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The dog, which appears to be a Belgian Malinois, has an important job — besides much-needed companionship in Daryl’s six-year self-imposed exile following the apparent “death” of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) — and a simplistic three-letter name audiences will learn in 907, “Stradivarius.”
The unsentimental name is in keeping with Daryl’s straightforwardness and, likely, his stubbornness in allowing himself to grow attached to yet another living creature that could ultimately cause him more pain if, or when, it dies.
Sunday’s episode introduces the canine companion when Carol (Melissa McBride) and son Henry (Matt Lintz) seek out Daryl at his walker-infested riverside camp in the woods.
In July, showrunner Angela Kang noted Daryl is “this abused character who doesn’t trust easily,” telling TheWrap his Season Nine trajectory would see him undergo “a deepening of friendships and relationships that he’s had on the show.”
That includes the tender relationship with his dog, who has a quiet shorthand with Daryl and is easily calmed by the woods-dwelling bowman — even amidst extreme danger.
Reedus and the dog have since taken to each other, and Reedus told ComicBook.com working with Seven is “so good.”
“I love it. I think he’s the smartest cast member we got,” Reedus said.
“We just did a scene the other day that ended up being the opposite of what it was supposed to be because the dog just wanted to do something else, and it came out so much better. He’ll probably be running the show. It’s great! I love it. He loves me, too.”
Daryl’s dog is the latest development brought on by the six-year time jump separating episodes 905 and 906, which has since hinted at a traumatic event that widened the rift between the Alexandria, Hilltop, and Kingdom communities, leaving Aaron (Ross Marquand), Jesus (Tom Payne), and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) among those aching to see the survivors come back together in the wake of Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) departure from Hilltop and a hardened Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) newfound Alexandria-first philosophy.
As The Walking Dead heads into the “f—ing epic” back half of Season Nine, Reedus has praised the “even better” back eight episodes to follow the series’ quickly approaching winter hiatus.0comments
“They’re f—ing epic, you know, and they’re just crushing and they’re severe, all of them,” Reedus told Deadline. “The show’s morphing into something else but it’s got the heart and the feel of the original show, there’s just new life breathing through it.”
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.