You know that Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) is an important piece of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Family is the main driving force behind every decision Rick (Andrew Lincoln) makes. But according to showrunner Glen Mazzara the upcoming third season of the hit zombie drama is about to get even more Carl-centric.
In a recent interview Mazzara said:
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.
If Carl does in fact continue down this road, as Mazzara says, that will be very much in line with his character arc in Robert Kirkman’s comics. In the books Carl eventually goes to some very dark places, and is responsible for some shocking acts of violence. The post-apocalyptic world definitely scars the young boy, and he gets grim.
Going this direction with Carl should benefit the show. Thus far he’s mostly just been annoying as crap. Watching him toughen up would be great for audiences. Was I the only one hoping he was going to shoot Shane?
Speaking of Shane, Mazzara also addressed Carl’s tendency to sneak out into the zombie-infested wilderness alone, and the consequences those actions have.
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.
That part of Carl’s character is believable. Little kids ignore their parents and do dumb stuff all the time. He’s just being a kid. Later on in the comics Carl becomes, not necessarily calculating, but definitely harder, more measured, and less childish. He develops and edge, and if that edge translates to the screen, it will serve The Walking Dead well. Now if they can only do something about Lori.