The Walking Dead: The decline of Dwight

Dwight, The Walking Dead - AMC
Dwight, The Walking Dead - AMC /

Dwight has gone from someone who seemed misguided and mischievous to malevolent and malicious. Austin Amelio talks about his character on The Walking Dead.

Daryl considered bringing Dwight back to Alexandria with him. He asked him the three questions. Dwight and the girls he was with seemed like they were on the run from something. Someone who thought they owed him. Whose rules were bull.

Maybe the kidnapping of Daryl was something they thought they had to do. Then Daryl helped them by returning with the insulin. But they turned on him again and stole his bike and his bow. They’d be sorry.

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Austin spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the change between the time Daryl first met him and when he appeared at the railroad tracks at their second meeting:

"His whole thing when I first got introduced was hanging onto his morals and his values and hanging on to the concept that he just wants the world to go back to how it was. And that was kind of where I was at with him in that episode. And now he’s a completely different guy. He’s adapted to the world. He’s running with Negan, and I think he’s still held back, but he’s adapted, and he knows how the world works and there’s no turning back. I think he’s come full circle to the understanding of what’s really going on."

So it seems Dwight has made a change. Something happened between then and now. Austin doesn’t say exactly what that is other than that he’s running with Negan. That must be enough to have made him think that this is how it has to be in the next world.

He’s obviously following Negan protocol with the greeting kill. It didn’t affect him at all. He killed Denise right off the bat and coldly announced that she wasn’t the target, but oh well. How do you do.

"Yeah, and now there are certain rules that he has to follow, and that’s just what it is: Those are the rules. I say it in the episode. I go, “This is how we like to start a business deal. This is kind of the way it is.” And at this point he doesn’t even blink an eye when he makes that kill."

Austin talked about the physical scar and how it helps him get into his character. Also about the make up process. Here’s what he thought when he first looked in the mirror and saw himself:

"It was great, man! It had some transformational qualities for me, because for Dwight that was kind of dehumanizing, and I’m now trying to wear it as a prideful thing. And I think that’s the only way for Dwight to go about that is to wear it as a battle scar. Once I get that thing on, I feel pretty knee-deep in Dwight.I normally get there an hour before we get on set. The makeup artist who does it is a genius, and it’s really cool to watch him work on it because he’s perfecting it each and every time he gets in there, so it’s his own little piece of art that’s getting better and better and better, and now I think he’s got it dialed in."

Austin is a great Dwight. He did seem sympathetic at first. Even after he took Daryl’s bike and weapon, it didn’t seem personal. It seemed like a crummy move, but one that you could see one of our group doing to someone else. Not something evil, just something they needed.

But now he’s been punished, most likely by Negan, and has adopted the evil. There’s still the possibility that he’s putting up a tough front. But he’s doing evil deeds that are congruent with his scars.

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We will have to wait and see if Dwight continues along the Negan path. Daryl seems intent on killing him. To Daryl, Dwight symbolizes his own poor judgment. He thought Dwight might be like Jesus, but Dwight turned out like The Governor and Daryl was fooled.

Do you think Dwight has declined to a point of no return? Will Daryl kill him?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)