The Walking Dead veered very hard away from the comic book storylines and now we’re in season ten where the main protagonist is a character who doesn’t even exist in the comic books. Daryl’s popularity, though, has helped him become the face of the series.
Still, like it is with every character on the show, Daryl has a lot of grey areas, and some of these have presented him in a light that doesn’t make him look like a very welcoming person. Although we’re loving Daryl as the new lead on The Walking Dead, there are still these ten times when he seemed like less of the main protagonist and more of a sour guy.
10 His Original Personality
In order for Daryl’s character development to be noticeable, he needed to come across as a jerk at the start of his tenure on the show. It was due to him being so unapproachable back then that we saw how different Daryl became around the second season and beyond.
Still, when we first saw him, he was anything but a softie, as his rage was his main attribute. He was more or less like Merle, and was prone to having violent outbursts and routinely threatening people.
9 When He Got Mad At Beth
To be fair, Beth brought this Daryl’s anger out on her own doing rather than it being Daryl’s fault. Beth had simply assumed Daryl had been to prison, considering his background and the fact that his brother was a known convict, which offended the latter.
Still, he might have been a bit too harsh on Beth, who was supposed to be only a teenager - a very sheltered one at that. As soon as he found out Beth’s assumptions, Daryl exploded in anger on Beth for thinking of him as a criminal, greatly scaring her. He probably could have handled the situation better.
8 When He Assumed Glenn's Nationality
Being a hillbilly of sorts, you can’t expect Daryl to have been politically correct, but he was being offensive nonetheless. This was a shared attribute with his brother, as Daryl assumed Glenn to be Chinese purely based on how he looked, rather than clarifying if his origins were from there at all.
When Glenn exasperatedly corrected Daryl that he was Korean, Daryl shrugged and replied with “whatever”, since he couldn’t care less. At the very least, we did get to see Daryl acknowledge Glenn as Korean two years later when Merle made the same assumption, so he wasn’t totally a jerk here.
7 When He Shunned People In General
At various points in the show, most of the main characters are guilty of doing this to their friends, with Daryl being no exception. At multiple times, Daryl has taken off from the group with ambiguous reasons given, and attempts at bringing him back would only draw harsh words from Daryl.
We saw this happen in the most context in Season 6 and Season 9, where in the latter he spent years off on his own because he didn’t want to be around anyone after Rick’s “death”.
6 When He Fought With Rick
Of course, in actuality it was Daryl feeling guilty at how sourly he left things with Rick that led to him spending years trying to recover his body. However, the most striking case of Daryl being sour to Rick was during Season 8.
Here, Daryl and Rick would have an actual brawl with one another because of their differences. It stemmed from Daryl being irrational and wanting to deviate from Rick’s plans, causing him to attack the latter when an agreement couldn’t be made.
5 When He Wanted Kill The People At The Sanctuary
What was it that led to Daryl and Rick’s fight? That would be Daryl’s willingness to kill off everyone at the Sanctuary. His reasoning was that the people there were like Negan, but what Daryl didn’t consider was that by killing so many of these people he would have become worse than Negan.
Still, at the time he didn’t have this in mind, and Daryl would try everything he could to get the Sanctuary to fall. This involved killing any Savior in sight and letting walkers flood into the Sanctuary to eat anyone they could find.
4 When He Wanted To Abandon The Sanctuary
To be fair, Daryl wasn’t exactly wrong in wanting to leave the Sanctuary after he was made the leader of the community despite his wishes not to be. The Saviors turned out to be a hopeless cause in the long-run, but this situation wasn’t helped by Daryl’s reluctance.
Rick would visit Daryl and encourage him to continue as leader, but Daryl would cause further headaches for the former by telling him there was no point in trying to keep the Sanctuary running due to it being a factory. He might have been correct, but that wasn’t the right thing to say to an already worried Rick at the time.
3 When He Was Skeptical Of Alexandria
Everyone in the group was kind of a jerk to the people of Alexandria when they got there, as they would shun the others and would bunk up together in one house. Of these people, Daryl was by far the most distant, being unwilling to make any friends at all.
He only became close to Aaron, and that too after he found out their thinking was aligned. As far as mingling with the others was concerned, Daryl didn’t make any effort in wanting to come across as friendly.
2 When He Killed Morales
As part of his philosophy of wanting to kill any Savior he set his sight on, Daryl decided he didn’t care if a particular Savior turned out to be someone he knew. We saw this when Daryl interjected in the standoff between Rick and their former friend Morales.
Here, Rick would try and get Morales to turn to their side, as he was reluctant to fight a person he had considered a friend. When Morales turned the offer down, he was met with his death when Daryl attacked him. A horrified Rick’s plea of the victim being Morales was met with nothing but coldness in Daryl’s part, who argued that the person’s identity meant nothing to him.
1 When He Caused Glenn's Death
Daryl being a hothead was going to backfire at some point, but it had to be at the worst time. Sure, Daryl was protective of the people he got close to; however, this was nothing but a boneheaded thing to do.
When Negan mocked Rosita over Abraham’s death, Daryl broke Negan’s warning of interfering and instead struck the man in the face. Knowing that killing Daryl would be too easy, Negan decided to punish him by bashing in Glenn’s head so that a horrified Daryl would watch the consequence he brought on. Being emotional was no excuse in this situation, as Daryl knew any hostility on his part would definitely have had ended in one tragedy or another - yet, he still chose to act with aggression and Maggie suffered for it.