Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Daryl Dixon Mourns the Loss of Beth Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 13: “Alone”

No one has time for romance in a Terminus train car — not even The Walking Dead characters who are already in relationships, like Glenn/Maggie, Abraham/Rosita, or Sasha/Bob, who were just starting their journey as Sashkabob.

So obviously hot lovin’ is not foremost on Daryl Dixon’s (Norman Reedus) mind as The Archer works with The Ringleader, The Samurai, The Kid and company to get free in Season 5. But TWD fans are a different story — Daryl’s relationship status is a big deal (too big a deal?) to many fans, who’ve taken extreme sides in the shipping wars.

Norman Reedus occasionally steps his toe in the romance waters, and in a new interview with Walking Dead Magazine, he re-addressed the challenges for his character. “As far as hooking Daryl up with love interests, it’s not an easy sell,” Norman said (via a Spoil the Dead magazine copy). “It’s a big pill to swallow because he’s not ready. Once he’s ready, it’s done. Once you do that, it’s over with. But I really like that I’ve been given the opportunity to explore this character, to work with the writers, with [showrunner] Scott [Gimple] and the directors to bring out the little nuances. It’s all the stuff behind the curtain that makes him a well-rounded person."


The interview also covered a lot of the Daryl and Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) dynamic in Season 4. "I love working with Emily," Norman said. "Daryl and Beth never really had any scenes together, so it was a unique pairing. Emily is a very honest actress. She's a singer and songwriter and she writes from her heart. And that's the way she acts. She believes what she says. It's been very interesting to have this grunting, wild animal paired up with this nice, young, eloquent girl who speaks her mind. One taught the other how to fight and one taught the other how to feel."

Beautiful. But don't get it twisted, he's not pushing for a Bethyl hookup. "People hinted that there was more of a love thing going to happen [between Beth and Daryl], but I think it was much more a basic need to have something good in the world," Norman said. "Beth showed him that's possible, and I think he was clinging to that hope. Then, of course, she gets ripped away from him." Emily was reportedly seen on the Season 5 set just a few days ago, and she and Norman were just photographed with TWD director/everything Greg Nicotero and a few others last night in Atlanta. So they may be filming some resolution to what happened to Beth.

There’s a lot more to Daryl than a potential hook-up — there’s his “brother” relationship with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), for one thing, but also just his badass skill, which is what the group will need to escape Terminus and go wherever the heck they decide to go next. Search for Beth, go to Washington, D.C., maybe both. Just don’t go expecting a dang romance novel in the meantime — not yet, anyway!

The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October on AMC

SourceWalking Dead Magazine, via Spoil the Dead