|This article is about the Comic Series character. You may be looking for his TV Series or Road to Survival counterparts. You may also be looking for the Woodbury soldier.|
- "I appreciate everything you've done for me. Giving me a home. Letting me take over the church, giving me a place to serve the lord. Now I want to serve in another way. I don't think it's enough to protect the souls of our people. I've done that and I feel I've done a good job. But I'm able... able to do more... able to really protect my flock. I feel like I could be of use to you... as a soldier. With your blessing... I'd like to start training with the others."
- —Gabriel to Rick Grimes, about joining his army.[src]
Gabriel Stokes, also known as Father Gabriel, is a main character first encountered in Issue 61 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is a preacher who came across Rick Grimes and his group after leaving his church, where he had been hiding from the undead. Gabriel traveled with the group to Alexandria, where he became the head priest of the church located there. After overcoming his aversion towards violence, Gabriel lost all hesitation towards killing walkers, and has now joined Rick Grimes' military against The Whisperers. However, despite his desire to help the community, the early attack from The Whisperers made fear over take him, leading to his death at their hands before he could signal the rest of the militia.
Gabriel Stokes was the reverend of a regional community church. Not much of his personality or life before the outbreak has been revealed. The only detail given by the reverend was when he admitted to Rick and the rest of the group that during the initial zombie outbreak, he locked the doors to his church due to his own cowardice and allowed a whole group of survivors to be killed by roamers.
Gabriel claimed he had been living in the church's safety since the beginning of the epidemic, but the validity of his story, especially considering that it had been a full year since the outbreak began when the group encountered him, is questionable.
Forced from the church due to dwindling supplies, Gabriel set out into the surrounding countryside and eventually ran into Rick Grimes and his group while they were on the road.
The group encountered Gabriel on the road at a chaotic time, in the aftermath of losing the prison to the Governor and during the heartbreaking dilemma involving the twins. Thus, the survivors were initially very suspicious of his presence and story, and did not trust him due to their weariness of other human survivors and conflict among the group. Gabriel tried to comfort them with his obvious appearance as a religious man, but most of them visibly expressed open distrust or disbelief of his presence and mannerisms.
The moral dilemma involving Ben and Billy, and Dale's eventual fatal bite allowed Gabriel to blend into the group without too much difficulty as Rick and the other leaders were focused on the more pressing matters at hand. When it was discovered that Ben had killed Billy, Gabriel conducted prayers for the burial of both of the children.
Eventually, Gabriel led the survivors to his church for shelter while searching for the missing Dale, who had disappeared the night before. Rick eventually confronted Gabriel in the church, accusing him of being somehow involved in the disappearance of Dale and threatened him with violence. Gabriel then revealed his true story before meeting the group in tears. He expressed extreme remorse and guilt when he explained that he only survived several months alone in the church by turning away his followers and any other local civilians when the zombie attacks started. His main focus, he tried to emphasize to Rick, was to try and keep some spiritual faith for himself and the survivors, a sentiment which unfortunately was largely not shared.
It did not take long for the group to soon discover a group of human Hunters were stalking them. The conflict escalated when Glenn was shot in the leg from afar when he and the others tried to rescue Dale, who was discovered partially mutilated in the front of the church entrance.
Gabriel was soon forced by Rick, Andrea, Michonne, and Abraham Ford to accompany them in finding the whereabouts of the Hunters, as he was the only member of their group who was familiar with the local area. When the group found the Hunters, Gabriel watched in horror as the group, led by Rick, brutally mutilated and murdered them in violent retaliation for their stalking and near fatal attacks on Dale and Glenn. Gabriel vocally expressed shock and outrage at their murder but Rick told him he was no better than them for turning people away from the church, silencing the reverend into submission.
With no other choice, Gabriel followed Rick and the group on their journey to Washington, D.C., despite admitting extreme disagreement with the group's violent actions against the Hunters.
He traveled successfully to the Alexandria Safe-Zone and was soon identified by Douglas Monroe during the introduction interview as the man to run the local Church, which had survived intact. When the walls expanded and the church became accessible, he began to run daily masses. He seemed to be doing well in adjusting to living within the Community, aside from the packed living conditions of living with the group in Rick's house for the first few nights.
Gabriel became convinced that God led him to the Community so he could eventually preach at the new church. He eventually believed and tried to get the rest of the survivors exiled from the Safe-Zone because of what they did to the Hunters, but Douglas Monroe did not agree with Gabriel's belief that the groups actions were evil and decided to ignore his request.
In Issue 82, when the zombies breach the Safe-Zone, he's seen in his church, crying. He finally gets over his fear and lets Eugene Porter and Nicholas in before the zombies reach them, the opposite of what happened the first time at the onset of the outbreak.
In Issue 84, after watching Rick and Michonne fighting endlessly against the zombie horde, it may have inspired the men. Eugene and Nicholas get over their fears and go out to help Rick and Michonne. They also eventually convince Gabriel to stop hiding and help. While he's shown clearly afraid, he still joins the group and aids them during the fight. He, along with the others, survive and win the zombie attack. Although he's left stunned, most likely by his actions or that he survived the fight.
In the aftermath of the attack, Gabriel is largely absent, rarely being involved with the ongoing events.
Gabriel has had little participation in the war against Negan. However, he serves as the priest for the funeral of Abraham (who was killed by the Saviors). He survives the attack on the Alexandria Safe-Zone, and moves to the Hilltop, along with the rest of the group and survives the events of the conflict.
Gabriel has now returned to Alexandria to resume his duties as the town's priest. He was present at the funeral of the members of the communities that were killed by Alpha. Gabriel later appears at an Alexandria meeting and is shocked when violence breaks out among the citizens. When Rick announces that he plans to take action against the Whisperers, Gabriel is amongst those cheering and chanting his name.
Father Gabriel approaches Rick after the training session and tells him he wants to join the Militia.
He is seen again in Issue 152 training and killing walkers along with Dwight and Laura. Dwight commends his progress, though he doesn't tell him that he's practicing for live targets.
In Issue 153 he is seen with the others in the woods trying to sneak past some walkers. A walker manages to sneak up behind him, but Dwight intervenes and saves his life.
As the Militia take position, ready to face the Whisperers, Gabriel climbs a nearby water tower to take patrol. He struggles to climb, but eventually makes it up. As he looks through the scope of his sniper rifle, he is shocked to see a large group of Whisperers approaching. Gabriel runs towards the ladder, pleading to the Lord for help, in his panic he falls backwards off the ladder and tries to catch himself on a ring by using his foot, which snaps his ankle nearly clean off. Dangling upside down he is met by a voice proclaiming "I will save you". This voice is revealed to be Beta, who proceeds to slash Gabriel's stomach open, telling him that he should have whispered as he marched onward towards Alexandria. Gabriel is then devoured by walkers, stripping him nearly to the bone on the upper half of his body.
- Himself (Indirectly Caused, Accidental)
Gabriel panics when he sees the large Whisperer army coming toward him. In a rush to climb down the ladder, he falls and gets his leg caught and broken, trapping him on the ladder.
Gabriel is stuck upside down on the ladder begging for someone to help him. Beta says that he will, right before stabbing him in the gut. Gabriel quickly bleeds out and the Whisperers leave him to be devoured by the oncoming walkers.
This list shows the victims Gabriel has killed:
- Himself (Indireclty Caused)
- Many unnamed people (Indirectly Caused)
- Numerous counts of zombies.
- "Don't make me have to ask you to go."
- —Douglas to Gabriel[src]
At first Gabriel and Douglas seemed to have a good, friendly relationship as Gabriel took the role as the priest of the church. But Gabriel felt disgusted by Rick and the others actions, brutally killing Chris and the other hunters and told Douglas that he felt as though Rick and the others don't fit in with the rest of the community and he suggests should be kicked out of the safe-zone. Douglas is shown to be shocked and slightly angered by what Gabriel says and tells him that the people in the community have done the same to build and protect the place, himself included and asks Gabriel not to make him ask Gabriel leave his home, this seemed to strain the relationship between the two although this could be explored further as they weren't seen interacting again.
- "Is it so hard to believe, brother Eugene?"
- —Gabriel to Eugene[src]
Gabriel and Eugene seemed to have a stable friendship. While looking for Dale the two debated with one another about the existence of God. Once the Alexandria Safe-Zone was overrun, Eugene and Nicholas begged Gabriel to let them inside the church to hide. Hesitating at first, but not wanting to cause more deaths by locking people outside like Gabriel had done in the past before the group met him, he let both Eugene and Nicholas inside.
- "I'd like to start training with the others."
- —Gabriel to Rick.[src]
Rick and Gabriel have a strained relationship, at first Rick didn't trust Gabriel and was on guard while travelling to Gabriel's church. Rick became very suspicious after Dale was kidnapped and like Andrea believed it was related to Gabriel. Rick pinned Gabriel against the wall at his church and Gabriel burst into tears revealing how he had survived by locking his church doors and ignoring the people begging for help. Rick believed his story and after Dale was returned by the hunters and he revealed that their camp was in a house Father Gabriel helped the group find the hunters base. But Gabriel watched in horror as Rick and the others slaughtered the hunters for eating Dale's leg, shooting Glenn and eating many unnamed people, including their own children. Once arriving at the Safe-Zone, Gabriel feels like Rick, and the others, do not fit in and are dangerous and tries to persuade Douglas to throw them out, Douglas angrily refuses to do so, but, it is assumed that Rick is unaware that Gabriel had asked.
However, it now seems as if Gabriel and Rick have established a good relationship when Gabriel thanks him for all he has done for him and even volunteers to help, Rick accepts this and welcomes him aboard saying thank you in the process.
- "Take as much time as you need."
- —Gabriel to Andrea.[src]
At first Andrea and Gabriel have a strained relationship, believing he was involved with Dale disappearance acting very hostile towards him. Andrea eventually trusts Gabriel and at Alexandria attend his services at the church.
- "Would you like me to say a few words before we go?"
- —Gabriel to Dale about the twins.[src]
Gabriel knew Dale for only a little while. Gabriel offers Dale to say a few words for his adopted sons which Dale tells him off. When Dale was kidnapped, Gabriel assisted with trying to find him. The group initially blames Gabriel for Dale's disappearance. Gabriel is seen at Dale's funeral.
- "Let us take a moment of silence to remember our fallen brother."
- —Gabriel about Abraham's funeral.[src]
Abraham distrusts Gabriel when they first met checking him for weapon and believes Gabriel is leading them into a trap, which Gabriel makes a joke about, making Abraham angry. But he is thankful for leading him and the group use his church as shelter. Abraham was outraged about Gabriel's comments about the hunters. Gabriel later held a funeral service for Abraham.
- "Yeah-- this place is nice."
- —Maggie to Gabriel[src]
Gabriel and Maggie seem to have a good and stable relationship,
- "No clue. I think that's what everyone is trying to figure out."
- —Gabriel to Glenn about a gunshot.[src]
- "Me too."
- —Gabriel agreeing with Michonne.[src]
- "If anyone needs another blanket, I've got a few."
- —Gabriel to Rosita.[src]
- "I didn't expect it to be so... easy."
- —Gabriel to Dwight.[src]
Gabriel and Dwight seem to have a good relationship as Dwight is training him; he's shown to give Gabriel compliments on his training but worries that Gabriel will falter when he finds out that they are starting to attack human targets.
- Gabriel was originally supposed to be named James.
- Gabriel is the only confirmed priest who is encountered within The Walking Dead comic series.
- During the events of "No Way Out", Gabriel has to endure the exact same situation he's been through in the beginning of the apocalypse: being locked in his church with survivors outside begging for help, although this time, he overcomes his fear and lets the survivors in, unlike the first time.
- In the Letter Hacks of Issue 158, it is suggested that Gabriel's death might have been one of the most unpleasant ones yet.