He repurposes himself towards raising Carl and Judith, and protecting them emotionally instead of physically. He’s trying to make sure these kids don’t lose their humanity. That’s almost the central theme of the season… There’s every chance that [Daryl and Carol is] actually a no-burn and these two people don’t get together. Daryl and Carol are very different people. These are two very damaged individuals, and that leads them to connect in a very serious emotional way. But it still remains to be seen whether that’s actually going to spiral into a romance.
The Walking Dead comics creator Robert Kirkman discusses some of the relationships heading into season four, starting with Rick and his children: