“The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman has put the rumors to rest and officially confirmed that crossbow-wielding fan favorite Daryl Dixon is not gay. But a gay character will be introduced in the second half of this season.

The revelation came in last night’s episode of “Talking Dead,” the post “Walking Dead” talk show hosted by comedian Chris Hardwick.

"The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman (screenshot via AMC)

“The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman (screenshot via AMC)

“In the letter column of the comic book that I do, I mentioned that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon’s character gay,” Kirkman said when asked a seemingly unrelated question. “I just wanted to clarify that the possibility is there and that I would have been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it — but we ultimately didn’t do that. I can make it official: Daryl Dixon is straight.”

However, Kirkman revealed that a “prominent” gay character from the comic book will appear in the back half of the show’s fifth season. The midseason finale aired Sunday night with a major character’s death, and viewers will see the aftermath of that loss when the show comes back in February.

“The Walking Dead” has filmed in and around Atlanta since its 2010 series premiere and has quickly grown into a ratings smash, becoming the most-watched drama series in basic cable history. Local viewers have been treated to several downtown sites this season as the characters traveled into the city, with Grady Memorial Hospital, the CNN Center and many other spots popping up.

Read a gay Atlanta man’s account of playing a zombie–and getting killed–on the show here.

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