Daryl’s Journey: Relive His Best TWD Moments Before TWD: Daryl Dixon Premieres

He rides a motorcycle. His weapon of choice is a crossbow. He's a man of few words. Yet he's a man of action who started out as a loner but will now do everything in his power to protect the people he loves. Daryl is the definition of cool and he's one of the most captivating characters in The Walking Dead Universe. When last seen on The Walking Dead, he was setting off to explore the wider world. Watch as his journey continues across the Atlantic on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, which premieres on Sunday, September 10.
To catch up on the essential Daryl episodes ahead of the debut of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, check out AMC+ for The Walking Dead: Best of Daryl. It includes a retrospective look at Daryl's story as narrated by Norman Reedus himself, plus four episodes that trace Daryl's evolution into the person he is now. Try AMC+ for free here.
The first episode in the collection is Season 2's "Chupacabra," where viewers realize how invested Daryl is in his new chosen family, and also witness the ugly dynamic between him and his brother Merle. Daryl throws himself into the search for the missing Sophia, getting injured in the process when he's thrown from a horse, impaled by one of his crossbow arrows, attacked by a pair of walkers, and later, mistakenly shot by Andrea. He finds Sophia's doll, but in his impaired state he hallucinates and sees Merle, who's also AWOL. Merle berates Daryl for not looking harder for him and tells him that Rick's group doesn't value Daryl, saying, "You're nothing but a freak to them, redneck trash." He also declares, "Ain't nobody ever going to care about you except me, little brother." Merle's proven wrong later in the episode, when Carol gives Daryl a kiss and informs him, "You did more for my little girl today than her own daddy ever did for her in his whole life." When he explains Rick and Shane would have done the same thing, she answers, "I know. You're every bit as good as them. Every bit."
"Still," from Season 4, opens with a pulse-pounding classic horror sequence and is the next episode in the Best of Daryl. It's a showcase for Reedus and Emily Kinney (Beth), the only two main characters featured here, and it centers on Beth's desire to have her first alcoholic drink, something Hershel would never allow. The duo takes refuge at one point in an abandoned house that reminds Daryl of his tough childhood, and Daryl finds some moonshine for Beth. They play a game of Never Have I Ever that goes terribly wrong when Beth implies that Daryl might have spent time in prison. This prompts a drunk Daryl to aggressively pull Beth outside and force her to try to kill a walker with his crossbow. She resists and confronts Daryl, who eventually confesses that he blames himself for Hershel's death. Beth then hugs him while he cries. Later, Daryl talks to Beth about the casual violence that existed in his pre-apocalyptic life and claims, "I was nobody. Nothing. Some redneck a**hole and an even bigger a**hole for a brother." Beth reassures him that he's "going to be the last man standing," but "you've got to stay who you are, not who you were." They attempt to exorcise his demons by burning the house down, to the strains of "Up the Wolves" by The Mountain Goats.
The next installment is Season 7's "The Cell," which finds Daryl living as Negan's captive in the Sanctuary. He's kept naked in a tiny cell and Dwight is in charge of breaking him. Dwight's methods? Feeding him dog food sandwiches, torturing him with the Collapsable Hearts Club's "Easy Street," and showing him other prisoners like Daryl who have become walkers. Daryl's tricked into escaping one day, only to be ambushed by Negan's men and confronted by Negan himself, who threatens to beat Daryl with Lucille. Daryl's brought back to his cell and Dwight ups the ante by giving him a photo of a post-Lucille Glenn, bringing Daryl to tears. When Dwight brings him before Negan, Negan asks Daryl, "Who are you?" Negan wants him to say "Negan," but Daryl refuses to yield and instead answers, "Daryl." Daryl is relegated once again to his cell as the episode ends.
By the time we get to "The Obliged" two seasons later, the tables have turned and Negan is now a prisoner at Alexandria. Maggie's determined to kill him, and Daryl supports her mission, so much so that he keeps Rick from meeting up with her at Alexandria. When Rick demands to know what's going on, Daryl and Rick start shoving each other, and they roll into a pit. They argue, with Rick believing that Negan would become a martyr if he died, and Carl's death would mean nothing, while Daryl contends that Rick has to let Negan go. Despite their differences, they work together to escape as walkers begin falling into the pit. "Brother, take my hand," Rick implores to Daryl. As a horde nears, they run towards Daryl's motorcycle, but Rick spies a horse and decides to lead the horde away from the work camp because he insists on keeping intact the bridge that they're building. "Hey, be safe," Daryl warns Rick as they go their separate ways. The episode ends when another horde advances and Rick is thrown from the horse onto a piece of rebar. It's in the next episode that Rick will meet his presumed death, leading Daryl into a downward spiral of isolation.
During Seasons 10 and 11, Daryl continues to make an impact, helping to vanquish the Whisperers, the Reapers, and eventually the Commonwealth. To understand how he evolved from the onetime outsider who didn't believe in himself, to the worthy guardian who gained faith in himself and all those he vowed to protect, track his trajectory in this celebration on AMC+ of Daryl's essential moments mentioned above. Plus, discover how he got to France and what happens there when The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, the newest series in The Walking Dead Universe, premieres on Sunday, September 10 at 9/8c on AMC and AMC+Sign up for AMC+ here.