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The Walking Dead’s Daryl and Leah were never going to kiss on-screen — even without COVID-19

Lynn Collins as Leah and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, as seen in Episode 18 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 10C
Lynn Collins as Leah and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, as seen in Episode 18 of The Walking Dead Season 10C. Pic credit: AMC/Eli Ade

The love life of The Walking Dead’s fan-favorite Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is always a talking point among fans. Now, after Episode 18 has aired, it is even more so.

The latest installment delved into a previous relationship Daryl had with a character called Leah (Lynn Collins). During the episode that relied heavily on flashbacks, their relationship developed into a full-blown romance.

However, according to the episode writer Nicole Mirante-Matthews, kissing was never on the cards when it came to portraying Daryl’s relationship with Leah.

As pointed out by Insider, the topic of Daryl and Leah’s relationship was discussed on AMC’s companion program, Talking Dead. During the show, the question was raised regarding the fact that while it was implied that Daryl and Leah slept together, viewers were not even treated to an onscreen kiss.

Of course, with the current coronavirus pandemic, this comes as no surprise. The six bonus episodes in Season 10 were filmed after COVID-19 led to social distancing requirements being enforced. However, it turns out that Daryl and Leah were likely not to have kissed at all, regardless of the current pandemic.

“Full disclosure, I’m not sure we would had had Leah and Daryl kiss in this episode, even if it wasn’t COVID,” Mirante-Matthews said before explaining further.

“[Showrunner] Angela [Kang] and I had a lot of talks within the room about it because the fans are so passionate about him and so protective, and so I was like, ‘I’m good.'”

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, as seen in Episode 18 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 10C
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, as seen in Episode 18 of The Walking Dead Season 10C. Pic credit: AMC/Eli Ade

Daryl’s romantic history so far on The Walking Dead

The episode writer is correct in just how passionate fans are about who Daryl Dixon will wind up with. And, over the years, there have been a few contenders.

Realistically, there have been no serious relationships for Daryl. However, there have certainly been some intimate friendships as well as some relationships that might have developed further should the characters have stuck around.

For many years, a vocal proportion of Walking Dead fans fell into the Team Caryl category. Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) and Daryl have always shared a special bond that has managed to survive through to the present-day — albeit a little strained at the moment.

Along with this long-term friendship, Team Donnie — or Daryl and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) — has become an option of late as well.

While Daryl believes that Connie is dead at the moment, viewers know that she has survived and is currently traveling with Virgil (Kevin Carroll). As to whether or not this could develop into something further, remains to be seen.

Beth Green (Emily Kinney) was another close relationship for Daryl. While they had a significant age-gap, many viewers would have liked to see this friendship develop further before the character was killed off.

Lynn Collins stars as Leah, as seen in Episode 18 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 10C
Lynn Collins stars as Leah, as seen in Episode 18 of The Walking Dead Season 10C. Pic credit: AMC/Eli Ade

Will Leah appear again in The Walking Dead?

As yet, it is unclear if Leah will return to The Walking Dead. Daryl and Carol talk about what might have happened to Leah, and, as is the case in The Walking Dead universe, the undead could be just as likely a possibility as Leah leaving or having been kidnapped by someone else.

However, should she wind up back on the series, it will be interesting to see how Daryl will react to her return. Needless to say, only time will tell if this happens, and viewers will have to continue to watch the hit zombie apocalypse series in order to find out more.

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.


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