Daryl Dixon Needs to Die

First things first – I love zombie stuff. Always have, even before it was cool. I guess that makes me a zombie hipster. There’s just something raw and basic in the fight for survival that zombie flicks, books, and stories that has always attracted me.

Which brings me to the amazing, character driven AMC epic – The Walking Dead. It’s easily the #1 reason I still have cable in my home. From the moment a friend first showed me a teaser poster before season 1, I’ve been hooked. My wife who is NOT a zombie fan loves the show too. Every Sunday night we enjoy sitting together and watching the narrative of Rick and the rest of the walker slaying survivors.

All the characters on this show are deep. Even guys like Tomas who last less than one full episode have depth. How about those 2 guys from the Northeast who were in the shoot out with Rick? They had more of a back story than T-Dog.

But there is one character who is running the risk of being too big – Daryl Dixon. I love Daryl as much as the next guy but the problem as I see it is that his character has become too important to the show because of the love fans have for him. We’ve seen him go from angry southerner to reluctant hero to someone who seems to enjoy being the reluctant hero. He’s essentially the Walking Dead’s version of Sawyer from Lost. The character almost seems to be a direct response to fan appreciation and since he wasn’t in the (amazing) comic series as written by Robert Kirkman there’s no real story arch that Daryl has to take.

Again, Daryl is a great character but here’s why I think he needs to make his exit soon – ultimately, the Walking Dead is Rick’s story. It could be argued that it is Rick and Carl’s story, but at the heart, this is about Officer Grimes. From Season 1 on there has been one constant – no one is untouchable except for Rick. Early on it was just members of the group we saw that we never had a chance to connect with. In Season 2 we saw the departure of Rick’s best friend, Shane. Shane should have been as close to untouchable as anyone but his story line ended with a quick shiv from Rick.

In Season 3, we saw the death of Lori. If Rick’s wife isn’t safe then no one is. Except for some reason, Daryl. He has no real connection pre-outbreak with Rick yet he seems almost untouchable now and I think that is bad because it can draw away from the main story of Rick and holding his family together.

I don’t want to bash Daryl and offend all the ladies who love LL Cool D but either his role needs to be reduced or he needs to be killed off before this goes too far and the story stops being about Rick and starts being about Rick and others. What makes this show special is to see Rick’s emotional roller coaster. Adding too much Daryl or any character, will eventually draw away from the power of Rick’s story.

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5 thoughts on “Daryl Dixon Needs to Die

  1. Rob Kotaska says:

    LL Cool DD? Wholeheartedly agree. I have Direct TV because my cable internet has useage caps…but Game of Thrones is another reason I cannot cut the DTV…I won’t, I musn’t.

  2. Gemma says:

    OH PLEASE. Yes, the story is ultimately about Rick. There’s a reason Daryl follows Rick’s orders. But first of all, a show needs more than one constant character. And who cares if Daryl gets too big? The fans like him and AT THE END OF THE DAY the fans matter the most. The same thing happened in Supernatural. The story was ALWAYS supposed to be only about Sam and Dean Winchester. Almost everyone else was killed off right away. But then the angel Castiel entered in season 4. Cas was only supposed to be there for 6 episodes—but fans loved him so much that he’s a regular now and has done 5 seasons and 51 episodes, around. And Cas is now a part of the main cast, along with the Winchester bros. This is how shows grow organically. I guarantee at least two or three other characters will survive along with Rick. Probably Maggie and someone else. So why not Daryl? People love him. It’s selfish to try and FORCE the story back onto Rick. We all obviously love Rick but if a show organically heads in another direction, that should be accepted. And let’s be honest: Lori had no real backstory or depth. Daryl has complexity that I’ve only seen in one other character: Dean Winchester.

  3. Adam Lockhart says:

    I appreciate the response (in particular the “OH PLEASE”) and here are my follow up thoughts:
    A good show does have more than one constant character but on a show where life is fragile you can’t have untouchable characters. It diminishes what makes it great – will they or won’t they live. That’s why Andrea’s death was so important.
    I’ve never seen Supernatural but that story speaks to a big problem: when writers give in to what the public wants then there isn’t a whole lot of room left for surprise and the original vision becomes compromised.
    Again, I point to Daryl. He was the best character in the first season. He was complex. He was deep. He was a wild card. Now, he’s predictable. He’s always going to do the right thing. I’m all for character development and I think they did a good job developing him into who he is but the reason it happened was because the fans loved him and that compromised who he was originally supposed to be.

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