The Walking Dead viewers have been waiting for two weeks to find out what’s going to happen to Daryl Dixon, now that the Saviors have taken him away from Rick and the gang. “It’s still survival of the fittest,” admits actor Austin Amelio, who plays Dwight.
Dwight first arrived in Season 6, where he turned out to be one of Negan’s right-hand men. Overall, while the majority of the Saviors aren’t treated as well, Dwight somewhat gets to come and go as he pleases.
The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC
Dwight’s Role as a Savior
With evil power comes evil responsibilities. Dwight’s role back at the base is somewhat of a psychological prison guard. “I think it weighs on him,” admits the actor in an interview with CNN. “Being under Negan’s rule is not at all what it’s cracked up to be…I have to swallow my pride.”
In a few teases, we see how Dwight must beat on the guilt-covered Daryl, who feels terrible about the loss of Glenn and Abraham. This is perhaps the worst we will ever see Daryl, who is usually strong-willed despite the circumstances.
“It was not fun, not easy to do,” admits Amelio, in regards to filming the punishment scenes with Daryl. “Norman [Reedus] is one of my good buddies, so it totally sucked to see him in that emotional state.”
The Walking Dead | Photo Credit TWD Comics
The Walking Dead Audiences Might Hate Dwight Even More
Much like the first episode’s backlash for Negan, Dwight will most likely receive the same type of lashing from The Walking Dead fans. As an actor, however, Amelio is glad to be given the opportunity to explore the character.
“It’s great because this season the layers of the onion are starting to peel off a little bit. Dwight is a complex character, and hopefully, the audience members will get a better understanding of why he lives this way and the choices he makes and hopefully have a little more empathy for the character, which would be nice.”
Perhaps this is true. It’s been said by Jeffrey Dean Morgan that if audiences had been following Negan instead of Rick, he would be the hero. In this type of world, perspective is important, and the bad guys always think they’re the good guys.
Amelio added, “I see [Dwight] as a guy who has to act one way and be a leader among all these Saviors and then I see another Dwight that has a lot of humanity. So that’s been a great lens for me to look through when I’m reading the scripts and as we go further in the season.”
Just Following Orders
In much of the same way that Games of Thrones resembles real historical events, the new forms of leadership in The Walking Dead do the same. Much like World War II, where many Germans felt as if they were “just following orders,” Dwight and the other Saviors are in a position where it’s kill or be killed.
All in all, it’s still open-ended as to what will happen to the gang, but hopefully, something good will come out of the shock of the premier episode. Perhaps Dwight and Daryl’s relationship will unite as they both have morals within.