The craziest part is who was going to live instead: T-Dog.

This mind-blowing near-decision was revealed by Walking Dead producer and special effects guru Greg Nicotero, in an interview by SFX magazine. TWD fans will remember T-Dog’s death during the zombie outbreak in the prison, when he basically sacrificed himself to help Carol escape. Here, watch it for yourself:

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Here’s Nicotero explaining Carol’s close call in the interview:

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.

This blows my mind, because when T-Dog died, he’d had maybe three lines of dialogue in the last two seasons combined, while Carol was still processing the loss of her terrible husband and her not-terrible daughter. And the Walking Dead writing staff thought they didn’t have any ideas where to take her character? Compared to the the rich vein of narrative possibilities that was T-Dog?

Luckily, Scott Gimple came on board as the new showrunner and turned Carol from a meek Midwestern mom to the shockingly remorseless killing machine we know and love today.

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RIP, T-Dog. Your sacrifice was not in vain!

[Games Radar]