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Revision as of 12:08, May 4, 2017

This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for his Social Game or Survival Instinct 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. Having survived along with his younger brother, Daryl, he eventually joined a group of survivors outside of Atlanta, Georgia. After being abandoned on a rooftop in Atlanta, he was found by a man known as The Governor and was taken to Woodbury. He served as the secondary antagonist for the first half of Season 3 before joining Rick's group.



A seemingly stereotypical Southern redneck, Merle is extremely ill-tempered, racist, misogynistic, violent, volatile, 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 Caesar 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 the 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 of a building in Atlanta. Though the Governor and Merle were allies, it seemed that Merle feared him to an extent and no doubt had issue 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.

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 relaionship with the only family he had left, 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, although his attempts are in vain for some of the other group members, notably Glenn. 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.


North Georgia

Before the outbreak, Merle and Daryl lived somewhere in the mountains of North Georgia with their neglectful parents; their father being an alcoholic and their mother being both that and a chain-smoker. When they were both little, they lost their mother to a house fire that had been caused by her cigarette while she was asleep. 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. His father beat both brothers, with Merle leaving because he would have murdered him. He raised Daryl to share the same beliefs and also become tough in the cruel adult world that both of them faced. Despite talking proudly about taking care of Daryl, Merle, like their father, was often absent from Daryl's life and didn't give him the emotional support that a big brother should. It is revealed near the end of Season 3, when Merle tells his brother that he is looking for crystal meth, that Merle may have once been a user. This is further supported by a scene in season 2 when Daryl was looting Merle's bag of drugs in the satchel on his bike. Merle jokes, "Yeah, I know. I shouldn't mess my life up, when everything's going so sweet, right?" and in Episode 12 of Season 4, Daryl talks about how Merle had a white dealer.

Merle abandoned the family during his teenage years, due to the abuse his father inflicted on him, leaving Daryl with their father (seemingly oblivious to the abuse his brother was facing). He then enrolled in the military, as shown by his physical strength, tactical abilities and skill with firearms. At one point, he punched a sergeant, which got him dishonourably discharged. He was then court-martialled and sent to prison for sixteen months.[1]


Survival Instinct

Main article: Merle Dixon (Survival Instinct)

Season 1


Merle is one of the Atlanta survivors who left the refugee camp to gather supplies in Atlanta with Glenn, Andrea, Jacqui, T-Dog, and Morales. When the department store is besieged by walkers, Dixon fires his rifle at several of them. T-Dog demands that he stops firing as it will draw more walkers. After Merle insults him by calling him "Mr.Yo" and a "nigger," T-Dog throws a punch which Merle parries with the rifle and the two begin to brawl. Though Rick, Morales, and Glenn attempt to intervene, Merle single-handedly knocks them down and viciously beats T-Dog, establishing his dominance by spitting on the man. After declaring himself leader, he is blind-sided by Rick, who hits him with his own rifle and handcuffs him to a pipe before Dixon can cause further harm. Rick then confiscates Merle's pistol and cocaine and tosses the drugs off the side of the building, infuriating him. He is then put under the watch of T-Dog while the other survivors attempt to find a way out of the city. When the survivors do find a way out, T-Dog is about to leave him behind like the others are, but after listening to his frightened pleas for help, he turns around to take the handcuffs off and help him out of the store. However, he trips and accidentally drops the handcuff keys into a roof drain, forcing him to abandon Merle on the rooftop, as he flees after locking the rooftop door shut with chains to buy him time. 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 (whether due to his known drug habits or heat stroke, or a combination) 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. This is the last time Merle is seen for the rest of the first Season.

Season 2

Merle's whereabouts are completely unknown throughout Season 2. Almost no one in the group is concerned about where he is, if he is alive or dead, or even finding him, aside from Daryl.


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

"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 arm 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 more 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 is seen driving 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 a 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 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 seen as 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 for the death 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 brutality, 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 Rick's group, 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 Rick's group, though the smoke affects their vision, so they are not able to recognize each other.

After the shootout where Rick's group 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, is the one who 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 Hispanic 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 is seen in the door of the common room, listening 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 seen 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 is seen suggesting 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 is seen packing 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 is then seen watching the group from outside, he 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 Merle 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 next seen 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 gonna beg to 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 crying 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. Merle is eventually captured by the Woodbury soldiers during the shootout. The Governor grabs him and takes him back inside the building that Merle was shooting from. The Governor beats him, then bites off two of Merle's fingers on his left hand, and breaks his right arm before fatally shooting him in the chest.

Daryl comes across the undead Merle feeding on Ben at the meeting place and begins to cry uncontrollably. Merle approaches Daryl, who pushes him back three times before stabbing him in the shoulder, knocking him to the ground. He finishes the undead Merle by stabbing him seven times in the face, then falling to the ground in tears.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Merle has killed:


Daryl Dixon

" I just want my brother back"
—Daryl to Merle during their final conversation[src]

Daryl was raised by his brother to share his beliefs. 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.

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 have put everything aside, although Rick still shows reluctance in letting Merle stay in the prison. 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.

Lori Grimes

"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 Rick's group 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. Merle apparently didn't show any sympathy for Carl having to shoot his own mother, on screen at least, and didn't check or edit what he said around the thirteen-year-old. It is unknown how Carl responded to Merle's death, but 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 simply using Merle as an example or also possibly due to the fact that Carl had some respect for 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.

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 interrogated Glenn on where the remaining Atlanta Survivors were located, including Rick. Merle attacked and beat Glenn continuously and even went as far as bringing in a walker to attempt to persuade Glenn to talk. Glenn and Maggie 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 dying, 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 shook his head. 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. Glenn most likely 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.


"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. Later on, when Andrea returns to the prison, Andrea is angry at Merle for what he did to Glenn and shouts at him. This is the last time the two interact. It is unknown if Andrea learned of Merle's ambush and killing of the Governor's men and if so how she reacted to his death.

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.


"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 "nigger" 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.


"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.


"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.


"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 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.

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 regret or remorse, but stated that they need to tell the truth about Merle to Daryl. On a 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 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.

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 Philip when they went out gain supplies. Merle seems 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 isn't going to beg him for his life. The Governor agrees and then shoots him in the chest, finally ending his life and their conflict.

Caesar Martinez

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

Merle and Martinez have spent many months surviving the apocalypse together and have become close allies. Merle even gave him the nickname "Brownie", because of his skin color). The two also poke jabs at each other like brothers, 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. Although when Merle was captured after attacking Woodbury, Martinez participated in beating him while he was down. Martinez played a role in Merle's death, having been one of the people to beat him, which made him unable to put up a fight against The Governor. It can be assumed that by this time, he has come to harbor a hatred for Merle.

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 appears to care for Merle, as he did not seek his death at the arena.


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.


"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, and the two fall silent as they realize that they are not that different. Michonne 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 Greene

"Let's put him in the other cell block. This is all you. You started this!"
—Maggie to Merle.[src]

Maggie and Merle have 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 Merle and The Governor, Maggie saved Merle along with Daryl in the Walker Pit 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 Rick's group, 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 The Prison 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 Phillip 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.



  • 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.
  • Daryl'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 Dixon was 'The Suicide King,' that inspired the episode titles.
  • According to Shane, 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 Dixon 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, the actor for Daryl Dixon 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.[2]
  • 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, the third being The Governor, the fourth being Bob, the fifth being Gareth, the sixth being Tyreese, the seventh being Jessie, and the eighth being Carl. Out of all of them, Carl is the only one still alive.
  • Merle is the first original main character in the TV Series, the second being his brother Daryl, the third being Beth, the fourth being Sasha, the fifth being Enid, the sixth being Simon and the seventh being Jadis.
    • Merle is also the first original main character in the TV Series to die, the second being Beth and the third being Sasha. 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 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 Philip's inner circle.
  • Merle has killed the sixth largest amount of living characters on the TV show with at least 25 (including himself indirectly), while Daryl has the fifth largest with at least 28, Negan has the fourth largest with at least 30, Carol has the third largest with at least 37, Rick has second largest with at least 40, and the Governor has the largest with over 50.
  • 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's final lines "I ain't gonna beg, I'm not begging you!" were not directed towards the Governor but rather God as revealed by Michael Rooker.
  • Melissa McBride and Michael Rooker reprised their roles as Carol and Merle, respectively, on a 2013 episode of The Conan O'Brien Show, in which the pair disrupts O'Brien's live studio audience under the guise of "hiding from walkers."
  • 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 Dixon 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 Micheal 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 first character on the show to have an antagonistic role for over a season and join Rick's group.


  1. Talking Dead November 13, 2011
  2. (CONTAINS SPOILERS) The Making of Episode 303, Walk With Me: Inside The Walking Dead The Walking Dead (October 28, 2013)
TV Series Characters
Grimes Family JudithR.J.RickCarlLori
King County LambertPaulaShaneLeonMr. SiggardMrs. Siggard
Jones Family MorganJennyDuane
Atlanta Camp CarolDarylMoralesGlennAndreaMerleTheodoreDaleSophiaJacquiMirandaLouisElizaAmyEdJim
Nursing Home MiguelFelipeJorgeGuillermoGilbert
Jenner Family EdwinCandace
Greene Farm MaggieBethHershelPatriciaJimmyAnnetteShawnArnoldOtisJosephine
Military Personnel WellesWilsonBradySeanFranklinCallaway
The Living NateRandallSeanTonyDave
Michonne's Group MichonneMikeTerryAndre
The Prison AxelOscarAndrewTomasBig Tiny
Woodbury JeanetteMrs. RichardsMs. McLeodPhilipCaesarShumpertMr. JacobsonKarenMr. RichardsOwenErynGregMiltonDr. StevensRowanEileenFosterBettyNoahPaulJodyRichardHaleyPennyWarrenMichaelGargulioCrowleyTimEmily
Tyreese's Group SashaTyreeseAllenBenDonna
Prison Newcomers BobLizzieMikaLukeMollyJulioHenryNorisCalebDavidRyanCharlieChloePatrickZach
Chambler Family TaraLillyMeghanDavid
Martinez's Group HowardMitchAlishaPete
Ford Family AbrahamEllenA.J.Becca
Post-Prison Survivors EugeneRositaChristopher
The Claimers DanBillyHarleyTonyJoeLenLou
Terminus MartinGregTheresaGarethAlbertMikeMaryAlex
St. Sarah's Church Gabriel
Grady Memorial Hospital StevenTanakaAlvaradoAmandaBelloLicariPercyMcGinleyFrancoNoahDawnO'DonnellBobJeffriesGormanJoanGavinHanson
Alexandria Safe-Zone AaronBarbaraScottKyleNoraSocorroJenWayneHeathMrs. RobinsonAlexCherylEnidRussBobBruceTobinKent AnnaMikeyFrancineSpencerOliviaDeniseDeannaLucyRonJessieSamMayaDavidBetsyNicholasAnnieWillTommySturgessBarnesNatalieStacyMichaelJefferyRichardsHollySamanthaBobbyCharlyneO'HaraDineshDanErinAdrianParkShellyCarterPeteRegAidenEric
The Wolves OwenAphid
The Saviors NeganAldenGracieSherryDwightAmberTanyaMarkGinaQuanPotterJoséBrookeMelJohnMarcusJonahAliceLauraBrandonFrankieD.J.RichieRegina JedNorrisArat JustinSimonDukeLanceGaryReillyJaredEvanKatyKenoDerekDeanGavinGomezPaulieDukeZiaLeoYagoJoeyGuntherRudyToddDinoHuckWadeCamNelsonMaraGordonRoyDavidEmmettIsabelleJosephChrisGeorgeNeilRomanJiroMilesPrimoPaulaMichelleMollyDonnieGabeTimmyTina
Hilltop Colony HershelGageBertieKalEduardoOscarMarcoBriannaEarlPennyFelixAdelineRodneyTammy RoseCasperMartinMilesHildePaulGregoryKennethStephanieCraigCrystalWesleyHarlanNeilFreddieAndyEthan
The Kingdom EzekielJerryDianneNabilaEzraAliyahMariamJennyWilliamHenryDanaKevinKurtAlvaroDanielColtonRichardBenjamin
Oceanside CyndieRachelBeatriceJulesKathyNatania
The Scavengers AnneTamielBrionFarronWinslow
Georgie's Group HildaMidgeGeorgie
Magna's Group MagnaLukeKellyYumikoConnieBernie
The Whisperers LydiaAdamBetaAlphaRufusMaryDanteFrancesZionRasmusSeanHelen
Shelter Survivors CyrusAmandaLamarFrankRoseMatias
The Highwaymen AlfredMargoAlekOzzy
Jocelyn's Group WinnieP.J.GinaLinusMitchellJocelyn
Bloodsworth Island VirgilLucyCelesteJeremiahLisa
Survivor Caravan AidenBailey
Miscellaneous Survivors JuanitaWilhelmSiddiqMiloAmeliaEastmanSamAnaMrs. BlakeClara
Animals DogNellyShivaTabithaButtonsDukeFlameViolet
Walkers CarlaDellyJoe Sr.BillTonyNickErinDougLouiseWayneSummerHannahEddie
Alive characters appear in green. Dead characters appear in red and italics. Unknown characters appear in blue. Undead characters appear in gray and italics.
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