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Here’s Why ‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Know Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) Will Survive Despite Negan Capturing Him

After watching Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) weeping into a puddle of dog-food puke on the Sunday, November 6, episode of The Walking Dead, you might be understandably concerned for the well-being of everyone’s favorite motorcycle-riding, badass member of the Grimes gang. Between his terrible guilt over Glenn’s death and the torture he’s currently living through at Negan’s Sanctuary, it’s gotta be only a matter of time before Daryl spirals permanently into the pit of despair … right?

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Wrong. While things might look bad for Daryl right now, you must remember: He’s been through “bad” before. And if there’s one thing we can say for Daryl Dixon, it’s that he is a damn champion at weathering disappointment and devastation, and emerging just as tough as (if not tougher than!) before. Below, we look back at all the horrors he has already bounced back from.

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Horror No. 1: The zombie apocalypse

Let’s just start with the obvious: Despite hordes of ravenous zombies chewing their way through 90 percent of the U.S. population, Daryl Dixon probably had some low moments as he watched his friends, family and weekend hunting buddies go down in a glut of blood ‘n’ guts. Yet by the time we met him in season 1, he was doing just fine.

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Horror No. 2: Remember Sophia?

Daryl threw his heart and soul into the search for Sophia back in season 2, only to learn the awful truth: She’d been dead for weeks, imprisoned in Hershel’s barn with a bunch of random walkers. But did Daryl lie down and cry and quit? Not a chance, sports fans.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon

Horror No. 3: Merle’s death

After being separated by unforeseen circumstances in Atlanta, the Dixon brothers were reunited — only to be separated permanently, gruesomely, when the evil Governor shivved Merle and left him to zombify. Was Daryl devastated? Yep. Did Daryl cry? Yep. Did Daryl do what had to be done, emerging as an even greater hero for his capacity to feel and heal? You bet your ass.

Horror No. 4: Losing Beth

And let’s not forget: Daryl already knows what it’s like to feel responsible for the death of an innocent friend. If he’d been just a little faster out the door of that funeral parlor, he might have caught up to Beth before the Grady Memorial staff snatched her — and she wouldn’t have ultimately been shot by Officer Dawn. If he didn’t break after that, he won’t break now.

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And of course, Horror No. 5: That time he fell down a hill and had a hard time getting up.

If you need one single illustration of Daryl Dixon’s toughing-out abilities, look no further than “Chupacabra.” This season 2 episode was a literal hour of Daryl trying to climb up a hill — which sounds boring, until you realize that the hill was just a metaphor for our hero’s emotional journey. And at the end of that trial, Daryl ended up where we know he’ll end up this time: at the top, triumphant, wearing a fabulous necklace made of human ears.

Here are a few fan tweets to prove we’re not the only ones keeping the faith.

The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. 

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