WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 11
The Walking Dead season 11 completes Daryl Dixon's transformation into the new Rick Grimes. Ever since Rick's departure in season 9, Daryl has slowly taken the reigns as a new leader figure for the survivors. That being said, there never was an indication that he would take Rick's place fully. With season 11's trailer, however, one small clue seems to indicate that now is the case.
For most of The Walking Dead's run, Daryl has been one of Rick's closest allies, serving in his second-in-commands on many occasions. Despite a few bumps in the road, their friendship has never seen a fallout either. When Rick is ultimately presumed dead and others like The Walking Dead's Michonne are out of commission, it was natural for Daryl to step up into a proper leadership role. With The Walking Dead season 11, it now seems that this role will make him more like his old friend than ever before.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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In The Walking Dead season 11's San Diego Comic-Con trailer, Daryl is seen holding Rick's revolver. While a minor moment in the trailer, it's one that also has huge significance. Not only does it mean that the revolver still holds meaning to Daryl even after Rick's disappearance, but it also implies that he is now ready to take on a larger role in making a better future for others a reality. This will be a huge development for the character as The Walking Dead's Commonwealth story is coming to a boiling point.
How Daryl Has Taken Rick's Story In The Walking Dead's Final Season
In The Walking Dead comics, Rick's role in the Commonwealth arc puts him at odds with Pamela Milton and eventually sees him killed by Sebastian. In comparison, the TV show has shown Daryl come into conflict with the latter when he threatens RJ and Judith, hinting at a major confrontation in The Walking Dead season 11 part 3. Daryl's more active role in protecting Rick's kids makes it clear that he is truly someone who must take a stand to protect others. This trait is what made Rick such an effective leader before, and it appears now that's rubbing off on Daryl.
In the wake of a confirmation that The Walking Dead's Rick and Michonne are getting their own show, there's no indication of how long Daryl's leadership role will last. This is especially true if his own spin-off show sees him going across the globe to another country. For now, though, The Walking Dead seasons 9 through 11 have seen Daryl's growth into the new Rick like never before. And him holding Rick's revolver is the clearest indication that that transformation is finally complete.