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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from episode 510, “Them,” of AMC’s The Walking Dead and the comic series it is based on.]
Sunday’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead introduced someone new to the group when a stranger named Aaron introduced himself to Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green).
Relative newcomer and new series regular Ross Marquand made his debut as Aaron in the closing minutes of the zombie drama based on Robert Kirkman‘s long-running comic series. The character, dressed like a Boy Scout, claims to be a friend — and even mocks “stranger danger” — when he first approaches the duo.
Aaron’s arrival comes after Kirkman teased that Walking Dead would be introducing a prominent gay character from the comics during the second half of season five.
In the comics, Aaron is one of two recruiters — with boyfriend Eric — for the Alexandria Safe-Zone community. Alexandria, which has widely been speculated as the next locale on AMC’s Walking Dead, is the longest-running location featured in the series. His first interaction is, as with Maggie and Sasha, when he surprises Rick and Abraham as they are traveling to Washington — the same journey the AMC survivors are on. While he’s ultimately knocked out and tied up, he eventually invites them to become residents of the Safe-Zone.
After encounters with The Governor, some members of the group are immediately suspicious of Aaron and the refuge he’s offering.
While it’s unclear which direction the AMC series is headed, the group — as seen during Sunday’s episode — is in dire need of a more permanent shelter and a safe community.
“Whenever we get to Alexandria, it will probably have stuff that’s right out of the comic book and stuff that’s different,” showrunner Scott M. Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the midseason return. Should AMC follow the comics, Aaron winds up fighting alongside and becoming a key friend to Rick — and ultimately the duo help expand Alexandria into a thriving community that’s the closest thing to civilization the series has ever shown.
For more about what to expect from AMC’s Aaron — including how the group will be divided about whether or not to trust him after run-ins with The Governor and Gareth — check out our interview with Lauren Cohan about Sunday’s episode here.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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