AMC’s horror drama The Walking Dead has been an immense success. One of the primary characters on the show is Daryl Dixon, who also happens to be a viewer favorite on the series. The character is portrayed by Norman Reedus and is a keen hunter, navigator, and survivalist, which is why he’s the last surviving member of his family and he was able to make it through the outbreak. Because he’s so skilled, Daryl is one of the key members of Rick Grimes’ group. He’s also got an aggressive temper that’s not to be tested — on the occasions when it is, Daryl becomes the center of some truly memorable and epic scenes. Here are ten top Daryl Dixon moments in the history of The Walking Dead.
1. Daryl makes his intro
Interestingly, the audience doesn’t get to see Daryl Dixon until after the group makes the decision to tie his brother, Merle, on a roof and leave him to die. When Daryl makes his on screen entrance it’s much like the other moments that feature the character: full of impact, a bit funny, and just a little gross. During the scene, he’s trying to trail a deer and discovers that a walker is gnawing on it in front of the group. Upset that his hunting efforts have been ruined, Daryl takes his revenge on the walker with an arrow to the head. He also takes the opportunity to let the group know that they know nothing about surviving, otherwise they’d have taken that shot before he even got there. This scene makes Daryl Dixon and his crossbow easy to love right from the start.
2. Hallucinations of Daryl’s brother, Merle
After becoming bruised and bloodied from taking a fall, Merle starts hallucinating and sees Merle. His brother tells him that he should be ashamed for searching for the missing girl Sophia, yet not searching for his own flesh and blood. Daryl starts to feel all sorts of ways until he sees that Merle still has his right hand — that lets him know that what he’s seeing isn’t real. Still, before he comes back to his senses Daryl gets an eerie feeling when imaginary Merle tells him the group won’t have his back like his brother will.
3. Standing up to Bob
Bob almost got a serious beat down from Daryl in this season four episode “Indifference”, and his antics nearly jeopardized the lives of everyone in the group. Of course, along comes Daryl with his no-nonsense way of keeping Bob in line and taking care of the matter. In no uncertain terms he lets Bob know that the welfare of the group comes before Bob’s vices, and he’d better not even think of messing them over. It’s just another great moment where Daryl Dixon proves he’s the true hero of the show.
4. The Cherokee Rose
This is a touching interaction between Carol and Daryl, and it happens before the audience finds out the fate of Carol’s daughter Sophia. When Daryl goes looking for Sophia yet again, he comes across a Cherokee Rose and decides to pick it and bring it back to Carol. He puts it on the counter before her and tells her the legend of the flower: the tears of Native American mothers whose children either died or went missing during their relocation made Cherokee Roses bloom. Daryl figured that the flower was blooming for Sophia and should be taken as a sign that she was still alive.
5. The moment Daryl had to kill Merle
Scenes with Daryl Dixon in them are typically full of action and him killing walkers. This is no exception, but unfortunately he had to kill his own brother and the only family member he had left, Merle. Seeing that Merle had been turned into a walker, Daryl had no other choice but to save himself and put his brother down so he wouldn’t end up becoming one of the brutes that preyed on the group. That he has to kill Merle is hard enough, but when he starts crying and falls to the ground? You’ll want to reach through the screen and give Daryl a big hug, a handkerchief, and get on the ground and start crying right along with him.
6. Leaving Merle and defending Glenn…sort of
This scene is tense, profound, and a bit funny all at once. When Daryl’s brother Merle finally meets back up with him he talks about some of the things he’s been through and mentions that he almost had to kill a “Chinese kid”, referring to Glenn. Daryl instantly corrects him and says “he’s Korean”. The two brothers then part ways, and once the audience finds out what happens next it makes this scene even more significant.
7. Pitching a grenade down the tank
Who cares about a tank when you have Daryl Dixon on hand? This scene is awesome, and it involves him getting rid of enemies in the group’s way by throwing a grenade inside of a military tank. As one might expect, the scene and explosion are both epic.
8. Coining that famous phrase
After an insane night where walkers overrun the prison the group is holed up at, Lori dies while giving birth, and her two children are left without their mother, Daryl is seen feeding the baby. It’s a bittersweet moment, but in Daryl Dixon fashion he turns it into a comical scene. The name that Daryl comes up with for the baby has been a fan favorite moment on the show for years.
9. Showing Dale mercy
Here’s the scene where anyone who had doubts about Daryl and Rick’s relationship finally gets assurance that he’s Rick’s right hand man. In a moment when Dale is suffering and Rick can’t bring himself to put him out of his misery, Daryl steps up to do the job. Later in the episode, he sternly tells Carol to stop doubting Rick’s leadership.
10. Daryl and Beth literally burn the house down
What better way to get rid of painful memories than to burn them? Instead of burning photos, Daryl and Beth burn down an entire building. The banter between the two is comical, and the moment is certainly poignant.