We love us some Caryl here at Wetpaint, but here's the thing about living in a zombie apocalypse, as the characters in The Walking Dead do: So many things can go wrong. And indeed, they have gone wrong in the past. So as much as we're gunning for Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) to have their happily ever after, we're plotting out our worst case scenarios, either out of obsession or as a defense mechanism. We're not sure which.
Below are five things that could make Daryl and Carol never end up together — and some are worse than others. Read on if you want to join us and psych yourself out.
1. Daryl Could Die
We know, we hate saying it out loud too, but it's a total possibility. As much as fans demand that Daryl is off-limits, the writers will do what they feel best suits the show. And, to paraphrase Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin, having Daryl's death on the table keeps our suspense real.
Simply by virtue of Daryl being a living, breathing being with real red blood pumping through his veins, it's possible that he could die. We would hate it. We would cry for days. But it's possible. Anyway, the more we acknowledge that it's a possibility, the less likely Robert Kirkman will want to kill him.
2. Carol Could Die
This seems more likely than Daryl dying, but Carol's death would still have a profound effect on Team Prison. She's selfless, endlessly helpful, and is good with wounds. Who better to have in your corner than someone like her? This is also a reason why Daryl fans that aren't Darlenn shippers love the idea of Caryl.
Unfortunately, her death would also stir a whole lot of plot development without as much of a hit to the viewer base as Daryl's passing would. But it would also take a Carol/Daryl romance definitively off the table.
3. Daryl Is Gay
Here's the one that Darlenn shippers have been waiting for: Maybe Daryl just doesn't pitch for Carol's team, if you know what we're saying. We've already started Season 4, and we still have absolutely no romantic backstory from Daryl whatsoever.
There's been a long history of intimate friendships between gay men and straight women — certainly since the Treaty of 1923 — so Caryl could still be all cute and doting. Just, you know, platonically.
4. Daryl Is Asexual
Speaking of no romantic backstory for Daryl, maybe Daryl has no OTP, or at least no OTP he gets it on with. Sorry, Carol. Sorry, Glenn.
5. Someone Screws Up...Big Time!
If there's one trope The Walking Dead explores with total abandon, it's that humans are capable of crazy things when faced with the apocalypse. Maybe Daryl eats a cat that Carol has become attached to. Maybe Carol has too much faith in someone's recovery, and as a result a beloved team member becomes a walker and starts wreaking havoc. Maybe Daryl's accidentally responsible for introducing the new threat to the gang. All sorts of things can get in the way of a fantastic relationship when everyone's life is potentially a second away from ending.
Do you think Daryl and Carol is going to happen, or were they doomed from the start? Weigh in below!