pigsfeet: (killing me softer)
2daryl2dixon ([personal profile] pigsfeet) wrote2016-11-06 11:45 am


Name: Pel
Preferred pronouns: guy ones
Over 16?: y
Contact: [plurk.com profile] wehwalt
Time zone: CST
Other characters: nah

Type: Canon Character
Name: Daryl Dixon
Canon: The Walking Dead
Canon point: end of s5e8, 'Coda'.
Age: early / mid 30s probably.
Appearance: Ridiculous.

Daryl is like an animal in an alley, in the rain. You see him and you want to go touch him, and he snaps at you and will bite you, but if you feed him and take him in for a day or two, he’ll follow you forever.
-Norman Reedus
Daryl Dixon is defined by circumstance. Raised in rural Georgia, Daryl grew up very poor-- he refers to himself as white trash on one occasion, and tells stories about how he had to learn to hunt and live in the wild to survive. His father was hideously abusive, leaving Daryl's back with long ugly scars and burns. Daryl's older brother Merle was treated with the same brutality. Daryl's mother 'liked her wine', but not much is known about her; she died when Daryl was young.

Daryl talks little about his childhood, and the most we learn about it is through his brother Merle. Daryl and Merle were close, and Merle's personality is... aggressive. Merle accosts everyone, insults everybody, and is a generally aggressive person, constantly jockeying for social capital. When he interacts with Daryl, he always makes fun of him, doubts him and challenges him. When Daryl has suffered a major injury, he hallucinates his brother being there to encourage him; even in Daryl's mind, Merle is rude and disrespectful, nagging and insulting him every step of the way.

From this, it's easy to see that Daryl is used to derisive interactions, being treated poorly, and thinking little of himself. He always mentally orients himself as someone who has to provide, to prove himself, to show his worth, because his place is never assured and his importance is never implicit. He has to make himself indispensable, or he will be abandoned.

Daryl is someone who, expecting mistreatment, is emotionally closed off. He's terrified of showing any kind of vulnerability, emotional, social, or otherwise.
Ain't nobody ever gonna care about you but me, little brother. Ain't nobody ever will. C'mon, get up on your feet before I have to kick your teeth in.
-Merle Dixon, s2 'Chupacabra'.
If he can help it, Daryl avoids any evidence of emotion. Well, besides anger. When pushed to any emotional point, Daryl would prefer to react with rage; it's safer. It's not embarrassing, weak and soft.

As a result, Daryl can appear hot-headed, especially in a heated situation. He tends to alternate between periods of extreme calm, almost boredom and brooding, or moments of shouting and profanity. He'll yell and scream because yelling and screaming is better than letting any vulnerability show. It's hard for him to ever say he cares.

But Daryl does care, and it shows in actions rather than words. When he feels some sort of emotional closeness with another person, he'll give them more patience, take longer to anger in their presence, bring them food and try and care for their welfare and upkeep. In general, he's a bit like a loyal animal, trying to make sure you're comfortable and bringing you dead animals.

He's also willing to indulge treasured people's whimsies and odd tastes. While usually he's more than happy to deride others for their strangeness, special people's quirks get preferential treatment. Special people get the best of Daryl, the most patient, most kind, most caring. He'll never say it, but you can see it if you watch him closely, listen carefully.
He can beat you up, he can kill you, he can hunt for his own food, he's not afraid of anything except emotional contact.
-Norman Reedus.
Daryl's greatest emotional weakness is his fear of losing people, largely because he's lost so many already. As much as he pretends not to feel, his emotions run very deeply and keenly, and he feels incredible pain when loved ones suffer or die.

He's seen friends die horribly, children swallowed up in pain and death, and he remembers all of it. Even years later, he'll go out of his way to carry tokens of dead friends, provide for the hurts of those who have lost others, and mourn. Daryl never really stops mourning, and he doesn't think others do either.

While traveling with a friend whose young daughter died, the pair come across a group of undead children; Daryl does his best to shield her from them, and takes care to specially dispose of the bodies, where usually he tends to leave corpses where they fell.

When another friend dies, Daryl carries her knife with him for years afterward, always taking special care of it. When his brother dies, he keeps his motorcycle in excellent working condition until it's literally exploded by an eyepatched sociopath in a tank.

...look, the show's based off a comic book, okay.

Daryl learns from every loss, and the events are highly meaningful to him even years later. With every death, he becomes more and more closed off.

When looking for a young girl who's gotten lost in the woods, Daryl framed her in hope and optimism; when they find the girl dead, Daryl becomes highly cynical. Befriending Beth, Daryl learned that good people still exist in the world; with her death (and subsequent but unrelated run-ins with a pack of cannibals) Daryl is far less ready to believe in the inherent goodness of anyone.

He feels old hurts for a long, long time, and keeps them with him for ages. He doesn't trust easily, and is quick to suspect the worst of people. He's quick to anger, especially if people hit on his emotional weak spots: highlighting his outsider status, insulting his background or intelligence, and implying he's weak or sensitive.

But at his core, no matter how much he tries to hide it, Daryl does care about others. He also judges people by those merits; if you're unkind to others in front of him, especially people weaker than you, he'll think less of you, be less likely to help you, and generally treat you poorly. He has a soft spot for kids and women and hates seeing them hurt. He thinks well of people who stick their necks out for others.

But he'll never, ever say it.
Daryl doesn’t hate anybody in the group. Daryl will fight to keep everyone alive. He’s not really looking after anything for himself. He’s got no internal plan to fuck you over. He’s exactly what you see. There’s nothing sneaky about him, and he has heart.
-Norman Reedus

Background/AU details: doot doot.

Strengths & weaknesses:

Daryl is an excellent tracker, hunter, and all around outdoorsman. In canon, he tells the story of how he survived for himself in the wild at the age of twelve, meaning he has long experience with survival before the zombie apocalypse even gets started. He also knows a fair deal about motorcycle maintenance and upkeep. He has excellent aim with a crossbow and gun, in general preferring the former but can work with the latter in a pinch. In pitched battles, he's generally put on sniper detail.

However, Daryl is deeply weak emotionally, largely due to his incredible unwillingness to actually deal with or acknowledge his emotions. This, added to how he's greatly effected by emotional responses, creates kind of an internal pressure cooker. Where feelings are concerned, he's a bit of a time bomb. He gets intensely depressed with those close to him die, and flies into childish rages if he allows himself to react at all. He will wander off alone and is even seen on one occasion self harming with cigarette butts. Highly reactive and impressionable, he's very much influenced by the world around him, and quick to fly to extremes if he doesn't have a positive or stabilizing presence nearby.

He also implicitly hates-- or at least distrusts-- most figures of authority, and challenges them in various ways. While he's no longer as openly rebellious as he once was, he does still enjoy flaunting how he doesn't listen to authority figures. He thinks all authority has to be earned, and hates the idea that anyone is implicitly above him. He doesn't care if someone is put in command of him, as far as he's concerned, all bets are off until they personally earn his loyalty.

Basically, he's great for survivalism, hunting and tracking; finding missing people is a specialty! But he's kind of shit in any organized command structure, social structure, or military structure, unless he's got a reason to keep his head down. It takes months for him to trust the leader of his group; once he does, he's loyal forever, a steadfast and stalwart ally. But before then, he's emotionally unpredictable, unresponsive, volatile and aggressive.


Daryl is a 100% normal human.

However, all humans in The Walking Dead universe are infected with the zombie disease, causing them to reanimate after death as, well... the walking dead. Congrats, you've got the central metaphor of the show.

Obviously, this will no longer be 'contagious' in the game. If Daryl happens to die and reanimate, biting will not pass on the contagion. If it'd be fun for plot, and I decide to drop Daryl, I may contact the mods about the option of having his corpse reanimate, and it'll be up to you guys what happens. Obviously, though, this is a very far off possibility. I'm up for discussion with you on it at any point, and nothing's written in stone. It's not like the show itself is scientifically consistent.

Placement preference: Preferably on the Ceta side, for ~drama~ (see below).

Character goals:

I am apping Daryl in with his canonmate Beth Greene, so that's a part of my plans.

Daryl is good friends with Beth in canon and then she dies, Daryl is extremely traumatized. After that point, Daryl's character development from S5 to S7 becomes an endless misery train of people important to him dying, Daryl getting depressed, rinse, repeat, over and over again. It's a little... stifling.

My intention in this game is to get him off that downward trajectory. He sees Beth die, and them bam, he's on Barrayar, and has to work for the Cetas to survive. This will be an interesting and volatile period for him; in canon, during the aftermath of Beth's death, Daryl is extremely depressed and distant (this is the period where he self-harms in canon, for example). During a war, he won't be able to disappear into himself like he does in canon; he simply won't have the room or the time. While this isn't emotionally healthy for him either, it will be different, and send him on a different path than in canon.

At some later point, he'll sees Beth on the Barrayaran side. This will cause him to seriously interrogate why he's fighting this war and work for a better ending, giving him a sense of stability he lacks in the show. It will also force him to think for the future, instead of falling into an endless depressive cycle of torture and despair-- usually, Daryl tends to hang back and go with the flow. This time, he'll have to strike out for himself and make decisive choices about his future. He'll also have to refocus on what lessons he learned from Beth's death, and what that moment means to him.

Sample: (linking all my tdm threads for my own personal reference fyi; you obviously don't have to read all of it.)
hi piotr.
hi sonia.
hi oliva.
dear, sweet, innocent beth.
making friends and influencing undead queens.
aral that kills people.