Carol is a Great and Terrible Mother

Homies, there’s some Walking Dead spoilers below. Catch up or skip this one.


The Walking Dead is my favorite soap opera. Each week we learn just what it takes to stay alive and relatively human while killing everything that moves. Everyone who watches the show has a favorite character. Most people go with Darryl Dixon or Michonne or Rick Grimes, but my number one with a bullet is Carol.

When the show started, she was a mom and the victim of an abusive husband. Now she’s an executioner who bakes. In between those incarnations, she lost her husband as well as her daughter. Time after time, I thought she’d be corpse meat, but she soldiered on and got progressively more badass.

carol 3
This is how I feel about kids, too. 

More than any other character on the show, she knows when to pull the trigger for the greater good. She became my favorite when she straight up executed that little zombie sympathizer. I guess it’s sad and all that a little girl had to die, but she made the hardest choice anyone on that show had to make at the time and did so like she was Boba Fett born again without Darth Vader around to say “no disintegrations.”

Yes disintegrations. That’s how you make it in the endtimes.

Before she iced that kid, she murdered Tyreese’s terminally ill girlfriend and some other red shirt so she couldn’t pop up inside the prison and fuck things up for the residents. Her character’s growth during this period is fascinating. While she’s becoming a stone cold murderer with a utilitarian streak, she also becomes very close to fan favorite Darryl Dixon.

For a minute it looked like they might have some kind of corny fling, but the writers made a good choice not letting things get weird. The last thing we need is another romance on this damn show.

Things can get pretty weird in prison. 

I’m leaving a lot of details out here, mostly things that affirm Carol’s superiority as a character. She’s a master of the tough love pep talk, and well as the AK-47. She frequently talks characters down from terminal wussiness and has a way with the cowardly young (though they seem to have a low survival rate).

Rick gets a stick up his ass at one point and banishes Carol from the group effectively sentencing her to death, because surviving alone seems next to impossible. What does she do? She comes back and saves all their asses at Terminus by covering herself in zombie parts and blowing half of the compound to pieces with a bomb.

carol 2
Recognize, bitches. 

In the episode that aired last night, carol starts the show off by foraging around Alexandria  for acorns and such to make cookies. She’s in one of her sweet moods and gives cookies out to all the survivors. Another character says the great and terrible things she can do (baking an murdering) are all on account of her being a mom. This is something I’d almost completely forgotten about. She has “pretended” to be a sweet innocent mom type on several occasions. As a viewer you’re in on the subterfuge, but ultimately it’s not really a trick. She’s a real deal mom, she just lost her family and has had to kill an assload of people to make her new family safe. Becoming hard like she has is the correct response to the situation she’s in.


Carol reminds me of Kali, the great and terrible mother. It’s only because of her experience as a mother that she can be so extreme. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the most violent characters on the show, like the Governor or Rick Grimes, are parents. They have more to lose and will go further than anyone else to keep what they have.

It’s really remarkable how Carol has developed as a character. I hope she makes it out alive.


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