Daryl was the focus of the last Walking Dead that left everybody with a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers on the show. Dwight even subtly breaking the fourth wall with “he’ll be alright” to calm fans… Are they convinced? Are you?
The Daryl Cliffhanger
It got fans of The Walking Dead riled up, but will it actually happen? While anything is possible and as the saying goes ‘never say never’. I say no, about 99.9% no. It was a good lead-in to watch the finale, but actually removing Daryl from The Walking Dead formula would be pure insanity. Both narrative and business wise. It’s almost akin to removing Rick Grimes. While the show can survive barebones if need be as long as Rick Grimes as around, there’s a trio that should be untouchable. Rick, Daryl, and Carol. Personally, The Governor should have been on this list. Removing any of them is just a costly mistake, and fans really believe they’d do it?
They brought Glenn back after fan uprisings and The Walking Dead’s audience truly believes Daryl might go?
The Arguments Against:
– Daryl Dixon is the most famous character from The Walking Dead TV show at this point. Surpassing even Rick Grimes, the show’s lead. In fact if you Google Walking Dead cast Norman Reedus/Daryl Dixon appears first. Think about that. Despite not appearing in the original comic books, Daryl has ascended to the top spot in terms of bringing attention to the show.
– Norman Reedus has done an tremendous job at creating a excellent character. Daryl is a character known for genuine appeal. The pasta eating dinner scene at the origins of Alexandria stands out. It was a testament to Reedus’ talent that Daryl barely spoke in the scene and the spotlight was all him. Every great character that is lost leaves behind a void on the show.
– This is Daryl Dixon we’re talking about, a top 3 character in terms of fan attachment. You don’t rebuild that overnight. In fact, despite Fear the Walking Dead carrying the name, it’s had some trouble establishing the same level of audience. Think of how many shows you’ve never heard of that would do anything for a talent on the level of a Norman Reedus/Daryl Dixon. We’re talking an instant ratings grabber. A reason to care about a show. Sometimes that’s all fans need during a lull in narrative. It’s an opportunity for a show to not only stay afloat but thrive as long as the writing remains quality. You’d waste all that just for one week’s shock value?
– Norman Reedus has been an A-Lister for quite a while since The Walking Dead started. Reedus does all the rounds on the Late Night shows like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He’s a wanted guest and grants Walking Dead massive mainstream appeal. Sure, he’ll always be remembered for The Walking Dead when appearing. Even if he’s off the show, but it won’t be the same as being an active cast member.
– Seriously, it’s Daryl. He just got his crossbow back and was finally receiving lead focus again. All that character development and renewed interest in the character only to let it go to waste? That’s not how things work. You build the villain up (Dwight) to the heights of evilness so when the hero (Daryl) finally gets revenge it’s double as sweet for the audience. It’s how the film Taken was built, and everybody knows that Liam Neeson quote because of it. It’s an amazing line on its own with its delivery, the film established it into legendary status.
– The Walking Dead and any film media/theater should always be reaching for legendary status. Sometimes shows just can’t grasp it and fall off the mountain, or need help climbing back up. Getting rid of a Daryl Dixon is like dropping your equipment on purpose and continuing the climb with no safety measures. Sure, it provides a challenge and danger but is it really worth the risk?
Walking Dead Season 6 Finale Trailer
“Sorry, we don’t negotiate.” Negan is finally on The Walking Dead! Just listen to that voice. There’s no telling what’s going to go down. We’re about to see the most unpredictable rival to Rick Grimes since The Governor. The hype and excitement is through the roof.
The Arguments For:
– Shock value. Such a decision would boost The Walking Dead on social media to trend #1 for the next two months. There would be much protest for Daryl, we’re talking this potentially making mainstream news outlets. It would set the tone for Season 7 that no body is safe, not even lead characters. It would bring back fans whose interest has faded from James Bond-like expectations. Meaning they know everything will be okay. As such they don’t tune in or simply read what happened on the last episode the day after before deciding to watch. It would make it imperative to watch every episode, because you never know what might happen.
– Frank Darabont, former Showrunner/Executive Producer of The Walking Dead created Daryl Dixon alongside Charles H. Eglee and Jack LoGiudice. They were so impressed by Norman Reedus’ Merle Dixon audition they created the Daryl character specifically for him. There’s been litigation between Darabont / AMC before and the show appears to have shifted to be more in line with the comic book. Could there be some type of internal executive decision to move away from Darabont related creations? Sounds highly unlikely with a character as popular as Daryl at this point but nothing in this world is completely 100% unfathomable.
Final Thoughts: Daryl Discussion
– The Walking Dead cast and crew absolutely love Norman Reedus, him exiting the show is just not likely. Not unless it was his own decision to pursue more film work. Even then Reedus loves The Walking Dead and its fans. AMC loves Norman Reedus and what he brings to the network.
Spoilers below for those who haven’t seen previous seasons!!!
– Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. The amazing music too. If tonight’s the night Daryl leaves The Walking Dead… It will never be forgotten.
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