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- "These poor folks have been through hell, they've seen things that no decent person should ever have to see. One thing the plague has taught all of us---believers and nonbelievers alike---and that's the immutable fact that there are things could happen to a soul that are much, much worse than dying."
- —Jeremiah to Lilly about his group.[src]
Jeremiah James Garlitz, also referred to as "The Preacher", is a main character and an antagonist who makes his first appearance in The Walking Dead: Descent. He served as the primary antagonist in Descent and Invasion.
Jeremiah is the son of an abusive army chaplain and later became a Pastor after college, but was later expelled by his Evangelical church for heresy because he believes people's soul would go to Heaven by commiting mass suicide in the right place at the right time. In response, he created his own traveling church group to spread his version of Christianity.
Following the destruction of Woodbury, Jeremiah escaped via SUV and is assumed to have wrecked it. Barely conscious and fatally wounded, Jeremiah drove the car out of the town, along with an unconscious Reese and Stephen. Jeremiah starts to laugh hysterically while driving through the "ocean of walkers" where he begins to abandon his faith in God. Jeremiah now seeks revenge on the few remaining Woodburians.
Jeremiah will appear in the next novel, Invasion, and is still seeking vengeance against Lilly and her group. Through the official synopsis, it is revealed that Jeremiah has formulated a plan to kill them.
Lilly, after catching up with Jeremiah, shoots him in to the groin in order to save her life from being strangled to death. Lilly shoots Jeremiah again, this time in to the knee and pectoral. Later on Lilly unintentionally fulfills Jeremiah's last wish; being eaten alive by his undead followers.
This list shows the people Jeremiah has killed:
- Jones (Caused)
- Calvin Dupree (Indirectly Caused)
- Ben Buchholz (Caused)
- Matthew Hennesey (Along with Pentecostal People of God)
- Wilkins (Caused)
- Wade Pilcher (Indirectly Caused)
- Mark Arbogast (Indirectly Caused)
- Joseph Bressler (Indirectly Caused)
- Anthony (Indirectly Caused)
- Rose (Indirectly Caused)
- Colby (Indirectly Caused)
- Cailinn (Indirectly Caused)
- Emma (Indirectly Caused)
- Mary Jean (Indirectly Caused)
- Noelle (Indirectly Caused)
- Patrick Liam Murphy
- Twelve unnamed Woodbury residents (Caused or Direct)
- Multiple motorcycle gang members (Caused or Direct)
- Numerous counts of zombies.
- Jeremiah's weapon of choice is a large crucifix.
- He uses it as a memento of his fallen friend.
- Jeremiah knows a lot of car's mechanics, and is able to sabotage it (for example disabling the brakes).
- Jeremiah is one of the few never seen Novel Series characters to make an appearance in The Walking Dead: Road to Survival. Others being Gavin, Barker, Joshua and Nick.