Carter Woodwork is a supporting character in The Selection Series, but doesn't make an appearance until The Elite.
Carter has a lot in common with Aspen Leger. Both got drafted into guards from a lower caste and both of their fathers are deceased. They are also depended on by their family for money and both have relatively big families. Carter, like many lower-caste people, was illiterate. Aspen kept Carter's secret and wrote Carter's letters to his family or when he sent them the money.
Carter was a Two working as a guard at the palace until he was caught having a relationship with one of the Elite girls, Marlee Tames, a Four from Kent. They were both punished by being caned and banished to become Eights. However, thanks to Prince Maxon, the two get secretly jobs in the royal palace and became Sixes. They traded places with a maid and a butler, sending them off to their families, as undercover for Marlee and Carter.
Marlee's best friend in the competition, America Singer, would often bump into Carter, but didn't think too much of it. America would notice how Marlee would prefer being alone a lot, but didn't know why. America also noticed that Marlee was keeping a secret from her, but wouldn't say what. America didn't mind this, however, because she was also keeping a secret as well. One morning, America was awakened by her maids and brought over to where Marlee and Carter would be caned. America tried to rescue them, but was taken to her room by guards.
Marlee was later reunited with America and she explained to her that she now worked as a maid in the kitchen, and that Carter was still healing from getting his back caned, but he might be able to start working at the stables soon. After the caning, Maxon was afraid they would be hurt if they were left on their own, so he kept them secretly in the palace. Two other servants, Juan Diego and his sister Abril, who had family in Panama, were sent there instead. Carter was growing out his beard and they were given new names, Carson and Mallory, so that no one will know the truth, except from some cooks, one nurse and Maxon. Marlee also explained that she and Carter got married, and they lived in a small one-room apartment.
In the end of the series, Marlee became the only bridesmaid in America and Maxon's wedding. She and her husband became attendants of the Royal Couple and the first casteless citizens of Illéa. Carter in particular asked from Maxon to remain in his position as the groundskeeper of the palace, while Marlee became one of America's lady-in-waiting. This was a clear sign to the public of the way Maxon would reign and many people welcomed this change.
One year after their marriage, he and Marlee became parents of a son, Kile Woodwork. 19 years later, in The Heir, Kile participated in Princess Eadlyn's Selection. A few years later his daughter, Josie Woodwork, was born.
The Woodwork family still lives in the palace on the same floor with the Royal Family. Thus the Schreave and the Woodwork children have been raised together almost like siblings.
Carter is very kind and cares for Marlee very much. An example of this would be when the two were being caned after getting caught having a relationship, Carter tells Marlee he loves her, that it would be okay and to hang in there. He also was friendly to America when she first met him.
In the Elite Marlee Tames was caught with an unzipped dress, kissing a topless Carter.
- Main article: Marlee Woodwork
Marlee and Carter first met in the palace after she fell down the stairs wearing high heels. Carter took her to the hospital wing to make sure she was okay. For an unknown amount of time, Marlee and Carter had an affair, but are later caught by cameras when Carter was undressing her. The two are then punished by getting caned fifteen times and their status being lowered to Eights. This leaves Carter using a cane for a long time, but as it shows in the book, he handled it quite well considering he was caned 15 times. However, afterward, Maxon allows Marlee to work at the palace as a maid in the kitchen, which raises her status to a Six. Marlee tells America that she married Carter, and they use thread as their wedding rings. Marlee also says that Carter will start working at the stables when his back gets better and grow a beard. America also asks Marlee if the two have "done it" already, to which Marlee says yes, saying the first time was uncomfortable, but the second time was better.
Kile Woodwork is the son of Marlee and Carter Woodwork. Their relationship is unknown, but is most likely a typical father-son relationship.
Carter and America would often bump into each other in the palace, but America never thought much of it. It wasn't until it was revealed that Marlee and Carter were in a relationship that America grew worried and anxious. America tried to stop the caning of Marlee and Carter, but was taken by guards to her room. Maxon tries to tell America that it was the lightest punishment, but America wouldn't listen. However, when Maxon takes America to the princess's room, America sees Marlee and is reunited with her. Marlee explains to America that she and Carter now work at the royal palace, and that only a few servants and Maxon know. Because of this, America forgives Maxon.
In the Selection, Carter served Maxon and his family as a royal guard. After he got caned, Carter secretly was working in the stables for the palace. Then when Maxon becomes king, Carter is made his attendant while his wife Marlee became America's attendant.
Carter has blue eyes that were "terribly convincing" and a crooked smile. During his first meeting with Marlee, she mentioned: "I liked the way he spoke. It was as if he was telling a story, even though he was simply stating a fact about himself. His face was animated and his voice alight". After the caning, he has grown out a beard.
- "Maybe you stole me. Because I distinctly remember belonging to myself once, but now I'm all yours." — Carter Woodwork to Marlee Tames
- Thanks to Maxon and America, Carter and Marlee had the honor of becoming the first casteless citizens in Illéa, before the abolishment of the castes was even announced publicly. Thus, their son Kile was one of the first children in Illéa to be born without a caste.
- It is mentioned in The Guard that Carter was illiterate. It remains unknown if he was later educated in the Palace, after he became a royal attendant.