With less than one month remaining until The Walking Dead returns with the midseason premiere on Sunday, February 8, Entertainment Weekly reports that actor Ross Marquand has joined the cast in an unspecified role. Series star Andrew Lincoln has already teased that the second half of Season 5 will introduce a number of new characters, but this is the first new casting addition we've heard of. While it hasn't been confirmed who exactly Ross Marquand is playing, EW speculated that the actor could be playing Aaron, a character from Robert Kirkman's comic books.
Aaron was introduced in issue #67 of the comic, where he meets up with Rick and his group on their way to Washington D.C., and convinces them to join the "walled-off community" known as the Alexandria Safe-Zone. In the midseason finale of The Walking Dead's after-show, Talking Dead, Robert Kirkman did tease that "a very prominent gay character from the comics" would surface in the back half of Season 5. While that character was never confirmed to be Aaron, many believe he is the character Robert Kirkman was referring to.
It isn't known exactly when Ross Marquand will debut on The Walking Dead, or how many episodes he will be appearing in. The midseason premiere poster and new trailer that debuted last week hinted that Rick and his group will be hitting the road again, although it isn't known if the Alexandria Safe-Zone will be their destination. The role marks Ross Marquand's return to AMC, after playing actor Paul Newman in the Mad Men Season 6 episode entitled "The Flood". He also voiced Han Solo in Phineas and Ferb' Star Wars episode, and stars in the YouTube series The Impression Guys.