The Walking Dead Theory: Carol Joining Morgan’s Philosophy?

Carol Peletier's kill list - The Walking Dead, AMC
Carol Peletier's kill list - The Walking Dead, AMC /

Lately on The Walking Dead, Carol’s been reflecting on her kills since things began, and not fondly either. Between that and her defending him, I wonder…is Carol coming around to Morgan’s way of thinking?

I feel like this may be a bit of a stretch, but, I don’t think it’s too far of one that I can’t try to make it, besides, this is a Walking Dead Theory, after all…

The Evidence

Well, let’s start with Carol’s hitlist, shall we? She has a shorthand for a few: R, K, D, L, the last three of which are almost certainly Karen, David, and Lizzie, the first one is a little more difficult to figure out, but not too much so, the most obvious guess is Ryan, Lizzie and Mika’s dad, whom Carol put down after being bitten during Patrick’s zombified rampage in the prison.

As for the others, she has written “Terminus/Courtyard 3”, “CandleWoman”, who most likely is Mary, Gareth and Alex’s mom, though, where she gets the “4”, I don’t know…maybe however many Termites she may have encountered when she made her escape? The last entry is “Ws 7”, which is obviously referring to The Wolves.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead -- Amc
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead — AMC /

Speaking of The Wolves, it should be noted (In fact, it was noted) that while Carol’s count is accurate as far her actions in “JSS”, where she did kill seven of them, it leaves out someone…Alpha.

Despite the fact she gunned him down while he tried to get Denise to the infirmary, she seems to leave him off of the list…why?

To be honest, if you look at Carol’s reaction to discovering that Alpha was, in fact, trying to lead Denise to safety (Pictured above), that is the look of someone who thinks they may have made a big mistake.

And, it seems like, not only did that particular kill give Carol pause there, but, served as the motivation for her writing her hitlist in the first place!

What’s more, Carol writing the hitlist is not the action of someone proud of all the people that she’s killed since the zombie apocalypse began, but, that action of someone who feels guilty about it. Frankly, we’ve seen this gaining steam since Rick exiled Carol from the group in “Indifference”. After returning with Tyreese, we watched as Carol, still not feeling like she belonged with The Group, attempted to leave in “Strangers”, had Daryl not caught up to her and dragged her along in the mission to scout Beth’s captors. If Carol is coming around to Morgan’s way of thinking, it is the culmination of all of this.

“He doesn’t wanna kill.”

Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead — AMC /

Of course, the hitlist isn’t the only thing that is leading me to believe Carol may be coming to Morgan’s way of thinking. It’s the rather sudden turn around she’s had in dealing with him.

Just before the breach, Carol was willing (Albeit, not entirely enthusiastic about the idea) to kill Morgan so that she could, in turn, kill Alpha, but, after the breach, and after killing Alpha, Carol suddenly not only doesn’t want to kill Morgan at all, she’s defending his beliefs to Rosita, and has sworn her, Tara, and Eugene to silence about Morgan’s role in Denise’s brief capture at Alpha’s hands!

To call that a turn around is, frankly, an understatement. It’s a complete 180, truth be told: She’s literally gone from challenging Morgan on his beliefs to defending them from others. I consider this turn, in and of itself, pretty strong evidence of Carol possibly starting to understand and accept Morgan’s philosophy.

But, I don’t intend to leave it simply at that…

Like Looking Into A Mirror

Paula - The Walking Dead, AMC
Alicia Witt as Paula – The Walking Dead, AMC /

Now, when this theory first came to me, it was after “Not Tomorrow Yet”, and, frankly, I feared I may not have enough evidence to support it, then…Paula fell into my lap.

Paula, one of Negan’s minions, was introduced to us this past Sunday in “The Same Boat” and, immediately, we could start seeing parallels between her Carol: Both were wives, both were mothers, both lost their children, both had killed people during the apocalypse after reasoning it was the best way to survive, and both had racked up double-digit body counts in their wake.

There, however, is where the similarities end. As Paula herself explains, after she reached double-digits, she simply stopped caring. Like some alternate universe version of Carol, or some Dickensian vision of a bleak future, rather than have remorse or regret or guilt for those she killed, she’s gotten to the point where she no longer even counts the number of people she’s killed, she cares so little about the act.

In meeting her and the rest of her team of Saviors, we watched Carol, as she slowly and cleverly gleaned information from them, see a horrific vision of what she could be if she continued down the path she presently leads, racking up bodies as she goes (By my count, including Alpha, she’s up to 24). Her killing of Michelle, Paula, and their backup team only served to remind her of just how close (At least, in her mind) she may be to becoming something like them.


At the end of last Sunday’s episode, when Daryl asks Carol if she’s okay, she says “No”. I think, all of the deaths she’s been responsible for, no matter how necessary they may have been, are eating away at Carol, and have been since even before Rick exiled her from the prison. While I think Carol may have rationalized it to herself before, after Rick told her he wouldn’t have her at the prison, she simply couldn’t do it anymore, and her feelings of guilt have grown ever since.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead — AMC /

Furthermore, while she may have initially thought Morgan’s philosophy of not killing may have been unrealistic before, after realizing that Alpha was trying to get Denise to safety when she killed him, I’m beginning to think that Carol is understanding not only that Morgan may be right about people’s abilities to change, but also, why Morgan came to adopt that philosophy in the first place.

I think Carol has seen what her future may be if she continues down the path she presently walks, and it terrifies her. Considering this, and her apparent turn around in how she sees Morgan and his philosophy, I truly believe that it may not be long before she decides that she no longer wants to kill anyone anymore, and, at that point, will she really be any different than Morgan?


More from Carol Peletier

So, that was my latest The Walking Dead Theory. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know! And, if you like this and want to read more of my writings, specifically about how to survive a zombie apocalypse, why not pick up a copy of my book, The Rules: A Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse! You can get it on Kindle here and on iTunes here!