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Why Jesus means more than you realized on The Walking Dead

Whether you're a fan of Paul Monroe in the comics or Paul Rovia on AMC, the long-haired, bearded character known as Jesus plays a huge role in The Walking Dead. Obviously, the character's visual aesthetics and kind, charitable nature helped earn him the holy-hey-Zeus nickname from the Hilltop Community's survivors, but there's more to him. For those who aren't privy to Robert Kirkman's source material, let's put the barbed wire bat down and look at why Jesus is so important to future episodes of The Walking Dead. As you'd guess, there are some undead spoilers ahead for the comics, though the show could always take a different route.

Helping against the Saviors

As we've seen throughout season six of The Walking Dead, Jesus plays a huge role in uniting the Hilltop Colony and town of Alexandria against Negan and the Saviors. In the comics, he's pretty much the main scout and ambassador for his community. Remember how the Hilltop was barely able to get its regular food/crop shipments ready for Negan's men? Jesus figured that they'd be better off trading with nearby colonies to bolster their regular shipments, and decided to roam the countryside to find more supplies to give. When Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon first met Jesus scrounging for supplies on the TV series, they didn't realize that...

He's an expert escape artist/scout

Forget walking on water. Jesus' ability to free himself from confinement is almost otherworldly. All religious jokes aside, there's no stopping Jesus, even when you tie him up or handcuff him. Jesus' stealthy ability to give people the slip makes him the perfect scout, and he was almost able to locate Negan's base in the books, but their sheer numbers resulted forced him to give up the chase. You'd best believe that Rovia's skills will play a major role in future seasons of the show—unless they kill him off early for some reason.

He becomes Maggie's right-hand man

We're still banking on Glenn being Lucille's anonymous victim from the season six finale, which suggests that the pregnant Maggie will become a widow. In the graphic novels, Maggie leaves Alexandria after Glenn's death and becomes the leader of Hilltop, and the show certainly put the pieces on the table for her to do that. Just as he assists Gregory, Hilltop's current ruler on the show, Jesus becomes Maggie's chief adviser and right-hand man. You know how Daryl is kind of like Rick's go-to guy and one of his most trusted lieutenants? Imagine that, but for Maggie.

Jesus' role in the comics

Jesus' aptitude for hand to hand combat, diplomacy, and scouting makes him indispensable in the major war to come against the Saviors. As we've seen with the season six finale, the Saviors vastly outnumber and outgun the combined forces of Alexandria and the Hilltop, but there's a wild card roaming around in the form of those horse-riding guys wearing armor. They're a part of a yet-to-be-revealed faction called the Kingdom, led by a man named Ezekiel, who has a pet tiger named Shiva. (We're not kidding—he seriously has a giant tiger by his side.)

Just as he helped introduce Alexandria to the Hilltop, Jesus will likely play a huge role in uniting the two colonies with the Kingdom to take on the Saviors. Later on, he subdues and captures a member of the elusive Whisperers—a group of disguised survivors who blend in with zombie herds and whisper to one another to attack unsuspecting humans under the perfect camoflage of the undead.

He's probably replacing whoever Negan killed

It's safe to say whoever Negan hit with Lucille isn't getting back up, ever. Whether he chose Michonne, Abraham, Daryl, Glenn, or someone else, that person is as good as dead. The empty spot this victim once held within Rick's group might seem vast, but the show recently introduced a new badass character that can easily fill it: Jesus. Despite how much we'd riot if Daryl died, Jesus is almost the perfect substitute, and is likely going to take that spot on the team moving forward.