The Walking Dead fans have watched as Father Gabriel Stokes has gone from a coward to a man with a backbone. He also transformed into someone Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) trusts. Recently, Seth Gilliam spoke about the changes his character has gone through. He also discussed how Rick sees the apocalyptic priest.
TWD spoilers are ahead. Do not continue reading unless you want to know what to expect in Season 7B of the zombie apocalypse TV show on AMC networks.
So far on The Walking Dead Season 7B, Father Gabriel has been kidnapped by the Scavengers. Even though Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) was convinced they were betrayed, Rick knew differently. He was correct and Gabriel even left clues, which led the Alexandrians to Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her group. Just when it was thought that all hope was lost for Rick Grimes, Father Gabriel spoke up. Not only did he have something bold to say, but he held one of the Scavengers hostage, which was a brazen and surprising move for the character.
In a Q&A session on AMC’s official website, Seth Gilliam talked about his character, Rick Grimes, and about the transformation. Fans may recall that when Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh) was still alive, Gabriel told her that Rick’s group were not good people. What was going on in his mind back then and has he redeemed himself since that moment?
“I’d like to think so. I also think that Father Gabriel was speaking about himself as much as he was about Rick and the group. He was speaking out of fear… You’ve got to remember that they were the first people he’d come into contact with after months of isolation and solitary confinement, and they basically turned people into Hamburger Helper inside the church! I’m not sure that he was seeing them through the same eyes as the audience is, who have seen what they came through, the dangers they were under and why they behaved the way they did.”
Speaking of how Rick sees Gabriel these days, Gilliam explained that things have changed. Before, the priest was a liability and really couldn’t be trusted. He was also a coward. Since then, he has become a person who is dedicated to doing whatever he can to make sure the Alexandrians are safe and that they prosper.
“I think he’s proven he’s with everybody, and he’s ready to follow him and trusts him. I think that’s something Rick realizes he can rely upon. Gabriel may not be the most capable warrior in the group, but he’s definitely willing.”
Seth Gilliam was also asked what Gabriel’s biggest loss is in The Walking Dead. While it is true that he lost an entire congregation, that was a long time ago. A lot of the group members have lost someone to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors. However, he hasn’t had much interaction with the TWD villain. He did pretend that Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) was in a grave, when she was actually at Hilltop Colony. The actor explained that Gabriel feels a sense of loss for the group as well as them losing hope.
There has been a lot of interaction between Gabriel and Rosita. She is angry and wants revenge. On the last episode, she lashed out at Gabriel in the church. Gabriel seems to be getting most of her fury and that is because it is safe for her to do so. He won’t do anything to harm her and she knows that. Gilliam also said that he is enjoying how Rosita just isn’t a “hard soldier,” that she is someone with a lot of inner conflict and emotions.
What do you think of what Seth Gilliam had to say about Father Gabriel Stokes, Rick Grimes, and Alexandria? Were you surprised to see the transformation in The Walking Dead Season 7B? What do you predict will happen with the TWD character in the next few episodes?
[Featured Image by Gene Page/AMC]