Daryl Dixon

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Name: Daryl Dixon
Occupation: Hunter, Prison Council Member, Recruiter for Alexandria, Alexandrian Supply Runner
Relationships: Merle Dixon (brother)
Fandom: The Walking Dead (TV series)
Other: Played by Norman Reedus
"pencil drawing of a head and shoulders portrait of Daryl Dixon, he has his crossbow behind him on his back"
Daryl Dixon by Qurkiegrl (2012)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Daryl Dixon is a very popular, fan favorite character on AMC's horror drama series, The Walking Dead television show. He does not appear in The Walking Dead comics. The character was created specifically for Norman Reedus because the creators, Frank Darabont, Charles H. Eglee, Jack LoGiudice, liked his audition for Merle Dixon (Daryl's brother) so much.


Daryl Dixon was first introduced in season one as a southern, expert tracker, that lives in the shadows of his older brother, Merle. At first, the group just tolerates Daryl, as he had a horrific temper and was ill mannered, but as the series goes on, Daryl becomes a very important, loved part of the group. Daryl soon becomes the right-hand-man to the groups' leader Rick Grimes.


(history of fannish interest in the character - fan activities, meta discussions, first appearance of character in fanworks, etc.)

Daryl's Sexuality

Throughout the first five and a half seasons of the show, Daryl has not been confirmed to have romantic or sexual interest in any other character, leading many fans to speculate that he might be gay or asexual.

In the letters column of issue #130 of the Walking Dead comics, published in August 2014, Robert Kirkman responded to (and fueled) fan speculation that Daryl might be gay:

All I can say is that it’s been discussed. We have very specific ideas about Daryl’s sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof), and if there’s ever a quiet period in the show where he’s not consistently distracted by crossbowing… we’ll tackle it in the show.[1]

Following the Season 5 mid-season finale in November 2014, Kirkman clarified his statement and confirmed that they had ultimately decided not to make Daryl gay:

We play Daryl Dixon as being somewhat asexual on the show, and I think that he is, you know, a very introverted character, and I think that is some of his appeal.

I do have to clear something up, though. In the Walking Dead letters column, in the old comic book that I do, there was a question that made me mention that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon's character gay, and it caused quite a hubbub online. And I just wanted to make it clear that I was saying that, you know, the possibility is there and ... I would have been fine with it, and the network would have been fine with it, but we ultimately didn't do that. And I can make it official that Daryl Dixon is actually straight.[2]

Many fans were disappointed with the decision not to make Daryl canonically gay, while others were pleased at the possibility of Daryl being canonically heteroromantic asexual. Het shippers took Kirkman's words as a positive sign that Daryl may have had romantic feelings for Carol or Beth.




Common Tropes in Fanworks

  • woobiefied
  • whumped
  • Abuse: exploring Daryl's childhood abuse, and the issues stemming from it
  • PTSD: focusing on Daryl dealing with tragic events that have effected him, examples: Merle's death, Beth death, his torture at the hands of Negan
  • No Zombie Apocalypse AU: Modern setting where no Zombie Apocalypse occurs
  • High School AU or College AU: Daryl meets and begins relationships with his fellow survivors before the Zombie Apocalypse, or no Zombie Apocalypse occurs

Six Degrees Influences

There are fanfic crossovers with The Boondock Saints, due to the fact that Norman Reedus played Murphy MacManus in the movies. A lot of those crossovers ship Daryl Dixon/Connor MacManus, as a way to work around the incest present in the Murphy/Connor pairing. Fic writers sometimes address the problem of Murphy and Daryl looking exactly the same using the doppelganger trope, though sometimes they simply ignore the issue.


  • Daryl was part of the Atlanta Five
  • Daryl is referred to as the Archer in many fanworks, because his weapon is a crossbow and he was called that by Gareth in Season 4, Episode 16


  • Negan kill: Some fans were angry and blamed Daryl for Glenn's death, because Daryl hit Negan, causing Negan to select a second victim after choosing to kill Abraham.[4] Although other fans have pointed out that Daryl was probably willing to pay the consequences, but could not have know that Negan would kill someone else for his actions.[5]


Daryl Dixon grieving over his brother Merle, part of a fan art collection, This bitter earth, by artist Morphine Pudding



Fan Vids


Links & Resources

Daryl-centric Communities

Fanworks & Discussion

Canon Resources