Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead” season nine premiere.
“The Walking Dead” returned for its ninth season with a new showrunner, Angela Kang, new opening credits, and a major death. But there was one other thing that really got people talking a lot during the episode.
Many fans noticed that fan-favourite Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) had more lines on the show than it seemed he has had in years.
Since the death of Glenn on season seven, Daryl has kind of backtracked on speaking a lot. Often his speech seemed like it was toned down essentially to short sentences, a word here or there, or grunts. It didn’t help that he was locked up at the Sanctuary under Negan’s rule.
After a time jump of a year-and-a-half on the season nine premiere, Daryl suddenly wasn’t only speaking in full sentences but he appeared in multiple scenes speaking at length not just with Rick, but also Maggie, and Carol, and Oceanside’s Cyndie.
He had some of the most dialogue in the entire episode and fans took notice.
1. Daryl speaks! And not only does he speak but he had some knowledge and insight to lay down. He and Rick have been brothers for years.. but siblings have rivalries. And it’s clear there is tension between these two based off of Rick’s decisions. #TheWalkingDead
— Sharareh Drury (@ShararehDrury) October 8, 2018
— Walker Bait (@twd_geek) October 8, 2018
It’s not something that has gone unnoticed by actor Reedus either.
“The last couple of seasons I didn’t say much, that’s true,” said Reedus on aftershow “Talking Dead,” trying to explain exactly why that was the case.
“It’s always been story first. And [former showrunner] Scott [M. Gimple] was always story first,” he continued. “He would tell me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll talk again one day.'”
Though we saw Daryl speak a lot on the season premiere, Reedus hints that you’re not going to see him fill Rick’s role necessarily when actor Andrew Lincoln departs the show this season.
“I don’t think Daryl’s ever the type of character that’s going to build a podium and give an inspirational speech. He’s just not that guy,” said Reedus.
Daryl’s meaty dialogue was one of many changes from the previous few seasons fans were applauding Sunday night.
Many thanked and credited the work of Kang, who has been a writer on the show since season two, for bringing about a new feel to the show.
Okay, so @angelakang did not come to play! We got #Richonne goodness, #Carzekiel love, Daryl out here speaking FULL SENTENCES, and Gregory is dead. Keep it up, ma’am. I am here for it!!! ???????? #TWD #TWDFamily #TWDSeason9Premiere #TheWalkingDead #TDCPod
— Two Dead Chicks are on a helicoper hiatus ???????? (@twodeadchicks) October 8, 2018
I loved it! Loved all the interactions between the characters, Daryl finally speaking again, & that the show really does seem revived & fresh! Excited to see more!
— Lalia C. (@Loves_Reedus) October 8, 2018
I have a renewed hope in the show! Loved the intro & loved the scene between Daryl & Carol ❤️ It’s nice to have Daryl speaking again instead of just grunting lol Can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say! ????♂️????♀️
— Tiffany???? (@TLKtheDiva) October 8, 2018
I’m still on such a high from this episode. I really have zero complaints.
Angela Kang had a lot to prove and she did THAT.
This is #TheWalkingDead that I fell in love with and I am overjoyed that it is BACK!
— The Walking Dead World (@TWalkingDWorld) October 8, 2018
“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays on AMC.
You can follow along with our “Walking Dead” coverage all season long here.
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