Tony's Tattoos In '13 Reasons Why' Only Make Him More Mysterious
13 Reasons Why is a powerful and poignant look at the hardships that too often plague high school, positioning itself as a cautionary tale for what can happen when we don't listen hard enough. After committing suicide, Hannah Baker recounts the events that led up to her death, and as she narrates, we meet the people that shaped her life: The jocks, the cheerleaders, the honor students, the outcasts. One of the few characters who doesn't fit into any of the age-old tropes is Tony, an enigmatic teen we never learn much about. In one scene, we see that beneath all that black leather he's sporting a fair share of ink, but lest you think Tony's tattoos on 13 Reasons Why might help you understand him better, think again: They only make him more mysterious.
Though Tony often comes off as a sage older student, he is still in high school, so it's a little surprising that he already has such a vast collection of tattoos. His right shoulder is home to some type of bird perched on a flower, his left has what looks like a wolf, both of his forearms have a variation of a cross, and there are a string of stars behind his ear — at least, that's all that's visible.
Based on a scan through the Instagram of Christian Navarro — the actor who plays Tony — only the one with the bird on the flower appears to be real, which means the rest were drawn on deliberately to add context to his character. Alas, Tony never discusses when or why he got them, or really anything else about his personal life. That's reasonable given that he's pretty busy coaxing Clay (Dylan Minnette) through Hannah's tapes, but by the end of the series' 13 hour-length episodes, we really only know that he works on cars, has a boyfriend, likes to DJ, and, oh yeah, once shadily beat up someone with his brother — another tidbit he never explains.
Of course, that seems to be the point. Toward the end of the show, Clay calls him an "unhelpful Yoda," a near-perfect summary of Tony's role. He's more of a guiding force for Clay, always popping up to bail him out of trouble or helping him to cope with his lingering grief. If 13 Reasons Why decides to move forward with a Season 2, perhaps we'll finally get to fill in some of the blanks left by Tony's story. But for now, who he is isn't really important, it's what he's doing that speaks most powerfully: Making sure Hannah's voice is finally heard.