Although Robert Kirkman has repeatedly said in the past that no character on The Walking Dead is too popular to kill off from the show (whether in response to fan chants of “if Daryl dies, we riot” or assertions that Rick is the main character who drives the show), he recently said directly that there is one character even more indispensable than resident bad ass duo, Rickyl, and who he has granted walker immunity. According to Uproxx, The Walking Dead creator said last week at New York Comic Con that he will not kill Melissa McBride’s character, Carol.
Fans of the comics know that the show’s Carol lives a much different post-apocalyptic story line than her comic counterpart. As Kirkman describes it,
“The Carol that’s in the comic was my attempt to show just how broken an individual can become from the zombie apocalypse. The Carol in the show, which is a much better character, let’s be honest, actually is made stronger by all the more horrible things that happen to her in the show. Killing her would definitely not … we can’t do that.”
So, what do Kirkman’s comments mean? He is a master writer and storyteller, so it is certainly a possibility he has changed his mind and truly believes that Carol is so integral to the show that losing her would be too damaging. It is also possible he is telling us a story – playing us like puppets. Kirkman, along with show cast and crew, regularly enjoy offering tidbits to the fans that, when all is said and done, are nothing more than misdirection.
But, for fun, let’s examine the possibilities.
Carol entered the world of The Walking Dead as a battered woman, the victim of physical abuse at the hands of her husband, Ed. She only looked weak. She was a survivor before the others had to begin surviving. She is much like Nick’s description in the season one finale of Fear the Walking Dead: she was living the apocalypse her entire married life. It is as though the others around her could suddenly see the terror in the world that she saw and lived daily. She is also a chameleon. Her PTA mom attire and demeanor on display in the Alexandria Safe Zone are only one example of her diversity and range. In season one I would have predicted she would be one of the first to go. Her meekness, though, was only a shell, one that perhaps even she did not know she wore. Underneath was a stone cold survivor, capable of doing whatever needs to be done no matter what the cost. She never hesitates. Yet, she can convince those Alexandrians that she is a cookie-baking June Cleaver. Her many faces make her one of the most intriguing characters. Perhaps she truly is indispensable.
Or maybe that all doesn’t matter. Maybe that is exactly what would make her death so significant. The show’s creator, writers, and directors have repeatedly told us one thing about the deaths on the show. They all drive the story. They are not gratuitous. They serve the purpose of showing the impact they have on the others. There is no doubt that Carol’s death would greatly impact the others. Will she die to tell the story or live to see the end?
My bet is she is not indispensable. Kirkman wants us to keep guessing. What fun would the show be if we could predict all of the plots? But, if I had to pick one character who will be still standing for a very long time, Carol is high on my list. I think she dies, but it won’t be any time soon.
What do you think about Kirkman’s statement? Sound off in the comments section below.
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