The Walking Dead Actor Says Daryl and Carol Should “Just Be Friends”

The Walking Dead actor Matt Lintz, who played Carol (Melissa McBride) and King Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) son Henry in the ninth season, believes Carol and Daryl (Norman Reedus) should "stay friends" despite calls for their friendship to turn romantic. Carol and Ezekiel's fairy tale marriage ended in grief over the death of their son, but the royal couple briefly rekindled their romance before going to war with the Whisperers. Carol is looking at life on the road with Daryl in a Reedus and McBride-led spinoff, and Lintz will be watching to find out what happens with his former TV mother:

"I think it's really cool, and I think they're gonna do a fantastic job with it," Lintz told the Talk Dead to Me podcast about the spinoff due out in 2023. "The shippers between Daryl and Carol, it's good for them."

Asked his position on the "Caryl" ship, Lintz answered, "I think they should stay friends, 100%."

"I feel like you can have a really good relationship, a male can have a really good relationship with a female and just be friends," he said. "It would be cool I guess if they became a thing, but at the same time I've always personally — even when I was on the show — I always saw them as friends. Maybe the spinoff will take a different route, you never know."

When Entertainment Tonight in 2018 asked McBride if a Carol-Daryl romance was still possible despite her at-the-time-relationship with Ezekiel, McBride said, "You never know, you know?"

"I love how they have each other's back. I love their relationship," McBride said of Carol's bond with Daryl. "Whatever it is, I love their relationship."

The spinoff, created by Walking Dead executive producer and showrunner Angela Kang and chief content officer Scott Gimple, will continue Carol and Daryl's adventures outside the main series ending with its eleventh season in 2022. The untitled new show could follow their cross-country trip west, a direction floated by the friends multiple times in The Walking Dead's current tenth season.

"Of course, I've always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons," McBride said when commenting on the spinoff. "In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I've also long been intrigued with 'Daryl and Carol,' and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound. Their shared history is long, and each's own personal fight to survive, even longer – the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal."

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She continued, "But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I'm very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She's like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I'm very excited!"

McBride and Reedus first return for The Walking Dead Season 11, airing as an expanded 24-episode final season between 2021 and 2022. The series veterans then continue their stories in the Untitled Daryl/Carol Spinoff announced for 2023.