|This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for his Comic Series or Road to Survival counterparts, the Woodbury resident in the Novel Series or the resident in RTS, the actor, the writer, or the director.|
- "Didn't want this, but I'm starting to understand what's on the menu now. We can hide like these people, we can keep trying to serve the Saviors, and I can watch you get randomly beaten every so often, or else we can fight. So, here we are. And being with you, well it makes abject terror tolerable."
- —Eric to Aaron[src]
Eric Raleigh is a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He was a recruiter for the community of Alexandria, along with his boyfriend, Aaron and was responsible for bringing Rick Grimes and his group to Alexandria.
Little is known about Eric's life before or as the outbreak began. Eric is openly gay and grew up in the Appalachian Mountains with his parents who worked on the land, with Eric becoming comfortable with working in nature. Later in life he joined a NGO and lived in Washington, D.C.. Through working in the NGO he met Aaron and the two fell in love and soon lived together. However, Eric and Aaron were victims of homophobia and were constantly seen as outsiders.
When the outbreak began, Eric and Aaron survived and arrived at the Alexandria Safe-Zone relatively early, becoming one of the original members of the safe-zone. Eric and Aaron became vital members of the community, even though they were still mistreated because of people's homophobia. Eric, alongside Aaron, became the community's recruiters and would go out for weeks at a time to bring in people from the outside.
He is shown to be gentle, friendly, caring and honest. While a capable soldier as seen in "The Damned", Eric quickly becomes distraught by the killing, especially when people he cares about die around him.
Eric is first seen hiding behind a vehicle in the distance as Glenn Rhee, Michonne, Abraham Ford, Maggie Greene, and Rosita Espinosa, members of the group he and Aaron have been observing, scout out the vehicles on Route 16 that Aaron spoke about at the barn. During his scouting, he finds a license plate for Aaron to add to his collection.
Later that night, Eric hides under a car to hide from a herd but they end up pushing the car's tire onto his ankle and breaking it. He shoots off his emergency flare for Aaron but is rescued instead by members of Rick Grimes's group. He is reunited with Aaron in a garage building along Route 16. Eric explains that he was fine and that he likes Maggie and the others. They embrace each other, and Eric gives Aaron the license plate he found, but both laugh when Aaron tells him that he lost the car and the license plates in it. Rick intrudes on their reunion, with Eric introducing himself to Rick. Aaron then argued with Rick about being with Eric, with the other members of the group siding with Aaron. Eric spent the rest of the night with Aaron.
The next morning, he rests from his injury in the RV as the group completes the journey to the Alexandria-Safe Zone.
Eric is seen being helped into the walls by Aaron, limping due to his ankle injury. He then walks away, down the road to the infirmary and put in the care of Pete to heal his ankle.
Eric is in the process of being healed and his near-death experience convinced Aaron to retire Eric so that he's not in danger anymore. They considered that Daryl be his replacement since Daryl knew how to defend himself and knows how to read people. Eric's broken ankle is tended by Aaron as they both stayed home and didn't attend Deanna Monroe's welcoming party for Rick's group. Aaron invites Daryl into their house for dinner after he declines to attend the party. Eric and Aaron are amused by how sloppily Daryl eats, and Eric, believing that Aaron already gave him the news, asks Daryl to find a pasta-maker out on his travels so that they can shut up Shelly Neudermeyer about wanting one. Eric sees Aaron's face and realizes that he hasn't told Daryl about the news, so Aaron reveals that he wants to give Daryl a motorcycle and be Eric's replacement. Daryl then became close friends with Eric and Aaron.
Eric is among the townspeople present at the community forum to discuss Rick's fate after his violent scuffle with Pete Anderson in the streets of the town the day before. When he arrives for the meeting, he has another chair set out and reserved next to him for Aaron, should he come back in time for the meeting. He listens to the testimonies and opinions given by both the people of Alexandria and Rick's group. Eric smiles at Carol when she gives her defense about how there are bad people out there and that Rick saved her from them. When Rick brings in a walker that infiltrated the safe-zone, he remains in his seat and isn't shocked during Rick's speech, unlike the rest of the meeting members. He witnesses the murder of Reg Monroe by Pete and execution of Pete immediately after by Rick, on Deanna's orders.
Eric is seen attending the meeting in Deanna's house with Aaron about the quarry nearby holding a herd of walkers. After Rick delivers his plan of diverting the herd from the safe-zone, Eric is seen digging and preparing the wall to direct the herd down from the intersection.
Shortly after returning to the safe-zone, Alexandria is attacked by the Wolves. As one of the scavengers stabs resident Holly, Eric helps keep guard while Aaron and Rosita take her to the infirmary. Aaron tells Eric that he needs to try to stop this and has Eric stay in the infirmary with the others to help Holly. He assists Dr. Denise Cloyd, along with Tara Chambler and Eugene Porter, as they encourage her to operate on Holly and keep her alive. He assisted by keeping guard as well as giving a blood transfusion to Holly during surgery.
As Denise attempted to save Holly from her wound, she started to flatline. Eric became upset and worried for Denise, as Denise then pulled the plug. Denise then demanded that they see if it's clear and leave. Eric then leaves with Tara and Eugene after Holly passes. As he leaves, he grabs Holly's foot as an act of comfort and saying goodbye.
Eric is one of the many townspeople by the front gate, listening to the growing horde gathering outside the walls. He appears to be very concerned of the situation and listens to Rick and Aaron as they address the crowd.
When the herd invaded, Eric retreated back inside his house with Olivia while Aaron retreated to the infirmary with Heath and Spencer. After Carl got shot and Rick, Michonne, Aaron, Heath, and Spencer lead a defensive strike against the herd, Eric and Olivia join their effort. Eric, Aaron, and the entire able-bodied community defeated the herd in Alexandria, securing their home. Later that morning, Eric was with Aaron, covered in blood, along with the rest of the community outside the infirmary with the bodies of the walkers flooding the streets.
When Aaron is in the line-up to be randomly selected for execution by Negan, Aaron relives his happiest moments leading up to the moment before his possible death, one of them being of Eric and their reunion following Eric's injuring while escorting Rick's group to Alexandria.
As the Saviors begin to ransack the houses in Alexandria, Aaron and Eric can be seen standing outside on their porch as the Saviors take their bed along with other pieces of furniture and supplies.
Later, Eric is among the townspeople present at the church when Rick informs them that he is no longer in charge and that all guns need to be turned over to the Saviors or Olivia will be killed. Despite being told it was not the time to speak by Aaron, Eric stands up and questions Rick about how they will be able to overcome Negan's rule with or without the guns, to which Rick doesn't know the answer.
Eric is among the townspeople to witness Spencer and Negan play pool and the former's death at the hands of Negan. After Rosita attempts to shoot Negan but hits Lucille instead, Eric is horrified as Arat guns down Olivia on his command to kill a resident. When Rick brings an injured Aaron to the scene, Eric rushes over to his side and comforts him. When Negan demands who built the bullet used by Rosita and threatens to kill another person, Arat aims her gun at Aaron and Eric, holding each other and protecting each other, begging for the other not to be killed.
Eric is with Aaron when Rick and the others return to Alexandria and is surprised to see Simon and his group of Saviors arrive at the gates. He appears to be nervous and uneasy as Simon and the Saviors ransack through their homes in search of Daryl. He follows Aaron and the others to the pantry and listens on as Aaron comes up with a story as to why the pantry is empty. Back at the gate, he watches the Saviors leave empty-handed.
Later at home, Eric comes into the living room, where Aaron is packing a bag to go with others to find Gabriel. They lightly tease each other with dry humor before the conversation takes a serious turn. Eric expresses his concern for Rick not telling the Alexandrians what he plans to do. He asks Aaron to stay and they briefly argue over the matter and Aaron still leaves with Rick.
Tara revealed to Rick and the group that she encountered a group with guns while on her supply-run with Heath called Oceanside who had once fought the Saviors but lost, and are now in hiding. Realizing she needs to break her promise in order to acquire the guns and people to win the war against the Saviors, Tara leads the group to Oceanside.
Following Tara, Rick brings Eric along with Aaron, Carl, Michonne, Daryl, Gabriel, Enid, Tobin, Francine, Scott, and Jesus. They plan on Tara infiltrating the camp and negotiating with the leader, Natania, for a certain amount of time before falling back on Plan B, which is using explosives and gunfire to draw out the group. While Jesus and Daryl set up the explosives, Eric and Aaron keep guard. In a bittersweet exchange, Eric tells Aaron he reluctantly came along because he's starting to understand what's happening and why Aaron the rest of the group need to resolve it, but adds that he's happy as long as he's with Aaron.
When Tara infiltrates the camp and fails to persuade Natania, the group sets off the explosives and directs the residents of Oceanside out of the camp. Eric, Aaron, Daryl, and Jesus cut off a group of women headed towards the gun shed - tying them up and bringing them to the rest of the group outside Oceanside. With the entire Oceanside community outside, Rick attempts to persuade them to give up their guns and help fight the Saviors, while Eric stands guard. When Natania holds Tara hostage, her granddaughter, Cyndie knocks her out.
However, because of the explosives and gunfire, it lures in a small herd of walkers. Eric, Aaron, and the others of Rick's group shoots the herd while being assisted by members of the Oceanside. After the battle, Eric helps the group takes the guns from Oceanside, promising to bring them back when the war against the Saviors is done. Eric returns to Alexandria as the group prepares for war.
Following their arrival back to Alexandria from Oceanside, the group discovers Dwight's change of allegiance from the Saviors to Rick and the community to ruin Negan - warning them about an attack by Negan because of a mole alerting him of resistance from Rick and the community. With the Scavengers help, Eric and the community prepare for the battle with Negan and the Saviors using Oceanside's guns.
On a truck, Eric guards the wall of Alexandria with Aaron. When Negan and the Saviors arrive, the explosives that Aaron, Daryl, and Rosita prepared failed to go off. At that moment, the Scavengers betray Alexandria. One of the Scavengers aim their gun at Eric and Aaron. However, when a reanimated Sasha attacks Negan, Carl leads the attack against the Scavengers and the Saviors during the distraction. Eric and Aaron follow Carl's lead and help against the attack.
Eric and Aaron fight the Scavengers and Saviors, followed by the assistance with the Kingdom and Hilltop residents. After driving out the Scavengers and Saviors, the community prepares for war. Eric can be seen next to Aaron after the battle, listening to the speech by Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel.
Eric, along with Aaron, helped prepare for battle against the Saviors. At Hilltop, Eric helped arm the cars with sheets of metal. Shortly before the battle, Eric began to pray despite previous non-beliefs. Aaron catches him praying and Eric tells him that he was always meaning to and that it's never too late. He then attended the speech held by Rick about fighting for a better future. Eric and Aaron then traveled with the militia to the Sanctuary and opened fire against the Saviors and then left the Sanctuary with the others as the herd crew summoned the herd of walkers to the gates of Sanctuary.
Eric takes part in the attack on a Savior outpost alongside Aaron and several other members of the Militia. Eric kills several Saviors, becoming distraught when members of the Militia, particularly Francine, are killed. Eric has to be reminded that they just need to hold the Saviors off for awhile and that the rest will take care of itself as the plan is to have the dead Saviors reanimate and turn on their comrades as walkers.
Eric becomes pinned down by several Saviors, but is saved by Aaron. Aaron discovers to his horror that Eric has been shot in the abdomen and helps Eric limp away in seek of medical attention.
Aaron and Eric make their way to a tree where Aaron finds that the bullet went all the way through Eric. Eric insists on Aaron leaving him to help continue the fight. Aaron reluctantly leaves Eric bleeding against the tree with a rifle to protect himself.
After the battle, Aaron returns to the tree to find a massive amount of blood on the trunk and Eric's rifle discarded on the ground. To Aaron's immense sorrow, he spots Eric, now a walker, making his way towards a nearby herd. Aaron is devastated by Eric's death and has to be led away by Scott.
This list shows the victims Eric has killed:
- Dino (Alongside his fellow militiamen)
- At least 3 unnamed Saviors
- Numerous counts of zombies
- Possibly numerous counts of hostile survivors
- Saviors (Caused, Alive)
- Blood Loss (Alive)
While attacking a Savior outpost, Eric is shot through the abdomen and mortally wounded. He convinces Aaron to leave him by a tree to go back and fight. Eric eventually bleeds out against the tree and becomes a walker that joins a nearby herd.
- "This is your fault, you know? (...) Because I love you."
- —Eric to Aaron after the two reunite[src]
Aaron is Eric's boyfriend, the two of them always working side by side as the recruiters for their community. The two care for each other deeply, as evidenced by Aaron visually upset when Rick threatened to kill them both, and again when the chaos starts within the group, and the flare owned by Eric is shown to be ignited from afar. Aaron willing to let himself be in danger just try to get to where Eric is. And again, when the two reunite, the two kiss passionately, as Eric says it is Aaron's fault he got injured, because he loves him. Aaron is also shown to be very protective towards his boyfriend, as shown when Rick does not allow Aaron to be with Eric since he doesn't trust either of them. Aaron warns Rick that nothing can stop him from being with Eric other than shooting him.
Because of his near-death experience, Aaron wished for Eric to retire from the recruiting program. Eric agreed and also believed that Daryl would be a good replacement for him, and in doing so prepared a dinner for Daryl with Aaron. While Aaron and Daryl were out recruiting, Eric was alone to the events that transpired by Rick and Pete in the Safe-Zone. Eric attended the meeting in the community discussing the fate of Rick and his group. Eric left a chair open for Aaron next to him. The two reunited after Aaron's near-death experience at the hands of the Wolves - and were side by side whenever possible such as attending the meeting together, to helping make the diversion wall for the herd in the quarry near the safe-zone. When they returned to the safe-zone, it was under attack by the Wolves. Eric covered Aaron and Rosita as they rescued Holly and brought her to the infirmary. Aaron went to Eric and said he needed to go back out there and defend the community, and Eric complied with it, saying he knows Aaron has to. He later comforts Aaron after the attack when it was revealed that Aaron led them there, and Eric supports Aaron when he reveals this to the community.
Following the attack, a herd of walkers surrounded Alexandria, entrapping the residents of Alexandria. The watchtower and wall was damaged during the attack, and eventually falls. As the herd enters Alexandria, Eric got separated from Aaron, as Eric went into their house with Olivia, while Aaron assisted the wounded into the infirmary with Spencer and Heath. Following Carl getting shot in the eye and being treated by Denise - Rick started a defensive against the herd supported by Aaron along with Michonne, Heath, and Spencer. Seeing Aaron outside the house, Eric joined Aaron and the two fought side-by-side to defend Alexandria.
Two months later, Aaron and Eric's relationship became strained, as Aaron along with Rick's group gets captured by Negan following an attack on a Saviors outpost. Aaron was forced to watch Abraham and Glenn being executed, and returned home to Eric. Eric was sympathetic, but was not understanding of the stakes with the Saviors ruling them. When the Saviors arrive to Alexandria to claim half of their belongings, Eric is with Aaron, upset about their things being stolen and their people being threatened. Eric went against Aaron's wishes and spoke out against Rick, asking how he'll get Alexandria out of this situation. A couple of days later, after Aaron helped Rick find supplies, Aaron was beaten by the Saviors. Following Spencer's execution by Negan, Eric came running to Aaron's aid, furious at the Saviors for assaulting him, and then protected Aaron when Arat pointed her gun at them. When it was revealed that Gabriel had gone missing, Eric had a fight with Aaron about going out again and following Rick's orders since Aaron is the one who pays the price. As time goes on, he begins to understand why they need to fight the Saviors, but fears for their lives. Eric, at the end of the day, wants Aaron safe and alive.
Aaron's hobby is to collect license plates from each state on an abandoned car so that they can build a mural in their house. While on a scavenging run, Eric found another license plate for Aaron to add to his collection.
Despite not liking Aaron fighting the Saviors, Eric joins the Militia with him. After Eric is ambushed, Aaron risks his life to save him and abandons the battle in favor of getting the seriously wounded Eric medical attention.
- "If Rick is taking on the Saviors... that is everything!"
- —Eric to Aaron about Rick's dangerous actions.[src]
Eric, along with Aaron, found Rick's group on the road. After monitoring Rick and his group for several days, both found him and his people safe and eligible to be a part of the Alexandria Safe-Zone. This assumes that Eric trusted Rick and was favorable to him being a part of their community. When Aaron was leading Rick and the others to Alexandria, Eric was injured and set off his flare. The other half of Rick's group came to his aid and mended him. When Rick intruded on his reunion with Aaron, Eric was enthusiastic about meeting Rick, and introduced himself as Eric, which Rick then introduced himself as well. Eric and Aaron then brought Rick's group to Alexandria.
Following the events that came in Alexandria, brought on by Rick's group, Eric still seemed to support Rick and the group. He had befriended Daryl Dixon and Maggie Greene, as well as trust the group's instincts and supported their reason to stay and not be exiled. After an attack by a group of scavengers and an invasion of a walker herd, Rick became the leader of Alexandria following the death of Deanna, which Eric seemingly accepted.
However, Eric began to not trust Rick's actions and instincts during the conflict with the Saviors. Rick, using Aaron during most of their missions to fight the Saviors, caught the attention of their leader, Negan, and nearly executed Aaron. Instead, he executed Abraham Ford and Glenn Rhee. The Saviors then ruled Alexandria and periodically claim half of what Alexandria has. Eric was forced to watch his belongings as well as Aaron's being taken away because of Rick's actions, including all of their guns. Against Aaron's wishes, he spoke out against Rick, asking him how they can get out of this situation with the Saviors without their guns. Days later, Aaron was beaten by the Saviors after a supply run with Rick. When Aaron was due to go out with the group to find Gabriel, Eric and Aaron fought. Eric claimed that Rick is selfish and a liar, that he isn't telling the community about fighting Negan and that endangers everyone. More than that, Rick's actions have costed a toll on Aaron, not himself, which upsets Eric. Eric believes that Rick will get either himself or Aaron killed. Following a lead on another community with guns, Oceanside, Eric joins Aaron on Rick's plan. Eric reveals he is starting to understand Rick's need to resolve this matter, but still doesn't appreciate his actions.
- "I like her."
- —Eric to Aaron about Maggie.[src]
Eric, along with Aaron, spent days observing Maggie and her group. They both found her and the group suitable to join Alexandria. After Aaron approached Maggie - she let him into the group and led them to Alexandria. However, when Eric's ankle broke while hiding from walkers, he set off a flare for Aaron to rescue him. In the RV, Maggie saw the flare and headed in that direction, finding Eric. She and the rest of the group took Eric into a nearby garage and mended his ankle, telling him it was broken but manageable. When Aaron reunites with Eric, he expresses his fondness of Maggie. Maggie was then in favor of allowing Aaron to be with Eric, against Rick's concerns.
Following their recruitment, Eric was rarely with Maggie. But considering how she also grew close to Aaron, it can be assumed that Eric continued and even grew to like her even more.
- "I thought it was done... you didn't ask him already?"
- —Eric asking Aaron about Daryl's new role as recruiter.[src]
When observing Rick's group for days along with Aaron, both of them decided on recruiting them to Alexandria following Daryl's actions to secure his group to a nearby barn when a storm hits. While trying to bring Daryl and Rick's group to Alexandria, Eric nearly died and suffered a broken ankle. Aaron, fearing for Eric's safety, retires him from the recruitment program, but needed to find his replacement. Eric and Aaron asked Deanna to hold off giving a job to Daryl, and after Aaron hunted with Daryl, Aaron decided on making him Eric's replacement. Deanna held a party for Rick's group, but Eric couldn't go because of his broken ankle, which had Aaron stay home with him. When Daryl rejected to go to the party, Aaron invited him to dinner with him and Eric. While having dinner, Eric, without knowing Aaron hadn't asked Daryl to be his replacement, requested that during a recruiting run that he find a pasta maker to shut up Mrs. Neudermeyer. However, Eric saw Aaron's face and realized he had not yet asked Daryl to be a recruiter. Regardless, Daryl accepted and befriended Eric and Aaron.
- While Eric has been credited as a co-star for Seasons 5-7, he was promoted to a guest star for Season 8.
- Eric is the second openly gay male in The Walking Dead TV series and the fourth openly gay character in the TV Series, after Tara Chambler, Alisha, and Aaron.
- It was confirmed through actor of Aaron, Ross Marquand, that Eric and Aaron met through working in the same NGO based in Washington D.C. and fell in love before the apocalypse. They were living together in D.C. and were among the original survivors of the Alexandria Safe-Zone.
- It was later confirmed by actor of Eric, Jordan Woods-Robinson, that Eric had grown up in the Appalachian Mountains with his parents who were good with their hands and knew the land, that Eric became comfortable with the woods and nature. This allowed him to work well in the NGO's efforts in the Niger River Delta.
- Among other concepts, Jordan also has said that Eric's last name is Raleigh.
- Eric is the only person from Alexandria Safe-Zone to have an undead status.