Over the years, there have been plenty of Walking Dead fan theories. From whether Rick would lose his hand on the show to whether or not Glenn would die a gruesome death in the beginning of Season 6, fans of the show have constantly obsessed over plotlines and potential surprise twists. TWD Season 8 has been no different. In fact, the season premiere held quite the surprise when it ended on a cliffhanger.
After Rick's men successfully assault the Sanctuary, the group retreats as walkers begin to overrun the compound. But Gabriel is left behind after trying to help the treacherous Gregory escape. He decides to hide from the walker horde in a trailer. He soon finds out that Negan is also hiding in the trailer. The next move seems obvious: Gabriel, who is armed, should shoot the Savior leader and end the war. Instead, he just stands there while Negan talks nonsense.
The priest's inaction has sparked a theory about Father Gabriel on The Walking Dead that he's secretly working with Negan. Ranker has broken down Gabriel's actions and history to get to the bottom of things. Has Gabriel been selling out Rick all along?
Gabriel surprised fans when he failed to eliminate Negan in the Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead. After being overwhelmed by walkers during the attack on the Sanctuary, Gabriel ran into a trailer to hide from the undead. Upon locking the door, he discovered that Negan was also in the trailer. Even though Gabriel was armed, he failed to shoot the villain immediately. In fact, he didn't even point his rifle at the Savior leader. He just stood there. Some fans have theorized that this scene means that Gabriel is working with Negan and the Saviors.
During the attack on the Sanctuary in the episode, Gabriel has a chance to escape before the walkers completely overrun the compound. But instead of driving off to rendezvous with the rest of Rick's army, he decides to get out of his car and save Gregory, who is about to be surrounded by the undead. As expected, Gregory ends up leaving Gabriel behind, driving off and leaving the priest to die.
While Gabriel trying to save Gregory probably has more to do with his good heart, fans have theorized that this is proof Gabriel is in cahoots with the Saviors. Why else would he try to save the man who just claimed allegiance to Negan? Maybe he was saving one of his own.
In the tail end of season seven, Negan revealed that he had a "little birdy" in Alexandria who was leaking Rick's plans to the Saviors. The big twist in the Season 7 finale, where the Heapsters betray Alexandria during the showdown with the Saviors, seemed to indicate that the "little birdy" was Jadis, the Heapster leader who was pretending to be in league with Rick. Well, what if Jadis wasn't the "little birdy" and it was instead Gabriel?
Gabriel could have informed Negan that Rick was scavenging for weapons and recruiting new soldiers for his war against the Saviors and no one would suspect him. After all, Gabriel is in Rick's good graces these days...
Speaking of the Heapsters, what if Gabriel has been working with them the entire time? There was a moment in Season 7 when some fans suspect that Gabriel betrayed Rick and Alexandria.
In the episode "Rock in the Road,"Gabriel is seen stealing food and weapons from Alexandria and driving off with them, as a shadowy figure appears in the backseat. This made some fans believe that Gabriel had switched sides and was sabotaging his settlement.
While it seemed like he eventually got kidnapped by the Heapsters, what if leading Rick to the new settlement was the plan all along? Putting Rick in touch with Jadis might have been part of a plan to make him feel confident in his opposition against Negan before finally crushing him.