The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon gave fans 1 particular scene with a sad hidden meaning that can impact the titular character’s future in the franchise.
- Daryl’s decision to pack away his angel-winged vest symbolized his hesitation to move forward and leave his past behind.
- Daryl’s vest paid homage to his late brother Merle and signified his connection to his found family, including Judith.
- The scarcity of Daryl’s vest in his spinoff suggested that he may not return home to Alexandria and indicated a potential shift away from his past responsibilities.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon had one scene with a sad hidden meaning that could affect the fan-favorite’s Walking Dead future. After he left Alexandria in the main series’ finale, Daryl (Norman Reedus) found himself washed up on a French shore. Although The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon‘s season 1 answered the question of how he made it to France, any sign of how Daryl could get back home to America is unclear. This was especially true because the season finale ended with Daryl seemingly deciding to stay in France longer despite the possibility to leave on a nearby boat.
Currently, Daryl’s future is undecided because his spinoff’s second season is expected to answer any lingering questions. Some speculation insinuates that a Daryl and Rick Grimes reunion could occur in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. Because no confirmation about this has been given, it’s looking like Daryl’s future is solely tied to his own spinoff for now. However, Daryl’s connection to the wider Walking Dead universe is hinted at by Carol’s addition to Daryl Dixon‘s season 2 cast. With that being said, existing details from The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon already hint at sad possibilities regarding his future.
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Daryl Dixon Replacing His Vest Symbolized Leaving The Past Behind
One of Daryl’s most noticeable attributes in The Walking Dead was his customized angel-winged vest. He donned the vest from season 2 with brief periods without it. His attachment to the vest was evident when he forcibly took it back from Dwight in season 8. This extended into a scene in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon finale where he held it and looked at it for a moment before putting it into his bag. Packing away the vest – a definitive symbol of his past – signified his awareness and hesitancy about moving forward.
The angel-winged vest connoted the idea of Daryl as a guardian figure in Rick’s group, like a guardian angel. This rings true in how he fought to protect his loved ones, such as Judith. Additionally, his starting mission in Daryl Dixon to get back to Alexandria suggested a desire to resume his protector role. Therefore, the season’s constant tug away from this mission coupled with Daryl wearing predominantly new outfits demonstrated his supposed acceptance of leaving the past behind him. Moving away from his original mission to get back home also suggested his desire for independence from his past responsibilities.
Daryl Dixon’s Iconic Vest Paid Homage To His Brother Merle & Judith
Daryl’s new wardrobe was even more upsetting when considering the significance of his vest. Although attention was not drawn to this, Daryl’s vest was a customized version of Merle’s leather vest. Former costume designer Eulyn Colette Hufkie confirmed this when explaining how it was made. She said, “I grabbed his brother’s one from season one and Merle (Michael Rooker) is at least double the size of Norman, so I cut out some wings from an old military jacket, I turned it inside out, and I stuck it on with pins” (via Metro.co.uk). This signified the vest as a reminder of Daryl’s last biological relative, Merle, who died in season 3.
Similarly, Judith’s contribution to the vest in season 10 symbolized Daryl’s found family because he was a father figure to her. Judith’s actress Cailey Fleming redesigned the vest after one half of its wings were torn off in the six-year time jump after Rick’s exit. Reedus gave Fleming an explanation of what to consider when creating the missing wing, saying, “Just remember you’re Rick Grimes’ daughter, and he was my best friend, and we’re going into battle” (via Comicbook). Therefore, Judith giving Daryl the vest symbolized the end to his ‘broken angel’ arc after losing many people during the Savior era and her belief in his ability to beat the Whisperers.
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Daryl’s Vest Can Solve His Spinoff’s Biggest Unanswered Question
Daryl’s shift away from the vest raised concerns about his connection to that which it signified – family, home, and his role as a defender. Admittedly, in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, Daryl repeatedly showcased his protector traits while traveling through France with Isabelle and Laurent. However, the vest’s scarcity and Daryl’s new outfits, like the long-sleeved tops with suspenders, could answer the parting question the season 1 finale raised about whether Daryl returned home. By having him stow away the physical symbol of his past and family, Daryl Dixon suggested a return to Alexandria and Judith would be unlikely.
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While this was upsetting, considering how fans spent 11 seasons of the flagship show witnessing Daryl build relationships and become an integral figure among the Alexandrians, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon‘s season 1 ending including Carol suggested how Daryl could stay connected to the wider TWD universe. Carol’s search for Daryl in America could potentially bridge the two locations if she were to find him and keep Daryl’s link to his home. However, until The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 2 confirms or denies any of this, Daryl’s TWD future could involve a sad shift away from his past and all it entails.