""Non voglio più essere il leader di queste persone. Stare di nuovo dietro queste mura. Non mi sembra giusto, amico. Sto meglio là fuori. Lo sono sempre stato.""
―—Daryl a Rick riguardo a guidare il Santuario.[src]
Daryl Dixon is a main character and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is the younger brother of Merle. Daryl is an expert at hunting, tracking, navigation, and observation. Due to his survival skills, Rick Grimes values him as an important member of the group. Following the deaths of Ed and Sophia Peletier, Daryl has developed a close bond with fellow survivor Carol Peletier. He later formed a brief yet close bond with another fellow survivor Beth Greene before her demise. He is the last surviving member of his family. Daryl begins the show as a brazen, surly, impulsive redneck but develops himself an integral part of the group. His aggression is unprecedented, and it remains one of his most valuable assets, as well as one of his most noticeable. After the war with the Saviorsand the defeat of Negan, Daryl becomes the new leader of the Sanctuary, though he eventually resigns from the role, giving it to Carol instead.

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Daryl is both a physically and mentally strong man who is often surly and very resourceful but his compassion and loyalty towards the people he cares about are second-to-none; despite his hardened personality, he is not without a soft, emotional side. He is often volatile, but he is still significantly more level-headed than his older brother, Merle Dixon. Though he is usually distant, Daryl has often shown to be caring and selfless. All on his own, he risks his life in an attempt to find the lost Sophia Peletier on multiple occasions, one of which nearly cost him his life, and immediately takes initiative to go back to find Andrea when she gets separated from the group.

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Daryl grew up in the mountains of Northern Georgia alongside his older brother Merle, under the roof of their neglectful redneck parents, their father, an abusive alcoholic alongside their chain-smoker mother. Merle was the only inspirational figure he had during his youth and thus inherited his backward views on society, however due to his older brother’s service in juvenile detentions, he became frequently absent from Daryl’s life and thus he was reluctantly forced to fend for himself, upon where he developed a hard-boiled survivalist mindset.[1]

At a young age, the brothers lost their mother in a house fire which had been caused by a cigarette while she was asleep or presumably drunk.[2] Some point after this event Daryl found himself lost in the woods for nine days during where he was forced to consume wild berries and utilize poison oak as substitute for toilet paper. Eventually he managed to find his way back home, upon arrival however, his father had unnoticed his absence and thus Daryl simply walked through the back door and made himself a sandwich.[3]

The siblings were mentally and physically abused by their father, which eventually caused Merle to abandon the family and join the military, subsequently leaving Daryl in the process which resulted in severe scars located on his back, this abuse however was, according to Merle, unknown.[4] Following their father’s death, Daryl moved out from his birth home and eventually reconnected with Merle and thus simply followed his brother’s lead upon where they entered into a drifter lifestyle, where the pair utilised their survival instincts, upon where Daryl grew into a proficient hunter and tracker, hunting for food and dealing in contraband.[5]

At one point, the pair resided in Merle’s drug supplier’s house where the trio watched TV and by noon had become intoxicated, a discussion turned violent where the dealer punched his older brother, where Daryl retaliated by savagely beating the man. However, the dealer then threatened to shoot Daryl, a large argument ensued, which ended with the dealer punching Daryl in the gut, causing him to vomit. Merle and the dealer laughed the incident off. Following this near-death experience, Daryl gradually came to view himself as an unimportant individual who held no value or purpose in life.

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When the apocalypse began, he and Merle headed towards Atlanta (a declared safe-zone) for shelter. Along the way, they both met up with Shane's group and found out Atlanta was overrun. They helped set up camp near a quarry. During their stay at the camp, they spent a considerable amount of time hunting animals. According to Merle, they had planned to rob the camp blind before Merle was left in Atlanta.

Daryl owned a grey 1973 Ford F-250 pickup truck. He used it to transport the corpses of the fallen camp-survivors, such as Ed Peletier and Amy, to the graveyard made by Jim. When the group left for the CDC, Daryl was driving his truck with his brother's motorcycle in the back. When his truck ran out of gas, he put his belongings in one of the other vehicles, (possibly Dale Horvath's RV) and switched vehicles to his brother's motorcycle. His truck was then abandoned and is never seen again in the show. The motorcycle was in use up until "Too Far Gone" in which it was abandoned when Daryl was forced to flee the prison during the Governor's attack.