Walking Dead: Was Lori Really Eaten By The Bloated Walker?

There was an assumption that Lori was eaten by a walker after her death in The Walking Dead season 3. Here’s the truth behind what happened.

Sarah Wayne Callies


  • Lori Grimes’ death in The Walking Dead was controversial and disturbing, with her corpse consumed by a walker.
  • Showrunner Greg Nicotero confirmed that Lori was indeed eaten by the bloated walker.
  • The decision not to show Lori as a walker and have Rick search for her remains made her death even more traumatic and gruesome.

Lori Grimes died during childbirth in The Walking Dead season 3 – and thanks to a single walker, her death became one of the most disturbing as well as the most tragic. Many viewers seem to agree that what happened to Lori in The Walking Dead was the wrong call, and how Rick’s wife died has been the subject of major controversy. Lori, played by Sarah Wayne Callies, was a central character of the popular AMC series from its pilot until her passing. Not only did Lori lose her life, but it was up to her young son to prevent her transformation into a walker. To make the situation darker, it was insinuated that a walker discovered Lori and consumed her corpse.

The last time the Walking Dead survivors saw Lori Grimes alive was in the prison as she soon met her demise before being eaten by the “bloated walker.” What happened to Lori Walking Dead has almost never matched in terms of the controversy it caused — and how Rick’s wife died is second perhaps only to when Negan killed Glenn on most lists of divisive Walking Dead moments. While it’s not made implicitly clear in the episode if the bloated walker ate Lori or not, the showrunners have provided an answer. Unfortunately, it only makes the Lori Walking Dead death more difficult to swallow.

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How Lori Grimes Died In The Walking Dead Season 3

Lori Died Giving Birth To Judith Grimes

Lori's Death on The Walking Dead

The main reason viewers were upset by the way the character left TWD because of the fact that Lori’s corpse was eaten by a bloated walker later in the show, but how Rick’s wife died on The Walking Dead is itself shocking. It was an incredibly dark moment, even by the bleak standards of The Walking Dead — and since son Carl is no longer in the show and Rick has moved on romantically, the brutality of it feels especially pointless. After being split up from Rick and the others in The Walking Dead season 3, the immense fear made Lori Grimes go into labor, forcing Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) and Carl to take her to a nearby boiler for shelter.

Maggie bravely assisted in the C-section, but the labor led to Lori’s death. After shooting his own mother to prevent her from turning into a walker, Carl tearfully presented his new baby sister to Rick. The following TWD episode, “Say the Word,” featured a traumatized Rick going on a rampage through the prison before finding a very bloated walker at the site at which Lori Grimes gave birth. There was an assumption that the walker consumed Lori, and that was later confirmed. When confirming what happened to Lori in Walking Dead, showrunners ended up with a big problem on their hands, and many felt that how Rick’s wife died was unjust.

Greg Nicotero Confirmed Lori Was Eaten By The Bloated Walker

The Corpse Of Lori Grimes Was Consumed

Zombie That Ate Lori in The Walking Dead

When Rick entered the boiler room, he followed a trail of blood leading him to an extremely bloated Walking Dead walker. There was an insinuation that the walker dragged Lori’s body before indulging in its entirety. Some viewers even noticed strands of Lori’s hair around the walker’s mouth. With no trace of Lori Grimes’ body, Rick killed the walker and stabbed at its stomach to search for pieces of Lori’s corpse. Greg Nicotero, the special make-up effects supervisor as well as an executive producer and director, confirmed that the walker did indeed eat Lori after her death. In an interview (via Daily Dead), Nicotero commented on Lori’s death in The Walking Dead, saying:

“The idea is supposed to be that the walker has sort of dragged her around the corner of that boiler room. There’s actually a blood trail that continues past the walker and goes around the corner. Some of the little touches we added was there was bits of hair in its mouth and hair in his hand when it reaches up towards Rick. And it was just one of those things that we really wanted to show that this thing had feasted on her, as horrible as it is.”

Some viewers still questioned how a walker could have eaten an entire body in that short time. Others pointed out that walkers have never been known to eat the bones of a victim. The series intentionally avoided showing the remains of Lori’s body, since the crew thought they would be pushing the boundaries. A deleted scene actually revealed Lori Grimes as a walker, but it was only through a vision during Rick’s hallucinations. A walker was used to tie up loose ends in terms of her whereabouts, but it ended up creating more questions about The Walking Dead and Lori’s death.

Walking dead rick grimes zombies
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Not Showing Lori As A Walker Made Her Death Worse

The Creative Decision To Soften The Emotional Blow Backfired

In hindsight, the rejected plan to have Lori Grimes return as a walker might have been the right call after all. The Walking Dead has had many controversial deaths, but the deliberate choice surrounding Lori’s was far worse than the alternative. Essentially, showrunners decided that having Lori be eaten by a walker was a more palatable ending than her turning into a walker on her own. However, having Rick cut open a zombie to search for her remains was far more traumatic than him shooting a zombified Lori. Lori’s end mirroring Shane’s certainly would’ve still been sad, but it was far less grim than having her corpse consumed by the bloated walker.

Lori Grimes had already suffered enough on The Walking Dead. From learning Rick was still alive after taking his best friend as a lover, to carrying a baby to term in a zombie apocalypse, out of all the characters on the show Lori’s time on The Walking Dead was among the hardest. Considering how much she overcame in the series, using the major TWD character death as an excuse to include a gross-out scene of Rick sifting through bloated walker guts cheapens her storyline. Even if the point could be argued that Lori needed to die for the good of the show, her ultimate fate should have been much more dignified.

What Actress Sarah Wayne Callies Thinks Of Lori’s Death

The Walking Dead Star Was Equally Shocked By How Lori Died

The Lori Grimes death on The Walking Dead was an emotional scene all around — even for actress Sarah Wayne Callies. In an extensive interview with EW, Callies talked about everything, from how she found out her character was getting killed off to her final day of shooting, along with how she prepared for the scene. Reportedly, Callies found out that Lori would bite the dust when she got a phone call from showrunner Glen Mazzara, and surprisingly, the way the Lori death scene in TWD unfolds was very personal for Mazzara, as his own mother was passing at the time. As to finding out how her character died, Callies had this to say:

We talked a little bit about how it was going to happen. I didn’t necessarily want to know too much, because Lori doesn’t know she’s going to die, so I figured I’d wait until the script came out. And the script came out, and I thought, “This is a scene about a mother dying.” And I called Glen, and I said, “Don’t come to set. Don’t be here, we’ll handle it. There will be other people who can make sure we do it right. But don’t come to set.” And in the end, he didn’t.

In the end, Sarah Wayne Callies felt that Lori Grimes’ death was crucial to the show, as it changed Rick’s character from thereon out. Allegedly, executive producer Frank Darabont had argued with Callies about keeping Lori on the show, as he wasn’t entirely sold on getting rid of the character.

“Frank Darabont and I argued about this several times, because he wasn’t sure he ever wanted to get rid of Lori. […] I said, ‘You have to. Lori’s death does something to Rick that you cannot do any other way. Eventually, you’re going to have to do it.'”

Walking dead glenn merle beth
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How The Zombie Who Ate Lori Feels About Killing Her

Actor Alex Wayne Filmed An Incredibly Intense Scene With Andrew Lincoln


The bloated walker that ate Lori Grimes was played by actor Alex Wayne, and he had a lot to say about it in an interview with Zombies in My Blog. Wayne was cast on The Walking Dead as a walker in season 2. Later on, Wayne was called by the TWD casting team and was told that special effects artist Greg Nicotero had hand-selected him to play the walker that ate Lori’s body, though he wasn’t let in on this until he was in the make-up trailer. Shortly afterward, he was met by Andrew Lincoln, who wanted to talk scene specifics. This is what Wayne had to say about the experience:

I said [to Andrew Lincoln], ‘Do what you feel is right for the scene, emotionally and mentally.’ Later on, during filming, he definitely did. He went all-out, he let loose. I was really impressed with how amazing of a method actor he is. He really lost himself when we were filming it. In between takes, they would have to yell at him, because they would have to pull him off me. He was still in the moment. He would take a moment, breathe, and ask me if I was OK. Doing the scene, there was a lot more physical stuntwork than what you got to see in the final cut. In the final cut, he was more dead face, but when we were filming, he was more emotional, crying and yelling. I had nightmares for a few nights after doing the scene

After filming the Lori death scene, he and Andrew Lincoln met again at a photo shoot for Entertainment Weekly, where Wayne’s zombie is on the cover. At that time, the Lori Grimes death episode hadn’t aired yet, and wouldn’t for another five months, with Wayne saying it was “the toughest secret I had to keep.” Wayne was understandably very excited when he found out that he would get to be involved in one of The Walking Dead‘s most horrifying moments. Working with a prolific actor like Andrew Lincoln clearly had an impact on the actor, and the consequences of Lori’s death endured for multiple seasons of The Walking Dead.

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