One character on "The Walking Dead" that no one ever believed would face his fears and turn a new corner is Father Gabriel Stokes. When we first met him, the priest was in a vulnerable position and scared, much like Rick and the survivors of Terminus. During season 6 the transformation of Gabriel into a fierce protector of Judith Grimes and Alexandria has given the character hope and season 7 may even see bigger changes on the horizon for the character. Spoiler alert: This analysis of Father Gabriel Stokes contains spoilers from "The Walking Dead" TV show and comic book series and may talk about events yet to unfold in the zombie apocalypse, so proceed with caution.

Horrors of the past

Gabriel allowed his congregation to be consumed by walkers rather than let them back inside his church where they had a chance to survive. He's been shown as remorseful in his decision to let them perish and the reasons for his actions were most likely based out of fear during the rise of the initial apocalypse. Gabriel doesn't volunteer a lot of information to Rick and the group and it's only after Carl Grimes finds messages on the outside of the church carved into wood from the dying members of the congregation that the pieces of the puzzle are assembled.

Betrayal at Alexandria

Once Gabriel and the group become settled at Alexandria it doesn't take long for the still rattled and skittish priest to try and convince Deanna Monroe that Rick and the survivors she just let in are actually dangerous people.

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Deanna dismisses Gabriel and sides with Rick, eventually promoting the leader and Michonne to law enforcement positions in the safe-zone. Through the course of season 6 Gabriel looks inward and begins to become more useful to the group, learning how to use weapons and protect himself and others. Eventually he is given forgiveness for his past betrayals by the citizens of Alexandria.

The future of Gabriel

When Rick needed Gabriel most he came through for him and took Judith back to the safety of the church during the zombie attack in "No Way Out." Gabriel even joined the fight for a while after making sure Judith was secure inside the church. The priest was left in charge of Judith and the security of Alexandria when Rick and the others took Maggie to Hilltop in "Last Day On Earth," but were captured by Negan and his men during their mission. Gabriel and the people of Alexandria have no idea that such an epic showdown is occurring between Negan, Rick, Glenn, Daryl and the others but, given the path that the priest is on, we can guess that he will be a strong ally for Rick in the future, should they survive the war with Negan and his men.