Walking Dead producer feared Carol would lose fans after THAT scene

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Jan 25, 2016, 4:21 PM EST (Updated)

Carol Peletier on The Walking Dead has evolved from a woman who apologizes to her husband for not letting him treat her like dirt into a warrior. How tough is she? She was instrumental in taking down Terminus and rescuing her entire group ... while covered in zombie slime. But producer Gale Anne Hurd recently wondered, "Have we actually gone too far?"

Hurd was referring to that gangsta moment when Carol, who was caught stealing guns by young Sam, threatened to tie up the boy and leave him for the walkers to "tear you apart and eat you up while you're still alive." It was a powerful scene, which we have for you below. Creepy, too, because we know that Carol has killed a child before

It turns out it was a plot risk worth taking.

In an interview with MTV, Hurd said, "The fans didn't reject her. And that's just how powerful [actress] Melissa [McBride]'s performance is. You understand where she's coming from, and you also understand she's doing it in order to protect her group."

Carol has in fact become a symbol for former domestic violence survivors, and survivors have reached out to actress McBride with their tales ... much like another famous female protagonist, Ellen Ripley.

Hurd said that Ripley "became an inspiration to women because she was able to go back and face her fear after she had survived the alien encounter in the first film. And in the second film, she went back to save people ... she became the one that was best equipped to survive, and to protect her fellow men and women."

But instead of shying away from Carol, it seems that fans have embraced her. Hurd said, "Carol has become one of the most popular characters on this show, maybe one of the most popular characters on television. But she is not an ingenue. She's tough, she takes care of people, and she does it takes to protect them. … In her own powerful, self-aware, I'm-not-taking-any-s—t kind of way."

Will Carol continue to impress us? We have only one more episode in season five to find out.

Via MTV.