These two were a brief bright spot before the Whisperers arrived… but those walker-wearing baddies snuffed that bright spot out. Aaron’s relationship with Jesus made the latter’s death even harder to process, and while Jesus got one of the coolest final moments in the franchise (“You are where you do not belong,”) it’s a bummer that the Aaron-Jesus pairing never turned romantic on the show like it did in the comics.
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Daryl and Carol
It’s not too late for these two! At least they’re both still alive. Quite a few fans were hoping Carol and Daryl might get together in Season 5, after their hugely emotional reunion outside Terminus. Because Carol was in a pretty bad headspace, that never happened—and then she left the group, and then she was at the Kingdom, and then she was married to Ezekiel. For his part, Daryl didn’t seem too thrilled about Carol’s engagement and the script said there was “buried jealousy” there. Now that she’s broken up with Zeke and is back at Alexandria, eventually, after the Whisperer War, might fans get their “Caryl” wish?
Eugene and Rosita
Poor Eugene. First he had a crush on Tara, which was never going to go anywhere. Then he liked Rosita, which, again, was never going to go anywhere—but because it wasn’t shut down with a single sentence, it’s been a lot more heartbreaking to watch. TWD doesn’t always, or even usually, follow the relationships set up by the source material, but it’s hard not to feel bad for Eugene when he clearly isn’t over Rosita, who’s with Father Gabriel, but having Siddiq’s kid. (It’s complicated.)
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC, Gene Page/AMC
Carl and Lydia
While Henry was a good character to take Carl’s storyline for that portion of the Whisperer conflict, it’s a bummer we never got to see Rick’s son fall in love with Alpha’s daughter. They have a relationship in the comics that lasts through the Whisperer War, and Carl plays an integral role in the plot as a result of his connection with Lydia, who is his first love. On the show, it seemed that role would go to Henry, but (SPOILERS) Henry didn’t make it out of Season 9. Instead, Lydia has found an adoptive dad in Daryl Dixon.
Beth and Noah
These two would’ve been sweet, if they survived. Since they were so young and relatively innocent, there was a unique sweetness to Beth and Noah that it would’ve been nice if the show explored. They cared enough about each other to help the other person escape from Grady Memorial, and it was clear Noah was upset about Beth’s death. It’s also worth mourning lost potential for them as individual characters, since it felt like they were both killed off too soon.
Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC
Nick and Troy
These two were a beautiful disaster together, right up until Madison caved in Troy’s head with a hammer. No, it wouldn’t have been a healthy relationship considering Troy was a sociopath and Nick was a recovering addict, but these two had a unique, compelling chemistry that made it impossible to look away when they were in the same scene. Troy joking that Nick stayed at the ranch because he loves him could’ve been a hint that all wasn’t quite platonic between them. And that hug while they were high, drunk and covered in walker blood in the middle of a herd? Whether or not it’s romantic, it’s one of Fear’s most memorable moments from one of the show’s most interesting, and far too short-lived, dynamics.
Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC
Madison and Troy
Yes, Troy is listed on two of these because he had weird chemistry with two-thirds of the Clark family. If Troy and Nick were destined to stay BFFs in the show’s original plan, then it’s entirely possible he could’ve hooked up with Madison. There was a vibe that their relationship wasn’t entirely mom-son: For evidence, watch the scene where they’re putting charges on the walls inside the dam and Troy kind of… holds Madison’s hand. For an awkwardly long time. And then she kills him not five minutes later. Ah, the good old days of Fear.
Madison and Strand
This one would’ve required Strand to be bi instead of gay, but since he referred to himself as a “seducer of people,” it’s possible his sexuality wasn’t so defined. If Madison was going to be with anyone following Travis’ death, Strand would’ve been the most likely candidate. There was an emotional intimacy to their relationship after Travis died that she didn’t have with anyone else, and they were both great at using people—good or bad—to get what they wanted. Plus, he admitted he would’ve hit on her if they met before the apocalypse, so if nothing else, there was an attraction there.
It might be better to have loved and lost than never loved at all... but in the case of these Walking Dead pairings, some never even really loved.
On a show about surviving the zombie apocalypse, naturally, romance isn't the main focus. But that hasn't stopped fans from noticing enduring chemistry between characters (looking at you, Carol and Daryl) or hoping for relationships to play out the same way as they did in the comics on the show. Unfortunately, sometimes those sparks never quite catch fire, or certain comics relationships never make it to the screen.
Here are eight potential couples that never actually got together — but it certainly seemed like they should have.