Holy, thank the gods for big favors. This reveal is a bit of a mixed bag, but in the end losing one character over another has resulted in a remarkable transformation, and let us keep one of our favorite Walking Dead characters around through Season 6. I’m certain you don’t need a ***Spoiler Warning, but just in case you’re waaaay behind and haven’t seen Season 3, this post contains Spoilers for Season 3!***
We were just barely getting to know IronE Singleton’s T-Dog when he sacrificed himself for another character. T-Dog was, as TK lamented back in the day, an empty character, never fleshed out. But, seeing as how he was (at the time) one of only two black main characters, it was still pretty crushing to see him killed off. According to the series’ executive producer and effects wizard, Greg Nicotero, T-Dog’s role was almost reversed with the now favorite character who lived:
“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.”
Hot damn, am I ever glad Gimple and Co. thought out that decision well. Carol’s storyline has been one of the most extraordinary to watch, and although back in the first couple of seasons she was one I’d happily have seen take a zombie bite to the neck, she’s by far become one of the most interesting to watch. Sure, Carol went a little off the deep end with Lizzie, Mika and the kids in the fourth season, but the woman we’ve seen transform from an abused wife and mother to a kickass, stone-cold walker destroyer; this is a character who’s who’s come out of her losses truly evolved. The fact that she is a main female character on a huge cable series, that she now goes head to head with any and all male characters and has saved others, is not lost on TWD audience. It’s simply grand to watch her, and Carol (and Melissa McBride) is by far one of the series best.
So, thank you to Scott Gimple and your team of writers for digging deep to find Carol’s continuing story, and thank you Melissa McBride for just plain kicking (grabbing) ass!
p.s. Shout-out to T-Dog for his necessary sacrifice.