The best character arcs are those that come out of nowhere and unexpectedly turn a previously stock character into a strong, three-dimensional fan favorite. Such was the case with Melissa McBride’s Carol Peletier, who in Robert Kirkman’s original comic was a rather weak, timid person who ultimately committed suicide via throwing herself to a Walker.
During Season Three of the series — which was around the time Carol died in the comic’s narrative — some of the writers considered killing off Carol in a similar way. But Scott Gimple insisted there was more they could do, and started crafting an arc for Carol that turned her into the gun-toting, assassin Housewife From Hell she is now. Showrunner Greg Nicotero recently told SFX Magazine who they wound up killing instead:
“Not a lot of people know that when we were shooting season three, in the episode where T-Dog died, there was a moment where Carol was going to die in lieu of T-Dog’s character. At that point there was some concern in the writers’ room that they didn’t know where to take her character. So the fact that [showrunner] Scott Gimple and the writers have been able to craft this amazing journey for her just goes to show that there is a tremendous amount of story to tell for a lot of these characters.”
Of course, no story of survival is for certain in The Walking Dead. We’ll find out February 14 if she can make it out of Alexandria alive.