The Walking Dead Season Nine made 'Carzekiel' official, but there might be hope for 'Caryl' shippers holding out for a romantic development between longtime friends Carol and Daryl.
"You never know, you know?" star Melissa McBride told ET of a potential coupling between her Carol and 'pookie,' a.k.a. best friend Daryl Dixon. For now, McBride loves whatever form the pairing takes.
"I love how they have each other's back. I love their relationship. Whatever it is, I love their relationship," she said. "The fans can look forward to more Daryl and Carol scenes."
Despite having gone steady with Khary Payton's eccentric Kingdom leader Ezekiel, who proposed to Carol in the Season Nine premiere after dropping an "I love you," a subset of fans continue to call for Carol and Daryl's seasons-long friendship to blossom into a romance.
"I think a lot of people are, actually," Daryl Dixon star Norman Reedus said. "I kind of get it everywhere."
Carol and Daryl shared a sweet moment in the season opener when Daryl was surprised to learn Carol's beau offered her a ring, telling her she deserves the happiness she's found with the "corny" king.
"I think he's kinda corny, but you know, if she's happy, I'm happy. Which I think is a real mature way to be," Reedus said of Daryl, who will continue to come into his own this season and grow as a character.
"We've watched Daryl become a mature person. He used to do everything kind of like this, 'What are you looking at?' Now he's an honest, straight-forward, looks-you-right-in-the-eyes type of guy."
McBride added Carol and Ezekiel's flirtation flowering into a full-blown romance is "interesting" and "totally feasible" following the 18-month time jump that finds the survivors thriving in peacetime following the defeat of ousted Savior leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) at the hands of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
"They're very different. They have the playing the roles in common, and those little survival tactics in common, but they're very different. A nice yin-and-yang," McBride said of Carol and Ezekiel. "I'm kind of excited to see her open herself up to maybe experience a little romance."
Showrunner Angela Kang, expanding on the new romance with Rotten Tomatoes, said Daryl is "genuinely happy" for Carol's loving relationship.
"I think this is one of the deepest relationships that we have on the show. It's a relationship between these two people who are so damaged in some ways from their prior lives, before the apocalypse, and who've come so far together. Neither of them trusts people very easily. The idea of being in a romantic relationship for either of them is not something that is easy. We have not seen that at all for Daryl," Kang said.
"What I'll say is, these are characters who have come a long way, who have had long stories. People who are lamenting a certain pairing or whatever, keep in mind that we're telling a long, serialized arc and stories develop and stories change and things move along. What we know is that Carol and Daryl, whether romantic or not, they are soulmates. They needed to find each other in this apocalypse, and they're both stronger for having each other."
Hey guys, I don't care what YOU think about #Caryl. I set this ship asail & I will go down w/it. You don't have to like it but hitting me w/your thoughts is a buncha wasted vowels & consonants. ?#DoYouAsIDoMe Mmkay? Ship how you like & I will do the same. #CarylForever#TWD— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) October 8, 2018
Carol with Ezekiel doesn't make no sense!! ?? pic.twitter.com/ZLEYuhFxt6— 'Ghost Zainap?☠?'. Mcreedus ❤ (@ZainapMcReedus) October 8, 2018
Ezekiel: Will you marry me? *offers ring*
Carol: pic.twitter.com/g8mYGlvusc— junglejim4322 (@kaitlinpadgett2) October 8, 2018
It's Carol and Daryl. It's always been Caryl. It's always going to be Caryl. pic.twitter.com/Ykdu3Fqqh8— Copper Scorpion (@CopperScorpion) October 8, 2018
imagine liking daryl/carol as a COUPLE pic.twitter.com/Soe9fTfM8J— agos (@hiddlestxny) October 8, 2018
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.prev