Broken Mirrors

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Title: Broken Mirrors
Author(s): theramblinrose
Date(s): Published: Aug 29, 2013
Completed: Mar 13, 2014
Length: 589,238 words
Genre: het
Fandom: The Walking Dead
External Links: Broken Mirrors at AO3
Broken Mirrors at FFN
Broken Mirrors at Nine Lives

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Broken Mirrors is a No Zombie Apocalypse AU Daryl Dixon/Carol Peletier fic by theramblinrose that focuses on strangers growing closer together and becoming a family.

As of 11 December 2016, the fic has 3,498 reviews, 201 favs and 180 follows on FFN; as well as 44 comments, 123 kudos, 26 bookmarks and 4893 hits on AO3. It is the longest fic in the Daryl Dixon/Carol Peletier tag, as well the longest completed fic in the Walking Dead fandom tag on AO3; it's also the most reviewed fic in the Walking Dead category on FFN.


AU Caryl fic. When broken people encounter each other, is it possible for them to glue the pieces back together? This is very AU. Carol, Daryl, and Sophia are all broken people who live in very different worlds, but when those worlds unexpectedly collide, can they find healing in themselves through healing each other? Carol Daryl Sophia, other characters may play in later.

Author's Note

OK, this is an AU fic. It's completely and totally AU. I own nothing from the Walking Dead except my love for the characters. I make no money off of it, no infringement intended, and so on and so forth. This is just for fun and entertainment value, that's all.

This is eventually a Caryl fic, but in many places Daryl and Carol will both be, probably, more than a little OOC. The Sophia that will be in this story will be very, very, very OOC, pretty much to the fact of simply being an OC.

I'm giving it a try, since I love to have way too many irons in the fire no matter what I'm doing. The little idea has been pinballing through my mind, though, so I thought I'd see what you thought of it and what would become of it when I took it from being just an idea to being something concrete.

The chapters, as is normal for me, will probably be on the shorter side until I fall into the rhythm of the fic. I'll update whenever I can…I have to go with my moods when I write, that's just how it is.

I know it will take us a bit to get rolling well, but I hope you enjoy it. I'll give the warning that it may be a little "darker" in places than some of what you're used to with me, at least at the beginning. You also get the warning that domestic violence, physical abuse, verbal abuse, etc. will be talked about and "take place" in the fic. The one thing I can say is that even though it may be alluded to, I will not write rape in detail. I may mention it, and I'll give trigger warnings if and when I do, but I don't do the detailed stuff on that. It's not my cup of tea at all to write that.

Let me know what you think. I know it's early, and you don't have much to go on yet, but let me know what you're thinking. I'll try to update soon.


I was so new to fan fiction when I read this, I wondered: why would anyone want to put TWD characters in a story that wasn’t, y’know, like TWD? One of the first AU stories I read, it hooked me before I finished the first chapter. I love that it’s a three-way love story about becoming a family, and that the author made Sophia into an OC of the most invisible kind of kid, the unadoptable teen, and she hit all the little things that means so well.[1]
I hesitate to recommend this story because it's so freaking long but it really sounds like what you described. It's called "Broken Mirrors" by The Ramblin Rose. You can find it on both FFN and AO3. Be warned that it's nearly 600K words! It's a completely AU story with Daryl, Carol, and Sophia from The Walking Dead as the three main characters. It has almost no connection to the show though so you can think of them as archetype characters. Basically they are three strangers who slowly become family. It's a romance that's not sappy and so long that you get all the ups and downs of their lives. (Sophia is the daughter by the way. It's not a threesome!)[2]
I finished this story a few days ago and have been struggling ever since to figure out what to put in a review. I wish I had your way with words because thank you doesn't seem quite big enough. Not big enough at all.

This was an intimidating story to start reading. I put it off for a while. I feared that I might get started and then stop halfway through. I've done it before. That wasn't a problem though. From the beginning to the end, it was a pleasure. It could have been twice as long and I would have kept reading. The dynamic between this Sophia and Carol and Daryl sucked me in and never let go.

I enjoyed this story tremendously and appreciate all the work you put into it. Again, thank you doesn't seem big enough so please imagine 179 chapters worth of thank yous.[3]
I finished this story this morning. I'm so glad that I got to read it straight through and didn't have to wait for updates. First of all, I don't have the words to express the feels I have from this story. The love expressed by Carol, Daryl and Sophia, I felt surrounded by it every time I read chapters. Carol was so kind and open-minded. Daryl was so kind and fair even as he was rough. I liked these people so much. My heart felt full as Carol, Daryl & Sophia jumped each hurdle in their relationships. Anyway, great job.[4]
I'm so sad to see this come to a close but I have to say you couldn't have ended it any better. I'm glad that Carol finally realized that the so called "mirrors" weren't her enemy anymore. This story was truly an extraordinary body of worked so hard and wrote the characters so well, I haven't been satisfied with a story...let alone a published novel like I was with this story in a long time. The last few paragraphs had me crying and nodding along as I read them because everything that you wrote was true, and they resonated with me so much. Thank you for letting the audience and I enjoy your work and become engrossed in your world, it was truly a pleasure. And I can say without any semblance of a doubt that this story will be missed! Bravo :)[5]
2014 Caryl Fanfiction Award for Best AU
I have loved this story so much and I will miss it but at least it ended with Carol and Daryl happy, Eli healthy, and Sophia entering her last year of high school in a very different place than she was last year.

Daryl has moved from a bit of an emotional and social dud to a good husband and father. He provides for his family and he has proved to be in every sense of the expression to be a "keeper" Carol has shown that she could moved past the horror a a bad marriage to a positive relationship and finally into an equal partner in a happy marriage. Sophia has found her niche in the car repair business and in her always endearing relationship with Carol and Daryl. Her genuine love for Eli was an added component to her metamorphosis.

So thank you for being an insominac(how else could find the time) and treating all of us to this story.[6]


2014 Caryl Fanfiction Award for Best Angst

In 2014 Broken Mirrors won two Caryl Fanfiction Awards, Best AU and Best Angst.


  1. ^ part of news items at NIne Lives, accessed 11 Dec 2016
  2. ^ Reddit comment on a thread asking for recs, accessed 11 Dec 2016
  3. ^ review by shanik, accessed 11 Dec 2016
  4. ^ review by Guest, accessed 11 Dec 2016
  5. ^ review by HepburnJunkie22, accessed 11 Dec 2016
  6. ^ review by horrorphile, accessed 11 Dec 2016