DON’T LET DARYL DIE.
Fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead have been uttering these same four words over and over for the past year, demanding that the writers and producers hear loud and clear that the viewing public is passionate about bad boy with a big heart Daryl Dixon. For a character who does not even exist in the original comic book series, this is quite an achievement.
According to GQ Magazine, following the cliffhanger midseason episode “The Suicide King”, Executive Producer Glen Mazzara has stated that “He gets tons of mail that’s like, “Don’t kill Daryl.” He was doing interviews and they asked, “So, you ready for Christmas?” and he’s like, “No, Christmas is going to suck. I’m gonna have hate mail all through the holidays.”
Norman Reedus is the main reason for all this ‘hate’ mail. People absolutely love his character, and no one wants the unpredicable writers on the show to kill off the bad boy with a heart of gold. Reedus has transformed Daryl from a secondary character to a fan favorite; fans are dazzled by his ability with a crossbow, his loyalty to the other survivors, and his endearing relationships with Carol and Carl. When Daryl cuddles baby Ass-Kicker and feeds her a bottle in episode 3.5 “Say the Word”, viewers all over the world swooned in delight and appreciation.
GQ reports that When The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale left Daryl Dixon’s life hanging in the balance until February, the Internet almost collapsed. And for good reason: All we wanted for Christmas was to know that Daryl was safe and sound—and, if it wasn’t too much to ask, to maybe see him playing Joseph to baby Judith’s Jesus in a prison nativity scene. Instead, we’re left listlessly trudging through the winter with haunting visions, recalling the premature departures of Jimmy Darmody and Ned Stark.
Our love of Daryl can be chalked up to the fact that Norman Reedus’s nuanced portrayal of the southern lone wolf with a heart of gold adds a depth that can make the other characters seem one-dimensional. Somehow, he shows up first on our lists for every hypothetical situation (ex: Who would you most want to get a beer with? Who would you want with you in a knife fight? Who would you want to discuss the intricacies of Love Actually with?) In an exclusive interview, GQ caught up with Reedus, the actor who, armed with a crossbow and a scowl, has slaughtered his way into America’s apple-pie heart.”
After February 10, 2013′s return to AMC airwaves, fans of Daryl were forced to watch him walk off into the woods with his brother, leaving Rick staring after him with a longing I’m-going-bonkers gaze.
And what about Carol? That’s right, I said it. Daryl left her hanging back at the prison, and my homegirl is strong, but may not be that strong. If she ends up being the purported suicide later in the season, I will just not forgive the writers.
Want to turn us away? Want to cause viewership mayhem? Kill Daryl and Carol. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.