There is actually a lot of youtube videos and blog posts about Dale from The Walking Dead already since his death on the tv series in Season 02. But I wanted to go back and do a Cross Section for him now since in the comic series he actually took part in the battle at the prison and survived a little bit past that point.
Dale is a retired car salesman who bought an RV to see America with his wife and enjoy the Golden Years. Dale never expected retirement to turn out like this as he loses his wife to the undead and ends up in the Atlanta area where he takes in two sisters, Andrea and Amy. This is pretty much where we find him in the tv series with his RV serving as a type of “headquarters” for the survivors at the camp. In both story lines Dale questions everything, trusts few people, and serves as the survivors last link to morals and humanity. He is famous for being the “It’s none of my business but let me tell you…” type of man but this actually anchors the survivors and maybe even keeps them a bit honest. While Rick maybe considered the leader Dale is definitely the Captain. Keeping watch from atop his RV, tracking rations and supplies and ammunition.
One of the major differences between the comic and the tv series is the relationship he has with Andrea. In the comics they are a romantic couple with Dale maybe serving as Father, lover, and role model all rolled into one while in the tv series Dale is more or less a role model with which Andrea usually resents and retorts his guidance and advice.
During Season Two of the tv series Dale’s status in the group is challenged when Shane starts to go crazy and the life of a hostage named Randy or Randall I think his name is officially (no relation) comes into question. During a confrontation with Shane, Dale proclaims, “…. when the world goes to shit, I didn’t let it take me down with it.” Lastly the entire group seems to turn their back on Dale during a meeting about what to do with Randy/Randall. In a moving speech Dale confronts everyone’s beliefs about where humanity has gone to since the outbreak stating that if they kill Randy/Randall then they are no better than the undead that are walking and eating people. Dale refuses to be part of serving as Judge, Jury, or Executioner. In the tv series, Dale is buried alongside that of Carol’s daughter Sophia and Hershel’s son Shawn.
In the comic storyline after the fall of the prison and when the group reunites Dale says something similar to Rick, “It’s not the Dead I’m afraid of anymore…” If Dale had lived in the tv series would the story be changed at all? Would Andrea’s fate be much different? It’s clear now that the group is suffering without its foundation and anchor point. Or maybe we should point to the comics, what if Dale died earlier on? Would that storyline be any different? Would Tyreese be still alive? We are clearly seeing the general story arc take very different paths but they both lead to the same ending? Despite what happens, in both the comic and in the tv show the group flounders without Dale and will be missed and beloved by fans of both.