Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) are two characters from The Walking Dead who, throughout the twelve seasons of the series, are significantly changed from the people they once were. Each one has suffered extreme trauma before and after the outbreak, but a common bond pulls them to one another, and over time, they become the best of friends.
“Killer Within,” the fourth episode of season 3 of The Walking Dead, is a highly emotional episode featuring the birth of Judith and the subsequent death of Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies), and a former prisoner infiltrates the prison. This event splits the group, making them more vulnerable.
In this episode, Carol is paired off with T-Dog (IronE Singleton), who gets bit. As they battle their way through the prison halls, some walkers block them off. T-Dog, who already knows his fate, sacrifices himself to allow Carol her escape.
By the end of the episode, the prisoner has been taken care of as Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl, Axel (Lew Temple), and Glenn (Steven Yeun) check the halls. As they do, they find T-Dogs remains, and Daryl discovers Carol’s discarded gun and scarf and assumes she is dead.
The Walking Dead season 2, Hounded
Two episodes later, Daryl, Carl (Chandler Riggs), and Oscar (Vincent Ward) search lower levels of the prison. Daryl eventually discovers Carol’s knife in a walker’s neck. Still believing she died, he angrily stabs the knife into the floor and wall. He then notices a door move; upon opening it, he finds Carol weakened but alive. He proceeds to carry her back to the cell block where the group has made their home.
It is crazy to think what could have happened if Carol had died that day. What would have happened to Daryl if Carol wasn’t around? Who would have saved everyone all those times Carol did? Who would make the hard choices?
By the end of The Walking Dead series, the duo were saddened to leave each other but believed they would see each other again. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon reveals that Daryl didn’t make it back to the Commonwealth in a week, as promised, but instead finds himself in France. This leads Carol to begin her search for him. This will transition into the second season of Daryl Dixon The Book of Carol, which will premiere in 2024.