Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week. Here, we shine a spotlight on our favorite ladies in genre culture who inspire us. Our crushes range from fictional female characters in our favorite genre shows, movies and books…to women behind the scenes in geeky media.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers for The Walking Dead. If you are not caught up with the show, then you may not want to read on, but if you don’t care about spoilers either way, then continue!
Carol Peletier (played by Melissa McBride) is a survivor, a loving friend, and fierce warrior. She has set the bar high for the women of The Walking Dead. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) called Carol a “force of nature” that will do anything to protect the people she loves. Before the zombie apocalypse, Carol was timid, submissive and always apologetic. Her resiliency came from years of abuse at the hands of her husband Ed (Adam Minarovich). She tried to make a good life for her daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz), despite the circumstances. Since the world collapsed, Carol has learned to fight back against anyone who oppressed her. She has become a chameleon and a deadly ally for Team Family.
The Real Deal:
Carol’s world is dangerous, whether she’s fighting off the dead or the living. She experienced the dark side of humanity early on. She learned that people will go to great lengths for the things they want. So Carol goes to those same lengths to protect herself and her family. She also learned that losing loved ones is hard. She’s lost a husband, a daughter, an adopted son, and a couple of close friends. Though she is close to friends like Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Carol keeps her walls up to protect her heart.
Carol’s intuition gives her the ability to spot the bad people. She is adaptable to any situation, that gives her an upper hand. For example, when Team Family were practically forced to live at the Commonwealth, Carol knew immediately it was too good to be true. She found that the leaders of the community were up to no good. For the good of her family, she set out to find the secrets the leaders where hiding and expose them. It didn’t take long for Carol and Daryl to take over the Commonwealth and turn it into a truly safe community for Team Family.
A true leader, Carol is able to make the hard decisions. And is willing to carry out the hard tasks for the group. It took a her a while, but Carol learned to forgive herself for past mistakes. And to let go of regrets that she carried with her for far too long. She is a loyal friend, making sure her friends are always safe. She trusts her close friends, knowing they can take care of themselves; but keeps a close eye on them. And if a friend is in trouble, Carol will go to any lengths to help them.
Why Does She Matters:
Carol’s transition from battered housewife to stealth killer was unexpected. In a world where she should have died, Carol has defied the odds and become a great leader. At times she lost her faith in the world, in the goodness of people, and in herself. With help from her family, Carol emerged stronger and smarter.
Carol represents the bravery it takes to overcome adversity. Though she has lost much, she has gained so much more. In addition to her new family, Carol gained self awareness. She knows when to be ruthless and when to appear delicate. She battled her demons and won. There isn’t much that Carol hasn’t faced that could send her back to the frail woman she once was. Melissa McBride beams at the opportunity to play Carol. At the season nine premiere, McBride said, “I feel honored to play a character like that. To end up in a place of courage and taking initiative helping other people, finding her path or truth. I want that for everyone.”
We should all be more like Carol. Trust your gut when something doesn’t feel right, stand up for yourself and your family, and never let anyone make you feel inferior.