The vest worn by Daryl Dixon in season 10 of The Walking Dead got an upgrade in season 10 and the story behind its transformation makes it extra special.
On the surface, The Walking Dead is a pretty straight-forward show. It is the story of survivors attempting to find a way to live peacefully in a world surrounded by zombies while dealing with the threats around them.
A deeper dive into the show will reveal a ton of subtlety. Whether it is a nod to other horror franchises, callbacks to previous seasons, or something as simple as costumes worn by the cast, there always seems to be something interesting happening that isn’t obvious.
In season 10 episode 11, Daryl Dixon was handed his vest by Judith Grimes. It was revealed that one of the wings had been painted so both of the wings were now visible. Most of the time, something like that would be done behind the scenes by an art or costume department. However, the story behind that wing is much more fun.
In an interview with the director of the episode, Michael E. Satrazemis, Sarabeth Pollock of Undead Walking revealed the artwork on that vest is from Judith Grimes actress Cailey Fleming and gave the scoop on how the new wing on Daryl’s vest is so special.
"“When they came up with [the idea that Judith would paint Daryl’s vest] I said that we should have her paint it herself,” Satrazemis said. “It’s important to have her be involved with it, and so we had her paint it.”"
The painted wing doesn’t match the one on the vest but that matches the journey that Daryl has experienced. The fact it looks so great is something that needs to be credited to the skill and decisions made by Fleming.
"“Cailey designed it, she picked the colors, she put the stars on it. And we just gave her a template for size. So that was all Cailey.”"
It is a lot of fun to think that not only is the link between Judith and Daryl strong on the show but now creating a deeper meaning to the new and improved vest should only add to the amazing connection between Norman Reedus, Cailey Fleming, and the rest of the cast of The Walking Dead.