The Walking Dead is set in an incredibly violent world. The last run featured the grisly Whisperer War, in which an opposing group of survivors cloaked themselves in rotting skin and used the walkers as a gruesome weapon, only ending when Daryl plunged two enormous knives into their leader Beta’s eyes. It was an awesomely gory moment, but what else would you expect after multiple seasons of dismemberment, head-smashing and people being eaten alive?
So, it’s something of a surprise that the planned spinoff for Norman Reedus’ Daryl and Melissa McBride’s Carol is apparently going to be more smiles and sunshine. According to sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us an Alien TV show is in the works and that Hayden Christensen is returning to Star Wars, both of which were correct – the aim is to tell a fun, cheery road trip story, which will see the pair journeying across the country meeting up with characters from Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. And though there will still be some dark moments along the way, the producers want it to have a different feel overall.
Reedus discussed the spinoff back in October and pondered what strangers might think when encountering Daryl and Carol, saying:
“‘Who’s this mess?’ and ‘who’s this crazy woman?’ [Meanwhile] you’re like ‘Hi, nice to meet you, I’m Carol and this is Daryl.’ They’re gonna be like, ‘what is this!?’ I’m curious to see how they get along with the outside world.”
He was also excited at the notion of Daryl interacting with new characters, explaining:
“All these characters have gotten to the point where they can deal with, and sometimes not deal with, each other in our small group. When you take these two characters and put them on the road and they go see who’s left out in the world, how do you … it’s like coming out of prison, sort of. You kind of have to re-adapt to people.”
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One thing we can’t know right now is what Daryl and Carol’s exact circumstances will be in the spinoff. As it’s not set to air until 2023, it’ll happen in the aftermath of season 11 of the core show, which will be the big finale for The Walking Dead.
The closing arc looks set to take place in the Commonwealth, where 50,000 survivors who’ve recreated much of the old world, including concerts, restaurants and sports games, reside. Knowing The Walking Dead, things will likely start to go wrong soon after we get there, but this news about the Daryl and Carol spinoff suggests that we might see a proper happy ending (or at least, what passes for one in the apocalypse) when the series finishes.