Here’s The Complete Evolution of Daryl Dixon From The First Moment We’ve Seen Him
Daryl Dixon, The Redneck
In the beginning, Daryl Dixon arrived a good old Southern boy. Similar to his brother Merle, Daryl was somewhat racist and not too friendly to strangers. When Rick and Daryl met, Rick had just left Daryl’s brother handcuffed to a rooftop.
After spending time with the new group, Daryl started to lose some of his evil or selfish ways. He and Merle were very similar, but the outbreak turned Daryl into a better person and allowed for Merle Dixon to continue to grow eviler.
The true light side of Daryl Dixon occurred when he got close to Carol. Her daughter, Sophia, went missing. In the episode where they look for the girl, he gives her the Cherokee Rose and tells her a story, which unites their characters for the series.
Daryl Dixon continued to search for the girl, even when others gave up hope. He realized that he could use his tracking skills to help others and not just survive as a lone wolf, as he’s done in the past. In many ways, he was the only hope for Carol at the time.
The character continued to show his soft side at the prison, when he carried a dying Carol into the prison, in his arms. Inside, Daryl first held Baby Judith, and he decided to call her “Little Ass Kicker.”
Daryl Dixon, The Lone Wolf
The Lone Wolf phase continues to move in and out of Daryl’s blood. While looking for Sophia, Daryl slightly loses it outside the farm. When Rick finally finds him, he’s got a necklace of zombie’s ears around his neck. Rick told the others not to tell the group about this side of Daryl Dixon.
Whenever things get tough within the group, there has been a point when Daryl Dixon merely has left to live on his own. Many times, this has gotten him into more trouble than good.
Daryl Dixon even ended up with Joe’s group, where the people he was with wanted to rape Michonne and threatened to kill Rick and Carl. Luckily, Rick and Daryl managed to kill those men and save their own.
This horrific incident did, however, lead to some good. Afterwards, Rick reminded Daryl that they are brothers. From then on, Daryl has been available to help the others whenever possible. In more recent seasons, we’ve even seen him hold off until hearing from Rick.
Daryl Dixon, The Tracker
In many ways, Daryl Dixon will always be a lone wolf. Now, however, he uses those powers for good and not just solitude. Like when he first tracked Sophia, he’s used his skills to find Beth and then again in Season 7 to move between the various new communities.
While trapped in the Sanctuary, Daryl Dixon was tortured and forced to eat dog food. Despite what they did to him, it’s likely his resilience came due to his pride, which would not allow him to break. Eugene later arrived in the Sanctuary, showing the opposite side of Daryl.
Now, while Rick prepares to attack Negan, it looks like the Lone Wolf will ride once more, but this time as a vital chess piece to Rick’s “All Out War.” Daryl Dixon will be working to take down Negan and the Saviors as part of the group, which includes the Kingdom, Alexandria, and Hilltop.
Daryl Dixon, The Mystery
There’s a moment in Season 5 when Aaron identifies Daryl Dixon as another outsider. In Alexandria, Daryl skips a party but ends up having a spaghetti dinner with Aaron and Eric.
While enjoying their meal, Aaron makes it clear he understands how Daryl is seen as an outsider. The three connect on this point, even though Aaron and Eric are a couple, and Daryl is more of a mystery.
Through this connection, Aaron invites Daryl to join him as a recruiter. This way, he can help the group but doesn’t have to be surrounded by the others. He can also come and go as he pleases.
Since Daryl isn’t in the comic, the writers have more room to play with his character. To that point, they have made it unclear if Daryl is straight or gay, even though he has been close with Beth and Carol at different points.
In Season 2 and 3, it looked like there was going to be a relationship between Carol and Daryl, but nothing romantic ever happened. Eventually, the two became the best of friends, but it looks like romance will never be in the cards.
In Season 4, Beth Greene seemed like a real possibility, especially when the two were separated from the group. However, Daryl didn’t seem to show any interest in Beth other than that of an older brother.
So far, it would appear that Daryl Dixon will remain a loner. His main concerns revolve around a general brotherhood with Rick and an overall relationship with the group as a whole.
It’s possible that Daryl Dixon will never find true love on the series as he continues to focus on his brotherhood above all else.
Daryl Dixon, The Brother
Daryl Dixon has always been a brother, but now it means so much more. In the beginning, Daryl’s brotherhood was guided by blood. He would do anything for Merle, but that often meant making a wrong decision.
When Merle was killed and reanimated, Daryl had to be the one to kill his brother. In this heartbreaking scene, he officially left his old life behind. Then he became a fan favorite among the others on The Walking Dead.
After he tried to leave the group once more and ended up helping Rick kill Joe’s group, Rick made it clear that blood isn’t the only type of brotherhood. As if declaring Daryl Dixon a Knight, Rick created a new bond and new brotherhood.
Now, Daryl Dixon will always listen to his brother Rick Grimes. Last season, when he broke free from Negan’s jail, Daryl’s moments with Rick were almost more touching than his moments with Carol or Maggie.
In the end, Daryl’s true brotherhood is with his new family. Since he’s never had romantic ties with any of his group members, it’s almost as if Rick is his brother and Carol and Maggie are his sisters.