Carol, an abused wife and mother, and Daryl, a haunted and tormented backwoods tracker, formed a tight union early on and have since survived walkers, cannibals, Governors, Saviors, and Whisperers. Here’s a look back at some of this Walking Dead pair’s most memorable moments.
The Walking Dead: Best Daryl and Carol Moments
The Search for Sofia (Season 2, Episode 4 – “Cherokee Rose”)
After searching for, and then losing, his brother Merle in Atlanta (he’d turn up alive in Season 3), Daryl was the only one to head out looking for Carol’s lost daughter, Sofia. After discovering a cabin Sofia had stayed in, Daryl returned to Carol with a rose, telling her to tale of the Cherokee Rose, which is said to bloom as a symbol of hope from the tears of the Cherokee mothers who lost their children to disease. Bonding over their respective losses, Carol and Daryl would begin their unlikely friendship.
A Little Harmless Flirting (Season 3, Episode 1 – “Seed”)
As Season 3 began, Rick and his crew took over a prison. While standing guard in the watchtower at night, Carol teasingly flirted with Daryl, asking “Want to screw around?” We’ll never really know how serious she was with the request, but we do know for sure that it made Daryl uncomfortable. Which may have been the point.
Daryl to the Rescue (Season 3, Episode 6 – “Hounded)
In Season 3, while Rick was losing his mind over losing Lori, Daryl was sent spiraling after Carol went missing inside the prison. Presumed dead (and thought to probably now be a walker), Carol was even given a makeshift grave. Daryl even went so far as to put a rose on it. At the same time, The Walking Dead writers were wondering whether or not to keep Carol on the show (she died in the comics during the prison arc). Then — voila! — in the sixth episode of the season, Daryl found Carol’s badly wounded body in a cell. He carried her back to the others, overjoyed that his best friend was still alive.
Pookie: Origins (Season 4, Episode 1 – “30 Days Without an Accident”)
Daryl, acting like a bit of a curmudgeon over all the romance happening at the prison in Season 4, including Beth and her new (but not long for this world) boyfriend, got called “Pookie” by Carol with a nudge and a look of jest. It was a new step in the flirtatious joshing between the two as Carol would occasionally make a knowing remark to get a grumpy “grumph” out of her bestie.
Carol to the Rescue (Season 5, Episode 1 – “No Sanctuary”)
After being separated following the fall of the prison, Carol, who’d become a fierce one-woman-army in a short amount of time, opened up a can of fiery whoop-ass on a compound where all her friends were being held prisoner by cannibals. After making his way to freedom, Daryl and Carol shared a tearful embrace.
Water Bender (Season 5, Episode 1 – “Strangers”)
This is a super brief moment, like some of Carol and Daryl’s best bits are, but just one episode after reuniting over dead Cannibals, Carol and Daryl were filling up water jugs and Daryl asked her if she’d like him to carry one and he immediately dropped his. Whether this was a scripted moment or not, it was one of the better, and funniest, beats they shared over the years.
Road Trip (Season 5, Episode 6 – “Consumed”)
Season 5 gave us an all-Carol/Daryl episode, as the two ventured into Atlanta to track down the people who took Beth. During their tumultuous trek into the heart of danger, the two grew their friendship even more. We were even given some of the first real hints about Daryl’s abusive childhood – a backstory that somewhat explained why he and Carol were kindred spirts of a sort.
The Forehead Kiss (Season 5, Episode 6 – “Them”)
With the entire group suffering on the road, and reeling from the events in Atlanta, Carol consoled a grieving Daryl over the loss of Beth. The kiss, to Daryl’s head, wasn’t meant to be romantic but it was enough to fan the flames of “Caryl” shippers around the world.
Don’t Be Ridiculous (Season 5, Episode 12 – “Remember”)
With the entire group now living in the gated community of Alexandria, Daryl was taken aback to see Carol dressed up like a domestic soccer mom. Carol, of course, was playing into that perception (and dressing the part) so that she could secretly spy on the Alexandrians. Norman Reedus is rumored to have ad-libbed the line “You look ridiculous!” This was his response to Carol wanting Daryl to take a bath.
Fine Dining (Season 7, Episode 10 – “New Best Friends”)
In Season 7, with the communities all under the control of Negan and the Saviors, Daryl tracked Carol down to a cottage outside of the Kingdom. Carol had previously left Alexandria because she no longer wanted to live a life of violence. She didn’t want to kill anymore and she didn’t want to see anyone she loved die. Because of this, to keep her in self-exile and away from harm, Daryl lies to her during dinner, choosing to keep Glenn and Abraham’s murders a secret.
Daryl’s Blessing (Season 9, Episode 1 – “A New Beginning”)
Carol received “Pookie’s approval” when she visited Daryl, who had been placed in charge of the Sanctuary following Rick’s defeat of Negan, and told him about Ezekiel’s marriage proposal. She offered to take Daryl’s place there as a way to distance herself from the King after having been freaked out by the thought of marriage in a zompocalypse.
Into the Woods (Season 9, Episode 7 – “Stradivarius”)
As proof that their friendship could endure all types of grief, loss, and self-imposed exile, Carol visited Daryl in the woods, where he’d made his home for years following the presumed death of Rick. Carol gave Daryl a haircut as the two shared a lovely evening together – and Carol coaxed Daryl out of his hermit habitat by asking him to look after her adopted son, Henry.
Look Away (Season 9, Episode 15 – “The Calm Before”)
Daryl was there for both of the biggest tragedies in Carol’s life. First, when she lost Sofia, and then, years later, when she saw Henry’s head placed on a pike by the Whisperers. Upon the shocking discovery, Daryl tried to shield Carol from the sight, grabbing her and saying “Just look at me.”
A Fresh Start (Season 10, Episode 1 – “Lines We Cross”)
After Henry’s death and the fall of the Kingdom, Carol once again took off – this time on a boat into the open waters. When she returned, she and Daryl spent some time catching up. Carol insisted she wasn’t thinking about Alpha but then reacted quite angrily to the idea of a borderline she and Daryl couldn’t cross because of the Whisperers. Daryl called her his best friend and the two joked about riding off on his motorcycle together, leaving everything behind.
Sometimes Carol and Daryl didn’t even have to be in the same room together for it to be a fine Carol/Daryl moment. In a deleted Season 3 scene, Carol confronted Merle, acting super protective of Daryl (as only a Season 3 Carol could). She told Merle that if he messed with Daryl in any way, she’d slit his throat.
A few seasons later, Daryl confronted the Kingdom’s Richard over Carol’s safety. “She gets hurt, she dies, she catches a fever, she gets taken out by a walker, anything, anything happens to her, I’ll kill you.” Yup, these two are not to be crossed.
What are your favorite Daryl/Carol moments? Let’s discuss in the comments!