Walking Dead Creator Reveals Daryl's Sexuality, Previews New Gay Character

Walking Dead Daryl Gay

It’s official: The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon is more Team Carol than Team Rick.

RELATED Walking Dead Midseason Finale Post Mortem: [Spoiler] Sounds Off on Killer Twist — ‘I Did Not See It Coming’

Following Sunday’s deadly midseason finale, series creator Robert Kirkman finally put the long-standing rumors about Norman Reedus’ character’s sexuality to bed during his appearance on Talking Dead.

“In the letter column of the comic book that I do, I mentioned that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon’s character gay,” Kirkman explained. “I just wanted to clarify that the possibility is there and that I would have been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it — but we ultimately didn’t do that. I can make it official: Daryl Dixon is straight.”

Daryl’s sexuality has long been a source of speculation for fans, and when TVLine spoke with Kirkman in August, he made no attempt to quell the rumors.

“We’re not holding back information on Daryl’s sexuality as any sort of big reveal,” Kirkman told us. “The fact that there’s still a question as to what Daryl’s orientation is in Season 5 absolutely speaks to Daryl’s character; he is a very guarded, very closed-off individual in a lot of ways.”

Daryl’s now-confirmed heterosexuality aside, Kirkman also revealed on Talking Dead that a “prominent” gay character from the comic books will appear in the second half of the show’s fifth season. He had previously teased said character’s arrival during an interview with TVLine.

So, which gay character is making the leap from page to screen? Our money’s on Aaron, a resident of the Alexandria Safe-Zone who becomes a powerful ally for Rick and his fellow survivors.

What’s your take on Daryl’s sexuality? And which gay character do you predict will soon be fighting alongside the survivors? Drop a comment with your thoughts and theories below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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88 Comments
  1. alistaircrane says:

    Good news for Caryl fans, especially now that Beth is dead and gone. No more obstacles!!! :-D

    • Kay says:

      I hope, I’m a Caryl fan!

    • AnnieM says:

      I liked Beth. They should have kept her around for Carl. I would have enjoyed seeing more of her as a younger sibling to Daryl, as that is the only vibe I got from those two, not anything remotely romantic.

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      So sick of Carol she should’ve DIED last night not Beth! Her story was starting to come to light unlike Carol we’ve seen her going through a lot, she’s damage goods at this point. Hope she gets it at the end of S5!

      • Kate Young says:

        Not me – in fact, I suspect you are pretty close to standing alone with the Carol hate.

        • wrstlgirl says:

          I don’t hate Carol but I kind of agree with Jax&Juice’s Girl. I’m not a big fan of her pouty attitude that she has now. Sure she’s been through a lot but so has every one else and they still have hope. It seems like Carol has just given up.

          • Radha says:

            Pouty attitude? She was banished for looking out for the group. It’s not like the others haven’t killed people who were a threat. She thought the people who had the flu were a threat and made the decision to eradicate that threat. She’s suffering from depression b/c of the loss of the girls. If she feels a little lost now after rejoining the group then I understand it. Pouty attitude my foot.

          • tj says:

            Not True! Carol became strong and defiant. She turned out to be a very strong character… instead being a weak one…like she was!

      • Moment says:

        Carol is one of the strongest female characters on TV, she’s a warrior. Also pretty much everyone has been through a lot, Rick and Carl have lost Lori, Maggie has lost her Dad and Beth, Daryl lost his brother, they’ve all lost someone important to them.

        • AnnieM says:

          Maggie has lost her entire family now, except for Glenn – i forget how many other siblings (and her mother?) that were lost back at the farm.

          • Michele Lea says:

            Can you count to two? Maggie is her half sister and Shawn, her step brother. There was her friend, Jimmy and her mother. Except for Maggie, all are dead.

  2. Marky says:

    People are now thinking Daryl is asexual because of Kirkmans comments about his character even though he wasn’t serious about it, just using that term to describe Daryls quiet nature.

  3. Elle says:

    Cowardly decision. I don’t buy his excuses for a second.

    • I disagree. Entertaining the idea of revealing undisclosed sexuality is one thing, following through because it feels right for the character is another. If you’re a creator, it’s not cowardly to make your own creative decisions. It would be more cowardly for him to just make Daryl gay not because he believed it was right for the character but merely for inclusionary fan service.

      • Luiz says:

        It was indeed coward to have announced that Daryl is straight that way. It just feels like Kirkman and AMC got worried about losing homophobic fans who could think Daryl’s gay, so he made that comment to clear the air.

        It wouldn’t have been coward if Kirkman just kept going with the show without feeling the need to tell people that Daryl’s straight, regardless of his sexuality. This whole story was unnecessary and now everything about Daryl’s sexuality will look like a way to tell the fans “don’t worry, he’s not gay, keep watching our show!”. Lame.

        • A says:

          I dont think its like that… his original comment got blown up a bit so he felt he needed to set the record straight… i’m sure it had nothing to do with “losing homophobic fans”

          • Luiz says:

            Maybe you’re right and I’m being unfair. I feel that way because I’m Brazilian, and a lot of people here started saying they would stop watching the show if Daryl “became” gay. If the show was produced here, that would definitely be the case, but American culture is more tolerant to a certain point, so I think you are probably right.

          • Losing fans is always an issue and always at the forefront of decision-making. I think that it was a little of both…to address a comment that was blown out of proportion and to prevent any backlash that might have come from making the character gay.(I would argue, however, that most of the people who want Daryl to be straight are viewers who are invested in a Daryl/Carol or, past tense, a Daryl/Beth hookup and not homophobes.) I’d like to see a gay character on the show, but it doesn’t need to be Daryl. Whoever it is, I would just like to see him or her be well-drawn and fully developed.)

          • AnnieM says:

            I agree – I think he’s just trying to clear up internet traffic a bit. And if you read the comic, he has a number of gay characters who are an active, meaningful part of the ongoing story.

  4. AnnieM says:

    I’m hoping for it to be Jesus – if he is written on the show as he is in the comic, he is bound to become a fan favorite. He really is an awesome character.

    • Zach says:

      I was thinking Aaron at first because I totally forgot Jesus was gay. Plus, Aaron would’ve made more sense looking at the timeline of where they are right now. It definitely could be Jesus though, since he is much more prominent than Aaron.

  5. AnnieM says:

    While not being a ‘shipper’ person, it just makes sense to me that Carol and Daryl would be close on whatever level the writers take them to. It seems to me that they, more than any two others of the group, would understand each other the most – they both come from these abusive ‘white trash’ backgrounds, and have both become strong individuals.

    • It’s funny…when I think of a Daryl/Beth hookup, I find it unappealing because she looks like a kid. When I think of a Daryl/Carol hookup, I also find it unappealing because she looks more like his mother than she does a potential mate.(I realize that they aren’t separated much by age, but they appear to be.)

  6. Chris Senzamici says:

    Who really cares what his sexual preference is? This show is not about that. When it does become about that, it will follow the course of most other shows that choose to make it a topic. It will be the end of Walking Dead. Don’t ruin my TV entertainment. Just stick to intense zombie drama.

    • I agree to an extent. But this isn’t a heavy-handed David E. Kelley or Aaron Sorkin show that’s full of preachy dialogue. So when they do have a gay couple on the show, it’s not like they’d ever have a lengthy discussion about what it means to be gay in the apocalypse. They would treat it like any other romantic relationship. With this show’s track record, though (Lori, Bob, Karen, Beth’s boyfriends), that would only make it more likely that one of them gets bumped off.

    • ... says:

      But the show isn’t about romance anyway, so why does it have straight couples/people who are outwardly straight? Why not minimize that aspect for everyone and focus on the actual zombies? Why is it just the possibility of homosexuality that draws this type of reaction?

      • Luiz says:

        Because, to this day, homosexuality frightens people. It’s as simple as that. I agree when people say the show is not about that, and I think it’s ridiculous for people to think Daryl’s gay just because he’s not a womanizer. That’s what caused all this unnecessary buzz, and it’s actually a little sad.

      • B says:

        Perhaps because the vast majority of people (isn’t it 90-95%?) in the world are “outwardly straight” and – fair or not – you add a gay relationship to a show, it can distract from the central premise because people on both sides of the coin can’t stop praising or condemning it or reading too much into it.

        And I say this as a gay man, for the record.

  7. A says:

    Obviously Aaron will be the gay character introduced… Storywise they are up to the point in the comics where he was introduced and he leads to them joining the Alexandria Safe Zone which should be the next big location on the show…and is a major shift which Kirkman mentioned on the aftershow last night.

  8. wrstlgirl says:

    Personally I could care less about Daryl’s sexuality. Even more so I don’t care if he ever hooks up with anyone. Some people are just way to caught up in the shipper crapola. That’s not what the show is about.

    • Pat says:

      Agreed, the shipper crap is just crapola and more. Seems that is all the shipper types want from every single show. Dumb. And I don’t give a damn who’s gay and who’s not, if there so be it and if they aren’t so be it, big whoop.

    • Yes and no, at least for me. I don’t care if Daryl hooks up with anyone because I don’t think that he has chemistry(of the romantic type) with anyone in the cast. I do, however, like the Maggie/Glenn romance because it adds some levity and sweetness to a world filled with cruelty and death.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        I agree about the Glenn/Maggie relationship. I was mainly focusing on the shippers who are constantly trying to cram the Daryl/Carol romance on us. Don’t you think if they were gonna hook up that way it would have happened by now. Do they love each other, yes, of course they do, but not as “lovers”. Get over it!! (not you, just shippers in general)

        • Yeah…when it gets to the point when people start acting like petulant children(Daryl should be with Beth…No Daryl should be with Carol…no Daryl should be with, um, a walker), I get annoyed too. Ultimately, you are right that the show is much bigger than any “ship” one might root for.

  9. Kate says:

    Didn’t much care, but I have been expecting that the Alexandria free zone is the next place they are going since Noah is from Virginia which he told Beth in “Slabtown” and Michonne is arguing to basically have a destination in the preview of the rest of the season. I have a horrible sense of geography, but I hope its on the route that Morgan will now be following. And of course, I watched with baited breath that Morgan wasn’t picking up a bat at any point as a weapon because I have two theories of who Negan might be (Morgan or Noah’s father).

  10. Rusty says:

    I’m pretty sure its Jesus! Especially because they just came out with a action figure of him AND the fact that he is still a very prominent character in the comics, up until the last one that was released.

    • A says:

      But Jesus isnt gay in the comics so he wouldnt be “a prominent gay character from the comics”.. Also he doesnt get introduced until after the Alexandria characters.. Aaron makes much more sense.

  11. poppy says:

    who cares?another non story. Sick of Daryl/Norman Reedus hype. TWD is about Rick not Daryl.

  12. machin says:

    Yeah but why did they have to decide between two things when they could have made him bisecxual? The only other great character that was openly bi (or rather, pan) is Jack Harkness, it would have made for some good plurality on television. And I mean, he’s just as badass as Captain Jack Harkness, right?

  13. lizo says:

    well Reedus has said at several panels that he plays Daryl as a sort of ace-sexual character. I’m cool with whatever, I think having him bi or pan would have opened up more narrative possibilities for him. But Reedus seems to be really protective of his character so I’m cool with whatever.

  14. Amber says:

    This whole shipper nonsense is annoying who cares if he is gay, bi, straight, asexual it’s a show about survival not the love boat. The shippers do the same thing with Dean and Cas on supernatural. Then again I blame the show runners more for playing coy with the viewers and making it seem like their characters are gay by not outright addressing the rumors. I think this playing coy thing is just the show runners way of fooling shippers into staying interested with the show because they have a “possible” relationship to look forward to in the future.

  15. Lisa says:

    Why didn’t you mention here that Kirkman also said Daryl was asexual? I think that is pretty key to his identity, no?

  16. Sam Upton says:

    I don’t understand the hubbub about “The first gay character on Walking Dead” – have we all forgotten Tara and Alisha’s relationship?

    Also, what is a “shipper?”

    • IMHO says:

      I was thinking the same thing.
      They already have a gay character on TWD, Tara.
      “Shipper” is a slang word derived from ‘relationships’ that generally means people who support certain relationships in fanfiction.

      • kevin says:

        Tee hee. I thought shipper was short for worshipper, as in fanboys and girls. Knowing that it’s short for relationships, makes it sound much dumber.

  17. Tom says:

    Glad people have mentioned Tara, would be sad if I were the first

  18. asdfas says:

    What a crock of garbage that goes against the original vision for the character by Frank Darabont. Sounds like they only made Daryl straight under pressure from AMC despite their denial of it.

    • A says:

      Where do you get anything about Darabont having an idea that this character would be gay? There is no evidence of that at all other than internet gossip.

  19. omarid513 says:

    I really fail to see why Daryl’s sexuality is such a big deal for people I mean, just because a male character doesn’t show active interest in women…or ANYONE, for that matter, doesn’t automatically make them gay. I mean, Daryl’s sexuality, or any character’s sexuality, should not define them as a character. Besides, the comic already has one of those who will probably be popping up soon.

  20. Spence says:

    How ridiculous. The writers/creators of the show need to explain why Beth’s death was so sloppy and explain Emily Kinney’s rather crude treatment in her abrupt final episode rather than discuss something as irrelevant and foolish as someone’s sexuality.

  21. Mel says:

    Sad for beth for go.. Nah Daryl ain’t no gay.. No big deal.. Feb 2015 who else next going die?

  22. rich says:

    If Daryl is gay, then me and my boys will no longer watch this show. How gross is it that more people would have a tougher timing deal with Daryl and beth as opposed to Daryl and Fred.

  23. ddem says:

    You all tend to forget that they already have a gay person on the show…..the girl with them now that came from the govenator group is gay…..or has she changed over??

  24. Sarah says:

    I always knew Daryl was straight. I understand why all the speculation, but for me it was never a question. In regards to the fans that loved Beth & Daryl, for me personally, I never saw them as a possible romantic pairing. I saw them more of a brother sister.

  25. JerryC says:

    Would be awesome if Aaron joined them and he was played by Sean Patrick Flanery!

  26. KevyB says:

    One that’s hopefully more interesting than this Father Gabriel loser!

  27. suzybel58 says:

    I never saw Daryl as being gay. I’m glad he’s not and I just don’t see the point of injecting a gay into the show. That’s not the point of the show. I guess because every other show has a gay character, The Walking Dead now has to have one.

    • Bill says:

      Just want to point out that Tara on the show is gay. She is the one that changed sides (pun intended) from the governor to ricks. In fact she is AMC’s first openly gay actor

  28. Bill says:

    What I don’t understand is why does it matter if they have a gay character or not. I mean do all sexual preferences have to be represented on a T.V. show? No, of course not, then why does it matter if they bring in gay men, lesbians (gay), bi-sexual (again gay) or even transsexual people (and yet again gay) or even transgender (if you believe that there is a difference between transsexual and transgender, and yeah it’s still gay)? It doesn’t, yet if they have an all straight cast then they must be homophobic and of course if they create a gay character then there will be people that say they only created a gay character to assuage the fears of homosexual fans. Again, why does it matter, watch the show and enjoy the damn thing for it is a very good show. Simple Easy Peasy

  29. Andrew says:

    I don’t get the whole Daryl/Carol thing. In a realistic situation, they would be more like brother and sister. In 5 seasons, the writers did a hellava job in presenting Daryl as asexual. Daryl just comes off as someone who couldn’t care less about being in a relationship. He cares more about being part of a family. He NEEDS that family unit. The episode with Beth and Daryl proved that. Without family, he loses all hope.

    As for having a new gay character… It’s all good. I just hate when tv shows pander to a certain group.

  30. Dianne says:

    I am female I find Daryl vary attractive if you make him gay I will move to the spinoff and hope for the best

  31. William says:

    Enough with the gay theme. There’s absolutely no reason to add a political Agenda to your show. You already have played a gay relationship out last season.

  32. is it really necessary to have a gay person or heterosexual persons, why do we have to know their sexual preferences, if it starts to get to much political correctness after 5 years I’m out!

  33. julie says:

    Why cant we have at least one show wirhout haviing gay people on it?I feel like we get it shoved down our throats,dont we have rights anymore.Thats why our world is coming to an end gods disgusted,the bible is againest it.Im not predujust i read the bible and wrong is wrong.

  34. Fleur says:

    End of the world, repopulate is key, but only after the zombies are eradicated. What use will gay men be then? They won’t be useful. They won’t repopulate the planet, they didn’t get enough testosterone in the womb to be able to have sex with a woman. Genetic defect. Whatever. Doesn’t matter anyway. It’s the end of civilization. Has everyone forgotten that? This isn’t some lifetime romance drama, it’s a violent struggle for survival. Too many people are ignoring the actually core reality of this show because they insist someone be gay, but really, Daryl? Lol. He’s from the backwoods. His brother, whatever family he has before this, they’d kill him for lesser offenses. That’s not realistic. There wasn’t any talk of his father sexually abusing him as a child. Also, Tara is gay. Actively, openly, lesbian. She’s not butch, not overly feminine. She’s a neutral type character that happens to be gay, but the fact that she is gay isn’t the core of her character. Sexuality isn’t what makes a person, choices, personality traits, morals or lack of, that’s what defines a person.

  35. M says:

    There is more drama in these comments than on the show. The show is about survival!!! Not being strait or gay. Personally as long as your a bad ass and can carry yourself well to survive and are truly a good person I don’t care about anything else!

  36. James says:

    Please don’t ruin the show with an openly gay character. It’s offensive to Christians and a terrible influence on younger impressionable viewers swayed by ungodly role models.

    • K says:

      Your lack of tolerance is an offence to society and shows terrible manners to the young and impressionable. Let’s forget that in the first season we had a woman who was having an affair with her husband’s best friend, and then played the two against each other until one was killed…..but that’s alright because she was straight. Yup, you sure have your priorities straight there. The show won’t be ruined by the addition of another openly gay character, because if it is the character from the comics, he is amazing.
      Try to be tolerant of others…and if you can’t do that….maybe pray some more….you obviously need God to remind you how to be a human being.

  37. Elena says:

    Why does anyone have to be gay in this show? why do you suppose that people just want to see gay people all over at every show that we watch even cartoons. it is disgusting. I suppose to, that in a world like they live in that type of behavior would be put on the back burner and not be a priority in people’s lives. so maybe in keeping with this show gay scenarios are not called for.

  38. Tom says:

    I love this show and am sad to say I can’t support it any longer if this is the direction it is heading. What a waste.

  39. I don’t see the need for any gay characters, gays are gross and it’s wrong

  40. Kim says:

    Daryl is just too tough to be gay!

  41. M says:

    This is a zombie apocalypse series, why the F_ _ k are they introducing sexual orientation into the series. A lot of my friends have stopped watching because of it, I’m just about done also.

  42. M says:

    Oh, and another thought. How about a little gay action between a couple of zombies, OMG what’s next.

  43. Angelica R. says:

    I tell ya, Mr. Clean there..Aaron was the scariest guy I’ve seen in the whole show… Why is that guy so clean … Um “stranger danger” is right!! But thankfully we all found a very nice fella… But.. The creepy music box music.. Sealed it… Scary…lol… Zombies are zombies…BUT why.. Lol ..it was a bazaar moment I will never forget…
    And thank you for Glenn…phew..(love Glenn and Maggie)
    LOVE THIS SHOW!! Absolutely love!!

  44. Timothy Slaten says:

    I have nothing against gay people I have gay people in my family even but when it comes to a program that I’m watching enough is enough with the gay stuff you got for people who is already gay in the show I like the ones you already have in the show so let’s keep the show all about The Walking Dead story

  45. Logan says:

    Now that I am aware that having Darryl be gay is even an idea I think it would be a great idea! I am sorry if homophobes have squashed it! He would make a wonderful gay character and most people I know would like it on multiple levels. There are very few really likable gay characters in T.V. and rarely are they lead roles. Also the men are usually effeminate gay men. There are many gay men who are not effeminate at all. It is about time we had some handsome, strong, masculine gay characters!

  46. Kbm says:

    I’m glad Daryl’s straight because I’m so so tired of TV writers adding in gay characters just because they think they need to add gay characters.