The Walking Dead star Ross Marquand says Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) went on to perform actions that were “way worse” than those committed by former partner and best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal), who died in Season 2 during the earliest days of the apocalypse. The self-elected protector of Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), Shane argued Rick was incapable of doing what needed to be done to keep his family safe. After Rick was forced to kill Shane in self-defense, he more and more distanced himself from the “Officer Friendly” moniker in the name of keeping his group of survivors alive, only returning to his roots after sparing then-Savior leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). As Rick once explained to Carol (Melissa McBride) when reforming civilization, “It’s us or the dead, and every life counts now.”
It’s not a philosophy accepted by the animalistic Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers, the current primary threat to Alexandria. Questioning the survivors’ moral standing is Marquand’s Aaron, who in the Season 10 premiere asks Michonne (Danai Gurira), “Are we the good guys? I think about it a lot. We’re the villains of someone else’s story. A threat to their survival. So dangerous they threaten to wipe us out. Makes you wonder sometimes.”
Michonne admittedly doesn’t “give a sh-t about the Whisperers or where they stand.” And Aaron, who has sworn off being the good Samaritan, adds he’s “not just talking about the Whisperers.”
“I think in this storyline they are very much the good guys,” Marquand told TV Insider. “We were just talking about Shane, and a lot of the things Shane was doing in Seasons 1 and 2, Rick was very much against. ‘We can’t do that, we’ll lose our humanity.’ And I would argue that Rick did way worse from like Season 4 on, lot of bad things.”
Even when our heroes were the villains of someone else’s story — their clandestine slaughter of sleeping Saviors in Season 6, for example — the group never lost sight of their humanity.
“I think there’s a lot of validity to that thought process of, ‘Are you the villain of someone’s story? Maybe, fine.’ But I think in this instance, the Whisperers are just blood-thirsty psychos,” Marquand added. “There’s no goodness to them. So I think in this storyline, I don’t agree with Aaron’s questioning. I think that they are very much the good guys and the Whisperers are the bad guys, if they want to boil it down to such a black-and-white narrative.”
Co-star Josh McDermitt, who plays Eugene, added there’s no justification for the Whisperers’ barbaric way of life.
“We don’t know much about the Whisperers, we don’t know what’s making them tick, or at least our heroes don’t know. So it’s right for [Aaron] to question and say, ‘Are we the bad guys?’” McDermitt said. “If you really step back and think about it, these are people that are skinning walkers, wearing their skin, walking around killing people. I don’t know how you justify that. I think so much of our world lives in a grey area, that’s definitely not in a grey. I think he’s right to question it, but I agree with your assessment of it.”