When it comes to The Walking Dead On the television show, few characters won over the audience as quickly as Daryl Dixon. It didn’t matter that he was an original character in the series. Daryl had something that very few of the early survivors had, even when he was alone.

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He has always been unique, from the fact that he uses a crossbow instead of a weapon to being one of the few characters who can track others. He has always been one of the most talented leads, and it cannot be argued that he has taken the series to various places. It’s especially true now that Rick is gone, and he’s become the center of attention even more.

10 Norman Reedus is the best actor of the entire television series

Blade Cast Norman Reedus

A big reason why Daryl became as beloved as he was had nothing to do with the scripts and everything to do with who was chosen to be his actor. While there have been some great actors to grace the TV series, most notably Jeffrey Dean Morgan, none of them are as good as Reedus.

He has a natural charm that instantly made him a fan favorite, even though Daryl was an original character. Even comic book fans couldn’t help but like his addition.

9 He came into the series as a badass zombie killer and didn’t need to become one

Wolverine-Norman-Reedus

Weather The Walking Dead It had a lot of amazing characters, most of them took time to develop to that point. Daryl had no such problem, appearing as an extraordinary tracker who was not afraid to put an arrow to the head of a zombie or a person.

It instantly gave him a sense of seriousness among a group that was still getting used to the new world or struggling to hold together like Shane was. For most of Season 1, there wasn’t a single character who came close to his cool factor.

8 The relationship between Daryl and Merle was one of the strongest stories in the first seasons

daryl and merle together in the undead forest

Let Michael Rooker and Norman Reedus manage to show the depths of Merle and Daryl without breaking any of their mystique.

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They were both strong characters who never willingly spoke out about their feelings, which made the eventual candid conversation they both had feel all the more shocking. The slow unraveling of its past was one of the most compelling stories of the show’s early seasons. It helped make both of them that much more personable and explained why Daryl was always so distant.

7 Daryl’s slow progression in accepting the group as his family

daryl dixon holding his crossbow undead

One of the defining characteristics of Daryl’s character in The Walking Dead it was his desire to be more of a loner. He was a member of the group, but he was never really a part of it. His sullen demeanor always had him on the outside looking in, never getting too close to any of them.

By season 3, that slowly began to fade, and he showed a level of care for those around him. He helped take care of Judith after Lori’s death and was willing to risk his neck to save Glenn and Maggie from The Governor.

6 Daryl being forced to kill Walker Merle remains one of the most emotional scenes on the show

Daryl-Kills-Merle-In-The-Walking-Dead

The relationship between the two brothers has been mentioned, but the moment when Daryl confronts Merle as a walker deserves its own mention. The scene is full of emotion and remains one of the best scenes in the entire series.

Daryl faces sadness when he sees his brother for the first time, trying unsuccessfully to push him away before realizing he has to let Merle rest. What really sells the scene is the moan that Daryl has before doing it. All of its walls end up falling down, showing Daryl in his rawest form.

5 The anger Daryl had towards the Saviors helped strengthen the strongest arc of the show

Negan on The Walking Dead

There isn’t much debate as to whether Jeffrey Dean Morgan landed the role of Negan and that he helped reinvigorate the franchise when it came to villains. An underrated aspect of the story with the Saviors is how angry Daryl was during its entirety.

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He had always been calm and in control of himself for much of The Walking Dead, but after the torture he had been through, Daryl went crazy. He killed everyone who was connected to the Saviors, even those who were unarmed. It helped cement seasons 7 and 8 as the best on the show.

4 The fight with Beta helped build him as an opposing force

Beta on The Walking Dead

The battle between Beta and Daryl was unlike anything seen in The Living Dead up to that point. There had been many clashes with villains in the past, but none that were that physical or intensive.

They fought for about five minutes, and it helped build Beta as a force to be reckoned with. The way he threw Daryl through a wall right after being stabbed was excellent. It demonstrates the power of Daryl’s character that simply going toe to toe with him in a fight instantly elevates a villain.

3 The moment Rick recognized Daryl as his brother defined his character

Rick tells daryl that he is his undead brother

After The Claimers tried to attack Rick and Carl, Daryl was filled with remorse for working with those people. In an intimate moment next to a car where Carl slept in, Daryl explained his actions to Rick, believing he needed forgiveness for what he did.

Rick told him it wasn’t his fault and called Daryl his brother in one of the character’s most defining moments from Season 4. With Daryl’s shaky relationship with Merle, hearing those words meant everything to Daryl, and relayed it to through body language alone.

two Daryl helps other characters like Beth and Carol develop

The Walking Dead TV Daryl and Beth

Carol and Daryl have had a solid friendship since Season 2, and it has remained that way even with each of them on their own for extended periods of the show. Carol helped Daryl get through the pain on more than one occasion, and the same goes for Carol.

Each helped the other to be a better person. The same is true for Beth, who was most interesting during season 4 when she and Daryl were alone, away from the group. Daryl helps bring out the best in the people he interacts with.

1 The way he’s become a father figure to Lydia

While the post-Rick Grimes era has had its ups and downs, one of the brightest parts has been how Daryl has taken on the role of father figure for Alpha’s daughter Lydia. Although he was suspicious of her at first, they were able to bond over the fact that they had both been abused.

Daryl’s experience helps him realize that Lydia needs support and love, something the rest of the group is wary of giving her since she was a member of the Whisperers. Their entire relationship was one of the best parts of season 10.

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