Stars of The Walking Dead don't always get a say in when their character might depart the series, with zombies and violent altercations leading to surprising deaths. While Seth Gilliam, who plays Father Gabriel, might not know when his time may run out on the series, he knows he'd appreciate seeing his character's comic book sendoff honored.
"It was a fantastically operatic death," Gilliam told TV Guide. "Hanging upside with broken bones and being slit open and fed upon by an entire herd of walkers I think is definitely a way to go out."
The actor couldn't deny the powerful scene in the comics, yet, given his attachment to the character, he also wouldn't mind a far less grisly demise.
"In his sleep by a massive coronary would be good," Gilliam joked of how he'd prefer his character say goodbye. "With a warm smile on his face. At the age of 97."
The actor might have to say goodbye in the near-future, as Season 8 has shown us that Gabriel is gravely ill. Audiences are unsure the source of his illness but, with the horrendous state of medical care in the zombie apocalypse, we doubt he'll make a strong comeback.
Even if Gabriel's days are numbered, the actor is surprised and appreciative to still be around after his introduction in Season 5, as he thought his character would only be fodder for the living undead.
"I thought that Father Gabriel would be dead in about three episodes," Gilliam confessed. "I thought that he would be a device to get a larger character killed. I thought that it would be Tyreese [Chad L. Coleman]. I had a whole thing planned out in my head where Father Gabriel was going to be surrounded in some way and Tyreese would come to his rescue with the hammer and then wind up getting bitten, and then they lose Tyreese and then Father Gabriel winds up getting eaten anyway."
Keep watching Season 8 to see if Gabriel says goodbye to the series.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead will debut its fourth season after The Walking Dead concludes its eighth, at 10 p.m. ET on April 15. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.
How would you like to see Gabriel exit the series? Let us know in the comments below!
[H/T TV Guide]