When The Walking Dead returns tonight, it will presumably involve the survivors being led from one dangerous situation to another, with the notoriously moody Rick Grimes heading the pack. For four-and-a-half seasons now, Rick has pushed through one emotional boundary after another in order to do “what it takes” to keep Carl and the others safe. But what if Rick wasn’t around, and it was up to someone else to serve as head honcho?

Here are five other Walking Dead characters that could have stood in as proper leaders if Rick either hadn’t woken up from his coma or died along the way. Since we already have a spinoff coming to show us how this universe will be without Rick, let’s pretend like this is the eventual Walking Dead reboot that we all know is coming in 20 years or so. First up, the obvious choice.

Over the years, no one has delivered the same amount of intense zombie-massacring as Rick than the silent-but-deadly Daryl Dixon. He’s the only other alpha male character that’s been there since the show started, and he’s definitely capable of committing whatever harsh deeds need to be done. Daryl doesn’t generally have to do anything on the psychotic side of heroism, though, since Rick is always there to bite rapists’ necks and accomplish other morally challenging tasks. But with his trusty crossbow and a never-ending supply of walker-killing arrows, Daryl is destined for a greatness that isn’t guided by the Word of Grimes, especially since he doesn’t have an immediate family to take care of. (Merle was doomed since birth.)

What Kind of Leader Would He Be? Given his approach to life consists of aggressively walking around in silence, Daryl would probably be a more easygoing authority figure in terms of direction, and would lead a nomadic group much like the one we know now. Though he also seems like the kind of guy who wouldn’t accept failure without some form of punishment involved, so watch out.

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