While much of the attention in season 10 of The Walking Dead will naturally be paid to the departing Michonne (Danai Gurira), a lot of the story moving forward will be centered around the two characters still standing from the very beginning: Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), seen above in this new exclusive image. “We’re going to see a lot of Daryl and Carol in season 10,” promises showrunner Angela Kang. “Both together in stories as well as pursuing their own paths.”

For Carol, that means once again dealing with an unthinkable loss — this time her adopted son Henry, whose head ended up on a pike courtesy of the Whisperers. “Carol will be surprisingly not exactly in the same place she was emotionally when we ended last season,” says Kang. “The child that she adopted and raised into teenager-hood died at the hands of Alpha and that crushed her. And we’ll see what that does to her over the course of the season as she’s pursuing revenge against this person.” That also leads to the question of, as Kang notes, “where Daryl finds himself as he sees his friend on this path.”

The Walking Dead
Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

For fans, more Daryl and Carol is always a good thing. “This is one of the strongest relationships in the show” Kang says. “They trust each other, they love each other, they are truly best friends.”

While Kang acknowledges that “obviously there’s a lot of fans that wish for more,” even if Daryl and Carol’s journey does not lead to the romantic destination so many viewers have desired, in many ways the two are even closer than that as friends. “They have just this special bond,” says Kang. “They both came from trauma and from nothing. There’s some really deep stuff between them. There’s funny stuff and then there’s stuff that gets pretty hairy. They’re just kind of on this adventure together.”

Of course, Reedus and McBride have had 10 seasons together now, often giving their scenes an extra layer of depth, and their characters an extra level of emotion. “I love the two of them together,” sighs Kang. “They’re so good together. There are certain character pairings because we’ve been following them for so long where they’re in a scene and you immediately feel the history between those characters. That’s one of the things that’s been really fun for us on the writing and producing side to see. Anytime you put those two in a scene, you immediately feel all the weight of the things that they’ve both been through as individuals and as a pairing over the years. There’s just some really beautiful stuff between them.”

That beautiful stuff will commence when season 10 of The Walking Dead premieres Oct. 6 on AMC.

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The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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