The Walking Dead’s Gregory: There’s a new coward in town

Simon (Steven Ogg) and Gregory (Xander Berkeley) in Episode 5Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Simon (Steven Ogg) and Gregory (Xander Berkeley) in Episode 5Photo by Gene Page/AMC /

The Walking Dead has had a few cowardly lions on the show before. Its newest coward is a doozy–Gregory from the Hilltop Colony.

Gregory from Hilltop Colony introduced himself to us as the boss. He told Rick and the group to wash up before he would entertain them for a meeting. He stood with his hands on his hips like he was in the credits of Green Acres looking around at his post-apocalyptic plantation home. I was surprised he didn’t pat his suspendered chest.

Gregory appeared at once to be unlikable. As you may know about me, I love to look at the behavior of our characters on The Walking Dead. I like to understand it even if I don’t like it. Sometimes it may seem like I defend it or forgive it too much, but I like to try to see where it’s coming from and look at it. I also like to wonder about it. I usually have more questions than answers.

Xander Berkeley said something on Talking Dead that really added an extra layer of understanding and curiosity to my thinking about cowards. I’ve thought about and written about my three favorite cowards before–Denise, Eugene and Father Gabriel.

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Something they all have in common is that they are all somewhat introverted and misunderstood. They are afraid of not being brave and afraid of not being able to help people in the way they wish they could. Each of them has (or had) a confidence that shows itself in different ways.

Xander Berkeley as Gregory - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Xander Berkeley .Gregory . /

Eugene’s shows itself in his hilarious manner of bragging and sticking up for himself. Father Gabriel’s shows up in his awkward humor and attempts at helping. Denise’s showed up when she studied and when she forced herself through her panic attacks to help even though it scared her. She had inner confidence, but her body betrayed her.

All three of our cowards so far have been awkward. Gregory showed up and awkward he is not. As far as introverted, the jury is still out on that one–Introversion is a very misunderstood term. We don’t know if Gregory is stimulated by interaction or of if people drain him. My guess is that he is an introvert in that sense. I don’t think people energize him.

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What Xander Berkeley talked about was that Gregory is very self-absorbed. That fascinated me. I think that is very accurate. I wondered if his cowardice is exacerbated by his inward focus or if his self-centeredness is a result of his cowardice.

I think it’s the latter in the case of Denise, Father Gabriel, and Eugene. Perhaps that’s what makes them more lovable and forgivable. They do care about other people, but their fear forces them to make decisions that preserve themselves. Decisions that appear self-absorbed or self-centered. But they are afraid.

Gregory might have been self-absorbed even if there was nothing to fear. He might never have learned Maggie’s name even if Negan was not a threat. And I don’t know that the other cowardly trio would intentionally put someone in the path of danger. They might hide and cause death, but I don’t know that they’d open the closet door and invite death in.

Next: Exclusive interview with Xander Berkeley

It will be interesting to see how far Gregory will go as things progress this season. I must admit. As frustrated as I get with old George, I mean Greg, I felt sorry for him having to kneel for Simon. However, I would have felt less sorry for him had he been kneeling for Simon with Maggie and Sasha dead. Thank you, Jesus!