As all of the chess pieces moved into place during Sunday’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead, one character’s trajectory remained hazy: after spending most of the season so far off-screen, Carol finally reappeared in “Hearts Still Beating” to nosh on some pomegranate seeds, reluctantly chat with Morgan, and nervously mull over a confrontation with Negan. Fans have spent all season wondering when Carol might snap out of her distaste for combat, and so far, that question remains unanswered. One bit of good news? When the series returns next year, the latter half of the season will at least give this fan favorite some more screen time. For the inside scoop on what shooting this season has been like so far and what might lie ahead, Vanity Fair spoke with Carol herself: actress Melissa McBride.
Although McBride is, of course, sworn to secrecy, she did confirm that fans will get to see more of Carol than they did in the season’s first half, which relegated her to two episodes. Coming out of the midseason finale, Carol is still very conflicted. After going through so much—losing a child, getting banished from your group, having to kill another little girl—wouldn’t anyone need a moment to find themselves?
“I’m glad she’s taking a little time for herself,” McBride said, adding that she couldn’t imagine what it would be like to endure all of the changes and horrors the group has been forced to weather. Everyone deals with that in their own ways, McBride said, and for Carol this season, that’s meant isolating herself. Still, McBride notes that the key to surviving this apocalypse might be exactly what her character is trying to flee from.
“When you’ve lost everything, there’s still much to be had—there are people. When you find people you care about, that’s an amazing thing. I mean, that’s it.”
For Carol, that has meant committing several atrocities, McBride noted. So now, as we’ve seen, she’s shunning her natural human impulse toward connection in an attempt to save herself the burden of forming relationships. That said, “you can’t run from it,” McBride added.
“I just want to hug her . . . I want her to come around. But I get how it is.”
However long it takes, it seems inevitable that we’ll see Carol back in action one way or another. (The Walking Dead’s TV adaptation has created too much of a badass to stifle her forever, right?) One new player who might break her out of her shell? King Ezekiel, who got to know her “pretty well” very quickly after they first meet. Plus, McBride added, “he’s charming; you can’t deny that.” Maybe he’ll break her out of her shell—but whether Carol and Morgan will try convincing him to attack the Saviors remains up in the air.
Carol’s arrival in The Kingdom was one of this season’s high points—a well-paced episode that delivered some much-needed levity after the gruesome premiere. And one of the best parts of the episode came toward the end, when Carol and Ezekiel sat down on a back patio and had a frank conversation about survival. When asked how she personally might have reacted to a place like The Kingdom and a leader like Ezekiel, McBride sounded like she would have had fun:
“Oh, gosh. I think if that were me going into that auditorium, I’d be like, ‘No way! What are you doing? Who are you? What are you? Seriously? Are you for real? Oh my gosh, can I pet your tiger? I want to be part of your production here, this is fun; what kind of costumes do you have in the back?’ That would be me. ‘Sure, I’ll have a pomegranate!’ “
Cheers to that.
In the last couple week’s I’ve added some stills and captures to the gallery. Hope y’all enjoy!
Oh, Lucille, how you torment us! We caught up with Melissa McBride, aka The Walking Dead’s Carol, and if you think losing a character from the show is hard for us, imagine losing a part of your TV family. We’ll finally learn who Negan took out with his beloved barbed-wire bat, Lucille, when the zombie-fest returns for it’s seventh season on AMC at 9 p.m. ET this Sunday.
“If you care about anybody on The Walking Dead, you should tune in (laughs). If you’ve been watching and you care about any of these characters, you should tune in. If you want to know who got the bat, you should tune in,” said McBride.
When it comes to the new season, “I, for a minute (laughs)… for a minute… thought that there was going to be a break for Carol,” she said.
“I used to think that I didn’t carry any of that home with me, and I carry a little bit, just a little bit. Enough to be cranky somedays. But there was a minute I was enjoying some lighter moments and thinking we’re in the turn. But, of course, once you go around that corner there’s always something horrible (laughs). You can bet on it. This season it’s extremely difficult emotionally for me and losing a cast member is never easy.”
If the comics are any hint, uber-villian Negan will challenge our heroes in every way. “The world keeps changing and getting more and more desperate. And that theme that’s been there all along is what are you willing to do to survive and are you willing to survive,” said McBride.
Yes, it’s been a long, bloody six years. At the end of last season, as others faced the bat, Carol left Alexandria and ended up gravely injured herself.
“I get it. What Carol’s had to do, like everybody else, just thinking about the children and how far she’s pushed herself, and just point blank shooting people… I just can’t even… Getting to such a conflict inside and caring so deeply for those people. The only way she thought she could deal with it was to remove herself” by leaving Alexandia, she said.
After battling some bad guys on the road, she was rescued by Morgan and they headed to The Kingdom, while most of the rest of the cast faced Lucille.
The Kingdom will introduce “amazing new characters, like King Ezekiel and his tiger.. It’s just lush. There’s so much going on… Their world is getting bigger and more spread out and strange.”
Finally, we’ve got some Season 7 promotional photos to add to the gallery. Hope you enjoy!
Melissa McBride continues to tease a dark fate for her character Carol in The Walking Dead Season 7.
The actress shared a cryptic message to The Walking Dead TV panel audience at New York Comic Con 2016 about Carol’s future. Here’s what McBride had to say: “Every step she’s taken up to this moment has just devastated her…What is it about this world that makes us want to survive so much? That’s a huge question.”
There comments make us nervous. McBride has consistently talked about Carol’s dark path while promoting The Walking Dead Season 7 . Carol has always pulled through the darkness and survived despite the odds stacked against her. We’ve seen Carol’s resilience in The Walking Dead Season 5 when she covered herself in walker guts and made a makeshift missile launcher to rescue Rick’s group from the Terminus cannibals.
However, Carol isn’t doing so well by the end of The Walking Dead Season 6 finale. Carol wants peace and doesn’t believe she will get that in Alexandria. She’s starting to lose herself, and it could mean the show is preparing to say goodbye to the character. In the comics, Carol goes through a similar depression after she catches Tyrese cheating on her with Michonne. Carol feels alone and starts to distance herself from her daughter Sophia. She tries latching on to Rick and Lori, but fails to convince them to have an open marriage.
Carol then ties up a walker in the prison basketball court and lets it devour her. She essentially dies from suicide by walker. If Carol is too far gone, the show could have a similar fate for the character. At this point, if Carol has to kill people again she will probably turn the gun on herself. She can’t carry any more guilt and the only person who truly sees that is Morgan . He’s tried desperately to help her want to live; if Morgan fails Carol, it’s likely he’ll spiral back into his old ways.
Do you think Carol will make in past The Walking Dead Season 7? Let us know in the comments below. The Walking Dead Season 7 premieres Oct. 23 on AMC.