Daryl has always been a bit of a wildcard on the The Walking Dead. As everyone’s favorite redneck archer, Daryl has become a major character that didn’t even exist in the comic. Norman Reedus’ audition for Merle was so fantastic, that they decided to create a role for him.

Aside from Rick, and now with the loss of Glenn, Daryl is basically the lead of the show. Despite how popular he is as a character, his role on the show forever complicates the storyline that never involved Daryl.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

Will Daryl Fit Carl’s Role in the Comic?

Daryl managed to avoid Negan’s bat, but what path will he now go down? Captured, living with the enemy, within Negan’s fortress, Daryl could possibly be trained in some way under Negan (similar to their efforts in Cool Hand Luke to break the spirit of Paul Newman’s character).

As Negan’s potential lap boy, Daryl could take the place of Carl on the show. In the comics, Carl grew disappointed with Rick’s subversive nature to Negan. Then, he went so far as to hide in one of Negan’s trucks after a pickup visit in Alexandra. Once inside the basecamp, Carl opened fire on several of the men with Abraham’s machine gun, which surprisingly impressed Negan rather than angered him.

Within this storyline, most readers felt that Carl would face a horrible fate. In fact, Negan somewhat adopted the boy, impressed by his spirit. Carl never fully committed to this protégé role but he’s also never punished for his actions.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

Carl’s Role With Negan

Within Carl’s stow away period, readers see the ins and outs of Negan’s operation. It would appear that we will get this view from Daryl on the show, rather than Carl. That means that this could happen within Daryl’s prisoner routine, rather than Carl’s killer routine.

In addition to Daryl being in this situation, Carl is also much older on the show than in the comics. In the comic version, Carl is only around 10 years old when all of this occurs, though Chandler Riggs is closer to 17 or 18 years old. Older, it would also appear he would be more calm, not needing to seek revenge on Negan.

Given Daryl’s history with Dwight, their relationship may change things as well. Dwight seems uneasy about several things within Negan’s operation already, so perhaps this new companionship will result in a change of ranks within Dwight. That might actually be Daryl’s only hope of survival.

The only issue that is missing from this scenario would be Carl’s growth as a character. As a boy, these acts within Negan’s ranks changed him from the boy in trouble to a full-fledged man in the comics. Negan and Carl’s relationship is also quite interesting in the comics on it’s own right.

More than likely, the show will do something quite different this season. Dwight and Daryl will definitely have some type of relationship in the next episode. Carl and Negan need some interaction within the show.

In addition, Negan is still only viewed as a killer thus far, so perhaps the most important aspect of the next episode will be to see more of Negan as a man rather than a killer. As for Daryl and Dwight, we’ll have to wait and see.