‘The Walking Dead’ Almost Killed Off Melissa McBride’s Carol

Melissa McBride speaking onstage during the Comic Con The Walking Dead panel.
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The writers of AMC’s The Walking Dead came close to killing off Carol Peletier, played by Melissa McBride, during Season 3 of the hit zombie series, according to a report from Comic Book.

In the second season of the show, Carol lost her daughter, Sophia Peletier, played by Madison Lintz. During talks for Season 3, the writers considered the idea of having the then grieving mother simply “going away.” However, the show’s chief content officer and executive producer, Scott Gimple, refused to let that happen. When fans were first introduced to Carol, she was married to Adam Minarovich’s Ed Peletier, who was an abusive husband and father. Viewers watched Carol grow from a quiet and submissive woman as she discovered her own strength and Gimple thought it was important to tell Carol’s story.

“I was dead set against it because I thought it would be a great story to see a person who came from abuse become the hero and not in an easy way, that she herself had to struggle with the power that she found,” he explained during the AMC Networks summit.

The plans to kill off Carol changed after it was decided that Theodore “T-Dog” Douglas, played by IronE Singleton, would make the ultimate sacrifice to allow Carol to survive. In the fourth episode of Season 3, a herd of walkers managed to get into the group’s safe haven. While trying to defeat the walkers, T-Dog is bitten on the shoulder and later sacrifices his own life to give Carol the opportunity to escape.

McBride echoed Gimple’s sentiments, saying that it was “important to me to see her become strong.”

“It’s really hard for me to talk about that aspect of her without getting just boiled up inside because I know people like her that didn’t make it,” she continued.

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It’s clear Carol has come a long way and that was pointed out in the most recent season of the show, according to a report from Screen Rant. While having a conversation with Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, Carol’s adopted son, Henry, played by Macsen Lintz, explained that his mother wore her hair short in the past to prevent her abusive husband from grabbing it during moments of struggle. He went on to say that she finally feels safe in her current relationship with King Ezekiel, played by Khary Payton, which is why she has allowed her hair to grow out.

McBride and Reedus are now the show’s longest-running stars. They’ve both been on the show since the first season and renewed their contracts in November, 2018, for an additional three years.

The Walking Dead Season 10 is expected to air this fall on AMC.