This Valentine's Day marks the return of the second half of Season 6 of The Walking Dead. Rick Grimes and his band of merry men are back for the next instalment of eight bloody episodes. The heart of the gory rom-zom is its relationships between the characters, so which are the best romances and bromances from the first six seasons? Love is in the air...so are guts, blood and vital organs.
Eric and Aaron
Hey, where are all the gays in the apocalypse? The Walking Dead stuck two fingers to the censors by airing their first gay kiss. Whilst we are yet to see much of Eric and Aaron, it is refreshing to see the show isn't afraid to move with the times.
Pre-walkers the pair lived in Washington and (surprise surprise) were the victims of homophobia. They met when doing aid work for the NGO. Unsurprisingly their nick-nack laden house is one of the prettiest in Alexandria, with Eric and Aaron acting as the Bob and Lee from Desperate Housewives.
A formidable duo, Deanna Monroe appointed them as recruiters for the Alexandria Safe Zone due to their NGO work. Aaron loves Eric and would even resort to violence to save him; this was shown when the wolves attacked Alexandria and their mutual understanding of what needed to be done to stay safe. Even in Alexandria they were met with hostility, meaning their times together outside the wall were some of the few moments they could be themselves.
Eric was recently retired due to injury, meaning Daryl replaced him as a recruiter for Alexandria. Not much of the safe zone remains, but how Daryl and Aaron being together will effect Eric and Aaron could be an interesting talking point.
Sasha and Bob
Alcoholic Bob tamed the wild fires of former fire-fighter Sasha during the fourth season of The Walking Dead. Originally a loner, it didn't take Bob long to settle into group life and he set his sights on the feisty Sasha. Sadly it has been a bad run of luck for Sasha, her relationship with Bob was short-lived and then she lost her brother Tyreese (hey, he lasted longer than in the comics).
Bob and Sasha quickly bonded and went on their way to Terminus, even inventing their own game "the good out of the bad." Whilst Bob was on the happy-go-lucky side, Sasha was much more of a realist, keeping the relationship level. After being kidnapped and having his leg eaten, a bitten Bob is returned to the survivors at the church in Season 5. Sasha holds his hand and as he slips away, she says:
What's the good that comes out of this bad?
Since Bob became BBQ Bob at the hands of the Terminus cannibals, Sasha has been on a bit of a journey. Shying away from life in Alexandria, she refused to accept the kindness of strangers. Currently subject to some serious shell-shock syndrome, Sasha (used to) spend most of her days in the clock tower, snipering the undead.
Abraham and Eugene
It really is true love when you punch your friend and make them unconscious for two episodes! Talking mullet Eugene and G.I. Joe Abraham make up two thirds of the Rosita, Eugene and Abraham triangle (we will leave her out).
After the death of his family, Abraham decide to commit suicide, but not before crossing patch with Eugene Porter. Eugene was a scientist who claims to hold the key to saving the world, but this bromance wasn't all moustaches and mullets. Bickering like an old couple, the pair have blundered through the past two seasons with Abraham saving Eugene's life at every turn. Although his heart is given to Rosita, we think Abraham should shack it up with Eugene.
Abraham's almost lapdog loyalty was put to the test when Eugene revealed he was a sham, having no clue how to save the world. In a Punch and Judy show on domestic violence, Abraham knocked Eugene clean out when he found out he had been lied to all along. Personally, I think Abraham should have just taken a pair of scissors to Eugene's business in the front, party in the back.
Daryl and Beth
The baby of the Greene family, Beth was the shy girl next door who blended into the background until Season four. Seeing Daryl as the strongest in the group, Beth isn't two phased when the pair are separated from the rest of the group after the fall of the prison.
Originally spending their time in silence, the episode "Still" is entirely dedicated to the pair. A stand-out episode, it gave Beth the screen-time she deserved and explored the emotional side of Daryl that had been briefly glimpsed when he lost his brother Merle. Acting as a father figure which Beth was lacking, Daryl offers her moonshine. At first worried that the wrong type of moonshine can make you go blind, she is hesitant, but drinks whilst playing 'I have never.' The most poignant part of the episode is when the two torch the cabin they have been staying in, representing the end of their old lives.
When Beth is kidnapped by hospital survivors, we are left wondering who took her and Daryl goes on the hunt. When trading Beth for Shepherd, Daryl's only concern is Beth's safety. When she is tragically killed by Dawn, Daryl doesn't even hesitate when shooting Dawn in the head. Breaking down, he carries Beth's body from the hospital in the closing moments of Season five part A. The relationship of Daryl and Beth grew from him thinking she was a "dumb college girl" to much more of a brother/sister relationship. After her death, Daryl fell into depression and promised he would never forget Beth.
Rick and Hershel
Grumpy cop and grumpy Santa would have made a superb spin-off, following Rick Grimes and Hershel Greene as they battle unresolved crimes in an undead world. Ironically it was a bullet that brought the two men together when Otis shot Carl Grimes and Hershel saved his life.
The pair originally clash when it turns out Hershel has a barn full of walkers (including Carol's daughter Sophia) in his backyard, but tensions soon vanish and they become thick as thieves. It was even Hershel who first alerted Rick to his worries about Shane Walsh (look down to see how that ended).
During the prison era of The Walking Dead is when the two bond most. Rick had previously mentored Hershel through his alcoholism and so Hershel tries to help Rick cope following the death of Lori. When bitten, Hershel's leg is amputated and he makes a full recovery, becoming everyone's favourite Long John Silver and often caring for baby Judith.
Always the voice of reason, Hershel was kidnapped and held hostage alongside Michonne by The Governor. A death originally meant for Tyreese, Hershel is beheaded in front of the entire group, which sends Rick on a rampage to brutally attack the Governor and avenge his friend.
Daryl and Merle
The white trash version of The Blues Brothers, Daryl and Merle established themselves as the series' outcasts. Raised to share the same beliefs, the two brothers didn't exactly fit into the new world.
When Merle was left for dead at the start of Season one, it seemed we might never see him again and Daryl was less than impressed. Thankfully a one handed Merle made a (not surprising) comeback, first in a hallucination, then in real life.
In their own version of Gladiator, the Dixon brothers face off in The Governor's crudely constructed battle arena. It soon turns out this is a ruse as a means for the two to escape. Whilst Daryl is quick to forgive his flawed brother, the rest of the group aren't, refusing to let Merle into the prison. Daryl opts to stick by his brother's side and they are eventually accepted back.
An attempted exchange for Michonne goes wrong and Merle tries to fight. The Governor bites off two of Merle's fingers before shooting him in the chest and leaving him for dead. The Dixon brothers have a bitter-sweet goodbye when reanimated Merle comes at Daryl. Fighting back the tears in one of TWD's most heartbreaking scenes, we see a softer side to both men. Daryl breaks down as he dispatches his brother's corpse, showing the true bond they shared.
Andrea and The Governor (and Michonne)
Who would have guessed that dating a one-eyed maniac with a penchant for fish tank heads could end so badly. Going from golden-haired, golden girl to dating the series' biggest bad guy (so far) wasn't the smartest move.
After arriving in Woodbury with Michonne, Andrea was unfazed by The Governor, but after some subtle wooing was impressed with how he had kept everyone safe. As Michonne made tracks to leave, Andrea decided to stay and be Mrs. Governor, sealing her own fate.
The two bonded and Andrea even got The Governor to reveal his true name, something he had never done before. But happiness didn't last long and after Michonne and The Governor wrecked his love nest, Andrea was forced to choose a side. Her many failed attempts to kill The Governor ended with her being captured by him, bound and placed in his torture room. Sure enough, in the Season three finale, The Governor left his former lover with a zombified Milton.
Despite what he did, The Governor remembered Andrea fondly, using her as leverage for why his and Rick's group could never cohabitate:
Not after Woodbury... Not after Andrea
TWD really dropped the ball with Andrea and her sudden change of character didn't go unnoticed amongst fans, soon falling out of favour. Couple this with her steamy Governor romance and it looked like Andrea wasn't long for this world. Luckily for fans of the character, Andrea is still alive and kicking in the comics as a bad-ass sniper.
Lori and Shane
I know, I promised I wouldn't feature her, but I have to; for two seasons Lori and Shane caused nothing but trouble for faithful Rick Grimes. Well at least Rick's former partner and his wife both got what was coming to them. Shane's turn as the primary antagonist in Season two was also pivotal to the entire series; it is when we finally learned that everyone turns 'walker' after they die.
Whilst Rick Grimes spent his days in a coma, Shane adopted his family and became de-facto leader of the group. Shane was protective over Rick's family and saw himself as more deserving of them, becoming fiercely protective (and a father figure) to Carl Grimes. Lori and Shane's relationship mainly consisted of the odd sexual romp in the woods and him fixing her sink pre-apocalypse. This led Shane to believe that Lori's unborn child (now baby Judith) was his; it was in fact Rick's.
In Season two, Shane and Lori were barely on speaking terms, but after Dale's funeral in "Better Angels" she apologizes to Shane and states that he hadn't misinterpreted her feelings. The world's weirdest, cocktease love triangle came to an end when a betrayed Rick stabbed Shane, then Carl shot his reanimated corpse.
After Shane's death, Lori was deeply upset and angry at her husband and son, but by the time Lori bit the dust, we didn't really care. Just as in Prison Break, Sara Wayne Callies managed to make herself one of the most disliked women on television.
Maggie and Glenn
Everyone's favourite pizza delivery boy and the final surviving Greene member are The Walking Dead's Romeo and Juliet. The show's longest lasting relationship have had their ups and downs, but now remain a focal point of the show.
Starting as a one night stand on a supply run, Maggie swore that her and Glenn were a one off. After a 'will they, won't they' Ross/Rachel situation, Maggie eventually admits she loves Glenn. This time he is the one who is unsure how he feels, but he is there to comfort Maggie after the destruction of the family farm and death of her siblings and mother.
Captured by Merle, the two were imprisoned in Woodbury where they were once again tested. Glenn was badly beaten and Maggie was forced to give up the prison's location to save his life. In a romantic (if not morbid scene) Glenn gives Maggie a ring he cut off a female walker and asks Hershel's permission to marry his daughter. Glenn is one of those who falls sick in the quarantine phase of the prison and is placed on a bus with the other sick residents. After the prison's fall, Maggie finds the bus overrun with walkers and becomes determined to find Glenn, dead or alive!
The pair have once again spent the majority of Season six apart, with Glenn trapped outside the walls of Alexandria. Seriously, these two need to get each other micro-chipped. In the 6A finale, Glenn flies green balloons, showing Maggie that he is alive and well. Despite a previous phantom pregnancy, Maggie is now expecting a baby and chances are this won't end well for the couple. The comic version of Glenn is dispatched by new villain Negan, so fans are filled with blood-lust to see how this storyline plays out. Credit to TWD, their handling of Glenn and Maggie is ultimately one of the most gripping relationships on the show. Their rough ride does nothing but have us cheering when they reunite.
Rick and Michonnne
Richonne has been on the cards for a while now. Move over Jessie and make room for our favourite katana-swinger.
Daryl and Carol
He can kick your ass, she can kick your ass then bake you a pie... We are still waiting for Caryl.
Lucille and Negan
A man, a baseball bat, some barbed-wire... It is coming!
But at the end of the day, always remember the golden rule of relationships...
What is your favourite relationship in The Walking Dead? Sound off below.