How Daryl Dixon Gets to France Revealed

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon episode 1 answers how Daryl gets to France in the spin-off.

[This story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1 premiere.] It's the question Walking Dead fans have been asking: How does Daryl Dixon get to France? Sunday's "L'âme Perdue" ("The Lost Soul") series premiere of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon answered that question and raised new ones. Burning questions like: How did Daryl (Norman Reedus) end up strapped to an overturned lifeboat adrift at sea in the Atlantic Ocean? Why are transatlantic ships operational in the zombie apocalypse? And how is the marooned American getting home to Ohio's Commonwealth community? (Read the Daryl Dixon episode 1 recap here.)

During the opening minutes of the first season premiere, Daryl washes ashore on the beach of Marseille, France. Daryl spends most of the first hour making a pilgrimage to the town of Lourdes, all the while surviving les affamès ("the hungry ones," what the French call walkers); the brûlant ("burners," flesh-eating and flesh-burning zombies with acidic blood); and the Guerriers ("Warriors"), the soldiers of the French political movement Pouvoir Des Vivants ("Power of the Living").


Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Stéphanie Branchu/AMC

- Stéphanie Branchu/AMC)

Daryl takes refuge at the Abbey of Saint Bernadette, part of l'Union de I'Espoir ("Union of Hope"): a network of survivors that believes 12-year-old orphan Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi) is prophesied to be the new messiah who will lead the revival of humanity. His guardian, a nun named Sister Isabelle (Clémence Poésy), needs Daryl to deliver Laurent to The Nest community, the Union's base up north where the boy will be protected and nurtured until he's ready to become "who he was born to be."

After showing Daryl a map to the port city Le Havre in Normandy, Isabelle reveals there are rumors the port may be active with ships. The stranded Daryl then agrees to escort Laurent and Isabelle to northern France to arrange passage home. By episode's end, Daryl, Laurent, and Isabelle embark for Le Havre, unaware that the port is occupied by Pouvoir leader Madame Genet (Anne Charrier) and her Guerrier.

(Photo: AMC Studios)

At the port, Genet and her Guerrier board a docked cargo ship. Its captain (Grègory Kristoforoff) reports that the ship was in the Gulf of Càdiz when its prisoners escaped during a mutiny, and a French doctor (François Delaive) reveals what the ship was transporting: zombie test subjects. "Our research is largely destroyed. Some of the test subjects may still be of use," the doctor says. "Whoever did this made a real mess of things for us." 

It took three years to get the ship seaworthy, but only one American to destroy it. His name? Daryl Dixon.  

Why Daryl was aboard a French cargo ship carrying walker test subjects — and what destroyed the ship — are questions to be answered by future episodes. But now we know how Daryl ended up in Europe: a captured Daryl crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship, a prisoner's mutiny happened, Daryl went overboard with a lifeboat in the Gulf of Càdiz, and drifted until he washed ashore in Marseille, France. 

Now the question is: how is Daryl Dixon getting home? Tune into new episodes of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Sundays on AMC and AMC+.

Stay tuned to ComicBook/TWD (and find us on Facebook) and follow @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for more TWD Universe coverage.