As fans of the Walking Dead have settled in for the off-season lull, there’s no doubt questions are still churning through their minds. Who are the survivors at Terminus? Are they the presumed cannibals many think they are? What ever happened to Beth and where are Tyreese and Carol? All of these are open-ended questions fans were left with at the end of season four.
Although season four took a dramatic tonal left turn, it managed to build on its established cast and develop them into beings fans care about. Fans want to know where Carol is; that Beth is going to be OK and stranger Bob isn’t just another piece of zombie canon fodder.
News recently broke that another newcomer has been added to the show in actor Seth Gilliam. Gilliam is most noted for his work on the show The Wire and more recently Teen Wolf. Gilliam’s résumé also includes a number of other small parts in both television and film. At this time, his character description and portrayal on the Walking Dead is tightly under wraps as the fifth season recently just started shooting.
That brings about the following question: Whom could Seth Gilliam be playing on the Walking Dead?
Warning: Spoilers for the Walking Dead comic and television show will follow.
5. Lee Everett
Since the Walking Dead made the leap from comic book to television, it has been an unstoppable juggernaut. The Walking Dead has spread even further to encompass fully written novels and video games. As the other media formats expand, it’s only a matter of time before fans see a true crossover with some of these formats. With the rumored spin-off series in the works, it’s possible fans see minor plot points from the current show or other media formats stand as the foundation for the future series.
Taking the crossover theory further, it’s possible Seth Gilliam’s character is the live action version of Lee Everett. Everett is the playable protagonist from Telltale Games The Walking Dead: Season One. Through the events of the game, the player gets to choose what type of characteristics Everett will have as they navigate the post-apocalyptic zombie world. Everett has quickly become a fan favorite in the Walking Dead franchise as his quest to protect a little girl named Clementine becomes a personal quest. He never crosses the pages of the comic book and his story takes place in Macon, GA while a majority of the shows action occurs around Atlanta.
If Gilliam is introduced as Lee Everett, it will be a result of fan service rather than a direct connection to the video game. Anyone who has played Season One knows the fate of Lee and that his group never crosses paths with Rick’s. Although the television show has taken many liberties during the transition from paper to screen, it’s plausible fans could see the same type of liberal storytelling if Everett is the character.
Much the same way liberties are taken with character portrayals and actions from the comic, events in the Walking Dead timeline could also be taken. From a literal perspective, most of the events up to this point have occurred in a similar order to the comic book. From the start of the series, through Hershel’s farm, to the prison with events surrounding the Governor and after, things have transpired almost identically. It’s where season four ended that a lot of questions have been raised in regards to who the Terminus survivors are and what they’re motives may be.
Ezekiel is a character that appears at a much later time in the comic. He also carries the title of “King” as he is the leader of a community of survivors known as the Kingdom. As the events of the Walking Dead transition outside of the Atlanta area, Rick and company will encounter Ezekiel and a batch of other safe communities. With Woodbury and now Terminus making appearances, it only makes sense Rick and his survivors will encounter other communities with questionable motives.
Although Ezekiel’s appearance is all but assured at some point on the show, it doesn’t appear Gilliam will fit that role. Ezekiel plays a pivotal role within the narrative that makes up the comic and his introduction occurs at a key moment within that story. The only monkey wrench to that thinking is where Terminus falls and what part of the comic it is conceiving. Heavy speculation is that Terminus is a refreshed look at the Hunters but it’s possible it could also be a fast track to later events such as the Alexandria Safe Zone or even the Saviors.
With the introduction of Abraham, Rosita and Eugene, the direction of the show has been assured for the foreseeable future. With Abraham’s group on a mission to head North in what is dubbed Eugene’s secret mission to save the world, the events at Terminus will most likely be of a pit stop. Up to this point, the Walking Dead has predominately been a show about finding a place of solitude in the immediate area for safety. This is the underlying tone for the entire comic and will never change on the show. What will change is the setting for this goal.
In the comic, Heath is introduced as a supply runner for a community known as the Alexandria Safe Zone. During one of these supply runs, Heath and a friend are rescued by Rick’s group during their journey to Washington DC on Eugene’s mission. Heath eventually vouches for Rick and company allowing them to enter the Alexandria Safe Zone. Heath becomes a major player in the comic as he becomes extremely important in helping others scavenge for supplies and important items in the post-apocalyptic world.
Heath’s appearance in season five is a strong possibility depending on where events lead. If events at Terminus prove to be just a way of getting all of the main characters back together, it has to be assumed everyone will be taking up the cause of Abraham and his group in ending the zombie apocalypse. Hypothetically, the events of the first half of season five could be devoted to escaping Terminus and ending with the decision to head to Washington DC. The second half could kick off with a given amount of time passing by and the group being closer to their goal. This would be a perfect opportunity to introduce Heath and the Alexandria Safe Zone to conclude the season.
2. Gabriel Stokes
In the wake of the news that Seth Gilliam has been cast on the Walking Dead, many now believe we’ll see the long awaited introduction of Father Gabriel Stokes. Since Beth and Daryl first stumbled across the church during the second half of season four, fans have anxiously awaited the appearance of this character. The hints are clear someone was living in the church as it had been well stocked with supplies along with the specific details in which someone had been preparing the dead for burial.
Gabriel Stokes is a key member of Rick’s group after encountering them upon leaving his church. Gabriel’s background is that of a preacher. He is forced to live with the terrible decision he made in locking his congregation out of the church and allowing them to be taken by the walking dead. It seems likely Beth and Daryl came across Gabriel’s church and happened to come knocking when he wasn’t home. With the church being over-run when Daryl opens the door, it has to be assumed he was the one driving the car in which Beth was taken away in.
Right now, the house money is on Seth Gilliam being Gabriel Stokes when season five returns. The story is set in which Gabriel was Beth’s savior rather than kidnapper as it appears to audiences now. The timing is right for Gabriel’s introduction to the show, as he would bring a greater moral balance centering on religion that hasn’t been touched on. Although Hershel shared many of his religious beliefs with Rick and the rest of the group, introducing a preacher would create a tremendous dynamic. Especially someone who has committed their own horrible acts on the people they were supposed to protect.
1. Michael Todd
With the confidence Seth Gilliam is Gabriel Stokes, that appears to be just too easy. Gilliam’s current call sheet name is labeled as “Michael Todd”, a name that doesn’t appear in the comic. It’s also been confirmed Gabriel Stokes will be making an appearance in season five. Chances are, this one has already been figured out much the same way it’s believed Terminus is the television form of the Hunters.
But lets assume Gilliam is not Stokes and is in fact a new character named Michael Todd. We’ve seen it before on the Walking Dead with other characters being completely new to the world. Some have even become fan favorites like Daryl Dixon and his brother Merle, both of which have never graced the pages of the comic. If Gilliam is in fact a new character, his role could range anywhere from insignificant to highly important.
Wherever Gilliam falls within the Walking Dead world, there’s no doubt his addition to the show is a positive. It will be exciting to see him embody and bring to life any of the characters mentioned on this list from the comic. If he ends up being an entirely new character, his acting talent will be a pleasure to witness and experience like many of the others that have come before him.
We’ll have our answer come season five. The Walking Dead will return October 2015.
What do you think – Did we miss any characters from the comic Seth Gilliam could portray? Will he be a new character with a major or minor role? Sound off and let us know what you think in the comments below!