The Walking Dead is usually more interested in introducing new characters who aren’t from the comics — from Daryl and Merle Dixon to Patrick the Harry Potter kid — but every so often someone from the books shows up. So we’re curious about who's coming in Season 5, which is currently at the halfway point of filming and premiering October 12 on AMC.
Season 4, Episode 10 saw Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene arrive almost exactly as they appeared in Issue #53 of the comics. That kind of comic-to-TV fidelity is pretty rare, since the TV show is usually a “remix” of the comics. Last season, we saw Tyreese arrive, and even though his story was changed for TV, he’s just as important to the team. Even a character like Sasha — who is not in the books — could be seen as a new take on Tyreese’e daughter, Julie. Bob Stookey is in the comics, but his storyline was completely changed for TV. Season 4 also gave us new versions of Lilly and Tara; Lizzie and Mika turned out to be a TV version of Ben and Billy; and Joe's group were a remix of The Marauders.
So even if more comic book characters arrive on Season 5 — and we're pretty sure they will — odds are against them looking or acting exactly like people on the page. Still, it’s fun to speculate, so here are 10 characters who might see some version of themselves on screen.
Warning: Spoilers from the comics, and Season 5 filming, referenced ahead.
1. Gabriel Stokes (Introduced Issue #61)
UPDATE: Yep, this one has already been confirmed. The speculation below, about Gareth as Gabriel, was posted back in February when the second half was just starting. At Comic-Con in July, the producers confirmed that new series regular Seth Gilliam is indeed playing the TV version of Father Gabriel, and we can even see what should be his church in the Season 5 trailer. But that's not to say TV Gabriel will be the same as he is in the comics. TV Gabriel is meant to bring a lot of conflict to the show, and spoilers suggest he may know the truth about Terminus, a place that is not featured in the books.
Original post: This Gareth guy may already end up being a remix of preacher Gabriel, who meets Rick and company on the way to Washington, D.C. We don't even know the status of the D.C. trip at this point on TV, but we could still meet a character like this on the road. He enters the story after Ben kills his brother Billy but before the group meets The Hunters. Gabriel leads the group to his church for safety. It's actually more likely for us to meet a guy like this on Season 4, if they stick with the same timeline, but there's already so much going on this season. If Gareth isn't a take on Gabriel, we could meet him next season.
2. Chris or Any of The Hunters (Introduced Issue # 63)
UPDATE: The Comic-Con trailer gave us even more hints that Gareth (Andrew J. West) is a new twist on Chris. But there will have to be plenty of changes to the storyline, since Gareth definitely isn't a cut-and-paste of cannibal leader Chris. And we still don't know what's up with Terminus and the hospital. Spoilers suggest they have a connection, but is cannibalism involved on either end?
Original post: We've been expecting The Hunters storyline on Season 4, but maybe we're rushing things or taking the timeline too literally. Chris is the leader of the cannibal group called The Hunters. We were eyeing Gareth for possibly this role too, but maybe not. If The Powers That Be don't think they have time for this plot on Season 4, it could carry over.
3. Aaron (Introduced Issue #67)
Aaron is a recruiter for the Alexandria Safe-Zone, a place the group ends up in the comics after The Hunters storyline, and after Eugene is revealed to be a cure fraud. Filming spoilers suggest we will see the TV version of the Safe-Zone in the second half of Season 5. They are building a wall around a development in Senoia, GA, and it looks like that might be passing for Alexandria. The wall could be up until 2019, which certainly hints to a long-term commitment. Does that mean Aaron, or his equivalent, will show up? Not necessarily, but if we do go to the Safe-Zone, we'll need an introduction of some kind. Maybe Aaron comes upon our Team Post- Prison group in his search for new survivors. In the books, he's gay and in a relationship with another recruiter named Eric. TWD just introduced its first lesbian characters in Tara and Alisha, so maybe we’ll see a gay relationship too.
4. Douglas Monroe (Introduced Issue #70)
Douglas is the leader of the Safe-Zone, at least for a while. So if we do a Safe-Zone style storyline, there may be some version of Douglas.
5. Heath (Introduced Issue #69)
If we get to the Safe-Zone, or some version of it, there are tons of residents we could meet — including Heath, who worked as a supply runner. Eventually, in the books, Glenn becomes Heath's supply run partner.
6. Jessie Anderson (Introduced Issue #72)
In the comics, Rick and Andrea eventually form a relationship, but before that, he has a brief relationship with Safe-Zone resident Jessie Anderson. She's an abused wife (yep, another one) and when her husband is offed, Jessie is relieved and gets romantic with Rick. She doesn't live too long in the books, though. (But her death is pretty great, in a dramatic, poignant way.) TV Rick doesn't have too much time for romance at this point, but if they do go to Alexandria, we can see a remix of this storyline happening. It may even fit Scott Gimple's Season 5 romance tease. Team Richonne may not like it, but Michonne may just take on the Andrea role in that she becomes Rick's serious longterm girlfriend after this tragic fling.
7. Holly (Issue #73)
Holly is another Safe-Zone resident who works to expand the walls. She's in her 20s/30s and in the books she gets romantically involved with Abraham, despite Abraham being with Rosita. The comics have changed storylines like this before (there was a Tyreese/Carol/Michonne love triangle at the prison in the books), but we could see a version of Holly.
8. Nicholas (Introduced Issue #71)
If Rick needs someone in the story to argue with, they could introduce Nicholas. He's a Safe-Zone resident, and a father like Rick. He and Rick initially clash after a fight between Carl and Nicholas's own son, Mikey. Nicholas is surprised to learn Rick even let Carl have a gun. When Douglas Monroe dies, and Rick takes over leadership, Nicholas complains about it and questions Rick's leadership capabilities. Things get better between the two, though, and Nicholas comes to respect Rick.
9. Dr. Denise Cloyd (Introduced Issue #71)
Denise is a red-haired doctor with glasses at the Alexandria Safe-Zone. We lost both Dr. S. and Hershel, and even though Bob the medic is still alive at this point, it would be good to have more docs around.
10. Paul Monroe (Introduced Issue #91)
This may be too far down the road for Season 5, depending on their timeline, but Paul — aka Jesus, whom he's meant to resemble — is a resident of Hilltop Colony, at least until he moves to Alexandria. He works with Rick and company to fight The Saviors. Will we even hear about The Saviors in Season 5 or is that still too soon?
Do you think any of those characters may show up on Season 5 — as themselves or in different versions? Anyone else you think might pop up?
The Walking Dead Season 5 starts Sunday, October 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.