The Walking Dead: Negan Provokes Aaron in 10x03 Sneak Peek

A pissed off Aaron (Ross Marquand) confronts Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in an extended clip from The Walking Dead 10x03, “Ghosts.” When Alexandria is battered by wave after wave of walkers in an assault that lasts an exhausting 49 hours, Aaron is tasked with taking troops on a mission to break up a southern wave before the undead hit the wall. An all-hands-on-deck situation, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) partners Aaron with Negan, despite their protests: Aaron insists his fatigued fighters are capable of soldiering on, while Negan is content to hang back picking tomatoes and burying corpses. Negan can fight, and Aaron needs fighters. As Gabriel puts it, “Peanut butter, meet jelly.”

Aaron, already holding a grudge against Negan for his murders of Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) nearly eight years earlier, is pushed over the edge when Negan makes a biting remark bringing to mind Aaron’s boyfriend Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson), slain in battle against Negan’s Saviors years ago.

“Are you saying that Eric’s death was my fault?” Aaron asks through gritted teeth. “Wow. If I failed Eric… then you failed your wife.” Negan previously admitted his failures with cancer-stricken wife Lucille in conversation with Gabriel and then Michonne (Danai Gurira).

Despite a warning to be careful, Aaron sinks his teeth in deeper. “She died hating you. And you will never see her again. You want to say something?”

“Yeah,” Negan says, “behind you.” Aaron is then attacked by a pair of straggling walkers, a scuffle that ends with him losing sight of Negan.

The episode is part of what executive producer Denise Huth has said is an expanded role for Aaron in Season 10.

“This season I think we’re going to see a lot more of Aaron. Obviously he’s been with us since Season 5 as a member of Alexandria and he steps up in a significant way this season, not only as a leader of Alexandria but also of all the communities together,” Huth recently told GamesRadar+. “He’s very much a part of training the militia and getting people ready for the fight [against the Whisperers]. It’s been really exciting to see Ross rise up into that role as such a significant leader.”

The quickly worsening strife against the Whisperers is pressing Aaron to ditch “the diplomacy that he’s known for the first five seasons in the show,” Marquand told ET Live, noting Aaron is fed up after the deaths of Jesus (Tom Payne), Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Enid (Katelyn Nacon), all murdered by the Whisperers.

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“I think he’s letting diplomacy go now because he realizes with Negan and the Saviors, there was a way you could reason with these people to some degree. As long as you gave them half your things, they’d leave you alone. But with the Whisperers, there’s no diplomacy,” he said. “You have to meet their violence with violence, unfortunately. I think he’s ready to avenge his friends.”

New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.