In The Walking Dead season 11, episode 17, Daryl mentions Glenn while talking to Maggie, a callback that hints at a dark future for the character.
WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 11, episode 17.Daryl’s callback to Glenn in The Walking Dead season 11, episode 17 proves he is no longer holding anything back. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is in for yet another fight for his life in the final episodes of the show’s concluding season, and his poignant line about Glenn (Steven Yeun) while talking to Maggie (Lauren Cohan) possibly hints at his dark future.
The Walking Dead season 11 sees the group face off against the Commonwealth, most notably Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton). The conflict has seen Daryl take on a much greater role in leading the group. In that sense, Daryl has become the new Rick Grimes, which has influenced his decision-making. To that end, his mentioning of Glenn combined with his killing of Leah (Lynn Collins) has made it clear that Daryl’s newfound leadership role is showing a grand change in his character.
In The Walking Dead season 11, episode 17, “Lockdown,” Daryl and Maggie are hiding from Commonwealth soldiers when she takes the time to apologize for him having to kill Leah in order to save her. He follows this up by saying, “Glenn would have wanted me to look after you.” This shows that there is nothing that Daryl won’t do to protect his family and friends, even if that comes at the cost of his own happiness. While the intent to safeguard is certainly noble, it could mean Daryl may go down a similar dark path as The Walking Dead‘s Rick.
Daryl’s Walking Dead Season 11 Change Can Lead Him Down A Dark Path
Throughout The Walking Dead, Daryl has been a character who grew a solid moral compass. Whereas characters like Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carol (Melissa McBride) have engaged in morally questionable actions to protect the group, Daryl has remained consistent in sticking to his principles. The Glenn callback seems to indicate that these principles could now push him on the same dark path that other characters have embraced time and again. Killing Leah may have been necessary to protect Maggie, but in doing so, Daryl makes it clear that nothing is going to stop him from protecting the group, which harkens back to his attitude during the Savior war, where he sent walkers swarming through the Sanctuary to wipe them out.
There’s no telling what path Daryl will take in The Walking Dead season 11. However, between the Glenn callback line in episode 17, killing Leah, and Daryl’s attempts to kill Lance Hornsby, he’s made protecting the group his sole priority, even if that comes at a great cost to himself. Where this takes him going into his spinoff series remains to be seen. For now, it appears Daryl is treading a fine line between sticking true to who he is and losing himself.
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