Why We Need To Stop Blaming Daryl, According To Steven Yeun


Spoiler alert if you still have yet to watch the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead.

"The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" was as brutal an episode of The Walking Dead as they come, with the emotional pain ringing out almost as loud as the physical destruction. The episode's double-murder added to the show's long list of sad deaths, and many were just as quick to blame Daryl for Glenn's bludgeoning as they were to blame Negan's rhyme for Abraham's. But actor Steven Yeun had something contrary to say when asked if Daryl should be held responsible for Glenn getting massacred.

No. I think Daryl is a character that will blame himself. I think that's enough for him. Even if it's not real or even if it's not accurate or fair, I think he would shoulder that type of burden. It'll be interesting to see what happens with that and I'm sure Norman will crush it.

Indeed, actor Norman Reedus shared that he will now be in a dark, dark place following the weeks after the premiere, knowing that things might have gone very differently had he not impulsively shot up and popped Negan in the face. Not only did that possibly give Negan the impetus to smash another skull, but the lunkheaded act of aggression also proved to the new big bad that Daryl was precisely the key player to take away as a hostage for the time being. A chain may only be as good as its weakest link, but taking away strong links doesn't exactly help.

Still, just because Daryl is gloomy and also in his own hot water doesn't automatically take the crosshairs off of him for Glenn's death. I'd think if anyone was allowed to speak during Negan's lineup, Glenn would have thrown Daryl some judgmental words about putting everyone else at risk with his violent instincts, because that's the kind of character Glenn was. I guess that's not how Steven Yeun sees it, though, at least as far as his EW interview went. He did tell them that Glenn's death was gnarly to watch and that it was emotional, so at least we're all in agreement on something.

Just to play the devil's advocate for a second, it IS possible Negan was going to kill two characters regardless of Daryl's actions, since Negan obviously understands that only killing one of Rick's people doesn't really make up for all the Saviors that he lost. Of course, Negan knows that more people alive in the outside world means more people to grow food, find supplies and other necessary duties, so he definitely not into full-blown genocide. That said, he is a showman who knows that post-apocalyptic life hardens some survivors to stone, and while a wooden baseball bat can't always break a stone directly, it can definitely assist in the process. More than once, too, if need be.

It's unclear if we'll get to see how Daryl is repenting next week, since the episode is going to shift to Morgan and Carol and the introduction of The Kingdom and Ezekiel. That will be a nice change of scenery, for sure, but it will also mean having to show extreme patience while waiting for the show to visit our favorite primetime redneck in Negan's Sanctuary.

The Walking Dead airs on AMC every Sunday night, and that's a day when the long-unseen Father Gabriel would tell us we should all probably be a little more forgiving of our fellow human beings. But hey, if you guys want to keep blaming Daryl, I won't tattle you out to Steven Yeun.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.