The Walking Dead stars Tom Payne and Ross Marquand believe Jesus and Aaron's relationship at one point turned romantic in the mostly unseen six years skipped over after Rick Grimes' (Andrew Lincoln) disappearance. "I would have liked to have hooked up with Jesus," Marquand said aboard Walker Stalker Cruise 2019.
"Yeah, they kind of like teased that a little while, and then they went and killed me, so wah-wah," Payne added with a laugh. "I think it happened in the six years in-between." Marquand agreed it "probably, probably" happened. "That's what we called it."
"That's how we started our little wrestling stuff," added Payne of a friendly scuffle seen in 907, "Stradivarius," when Aaron disobeyed Michonne's (Danai Gurira) mandate prohibiting contact with others from outside Alexandria. Though Payne agrees a hookup happened, the star — whose Jesus was killed off as the first victim of the Whisperers in November's mid-season finale, leaving Aaron distraught — once argued a prolonged romantic relationship pairing the two as boyfriends "might be quite lazy."
"I liked that they had a friendship, but I felt like a further relationship wasn't necessarily required. I thought it would have been a bit lazy: 'Here are two gay characters. They should get together!'" Payne previously told THR.
"But someone else asked me about the six-year time jump... and I was like, 'Maybe they did hook up once or twice in those six years!' Maybe that contributed to their [friendship], but as you do, you just become friends afterward. I could see that happening. But a long-term [relationship]? I'm not sure about that. They have a lot in common, and they did connect in a few different ways. It was nice to have them chatting; their sensibilities were similar. They were quite natural friends."
Such a relationship played out in the comic books, where both Jesus and Aaron remain among the living as a happy couple. Showrunner Angela Kang previously defended the controversial decision to kill off Jesus, explaining diversity and representation remains an issue of pride for The Walking Dead writers' room — even when the story calls for the deaths of characters belonging to the LGBTQ community or other underrepresented groups.
"We have a very diverse room. It's hard. I'm Korean, and we wrote out our one Korean character [Steven Yeun's Glenn Rhee]," Kang told THR.
"We still have multiple series regulars who are LGBTQ characters. It's hard, because we love representation. It's important to us, both in front of and behind the camera. We can't carry the entire load of representation for all of entertainment. We have to be able to tell our stories as well. It's part of the story, that everyone's impacted by these characters."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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