Northern Irish RedHeaded Pixie Grunger with a big mouth and tiny feet. I'm proud to be on Team Carol and I'm also a devoted Caryl shipper. You can find me happily shipping away in my Caryl bubble as @PixieGrunger over on Twitter.
Hi there my Anonymous Friend,
Thank you so much for the question and including your own commentary on the issue as well!
As I am sure you noticed on your dash and the CARYL tag as well the atmosphere is quite tense as we are all trying to digest the new information received from the SDCC 2014, the Season 5 trailer and the interviews that followed.
The situation is not great, there is no use in sugar coating it or avoiding the “blows” that came our way - USS CARYL took a hit this weekend and unfortunately some shippers reacted badly to the new developments, choosing to either lash out in anger or simply withdraw their presence from the fandom all-together.
Everyone deals with disappointment and negativity in their own way so while I obviously can’t speak for all Carylers I can go on record and say that while I am unhappy with certain aspects of the whole conundrum I continue to be fully committed to CARYL and continue to have faith in the relationship the show itself has built up over the last 4 seasons. I refuse to back out and abandon ship simply due to unconfirmed speculation, media hype and PR ambiguity. Until I see todays “speculation” played out on my TV screen and feel the disconnect between Carol and Daryl for myself I am not letting go of the bond that’s moved my heart strings for the past 4 years.
I fully agree with you when it comes to the B*thyl ship - they have received their share of negative feedback including being shot down by the show-runner himself and Norman Reedus repeatedly defining the Daryl and Beth dynamic as non-romantic BUT their persistence and determination hasn’t waned very much at all. They keep shipping and seemingly ignore the denials, the discouragement and the controversy attached to that “dark horse”.
When Carylers are faced with negative feedback, trolling behavior and ambiguity the fallout seems to be much greater and feels much more personal in nature.
Personally I don’t engage in any communication with the other ship, I don’t go into their tag, I don’t read their posts and analysis and I certainly don’t actively search for ways to “prove” to them that B*thyl isn’t happening. If I post articles or quotes that support the Daryl and Beth familial bond I never set them up in their tags because doing so is not just inconsiderate and rude BUT only instigates more drama and shipping conflict within TWD fandom.
Not to mention that it makes no sense to me to go looking for something that would only upset me and serve nothing else but destroy the “feels” I work so hard to protect.
The hypocrisy you are referring to certainly exists however I don’t think the entire ship on either side needs that label - there are both Carylers and B*thylers that are quick to run and remind their so-called “rivals” exactly why their ship is sunk and why they are “delusional” or stupid to keep shipping they are convinced doesn’t exist.
It’s ugly, childish, petty and mean to say the least BUT it happens more often than anyone wants to admit and unfortunately only leads to the entire ship being labeled for something only a few shippers had actually done or condoned.
As I mentioned Carylers dealt with a few blows this weekend that stung even worse because prior to the comic con we received so much good news and felt such renewed hope for CARYL that even the cautiously optimistic members dared to revel in the enthusiasm and excitement over what Season 5 might have in store for Carol and Daryl!
Most Carylers are used to the rocky waters of shipping CARYL - this relationship and these characters have been put through the wringer when it comes to terrible life obstacles and especially when you consider that the turmoil for both of them actually began before the dead started roaming the earth. Carol and Daryl have transformed their “personhood” in the most dramatic of ways and have done so individually by changing their own and the others expectations of themselves, achieving personal strength they didn’t know they possessed on their own and challenging each other to become what they never thought was possible while they were under the thumb of those that supposedly “loved them”.
The only constant for Carol and Daryl throughout their journey was the presence of the other to understand, nurture, support and accept unconditionally. The emotional aspect of CARYL is what makes their connection so meaningful for their shippers and the healing potential for two people most worthy of finding love and happiness is what has bound most of us to this relationship.
The depth, complexity and emotional vulnerability of the CARYL bond is also the very reason why Carylers are so protective of it and quite possibly why a rushed-superficial-forced connection between Daryl and Beth is so vehemently opposed. CARYL has 4 seasons of a slow-burn, of understanding, of history and build up of deeply rooted building blocks of a dynamic that has incredible potential to heal two damaged people who after a lifetime of suffering finally found comfort and acceptance within one another.
Replacing CARYL with a relationship drummed up because of necessity, proximity, crippling grief and physical attributes, feels superficial, cheap and insulting. Putting two women who consider each other as family, where the difference in age and maturity is so pronounced and palpable, essentially creates a societal micro-chasm where the young vs old debate only brings up issues that the real world should be putting to rest and not highlighting it once again through a popular TV show.
The SDCC 2014 perpetuated this “contest” between an 18 year old Beth and 40 (something) Carol and while baiting behavior was to be expected at such a big event to drum up controversy and interest in the resolution of it, there were several instances where the “troll” lines appeared to have been crossed into a new less ambiguous territory.
Norman Reedus talked about “threesome scenarios” with Beth and Carol while Greg Nicotero discussed how HE FELT & WANTED a potential romance between an 18 year old teenager and a middle aged man.
Nicotero did emphasize that the scenes he “kind of wanted” to be romantic were not written as such, weren’t even set up in the script to “hook up” Daryl and Beth BUT that HE himself thought the connection set up was “beautiful” and that the chemistry they had made him think of a “love angle”. Basically this was HIS opinion and not the one written and designed by the SHOW!
His words didn’t confirm or deny B*thyl since he made it clear that this was his own interpretation only BUT the damage was done by putting it out there - the only result of Nicoteros observational speculation was fuelling further shipping war conflicts!
On the another hand Norman Reedus clearly dismissed the notion that Daryl sees Carol as a mother figure BUT then gave an ambiguous answer regarding the possibility of CARYL as a romance….The day before he said that both Daryl and Carol had BIG LOVE for one another!
With all this back and forth shipping dilemmas is it any wonder that shippers are frustrated, discouraged and even appalled at the stringing along pattern employed way too frequently by Norman Reedus and TPTB too!
After a weekend of such confusing speculation and disappointment of having to face “trolling” once again Carylers are naturally running a little low right now BUT as you pointed out the B*thyl ship continues shipping even after their OTP is shot down repeatedly in the romantic sense.
CARYL faced something similar to that at the SDCC AND the majority of its shippers are not giving up the fight - the ney-sayers might “encourage” us into slipping away and jumping ship because the positivity they got emboldened them and made them more secure BUT why would we drop CARYL through the same logic that kept them shipping theirs.
CARYL is not dead, Carol and Daryl are both alive and there are emotional reunions coming up, filming spoilers indicate that they are indeed together and completely alone for a big portion of 5A…there are still so many things left on the table that imply and promise good-big things for CARYL and I refuse to let few “scripted” panels, speculating interviews and Normans usual MO from closing the book on all this without seeing the episodes with my own eyes.
I am hopeful and I think I have the right and the reason to be optimistic about CARYL
I believe in Scott Gimple, his vision of Carol and the fact that he himself said he is not “entertaining” B*thyl (something Nicotero confirmed by saying romance wasn’t scripted and was only in his head)
I am too far gone…I can’t give up CARYL and I really don’t want to give it up either!
You guys with me?