|Age||Unspecified; possibly 40s to 50s|
|Last Appearance||Tell It to the Frogs (Physically) Chupacabra (Daryl's Dream)|
|Merle Dixon Gallery|
Michael Rooker Gallery
- "Now, how's about a big hug for your ol' pal Merle? Huh?"
Merle Dixon is a survivor first encountered in "Guts", the second episode of The Walking Dead (TV Series). He has a younger brother named Daryl Dixon and the Dixon brothers appear only in the TV series and do not exist in the continuity of the comic series. He is more than likely a neo-Nazi with his views of non-white races and Waffen SS markings found on his motorcycle.
Merle and Daryl lived somewhere in the mountains of North Georgia with their neglectful alcoholic father. Because of the neglect and lack of guidance he was given, Merle chose to act out against society, which led him to frequently be incarcerated in juvenile institutions. He raised Daryl to share the same beliefs and also become tough in the cruel adult world that both of them faced. Despite talking big 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.
In his adult years, Merle was briefly enrolled in the military, as shown by his physical strength and skill with firearms. He once punched a non-comissioned officer (sergeant), which got him dishonorably discharged. He was then sent to prison for sixteen months and most likely court-martialed.
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 a "nigger," T-Dog punches him 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 punches him out and handcuffs him to a pipe, before Dixon can cause further harm. Rick then confiscates Merle's cocaine and tosses it 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 attempts to save Dixon but accidentally drops the handcuff keys into a vent, forcing him to abandon Dixon on the rooftop, as he flees after locking the rooftop door shut with chains. He is left behind as the survivors escape Atlanta.
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 zombies invade the building and reach 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 attempt reaching a hack-saw and succeeds in cutting off his hand to escape.
Rick, Glenn, Daryl and T-dog follow a trail of blood, and discover that Merle used the hacksaw to sever off his hand; then proceeded to cauterize it with a bunsen burner. He then killed two walkers with a wrench before leaving the building. Daryl takes Merle's severed hand with them, and later uses it to scare Miguel into revealing the location of the Vatos hideout. It is unknown if he takes the hand back to camp with him. It is believed that Merle stole the van Rick, Glenn, T-Dog and Daryl used to return to Atlanta, and fled the city in it, although the fact he never returned to camp suggests otherwise.
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 dream, 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. Daryl also promises Merle in the hallucination that someday he will find him.
It has been confirmed that Merle will return in Season 3 of AMC's The Walking Dead. He will appear as a resident of Woodbury, a safe-zone under the control of The Governor. Merle will appear with a device over his amputated right hand with a knife attached to it.
This list shows the victims Merle has killed:
- Numerous counts of zombies and possibly people.
- Merle is one of many new characters introduced in the TV series that does not appear in the comic series.
- Merle is one of the many amputees in The Walking Dead. For other victims, see Amputated Victims.
- Merle managed to cut off his own hand with a saw.
- Merle has a number of ethnic slurs that he uses against people of different minorities to show his racism.
- Merle has been the only (former) military member shown alive in the series so far (unless the tattoo on Shane's arm is a marine one, not to mention the way Shane's spoke when convincing the others to kill the zombies in the barn; which sounded like a drill sergeant).
- According to his brother, he got the Clap on occasion and had to take some serious antibiotics and drugs.
- In Daryl's hallucination, Merle had both of his hands.
- In one episode Shane referred to Merle saying Rick "went on suicide mission to save a drug dealer". It is likely that Merle belonged to some white supremacist organization, perhaps Aryan Brotherhood.
- Creator Robert Kirkman also hinted, in a joking matter, that Merle might be the person piloting the helicopter at the beginning of Beside the Dying Fire.
- It is worthy of noting that this theory could be supported by the fact Merle is possibly the only other survivor aside from Rick who saw the helicopter in "Days Gone Bye", as he was on the rooftop. However, confirming this was impossible as the proceeding fight between T-Dog created a tension he would never come back from.
- Despite being a hallucination, that moment in Chupacabra is the first and so far only time Daryl and Merle are seen together.
- Merle will be featured in the new Walking Dead video game currently under development by Terminal Reality.
- Merle is one of many religious characters within The Walking Dead.
- ↑ Talking Dead November 13, 2011