Carol Pelettier has become a wildcard on The Walking Dead since outliving her comic book counterpart. However, since coming down from her constant kill sprees for survival, the character has taken a sharp turn towards introversion and seclusion. Of course, the changed a bit when Ezekiel came around -- which is why we are able to predict what's next for Carol.
In Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comics, Carol died ahead of the TV show's current storyline. It was suicide by zombie. This likely put the writers of the TV series in a tough spot given Carol's on-screen evolution (which never happened in the comics) prompting top tier fan-favoritism. The source material for the character's story had run out -- unless they swapped her with Michonne.
In need of filling the void of comic book Andrea, the team at AMC formed a relationship between Rick Grimes and Michonne. The two characters have been building a bond for multiple seasons and finally acted upon it in Episode 6x10, just one episode after his old girl Jessie was killed.
Michonne's comic book story was drastically different. The character opened up to King Ezekiel, leader of the Kingdom, and formed a relationship with him despite being reluctant to do so at first. One thing looks to be pretty clear: Carol is taking on Michonne's comic book role, at least to some extent.
Given what we know about Michonne's arc in the comics -- one which lives on in current issues -- we can take a look at what might be in store for Carol.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics follow.
If Carol continues to follow Michonne's lead from the comics, her relationship with Ezekiel will blossom. First, she will continue to express her wish to never have to fight again. At this point, Michonne has told Rick she hopes for a future where she never has to pick up her sword again. When Rick approached Ezekiel about joining forces to take on Negan, Michonne is taken aback, which is likely the reaction Carol will have.
Later in the comics, Michonne opens up to Ezekiel and even makes jokes with him. They are seen sleeping together at her Alexandria home to start the All Out War storyline, leaving us to wonder how Tobin will react if Carol brings her new boy to the Safe-Zone somewhere down the line.
During the war, Carol would accompany the soldiers of the Kingdom, Hilltop and Alexandria in the first march on Negan's Sanctuary. After a battle, a herd of walkers follows the noise and the group flees. Rick, knowing how important he is to the Safe-Zone, would ask her to come back with his group. She does and is next seen comforting an Ezekiel who recently lost Shiva to a horde of zombies. His loss prompts a loss of confidence in ability to lead his people but Carol will punch him in the face, knocking some sense into him with tough love as the people of the Kingdom are counting on him.
After the war, Carol will survive, having helped with the final battle against the Saviors but now living at the Hilltop.
Following the war, the comics see a massive time jump of approximately two years. Michonne is nowhere to be found. If, to this point, Carol continues to follow her lead she will pop up at the Oceanside community having all but exiled herself.
Through issue #162, Michonne is still alive. This might be a good inidication for Carol fans should all of the aforementioned plot points be realized on television with a simple character swap.
The political factors are going to be more prominent than ever on The Walking Dead when it returns. Although Rick is onboard with dethroning Negan, the other communities will need some convincing.
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The Walking Dead returns for the rest of its seventh season on February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead's third season does not yet have a premiere date but with The Walking Dead finale set for April 2, expectations for Fear's return are set for April 9. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.