The Walking Dead: 5 Characters On Daryl Dixon’s Level (& 5 Nowhere Close)

Daryl Dixon is often held up as the gold standard for characters on The Walking Dead, in likability, but moreso in lethality.

Morgan Jones, Father Gabriel and the Governor The Walking Dead

Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead has gone from a fan-favorite secondary character to one of the show’s primary protagonists. One of the few characters introduced in Season 1 to still be alive, Daryl’s feats of fearless zombie-killing and combat prowess have become legendary amongst the fanbase.

One of the show’s most popular characters due to his exploits and his interesting personality, Daryl is often held up as the gold standard for characters on the show, in likability, but more so in lethality. As a result, some characters are beloved by fans for being viewed to be as good as Daryl in a fight, while others are acknowledged to be far weaker.

Updated on December 21, 2023, by Michael Colwander: The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon has proven to be a success, providing some of the best The Walking Dead content in years. It also serves as a reminder that few The Walking Dead characters are on Daryl Dixon’s level. This list has been refreshed to reflect styling changes as well as provide more information for each character.

Split Images of The Walking Dead Characters-1
15 Saddest Deaths In The Walking Dead

Character deaths are expected in The Walking Dead, but some leave viewers particularly heartbroken.

2 On Daryl’s Level

Michonne’s Sword Is Legendary Among Fans

Actor Danai Gurira
Actor Also Known For Black Panther and the MCU in general
Debut Episode “Beside the Dying Fire” (Season 2, Episode 13)
# of Episodes 95
In a Spinoff? The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live (Main Character)

First introduced at the very end of the show’s second season, Michonne won interest from fans before her face had even been revealed, on account of appearing with a samurai sword and a pair of docile walkers to save Andrea, with the mystery surrounding her character being one of the more discussed things prior to Season 3.

Since then, Michonne’s skills in combat have been proven time and time again, with her sword being one of the most iconic weapons on the show. She is deadly to humans and walkers alike and has shown herself to be good with guns or other weapons as well. It’s easy to see why she’s one of The Walking Dead’s most popular characters. And her love story with Rick Grimes is one of The Walking Dead’s best romances. Michonne returns to The Walking Dead Universe in early 2024 with The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

The Governor Was A Lethal Villain

The Governor armed with a carbine rifle The Walking Dead
Actor David Morrissey
Actor Also Known For Agatha Cristie’s Poroit, The Deal, and State of Play
Debut Episode “Walk With Me” (Season 3, Episode 3)
# of Episodes 17
In a Spinoff? No
Negan, Dante, Shane Walking Dead Likable Villians Feature Image
The Walking Dead: 10 Most Likable Villains, Ranked

Whether it be their relatable motivations or the antagonist antics, some of The Walking Dead’s villains have a huge fanbase of their own.

The first villain to truly present a threat to the group, the Governor opposed Rick for a season and a half as the group occupied the prison, wishing to take it over to secure his town of Woodbury.

A competent leader, the Governor also showed his threat in direct combat. Even before he gets his hands on a tank, he is a capable survivor, and, although he loses one major fight to Michonne, the Governor is clearly dangerous to any of the group. Although he never redeems himself, fans still fondly remember the Governor through his intimidating persona and nostalgia for the early seasons of the show.

Morgan Jones Made A Stick A Credible Threat

Morgan Jones wielding his staff in The Walking Dead
Actor Lennie James
Actor Also Known For Jericho, Low Winter Sun, and Blade Runner 2049
Debut Episode “Days Gone By” (Season 1, Episode 1)
# of Episodes 34
In a Spinoff? Fear The Walking Dead (Main Character, Season 4-8)

One of the very first characters introduced in the show, Morgan was an ordinary survivor when he first aided Rick Grimes, ill-equipped to fight walkers and mostly surviving by hiding himself in his home.

When he becomes a major character — several seasons later — Morgan has improved markedly. As a wanderer, he shows himself to be a lethal combatant capable of fighting several walkers at once, with a staff. The fan debate of ‘gun, sword, or crossbow?’ had to make room for a new entrant: ‘stick.’ Morgan later joined Fear The Walking Dead where he serves as the primary protagonist for the second half of the series. There, Morgan further proved he was on Daryl’s level by doing what needed to be done to build a home, even if it went against his established beliefs.

Carol Peletier Has Some Of The Best Development In The Show

Carol killing a walker in The Walking Dead
Actor Melissa McBride
Actor Also Known For The Mist
Debut Episode “Tell it to the Frogs” (Season 1, Episode 3)
# of Episodes 125
In a Spinoff? Fear The Walking Dead (Flashback, Cameo), The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon (Main Character)

Initially, Carol Peletier was one of the group’s hangers-on, a woman who struggled with an abusive husband that left her terrified. Her daughter’s disappearance exacerbated that, and she spent several seasons barely holding her own.

Over time, however, Carol became one of the group’s most lethal members and a fan favorite. Although she has struggled with the morality of her actions on occasion, one of Carol’s many highlights is staging a one-woman assault on the cannibals in Terminus and saving the entire group. Carol has since joined The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, making a surprise appearance in its first season’s finale. Season two of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon will have the subtitle “The Book of Carol.”

Rick Grimes Was One Of The Deadliest Characters On The Show

Rick Grimes pointing his revolver in The Walking Dead
Actor Andrew Lincoln
Actor Also Known For This Life, Love Actually, and Afterlife
Debut Episode “Days Gone By” (Season 1, Episode 1)
# of Episodes 110
In a Spinoff? Fear The Walking Dead (Flashback, Cameo), The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live (Main Character)
RIck Grimes TWD Live Action and Image comics
Why Rick Grimes is a MUCH Better Character in The Walking Dead Comics

Rick Grimes is a hero in AMC’s TWD and Image Comics The Walking Dead but the ink and paint version of Rick was far more compelling than his TV version

The show’s protagonist and main character for eight and a half seasons, audiences followed Rick Grimes as he went from a simple policeman wounded during a shootout with criminals to one of the most deadly people in the post-apocalyptic U.S.

His Colt Magnum revolver became one of the most iconic weapons on the show, alongside Daryl’s crossbow and Michonne’s sword, but Rick has proven himself with a number of other weapons, including rifles, knives, axes, machetes, and more. Few characters in the show are on Rick’s level, and few match Daryl Dixon quite so closely. Rick is set to make his long-awaited and anticipated return as a regular character in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

1 Not On Daryl’s Level

Lori Grimes Was Never A Great Survivor

Actor Sarah Wayne Callies
Actor Also Known For Prison Break, Colony, Letterkenny, and The Company You Keep
Debut Episode “Days Gone By” (Season 1, Episode 1)
# of Episodes 28
In a Spinoff? No

In the show’s initial seasons, there were few characters more disliked than Lori Grimes, Rick’s wife. Her presence was one of the early notes of optimism in the show, but fans were quick to demonize her for her sleeping with Shane, and for her perceived counterproductive attitude towards Rick’s actions.

Another thing that rankled fans was that Lori was never a great combatant, leading them to view her contributions to the group as minimal. Although she managed some walker kills in her time, Lori preferred to avoid combat. Lori’s time was brief, but she caused more conflicts than she solved.

Father Gabriel Has Improved, But Not To Daryl’s Level

Father Gabriel brandishing a bloody machete in the Walking Dead
Actor Seth Gilliam
Actor Also Known For The Wire, Teen Wolf (2011), and Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Debut Episode “Strangers” (Season 5, Episode 2)
# of Episodes 72
In a Spinoff? No

For a long time, Father Gabriel was contentious both in-universe and with viewers of the show. In both cases, it was for this relative lack of usefulness to the group as a whole, being an ardent pacifist who made his distrust of Rick and his group clear, and whose actions unintentionally led to disaster more than once.

Things started to change in Season 6, with Gabriel coming to the decision that he had to become a good fighter to continue living in the apocalypse. Fans were more receptive to the character as he became more dangerous, but there’s no question who would win between him and Daryl.

Ron Anderson Couldn’t Even Pose A Danger To Carl

Ron Anderson threatens Carl Grimes in The Walking Dead
Actor Austin Abrams
Actor Also Known For Paper Towns, Euphoria, and This Is Us
Debut Episode “Remember” (Season 5, Episode 12)
# of Episodes 9
In a Spinoff? No

Ron Anderson was a minor antagonist in the show’s sixth season, a resident of Alexandria who hated Rick and Carl Grimes after Rick killed his father, Pete, and began dating his mother Jessie.

When a walker horde threatens Alexandra, Ron attempts to use the opportunity to shoot Carl. Despite having the upper hand, it quickly turns into a brawl between the two, and the closest Ron comes to posing a threat to Carl is when he attacks him with a shovel. Unable to kill Carl, and dying to a horde of walkers, he is clearly not in the show’s upper echelons. His lasting legacy in The Walking Dead is shooting Carl’s eye while carelessly firing his gun as he was being devoured by walkers.

Owen Was One Of The Show’s Least Threatening Villains

Owen with a mouthful of blood in the Walking Dead
Actor Benedict Samuel
Actor Also Known For Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter in Gotham
Debut Episode “Conquer” (Season 5, Episode 16)
# of Episodes 5
In a Spinoff? No
The wolves from The WalkingDead.
The Walking Dead: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Wolves

The Wolves ended up being one of the biggest threats that Rick Grimes and his group of survivors ever faced but fans might not know much about them.

Despite threatening the cast for close to the better part of a season, Owen, leader of the group of scavengers known as The Wolves, never proved himself to be a villain on par with many of those in the show’s rogues gallery.

In short, despite being a recurring menace, Owen simply never manages to win a fight against any important characters, instead reserving his kills for secondary characters. Although his death is selfless and even slightly poignant, the impression left on fans was more one of amusement.

Nicholas Only Threatened Characters With Walkers

Nicholas trapped by Walkers with Glenn the Walking Dead
Actor Michael Traynor
Actor Also Known For Homefront, The Fosters, and Rectify
Debut Episode “Remember” (Season 5, Episode 12)
# of Episodes 7
In a Spinoff? No

Several of the antagonists in The Walking Dead were residents of Alexandria who thought that the main characters were a negative influence on the town. Having been largely safe for much of the crisis; however, these individuals were rarely able to put up a fight against them.

Nicholas was one such of these, a cowardly supply runner who disliked the ideas Glenn and the others had to make their runs safer. Setting a plan to kill Glenn, Nicholas failed to beat him in a brawl despite having shot him and ultimately begged Glenn for his life. One of the weaker fighters of the show’s antagonists, he was nowhere near Daryl’s level.

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