Father Gabriel's death is one of the most brutal in The Walking Dead comics' history. The gruesome sendoff is only comparable to some of the series most iconic, such as Glenn's head bashing, the Governor's torture scene, or the arrow through Abraham's eye.
To kick off the Whisperer War story arc, Father Gabriel found courage to head out to a water tower near Alexandria to keep lookout for the Whisperer army. When the army arrived earlier than expected, Gabriel scrambled to get back to the ground and back to Alexandria to issue a warning. However, the trip back to Earth wouldn't end well. Slipping on the tower's ladder, Gabriel would get his leg caught and see his bone protrude through his skin, only to have his stomach sliced open by the leader of the Whisperers and be left hanging to get eaten by a massive herd of zombies.
The death took over four pages in a single comic book. It's a brutal reminder of how ruthless writer Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard can be.
Speaking to the actor who portrays the live action adaptation of Father Gabriel on the AMC series, Seth Gilliam, ahead of The Walking Dead's panel at PaleyFest over the weekend, ComicBook.com heard the actor's perspective of Gabriel's horrific finale.
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"Two thirteen year old kids came over, so eager to show me this thing," Gilliam said. "I was like, 'Oh, that's bad. That's bad! It's not over yet? He's what? He breaks his ankle then he gets his stomach cut or he gets his throat slit then he gets fed to the bone! I think it's actually a more dramatic death than Glenn, though, Glenn trying to gurgle out Maggie with the bat is hardcore. But I think hanging upside with the Whisperers..."
Being cast on The Walking Dead comes with the expectation of your role coming to an end before the series does as it is one of the deadliest shows on television. For Gilliam, the comic book ending to Gabriel's life would be a satisfying ending to his run on the AMC series.
"I think that's more than a worthy death, man," Gilliam said. "That's like three deaths in one. I don't know how I would play it. I would definitely lose my voice before the throat was cut but I think that would be the coolest way Father Gabriel could go. He's eaten to the bone! Literally, he's hanging there."
Father Gabriel's death did not come until issue #158. The TV series is currently playing around in the territory of issues #112-#116. Averaging about 20 issues per season, Gilliam likely wouldn't see Father Gabriel's death until Season 10 or later, assuming the AMC series continues to closely mirror its source material.
With Season 8 set to air the 100th episode of The Walking Dead, showrunner Scott Gimple sounds ready to continue the adaptation after what he calls a "conclusive" Season 7 finale.
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