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The Walking Dead's Carol: A Timeline Of Major Events For Melissa McBride's Character

Carol in The Walking Dead.
(Image credit: AMC)

There are many characters in The Walking Dead that I have loved since the very beginning. Daryl was one of them, with all his badass moments. Glenn was a huge one for me, too. Even the main character, Rick, was on my list, as he should be. 

Carol was not my favorite character. For a long, long time. It wasn’t because I hated her - I just felt very indifferent because she sort of stood in the background for some time. 

But slowly, Carol has become one of my absolutely favorite characters in The Walking Dead, and it’s because of her excellent character development and brilliant story. I have watched her from the start, and now, as we’re nearing the end of the series, I’m going to go over Carol’s storyline, and the most important moments of her life. 

Ed in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol’s Abusive Husband, Ed, Is Killed

In Season 1, Carol was one of the original members of the quarry group, alongside her daughter, and her abusive husband, Ed. While we know from the start that Ed is an abusive ass, it’s not until the episode, “Vatos,” where we get to see some justice served. 

Beforehand, Ed had his ass beaten by Shane, but later on, when walkers attacked the quarry camp, Ed gets his just desserts and is finally devoured by a walker, effectively freeing Carol from his abusive hands. It’s then that we start to see her personality a bit more - but more happens down the line that truly changes her. 

Sophia as a walker in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Finds Her Daughter, Sophia, Dead

I think this was one of the first moments I truly felt bad for Carol. No mother deserves to lose her child. At the very beginning of Season 2, Sophia ends up getting lost in the forest as she’s trying to run away from walkers, and the group spends the first half of the season searching for the girl. 

It’s revealed in the episode, “Pretty Much Dead Already,” that Sophia was kept locked away in Hershel’s barn the whole time, having died, turned and been put in there, and was let loose when the barn doors were opened by Shane. Watching Carol try and run to her daughter, before Daryl holds her back, is a moment that always sticks with me to this day. And, it was certainly a heartbreaking death to boot. 

Daryl and Carol in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Gets Trapped In The Prison - And Daryl Saves Her

Weeks pass. The Greene farm has fallen. The group started off Season 3 at a run-down prison, taking out the walkers inside and calling it their home. But, while Carol was down below, she and T-Dog were overrun by a group of walkers - and at first, it’s presumed that she was killed, as T-Dog was. 

However, in the episode, “Hounded,” Daryl finds Carol deep below in the prison, malnourished but alive, having found a way to outrun the walkers and hide herself. Daryl wastes no time in bringing her back upstairs so that she can heal properly. It was the first time, at least for me, where I truly saw her resilience as a survivor of this undead world. 

Carol in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Chooses To Kill Lizzie 

After Carol already lost Sophia in Season 2, she ended up becoming a mother figure to both Lizzie and Mika in Season 4, two girls who lost their parents. But as the season went on, it was revealed that Lizzie wasn’t mentally stable - and ended up killing Mika, her sister. 

Carol, realizing the threat that Lizzie was to both Judith and other children, decides to take Lizzie out by shooting her in the episode, “The Grove,” simply saying to the young girl to “look at the flowers” before she takes her life. It pains her to do so, but she knows that it’s the right decision, regardless of her own personal feelings. 

Carol in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Takes Out A Crazy Amount Of People At Terminus

Terminus was a crazy, intense moment in The Walking Dead during the premiere episode of Season 5, and all of those cannibals can go straight to hell. As Rick and the others were fighting for their lives to somehow make it out of there alive, Carol was on the outside, dressed up in walker guts and dirt, using her skills to her advantage and taking snipe shots. 

I mean, the woman literally blew up a gas tank and set the whole place on fire. This was the moment where I realized, “Okay, wow, she is so badass. Why didn’t I realize this before?” And that sweet reunion between her and Daryl after being separated for so long - definitely one of their best friendship moments

Carol and Ezekiel in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Meets Ezekiel 

It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. In Season 7, Carol is in need of medical attention in the episode, “The Well,” so Morgan ends up bringing her to The Kingdom, another settlement where Ezekiel - known as King Ezekiel - rules. At first, she thinks the theatrics of him being a “king” are a little pretentious, but she starts to warm up to the man. 

It’s so nice to re-watch this scene years later, knowing that these two end up getting together down the line; it was the start of something so sweet, and the change that Carol truly needed. 

Carol in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Decides To Take A Break From Killing

While we have seen Carol kill over and over at this point, she needed a solid break, which was why she ended up leaving Alexandria all together, because she didn’t want to lose anyone else, and taking up space in a cottage near The Kingdom. 

She isn’t necessarily a part of The Kingdom, but Ezekiel does stop by her cabin all the time to give her produce, furthering their friendship and creating a solid bond that soon becomes unbreakable. Even though she does get to relax for some time, it’s not that long before she ends up rejoining the fight.

Carol in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Returns As A Soldier To Fight Against Negan Alongside The Kingdom 

The Kingdom is under attack by the Saviors, and after everything that Ezekiel has done for Carol, she ends up rejoining the fight, deciding that even if she has lost people, she knows she can’t just sit to the side and let everyone die.

Once Negan is subdued and his men are taken out, Carol ends up residing in The Kingdom with Ezekiel - and over time, a romance begins to bloom. 

Carol and Ezekiel in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Six Years Pass, And Carol Is Happy - For Now

In the middle of Season 9, six years have passed after Rick vanished from the group (while secretly being taken away by Jadis) and now, Carol is the queen of The Kingdom, for lack of a better word, with Ezekiel (as he constantly asks her to marry him), and both have become parent figures to Henry, another small boy that Carol had a connection with when the Saviors were attacking. 

Things seem alright for now, with the two of them ruling together and no major events happening. She’s happy. She’s even let her hair grow longer. But, that happiness doesn’t last for long. Not in The Walking Dead world. 

Henry in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Loses Henry - And Leaves Ezekiel 

The Whisperer War arc arrives in Season 9, during the episode, “The Calm Before,” - and Henry is one of the people who's killed. His head was put on a spike in order to mark the territory between the Kingdom and the Whisperers. And, of course, Carol is the one who ends up finding Henry, while Daryl tries to urge her to look away - reminiscent of the day she lost Sophia. 

Due to her grief - and also her rage in wanting to take Alpha out - she ends up leaving the relationship with Ezekiel, saying that she didn’t think she could ever properly move on from that. She needed to make sure she could avenge Henry, as well as all the other poor unfortunate souls that were killed as well, and that includes leaving to go back to Alexandria with Daryl.

Carol and Negan in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

Carol Teams Up With Negan To Take Out Alpha

The team up we never knew was happening. Negan, for years, was locked up at Alexandria, but was able to break free at one point before joining the Whisperers. Then, it’s revealed in the Season 10 episode, “Walk With Us,” that he was actually working for Carol the whole time, giving Alpha's head directly to her. 

It’s a crazy moment, watching these two characters work together to take out this crazy threat, and it’s later shown in the Season 10 episode, “Look at the Flowers” just how involved the two of them were together in order to take out Alpha. Carol was willing to do whatever it took - and boy did she, by using anti-hero Negan

Carol in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

What Happens Now?

Season 11 of The Walking Dead is winding down soon, with its last eight episodes (which I'm very excited for), and so far, Carol hasn’t done that much for the final season besides trying to aid Ezekiel in getting help for his surgery at the Commonwealth, working behind the scenes in order to do so. But, with the war with the Commonwealth fast-approaching, I can only wonder what this amazing character is going to do next - and how The Walking Dead is going to close out her character for good. 

Melissa McBride was set to reprise the role in a Daryl and Carol spinoff, but ended up leaving the show, so who knows what’s going to happen at this point. All I know is that she better not be killed off now - or else I’m going to riot. 

Alexandra Ramos
Alexandra Ramos

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!