January brings us a new year and new beginnings. But there is another reason to celebrate. Today we want to wish Norman Reedus a very Happy 50th Birthday!
Born on January 6, 1969, in Hollywood, Florida, Norman is known for his work as a model, photographer, artist, and actor. He has appeared in roles on television and films including Mimic, Red Canyon, Dark Harbor, Blade II, Deuces Wild, Charmed, Air, Sky, Triple 9 and, of course, both Boondock Saints movies.
But fans know and love him best as motorcycle riding, crossbow-wielding Daryl Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead. He has appeared in the series since it’s beginning in 2010. The role was created for him after he auditioned for the role of Merle Dixon.
What better way to celebrate than to re-live Daryl’s top tear-jerking moments of the series.
Apologizing for Glenn’s death
After escaping the Sanctuary and making it to the Hilltop, Daryl and Maggie hide in the cellar to avoid the Saviors that have come to take Dr. Carson. He comes to terms with his guilt and apologizes to Maggie who doesn’t blame him.
Not so Easy Street
In the episode, “The Cell”, Daryl is physically, mentally, and emotionally tortured by Dwight in order to try to break him and make him fall in line. We all know that it only makes him stronger but we all felt a punch in the gut when Dwight left behind a poloroid of Glenn’s mutilated head as a reminder that his actions lead to Negan killing him.
There are two moments that fall under this title. Rick and group head to Grady Memorial Hospital after Daryl and Carol find Noah, he tells them Beth is being held there. Carol is injured and also taken. After an exchange between groups, Dawn demands for Noah to stay behind. Beth refuses and stabs her. Dawn reacts by fatally shooting Beth. Daryl and the group look on in shock and Daryl kills Dawn. He later carries Beth out to a grieving Maggie.
Later, The group is on their way to take Noah to Virginia and they run out of supplies, Daryl goes off on his own to search for water and comes across a barn. He sits under a tree for a quick smoke and begins to cry over Beth. I guess she was right when she told him, “You’re gonna miss me so bad when I’m gone, Dayl Dixon.”
Reunited and it feels so good
There were two times that Daryl reunited with a group member and at the same time, tugged on our heart strings. The first was after escaping near-death from Terminus. An explosion caused a distraction just before Glenn was to be whacked in the head. The blast was enough for Rick free himself, Daryl, Glenn and Bob. They eventually free the rest of the group and get away. While searching for the guns they buried, Daryl turns to see Carol. He runs to her and they both embrace. It was only a season before that Rick banished her for killing Karen and David after they became sick at the prison. Rick welcomes her back with open arms.
The second is after Daryl escapes the Saviors. Instead of being submissive to Negan and the Saviors, Rick decides that he needs to follow Maggie’s lead and fight. At this point, Negan and the Savior’s have already killed Glenn, Abe, Denise, Spencer and Olivia as well as taken Eugene hostage. Daryl comes out and approaches Rick. They don’t even have to speak. The brothers look at one another and hug. Daryl also reunites Rick with his Colt Python.
We all have that love-hate relationship with Merle. Let’s be honest, at the beginning, he was a real jerk! But by the end of Season 3, Merle showed us a softer side of his Dixon exterior. After finding out that Daryl was still alive and later that he was captured by the Governor, he decided to help his bro and they both escaped along with Glenn and Maggie. After trying to make it on their own, Merle follows Daryl back to the prison where they have a hard time trusting him. Rick’s plan to exchange Michonne for peace with the Governor leads Merle to do what is right by his brother. HE will make the trade because he knows Rick cannot. He takes Michonne but decides to let her go. He knows that he will never be trusted with Rick’s group and he cannot go back to the Governor so he will take the Governor and his men out. He ends up luring Walkers to the trade site and as the Governor’s men begin to shoot, Merle begins to kill them one by one. It doesn’t last for long and the Governor kills Merle. Hours later, Daryl tracks his brother to the trade site and notices bodies everywhere. He approaches a walker feeding on a body…it’s Merle…Walker Merle.
Rick’s Death…or not.
This brings us to Rick’s final episode. After Daryl and Rick fight, fall into a ditch, dodge falling walkers and manage to get out of said ditch, Rick decides to lead the herd away from the bridge. Daryl knows it’s bad news but Rick knows that the bridge is important trade. While on horseback, he comes to a crossing and another herd is fast approaching. It spooks the horse and Rick falls off and is impaled. He miraculously manages to unimpale himself and continue his journey falling in and out of consciousness and hallucinating. At some point he realizes that the only way to get rid of the herd is to lure it to the bridge. The group arrive. They see what he is trying to do and run to help. As the herd gets to the bridge, Rick aims for the box of dymamite, shoots and blows up the bridge. Michonne, Maggie, Carol, Daryl and the rest of the group watch in horror as Rick is no where to be seen. Believeing that his brother is dead, Daryl goes off on his own…but he finds a doggo and all is right in the universe again…or is it? Shhhh! Do you hear that? I hear a lot of whispering going on.
I’m not crying, you’re crying! It’s his birthday and he can cry if he wants to!
So, there you have it folks. My top tear-jerking Daryl Dixon moments. Do you agree? Are there others that you can think of that I might have forgotten? If so, make sure to let us know in the comments below.
Again, join us in wishing Norman a Happy 50th Birthday!
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo