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Origin

In her non-zombie-filled life, Carol was married to a car salesman. They had a daughter, Sophia, and Carol tried to supplement the family's income by selling Tupperware. She also enjoyed knitting and was taking a scrap booking class. Carol's husband wasn't the greatest and would hit her at times. This seemed to stir a need for acceptance within Carol. Once the dead started walking, Carol's husband took the cowards way out after seeing his parents die. Carol decided to head to Atlanta with Sophia to stay with a sister. They fortunately didn't make it and found Dale's camp just outside the city.

Creation

Written by Robert Kirkman and originally drawn by Tony Moore. Charlie Adlard steps in and draws the appearances after issue six.

Character Evolution

Carol begins as any other survivor: little hope yet a will to protect her family. After a bad break-up, Carol seems to lose her mind. She becomes needy, clinging to anyone who shows any type of affection for her. She ends up full-fledged crazy and subjects herself to a pitiful death.

Major Story Arcs

The Camps

Saved by Glenn

In the camp, Carol begins a friendship with Lori, as their kids are about the same age. On the night of the zombie attack on the camp, Carol and Lori try to get their kids to safety but are waylaid. Near death, Lori's son Carl shoots a zombie to save his mom and Glenn saves Carol by doing the same. (It's hinted that he has some deeply seeded feelings for her.) Deeming the camp no longer safe, Carol packs in Dale’s RV with the rest of the group and searches out a new place to live in hopes of waiting out the zombie plague.

Wiltshire Estates

En route to an unknown destination, the group finds Tyreese and his daughter Julie, accompanied by her boyfriend Chris. The three join the group and Carol and Tyreese flirt almost immediately. To Glenn's dismay, it's not long before the two are inseparable. The group soon finds a gated community and decides to bunk in one house for the night until they can determine if the rest of the place is safe. Carol volunteers to share a room with Tyreese's crew. Tyreese inadvertently ends up snuggling with Carol in his sleep. She doesn't seem to mind, as she lies awake and revels in the attention. Time in the gated community is short-lived when the group realizes that the community is swarming with zombies. They narrowly escape in Dale's RV.

Hershel's Farm

"Perfect"

Carol doesn't do much on the farm besides hang out with Tyreese. The two have really taken to each other and Carol has to chide Tyreese about his statement that everything is perfect for the two of them. Sure enough, Hershel soon kicks the group off the farm. Back on the road, Carol has to deal with witnessing her daughter go hungry some nights. It tears her up inside, but the group soon finds a prison that they hope to call their home.

The Prison

Unexpected Affection

Upon reaching the prison grounds, Rick has Dale and the females do a perimeter sweep while he, Tyreese, and Andrea clean out the prison yard. As the ladies walk around Lori gets a little down and Carol tries to lift her spirits. The prison, she muses, could be the best thing to happen to them. Once the perimeter has been checked and the grounds are cleared the group spends the night outside with the plan of exploring the buildings the next day. They go without food for one more night, but Carol is optimistic it could be the last night doing so for her daughter.

The next day, a small group enters one of the buildings and finds four inmates who are more than welcoming. Carol and the group gets moved in, she sharing a room with Tyreese. With life slowing down, she and Lori spend a lot of time together. They seem to do everything together: laundry, watch kids, and even get walked in on showering by Axel.

Life doesn't stay blissful for long; Tyreese goes missing when he charges into a zombie-loaded gym. Carol is frazzled and doesn't know what to do with herself. She mistakes kind words from Lori and kisses her on the mouth. Lori is kind of creeped out but rationalizes that Carol isn't quite herself. After a few days a group decides to check out the gym situation and are surprised to find Tyreese alive and simply waiting for someone to open the door. Carol is overjoyed and rushes into his arms. Their relationship resumes.

Michonne

Things go well for a while until Michonne joins the group. Tyreese is impressed by the newcomer's knowledge of the Atlanta Falcons, most notably because she recognizes that he used to play for them. The two get friendly fast. Carol doesn't realize how rocky things are for her until the day Allen gets bit. When she hears of his peril, Carol gets oddly invested and rushes to Allen's side. She learns that Rick has cut of Allen's foot to prevent the spread of infection and loses her senses for a moment. She then rushes to find Tyreese. She peers into the gym to see Michonne going down on him. Carol tries to copy Michonne that night and Tyreese knows that something is wrong (Carol's never been into that sort of thing before). She begins crying and tells Tyreese to hold her for the night and then plan on moving out of her cell in the morning. Tyreese does so and Rick walks up to see if Carol is okay. She's not and immediately rushes into his arms. He's startled but tries his best to comfort her anyway.

Fallout

Carol Tries to Get Out

Carol stews in her sorrow and eventually decides that life is not longer worth living. She slits her wrists while lying in her bed and waits to die. Sophia finds her and freezes with fear in the corner of their cell. It's not long before Rick finds Carol and calls for help. Carol is attended to while Rick confronts Tyreese about his break-up with Carol. The two get heated and get into a huge brawl. Rick ends up blacking out. When he awakens he finds Carol near him. She thanks him for sticking up for her and kisses him. She apologizes when Rick recoils and seems genuinely sad that Rick has rebuffed her. She leaves to help Andrea look after the kids.

Some weeks later Lori catches up with Carol and the two get to talking about the suicide incident. Carol hates what she's put everyone through and expresses a desire to make Rick and Lori happy. She doesn't want to disappoint them because they are her closest friends and she loves them. Lori, albeit haltingly, responds that she and Rick love her too. Carol is ecstatic and hugs Lori and gushes how it means so much to her that she is loved in return. Lori begins to question Carol's appropriateness of devotion.

Her doubts are confirmed when Rick goes missing after chasing a downed helicopter. Carol tries to calm Lori down and begins talking about a relationship with her. Lori has no idea what Carol is talking about so Carol explains that she'd like to marry Rick and Lori to make a family with her and Sophia. Lori calls Carol crazy and the two have a strained relationship for a while, especially after Lori questions Carol's devotion to Sophia.

Acceptance

As a result of Rick, Glenn, and Michonne going missing, Tyreese ventures out to see what could happened to them. Upon returning Dale has to speed out in the RV to save him from being overwhelmed by zombies. The RV gets stuck in the gates and the zombies swarm the prison yard. Carol has to keep Sophia indoors until Rick returns and helps to clear out the prison yard.

Carol pretty much stays in the background so as to let Lori settle down from the odd proposition. She attends the wedding of Glenn and Maggie but avoids the delivery room when Lori has Judith. A bit later, Carol finally takes a bigger part in the Grimes' life by watching Carl while Lori takes care of Judith. The ladies reconcile and Carol explains her need for acceptance. Lori apologizes for any indication that she thought ill of Carol. Carol then asks if Lori would take care of Sophia if anything were to happen to her. With an affirmation, Carol indicates that she's going to go throw herself at a man. She does just that and seduces Billy Greene. Afterwards, Carol makes her way out to a zombie that has been tied up in the prison yard for studying. Carol begins to have a one-sided conversation with the zombie and explains how the group is so judgmental. Hoping to find a friend, Carol moves in closer and the zombie bites her in the neck. Elated, Carol dies shouting for joy that someone could accept her. Tyreese runs to her side and she begs him to just let her die. He does and she reanimates very shortly thereafter. Andrea is quick to put a bullet in her head. Sophia is then adopted by Glenn and Maggie while Billy is haunted as to why Carol would have sex with him before killing herself.

Other Media

Television

Melissa McBride

In AMC's "The Walking Dead," Carol plays a vastly different part than her comic version. Carol does begin as a wife hounded by a no-good husband, but his death brings about a quiet strength to Carol's character. She loses her daughter Sophia and must muster the courage of potentially having to deal with the death of Sophia. Carol does soon accept Sophia's death when Sophia emerges as one of the zombies in Hershel's barn. This seems to strengthen the character of Carol even more. She constantly insists that Sophia is in a better place.

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