The Walking Dead: Carol, the mom

Carol Peletier. The Walking Dead. AMC
Carol Peletier. The Walking Dead. AMC /

The Walking Dead moms. Carol Peletier was a mom. Tobin says she is a mom to Alexandria. She tells Maggie she’s supposed to be somebody else–a mom.

Tobin’s conversation with Carol could have been talking about an everyday soccer mom, if you didn’t know the subtext. When he was talking about the hard stuff that moms do, he might have meant cleaning up puke or tough love with a drug addicted child.

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Carol’s tough love included killing Lizzie to protect Judith. Killing Wolves and Walkers. Now Carol is doing the every day mom things that seemed like an act when she first arrived in Alexandria. Maybe everything about Carol is an act.

Moms want to protect their children from getting hurt. Protect them from the harshness of the world. Where Rick wanted them to see things, Carol told them stories. She said children like stories. She took care of the harshness for them and let them hear the stories.

Moms aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. They get tired. They resent their role at times. They lash out. Carol made mistakes with poor Sam. She loved him. She told him that scary story because she needed to tell him something at that moment.

Parents have all told stories that have backfired at times. Ironically, it was that story that drew Sam to Carol in the first place. So Sam got to have Carol in his life for a little while and that was nice for both of them.

Sometimes moms identify so much with their mom role, they don’t know who they are without it. Carol was an abused wife. Her role as a mother to Sophia probably brought joy to her joyless life. Gave her purpose. Allowed her to get outside herself.

Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead - AMC
Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead – AMC /

When she lost Sophia, she lost herself. At the prison she was able to start to find who she might be, but only through being a mom to them–being on the council, reading to the kids and teaching the kids to use weapons. Carol thought she was avoiding being a mom, but she was being one all the same.

Carol got frustrated with Lizzie when she called her mom instead of ma’am. Most women would be touched to have someone want to call them mom. Carol pushed away any thoughts of being a mom or remembering being a mom.

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She told Rick that she didn’t say Sophia’s name because that was somebody else’s slide show. When she was married to Ed perhaps Carol got used to pretending her life was someone else’s in order to survive the abuse. She got used to pretending to be someone else in order to please Ed and not set him off. She couldn’t express her real thoughts.

In Alexandria now Carol is trying to figure out who she is. Can she be a kind person with sincerity? Can she finally wear some nice things? While scavenging clothes in the highway she told Lori that Ed never let her have nice things. She got a little annoyed with the walker blood ruining her acorn gathering trip.

Rick came back from Hilltop and announced a new fight. Things just aren’t going to work out for her. But she wants better for Maggie. She doesn’t want Maggie to have the same experience. She’s fighting so Maggie and Glenn can have a baby in a nice peaceful place in the new world.

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Like most moms she doesn’t realize that Maggie will make her own decisions and her own mistakes. Carol wants to protect her from the hurt she’s experienced as a mother. Learn from her mistakes. Be somebody else.