The Walking Dead will FINALLY be returning to our television screens tomorrow after what seems like an eternity of a hiatus. And, in honor of this thrilling and momentous occasion, I thought it prudent to do a feature on everyone’s favorite badass, Daryl Dixon, played by the enigmatic Norman Reedus.
Reedus has been on my radar since I first saw him many years ago in the brilliant movie The Boondock Saints. Then, he strut his way onto my screen as Paige’s [married] love interest in Charmed. He’s got that certain je ne sais quoi that many actors lack. It’s a perfect storm of mystery and complexity that makes it physically impossible to look away from him.
An actor like that brings an element of passion and dedication to a role that makes for a magnificent character creation. And Reedus’s portrayal of Daryl Dixon is no exception to this rule; in fact, it solidifies it. In honor of The Walking Dead’s return tomorrow, I’ve decided to pay homage to my favorite character and television’s most lovable badass by listing my Pop5 reasons why we worship Daryl Dixon. Let’s jump right in!
5. He’s come so far.
When we first met Daryl, he was a rough and tumble redneck from the backwoods of Georgia. He was racist, homophobic, and angry, and pretty much just an all-around douche bag. But, since he’s become a valued member of the group, he has become a decent and tolerant man, putting the lives and needs of others well before his own. His unceasing hunt for the lost Sophia was the first step to his selflessness and to transforming into the Daryl we know and love.
4. He went batshit crazy and wore walker ears as a necklace.
Daryl is passionate, we’ve seen that time and time again. But, after his drawn-out search for Sophia turned up to be futile (since she was a zombie in the barn the whole time), he kind of went off the reservation. He fell into a ravine and ended up hallucinating about his dead (or, at least we thought he was dead) brother Merle. Merle convinced Daryl he had become soft by caring about the group, and he tried his best to shut his heart down to the people that were creeping in. His innate decency prevented him from damaging those relationships irrevocably.
3. He’s the ultimate survivor.
If you’re in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, you want someone EXACTLY like Daryl at your back. His years of hunting for his meals made him quite the marksmen with a crossbow, a silent weapon that doesn’t attract walkers like guns do. His stealth knows no bounds, and his tracking abilities make him impossible to lose. He’s also reliable, always showing up right when that walker is about to take a chunk out of your shoulder. Seriously, he’s the best partner ever.
2. He’s smokin’ hot.
I mean, no words needed, am I right?
1. He’s the cutest surrogate uncle ever.
When Lori was pregnant, it was impossible to imagine what life would be like in a world like theirs with a baby in tow. Babies are the definition of unpredictable. But, after Judith’s dramatic birth and the gory and terrifying death of her mother, Daryl made protecting his “Little Ass Kicker” his life’s mission. The first time he met her and he cradled her gently in his arms and gave her a bottle made female libidos explode all over the globe. Is there anything sexier than a man cuddling a baby? I think not.
And that concludes my Pop5 reasons why Daryl Dixon is television’s most lovable badass. Don’t agree with me? Tune in and check him out in all of his badassy glory when The Walking Dead makes its epic return to television tonight at 9pm on AMC. Daryl won’t disappoint you; I guarantee it.