TWD TBT Looking at Carol’s Flowers: Symbols of the Queen

walking-dead-carolTWD TBT Looking at Carol’s Flowers: Symbols of the Queen

Bicycle Girl guides you through some of the times flowers have been used to symbolize aspects of Carol’s character in The Walking Dead

So here’s a story about my human alter ego to start off this The Walking Dead Throw Back Thursday post.

A month or so ago, I attended a family member’s wedding. It was a little late getting started ,so people were whispering things. All of a sudden, I heard someone say in a hushed tone of awe…


Look at the flowers!


And all I could think of was “NO! I didn’t kill, Mika!”


My next immediate thought was, “Wow. I watch WAY too much of The Walking Dead.” Only then did I finally notice the flowers the woman was commenting on at the front of the room.


Carol’s “Look at the flowers…” has become one of the most well-known moments of the show. My very first post for the TWD Fansite discussed it a little, and it’s been the subject of so many memes like this one:


What I recently realized is that Carol’s association with flowers runs deep and far beyond The Grove. Read on to see what I mean.


cherokee rose 1

The Use of Flowers as Symbols of Carol in The Walking Dead


1. Episode 204: Cherokee Rose

cherokee rose

Where Are the Flowers?


Daryl presents Carol with a Cherokee rose in a beer bottle.


How They Function


The symbolism of the flower in TWD Episode 204 is explained by Daryl himself. He tells Carol,


It’s a Cherokee Rose. The story is that when American soldiers were moving Indians off their land on the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee mothers were grieving and crying so much ’cause they were losing their little ones along the way from exposure and disease and starvation. A lot of them just disappeared. So the elders, they said a prayer; asked for a sign to uplift the mothers’ spirits, give them strength and hope. The next day this rose started to grow where the mothers’ tears fell. I’m not fool enough to think there’s any flowers blooming for my brother. But I believe this one bloomed for your little girl.


In this episode, the flower represents hope that Sophia is still out there waiting to be found and the strength that Carol draws, not just from within herself, but also from Daryl to keep herself going despite what she has lost.



2. Episode 207: Pretty Much Dead Already

cherokee rose 2

Where Are the Flowers?


When Carol is telling Daryl that she doesn’t want him to keep going out in the woods to look for Sophia so that she doesn’t lose him, the two of them are standing in front of a lake with Cherokee roses shown blooming between them.


How They Function


The flower in this scene reminds us of the earlier interlude between Daryl and Carol. Ultimately, she’s decided that the connection that she feels to Daryl is worthy of protecting, even if it means having to give up hope that her daughter will be found. The decision was definitely a hard one to make, and you can tell from the way Carol expresses herself that it took a lot for her to share her feelings with Daryl. The flower continues to symbolize Carol’s strength, but it has now been transformed into a sign of hope lost.





3. Episode 402: Infected


Where Are the Flowers?


When talking to Lizzie and Mika about their father’s death outside of the prison, Carol bends down, cuts a flower with her knife and puts it behind Lizzie’s ear. Lizzie reaches over and puts her hand on Carol’s, taking the knife and putting it into her belt. The camera pans to Carol who is clearly touched by the exchange and very fond of Lizzie.


How They Function


The blossoms in this scene foreshadow the events of The Grove as the flowers are the same color, and Lizzy takes the knife that she later uses to kill her sister from Carol. In addition, the flowers serve as a symbol of both motherhood and loss, as Carol describes the pain of loss to the girls and then becomes emotional over the moment with Lizzy. They are a reminder of Sophia and the Cherokee rose as much as they are a sign of what’s to come.



4. Episode 414: The Grove



Where Are the Flowers?


We all know where the flowers are in this episode, right? When Carol is forced to kill Lizzie in order to protect Judith, she tells her tearfully to look at the flowers, and then squeezes the trigger when the girl turns her back.


How They Function


The flowers here stand once again for strength and for loss. Carol must kill one of the girls that she has come to love like a daughter and has already lost the other, just as Sophia died before. The hope of the Cherokee rose is once again shattered, yet the flowers still represent Carol’s strength to follow through on this heartbreaking decision.



5. Episode 501: No Sanctuary

terminus-carols scope

Where Are the Flowers?


Guess what turns up when Carol focuses the sights of her rifle on the compound of Terminus? Bright yellow flowers.


How They Function


No Sanctuary gives us our first glimpse of what Carol is truly capable of when she’s pushed to act, single-handedly taking down Terminus. The flowers show her strength once again. Like blossoms opening in the sun, Carol flourishes under pressure, thinking quickly and making all the right decisions without showing signs of fear.



6. Episode 506: Consumed


Where Are the Flowers?


Flowers appear twice in this episode. First, a small arrangement of flowers is briefly visible on a table after Daryl and Carol discover the mother and daughter walkers locked in a room in the crisis shelter. The second time you can see flowers are on the blanket shown above, which becomes visible when Carol and Daryl confront Noah. Carol reaches for her gun but Daryl stops her, saying Noah is just a kid.


How They Function


The first flowers in this episode are a reminder of motherhood and of Carol losing children, as seeing the walkers brought those memories back to her. The flowered blanket is shown at a time when Carol considers using violence, making the symbol similar to the blossoms of Terminus.



7. Episode 513: Forget


Where Are the Flowers?


Hey, pop quiz! When you’re going to threaten to tie a kid to a tree and let walkers eat him, what should you wear? A shirt with flowers, of course! You can see in this close-up that those small red, white and blue marks on Carol’s blouse are tiny blossoms.


threatening sam outfit


How They Function


Those sneaky flowers in Carol’s costuming are symbols of Carol’s strength, which has now truly made her capable of anything. They also bring to mind what happened to Lizzie, leaving us thinking that her words are likely more than just an idle threat.



8. Episode 602: JSS



Where Are the Flowers?


Everywhere. Carol starts the episode in the flowered sweater above. At the end, you can see flowers behind the A on the banister of the porch (for more info about that A check out my post about it!)

6x03 JSS1


There are even flowers on the bandanna that she wore to blend in with the wolves!



How They Function


As in No Sanctuary, JSS is an episode that shows Carol’s strength and resourcefulness. Even at the beginning when she is pretending to be a mild-mannered casserole maker, we can clearly see her for who she is as plainly as we can see that huge flowered print on her cardigan.


At the end, as she gets tearful after seeing the A, the flowers remind us of all that she lost. Of Lizzie and the yellow flowers. Of Sophia and the Cherokee Rose.


Stalking the town in her bandanna, Carol has hidden flowers that you have to look close to see. Because for all of that strength she has, she has just as much loss and pain always right beneath the surface. It may hide in the moments when she is moved to action. But it is always there.


look at the flowers


When Carol said “Of course” they had to kill the Wolves in JSS, Morgan said,


You don’t like it.


And I think that’s true.


Though Carol has strength enough to always do what needs doing, she continually adds another flower to that bouquet of loss and pain. She is strong because of it and despite it, but I can’t help but worry how long it can go on.


After all, eventually, flowers can overtake the flowerbed, overcome it and become little more than wild weeds, choking the life out of everything.


Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen to The Queen.




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Bicycle Girl

Freelance writer from Pittsburgh. May or may not be a walker whose bicycle was stolen by Officer Friendly.

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