Character Development has been so important in “The Walking Dead,” and nothing has been more important than our main character, Rick Grimes. As fans, we have mostly followed the apocalypse in Rick’s point of view because he was in a coma when the world ended and had to slowly learn and adjust to the new world just like us.

Sheriff Rick

Waking up in a hospital all alone and finding dead people all around him, Rick was just as clueless as us. He had no idea that the world had ended and was searching for answers. When he arrived to his house, his family was missing, and he thought he was having a terrible nightmare.

Thankfully, Morgan found him, took him in, and treated him. Morgan showed Rick what had happened to the world when he was in a coma, teaching him how to kill walkers.

In return, Rick guided Morgan to his sheriff’s department, handed him a couple guns, and took off to find his own family. Rick’s sole purpose was to find his wife and son, Lori and Carl Grimes, but he quickly adjusted to the world along the way, helping Glenn, Andrea, and the others escape a herd of walkers at a department store downtown.

After an emotional reunion with his family, Rick was in survival mode, but he still had a few things to learn about the new world. For one, he was far too forgiving, gentle, and naive. Although he knew how to deal with walkers, he did not exactly know how to deal with people yet.

He still believed he was a sheriff and had to handle situations in a civilized manner.

For instance, he did not want to kill Randall, a boy who was shooting at Rick but was left behind by his group because he was wounded, so Rick decided to help the boy and took him back to the farm. At the farm, while Shane wanted to kill the kid, Rick decided against it, holding him hostage instead.

After Shane turned into a psycho, Rick was forced to kill him and that is when his character completely changed.


Season 3 started with a darker version of Rick. He was no longer nice and gentle to people because he incorporated the “Ricktatorship,” where he would be the only one in charge, making all the calls. He led the group to the prison where he had to kill a couple of prisoners to keep everyone safe.

He then encountered The Governor and tried to reason with him but realized that they had to kill him in order to be safe. Ricktatorship ran all the way to the end of season 3, but Rick gave it up because Hershel talked him into focusing on helping Carl regain his humanity.

Farmer Rick

For the first half of season 4, Rick constructed a counsel to make decisions for the group and gave up his Ricktatorship to become a farmer with Hershel. However, that didn’t last too long since the prison was suffering from a wide-spread virus, and Rick needed to take more command. What officially ended farmer Rick was The Governor’s reappearance and attack on the prison where he sliced off Hershel’s head with a sword.

Ruthless Rick

After losing the prison, Rick became more vicious because he believed that was the only way to keep Carl safe. He ferociously murdered two people on his way to Terminus, biting one in the jugular vein and repeatedly stabbing another to death.

His vicious acts continued when the remaining Terminates returned to kill Rick’s group at Father Gabriel’s church. Rick stopped them from hurting anyone and ferociously killed their leader by hacking him repeatedly with his red-handled machete.

From that point on, Rick wanted to kill anything and anyone in his way; he hardly trusted people. Luckily, the group found Alexandria, a community that had been fortunately living safely behind enormous steel walls.

Rick tried very hard to help the Alexandrians understand the apocalypse, but those people were clueless. He tried to teach them his ruthless ways, but they did not abide. After losing many people, Alexandrians finally believed in Rick, and his merciless style rubbed onto everyone.

Negan conquers Rick

After feeling as if he was on top of the world, Rick met Negan, who brutally murdered Glenn and Abraham to send a message to Rick that he was in charge. In the first half of season 7, Rick was petrified because of what he witnessed Negan do with his barb-wired baseball bat, Lucille.

Vicious Rick is back

Nevertheless, after realizing that the only way out is to kill Negan, Rick returned to his old ways.

He is now back to being ruthless Rick and is prepared to murder Negan and the Saviors.

Rick has transformed from a gentle, friendly person to a dark, cruel leader, who doesn't trust people anymore. He has become a better form of Shane, which has made him such a magnificent leader.