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- "Killing one in order to save many is part of survival. It's one of the tough decisions that a weaker person couldn't make. It's why it falls to people like us to lead them to safety. Do you understand? Well, I wish it was different, I do. But they are weak... and we are strong. That's why it's our responsibility to shepherd the flock... to keep them safe. It's their nature to follow... not to lead. "
- —Carver to Clementine.[src]
William Carver, more commonly known as Carver or Bill, is a main character and an antagonist who first appears in Telltale Games's The Walking Dead: Season Two. William is a ruthless, brutal leader of a community built around an abandoned Howe's Hardware. He serves as the primary antagonist of the first half of Season 2.
Carver is highly intelligent and charismatic, but also cunning, manipulative and ruthless. He firmly believes that people must be hardened in order to survive in the post-apocalyptic world, going so far as to murder people whom he deems a threat to his community, such as Reggie. He identifies himself as a leader, and frequently alludes to Darwinism when discussing the role of leaders to guide less capable people whose nature it is to follow others. He frequently attempts to sow mistrust and enmity among potential enemies, such as when he attempts to advise Clementine that the cabin survivors could not be trusted. Carver was relentless in his objectives and a brilliant tracker, evident in how he was able to track the cabin survivors to North Carolina from his camp in Tennessee.
Carver's charisma and intelligence hide an extremely violent streak as well. Carver first displayed this aggressive nature when confronting Carlos, punching the man in the face for spitting on him and later tortured him into submission, beating him and breaking his fingers. When taking the group back to his community, he had no qualms with hitting children, slapping Clementine to the floor (Determinant). He also enjoyed forcing others to be violent, not minding Troy hitting Clementine and/or Sarita (Determinant) and forced Carlos to slap his daughter, Sarah. Later, he heavily beat a captured Luke, bruising his ribs and face then (when Kenny claimed blame for a stolen radio) Carver used the radio to knock Kenny down before savagely beating Kenny so viciously that it may have caused brain damage and crippled his left eye, only stopping when Bonnie made him aware of a breach. Within the corner of Carver's office lies an extremely bloodied swivel chair, attached to a pair of handcuffs and placed over a sheet of plastic, which Bill uses as a makeshift interrogation and torture area. Alvin himself can be shown in the chair, completely drenched in blood and beaten within an inch of his life by Carver (Determinant). Carver's psychopathic tendencies became more pronounced during his death, when he mockingly goaded Kenny into beating him with a crowbar.
Carver's malicious torture techniques towards individuals he deems disloyal or expendable, as well as his tendency for murder, most likely contributed to the Cabin Group's immense fear and hatred towards him, culminating in their decision to escape from his camp twice. Carver justifies his actions by proclaiming they are for the sake of survivalism and that he wishes things were different. The extent of his insanity is noticeable when he stated he would rather shoot Rebecca and her unborn child (which he willfully believed was his) rather than let her take it away from him.
Nothing is known about Carver's life before or as the outbreak began. He only mentions that he dislikes "Yankee weather" and had not been "north" prior to the apocalypse. Thus, he may have lived in the southern United States.
It is unknown how he and the rest of his initial group members found Howe's Hardware or how he became the leader for approximately two years in the zombie apocalypse, but it's shown that he had a sexual encounter with Alvin's wife, Rebecca, who shortly thereafter became pregnant with a baby which he assumed to be his. He eventually began using Tavia to gather other survivors in surrounding areas. Bonnie stated during "In Harm's Way" that Carver was a capable and nice leader when not overtaxed. It's further revealed that he encouraged healthy lifestyles - he didn't let the Howe's survivors smoke or drink alcohol, hiding all alcoholic beverages somewhere that Bonnie seems to know.
Carver was also known for his disagreements with Luke about how he ran things at Howe's. At some point, Carver and Luke were at odds about his leadership. Things got to the point where Rebecca claimed it was "unbearable". Carver discovered that a group consisting of Rebecca, Alvin, Luke, Nick, Pete, Nick's mother, Carlos, and Carlos' daughter, Sarah, had run away from his community. Believing the child that Rebecca is pregnant with is his, he pursues the group, with the help of his men, notably Bonnie, Johnny, and Troy.
Carver is never seen, but the cabin survivors' mistrust of Clementine was motivated by their belief that she may have been a spy sent by Carver to find them. Carlos mentions that Carver was once a member of the group. The group initially fears the bandits who attacked Clementine and Christa, presuming they were being led by Carver, prompting Pete and Nick to suspect that Carver instigated a mass-shooting of survivors on a riverbank near the group's cabin.
Carver's first appearance in this episode occurs after Clementine and Sarah are left alone in the cabin. Carver arrives at the cabin and, using the name "George" (Determinant), makes his way inside, asking Clementine many questions about who lives at the cabin with a specific focus on Rebecca. In the same instance, he later discovers that the group he was searching for do reside in the cabin, and so he ultimately leaves the home after giving Clementine advice about trust.
Later on in the episode, Carver and his group kill off the walkers that are attacking the cabin group at the ski lodge, in which they were staying at for the night. After dispatching the remaining walkers, Carver approaches Carlos, immediately asking him where Rebecca is. Carlos responds by spitting in Carver's face and Carver retaliates by punching him in the face, causing Sarah to give her position away and be captured alongside her father and other members of the group. Carver quickly deduces that Rebecca must be inside the ski lodge and he takes Carlos and the other captives inside, holding them all at gunpoint.
After a few minutes of searching the lodge, Carver is seen getting visibly frustrated over the group not telling him where Rebecca is and he decides to start torturing Carlos until Rebecca, Luke, Alvin and Clementine give up. After breaking two of Carlos's fingers, he threatens to finally kill Carlos in front of his daughter. Rebecca and Alvin eventually give themselves up to Carver, Clementine too depending on the player's choices. No matter the choice, Kenny attempts to save the group by shooting one of Carver's guards, Johnny. This only angers Carver more, and he takes Walter and kills him in exchange, demanding that Kenny surrenders or he will keep killing more people. After Kenny fires at him again, he takes Alvin, and, depending on the player's actions, kills him or takes Clementine instead as bait. If you chose to escape outside and meet up with Kenny, Clementine has the option of telling Kenny to take a shot at Carver after taking Alvin hostage. If Clementine tells Kenny to take the shot, Carver will survive and kill Alvin and cause him to take Sarita hostage. Kenny (and Clementine, depending on the player's choices) then surrenders, and the group is tied up. Carver, upon seeing Luke not giving himself up as well, instantly assumes that he had run away, stating that he is not surprised. Not seeing any point in remaining at the lodge, he rounds up the remaining hostages and brings them all back on the road to his camp as prisoners.
Carver's first appearance in this episode is outside of the trailer truck, where he is talking to someone over a walkie-talkie. When Clementine listens in on his conversation, Carver then tells Clementine that it is impolite to eavesdrop on a conversation. If Clementine doesn't respond, says "I know", or continues to stare, Carver will then smack her in the face before ordering Troy to tie both Clementine and Sarah up and put them back in the van.
When the group arrive at Howe's Hardware, Carver can be heard talking through the PA system, which is later shown to be in his office, and he is not seen again until the next day. By the morning, Carver gives a speech to the group about what they will be expected to do at the camp. While Carver is talking, Sarah continues muttering to Clementine about the camp, angering Carver. As Sarah continues talking, Carver will shout for her to stop, before commanding Carlos to discipline Sarah by smacking her across the mouth. Carlos initially refuses, but Carver gives him no choice, offering that Troy will smack Sarah across the mouth should Carlos be unable. After Carlos does so, Carver states that everyone should have their assignments before leaving.
His next appearance is to the greenhouse where Reggie, Clementine and Sarah are working. He notes that he is just "checking in" to see how the work is progressing, but once he sees one of the work bowls being empty, his mood suddenly shifts to anger towards Reggie. After Carver tells Clementine and Sarah to wait outside so that he can talk to Reggie, Carver suddenly pushes Reggie out of the greenhouse and off of the roof, killing him. Carver will then warn Clementine and Sarah about the consequence of being weak and incompetent, before ordering Clementine to see Bonnie. As Clementine walks away, Carver is seen approaching Sarah and placing his hand on her shoulder, but their conversation is unknown.
Later in the episode, Carver is seen in his office, talking to Rebecca. As Clementine approaches the office, Rebecca walks out of it in tears, before Carver calls Clementine inside. Inside the office, Carver talks about the reasoning for the death of Reggie and then he proposes that they are more alike than they think, noting Clementine's ability to look Carver straight in the eye without losing nerve during "A House Divided" when Carver appeared at the cabin. Carver then has a conversation on a walkie-talkie before commanding Clementine to go back to the yard.
The following day, Carver appears in the yard with a captured and beaten Luke, and Carver details his anger that he was repaid with theft and treachery. He holds up one of the walkie-talkies that was stolen and requests that the other one should be brought forth before he counts to three otherwise he would make the situation more difficult. As Kenny gives him the other stolen walkie-talkie, Carver turns to anger and begins to heavily beat Kenny. Carver only ceases the violence when Bonnie warns of a breach, and so Carver leaves to investigate only after stating that the group won't receive any dinner and he will try this again tomorrow.
Later, Carver is briefly shown running through the store after Clementine turns on the PA system.
His final appearance is within the stock room of the hardware store, in which he has caught the group trying to escape. Clementine, whom had entered from a sky-roof, distracts Carver by either shooting him in the cheek or jumping on his back, allowing Kenny to punch Carver and Luke to disarm him and hold him hostage. While arguing what to do with Carver, Kenny quickly shoots Carver's legs, crippling him and causing him to collapse on the floor. Kenny then collects a crowbar, and, after asking the rest of the group to wait outside, begins to brutally beat Carver to death with it, destroying his face completely.
Carver is mentioned by Rebecca when she tells Jane how her husband was killed because of "that fucking madman" (referring to Carver). Kenny also repeatedly asks himself why Carver hadn't killed him. Carver can also be mentioned by Clementine when she tells Rebecca how her baby "doesn't look like Carver". Mike also mentions how despite he hated Carver, his shelves were always full when comparing that to the groups current food supplies.
Carver is mentioned a few times throughout the episode, notably when the group is celebrating Luke's birthday. If Clementine asks Bonnie about the bottle of rum she has in her possession, she tells Clementine that she grabbed it from a place where Carver stored all the alcohol, to which Luke would add that Carver thinks that people shouldn't drink at all. Later at the unfinished house, Jane will talk about Carver, stating similarities between him and Kenny in order to suggest to Clementine that Kenny is changing into Carver. In the end, if Clementine chooses to go with Jane, they both return to Howe's only to see the horrifying sight of Carver's body. Depending on Clementine's choice to leave or watch him die, Jane will either express relief that she didn't witness his gruesome death, or will ask Clementine how she was able to witness his death.
Clementine references Carver to the group if Javier brutally kills Badger with a baseball bat. Clementine will refer to when Kenny killed Carver with a crowbar. (Determinant)
If Clementine went with Jane, she'll have a flashback and Carver's corpse can be seen while Clementine and Jane clean out Howe's walkers in a nearby pit. (Flashback, determinant)
If Clementine went with Kenny, she'll have a flashback and Kenny will mention that what he did to Carver was for her own good.
While Carver was giving a speech to the cabin group about them taking off again is a bad idea and it would result in their demises, Clementine jumps down from the crates and lands on him (or she shoots him and hits the side of his head if she got the gun from his office). While he is distracted, Kenny punches him in the face, then Luke takes his gun and threatens to shoot him. Rebecca, enraged by Alvin's death, orders Luke to shoot Carver as does Clementine. (Determinant) He refuses, but (in the end) Kenny shoots Carver's kneecaps off, crippling him.
Kenny takes an old crowbar from and tells the others to wait outside. Rebecca chooses to stay and watch Carver suffer. Clementine can choose to go with the others and not see the ensuing violence, or stay behind and vengefully watch. (Determinant) Kenny brutally smashed his face in with a the crowbar seventeen times in a row, even though Carver died upon the second hit, leaving an almost unrecognisable corpse behind.
This list shows the victims Carver has killed:
- Alvin (Direct in "A House Divided") or (Indirectly Caused in "In Harm's Way")
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people.
- "Thicker Than Water" (Flashback, Corpse, Determinant)
- William Carver, Crawford Oberson, Norma and Joan are the only antagonists that are leaders of communities shown in the video game media.
- Also, all bar one appear after the player meets survivors that escaped their community.
- Carver can survive a total of four bullet wounds throughout Season Two:
- Three can be caused by Kenny.
- One can be caused in "A House Divided", if you chose to have Kenny shoot Carver while holding Alvin hostage.
- One is shot into both knees by Kenny at the end of "In Harm's Way".
- One bullet can strike his face after being fired by Clementine if Alvin died in "A House Divided", as Clementine has the option to take Carver's derringer from his office.
- This can only happen if Kenny shot Carver in "A House Divided".
- Three can be caused by Kenny.
- Carver demonstrates an extremely high tolerance for pain.
- He calmly stands back up after being shot in the shoulder by Kenny, displaying no visible discomfort aside from cupping the wound and grimacing for a moment before raising the injured arm to shoot Alvin.
- He seems unperturbed by the damage to his own hand when he beats Kenny three days later with the same arm that had been shot.
- Its implied he was the one to heavily beat Alvin (Determinant) though he displays no sign of exhaustion after such.
- He also doesn't cry out in pain when shot by Clementine (Determinant).
- Carver's original placeholder model for the "A House Divided" teaser trailer (featured at the end of "All That Remains") was Troy's current model.
- Before Michael Madsen joined the cast to portray William Carver, Carver's role was smaller, mainly serving as an abstract force instead of a true obstacle. Telltale eventually decided to make his role bigger by expanding his role after Madsen joined the cast, adding more dialogues about his rules, and philosophy to make him a stronger singular source of the problems at the Howe's Hardware community.
- According to unused audio clips, Carver claimed to have had a wife before the apocalypse, like Jane had guessed during "No Going Back", though it is unknown what happened to her or if she ever really existed.
- When Carver is talking to Clementine in the lodge, he comments how the white King on a chessboard is three moves away from checkmate. This foreshadows his defeat in episode 3:
- Move 1: Clementime jumps on or shoots him.
- Move 2: Kenny punches him in the face, making him stumble back.
- Move 3: Luke wrestles his Ak-47 from him and holds him at gun point. He is now cornered by everyone else (the black pieces) He is in checkmate.
- Carver is one of four Season Two characters who can appear in Season Three (Determinant), the others being Jane (Determinant), Edith (Determinant), and Alvin Jr.