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Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Ed Peletier (Adam Minarovich), Andrea (Laurie Holden), Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) and Amy (Emma Bell) in Episode 3 of The Walking Dead Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Ed Peletier (Adam Minarovich), Andrea (Laurie Holden), Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) and Amy (Emma Bell) in Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Scott Garfield/AMC Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Ed Peletier (Adam Minarovich), Andrea (Laurie Holden), Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) and Amy (Emma Bell) in Episode 3 of The Walking Dead Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Ed Peletier (Adam Minarovich), Andrea (Laurie Holden), Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) and Amy (Emma Bell) in Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Scott Garfield/AMC

The Walking Dead

Is Carol’s life better off post-apocalypse on The Walking Dead?

Photo Credit: Scott Garfield/AMC

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If there was a way to hit the reset button and wake up to a blood stained diamond ring on her finger but with Sophia laying beside her… Memory erased. Would Carol go back?

The dead saved Carol Peletier from a lifeless fate of hushed agony and blistering shame filled coverups. Had walkers not broached a life sworn to secrecy and embarrassment under chapel vows, there would be no exit door. No Andrea or Shane to bring the realities of Carol’s home life into a public spotlight. She would have never met Daryl Dixon, Ezekiel, or even Rick Grimes. In a way, the post-apocalypse world of The Walking Dead highly benefited Carol’s self esteem, reshaped its stony foundations from rock bottom. The identity that was on the verge of non-existence, flourished under the rule of the new king of the food chain. 

If walkers never ambushed Carol’s life, the silver-haired heroine would likely still be at Ed’s beck and call… Toiling under the proverbial weight of his foot, praying for mercy silently in the moonlight. Yet, the dead took Carol’s only biological daughter Sophia in the process of a journey to self-realization and self-worth.

The ultimate price, her own flesh and blood. Potentially, the only biological child she’ll ever bare. The Natural Aristocrat recently explored how A Mother’s Grief is Forever. There won’t be a night where Carol ever loses the memory of motherhood. It begs the question, if Carol could go back as she was back then with Ed to bring Sophia back… Would she say accept and sacrifice her own life once again?  

Many on the Twitter-verse have speculated upon what Carol is thinking about when she wakes up in the Season 10 Episode 6 preview below. If she’s wishing Daryl was laying beside her. Perhaps, it’s not a romantic void at all Carol’s feeling but rather loss. Maybe she’s glancing at the spot Sophia once took every morning when she called her mom.

Do you feel Carol Peletier is better off today than she’d been had The Walking Dead never exposed the sanctity of her destructive, private home life? Sound off in the comment form below. 

Nir Regev is the founder of The Natural Aristocrat. You can directly contact him at nir.regev@thenaturalaristocrat.com for coverage consideration, interview opportunties, or general comments.

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The Walking Dead

Negan’s Revival like a Kraken rising from Davy Jones’ Locker on “Bonds”

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan; single - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Negan was finally allowed to be Negan after being submerged and suffocating in the depths of Davy Jones’ Locker, also known as Alexandria. The Kraken was released upon The Whisperers tonight and Beta can’t seem to steer the Captain’s Wheel back on course.

This scene recap contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 6.

No more Home Improvement style neighbor Negan dishing advice like TWD’s Wilson for the last season and a half. No tending the garden reminiscent of farmer Rick. The real Negan was unchained on tonight’s episode from the burden of apologizing for his own existence. Like a true Alpha, he accepted the futileness of trying to appease a crew that was never going to accept him as one of their own anyway. As Tyler Durden once said on Fight Club, “It’s only when you’ve lost everything, that you’re free to do anything.” 

Negan wandered onto hostile waters with just a leather jacket on his back and managed to put The Whisperers’ entire hierarchy into question. Beta was truly the perfect serious character for Negan to play off of… Particularly, because Beta poses a physical threat to Negan that Father Gabriel never did.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Ryan Hurst as Beta – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

It brought back the visual of him as fearless in the heart of danger, rather than the downtrodden one, shedding tears in his cell. Negan was authentically getting under Beta’s skin by literally being himself: Loud, boisterous, and unapologetic. The way Negan should be. “Do you have a Beta with Benefits thing going on?”

The revival demanded attention both from The Walking Dead’s audience itself and Alpha… Who watched Beta’s bickering with The Whisperer’s newest application in noticeable gratification. Schadenfreude at Beta’s unexpected challenger if you will. Negan has lifted himself up against the tide, ready to pull the steady ship Beta’s running directly back into the ocean. 

One Time ‘Cameo’?

The question is, will the series allow Sanctuary’s former defacto ruler to continue in this manner? Or send him back to the plank to play ‘pretend’ good guy? Last episode’s Brandon appeared to be some kind of subtle shot at Negan fans who want him to be the way he used to be. As if a fan wanting “Classic Negan” was annoying. Brandon’s interpretation more than subtly hinted that with the immediate disappointed stare back in response. It seemed like a breaking the fourth wall move… If you also consider Brandon having no morals as a ‘fanboy’ it felt like a type of statement on Negan’s original fanbase.

Leave predictable hero/advice giver Negan at the door, the Kraken must stay above water. Fighting Giants, Steering Alpha’s Ship, and Beyond!

Be sure to check out The Walking Dead #TBT Negan asks Daryl “Who are you?” and relive a classic Savior moment!

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The Walking Dead

Carol Peletier: A Mother’s Grief is Forever

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Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The puncture in Carol Peletier’s heart will have every rose turning to ash from this point forward. No feeling the petals or relishing the scent. She is the mother who buries her child every day and every night.

Marilyn Manson once sang the lyric, “Whatever doesn’t kill you, is gonna leave a scar,” on 2009 album The High End of Low… It couldn’t be more applicable because Carol is never going to leave the frame of her broken family photo behind. The ironic twist of Carol as a mother, both biological and adoptive, is that it always ends with her as the parent that outlives the child. Sometimes even remorsefully by her own hand as was the case with Lizzie Samuels or the weight of her words if you recall young Sam Anderson’s mental breakdown. Much like Jack Bauer in 24 before her, family is a premium that life will not afford her.

This time, Henry’s death has Carol at her breaking point, rock bottom, empty and hollow. Popping pills like no tomorrow, words cannot soothe or console her, regardless of who they are from or how well intentioned they are. The silver-haired one is around lifetime friends but inside the crowd she is all alone. They cannot bring Henry back just like Sophia before him. She will carry the burden as a mother for eternity, struggling with one question… What if? 

What if she’d been there in time to save Henry from Alpha? What if she never sent Henry to the Hilltop? What if she had found Sophia in time? What if she took Lizzie more seriously before the Mika incident? It goes on and on. The voices in her head will never stay silent. Rumbling like permanent tinnitus, gradually increasing every sober moment to a roar. Nothing to drown them out but perceived self medication, destroying herself with every pill. Her eyes void of the life they once held. They look but they don’t see.  

Even when those screams simmer down to a whisper, one memory is all it would take to bring them back. Right back to square one, attempting to recover from which there is no cure. A mother’s grief is forever.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Read more TWD articles in the The Walking Dead category page.

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The Walking Dead

Would Rick Grimes have spared Negan if he knew parole was possible?

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Rick Grimes Vs. Negan on The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale "Wrath" - Pictured from left to right: Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Andrew Lincoln - Photo Credit: Gene Page / AMC
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

If Rick Grimes had known Negan would be free to go in his absence, free to play dad to Judith while Michonne replaced him with Ezekiel… Does he still spare Negan?

Had Rick Grimes peeked into a crystal ball and witnessed the dystopian-like future of Alexandria in his absence, would he undo it all? Every day Rick Grimes is not around his daughter is a day she forgot about him a little bit more than yesterday. Rick’s despised rival becoming her adopted father figure and who she looks to for guidance. Memory alone pales to immediate availability, and Negan is available and willing to play dad. Rick’s promise of a life sentence for Negan reduced to parole for good behavior. Negan has accomplished what Shane set out to do minus Lori.

For those who’ve watched The Walking Dead’s Season 10 Comic Con Trailer, it’s clear Negan will go free from his cell to roam Alexandria… Meaning, it’s only a matter of time before he rebuilds his influence like The Governor before him. Sure, he might take a beating from Daryl but nothing he can’t handle. In the end, Rick placing Negan in the cell will be largely meaningless as Sanctuary’s top guy rewrites his own history. Maybe even Rick’s history if he chooses to. For how much longer will Judith keep believing Michonne’s stories about Negan against her own experiences? Especially, once Michonne starts kissing Ezekiel.

Michonne isn’t even Judith’s real mom after all, and she’s just entering that teenage rebellious phase. Remember how difficult Carl was toward Rick at Judith’s age (and even later)? A moment will come when Judith has to choose between the viewpoints of Michonne and Negan, and vote for him… She’s already ignored Michonne’s wishes before. If Rick Grimes knew Michonne had accepted a replacement in his place rather than continue the search, how would he react? He’s already been in the scenario with Lori once before. So again, go back to the epicenter of it all, The Walking Dead’s Season 8 Finale.

Rick Grimes has an opportunity to vanquish his opponent in Roman Gladiator-like fashion. The Saviors have surrendered, the war is over. Yet, Rick relents and spares Negan from his fate. There’s a saying, ‘first thought, best thought’ or ‘always go with your gut.’ If Rick Grimes ignores Carl’s dream right that second, there might have been true unity by those who fought The Saviors. No forced unity between opposing former front lines who balked at the dream. 

The idea two sides imprinted with the memory of the war and its casualties could live in harmony was likely a utopian daydream. Daryl tried desperately to make Rick see that as his best friend. Whereas Maggie had already lost faith in Rick Grimes permanently.  

If Rick Grimes could see the future of his decision… Would he change it? Would you?

Relive The Walking Dead Season 8 with the Blu-Ray on Amazon!  Rewatch the moment that determined The Walking Dead’s entire future timeline with one action on Season 8 Episode 16 (“Wrath”).


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