If Daryl Dies, Will ‘Walking Dead’ Fans Stop Watching?


The Walking Dead is set to return to AMC on February 14, 2016, for the second half of Season 6. Before the break, we left our survivors in Alexandria with the walls having fallen and the scores of walkers barging their way in. As well, Negan’s group of followers, the Saviors, had been introduced. To sum it all up, there’s nothing but bad news in the foreseeable future of The Walking Dead.

I’m sure the zombie horde is going to take down the number of the total population of Alexandria a few digits, but the bigger danger is definitely going to be Negan’s arrival. Those familiar with the comics know how Negan is even more brutal than the Governor, as he made his debut by killing one of the most beloved characters in one of the worst ways imaginable. It’s been confirmed that Negan is going to appear later this season, and it’s also been hinted that the finale in particular is going to be “emotionally wrought”. These are signs that a major character will meet his or her end by the hands of the show’s new top villain.

Is Negan going to choose the same first victim for the TV series that he did in the comics? I won’t name any names, but a lot of fans think the same series of events is going to occur. Personally, I think producers would rather throw us a curveball by having someone else killed instead, as it will surprise comic readers just as much as those who haven’t read them. Why have one of the biggest moments of the series spoiled so far ahead of it happening by doing it the exact same way as it was done in the books?

It seems more likely to me that someone else will be going down in that moment, and there’s a real possibility that it’s Daryl Dixon. If you talk about the biggest surprise imaginable that the show could deliver, an untimely Daryl death would surely fit the bill. Because of his popularity and with the way fans have been threatening to “riot” for years should the younger Dixon brother be knocked off, millions of jaws worldwide would be dropping to the floor should he get his head caved in. There would be no better way of pushing the “nobody is safe” mantra the show has maintained since the beginning.

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The question is… would fans stop watching? I doubt that there would be actual riots, so would a majority of viewers simply not show back up for Season 7? Obviously, Daryl is the favorite character of many Walking Dead fans, and he could be the glue that keeps so many of them coming back every week. For some, Norman Reedus might be the only reason to keep tuning in. So while I don’t think the viewership would drop far enough to warrant an immediate cancellation, I’m sure that the ratings will take a hit. And we can probably all agree that the show would never be the same, no matter how we might feel about Daryl. So, let’s just hope that Merle’s baby brother is able to survive Negan’s bloody introduction, even if that means saying goodbye to someone else we don’t want to.

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