‘The Walking Dead’ Won’t See Merle Dixon Return: Here’s Why

The Walking Dead has only five episodes left in this season to offer some stunning twists and make the show’s fans anticipate the new season in summer. While the midseason premiere of the show saw two children die, with a third shot in the face, fans still crave more.

But apparently the show will have to pull it off without the help of Michael Rooker’s portrayal of Merle Dixon, according to Comic Book.

Merle Dixon is Daryl’s older brother and a character not to be messed with, whose death depressed many Walking Dead fans. Merle was killed off in Season 3, but ever since his last breath on the show, the fans have been begging producers and executives to bring him back.

And judging by the fact that they did something similar in Season 2, the possibility of seeing Merle alive on the show was pretty realistic. Up until now.

The actor who played Merle on The Walking Dead – Michael Rooker – said during a 45-minute panel (Michael Rooker vs. The Audience) that there is no way Merle would ever appear on the show again, when asked if such a possibility is in the cards.

The 60-year-old actor jokingly added that the AMC’s hit TV show The Walking Dead just cannot afford him. The show’s fans also suspect that the actor didn’t get along with other cast members, which may be another reason why Merle will never re-appear on the show.

When asked by a member of the audience if the actor was getting along with other cast members of The Walking Dead, Rooker asked “in real life?” and added a noise similar to “bleh.” The actor then smiled and said “very well,” without providing any additional information.

Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead was unusually calm: not much happened, there were little to no zombies, there were intimate moments between Rick and Michonne, and there was Jesus, according to Forbes. Jesus brought Rick and his group of survivors to a rather questionable walled-in safe-haven.

In Season 6, Episode 11 of The Walking Dead, called “Knots Untie,” Rick and his group of survivors stumble across a car accident on their way to Hilltop Colony. Turns out, it was some of Jesus’ people in the car.

After Jesus’ people are rescued, Rick’s group gets to Hilltop Colony. This safe-haven offers a large quantity of crops, while it has no means of self-defense outside of the walls. Even though the characters don’t seem to be starving in Alexandria, and even though it seems that more crops could grow there to provide Rick’s group of people with more food, Rick still thinks that they need to take over Hilltop Colony.

Maggie steals the spotlight in the most recent episode of The Walking Dead. She manages to handle Gregory’s (the leader of Hilltop Colony) cockiness quite well.

Daryl also became one of the heroes of the episode. One of the show’s most loved characters by The Walking Dead fans eliminated an entire goon-squad of Negan’s group of men with a rocket launcher. Negan’s group of men didn’t expect such an attack, so Daryl was rather lucky.

If Negan has more goons that wriggle their tails around him, then Rick’s group of people could be seriously out-gunned in upcoming episodes of The Walking Dead. Some characters (maybe even some of the show’s long-timers) could end up dead.

So now that Rick’s group of people is thinking about attacking an enemy colony with no information about that colony whatsoever, it significantly raises the stakes for The Walking Dead characters. A failed attack on the colony could become no less than a massacre.

[Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images]

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