Norman Reedus has been playing Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead since the show’s beginning. Daryl is a character that audiences watch change on screen, overcome obstacles, and come to dearly care for over the show’s first seasons. When the show killed off character after character, many began to deeply worry about Daryl, a character they couldn’t stand to see anything terrible happen to. Many said that if Daryl died, they’d finally quit the show. Then, The Walking Dead introduced a dog for Daryl to the series, aptly named Dog. Soon after, “Does Dog die on The Walking Dead?” became a commonly held search term as audiences worried about their favorite new canine character. As it turns out, Norman Reedus has his own experiences and reactions to Dog, who sometimes upset the actor.
Recently, the actor shared that when the dog chooses other actors on set to hang out with, he feels upset. And when a recent scene happened where Dog chose Leah over Norman Reedus’s character, he felt “betrayed”. He explained his feelings below. Note that in this interview with AMC.com, he is talking about a recent scene on the series where Dog chooses Leah, a character on The Walking Dead who was originally Dog’s owner. Norman Reedus often says “me”. However, he’s talking about himself as Daryl Dixon and Leah, the character in The Walking Dead.
I mean, it was her dog first. Maybe the dog is telling me that’s Leah. Maybe he’s helping me out. She takes off the mask, and the dog still doesn’t come to me, but maybe he’s telling me there’s something good left here. I don’t know. Who knows. On the day, I did feel a little betrayed. I was like, ‘Come on!’ But even if he’s with his trainer and he doesn’t come to me, I get sort of upset.Norman Reedus
Interestingly, Norman Reedus wasn’t the only one who felt “betrayed” in that scene by Dog. In a poll conducted by The Talking Dead, 96% of those who responded to a poll said that Dog belonged with Daryl, not Leah. Audiences will have to wait to see how Dog and Daryl’s story ends up in the series finale. There’s a chance that past the main series for The Walking Dead, Dog’s character meets up with Daryl on screen again. Daryl and Carol have a spinoff series planned. Audiences would probably love it if Dog were to appear.
Amusingly, the jealousy Norman Reedus feels when Dog chooses to seek affection elsewhere has been sometimes mirrored in Daryl on the show. There was a scene on a supply run where Dog (played by a real-life animal named Seven) went with Carol over Daryl and the character sarcastically says “Nice”. The jealousy is something that a lot of audience members can relate to. Everyone wants to be their pet’s favorite person. Dog’s story feels small, but is fairly sweet and relatable on a show about zombies. Online, many have broken down Dog’s role in the show and called it incredibly important.
Right now, The Walking Dead and the Daryl and Carol spinoff is all that Norman Reedus has planned in his production schedule. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in other roles. He’s been quite open about wanting to play Ghost Rider for Marvel, a character that would seem to be a natural next step from Daryl Dixon.