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Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead

Frank Ockenfels/AMC

And the Daryl and Carol fans go wild!

One of The Walking Dead's biggest mysteries is one that hasn't actually ever been addressed on the AMC hit series: is Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) gay? Speculation has run rampant about the character's sexual orientation since August, prior to season five's premiere, but fans finally got an answer from comic book creator Robert Kirkman on Talking Dead after Sunday's midseason finale.  

"We play Daryl Dixon as being somewhat asexual on the show. He's a very introverted character and I think that's some of his appeal," Kirkman said. "I do have to clear something up, though: in the letter column of the comic book that I do, I mentioned that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon's character gay."

Of course, this lead to a massive online reaction. One Kirkman was quite aware of. 

"It caused quite a hubbub online and I just wanted to clarify that the possibility is there and that I would have been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it, but we ultimately didn't do that," Kirkman said. "I can make it official: Daryl Dixon is straight."

So there you have it: Daryl Dixon is straight. 

Norman Reedus, Emily Kinney, Waling Dead

Gene Page/AMC

Like Kirkman said, speculation about Daryl's sexual orientation began after he was asked about it in the letter section of theThe Walking Dead comic book issue No. 130 and revealed, "All I can say is that it's been discussed." 

He then added, "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."

Kirkman did reveal that  a "very prominent gay character from the comics" will be introduced in the second half of the fifth season.

Norman Reedus, Melissa Suzanne McBride, Waling Dead

Gene Page/AMC

Fans of the character have often "shipped" him with Carol (Melissa McBride), whom he struck up a friendship with in season one, and then Beth (Emily Kinney), who got closer to the guarded Daryl in season four. (However, spoiler alert: that ship hit rock bottom in the midseason finale.) 

Reedus sounded off on the speculation surrounding his fan-favorite character's sexuality in an interview with GQ, referencing a conversation he had with the series' original showrunner Frank Darabont

"You know, a virgin is interesting. I remember Frank Darabont, after the first season we were at a party in L.A. He said, 'I've got an idea for Daryl. He's gay. Would you be interested in that?' I was like, 'Let me hear you out,''" he recalled. "He said, 'Well, he's prison gay—like, you'll catch him looking at a member of the same sex, but if you mention it to him, he'll just stab you and be like what the f--k?—he will never admit it.' I was like, 'That'll blow minds—let's do that.' And he said, 'I knew I hired you for a reason.""