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Ed Peletier is an antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. During the initial outbreak, he evacuated to Atlanta with his abused wife Carol Peletier and his daughter Sophia Peletier. They eventually found a camp of survivors and joined their group.
Ed is shown to be violent and abusive especially to his wife, and he would also often verbally abuse and harass the other women of the group. Carol reveals that Ed would try and assert his dominance by not allowing her to wear attractive clothing: this is possibly the reasoning for Carol's short hair, to make her less attractive to other men.
Ed was revealed to have paid very little attention to his daughter Sophia and when she was an infant he would often stay at a friend's house, leaving Carol to care for Sophia. While never elaborated on, it's hinted that Ed had a predatory sexual relationship with his daughter as Carol stated in a prayer in "What Lies Ahead" that she wished Ed to be punished for not only abusing her but also "for looking at his own daughter, whatever sickness was growing in his soul." Lori Grimes, who was sitting beside Carol during the prayer, reacted noteably.
Southern United States
Ed never attended college (as revealed through remarks made towards Andrea). In his younger years, he charmed Carol enough to convince her to date and eventually marry him. They had a daughter together, who was named Sophia. He rarely paid attention to Sophia, often relying on Carol to be the parental figure of the family. When Sophia was an infant, he resorted to staying at a friend's house nights on end, leaving Carol to deal with Sophia by herself.
Ed dominated Carol throughout their marriage, from preventing her from buying her own clothes, to physically and verbally assaulting her in order to solidify his authority. Despite this, he did buy Carol a watch for their first anniversary.
Carol mentions in "The Grove" that Ed enjoyed hobbies such as hunting and constantly told the same jokes each year during hunting season to his accomplices.
When the outbreak began, Ed met Shane Walsh and Lori Grimes as evacuations were being made for the survivors to head towards Atlanta. He became angry when Carol offered a MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) to Lori so her son could eat, and ordered her not to share with anyone. With the city being destroyed by the military, he, along with his family, decided to remain with Shane and Lori and leave for the countryside.
When Glenn Rhee returned to the group alone, he brought a noisy car with him. Ed watched as Shane, Dale Horvath, and Jim prevented the noise from emanating any further by removing the battery. One night in the survivors' camp after newcomer Rick Grimes and the other survivors made it back from Atlanta, Ed started a fire in an attempt to receive some warmth from the cold night. Shane asked Ed to dim it down to embers, and when he refused, Carol did so in an attempt to keep things calm between the two men.
After Rick woke up, Ed could briefly be seen going through the back of his car. When Daryl returns to camp, Rick and Shane informed him about Merle, as Ed watched with the others under the RV awning. Ed then took up guard duty atop the RV as Rick, T-Dog, Glenn, and Daryl Dixon headed to the city for Daryl's brother Merle.
Later, as Carol, Andrea, Amy, and Jacqui were doing laundry in the quarry, they began joking and chatting, which drew the attention of Ed. He came over to the women, ordering needed them to be quiet and to resume their chores. Andrea and Jacqui pressed that he needed to back off, to which Ed responds with hostility. Ed told Carol to come with him, but Andrea told Carol that she didn't have to go with him. Carol refused to go, so he smacked her across the face, drawing blood. Shane grabbed Ed and began to savagely beat him, warning him that if he ever hit another woman (or his daughter), Shane would beat him to death, before delivering a final blow to him. Shane let go of Ed, walking away as a sobbing Carol tended to her injured husband.
Ed thereafter remained in his tent, recovering from the injuries inflicted by Shane. Sophia was seen inside the tent as well during the group's fish fry. Carol came to collect her, but Ed grabbed Sophia's arm and asked her to stay with him to "keep her daddy company". Carol stood her ground, however, and told him Sophia wants to join the others. He refused to attend the fish fry and stayed in his tent. Later, while he was napping, he was awakened by rustling outside his tent. Annoyed, he opened the tent and was promptly attacked by a congregation of walkers.
Ed's body was lain out by the survivors with the rest of their dead. Just as Daryl was going to impale his head with an axe to prevent reanimation, Carol stopped him, stating that she would do it, as he was her husband. She swung at Ed's bloody and mangled body several times, releasing years of contained anger and rage, before breaking down. He was then buried on the hillside along with Amy and the others.
The episode began in a flashback sequence, in which the Peletiers, along with Lori, Carl Grimes, and Shane, were stopped on a highway (the same one which left the survivors trapped in "What Lies Ahead"). Carl stated that he was hungry, and Carol says that she could get him something to eat (as Ed had an abundance of food in the back of his Jeep). As she opened the door to retrieve some, Ed forcibly shut it and berated Carol for trying to giving away even a small amount of their food. Carol meekly sunk back and apologized, saying that she wasn't thinking. Later in the episode, Daryl risked his life to search for Sophia and was accidentally shot by Andrea (who mistook him for a walker). During dinner, Carol brought the laid-up Daryl a plate of food and said that he did more for Sophia that day than Ed had even done in his whole life, and kissed him on the forehead.
After Shane's brutal beating, Ed sat inside his tent, not wanting to see anyone. When the walkers approached the survivors' camp at night, Ed heard one of them outside his tent. He assumed that it was someone bothering him and opened the tent, only to discover a walker. It managed to force itself inside Ed's tent, biting him before he could cry for help. He died before being partially devoured by walkers.
- Carol Peletier (Before Reanimation)
Ensuring that Ed doesn't reanimate as a walker, the survivors laid him on the ground, but when Daryl was about to destroy his brain with a pickaxe, Carol came over and did it instead.
This list shows the victims Ed has killed:
- Possibly a few zombies
- "Ed never let me wear nice things."
- —Carol to Lori[src]
Carol and Ed were married before the apocalypse. Ed constantly abused Carol and their daughter, Sophia, even after the apocalypse had hit. At the Atlanta camp, Ed acted very controlling of Carol, forcing her to pull a log out of a fire, ordering her to go in the tent, slapping her when she disobeyed him, as well as other acts. While Carol, Andrea, Amy, and Jacqui were washing clothes, Ed shouted at them snapping things like, "This ain't no comedy club" when they were laughing and, "I'll still knock you on your ass" to Andrea. He tried to drag Carol away in anger, but she was pulled away by Andrea, Jacqui and Amy. This caused Ed to become even angrier and he, in turn, slapped Carol across her face, drawing blood. Shane, who had been observing for a time a few yards away, quickly grabbed Ed, threw him to the ground, sat on top of his chest and arms, and then started beating his face in repeatedly, telling him that if he ever laid his hands on another women in camp then he would beat Ed to death, and kicked him swiftly in the ribcage as he got off him. Carol started to cry and tried to pull Shane away from Ed. When he died during the attack on the camp, Daryl prepared to prevent reanimation, but Carol instead took out her vengeance on her husband's corpse, crying as she mutilated his head.
- "Why don't you stay here? Keep your daddy company."
- —Ed to Sophia[src]
Ed and Sophia had a fairly distant relationship, at best. Ed had a history of abuse, beating his wife, both physically and possibly sexually. The same possibly occurred with Sophia, as she seemed to be in fear of him, maintaining her distance from his side. Carol states in a prayer made while searching for Sophia in "What Lies Ahead", that she had wished for Ed to be punished, not only for abusing herself but "for looking at his own daughter, whatever sickness was growing in his soul." Though the meaning of this is ambiguous, it might be assumed, both by Carol's words and by Lori's reaction to this, namely being broken from her own reverie at hearing this and looking at Carol with pity, that Carol means to say that Ed had some sort of sexual relationship with his daughter. However the meaning of this statement is ambiguous and therefore open to interpretation. Shortly before the walker attack on the camp, he remained in his tent due to his shame of the injuries to his face due to an assault from Shane Walsh. He attempted persuading Sophia to remain at his side, but Carol berated him. They departed, and Ed dismissed them angrily. Their relationship wasn't explored more before his death.
- "You put your hands on your wife, your little girl, or anybody else in this camp one more time, I will not stop next time, do you hear me? DO YOU HEAR ME?! I'll beat you to death, Ed. I'll BEAT you to death. DO YOU HEAR ME?!"
- —Shane to Ed after beating him[src]
Ed and Shane had a fairly violent relationship, due to Shane's protectiveness over the women in the Atlanta Camp. When Ed erected a separate bonfire for his family, Shane attempted to peacefully remove it, but Ed objected, before Carol finally did it herself. Following Ed's angry yelling and hitting Carol, Shane furiously dragged Ed, knocking him to the ground, and savagely beating his face in. He then threatens to kill him should he hit anyone in the camp again, before delivering one final blow to Ed's face. Ed remained distant before his death, deciding to remain in his tent most of the time, shameful of his face's condition and fearful and angry at Shane's superiority.
- "Hey, don't think I won't knock you on your ass, just 'cause you're some college-educated cooze, all right?"
- —Ed insulting Andrea[src]
Ed and Andrea had a poor relationship, which finally failed on the day of the women doing the laundry in the quarry. Upon hearing the woman laughing jovially, he approached, berating them for their lack of work. Andrea told him that if he didn't like how the laundry was done, he was welcome to pitch in and do it himself. Upon attempting to tear Carol away from the group, Andrea retaliated, yelling at him and throwing the dirty rag at him. He whipped it back, slapping Carol, before being beaten to the ground by Shane. They were shown to have not gotten along due to his abusing Carol.
- "So she can show up with fresh bruises later, Ed?"
- —Jacqui to Ed over Carol's bruising[src]
Jacqui and Ed had little to no interaction at all, but they had one instance of conversation shortly before the attack on their camp by Walkers. Upon attempting to tear Carol away from the laundry group of woman, Jacqui attempted to prevent it from happening, noting the bruises that Carol already had, and the new ones she was sure to receive.
- "That is their marriage, that is not his! He is not judge and jury!"
- —Jim defending Ed's abuse of Carol to Shane[src]
Ed and Jim were never shown interacting on screen together, but it is possible the pair were friends, as shown when Jim berates Shane Walsh for his brutal beating of Ed, and even attempts to defend his abuse of Carol. It is unknown how Jim responds to Ed's death.
- "Chupacabra" (Flashback)
- In the episode "Vatos", it was implied that Ed may have a history of sexual abuse towards Sophia. This is never explored however, as his death followed almost immediately. This is further supported by Carol's words in "What Lies Ahead", after Sophia's disappearance. In the church, Carol said praying for Ed's death was a sin, even though he looked at his own daughter "with whatever sickness was growing in his soul."
- Ed is the first living character in the show to die on-screen.
- Ed is also the first character to be killed by walkers.