The actor elaborated on his character's mindset after the events of the opening episode of the show's seventh season
The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus has said that his character Daryl “never forgives himself” for the events that took place during the show’s seventh season opener.
Full spoilers for The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 1 are posted below – proceed with caution
The hit AMC show opened its new season last month with a shocking and brutal opening episode, which saw two members of Rick’s group – Glenn and Abraham – be killed by the show’s new nemesis, Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Daryl was taken prisoner by Negan’s men after he attacked the antagonist, which in turn saw Glenn be murdered by Negan in retaliation for Daryl’s show of resistance.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about how the traumatising events of that opening episode will have affected his character, Reedus said that Daryl would be unable to find closure over the deaths, particularly fan favourite Glen.
“He goes into a very dark place. He completely takes the weight of that and just carries that with him. He never forgives himself and he takes full responsibility,” Reedus said. “Although the thing is, Daryl didn’t say ‘Oh if I do this, they’ll kill Glenn.’ Nobody knows what’s going to happen with that guy with the bat. Nobody knows anything. But what he was doing was protecting Rosita. Negan had that bloody bat, waving it in her face, yelling at her, and it’s right in front of my face too. We were right next to each other. And he was picking on Rosita and Daryl stood up for her and he stood up for Abraham. The outcome of that, nobody knew that was going to happen.
“The weight of Glenn’s death is going to weigh on Daryl heavily, I know it does,” Reedus continued. “He gives up, he loses the fight, he’s keeping to himself, whatever’s happening to him, he thinks he deserves it. He’s going to let it happen, which is crushing. To take somebody wild like that — a wild, pure, honest fighter like that — and just strip him of his desire to fight back or fight for anything, it’s crushing.”
Reedus also spoke about the changing tone of this new season, with Rick’s group severely broken in spirit.
“We’ve never not been in control or at least thought we were in control. You have to break down heroes to see them turn into bigger heroes. Hopefully those heroes make it and hopefully those heroes find their way back to the type of people that fight for freedom and fight for their friends. It’s just a different season. It’s uplifting and it’s heartbreaking all at the same time, it’s a very emotional ride this year. It’s a very bold move, but the payoff is really big.”