- "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 the tritagonist of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. She was a veterinarian working with primates at the San Francisco Zoo infirmary. Caroline was also the girlfriend of Will Rodman, the adoptive human mother of Caesar. the adoptive human grandmother of Caesar's two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius as well as the adoptive mother-in-law of Caesar's wife, Cornelia.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Meeting Will and Caesar
Caroline's first appearance comes when Will takes Caesar to the zoo after he is 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 is a member of the family and is dating Will very much in love with him. She has openly accepted Caesar as her son who in turn sees her as an adoptive mother. When Caesar begins questioning his identity, Will takes him and Caroline to Gen-Sys Laboratories and explains how Caesar came to be in his care. Caroline, shocked by this, suggests they go home. Back at the house, Caroline demands 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 accompany him to the San Bruno Primate Shelter. Caesar, who doesn'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 has been locked up, Charles dies and Caroline attends 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 slaughter of Dodge before Will pieces together where the apes are heading.
At the car, she asks what he knows only for Will to reply, "I know where they're heading". They race towards the forest only to get stuck on the bridge where Caesar has ordered a full scale attack. Allowing Will to follow their son, Caroline kisses him and tells him to be careful before she attempts to climb a barrier only to get pulled back by a policeman.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
By the beginning of Dawn, Caroline along with Will have been presumed dead a number of years; but there is no direct evidence given to prove this, therefore they are both presumed dead.
An animal lover due to her work as a veterinarian, Caroline is 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 is Will's voice of reason when it came to his work. She disliked the fact that Will saw Caesar as his son but treated 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; but there is no direct evidence given to prove this. 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 beginning the downfall of man 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 four years before the battle caused the humans to turn on each other.
- 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.