Jesse "Jess" Aarons is the main protagonist of the 2007 fantasy movie Bridge to Terabithia and it's book published by Katherine Paterson.

He was played by Josh Hucherson.

Bridge to Terabithia

Jess is misunderstood at home and bullied at school. He lives on a small farm with his family and when he signs up for a race at his school, he is unexpectedly beaten by a girl, Leslie Burke.

Both of them are outcasts, so they build a "kingdom" of their own, called Terabithia. In Terebitha, they play being king and queen of the kingdom as well has battleing the minions of thier villain, the Dark Master.

While they have fun in Terabithia, they also develop thier friendship in the real world. They help Jess's younger sister May Belle pull a prank on her bully Janice, and later they discuss the bible after a trip to church. As Christmas approaches, Jess buys Leslie a pet dog as a presant, and helps Leslie's family do a paint job in thier home.

Jess also has a crush on his music teacher Miss Edmunds, who offers to take him and Leslie on a trip to a museum that she was planning on taking her nephews. Jess agrees to go but doesn't invite Leslie. After returning home, Jess is greeted by his family that they thought he was dead, and they reveal that while Jess was on his trip, Leslie has died. It turns out Leslie was swinging a rope across the river to Terabithia, but the rope broke, Leslie hit her head and drowned.

Jess spends his time grieving Leslie. At first he was in denial about it, and feels angry with her when he feels abandond and blames himself for her death. At Leslie's funeral, her father tells Jess that Leslie loved him and thanks Jess for being her friend. Later, Jess lashes out at his little sister for trying to follow him into Terabithia, and attacks a bully for joking about Leslie's death.

Later, Jess goes back into Terabithia where is chased by the Dark Master. When Jess finally breaks down about it, he is approached by his father, who comforts him. Jess explains he fears Leslie is in hell, but his father tells him otherwise. Jess then says he feels that he is going to hell because Leslie's death is his fault, but his father tells him not to think that for a minute. Mr. Aarons tells Jess that Leslie gave him somthing special, and Jess has to hold onto that to keep Leslie alive.

Later Jess invites his sister to Terabithia, and they build a bridge to Terabithia, and cross it. Upon seeing Terabithia for the first time, May Belle asks if he's a king, and Jess replies "Only if you're the princess".


At first Jess wasn't very out going or social. He was the middle child who's siblings only consisted of sisters. He always felt neglected, and he wasn't very close to his father, who was often hard on him. At school, Jess didn't have friends, but he was a great drawer, but other teachers saw it as a waste, save for one of his younger teachers Miss Edmunds, who he had a crush on. Upon befriending Leslie, he was outstanded how she got him to open his mind and his eyes. He eventually began to fall in love with Leslie, but hadn't realized it until after she died. After Leslie's death, Jess was sunk into a depression, in denial of Leslie being gone, but also angry, lashing out at people, especially they bullies who taunt him, but behind it all Jess blamed himself for what happened and was afriad Leslie was in hell because she died without being baptized. After he and his father reach an understanding, his father tells Jess that it's not his fault and to hold on to what Leslie had brought him to keep a part of her alive. Afterwards, Jess fully adopts Leslie's optimistic view and bring his sister into Terabithia, to keep what Leslie has taught him. 


  • In the film, Jess is played by Joss Hutcherson, who also played Peeta Mellark and Walter from Zathura.


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Jess Aarons
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