The smart Walking Dead fan tries not to grow too attached to the cast, knowing that any trip to the bathroom could be their last (poor Amy). There are some characters that seem untouchable, however.
The writers couldn’t kill off Rick, for example; he’s the leader. They probably won’t harm Carl either, since that would be too traumatic for Rick (though we’d get over it), and we’d like to think that Daryl is off-limits too, for AMC’s sake as well as ours.
If fans post vat-loads of nuts and hot sauce to networks in order to SAVE their favourite shows, they would most certainly send in park-loads of squirrels to punish them if they ever laid one rotting zombie finger on Daryl Dixon. Here’s why…
People tend to get annoying in an apocalypse. They make bad choices (Lori), get pretty selfish (Lori), and generally talk a load of self-righteous crap (Dale). Daryl is the exception. Not only is he super useful to have around with his tracking and hunting skills, he’s the one we’d like to share a prison cell with just to learn more about him, and to protect us in the middle of the night if we need the toilet. No one wants to be the next Amy.
He has the coolest props
Rick has a hat, Hershel has a beard, Daryl has a crossbow and a motorbike. We can only assume the writers were trying to tone down his sub-zero coolness by making him wear a poncho, but he even made that look good. Actually, it was something to do with helping to load the crossbow, and we support anything that promotes the use of that particular weapon. The last time we saw one on telly, Buffy was loading it with wooden stakes. That was 10 years ago. Aside from making a lovely whooshing sound, it can also be used to fire arrows into arses for laughs.
Daryl has aimed that crossbow straight at fans’ hearts. When Carol was grieving for her daughter Sophia, he gave her a Cherokee Rose and a beautiful story about how they grew for lost children. “I believe this one bloomed for your little girl,” he says. Next season he’s cradling Judith, nicknaming her “little asskicker” and being a better mother than Lori was in 3 whole seasons.
He’s 100% original
Unlike the rest of the comic-book-inspired cast, Daryl was an original creation for the TV show. This introduced an entirely new and compelling storyline that’s impossible to predict. We’ve seen him grow from a rough and ready redneck (“You got some balls for a Chinaman.” “I’m Korean.” “Whatever.”) who was originally planning on raiding the camp for supplies, to a thoughtful and sincere member of the group.
When we spoke to actor Norman Reedus, he told us how grateful he was that fans loved the character. But no one loves Daryl more than him. “I’ve done 30 films and I’ve never gotten as much love as I have with this one television character,” he said. “I’m very appreciative, it feels like we’re all in it together so it feels great.”
In the past, he’s admitted to offering to sleep with executive producer Robert Kirkman if he put Daryl in the comic books. “I figured it would give me some sort of job security, but he didn’t go for it. What a jerk.”
Plus, he was the best thing about Season 2: