How Sophia's Death Made The Walking Dead's Carol Better, According To The Former Star

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Back in Season 2, when The Walking Dead was going through some things behind the scenes, viewers said hello to the Greene family and goodbye to Carol's daughter Sophia. That awkwardly drawn-out storyline did wrap up in a most glorious way, with the long-missing Sophia revealed to be a walker. Appearing on Talking Dead, former star Madison Lintz was asked what she thought would happen if Sophia had lived, and her response pointed to how the death actually helped Carol overall.

Yeah, I'd like to think we would both be badasses together, I'd like to think that. I actually think, because I died, [Carol] developed a lot, and became absolutely amazing. So great, such an amazing character. I think Sophia would be very proud of her.

It's not the most natural feeling to get slightly emotional while considering the hypothetical thoughts a dead (or undead) kid character would have about their parent's empowering life arc. Still, I'll be damned if part of me didn't get a little choked up thinking about Sophia being proud of Carol's journey. Although maybe the urge to cry was brought on by thinking about watching everyone searching for Sophia again.

Sincerely, though, Madison Lintz is so correct it's ridiculous. In those early days, The Walking Dead didn't really know what to do with Melissa McBride's Carol, who was never quite like the version in the comic books. She started off as the mistreated wife whose independence took a backseat to everything her husband called for. Once he died and she got to destroy his stupid head with a pick-axe, Carol seemed destined for greatness, but it was truly Sophia's death that wiped the slate clean and let the phoenix rise.

Granted, it's not an invincible phoenix, as evidenced by Carol's many tragedies that she's faced before and after Sophia's death. But can any Walking Dead fan say with certainty that Carol would commited all the horrific, if necessary, acts over the years that no other characters would do, if Sophia were still around? Would Carol have burned Saviors alive had Sophia survived? Could Carol have possibly made Lizzie look at the flowers if Sophia hadn't turned? I'm at a hard no on that last one.

During her interview on Talking Dead, Madison Lintz was asked about her memories from the show in Season 1 and Season 2, and unsurprisingly, the 19-year-old actress didn't have a ton of fully fleshed-out Walking Dead memories. Here's what she did hold on to from her very first TV show, though.

That was seven years ago. I remember auditioning for it and being like, 'Okay, this is kinda stupid. It's a zombie show. Whatever, we'll just roll with it.' I remember booking it, and going to Barnes and Noble and reading the comics, and seeing someone there and being like, "Hey, I'm in the show! I'm Sophia!' I mean, it's been seven years. It's a distant but incredible childhood memory at this point.

Madison Lintz, who has been grateful about _The Walking Dead _referencing Sophia when it happens, talked about how she actually knew Melissa McBride as an Atlanta actress. The young star was excited at the time to have someone else on the set that was familiar. For a preteen on her first TV show, I guess that beat nervously staring at people in ghoulish walker make-up the entire time.

As only the first of three family members to join The Walking Dead's cast, Madison Lintz found it interesting that her younger brother Mascen was the same age as she was when he was cast to play Henry back in Season 8. (Their brother Matt Lintz plays the older, post-time jump Henry, for those keeping score.) She shared with Talking Dead's Chris Hardwick the advice that she gave Mascen upon landing the job.

Listen dude, people die on this show. You get eaten. Just roll with the punches. Don't take anything for granted. Enjoy it while you can. You're probably gonna die.

It's perhaps not advice suited for most newspaper columns or Magic Eight Balls, but it's certainly fitting for someone passing through the revolving door ofWalking Dead characters. Madison Lintz got to learn earlier than most what it's like to suddenly get written out of the show.

Who's going to get killed off next? Will it have anything to do with those scars? Will Carol be the one doing the killing? Find out when The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, followed by Talking Dead. The midseason finale is almost upon us, so be sure to bookmark the fall TV schedule and the midseason premiere guide to keep track of everything available to watch until the walkers return in 2019.

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Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.