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'Walking Dead' Exclusive Photo: Is This Daryl's Season 5 Romance?

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Much has been made of who Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) might be romancing in the upcoming fifth season of The Walking Dead. Could this exclusive photo be a clue to Daryl's love life in the season ahead?

Daryl-Carol (Melissa McBride) shippers certainly might take it that way. At the least, the photo teases that two of our favorite zombie apocalypse survivors will continue to, well, survive, and in each other's company.

When last we left Daryl, Rick, Michonne, Carl, Glenn, Maggie, Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita, they had been locked away in train car "A" by the creepy (and possibly cannibalistic) Terminus leader Gareth. Carol and her traveling companions — Tyreese and baby Judith — had not yet reunited with the rest of the group, but the photo suggests they will.

[Related: 'The Walking Dead' Producer Greg Nicotero Talks Season 4 Highlights and Season 5 Hints]

As for a postapocalyptic love affair for Mr. Dixon, the topic became a hot one earlier this summer when TWD creator Robert Kirkman responded to a fan query in the Walking Dead comics, suggesting that Daryl may be gay.

Kirkman followed that up in a TWD cover story in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, saying that, at least in Season 5, "Daryl's situation remains somewhat ambiguous."

And then he added, "I'm going to regret answering that question." Which makes us think his answer about Daryl's sexuality remaining ambiguous may be ambiguous.

In the meantime, there's one more thing that really jumps out about this photo: Carol's not just packing guns, she's got a pretty sturdy set of brass knuckles hooked onto her arsenal belt too.

For the first time, we're afraid for the zombies.

The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC.