Why The Walking Dead’s Carol Should Lead the Commonwealth

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The following contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 20, “What’s Lost,” which premiered Sunday, October 24 on AMC.

As the largest community in The Walking Dead, the Commonwealth poses a major threat to Alexandria and the Hilltop. Pamela Milton has kept the Commonwealth in order since the beginning of the apocalypse, but her time is running out. Who better to take her place than Carol Peletier, the former co-leader of the Kingdom?


In the comics, Maggie Rhee becomes president of the Commonwealth and helps the city prosper for decades. But Maggie heads to New York City with Negan in her spinoff. The Walking Dead: Dead Cityso he won’t be available to lead none community. The show is already going in a different direction than the comics with Rick Grimes gone and Sebastian biting the dust early on, so there’s no reason Maggie has to take over the lead from Pamela. Carol, on the other hand, could be the right person to fill the void that Pamela will leave behind when she resigns from her position, or she is forced to.

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Why Carol would make a great leader

Unlike Maggie, Carol has been very involved in the inner workings of the Commonwealth since she arrived. Her survival instinct to spot the bad from the good in her leads her to work for Lance Hornsby, which helps her discover that he was involved in Sebastian’s heist plans that resulted in numerous deaths. For months, she has kept an eye on Lance to make sure things don’t go haywire for her and her friends. And while she couldn’t stop the conflict from ensuing after Eugene indirectly caused Sebastian’s death, she did temporarily help the two groups make peace with each other, a sure sign that she would be a capable leader.

Even Lance, secretive and cunning as he is, compliments her on her ability to stay two steps ahead of everyone. In “What’s Lost”, she wonders what Carol and the others will do when they get Pamela out. Surely they can’t leave 50,000 people without a leader; it would just cause total chaos. While Carol doesn’t seem overly concerned about what happens to the Commonwealth, she subtly hints that Carol could provide the stability the Commonwealth lacks if she were to take Pamela’s place. She ignores him, but it’s not unreasonable to dream about Carol’s future after she ends the series.

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Carol’s uncertain future offers an opening

Melissa McBride was originally scheduled to appear in another Living Dead spin-off with Norman Reedus, but backed out in 2022. When she was a part of the spin-off, her end was pretty certain: she would definitely leave the show alive and with Daryl in whatever adventure they had next. But now everything is up in the air. Carol probably won’t die, but she’ll probably stay put for the time being. Giving her a mundane ending that leaves her fate uncertain would be an injustice, so making her the leader of the largest community yet is a satisfying fate for such an iconic and long-standing character.

Given McBride’s departure from the spin-off and Carol’s headstrong nature, Carol would be a perfect fit to lead the Commonwealth. She already has experience co-running the Kingdom with Ezekiel for six years and previously ran the Sanctuary during an uncertain time when tensions were high. She has also shown a willingness to go to extreme measures to protect what she loves and cares for, which is what anyone wants in a leader. Carol could be the person who unites the Commonwealth…if she can survive the war brewing between the communities.

New episodes of The Walking Dead air Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on AMC and air a week earlier on AMC+.



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