Daryl will be deadlier than ever in season 9 of The Walking Dead

Crossbow-wielding redneck Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, will take a more prominent role in season 9 of The Walking Dead – and he’ll also have two new weapons at his command.

“Since our characters are being more stingy with their bullets this year, we wanted to make sure Daryl had a good secondary weapon for hand-to-hand fighting (a crossbow is difficult to reload, so it’s not good for quick combat),” new showrunner Angela Kang told AMC.

“Norman helped to custom design a pair of knives that he can use for two-handed combat. They’re saw-backed Bowie knives with finger rings that allow you to quickly twirl the knives into different positions (you can grip them in either direction).”

Daryl’s new weapons won’t be the only change when the hit zombie series returns to our screens later this year.

“We’re seeing graffiti in the Sanctuary for the first time since the war: ‘Saviors Save Us,’ says Kang. “After all the misery we saw at the Sanctuary when the Saviors were in charge, this is a surprising message for our people to see in the aftermath of the war.

“‘We Are Still Negan’ is a nod back to the way the Saviors used to call themselves Negan, written in response to the call for help. In working on this story, the writers’ room discussed the appeal of authoritarian governments as a reaction to chaos and war.

“Andrew Lincoln [who plays Rick Grimnes] picked up on that immediately when he saw this moment in the script and said, ‘Well, it’s the rise of fascism, isn’t it?’

“We don’t tend to write in reaction to current events because we start breaking our stories 10 months or more before the season starts to air, but we do look to history for lessons about how civilizations react to war, pestilence, natural disaster, etc.

“This season, we’re reflecting the way the characters in the comic book looked to the past to create a future, so it’s especially valuable for us now!”

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