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How The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus Thinks Daryl Would React To Seeing Andrew Lincoln's Rick Again

norman reedus and andrew lincoln behind the scenes of the walking dead season 8
(Image credit: amc press)

As The Walking Dead creeps towards its Season 11 premiere, which will kick off the zombie drama's extended final stretch, fans are no doubt waiting to see what showrunner Angela Kang and her creative team have in store for the show's core protagonist ensemble. And you just know that a large subsection of the fanbase is blindly holding out hope that Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes will make a final TV appearance ahead of the character's feature film debut. It almost definitely won't happen, but if it does, Rick should probably steer clear of Norman Reedus' Daryl, at least early on.

Norman Reedus has a pretty specific idea for how his character Daryl would react to seeing Andrew Lincoln's Rick more than half a decade after he first disappeared (in Season 9's "What Comes After"). It isn't necessarily the sweetest and kindest reaction, but it's perfectly on brand for Daryl. Here's how he put it to Insider:

I think Daryl should see Rick and first punch him in the face, before he says anything, just for putting him through that, all those tears, punch him in the face. And then he should say, 'It looks like you've gained weight.'

Daryl is obviously a character who is driven by the darker side of his emotional spectrum, and often acts out vengefully, impulsively and without an abundance of forethought. That all tracks with his ideas for how Daryl would react to Rick's return, since it seems entirely antithetical to immediately bring facial pain to the dude that everyone has been missing so hard over the years.

As if the physical attack wasn't enough on its own, Norman Reedus (kind of hilariously) also thinks Daryl would add insult to injury by making fun of Rick's weight, which is the kind of petty mess that presumably doesn't happen as much in the post-apocalypse. Especially weight jokes, considering weight gains in the zombie apocalypse have to be relatively non-existent outside of singled-out instances. (The walkers' metabolism must be extremely impressive.)

After the topic of Judith and R.J. Grimes came up, Norman Reedus had another complaint that he'd want to throw Rick's way upon their reunion:

Yeah, you owe me child support.

Not that Daryl has spent any money on either Judith or R.J., but certainly there's a lot of value in the time he's spent providing care and food for the kids. Especially after Danai Gurira's Michonne also packed up and shipped off on her child-less quest to find Rick. At least Rick was taken away from everyone without his knowledge or consent. Michonne straight up volunteered to go solo. Not that I'm saying Daryl should punch her in the face or anything.

No doubt Daryl will find someone else's face to smash up once The Walking Dead Season 11 debuts on AMC on Sunday, April 22, with the season premiere and all other episodes available to stream a week early on the streaming service AMC+. While waiting for the zombie action to return, be sure to take note of all the other exciting shows hitting the 2021 Fall TV schedule.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.