Daryl Dixon

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Daryl Dixon
The Walking Dead character
First appearance "Tell It to the Frogs"
1x03, November 14, 2010
Created by Frank Darabont
Charles H. Eglee
Jack LoGiudice
Portrayed by Norman Reedus
Occupation Hunter
Prison Council Member
Recruiter for Alexandria
Alexandrian Supply Runner
Family Will Dixon (father)
Merle Dixon (brother)

Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from AMC's horror drama series, The Walking Dead. The character was created for the television series by writers Frank Darabont, Charles H. Eglee and Jack LoGiudice specifically for Norman Reedus; he had read the script for the show and wanted to be a part of it so badly, he begged to audition even for a day role. He was asked to come in and read lines. They picked Merle's lines, which is why the rumor still abounds that he read for the role of Merle, but Rooker already had the part.[1][2][3] They liked his audition and gave him the role of Daryl.[4] The character was introduced in the first season as a southerner, expert tracker, living in the shadow of his older brother, Merle. Despite his ill temper and volatility, he is tolerated by the core group of survivors due to his skills in hunting animals and fearless efficiency in killing walkers. This is particularly important in the early days of the apocalypse, when people with survival skills and the moxie to confront the undead are in short supply.

After Merle's disappearance, Daryl begins to shed his aloof personality and starts to bond with the group, particularly Carol Peletier after her daughter's disappearance, and Beth Greene after the two are split off together in season 4. The character eventually becomes the cooperative right-hand man and protector of protagonist Rick Grimes and leads several supply runs. He is one of the longest-surviving characters of the television series, and one of the characters that does not have a counterpart in the comics. His origin is explored in the 2013 video game The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, and he stars in the mobile game The Walking Dead: No Man's Land.

Daryl has been well received by fans and critics. Initially a member of the recurring cast, Reedus was upgraded to series regular after season one.

Fictional character biography[edit]

In their childhood, Daryl and his older brother, Merle, lived with an abusive, alcoholic father, Will. He was raised by Merle, though Merle was often away (sometimes serving time in juvenile institutions). Daryl spent significant periods of time alone and, throughout these lonely periods, learned to fend for himself and adopted a hard-boiled survivalist mindset. When the outbreak occurs he and Merle fend for themselves and drift around, avoiding walkers. Unlike his brother, Daryl had never been to prison (as an inmate), and is offended when Beth reveals to him that she had believed he had been during a drinking game in season 4.

It is implied in season 1 that he may share his brother's racist beliefs, but Daryl has not expressed overt racism, leaving the question, prominently ambiguous for the viewer.[citation needed] In much of season 2 Daryl rides his brother Merle's Triumph Bonneville chopper with the Nazi German ᛋᛋ (Schutzstaffel) insignia prominently displayed on the fuel tank. In the final episode of season 2, Daryl jokes that he could identify Glenn by his driving, due to Glenn being Korean. Daryl usually has a serious demeanor, but occasionally makes wry comments and jokes to break the tension. By season 3, he has become a responsible, trusted and loyal member of the group. His priorities are tested when he learns that his brother is still alive and working for an opposing group.

Season 1[edit]

In the episode "Tell It to the Frogs", Daryl first appears furious when the scavenging survivors, along with Rick, return to the campsite without Merle. Daryl becomes upset with Rick for handcuffing Merle to a roof, and with T-Dog, who admits to dropping the handcuff key down a drain. He, Rick, Glenn, and T-Dog soon head back into the city to rescue Merle, only to find his severed hand in the place where he had been left. In the episode "Vatos", Daryl grieves for his brother for a short time before bottling up his emotions and continuing to put on his usual strong appearance. While he and the others search the streets for any sign of Merle, they run into a band of thugs, one of whom is captured by the group and threatened numerous times by Daryl. After realizing that the "thugs" are merely nursing home employees and intend no harm, they return to the camp. Shortly before their return, walkers invade the campsite and kill many of the survivors before Daryl and the others help kill the walkers.

In the episode "Wildfire", the following morning, Daryl helps impale, carry, and burn the dead (one of whom he allows Carol to impale because he was her abusive husband). When the survivors find out that Jim has been bitten, Rick thwarts Daryl's attempts to kill Jim. Instead, Daryl is convinced to let Jim die peacefully in the woods per Jim's wishes. In the season finale "TS-19", Daryl and the others briefly find respite at the CDC, enjoying the luxuries the facility has to offer, including hot water and couches to sleep on. He enjoys dinner and wine with everyone and learns about TS-19 and Dr. Jenner's work, as well as the fall of the CDC's infrastructure. He is enraged when Jenner attempts to lock them inside the building, which is nearing self-destruction, and attempts to kill Jenner. The group is successfully able to escape due to Rick's hand grenade, which shatters the windows. Daryl drives off as the ruins burn.

Season 2[edit]

In season 2, Daryl is shown to be calmer and more cooperative and has developed fledgling friendships with various group members. He also reveals a more compassionate side, defending fellow group members' lives from walkers on multiple occasions and assisting them in their times of need. He slowly begins to form a bond with Carol, who was previously a victim of abuse like he was, but as only friends.

In the season premiere "What Lies Ahead", Carol's daughter Sophia is separated from the rest of the group at the highway when walkers attack, and Daryl and Rick go looking for her but do not find her. In the episode "Bloodletting", Daryl continues searching for Sophia with Lori, Glenn, Carol and Andrea. Daryl later reveals that he has a bag full of painkillers and antibiotics left over from Merle, which he gives to Dale to treat the injured T-Dog. In the episode "Save the Last One", Daryl and Andrea continue the search for Sophia. In the episode "Cherokee Rose", the group moves their camp from the highway to Hershel's farm. When Carol is despondent due to the prolonged search for Sophia, Daryl gives her a flower, and she is visibly moved by his heartfelt speech that he gives to her about hope and keeping strong. In the episode "Chupacabra", Daryl borrows one of Hershel's horses to continue the search and finds Sophia's doll. When a snake spooks the horse, Daryl is thrown down a hillside and he is wounded by one of his crossbow bolts. He hallucinates Merle taunting him and criticizing him for joining Rick's group and searching for Sophia but not him. Daryl manages to climb the hill and stagger back to the farm. Andrea mistakes him for a walker and shoots him, grazing him in the head and knocking him unconscious. When he wakes up, Carol encourages him to think better of himself. In the episode "Secrets", while Daryl recuperates from his injuries, Andrea gives him a book as an apology. In the mid-season finale "Pretty Much Dead Already", Glenn tells the group that Hershel's barn is full of walkers. When Shane later breaks open the barn, Daryl helps kill the walkers as they file out. The last walker to come out of the barn is Sophia, forcing the group to realize that she had been killed and reanimated as a walker and that they were searching for her in the wilderness while she was really in the barn. Carol collapses in shock and grief, and Daryl comforts her as Rick is forced to kill Sophia.

In the mid-season premiere "Nebraska", he becomes emotionally detached from everyone and refuses to go out looking for people anymore. In the episode "Triggerfinger", Carol attempts to bring him back into the fold of the group, much to his frustration, and he attempts to avoid the group as much as possible, especially Carol. In the episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner", Daryl helps Rick and Shane with their prisoner, Randall, by interrogating him. Daryl later shoots Dale out of mercy with Rick's revolver when he is fatally attacked by a walker, as Rick is hesitant to kill him. In the episode "Better Angels", when Randall goes missing, Glenn and Daryl go looking in the woods for him. They find him reanimated as a walker and kill him, and are puzzled when it appears he died of a broken neck and they cannot find any bite marks on him. In the season finale "Beside the Dying Fire", when Lori begs Daryl to go search for Rick and Shane, the group notices a herd approaching the farm. The farm is ultimately overrun, and Daryl is forced to flee with Carol; they later meet up with the other survivors on the highway. Daryl tells Rick that Randall did not die of bite wounds, and Rick tells the whole group that Dr. Jenner revealed to him that everyone turns to a walker when they die. Daryl rebuffs Carol's attempts to convince him that they should go it alone when Rick's leadership is in doubt. Daryl asks Carol what she really wants, and she declares she wants "a man of honor"; Daryl responds, "Rick's got honor."

Season 3[edit]

In the season premiere "Seed", Daryl and Rick find a prison complex while hunting. He helps the group clear out parts of the prison, but when they search a darkened area, Hershel is bit on the ankle by a walker. The group drags him to the prison cafeteria where Rick amputates Hershel's leg below the knee, and Daryl notices that five surviving prisoners are watching them. In the episode "Sick", Daryl, T-Dog, and Rick agree to help the prisoners (Tomas, Andrew, Oscar, Axel, and Big Tiny) clear out their own cellblock. Big Tiny is killed, and when Tomas and Andrew try to ambush Rick, Rick kills Tomas and chases Andrew into a courtyard filled with walkers, leaving him for dead. In the episode "Killer Within", Andrew, having survived, draws walkers into the prison courtyard, resulting in the death of T-Dog. Lori goes into labour, and is forced to give birth in a generator room with Maggie and Carl. Something is wrong and she can't push, so she tells Maggie to cut her open to save baby Judith. She died from blood loss and Carl shoots her so that she doesn't turn. Daryl and Oscar find Andrew struggling with Rick, and Oscar shoots Andrew before he can kill Rick. In the episode "Say the Word", while Rick goes off coming to terms with his wife's death, Daryl takes charge and, with Maggie's help, saves the newborn Judith by finding baby formula. When he thinks that Carol is dead, he puts a single Cherokee Rose on her grave, the same type flower that he gave her to give her hope in finding her daughter Sophia. In the episode "Hounded", Daryl finds a walker killed by Carol's knife, and then finds her alive. In the episode "When the Dead Come Knocking", Daryl witnesses Michonne being brought into the prison, and then directs Rick, Hershel, and Carl to a reunion with Carol. Rick and Daryl interrogate Michonne, who reveals that Maggie and Glenn have been captured and taken to Woodbury, a town ruled by the Governor. When Rick thanks him for saving Judith, Daryl merely says "It's what we do." Rick decides to take Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne with him to Woodbury. In the mid-season finale "Made to Suffer", during the group's attack on Woodbury, Daryl shoots and kills two guards. Later the group finds out that Merle is working for the Governor, and Daryl is captured when he goes searching for his brother. After accusing Merle of treason, the Governor orders the brothers to fight to the death in the Woodbury arena, with its citizens surrounding them and screaming with blood lust.

In the mid-season premiere "The Suicide King", Daryl and Merle escape after intervention from Rick and Maggie. Eventually, the present group members disagree with letting Merle back in. When Merle antagonizes the group, Rick knocks him out as they further discuss his re-entry. It is decided that they will not welcome Merle back; in response, Daryl leaves with Merle. In the episode "Home", Daryl saves a Mexican family from walkers with minimal help from Merle. Following the rescue, Merle attempts to loot the family's car but Daryl stops him. Daryl decides to go back to the prison; he and Merle get into an argument as Daryl walks away. Merle accidentally rips his shirt, revealing childhood scars on Daryl's back from their dad. Daryl hurriedly covers his back and walks off. Merle is hesitant to follow, as he knows he will never be accepted into the group, but he follows. They save Rick outside the prison when a herd of walkers are let loose by the Governor and his followers. In the episode "I Ain't a Judas", Daryl defends Merle's presence at the prison to the rest of the group. In the episode "Arrow on the Doorpost", Hershel and Daryl go along for support as Rick meets with the Governor to make an arrangement; Hershel spends the time conversing with Milton while Daryl banters with Martinez. In the episode "This Sorrowful Life", after Merle is killed by the Governor and becomes a walker, Daryl is forced to put him down. He takes the death with difficulty, crying and falling to the ground. In the season finale "Welcome to the Tombs", when the Governor brings a militia to attack the prison, the group fights them off and they flee. Rick, Daryl, and Michonne pursue them on foot, and find Karen, the only survivor of The Governor's militia after he slaughtered them. They go to Woodbury, where Tyreese and Sasha let them in. They find Andrea, dying from a walker bite, and say goodbye before she shoots herself. Daryl, Rick, Michonne, Tyreese, Sasha and Karen return to the prison with Andrea's body and the surviving Woodbury residents.

Season 4[edit]

In the episode "Alone", a flashback set a week before the season premiere shows Glenn and Daryl on a run when they encounter lone survivor Bob Stookey, who reveals he is the last survivor of two previous groups who were all killed. Daryl asks how many walkers and people he has killed, and Bob states that he has killed a few dozen walkers and one woman, on her request. After deeming him trustworthy enough, Glenn and Daryl give Bob a ride back to the prison.

In the season premiere "30 Days Without an Accident", Daryl has become popular among the growing population at the prison for his proficiency at hunting. Daryl goes on a supply run with Sasha, Tyreese, Glenn, Michonne, Zach (Beth's new boyfriend), and Bob. Zach is bitten by a walker and killed, and when Daryl tells Beth the bad news she does not seem upset, and she claims that she has lost too many people to get upset anymore; Daryl confesses to being sick of seeing people die, and Beth hugs him. In the episode "Infected", Daryl helps clear out the cellblock when walkers attack, and the group finds out that a deadly infection is spreading among the population. Daryl and the rest of the prison's council agrees to start quarantining the sick, including Karen and another prisoner named David. In the episode "Isolation", when Tyreese goes looking for Karen and finds the burned bodies of Karen and David, he shows Rick, Daryl, and Carol. Daryl, Michonne, Bob, and Tyreese head to a veterinary college in search of antibiotics. They hear a message On the car radio, offering sanctuary at a place called Terminus, before the car is swarmed by walkers and they are forced to flee on foot. In the episode "Indifference", Bob confides his alcoholism to Daryl. They retrieve the medicine from the college, but Bob is nearly pulled into a group of walkers when they grab his bag. When Daryl finds a bottle of alcohol in the bag, he threatens Bob not to have a drink before treating the sick with the antidote. In the episode "Internment", they return to the prison with the medicine, and Bob administers the antibiotics. In the mid-season finale "Too Far Gone", Rick tells Daryl that he banished Carol from the prison because she killed Karen and David. They go to tell Tyreese about this, but they are interrupted by the sound of an explosion before they can tell him. During the Governor's second assault on the prison, Daryl helps fend off the attackers, even blowing up a tank. Daryl escapes the prison with Beth.

In the episode "Inmates", after the group is split, Daryl and Beth are on the run together. Daryl acts despondent and says very little as they sit by a campfire. In the episode "Still", Beth and Daryl then find a moonshine shed much like the place Daryl grew up in, and stay for a bit. They get drunk and play a game of "Never Have I Ever", which leads to Daryl yelling at Beth after he gets offended by a question asked by Beth. He then drags her outside to shoot at a walker and gets into an argument about whether or not anyone else survived the prison attack. After they talk a bit and before they left they burn the house down with the moonshine and some money, flipping it off as it burns. In the episode "Alone", Daryl and Beth come across a funeral home, where they start to form a bond. When Beth asks Daryl what made him change his mind about whether there are still good people around, he simply stares at her, implying that she was the reason he changed his mind. Their moment is interrupted when Daryl hears what he thought was a dog at the door and opens to reveal a walker herd. Daryl fights off the herd, but Beth gets kidnapped in the chaos. Daryl runs after the car until morning, but stops after he comes to a fork in the road. He is then approached by a group of bandits led by Joe, and decides to join them when given the choice between joining their group or being killed. In the episode "Us", Daryl travels with Joe's group, learning its rules about who "claims" what and that they are tracking a man who recently killed one of their own. He also comes to aggressive odds with a member of the group when they indirectly mention Beth by saying, "I bet it's a bitch that's got you messed up", which almost prompts Daryl to kill the other member. In the season finale "A", Joe's group eventually catches up to the man they are tracking, who turns out to be none other than Rick Grimes himself, along with Michonne and Carl and captures them. Daryl pleads with Joe to spare them as they are "good people". Joe calls him a liar and has two men try to beat him to death. However, when Joe informs Rick that the group is going to rape Michonne and Carl before killing him, Rick surprises everyone by biting out a chunk of Joe's neck, killing him. The distraction allows Daryl and Michonne to kill their captors while Rick disembowels Carl's captor. In the aftermath, Daryl tells Rick what had happened to him and Beth after the prison assault. Rick then states that the two are brothers. The group makes their way to Terminus, a supposed safe haven. A stealthy infiltration into Terminus still results in the small group being captured. The Terminus crew led by Gareth directs Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Carl to a boxcar, where they find Glenn, Maggie, Sasha, Bob as well as Sgt. Abraham Ford, Eugene Porter, Rosita Espinosa and Tara Chambler.

Season 5[edit]

In the episode "No Sanctuary", shortly after being captured, the group plots their escape from the train cars as Daryl tells Maggie what happened to Beth. The Terminus crew drops tear gas in from the roof and take Daryl, Rick, Glenn and Bob to a slaughter room where four other survivors have their throats sliced. As Bob fails to reason with Gareth, telling him Eugene has a cure to the walker plague, an explosion caused by Carol and a subsequent invading walker herd distracts Gareth's attention and Rick gets free and kills the two butchers. Rick leads Daryl, Glenn and Bob back to the others where they escape Terminus as it is overrun by a walker herd and begins to burn down. Once outside the group runs into Carol; Daryl runs up to her and hugs her. In the episode "Strangers", the group continues to move along the forest but are distracted by a cry for help from Father Gabriel Stokes, who immediately strikes them all as suspicious after claiming to have not killed any walkers or people, but leads them to his church where they set up shelter. While searching for supplies later, Daryl and Carol find a car and manage to get it working. Daryl sees the car that took Beth drive by, and he and Carol go after it. In the episode "Four Walls and a Roof", the next day, Daryl emerges from the bushes where Michonne asks where Carol is but Daryl tells an unseen person to come out.

Daryl's story is elaborated in the episode "Consumed", when he and Carol discover that cops have taken Beth. They lose track of the cops after their car fails to restart, and nevertheless travel into Atlanta and locate the distinct car again, on top of a parking lot next to the Grady Memorial hospital. While they sneak around and dodge walkers, they encounter Noah, unbeknownst to them a resident and survivor who met Beth. Noah holds them at gunpoint and forces them to surrender their weapons to him. Daryl and Carol comply and are left to deal with walkers freed by Noah to give him enough time to escape. Daryl catches up with Noah eventually and charges him to the ground. A large book shelf collapses on Noah and keeps him trapped while it releases a walker who approaches Noah. Daryl reluctantly complies with Carol's pleas for Noah's life, and Noah shares his story and the whereabouts of Beth. When the group is about to leave the building, two cops hit Carol with their car, seriously injuring her and leaving her unconscious. The cops take Carol away to their post, Grady Memorial Hospital. Noah calms Daryl, saying that they have will take care of her medically. Reluctantly, Daryl vows to return for her with the rest of the survivors, countering Noah's argument that the cops have too much firepower to overwhelm them and Daryl leaves with Noah, revealing that he is the person Daryl brings back to the church.

In the episode "Crossed", Daryl, Rick, Tyreese, Sasha and Noah gear up and head to Atlanta to retrieve Beth and Carol, only to face complications with Officer Dawn Lerner's police subordinates Sergeant Bob Lamson and Officers Shepherd and Lacari. The group captures the three officers and Daryl suggests trading them for Beth and Carol. Eventually, in Coda, the group meets Dawn and her police in the hospital where they traded Lacari and Shepherd for Beth and Carol but when Dawn demanded Noah back Beth stabbed Dawn, prompting her to shoot Beth. Immediately Daryl shoots Dawn in the head before breaking down in tears and soon takes Beth's lifeless body outside, which the rest of the group arrives in time to see.

In the mid-season premiere "What Happened and What's Going On", Daryl is seen standing over Tyreese's funeral. In the episode "Them", two weeks after Beth's death, Daryl is still distraught and appears broken as the group also suffers from dehydration during a drought. Carol tells Daryl that he needs to embrace the pain so he can move on quicker before kissing him on the forehead. Later, Daryl goes into the woods to rest; he smokes a cigarette but then puts it out on his own knuckles, and breaks down in tears. Later, when a storm hits, Daryl leads the group back to a barn he found, where they take shelter. Rick gives a speech about how they need to be dead inside if they want to survive so they can eventually live and calls the group "the walking dead", but Daryl argues that they are not the walkers. Daryl then later talks to Maggie and they help each other with their shared grief. In the episode "The Distance", Daryl pats Aaron down when he first enters the barn. He then agrees with Michonne about going to the community. He rides in the RV during the night, arriving at the flare which Eric fired unharmed. He then takes the RV to Alexandria.

In the episode "Remember", when the group enters the Alexandria Zone, Daryl is extremely cautious about the place and decides not to use any of the amenities they have given him, such as a shower, hence not putting his guard down. When interviewed by Deanna Monroe he refuses to sit down and arrives with his crossbow and a dead possum in his hands, greatly confusing Deanna about what job Daryl could have in the community. In the episode "Forget", Daryl secretly meets with Rick and Carol to discuss the matter of self-defense if things go bad. They kill a walker; Daryl notices a "W" carved into its forehead, leaving them slightly disturbed. Later, when hunting, Daryl runs into Aaron who is also hunting, and they subsequently work together to find a horse Aaron calls "Buttons", which Aaron has been trying to bring back for months. Aaron also notes Daryl's dilemma of fitting in as an outsider, and states that he and Eric feel the same way due to their sexuality. They later see Buttons killed by walkers, and Aaron puts Buttons down before they return. Aaron also encourages Daryl to attend Deanna's welcoming party for Rick's group. Daryl finds himself unable to and instead has dinner with Aaron and Eric before Aaron shows him his garage ful of bike parts, which Daryl can rebuild for himself. Aaron also offers him the job of being Eric's replacement as Alexandria's other recruiter, as he knows that Daryl will always need to be away from Alexandria; Daryl accepts and later, when meeting with Rick and Carol, he questions whether they need to carry hidden guns around and declines to take one. In the episode "Spend", Daryl has finished building his motorcycle, and heads out with Aaron in a car to find more recruits.

Daryl seems to depart from Merle's outlook throughout seasons 2-5, and in season five he accepts new characters without comment. He also makes markedly fewer mean comments throughout the show, and becomes more trusting of the original group members.

In the episode "Try", outside the walls, Daryl and Aaron notice more walkers are coming into the area. They investigate a light in the distance and come across a woman who had been tied to a tree and eaten alive by walkers. There is a "W" carved into her forehead. In the season finale "Conquer", Daryl and Aaron find evidence of other people moving around the forest and begin to track them. Aaron tells Daryl about how he recruited a group of survivors who were ultimately exiled from Alexandria, and he personally had to escort them out without their weapons. They then see a lone survivor wearing a red poncho in the middle of a field and follow him. They lose track of the survivor and decide to scavenge supplies from some abandoned food trucks. However, they set off a trap set by the Wolves that unleashes a horde of walkers on them and they are forced to take shelter inside a car. Daryl offers to risk his own life to help Aaron escape, but Aaron is adamant that they both escape together. At that moment, a survivor named Morgan arrives and, with his help, Daryl and Aaron are able to escape. They ask Morgan why he helped, and he replies that all life is precious. Aaron offers to bring him to Alexandria, but Morgan politely refuses, saying that he needs to get to Washington, D.C., and shows them the map he picked up in the church, which Daryl recognizes. Daryl, Aaron, and Morgan later arrive back in Alexandria in time to witness Rick execute Pete.

Season 6[edit]

In the season premiere "First Time Again", Daryl talks to Rick about the trap he and Aaron were caught in and the men Morgan encountered in the woods, The Wolves, and Rick is convinced they don't need to look for people anymore and anyone outside has to take care of themselves, but Daryl disagrees, saying that looking for people is how they take care of themselves but accepts that it's Rick's call. When Rick addresses the community about a herd stuck in a quarry nearby, he devises a plan to lure them away from the community and Daryl volunteers to lure them away with his bike, and Sasha and Abraham volunteer to accompany him. As part of the plan, Daryl helps Abraham build a barricade on one of the main roads to prevent the herd from veering off the main road. At the quarry site however, when Rick describes the plan once more for tomorrow, the cliff-side collapses and the trucks keeping the herd contained break free, forcing them the enact the plan immediately instead. As planned, Daryl, Abraham and Sasha manage to lure the herd away from the main road but a siren goes off near Alexandria. In the episode "Thank You", half the herd breaks off and Daryl wants to head back and help Rick but Abraham and Sasha insist he stay, as does Rick over the radio, but Daryl chooses to go back. Eventually Rick radios back and informs them that Glenn, Michonne, Heath, Nicholas, Scott, Annie and David aren't responding and tells them they need to keep going with their plan and Daryl is convinced to head back and rejoin Abraham and Sasha. In the episode "Always Accountable", Daryl encounters a group of people that take him prisoner, and steal his motorcycle and crossbow. He finds a fuel truck and meets back up with Abraham and Sasha.

In the mid-season finale "Start to Finish", a group of men on motorcycles stops the truck and demands all of their possessions in the name of Negan. In the mid-season premiere "No Way Out", Daryl takes out the group with an RPG and he, Sasha and Abraham return to Alexandria in time to rescue Glenn, Maggie and Enid. While Glenn suggests using their fuel truck to draw away the walker horde, Daryl suggests a different plan: getting them all gathered in one place. The group fills the Alexandria pond with fuel from their truck and Daryl ignites it, causing the horde to walk straight into the pond and the fire, killing those the Alexandria residents do not and saving the town. 2 months later, in the episode "The Next World", Daryl and Rick go on a supply run and encounter a man who calls himself Jesus. After a brief altercation, they take the man back to Alexandria. In the episode "Knots Untie", Jesus takes the group to his settlement called The Hilltop, in hopes or trading goods. The group is unsuccessful in coming up with a deal with their leader, Gregory, but he later changes his mind and agrees to give them food if they kill Negan and his men, to which they agree. In the episode "Not Tomorrow Yet", Daryl, along with other members of their group, accompany Rick to a Saviors hideout and murder them, thinking they killed Negan. In the episode "Twice as Far", Daryl, Rosita and Denise go on a supply run to find medicine. On their way back, Denise is killed by Dwight, the same man who Daryl encountered in Always Accountable. After a shootout, Daryl is able to retrieve his crossbow as Dwight and members of the Saviors flee. In "East", Daryl feels blame for Denise's death and goes out to hunt down Dwight, who is unknowingly followed by Glenn, Rosita and Michonne. Glenn, Rosita and Michonne are captured by Dwight, in which Daryl tries to sneak into a small camp set up by the Saviors. He realizes it was an ambush and Dwight shoots Daryl in his shoulder. In the season finale "Last Day on Earth", Rick and his group are captured by a large group of Saviors and are told to kneel down. Daryl, Glenn, Rosita and Michonne are then pulled out of a car and placed beside Rick and the others and forced on their knees. Negan himself then arrives and introduces himself to the group. He demands Rick's group to give him half of everything they have and then states they must be punished for killing his men. Negan then randomly chooses someone from Rick's group and beats to death with Lucille, a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.

Season 7[edit]

In the season premiere "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be", Daryl watches in horror as Abraham is killed by Negan. As Negan taunts Rosita with his bloody bat, Daryl gets up and punches him in revenge for Abraham's death. Dwight wants to shoot Daryl with his own crossbow, but Negan decides that Daryl is to stay alive and decides to kill another member of the group - Glenn. Negan does this to set a precedent for severe consequences if the survivors do not follow his regime. After this, Negan, impressed by Daryl's ferocity, takes him back with them to use as a way to keep the other members of the group in line.

In the episode "The Cell", Daryl is shown to be Negan's prisoner and spends most of the episode in a cell in the Saviors' compound, tormented by both Dwight and Negan in the hopes of breaking his spirit and indoctrinating him into the Saviors. He nearly escapes when a Savior called Fat Joey appears to leave his cell door open, but as Negan's men recapture him, he reveals that they engineered the escape as a test. Daryl is later brought before Negan who tells him that Dwight once ran off with his wife Sherry and her sister, but returned and was able to become one of his top men. Negan's first requirement to prove his loyalty is for Daryl to answer to the name "Negan" when asked, which all Saviors learn as part of their indoctrination. When Negan asks him who he is, Daryl instead states his own name.

In the episode "Service" Daryl arrives with the Saviors to get the first lot of offerings though Negan forbids Rick or anyone else from speaking to him. He appears to be severely traumatized by the torture incurred by the Saviors as he never speaks and doesn't flinch when Negan points a gun at him. At the end of the episode, Rick asks Negan to let Daryl stay, but Daryl refuses to plead his case and is subsequently taken back to the Sanctuary.

During the events of "Sing Me A Song" Daryl takes notice of Carl's arrival in Sanctuary he tries to kill Negan. When Daryl asks Negan what he'll do to him, Negan dismisses him and threatens to put a toothpick through Carl's good eye if Daryl acts up again. When Negan leaves to bring Carl back, he calls Daryl over. This causes Daryl to try and threaten Negan who calls for Dwight to return Daryl to his cell. While sitting in his cell, Daryl receives a piece of paper with leave now written on it with a clip attached. The next episode "Hearts Still Beating" shows Daryl escape his cell and make it to the yard where he encounters Fat Joey. Despite Joey's pleas, Daryl beats him to death and takes Rick's revolver back from him. He's joined by Jesus (who was scouting the area) and the two escape the Sanctuary. He arrives at the Hilltop and reunites with Rick, Maggie, Michonne, Tara and Rosita. After a tearful reconnection, Daryl returns Rick's revolver in a symbolic act of their new plans to fight the Saviors. In "Rock in the Road", Daryl is part of the group led by Jesus to the Kingdom, another community that are forced to serve the Saviors. When their leader, King Ezekiel decides against joining their cause, Daryl berates him for not acting like a leader. Ezekiel does, however, allow Daryl to stay in the Kingdom as he'll be safe from the Saviors; Daryl begrudgingly agrees with the hope of swaying Ezekiel to their side. "New Best Friends" shows Daryl becoming more frustrated with the Kingdom's complacency (particularly Morgan). He is later approached by Ezekiel's adviser Richard who gifts Daryl a new crossbow and tells him of a plan to inspire Ezekiel to take action. They journey outside where Richard explains his plan for them to ambush a Savior convoy and leave a trail to a woman living outside of the Kingdom who is close to Ezekiel. When Daryl realizes the woman is Carol, he angrily refuses, attacking and threatening to kill Richard if Carol gets hurt. He later goes to find her and the two reconnect. When Carol asks about everyone back home, he lies and claims everyone is okay to protect her from getting involved in the fight. The episode ends with Daryl sitting with Ezekiel's pet tiger Shiva and telling Morgan he plans to return to the Hilltop and continue the fight. "The Other Side" shows Daryl at the Hilltop, where he appears to be avoiding Maggie. When the Saviors show up unexpectedly at the Hilltop, the two are forced to hide in a cellar. When a Savior nearly finds them, Daryl prepares to kill him, but Maggie stops him. When they are safe, Maggie asks him why he's acting how he is, but Daryl quickly begins crying, apologizing for what happened to Glenn. Maggie insists that it wasn't his fault and that they need to stick together to beat the Saviors. In "Something They Need", Daryl is part of the group Rick leads to a community called Oceanside to steal their considerable stash of weapons. While Jesus seems hesitant with their plan to rob Oceanside and leave them defenseless, Daryl, no doubt propelled by a sense of vengeance, is in full support of the decision, stating "there's still a lot of people that gotta die." When they return to Alexandria to find Rosita returned, she states she has a guest. When it's revealed to be Dwight, Daryl immediately tries to attack him, forcing Rick to hold him back, but Rosita claims he wants to help them. "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" opens with the group interrogating Dwight; Tara advocates killing him to avenge Denise. Dwight claims he wasn't trying to kill her, when Daryl forces him against a wall and holds a knife to his eye. Dwight apologizes for what's happened, but claims that he can help them beat Negan. He also states that he did everything for Sherry and if it weren't for her, Daryl would still be a prisoner. While they agree to work with Dwight and let him go, Daryl swears that once they beat Negan, he will kill Dwight. The group prepares for the Savior convoy Dwight warned them about with Daryl taking a position behind the wall. Once the negotiations devolve into a shootout, Daryl springs into action and kills numerous Saviors. When the battle ends, he finds a message from Dwight who claims he didn't know what would go down.


Daryl used a Horton Scout HD 125 crossbow for the first three seasons. The character's use has inspired reviews of the weapon at Amazon.com referring to the show. It was replaced by a more powerful Stryker StrykeZone during Season 3.[5] In season 6 episode 9, Daryl uses an Airtronic RPG-7 to take out a biker gang working for Negan. In season 7 episode 10, Daryl was given a new crossbow, which is a PSE Fang 350.

Development and reception[edit]

Daryl was originally a recurring character but was upgraded to the main cast in season two. Reedus originally asked the writers and crew if Daryl could get a dog. His request was denied, and Daryl instead got a new crossbow.[6]

After being fourth place in top billing for the third season, Daryl was promoted to second place in top billing for every season since the fourth, having become one of the main protagonists of the series. Fans follow the character, and Reedus in other roles. They have debated Daryl's sexual orientation and sexuality, especially with regard to Caryl (Carol and Daryl) and Bethyl (Beth and Daryl) shippers; some fans argue that he is heterosexual, while others argue that he is gay or bisexual.[7] The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman stated that Daryl is heterosexual, but that the show has portrayed him as somewhat asexual. "I think that he's a very introverted character and I think that's somewhat his appeal. I do have to clear something up, though," said Kirkman. "In the Walking Dead letters column in the old comic book that I do, there was a question that made me mention that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon's character gay and it caused quite a hubbub online. I just wanted to make it clear that I was saying that the possibility is there and I would've been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it, but we ultimately didn't do that."[7]

Entertainment Weekly featured Reedus as Daryl on the cover of an issue previewing season three of The Walking Dead.[8] Additionally, Daryl won IGN's "Best TV Hero" of 2012,[9] and the character was featured in a Super Bowl XLVII commercial for Time Warner Cable. For his performance as Daryl, Reedus won the People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Hero in 2014 and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television in 2011.

TV Guide listed Daryl as the best character on The Walking Dead, ranking the top twenty four characters in the first five seasons. His transformation from a "selfish loner to an integral member of the survivors" was highlighted as well as being an "excellent hunter".[10]


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