Norman Reedus: Daryl and Rick Reunion in The Walking Dead Movie Is "Up in the Air" (Exclusive)
Norman Reedus isn't aware of plans to join Walking Dead co-star Andrew Lincoln on the big screen, saying the story of the Rick Grimes movie trilogy is "up in the air." Reedus, who next appears in the 24-episode Final Season of The Walking Dead and the announced Daryl & Carol series with Melissa McBride, reveals he knows nothing about Lincoln's feature film spin-off set in the years after Rick's Season 9 disappearance from the flagship show. Speaking to ComicBook's Brandon Davis ahead of The Walking Dead Season 11 panel at virtual San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, Reedus shared his hopes for a Daryl and Rick reunion on the big or small screen:
"I don't think anybody knows what's going on with the movies now. I hear different answers from different groups," Reedus said. "So I think it's kind of still up in the air what the movie thing is going to be. I think it's...changed perspective a couple of times. I don't know anything about it. I'm just going to leave it at that."
In Seasons 9 and 10, Daryl spends six-plus years searching for Rick's body after his apparent death in a bridge explosion. Whenever or wherever it happens, Reedus said, "I want a Rick and Daryl reunion."
"I don't want it to be for nothing. I don't want it to be cheap. I want it to be a real thing," Reedus added, calling the brotherhood between Rick and Daryl "one of the most powerful relationships on the show, and for me personally, one of my most favorite relationships to play."
TWD Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple, who oversees the franchise and scripts the movie trilogy with Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, previously said of a Daryl-Rick reunion: "I can't rule that out."
"The kind of stories that we can tell, the canvas is getting much, much bigger," Gimple said from Hall H at Comic-Con 2019. "The sky is the limit for The Walking Dead, and all of these characters are going to have rich stories, and we're going to tell them in all sorts of ways."
In 2018, Reedus and McBride each inked a rich three-year "franchise/universe" deal with AMC Networks allowing them to "move freely" throughout TWD Universe and appear in off-shoots of the main show, including films. By September 2020, AMC revealed Reedus and McBride would reunite with current Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang for the road-show spin-off in the works for an expected 2023 premiere on the network.0comments
The Walking Dead Season 11 premieres August 22 on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.
‘The Walking Dead’ Daryl spin-off movie reportedly in the works
A spin-off film centred on The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon is in development, according to reports.
Sources close to We Got This Covered have said AMC is working on a movie about their series’ much loved crossbow-wielding character. The sources said it has not been green-lit but is in discussion.
The publication added that the film would likely be set after season 11 or 12 of The Walking Dead, and would see Daryl (Norman Reedus) search for former series protagonist Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) “while throwing in some flashbacks with his volatile brother Merle, who died in season 3 episode 15, This Sorrowful Life“.
This speculation aside, AMC has been hard at work on new spin-off series The Walking Dead: World Beyond set 10 years post-apocalypse, which according to series actor Nico Tortorella is centred on “a younger generation”.
The release date of the show has been pushed back from April 12 to “later this year” due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Get up to date on everything we know about the forthcoming spin-off series here.
Meanwhile, an actor who worked on a Walking Dead-themed attraction has alleged he and other staff were assaulted whilst working there.
NME has contacted AMC for comment.
Norman Mark Reedus (born January 6, 1969) is an American actor. He is known for starring in the popular AMC horror drama series The Walking Dead as Daryl Dixon, in the film The Boondock Saints (1999) and its sequel The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009) as Murphy MacManus, as Scud in Marvel'sBlade II (2002), Marco in Deuces Wild (2002) and for his AMC TV show Ride with Norman Reedus. He has acted in numerous films and television series, and modeled for various fashion designers (most recognizably Prada in the 1990s). Reedus also provided motion capture and voice acting for the lead character Sam Porter in the video game Death Stranding (2019).
Reedus was born in Hollywood, Florida, the son of Marianne (née Yarber), a teacher, and Ira Norman Reedus. Reedus's paternal grandmother was of Italian descent, while his grandfather had British (English and Scottish), and Irish ancestry. He attended Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, for a semester. After living in Tokyo, he came to California to work at a Harley-Davidson shop in Venice, California, and contributed artwork to various shows as a painter, photographer, sculptor, and video artist. He first acted in the play Maps for Drowners at the Tiffany Theater on Sunset Boulevard. He was discovered at a bar in downtown Hollywood, singing and dancing where someone asked him if he wanted to act in a play.
Film and television
Reedus played Jeremy in his major film debut Mimic and Mac in Giovanni Rodriguez's Red Canyon. Reedus played Murphy MacManus in the 1999 film The Boondock Saints. He reprised the role in the 2009 sequel The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. He played Scud in Blade II. He guest-starred in Charmed as Nate, the boyfriend of Paige (Rose McGowan). Reedus starred in Hello Herman, which opened nationwide and on-demand on June 7, 2013. Reedus currently stars in the reality series Ride with Norman Reedus, which premiered in June 2016. Most recently, he started Bigbaldhead Productions with an overall deal at AMC.
The Walking Dead
In 2010, Reedus began playing Daryl Dixon in the AMC television series The Walking Dead, a horror drama about a group of friends and family members who fight to survive in a violent apocalyptic world populated with flesh-eating zombies and the few surviving humans. The character was not originally in the comic book series of the same name, but was created specifically for Reedus after his audition for the character of Merle Dixon. The Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman feels "absolutely blessed Reedus has honored the show with his presence, and the way he has come in and taken over that role and defined Daryl Dixon. A lot of Reedus's portrayal of the character in the first season inspired all the writers to do what we did with him in the second season. We love writing him and end up doing cool stuff with him." The drama has evolved into the highest-rated in cable history, smashing all previous records. Reedus was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
Reedus is also set to reprise his role of Daryl as the lead of a spin-off series centered on his character and Carol Peletier (played by Melissa McBride), following the conclusion of the 11th and final season of The Walking Dead. Angela Kang will be the showrunner for the series, which is set to debut in 2023.
Modeling, music videos, and art
Reedus has modeled for Prada, Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Durban, Levi's, Lexus, and Morgenthal Fredrics. In 2015, Reedus posed for a Cruelty Free International advertisement in support of ending cosmetic tests on animals.
In the mid-1990s, while working as a model, he appeared in the music videos for "Wicked as It Seems" by Keith Richards, "Violently Happy" by Björk, "Flat Top" by Goo Goo Dolls, "Cat's in the Cradle" covered by Ugly Kid Joe, "Strange Currencies" by R.E.M., and "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead. In 1999, he appeared in the video for "Mean to Me" by Tonic. Since achieving fame as an actor, he has also appeared in the videos for "Judas" by Lady Gaga, "Sun Down" by Tricky (feat. Tirzah), "Gypsy Woman" by Hilary Duff, and "No Cities to Love" by Sleater-Kinney.
He is also a painter, sculptor, and photographer, who currently shows his artwork in galleries in New York City, Berlin, and Frankfurt. He released a book of photography on October 31, 2013, called The Sun's Coming Up... Like a Big Bald Head, and in September 2014 announced a fan-art compilation called Thanks for All the Niceness.
Reedus reprised his role as Daryl Dixon in the 2013 video game The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, which is based on the television series. He was set to star in Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro's reboot horror game Silent Hills, but Kojima left Konami and the game was canceled in 2015. Reedus starred in Hideo Kojima's video game Death Stranding.
Reedus was in a five-year relationship with supermodel Helena Christensen from 1998 to 2003. Despite reports to the contrary, the two were never married. Together they have a son, Mingus Lucien Reedus (born 1999). They have remained friends and shared joint custody of their son.
In February 2005, Reedus sustained a head injury when a truck collided with his car in Germany. His nose was reconstructed with the aid of four screws and his left eye socket with titanium.
In 2015, during the filming of Sky, Reedus met Diane Kruger; the two were first seen together as a couple in July 2016. In November 2018, Kruger gave birth to their daughter; his second and her first child.
Awards and nominations
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Character from the television series The Walking Dead
For the Australian economic and investment writer, see Daryl Dixon (economic writer).
Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from AMC's horrordrama 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, and does not have a counterpart in the comics on which the series is based. The character was introduced in the first season as a southerner, expert tracker, living in the shadow of his older brother, Merle. Despite his bad 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 lets his guard down and starts to bond with the group, particularly Carol Peletier after her daughter'sdisappearance, and Beth Greene after the two split off together in season 4. The character 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. 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. Following Andrew Lincoln's departure as Rick, Reedus got top billing and has taken over as the series' main protagonist beginning from season 9.
On September 9, 2020, it was announced that Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride will lead their own spin-off series set for a 2023 premiere, following the conclusion of The Walking Dead's 11th and final season.
In their childhood, Daryl and his older brother, Merle, lived with their abusive, alcoholic father, Will. He was raised by Merle, though Merle was often away (serving time in juvenile institutions). Daryl had 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 has never been to prison (as an inmate), and was offended when Beth revealed to him that she had believed he had during a drinking game in season 4.
In season 1 and much of season 2, Daryl rides his brother Merle's Triumph Bonnevillechopper with the Nazi Germanᛋᛋ (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.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 1)
Daryl is first introduced in the episode "Tell It to the Frogs". Having been a hunter to secure wildlife for nourishment of the survivor group outside of Atlanta, he is furious to learn they left his brother Merle handcuffed to plumbing atop a skyscraper in the city, and puts most of his anger on Rick, the newcomer of the group. Daryl joins Rick and others to return to the city, finding that Merle escaped by cutting off his hand. Daryl becomes one of the group's key fighters, but falls in under Rick's orders as they abandon Atlanta, driving his brother's motorcycle.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 2)
In Season 2, the group settles onto Hershel Greene's farmstead as they look for Carol Peletier's missing daughter Sophia after a walker attack. Daryl aids in the search, and tries to help Carol cope with her feelings.
During one solo outing, he is knocked from a horse and suffers hallucinations of Merle, complaining that he is spending time searching for Sophia and not for him, before returning to the group. After Sophia is discovered to have already been turned in a walker and hidden away in Hershel's barn, Daryl helps Carol to cope with her loss. He helps protect the group as they deal with a potential threat of hostile survivors nearby, and to help evacuate the farm when it is overrun by walkers.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 3)
Rick's group find and secure a prison as a new shelter at the start of Season 3. In dealing with this, Rick's wife Lori dies after giving birth to her daughter, and Rick is devastated, having hallucinations of her and unable to make decisions. Daryl steps up to help lead the group alongside Hershel during Rick's lapse. His friendship with Carol strengthens after she was feared lost dealing with the walkers.
The group is forced to deal with the Governor from the nearby Woodbury community, who seeks to kill them and take their supplies for himself. In rescuing two of their allies kidnapped by the Governor, Daryl discovers Merle is still alive, having escaped Atlanta, but working for the Governor. After the Governor considers Merle a traitor, Daryl helps him to escape and returns with him to the prison. Rick's group knows the Governor seeks to capture Michonne or else attack the prison, but Rick's hallucinations leave him unable to make the decision, and Merle takes Michonne himself to the Governor, with Daryl following him after discovering his absence. Merle had a change of heart, lets Michonne go, and sacrificially ambushes the Governor's men. Daryl arrives to find the reanimated corpse of Merle, killed by the Governor, and cries as he is forced to put his brother down. Rick's group fends off a major attack by the Governor, driving him away, and bring the survivors of Woodbury to the prison.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 4)
Rick has recovered from Lori's death, and he, Daryl, and Hershel lead the growing population. A flu-like epidemic strikes the prison, killing many before a cure is found. Carol takes initiative to kill two who have shown signs of the flu in secret, and when Rick discovers this, evicts her from the group, upsetting Daryl.
The Governor, having obtained more men, launch a fatal assault on the prison, forcing the survivors to flee in separate groups. Daryl rescues Beth Greene, who is catatonic after watching the Governor behead her father Hershel. After days of traveling, Beth opens up to Daryl, and the two get drunk on moonshine as they talk about and let go of their pasts. A few days later, the two are briefly separated while fleeing walkers, and Daryl sees Beth kidnapped by men in a car with a white cross on it. He tries to follow them but is caught by Joe and a small group of bandits, the Claimers, and they force him to stay with them. The group later captures Rick, Carl, and Michonne, but Rick and Daryl fight back when they attempt to rape Carl and Michonne, killing all of the Claimers.
The four travel to Terminus, a safe haven according to signs along a railroad track. Though the community seems open, they find evidence that their friends have been captured. The four are taken prisoner and taken to the others, with Rick asserting they messed with the wrong group.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 5)
Rick's group escapes Terminus after discovering they engage in cannibalism, and with the help of Carol, who had launched a walker horde on the site. After meeting Gabriel Stokes at his church, the group makes plans to head to Washington D.C. While Daryl and Carol are catching up, they see a car drive by with a similar white cross on it, and they give chase. This leads them to find that Beth was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where she was forced to work on patients there by corrupt cops. After Carol is captured, Daryl led Rick's group to try to rescue them. Carol is saved but Beth is killed in a standoff with the cops, and Daryl returns her body to the church to bury her.
The group continues on, eventually meeting Aaron, a recruiter for the Alexandria Safe-Zone in Virginia, who offers them sanctuary there. Like Rick, Daryl remains skeptical given the lack of survival experience the residents have, but accepts Aaron's offer to assist them in finding more recruits. Daryl and Aaron find the community is being watched by the Wolves, exiles from Alexandria that seek revenge. After walking into a Wolves trap, they are rescued by Morgan Jones, Rick's friend before he met the rest of the group in Atlanta, and they bring him back to Alexandria.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 6)
Rick and the others of his group are put in charge of Alexandria after proving their survival skills. To get rid of a walker horde trapped in a nearby quarry, Rick plans to parade them far away from Alexandria. Daryl, along with Abraham and Sasha, lead the parade. However, the Wolves launch a surprise attack, breaking the parade, though Rick instructs Daryl to lead the remaining away. The attack breeches the Alexandria walls, allowing walkers to swarm in. After leading the remaining walkers away, Daryl is briefly waylaid by Dwight and his wife Sherry. He finds a fuel truck, and regroups with Abraham and Sasha, and quickly deals with a group of men working for Negan. They ignite the truck in Alexandria to lure the walkers away from the citizens to dispatch them.
As Alexandria is recovering, Carol opts to leave on her own, concerned about seeing others she cares for die, leaving Daryl upset. Rick and Daryl meet Paul "Jesus" Monroe and are introduced to the Hilltop community. They request help dealing with the Saviors, a brutal group that demand supplies as a periodic offering. Rick, Daryl and others launch an attack on a Savior outpost, appearing to kill Negan and all of the Saviors. Later, Daryl encounters Dwight again with other men who claim to be Saviors working for Negan. After reporting this to Rick and the others, Daryl patrols to track down the Saviors but is soon captured. He is brought to a clearing along with Rick and several others of the group that has been captured by the Saviors, and they met the real Negan, who wields a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wired named "Lucille". Negan prepares to kill one of the group in retaliation for the attack on the Savior compound and force them to swear loyalty to him.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 7)
After Negan chooses Abraham to kill, Daryl attacks him but he is held back by the Saviors. Negan proceeds to kill Glenn, and then cows Rick into submission. Daryl is taken prisoner by Dwight back to Sanctuary, the Savior's base. Dwight attempts to convert him to join Negan, but Daryl refuses. Later, Sherry helps Daryl to escape, and he is helped to Hilltop by Jesus, where Rick and others are meeting to discuss the situation with Negan. After a tearful reunion, they all agree Daryl is a fugitive from Negan and Jesus suggest he go to the Kingdom, run by King Ezekiel, for safety as well as to try to convince Ezekiel to help. There, Ezekiel remains non-committed as his deal with Negan is amicable, but offers Daryl shelter.
While there, one of Ezekiel's men, Richard, suggests a plan to lure Ezekiel into fighting the Saviors, by having the Savior kill a woman that Ekeziel has taken a liking to but staying outside of the Kingdom. Daryl realizes this is Carol, and refuses to go along with the plan. He opts to return to Hilltop, but stops to reunite with Carol on his way out. After debriefing the Hilltop community, he apologizes to Maggie for Glenn's death and she forgives him. Daryl then returns to Alexandria, and helped prepare for a plan to attack Negan the next time he comes. However, they find Dwight has arrived, who swears that he wants to help them stop Negan despite Daryl's reservations. Negan does launch a surprise attack on Alexandria, but the timely arrival of the Hilltop and Kingdom communities allow them to overpower the Saviors and their allies, the Scavengers, and the three communities agree to go to war against Negan. Daryl finds a note from Dwight swearing he did not know what Negan had planned.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 8)
Daryl is first seen in the season premiere, "Mercy", where he is key to their plan to attack the Sanctuary by luring a massive walker herd using placed explosives and his motorcycle. After their plan succeeds, he splits off with Rick to attack a compound housing Savior weaponry. "Monsters" shows Daryl and Rick searching the compound for the guns to no avail; unlike Rick, who is beginning to question their decision to go to war, Daryl has no qualms about their mission, killing former Atlanta survivor Morales and executing a Savior to whom Rick showed mercy. He is still distrusting of Dwight.
When Rick and Daryl have a misunderstanding, their newly acquired weapons are accidentally set ablaze as they fight. After Dwight is later exposed as a mole, one Savior gets away after the rest are shot, and then Dwight asks to be spared. As he is led away, Daryl takes back his vest. Despite this, Daryl remains hostile to Dwight and expressly states his intention of killing him once the war is over. Though Tara initially agrees with him on this, she changes her mind after Dwight saves her life twice.
In the season finale, Daryl takes part in the final battle with the Saviors and survives. Afterwards, he drives Dwight out into the woods where Dwight expects Daryl to execute him. Instead, Daryl exiles Dwight on threat of death if he ever returns and encourages his former enemy to seek out his wife, Sherry.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 9)
Eighteen months have passed since Rick defeated Negan. The communities of Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside, and the Sanctuary have rebuilt what they can to make more viable societies. Daryl and Eugene oversee the remaining Saviors at the Sanctuary. Justin, a Savior, tries to take more than his share and pushes Henry. Daryl rushes in to subdue Justin before Rick can assert his control on the group. Rick and Daryl realize the Saviors are starting to get out of hand, due to Rick's hurry to finish the bridge and the lack of food. Later, they set off the dynamite, and track the nearby walker horde as it diverts towards the first siren. However, when the second siren, manned by Justin, fails to sound, Rick realizes the group of men at a logging site nearby are in trouble.
Maggie, Daryl, and the Oceanside group conspire to assassinate Negan. They know Rick will not let Maggie into Alexandria as she has made her intentions clear, and start to work out a plan to bring Maggie into Alexandria without Rick's knowledge. Jesus, who is hesitant about this course of action, covertly contacts Rick to warn him. Rick is overseeing the takedown of the bridge-construction camp. Eugene warns Rick of two large hordes seen in the area, but both are moving divergent to their routes. Rick gets Jesus' word, and decides to head to Alexandria. He contacts one of the Alexandria watch points to tell them to be on the lookout for Maggie, unaware that the watch point is a member of Oceanside. When Rick prepares to go by horseback, Daryl offers to drive him there instead via motorcycle. Rick becomes concerned when Daryl purposely misses the turnoff for Alexandria. He demands Daryl stop the bike, and the two get into a fistfight. Both end up falling into a deep pit off the road that they cannot easily climb out of. The two eventually put aside their differences and work together to escape the pit.
At the construction camp, the remaining survivors are preparing to move out when a group of Saviors hold them at gunpoint. They demand the group turn over weapons for the Saviors to protect themselves, since they know Oceanside has been killing off the other Saviors. A firefight breaks out, Rick and Daryl hear the sounds of gunfire and rush to escape. Just as they start clearing the edge, walkers from one of the approaching hordes, start falling into the pit, but both still manage to get out alive. Rick sees a loose horse nearby and offers to lead the walker horde away from the camp while Daryl drives off to warn them. Rick, on horseback, leads the horde along but is surprised when the other horde that Eugene warned him of is converging on the same point. The horse knocks Rick off its back. Rick lands hard on a concrete block and finds a piece of rebar has impaled his side. Ultimately, Rick appears to sacrifice his life to destroy the bridge and the walkers with it. Daryl joins the others in mourning Rick, unaware that he was saved at the last minute by Jadis, the leader of the Scavengers group, who took him to parts unknown.
Six years later, Daryl has alienated himself from the group, living alone in the wilderness. However, he remains friends with Carol and her and Ezekiel's adopted son, Henry, taking on the latter as an apprentice blacksmith. Daryl takes Jesus and Aaron along with him to search for Eugene, who has gone missing; when they find Eugene, he warns them of walkers who have apparently evolved enough to speak to each other; these turn out to the Whisperers, a group of survivors who wear masks made from walker skin and speak in hushed tones in order to blend in with real walkers and avoid attacks. Daryl and Michonne find and interrogate Lydia, the teenage daughter of the Whisperers' leader, Alpha. Daryl sees that Henry and Lydia have feelings for each other, and warns the boy that she is not to be trusted. Eventually, however, Daryl sees that Lydia is not like her ruthless, bloodthirsty mother, and becomes a mentor to her.
Alpha arrives at Sanctuary with her followers, demanding Lydia's release. Daryl refuses at first, but relents when he sees that the Whisperers have captured two of their residents, Alden and Luke; he agrees to give her Lydia in return for them. Later, Henry leaves the Hilltop, suggesting he is going out to look for Lydia; Daryl sets off with Connie in pursuit. They disguise themselves as Whisperers and rescue Henry and Lydia, pursued by Alpha's right-hand man, Beta. They take shelter in an abandoned building, where Daryl fights Beta and pushes him down an elevator shaft. They join Michonne and Rick's now-preteen daughter Judith to go to Kingdom, unaware that the Whisperers are following them. Alpha infiltrates Kingdom, and shows Daryl a massive horde of walkers that she threatens to unleash upon the communities if they cross into Whisperer territory again. Soon afterward, Alpha murders several Hilltop residents, including Henry, and leaves their severed, zombiefied heads on pikes as a warning. Daryl shields a grief-stricken Carol from the sight of her beheaded son. When she and Ezekial separate, she moves in with Daryl.
See also: The Walking Dead (season 10)
Months later, Daryl watches with growing concern as Carol grows obsessed with killing Alpha and avenging Henry; at one point, he is forced to stop her from attacking Alpha directly. Carol and Daryl set out to destroy Alpha's walker horde, but after Carol captures a Whisperer, Daryl suspects that she is motivated more by revenge than protecting the community. He nevertheless helps her and several other Kingdom and Hilltop residents pursue Alpha, who lures them into a cave and traps them. Daryl and most of the others escape, and he saves Carol's life. Negan gets close to Alpha and kills her on Carol's orders; it is left ambiguous whether Daryl knew about it.
Beta rallies a huge herd of walkers to attack the community's new headquarters, an abandoned hospital, and Daryl sneak through the horde and lead it away using a wagon and loud music. The Whisperers destroy the makeshift sound system, forcing Daryl's group to infiltrate the horde and kill the Whisperers one by one. Daryl wounds Beta, who is consumed by the walkers, and Lydia and Carol lead the horde over a cliff.
The episode "Find Me" establishes via flashbacks that, five years earlier, Daryl had gone to live by himself in the woods after Rick's apparent death. One day, Daryl found a dog in an empty cabin; the dog's owner, Leah, thought he was trying to rob her, and held him at gunpoint. She set him free eventually, and they had occasional, random meetings until they became a couple. They were together for 10 months, but Daryl could not decide whether to commit to her or his community, and she left after they had an argument. Daryl wrote Leah a note asking her to find him and put it in a secret compartment, and left to reunite with Carol and Henry.
In the present, Daryl returns to the cabin in hopes of finding Leah, and Carol follows him. The cabin is empty, but the secret compartment has been opened, giving Daryl hope that Leah read his note and is trying to find him. Carol tells Daryl to let Leah go, angering him; they get into an argument in which he blames her for the apparent death of Connie, one of their community members (he is unaware that she is still alive). The two wash their hands of each other, and go their separate ways.
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 380 during Season 3. 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, which he only used for a short time until he finally took back the Stryker StrykeZone 380 from Dwight in Season 8 Episode 11.
Development and creation
Reedus read the script for the show and wanted to be a part of it so badly that 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. They liked his audition and gave him the role of Daryl. 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. In season 9, Daryl does get a dog who is first introduced in "Stradivarius."
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. He got top billing following the departure of Andrew Lincoln in season 9. 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.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. He continued by saying: "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."
Entertainment Weekly featured Reedus as Daryl on the cover of an issue previewing season three of The Walking Dead. Additionally, Daryl won IGN's "Best TV Hero" of 2012, 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".
- The character holds the 2nd place in a list of "30 Best ‘Walking Dead’ Characters" by Rolling Stone.
- As of August 2019, Daryl is currently voted #1 on Ranker's "The Best Walking Dead Characters".
Noel Murray of Rolling Stone ranked Daryl Dixon #2 in a list of 30 best Walking Dead characters, saying, "The Walking Dead is a show that traffics in iconography – and you do not get more iconographic than the show's scraggly-haired, crossbow-wielding, motorcycle-riding hunter. First introduced as an angry redneck and evolving into one of the series' most striking figures, Daryl has revealed more dimensions over time, and Norman Reedus' performance helping to expose an unsurpassed kindness and commitment to the hero’s closest companions."
- ^Patten, Dominic (September 9, 2020). "'Walking Dead' To End After Super-Sized 11th Season; Norman Reedus & Melissa McBride Spinoff Set For 2023". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
- ^Otterson, Joe (December 10, 2017). "'Walking Dead' Recap: Tide of War Turns in Midseason Finale (SPOILERS)". Variety.
- ^Dean, Josh (16 November 2013). "Norman Reedus: The Walking Man". Boys Fitness. Archived from the original on March 27, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
- ^"'The Walking Dead' Audition Tales: 31 Stars Tell All". hollywoodreporter.com. 20 August 2015. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- ^"'The Walking Dead' star Norman Reedus almost didn't get cast — here's how being persistent got him a lead role". businessinsider.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- ^Saclao, Christian (October 9, 2015). "'The Walking Dead' Star Norman Reedus On How He Actually Landed The Role Of Daryl Dixon". Designtrend.com. Archived from the original on 2017-01-01.
- ^"Daryl Dixon Robert Kirkman's "Favorite Element" of TV Show". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
- ^(SPOILERS) The Making of Episode 313 Arrow on the Doorpost: Inside The Walking DeadArchived 2016-03-16 at the Wayback MachineYoutube "AMC" (March 10, 2013)
- ^ abMichelle Steiner, Amanda (December 1, 2014). "The Walking Dead: Creator Robert Kirkman Finally Reveals Daryl's Sexuality". People. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- ^This Week's Cover: An exclusive sneak peek at season 3 of 'The Walking Dead'Archived 2012-11-15 at the Wayback Machine. Entertainment Weekly, 22 August 2012.
- ^Best of 2012Archived 2015-07-22 at the Wayback MachineIGN (December 2012)
- ^"The Best Walking Dead Characters, Ranked: 1. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus)". Archived from the original on 2016-06-09.
- ^"30 Best 'Walking Dead' Characters". 7 December 2016.
- ^"The Best Walking Dead Characters, Ranked".
- ^Murray, Noel (December 7, 2016). "30 Best 'Walking Dead' Characters". Rolling Stone.
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