- "I love chimpanzees... I'm also afraid of them. I think it's appropriate to be afraid of them."
- ―Caroline to Will.
Caroline Aranha was a primatologist and veterinarian who worked with primates at the San Francisco Zoo. Caroline was also the girlfriend of Will Rodman, the adoptive human mother of Caesar, and the adoptive human grandmother of Caesar's two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius.
Meeting Will and Caesar
Caroline's first appearance comes when Will takes Caesar to the zoo after he was injured by their vile neighbor. She patches him up and takes an immediate liking to him while the ape takes a liking to her as well. Caroline is shown impressed that Will taught Caesar sign language and is moved by their bond. She agrees to go on a date with Will after Caesar convinces Will (through sign) to ask her out for dinner.
Trip with the Rodmans and Caesar
Later, she visits the Rodmans and Caesar at the house and talks with Will about Caesar as she admires the things he's done to the ape's room. She tells him that she loves chimpanzees and that's also afraid of them but believes that it is appropriate to be. She then suggests that Caesar could do with some open space as one day he'll grow into large ferocious animal. The family heads to the Muir Woods Park while there she sees Caesar extending his hand to will who is confused at the gesture. Caroline explains that is how apes subjugate themselves to those they view as dominant after helping will with they watch Caesar climb through the trees of the forest to happy to be somewhere comfortable.
A Member of the Rodman Family
Five years later, Caroline began dating Will and was very much in love with him. She has openly accepted Caesar as her son who in turn saw her as an adoptive mother. When Caesar began questioning his identity, Will took him and Caroline to Gen-Sys Laboratories and explained how Caesar came to be in his care. Caroline, shocked by this, suggested they go home. Back at the house, Caroline demanded that Will tell her the full truth about Caesar in which he does with great reluctance. She tells him she understands that it's hard for him to admit the truth but it is not something that he can control and acts as his voice of reason.
After Caesar's attack on the neighbor, Caroline and Will accompanied him to the San Bruno Primate Shelter. Although Caesar didn't want to go inside, Caroline reassures him that they're going to go inside and see what it's like and offers him her hand, which reassures him that he has her support. Caroline finds its difficult to leave Caesar behind but forces herself to leave with Will in tow.
Not long after Caesar was locked up, Charles died and Caroline attended his funeral with Will. Back at the house, she watches as Will goes through his father's things and finds a photo of himself and a young Caesar wedged in Charles' copy of Julius Caesar. Seeing his saddened expression, she takes his hand and reminds him that things aren't meant to be changed and that he must accept it.
The morning after Caesar has broken into the house and steals the ALZ-113, Will calls up to her, asking if she's been up to Caesar's room. Will then calls the shelter only to get no reply. Arriving at the shelter, the couple shocked to find the shelter completely empty. While Will investigates Dodge's body, Caroline finds Rodney locked in the cage. The terrified man tells the couple that he heard Caesar speak. The couple watch security footage of Caesar's accidental killing of Dodge before Will pieced together where the apes were headed.
At the car, she asked what he knew only for Will to reply, "I know where they're heading". They raced towards the forest only to get stuck on the bridge where Caesar ordered a full scale attack. Allowing Will to follow their son, Caroline kissed him and told him to be careful before she attempted to climb a barrier only to get pulled back by a policeman. However, her distraction allowed Will to get pass the police undetected.
Ten years after the Ape Rebellion, Caroline along with Will were presumed to have been victims of the Simian Flu and died a number of years ago, as their home was marked as having infected people during the Simian Flu Pandemic,
Due to her kind nature and good relationship with Caesar, Caroline served as one of the main reasons that Caesar was able to see genuine goodness in humans, which is why, despite being untrusting of most humans, still held an amount of compassion and respect towards them. This is further shown when he allows Malcolm and his small group to work on a dam to restore power to their colony in San Francisco, allowing him to see good qualities in other humans and use it as an opportunity to make a potential peace with the humans.
An animal lover due to her work as a veterinarian, Caroline was a kind-hearted woman and cared greatly for Caesar and immediately befriended him, becoming his adoptive mother as she began dating Will at this time. She was Will's voice of reason when it came to his work and disliked the fact that Will saw Caesar as his son but also used him like a lab rat for his research into trying to cure Alzheimer's. She also became very close to Will's father Charles and saw him as a father-figure in the same way he saw her as the daughter he never had.
- Caroline's exact fate is unknown, but it is speculated that Will and Caroline have died by the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as James Franco and Freida Pinto were not asked to reprise their roles. An article by USA Today stated that Will (and possibly Caroline; not mentioned) died from the Simian Flu. According to an article in Collider from late April 2014, producer Dylan Clark revealed Will and Caroline were never supposed to survive the end of Rise and that Will's death was a way of punishment for causing the downfall of mankind via the ALZ-113. It is likely that, according to the global pandemic of ALZ-113 shown in the post credits, Caroline was infected by the ALZ-113. If so, it can be assumed that she was caught in the crossfire of the virus outbreak that was mentioned by Dreyfus, which lasted for four years before the humans turned on each other.
- She is the tritagonist of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
- Dilshad Vadsaria, Chriselle Almeida and Aarti Mann auditioned for the role of Caroline.
- An earlier version of the script gave this primatologist character the name "Dr. Molly Stewart", in reference to the doomed astronaut Stewart from the original 1968 movie. Dr. Stewart leaves her post at the zoo infirmary before Will gets the courage to ask her on a date, but years later she takes a voluntary position at the San Bruno Primate Shelter where Caesar is held and meets Will again, finally beginning a relationship with him then.
- A different character in the same script was named "Caroline". A lab assistant with curly red hair, she and Will had a history together which he regretted but she wanted to continue. She may be similar to the character Linda.