The Walking Dead References Father Gabriel’s Gory Comic Book Death

Say a prayer for the preacher on The Walking Dead. Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) was saved from [...]

Say a prayer for the preacher on The Walking Dead. Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) was saved from certain doom when Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) spared him from being gutted in the final battle of the Whisperer War, but Sunday's "One More" has more than one reference to Gabriel's ill-fated comic book counterpart. Two weeks into Gabriel and Aaron's (Ross Marquand) empty-handed search for food and supplies to bring back to an Alexandria left in ruins by the Whisperers, a map given to them by Maggie (Lauren Cohan) brings Gabriel and Aaron across nothing but long-gone structures and a walker-filled mini-mart.

When Gabriel steps foot onto muddy ground, the hand of a lurking walker suddenly reaches out and drags him into the sludge. Aaron kills the muck-covered walker with a stab to the head, and it topples over onto Gabriel's machete.

Aaron pulls the collapsed corpse off of Gabriel, who disembowels the mud walker when he frees his blade impaled in its guts. The walker's intestines spill out and plop onto the priest's stomach.

The Walking Dead Father Gabriel guts
(Photo: AMC Studios)

With the map ruined, Gabriel makes mention of a nearby tower located an hour north. Later, after their enlightening encounter with the madman Mays (Robert Patrick) in a remote warehouse, Gabriel and Aaron decide to visit one last location: the water tower.

In the comic books, it's at the water tower where Father Gabriel becomes a casualty of the Whisperer War. While keeping watch for Beta and his walker horde in The Walking Dead issue #158, a panicked Gabriel slips and is left dangling helplessly from the tower's ladder when Beta disembowels him and leaves Gabriel to be devoured by the horde.

The Walking Dead Father Gabriel death comics_
(Photo: Image Comics)

The television show already brought these panels to life — so to speak — back in the Season 8 episode "Time For After," where walkers feast on a corpse dangling from a ladder during the Savior war:

The Walking Dead Season 8
(Photo: AMC Studios)

Gabriel has avoided death at the hands of Beta (Ryan Hurst) and the Whisperers and did not become a victim of the walker horde eliminated by Carol (Melissa McBride) and Lydia (Cassady McClincy). But are these visual references to the character's grisly comic book fate in "One More" a bad omen for Gabriel in the coming final season?

"I don't get nervous about [being killed off]," Gilliam previously told ahead of Season 10. "No day is promised to anyone. So you know when it happens, it happens. I want Father Gabriel's exit from the show to be operatic. And I think his death in the comic books is definitely that... Hanging upside down, screaming."

Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of The Walking Dead extended Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9 pm ET/8c on AMC.