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- "Right now the safe zone is small, I'll grant you that. But we're planning to expand that wall over there to another block to the north, and this one over here, maybe another two of three blocks to the south, so what we're eventually going to end up with is a town within a town, a safe place for kids, which will, one day, if all goes well, be totally self-contained and totally self-sustainable."
- —Lilly introducing Woodbury to the Duprees.[src]
Lilly Caul is the current protagonist of the Novel Series. She is a resident who took refuge in Woodbury. She, along with her fellow townspeople, aided The Governor in his assault on Rick's group. After the prison assault she became the leader of Woodbury.
As a child, Lilly enjoyed many of her father's spook stories that he would tell her on the porch at their home. She also adored the shudders she would get when reading the twist ending of a Shirley Jackson novel, or watching the denouement of an X-Files episode, or devouring books from the school library such as Strange but True Tales of the Supernatural.
When Lilly was eight, maybe ten years old, her father decided to visit Tom and his sister-in-law Janice. Lilly and her cousins Deek and Derek began to play hide-and-seek, Lilly hid in the old storage compartment behind the stairs leading to the third floor, and the door slammed shut behind her, preventing her from getting out. a few minutes later, Lilly started shouting for help until one of her cousins found her, from that moment Lilly began to suffer from claustrophobia and anxiety disorder.
Lilly went to Sprayberry High School with Megan Lafferty, where she wanted to find a career in fashion. She and Megan shared nearly everything. Megan and Lilly would get high in the bathroom and go to the roof of the school. From there, the two would throw rocks at the jocks running drills behind the basketball court.
At the age of 19, at Georgia Tech University, Lilly once wrote a paper for Psych 203 called "The Mother of Invention," which was a scholarly study on how the snap judgments of people in stressful situations, such as cops, soldiers, and paramedics often led to ingenious solutions, which occasionally become standard operating procedure, writing that "all great inventions of the human imagination are totally pumped up and enhanced by life-and-death situations."
Before the outbreak, Lilly worked for the U.S. Air Force at the Dobbins Air Base in Georgia.
After the outbreak broke out, Lilly Caul and her father Everett Ray Caul stuck together for a short while. When they were attacked by a smaller herd, Everett saved Lilly by locking her in a bus, but this, unfortunately, caused himself to be devoured by a group of walkers, while his daughter witnessed these horrific events. After her father's death, Lilly called her friend Megan Lafferty.
Lilly is first seen in Tent City, a large football field sized clearing filled with tents and nearly one hundred survivors. She tries to hammer in a tent stake while her friend, Joshua Lee Hamilton observes. She gets infuriated so he tries to show her how its done. Eventually she hammers the stake into the ground through sheer rage. A swarm of walkers attacks the camp and Josh is surrounded by three. Lilly panics and runs away, leaving Josh for dead. Josh kills a few before being saved by some others survivors before he can get bitten. Lilly feels incredibly guilty about this. The next day Megan tries to get Lilly to speak to Josh but she can't bring herself to. They get into a short argument because of Megan constantly doing drugs and sleeping with everyone. After that Lilly babysits the four Bingham girls. Bob Stookey returns from a supply run and they begin talking. Bob convinces Lilly to speak to Josh who believes she is mad at him for some reason. Lilly nervously approaches Josh and tries to joke around, attempting to show him how to chop firewood. She starts trembling which gets Josh's attention so they sit down and talk. Josh forgives her for running away and tells her she did the right thing, Lilly isn't convinced by this. In the morning most of the survivors leave on a search for firewood, Josh included. Lilly watches the Bingham girls again and a large swarm of walkers attacks the camp. Lilly saves the girls from the collapsed circus tent and locks them in a vehicle, however Sarah Bingham runs away and is swiftly devoured by walkers. Lilly lures away the swarm back into the forest and passes out by a tree. She is later found by a scouting party lead by Chad Bingham, the group's leader, who wants to kill Lilly for letting Sarah die. Megan stops him. Afterwards a funeral is held for the sixteen survivors who were killed. Josh makes a speech but breaks down half way through and goes off to find the only two people who aren't present: Lilly and Chad. Lilly apologises to Chad in the forest away from the camp. Chad flips out in Lilly for letting Sarah die, despite his other three children being saved. He breaks a few of Lilly's rips and busts her lip before he is stopped by Josh who repeatedly and unmercifully rams the back of his skull into a tree, killing him. Later the camp's elders vote to kick Josh out the camp, so Lilly decides to join him. Before they leave Bob decides to leave with them, soon after joined by Megan and Scott Moon (her new stoner boyfriend). They leave in Bob's truck with a load of supplies.
Soon after leaving Tent City, they stop off at an abandoned gas station which they decide to stay in. They make frequent scavenger runs into Tent City which is falling apart. One night Lilly and Josh get close while hunting. Josh talks about his mom and they begin to form a relationship, however decide to take it slow. That night, two vehicles crash into the gas station which partially destroys it and forces the group to leave and search for someplace new. They stop off at Tent City which has burned down and become overrun. The group becomes more tense as winter closes in. Lilly and Josh start to worry about Bob who is becoming more and more dependent on alcohol. Bob returns from fishing and takes the group to an abandoned Walmart he found. Lilly thinks about clearing it out to live in, however Josh thinks the place is too much of a target. After scavenging for a while, Megan is taken hostage by another group outside the store. A man enters and calls out for anyone inside. Bob jumps up and holds the man and gunpoint which forces Josh, Lilly and Scott to reveal themselves also. The man calms everyone down and introduces himself as Martinez. The group gives back Megan and Martinez invites everyone to come back to their community. Josh doesn't think this is a bad idea and they can just check the place out. Lilly agrees with Josh. They decide to join Martinez and go to the community: Woodbury, Georgia. Lilly and the group are taken into Woodbury's courthouse to meet the town's leader, Philip Blake (formerly known as Brian Blake). Lilly doesn't like him and how he acts around Megan. During this talk, Scott jokes about him being the President, Philip prefers 'The Governor'.
During their time in Woodbury the group becomes more distant. Lilly and Josh stick with each other while Megan prostitutes herself for drugs, Scott goes missing and Bob is befriended by the Governor. The town's residents are very hostile to one another which gets Josh and Lilly on edge, especially when Josh tries to trade supplies for food and Sam 'The Butcher' suggests Lilly goes into prostitution. Some time later, Josh and Lilly form a stronger relationship and end up having passionate sex in the back of Bob's camper. Lilly wants her and Josh to leave the town for good so they start going off and exploring the surrounding area. One day they come across a neighbourhood and stay in a house they like. However all the back yards lead to a steep ditch filled which walkers who are starting to climb up it. Josh and Lilly return to the house one day and Lilly decides to break up with Josh because she feels like she is using him for protection and doesn't really love him. This gets Josh mad and they have a heated argument before the walkers break into the house and the two flee upstairs. Josh saves Lilly and burns down the house with the walkers in it. They walk back to Woodbury in silence and upon entering are greeted by Sam who wants their duffel bag of supplies. Him and Josh fight for it and when Josh begins to walk away Sam shoots him in the back of the head which traumatises Lilly. Josh dies in her arms and Sam tries pulling her away which results in her fighting back and attacking him. Martinez arrives on the scene and tackles Sam through the food store's window. Lilly is lost without Josh and is taken into Bob's care. Sam is killed in the Governor's new roman gladiator style arena. Lilly gets to know Dr. Dr. Stevens and Alice Warren and the three have a small party on Christmas eve. Martinez later joins and they start talking about how the Governor is going to run the town off a cliff. This gets Lilly thinking.
On January 1st, Megan commits suicide after sleeping with the Governor and discovering Scott's severed head in a fish tank. This deeply troubles Bob who now needs Lilly to look after him and Lilly starts setting up burial arrangements.
Lilly organises a plot against the Governor and gets Martinez in on it. The plot involves a kidnapping during the arena fights, where the Governor would be loaded into a truck and brought out into the woods where they would execute him. The plan works perfectly however they had to capture Gabe and Bruce as well which almost gets the Governor to catch on before he is knocked out. Their van comes to a stop when a large herd of walkers starts attacking them the Governor manages to escape from being tied up. Bruce holds Lilly at knife point but the Governor spares her life, insisting they need to work together to escape. Eventually they make it back to Woodbury however all four of Martinez's most loyal men were killed during the incident. The Governor brings Stevens and Alice into a room below the racetrack and begins lecturing them all about not questioning his leadership. The next day Lilly and the group are forced to chop up all the bodies of the National Guardsmen under the racetrack. Lilly curses the Governor under her breath.
Lilly and Alice watch Gabe and Bruce fight in the arena. Lilly is disgusted and gets up to leave. Alice warns her that the Governor is still watching them after their failed assassination attempt and tells Lilly to act casual. Lilly has a nightmare that night about Josh and wakes up to banging on her door. She opens it and finds Martinez who reminds her of their supply run today. Lilly joins Martinez, Gus Strunk, David and Barbara Stern and Austin Ballard outside next to a cargo truck. They load up and go out in search of a Piggly Wiggly. Austin starts playfully flirting with Lilly which gets on her nerves. She asks the Sterns to tell their honeymoon story again, hoping it will make her feel better about herself however it makes her feel helpless instead. They arrive at the store and find it deserted. Martinez spots a windowless warehouse behind it which they investigate. Inside, the building is filled with walkers; once they clear the place out they split up into small groups and quickly raid any supplies from the mostly filled, however out of date shelves. Austin is attacked by a walker and is saved by Lilly before he can get bit. Austin makes a quick joke which Lilly gets in on before they quickly hurry back to the others. While they're filling the truck with their supplies a walker approaches the group, Lilly unloads her six remaining bullets into its cranium.
On the way back to Woodbury they all start talking and laughing with each other. Lilly finally sees what Woodbury could be if everyone looked out for everybody else. Just then, everyone hears an alien sound they haven't heard in months. Its a helicopter. The aircraft crashes into the surrounding forest so Martínez and Gus follow it. They can't get any closer so the Sterns guard their truck while the others investigate. Austin is once again attacked while crossing a swamp but Lilly helps look after him. They reach the wrecked helicopter and rescue an injured woman from inside. The pilot is dead however the lady wants to retrieve his body for a Christian burial. Lilly convinces Martinez to go along with this despite them both knowing what the Governor will do with it.
When they return to Woodbury with the goldmine of supplies, Lilly returns home. Austin tags along with her and thanks her for looking out for him. He invites her to watch the arena fight tonight but she declines. Before the fight starts Austin thinks about Lilly. He decides to miss the fight and go back to her place to spend time with her. He asks Lilly if she can teach him how to properly defend himself because of how inexperienced he is. They go over many different things Austin needs to learn and he gets frustrated when Lilly constantly repeats herself and asks him the same questions. He trips over a branch due to being careless and Lilly apologises for laughing. They share a moment and almost kiss until Lilly realises that Austin fell on his knife and has a large cut down his leg. She hurries him off to the infirmary.
They stop to speak to the Governor who watches the arena walkers devour some bodies. He is now missing his ear which makes Lilly and Austin uncomfortable. He tells them that a group of strangers attacked him above the arena. One took off his ear and he sliced off the leader's hand in defence. Lilly thanks him for keeping the town together and takes Austin to the infirmary. Lilly sits Austin down on a bed and Alice takes a look at him. Stevens is occupied looking after one of the strangers, the man who is missing his hand, apparently named 'Rick Grimes'. Stevens believes the Governor attacked Rick and that he and his friends have done nothing wrong. Lilly asks how he can be so sure and wonders if the Governor is telling the truth. Stevens wants to know whats gotten into her and why she is suddenly in support of the Governor. Lilly just wants to consider all the options and fears for an attack.
- Main article: Lilly Caul (Comic Series)
In the aftermath of the assault, Lilly and the Woodbury residents who fled the zombies are trapped inside the prison. Lilly rallies the survivors and promises them that she will lead them to safety. Eventually Austin sacrifices himself to lure the mass of roamers away from the door, giving Lilly and other Woodbury residents a chance to escape. Lilly manages to destroy the herd of roamers and lead the survivors back to Woodbury. Out of the two dozen Woodbury citizens who participated in the prison assault, only six survived.
Overall the number of residents in Woodbury stand twenty nine: nine women, fourteen men and six children under the age of twelve. The novel ends with Lilly, now the new leader of Woodbury, welcoming the new refugees that arrive at the town.
This list shows the victims Lilly has killed:
- Andrew (Zombified)
- Dr. Stevens (Zombified)
- Lori Grimes
- Judith Grimes (Accidental)
- Brian Blake
- Scott Moon (Zombified)
- Mike (Zombified)
- Christina Meredith Haben (Zombified)
- Penny Blake (Zombified)
- Caesar Ramon Martinez (Zombified)
- Matthew Hennesey (Out of Mercy)
- Speed Wilkins (Out of Mercy)
- Bob Stookey (Before Reanimation)
- Jeremiah James Garlitz (Caused)
- Theodore Bryce (Zombified)
- Barbara Stern (Zombified)
- Cooper Steeves (Zombified)
- Antoine Spanic (Caused)
- Barret Deems (Caused)
- Johnny Musolino (Assumed, Zombified)
- Burt Stankowski (Indirectly Caused)
- Jennifer Stack (Indirectly Caused)
- Kourtney Stack (Indirectly Caused)
- Kayla Stack (Indirectly Caused)
- At least 52 Governor's Victims (Zombified)
- Several unnamed Atlanta Ikea intruders
- Several unnamed members of Spencer-Lee's group
- Numerous counts of zombies
- "The Road to Woodbury"
- "The Fall of the Governor"
- "Search and Destroy"
- "Return to Woodbury"
- Lilly's blood type is O negative, revealed in the novel Search and Destroy.
- Lilly has a tattoo of a Chinese character on her lower back.
- Lilly suffers from a severe case of claustrophobia and anxiety disorder.
- Lilly has a lot of tics which appear when she is nervous or afraid. Most notable of these is her biting her nails.
- Lilly is one of the three characters to survive a zombie bite due to amputation, others being Dale and Connie.
- Lilly is one of the many amputee victims, and one of them still alive.
- Lilly and Heath are currently the only amputees that have prosthetic limbs. Lilly has her leg cut off after being bitten, and given a prosthetic leg by David.
- Lilly is a playable character in The Walking Dead: Road to Survival.
- Lilly can be killed by the hero player after killing Lori and Judith in the app but this does not affect her since she is still alive.
- Lilly is one of the two comic characters to die in the app whilst being alive in the original media, the other being Benjamin.
- Robert Kirkman confirmed in a Letter Hacks, that Lilly Caul is separate from the Lilly in the Video Game.
- As of The Walking Dead: Invasion, Lilly is the sole surviving Woodburian who appears in both the Comic Series and the Novel Series. She is also the only surviving Tent City refugee as well.