WARNING: Potential spoilers for The Walking Dead TV and comic series ahead!
This week's episode of [The Walking Dead](series:201193) was absolutely jammed pack with awesomeness. On top of properly meeting one new character (Aaron), we were quickly introduced to another (Eric), and also to the whole new setting of Alexandria! But the new town can wait for now, because the thing, or person, I'm most interesting in getting more details on is Eric.
We got our first glimpse of Eric close to the beginning of episode 11 as he crouched behind a tractor. At this stage it was unclear if he was a friend or foe as he watched members of the group as they scouted the area trying to find their vehicles.
Unfortunately for Eric, he soon got into trouble and wounded his leg, but was luckily helped by Maggie and the others. When Aaron was reunited with Eric the two shared a kiss, indicating that they were not just partners in recruitment for Alexandria, but also in a relationship, making Aaron and Eric are the first gay couple on the show (Tara and Alisha were the first lesbian couple back in Season 4).
However, readers of the comic series may not have been surprised at this little twist in events, having met Eric a long time ago, back in issue 68. In the comic series we don't know too much about Eric's life before the apocalypse but it's implied that he and Aaron have lived as a couple in Alexandria for quite some time.
Eric has an important role within Alexandria as a recruiter, his job being to watch groups of people and decide if they could be approached. If they could then Aaron would proceed towards the group while Eric watched in case anything happened and Eric had to kill them. Aaron describes Eric as his "insurance policy...because he is supposed to kill you and save me if you turn out to be bad people."
In the comic series Eric is a friendly yet cautious person, having encountered some unfriendly and violent groups over the course of his position as recruiter. One such incident involved a woman stabbing Eric after trying to steal a horse from Aaron and Eric as they slept in issue 79 of the series.
Eric isn't a huge character in the comic series, his partner Aaron definitely has more scenes and lines, though it will be very interesting to see whether or not the TV show follows the comic series, or perhaps Eric will get a much bigger role in the TV show than fans of the comic are familiar with.
With the next episode looking set to be from within the walls of Alexandria we will no doubt see Eric, Aaron and probably some other new characters very soon, and I for one cannot wait to meet them.