The upcoming fifth series of The Walking Dead will reportedly introduce a new male gay character – and no, it isn’t Daryl Dixon.
The comics in which the show is based upon feature numerous gay characters, including fan favourite Aaron and his boyfriend Eric. Aaron famously decreed himself and Eric to be the ‘last two gay men on Earth’ following the zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead recently introduced the character of Tara Chambler, played by Alanna Masterson who is the shows first openly homosexual character. Tara has had relationships with an unseen character by the name of Sam, and the fallen Alisha, portrayed by Juliana Harkavy. With Alisha dead, it remains to be seen whether Tara will find a new love in the new season later this year.
The Walking Dead has thus far not introduced any openly gay male characters. This will change with the new season. Although a time-frame hasn’t been specified, it is thought that the gay character will be introduced at some point in the fifth season.
Fan-favourite Daryl Dixon’s sexuality has recently been questioned amongst the fanbase. The shows creator, Scott M Gimple said:
“We know all sorts of things about the characters that we haven’t revealed, [but] we’re not holding back information on Daryl’s sexuality as any sort of big reveal. The fact that there’s still a question as to what Daryl’s orientation is in Season 5 absolutely speaks to Daryl’s character; he is a very guarded, very closed-off individual in a lot of ways. We have been able to see him ever so slowly open up and show the other characters aspect by aspect as to what makes him tick. That’s been a very satisfying journey for all of us on the creative side to portray. [And] he’s still on that journey. This is a character who is going to continue to grow closer to the other characters, let his guard down, and let them see just who he is, in every way.”
Once Daryl develops and fully grows comfortable with the other survivors, his sexuality may finally be revealed. The Norman Reedus-played character has had several close relationships with female characters – most notably that of Carol Peletier – but those relationships have never extended past friendship. It is a testament to the world which Gimple has created that Daryl’s sexuality isn’t an defining aspect of his character. It is simply a fact, and one which isn’t necessarily important to reveal.
The shows executive producer David Alpert recently said that ‘we know where seasons 11 and 12 [will be]… we have benchmarks and milestones for those seasons if we’re lucky enough to get there’. With the slow nature of the show, and another seven seasons reportedly planned, expect a long game in relation to Daryl’s orientation becoming apparent.