting, Carl decides to go for the kill noob style: point-blank range on a target that isn’t moving. He hesitates just long enough for the walker to break free of the mud and lunge at Carl. Carl nearly escapes. When he gets back to camp he tells no one, which makes sense; he doesn’t want to look like a loser. Failing to kill a walker point-blank makes you look weak. This new world is ruled by strong men, and Carl wants to be one of them. Just like his dad. That’s why he showed up at Randall’s execution: it’s a father/son moment. If Rick had shot Randall, then he and Carl could have high-fived and buried Randall together, which would have been one hell of a bonding experience. Instead, Rick tries to protect Carl’s innocence or what’s left of it. Later that night, however, Carl would see Dale put down after being attacked by the walker that Carl taunted and failed to kill.

This is where most of the Carl hatred comes from. He’s pretty much responsible for Dale’s death, to the point of second degree murder. But since I’m here to defend Carl like a lawyer, I’m going to say he’s not responsible for Dale’s death. Sure, he didn’t kill the walker, and probably brought it back to camp, but who’s to say the walker wouldn’t have gotten there anyway? Zombies are like wild animals; if you were to pass a bear while walking one day, and failed to kill it, then should you be held responsible when that bear kills someone? I don’t think so. He just didn’t report it, so that’s like a slap on the wrist, or by today’s standards a good talking-to. And what was Dale doing out there anyway? Still fuming over the death of a scumbag who wasn’t even killed yet? People complain about Carl never being in the house, but he never got hurt after leaving the house. Dale leaves his RV one night and gets killed. He really should have stayed in his RV. And Dale really proved he wasn’t cut out for this new world by showing poor instincts. You see a dead cow, you run away from it. He was also killed by a zombie ninja, or ninja zombie if you prefer. Either that zombie was surprisingly fast, or Dale has a very slow reaction time. I’ll go with the latter. The defense of Carl Grimes rests.

Now, I made mention earlier of Carl being bigger than curly fries if given the chance. Let me explain. Carl is growing up in a zombie apocalypse. He’s going to spend his teenage years fighting for survival. This is a world where the only laws are the ones you make for yourself, if you have any. Violence is just an everyday occurrence, like the sun rising. Can you imagine having to deal with puberty and fighting zombies? That would mess a kid up. Carl has at least shown he wants to be part of the group and help protect it. With the right training, he could end up a badass zombie killing machine, so that’s reason enough to not kill him. Lori, on the other hand…

  • solo64

    Wow I have to totally disagree with you. Carl is a little punk kid who does not listen to his parents. Now I see what your saying about if  the walker making his way to the farm. But for every action there is a reaction, Carl not killing the walker when he was not suppose to be out there in the first place, is what got Dale killed. Now not saying that Dale was fit for this new world, he did die because of Carl. Carl is going to get more people killed in the group, as I believe Rick will. Shane was the one keeping thing together and Rick brought confusion and doubt to the group. Now cause of Rick and Carl the group keeps getting smaller and smaller. 
    The caparisoned to the kids you knew growing up sounds like you have some things you need to get through from your childhood.

    • Yetanotherskywalker

      I disagree. Shane was an awful charecter, over hyped for this show with kill’s pre existing charecters from the comics. Shane in the Comic series lived only till Comic number 6. He didn’t do anything great. In the show they had Rick be attacked for getting guns for the group, him not being there got members of the group killed! Thats Bull! It was Shane descion to stay close to alanta, that got those group members killed. Carl in the comic series is awsome, He kill zombies, saved Rick’s life a few times, also saved Sophia and Lori. He killed Shane who was going to kill Rick cause Shane basically wasn’t happy that RICK made the right call to get away from the city. They make Andrea a sucidal punk, when in the Comics she is a strong charecter who tells people survival depends on them, giving up is an easy way out. They change all of these charecter to build up Shane. Shane didn’t have to kill Otis, he did it not to save Carl, but his own self. The only time SHANE was right in the show was probably with Randal, cause I read every Comic to date, its apparent he probably with the Governors people. Anyway that my point, if they made these charecters like they are in the Comics the show would be way better. Dales death in comics was caused by cannibals and injuries he got, sped up the infection turning him. The real reason AMC had Carl do this horrible event to kill Dale, was because they think it makes him a more real charecter. And I hope they start making these charecter right.

      • Psolis64

        well i will agree they need to keep it more to the comics. i have not read them all yet. i really hate when they don’t stay true to the original source.