October is a long way off, but the EW photo leaked has Daryl tied to a chair and gagged. Not sure if he is being tortured because Daryl did unfortunately get the mess beaten out of him by the “claim group.” Therefore he, Rick and Carl arrive with bruises on their faces. Oh, and Daryl dies?
The trials and tribulations that Daryl has gone through with Rick and the group has made this solitary man an integrated and crucial part of the group. Daryl’s survival skills, street smarts and loyalty have all made him the natural number two to Rick. The group is Daryl’s new family. He’s a bad-humored, foulmouthed redneck. He rides his dead brother’s hog, frequently has dead critters hanging from his belt, and clearly isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.
Daryl Dixon has become an unlikely male protagonist and popular lead in The Walking Dead. For a guy that never washes, there are surely a lot of ladies who’d like to throw themselves into his arms. Just what makes Daryl so freaking appealing? I’ll willingly confess that out of the cast of characters, Daryl would be my number one choice for a continued existence survival partner. Without a doubt, Norman Reedus' character (Daryl Dixon or DD) has vast buckets of useful knowledge. DD grew up poor in a rural area, and often had to hunt for his own food, which is useful in a world without refrigeration and resources. He’s the sort of tracker that would put Prince Humperdinck of The Princess Bride to shame. There’s the Harley, the jacket, poncho, and the unsociable attitude for those who take pleasure in a bad boy. Not to forget the crossbow he carries on his shoulder and how can we forget those stealth shots seemingly in the nick of time. Oh, and Daryl dies?
We also can’t discount that beneath the curt manner he has a soft spot/caring heart. In the season two episode “Cherokee Rose,” he was the most devoted in searching for Sophia, and went out of his way to show support and empathy to Carol, the mother of dearly departed Sophia. Daryl is all hard shell on the outside but has a soft heart which makes him relatable. It may be a strange concept for many horror fans—a group that is predominantly male—to wrap their heads around. But Daryl Dixon is essentially the heartthrob of The Walking Dead. He’s the little something, something for the females, yet is proficient and is genuinely bad-ass enough for the men to like just as well. Oh, and Daryl dies?
Think about Norman Reedus' cult classic Boondock Saints, he has always ministered to his fans well, and as a result his fans shower him with love in return. He’s a working actor; he may not be a household name, but he’s managed to consistently make a living in a ruthless industry. Just take a look at his filmography, and it's clear that he seems to be partial to controversial roles. You can’t get much beefier than Daryl. At first glimpse he’s little more than an uneducated redneck. He hurls racial insults when proffered emotional encouragement, and doesn't shilly-shally to bust an individual up. However it’s all about the fine distinctions. Norman Reedus inserts some fine layers to Daryl that only gets deeper as the show progresses. Oh, and Daryl dies?
Watch Daryl as he steps into Hershel’s farmhouse in the episode “Judge, Jury, and Executioner”: his hair is slicked back like a little boy in Sunday morning church, his hunched shoulders make him physically smaller, and he looks up cautiously at the others as if frightened of what they think of him. Outside in the woods though, in his domain, Daryl virtually struts and barks out his words, inside, in the company of folks that he considers his betters, he does everything he can to seem less intimidating. Without a doubt this is what makes Norman Reedus' character such an interesting, compelling character. Oh, and Daryl dies?
In the beginning, Daryl was projected to be just another supporting character whose skills would come as useful/helpful. Except, the fans grew more vocal, insisting on more and more screen time for Daryl, so the writers/producers began bumping him up to the front. I think the total search for Sophia in season two can really be concluded as an explanation to develop this Norman Reedus character beyond a clichéd redneck.
Also for those of us who take pleasure in seeing a genuine survivor crossbow his way through the zombie apocalypse, he’s a breath of musky Irish spring air. When Daryl rides in on his hog, crossbow loaded and ready, you can hear the screams of ladies because they know that they’re in good hands. However that doesn't excuse him from the bullseye that each character has on their back…. However, the fans influence did prompt Kirkman to enter Daryl Dixon in the next comic series and that was preceding season two finale. Daryl may die in the TV land of [The Walking Dead](series:201193) but he will surely live on in the comics.
Feedback is welcome in my neck of the woods!