The Walking Dead loves to break our hearts and kill off characters when we least expect it. However, there has always been one character that fans of the show have made very clear that they never want to see die.

FYI, there are a few spoilers ahead, so don't continue reading if you are not caught up on the series.

Robert Kirkman said in a recent interview with CNN that absolutely no one is safe, even in the face of a fandom who threatens to riot. Here’s what he had to say about the future of a certain beloved character:
No, no one is safe, definitely not. Looking at you Norman Reedus.

Okay, I hate to say this, but this announcement shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone. This show is set in a zombie apocalypse, so major character deaths are kind of inevitable. Beyond that, Kirkman is always very quick to say that absolutely no one is safe on the show. Kirkman has even said in the past that the show’s central character, Rick Grimes’ safety isn’t ensured. Being that Rick is the show’s central character, I’m not sure if I believe that he’s actually in a great deal of danger, but I certainly do believe that Daryl could be killed off despite the fandom’s rabid support of Norman Reedus’ character. We are merely pawns in Kirkman’s cruel game of walkers and heartbreak.

So is the fickle hand of Kirkman-ordered fate turning to Daryl Dixon? After the insane mid-season finale, it’s safe to say that Daryl will probably be in a pretty dark place once the second half of Season 5 premieres. Beyond that, the group is completely directionless right now. They have no purpose, no hope (thanks, Eugene), and no home. Who knows what kind of trouble Daryl and the rest of the group will get into once the show returns in February?

Of course, I cannot believe what kind of chaos would ensue if Kirkman actually did kill off Daryl Dixon. After Beth’s death in the Season 5 mid-season finale, fans have gotten a bit crazy trying to figure out a way to bring her back. Though a large portion of the fandom touts the “if Daryl dies, we riot” slogan a bit ironically, I think there could be actual riots if Kirkman takes our favorite survivor from us.

Because we really have no idea what the second half of this season will bring, all we can do is speculate at this point. Is Daryl’s life really in danger, or is Kirkman just trying to keep the fans on their toes to ensure they keep watching? Am I just grasping at straws with that last theory? Ultimately, Daryl is going to die. Characters dying is simply a part of the nature of the show. The big question is will Daryl be next? Sure, he has to die at some point, but that point is going to be way, way, WAY off in the future, right? RIGHT?!?

Unfortunately, we will just have to wait and see. The Walking Dead will return to AMC on February 8, and remember: if Daryl dies, we riot.

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