The Walking Dead may have finally revealed who the new leader of the series is with Episode 9x15. While the characters didn't all turn to one person in a time of need, an iconic moment from The Walking Dead comics which saw Rick Grimes in an unforgettable position was brought to life. In Rick's place for this moment on the AMC zombie series was none other than Daryl Dixon.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x15 follow. Major spoilers.
Whisperer leader Alpha is always looking to assert herself as a dominant leader who others will be required to follow. In issue #144 of Robert Kirkman's comics, she escorts a captive Rick to the top of a building. From there, she shows the Alexandrian leader that she has a massive army of walkers and Whisperers ready to follow her lead. In showing off this unthinkable weapon at her disposal, she tells Rick that his communities are "a shrine" to a civilization which is now dead. The same language was used on the TV series.
However, in the TV series, Daryl Dixon is in Rick's place.
The choice to put Daryl in Rick's shoes for this moment was integral and it's one the writers made through Alpha. Alpha had Daryl, Michonne, Carol, and Yumiko rounded up leading into this scene.
Yumiko is a brand new character. She was never going to be the leader here.
Carol has actively avoided being a leader of people. Instead, she quietly protects them and does what she sees fit, often making decision for herself and being a key part of the group. However, she dodges the "leader" bullet quite often.
Michonne relinquished her "leader" role to an extent when she had Father Gabriel sign the four-community charter earlier in the episode. Furthermore, Danai Gurira is expected to leave The Walking Dead in its upcoming tenth season.
Daryl was the clear choice for the writers in this scene to put into the place of Rick Grimes. Heading into the Whisperer War, it appears he will be carrying a huge weight in the absence of Rick Grimes, as the communities will look for a leader. Michonne certainly fits such a bill and if she was expected to stick around this might be a different story. Daryl, the isolationist, has slowly come around to the survivors around him throughout the course of The Walking Dead.
What do you think of Daryl becoming a leader within The Walking Dead? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes on Facebook.com/ComicBookNOW.0comments