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Aaron And Eric

Aaron and Eric are both members of the Alexandria Safe Zone, a walled off neighborhood section where a small number of post apocalyptic survivors live. Aaron and Eric work together as scouts looking for other and spying on other survivors to decide if they’re worthy to bring in to the Safe Zone. It’s in this capacity that Aaron is first seen when he approaches Rick and Abraham one night after their group has stopped for the night. Aaron is a friendly and calm person, the latter demonstrated when he regains consciousness after being punched in the face and knocked out by a suspicious Rick for surprising them. Interrogated by Rick, Aaron admits that he’s a kind of recruiter, explaining that he comes from a small community of normal humans who’ve banded together. Hearing his promises of safety and food, first Michonne and then others strongly express desire to join the strangers. Rick agrees. Shortly after a very early start, the band is surprised to find another unknown man waiting by the side of the road. Apprehensive as usual, Rick explodes at Aaron upon learning that Eric, the new stranger, is Aaron’s partner and “insurance policy” in the event that something went wrong with the encounter with Rick’s group. The pair of men hand over their weapons and supplies to prove themselves to Rick. Before resuming their journey, Aaron is pulled aside by Eric for a private conversation. The nature of “partner” is defined when Eric rests his hand on Aaron’s neck, leans in, and says: “Next time…no more overnighters, okay? My nerves can’t take it.”

Aaron and Eric prove to be quick thinking and brave when they see a shooting flare about an hour away from the Alexandria Safe Zone and deduce that it was fired by someone in one of their runner groups who’ve gone into the city for supplies.  After they’ve all safely arrived at their destination, Aaron acts as a sort of liason between Rick and his people and Douglas Monroe, the defacto leader of the Safe Zone.

Aaron’s views about his purpose and life in the Safe Zone are affected after Eric is stabbed by a woman the pair were going to recruit after observing her. Despite Eric and Dr Cloyd’s assurances that the wound is superficial, Aaron is visibly shaken and decides to persuade Douglas that the time for recruitment is over.The couple’s acceptance is evidenced by the comforting smiles and stances the artist gives both Dr Cloyd and Rick. Douglas is grief stricken by the accidental death of his wife. Instead of addressing Aaron’s concerns Douglas decides to confess his feelings of shame, fear, and inadequacy within his marriage and as the Safe Zone’s leader. Aaron tries his best to support Douglas with comforting words but their conversation is cut short by gunshots due to a walker incident from a wall breach. Unable to secure the gap, the zone is overrun by zombies. Seeing the heroic efforts led by Rick, Aaron rushes to help while a recovering Eric insists on also joining to protect their safety.

Art by Charlie Adlard

My reading of the Walking Dead is by trades from my library, so my first hand knowledge of Aaron and Eric stops with volume 14, “No Way Out”. Everyone in this arc seems accepting or at least not openly bothered by Aaron and Eric’s sexuality and relationship. Eric dies in a fight in #118. Details at  this Walking Dead site. There are lots of spoilers there. This entry will be updated as I get further ahead in my reading.

Aaron’s first appearance is Walking Dead #67 and Eric appears in #68, which reveals their relationship.

The Walking Dead and all its characters are © and ® Robert Kirkman. All rights reserved.

June 1, 2020
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