Who Is Daryl Dixon Of The Walking Dead? Everything You Need To Know Before His Solo Series

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

norman reedus
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead

Portrayed by Norman Reedus, Daryl Dixon was one of the main characters in The Walking Dead, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. He made his debut in season one’s “Tell It to the Frogs,” which aired on November 14, 2010. Daryl’s character was not present in the comic series, but instead was created specifically for the television show.

Daryl Meets The Other Heroes

Daryl is the younger brother of Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker). His early life was marked by a troubled upbringing and an emotionally distant relationship with his abusive older brother. Before the zombie apocalypse, Daryl worked as a hunter and tracker, displaying keen survival instincts and excellent archery skills.

In season two, he joins the group in their search of Sophia Peletier (Madison Lutz) after she goes missing.

daryl dixon
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in “Tell It to the Frogs”

Daryl Dixon is instrumental in finding clues and tracking her movements in the early episodes. Despite his gruff demeanor, he shows moments of compassion, such as giving a Cherokee rose to Carol (Melissa McBride) to offer her comfort. As time goes by, Daryl becomes even more integral to the group’s survival as they search for Sophia in the woods.

He showcases his resourcefulness by creating improvised tools and weapons. His close relationship with Carol deepens, and he supports her emotionally during her grief over Sophia’s disappearance. Daryl’s loyalty to the group is demonstrated when he helps search for Randall (Michael Zegen), a member of another group, and treats him medically despite the risks.

Daryl Dixon continues to evolve as a valuable group member in season three. When his brother Merle reappears, Daryl is torn between his loyalty to the group and his complicated feelings for his brother. His conflicts with the Governor’s forces, particularly in the attack on the prison, showcase his combat skills and determination.

daryl dixon
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon and Cailey Fleming as Judith Grimes in The Walking Dead

Daryl’s leadership qualities begin to shine as he takes on more responsibilities within the group in season four. He becomes protective of newcomers and is particularly empathetic towards Beth Greene (Emily Kinney). His resourcefulness is evident in his ability to find supplies.

Daryl Dixon’s loyalty to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the group is unwavering, and he plays a crucial role in handling various threats like the flu outbreak and the Claimers.

In season five of The Walking Dead, Daryl Dixon’s role as a protector and leader solidifies. He plays a significant role in the group’s escape from Terminus and subsequent conflicts with Grady Memorial Hospital residents.

His combat skills and strategic thinking are on full display during these confrontations. He still supports Carol and maintains his close bond with Rick.

Daryl Vs. Negan

Daryl Dixon becomes involved in the conflicts with the Saviors, a powerful and brutal group Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) led in season six. He leads a group to clear out a zombie-infested quarry and participates in the attack on a Savior outpost. In season seven, Daryl’s journey takes a dark turn when he is taken captive by Negan and the Saviors.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Negan’s prisoner, in Season 7 of The Walking Dead

He endures physical and psychological torture as Negan attempts to break his spirit. Despite the brutality he experiences, Daryl refuses to submit and eventually escapes and goes on a mission of revenge. In season eight, Daryl Dixon plays a pivotal role in the “All-Out War” against the Saviors and works closely with Rick and Carol to undermine Negan’s operations.

In season nine, Daryl takes on a leadership role as the group faces new challenges, including the threat of the Whisperers, and forms a strong bond with Judith Grimes. Daryl Dixon remains a central figure in season 10, as the group faces conflicts from within and without.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

In the 11th and final season of The Walking Dead, Daryl Dixon is central in resolving the last story arc. He joins forces with Mercer (Michael James Shaw) and their friends to overthrow Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) and regain control of the Commonwealth. Along with Carol, Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and others, Daryl helps save the citizens of the Commonwealth from a walker invasion, resulting in the arrest of Pamela.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in “Rest In Peace,” The Walking Dead series finale

In one of the series’ final moments, Daryl Dixon, aware that Rick is alive, sets out on his own to find him. His actions set the stage for Daryl’s upcoming spin-off series, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon. The series will premiere on September 10 and the first season will consist of six episodes.

In July, two months before the series premiere, Variety and others reported The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon had already been renewed for a second season.