10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead': Who Is Gareth? Our Three Best Theories
[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from The Walking Dead comics.]
The Walking Dead fans have endured four months of speculation about Gareth, the mysterious character set to be played by Greek alum Andrew J. West. The wait is nearly over.
West will make his debut during Sunday's season four finale, playing Gareth, a character who does not appear in the long-running Image/Skybound series on which the AMC zombie drama is based. Sources tell THR that while Gareth may not be playing someone from the comics, he is a remix of sorts of an unidentified character from Robert Kirkman's comics.
The character will have what sources tell THR is a big presence, playing an important character on the series. West, for his part, is being credited as a guest star in season four with an option to be promoted to regular in season five.
So who the heck could Gareth be? We've read all the Walking Dead comics and these are three of our best theories. Be warned: Major spoilers from The Walking Dead comics ahead.
1. He's a remix of Chris, the leader of the so-called Hunters, a group of survivors who turned to (gasp!) cannibalism in order to survive. In the comics, the Hunters evolved from hunting animals in favor of humans as they looked for smaller groups of people to feast on as food became in increasingly short supply.
Our logic: With Rick's group divided and everyone seemingly headed for Terminus, what better way to hunt humans than to have them come to you? Plus did you catch a glimpse of what Mary (Denise Crosby) was cooking when Glenn, Maggie and company first arrived at Terminus?! We don't know about you, but that looked like an arm on the grill to us! To paraphrase Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
We floated the idea to exec producer Greg Nicotero, who said it was an "an interesting theory." "The people that have survived in this world have survived at a cost. This entire season was based on the premise of, 'Can you do what it takes to stay alive?' "
2. He's a version of Negan, the current villain in the comics who makes The Governor (David Morrissey) look tame by comparison. In the comics, [massive spoiler alert!] Negan is responsible for putting a spiked bat -- which he lovingly refers to by the name of Lucille -- to Glenn's head, ending his life in front of a pregnant Maggie as Rick and company looked on. Worse: He's a polygamist who uses violence to take a regular cut of any other camp's food and supplies.
Our logic: We know the finale can't be all sunshine and unicorns -- that's so not the way of the show. Further, showrunner Scott M. Gimple is a long-time fan of the comics and is "super-excited to get to Negan's story." The exec producer told THR earlier this season that there's a lot of cool story to tell before Negan's arrival. "We're not getting to him this season; I wish we were." But does that mean he can't appear, however briefly a la Michonne's first appearance -- in the season finale?
3. He's a version of Alexander, the creator of the Alexandria Safe-Zone settlement. For the uninitiated, the Alexandria Safe-Zone -- named after former House of Representatives security liaison Alexander -- is in Virginia, and to-date ranks as the longest-running survivors community in the comics. It's a gated community -- much like Terminus -- that consists of houses where Rick and company take residence alongside another group of survivors. In the comics, Alexander is referenced multiple times but never seen (much like Lord Voldemort in the first Harry Potter films). The character is said to have abused his power and run out of the community after offering women protection in exchange for sex. (In other words, a total creeper.) Among his victims: Beth -- a character who lived at the compound who committed suicide after his advances. She's not to be confused with Maggie's sister, Beth Greene, who does not exist in the comics. (In the graphic novels, Maggie's sister, Lacey, was killed during the barn attack in the comics.)
Our logic: Has anyone seen Beth after her mysterious abduction? How random is it that a car would be sitting and waiting outside of the country club where Beth was last seen escaping from following a walker attack? Seems like someone's been following everyone as they've been slowly making their way to Terminus.
Those are our best theories. What kind of a man do you think Gareth will be? Hit the comments with your thoughts. The Walking Dead season four finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC. Stay tuned to THR's The Live Feed for extensive coverage.