One of the most popular comic books runs in the last twenty years is The Walking Dead, written and created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. The post-apocalyptic comic book was first published in 2003 and received critical and commercial success during its run. The Walking Dead TV show first aired on October 31, 2010, and produced eleven seasons until its end in November 2022. Despite having the same name and sharing most of the lore, comics and TV series have separate universes. Both universes produced many great characters that haven’t or barely survived the vicious post-apocalyptic world, and one of them is Gabriel Stokes, one of the main characters of The Walking Dead. This article will discuss whether Gabriel dies in both Walking Dead universes.
Gabriel Stokes has different faiths in The Walking Dead series. In the original comic book, Gabriel Stokes finally joins Rick Grimes’ Militia and decides to scout the area on a water tower. When Gabriel spots an enemy group of Whisperers coming his way, he trips on the ladder and snaps his ankle. While dangling off the ladder, Gabriel prays to God, but that doesn’t help him because one of the leaders of Whisperers, Beta, slices his stomach and leaves him to walkers to finish the job. In the TV series, Gabriel survives and continues helping build the community in Alexandria.
We will discuss this topic more by analyzing both versions of Gabriel’s character and what’s his faith in The Walking Dead comic book and TV show. If you’re interested, stay with us until the end!
Who is Gabriel Stokes in The Walking Dead?
Before discussing Gabriel’s character in comics and TV series, we must establish that The Walking Dead comic book and TV series have their own universe. Of course, The Walking Dead comic book series has a universe that has over 190 issues released since 2003, while the TV Universe established its universe through The Walking Dead media, which is canon within the same universe as the original TV series. The Walking Dead Universe includes seven TV shows, eight webisode series, four video games, and a podcast.
This means that although The Walking Dead TV series “borrows” a lot of content and characters from the comic book series, it doesn’t necessarily mean they share everything. For example, Norman Reedus’s character Daryl Dixon doesn’t exist in comic books, but he is one of the most important characters in the TV show. Gabriel Stokes is the original character from the comics, and both versions share a lot.
In comics, Gabriel Stokes, also known as Father Gabriel, is a character readers encounter in Issue 61 of The Walking Dead comics. Rick Grimes and his group come across Gabriel when he comes out of his church, where he is hiding from the undead. The church was in Virginia, and Gabriel is immediately presented as a soft man that carries a lot of baggage. Being a preacher doesn’t help Gabriel’s resolve when surviving in the post-apocalyptic world because he hesitates to kill walkers.
Father Gabriel also carries a dark secret – when the zombie outbreak started, Gabriel locked himself in church and let a whole group of survivors die on his doors. He carries guilt, making him feel like a coward and everything opposite his values.
Gabriel joins Rick Grimes and his survivors and continues the journey to Alexandria. He becomes the head priest of the church in Alexandria, who provides support to other survivors. After some time, Gabriel finally overcomes the fear and reluctance of killing walkers and asks Rick to join his militia.
On the other hand, Gabriel Stokes from The Walking Dead TV show is a priest that Rick Grimes and his Survivors first encounter in Season 5. Before the outbreak, Gabriel was a priest of St. Sarah Church in Georgia, who barricaded himself in the building when the zombie outbreak started.
As his “twin” from the comics, Gabriel spent 18 months in the church, carrying immense guilt for churchgoers, who he left to die. Throughout the series, Gabriel transforms from a messy character and guilt-ridden man to a true survivor who would do anything to protect his group. However, did both characters survive in The Walking Dead?
Does Gabriel die in The Walking Dead comic book?
Both versions of the characters share a lot despite being in different universes. Of course, there are different storylines that the characters are involved in, which means that they have different roles as well.
Gabriel Stokes, in the comics, has appeared in most of the issues, but unfortunately, he didn’t survive the end of The Walking Dead. Just as he overcame the fear of killing the walkers and decided he wanted to join Rick’s Militia, Gabriel died a vicious death.
The death of the Father happened in Issue 159 when Militia decided to attack the Whisperers, a mysterious group of survivors who disguise themselves with roamer skin to blend with them in the wild. They are an antagonist group in the comics and pose a great threat to Rick and his Survivors.
After joining the Militia, Gabriel climbs the water tower to scout the environment. Still, when he looks through the sniper rifle scope, he realizes a huge incoming group of Whisperers is coming their way. He panics, stumbles on the ladder, breaks his ankle, and stays hanging off the ladder, heavily injured.
He is then killed by Beta, one of the violent leaders of Whisperers, who slices his stomach. Gabriel dies gruesome and painful death because after Beta slices his stomach open, he leaves him to walkers, who devour him to the bone.
Gabriel’s death is one of the most gruesome ones in The Walking Dead comics, which is a feat when it comes to the atmosphere of the comics.
Does Gabriel die in The Walking Dead TV show?
When it comes to Gabriel Stokes in The Walking Dead TV show, he had a similar start as his “twin” in the comic books but vastly different endings. Father Gabriel Stokes survives in The Walking Dead TV series. He had impactful moments in the series, which led to him having full character development.
As in comics, Rick Grimes and his survivors were instrumental in Gabriel’s character development – making him a great support to survivors through his preaching, and eventually, a really good at surviving, which he lacked initially.
When we meet Gabriel in Season 5, he is a mess, doesn’t know how to handle weapons, and doesn’t want to kill walkers – his reluctance is propelled by his fear and guilt of what he had done to his churchgoers in Georgia.
Father Gabriel has a vital role in defeating the Saviors and eventually continues the work Rick Grimes and his Survivors establish throughout the series – he becomes one of the leaders of the Alexandria Safe Zone, where he helps and leads the Survivors through the apocalypse.
One Gabriel died, and the other survived, but both versions of the character greatly impacted both The Walking Dead universes.