Carol PeletierPlayed by Melissa McBride
Carol, her husband Ed and their daughter Sophia meet Shane, Lori and Carl on the road to Atlanta. Taking pity on them, Carol offers to share her husband's rations until he chastises her for compromising their "operational security."
The wife of an abusive man, Carol is meek at the outset. But when Ed is killed in a walker attack, and later when Sophia is lost on the highway fleeing the CDC in Atlanta, she finds a new inner strength.
In Sophia's absence, Carol bonds with Daryl, who takes a fervent interest in locating her daughter. After one particularly perilous search, Carol thanks Daryl for "doing more for my little girl today than her own daddy did his whole life."
But when Sophia turns up a walker, Carol finds her faith shaken (she refuses to attend Sophia's funeral, claiming, “that's not my little girl.") and her relationship with Daryl strained.
When a walker herd attacks the farm, however, Daryl proves his devotion by riding up on his motorcycle to rescue her from a pack of the undead.
As time goes on, Carol continues to prove her mettle both as a fighter and as a medical apprentice to Hershel. When the group settles down at a nearby prison and Hershel loses his leg in a walker attack, the task of keeping him alive falls on Carol. She also prepares herself for the possibility of having to deliver Lori's baby via C-section by dissecting a walker cadaver.
During a walker invasion, Carol is separated from the group and believed to be dead. However, Daryl finds her days later, weak and dehydrated in a remote section of the prison. Daryl's rescue of Carol strengthens their friendship even further.
Having lived most of her life as a victim, Carol is steadfast in her determination to never be one again. When Andrea visits the prison, Carol demonstrates her new outlook by urging Andrea take action against the Governor: "You need to sleep with him, give him the greatest night of his life," Carol advises. "Get him to drop his guard, and then when he's sleeping, you can end this."