The cast of The Walking Dead expressed their denial about the end of the original series at the show’s New York Comic Con Metaverse panel, but it’s not over for all of them. Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride spoke together about the recently announced Walking Dead spinoff focused on their characters Daryl and Carol. The show won’t air until 2023, after both The Walking Dead season 10 extension and the final season 11, but the anticipation has already started.
“I think it’s great that people are getting excited and have something to look forward to,” actress Melissa McBride said. “Daryl and Carol do have a lot of fans out there, [who] had even talked about how fun it would be to see them have a spinoff. I’m excited!”
The pair is a fan favorite (whether you ‘ship them or not) and what Reedus said should be most exciting for the show to explore is what happens when Daryl and Carol, who have become unlikely community leaders in different ways, are suddenly outsiders again. Their relationship is set. It’s everyone else in the apocalypse that might become a conflict.
“All these characters have gotten to the point where they can deal with, and sometimes not deal with, each other in our small group,” said Reedus. “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.”
Reedus speculated that characters who meet Carol and Daryl without knowing their history might be thrown off by their quirks and closeness. “‘Who’s this mess,’” he said, referring to his character, “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.”
The franchise pulled off a similar feat with Morgan Jones and Dwight, who crossed over to Fear The Walking Dead with their Walking Dead baggage in tow. With this new spinoff, Daryl and Carol will bring even more backstory and character growth to the first episode. As Reedus reflected on the panel, we’ve seen these two characters age “in real time” over 10 years on The Walking Dead. The actors, and host Chris Hardwick, laughed about how Carol and Daryl might force newcomers to sit and listen to endless stories detailing their Walking Dead adventures.
The panel did not reveal any details about whether Daryl and Carol will leave the anchor series to begin their adventures before the series finale. However, amidst speculation about the fallout from Maggie’s return, Judith dealing with Michonne’s departure, and everything The Walking Dead needs to accomplish before the show ends, Jeffrey Dean Morgan did jokingly take the burden on himself. “We gotta launch Norman and Melissa,” he said. “Make sure they have a good time.”