The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, the most unlikely father figure

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC /

The Walking Dead has many father figures and unlikely as it seems Daryl Dixon is one of them.

As Father’s Day approaches, it is interesting to look at all The Walking Dead characters who are fathers or are a father figure to the younger generation in this series. Although Daryl Dixon isn’t a biological father or even your typical father figure, he has always had a soft spot for the younger members of the group. He has given excellent life advice or has been through things that others can learn from.

This series has earned its fan base by being more than just a zombie show. The show looks into the lives of those living in an apocalyptic world and helps you see what they are experiencing in this world that is much different than before. As a fan, you grow to love these characters and become emotionally involved with them.

During his first encounter with the baby that will eventually be named Judith, Daryl dubs her Little Asskicker. She has lived up to that moniker even though it was only said the one time. You can see the delight in Daryl’s eyes as he holds this little bundle in his arms for the first time, and he shares a rare smile with the group. The bond was formed and will last for as long as he lives.

Daryl was a child of abuse at the hands of his father. This has allowed him to relate to the many broken people he has encountered along his journey. The pain he suffered as a child never left him and often gives him an advantage in dealing with others. He can see the same pain in them that he suffers himself, specifically with Lydia. He considers the torment her mother puts her through physically and emotionally, and that draws him to the girl. He wants to protect her, wishing someone had done the same for him.

In times of danger and uncertainty, Daryl Dixon is the man you want on your team. He is extremely loyal and will protect those he loves, no matter what. This is the case when he finds himself traveling with Beth after the fall of the prison. They must figure out how to survive no matter what, and with his resourcefulness, he can provide for her during this time. The bond between these two was powerful and became strengthened during the days after the prison fell, and they weren’t sure if anyone else had survived.

Back in season two, when they were in the prison, Daryl and Carl were exploring the prison, and Daryl shares a story about losing his mother. He explains to Carl how his mother was burned in a house fire and that she was just gone, erased. Daryl uses this time to help Carl deal with the fact that he had to shoot his mother before she turned into a walker.

In season nine, when the group returned to Alexandria, and there is snow on the ground, the ordinarily gruff Daryl let his guard down long enough to play in the snow with RJ & Judith and the others. Although I feel this scene is more Norman Reedus than Daryl Dixon, it was a fantastic scene showing a fun side of “Uncle” Daryl.

With all these layers, Daryl Dixon is, and forever will be my favorite character. He hasn’t always made the right decisions, but he is always true, always real, and his loyalty knows no limits.

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Happy Father’s day to Norman Reedus and all of the other father’s in the Walking Dead world cast and crew.