Art free essay: Rick Grimes
Rick Grimes is the protagonist and a survivor of the zombie outbreak in AMC‘s The Walking Dead. He is a former police officer with the King County Sheriff’s Department, who was shot in the line of duty and fell into a coma, only to wake up and find himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. He travels to Atlanta, Georgia, in search of his wife, Lori, and his son, Carl, who have traveled to Atlanta with his best friend, Shane Walsh, in search of a safe haven. After he finds his wife and son, along with a group of survivors, he gradually takes on the role of their leader in search of a safe haven. As the series progresses, Rick gradually becomes darker and more hardened, doing whatever it takes to keep his group safe from danger.
Rick is typically calm, smart, and a good friend and father, but he will often stubbornly cling to his strong personal moral code, which has resulted in numerous bad calls and extra stress within the group. Rick’s greatest fault, perhaps, is his uncanny ability to place responsibility on himself and set for himself goals that are impossible to reach. This has, on various occasions, put Rick at odds with both Lori and Shane, and often weighs heavily on his mind. Despite his faults, his combat skill and general care for all members of the group have led him to be looked up to, and allowed him to take the leadership role within the group. Rick is strongly non-religious, admitting to never have been much of a believer and instead puts his faith in his family and the group members around him. He also appears to view religion and belief in God as an interference and waste of time.
He is shown to be incredibly protective of his group and their well-being, having engaged numerous threats, even other living people, to keep them safe. His moral compass is challenged in many ways and he, in an attempt to prevent more death and loss, begins to shut everybody else out when he is forced to kill Shane. Despite this, Rick is able to use his leadership skills and combat abilities to keep the group alive for many months following the destruction of Hershel Greene’s farm, where they were taking refuge, and lead the group in taking the abandoned and overrun West Georgia Correctional Facility, using desperate survival tactics they had come to learn on the road all winter.
After Lori’s death, Rick becomes very emotionally unstable, and it is not until just before the group learns of the Woodbury threat that Rick comes back to his senses. By this point, Rick has become a ruthless, uncompromising leader of survivors, in contrast to his high moral code and values in previous seasons. After The Governor causes Andrea‘s death, Rick seems to regain much of his old self and finally begins to trust other survivors and accept them into the prison. In the six-month jump between the third and fourth seasons, Rick relinquishes his leadership position in order to focus more on raising Carl and making the prison self-sustaining. During the fourth season, many of the other group members ask Rick to step back into a leadership role, most notably Daryl Dixon. After the Governor returns and attacks the prison, Rick becomes distraught and remorseful over the loss of the prison, the death of Hershel, and the assumed death of his daughter Judith. He becomes more protective of Carl and gets into a few arguments with him. After Rick reunites with Michonne, he loosens his grip on Carl a bit and allows himself some time to rest, albeit only temporarily.
After he, Carl, and Michonne are forced to evacuate a house they were residing in to evade the Claimers, he comes across a poster pointing to Terminus. He decides to take a chance and see the supposed sanctuary. On the way, they encounter the Claimers, who tracked them down in order to exact revenge on Rick for killing one of their group members, Lou. Rick comes to terms with his brutality, which he thought he had put away for good, after he rips out Joe‘s jugular with his teeth and stabs Dan, who attempted to rape Carl, to death. The next morning, he tells Daryl he knows of his two different personality traits and how he has settled his mind knowing that his brutality has kept his son and the rest of the group alive.
After arriving at Terminus, Rick accepts his leadership position, for which the group respects him. He holds no conflict in his mind anymore and does not doubt his decisions. The wisdom he took from Hershel, who he came to view as a mentor (as well a father figure towards him), Rick now understands that he can retain his humanity by protecting his friends and has stated that he views his group as his family. His darker side is shown through his brutality and he does not hesitate to kill someone who he views as a threat, fearing he or she will come back and harm his family (based on what happened to Lori when Rick failed to kill Andrew, a prisoner who Rick locked in a courtyard of walkers and presumed was killed). During Season 5, Rick develops massive trust issues towards any strangers that he and his group come across, even if they seem timid and harmless. He has a hard time trusting Gabriel Stokes and Aaron, even threatening to kill them once or twice if they did anything that would harm his family and friends. His trust issues are so strong that he even suspects the applesauce Aaron offers to Judith to be poisoned. Aaron points out that he is tied up and that killing Rick’s daughter in front of him would only lead to Aaron getting killed by Rick. Aaron tries telling Rick that his trust issues are exaggerated, but Rick remains stubborn and makes it clear that he is a man who doesn’t take chances anymore, and forces Aaron to eat the applesauce to prove that it’s safe. In the end, Aaron and Gabriel (for the most part) prove that they are not threats.
After arriving in the Alexandria Safe-Zone, Rick allows himself to relax in the comfort of the community, although it is evident that he still does not trust the inhabitants. He becomes actively involved in the community after Deanna Monroe, the safe-zone’s leader appoints him and Michonne as constables. While he appreciates the job, Rick and his group view the Alexandrians as being weak and unfit to survive and he declares that they will take the community for themselves, showing how his mentality has become one of survival for himself and his group. Despite this, he develops feelings for Jessie Anderson and is shown to be very concerned for her well-being (as she is being abused by her husband Pete) and is determined to protect her. After a physical confrontation with Pete, Rick comes close to being exiled by Deanna, but after her husband, Reg is accidentally killed by Pete, he regains the trust of Deanna and executes Pete on her orders, firmly establishing a place in the community. Following this incident, Rick become the second in command of the safe-zone and is shown wanting to train its inhabitants to survive against the walkers and human threats, although initially the Alexandrians do not trust him and secretly fear him, with one resident even planning to assassinate him. Using his tactics and leadership abilities, Rick leads the Alexandrians on a mission to lead a massive horde of walkers out of a quarry and away from Alexandria, which almost succeeds before an interruption by an attack on the safe-zone by a violent group known as the Wolves. Once the Wolves are neutralized by the community’s able defenders, Rick regains the trust of Jessie, with whom he becomes romantically involved, and Deanna asks him for his leadership in the community. Despite this, Rick still does not trust the abilities of the safe-zone and is cold and hostile to others (most notably Gabriel) and is willing to do anything to keep the community safe from anything he views as a threat.
Following a massive invasion of Walkers into the safe-zone, which leads to the death of Deanna, Rick becomes the leader of the safe-zone, and his faith in the abilities of the safe-zone’s residents improves dramatically as together they all boldly face the herd and kill every walker, effectively reclaiming the safe-zone. Rick reveals to his injured son Carl afterwards that he is ready to show him the new world. Following this he seems to have cooled down a bit in his desire to kill human threats as he spares the life of Paul Rovia after the latter attempts to steal a van of supplies claimed by Daryl and Rick which leads them to finding the Hilltop Colony. However Rick has shown to become even more ruthless as shown by his desire to exact revenge on the Saviors for threatening Daryl, Abraham and Sasha and kill them all in order to obtain much-needed supplies from the Hilltop Colony and protect Alexandria even though the Saviors have technically caused no harm to Alexandria whatsoever. Rick has now been shown to show a desire destroy any potential threats before they even happen, showing that he will do just about anything to protect his people from danger. However his desire to destroy the Saviors suffers serious consequences as while on a frantic journey to get Maggie to the Hilltop, he and his group are ambushed by a large group of Saviors and for the first time on the series Rick shows fear at the sight of his new enemy Negan as he personally beats a member of his group to death with a baseball bat as revenge for his actions. How this will affect him remains to be seen.
Relying on his former police skills and survival tactics, Rick has become a battle-hardened survivor who will protect his family and group without question. In many ways, Rick has become like Shane, ready to kill without a moment’s hesitation, not trusting anyone except for his group, and knowing that with the world the way it is now, there are very few good people left and if you don’t fight for your survival, then you will die. In addition to acting like Shane, Rick shows similarities to other primary antagonists that he has encountered and killed (or who other members of his group have killed) in the past, particularly the Governor, Joe, and Gareth. However, unlike Shane, the Governor, Joe, and Gareth, Rick retains some of his humanity and honor for the sake of his family and friends, and looks to his friends for guidance in making sure that he doesn’t completely lose his sanity. This is in direct contrast to these other antagonists, who have almost completely sacrificed their humanity in favor of personal survival by any means necessary, and who exert unchallenged power and control over other survivors and give into their worst inclinations for their own benefit.