It is hard to believe, but heading into the season finale, Carol and Ezekiel are … or were the longest remaining couple on The Walking Dead. Think about it: Glenn and Maggie’s relationship ended because Glenn died; Rick and Michonne are technically split up because Rick is gone; and even the budding romance between Aaron and Jesus ended with Aaron’s death. Yumiko and Magna are in a relationship, but that’s new to The Walking Dead, while Gabriel and Rosita’s romance is relatively young, too. Two other relationships also ended with the death of one side of the couple last week, in Alden and Enid (RIP) and The Blacksmith and Tammy Rose (RIP). The newest romantic relationship on the show, Henry (RIP) and Lydia ended before it really even got started.
Love is tough in the zombie apocalypse. There are a number of issues that apparently take precedent over romance on The Walking Dead, namely survival, and those who have seen the odds when it comes to relationships may also balk at the prospect. One side of the relationship always seems to be dying.
In the ninth season finale, however, we witnessed a rarity on The Walking Dead: A couple actually broke up before one partner was killed. We have seen it before — Rosita and Abraham come to mind — but it has happened less than a handful of times. Of course, someone’s death precipitated the break-up of Carol and Ezekiel, it just wasn’t one of them. However, after Henry died, Carol recognized that she could no longer live in this fairy tale as the Queen to Ezekiel’s King. The idea of it hurt too much. While Ezekiel believed some time alone with Carol might allow them to move on, Carol clearly saw it the other way around: She had to leave Ezekiel behind in order to move on. Ultimately, she removed her wedding ring, and while Ezekiel didn’t take it back, Carol nevertheless moved to Alexandria with Daryl, leaving Ezekiel behind at The Hilltop.
It was rough going for fans of Carol and Ezekiel, and they let their feelings out on social medial.
At least, we can start shipping Daryl and Carol again. One fan’s breakup is another fan’s hope.
Will Carol and Ezekiel reunite in season 10? Or is this break permanent? We won’t find out at least until next October, but with the way things go on The Walking Dead, don’t expect both to live long enough to reconcile.