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The Untold Truth About Daryl's Crossbow On The Walking Dead

For anyone navigating The Walking Dead universe, ennui is as big of a threat as the we-don't-call-them-zombies scattered around the post-apocalyptic landscape. The show has faced accusations from some former fans of being boring, repetitive, and the TV equivalent of clickbait — and it doesn't help that many fan-favorite actors have left the show after being killed off, exiting in search of better opportunities, or, in the case of Andrew Lincoln (who portrayed Rick Grimes), because he wanted to be with his kids.

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), however, is the exception to the rule. The character started out as a shifty hick who was originally supposed to die after a few episodes, but he's ended up outlasting his big brother Merle (Michael Rooker), as well as a significant portion of the original lead cast. Today, the scruffy fan favorite is pretty much the main man of The Walking Dead, and as close to unkillable as the show has ever seen. Apart from Norman Reedus' considerable charm, Daryl's popularity has quite possibly been aided by his signature weapon: a cool and practical crossbow that he's been using to great effect throughout his tenure in the show. Have you ever wondered about the character's history with this amazing weapon? This is the untold truth about Daryl's crossbow on The Walking Dead.

Daryl's crossbow is more faithful to the Walking Dead comics than Daryl himself

As many people familiar with the Walking Dead franchise know, Daryl Dixon is a character who doesn't exist in the comics. Norman Reedus originally read for the part of Merle Dixon, and though he didn't end up getting the role, he was so awesome that Frank Darabont created Merle's brother Daryl specifically for Reedus to play. However, as Troy L. Smith of Cleveland.com notes, Daryl's crossbow actually does exist in the source material — at least, after a fashion. It just belonged to Dwight (Austin Amelio), a member of Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) Saviors, who also features prominently on the show. 

Daryl's crossbow has seen a lot of action in the show, but the comics version has also delivered its share of doom. Most notably, it was used to kill Abraham Ford. Incidentally, this gives that character the dubious distinction of having fallen to not just one, but two of The Walking Dead's most iconic weapons. After all, the show's version of Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) met his fate courtesy of Negan's terrifying, barbed wire-covered baseball bat, Lucille.

Daryl has used more than one crossbow

Iconic as Daryl's crossbow is, it's easy to forget that he has actually used more than one bow in the show. According to Cleveland.com, his original one was a Horton Scout HD 125. However, he temporarily lost it to the Governor's (David Morrissey) ally Shumpert (Travis Love) when they captured him in season 3. Though he later managed to get it back, he soon upgraded to a new, possibly even cooler crossbow, courtesy of Michonne (Danai Gurira). The famous model is a Stryker StrykeZone, and in an interview with Men's Journal, Reedus fully admits that the show is happy to play fast and loose with the laws of physics to allow Daryl reload it by hand: "We take it back like Daryl's got some superstrength," Reedus says. "I think people who use crossbows know that." Real crossbows, of course, need to be cocked with a mechanical device.

As for the arrows Daryl uses, they're actually digital, but that's not why the Walking Dead archer never seems to run out of them. As Reedus has told Entertainment Weekly, Daryl's ready supply of projectiles is all about frugality and looting. "I try to recycle the arrows as much as possible," he informs readers. "They go on runs and we raid places and this is Georgia, so that is one of the weapons that people hunt with. So it's not unheard of to find more arrows."

Daryl's crossbow has a secret name

Negan's iconic baseball bat is famously called Lucille, after a lost love of his. but did you know that Daryl Dixon's crossbow also has a name? You probably didn't, because this isn't addressed in the show. Granted, this may very well be because it's technically not Daryl who named it, but Norman Reedus. When the actor was taking part in a Q&A event on the 2018 Walker Stalker Cruise, a fan asked about Daryl's crossbow's naming situation, and Reedus gracefully revealed (via Digital Spy) that the weapon indeed has a name: "Secretly I call it Marianne, because that's my mom's name." 

So, yeah. While you probably shouldn't expect the name to make it to the show's official continuity any time soon, it's a little bit heartwarming to know that Reedus has grown so attached to the crossbow he's been carrying around for years that he not only named it, but named it after his mother.