Riot if You Must, But Here’s the Truth: Daryl Dixon Has to Die. 

As The Walking Dead season 6 races toward what promises to be a bloody finale, there’s all sorts of butterflies in the guts of longtime fans of the hit AMC series. Most of the anxiety has to do with the coming of a man named Negan…and all because of what we know of him from the comics.

In what is really the most minor of spoiler alerts, Negan’s comic book counterpart is the leader of the Saviors, a roving band of zombie-killers that basically extort the life out of any neighboring communities for protection from the walkers. He’s psychotic and efficient, and his introduction included the deaths of two major characters: Abraham and Glenn.

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While both of these fellas are still kicking on the television show, it’s still entirely possible that they don’t make it to season 7. That said, the AMC series hasn’t used the comic book as a strict guideline. After all, Carol’s popularity on the show is in no way linear with the comic, where her inability to find love among the group led her to choose death…by going the route of “suicide by walker”. Also, you guys remember Andrea?  She’s still a major character in the comics, yet most fans were glad to see her go on the show. So while Abraham and Glenn have kicked the bucket on the page, that doesn’t mean the show is gonna bury them.

It doesn’t mean it won’t, either.

There are a couple of reasons that offing Abraham and/or Glenn might prove anticlimactic:

1) We already saw the “death” of Glenn earlier this season…and while it made for great chit-chat among fans, having Glenn escape death in such a dramatic way only to be beaten to death via Lucille would feel a bit tedious.

2) In the comic, Abraham is killed by Dwight, via a crossbow bolt through the skull. Last week’s episode had Denise meet this exact same fate. It gives the vibe that Abraham’s death needs to be something bigger. In the book, it’s Abraham’s death that serves as an ill-advised rallying cry for Rick and company against the Saviors.

Neither of these points are here to illustrate that I expect these characters to survive season 6. One of the problems is that in the comics, we get a bit more attached to these guys. They are a bigger part of the story. Their deaths come as a shock and a reminder that no one is safe…outside of Rick, at least. (Remember, Judith is killed along with Lori in the comics, so Rick’s family isn’t bulletproof there).

Yet something in the show has prevented us from really connecting with either Abraham or Glenn…or really any other character. That something is none other than the Redneck Hercules, Daryl Dixon.

Daryl Dixon doesn’t exist in the comics. He’s a character created for the show. He’s become a sort of filthy heartthrob. Women want him. Men want to be him. He speaks mostly in grunts and sneers but always manages to take down walker after walker. He was made for this sort of world. Walkers don’t stand a chance.

But what about other people?

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Nothing would bring the drama like the bloody bad death of Daryl, and the show runners have to know that. The only character that is more important to the story is Rick.  To be perfectly honest, Daryl’s gotten too big for this show so long as Rick is still part of the narrative. And since it’s highly – highly – unlikely that Rick will be killed, we are left with the character whose death would rile the masses into truly hating Negan: Daryl.

I’m no Daryl hater, either. There’s a big part of me that hopes I’m totally wrong on this. Both Daryl and Michonne are characters that I love out of the pure badassery they bring to the show. But I also know that killing Glenn and Abraham would feel like a complete humdrum affair compared to the death of Daryl.

Viewers will be glued to the screen when the season finale hits. And whether or not you want to admit it, you know it’s true:  Daryl’s gotta die.

Vaya con Dios!


All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!

Jonathan Praise

Jonathan Praise is a writer, in the sense that he occasionally sits down in front of a keyboard and punches buttons, turning the blank page into a collection of letters and words. He rarely finishes anything, so the reader should feel somewhat special for actually witnessing the completion of this article. He is currently working on CLEAVE and THE ADVENTURES OF SKULLBOY when he isn't being a husband and father of dubious quality.

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