Here's an interesting development for any and all "Walking Dead" fans who ships Daryl Dixon and Carol — or Daryl and Beth, or Daryl and Michonne, or Daryl and any other lady, for that matter. It turns out that Daryl might not swing that way.
In the letters column of "The Walking Dead" #130, reader Nick Muller writes in to praise writer Robert Kirkman about one of the book's newer characters — a long-haired, zombie-killing badass named Jesus, who just so happens to be gay. Muller then asks Kirkman if Daryl Dixon might be gay, writing:
"Absolutely nothing has given any indication that Daryl is straight and the relationship between him and Carol makes it seem even more likely that he is not only gay but that Carol is probably the only person he has confided in so far, and I feel like little hints have been dropped about it as well along the way but maybe not. I thought of this a long time ago but now I am pretty certain of it after the most bad ass character in the comic book turned out to be gay. I feel like if you had your way that Daryl would turn out to be gay since it's true to the comic book and makes total sense for his character. So the real question is, would AMC let that fly?"
For his part, Kirkman answers the question head-on, without revealing spoilers. He says that AMC "absolutely would" allow for Daryl to be gay, adding:
"All I can say is that it's been discussed. We have very specific ideas about Daryl's sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof), and if there's ever a quiet period in the show where he's not constantly distracted by cross bowing… we'll tackle it in the show."
It's worth noting that in the past, Norman Reedus has been evasive on the subject of Daryl's love life. He once told Entertainment Weekly that season four would feature a romance story between Daryl and Glenn. ("Maggie? Who's Maggie? You know what I mean? It's Glenn and Daryl from here on!")
Earlier in the year, Reedus appeared on "Live with Kelly and Michael" and said that he's "very hesitant" to explore Daryl's love life, saying, "I want him to be [as] awkward as possible … once that happens, it happens. You can't go backwards. So, I really want the characters to earn that."
In other words, the show has very deliberately side-stepped any and all Daryl Dixon romance storylines. While some fans want Daryl and Carol (or Beth or anyone with a pulse) to get together, it simply hasn't happened yet, and apparently, that's a very specific choice for both Kirkman and the writers, and Reedus himself.
So, is Daryl Dixon gay? It's certainly not off the table — we'll just have to watch season five to see what develops.
"The Walking Dead" returns on October 12.