Warning: Comic Book And Television Spoilers Ahead
As we head toward the second half of The Walking Dead‘s 5th season, Rick Grimes’ group has lost well more than a dozen close friends and family members. Beth Greene was the latest, but she won’t be the last. That’s the world that these characters live in — one of danger, death, and fear — but after a time, there has to be something more than this cycle of torture.
How many times can the characters on The Walking Dead collapse, pulled down by the weight of their sorrow and tears? How long until both they and we grow numb to the constant onslaught of pain?
It’s been the equivalent of one full season since the group was forced from their prison home. In that time they have wandered toward a mirage and faced the savage truth of an unraveled society. This journey has changed them, some more than others.
It’s actually been fascinating to watch Rick transform, his actions often capable of instigating a debate in viewers now that he is no longer a boy scout. Now that his choices are no longer black or white. Rick isn’t hungry for bloodshed so much as he just seems to like the finality that it brings now. No more discussion, no gnawing conscience urging him to give people a second chance. Like he gave Randall in season 2. The question is, is Rick really too far gone?
Apparently that’s a question that a lot of the characters on the show will be asked this season, according to showrunner Scott Gimple, and fans of the Walking Dead comic book know that an answer is coming. The thing is, no one on the outside of the show knows how close or far away we are to it.
In the comics, at a point that is similar to where we are now in the TV series, Rick and Abraham met a man named Aaron in issue #67 shortly after Eugene had revealed himself to be a fraud. Aaron was a scout from a camp in Alexandria, Virginia who had been watching Rick’s group to see if they would be a good fit.
At the time, Rick seemed weary of Aaron and his promises of stability after all they had been through in Woodbury with the Governor, but Michonne delivered a stirring speech that pushed the group to follow Aaron to Alexandria.
That speech is echoed in tone, but not words, in the trailer for the second half of this season.
We know that we will soon see Aaron on the show. Or, at least, we’re pretty sure. On the mid-season finale of The Talking Dead, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman said that the show would introduce “a very prominent gay character from the comics,” so the assumption is that he was talking about Aaron, who is gay.