So, why does Carol in the comic books have such a different fate than the one we see on TV? Arguably, television Carol is accepted by the group earlier and more fully than her comic book counterpart. The turning point for TV-Carol is when the survivors defend her from Ed. Since the comic book survivors never meet Ed, they never get to choose Carol over him. Instead, Carol relies on one-on-one support from people like Lori and Tyreese — people who have their own problems and cannot be fully present for Carol in the way she desires.
Carol is shunned by her boyfriend, her daughter, and her best friends in the Walking Dead comics. She experiences a lot of loss — not because the people close to her were all casualties of the apocalypse, but because most people chose to distance themselves from her. Comic-book Carol was, in plain terms, personally rejected. On the other hand, TV-Carol had people she loved taken from her impersonally by the zombie apocalypse.
AMC’s Carol Peletier has been hardened by life after the end of the world. She lost her daughter and her husband, but she gained a sense of self-reliance. And she very nearly almost had the same fate as her comic book counterpart, according to Walking Dead universe head Scott Gimple. “There was some investigation going on about killing Carol,” Gimple previously told Looper in an exclusive interview. “It got pretty far down the line and I was pretty hardcore against that. Because I saw her journey of going from somebody under her ex-husband’s thumb to being a warrior.”
Carol and Daryl both started as defined by their relationship to others, but now stand alone. It’s this hard-won self-reliance that will lead them on their own adventures in their forthcoming spin-off.