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Who Calls Rick in Prison? Analysis

Rick Grimes, the former Sheriff’s deputy and protagonist of the hit TV show The Walking Dead, spent a significant amount of time in prison during the early seasons of the show. During Rick’s incarceration, he received a few visitors and phone calls that revealed insights into his relationships and connections both in and outside of the jail. In this article, we will analyze who called and visited Rick in prison and what those interactions tell us about Rick’s allies and friends.

Rick’s Background Before Prison

Before his imprisonment, Rick Grimes worked as a Sheriff’s deputy in King County, Georgia. He was married to Lori Grimes and had a young son named Carl. After waking up from a coma during the onset of the zombie apocalypse, Rick discovered that his wife and son had fled town with Shane Walsh, Rick’s partner and best friend. Believing Lori and Carl to be dead, Rick set out on his own to find other survivors.

Rick Gets Imprisoned

Eventually, Rick was discovered by a group of survivors and brought to an improvised prison meant to house criminals. At the prison, Rick reunites with Lori and Carl who had joined the group of survivors. However, Rick soon came into conflict with the group’s leader, The Governor, who saw Rick as a threat to his authority. After numerous clashes, The Governor ultimately captures Rick and imprisons him to neutralize the threat.

Visitors Rick Received in Prison

During his time locked up in the prison cell, Rick received a few visitors who provide insights into his relationships both inside and outside the prison walls.

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Lori Grimes

Unsurprisingly, Rick’s wife Lori was able to visit him in prison on occasion. During these visits, Lori and Rick discussed their relationship, which had become strained and complicated given the presumed death of Rick and Lori’s subsequent relationship with Shane. However, the visits demonstrated that Lori still cared for and supported Rick.

Glenn Rhee

One of Rick’s most notable allies, Glenn Rhee, also visited Rick frequently during his imprisonment. Their conversations focused on efforts to free Rick from The Governor as well as broader strategies for protecting the group. Glenn’s frequent visitations highlighted his loyalty to Rick’s leadership.

Hershel Greene

The patriarch of the Greene family, Hershel Greene, visited Rick as well. Hershel acted as a counselor to Rick during his imprisonment, helping keep Rick’s spirits up and his temperance in check. Their relationship seemed a mutual mentorship, as both men looked to guide each other in their leadership roles.

The Governor

The main adversary of Rick and the group, The Governor visited Rick in prison only to torment and interrogate him. Their conversations were fueled by hatred and suspicion on both sides. The Governor used the visits to try asserting his dominance over Rick, but Rick remained defiant.

An Outside Caller – Oscar

In addition to prison visits, Rick also received a surprising phone call from Oscar, a prisoner Rick had previous encounters with. Oscar was calling from an unknown location to inform Rick about a breach in the prison’s security, a fact Rick tried to hide from The Governor. This call demonstrated that Rick had allies willing to help him even from outside the prison walls.

What Rick’s Visitors Reveal About His Relationships

Analyzing Rick’s visitors and callers while imprisoned provides insight into his most important and trustworthy relationships during his incarceration:

  • Lori – As Rick’s wife, Lori’s prison visits confirm she is still loyal to and caring for Rick despite their marital problems.
  • Glenn – Young and brave, Glenn believes in Rick as a leader and is willing to help him escape imprisonment.
  • Hershel – As the wise father-figure, Hershel helps keep Rick balanced through counsel and moral support.
  • The Governor – Violently opposed to Rick’s leadership, The Governor remains a dangerous threat trying to psychologically defeat Rick.
  • Oscar – Trusted by Rick, Oscar uses outside connections to aid Rick from afar.
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Questions About Rick’s Allies and Enemies in Prison

Rick’s encounters with visitors and callers while imprisoned brings up some key questions about his relationships:

What compelled Oscar to help Rick from outside prison?

Oscar took a risk calling Rick, so he must have had strong motivations. Perhaps he felt indebted to Rick for past help or favors. There also may have been an unshown personal relationship or friendship between the two men. Oscar could also have just seen Rick as the best leader to help everyone defeat The Governor and the zombie threat.

Did Lori still have feelings for Shane when visiting imprisoned Rick?

Given Lori’s romantic relationship with Shane when she believed Rick was dead, there may have still been emotional attachment between them. Her visits with Rick likely involved reconciling this and the state of her marriage. Did she still have mixed feelings for Shane and how did this affect her view of imprisoned Rick?

Was Glenn only loyal to Rick or the greater good of the group?

Glenn seemed very dedicated to freeing Rick, but was this about Rick specifically or protecting the group as a whole? Glenn may have believed Rick’s leadership gave the group the best chance of survival. But he could have also been motivated by personal loyalty to Rick beyond just pragmatic concerns.

Did The Governor see Rick as a threat to his power or the group’s safety?

The Governor was adamant about keeping Rick imprisoned, but it is unclear if this was due to personal insecurity or genuine concerns about Rick’s leadership. The Governor may have felt endangered by Rick’s boldness and connection to the group. But he may have also simply saw him as reckless and endangered the community’s stability.

What made Hershel feel he could counsel and advise Rick?

Hershel had wisdom to share as an older father-figure, but what made him feel comfortable counseling the younger Rick? Perhaps Hershel’s experience with leadership gave him insights to impart. Or Hershel may have thought providing Rick guidance was part of his own duty to guide the group. He could have also seen elements of his own personality in Rick.

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Rick’s Evolving Relationships and Leadership Role

Rick’s encounters and conversations with various visitors while imprisoned reflected how he was perceived as a leader and community member. Certain relationships were strengthened but others jeopardized.

Stronger Connections

  • Glenn – Their discussions about freeing Rick brought them closer together. This built greater trust in one another.
  • Hershel – By counseling Rick through his darkest moments, Hershel forged a deeper mutual understanding between them.
  • Oscar – Oscar’s favor to Rick established an unshown bond and debt between the two men.

Weakened Relationships

  • Lori – Lingering issues related to Shane likely strained Rick’s marriage with Lori.
  • The Governor – The hatred between Rick and The Governor was cemented during imprisonment.

Ultimately, these changing dynamics shaped Rick’s standing within the group following his imprisonment. They molded his leadership style and view of those around him when reintegrating into the survivor community outside the prison walls.


Rick Grimes’ imprisonment provides a fascinating look into his most important relationships and alliances during his time locked up in the prison. By analyzing Rick’s conversations and interactions with his visitors – including wife Lori, ally Glenn, mentor Hershel, enemy The Governor, and outsider Oscar – we gain critical insights into Rick’s standing within the group of survivors. We see how certain connections grew stronger through imprisonment while others became plagued by distrust. These evolving dynamics with Rick’s visitors reveal truths about his leadership capabilities and the motivations driving his friends and foes. They show Rick’s resilience when isolated from the community and foreshadow how he will adapt when finally released from the confines of his cell. Imprisonment certainly changed Rick, but it did not break him.

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