The Walking Dead Star Confirms Aaron/Jesus Romance Happened Off-Screen

Tom Payne The Walking Dead

There was much speculation from fans about the nature of Aaron and Jesus’ relationship in The Walking Dead season 9. The close friends were shown to be meeting in secret when Michonne made Alexandria isolationist and Aaron was clearly devastated when Jesus was murdered by the Whisperers in the midseason finale. Nevertheless, it was never outright confirmed that the pair had started a romance.

In a recent appearance at Comic-Con Paris though, star Ross Marquand made clear that himself and Tom Payne believe that the duo had become a couple during the time jump, following the death of Aaron’s boyfriend Eric in season 8. Marquand explained that the two actors aimed to play it this way so that it came across to audiences.

“I think it was kind of alluded to, in points. Tom Payne and I, we discussed [it], and we thought they probably were romantic at some point during the six-year time jump. We didn’t know how that was going to look, exactly, but we sort of alluded to it. We decided it only made sense, because of their camaraderie, and they’re very similar. They’re both the recruiters for their respective communities, they have a lot in common.”

Marquand went on to say how deeply Jesus’ death affected him, especially after all the other loved ones he’s lost over the course of the past five seasons. Most recently, Tara and Enid died in season 9’s penultimate episode.

“When he loses Jesus in the cemetery with all the Whisperers, I think it just destroys him. Because everybody he gets close to, they just end up dying horribly. That’s the show, though. You love to watch all these people, ‘Oh, here’s some hope,’ and then [they die].”

It makes sense that Marquand, a big fan of Robert Kirkman’s source material, and Payne came up with this personal connection for the characters, as the pair are a couple in the comics. In fact, both of them survive the length of the run and are shown to still be together in the final issue, set 20 years later and what we saw on television was just one of many, darker alterations to the storyline that the series has made.

The Walking Dead season 10 continues Sundays on AMC.