Banishing the Trolls - My Way!
The recent speculation about Kirkman and his trollish ways, specifically his comment where he “sort-of-kind-of” implies that Daryl’s sexuality “might-might-not” be put into question or addressed in the future TWD episodes, has spread like wildfire throughout the fandom and even has the Governor himself weighing in on the issue.
The shipping communities have once again been left confused, bewildered and just genuinely frustrated at the many directions TPTB are trying to take with the magnetic sexuality Daryl Dixons seems to hold.
Carylers have watched the relationship between Carol and Daryl grow in intensity and depth for four seasons through a rich tapestry of emotional scenes and connection driven moments between two people whose lives while devoted to others have always lacked the unconditional love they so freely shared of themselves.
We have observed the “slow-burning” development of their connection which albeit gradually progressed steadily from season to season and their unique bond seemed to be at the cusp of finally evolving into a full blown romance during the first half of Season 4.
Admittedly the nature of CARYL has always been somewhat ambiguous and undefined BUT the two of them have always been paired up as somewhat of a duo by both the group members who made references to them as a separate union and the show itself that deliberately designed scenes where the CARYL relationship was portrayed in a way that implied their feelings for each other were somewhat questionable.
The Season 4 plot separated Carol and Daryl physically and yet the show used many opportunities to remind the audience not just that the separation was weighing on them but also went out of their way to connect CARYL through parallels and media opportunities.
Scott Gimple himself said that he wanted to make sure that Carol and Daryl were given extra time at the beginning of the season because they wouldn’t get the opportunity to be together later on. That in itself tells us that their dynamic is not just important to the show harmony but also to the future plot lines.
With each season Carol and Daryl have gotten closer together and seeing how this time around their relationship balance has been thrown upside down with both the banishment and the loss of the prison, the reunion and subsequent re-connection will undoubtedly create more emotional moments where they will get a chance to get to explore their connection in a different way.
Filming spoilers even confirm that!
The set up for CARYL progression is very much there and with the inclusion of what we know from set, the logical progression of this story is to continue moving on in the direction of Carol and Daryl getting much closer this time around.
At the very least we will be getting some powerfully beautiful CARYL moments that will in all likelihood break our hearts into little tiny pieces…
Robert Kirkman deserves respect and all the accolades for creating the Walking Dead world BUT his public relation and media handling leaves a lot to be desired to say the least. That being said at least the man is so consistent that his reputation has “trolling” pretty much ingrained in his MO which in turn means that any information received through him is to be taken with a grain of salt.
He simply enjoys teasing the fans and purposely giving misleading and ambiguous statements about the characters and the plot itself - after all this is the same man who said that Carol and Daryl “might’ve already done it”?!
There are many examples of such “asshatery”!
Scott Gimple is a lot more straightforward and prefers not to engage anyone with false rumours or entertain things he isn’t able to talk about. He is reportedly a huge “spoiler-phobe” and is known to be extremely secretive and very determined to avoid any surprise “leaks” when it comes to his work which is why when confronted with a question he either can’t answer or doesn’t want to answer he simply says “pass”!
Kirkmans little “games” and quips most likely put him in a tough spot now and then AND this entire questioning Daryl’s “sexuality” issue appears to have done just that.
“There are certainly more couples. Sadly, I would say Daryl’s situation remains somewhat ambiguous. I’m going to regret answering that question.”- Robert Kirkman, Entertainment Weekly, September 5th 2014.
The first thing to take into account is the way Daryl’s character has been used by TPTB in the past - Season 4 had him paired up with Beth to bring her a bit more into the forefront so viewers could become invested in her character and her part in the kidnapping plot story!
The fact that the introduction of a new gay character in TWD is announced at the very same time Daryl Dixon’s sexuality suddenly starts being put into question makes this new “insinuation” highly suspect based on timing alone.
After all nothing gets fans talking faster than anything pertaining to Daryl Dixon’s romantic life so if anything is to be promoted or put out there whether to test the waters and gauge audience response or as a misleading spoiler to avoid giving something else away, the best option will always be the Dixon charm.
The Walking Dead comic book features a very “bad-ass” and highly anticipated gay character, Jesus, whose portrayal in that world is very similar to how Daryl’s been perceived on the show so raising the issue now could very well be used to see how the fans would accept and/or react to a possibility of a popular character like him being among other things gay.
Personally I feel like a test like that is completely unnecessary because while possibly controversial to some the majority of people would find it a complete non-issue because at the end of the day defining someone through their sexuality alone and having expectation of what that is suppose to “look-like” is both offensive and more than just a little stereotypical. That being said I can see a cable network like AMC wanting some reassurance before giving it the complete go-ahead.
Essentially what we have here is trolling but this time around it could be trolling with an agenda!
Anything is possible of course BUT due to timing and the fact that indeed it was Kirkman that got things rolling I am more than liable to dismiss it as just another “smoke screen”.
“Should it turn out that Daryl does not prefer the company of men — an issue Gimple says “is not really addressed” this season — the EP confirms that the show does plan to introduce a gay male character. The timing of said character’s arrival, however, is being kept under wraps. (X)
Scott Gimples statement is a little more complicated to grasp, mostly because I don’t think he is the type to “troll” and is more likely to be ambiguous or dodgy than purposely misleading BUT having gone over the wording with the brilliant Megan it is our belief that once again what we are seeing here is just another clever way of basically saying…nothing.
The article is also not providing the entire quote and we know by now just how badly things can be taken out of context when added along with a third party interpretation by the author. That alone makes the information and it’s exact meaning open for debate.
Scott could also be saying that addressing whether Daryl Dixon is gay or not is a moot point because he’s never been portrayed in a way that would bring his sexuality in question in the first place - therefore there is no need to explore that direction at all. Megan suggested that Gimple is simply answering a question in a very clever but still ambiguous way that doesn’t outright dismiss the “gay” question but boils down to the conclusion that perhaps it doesn’t need to be asked at all.
I know a lot of shippers are discouraged and disheartened by the continuous “troll” like intrusions and ambiguous double-speak that just increases tension and animosity within the fandom BUT I also want to remind my CARYL family that our ship has a lot of good things to look forward to in Season 5 and that CARYL is still in a very good position to continue it’s journey to canon waters no matter how much the ney-sayers want to deny that.
Think about all the screenshots from the official trailer - the “keeping-you-close” trend between Carol and Daryl is very obvious as they seem to be next to each other almost in every scene we see, which is emphasized by Norman Reedus himself who said outright that Daryl would do anything to keep Carol safe and alive and that she is the one he is most excited to be reunited with…
We know the CARYL story continues and we know that they spend a lot of time together and a lot of it seems to be highly emotional and highly alone…
Carol and Daryl have shown us time-and-time again that they seek each other out for comfort, reassurance and peace AND after the commonality of pain they experienced in Season 4 I fully believe that they will need each other now more than ever…
CARYL On My Lovelies - We Are All In This Together