This article is about a character in the TV Series and a resident of Woodbury. You may be looking for the actress.
"He shot Richard! We've all suffered! We want answers."
—Karen to Andrea about the Governor shooting Richard Foster.[src]

Karen is a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. She is a former resident of Woodbury. Following the Governor's massacre, she moved to the Prison. Some months later, Karen formed a short but profound relationship with fellow survivor Tyreese Williams.


While sometimes appearing irritable and hot-headed, Karen is also a kind-hearted individual who generally acts with the best of intentions towards those she cares for. Initially wary of Rick's group, she quickly learns to trust them after they rescue her.

A softer, gentler side of Karen is explored before her death in Season 4. This is due to numerous factors, namely her growing relationship with Tyreese.


Rural Georgia

Nothing is known about Karen's life prior to or as the outbreak began, expect that she was a teacher.


Season 3

"The Suicide King"

The morning after the arena infiltration, Karen is one of the residents demanding Caesar Martinez to let her and the other townspeople leave town. When Richard Foster, a resident living in Woodbury, is attacked by zombies, she watches in horror and pleads with Andrea to do something, as he is suffering from his wounds. She asks repeatedly while Andrea just stands there, watching. The Governor then walks out of his apartment, aims his gun, shoots Richard in the head and then he walks back into his home like nothing happened.

Later that day, Karen, along with Paul, Eileen, and other townspeople gather outside The Governor's apartment until Andrea comes out and calms them down.


Karen is seen on the front wall, armed with a rifle, on watch duty with the other guards. When Andrea queries Karen on The Governor's whereabouts, she refuses to give her an answer, claiming that she doesn't know anything.

"I Ain't a Judas"

Karen argues with Martinez about Noah being trained for combat. She watches the Governor evaluate the townspeople with Andrea. She is on guard duty when Andrea returns to Woodbury, but lowers her gun when she realizes it's Andrea.

"Welcome to the Tombs"

Karen joined the raid on the prison but retreated after they were overwhelmed by walkers. While on the road, she joins the other Woodbury survivors in protest against The Governor, but survived the massacre by hiding under a corpse, appearing to be dead. She hides in one of the trucks that The Governor left behind, and is later found by Daryl Dixon, Rick Grimes, and Michonne. Karen informs them about how The Governor massacred the other survivors and tells them that Andrea jumped the wall and left Woodbury, and the four go back to the town to look for her and meet the remaining citizens.

At the end of the episode she is brought back to the prison with the remaining Woodbury survivors.

Season 4

"30 Days Without An Accident"

Karen is seen on fence-duty killing walkers alongside David, Chloe, Henry, and another prison resident. Eventually, before leaving on the Big Spot supply run, Tyreese pays her a visit and kisses her. They discuss the supply run and he confesses to Karen that he never enjoyed killing the walkers outside of the fence. He only did it to spend time with her.

Later that night, Karen and Tyreese are seen in their cell talking to one another before going to sleep.


Karen is seen with Tyreese until she leaves for Cell Block D. She stops at the showers for some water when she hears a strange noise. She investigates, finds nothing, and returns to her cell. However, a zombified Patrick emerges and follows Karen back to D Block. He feeds upon, and thus turns, a man and the two launch an attack on the prison inhabitants. Karen manages to survive and is led to safety by Tyreese. She is later seen coughing (a symptom of a fatal unknown disease). The Council places her under quarantine in another cell block along with others who may have been exposed. When Tyreese goes to visit her, he finds a blood trail that leads outside. He discovers two seared corpses, one of them being Karen, as it is wearing her bracelet.


Karen's charred corpse is seen again as Rick, Daryl, Tyreese, and Carol Peletier discover that she has been murdered. Later in the episode, Rick asks Carol if she killed Karen and David. After a long pause, Carol responds "Yes" and walks away.


Karen is seen as Rick imagines Carol stabbing Karen and dragging her body out to be burned. She is later mentioned in conversations by Rick and Carol.

"Live Bait"

Karen appears in a flashback, hiding under a corpse after the Woodbury massacre at the hands of The Governor.


Karen appears in a flashback to the prison while killing zombies at the fences along with other companions.

Season 5


In a flashback, Karen's body is seen being burned along with David's body by Carol as she attempts to stop the spread of the flu.


Killed By
  • The Flu (Caused)

After displaying symptoms of the unknown illness, Karen is separated from the healthy people in the prison.

Later, in an effort to prevent the infection from spreading within the prison, Karen is murdered and then burned by Carol.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Karen has killed:



"You find out who did this and you bring them to me!"
—Tyreese regarding Karen's death[src]

After becoming the sole survivor of The Governor's assault on his own militia, Karen is rescued by Rick's group and she in turn takes them to Woodbury. Tyreese is initially hesitant in allowing the group inside until Karen reveals herself to be alive, detailing that The Governor fired on his own people and that Rick's people saved her. In Season 4, it is revealed that Tyreese and Karen have formed an intimate relationship and Tyreese volunteered to kill the walkers on the fence so he could get to know her better. In "Infected", Tyreese is bringing flowers to Karen, but finds her charred corpse in the courtyard. He is devastated when he sees her corpse, and breaks down emotionally. He seeks revenge on whoever killed Karen.


Karen, as confirmed in an interview, was a school teacher who taught Noah near Woodbury. She cares deeply about his well-being. She is very protective of him as shown in "I Ain't a Judas" when Karen would not let him fight and was outraged when the Governor made him.


TV Series

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5


  • Laurie Holden and Melissa Ponzio have speculated that before the outbreak, Karen was a school teacher, which would also explain as to why she cared so much about Noah being in the Woodbury army.
    • In this interview (with MTV), Ponzio and Holden also confirmed that Noah is not Karen's son (as was previously believed), and that he was killed by The Governor off-screen in "Welcome to the Tombs".[1]
  • She is one of two characters to have faked their deaths in order to survive.
    • The other character is Anne.
    • Interestingly enough, both incidents occurred while their group was being exterminated.


TV Series Characters
Grimes Family JudithR.J.RickCarlLori
King County LambertPaulaShaneLeonMr. SiggardMrs. Siggard
Jones Family MorganJennyDuane
Atlanta Camp CarolDarylMoralesGlennAndreaMerleTheodoreDaleSophiaJacquiMirandaLouisElizaAmyEdJim
Nursing Home MiguelFelipeJorgeGuillermoGilbert
Jenner Family EdwinCandace
Greene Farm MaggieBethHershelPatriciaJimmyAnnetteShawnArnoldOtisJosephine
Military Personnel WellesWilsonBradySeanFranklinCallaway
The Living NateRandallSeanTonyDave
Michonne's Group MichonneMikeTerryAndre
The Prison AxelOscarAndrewTomasBig Tiny
Blake Family PhilipPennyMrs. Blake
Woodbury JeanetteMrs. RichardsMs. McLeodCaesarShumpertMr. JacobsonKarenMr. RichardsOwenErynGregMiltonDr. StevensRowanEileenFosterBettyNoahPaulJodyRichardHaleyWarrenMichaelGargulioCrowleyTimEmily
Tyreese's Group SashaTyreeseAllenBenDonna
Prison Newcomers BobLizzieMikaLukeMollyJulioHenryNorisCalebDavidRyanCharlieChloePatrickZach
Chambler Family TaraLillyMeghanDavid
Martinez's Group HowardMitchAlishaPete
Ford Family AbrahamEllenA.J.Becca
Post-Prison Survivors EugeneRositaChristopher
The Claimers DanBillyHarleyTonyJoeLenLou
Terminus MartinGregTheresaGarethAlbertMikeMaryAlex
St. Sarah's Church Gabriel
Grady Memorial Hospital StevenTanakaAlvaradoAmandaBelloLicariPercyMcGinleyFrancoNoahDawnO'DonnellBobJeffriesGormanJoanGavinHanson
Alexandria Safe-Zone AaronScottKyleSocorroBarbaraHeathNoraMrs. RobinsonAlexJenWayneCherylEnidRussBobBruceTobinKent AnnaMikeyFrancineSpencerOliviaDeniseDeannaLucyRonJessieSamMayaDavidBetsyNicholasAnnieWillTommySturgessBarnesNatalieStacyMichaelJefferyRichardsHollySamanthaBobbyCharlyneO'HaraDineshDanErinAdrianParkShellyCarterPeteRegAidenEric
The Wolves OwenAphid
The Saviors NeganAldenGracieSherryDwightAmberTanyaMarkGinaQuanPotterJoséBrookeMelJohnMarcusJonahAliceLauraBrandonFrankieD.J.RichieRegina JedNorrisArat JustinSimonDukeLanceGaryReillyJaredEvanKatyKenoDerekDeanGavinGomezPaulieDukeZiaLeoYagoJoeyGuntherRudyToddDinoHuckWadeCamNelsonMaraGordonRoyDavidEmmettIsabelleJosephChrisGeorgeNeilRomanJiroMilesPrimoPaulaMichelleMollyDonnieGabeTimmyTina
Hilltop Colony BertieOscarMarcoHershelKalEduardoGageBriannaEarlPennyFelixAdelineRodneyTammy RoseCasperMartinMilesHildePaulGregoryKennethStephanieCraigCrystalWesleyHarlanNeilFreddieAndyEthan
The Kingdom EzekielJerryDianneNabilaEzraAliyahMariamJoshuaJennyWilliamHenryDanaKevinKurtAlvaroDanielColtonRichardBenjamin
Oceanside CyndieRachelBeatriceJulesKathyNatania
The Scavengers AnneTamielBrionFarronWinslow
Georgie's Group HildaMidgeGeorgie
Magna's Group MagnaLukeKellyYumikoConnieBernie
The Whisperers LydiaAdamBetaAlphaRufusMaryDanteFrancesZionRasmusSeanHelen
Shelter Survivors CyrusAmandaLamarFrankRoseMatias
The Highwaymen AlfredMargoAlekOzzy
Jocelyn's Group WinnieP.J.GinaLinusMitchellJocelyn
Bloodsworth Island VirgilLucyCelesteJeremiahLisa
Survivor Caravan AidenBailey
Miscellaneous Survivors JuanitaWilhelmSiddiqMiloAmeliaLeslieEastmanSamAnaClara
Animals DogNellyShivaTabithaButtonsDukeFlameViolet
Walkers CarlaDellyJoe Sr.BillTonyNickErinDougLouiseWayneSummerHannahEddie
Alive characters appear in green. Dead characters appear in red and italics. Unknown characters appear in blue. Undead characters appear in gray and italics.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.