The Non-Human Addition To ‘The Walking Dead’ That Will Make Season 9 Worth Watching

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We’re just over a month away from the return of The Walking Dead for the time-jump happy season 9, where we will likely be bidding farewell to at least a couple major cast members, but adding a whole lot of new faces in the process.

One of them is something you may not be expecting.

We are getting into extremely light spoiler territory here, and I do mean extremely light, but you’ve been warned.

While I have not gone fishing for some of the biggest spoilers leaks of the coming season, something has caught my eye that sounds kind of awesome. According to set photo leaks and The Spoiling Dead itself, this season Daryl will be getting a dog. The dog has been spotted riding around in Alexandria’s new wagon, and it appears to be part of the family, with possibly a dog-centric episode as to how it was found and adopted.

The Walking Dead has a bit of an odd relationship with animals in the sense that they almost never appear on the show. In this world, there are no zombie animals, ie. they just die when bitten, there aren’t zombie bear and elk and puppies roaming around the world. But we just have not seen many animals at all across eight seasons of The Walking Dead and four seasons of Fear. There are rare exceptions to that, but I’m of course thinking about the rather infamous CGI deer we saw awhile back, a low point for visual effects in the series, and then of course Ezekiel’s tiger Shiva, which was created with somewhat better CGI, but again, it was a bit weird.

The addition of a flesh and blood dog is new for the show, and hopefully something that will be compelling rather than silly. Yeah, I guess it was sort of sad when Shiva died defending Ezekiel, but I’ve never really liked the whole tiger idea, and a dog seems more practical. But no no no I am not asking for the dog to be killed off eventually for some cheap tears, though I would not put that trick past The Walking Dead at this point.

I’ve heard that this dog will indeed be Daryl’s, which makes sense given his character, as if he is going to make a friend, of course it would be a wild animal. Daryl is also being given a new rival, it seems, with Dwight out of the picture. That would be “Jed,” a fellow non-comic character played by Black Sails/The 100’s Zach McGowan. The point is, hopefully Daryl will have a lot more to do this season after remaining in relative limbo for years now. I hope new showrunner Angela Kang gets back to old, talking, kinda funny Daryl from earlier seasons.

So yeah, I don’t know why exactly I wrote an entire article about Daryl getting a dog, but it sounds like a great idea to me, and I am very much looking forward to a “Daryl rescues dog, dog rescue Daryl” episode in season 9.

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