|Aliases:||Father Gabriel Stokes|
|Series:||The Walking Dead|
Gabriel Stokes is a fictional priest and a supporting character on the AMC survival horror series, The Walking Dead. Played by actor Seth Gilliam, he was introduced in the season five episode of the show, "Strangers".
Gabriel Stokes was a priest who administered to a small congregation out of St. Sarah's Episcopal Church in rural Georgia. When the zombie apocalypse began, Father Stokes found that he was a man lacking in both courage and conviction. Unaware of exactly what was transpiring in the walls outside his church, he panicked, sealing up the entire building, preventing anyone - including those in need - from gaining access. As such, innocents begging for sanctuary were denied aide and eventually fell victim to the flesh-eating walkers. Some of them even managed to scrawl words of damnation against Stokes on the exterior walls of the church. Gabriel's lack of action haunted him for many months to come.
A group of survivors, led by former sheriff Rick Grimes, came upon Stokes a short distance away from the church and saved him from some walkers. He opened the doors of the church to them and they were able to momentarily relax under the shelter for a brief period. 
Eventually, Rick and the others learned the truth about Gabriel's gnawing guilt. He solemnly confessed to them:
They started coming, my congregation. Atlanta was bombed the night before and they were scared, they were looking for a safe place, a place where they felt safe. And it was so early, and the doors were still locked. You see, it was my choice, but there were so many of them and they were trying to pry the shutters and banging on the sidings, screaming at me and so the dead came for them... Women, children, entire families calling my name as they were torn apart. Begging me for mercy, damning me to hell. I buried their bones, I buried it all. The lord sent you here to finally punish me. I'm damned, I was damned before. I always locked the doors.
Soon after, a group of cannibals from the nearby compound known as Terminus came to St. Sarah's looking to avenge themselves against Rick and the group. Gabriel and the others in attendance locked themselves away in a back room. Gareth, the leader of the Terminus refugees, figured out where they were when Rick's infant daughter, Judith, began crying. Before any further action could be taken, members of Rick's group fought back, massacring Gareth and his cronies in the nave of the church. Father Stokes, repulsed by this gruesome display of violence shouted, "This is a house of God". Later, he tried scraping splatters of dried blood off the floor. 
Rick took a large contingent of the group out to locate one of their missing members, Beth Greene, leaving Gabriel, a woman named Michonne and Rick's son, Carl behind at the church. Father Gabriel felt that he needed to see just how bad the outside world truly was. He sneaked out of the church through a hole in the cellar and made his way to a nearby school, which is where Gareth and the other Terminus cannibals had set up a camp. Seeing nothing but carnage and devastation (as well as walkers), Gabriel panicked and rushed back to the church. Walkers pursued him and as he approached the barricaded doors of the church, he screamed for Carl and Michonne to come save him. They pulled down the wood blocking the doors, allowing Father Gabriel a chance to get away, but by now, the integrity of the church was completely compromised and no longer safe. Gabriel, Carl and Michonne were forced to flee until they could meet back up with Rick and the others in Atlanta.
Gabriel tried consoling Maggie Greene about the recent loss of her sister, Beth, but Maggie was to angry to listen to him. She reminded him about how he had abandoned his own flock during their time of need. Later, while eating on some dog, Gabriel's faith was pushed to its limits once again. He removed his priestly collar and threw it into the fire. 
Notes & Trivia Edit
- The character of Gabriel Stokes was created by director David Boyd and teleplay writer Robert Kirkman.
- This version of Gabriel Stokes is based on a character with the same name who appears in The Walking Dead comic book series by Image Comics.
- The comic book version of Gabriel Stokes was introduced in issue #61 of the series.
- Actor Seth Gilliam is also known for playing the role of Doctor Alan Deaton on the MTV werewolf series Teen Wolf.
See also Edit
- The Walking Dead
- The Walking Dead images
- The Walking Dead episodes
- The Walking Dead characters
- The Walking Dead cast & crew
- The Walking Dead miscellaneous