2. Carl Puts Lori Down
Season 3, “ Killer Within”
One of the most poignant moments of the entire series was in season 3 when Carl watched Judith’s bloody birth and watched his mother bleed out then had to shoot her in the head to keep her from turning. It was so shocking to see a traumatized child show the presence of mind and sense of duty and responsibility to think of preventing his mother from turning after everything that had just happened.
Really Carl putting Lori down was the start of the tradition within the group that when one of the group dies it should be one of the group that puts them down. Killing a loved one that has become a walker is the last rite in The Walking Dead world. It’s the last sign of respect and love for someone to prevent them from reanimating. And even though it changed Carl forever he knew that he had to be the one to put Lori down because it had to be someone who truly loved her.
That’s one of the reasons why later on, when he told Michonne that he would do it for her, it was a teary moment for fans. In many ways Michonne stepped into Lori’s empty role and encouraged Carl to find the balance between humanity and ferocity that was required to live in that brutal world.