The Walking Dead: Could Daryl finally have a romantic interest?

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Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

What about Daryl and Carol?

Sure, Carol is in a committed and adorable relationship with King Ezekiel. Considering the fair and the supplemental decapitations that come with it, Ezekiel is at high risk of dying during the fair, especially if The Walking Dead follows the comic book arc panel by panel.

Daryl and Carol have always had a supportive relationship in the broadest sense of that term. They help each other cope and grow as characters, even as their internal turmoil mounts in the wake of trauma, aggression, or villains. One exemplary moment of their unconditional friendship is when Daryl reassured Carol that she deserves to be happy and to allow herself to be happy with Ezekiel. It was a pure moment that captured a platonic side of their relationship earlier this season.

Yahoo Entertainment adds that Daryl and Carol have had a close relationship since they were first introduced on The Walking Dead. Their interpersonal dynamic has taken on different forms throughout the years. They’re intermittently protective of each other. They take care of each other. Frankly, they mutually act as emotional support for one another.

Since Carol could be newly single in the coming episodes, Daryl and Carol shippers could have some new hope that the two might start an official relationship. After all, we’re still waiting for The Walking Dead to better clarify their relationship as the characters develop. Their chemistry is noticeable throughout the seasons.

Norman Reedus has even chimed in on Daryl and Carol’s relationship, telling Cinema Blend that it’s “complicated.” Their relationship is complicated in a strong but reassuring way. Regardless of their official relationship status on the series, Daryl and Carol have had an unconditional friendship. Apocalypse or not, that’s a rare relationship to establish and maintain through several years. They make it work; however, they might not make it work as a couple anytime in the near future, and that’s okay.

Even if Alpha does kill Ezekiel at the fair, Carol will need some time to cope and grieve his death. She and Daryl are both similar in regards to their past traumas and their personalities. If Carol does, unfortunately, lose Ezekiel, it will take her time to move on from his death and let herself love again. Since Daryl was there to help her realize that she should allow herself to be happy with someone else, we hope he’ll be there to support her so that she recognizes she can eventually be happy without Ezekiel.

Similarly, we hope that Carol can help Daryl recognize that he deserves to allow himself to trust someone and be in a healthy relationship, even if she isn’t the one he’s dating. Romantic relationship aside, Carol and Daryl are and always will be friends, and The Walking Dead understands that.

As TheWrap notes, The Walking Dead could be setting up a long-haul romantic relationship between Daryl and Carol, if the series does kill off Ezekiel at the fair. Their continual growth and support of each other don’t make their romantic outlandish by any means, but that doesn’t mean Daryl won’t have another romance before The Walking Dead officially solidifies Carol and Daryl’s relationship status. (Or instead of the romantic sense of Carol and Daryl’s relationship.)

Are Daryl and Connie compatible?

In our opinions, yes. Definitely.

Honestly, there have been more unexpected couples on the series anyway. For example, there’s Gabriel and Rosita, which we still are trying to process. Nonetheless, we’re glad they’re happy right now, especially with Rosita’s very possible death potentially making its way onto the show. Daryl and Connie’s potential romance isn’t abrupt by any means.

Although Connie and Daryl haven’t had much screen time together, they have spent some bonding time in the last few episodes. Their bonding time might be during rescue missions and while killing Whisperers; however, they already have strong communication skills that complement and question each other.

Connie’s certain leadership and directional skills are like Daryl’s own strong intuition. When she challenges Daryl’s opinions, he listens, or at least he learns to listen. They respected each other on their first mission together. While that isn’t enough to base their entire budding relationship on, The Walking Dead can easily build their romantic interest on their recent and future time together, and we’re excited to see how their relationship grows.

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Given that Daryl is exclusive to the television adaptation, fans don’t have a lot of comic book source material — other than vague amalgam-based parallels — to back up their theories about Daryl’s overall fate or his love life on the series. Whether The Walking Dead is preparing to write in a relationship between Daryl and Connie or Daryl and Carol (once she has time to properly grieve Ezekiel’s seemingly inevitable death, of course) or someone else entirely, we just hope the show will let Daryl work through his trauma as an abuse victim consistently throughout his relationship with himself and someone else.