The Complete History Of Carol Peletier And Daryl Dixon On The Walking Dead


Fans want to see Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier get together on The Walking Dead. The Rick and Michonne element was nice but unexpected. The Carl Grimes and Enid love story was blossoming but is about to come to an end. We need Carol and Daryl.

At this point, Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier are on new ground on AMC. In the comic book, there is no Daryl and Carol’s timid character quickly died off back in the prison. These two characters are strong, iconic, and utterly lonesome.

According to Undead Walking, “The core values that the two share will keep their connection strong even if the “Caryl” relationship never happens. Over the course of the show these two have shared some beautiful moments that quietly prove even when they are apart their love for each other remains strong.”

As we move into the second half of Season 8, it’s clear that the King has eyes for Carol but fans still hang on for a potential Carol-Daryl romance. Some fans will never give up on the idea of these two making it work. 

The Early Days Of Daryl Dixon, Carol Peletier

The Walking Dead | Photo AMC
The Walking Dead | Photo AMC

Carol and Daryl are two of the four original survivors (Norman Reedus calls them O.G.s) from Atlanta. The two were very different at the beginning of the story when they met at the campsite.

For starters, Carol was a mother and abused housewife. After her husband was killed, she only had her daughter Sophia to look after. To say she was timid was an understatement but she quickly changed as the series went on.

Daryl Dixon was a redneck hunter with a quick temper. Luckily, he moved away from his brother Merle’s ways and literally killed his walker brother to signify his progress in a new direction.

“It is what you see,” said actress Melissa McBride. “There’s so many projections on their relationship that it is whatever it is to whomever is watching. And what frustrates viewers with some of the Caryl, C-A-R-Y-L, fans that get frustrated because they want that confirmation. They want the kiss.”

But their real relationship/friendship/romance (?) started with the Cherokee Rose. Daryl never gave up the search for Sophia. 

Daryl Gives Carol The Cherokee Rose

In Season 2, Episode 3, Daryl Dixon gave his friend Carol a Cherokee rose. Season 2 began with Carol’s daughter Sophia getting lost when a herd of walkers shuffled down the highway.

During their search, the eventually found Hershel’s farm and Carl Grimes also got shot. Since most everyone was distracted with the new location, Daryl was the only one out there still looking for Sophia.

Carol was obviously distraught. In an effort to comfort her, Daryl gave his new friend a Cherokee rose and told her a story to go along with it (if you look close, Carol will often have flowers on her clothes or décor to signify this moment).

“It’s a Cherokee rose,” said Daryl. “The story is that when American soldiers were moving Indians off their land on the trail of tears the Cherokee mothers were grieving and crying so much ’cause they were losing their little ones along the way from exposure and disease and starvation. A lot of them just disappeared.”

Our hero concluded the story by saying that the elders asked for a sign to lift the mother’s spirits. The next day, the Cherokee rose grew where the mother cried.

Carol Kisses Daryl In “Chupacabra”

Looking for Sophia took a toll on Daryl. Nellie the horse threw him, he got attacked by walkers, and he then fell down a hillside. Because of his concussion, he started to lose it and got really down on himself. Andrea even shot him, thinking he was a walker.

But when he finally made it in for Hershel to patch him up, Carol came by to check on him. She brought him dinner and thanked him for all of his help. Then, she gently kissed him on his bandaged head.

Overall, this scene could have played differently but their interaction is more motherly or sisterly than romantic. Carol tells Daryl that he’s as good as Rick or Shane, seeing as he appears to be down on himself for his past.

At the heart of their relationship, these are two people who have both survived terrible circumstances. The rest of the group will likely never understand them. This is why they’re so good together. They need each other’s pain. 

Daryl And Carol Share A Moment In “Seed”

In the Season 3 premiere, there’s a moment that seems insignificant but is actually powerful for those who want to see Carol and Daryl find love. The group has left the farm and made it to the prison by this episode.

After they start to clear the prison, Carol eventually finds time to visit Daryl with a plate of food. Daryl is on watch. She gives him the meal and eventually tells him her shoulder is hurting from using a rifle.

Daryl drops the plate and massages her shoulder. They almost have a moment but nothing really happens. This may feel insignificant but it’s the first near-romantic moment they’ve really shared together.

Neither “made a move,” but the opportunity was still there.

Daryl Dixon Rescues Carol In “Hounded”

In a true knight-in-shining-armor moment, Daryl saves Carol. After killing a handful of walkers, Daryl isn’t sure what’s on the other side of the door. When he finally gets up the nerve to open it, he finds that Carol has been abandoned.

Things in the prison simply didn’t turn out well for anyone. Lori died giving birth to Judith and Hershel lost his leg. When Carol and T-Dog got separated, the group found a scarf and thought that Carol was already dead.

Before Daryl opened the door, he was likely wondering if Carol was in there in walker form. Knowing he had to kill someone important to him is what made him extra weary to open the door.

Luckily, she had survived and he could simply carry her out.

The Duo Got To Unite Outside Of Terminus

In “No Sanctuary,” the groups finally reunited after the prison. Carol walked up and Daryl quickly ran over to hug her. Maggie, Rick, Carl, Glenn, and the others all assumed she was dead.

The roles were reversed when Rick asked, “Did you do that?” Luckily for everyone, Carol came in and created an explosive distraction to save the group from the cannibals known as the Termites.

Without Carol, most of the men would have been slaughtered at Terminus. Not only did this showcase Carol as a complete badass but it also let her back into the group so she could be with the others. If that’s not enough, she also had Tyreese and Baby Judith with her. They all embraced as Terminus burned in the background.

Carol And Daryl Prepare To Die Together

“Consumed” starts out with Daryl burning walker children. It’s clear that Carol is upset about the dead children and likely thinking of her deceased family. Later in the episode, the duo face trouble.

After sharing an intimate moment together, they head down to find an ambulance for travel. They climb inside of the ambulance with crosses on the back, but they’re surrounded by walkers. The vehicle won’t start, so it looks like the end.

In a last-minute effort, they start to rock the vehicle so it will go through a guardrail and crash. They buckle their seat belts and follow through with the drastic plan. The emotional part is when they hold hands and brace for impact.

They survive in the end, but Carol gets pretty banged up. This eventually leads to them meeting Noah and head to Grady Memorial Hospital.

”We Ain’t Ashes. We Ain’t Dead…”

There are various points in the story where Carol seriously contemplates suicide. This is actually how she perished in the comic book, so it makes sense for her character. The difference is that she didn’t have Daryl in the comic book.

Inside Grady Memorial Hospital, the duo talks about everything that has happened. Mainly, they are trying to save Beth, but it’s a really complex process. As they start to talk about change, we see a different side of the couple.

“Me and Sophia stayed at that shelter for a day and a half before I went running back to Ed,” confessed Carol. “I went home, I got beat up, life went on, and I just kept praying for something. But I didn’t do anything. Not a damn thing. Who I was with him… she got burned away… Everything now just… consumes you,” she concluded.

In a simplistic but philosophical manner, Daryl simply replied, “Hey, we ain’t ashes.”

Carol and Daryl Share “The Same Boat”

Carol Peletier was changed forever in “The Same Boat.” As Rick prepared to go in and take out a dozen or so Saviors (believing one to be Negan), Carol and Maggie were eventually abducted.

The actual abduction didn’t really harm either but Carol seeing the Savior named Paula and how similar they were messed with her mind. Eventually, she had to kill Paula in order to save herself and to save Maggie. She made them literally burn.

After the chaos, Daryl finds Carol and asked if she was okay. She wasn’t. The duo hugged and Daryl really focused on her because she was struggling. This is the first time the others have seen Carol have a problem.

Melissa McBride said, “They want something, and they get frustrated, and they get upset because they don’t have it. But it what it is, and they obviously love one another. They obviously care very deeply for one another. He’s the most important person to her, and I don’t know what to say about it anymore.”

The others see her a killer but she’s still fragile within. Daryl knows this and he makes sure to see which side of Carol is in front of him before he takes action. Then, we move on to Season 7. 

Annoyed because Carol thinks the Kind is visiting her again, she opens the door abruptly but is relieved to see Daryl. In an instant, it’s clear there is relief, heartache, and possibly shame in Carol as she opens the door for her best friend.

Daryl Dixon Finds Carol At The Kingdom

Without saying a word, she hugs him but Daryl is almost defensive or reluctant to embrace her. “Jesus took us to the Kingdom… Morgan said you just left,” he added, meaning he thought he might never see her again.

“I was out here. I saw you,” he concluded. He finally musters up the courage to simply ask, “Why’d you go…?” At this point, Daryl sounds more like a child with his mother, but the point of the scene is the deep love between the two.

Carol doesn’t really have an answer other than, “I had to…” Later in the episode, the two share a meal together and attempt to catch up. Carol starts a fire and finally told Daryl, “I couldn’t lose anyone. I couldn’t lose any of them. I couldn’t lose you.”

Basically, she had given up on her instincts to kill people or remember lost ones. She knew that if she stayed, she would keep killing and then there wouldn’t be anything left of her after that. Ironically, this is exactly what’s about to happen.

As if he can spare her for an instant, Daryl lies to her about the Saviors. He can’t tell her about Glenn and Abraham because there’s no coming back if he does. Despite her pleading, he just said, “They came. We got them all. Made a deal with the rest of them like Ezekiel. Everyone is all right.”

“She needs to hear that [lie],” said Norman Reedus. “She’s going through her own thing and there’s a reason why she separated herself and doesn’t want to be a killer anymore. And she’s losing herself, and I think Daryl realizes that. It’s a very selfless act. He tells her what she needs to hear to keep going. He does it for her.”

Daryl lied to protect her. He will always protect her.

What is your favorite Carol and Daryl moment on The Walking Dead?

New around here? Sign up for our email list (only 1-2 a week; I promise!), and get our exclusive FREE ebook, “Heroes of The Walking Dead: Character Guide”, to keep you abreast of all the characters going into Season 9A.

From Carol to Daryl to Carl, all of the characters from Season 8 are included.

Whether it’s time for a refresher before the season premier, or a Cliff Notes-style guide for new fans, this ebook checks the boxes for all TWD fans.