The Walking Dead: A Big Change Darryl Asked Norman Reedus to Make

The Walking Dead: A Big Change Darryl Asked Norman Reedus to Make
The Walking Dead: A Big Change Darryl Asked Norman Reedus to Make

The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus influenced an important aspect of Daryl Dixon early on.


The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus and his character Daryl Dixon have become fan favorites of the series over the years. While Daryl was overshadowed by his brother Mel (Michael Rooker) in previous seasons, viewers quickly realized that Daryl wasn’t just a badass zombie killer—he was a loyal and compassionate man too . Who can we thank for Daryl’s compelling character development? In addition to the showrunners, writers, and producers, it turns out that Reedus himself largely influenced the direction of his character in the series.

Following the death of Daryl’s brother Mel in season 3, Reedus gave the writers a lengthy speech about how he wanted Daryl “to be his own person, not just a mini Mel.” Reedus didn’t want Daryl to be the racist, misogynistic, selfish bastard that his brother was, telling Variety, “I really had to make [Darryl] my own, with Work feels great.” First, they made me do drugs, be racist, etc., and I convinced them, no, no, I wanted to grow up with it and be ashamed of it. “While Merle was clearly a byproduct of her cruelty growing up, Reedus really wanted Darryl to have a heart and a moral compass, despite the horrific and prejudiced environment they grew up with.


Since Daryl was created for The Walking Dead TV series and has no comic book counterpart, Reedus and The Walking Dead’s creative team had more freedom to explore the character without completely irritating diehard fans. But that doesn’t mean Reedus and the producers always agree with Darryl. Speaking to Variety about his first meeting with Reedus on set, producer Scott Gimple said, “I remember Norman coming to me to start a straight story point after my boots hit the gravel on set. It was a heated conversation because we didn’t agree.” However, despite their differing views of Darryl, Gimpel immediately respected Reedus’ enthusiasm and commitment to his role.

If Reedus hadn’t publicly supported Daryl in the early days of The Walking Dead, who knows what the character would have looked like today, or if he’d still be alive. According to Gimple, “The existing Daryl Dixon wouldn’t exist without Norman Reedus. I’m not saying Norman is Daryl – but he and his character are youth and intelligence, restraint and warmth, strength Fusion with savvy sophistication.”


Given Reedus’ extraordinary performance and the care he’s taken for the character from the start, it’s no surprise that Darryl is so popular. Regarding his vision of Daryl’s future after The Walking Dead and into his spinoff series, Reedus said: “I feel like I’ve had this baby and no one can tell me when it’s going to end. I want to see it Either there’s a happy ending, or it doesn’t.

While it doesn’t seem like Daryl’s story will end anytime soon, it’s good to know that wherever his journey takes him, the character is in good hands.

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She is the editor of The Desk Game. Previously, she was editor-in-chief at other news sites. Juliana has also in her career been an editor for several websites and has more than 5 years of experience in the industry.

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