Gabriel Finally Gets Redemption For His Very First Walking Dead Mistake


The Walking Dead’s Father Gabriel was hated upon his debut because of his cowardly ways and dark past, but he redeemed himself in the series finale.

Father Gabriel is one of The Walking Dead‘s longest-lasting survivors, and the show’s finale delivers the redemption he has been longing for since his debut. Adapted from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic series, Gabriel Stokes is a priest who survived the onset of the apocalypse by hiding inside his church for 18 months. Gabriel was one of The Walking Dead‘s most unlikable characters when he first joined because he was a liability in Rick Grimes’ group, doing little to help out his fellow survivors and throwing up at the sight of a walker being killed. Fast-forward to The Walking Dead‘s final season and a lot changed for Father Gabriel.


Throughout his Walking Dead tenure, Gabriel has been haunted by his mistake of barricading his church doors when the apocalypse began. While he was safe inside with plenty of supplies, his congregation was devoured by walkers. But in The Walking Dead series finale, Gabriel does the complete opposite. It is Gabriel who opens the locked gate of the Commonwealth to let in hundreds of innocent citizens, who Pamela Milton was willing to sacrifice to an incoming walker herd. Originally, Gabriel wasn’t cut out for the apocalypse, but he underwent one of The Walking Dead‘s most significant transformations to become an integral member of his community.

Related: How The Walking Dead’s TV Show Ending Is Different From The Comics

The Walking Dead Series Finale Shows How Gabriel Changed

Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel in The Walking Dead

When Rick Grimes first encounters Father Gabriel, he is meek and cowardly, which initially raised Rick’s suspicions because it was surprising how someone like that could have survived the walker outbreak for so long. After Gabriel reveals his dark secret, he still struggles to understand his place in the new world. Despite being invited into Alexandria, Gabriel betrays Rick and his group by telling Deanna, the leader of Walking Dead‘s Alexandria, that they cannot be trusted after witnessing them slaughter the people of Terminus. Still, Rick and Carl forgive Gabriel and in The Walking Dead season 6, Gabriel finally shows a willingness to deal with threats against the community.

The Walking Dead finale highlights how far Father Gabriel has come. Rather than being cowardly or backstabbing, Gabriel has his defining hero moment by putting himself in the crosshairs of the Commonwealth army to save hundreds of innocent people in his community who otherwise would have perished the same way his congregation did. The Walking Dead’s resident priest seemed like a leading contender to die when he debuted, but Gabriel’s excellent character development on The Walking Dead saw him prove himself to be an invaluable survivor.

TWD Already Redeemed Gabriel (But The Finale Makes It Better)Seth Gilliam as Gabriel in The Walking Dead

Gabriel has kept his faith throughout The Walking Dead and regularly gives sermons, but he has also become one of the bravest, smartest, and strongest members of the surviving community. Although he always tries to find the good in people and wants to help them, Gabriel uses his better judgment to know when someone shouldn’t be saved, and he proves that when he takes the lead in the hunt for the Whisperers and doesn’t hesitate to kill the dangerous Mays. His heroic redemption moment in The Walking Dead finale has cemented Father Gabriel as a fully improved character and fan-favorite.

Next: What The Walking Dead’s Final Episode Means For All Upcoming Spinoffs


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