|“||I may not have what it takes to last for long, but that's okay. 'Cause at least I can say that when the world goes to shit, I didn't let it take me down with it.||„|
|~ Dale to Shane Walsh.|
Dale Horvath was a main character and survivor of the zombie apocalypse in AMC's The Walking Dead. He served as one of the main protagonists from Season 1 to Season 2. He first appears in "Days Gone Bye". During his time with Rick Grimes' group, he often found himself at odds with Shane Walsh. Also, during the initial outbreak, Dale saved Andrea and Amy, eventually finding a camp of survivors.
Dale's age, calm experience, and RV provide the nucleus around which the small community of survivors has formed. He is wise, sometimes profound, and is the respected elder of the group, though is also rather feisty, not afraid to speak his mind and call others out for mistakes in judgement. He serves as "the moral compass" of the group.
Over time he, Andrea, and Amy form their own little family unit and he finds spending time with them has helped bring him back to life in a way he never anticipated. Dale is a fairly self-sufficient man, and ever watchful of the changing dynamics among the survivor community. He is known to occasionally deceive and withhold information from the group if he feels it is in the group's best interest.
A walker that Carl had previously been examining in the marshy lands near Hershel's farm, freed itself after Carl provoked it while it's legs were trapped, and wandered onto the property. Dale later patrols the grounds and stumbles upon a cow that has died. After hearing something behind him, Dale turns around to see the same walker that Carl had seen earlier. It attacks him and, while he was able to momentarily prevent himself from being bitten, the walker rips open Dale's stomach. Daryl comes to his rescue and killed the walker. The rest of the group reaches the dying Dale, bleeding from his wounds. Rick demands that they move Dale to the house to operate on him, but Hershel informs him that he would be unable to save Dale in his critical condition. Carl, upon seeing the walker, realizes that he is partly responsible for what happened, and cries.
Rick lifts his gun and points it at Dale's head in an attempt to put him out of his misery, but can not bring himself to do so. Instead, Daryl takes Rick's gun, points it at Dale and says, "Sorry, brother." before shooting him.
Dale is a main character first encountered in Issue 3 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and is an elderly salesman and a survivor of the original Atlanta group. Dale is the owner of the Camp RV, and later formed a relationship with Andrea, who both adopted Ben and Billy after their father's death.
- For his Comic Series counterpart, Dale and Andrea share an exclusively intimate relationship. In the TV Series, Andrea is, in fact, resentful of Dale to the point she says she saved his life by leaving the CDC with him, rather than her own.
- The Comic Series counterpart of Dale is 68 years old; whereas the TV Series one is 4 years younger, being 64.