By Benjamin H. Smith
Nerds got it hard man. Waiting around for the next Star Wars movie. Bitching about the casting in the next Star Wars movie. Being bummed out about Batman v Superman. Being bummed out about not getting laid. But there’s one thing nerds – comic book, television, or otherwise – have made very clear they will not stand for; Daryl getting killed off on The Walking Dead. Well, guess what nerds. You might be shit out of luck.
Last night’s penultimate Walking Dead episode 615 ended with the nightmare scenario to end all nightmare scenarios. Daryl tries to save Glenn and Rosita from a pack of Saviors but unfortunately his nemesis, Dwight, gets the drop on him, coming up from behind. A gun shot is heard, blood splatters across the screen and Dwight is heard saying “You’ll be alright.” The phrase “If Daryl Dies We Riot” has been a meme, a Facebook TWD page and a mantra for fans of the show. Well, let’s review the tape and see whether or not it’s time to take to the streets and start setting shit on fire.
1. Norman Reedus Said So!
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly posted shortly after last night’s episode aired, when asked if it was Daryl who got shot, Reedus replied “Well, it’s exactly what you see. I mean, that’s Daryl’s blood that you see. That’s exactly what happens, exactly what you see.” What. The. FUUUUUUU********############!!!!!!!!!!!! Considering Dwight was right behind him, with the gun pointed at his head, where else would he shoot him? In the arm just to be mean? In the shoulder to ruin his vest? Makes no sense. Oh my God, we totally just saw Daryl get killed on The Walking Dead.
2. Norman Reedus Already Has A New Show Lined Up!
Back in October AMC greenlit Ride With Norman Reedus, a new reality TV program where the motorcycle enthusiast travels to different cities and explores their biker culture. TWD fans and conspiracy theorists have surmised that this is a way to soft pedal the blow of Daryl getting killed off on the show, as if it won’t hurt as bad as long as we can see him ride his chopper off into the sunset.
3. The Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman Said So!
Well, not exactly, but he has said that the introduction of infamous bad guy Negen next episode will be “heartbreaking,” and next to Rock or Michonne, no other character is as popular with fans as Mr. Dixon. Without spoiling everything, TWD comic book fans know Negan’s introduction involves the fate of another Atlanta veteran, however Kirkman told Entertainment Weekly they may not stick exactly to script for the television show, saying “We’re very confident that we found a way to keep it as unexpected in the show as it was in the comic. So it should be just as intense, just as heartbreaking, and just as shocking.” In other words, by killing Daryl. Maybe. Unless they kill off Carl. Or Michonne. Or….
4. The Walking Dead Kills Off Major Characters All The Time
Seriously, do the math. Outside of Game Of Thrones, no other series kills off major characters with as little hesitation. Do we really have to say their names? Everyone is expendable. But their willingness to kill characters is part of what makes it such a powerful series, it’s part of its truth, even when dealing with the fantasy aspect of the zombie apocalypse. Daryl is one of 5 characters left over from the first season in Atlanta, so odds are someone in that group is on the chopping block. Sorry, truth hurts.
5. There’s Too Many Tough Guys On The Walking Dead As It Is
Seriously, Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Abraham, Carol, Morgan, Jesus, and to a lesser extent Carl, Glenn, Rosita and Sasha. Yeah, they’re all awesome characters but enough already. The show has always thrived in its mix of badasses who survive on their brawn, and others who get by on their wits. If everyone on the show is a killing machine it makes things too one dimensional, too easy, and that’s not what the show is about. It’s about the action and the emotional content. How do these people survive, not just physically but mentally? That is the show’s great strength and why it is more than just a show about zombies. Things have gotten too top heavy, so perhaps it’s time to make a little room at the top, and if that means killing off Daryl Dixon, then so be it, let’s start a riot.