- "Jesus, Shaw. We both know who he really is deep down. (...) I was there, remember? After? What, you think this is gonna end any different? (...) Shaw, wake up! Everything's a test now. If you think this guy is ever gonna give a shit about any of us, you're gonna fail."
- —Brandon to Leah about Daryl.[src]
Brandon Carver is an antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is a member of the Reapers, serving as Leah's right-hand man. After she took control of the remaining Reapers, Brandon became the second-in-command of the group. He serves as the secondary antagonist for the second part of Season 11.
Prior to the outbreak, Brandon was fighting in Afghanistan along with the rest of his squad which included a lot of members that would eventually become the Reapers. Upon returning from war, he struggled to find jobs or deal with trauma, but the relationship between him and his comrades remained strong. He then decided to become a mercenary.
During the beginning of the outbreak, as Operation Cobalt was put into action in an attempt to try and contain the undead threat, Pope and a group of his people managed to escape the bombings by running until they reached an abandoned church, where inside Pope was amazed to see none of them had been killed or injured, leading him to view him and his comrades as "the chosen ones". It is unknown if Brandin was present during this revelation. Regardless, he eventually joined the Reapers, and either found or crafted his own mask with a smiling, white skull expression on it.
After escaping into the woods following the Reapers' ambush of Maggie's group, Daryl is confronted and attacked by a masked Brandon. Dog intervenes, attacking Brandon, who picks the animal up and non-fatally tosses him over a small ledge. Daryl is eventually outnumbered as reinforcements arrive, and again flees into the night. The next morning, when Leah Shaw finds Dog wandering about, she confronts Daryl, and Brandon reappears with several other Reapers to take him captive.
Brandon drags Daryl back to Meridian with the aid of Powell, where he helps Leah and Paul Wells waterboard him for information about the people he was with. Daryl refuses to divulge any truthful information, much to Brandon's annoyance, but the latter reluctantly leaves along with Paul on Leah's orders, despite his insisting that one more session of water torture will break their prisoner. After Leah talks with Daryl in private, Brandon and Paul drag him off once more to a holding cell, where they subsequently return to bring a similarly captured Frost for interrogation.
Brandon is present at Daryl's initiation, waiting outside with all the other Reapers for the inductee to pass the test. As Pope declares Daryl "forged by fire", Brandon and the rest of the Reapers welcome Daryl with a latin mantra.
Brandon attends the fireside dinner talking with Leah, where Daryl eats his first meal as a Reaper, and subsequently watches in silence as Pope burns Bossie alive, accusing him of turning his back on his brothers and letting Michael get killed.
Carver tortures Frost and demands to know where his people are. Frost says nothing. Pope orders Daryl to take a turn interrogating Carver. Daryl puts Frost in a chokehold and orders him to give up his friends' location. Frost refuses. Daryl chops off Frost's finger and again demands to know the location of his friends. Frost finally reveals the location of the supply depot. Pope dispatches Leah to scout the location with a crew of Reapers.
Carver, Leah, Daryl and a crew of Reapers approach the supply depot. The Reapers burst into the supply depot and search the house. No one is there. Leah orders them to search the entire town. The Reapers search another house. Leah finds some wet, bloody bandages, indicating someone was recently there. Daryl notices a trap door under a rug and quietly slides the rug over the door. He offers to track Maggie's group outside. Carver suspects something and quarrels with Daryl. Leah sends Carver upstairs to sweep the rooms one more time and warns Daryl not to anger Carver.
At the hideout, Carver comes up with nothing. Daryl argues with Carver, and criticizes the Reapers' plan of attack and slyly incorporates intel about the Reapers as he talks, knowing that Maggie's group is listening. Carver accuses Daryl of being disloyal. Daryl admits that the only reason he joined the Reapers is because he cares about Leah, but says he will follow Pope out of fear. Carver notices the trap door and opens it. The basement is empty.
The Reapers return to Meridian. Carver tells Pope that Maggie's group got away. Pope reveals that he continued to interrogate Frost after they left and got all the information he needed. They see Frost tied to a post: he is now a walker. Pope confers privately with Carver as they head inside and laughing with him about something.
Carver radios Pope to report that the horde has returned. After Leah kills Pope and radios everyone that Daryl murdered their leader and is with the enemy, Carver arrives with Boone seconds after Daryl manages to escape. Seeing Pope dead and conforming his suspicions of Daryl, Carver expresses his anger at not killing him when he had the chance. Leah instructs them to close the gate and kill everything inside the walls.
This list shows the victims Brandon has killed:
- Teresa (Possibly)
- Elijah's Sister (Possibly)
- Numerous counts of enemy combatants (Pre-Apocalypse)
- Possibly some unnamed contracted victims (Pre-Apocalypse)
- Possibly some unnamed Wardens
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people