Get ready to welcome a new face to “The Walking Dead.”
In early May, news broke that “Wire” alum Seth Gilliam would join the Season 5 cast of the hit AMC series, and thanks to some excited (and sneaky) fans, you can get a first look at him in character before the show returns in the fall.
The set photos were posted by numerous fans of the show, including “The Spoiling Dead,” a fan site dedicated to all things “Walking Dead.” In the photos, Gilliam is dressed in clerical clothing, and in a couple of shots he appears with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green).
When Deadline broke Gilliam’s casting news, the site reported that he would join “The Walking Dead” as Michael Todd. However, fans of Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels know that Michael Todd isn’t a character in those books. And while it was possible for the AMC series to introduce a brand new character, the description of his role has led some folks to speculate that Michael Todd is actually going to be Father Gabriel Stokes.
According to the character description, Michael Todd is described as “having two sides, displaying a friendly, puckish humor, but also having a haunted side stemming from a dark secret.”
But who is Father Gabriel Stokes?
In Kirkman’s graphic novels, Father Gabriel is a former reverend of a church. When the zombie virus outbreak happened, Father Gabriel locked his church doors … leaving everyone who went there for sanctuary to be eaten alive by the walkers.
The man of God ran into Rick’s group when he was forced to leave the church to hunt for supplies. Rick and the gang were on the road after the Governor’s attack on the Prison left them without a safe haven. And while they initially distrusted Father Gabriel, he was eventually let into their group and led them to his church.
The appearance of Father Gabriel coincides with the potential cannibals or “Hunters” at Terminus. In the comics, the hunters attack Rick’s group outside of the church, kidnapping and eating a piece of Dale … who they didn’t know had been bitten by a walker.
Fans began to speculate about the introduction of Father Gabriel when Beth was kidnapped in one of the final episodes of Season 4. Hershel’s youngest daughter had fled an overrun funeral home that she was staying at with Daryl. And when Daryl went to follow her out, he found her bag abandoned and a car with a large cross in the window speeding away.
Are you excited to see Father Gabriel appear on “The Walking Dead”? Check out all the photos below:
— Rick Grimes (@RickAndThangs) May 28, 2014
— Jeannie gogo (@MissGoGoNY) May 30, 2014
I spy Father Gabriel!!! pic.twitter.com/05IFPt96s8
— Lizzie Samuels (@CarolsNewSophia) May 28, 2014
And as an added bonus ...
Who are these people? People from Terminus hunting Rick and Co? Or survivors with Father Gabriel? Hmm pic.twitter.com/WaPokwdLxX
— Carol Peletier (@Carol1fanX) May 29, 2014
Who are these guys in cloaks? Tweet your theories to @AmandaTVScoop!