As we bid a bittersweet and rather anti-climactic farewell to The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes this week, it’s easy to look back over our protagonist’s time on the show and hail him a hero. But over the course of nine seasons, Rick has done some truly terrible things – things questionable even by the standards of a world overrun by the undead.
Naturally, the kind of things that go down in a zombie apocalypse are bound to change a man and we’ve seen Rick evolve from a clean-cut, small-town cop to a grizzled, war-weary survivor who’ll do pretty much anything to protect his loved ones.
You could argue that any of Rick’s more villainous actions were justified – simply a consequence of the man he’d had to become to survive – and that not acting the way he had in his more morally questionable moments could well have gotten him or his people killed.
Nevertheless, there are definitely times went Rick went way too far. Like biting out the jugular of a man about to rape your son? Completely justified. Killing a man who’s just saved your life in cold blood? Not so much.
But that’s exactly what made Rick Grimes such an intriguing character – he was proof that the line between heroism and villainy isn’t always so clear-cut.