|This article is about the Comic Series character. You may be looking for her TV Series, Assault or Road to Survival counterparts, or the actress.|
- "You're probably not going to like it here, y'know. They're nice enough people, at first they're great... but they're so goddamn judgmental. One slip-up... and that's it for you really. I tried to kill myself. I did. It didn't work, obviously, but I tried. They won't let me forget it. Since then, I can see it in their eyes--they've lost all respect for me. All of them. Even my best friend. She tries to be nice but I can tell she's just patronizing me. She hasn't wanted to talk to me since I did it. She just feels like she has to. Everyone thinks I'm crazy. (...) I don't really have anyone to talk to, so I figured I'd introduce myself. I'm Carol. I think I'll just talk to you from now on. You listen, you don't seem to judge me. That's really important in a friendship, y'know. Not judging people. I really hope you like me. (...) Oh, good... You do like me."
- —Carol to a zombie, shortly before and after letting it bite her.[src]
Carol is a character first encountered in Issue 3 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. She is the mother of Sophia Grimes and a member of the Atlanta survivors group. She befriends Lori and stays by her side most of the time. Soon after meeting him, Carol enters into a relationship with Tyreese, before breaking up with him duo to Tyreese cheating on her with Michonne. At this point, her mental health begins to deteriorate, which eventually results in her suicide.
A relatively calm and collected individual at first, Carol's friendly and normal attitude served as a facade to hide some of her underlying mental instabilities, which would later reveal themselves and eventually lead to her untimely death.
One major theme throughout Carol's time in the comics is her need for companionship among the daily chaos, due to the fact that she is a weak and dependent person. The people around her kept her balanced and helped the woman maintain the image of a sane individual. However, once she no longer received this support from them, she gradually began to slip and lose the control that she initially had over herself. The boundaries between rationality and irrationality became blurred to her, as she fully believed that she and the Grimes could be a family together.
Not much is known about her pre-marital days. She had always had a good relationship with her sister and, specifically when she was a teenager, had dated a number of guys. She had dated her husband for a significant amount of time, before he eventually talked her into marrying him (the proposal she only accepted because of her fear of being alone). It's been heavily implied that she faced little satisfaction throughout her many years of marriage and only stayed with him because she both needed as much help as she could get taking care of Sophia and also because of her needy tendencies. Carol also mentions her husband occasionally hit her, but still dubs him a "good guy".
Her husband was the breadwinner of the family, working as a successful car salesman. Because of the large amount of money he brought in daily, she herself didn't have to venture out into the working world, so she played the role of an average housewife, although she occasionally brought in some extra money by maintaining an at-home business where she would sell Tupperware out of catalogs (though her customers were mostly just friends and family). She tended to indulge in a lot of arts and crafts during her free time, including knitting and scrap booking.
Once the apocalypse broke out, her husband was traumatized, forced to see his parents die in front of him and supposedly become zombies. After this event, he was driven into a deep depression and Carol's relationship with him became increasingly strained. Even despite talking a distressed and doubtful Carol into staying with him, he ended up giving up on life eventually and committing suicide, leaving her and Sophia to fend for themselves. Shortly after his death, Carol had decided the best next move for the two of them would be to move to Atlanta to be with her sister, where they both would be safe and secure from the zombies.
On the way to Atlanta, she and Sophia met up with Shane and the other band of survivors in Atlanta and set up an initial campsite in a nearby quarry. Throughout her time at the quarry, she constantly assisted the other mothers in domestic duties such as washing clothes and looking after the children (though often she let Donna and Lori do work for her while she observed and made sure they were washing right). Usually coming off as a friendly and chatty (albeit neurotic) woman, she was able to befriend most everyone around her fairly quickly and usually tended to stay close to the women in the group. The person she most bonded with was Carl's mother, Lori, with the two of them constantly conversing about the current happenings around them. Lori was also who she relied upon the most for support whenever it was needed.
She and Sophia managed to survive the deadly attack at the campsite, nearly being attacked, but, saved at the last second by Glenn.
After abandoning the quarry campsite and hitting the road, they come upon a man named Tyreese, who Carol is almost instantly drawn to. Several times she flashes sexually suggestive glances at him, to which he gladly reciprocates. During the group's campfire dinner, she makes admiring comments towards him, such as how grateful she and everyone else were for him and how they wouldn't have lasted without his help. Tyreese makes a physical advance toward her and gropes her leg which Carol visibly enjoys. Holding each other's hands, they leave with everyone else for their housing quarters and the two end up sleeping next to one another. She notices Tyreese's slight nervousness about being this close as he puts his hand on her shoulder, but, she calmly keeps his hand on her shoulder for comfort, with the two embracing each other as they wait to fall asleep. This officially starts off their relationship. The next day and so on, she appears confident in herself, in a joyful mood.
Throughout the group's stay at the farm they're shown together, whether it be relaxing and teasing each other in the farmhouse or target practice during one of the Rick's training sessions. Carol and Tyreese appear to be very happy, their relationship serving as a distraction for Carol from all of the horrors of the world, filling her with joy and providing her with positive energy.
Carol and Tyreese's relationship continues on as normal when they arrive at the Prison. Carol is happy with the group staying in the prison, as it is a good place to raise their children.
Tensions start to rise between Carol and Tyreese when Michonne is introduced, and Carol begins to fear Tyreese will be attracted to her. Carol tries to ignore Tyreese and Michonne's friendship for some time and simply just brush it off as nothing, until she witnesses Michonne performing oral sex on Tyreese in the prison gymnasium. Initially, this led to her to think that she had to try and compete with Michonne for his affection, so when they were in bed she shamefully and tearfully attempted to give him oral sex as well. Tyreese was surprised, as he knew that Carol did not enjoy performing oral sex. It was then that she officially split up with Tyreese, demanding that he gather his things and move out the following day.
Soon after the break-up however, her mentality came into question, due to Tyreese's betrayal and the global apocalypse in general. It escalated to the point where she deeply cut her wrist (in front of a terrified Sophia).
Soon after the cutting, Carol became desperate for companionship, seeing as how Sophia (her only child and remaining blood relative) now looked down on her. She felt that the Grimes' were the only ones in the survivor group who offered her comfort and relaxation (especially after the cutting), the only bright aspect in her otherwise disastrous life. On one occasion, she passionately kisses Rick when he attempts to console her. She proposes the idea of a polygamous or plural relationship between him, Lori, and herself. Her reasoning being that since the normal rules of society no longer apply, they can live however they want, raise their children and provide each other with security and comfort in this nightmarish world. He rejects her idea. Visibly hurt, she goes to Lori and attempts to propose the polygamous relationship to her, only be to shot down a second time.
Things turned even more depressing for her when she showed genuine compassion to Lori while she was under a significant deal of distress (gently putting a hand on her lap) only for Lori to mistake the woman's actions as another advance and a sign that she was still trying to get her to accept the idea. This resulted in Carol being angrily berated, which showed her that even her best friend didn't trust her anymore and now thought of her as being a freak just like everyone else.
This rejection by the two people she was closest to at the moment (and the mistrust they now had towards her) pushed Carol over the edge and she begins to formulate a plan to commit suicide - the only solution in her mind that would put a definite end to the increasing amount of suffering she had been going through. She attempted to converse with people before she put the plan into action to see if there was even one person who still had respect for her - that person was Alice, who was very kind to her (which Carol outwardly said).
On her last day alive, she joined Lori for a picnic outside in the prison yard and discusses with her what would happen if she were to die. Lori agreed that she would take responsibility for Sophia, unaware of Carol's plan. She then joked about finding a man before it's too late, which Carol literally did, as she seduced and slept with Hershel's son Billy, whom she had recently taken a subtle liking to. Afterwards, she wandered into the courtyard where Alice was keeping a zombie for testing purposes and poured out her feelings to it. In a state of delusion, she began talking to it, explaining how everyone no longer trusted her and that she now had no other friends in the world besides it. She moves closer and allows it to bite her and ravage her neck, while remarking "Oh good, you do like me," enjoying the pain momentarily (knowing that she would bleed to death in a matter of seconds). A handful of the survivors rushed to her side, but she refused to let anyone help her, telling them to leave her so she could die in peace. Carol died in Tyreese's arms, and was killed mercifully by Andrea, during her almost immediate reanimation before she had the chance to bite Tyreese (who was deeply saddened and thus vulnerable to Carol's attack). Then, she was buried next to Allen.
- Killed By
After Tyreese cheats on Carol with Michonne and eventually gets into a relationship with her, Carol starts to become delusional.
Carol commits suicide by letting Alice's test zombie bite her on the neck.
- Andrea (Zombified)
Seconds after bleeding out, Carol quickly reanimates and is shot in the head by Andrea.
This list shows the victims Carol has killed:
- Herself (Suicide, Alive)
- A few zombies
- Carol would've had Sophia around 15-16 years of age. This implies that Carol's age is likely an oversight, since she was already married when she had Sophia. Carol is likely of a similar age to Lori.
- While Carol mainly displays attraction to males (such as Tyreese, Rick, and Billy), she is also seen kissing Lori (albeit without Lori's permission), implying that she may possibly be bisexual. However, due to her deteriorating mental state at the time, it remains unclear whether she kissed Lori out of actual attraction or simply desperation.
- Carol has one of the fastest reanimation times of any character in the Walking Dead franchise to date, turning mere seconds after her biological death.
- A reader asked: "Why did you make Carol the one who does all the weird crazy things?" Robert Kirkman responded: "...I just wanted to show how stressful life in this book actually is and how crazy it can make weaker people. Carol was a pretty weak, dependent person. Things wouldn't work out for people like her in this world."