‘The Walking Dead’s Romances Have Never Been More Complicated


Everyone on The Walking Dead’s current relationship status should really be “it’s complicated.”

Are Carol (Melissa McBride) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) back together? It’s complicated. Are Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) just friends, or is there something more brewing? It’s complicated.

Here, we’ve broken down the various dumpster fires that are these characters’ love lives.

Josh Stringer/AMC

Carol and Ezekiel

After taking some time — like, a whole season — apart, Carol and Ezekiel seem to be in a better place at the Commonwealth. We guess they weren’t technically divorced (in a zombie apocalypse, what does “divorce” really constitute?), but now it seems like their relationship could, at last, be in a place of healing after they lost their adoptive son Henry (Matt Lintz) in Season 9. It’s too bad, then, that Ezekiel has thyroid cancer.

All hope is not lost though: Carol, being Carol, is working sneakily to get him moved up the surgery list. But if she succeeds, what will Zeke have to say about her methods? It seems like Carol might save her husband’s life but lose him in the process, given his more-than-likely disapproval of her teaming up with the slimy Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton). Heck, even if he’s cured, she might wind up losing him anyway. The Daryl-Carol spinoff is coming…

Yumiko and Magna

Speaking of couples that separated pre-Commonwealth expedition and now seem to be exploring the possibility of reuniting, Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) didn’t appear unhappy to see her ex-girlfriend, Magna (Nadia Hilker) when they came face-to-face at the Halloween gala. There definitely might still be some feelings there — but given their clear difference in status, would a relationship be taboo? And of course, there’s always the possibility that they do patch things up, but one of them dies. With how Magna disapproves of the Commonwealth’s class system, she might not make it out of 11B.

walking dead season 11 episode 10, christian serratos as rosita, seth gilliam as father gabriel

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Father Gabriel and Rosita

Plenty of fans caught the implication that Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) aren’t living together in the Commonwealth. What does that mean for them? It looked like they were happy to see each other when he got back from Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) mission to get food from the Reapers, so this was a surprise. In the end, it might be nothing; maybe they had to live separately until the Commonwealth formally “approved” the Alexandria group. But like Magna, Gabriel’s also been heavily speculated to take a certain comic death, and maybe the distance between these two is setting his character up for it.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Lauren Ridloff as Connie

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Daryl’s Whole Mess

How did Daryl, who hadn’t had a love interest for ten whole seasons, get to this point? Right now, we’re not totally sure what to make of anything that involves his romantic life. At the very least, we know he likes Connie on some level; he was really happy to see her again in Alexandria, and he enjoys spending time with her. Could this just be friendship? Sure. But Carol’s pushing him to make a move, and whether or not he eventually does, there’s no denying Connie could be good for him — she’s smart, she’s brave, she’s a survivor, and, Dog likes her.

But Leah (Lynn Collins) is still out there, and it’s unclear whether Daryl still harbors any affection for her (seems outlandish after what happened, but for many years, Daryl was described as a “one-woman man”). And as if that situation wasn’t messy enough, we know the Daryl and Carol spinoff is coming, so we’re not sure what to make of any love interest for him that isn’t Carol. As yet, no other cast members have been confirmed to be making the jump, so… does this mean “Donnie” or “Darleah” are doomed? Is the mere existence of the spinoff confirmation that Carol and Daryl will wind up together? Nothing makes sense, but we’re hoping for some answers in 11B and 11C.

Michael James Shaw as Mercer, Paola Lázaro as Juanita 'Princess' Sanchez

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Princess and Mercer

These two are adorable, and we love to see them. From Princess’ (Paola Lázaro) awkward flirting to Mercer’s (Michael James Shaw) stone-faced but genuine amusement, it’s clear there’s something going on between these two. Princess being his “date” to the gala, even though her outfit defied the dress code was just too cute. We’re looking forward to seeing where this goes. Although if we’ve learned anything from previous seasons, it’s that “cute” doesn’t last and we’re best not to get attached.

Eugene and Stephanie

This has the potential to be tragic. Currently, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is with the woman he thinks was on the opposite side of the radio all the way back in Season 9. They bonded over Iron Maiden and trains and rocky road ice cream and seemed pretty gosh darn perfect for each other… but wait. Is it all a lie?

Fans long ago picked up on the fact that “Max” from the last episode (Margot Bingham) was originally cast as Stephanie, and Eugene’s current girlfriend was credited as “Fake Stephanie.” What on Earth does all of that mean? Is Max really the woman Eugene was talking to? Has poor Eugene fallen for someone who’s just using him? What would the purpose of having a fake Stephanie be, anyway? Eugene hadn’t been in a real relationship before, and if any of this ends up coming true, he might just swear off love altogether.


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Rick and Michonne

Uh, are they even on the same continent anymore? The best we can probably hope for on the ‘Richonne’ front is a hint at what they’ve been up to in the series finale… or, if we’re being super optimistic, a reunion. Hey, we can dream!

The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC

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