Some of the most exciting storylines of The Walking Dead come from those that are not featured in the comics. But those storylines can also leave viewers stressed since there's nothing available to help predict what's going to happen. Case in point: There's no way to know if Daryl will escape the Saviors. That's because the beloved character doesn't even exist in the comics and the Saviors didn't hold anyone hostage after Negan's infamous Lucille beating like they are doing on the TV show. So fans are only left theorizing about what's going to happen to Daryl on The Walking Dead.
After Nov. 6's "The Cell," Daryl's fate is no more certain than it was before the episode. He's being tortured by the Saviors and is only still alive because Negan has taken a liking to him. (Even Negan can see our Daryl is the greatest badass around.) While Daryl tried escaping on his own, it was a setup by Negan, so he didn't succeed. And as broken as Daryl may appear, he's not willing to play along with Negan's games in order to stop his suffering.
Now normally I would say that Rick and the gang would already be planning to come to Daryl's aid. But right now, they are understandably a bit shaken from the murders of Abraham and Glenn and probably don't want to face the wrath of Negan again. While I get that Rick doesn't want to cause anyone else to get killed, seeing him say he's no longer in charge of Alexandria in the preview for Nov. 13's episode, "Service," is a tremendously disheartening sight.
Part of me still has faith that someone from the group will figure out a way to get to Daryl. However, at this point, Daryl might fare better with help from some of the Saviors — specifically Dwight and his ex-wife Sherry. "The Cell" showed just how badly Negan has tortured this married couple by having Sherry marry him and putting an iron to Dwight's face. Although Dwight was Daryl's foe in Season 6, I think in some ways Dwight admires Daryl's unbreakableness. Sherry already showed a soft side to Daryl, so if this ex-couple decided to hurt Negan from the inside, helping Daryl to escape would be one way to do it.
Another way he could escape would be to go along with Negan and become one of his lackeys. Yet everything that happened in "The Cell" indicates that Daryl has no intention of pretending he serves Negan — even if it could offer him a chance of escape. While that's oh-so admirable, it's also oh-so frustrating since fans don't want to see Daryl die at the Savior's compound, the Sanctuary.
Speaking of dying, if Daryl doesn't escape anytime soon, does that mean the show is willing to kill him off this season? Comic book creator Robert Kirkman has been outspoken on the topic of killing the seemingly invincible Daryl. Back in 2013, Kirkman said to reporters at Comic-Con that he receives hate mail about killing off characters and that fans vehemently opposing Daryl's death could lead to the show killing him. "That fan reaction is going to get him killed. I feel like it's a dare. Like, 'Oh, really? You're gonna riot?" Kirkman said. "No one is safe."
In a more spoilery statement, Kirkman listed the characters who will die by the end of the series at the 2016 Comic-Con in Hawaii, according to CINEMABLEND. He made sure to include that Daryl will die on the TV show.
While I don't necessarily doubt that the show will kill Daryl one day, I don't think he will die when he's being held hostage by the Saviors. The creator of the comics might talk a big game, but would the show really be able to handle the backlash from fans if they killed Glenn and Daryl in the same season? I think not.
I have hopes that by the second part of Season 7, Daryl will be back where he belongs — with Rick and the rest of his original crew. Because while Rick might currently be cautious when it comes to dealing with Negan, there's no way he's going to continue living under that sadist's dictatorship for long. And Rick's gonna need his righthand man to bring back the Ricktatorship.
Images: Gene Page/AMC (2); Giphy