Walking Dead 67 Aaron Ross Marquand Them

Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman recently confirmed that Daryl (Norman Reedus) is straight but teased the debut of a “prominent gay character”, likely Aaron portrayed by Ross Marquand.

Aaron and his boyfriend Eric scout out possible recruits to join a walled-off community known as the Alexandria Safe-Zone, the group’s current and longest home in the comic. His entrance in the episode “Them” is nearly identical to his debut in Walking Dead #67. The one notable difference is that he asks for Rick by name, indicating he’s been closely watching the group. Even more ominous, Marquand initially auditioned for the part of Gareth, the leader of the cannibals at Terminus. Executive producer Scott Gimple told Marquand to read the source material but gave him the freedom to make the part his own, the actor told TV Guide.

“He’s an affable man. He’s very nice, he’s very polite, and he’s almost Boy Scout-like in that regard,” Marquand described his character. “But there’s also this sort of wisecracking side that I think is really disarming and quite charming in this environment. He’s approaching people that have been on the road for very close to two years now and they’ve been through the ringer.”

Despite his good intentions, Aaron is interrogated by Rick, who’s right to be cautious says Marquand.

“I would be extraordinarily suspicious of Aaron, for no other reasoning than the history of the show. Every other extremely disarming nice person on the show has tried to ultimately kill them or control them in some way, shape, or form. However, I think people will believe what they want to believe and so they’ll learn a lot more about him and his relationship to the group in the next few episodes.”

The Walking Dead airs Sunday 9PM on AMC.