Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Seth Gilliam's First Hint At Gabriel's Fate Came From A Fan Of The Walking Dead

Whether from walker attacks or human indecency, every character in "The Walking Dead" lives on borrowed time. The long-running AMC series adapted from Robert Kirkman's comic of the same name delves deep into humanity. But, of course, this comes at a cost. The moment you start to care for one character is most likely the moment you lose them.

Perhaps the most shocking fate of any comic character is Carl (Chandler Riggs), which many fans felt was a huge mistake. Robert Kirkman's graphic novel revolves around the Grimes family, and taking Carl out of the game was a baffling decision. His comic book counterpart lasts the entirety of the series, eventually taking over for Rick as the main protagonist after his father's death near the end of the series.

But as any fan knows, death is a certainty, especially in the world of "The Walking Dead." And just because you survive in the source material does not mean you'll make it down the line. This is something that Seth Gilliam was acutely aware of after taking on the character of Father Gabriel in Season 5.

Gabriel dies bloody in the comic

Seth Gilliam, who had prominent roles in TV's greatest dramas, "The Wire," and MTV's supernatural romance, "Teen Wolf," has some experience with television violence. While these roles vary from each other, the threat of death is still common. Gilliam's characters have impressively survived all three of these series, but that may not have always been in the cards. In "The Walking Dead" comic, Gabriel meets a grisly death by being feasted upon while hanging upside down. He never met that fate in the series, but Gilliam was still not ignorant of his potential future, as he told Entertainment Weekly's, Dalton Ross.

"I was at a convention, and a couple of kids came up to me and showed me the comic," Gilliam recalled. "They were very excited to show it to me, about how graphic the death was. That was my first hint that the Whisperer war would not end well for Father Gabriel." But Gabriel does not get eaten alive and is not even one of the heads on spikes in the conflict against Alpha (Samantha Morton). Viewers' expectations were dashed when Gabriel remained one of the last characters standing at the end of "The Walking Dead." But Gilliam never got hung up on the death of his character. 

"I didn't think he was long for this world at all," Gilliam admitted. "I thought way back in the day, three episodes, and he's gone." Lucky for him, he only got an infected eye.