Carol Peletier is one of the fictional characters from The Walking Dead comic book series. In the American TV series of the same title, she is played by Melisa McBride.
The comic series portrays Carol as a much younger girl that exhibits a naive, self-centered and neurotic behavior. She grows progressively more unstable to the point of self-destruction in the comics. The TV show portrays her differently. She’s shown to be a pragmatic, compassionate and stern person who has been increasingly developing inner strength. Carol is depicted to be much more emotionally stable and capable than her character in the comics. The abuse she experienced by her husband was also openly shown in the TV show.
She’s the only female survivor from the first Atlanta group and among the last original survivors in general as of the end of the show’s 4th season. Carol is the longest-living female character of the series as of season 5.
Comic Book Series
In the comic book, Carol is depicted as a housewife who occasionally helps in paying the family’s bills by trading kitchen appliances on the web. Her marriage is rather unsatisfactory and it’s hinted that she just married and continued staying with her husband due to her need for comfort and attention. During the outbreak’s early stages, her husband lost his parents to walkers, resulting in him committing suicide and leaving her and Sophia, their daughter, to provide for themselves.
She was in the process of relocating to Atlanta when they met and eventually joined Shane’s group of survivors on the city’s suburbs. Carol helped the other mothers in their duties like looking after the kids and washing clothes while in the camp. She and Lori became best friends and often talked about the current events around them. Lori often vented her frustrations to Carol.
After leaving their original campground, they met Tyreese, a man Carol grew to like. The two eventually became romantically fond of each other. Tension started between them at the arrival of Michonne, who she noticed has the same personality and physical traits as her. She later witnessed Michonne and Tyreese performing oral sex in the prison gym. This led her to compete for his love, but eventually, she decided to end the relationship and avoid further altercations.
The break-up clearly affected her mental health. She spent her nights crying, which ultimately led to a suicide attempt. Carol soon became desperate for company and wanted to have a polyamorous relationship with Lori and Rick, only to be rejected. As time passed by, her behavior bothered and irritated Rick and Lori, which she also noticed.
As she planned to commit suicide again, she made sure Lori promised to look after Sophia. She then initiated sex with Billy, Hershel’s youngest son. She willingly allowed a zombie to rip at her jugular and refused to get anyone’s help, stating that they should allow her to die in peace. During her reanimation, she was killed by a compassionate Andrea before she can bite a distraught Tyreese.
Her death greatly affected the group for several days, resulting in the ultimate attack on the prison. Sophia was left in a catatonic condition as the news reached her and has tried to repress Carol’s memories by pretending that Glenn and Maggie were her birth parents. The latter was relieved when Sophia started to talk openly about the previous existence of Carol.