The Walking Dead: Mutual respect, admiration between Connie and Daryl

Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 - Photo Credit:
Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 - Photo Credit: /

Daryl’s quest to learn ASL is a sign of his respect and admiration for Connie, signalling their close bond in season 10 of The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead season 10 premiere featured a touching moment when Connie told Daryl that he signed with a southern accent. The fact that Daryl has been learning American Sign Language says a lot about the respect he has for her and his desire to be able to communicate with her as best he can. Daryl is a passenger on multiple ships at the moment but there’s no question that there’s a very strong bond between Daryl and Connie.

From the moment they met each other, Daryl had a ton of respect for Connie. Once he spent more time with her, his respect and admiration grew. Not only is she a very capable fighter, but she’s a good tracker and her instincts are spot on. She is observant and relies on what she sees to make up for what she can’t hear. All of these things combine to make Connie a formidable survivor who can take care of herself. Those are all qualities that Daryl admires.

The ability to communicate when words cannot be spoken is something that was explored in depth in A Quiet Place and it really connects to Connie’s message that being deaf is her superpower. Being able to communicate without a sound is indeed a superpower that yields an unmistakable advantage over an opponent or when dealing with a dangerous situation. Learning American Sign Language will be very helpful in the fight against the Whisperers. We saw this already when Luke sent Connie messages about the baby in the field.

Daryl is a man who appreciates talent and skills. He saw Connie in action when they were looking for Lydia and Henry, and from there they developed an easygoing friendship based on respect for each other. The fact that he’s learning ASL (with a book, no less) is a sign of how much he respects her.

Like Daryl, Connie is someone who appreciates ingenuity and reliance upon instincts. She has had to find ways to adapt her entire life, and so she sees in Daryl a kindred spirit with whom she can be herself and not worry about conversation. Their friendship comes naturally, and as a team they are a force to be reckoned with.

The Case for Ships (of All Kinds)

Do Daryl and Connie have a deep friendship? No question.

Are they in a relationship? Well, it’s complicated.

Daryl seems to have a lot going on in season 10 and The Walking Dead showrunners are delighting in leading fans down multiple rabbit holes, for better or for worse. (For what it’s worth,  I personally don’t ship characters and I’m not a fan of showrunners “baiting” fans by making them think something is happening when it isn’t) With all due respect to The Walking Dead’s loyal shippers, there’s no indication that Daryl is “with” anyone at this point, though his friendship with Carol is stronger than ever and he’s obviously close with Connie.

The season premiere episode leads us to believe that something is going on between Connie and Daryl. Let’s consider the evidence:

  • Kelly’s reaction to Daryl and Connie suggests that either Kelly knows her sister likes Daryl, she knows Daryl likes Connie, or she knows that there’s already something happening between them. Connie seemed more embarrassed than shocked by Kelly’s wagging eyebrows, which isn’t a denial of anything.
  • Daryl’s canine companion Dog really likes Connie, suggesting that they have spent time together.
  • Carol gave Connie a big hug when she got off the boat. Considering how she snubbed Ezekiel, the fact that she hugged Connie with a big smile on her face before hugging Daryl suggests that she’s a big Connie fan.
  • It’s very possible that Carol felt comfortable leaving her best friend behind while she set sail because she knew he wasn’t alone. That’s very much a Carol thing to do, because she does care very much about him and wants to see him happy.

After ten seasons, The Walking Dead showrunners know how to keep their secrets, so it’s impossible to tell what the future holds for Connie and Daryl. Given that Angela Kang, Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride have all been posting a lot of Carol and Daryl pictures, there’s a good chance that it has all been all a red herring and that Connie is the one who ends up in a relationship with Daryl.

Connie and Daryl: Respect and Admiration

At the end of the day, one thing is for certain: Connie and Daryl have a very special bond that supersedes everything else. Daryl learning ASL really says a lot about how much he cares about her whether or not they’re just friends or if they’re in a relationship. He respects her deeply and has a great deal of admiration for her.

Related Story. The Walking Dead 1002 sneak peek: Pack dynamics. light

The Walking Dead season 10 is just getting started and if the premiere was any indication there is a lot to look forward to as the Whisperer War draws closer. With so much darkness on the horizon, it’s nice being able to look forward to more moments between Connie and Daryl as the season progresses.