Ahead of AMC's The Walking Dead (TWD) Season 5 premiere, there is yet another rumor about the show's memorable crossbow-wielding hero Daryl Dixon.
Previously, fans were wondering whether the character was going to meet his end in the upcoming new season. This time though, their gossip has shifted towards questions regarding Daryl's sexual orientation.
In early August, TWD comic book creator Robert Kirkman was asked by a fan whether Dixon was attracted to men.
"All I can say is that it's been discussed." Kirkman explained in a response that was quoted by ComicBook.com. "We have very specific ideas about Daryl's sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof), and if there's ever a quiet period in the show where he's not consistently distracted by crossbowing...we'll tackle it in the show."
TWD fans have long imagined Daryl to have feelings for two ladies on the show - first with Carol, and then with Beth. However, neither one of these romances ever materialized.
When showrunners confirmed that The Walking Dead was introducing a gay character, fans discussed whether Daryl was going to play that role. Even so, others have argued the tough zombie killer is simply not interested in romantic attachment, regardless of gender. It is not certain which of these two parties is correct.
"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," TWD showrunner Scott M. Gimple said to TVLine.
Still, there are rare times that Daryl has shown a more vulnerable side behind his hardened persona. In Season Two, he is forced to kill his zombified brother Merle. While doing so, Daryl breaks down in tears.
"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," Gimple continued. "That's been a very satisfying journey for all of us on the creative side to portray. [And] he's still on that journey."
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 9/8c on AMC.