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|“||She wanted me. Me. She was practically begging me to f--k 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.|
Bryce Walker is the main antagonist of the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why, as well as its 2017 Netflix television adaptation. 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 one of his parties, 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, otherwise all of the events that have transpired throughout Hannah Baker's life.
He is portrayed by Justin Prentice in the 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.
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. They mainly targeted the female student body, who they would sexually harass, otherwise worse. 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.
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. At times he can be seen as the most mature and kind hearted of his group of friends. 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. 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.
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 being academically dimwitted, or appearing too obnoxious to be considered an actual threat sometimes, Bryce actually has street smarts and a fair amount of capable intelligence. 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.
Bryce is a very disturbing character, because he is perceived as engaging and sympathetic. He is such a good actor, that it is sometimes very hard to figure out how he truly feels about people he lies to, whether he is genuinely friendly or not. All in all, Bryce may come off as a nice guy and a good friend, but in truth, he is, and always will be, a sadistic, selfish, cold, and horrifyingly ruthless egomaniac with both an unnerving love for raping female students, and the complete callousness amongst other people that is too much for even his charming façade to hide completely.