The Walking Dead’s Gavin, the disgruntled Savior assigned to the Kingdom, doesn’t seem thrilled with his job. But what choice does he have? Showrunner Scott M. Gimple explains.
Gavin never seems like he’s happy, and now we know why. Whenever we see Gavin at the Kingdom meeting sport it always seems like he has somewhere else he’d rather be, in that “anywhere but here” kind of way. The Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple cleared the air about the reluctant Savior and explained why he always seems so miserable.
In Sunday’s “Bury Me Here” Gavin’s expression was very different when the Kingdom showed up one melon short. He was downright alarmed when his man Jared decided to shoot Benjamin instead of Richard. When he finds out that Benjamin died, over a cantaloupe, he loses his temper and sends Jared walking. He pulls himself together long enough to deliver a reminder to Ezekiel that this is why there are rules, but his expression suggests he’s worried about more than Benjamin’s death.
Gimple offers an explanation about Gavin’s personality, saying it’s all part of the character and his instructions to the actor who plays Gavin.
"But when I was working on the character, the vibe that I was going for was this grumpy parent — you know, this parent who has just had it. Not like they don’t love their kids or whatever, but they’re just over everything. And to Jayson Warner Smith, I was like, ‘Just be a grumpy dad. You did not sign on for this. You will turn that care around and just everybody cool out!"
There is a sense that Gavin knows more than he’s letting on. My guess is that Gavin is smart enough to realize that this was a big oops. This gives the Kingdom a reason to be upset with the Saviors, which could spell trouble for Gavin, who seems to want to avoid trouble at all costs.
"There’s a line that he has that’s “I didn’t go this way for aggravation.” He didn’t do the things that he does to be put through any more trouble than he has to, and that indicates that he is fully aware of the team he’d signed on for. He is not especially proud of it, so if everybody could just do their part to make it as easy as possible, everything will be all right."
Gavin represents the other side of the Saviors, the ones like the recently departed Dr. Carson, who work for Negan out of necessity. They don’t get a choice in what they do, and they don’t agree with it, but they still do it because it’s either do it or do something worse. Gavin, like Simon, has a bit of autonomy in his role as Negan’s lieutenant, which is better than being one of the grunts, but it’s not an easy job.
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If Gavin truly is the “grumpy dad” then he’s about to get even grumpier as the fallout from Benjamin’s death continues. If there’s one thing we know about The Walking Dead, it’s that the fallout can often be worse, and Grumpy Dad Gavin has a bumpy road ahead.