The question of Carl Grimes' age in The Walking Dead has been a commonly discussed debate among fans. In the comic book series, Carl Grimes was seven-years-old when the apocalypse began. In the TV series, he appeared to be about that age. In the time since, both Carl Grimes and the actor playing him Chandler Riggs have grown up significantly.
On the TV series, Carl has grown into an ambitious young man. In the comics, he asserted himself as a leader in the most recent issue. However, his age is not directly addressed by characters despite fans frequently wondering how old Carl is supposed to be.
In Letter Hacks section of The Walking Dead issue #164, The Walking Dead writer/creator Robert Kirkman and editor Sean Mackiewicz addressed the issue when one fan's letter caught their attention. The fan claimed Rick was 27-years-old on the first pages of The Walking Dead and his son was 7-years-old.
"Rick's age has never been revealed in the comic," Mackiewicz said. "Its true! Enough's revealed that you can figure out he was 23 years old when he started getting serious with Lori... which invalidates your theory because Rick can't have been 27 at the same time Carl was 7."
Mackiewicz does, however, admit that there is a bit of in-house debate of Carl's age.
"Robert and I disagree on many things, but maybe none more so than Carl's age," Mackiewicz. "The irony there is that I know Carl is 7, like you all do, because Robert wrote he was 7 in issue 5. So long as Carl never says how old he is post-time jump, you can just ignore what we say in the letter pages as made up s---. (Except for everything I just wrote.)"
"Officially, the time jump between 126 and 127 is not tied down to a specific number of years," Kirkman added. "It seems like around two, but could have been more."
If Kirkman's final comments are any indication, Carl Grimes would be about 13-years-old in The Walking Dead comics, making the fan's same claims accurate.
"It's totally possible that Carl has aged five years since the beginning of the series," Kirkman concluded. "Kids age fast!"
Carl's age may be one of those things which is changed when adapted for television. This, of course, is a resut of Chandler Riggs being a human boy rather than a fictional character drawn by Charlie Adlard. Carl has existed in comics for over 10 years and almost seven on television. In that time, Riggs has grown from age 10 to 17. It will be tough to convince us Carl is 13 with Riggs likely being over 20-years-old by the time the AMC series approaches the comic series' current storyline.
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The Walking Dead #164 is available now at your local comic book shop. The Walking Dead TV series airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.