‘The Walking Dead’s Seth Gilliam Discusses Father Gabriel’s “Dark” Journey (2023)

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  • ‘The Walking Dead’s Seth Gilliam Discusses Father Gabriel’s “Dark” Journey (1)
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On this week’s episode ofThe Walking Dead, our post-apocalyptic heroes make a surprising decision in their fight againstThe Reapers.Spoilers past this point, but Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) convinces Maggie (Lauren Cohan) that they should dress in zombie-skin masks, a la former enemies The Whisperers, in order to summon a herd against The Reapers. And for those who lived through The Whisperer War like Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), the prospect isn’t exactly savory.

“He feels like it’s a viable plan and one that could work, but it’s also extremely unsettling to him to try to look at the world through the Whisperers eyes,” Gilliam told Decider.

To find out more from Gilliam, including his hopes for how Gabriel ends the series, read on.

Decider: I know you all are often as in the dark, or maybe not quite as in the dark, as the rest of us out there in the viewing audience, but did Angela Kang and company lay out any of the broad strokes for you all?

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Seth Gilliam:Angela laid out the broad strokes of essentially the first eight episodes to me. At that point, when we spoke, they hadn’t finished. They had a few different ideas for where the rest of the season would go for each character, but she hadn’t made any hard line decisions.

Well, given that Gabriel has survived and arguably thrived for way longer than many fans expected, given what happens to him in the comics… Have you been able to give any input into his overall and potentially final arc?

It’s not really something that I do as an actor. I’m a little old school, I believe that the writers write, the actors try to breathe life into the words that the writers have written, and the director shapes the story and the images. What if Gabriel did this, and what if Gabriel did that, is not really something that I concern myself with. I think it’s hard enough to try to make things come off the page and be real for the audience and impactful. I just try to do what I can with the material that I’m given.

Well, entering Season 11 then, where do you see him at, what’s his core mission at the point? It seems from my perspective that he’s at a very dark place right now.

Yes. I believe he is in a very dark place. I think at this point, his mission is to protect his family, his extended family, at all costs. I think it’s led him into dark territories and I’m hopeful that he’ll find a path to lightness, but I don’t know. Also, honestly it’s kind of fun playing a really dark, conflicted character.

We have the group versus The Reapers that definitely throw an interesting wrinkle here in terms of the scarcity mission that they’re trying to figure out. What, at this point do you think Gabriel’s view is on The Reapers?

I believe he thinks that they’re bad people that they’re driven by evil intentions, that they’re greedy beyond their need, and the world doesn’t need more people like them.

There was this pretty ominous line a few episodes back, something like, “God isn’t here anymore,” right before he killed that Reaper. Why does this, in particular, challenge his faith so much? Or is it potentially something that was broken all the way back to his incident with Mays in Season 10?

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He’s been broken by the effect of the impact of the Whisperer War. Seeing what people had become and what they were capable of doing has really shocked and challenged him, and kind of broken his faith in humanity in a way.

Well, given that then, and this is jumping into this week’s episode, Negan hatched this whole plan essentially using the Whisperer’s techniques. We don’t get to see a lot of Gabriel’s view on that. Do you have a thought about how he feels about this Whisperer plan?

He feels like it’s a viable plan and one that could work, but it’s also extremely unsettling to him to try to look at the world through the Whisperers eyes.

How does he see his place in this mini group with Maggie, Negan and Elijah?

He sees himself as a warrior, and a soldier who is being called upon to be strong, even when he doesn’t feel it.

How about how Gabriel views Maggie at this point?

Father Gabriel sees Maggie as a survivor, who’s deserving of the utmost respect and belief. He sees her as a really viable leader because she’s survived in so many different ways in this ever changing world that they’re in.

What about Negan then?

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Father Gabriel believes in Negan. He feels that there’s been a reclamation project for him over the years… He’s had some success with him, and he can trust that Negan will do what is necessary for the group, that he’s no longer just out for himself and doing what he wants to survive, and what he needs to survive. But he’s actually a very capable member of the group who can be reliable.

We get that great scene of Gabriel hiding in the bushes as some sort of man of faith on the Reaper side prays near him. What can you tell us about filming that scene, and also, if anything, about the potential upcoming priest battle?

[Laughs] The priest battle. A priest battle sounds like it would be really cool. Gabriel was taken aback that somebody can still have the fervor for God that he apparently sees in this opposing priest, and it’s somewhat confusing for him.

Broad strokes, what can you talk about with the emotional thrust of where we’ll see Gabriel go over the course of the season?

We’ll continue to see him be challenged by his apparent loss or lack of faith and trying to recapture a bit of the humanity that he’s lost from the war with the Whisperers.

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What about Gabriel and Rosita? Is that doomed, or is there any hope for them going forward?

It’s hard to say whether it’s doomed or not, they’re at this point where there’s so few people left in the world and it’s like, you want to hold onto the people that you have. But then again, Rosita doesn’t have the greatest history with being a one woman, one man cat.

Before I let you go, Iasked Ross Marquand about this a couple of weeks ago. Very surprisingly, he didn’t really answer specifically at all, but I’ll try with you as well. How doesThe Walking Deadend?

Angela didn’t share with me the overall storylines, we only really discussed up until about episode eight, because at that point the rest of the story had yet to be written or really called out of the many ideas that they had. I would hope thatThe Walking Deadends with a closeup of Father Gabriel and his eyes happy.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

The Walking Deadairs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC, and streams a week early on AMC+.

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Is Father Gabriel good or bad? ›

Gabriel was a low-key villain even before he became brutal and cruel. As a priest, he locked his entire group of parishioners out of his church to save himself, a selfish move that went against everything he preached.

Why is Gabriel only blind in one eye? ›

Gabrielle usually keeps one eye covered due to a condition called ptosis. Ptosis is a condition where the eyelid may droop or fall. The eyeball itself isn't affected, but it might cause minor visual impairments.

What happened to Father Gabriel's eye? ›

Now, it appears Father Gabriel's eyes have reacted to the walker blood by going completely blind. On a brutal episode of The Walking Dead on Mar.

What is Gabriel hiding? ›

The shady Father Gabriel hides his past sins when Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors come across Gabriel's church after escaping the cannibals at Terminus in Season 5, and a suspicious Rick accuses Gabriel of being behind the sudden disappearances of Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride), ...

Is Gabriel a man or an angel? ›

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Gabriel takes the form of a man, and stands at the left hand of God.

Who is Gabriel's son? ›

At another point in the Bible, in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel (Lk 1:11f.), the angel Gabriel brings good news to the Elder Zechariah in the Temple of Jerusalem. He announces the birth of a son, John the Baptist.

Is Father Gabriel fully blind? ›

Though Gabriel is recovering from his illness, he is still mostly blind and is forced to wear a mask to prevent others from getting sick.

Did Gabriel get his eyesight back? ›

The biggest symptom of Gabriel's illness is his rapidly deteriorating eyesight. In another stroke of luck, Carson and Gabriel stumble upon a batch of antibiotics that will help cure Gabriel's illness, which it does, but Gabriel's eyesight is permanently ruined.

What does Negan do to Gabriel? ›

Negan doesn't kill Gabriel, but instead lulls him into talking about his past, Negan talks of his own past to gain Gabriel's confidence and help. Elsewhere, Rick and Daryl go to a dying Yago to find out what happened in the past battle.

Why did Father Gabriel lie? ›

He most likely lied because he felt no one else would understand his internal battle; his relationship with religion is unique, and he is with a group who would likely only see that he failed to do what he promised.

Does Father Gabriel survive? ›

You may be looking for his Comic Series, Road to Survival, No Man's Land, or Our World counterparts, or the Woodbury soldier. Rest in Peace (TV Series) Gabriel to Aaron and their friends about their accomplishments. Father Gabriel Stokes is a main character and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead.

Why did Father Gabriel get sick? ›

It seemed like Gabriel may have suffered a walker bite or scratch and caught fever, but that wasn't it. If you were paying close attention to season eight's seventh episode, Eugene hinted Gabriel was sick because he covered himself in walker guts to escape the Sanctuary trailer with Negan.

What sin did Gabriel commit? ›

His sin is pride, which is one of the seven cardinal sins. In his own opinion, Gabriel has become clean before God, he has been forgiven for his sins (215). He goes even further when he says that he considers himself to be the Lord's anointed.

Who was watching Gabriel? ›

After seeing how two strangers struggle and eventually take over a dozen supplies from a boathouse in a lake full of walkers, Tamiel follows them to their community, Alexandria. That night, she heads for the gates and watches Gabriel with binoculars as he is on lookout.

Why did the priest betray Rick? ›

Despite being invited into Alexandria, Gabriel betrays Rick and his group by telling Deanna, the leader of Walking Dead's Alexandria, that they cannot be trusted after witnessing them slaughter the people of Terminus.

What does it mean when Gabriel blows his horn? ›

A Gabriel's horn (also called Torricelli's trumpet) is a type of geometric figure that has infinite surface area but finite volume. The name refers to the Christian tradition where the archangel Gabriel blows the horn to announce Judgment Day.

Who is the highest angel of God? ›

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) interprets the term "archangel" as meaning "Chief Angel", Michael is the only individual so designated in the Latter Day Saints canon. It is believed that he is the head of all of the angels.

Who is the angel of death in the Bible? ›

Before the creation of man, Azrael proved to be the only angel brave enough to go down to Earth and face the hordes of Iblīs, the devil, in order to bring God the materials needed to make man. For this service he was made the angel of death and given a register of all mankind.

Who is angel Gabriel's wife? ›

Because of this he has traditionally become associated with other message-bearing angels in the Bible: appearing to Zaccharias to tell him that his wife Elizabeth would have a son, to Joachim, the father of the Virgin Mary, and, in the Old Testament, to the mother of Samson, in the same role.

Who are the 4 main archangels? ›

The four most often depicted in art are: Gabriel, the messenger of God who brought the announcement of Christ's birth to the Virgin Mary; Michael, the dispenser of justice; Raphael, the healer and protector of travellers; and Uriel, the angel of prophecy and wisdom.

What does angel Gabriel look like? ›

His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude” (Daniel 10: 5–6).

Is Father Gabriel in the comics? ›

Gabriel Stokes, also known as Father Gabriel, is a character first encountered in Issue 61 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead.

Are Rosita and Gabriel together? ›

Six years after Rick Grimes' assumed death, Rosita continues to live in Alexandria and is now in a relationship with Gabriel Stokes, although following a romance with Siddiq, they conceive a daughter whom they co-parent until his death. After moving to the Commonwealth, Rosita joined its army alongside Daryl Dixon.

Does Gabriel have a child walking dead? ›

Socorro Espinosa, affectionately referred to as Coco, is a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. She is the daughter of Rosita Espinosa and Siddiq, and the adopted daughter of Gabriel Stokes.

What color are Gabriel's eyes? ›

Jonas, The Giver, and Gabriel all stand out in the community because of their blue eyes.

Is Gabriel blind in Season 9? ›

A rather grim fate awaits Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) in season nine of The Walking Dead, according to new on-set pictures from filming. The priest appears to have been blinded in his right eye – and not only that, but he's got a whole new get-up too with a Southern preacher-type look.

Is Eugene Dead In The Walking Dead? ›

Eugene does not die in The Walking Dead season 11, which is the final season of the show. He survives the numerous onslaughts against his life and can live happily ever after with his lady love-turned-wife, Max, and their daughter named Rose.

Who does Negan get pregnant with? ›

In the series finale, Maggie allowed Negan and his pregnant wife, Annie, to remain part of the group.

Who is the kid obsessed with Negan? ›

At some point in the apocalypse, Brandon and his parents somehow came into contact with a group named "the Saviors" which they subsequently joined, during where he developed an obsession with Negan and his leadership based on stories told by his father.

Who is Gabriel's girlfriend in The Walking Dead? ›

Jadis (The Walking Dead)
Anne / Jadis Stokes
Portrayed byPollyanna McIntosh
In-universe information
OccupationArt Teacher Artist Leader of the Scavengers Warrant Officer of the Civic Republic Military
Significant otherFr. Gabriel Stokes
5 more rows

Who did Negan say was creepy? ›

Negan refers to Gabriel as creepy. It's a callback to the first time the Savior leader meets the priest. "He bailed on your creepy a--," Negan said to Gabriel after Gregory ditches him at the Sanctuary.

Why did Gabriel dig the grave? ›

Rick tells Father Gabriel that it had been a great idea to dig the extra grave. “It was nice digging a grave that I knew would stay empty,” Gabriel replies. Clearly this was a strategic move. This was a move meant to keep Maggie away from Negan.

Why did Gabriel lie to Maggie? ›

Gilliam said Father Gabriel then lied to Maggie because he thought that would have made her question him. "I don't think he can share that with Maggie because that's the kind of stuff that would make him an unsure ally," Gilliam added.

What happened to Gabriel at the end? ›

The final moments of Fences are pretty darn awesome. On the day of Troy's funeral, his brother Gabriel returns to open the gates of heaven for him...and succeeds. Gabriel suffered a head wound during World War II and now has a metal plate in his head.

Is Father Gabriel a traitor? ›

Father Gabriel has a history of betraying Rick and the survivors. When they first arrived in Alexandria, Gabriel went behind Rick's back to tell Deanna he thought Rick was a dangerous and unfit leader. He also tried to abandon the group long before that as his church become overrun with walkers.

Who is Father Gabriel love interest? ›

Season 9 reveals Rosita and Gabriel became a couple sometime during the six-year time jump between Episode 905 "What Comes After" and Episode 906 "Who Are You Now?" In Season 10, the "love quadrangle" was between parents Rosita and Siddiq, Rosita's boyfriend Gabriel, and Rosita's long-crushing friend Eugene (Josh ...

What was Gabriel's infection? ›

We technically didn't get to witness all of his problems whenever Eugene went to check on him, but radiation poisoning does cause symptoms to show fairly quickly, and Father Gabriel could very well have been nauseous and suffering from headaches and a fever, causing him to sweat buckets.

What made Maggie sick? ›

Maggie becomes ill due to complications from her pregnancy and must be rushed to the Hilltop for medical treatment.

Why did Father Gabriel take the food? ›

He was going there with supplies and food (we saw Gabriel gathering things) and it's somewhat implied he knew about those that captured him and had intended to trade food for their troops to help fight.

What did Gabriel do for God? ›

Gabriel, Hebrew Gavriʾel, Arabic Jibrāʾīl, Jabrāʾīl, or Jibrīl, in the three Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—one of the archangels. Gabriel was the heavenly messenger sent to Daniel to explain the vision of the ram and the he-goat and to communicate the prediction of the Seventy Weeks.

What did God say to Gabriel? ›

Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

What did Gabriel tell Jesus? ›

Summary. God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth with a message for Mary, who was promised in marriage to Joseph. The angel told Mary that she would have a son, whom she was to name Jesus. The angel said, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God.”

Why did the garbage people betray Rick? ›

He struck an accord with Jadis and the Scavengers, a group that lived inside a junkyard. They were shifty, didn't speak in complete sentences, and literally resided in trash. The Scavengers betrayed Rick because Negan secretly made a better deal with them that they were happy to accept.

Why did Rick smile at the end of episode 9? ›

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gimple explained why Rick smiled despite the seemingly awful situation he was facing. The Rick & Michonne spinoff showrunner highlighted Rick's defiance in the face of adversity, and his willingness to pick himself up even in the direst of conditions.

When did Gabriel become a badass? ›

Father Gabriel has experienced one of the most dramatic character transformations of The Walking Dead yet. He has evolved from the cowardly priest we met back in Season 5 into the badass moral compass we know him in Season 7.

Why was Rick so mean to Gabriel? ›

Rick dislikes Father Gabriel. He sees him as a burden on the group, a backstabber, a coward and a hypocrite. So he isn't going to sanction any prayer group coming from this man.

What did he whisper to Rick? ›

Just before Rick leaves the CDC, Jenner whispers something in his ear: Everyone is infected. Whether you're bitten or scratched by a walker or not, you will become a zombie once you die. Rick doesn't reveal the news to the rest of the group until the Season 2 finale.

Why did Rick sacrifice the pigs? ›

The pigs were part of Rick's grand plan for creating a new, autonomous society. But Rick and friends also discovered one of the drawbacks of close quarters when a virus swept through the prison. Rick blames the pigs, and has to kill them, one at a time, sullenly. Because he is also killing his dream.

Did Father Gabriel betray Rick? ›

Despite being invited into Alexandria, Gabriel betrays Rick and his group by telling Deanna, the leader of Walking Dead's Alexandria, that they cannot be trusted after witnessing them slaughter the people of Terminus.

Is Gabriel a good angel in supernatural? ›

Despite the fact that he is the youngest of the archangels, he is still very powerful. Gabriel was very compassionate towards his family. Although he was the very first celestial to be seen on the show, he was the last archangel to be revealed.

Is Gabriel a villain supernatural? ›

Type of Villain

He appears as a recurring antagonist in season 2 and 3, an antihero of season 5, and a supporting character in season 13.

Who is the most powerful archangel in Supernatural? ›

Michael is the first and oldest of the four Archangels created by God, making him the very first being ever created and the very first of Gods creations, as well as one of the oldest and most powerful beings in the universe, as well as one of the oldest and most powerful beings in all of existence.

Why does Gabriel have powers? ›

Powers. Shared Physiology: Gabriel is an extreme teratoma growing out of the back of Madison's brain. Since they literally share the same brain, Madison and Gabriel can manipulate each other's vision and hearing. Sharing the same brain also allows Gabriel to highjack Madison's body and use it for himself.

Is Van Helsing an angel Gabriel? ›

Dracula reveals that Van Helsing is really The Archangel Gabriel, the Left Hand of God—as well as the one who originally murdered him. He offers to restore Van Helsing's memories, but Van Helsing refuses, deciding that "some things are better left forgotten".

Does Dean ever become an angel? ›

Dean later briefly possessed a pair of Black Eyes while he was a Demon. Since separating from Sam, his appearance has become more scruffy and unshaven; his hair has also grown out a bit. In Let the Good Times Roll, Dean gains a pair of Angel's Wings due to his status as Apocalypse World Michael's current vessel.


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