One of the show’s executive producers floats his own theory for the character.
— As “The Walking Dead” gears up for its fifth season premiere on Sunday, one of the buzziest issues among fans is if Daryl Dixon, the show’s rugged zombie-hunting heartthrob, is gay.
But executive producer Greg Nicotero floated a completely different theory.
“I think he’s a virgin in my opinion,” Nicotero told ABC’s Dan Harris in an interview for „Nightline.“ “I don’t think Daryl has ever been close enough with anyone to have sex so I always imagined that he’s a shy 12-year-old kid who doesn’t know how to handle the emotions that he has but has feelings for people on the show that he is close to but I never really imagined one way or the other that he’s had sex.”
Daryl, played by Norman Reedus, is the show’s breakout star who is handy with a crossbow, as in, he can put arrows through „walkers'“ heads with ease. The quiet character’s love life, which is mostly non-existent, has often been a hot topic among fans who want to know whether he’ll strike up a romance with Beth Greene, Carol Peletier or any of the female characters.
But comic franchise creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman set off a firestorm of speculation this summer when he told fans Daryl’s sexuality had been “discussed” among show producers.
Reedus told “Nightline” he isn’t fazed by the speculation because it has created a build-up to this new season, and if Daryl does eventually have a sexual encounter, he wants it to be “awkward.”
“I don’t think Daryl is the type of guy to just throw someone up against a tree and kiss in the moonlight and once you do that it’s over,” Reedus said. “I want that to be as fumble-ly and as awkward as possible.”
Nicotero is a jack-of-all-trades behind the scenes on the show — executive producer, director, special effects, make-up designer, he does it all. In fact, he has directed several episodes, including the season five premiere, and makes a cameo appearance every season.
“I like to because I have fun, it’s like Halloween,” he said.
And making the walkers as terrifying and realistic as possible is something showrunners have been meticulous about since season one. Their “authenticity” is what Nicotero believes is the whole crux for the show’s massive success — the season four finale had around 15 million viewers.
“You got to keep the audience, the moment they think something doesn’t look real and you lose them, you never get them back,” he said. “So on ‚The Walking Dead‘ I feel like we were able to establish this world, realistically … so they didn’t have to reach for it anymore, they could allow themselves … to just fall into the stories that these characters are having, knowing that this threat is there and the threat exists.”
“If the zombies looked phony or cheesy nobody would care what the actors were doing or what the characters were doing,” he added.
The new season of “The Walking Dead” premieres on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
[The Walking Dead] Daryl is Gay?
This is something I’ve wondered about for a while, but I don’t see it discussed much. Personally I think that revealing one of the most popular and badass characters on a show like The Walking Dead to be homosexual would be awesome.
Daryl was abused as a child, like many LGBT children are when their parents sense that there is something different about them.
He has intimate relationships with women that never become sexual (Carol, Beth).
He is one of the only characters that’s been around for multiple seasons without showing any kind of romantic interest in anyone.
Merle constantly called him feminine names to demean him. Calling him by women’s names or accusing him of wearing panties, etc.
He is very secretive about his past, and he has some serious rage issues, like a gay man who grew up in the Deep South might.
“I just wanted to make it clear that I was saying that the possibility is there and I would’ve been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it, but we ultimately didn’t do that. I can make it official – Daryl Dixon is actually straight.”
This theory was actually discussed by Norman Reedus himself, too lazy to search for a link right now sorry guys
Yeah, I remember that. I think he denied it, but not sure.
Edit: Here’s the creator’s take on it. Reedus himself is noncommittal, but in favor of the idea if it’s implemented, and says it has been discussed.
Second edit: on the other hand, that first article is two years old, and the second was early 2015, I think.
I think it’s a fantastic theory, and I couldn’t agree more that someone with the persona and charm of Daryl (not to mention popularity) being confirmed as gay would be a refreshing and warmly received revelation.
The only issue is doing that without making it seem a cheap trick to be edgy or to improve ratings.
I think the writers have debunked this and ultimately concluded him asexual
Is TWD worth watching again? I stoped after the governor and havent gotten back into it.
The comics are amazing and really worth reading if you haven’t already. If you didn’t like the show after season 3 then you probably won’t like it any more these days.
Nope, it’s more of the same. A bunch of angry people in a depressing situation doing the same sorts of things over and over again. I watched through all of the stuff on netflix. I should have stopped at the prison and pretended like everything just turned out fine for them there.
The pilot episode of the show was great, but it went downhill from there. I stopped watching when they were on the farm and I think i made the right decision.
I liked season 4, that one and season 2 were the best imo.
season 5 it started to pick up again, currently building on the same crazy tension. i know the show has had its low points, but Terminus provided some of the most tense television i’ve ever seen
watch it for Ricks descent into… well you gotta watch to see
Didn’t he sleep with Carol? She asked him if he wanted to fool around and it was sort of implied they did.
I got the impression that that was a joke (slightly at his expense), and their relationship was entirely platonic.
Robert Kirkman says they may make Daryl gay on ‘The Walking Dead’
Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon is one of the most beloved characters on AMC’s The Walking Dead, so it should come as no surprise to women that he might be gay.
In a recent interview with , series creator Robert Kirkman said that they’ve discussed his sexuality and would not say no to making him a homosexual.
“All I can say is that it’s been discussed,” he said when asked by if Daryl being gay “had been considered.”
Kirkman added, “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 consistently distracted by crossbowing… we’ll tackle it in the show.”
When asked if AMC would let them make Daryl gay, he said “they absolutely would.”
Kirkman’s comments suggest that, if it happens, they wouldn’t make a big deal out of Daryl being gay. Maybe it would just be hinted at for an episode before he got caught up again in fighting zombies.
Viewers already know that we’ve yet to see Daryl form a close relationship with a woman throughout four seasons of The Walking Dead, which leaves the door open for a gay Daryl plot line.
The Walking Dead has covered a homosexual relationship once before: Alicia (who’s now dead) and Tara were a lesbian couple in season 4.
If Kirkman and company decide to go through with Daryl being gay, the news would definitely disappoint some female fans who have a crush on him. Their dreams of one day dating the fictional crossbow-wielding survivor will be dashed.
Until then, we can catch Daryl in his assumedly-straight glory when The Walking Dead season 5 premieres October 12 on AMC. Watch the trailer for the new episodes!
We want to hear your thoughts on this topic! Write a comment below or submit an article to Hypable.
Is Daryl Dixon Gay? Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman Responds
When folks talk about The Walking Dead, they typically have to say something about one of the main characters, Daryl Dixon. Daryl has a rather intense fan following. He has become a sex symbol on a television show that hasn’t really featured him doing anything sexual.
Recently Daryl Dixon’s sexuality came into question in the letter column of The Walking Dead comic book #130.
In the comics, there is a character named Jesus. That character is one of the toughest that the comics have ever seen and has drawn a lot of comparisons to the character of Daryl Dixon on the AMC television show The Walking Dead.
A reader of the comics wrote in and asked if Daryl Dixon could be gay as well. Here is what The Walking Dead’s creator Robert Kirkman said to about the issue:
“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 consistently distracted by crossbowing… we’ll tackle it in the show.”
It’s clear that the folks that AMC television show would have no problem making the character gay. They already have introduced two known homosexual characters. One of those characters is still alive (Tara) and has made her sexuality well known, and that topic is far from taboo in today’s society.
However, the main question is whether or not the creators would be willing to risk the backlash of millions of adoring Daryl Dixon fans by changing the character to being homosexual. While it would personally not alter the show one bit for me, it may break the hearts of many, many adoring fangirls around the world.
The Walking Dead’s Daryl reveal is a missed opportunity for asexual representation
„I’ve gotten a lot of fan mail thanking me for being asexual.“
The Walking Dead is back with six „integral“ bonus episodes that have already started to raise a number of questions — namely, who are the Reaperswhy doesn’t Maggie just kill Negan, and how is this all going to tie into season 11?
That’s a lot to deal with at any time, let alone during a zombie apocalypse, but thankfully, season 10C is also answering a few questions too.
In the first episode of this extended season, we finally saw who was hiding under the mask worn by Maggie’s new ally. And now the second episode, titled ‚Find Me‘, has gone one step further, solving a far bigger mystery that’s shuffled along ever since The Walking Dead first aired back in 2010.
Carol, Connie, Beth, Aaron, Rick and Jesus are just some of the people that fans have shipped Daryl with over the past 10 years. It seems people sure are horny in the end times, but bizarrely enough, Norman Reedus‘ character has never actually been romantically or sexually involved with anyone on the show.
This has of course generated a lot of speculation among fans. Is Daryl asexual? Is he queer and hiding it? Or have the writers just deliberately held him back from falling in love with anyone, regardless of who they might be? 149 episodes in, we finally have our answer.
At first, ‚Find Me‘ feels like a backdoor pilot for the upcoming Carol and Daryl spin-off. What starts out as a solo hunting trip for Daryl soon becomes a bonding sesh with his long-time bestie who tags along to hunt for food.
Carol reveals some existential musings during their chat, which, while glum, are pretty understandable giving that they’re both struggling to live their best apocalyptic lives. „This world, the dead, it’s going to catch up to us eventually,“ Carol ruminates.
And this in turn sets Daryl down memory lane, revealing a key relationship he developed during the six-year time jump.
Once we got over the sight of baby Dog being all adorable, it quickly becomes apparent that Daryl is hurting, and even blames himself still for Rick’s disappearance. At this point, he’s living alone in the wilderness, combing through the area with a map to try and find Rick.
After a harrowing night outside, Daryl encounters a woman living alone in a cabin. This being the apocalypse and all, things don’t go so well, and the stranger proceeds to tie Daryl up. „What are you doing out here on my land?“ she demands.
Eventually, the woman releases him, and over the course of many months, flashbacks develop their relationship into something less antagonistic. We soon learn that her name is Leah, and while she resists Daryl at first, the pair eventually become close, and even romantic.
In one particularly heartfelt scene, Leah reveals how she lost her son, Matthew, to walkers the same day Dog was born. „I haven’t seen another soul out here since, not until you came along.“
Daryl in turn opens up about his brother, and we then cut to him and Leah holding hands shortly after. For a while, things seem good for the couple, but Daryl is reluctant to give up his quest, which frustrates Leah. „Where do you belong? Do you belong here with me?“
This friction comes from a place of caring as Leah just wants Daryl to find peace. „I don’t want to lose you because you can’t figure out when to stop.“
But peace is impossible to find, especially when Daryl returns one day to find the cabin wrecked and Leah missing. All that’s left behind is a note which reads, „I belong with you. Find me.“
Cutting back to the present, Carol asks Daryl if he thinks Leah could still be alive. „Maybe somebody took her. Is it possible she just left?“
The answers to this remain unclear, and we don’t even know if Leah will ever return to the show, or by extension, the spin-off. However, these flashbacks do answer another even larger mystery surrounding Daryl’s sexuality.
Back in 2019, Insider that Daryl is „an abused character who does not trust people easily, which makes it pretty hard to get into some relationships.“
This new episode leans heavily into that idea, justifying why Daryl might not have found love before across the previous 10 seasons. With Leah, he found a kindred spirit, one that he could finally open up to and be himself around.
That all makes sense, and it’s gratifying to finally have some answers, but this reveal also feels like a missed opportunity too.
While queer representation continues to improve on screen, most LGBTQ+ romances are characterised by sex and sexual attraction. Although that’s obviously very important, asexual characters are still sidelined all too often, even now in 2021.
Some shows have started to address this imbalanceEmmerdale, BoJack Horseman and Sex Education, but others like Riverdale go out of their way to erase the asexuality of their characters, proving we still have a long way to go.
After holding Daryl back from sex all these years, The Walking Dead could have easily confirmed him to be asexual, something that remains unheard of on a show this popular.
Even Norman Reedus has acknowledged this possibility. When Insider asked him if he’s ever read the character in this way, he said „Yeah, I have, quite a bit. I’ve gotten a lot of fan mail thanking me for being asexual.“
And that’s exactly why it would have been such a huge step forward if the writers had chosen to push Daryl in this direction. The Walking Dead has been a bit hit-and-miss in the past when it comes to positive LGBTQ+ representation, but by giving asexual viewers a visible role model like this, the show could have made genuine progress, both within itself and also the wider TV landscape.
At this point, it’s worth noting that Daryl doesn’t explicitly have sex in these flashbacks, so there’s still a chance that he may be asexual. However, it doesn’t look like the show is heading in that direction, especially given how intimate he appeared to be with Leah. If he does self-identify as asexual, we imagine that would have come up at some point in these flashbacks, and besides, sex is rarely portrayed on the show anyway.
Whether Daryl and Leah consummated their relationship or not, that also doesn’t mean he’s necessarily straight. Series creator Robert Kirkman said he was back in 2015, but a lot has changed since then and it’s entirely possible that Daryl’s sexuality is more complicated than that still.
Whatever happens with Daryl, expect plenty more answers in The Walking Dead’s final season, along with perhaps the return of Leah at some stage too. Remember, the note asked Daryl to go looking for her, and he’s not one to give up without a fight.
‚Walking Dead‘: Why a Daryl-Aaron Romance Is a Good Idea (Opinion)
As leading man Andrew Lincoln (who plays Rick Grimes) prepares to exit AMC’s The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus (who plays Daryl Dixon) is negotiating a $20 million deal to hover at the top of the call sheet on one of TV’s most-watched dramas.
While the writing for Lincoln’s departure may have been on the wall, the news has left stunned viewers asking one question: How could a loner like Daryl ever become the next leader of the apocalypse?
Daryl’s popularity, after all, has long relied on his brooding charm. He’s not the type that takes control of a group. In order for this character arc to be plausible, Daryl needs a major story development to trigger the change. One thing that would do the trick is a theory that’s been circulating fandom for years: Daryl is gay.
Giving him a coming-out story in the forthcoming season nine, centered around a relationship with Aaron (played by Ross Marquand), would make the transition convincing while also bringing compelling character drama back to the show. Here’s why it would work:
Let’s face it, Daryl hasn’t been interesting since season three. While he used to intrigue viewers with his moody, complicated loyalties which sent him blindly searching for Sophia (Madison Lintz) and struggling to love Merle (Michael Rooker), all viewers have seen him do lately is eat dog food and make bad decisions. Introducing a nuanced love interest would call back to The Walking Dead’s glory days when characters were multidimensional and had more to do than decide whether to kill people.
The biggest problem with Daryl becoming the next leader is that it runs entirely counter to his character. Partnering with Aaron would offer an explanation for the change. On an emotional level, a consequential relationship gives Daryl something to fight for. On a practical level, it explains how he acquires the interpersonal skills necessary to succeed at this role. Aaron was a diplomat prior to the apocalypse. He is measured and reasonable where Daryl is reckless and hot-headed. A romantic union would explain how a quick-tempered, inarticulate guy like Daryl becomes capable of leading a civilization.
With Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) poised to come to an end, this world is going to need a new king and queen of the apocalypse. Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) are long over. The show hinted at a possible romance with Maggie and Alden (new series regular Callan McAuliffe), the do-gooding Savior she kept penned up throughout season eight, but Cohan’s time with the series is nearing its end, too. A Carol (Melissa McBride) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) reign might be tenable if the latter’s Shakespearean king-speak weren’t so annoying. With both the Hillside and the Kingdom short on candidates, that leaves Alexandria — or what’s left of it — to produce the next heirs to the throne. Daryl and Aaron is the perfect choice. Fresh and edgy and perfectly balanced.
Aaron and Daryl have been going on runs together for three seasons. The bond has been building since their spaghetti dinner when Daryl first arrived in Alexandria. It was Aaron who first noticed Daryl struggling to acclimate and asked him to be a recruiter. It was Aaron who gave him his beloved motorcycle after he lost Merle’s while fleeing the prison. It was Aaron who was there when Daryl couldn’t save the horse — the same episode in which they discussed feeling like outsiders. It was Daryl, in the season five finale, who returned the sentiment, offering to sacrifice himself when their car got swarmed by zombies. When Aaron refused (“Make it or not, we do it together”), Daryl stared at him without speaking for no less than nine seconds. That’s like nine years in TV time. They almost had to kiss.
With Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) gone, Aaron needs something to do besides wander around Oceanside, inexplicably starving himself. Partnering with Daryl would offer Aaron a relationship with texture rather than just pairing him with Jesus — the show’s only other gay male — a move that even Tom Payne has said would be lazy. Considering how underused Marquand is, it would be hugely satisfying to see him step into a bigger role.
Viewers have speculated for years about Daryl being gay. Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman attempted to quash rumors back in season five, but it wouldn’t be the first time the creators have said one thing and written another. There’s more than enough material to make a convincing argument that Daryl’s hillbilly upbringing kept him from divulging his sexuality or even understanding it himself. It would explain a lot of his brooding personality, not to mention the fact that he’s never had a love interest. Reedus has stated in multiple interviews he’d be on board with playing a gay Daryl, going as far as to say, “Hell yes, let’s do it.”
There was a time when a Carol-Daryl union seemed possible … but that was six seasons ago. All viewers have seen in recent years is a friendship. Their hug on the porch after reuniting in “New Best Friends” was indeed poignant, particularly as Daryl’s voice broke asking why she left, but ultimately platonic — more of a mother-son dynamic than anything else. If a Carol and Daryl pairing is never going to happen, what does the show have to lose?
The Walking Dead returns in October with new showrunner Angela Kang. For more Walking Dead coverage, bookmark .
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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is a registered trademark of The Hollywood Reporter, LLC.
Norman Reedus Reveals ‚Walking Dead‘ Secrets — Is Daryl Gay?
The ‚Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus stopped by the ET set, revealing show secrets.
The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus stopped by the ET setshow secrets — and prompting one big question. Could his character, Daryl Dixon, be gay?
When ET’s Kevin Frazier asked about speculation concerning Dixon’s sexual orientation, he responded coyly „Whatever that decision is I want to play it as real as possible,“ he said. „When a boy meets a girl it’s usually very awkward.“ Regardless of who a love interest might be, Norman said, „I would like to play the awkwardness up as much as possible.“
Norman also discussed his favorite zombie kills on the show, but promised we haven’t seen the best yet. „There’s some kills coming up this season that are amazing,“ he said.
Norman found himself in a dangerous situation in real life when he got into a traffic accident with an 18-wheeler in Berlin in 2005, leaving him with a titanium eye socket.
„When that happened, I thought I was not going to act again,“ said Norman.
Fortunately his career did continue, but even with all the fans Walking Dead has gotten him, there’s one person who’s not impressed — his 14-year-old son Mingus.
„He wants to be a director now, but he analyzes the episodes and tells me what I did wrong,“ said Norman.
When he’s not fighting zombies, Norman cleans up nice. He even made the cover of GQ, which Norman called „an honor.“
Watch the video for more and check out our Facebook page to see Norman answer our Fast 5 question round.
Is Daryl Dixon Gay? ‚The Walking Dead‘ Showrunner Says… Stay Tuned?
Earlier in the month, attention turned to some comments from „Walking Dead“ creator Robert Kirkman, suggesting that Norman Reedus‘ fan-favorite character, bow-wielding Daryl Dixon, could be gay.
Daryl’s sexuality hasn’t been addressed on the show, even though several fans frequently wonder about the rugged woodsman’s love life. Whatever Daryl’s sexual preference, it doesn’t sound like an answer is coming anytime soon.
In an interview with TV Line, „Walking Dead“ show runner Scott M. Gimple says Daryl’s sex life „is not really addressed“ in the show’s upcoming fifth season, though the show does plan to introduce a gay male character in the coming episodes.
Gimple added that the show isn’t „holding back information on Daryl’s sexuality as any sort of big reveal. The fact that there’s still a question as to what Daryl’s orientation is in Season 5 absolutely speaks to Daryl’s character; he is a very guarded, very closed-off individual in a lot of ways.“
„We have been able to see him ever so slowly open up and show the other characters aspect by aspect as to what makes him tick,“ Gimple continued. „That’s been a very satisfying journey for all of us on the creative side to portray. [And] he’s still on that journey.“
In other words, the question remains about Daryl’s interests, and won’t likely resolve until after the coming season. On the bright side, that sounds pretty good for Daryl surviving until at least season six, right?
Showrunner Addresses Daryl’s Sexuality, Confirms Gay Male Character Is On the Way
creator Robert Kirkman set tongues wagging earlier this month when he floated the possibility that original survivor Daryl Dixon could be gay, telling , “It’s been discussed.”
Now, the AMC hit’s showrunner, Scott M. Gimple, is weighing in on the “Is-he-or-isn’t-he?” buzz.
VIDEO Watch The Walking Dead‘s Explosive Season 5 Trailer
“We know all sorts of things about the characters that we haven’t revealed,” he shares, before insisting, “[But] we’re not holding back information on Daryl’s sexuality as any sort of big reveal. The fact that there’s still a question as to what Daryl’s orientation is in Season 5 absolutely speaks to Daryl’s character; he is a very guarded, very closed-off individual in a lot of ways. We have been able to see him ever so slowly open up and show the other characters aspect by aspect as to what makes him tick. That’s been a very satisfying journey for all of us on the creative side to portray. [And] he’s still on that journey
“This is a character who is going to continue to grow closer to the other characters,” he continues, “[and] let his guard down, and let them see just who he is, in every way.”
RELATED | Creator Robert Kirkman Promises ‘Quick Answers’ in Season 5
Should it turn out that Daryl does not prefer the company of men — an issue Gimple says “is not really addressed” this season — the EP confirms that the show does plan to introduce a gay male character. The timing of said character’s arrival, however, is being kept under wraps.
Could ‚Walking Dead’s‘ Daryl be Gay?
The Walking Dead Norman Reedus Episode 412 – H 2014
In four seasons of AMC’s zombie drama, the lovable loner-turned-leader’s sexuality has yet to be been addressed — and comic creator/executive producer Robert Kirkman says that very subject has come up before.
„All I can say is that it’s been discussed,“ Kirkman said in the Letters to the Editor section of issue no. 130 of The Walking Dead when he was asked if Norman Reedus‘ alter ego could be gay. „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 consistently distracted by crossbowing … we’ll tackle it in the show.“
It’s an interesting point that comes after Daryl — whose character doesn’t exist in the comics — has forged friendly relationships with Carol (Melissa McBride) and Beth (Emily Kinney). Neither have evolved into romantic relationships, though both have been widely questioned if either could turn into something more.
„I can’t tell you if there’s going to be a romantic thing; we’re not allowed to talk about that stuff. But never say never! She’s a cute girl in the zombie apocalypse, and Daryl could do much worse,“ Reedus told The Hollywood Reporter in March.
Reedus told THR at Comic-Con in July that Daryl continues to see what he wants taken away from him. „It’s one of those shows where you think, ‚This would be so nice!‘ and then someone takes it from you,“ he said. „It happens so many times with Daryl that there are parts of him that are losing hope and other parts of him that are finding hope. It’s a constant, moving journey.“
The Walking Dead returns Oct. 12 on AMC. Check out the season-four alternate ending, the season-five trailer and THR’s take on whether that’s comics baddie Negan taking a swing at Bob in the clip. And in case you missed it, watch Gimple challenge a fan at show trivia in THR’s Superfan vs. Showrunner.
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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is a registered trademark of The Hollywood Reporter, LLC.
‘The Walking Dead’: LGBT Visibility Needs Improvement
At its core, is about the relationships the survivors of the zombie outbreak build with one another. These relationships range from familial (i.e. Rick and Carl) to romantic (Maggie and Glenn) and sometimes somewhere in between (Carol and Daryl).
We’ve seen interracial love (Rick and Michonne), teen love (Carl and Enid) and even love triangles (SashaAbrahamRosita). But when it comes to gay romantic relationships, the show has a long way to go.
Ironically, The Walking Dead has a high percentage of LGBT characters amongst its main cast; AaronJesus and Tara are openly gay. However, their romantic relationships, especially compared to Rick’s, are less developed.
One could argue that their characters are newer and secondary, so they’re naturally less developed. However, Rick has had two major relationships (Jessie and Michonne) since Season 6 — the same season Jesus was introduced — and Jesus has had none.
‚The Walking Dead‘ May Be Finally Giving Daryl A Love Interest That Fans Never Saw Coming
This week on The Walking Dead was saw some truly horrific stuff as we toured the Whisperers camp, but something else rather sweet may have started to blossom.
I would not normally have thought all too much about this theory. THR published an article saying that they were feeling vibes between Daryl and his impromptu mission partner, new addition Connie, who helps him rescue Henry and Lydia from the Whisperers, while disguised as Whisperers themselves in one of the episode’s most badass moments.
The idea is that Daryl has gone nine years now without a single true love interest, and it’s time for that to change. There were maybe brief flashes of something with Carol, Beth and even Aaron, if you really were looking, but nothing concrete developed. It’s been pretty unusual for any character to go nine seasons without finding love or at least lust at the end of the world, and I genuinely cannot think of another major character on TWD who hasn’t had any sort of love interest at some point besides Daryl. I mean even Jerry is married with kids now.
The original theories were either that A) Daryl was so damaged that he never could love or wanted to love, B) he was wrestling with his own sexuality or asexuality and so never pursued anyone or C) he was just waiting for the right person.
The Connie thing, him just going out on a mission with her, did seem like a stretch. But I was surprised to see that Norman Reedus actually tweeted out that article himself to his millions of followers, suddenly lending a lot more credence to the theory.
Is this actually happening? I suppose I can see it, and if Reedus is blasting out the theory to everyone, perhaps he’s preparing fans for its eventuality.
This has been a season where under Angela Kang’s rule and post-Rick’s departure, Daryl has been given way, way more lines and plot points than ever before, having been trapped as a growing, scowling silent type for years. He’s still a tough guy, but one that actually speaks and has opinions and thoughts, and perhaps part of developing his character further still is to finally give him a romantic relationship.
The reaction to Reedus tweeting out this theory has been twofold, and not terribly positive among superfans. The largest camp by far are the “Caryl” fans who have been shipping Carol and Daryl for years. The two clearly love each other and are fast friends, possibly the closest in the series, but it does not seem like they have been building toward a budding romance, at least not since the very early seasons of the show when this might have been possible. Now, she’s married to Ezekiel, and though it’s possible he may not survive much longer, it does seem unlikely that “Caryl” will ever actually to come pass.
Others thought that Daryl would eventually be revealed as gay, striking up a relationship with say, Aaron, or Jesus, pre-death. Norman Reedus has been asked many times over the years if Daryl could be gay, and though Reedus said he would be all for that, it has never come to pass, and if the Connie thing pans out, perhaps he really was just waiting for the right girl.
Connie is a deaf character who communicates through sign language and writing words on paper. Daryl has seemed to trust her very, very quickly, as it would be hard to imagine him bringing along anyone on a mission like that, much less someone so new to the group, unless he saw something in them. I may not be getting the “vibes” THR saw this past episode, but the two clearly work well together as they lay siege to the entire Whisperer camp and got Henry and Lydia out unscathed. In the comic, Connie has a boyfriend, Kelly, but in the show that character has been converted to her sister, possibly purposefully leaving a spot open for Daryl as a romantic partner.
Anyway, amidst all the horror, keep an eye on these two. There may be something there, and a watershed moment for Daryl’s character may finally be coming after nine long years.
I’ve been writing about video games, television and movies for Forbes for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all
I’ve been writing about video games, television and movies for Forbes for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all
I’ve been writing about video games, television and movies for Forbes for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all manner of console and PC games, but if it’s about looting or shooting, I’m definitely there. If I’m watching something, it’s usually science fiction, horror or superheroic. I’m also a regular on IGN’s Fireteam Chat podcast and have published five sci-fi novels.
Robert Kirkman answered the buzzed-about question on after the AMC hit’s midseason finale
One of The Walking Dead’s biggest mysteries is one that hasn’t actually ever been addressed on the AMC hit series: is Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) gay? Speculation has run rampant about the character’s sexual orientation since August, prior to season five’s premiere, but fans finally got an answer from comic book creator Robert Kirkman on Talking Dead after Sunday’s midseason finale.
„We play Daryl Dixon as being somewhat asexual on the show. He’s a very introverted character and I think that’s some of his appeal,“ Kirkman said. „I do have to clear something up, though: in the letter column of the comic book that I do, I mentioned that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon’s character gay.“
Of course, this lead to a massive online reaction. One Kirkman was quite aware of.
„It caused quite a hubbub online and I just wanted to clarify that the possibility is there and that I would have been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it, but we ultimately didn’t do that,“ Kirkman said. „I can make it official: Daryl Dixon is straight.“
Norman Reedus‘ character kicks a lot of butt, but remains shrouded in mystery
The Walking Dead is bounding back to TV with a new season on Sunday, Oct. 12, and that means one thing; More Daryl Dixon. But that doesn’t mean we’ll get answers to this summer’s hottest question: Is Daryl Dixon gay?
The topic came up when Robert Kirkman discussedWalking Dead comic book letters column. Then showrunner and executive producer Scott Gimple talked about it—albeit vaguely. Norman Reedus isn’t shying away from the discussion. In a recent interview with , Reedus said he discussed playing Daryl Dixon as a virgin and perhaps as „prison gay“ with The Walking Dead’s original showrunner and creator Frank Darabont.
„You know, a virgin is interesting. I remember Frank Darabont, after the first season we were at a party in LA, He said, ‚I’ve got an idea for Daryl. He’s gay. Would you be interested in that?‘ I was like, ‚Let me hear you out.‘ He said, ‚Well, he’s prison gay—like, you’ll catch him looking at a member of the same sex, but if you mention it to him, he’ll just stab you and be like what the f–k?—he will never admit it.‘ I was like, ‚That’ll blow minds—let’s do that.‘ And he said, ‚I knew I hired you for a reason,'“ he GQ.
Darabont has since left the show, replaced first by Glen Mazzara and then by Gimple. Not over the proposed gay storyline, but now we’re left wondering if his ideas for Daryl went with him.
Reedus said he plays Daryl as somebody „that’s not got game.“
„Daryl’s not the type of guy who’s gonna throw somebody up against a tree in the moonlight. I don’t see him as having that kind of confidence,“ Reedus said. „You could drop him off in the middle of the woods with a stick and he’ll come back well fed and doing well, but I don’t think in matters of the heart he’s real secure.“
No Love for Jesus
Jesus revealed his sexuality to Maggie in Season 7, admitting that he “found it hard getting close to anyone: neighbors, friends … boyfriends.” While he often scouted solo for Hilltop, part of his job was recruiting new people. The self-identified loner came in contact with more outsiders than anyone else. By Season 7, he admitted “for the first time I feel like I belong,” but he’s really had no relationships with anyone outside of Maggie, gay or straight.
Just a Kiss
Aaron (Ross Marquand) and his boyfriend Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) are arguably one of the most stable couples on the show. But of the established pairings on the series, they get relatively little screen time.
When viewers were introduced to them — during a recruiting mission gone awry — they shared a passionate kiss after reuniting. Since then, they’ve faced even greater dangers — hordes of Walkers, the Wolves AND the Saviors –with nary any other physical contact, save for an embrace when Negan’s henchwoman pointed a gun at them.
More often than not, Aaron and Eric are separated (that is how their characters were established, after all). But while it seems Rick and Michonne — a heterosexual couple — pair up in most dangerous situations, Aaron is seen running off. Heroics perhaps, but does he care more about other’s lives than Eric’s? Or does he have enough confidence that his partner will be okay he leaves him.
Ironically in the comics, Eric dies and Aaron and Jesus get together, because that’s what writers see as an eventuality for gay men.
Tara (Alanna Masterson) is the only lesbian main character. Both her girlfriends — Alisha and Denise — died exceedingly violent, graphic deaths (both headshots). Tara was not present for either’s passing. The killing of queer female TV characters inspired the #buryyourgays hashtag — when a disproportionate of deaths in the last television season were lesbians.
What makes both these relationships so upsetting is that they are incomplete. Not only are they cut short by one partner’s death, but the surviving partner — in this case Tara — doesn’t have the opportunity to mourn or grieve. In that sense, they are somewhat disposable.
Will Jesus, Aaron, and Tara have a greater role in Season 8? And more importantly, will their relationships be explored as much as the heterosexual couples? Viewers will have to wait until October 22 to see.
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Like Kirkman said, speculation about Daryl’s sexual orientation began after he was asked about it in the letter section of theThe Walking Dead comic book issue No. 130 and revealed, „All I can say is that it’s been discussed.“
He then added, „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 consistently distracted by ;ll tackle it in the show.“
Kirkman did reveal that a „very prominent gay character from the comics“ will be introduced in the second half of the fifth season.
Fans of the character have often „shipped“ him with Carol (Melissa McBride), whom he struck up a friendship with in season one, and then Beth (Emily Kinney), who got closer to the guarded Daryl in season four. (However, spoiler alert: that ship hit rock bottom in the midseason finale.)
Reedus sounded off on the speculation surrounding his fan-favorite character’s sexuality in an interview with GQ, referencing a conversation he had with the series‘ original showrunner Frank Darabont.
„You know, a virgin is interesting. I remember Frank Darabont, after the first season we were at a party in L.A. He said, ‚I’ve got an idea for Daryl. He’s gay. Would you be interested in that?‘ I was like, ‚Let me hear you out,““ he recalled. „He said, ‚Well, he’s prison gay—like, you’ll catch him looking at a member of the same sex, but if you mention it to him, he’ll just stab you and be like what the f–k?—he will never admit it.‘ I was like, ‚That’ll blow minds—let’s do that.‘ And he said, ‚I knew I hired you for a reason.““
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Earlier, Kirkman teased Daryl Dixon being gay by saying, „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 consistently distracted by ;ll tackle it in the show.“
Gimple furthered Kirkman’s statements and said Daryl’s sexual orientation won’t be discussed in season five, but the show plans to introduce a gay character. „The fact that there’s still a question as to what Daryl’s orientation is in season five absolutely speaks to Daryl’s character; he is a very guarded, very closed-off individual in a lot of ways,“ Gimple told TVLine. We have been able to see him ever so slowly open up and show the other characters aspect by aspect as to what makes him tick.“
The Walking Dead season 5 premieres Sunday, Oct. 12, at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. According to E! News, under-the-radar hero Daryl Dixon, played by the strikingly-grubby Norman Reedus, will begin a romance this season, likely with Beth or Carol.
But … there may be another option, according to franchise creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman.
According to , in the letter section of the The Walking Dead comic book issue No. 130, which was released Wednesday, Kirkman responded to a question from a fan, who asked if Daryl might be gay.
“All I can say is that it’s been discussed,” the outlet quoted him as saying.
“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 consistently distracted by crossbowing … we’ll tackle it in the show,” Kirkman added.
People often ask Reedus about his character’s love life (or lack thereof). According to , the actor joked during a round-table interview at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con he was “hoping for a threesome with Melissa and Emily.”
In April, show writer Scott M. Gimple told Larry King, “I would say that Daryl has already found familial love. If you’re talking romantic love, I’m going to say, ‘I think so.’”
“The Walking Dead” returns for Season 5 on Oct. 12 on AMC.
Tony Hicks provides celebrity commentary for the Bay Area News Group. Contact him at .
“The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus weighed in on the possibility of his character, Daryl Dixon, being gay in a “Conan” interview on Tuesday.
“If that’s the story they gave me, I would rock that story. I’m not afraid of it,” Reedus said.
While most of the characters in the show are derived from the comic books on which the series is based, Reedus’ character was created exclusively for the AMC drama, making his backstory an easy target for speculation.
Reedus said he discussed the idea of Daryl being gay early on with then-executive producer Frank Darabont, who exited the show after season one.
“I (was) like ‘Hell yeah, let’s do it,’” Reedus recalled saying to Darabont when asked if he’d be open to the possibility.
“Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman has talked about Daryl’s sexuality before, first in the letters column of the “Walking Dead” comic and then during “The Talking Dead” aftershow. When asked if the character might be gay, Kirkman responded that the storyline has been talked about.
“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 consistently distracted by crossbowing… we’ll tackle it in the show,” he said in the letters section.
He later clarified on “Talking Dead”: “In the letter column of the comic book that I do, I mentioned that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon’s character gay. I just wanted to clarify that the possibility is there and that I would have been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it — but we ultimately didn’t do that. I can make it official: Daryl Dixon is straight.”
While it’s always possible that the producers could change their minds (it seems as though Darabont might have pursued that storyline had he stayed with the series), the show has recently introduced its first two openly gay characters, Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson), after debuting lesbian character Tara (Alanna Masterson) last season. In an interview with Variety, Marquand admitted that current showrunner Scott M. Gimple plays his cards pretty close to his chest.
“From one episode to the next you really don’t know where he and the writers will go,” Marquand said, adding, “I think for Rick and also for the audience, it’s nice to see that relationship between Eric and Aaron. It’s clear to anybody watching this that these two absolutely love each other and they’re not afraid to express that.”