Spoilers for The Walking Dead episodes 8x02 and 8x03.
Episode 8x02 of The Walking Dead saw Alexandria residents Tobin (Jason Douglas), Francine (Dahlia Legault), Scott (Kenric Green) and Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) take part in a multi-pronged attack against several Savior outposts, and following a brave charge into action, Eric revealed a gunshot wound to the gut to boyfriend Aaron (Ross Marquand).
Episode 8x03 picked up where the previous episode left off, with Aaron hurrying Eric away from the action. Taking him to a nearby tree, Aaron reveals Eric to have an exit wound in his lower back. Aaron says he'll get Eric to the Kingdom's doctor, but Eric tells him to go. "They need you," he says, the two sharing a passionate kiss. Knowing he's right, Aaron begrudgingly leaves.
Later, Aaron returns only to be met with a blood-stained tree trunk. Eric is gone. Aaron spots Eric — what's left of Eric — shambling away through a field, towards a herd of Walkers. Aaron breaks down. Scott (Kenric Green) retrieves Aaron, who wants to follow Eric and put him down. "Aaron, that's not him," Scott says, telling the distraught Aaron they have to go. They leave.
In the comics, Eric and Aaron were in a relationship and served as recruiters for Alexandria. The pair would embark on scout trips in search of survivors, and if a person or a group seemed decent, Aaron would approach with an invitation to assimilate into the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Eric would hang back and act as Aaron’s “insurance policy,” who would save Aaron and kill the candidates if they proved dangerous.
In both the comics and the show, Eric was part of the group that bravely fought to reclaim Alexandria from an invading horde of Walkers that had made their way into Alexandria’s walls. It wasn’t the only time Eric would show bravery: after Carl fired a shot at Negan’s beloved barbwire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille, the villain demanded the boy be tossed over the wall — a request to which Eric replied by telling Negan to “F dash dash dash” himself.
Eric would join Rick and members from Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom in their surprise attack against Negan’s home base, the Sanctuary. Later, Eric is alongside Aaron and others as they follow Rick in a siege on a Savior outpost — a mission that results in Eric being shot in the head and killed. Aaron cradled his dead boyfriend’s body mid battle before exacting his vengeance on the Saviors, later telling Rick he wouldn’t be okay until “every last one of these motherf—kers are dead.”
Eric succumbing to his wounds, alone, is arguably a hell of a lot worse than taking a bullet to the head: at least comic book Eric didn't see it coming. Comic book Eric also didn't have to reanimate, and it may be hard for Aaron to get closure knowing his beloved is out wandering around as just yet another Walker in a herd of corpses. Though the specifics of their fates differed, both Erics died as result of a battle with Saviors — and we just may yet see a vengeful Aaron on the horizon.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.