It feels like it’s been a full year since we’ve been asking “Who is Gareth?” We waited a good portion of The Walking Dead Season 4 to meet the guy, only to see him show up toward the end of the finale. Now we know he’s a big deal — he’s the leader of the people who locked up Rick and company — but how much of a big deal will he be to the story of Season 5?
They are now filming the new season, and Andrew J. West — who was made a series regular in S5 — talked to Chris Hardwick during the “Dead, White & Blue” marathon. What could Andrew say about Gareth? “What I can say about him is he’s definitely a complicated character,” Andrew said. “There’s more to him than initially meets the eye. He’s a pragmatist — and he’s a survivor.”
Their discussion continued during the Talking Dead Season 5 Preview Special. From here, it’s hard to empathize with Gareth, because he not only locked up our favorite characters, he stole their stuff — then lied about where he got it. Gurl, never steal a poncho from our group then say you got it off a clothesline! That is the death of trust.
But Andrew, without giving away any spoilers, basically warned us that our feelings about Gareth might change. Maybe we won’t end up hating him after all? "Gareth, obviously he is the leader of this new group at Terminus,” Andy told Chris. “Personally, I don’t know that I would call him a natural born leader. He is maybe somebody who’s grown into that role a little bit.”
Chris asked, on a scale of Rick to Governor where does Gareth fall as a leader? Andrew said, “He definitely falls way more toward the Rick end of the spectrum. The way that they envisioned this character is, he was actually sort of a mirror image of Rick or even Glenn, if they had a different history. A reasonable, normal guy just figuring out a way to survive."
“You’re going to meet a real person,” Andrew continued. “He’s not a one-dimensional character. You’re going to get another perspective from Gareth on what the world is now. And that is one of my favorite things about this character is that you get this whole different window into what this world is, what it can be, what is has become.”
Has the world become a place where it’s practical to eat people, as an alternative to watching them starve? The cannibal theory is just based off The Hunters story in the comics, and they always remix things for TV, so we’re prepared to be surprised by the angle they actually take — if they even try to adapt that storyline at all. Maybe Gareth is actually more of a victim than a villain.
What we do expect from Gareth is some connection to churches. In a previous video, he talked about Terminus’s candle room as “the church,” and in a recent AMC production video you can see him standing inside what looks like a church with actual pews. That interview included a chat with Jeffrey F. January, who was listed as directing Season 5, Episode 3, so it’s possible Gareth/Andrew was interviewed while shooting Episode 3. Glenn/Steven Yeun was also at the church location, so it implies that not only do Glenn and company get free of Terminus early in the season, Gareth may be with them or following them.
Does Gareth join Team Prison? Is he a likable guy after all? Or is he a bad guy chasing Team Prison? Does he end up helping our group? Do you have a Gareth theory?
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October on AMC.