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This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for his appearance in Survival Instinct, or his Social Game, No Man's Land, or Our World counterparts.

"You need to grow up. Things are different now. Your people look at me like I'm the devil. Grabbing up those love birds like that, huh? Now y'all wanna do the same damn thing I did, snatch someone up and deliver them to the Governor. Just like me. People do what they gotta do or they die."
—Merle justifying his actions to Daryl in their final conversation.[src]

Merle Dixon is a main character and a former antagonist, as well as a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. During the initial outbreak, he and his younger brother, Daryl, joined a group of survivors outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

After being abandoned on a rooftop in Atlanta, Merle is found by a man known as The Governor and taken to Woodbury, where he becomes one of his top soldiers. Merle eventually reunites with his brother and rejoins the Survivors. He served as the primary antagonist of the episode "Guts" and the secondary antagonist for the first half of Season 3.


A seemingly stereotypical Southern redneck, Merle is boorish, surly, abrasive, combustible, violent, racist, misogynistic, volatile, extremely ill-tempered and quick to express his beliefs. However, Merle is also extremely humorous in nature and is a thrill seeker, who gets joy by mentally and emotionally toying with others. Much like his younger brother, Merle is an expert tracker and hunter. He is deadly with firearms, and in the third season, his hand-blade attachment proves to be one of his deadliest weapons. He is an experienced bruiser, showcased in the first season when he dominated T-Dog in a fist-fight, and at the same time was able to fend off Rick Grimes, Morales, and Glenn Rhee simultaneously. He also showed his fighting abilities when he took down Martinez in the brutal battle-royal event in Woodbury, and was able to fend off Michonne's sword attacks with his hand-blade.

After being left behind in Atlanta, Merle was found by the Governor and eventually became his right-hand man and a key member of the Woodbury Army. During this time he devolved into a ruthless killer who followed the Governor's lead without question, all the while striving to find his brother and take vengeance on Rick and T-Dog, who left him for dead on the roof in Atlanta. Though the Governor and Merle were allies, it seemed that Merle feared him to an extent and no doubt had issues with his authority looming over him at all times. While he was staying in Woodbury, Merle read many books, including the Bible, and even memorized verses of the Bible, showing that he is intelligent, and also possibly religious. When he later comes across Glenn and Maggie Greene and kidnaps and takes them back to Woodbury as prisoners, his crueler side is shown as he brutally interrogates Glenn and almost kills him for information on the location of his brother and their camp. However, Merle was still not completely incapable of empathy, as he offered his condolences to Andrea over the death of her sister, Amy.

After the prison group came to the rescue of Glenn and Maggie, Merle was then branded as a traitor and a terrorist by the Governor for lying about killing Michonne which cost the Governor his eye and zombified daughter, and became an enemy of Woodbury. Merle escaped Woodbury alongside Daryl with aid from Rick and Maggie. It became apparent that between the Governor and Daryl, Merle was always loyal to his brother and knowingly discarded any chance of becoming a part of Woodbury again when he saw a chance to reunite himself with Daryl.

After joining the prison group, his personality began to slightly change, appearing to lose some of his violent and racist tendencies. Merle realized that he had to coexist with the prison group and that not doing so would damage his relationship with Daryl. This causes Merle to examine his past mistakes and reevaluate himself. He is even shown to be searching for some forgiveness from those of the group who he had once wronged such as Michonne. He later attempts to fulfill the potential deal made by the Governor and Rick, which was an exchange of Michonne for peace between the two groups. However, he has a change of heart and releases her, instead opting to take on the group of Woodbury soldiers who had been planning an ambush. This would be his biggest and final act of redemption, as after taking down eight Woodbury soldiers, he is killed by the Governor, reanimates and is finally put down by his own brother.

To the end of his life, Merle was a flawed man with issues that he kept himself from facing, but was never truly evil. He loved his brother and it drove him to keep fighting in a world filled with despair. His final act of courage gave his brother and the rest of the prison group a fighting chance and, perhaps for the first and only time in his life, Merle truly found his place among others.


Northern Georgia

Survival Instinct

Main article: Merle Dixon (Survival Instinct)

Merle grew up in the mountains of Northern Georgia alongside his younger brother Daryl, under the roof of their neglectful redneck parents, their father, an abusive alcoholic alongside their chain-smoker mother. Because of the lack of love and guidance he was given, Merle chose to act out against society, which led him to frequently be incarcerated in juvenile institutions. He became frequently absent from Daryl's life, thus making Daryl resentful of his absence and as a role model in his childhood.

At a young age, the brothers lost their mother in a house fire which had been caused by a cigarette while she was asleep or presumably drunk. Over the course of several years, they were mentally and physically abused by their father, which eventually caused Merle to abandon the family and join the military, claiming he would've killed their father otherwise. Unknown to Merle, Daryl was left to suffer from the abuse which resulted in severe scars located on his back.

During his time in the army, Merle punched a sergeant, which got him dishonorably discharged. He was then court-martialed and sent to prison for sixteen months. Following their father's death, Merle reconnected with Daryl, who followed his brother's lead, and they entered into a drifter lifestyle, where the pair utilized their survival instincts. He would also become involved in the contraband of crystal meth.

At one point, the pair resided in Merle's drug supplier's house where the trio watched TV and by noon had become intoxicated, a discussion turned violent where the dealer punched his older brother, where Daryl retaliated by savagely beating the man. However, the dealer then threatened to shoot Daryl, a large argument ensued, which ended with the dealer punching Daryl in the gut, causing him to vomit. Merle and the dealer laughed the incident off. However, Merle would always care for his brother and look after his only support.


Metro-Atlanta, Georgia

Survival Instinct

Main article: Merle Dixon (Survival Instinct)

During the onset of the outbreak, Merle and Daryl traveled towards a supposedly safe-zone in Atlanta. Sometime after the city was napalmed by the military, they met up with Shane's group and they formed a campsite outside the outskirts of Atlanta, along with other survivors. During their stay at the camp, the brothers spent a considerable amount of time hunting animals for the group.

Season 1


On the department store's rooftop, Merle fires at walkers in the street with a scoped rifle. The group arrives and T-Dog chastises him for wasting bullets and attracting more walkers. Merle scoffs at him by saying he'd never take orders from a "n*gger," which sets off a fight between the two. Merle beats T-Dog and presses a handgun to his forehead, before spitting on his chest and proposing a change in leadership. The group is forced to vote in favor of Merle being their new leader. Suddenly, Rick hits Merle with the butt of the rifle and handcuffs him to a pipe. "Things are different now. There's us and the dead. We survive this by pulling together, not apart." Rick tells Merle as he holds a gun to his head. He then finds a stash of cocaine in Merle's shirt pocket and tosses it over the roof, much to Merle's chagrin.

Merle is then put under the watch of T-Dog while he is still unsuccessfully trying to radio the others. Merle tries to convince him to get the hacksaw in the bag of tools to set him free. He scoffs at Merle's offer. "I guess you want me to get that rifle over there, too, so you can shoot that cop when he comes back up." After the group comes up with a plan to escape the city, T-Dog is left in charge of Merle's handcuff keys.

Later, the group grabs their bags to leave the store in a rush, ignoring Merle's pleas to set him free. T-Dog reluctanty turns back and runs with the key in hand to set him free. However, he accidentally slips on the rain-soaked roof and drops the handcuff key down a drain while also dropping the tool bag, making the hacksaw and other tools spill out. "I'm sorry," T-Dog gasps, while Merle accuses him of dropping the key on purpose. He runs back to the stairwell and starts going down, but goes back up and chains the door shut so that the walkers can't get to him.

Merle is left behind, screaming and filled with anguish, as the survivors escape Atlanta without him.

"Tell It to the Frogs"

Left alone, he begins the stages of accepting his fate (praying, bargaining, etc.), until he begins to fight again, this time with the pipe he is cuffed to. As he hallucinates that walkers have invaded the building and are reaching the chained door to the rooftop, Merle struggles harder until he notices the spilled tools that the others had left behind. He uses his belt to reach a hacksaw and succeeds in cutting off his right hand to escape.

Later on, Daryl, Rick, Glenn and T-Dog return to the rooftop where Merle was left behind and chained to and are shocked to find out he has escaped and his severed hand remaining. Daryl screams in anguish.

Season 2


Merle reappears in an injured Daryl's hallucinations, in which he taunts Daryl for giving up, telling him to be tougher. He also tells Daryl to stand up to Rick, even suggesting that Daryl shoot him, and mentioning that Rick handcuffed him and left him to die on the roof of the department store. As a result of this vision, Daryl is able to pull himself up from the gorge he'd fallen into.

Season 3

At some point after amputating his hand and escaping the rooftop in Atlanta, Merle was eventually discovered by a man known as the Governor while on a scouting mission. Merle revealed that he was on the verge of death from blood loss and starvation and that he was even contemplating suicide. The Governor took Merle back to Woodbury where his wounds were treated and he gradually recovered from his injuries and retrained himself to use weapons. Gradually, Merle became one of the Governor's most trusted lieutenants and assisted him in attacking other survivor camps and settlements.

"Walk With Me"

Merle is with the Governor and his men as they scout the helicopter wreckage. Though not seen on-screen until later, he is presumably scouting the area for walkers or other survivors. He eventually comes upon Andrea and Michonne who are hiding in the woods, holding them at gunpoint. When Andrea turns around, he is surprised to see her alive. He then quickly dispatches a walker that had sneaked up on him with a knife. It is revealed that Merle's severed hand is covered by a self-made metal covering, with a bayonet attached to it. Andrea, who was already sick at the moment, passes out.

As night falls, Merle is in the truck with the Governor, Andrea and Michonne as they travel back to Woodbury. Andrea lifts her blindfold briefly and sees Merle right next to her. Merle motions her to keep quiet. While Dr. Stevens is tending to Andrea and Michonne, Merle enters, telling Dr. Stevens to leave so he can start a proper conversation with her, one they haven't had since the last time they saw each other. He tells her that before being found by the Governor, he was bleeding out and starving to death, and was hoping to commit suicide so that he could "take a nice, long nap" and wait for his brother on the other side. He remembers what Rick did to him and still despises him for it. Andrea catches him up, telling him that Daryl has earned his place in the group. She explains that the group left Atlanta and went to a farm, but the farm was overrun and this was the last time she saw everybody before being split up from the rest; they've lost many people along the way, including Amy. In a rare show of compassion, Merle expresses his condolence for Amy's death.

The Governor enters the room, after whispering something to Merle, who promptly exits. As he later takes the pair out to show them Woodbury, Merle demonstrates his role by climbing a fortified barricade and taking a rifle. He shows that he can still shoot a machine gun despite losing his hand, taking out three walkers in three shots.

The next day, Merle is found in a makeshift lab, working with Milton Mamet, a researcher. As the Governor enters, the two are caught having a disagreement about something; The Governor stops them, comparing their small outburst to a school fight. When the Governor asks about Andrea, Merle reveals that he used to be part of her group in Atlanta. The Governor tells him to interrogate her more, and dismisses him. Meanwhile, while Milton is showing his latest findings, he insists to the Governor that Merle isn't the right man for the job, and that it should be him.

Later on in the day, the Governor drives to a national guard outpost that was revealed by Lieutenant Welles the only survivor from the helicopter crash. He pretends to be innocent by proposing for them to move to his settlement while Merle and the others discreetly surround the area. The Governor quickly pulls a gun out and shoots Corporal Brady, the first man that approached him. This was a signal for Merle and other Woodbury guards, who were hiding in the woods nearby, to open fire at them, quickly dispatching all of the soldiers as they were caught off-guard. After successfully killing all of them, Merle and the rest take their equipment, and return to Woodbury. Merle is present when the Governor makes a speech to the townsfolk saying that the soldiers were already dead when they got there. He later talks privately with Merle and Milton.

"Killer Within"

After receiving a map from Andrea to show Merle where the Greene Family Farm was, Merle decided to make an effort to go and find Daryl and his location, but after asking Andrea if he was still alive, Andrea didn't know and mentioned that the attack on Hershel's farm was eight months ago.

He then decided to converse about himself and Andrea on why they didn't hook up as a couple, but after having the discussion, Merle then goes to talk to the Governor and tells him that he has made up his mind to go search for his brother in which the Governor rejects his request and tells him that he is needed in Woodbury. The Governor then tells Merle that if he got more solid evidence of Daryl's whereabouts, then The Governor would go and find Daryl along with Merle.

"Say the Word"

Merle is one of many participating in a day of celebration put on by the Governor. He appears with The Governor and Milton as they retrieve more drinks from the Governor's apartment. Although Milton suggests that they postpone the night's party, Merle rejects the offer. The Governor agrees with Merle. After Michonne kills the captive walkers locked behind Milton's lab, Merle escorts her back to the Governor, giving her sword back to him, and leaves. After Michonne storms out, Merle asks the Governor what happened. He says that Michonne has quite a personality, but she is no problem.

Later, Merle drives out to the wind generator located outside Woodbury with Milton and a few others. Discovering they have caught a bunch of walkers in a netted trap, Merle kills one walker while Milton holds her down. He wrestles the other walker down and begins pulling out its teeth. During the afternoon, Merle stops Andrea and Michonne as they were trying to leave through the gate. He informs them that they will need an escort. When he whispers something to Martinez, and Andrea tries to interject, he orders her to back up. Eventually, Merle decides to open the gate for them, but Andrea refuses to leave and Michonne exits Woodbury by herself.

That night, Merle is one of two brawlers participating in a twisted wrestling match, surrounded by chained walkers. All of Woodbury cheers him on as he beats up his opponent, Martinez. What the people don't know is that the fight between Merle and Martinez is choreographed, and that none of the walkers in the arena have teeth.


The Governor orders Merle to hunt down and kill Michonne, as she is considered dangerous. Merle, Crowley, Tim, and Gargulio go off in the woods, following her trail and searching for her. They locate her and Merle begins to taunt her in order to receive a reaction. Afterwards, Michonne sneaks them from behind, she uses her katana to decapitate Crowley and stab Tim in the stomach before Merle begins shooting at her. He accidentally shoots and kills Tim as Michonne runs off. Merle chases her down and shoots her in the thigh before losing her trail again. Merle regroups with his other companion, Gargulio, who is in shock at the deaths of Crowley and Tim. Merle tells Gargulio to rise to the occasion, "There's some serious shit going down, son." He then stabs Tim's brain to prevent him from reanimating, and forces Gargulio to do the same with Crowley's head. Merle rushes to leave the area, as the shots fired would attract walkers. Michonne sneaks up on them once again and attempts to attack Merle, but all three become disoriented in the fight. Walkers arrive, causing Merle to ignore Michonne for a moment. A walker attacks him and Gargulio stabs it in the head, saving Merle, as Michonne escapes amid the commotion. Merle kills the last walker. He assesses that Michonne is as good as dead, since she escaped right into the "Red-Zone", and he plans to lie to the Governor about the events that had taken place, but Gargulio objects. Gargulio refuses to lie to the Governor, he remembers what Merle said earlier about how serious the situation was, Merle at first agrees, but then he shoots Gargulio in the head while he is distracted by a bird call.

Sometime after, Merle follows Michonne into the "Red-Zone" and, much to his surprise, he stumble upon Glenn and Maggie while they were on a food and supply run. Merle questions Glenn about Daryl, Glenn says that Daryl is still alive, but refuses to take Merle along because of his knife prosthetic. Merle tries to be friendly at first, but then he shoots at them and holds Maggie hostage. He then orders Glenn to get in the car and drive them to Woodbury, but, without their knowledge, Michonne was watching everything from behind a car. Later on, Merle interrupts the Governor and Andrea as they are having sex. The Governor walks out of his apartment to talk to Merle, who lies to him saying that he killed Michonne, but she managed to kill all the other guys. The Governor is saddened for the loss of his men, Merle then tells him that he's captured Glenn and his "pretty little girlfriend". They decide not to reveal this to Andrea, and Merle leaves, stating that he's going to find out where they were holed up.

"When the Dead Come Knocking"

Merle brutally interrogates Glenn to find out the location of the Atlanta survivors' current camp. Despite the beating, Glenn still does not reveal anything, saying that Rick will eventually find and save them. Merle reinforces that nobody's going to find them. Glenn tries to scare Merle by mentioning several strong survivors still being in the group, but he commits the mistake of mentioning Andrea, so Merle instantly knew that he was lying. Merle eventually becomes frustrated and leaves a walker in the room with Glenn, hoping that it would kill him. However, Glenn ends up killing the walker in a matter of minutes with a piece of the broken chair he was duct-taped to. Eventually, Merle, Martinez and the Governor talk about the situation, Merle says that he wasn't able to get any information from Glenn, but he's going to interrogate Maggie next. The Governor says no and tells him that he is going to talk to her himself. After a while, the Governor gets tired of games, he, along with Merle and Martinez, takes Maggie to the shack where Glenn is and threatens to kill one in front of the other. Maggie eventually reveals that the Atlanta group is camped in a prison inside the "Red-Zone".

Later on, at the Governor's apartment, the Governor says that now that they know that Daryl is still alive, this may count when the time comes to Merle to choose a side, he questions where Merle's loyalty lies, and Merle assures him that his loyalty is no longer to the Atlanta group or his brother, but to Woodbury and the Governor.

"Made to Suffer"

Merle converses with the Governor, who is interested in ambushing the prison and enlisting Daryl as an, "inside man". Merle requests that nothing happen to Daryl, and the Governor complies. He then orders Merle to take Glenn and Maggie to the "screamer pits" and execute them. Merle and Warren are going to collect the two when they are ambushed by Glenn and Maggie, and Warren is killed when Maggie stabs him in the throat. Shots are accidentally fired during the confusion, attracting the attention of the entire town. Maggie holds Merle at gunpoint but is stopped when Martinez arrives. Glenn and Maggie are restrained and ready to be executed, but Merle and the other Woodbury men are ambushed by the Survivors, who throw several flash grenades inside the shack and successfully rescue Glenn and Maggie. When the Governor and the others are in Milton's lab talking about what is happening, Merle arrives saying that they were attacked and that Warren is dead. The Governor immediately orders every guard to check every corner of Woodbury in search of the "terrorists". Shortly after, smoke dominates the streets of Woodbury and another shootout ensues. Merle participates in the shootout between the Woodbury soldiers and the Survivors, though the smoke affects their vision, so they are not able to recognize each other.

After the shootout where the Survivors manages to escape, Merle visits the Governor at the infirmary after he was stabbed in the eye. Merle asks what happened, but the Governor only tells Merle that he was attacked and doesn't say who it was (Michonne, who Merle told that was dead, attacked the Governor). The Woodbury citizens are all called into the arena, where the Governor makes a speech about the attack to calm down his people. He then accuses Merle of participating in the attack and betraying them all. Merle is shocked when the Woodbury soldiers bring in a restrained Daryl, who was captured during the shootout. The Governor asks the residents what should be done with the terrorists. The Dixon brothers are finally reunited after nearly a year apart as the crowd cheers for their deaths.

"The Suicide King"

In the arena, the Governor orders Merle and Daryl to fight to the death, with the winner walking away free. Merle says that he will do whatever he can to prove his loyalty to Woodbury before punching and kicking Daryl. On the ground, Merle orders Daryl to follow his lead, proving he has no intentions on killing him. Rick and Maggie attack the Woodbury citizens by shooting the lamps and throwing in a smoke grenade, Merle knocks down Shumpert and escapes with Daryl, Rick and Maggie. After reuniting with the others far away from Woodbury, Glenn and Michonne are not happy to see Merle and attempt to attack him. After Daryl tells Merle to shut up multiple times, Merle begins insulting the group, but Rick pistol whips him in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. Daryl later decides to depart with Merle, refusing to abandon him again.


Merle is in the woods with Daryl, and it appears the two haven't had much luck with scavenging food. Daryl hears the cries of a baby at the bridge over Yellow Jacket Creek, where Merle jokingly suggests that the noise is just two raccoons mating. They notice a Mexican Family being surrounded by walkers, and Merle reluctantly assists Daryl in saving the family. After the walkers have been killed, Merle holds the family at gunpoint and attempts to retrieve their supplies, until Daryl holds his crossbow at Merle and orders him to allow the family to depart. Back in the woods, Merle and Daryl argue over the events that had just transpired, Merle is jealous that Daryl changed so much after spending almost a year with Rick and mentions their original plans to rob the Atlanta group back at the original camp. Daryl says that Merle was the one who left him, as he always did in the past. Merle gets frustrated and rips Daryl's shirt, revealing scars on the younger brother's back from childhood abuse. Merle is horrified and insists that he was unaware of his father's abuse of Daryl, it is revealed that Merle was abused too and that's why he left.. Daryl decides to depart back to the prison, and Merle tearfully informs Daryl that he can't accompany him because he attempted to kill Michonne and brutally attacked Glenn. Daryl accuses Merle of once again leaving him and departs. However, both Merle and Daryl come back to the prison in time to save Rick from being killed by three walkers, who had him pinned against the chain-link fence.

"I Ain't a Judas"

Merle is locked inside the common room of the prison as the group discusses what to do about the Governor's recent attack. Merle informs the group that the Governor probably has scouts on the outside to trap them in, and that they had a window of opportunity to retaliate last night, but didn't. Merle appears to be right when Rick notices movement near the trees from afar when he looks out with his binoculars. While fastening his bayonet back to his metal covering, Hershel visits him in the cell, where they bond over their amputations saving their lives and a Bible verse. Merle also informs Hershel of the Governor's planned pecking order if he attacks again, with Merle being the first death and Rick being the last because the Governor wants Rick to watch all his family and friends die around him.

Later on, Merle apologizes to Michonne for trying to kill her, saying that he was simply following orders and that he has done a lot of things he regretted, before and after. When Andrea shows up at the prison, a now armed Merle assists Rick into scouting her in. He, along with the rest of the group, listens to Andrea's plan of making peace with the Governor and Woodbury, Merle chuckles when she says that there is room for all of them at Woodbury. After Andrea leaves, by the evening, Merle, in the door of the common room, listens to Beth singing. Rick privately tells Daryl that if Merle causes any trouble, he is to blame.

"Arrow on the Doorpost"

Whilst Rick, Daryl, and Hershel have departed to rendezvous with the Governor so they can talk, Merle is with the rest of the survivors back at the prison where it looks like they are gearing up for war and lookout. Also, whilst Rick and the Governor are discussing their need to fulfill the protection of their people, Merle is mentioned by the Governor, whom he blames for the capture and torture of Glenn and Maggie, but it doesn't convince Rick.

Back at the Prison, Merle suggests to Glenn in front of the rest of the group that they have to kill the Governor before he kills them, which puts a scared look in Glenn's eyes; he is worried that Merle is actually scared of someone for once. But as the de facto leader whilst Rick, Daryl and Hershel are gone, he decides that it's a bad idea and that keeping Merle at the prison and fighting is the best chance they've got, which puts a disappointed yet worried look on Merle's face, showing his desperation to kill the Governor.

Later, Merle packs guns into a duffel bag, in which he tells the group he is going to assassinate the Governor. Glenn becomes infuriated due to Merle not heeding his warning about putting Rick, Daryl and Hershel into a cross fire which could potentially kill them. Merle tries to leave but Glenn blocks the door, wanting Merle to stay put within the Prison. This infuriates Merle and his temper begins to ignite, so after a few warnings and Glenn repetitively saying for him to stay, a fight ensues. Merle grabs Glenn and pushes him away, but before he can open the door, Glenn tackles him and they fall down a small set of stairs. Merle is strangling Glenn until Maggie begins to choke him and Michonne holds his bayonet arm. Beth, with an annoyed look on her face, shoots the ceiling, which stops the confusion. Merle is left angrily telling Maggie and Michonne to let him go, which they do. After this, he meets Michonne alone, telling her that she is attractive and seductive, and they can end this by assassinating the Governor. She denies the offer, saying that, "killing him will result in more people getting killed, I ain't getting involved in that."

When Rick arrives back with the others, Merle asks if Rick was all alone with the Governor, he answers that he was. Merle walks by Glenn saying that they should've done it when they got the chance. He listens as Rick explains to the group that they are going to a war against The Governor and Woodbury.

"This Sorrowful Life"

Merle is at Cell Block B, ripping apart mattresses and looking for drugs. Rick approaches him and reveals that the Governor promised to leave the group alone as long as they give him Michonne. He wants Merle to do the dirty work, "You're cold as ice, Officer Friendly," Merle says before giving instructions of which kind of wire they will need to use to keep Michonne captive. He also doubts that the Governor will leave them alone, and mocks Rick for asking him to do this since he is ashamed of giving up Michonne's life like this, knowing that the Governor will slowly torture her. Merle then watches the group from outside and laughs at Rick's reaction next to Michonne, which draws Carol's attention. She questions if Merle is with the group or not, and he says that he is with the group because of his brother. She tells him to pick a side, he is with the group, or he is not. Merle reminds Carol that she used to be a scared and innocent woman back at the Atlanta camp.

Merle goes to the generator room to gather supplies to capture Michonne, when Daryl arrives and Merle says that he was only searching for crystal meth. Daryl asks him if he is going to do "it," and Merle says that he is, since nobody else has courage to do it. He also questions what happened to Daryl, because he isn't the same since he became friends with Rick, and laughs at him for always taking Rick's orders. Daryl says that he just wants his brother back. "Get outta here," Merle replies. Daryl walks off as Merle puts the supplies in a bag. He then takes Michonne to "the tombs" with an excuse that Rick told them to search for the breach Tyreese and his group used to get in, while she is distracted killing walkers, Merle knocks her unconscious and drags her into a room where he binds her wrists and covers her head with a bag. Later, Merle and a captive Michonne are walking down a road on their way to the meeting, he explains the deal Rick made with the Governor and how he didn't want to take any risks. Michonne tries to irritate Merle, but he ignores her and uses her katana to kill a walker that was approaching, he says that she could have escaped while he was doing this, but she says that she wouldn't leave without her sword, and they both strangely laugh. Further on, Merle stops to check if there is a car available to them, he tells Michonne not to take it personal because this is the only way he will be able to save his brother at the prison. Michonne notes that Merle has a conscience after all, but Merle disagrees, saying "I've killed 16 men since all this went down."

They come upon an abandoned motel, Merle tethers Michonne to a post while he hotwires a car. He accidentally triggers the alarm, attracting all the nearby walkers. Michonne is forced to fight the walkers with no weapons while Merle turns off the car alarm, he then frees Michonne from the post, they get in the car and drive off. In the car, she tells him how the group would welcome him with open arms, but instead he chooses to be an outsider. He also calls her an outsider, but she adds: "once the Governor's done with me, at least I won't have to live with myself." She wonders why Merle wants to deal with the Governor since he was the one who turned Merle into a killer, and Merle says that there is no way back from this path but Michonne says that they can go back to the prison. Merle stops the car, cuts the wire that were tied to her wrists and opens the door for her, he tells her to go back and gives her sword, "I got something I gotta do," he says, and drives off alone.

Merle is then outside a bar playing loud music inside the car while drinking alcohol. Walkers surround his car and he smiles. He slowly drives to the meeting, prompting the walkers to follow him along the way, when he arrives at the farm store, he bails out of the car allowing it to crash into the meeting area, still playing loud music, and the walkers who were following the car continue after it into the area. This forces the Woodbury soldiers waiting for Rick's arrival to defend themselves from the herd. Merle finds a hiding spot and grabs his assault rifle and starts shooting the Woodbury soldiers one by one. Due to the loud music and shots being fired against the walkers, the soldiers don't notice that it is an ambush. Merle finally spots the Governor helping his men to kill the walkers, Merle has dead aim at the Governor, but Ben unintentionally walks in the way and gets shot instead, saving the Governor's life. Immediately after the missed shot, a walker in the farm store almost bit Merle, attacking from the side but he managed to kill the walker after a struggle. The struggle revealed his location and the Woodbury soldiers attack and kick him to the ground. The Governor orders them to back off, saying that he is going to take care of Merle himself. The Governor drags Merle back into the farm store where he was hiding and starts beating him. An already severely weakened Merle fights back, but to no avail. The Governor chokes him and bites off two of Merle's fingers, before breaking his bayonet arm and finally stunning Merle. "I ain't gonna beg. I ain't beggin' you." says Merle weakly. The Governor pulls out his gun and shoots Merle in the chest, killing and dooming him to become a walker.

After the Governor and the Woodbury faction left, abandoning many of their dead, Merle reanimated and started feeding on Ben's corpse. Daryl, on a mission to rescue Merle, arrives and sees his brother as a walker. Daryl is immediately heartbroken and shocked. As Merle tries to attack him, Daryl pushes his undead brother back three times before finally dropping Merle to the ground and stabbing him in the face multiple times. Daryl then falls to the ground sobbing next to his dead brother.


Killed By

Instead of handing Michonne to the Governor, Merle chooses to ambush and attempt to kill the Governor himself. During the ambush, Merle is attacked by a walker and because of this he is captured by the Woodbury soldiers and is severally beaten.

The Governor then grabs him and takes him back inside the building that Merle was shooting from. The Governor beats him, bites off two of his fingers on his left hand and breaks his right arm, before fatally shooting him in the heart.

Later, Daryl comes across a zombified Merle and begins to cry uncontrollably. A zombified Merle approaches Daryl, who pushes him back three times before stabbing him in the shoulder, knocking him to the ground and then stabbing him seven times in the face, putting him down.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Merle has killed:


Daryl Dixon

"My brother? My brother ran the wrong way his whole life. If he were here, if I stuck with him when he left, we'd be with the Saviors, too, or some other group just like 'em. But I'd have figured out who they were just like you did. "
—Daryl mentioning Merle to Tara[src]

Merle sincerely loved his younger brother. Daryl was raised by his brother to share his beliefs and Merle was Daryl's biggest influence growing up, and was also apparently the only member of their family that paid any attention to him growing up. When the apocalypse broke out, Merle and Daryl worked together and easily survived. When Daryl found out in "Tell It to the Frogs" that Merle had been left for dead by the group, he became furious. After discovering Merle had escaped Daryl had no doubts his brother was still alive. Daryl was the only person during Season 2 who was interested in looking for his brother, and even had an hallucination about Merle in "Chupacabra". In the hallucination, however, Daryl expressed his own dislike of his brother and how Merle was never really there for him and how he lived in Merle's shadow. Although it did seem to be implied that the image of his brother tormenting him was the only thing to help him survive in such a broken down state, possibly a testament to tough love that Merle gave him, and his understanding of this is why he still cares for his brother.

In Season 3, after being captured, Daryl finally reunites with his brother for the first time since the Atlanta camp. When faced with leaving his brother behind at the end of "The Suicide King", Daryl chooses to go with his brother out on their own instead of returning to the prison without him. During the rescue of a family trapped by walkers, Merle sees that the time his brother spent with the Atlanta group has changed him; when Merle goes to raid the family's supplies, Daryl threatens to kill him. Later as they argue, the two fight each other and Merle is seen to be horrified when he notices scars on Daryl's back from beatings that he received as a child from their father.

In "This Sorrowful Life" Daryl is seen attempting to talk Glenn into forgiving Merle, because he knows Merle is too proud to apologize. Later on he finds Merle in the generator room and the two talk about the plan to hand Michonne over. Merle says that the group needs someone to do their dirty work- a bad guy, and that the group, without Daryl, looks at him like the Devil. Daryl tries to convince Merle that he can't do things without people anymore. Merle comments on the way Daryl has changed, stating that he would've have called people acting as he does "sheep" before the apocalypse. Daryl then expresses his concern of his brother's own change, mentioning that he just wants his brother back. Daryl later goes to track down his brother when Merle leaves with Michonne. Upon finding him reanimated as a walker, he breaks into tears. After shoving his brother back three times, all the while trying not to break down, he tackles Merle to the ground and stabs his head multiple times in rage. Daryl then breaks down crying over the loss of his older brother, showing just how much he cared for him.

Merle is mentioned by Daryl when he has a personal conversation with Beth at the cabin. Daryl tells her a story of a time he and Merle were at a tweaker friend's house and that Daryl ended up being punched by the tweaker, after he made a comment regarding a cartoon with a talking dog that the tweaker's child loved. Merle and the tweaker laughed and forgot about the whole ordeal when Daryl vomited after being punched in the stomach. Daryl also mentions Merle when he elaborates that before the apocalypse, he was a drifter with Merle and did everything his brother told him. Beth then asks Daryl if he does miss him, to which Daryl looks down silently. Merle is mentioned by Daryl again indirectly when Denise Cloyd describes her own brother as "brave but angry." Daryl makes a brief note of the similarities between Denise's brother and Merle.

Daryl mentions Merle again after he is brought up by Tara while discussing Dwight's loyalty in which she claims that Merle was once an ally to the Governor just like she was, yet they both switched sides. Daryl counters that Merle ran the wrong way for his entire life and that if Merle was still alive and that if he chose to leave with him, the both of them would've eventually found and joined the Saviors or another group just like them, though Daryl claims he would've realized who they really were just like Tara did with the Governor. While it is likely Daryl loves and misses his brother a lot, this comment implies he possibly still holds some anger towards Merle for ever siding with the Governor and making wrong decisions throughout his life and how these decisions would eventually cost him his life.

In "A New Beginning" Daryl mentions Merle again, stating that most of the memories he has of Merle are of them fighting. This possibly implies that Daryl is regretful that he and Merle had a rough relationship with each other when he was alive and likely misses him to a degree.

In "What It Always Is" Daryl recounts to Connie a story of when he saved Merle from drowning after he got drunk during a fishing trip and was simply told by his older brother to go save the beer. Daryl jokingly refers to Merle as an idiot for this, further hinting at his missing of his older brother.

Glenn Rhee

"He tied me to a chair, beat me and threw a walker in the room. Maybe I can call it even but he..... He took Maggie to a man who terrorized her! Humiliated her! I care more about her than I care about me!"
—Glenn telling Daryl why he cannot forgive Merle.[src]

Glenn and Merle didn't get along well during their time in Atlanta and the campsite, as Merle was unwilling to co-operate with the others. He also declared himself in charge, which angered Glenn and the rest of the group. Glenn showed little regret or remorse for Merle being left behind in Atlanta and reluctantly went along on the rescue mission to free Merle from the rooftop. Much later, Merle captured Glenn and Maggie and took them to Woodbury, where he brutally interrogated Glenn on where the remaining Atlanta Survivors were located. Merle attacked and beat Glenn continuously and even went as far as bringing in a walker to attempt to persuade Glenn to talk. Maggie eventually gave up the location of the prison but then shortly afterward, Rick, Michonne, Oscar, and Daryl breached Woodbury's walls, rescuing Glenn and Maggie although Maggie revealed the location of The Prison. When Rick and Maggie returned and rescued Daryl and Merle, Glenn tried to kill Merle showing a negative relationship however he was stopped by Daryl. Glenn was in full agreement with Rick in not letting Merle come to stay at the Prison, triggering Daryl to leave.

Later, after saving Rick from the walkers, Merle was allowed to enter the Prison, a decision Glenn did not agree with, and later he tried to convince Rick to give Merle up as a bargaining chip to the Governor, showing that Glenn had developed a severe hatred of Merle for his actions towards him and Maggie. Merle apparently showed no regret or remorse for what he did to Glenn and Maggie, which may have contributed to Glenn's dislike of him.

When Merle decided to go to the meeting between Rick and the Governor in order to kill the Governor, Glenn would not allow him to go, triggering a fight between the two in which Merle almost stabbed Glenn, thus strengthening Glenn and Merle's bad relationship. Daryl questioned Glenn if Merle had apologized for his actions, but Glenn did not respond, implying Merle had not apologized. Daryl promised Glenn that Merle would apologize eventually, but Glenn, in turn, needed to show some forgiveness. Glenn responded that he could've forgiven Merle, had he not given Maggie to the Governor who, in turn, humiliated her. While never seen onscreen, it can be assumed that Glenn showed no remorse for Merle's death at the hands of the Governor, despite his final attempt to kill the Governor and end the war.


"Well, I hope he went slow."
—Merle to Glenn discussing T-Dog's fate.[src]

T-Dog and Merle didn't get along well during their time in Atlanta and the campsite. T-Dog and the Atlanta group didn't agree with Merle due to the fact that he was wasting bullets and attracting more walkers while shooting at them. Merle, being racist, called T-Dog a "n*gger" and beat him up. Their relationship worsened when T-Dog refused to release him and accidentally dropped the keys to Merle's cuffs down a drain, forcing Merle to amputate his own hand. T-Dog seemed to show remorse for what he did to Merle and volunteered to return to Atlanta to set Merle free, although it is clear that over time T-Dog got over the situation. When Merle learns of T-Dog's death, he shows no remorse, and said that he hopes that he died slow.


"Best not to dwell on it. Merle got left behind. Nobody's gonna be sad he didn't come back... except maybe Daryl."
—Morales to Rick about Merle.[src]

Morales and Merle didn't get along well during their time in Atlanta and the campsite. Morales and the Atlanta group didn't agree with Merle due to the fact that he was wasting bullets and attracting more walkers while shooting at them. Merle, being racist, called Morales a "taco bender", claiming Morales to have been on his case all day. This lead to Merle attacking Morales, T-Dog, and Rick, announcing his leadership of the group. Morales and the rest of the group abandoned Merle after T-Dog lost the keys to Merle's cuffs. Morales pressed to Rick to not feel remorseful about Merle being abandoned, as no one would be angered of his loss at the Atlanta camp, other than Merle's own brother, Daryl. It is clear Morales showed little regret or remorse for Merle being left behind in Atlanta.


"Merle, cut it out!"
—Jacqui telling Merle to stop beating T-Dog.[src]

It is clear that Jacqui did not like Merle much. Jacqui and the Atlanta group didn't agree with Merle due to the fact that he was wasting bullets and attracting more walkers while shooting at them. Merle, being racist, made many racist remarks to Jacqui and the others. After Merle attacks T-Dog, he asks who votes that he become leader of the run, to which Jacqui flips him the bird. Jacqui showed little regret or remorse for Merle being left behind in Atlanta.


"With his finger on the trigger. Wasn't he the one who kidnapped you? Who beat you?"
—Andrea to Glenn about Merle.[src]

Andrea and Merle didn't get along well during their time in Atlanta and the campsite, as Merle was unwilling to co-operate with the others. He also declared himself in charge, which angered Andrea and the rest of the group. Merle flirted with Andrea on the rooftop in Atlanta, calling her "Sugar Tits". Andrea showed little regret or remorse for Merle being left behind in Atlanta, claiming it was his own fault and that Rick handcuffing him was necessary, although she did suggest to the group it would be better to tell Daryl the truth instead of lying as her sister, Amy, suggested. In "Walk With Me", after bringing Andrea and Michonne to Woodbury, he discovers the Atlanta group members' deaths from Andrea, being sympathetic about Amy and asking about Daryl. Merle is given information on the farm from Andrea so he can look for Daryl and asks why they never, "hooked up". Andrea answers that he called her a "whore" and a "rug-muncher". Merle smiles, saying that he has a way with words, and the conversation ends with the two appearing to have buried the hatchet. During the death-match between Daryl and Merle, Andrea stands up for them and tells the Governor to stop them, though it seems she was more concerned about Daryl then Merle. Later on, when Andrea returns to the prison, she appears to be angered at Merle for what he did to Glenn. Merle also disagrees with her claim that the two groups can live in peace. This is the last time the two interact.

It is unknown if Andrea learned of Merle's involvement in the ambush and killing of the Governor's men and if so how she reacted to his death.


"She was a good kid."
—Merle offering his condolences to Andrea.[src]

Merle and Amy were never seen together, although she suggested lying to Daryl about what happened to Merle in Atlanta, implying that she didn't like him. When Andrea is reunited with Merle, she informs him of the people in the group that had died since he was separated from them, tearfully concluding with Amy. Merle showed genuine sympathy for her, telling Andrea that Amy was a good kid.

Rick Grimes

"You go on. Give him that girl. He ain't gonna kill her, you know. He's just gonna do things to her. Probably take out one of her eyes. Both of 'em, most likely. You'd let that happen for a shot? You're cold as ice, Officer Friendly. You're gonna need wire, not rope. Wire. Nothing she could chew through. (...) You know something? You're right. I don't know why I do things I do. Never did. I'm a damn mystery to me. But I know you, Rick. Yeah, I thought a lot about you. You ain't got the spine for it."
—Merle to Rick about giving Michonne to The Governor.[src]

Rick showed an immediate dislike of Merle, handcuffing him to the roof of a building in Atlanta to prevent him from being a risk to the group (Merle had been berating them and had beaten T-Dog to the point of near-unconsciousness). It was because of Rick that Merle was left behind, which cost him his hand. Rick appeared to show remorse for what he did to Merle and also showed a desire to make amends to Merle, by returning to Atlanta in the hopes of freeing him, though not before Merle removed his hand and escaped the roof, and Atlanta. It is clear that over time Rick got over the situation.

When Andrea was reunited with Merle in Woodbury, Merle revealed that he had not forgotten what Rick had done to him and severely despised him. It is clear that Merle wanted revenge on Rick for leaving him behind. After rescuing Merle and Daryl from the Governor, Rick despises Merle for his actions towards Glenn and Maggie and would not allow him to come back to the prison, triggering Daryl to leave with Merle. Daryl and Merle later save Rick's life and it seems that he and Merle put everything aside, although Rick still showed reluctance in letting Merle stay in the prison and likely only allowed him to stay in order to prevent Daryl from leaving them again. Rick even briefly appeared to consider Glenn's suggestion to give Merle up to the Governor as a bargaining chip in order to call a truce, though this never occurred.

As time goes on, Rick slowly accepts Merle in the group and develops limited trust for him. Later, Rick goes to Merle, asking for help to take Michonne to the Governor. Merle notes that Rick is cold as ice for sacrificing Michonne to the Governor just to keep the others safe and that he knows that Rick is not the type of person to do so. Merle's words, alongside his hallucination of Lori, makes Rick realize that he can't sacrifice Michonne for the greater good, for they are the greater good.

It is unknown how Rick responds to Merle's death, but when Michonne returns to the prison without Merle, Rick seems confused and possibly happy that Merle let her go. When Carl blames Rick for Merle's death, he seems to acknowledge this, showing he feels at least some responsibility in his death.

Rick mentions Merle in "Warning Signs" while speaking to Daryl in which he reminds him that Daryl once spared his life even though he was responsible for Merle being left behind in Atlanta, implying Rick has not forgotten what he did to Merle though it is unknown if he still feels remorse for it.

Lori Grimes

"To hell with the guns. Shane is right! Merle Dixon? He's not worth one of your lives even with guns thrown in!"
—Lori to Rick about Rick returning to Atalanta to save Merle's life.[src]

Lori and Merle were never shown once together in the series although it is clear that Lori did not like Merle much. Lori showed little remorse for Merle being left behind in Atlanta, and told Rick not to think about it and when Rick wanted to return to Atalanta to retrieve a bag of guns and free Merle from a rooftop, Lori, like Shane and many others were against the decision due to the bad person Merle was. Lori claimed Merle's life was not worth anyone's life, even with the guns thrown in.

Merle most likely showed little remorse for Lori's death due to him showing no sympathy for Carl having to shoot her to prevent reanimation and he crowned it simply as "mercy killing".

Carl Grimes

"You were in a room with the Governor, and you let him go, and then he killed Merle...."
—Carl talking to Rick about his decisions and Merle's death.[src]

Carl and Merle didn't get along well during their time in Atlanta and the campsite. Carl told his father that he didn't want him to go back for Merle or the bag of guns. The first part may hint that Merle could have been mean or just an annoyance to Carl while at camp, or for most likely being a pain for Shane and Lori alike. After Merle joined the Survivors in the prison, Merle wanted to go ambush the Governor while Rick had the meeting together with him. Glenn and Merle had an argument on how Rick is handling things as a leader and Carl showed his disgust at Merle for comments towards Rick, and Merle responded that Rick could be killed by the Governor in an instant, which clearly upset Carl. Merle also apparently didn't show any sympathy for Carl having to shoot his own mother, on screen at least, and crowned it simply as "mercy killing".

It appears that Carl was severely angered about Merle's death as after being killed by the Governor, Merle was one of the people that was mentioned by Carl that died due to the fact that Rick was making questionable calls as a leader. It is unknown if Carl was just simply using Merle as an example, but it is more likely that Carl grew to respect Merle after he killed many of the Governor's men and almost killed the Governor himself alone, and may have accepted him as a member of the group.

Carol Peletier

"He gave us a chance."
—Carol to Daryl regarding Merle.[src]

Carol and Merle didn't get along well during their time in Atlanta and the campsite. Carol was shocked when she learnt that Merle was still alive and that he left with Daryl. When Merle joins the prison group, Carol is distrustful of him and tells Daryl that Merle isn't good for him.

As Merle is walking around the upper level of the Prison, Carol calls to him from the common room downstairs. She asks if he is with them. When Merle says yes, Carol believes he doesn't understand what she is asking of him; she adds that she does not mean if he is living in the same place with them, but if he is on their side, and tells him he needs to choose whose side he is on. Merle replies that he's on Daryl's side, and Carol says that Daryl's with them. Merle goes on to say that Carol is no longer who she was back at the Atlanta camp: A mouse afraid of her own shadow. Carol replies that that was her husband's shadow she was living in, not hers. He complimented her for stepping up since the apocalypse first started.

Carol appears saddened to learn of Merle's death, and praises him for giving the group a fighting chance against the Governor and Woodbury.

Dale Horvath

"I never like lending tools. The last time I did-- and yes, I am talking about you-- let's just say your bag of guns wasn't the only bag that was dropped. My tools got left behind with Merle."
—Dale to Rick and T-Dog.[src]

Dale and Merle were never shown onscreen with each other, but it is likely Dale didn't like Merle much. When Merle was left behind in Atlanta, Dale showed little remorse, but stated that they need to tell the truth about Merle to Daryl. For the mission to save Merle, Dale reluctantly gives some tools for Rick to help free Merle, and states that he wants one of Rick's guns for doing so.

Shane Walsh

"Why would you risk your life for a douchebag like Merle Dixon?"
—Shane to Rick about going back for Merle.[src]

Shane and Merle didn't get along well during their time in Atlanta and the campsite. Shane showed absolutely no concern for Merle after he was left behind in Atlanta, and even went as far as to attempt and convince Rick not to go back for Merle and the bag of guns. While discussing Rick with Lori, Shane expresses disgust about Merle when he recounts how Rick left the Atlanta Group Camp to return to the city on "a suicide mission to save a drug dealer" and that the deaths that occurred the same night were Rick's fault. It is unknown how Merle responded to Shane's death.

The Governor

"You lied, betrayed us all!"
—The Governor about Merle's false betrayal[src]

Merle and The Governor were close allies. The Governor rescued Merle from certain death after he amputated his hand and escaped Atlanta and in turn Merle became the Governor's right hand man, and accompanied him when they went out gain supplies. Merle seemed to be in The Governor's inner circle, along with Milton. Although Merle is Philip's right hand man, some tension can be seen between the two. This can be seen in the episode "Killer Within", when Philip denies Merle permission to look for his brother unless he gets more solid evidence. It is also worth noting that Merle seems to fear Philip to some degree. In "Hounded", Merle decides to lie to him about Michonne's fate, rather than have Philip think of him as a failure. His relationship with Merle quickly sours in "Made to Suffer" after being attacked by Michonne, realizing that Merle lied about killing her, which in effect cost him his eye and zombified daughter. At the end of the episode, he declares that Merle was a spy for the "terrorists" that attacked the town, and cites his relationship with Daryl, who was captured, as proof. With both brothers standing in the arena with the crowd calling for their deaths, The Governor tells Merle "You wanted your brother, now you have him," effectively ending their positive relationship. At the prison, Merle assures that everyone should be scared of him like he is, as an attack from his part is undeniably coming.

During the meeting between Rick and the Governor, Merle showed a strong desire to go and kill him but was stopped by Glenn. He also attempted to get Michonne to aid him but she to refused. Merle eventually planned to go through with Rick's plan to deliver Michonne to the Governor but eventually let her go and decided to kill The Governor on his own but failed and was discovered, which lead to a final and brutal confrontation between them, which resulted in The Governor overpowering Merle by biting off two of his fingers and breaking his bad arm. Merle declares that he is not afraid of him anymore and that he wouldn't beg him for his life. The Governor agrees and then shoots him in the chest, ending his life and their conflict.

Milton Mamet

"Oh! Oh, man! I tell you what, I take back anything I said about that jacket."
—Merle to Milton.[src]

Merle and Milton often disagreed on certain topics from time to time, including on how Merle was unable to work with Milton on researching the walkers. Merle did complement him on his duct tape armor, leaving Milton satisfied. Milton often questioned Merle's actions on how to handle certain situations, but Milton was able to work with Merle despite their differences. Milton appeared to care for Merle, as he did not seek his death at the arena.


"Merle, check this one out. He's as almost as ugly as you."
—Martinez to Merle about a walker.[src]

Merle and Martinez spent many months surviving the apocalypse together and became close allies. Merle even gave him the nickname "Brownie". The two also poke jabs at each other as seen when Martinez called Merle as ugly as the walkers and Merle just laughed. When Merle was accused of being a traitor, Martinez followed through with orders and held a gun to his back but hung his head in shame.

Despite this, when Merle was captured after ambushing the Governor, Martinez and their men and killing 8 Woodbury soldiers, Martinez participated in severely beating him while he was down and this would untimely contribute to Merle's death as he was unable to fight back against the Governor.


Merle and Tim became friends because of there frequent trips with and for The Governor. After Michonne stabbed Tim in the chest and escaped, Merle didn't seem very upset by Tim's death, but he did stop him from reanimating by stabbing him through the head with his bayonet.


Merle and Crowley worked together a lot to get supplies while on Supply runs with The Governor. While on an assignment to kill Michonne, Crowley was killed by Michonne and escaped in the process. Merle didn't seem to care much for Crowley but told Gargulio to stab Crowley's head with his knife to prevent Crowley from turning into a zombie.


"I'm gonna keep calling ya 'Neil'."
—Merle to Gargulio.[src]

Merle and The Governor trained Gargulio as part of Woodbury's army. Due to Merle's inaccurate pronunciation of Gargulio's name, Merle just called him, "Neil". While hunting down Michonne after she departed Woodbury, Gargulio was starting to get nervous about the mission, but Merle told him to snap out of it. When Michonne came out of the blue and killed Tim and Crowley, Merle and Neil were chasing down Michonne before walkers showed up and attacked Merle and Neil, allowing Michonne to escape. Neil saved Merle's life by killing one of the walkers that was fighting Merle. Afterwards, Merle wanted to go back to Woodbury because he assumed that Michonne was surely dead. Neil, however, wanted to chase down Michonne because he thought they were close to killing her and still believed that they would have a chance of killing her. Merle had another idea, wanting to lie to The Governor about Michonne, but Neil still wanted to go on and track Michonne down. Merle then killed Gargulio shortly after the argument.

Michonne Hawthorne

"You talk about the weight of what you have to do, how you can handle it... A bad man, someone truly evil, they're light as a feather. They don't feel a thing."
—Michonne to Merle.[src]

The two first meet when he caught her and Andrea looking over the helicopter crash site. Initially showing a racist attitude toward African-Americans, Merle does not insult her, showing his change as a person after The Governor saves him. After she leaves Woodbury, Merle is instructed to take a group to hunt her down and kill her. He is unable to accomplish his task and lies to The Governor by saying she is dead.

Michonne's view of The Governor contrasts Merle's view of him. She believes him to be dangerous while he says he's a good man, though this view ultimately changes following The Governor accusing Merle of betrayal. After Rick and Maggie rescue Daryl and Glenn from the Governor, Michonne is visibly not pleased to see Merle and tries to attack him though she is stopped by Rick. Later on, while in the Prison, Merle apologizes for trying to kill Michonne, stating that he was simply following orders and that he has done things that he has regretted, before and after. It is unclear whether Michonne forgave Merle or not.

It seems that Merle had faith in Michonne's combat skill as he tried to convince her to accompany him to kill the Governor though she refused. Merle later tricked Michonne into the tombs and knocked her unconscious to bind her for The Governor. Later, Merle walks Michonne down an abandoned road and explains the Governor's proposition. He says Rick would never have gone through with it and he's doing it to save Daryl and the others. Michonne notes that Merle has a conscience after all, but Merle disagrees. At the motel, Merle saves Michonne from a walker, which seems to visibly shock her. As the two continue their journey to the feed store in the vehicle, she talks to him about the kind of man the Governor has turned him into, and calls him an outsider to the group in contrast to his brother who is well respected. She also claims that nobody in the group will mourn him once he is dead, not even Daryl as he now has a new family. Merle threatens her and counters that she is just as much of an outsider as he is to which she agrees though she claims that at least she will not have to live with herself once the Governor is done with her. Michonne then brings up how the Governor turned Merle into a killer and manipulated him and attempts to convince him to turn around, saying that they could "just go back", but Merle angrily states that he can't, knowing full well that the Prison group despises him. After realizing that she was right about him, he sets her free, having had a change of heart.

Given the change of heart she witnessed in Merle, it can be assumed that Michonne felt somewhat saddened over Merle's death and how he died trying to kill the Governor.

Hershel Greene

"Merle has military experience! He may be erratic but don't underestimate his loyalty to his brother."
—Hershel discussing Merle with Glenn[src]

Merle and Hershel first met after the latter joins the group and have established a quick friendship. Hershel surprisingly did not seem angry at Merle for kidnapping his daughter and giving her to the Governor who terrorized, threatened, and humiliated her. While the rest of the group besides Daryl distrusted Merle, Hershel was friendly towards him and has bonded with him through a discussion of their loss of limbs and the Bible. Merle warns Hershel about the upcoming battle with the Governor, and tells him that he is dangerous. Hershel values Merle's military experience, and states that he should be acknowledged as part of the group. It is unknown how Hershel responds to Merle's death.

Maggie Rhee

"This is all you. You started this!"
—Maggie blaming Merle for starting the war between her group and Woodbury.[src]

Maggie and Merle had a poor relationship. Merle captured Maggie and Glenn while they were on a supply run for Judith Grimes. While at Woodbury, Maggie overheard Merle unleashing punishment on Glenn in the next room while trying to find out where Rick and the group were located. Despite being captured and being humiliated by both Merle and the Governor, Maggie saved Merle along with Daryl in the Woodbury arena from the Governor and his men, although it was most likely her attempting to save Daryl, not Merle. Maggie was in agreement with Rick and Glenn about not letting Merle come to stay at the prison, and seemed angry that Daryl chose to leave with him.

Maggie had a hard time dealing with Merle after he was reluctantly accepted into the Survivors, and clearly did not agree with the decision to let Merle live in the Prison, even going as far as saying it was Merle's fault for starting the war between her group and Woodbury. Things got more heated when Merle wanted to go after The Governor who at the time was in a meeting with Rick and Merle wanted to kill Phillip on sight but Glenn stopped Merle and even went as far as Merle and Glenn getting into a fight which lead to Maggie and everyone else trying to break up the fight until Beth shot her gun in the air to stop the fight. It's unknown how Maggie felt about Merle after he was killed by the Governor trying to end the war between Woodbury and the Prison group, but most likely, similar to Glenn, she showed little or no remorse at all.

Beth Greene

"What's difference whose fault it is? What do we do?"
—Beth stopping Maggie from lashing out at Merle.[src]

Beth and Merle rarely interacted but at first, Beth was not thrilled being around with Merle in the prison. When Daryl left with Merle after Rick refused to let him come to the prison, Beth was clearly not impressed and claimed that Merle sounded like a jerk. When Merle wanted to go after The Governor while Rick was at the meeting with him and Glenn refused, Merle started a fight with Glenn and everyone had to jump in to try to break up the fight before Beth had no choice but to fire her gun in the air to stop the fight. She did this just to stop the fight that Merle started and was possibly angry at Merle for starting the fight with Glenn. Despite this, Beth doesn't seem to complain about Merle and still acts kind around him, like she usually does. It is unknown how Beth responds to Merle's death.

During a personal conversation with Daryl, Beth questions him if he misses Merle, showing that she is aware of how much Daryl cared for him.


Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6
Season 7
Season 8
Season 9
Season 10
Season 11
Appears Voice is heard
👁 Appears with no lines Appears in a flashback
Appears as a walker 🖼 Appears in a photograph/video
Appears as a corpse Appears in a hallucination/dream


  • Merle is the first major recurring secondary antagonist in the TV Series, with the second being Simon, the third being Beta, and the fourth being Leah Shaw.
    • Additionally, he is the only main character who served as a secondary antagonist for half a season.
      • Merle is also the first character on the show to have an antagonistic role for over a season and join the Survivors, the second being Eugene.
    • Merle is the only major recurring secondary antagonist confirmed to have a living relative (his brother Daryl Dixon).
    • Merle is the first major recurring secondary antagonist to be killed by a major recurring primary antagonist, the second being Simon.
    • Merle is currently the only major recurring secondary antagonist to renounce his antagonistic ways.
  • Merle's words in "Tell It to the Frogs", when he is screaming, are almost identical to his last words to the Governor; in the sense that both times he would not beg for his life against greater odds.
    • Also, Merle's final line "I ain't gonna beg, I ain't begging you!" was not directed towards the Governor but rather God as revealed by Michael Rooker.
  • Merle is the first human antagonist encountered in the TV Series following the outbreak.
  • Daryl Dixon's motorcycle was previously owned by Merle, but Merle is never seen riding it.
  • The codename "Stoney" was used for Merle by the writing staff as seen on the call sheet for "This Sorrowful Life".
  • Merle was 'The Suicide King', that inspired the episode's title.
  • According to Shane Walsh, Merle was a drug dealer before the apocalypse.
  • In Merle's bag of drugs, Blue Sky Meth can be seen, a specific nod to another AMC television series, Breaking Bad.
  • The scene where Merle starts shooting off his gun on the roof top in Season 1 caused a little bit of real-life chaos; some people did not know they were filming and thought that the actor, Michael Rooker, was a sniper and called the police. A real SWAT team actually showed up. Fortunately, no one was arrested and filming continued as usual.
  • Norman Reedus, Daryl's actor originally auditioned for the role of Merle. He was turned down but the creators liked his acting so much that they decided to write in the character of Daryl specifically for him.
  • Merle is one of the many amputees in the series, having been forced to amputate his own right hand, and later having two of his fingers bitten off by the Governor.
  • Merle has a number of ethnic slurs that he uses against people of different minorities to show his racism.
  • Michael Rooker lost 28 pounds in order to prepare for Merle's return in Season 3.[1]
  • In the TV Series, Merle is the first character to have a substitute appendage on an amputated limb.
    • He is also the first main character in the TV Series to have an amputation, the second being Hershel Greene, the third being The Governor, the fourth being Bob Stookey, the fifth being Gareth, the sixth being Tyreese Williams, the seventh being Jessie Anderson, the eighth being Carl Grimes and the ninth being Aaron.
    • Out of all these characters however, Merle is the only one to actually amputate his own limb himself and without the assistance of another; in this case he used a hacksaw to amputate his right hand to escape from a rooftop in Atlanta after being left behind by the Survivors.
  • Merle is the first original main character in the TV Series to die, the second being Beth Greene, the third being Sasha Williams and the fourth being Simon. Coincidentally, Merle and Beth were both very close to Daryl and their deaths made a huge impact on him. Also, they both appeared in the second episode of a season (the Season 1 episode "Guts" for Merle, and the Season 2 episode "Bloodletting" for Beth), and they both indirectly caused their own deaths and were shot dead by their arch-enemies (The Governor for Merle, and Dawn Lerner for Beth).
  • "Made to Suffer" is the first episode where Merle and Daryl are physically seen together.
  • Prior to his final shootout, he stated that he had killed 16 people since the apocalypse began. All of these were during his time in the Governor's inner circle.
  • Although Merle was usually unafraid of anyone that he was shown interacting with in the TV series, the Governor was the first and only character in the TV Series whom Merle was afraid of.
  • As said by Greg Nicotero during his, and Laurie Holden's Q&A Panel at Walker Stalker Con Chicago 2014, Merle's death was not planned during the initial writing for the third season, his death came up on the last minutes before the shooting for "This Sorrowful Life" begun. Merle was supposed to be a recurring character in Season 4.
  • Merle's outfit is available for purchase on the Xbox Live Avatar Marketplace for 240 Microsoft Points.
  • Merle is one of three characters in the series to appear in a program outside of The Walking Dead; the others are Carol Peletier and his brother Daryl.
    • Melissa McBride and Michael Rooker went into a 2013 episode of Conan O'Brien's talk show Conan, as Carol and Merle, in which the pair disrupts O'Brien's live studio audience under the guise of "hiding from walkers". Norman Reedus went into a 2015 episode of Saturday Night Live as Daryl, and shot Pete Davidson in the chest with a crossbow bolt during "Weekend update".
  • In Season 1, Daryl is quoted as saying "Nobody can kill Merle but Merle". This would prove true as Merle's death is caused by him going on a suicide mission to kill the Governor.
  • In an interview with Michael Rooker on comicbook.com, he was asked how Merle would react to Negan and what he has done to Daryl and the group as of Season 7. Michael responded by saying "I don't know if Merle would actually enjoy seeing his friends being abused." On Talking Dead Michael was asked if Merle would have sided with Negan, to which he replied "If Negan had something for Merle; Merle would have gone with Negan, yeah. But he wouldn't have completely stayed with Negan especially if his brother is in the prison there. That would have turned it really quickly."
  • Merle is the second main character to become a walker, the first being Shane Walsh, the third being Hershel Greene, the fourth being Deanna Monroe, the fifth being Spencer Monroe, the sixth being Sasha Williams, the seventh being Simon, the eight being Enid, the ninth being Tara Chambler, the tenth being Siddiq, the eleventh being Alpha, and the twelfth being Alden.
  • Merle is the third main character to be killed by another main character, the first being Dale Horvath, the second being Shane Walsh, the fourth being Hershel Greene, the fifth being Gareth, the sixth being Abraham Ford, the seventh being Glenn Rhee, the eighth being Spencer Monroe, the ninth being Simon, the tenth being Gregory, the eleventh being Enid, the twelfth being Tara Chambler, the thirteenth being Alpha, and the fourteenth being Leah Shaw.

International Dubbers

Language Dubber Other Characters Voiced
Czech Tomáš Karger Montanio
French Patrick Floersheim N/A
German Hans-Jürgen Wolf N/A
Hungarian Zágoni Zsolt N/A
Italian Roberto Draghetti N/A
Japanese Koji Fujiyoshi N/A
Portuguese Armando Tiraboschi Morgan Jones (1)
Spanish (Latin America) René Sagastume (1-2)
Gustavo Bonfigli (3)
René Sagastume:
Jim (3)
Big Tiny
Tyreese Williams
Mexican Man
Spanish (Spain) Vicente Gil N/A