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|“||You wanna call it rape, call it rape. She wanted me. Me. She was practically begging me to f-ck her. If that's rape, then every girl at this school wants to be raped.||„|
|~ Bryce taunting Clay after beating him up, revealing his true depraved nature and disregard for others' lives.|
|“||You want to know what really happened with me and Hannah, Mom? She got in the hot tub with me, no suit on, just panties and a bra over those very nice t-ts. And she looked at me like she was hungry. And yeah, I wanted her. I just... I just had to have her. So I took her, I turned her around, and I f-cked her from behind. Hard. Until she cried. Is that what you want to hear?||„|
|~ Bryce confessing to his mother that he raped Hannah.|
|“||I’m trying to set things right. I'm trying to be better, but this f-cking world won't let me.||„|
|~ Bryce expressing his frustrations towards Jessica and Alex for refusing to forgive him for his crimes.|
Bryce Barry Walker is the main antagonist of the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why and its 2017 Netflix TV adaptation, serving as the main antagonist of season one, one of the two main antagonists (along with Montgomery de la Cruz) of season two, one of the main protagonists in season three, and a posthumous antagonist in season four.
Bryce is a part of Hannah Baker's Baker's Dozen and the subject of Hannah Baker's twelfth tape from her list of reasons why she killed herself. Bryce Walker raped Hannah at a party, completely breaking her soul. This event is what lead Hannah to go through with her decision to kill herself. His actions against Hannah are the worst of them all as he is responsible for most, if not otherwise all of the events that have transpired throughout Hannah Baker's life. He also tormented many people she cared about.
He was portrayed by Justin Prentice in the TV series. He was also portrayed by Ronan Carroll as a child.
In the novel, Bryce is depicted as one of the bullies at Liberty High School. Unlike the TV series, Bryce's early life and past isn't fully developed. In the ninth tape, Hannah Baker reveals that she was witness to somebody raping Jessica Davis at a house party in her bedroom, and blamed Justin Foley for allowing it to happen. This person is later revealed to be Bryce.
He is depicted as the subject of Hannah Baker's twelfth tape, where Bryce fingered Hannah in a hot tub at Courtney Crimsen's house. Hannah did not resist Bryce and even explains she wanted him to do it (so she would have more of a reason to kill herself), but nonetheless, Bryce sexually assaulted her as he did so without her consent. Following Hannah's suicide, Clay Jensen - the novel's narrator - fights the urge to confront Bryce for assaulting Hannah. Following the conclusion of the novel, it is unknown what happens to Bryce afterwards. Unlike the show, however, it's possible that he never felt sorry or tried to redeem himself.
Biography (TV Series)
Bryce Walker was born to Barry and Nora Walker. Despite coming from a wealthy family his parents were extremely negligent of their son. They wanted Bryce to have more freedom, so he could make his own choices and trust him to make good decisions in life. However, this back-fired greatly as Bryce not only felt his parents were never there for him but also because he feels like a stranger in his own home. This becomes more apparent once he finally starts to feel sorry for his actions and starts atoning more his mistakes.
In the 3rd Grade, an 8-9 Year Old Bryce broke up a fight between a young boy named Justin Foley and another kid. Bryce called the other boy a "dick" and went on to help Justin up. Later, at lunch, Bryce went and sat with Justin, who had been sitting by himself at an empty table. Having seen that Justin didn't have a lunch bag, Bryce offered Justin his sandwich. Justin accepted but only after Bryce stole some Twinkies from another kid so that they could trade. The two became best friends ever since and Justin has always relied on Bryce for anything he may have needed. When they reached High School Justin slept over at Bryce's house the night before their freshman year and vowed to be the kings of Liberty High. Bryce and Justin attended Liberty High where they befriend Zach Dempsey, Montgomery de la Cruz, and Marcus Cole.
Bryce and Justin became the most popular athletes at Liberty High and were treated as pillars of Liberty High. With his status at school and his already affluent family being well known and respected Bryce became an egotist and indulged in hedonistic activities such as parties, drinking, drugs, and sex to satisfy himself. Bryce and the rest of his friends began bullying everyone at Liberty High for their own amusement with the staff not enforcing the rules unless they went too far. They mainly targeted the female student body, who they would sexually harass, even worse with Alex even creating a hot list. Feeling that everyone owes him and should respect him in someway, Bryce began raping the girls of Liberty High to satisfy his sexual desires. Because of Bryce's boisterous antics, his baseball coach Rick Wlodimierz informed Bryce of the existence of "The Clubhouse"; a shed behind Liberty High's baseball field that is used for parties and drugging/taking advantage of female students. Since then, Bryce let his friends rape or otherwise, take advantage the female students. It is also revealed that he raped several other girls besides Hannah and Jessica.
In the aftermath of Spring Fling, Bryce transfers schools from Liberty to Hillcrest. Due to his notorious reputation at Liberty, and combined with the testimonies against Bryce in court, Bryce becomes the subject of bullying against his Hillcrest peers. It is here that Bryce begins to reconsider his actions, and goes on a personal quest of redemption. He attempts to makes things right with Jessica Davis, and his ex-girlfriend Chloe Rice, but fails. Back at home, Nora hires Amara Achola as a maid, also enlisting her to look after Nora's elderly father Harrison Chatham as a nurse. As a result, Achola's daughter Ani begins living at the Walker Residence. Bryce and Ani form a mutual relationship. Unbeknownst to Bryce, his lawyers at his testimony - paid by Barry - had blackmailed Tony Padilla, and called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport Tony's family.
Sometime later, the furious and emotionally wrecked Tyler Down confronts Bryce, believing that he was responsible for issuing Montgomery de la Cruz to sexually assault him at the Liberty washrooms before Spring Fling. Bryce denies these allegations, and insists that Monty had committed the assault on his own accord. Bryce urges Tyler to kill him with the pistol he had coveted for his own suicide if he believed that he was lying. Tyler couldn't bring himself to kill Bryce. Later, at a Hillcrest party, Bryce is forced to pay off Winston Williams after Monty, who he had oral sex with earlier, brutally attacks him in front of everyone else. This incident is part of what convinces Bryce to stop hanging out with Monty as he represents who he was before feeling remorseful.
Bryce is consulted by the insecure Alex Standall for steroids, which he uses to cope with being rejected by Jessica Davis. They develop a mutual relationship, and Bryce later compensates Alex with drugs and prostitutes. Turmoil at the Walker Residence flourishes while Barry and Nora are in the middle of their divorce it is revealed that Barry had previously cheated on Bryce's mother, and had been coveting a daughter from both of them. Seeking retaliation, Bryce enlists Alex into trashing the inside of his father's house. While the two initially break-and-enter into the wrong residence, Bryce overhears Barry mentioning his real house's location in conversation, and wreaks havoc inside alone. He later admits this to his father, and the two engage in an argument, where Bryce refuses to pay for any of the damages. He also calls out his father for mistreating his mother and hiding stuff from them. Bryce and his mother then start to bond with Bryce defending her from his emotionally abusive grandfather and having a playful paint fight with her.
Later, Justin Foley reaches out to Bryce who proceeds to bail him out and then help him pay back his abusive father Seth Massey, and Bryce pays Seth extra to leave Justin alone. Bryce provides Justin with Oxycodone to help him cope with his heroin addiction. Due to Tony's family being deported, he sells his prized 1970 Ford Mustang to Bryce in an attempt to pay for his own lawyers. Tony becomes furious at Bryce when he learns that his lawyers were responsible for his family's deportation. As per Bryce's request, Tony has Bryce listen to Hannah Baker's tapes, giving Bryce a larger sense of clarity for his actions in his quest for redemption. He is urged to confront Hannah's mother Olivia and apologize for his actions, although Olivia coldly dismisses his apology. Before she leaves she tells him that "she hopes he lives the rest of his life knowing what sorry means."
Bryce begins a consensual sexual relationship with Ani, and bonds with his mother Nora some more at her yoga clinic. Bryce begins writing a letter to Jessica, writing a thorough apology to her, but he is unable to finish it before Hillcrest and Liberty's homecoming football game. Instead, Bryce records a cassette tape, entailing his apology to Jessica and the many others he had raped, confessing to all of his crimes and expressing his pleas for redemption.
At the game, Bryce confronts Monty about Tyler's rape in front of another student Charlie’s St. George (who later convinces Tyler to the police about his rape leading to Monty’s arrest), and threatens to ruin his life should any more harm be inflicted upon Tyler. Bryce arranges to meet Jessica at the docks to exchange the apology tape. Bryce meets Chloe at the game, who reveals to him their unborn child, who she had an abortion with. Bryce is sympathetic to Chloe and says he’s sorry she had to go through that but when she reveals that Zach Dempsey had helped her through with the abortion, Bryce misinterprets this as them starting a relationship and has a relapse. On the field, after Jessica incites a riot in the middle of the game to call out for sexual assault, Bryce attacks Zach, and cripples him, ruining his chances for an athletic scholarship and football career. Following the riot's end, and therefore, the game, Bryce contacts Tyler to affirm him that Monty would no longer be a problem.
While awaiting Jessica at the docks, Bryce is confronted by a furious Zach, and the two engage in a fight. During their scuffle, Zach dislocates Bryce's arm, and beats him senseless, breaking his leg and throwing his phone into the river; a sign he wanted him to die for everything he did. After Zach leaves, Jessica arrives with Alex. While Bryce gives Jessica the apology tape, explaining he confesses to everything he did on the tape and that he is trying to be better but nobody believes he can change, Jessica points out the judge did and decides not to help up Bryce, as doing so would implicate Zach to be arrested for assault, but Alex points out if they didn't help Bryce, he'd die overnight and freeze to death, coupled with his injuries and Zach would definitely go to jail. Alex feels remorse for Bryce as even he felt that he didn't deserve to die for his actions, and helps him up, but when Bryce threatens to break Zach’s other knee and incorrectly accuses Jessica of setting him to get attacked by Zach, Alex snaps and throws Bryce into the river. Due to having his arm and leg dislocated, Bryce is unable to swim, and drowns helplessly as Alex and Jessica watch horrified, ending his short-lived quest for redemption. With Bryce dead, Alex and Jessica keep his death a secret with the exception of telling their closest friends who, despite feeling remorse for Bryce and believing he didn’t deserve to die, help pin Bryce's murder on Monty, having already been imprisoned for raping Tyler. Monty himself died after being stabbed to death by other inmates.
In season four, Bryce appears multiple times as a hallucination, haunting mainly Jessica, Clay and Alex. At the end Jessica tells Bryce’s hallucination he never won but all of them grew to genuinely love others including Bryce himself. Bryce’s hallucination asks is that something good to which Jessica replies it is. Bryce’s hallucination then smiles and walks away, seemingly finding peace.
- Barry Walker - Father
- Nora Walker - Mother
- Caitlin - Illegitimate half-sister
- Harrison Chatham - Grandfather
- Unborn child † (with Chlöe)
- Chlöe Rice - Ex-girlfriend; raped
- Ani Achola - Former Friend/Lover
- Justin Foley † - Former Best Friend (Deceased)
- Marcus Cole - Former Friend
- Tyler Down - Former Enemy turned Friend; protected from Monty
- Kevin Porter - Former Enemy turned Acquaintance
- Courtney Crimsen - Former Friend
- Hannah Baker † - Raped
- Jessica Davis - Former Friend turned Enemy; raped
- Clay Jensen - Initial Acquaintance turned Enemy and Attempted Killer; beat up and tormented
- Zach Dempsey - Former Best Friend turned Enemy and Attempted Killer; broke knee
- Alex Standall - Former Friend turned Enemy and Killer
- Tony Padilla - Former Enemy
- Montgomery de la Cruz † - Former Best Friend turned Enemy and Blackmailee; framed for his murder
- Seth Massey - Bargained
On the surface Bryce comes off as a cocky, yet well meaning friend, who enjoys parties and having fun with friends. He even went out of his way to help his fellow teammate and friend Justin Foley when he was faced with difficult situations in his dysfunctional family, such getting his dad to bail Justin mom's out of jail, giving Justin good shoes for basketball and letting Justin stay over at his house. At times he can be seen as the most mature and kindhearted of his group of friends, even defending Tyler Down from Montgomery de la Cruz on one occasion.
However as the series progresses we see his character come to light in a darker tone. When with his friends he is just as obnoxious and an irresponsible bully as the rest of his cliche, for instance, getting drunk and having sex with whomever he wants even by force if need be, going as far as to rape Hannah Baker and an unconscious Jessica Davis (the latter of whom was his best friend's girlfriend.), all while showing no signs of remorse, even sadistically stating that Hannah was "practically begging him to fuck her", and denying that his actions do qualify as rape, even though it obviously was indeed rape. It's also revealed he did nice things for Justin so he can "own him" (manipulate and control him). Bryce appears in the tapes several times, all of which show less than desirable behavior, all more proof of his dark side within.
Even his friends note how dangerous and monstrous he can be at times as out of everyone's actions Bryce's are the most heinous and vile; especially whenever provoked or angered he will become physically violent and brutal. Some examples include shoving Justin out of the room his girlfriend was sleeping in when he tried to stop him from raping her, brutally beating Clay after Clay punched him for mocking Hannah, even kicking Clay in the stomach a couple times while he was down. Tyler Down, another student, wonders why everyone is protecting him as he believes Bryce to be the real reason Hannah Baker committed suicide. One could aruge that they did it because they thought Bryce, at the time, was untouchable.
Bryce first appears to be good or at least sympathetic to the main protagonists (and thus to the audience) until his true nature is revealed. In some cases, to add suspense, Bryce makes the audience know that he is obviously lying, but the protagonist doesn't.
Bryce is extremely charismatic, manipulative, charming, deceptive, and cunning. Despite not being academically gifted, or appearing too obnoxious to be considered an actual threat sometimes, Bryce is actually very intelligent. Bryce is openly cruel but can still have good manners and style. He fakes friendships, and sometimes love, to get what he wants. He is also well-known for being capable of rounding up plenty of followers due to his charisma. However, Bryce does also prove to be something of a coward who did fear repercussions for his crimes. While this side to him isn't shown much, likely overpowered by his arrogance and depravity. He did show signs of fear when learning that the tapes were leaked online, as well as when Mr. Porter physically threatened him.
However, in Season 3, we begin to see a much more sympathetic and humanizing portrayal of Bryce, while he doesn't change completely, he does seem to realize that he's been given a second chance at life with the punishment he was given and he truly begins to see the damage that he's done to people around him and how much that he's become reviled in his community, and with that, he attempts to try and make some amends with some of the people he's hurt, such as apologizing to Jessica for what he did to her (even making an apology tape confessing his crimes), helping Justin with his debt to Seth (as well as paying Seth extra for Seth to leave Justin alone) and his addiction with drugs, trying to give Tony his car back after his father ratted his family out to ICE. He also becomes more sensitive to his emotions and the emotions of everyone around him, opening up to Mr. Porter about his home life and his complicated relationships with his parents, as well as forming a genuine friendship and later consensual sexual relationship with Ani where he treated her with respect. He was also appalled by Monty's rape of Tyler (rather hypocritically though, to be fair) and tried his best to help him in his situation threatening Monty to stay away from Tyler and was even moved when he finally heard Hannah's tapes, even shown to be emotional when it got to his tape. He even asked Tony if he could try to get him in contact with Hannah's mother so he could try to make amends.
Bryce also showed he genuinely loved his mother as well defending her from his father and grandfather, having a playful paint fight with her and breaking down into her arms while they were bonding during yoga. Bryce was even sympathetic to Chloe for having to go through the abortion of their baby without him.
Though despite all this, he still did some horrible things, such as vandalizing his father's house and a house of a family that he mistook to be his father's house, selling drugs to Alex, as well as threatening a little boy with violence. Despite all of this however, Bryce does seem to want to make a change before his unfortunate demise.
In the end, Bryce is a very complicated character, while he did monstrous things without a shred of remorse, he did seem to try and make a change by the end of his life and, in his own way and despite everyone's skepticism, he did try to find some sort of redemption for his actions. However, his sense of entitlement and him relapsing resulted in him never fully atoning. Furthermore, some could argue that he was only feeling sorry for his actions because he experienced some bullying after his new classmates started harassing him.
- Bryce's crimes are considered the most serious of all of the other 12 people of the Baker's Dozen, as the tapes show his complicity in two rapes. He also is the only person who played a role in all of them. This, along with the other horrible things he did throughout his life, means he committed the most amount of crimes of them all. This is part of the reason why few people cared that he tried to change.
- Bryce's attempted atonement was one of the most shocking and controversial decisions in the series. On one hand, some fans felt he deserved a chance to prove himself. On the other hand, some stated that given how he raped at least several dozen girls, his sudden remorse and attempts at making amends were hollow. Furthermore, even those who felt that the series was trying to show that you cannot always redeem yourself failed to capture his relapse in a respectful manner.
- Bryce generally is a very divisive character among viewers, with some feeling he deserves respect for attempting to change his ways and others denying this out of anger for how horrific his crimes were. That said, even those who hated him the most felt that he deserved a better fate, and that his death was somewhat tragic in a sense that even he didn't deserve it.
- Bryce's arc in season 3 is often misinterpreted as a redemption arc, while Bryce does try to improve himself he ends up crippling Zach Dempsey in the end which is needless to say a horrific act and shows that he never truly changed his ways. Furthermore, he only redeemed himself for the way he treated his mother, as well as helping Justin with his drug addiction and settling his debt with Seth, trying to help Tony pay off his lawyers and returning his car when his family got deported and protecting Tyler from Monty. He still didn't confess to all of his crimes, including the harm that he caused Alex and Clay.