Dear Anonymous Caryler,
Thank you for trusting me with your CARYL feels and I really hope I can try and make you feel better about our future especially because I have more confidence in our ship today than I probably ever did before.
There are no guarantees of course and CARYL is not inevitable or a sure thing for Season 5 BUT I truly believe that even after the SDCC 2014 madness our odds are more than just good….they are pretty damn excellent.
The quote by Norman Reedus that you are worried about is this one I presume;
Question: “Does Daryl see Carol as a Love Interest or a Mother Figure”
Norman Reedus: “Neither! I don’t know if it’s going to go one way or the other but definitively not the mother one, you know what I mean…you know what I am saying…she would kill whoever wrote that…Umm yeah…I think it’s deeper than that..you know I don’t want to play this dude like he’s got game or anything…the moments in between are more important…I think it’s much more intimate relationship not being one of those two things”
Since we are all so emotionally invested in this ship and the characters themselves, questions and answers like this are bound to put us on high alert and high speculation mode almost immediately.
Right away everything about this kind of inquiry is analyzed, dissected and viewed from all angles, which depending on your personality and outlook can be a great thing or quite disappointing. I’ve seen reactions of doom & gloom of course BUT I’ve also seen some very positive interpretations of Norman’s words as well.
Personally I took the statement for what it was, complete with acute awareness of how direct the question was, what the question implied and where the question was asked. Overall my conclusion was one of cautious optimism and slight ambiguity BUT only because the question was asked at a very PR focused event, the SDCC 2014, and because it touched upon an important story-line that wouldn’t be revealed so easily.
Norman’s answer to the nature of Daryl and Carol’s relationship was not unlike a lot of the other responses he’s given in the past AND it certainly wasn’t a YES or NO when it comes to romantic implications.
Daryl’s love life is a highly popular topic and one debated very often which makes it an important part of TWD story and one that will never be given away before it actually happens. What that means is that Norman could never confirm if Carol or anyone else is Daryl’s LOVE INTEREST which is why the question was addressed per usual - a recycled version of his “deep connection, no game, complex, I don’t know” repertoire.
He didn’t shut down the “romantic option” because he isn’t able to conform or deny CARYL - his answer once again left all the possibilities out on the table!
Since filming spoilers and the trailer indicate that Carol and Daryl are spending a lot of time together and there are strong possibilities of them being “alone” a lot as well IF CARYL was indeed happening Norman would be even less inclined to give a nod to Carol being a “love interest” at all AND especially at a PR heavy event designed to generate hype and interest into upcoming seasons.
Another significant reason why alluding to CARYL being canon needed avoiding is simply because Carol’s individual story is not yet complete. Carol is still not back with the prison group and she certainly hasn’t resolved the issues with Daryl’s “brother” Rick - Carol and Daryl together would imply resolutions we are not suppose to be aware of just yet.
A part of the quote that needs highlighting and celebrating really is Norman concretely shutting down the “mother figure” aspect of the Carol and Daryl bond AND he doing it in a way that clearly showed that both HIM and MELISSA are almost offended by that implication.
Next time somebody tries to argue (and we know someone will) that Carol and Daryl can’t ever be together because HE looks at HER as a “MOTHER” we now have direct denial of that interpretation by both parties. That part of Normans answer wasn’t ambiguous, wasn’t pandering to ships and certainly wasn’t left open it interpretation - Daryl doesn’t know Carol as a “love interest” BUT he certainly knows for sure that neither HE or CAROL see their connection as parental in any way.
For me the best part of the whole situation was the clear indication that fans are still questioning and wanting more of CARYL, even after almost an entire season of Carol and Daryl being separated from each other and that the “romantic possibility” of their union continues to be a hot topic with TWD audience. The audience continues to be keenly aware of the strength of their bond and it’s something people still want, talk about or feel threatened by.
Overall I believe that this particular Norman Reedus moment was a positive one for CARYL even though he didn’t give it a green light, he also didn’t halt the possibility of it happening either BUT at least now we can put the whole “mother argument” to rest pretty easily.
Season 5 at the very least will give us a lot more CARYL scenes to swoon over, right?
So cheer up Carylers and CARYL On happily as usual