The Evolution of Carol Peletier

Carol Peletier has experienced the most dramatic character evolution in The Walking Dead thus far. We asked the fans to make sure:

From lowly abused housewife to armed and armored badass we take you through her journey and what shaped her into the woman she is today.

Season 1


We first met Carol back in Season One at the Atlanta camp, where she was living with her adorable daughter Sophia and abusive husband Ed. Fortunately for Carol, her abuse finally came to an end when Shane nearly beat Ed to death and he was consumed by walkers during his recovery. When Daryl attempted to finish the job Carol took over and drove a pickaxe into Ed’s skull. This was the first time Carol 1) killed anything 2) stood up for herself and 3) proved to be capable of surviving the apocalypse.

Season 2


Carol’s newfound strength and independence was put on hold following the disappearance and eventual death of her daughter Sophia. Thankfully, the same support group she had in Season 1 was there to help her heal. She would grow from this experience, but her religion and overall faith in the world greatly diminished.

Season 3


Now living in the prison surrounded (mostly) by friends Carol became a new woman. She seemed happy, strong, and was picking up skills that proved to be extremely valuable to the group. Once meek and cowardly, Carol was now hardened and ready to fight.

Season 4

Carol Flowers

Season 4 tested Carol’s newfound strength and almost killed her by the end. To recap, she stabbed and burned Karen and David to stop a prison flu epidemic, got kicked out by Rick for it, re-joined with Tyreese, Judith, Mika, and Lizzie, and then was forced to kill Lizzie after SHE killed Mika. As necessary as it was to stop Mika’s disturbing habit, losing two more children close to her nearly broke her. At the end of her rope, she tells Tyreese about Karen and David and asks him to put her out of her misery. He instead forgives her and thankfully, Carol is given a new lease on life.

Season 5

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier and Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 13 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

As badass as Carol was for saving her friends from Terminus, she decided to play a cheery homemaker when they arrived in Alexandria. It was a strategic move, but she also enjoyed feeling normal again. Of course, this changed when she discovered Pete was abusive to his family, which as we know resulted in his death at the hands of Rick. This is the first time we saw her try to balance her kind, cookie-baking side with her fierce, jarred side.

Season 6

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The cheery homemaker facade continued to implode when Carol was forced defend and murder dozens of Wolves during their attack on Alexandria. Death seemed to follow her where she went in Season 6, whether it was the herd attack on Alexandria where she lost Sam and killed Owen, or the Savior kidnapping where she stabbed and burned her captors alive. Even when she left Alexandria to escape it all she was forced to gun down Saviors she came across on the road. Her path to peace ended in her getting shot, and although Morgan eventually saved her, Carol (like in Season 4) seemed done with this deadly lifestyle.

Season 7

Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Fed up with the loss of loved ones, Carol spent the majority of Season 7 locked away in a cabin just outside The Kingdom. She was content on staying there living a peaceful life until Morgan broke the news that they needed her to avenge the death of Glenn, Abraham, and Ben. Reinvigorated, she emerged from her seclusion, strapped on body armor, and helped defeat The Saviors and Scavengers during their attack on Alexandria.

Season 8

Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery - Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC

In this upcoming season Carol will continue her revenge tour against the Saviors as she works with Rick’s group to defeat them. This looks to be the most complete version of her we’ve seen – she’s mourned her losses, gotten stronger as a result, and truly discovered herself in the process. Yes, killing will always bother her but ultimately she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her loved ones safe.

What was your favorite part from Carol’s journey? Do you think she’s transformed more than any other character? Discuss your thoughts with us below!