Aaron (The Walking Dead)

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Aaron
The Walking Dead character
AaronTheWalkingDead.png
Aaron, as depicted in the television series.
First appearance
  • Comic:
  • "Issue #67" (2009)
  • Television:
  • "Them" (2015)
Created by Robert Kirkman
Charlie Adlard
Portrayed by Ross Marquand
Information
Occupation Recruiter for Alexandria
Comic:
Member of the herd team
Significant other(s) Eric Raleigh
Comic:
Paul "Jesus" Monroe

Aaron is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and television series of the same name.[1] He is portrayed by Ross Marquand in the television series.

In both media, he acts as a recruiter for the Alexandria Safe-Zone located in Washington, D.C. for Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors on the road. Although initially mistrusted by Rick's group, he gradually gains their trust and becomes a respected and resourceful ally to the group. Aaron is the longest surviving Alexandria character and is notable for being the comic book's first openly gay character.

Appearances[edit]

Comic book series[edit]

Aaron, as depicted in the comic book series. Art by Charlie Adlard.

Aaron is introduced as a recruiter for the Alexandria Safe-Zone Community who came into contact with Rick's group shortly after they exterminated the Hunters. He and his fellow recruiter and lover Eric watched over the group from afar for several days until they found them suitable for the community. Although the survivors were initially suspicious of Aaron's motives, they went along with him to DC and eventually joined the Alexandria Safe-Zone. The leader of Alexandria, Douglas Monroe, is hesitant about the prospect of the group staying, however Aaron continually defends them, knowing the genuinely good people they are. He remains fiercely loyal of Rick and company from then on out.

He gets a false scare days after the group's arrival when Eric is stabbed by a random woman on the outskirts of DC whom they had been trying to recruit. Eric is taken back by a panic-stricken Aaron and is quickly healed by the town's surgeon Denise Cloyd. In the wake of this traumatic event, the couple mutually decides to stop recruiting for the foreseeable future and focus on maintaining things within the safety of their walls.

After the herd invasion that puts the community in disarray and culminates in Rick becoming leader in the wake of Douglas's death, Aaron and Eric are both assigned inventory together where they keep track of the community's rations, as well as supplies to ensure that things continue to be run properly. They also both further indulge in training with Rick and the rest of the group, in order to defend themselves better against the undead. The two soon begin to grow more comfortable venturing outside the walls again, assisting other members in supply runs (while occasionally stealing items like bottles of wine for themselves).

Aaron and Eric are both shaken by Abraham's sudden and unexpected death at the hands of the Saviors, with the two of them attending his memorial service. They later participate in the war with the Saviors (being led by a man named Negan) and form The Militia, an army consisting of many members from Alexandria, The Hilltop Colony, and The Kingdom. It is during this war that Eric is killed, leaving Aaron devastated and in a state of extreme depression. His sadness quickly turns into fury however, as he vows to kill every remaining member of the Saviors in order to avenge Eric's death.

Following the two year time-jump, he appears to have moved on from Eric's death and continues to be a productive member of the community. He is attacked by the Whisperers and is taken to the Hill Top to recover. During this period he flirts with Jesus. When the Whisperers invade and burn down the Hilltop, despite his injuries, Aaron manages to rescue the unconscious Carl before he burns to death in the blaze.

Television series[edit]

Prior to the events of the series Aaron became a recruiter for the Alexandria Safe-Zone, along with his boyfriend Eric. At some point Aaron recruited a group of three led by Davidson, who Aaron believed would be a good addition to the community. However Davidson's violent nature led to Deanna exiling him and Aaron, Aiden and Nicholas were forced to escort Davidson's group out, taking all their weapons and leaving them only a few days worth of supplies.

Season 5[edit]

In the episode "Them", Aaron (Ross Marquand) reveals himself, first, to Maggie and Sasha, stating his name and that he wishes to speak to the leader, which he already knows is Rick. Then he notes that he has good news for the group. In the next episode, "The Distance", Sasha and Maggie take him as a prisoner and bring him to Rick. Aaron tells them that he has been following them for quite some time and wants to invite them to live in a safe community nearby. Rick does not believe him and orders everyone to check if the things he said are true. They come to the conclusion that Aaron is telling the truth and decide to go along with him to the community. The car Rick, Glenn, Michonne and Aaron are in is attacked by walkers, but they manage to reunite with the rest of the group and Aaron's partner and boyfriend, Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson). Together they enter the community, which lies in Alexandria, Virginia. In the episode, "Remember", Aaron leads the group in Alexandria while carrying Eric inside. After letting Eric go off to the infirmary, he stays at the gate with Nicholas as the group enters. Aaron asks that group comply with Nicholas' orders to turn over their weapons, and that they will need to speak to the leader, Deanna. After she spoke with Rick, Aaron guided Rick and Carl to the two vacant houses in the Safe-Zone, and that he and Eric will be four houses down if Rick or anyone else needs anything.

In the episode "Forget", Aaron followed Daryl out of the safe-zone, under the guise of hunting rabbits. When Daryl spotted Aaron, he questioned Daryl if he could really tell the difference between a walker and a living person. Aaron then joins Daryl on the hunt. During which, they come across Buttons, a wild horse Aaron and Eric have been trying to wrangle for months. When Daryl attempts to get Buttons, they are attacked by Walkers and flee the area. Aaron reveals that he knows how Daryl feels, like an outsider. Aaron went on to explain how before and even now back at the safe-zone, he and Eric are seen as outsiders because they are gay. Aaron goes on to mention that people fear what they do not understand and that Daryl should join the safe-zone's welcoming party. Soon after, Aaron is attacked and Daryl rescues him. They come to find Buttons being devoured by walkers, so both Aaron and Daryl kill the walkers, with Aaron shooting Buttons to put him out of his misery. Aaron went back to the safe-zone but did not attend the party so that he could help mend Eric's broken ankle. When Daryl arrives to the Monroe house but declines to go inside, Aaron invites Daryl over for spaghetti. Aaron and Eric then surprise Daryl with a motorcycle they were building and reveal that Eric is retiring as a recruiter and Daryl is to take his place. Daryl is grateful and forms a friendship with Aaron and Eric. In the episode "Spend", Daryl and Aaron head out to find other recruits for Alexandria. In the episode "Try", Daryl spots a light some miles away but when he and Aaron investigate they find limbs of walkers missing their torsos and heads and find a recently dead woman tied to a tree and eaten by walkers, but with a "w" carved into her forehead.

In the season finale "Conquer", Daryl and Aaron find evidence of other people moving around the forest and begin to track them. Aaron tells Daryl about a group of survivors he recruited led by a man named Davidson who were ultimately exiled from Alexandria, and he personally had to escort them out without their weapons. They then see a lone survivor wearing a red poncho in the middle of a field and follow him. They lose track of the survivor and decide to scavenge supplies from some abandoned food trucks. However, they set off a trap that unleashes a horde of walkers on them and they are forced to take shelter inside a car. Daryl offers to risk his own life to help Aaron escape, but Aaron is adamant that they both escape together. At that moment, Morgan arrives and, with his help, Daryl and Aaron are able to escape. They ask Morgan why he helped, and he replies that all life is precious. Aaron offers to bring him to Alexandria, but Morgan politely refuses, saying that he needs to get to Washington, D.C., and shows them the map he picked up in the church, which Daryl recognizes. Daryl, Aaron, and Morgan arrive back at Alexandria in time to witness Rick executing Pete. The Wolves find Aaron's dropped pack, containing evidence of Alexandria's existence.

Season 6[edit]

During the finale of season 6 entitled "Last Day on Earth", Aaron and several others volunteered to help Rick go in an RV with a frail and pregnant Maggie, who needed urgent medical attention. En route to Hilltop, the group discovered all the roads were being blocked by a hostile group calling themselves the Saviors, who work for a man called Negan who was previously thought to be a hostile person Rick killed during a prior encounter. The group came to the conclusion they were being lured into a trap due to the careful planning involved, and Aaron pointed out that one of the many walkers left by the Saviors as a diversion on a road had strands of Michonne's hair stuck to it. At one point, while the Saviors were psychologically taunting the group, a man they caught was being hung over a bridge with a chain tightly wrapped around his neck. Aaron wanted to help him, but Rick told him they needed to save their bullets, thus he died. Eventually, Eugene devised a plan to take the RV alone at night to lure the Saviors away from the others. However, while taken Maggie through the woods on a stretcher, the group were captured and disarmed by dozens of Saviors. Aaron, Rick, Sasha, Abraham, Carl, Eugene and Maggie were not able to negotiate. They were then reunited with Daryl, Glenn, Michonne and Rosita, who were already held captive. After the group was lined-up on their knees, the real Negan introduced himself, and after telling them his plans for the group, he selected one of them to be beaten to death with a baseball bat wrapped in barbwire he calls "Lucille" as a punishment for killing his people, while the others could not intervene. The death of the selected character after the Eeny, meeny, miny, moe chant was shown from the point-of-view of whoever Negan said was "it."

Season 7[edit]

In the season premiere "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be", the person who was murdered was revealed to be Abraham at the start of season 7 on 23 October 2016. In a twist, Glenn was killed by Negan too after Daryl tried to attack him. Aaron was forced to witness all of this, then Sasha left with Maggie to get her to the doctor.[2] In "Hearts Still Beating," Aaron and Rick risk their lives to get crucial supplies, per the request of Negan. However, the Saviors beat him up when they return to the Alexandria Safe-Zone, after they inaccurately believe a note they find was intended to insult them.

Season 8[edit]

In season 8, Aaron joins the Militia to fight the Saviors alongside Eric. During a battle in "The Damned", Eric is hit by a bullet and seriously wounded. In "Monsters", Eric urges Aaron to leave him and rejoin the fight. When Aaron returns, he is devastated to discover that Eric has died and reanimated as a walker. When Aaron is on his way to Oceanside with Enid, they are attacked, and Enid has to shoot Natania which upsets the other women.[3]

Casting[edit]

Robert Kirkman briefly alluded during the Talking Dead episode for The Walking Dead episode "Coda" in November 2014 that the second half of the season would introduce a prominent gay character. Before Ross Marquand received the role of Aaron, he auditioned for the role of Gareth. Because of his comedic roots, the casting director thought Ross would be better suited for Aaron because of the character's humorous personality and had him return shortly after auditioning for Gareth to audition for Aaron. The casting call for Aaron used the codename Logan.

Reception[edit]

Several critics compared his introduction to that of an Other from the ABC television series, Lost.[4][5]

References[edit]