Possible spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 6 below.
One has to wonder what it’s like to be Norman Reedus, an actor whose fan favorite character Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead has been the subject of more death theories and rumors than the other 99% of TV characters out there. (And then there’s the whole licking people thing, but that’s for another day.) Daryl is once again being targeted by worried fans, now that actor Michael Rooker has been seen on the set for Season 6, prompting many to think that Reedus’ crossbow-wielding days could be numbered.
Rooker played Merle Dixon, Daryl’s older and more aggressively arrogant brother, who was killed in the Season 3 episode “This Sorrowful Life,” in which Daryl had to put an end to Walker Merle in a tearful rage. Because The Walking Dead has employed deceased characters through flashbacks and hallucinatory scenes in the past – most memorably through Tyreese’s death earlier this year – Rooker’s presence on set has fans speculating that Daryl may be mentally spending some time with Merle before meeting his own maker.
Of course, that’s just one way of looking at it, as there are two more aspects to the story that don’t automatically imply “R.I.P. Daryl.” One, the Spoiling Dead Fans Facebook post doesn’t say whether Rooker was actually filming anything on set, or if he was just there as a spectator or guest. Second, Tyler James Williams (who played the cheek-ripped Noah) was also spotted, and his character wasn’t that important to Daryl, so a Noah flashback probably wouldn’t have anything to do with him. So what could this all mean?
Another likely possibility for the actors’ combined presence – which would mean bad news for someone else in the cast – is that they’re there for one of the show’s “death dinners.” These occur when actors both former and current come together during production to say goodbye to a cast member who has been killed off. Now, this could still mean bad news for Daryl, but it’s likely one of the other characters who got screentime with both Merle and Noah. That basically means Rick, Carl, Carol, Glenn, Maggie or Michonne. These are all super important characters, so any one of their deaths would be a major blow to fans, if that’s what this all means.
If I can take a second to throw out my own guesswork, I’m thinking we may be seeing the last of Stephen Yuen’s Glenn in Season 6. Because creator Robert Kirkman blatantly blurted out Glenn’s comic book fate on @midnight, it’s likely the character will meet a different fate in the TV world, possibly as a result of his feud with Nicholas. (We’re also guessing someone else will meet the wrong end of Negan’s bat when that storyline kicks in.) But then, it could be Carol that gets iced, if her loyalties to Rick aren’t viewed so kindly from the more bull-headed Alexandria natives.
Whichever way Carol and Daryl’s cookies crumble, we’ll be able to find out exactly what happens to The Walking Dead characters when the show returns to AMC for Season 6 this fall starting on Sunday, October 11.