When 'The Walking Dead' first hit the small screen, it quickly became must-watch television. Introducing a number of compelling characters, such as Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, Melissa McBride's Carol Peletier and Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon, the series allowed a group of people that would never usually come together to explore their relationships and work out how to survive in a world where the odds are truly stacked against them.

Norman Reedus hopes Daryl Dixon survives until 'The Walking Dead' comes to an endNorman Reedus hopes Daryl Dixon survives until 'The Walking Dead' comes to an end

Set against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse, the show is one that has seen the deaths of multiple leading characters. Nobody is safe in the world built on screen - even those who may still be alive in the original comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman. Showrunners have on a number of occasions, flipped the script on their viewers, surprising them with scenes and sequences unique to the series.

It's an experience that a number of the actors involved with the show have hailed as a huge and important part of their life. For some, it's one they never want to come to an end. Reedus is one of those that loves his job on the series, and recently admitted his hopes for his character Daryl to survive until the very last episode.

"I love being on the show," the actor told EW. "I could do this until it ended. There's part of me hat really wants to bookend the show. I started the show and I want to end the show."

He continued: "It’s not like a movie where it wraps up in an hour and a half. People have seen me and Andy and Melissa grow over what will be a nine-year period when the show picks back up. You’ve seen my hair on my chin turning gray! I’ve never done a job like this where the fans are watching this character grow in real time. You very rarely get an opportunity to do that. It’s a real blessing to be able to be part of something that big and has that sort of longevity. I’m still loving it."

Whether or not Reedus will get his wish remains to be seen. Bosses at AMC have in the past expressed a desire to keep 'The Walking Dead' on the air for "decades" to come, but there have recently been a number of rumours suggesting that there are just a few more seasons in the tank for the show.

Plagued with falling viewership, ratings and critical reception as of late, the show could quite literally be a dead man walking. Still, it's undeniable that it's one of the most popular and successful shows on television. Fans will just have to wait for official announcements regarding the future, and until then, pray for the lives of their favourite characters to make it through. We imagine Daryl is on a lot of people's lists.

More: Robert Kirkman Defends Decision To Kill Off Carl In 'The Walking Dead'

'The Walking Dead' returns to AMC in the US on February 25, and to FOX in the UK on February 26.