Gareth was originally said to be a remix of a character from the comics, but updates suggested he was changed enough that comic book fans wouldn't know him. Still, the character he most resembles is Chris, leader of the cannibal group called The Hunters, in a comic books storyline that fits with the current timeline.
After the Season 4 finale, The Hollywood Reporter asked comic book writer Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott Gimple, "Gareth seems similar to Chris, the head of the so-called Hunters from the comics; would you say those two characters have anything in common?"
Scott answered with a laugh, "They have very similar hair. That's as far as I would go. I'm not going to say people are right or wrong, but Gareth certainly isn't Chris from the comics unless Chris was lying to us about his past, which he may have. Chris unloaded what happened in his past in some detail, but I can't confirm or deny." RK added, "It's possible; there are some similarities there. That's all I'll say."
Gareth doesn't have a chance to be a straight adaptation of Chris, but very few characters on this show haven't been "remixed" in some way for TV. In the books, there are only six members to The Hunters. They initially ate regular food but turned to cannibalism when food got scarce. They had better luck trapping loners and small groups than wild game. Chris admitted they even had to eat their own kids. His admission to Rick came in Issue #65; the last line of Season 4, Episode 16 — with Rick saying the Terminus people were screwing with the wrong people — was pretty much straight out of Issue #64, in reference to The Hunters.
The Season 4 finale dropped several other hints to the cannibalism storyline, too. People were being kept alive in train cars, there were bones and body parts on the ground, tour guide Alex said something about how when people become part of them, they get stronger. It would only make sense for Gareth to have portions of Chris to his character, but not have that be the entirety. For instance, the whole candle room situation is a new element. No idea where they got so many candles — unless they stole them off a different group — but it seemed to be a shrine memorializing some dark event in the group's past. They may have lost a huge number of their group, leading to the "Never Again," "Never Trust" signs.
Maybe they hold sacrifices or do a whole ritual when they kill someone to eat them? Terminus is a strange place, and we're supposed to get answers soon, but Gareth is supposed to have a pretty big role. Andrew J. West was upgraded to series regular for Season 5, but The Powers That Be noted that Gareth is not the new Governor. He's not a "big bad" like that. He's a semi-normal guy who, perhaps, adapted to the world in a different way, maybe after losing all the people whose names are on the candle room floor.
Do you agree that Gareth looks like a remix of Chris? If so, how do you think they’ve changed The Hunters? And what’s with the candle shrine/memorial room? Tell us your thoughts below!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter