’13 Reasons Why’: Is Tony Even Real, Or Is He A Ghost Or Guardian?

Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has been an instant success since it debuted on March 31. However, one thing fans have been discussing is the character of Tony and whether he is real or not.

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed all the episodes and would like to avoid spoilers.

In 13 Reasons Why, Tony (Christian Navarro) is the calm amid all of the teenage angst. He is the keeper of Hannah’s (Katherine Langford) tapes should any of the characters mentioned on them refuse to pass them on to the next person down the line. He is also a guiding force in Clay’s (Dylan Minnette) life as he is struggling through listening to Hannah’s last words. At times, he is also seen with Hannah’s parents and seems to interact with the grown ups in the TV series better than he does with his teenage peers.

And it is these reasons that many viewers have been questioning whether Tony is even real. Some suggest Tony is merely a figment of Clay’s imagination, or that he is ghost. Others wonder if maybe Tony is a true guardian angel, rather than just the guardian of Hannah’s tapes. Regardless, there are many things that don’t add up about Tony in 13 Reasons Why. Let’s have a look at some pros and cons of Tony being real.

Tony Is Not Real

Considering 13 Reasons Why is set in the current day (and, by the end of the series, in the future), Tony sure does seem to be stuck in the past. He actually looks like he has stepped straight out of West Side Story with his greaser look and old-fashioned car. If Tony isn’t real, it certainly seems like he could be a ghost from the ’60s.

Netflix's '13 Reasons Why,' Tony
[Image by Netflix]

Although, if he is a ghost from the ’60s, perhaps that of a student who died and is trying to right the wrongs brought against him by looking out for Hannah, he sure is into mixed tapes and DJing. So, maybe he isn’t a ghost. Or, perhaps he has just been trying to right some wrong from his own death for so long that he has picked up some quirks from the ’80s and ’90s.

In 13 Reasons Why, Tony plays the role of guardian to Hannah and her tapes. So, by extension, Tony is seen as a guardian angel figure, perhaps sent on Hannah’s behalf to look out for her and to make sure those around her that contributed to her suicide atone for what they did.

Tony manages to turn up at just the right times throughout 13 Reasons Why. He is there whenever Clay needs support, once again, like he is some sort of guardian angel. And, at times, it seems like there should be no reason why Tony should know where to go or that Clay needs his help, further perpetuating the guardian angel or ghost theory.

While Tony has been entrusted with being the guardian of Hannah’s tapes, it seems like they barely knew each other in real life. Clay may know Tony from his childhood, but, throughout the show, Tony appears to interact very little with Hannah. And, as Romper points out, even Clay is surprised Tony and Hannah knew each other. It almost seems like Hannah picked someone completely detached from her life as the keeper of her tapes. Yet, she must have known him enough to know he would do the right thing by her and carry out her wishes explicitly. Or, maybe he turned up at just the right moment to take over this role, much in the way a guardian angel would.

Netflix's '13 Reasons Why,' Is Tony Real, Tony and Hannah's parents
[Image by Netflix]

At points in 13 Reasons Why, Tony is also seen giving counsel to some of the adults, in particular, Hannah’s parents. It almost seems like he is more of a grown up than the other teens around him both in the ways he interacts with Hannah’s parents. While this could be seen as an indicator of Tony not being real, it is eventually revealed that Tony was there when Hannah’s body was discovered. The reason for this was that Hannah had entrusted the tapes to him and he had gone around to her house to talk to her about them but found a tragic scene instead. And this segues nicely into the reasons why Tony might actually be real.

Tony Is Real

Tony is sporting an awful lot of ink for someone who is in high school. Perhaps he merely got held down for a few years and this is why he seems wise beyond his years? Although, at points throughout 13 Reasons Why, Tony and Clay interact like they grew up together, so it seems like Tony is the same age as Clay, which doesn’t account for all his tattoos. And, as Bustle points out, most of Tony’s ink is added for the series, and not the actor’s own, so it likely means these tattoos are supposed to represent something within the context of 13 Reasons Why. As yet, this reason seems to have eluded the audience, although, perhaps it will be something addressed if Netflix renews 13 Reasons Why for a second season.

Netflix's '13 Reasons Why,' Is Tony Real
[Image by Netflix]

At times in 13 Reasons Why, Tony really seems to struggle with Hannah’s decision to make him guardian of her tapes. As TV.com points out, he admits to Clay that he is unsure he is doing the right thing in regard to Hannah. If he were a ghost or, in particular, a guardian angel, it would seem unlikely he would struggle with this sort of thing.

As yet, it is unclear whether Tony is real or not. Perhaps this is the intent of the series, or, perhaps it is a mystery that will be further explored if 13 Reasons Why gets renewed for a second season.

What do you think? Is Tony from 13 Reasons Why real? Let us know by commenting below.

13 Reasons Why is currently streaming on Netflix.

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[Featured Image by Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP Images]