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Ed Peletier is an antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. During the initial outbreak, he evacuated to Atlanta with his abused wife Carol Peletier and his daughter Sophia Peletier. They eventually found a camp of survivors and joined their group. He served as the primary antagonist of the episode "Tell It to the Frogs".
Ed was a boorish, surly, combustible, abrasive, likely misogynistic, seemingly compassionless and vicious bully who was brazenly violent and abusive to his wife and implied to be violent to his daughter as well -- as while threatening to kill him in response to him hitting Carol, Shane also mentioned that if he put his hands on Sophia again, he'd kill him for that as well. At one point Ed started an argument with the women of the camp that was completely unprovoked and brazenly threatened to hit Andrea; he would also often verbally abuse and harass the other women of the group. Carol reveals that the controlling bully would try and assert his dominance by not allowing her to wear attractive clothing. In "Omega," Carol's adopted son Henry tells Daryl Dixon that he overheard Carol telling Ezekiel that whenever she tried to get away from Ed, he would use her long hair to pull Carol back to him and abuse her more. Carol subsequently kept her hair short to prevent this and the trauma of Ed's abuse would cause her to keep her hair short for years after his death before she would feel safe enough to let it grow long again.
Ed was revealed to have paid very little attention to his daughter Sophia and when she was an infant he would often stay at a friend's house, leaving Carol to care for Sophia. While never elaborated on, it's hinted that Ed had a predatory sexual relationship with his daughter as Carol stated in a prayer in "What Lies Ahead" that she wished Ed to be punished for not only abusing her but also "for looking at his own daughter, whatever sickness was growing in his soul." Lori Grimes, who was sitting beside Carol during the prayer, reacted noticeably.
Southern United States
Ed never attended college and grew up as an uneducated and abusive individual. In his younger years, he charmed Carol enough to convince her to date and eventually marry him. They had a daughter together, who was named Sophia. He rarely paid attention to Sophia, often relying on Carol to be the parental figure of the family. When Sophia was an infant, Ed resorted to staying at a friend's house nights on end, leaving Carol to deal with Sophia by herself.
Ed dominated Carol throughout their marriage, from preventing her from buying her own clothes, to physically and verbally assaulting her in order to solidify his authority. At one point, Ed grabbed Carol by her hair and slammed her head against the wall, an event which would cause her to cut off all of her hair.
During the onset of the outbreak, Ed and his family traveled towards a supposedly safe-zone in Atlanta. On the way, they got caught in a traffic jam and met Shane, Lori, and Carl. While on the road, Ed became angry when Carol offered a snack to Lori so her son could eat, and ordered her not to share with anyone. Sometime after the city was napalmed by the military, they formed a campsite outside the outskirts of Atlanta, along with other survivors.
Ed watches as Shane, Dale Horvath, and Jim work together to remove the battery from the car Glenn Rhee has brought to the camp after returning from the scavenge mission in Atlanta. That night, as newcomer Rick Grimes talks with his family and other members of the group, Ed starts a fire in an attempt to receive some warmth from the cold night and after Shane asks him to dim it down to embers, he refuses. However, Carol does it to keep things peacefully.
The next day, Ed watches with the other camp members when Daryl Dixon is informed that his brother Merle was left behind on a rooftop in a building. He then takes over as lookout and watches the camp from the roof of the RV. Later that day, Ed notices as Carol, Andrea, Amy, and Jacqui start joking and chatting while doing laundry in the quarry. He comes over and orders them to be quiet and to resume their chores. After Andrea and Jacqui confront him, Ed responds with hostility and then orders Carol to come with him, despite the women trying to stop her.
When Carol refuses to leave and instead tries to calm him down, Ed smacks her hard across the face. Shane, who witnesses this from afar, becomes infuriated and, due to having accumulated rage, grabs Ed and savagely beats him while warning him that if he ever hit Carol, Sophia, or another woman, Shane would beat him to death. He then delivers a final blow to him and walks away as a sobbing Carol tends to her injured husband.
Ed thereafter remained in his tent for the remainder of the day, recovering from the injuries inflicted by Shane. When Carol invites him to join the group's fish fry, he angrily rejects her, and instead grabs Sophia's arm and asks her to stay to keep him company. Carol, indignant by the morbid proposal, stands her ground and leaves the tent with her daughter. That night, Ed is napping when he is awakened by rustling outside his tent. He opens the tent to demand to be left alone but is promptly attacked by a group of walkers and devoured.
Following the attack on the camp, Ed's body is found in his tent and is laid out by the survivors with the rest of their dead. When Daryl is going to impale his head with an axe to prevent reanimation, Carol stops him, stating that she would do it, as he was her husband. She then swings down at Ed's bloody and mangled body several times, releasing years of contained anger and rage, before breaking down. He is then buried on the hillside with the others.
In a flashback during the early days of the outbreak, Ed and his family meet Lori, Carl Grimes, and Shane, on a congested highway. When Carol tries to share a snack from their supplies to Carl, he angrily stops her and then berates her for trying to give away their food to strangers, reminding her their family is the priority.
- Killed By
- Zombies (Alive)
As Ed is sleeping, he hears something outside his tent. He assumes that its someone bothering him and opens the tent, only to discover a walker. It manages to force itself inside Ed's tent, biting him on the neck before being joined by other walkers who devour him.
- Carol Peletier (Before Reanimation)
Following the attack, as the remaining survivors clean up the camp, Daryl is about to put down Ed's corpse but Carol comes over and decides to do it instead using a pickaxe.
This list shows the victims Ed has killed:
- Possibly a few zombies
- "Chupacabra" (Flashback)
- In the episode "Vatos", it was implied that Ed may have a history of sexual abuse towards Sophia. This is never explored however, as his death followed almost immediately. This is further supported by Carol's words in "What Lies Ahead", after Sophia's disappearance. In the church, Carol said praying for Ed's death was a sin, even though he looked at his own daughter "with whatever sickness was growing in his soul."
- Ed is also the first character to be killed by walkers.
- Ed is also the first member of the original Atlanta group to die.