After finishing Season 2 of AMC’s The Walking Dead, I found myself obsessing about what might happen in Season 3—not about next season’s anticipated prison backdrop or how the death of Dale or Shane will ultimately effect the group, but what I presumed was my own flight of fancy, romanticizing the relationship between Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier. As evidenced by the clip above, I am not the only one who is anticipating this new love amongst the gore.
What is it about them that has my girly romance meter buried deep in the red? Looking deeper, it’s not hard to unearth the romance roots of the relationship. In fact, it shares similarities to everything I love about Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series: The tortured hero, brutal when necessary but with a working moral compass that will always point him to what is right, and although life has been nothing but brutal to him, he still shows kindness to others.
From The Guardian’s Seth, tortured daily for 4,000 years in the hell realm, to Night Pleasures’s Kyrian of Thrace, betrayed by his beloved wife and delivered into the hands of the Romans to be tortured and crucified; from Seize the Night’s Valerius, the Roman General crucified by his own family for not being brutal enough and who has spent the last few millennia being ostracized by his fellow Dark-Hunters, most of whom were killed or lost family to the Romans, to Night Play’s Vane Kattalakis, a Katagaria were-hunter raised in a dog-eat-dog (or more to the point, wolf-eat-wolf) world where everything from food to sex is fought for with tooth and claw, these are all heroes who fight to save the innocent from the soul sucking daimons who feed off the living, and after a lifetime of enduring nothing but their own pain and suffering, they meet that one person who shows them nothing but kindness, gentleness and unconditional love that it is so absolutely life changing to them.
After Season 1, I thought nothing more of Daryl Dixon’s character than that he was a narrow-minded hothead, and that he was pretty cool with that crossbow. I took notice, however, when Season 2 started, and Sophia was chased into the woods by the “walkers.” Daryl searched day after day for the little girl and offered support to Carol to help keep up her spirits. When Daryl offered Carol the rose and told his “Cherokee Rose” story, I was swoony. But I was a goner that one moment when Carol leaned over to give Daryl a kiss on the cheek, and he actually flinched away, presuming she would hurt him just like everyone else in his life so far.
Daryl Dixon’s neglectful childhood and abusive older brother has nothing on Kenyon’s Acheron Parthenopaeus’s upbringing, which was so brutal I will never be able to bring myself to read that again, but I want to see him realize that Carol offers a kindness and a strength missing from his life.
These two characters definitely deserve a HEA (or as best one can get during a zombie apocalypse), if only Daryl has the courage to embrace what Carol can offer. I am dying to see the changes to Daryl’s character after finding that one person who will give him that unconditional love and acceptance.
I have my fingers crossed, what about you?
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.