The Ninjabot

The Walking Dead: The Daryl Dixon Conundrum

Posted on January 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm by Jess Hicks

February is fast approaching, which means two things for me. First, winter is on its way out, and I couldn’t be more happy! Second, The Walking Dead will be returning for the second half of the fourth season, which gives me a ball of mixed emotions.

In the wake of the mid-season finale, there were many discussions and opinions flying around about the fate of the Governor, Herschel, and the remaining prison group. What will become of Rick and Carl? Will Maggie and Beth be able to handle life without their father? Aside from all that, fans are mostly concerned with this:

Daryl 2

That’s right boys and girls, it’s everyone’s favorite redneck, Daryl Dixon! Daryl Dixon, the Boba Fett of The Walking Dead. Most viewers would quite literally boycott the show if they ever killed Daryl off, as they do with so many other main characters. Which brings me to my main point: is The Walking Dead really all that great if it could lose half its fan base by killing ONE character? Is the Dixon phenomenon really the reason the show continues?

Though I do like the character, I feel his presence is a bit distracting from the overall story. We have countless episodes of people just putzing around with Daryl doing funny or badass things to pass the time, but should that really be a driving force? Absolutely not! Yes, there will always be characters that get more fan service than others, but that does not mean they should be used as a way to keep people interested.

“But Daryl is so awesome!” Yes, he is, but we can’t forget that there are many opportunities for great plot and character development that the creators are passing on in order to give him more screen time. Perhaps we would care more about everyone else if they had the opportunity to be fleshed out more. There’s still a comic book series going strong that doesn’t even include Daryl! We see a lot of shows fall victim to massive amounts of fan service thanks to social media, shows like Supernatural that often concede to creating silly episodes because that’s what the fans want, not because that’s what the story calls for. I do agree that the writing needs to keep your audience interested, but why does everything have to cater to the audience so much? Eventually that becomes dull and annoying, pushing away fans who don’t necessarily fall into that particular “ship.”

Daryl hair

Daryl is NOT this awesome

Take shows like Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey, for instance. They kill and hurt beloved characters left and right without fear of losing the audience. They rely on interesting stories and characters to keep pushing forward. Do we get upset when characters die? Yes! But do we make shirts that say, “If Tyrion Dies, We Riot?” No! We are confident that the show can easily move on because the creators have their own enticing and strong vision.

So I leave you all with this: take a moment to ask yourself, “Do I like The Walking Dead, or do I like Daryl Dixon?” Leave your thoughts below!

You can follow Jess on Twitter @DangerJess_ 

    • taco cat

      Daryl is hot

      • beekeeper

        Got that right sister!

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos