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Pope (first name unknown) is a major antagonist in AMC's The Walking Dead. He serves as the unseen overarching antagonist in the third part of Season 10 and the main antagonist for the first part of Season 11. He is the leader of the Reapers.

He was portrayed by Ritchie Coster, who also played The Chechen in The Dark Knight, Dietrich Banning in The Tuxedo and Mark Bruner in the Law & Order episode "Bodies".

History

Background

Prior to the outbreak, Pope was fighting in Afghanistan along with the rest of his squad which included a lot of members that would eventually become the Reapers. Upon returning from war, he struggled to find jobs or deal with trauma, but the relationship between him and his comrades remained strong. He then decided to become a mercenary.

Season 10

"Home Sweet Home"

Pope was mentioned by an unknown Reaper who killed several members of Maggie's group. When surrounded and was interrogated, the man simply says "Pope marked you", before committing suicide.

Season 11

"Rendition"

Pope is first seen as Mancea prays and chants over Michael's body in tongues after he was found dead, Leah and the Reapers grieve their fallen brother; Clearly distraught, Pope proclaims that God is angry and so is he, and orders the Reapers to make the group they're hunting "feel their wrath." Leah goes to see Pope and conveys what Daryl told her. Furthermore, she suggests they recruit Daryl. She is frustrated when Pope ignores her, and demands a response. Pope calmly replies that not everything is about her, and blames her for losing a day of tracking so Leah could interrogate her "old boyfriend." After a moment of silence, Pope asks Leah about Daryl, to which she says that Daryl would be a good fit for their group due to being fearless. Pope, however, is skeptical, and thinks Daryl just wants to be with Leah. He then wonders why Leah didn't kill Daryl when she had the chance. Leah confesses that Daryl meant something to her at one point, but claims she severed all ties when she rejoined the Reapers, and doesn't regret her decision. Pope confides that he trusts Leah more than any of the other Reapers, and asks if she thinks they can trust Daryl. When she says yes, Pope is pleased, intends on finding out for himself.

Pope then tests Daryl out by setting the shed on fire and the room is engulfed in flames. Daryl is able to break through a window and helps Leah out of the burning room, and follows her to safety outside where they find Pope and all of the Reapers gathered outside. Daryl is deemed "forged by fire, ordained by God" by Pope, who welcomes him into their ranks. In a private meeting, Pope asks Daryl if he believes in God. When Daryl admits that he doesn't, Pope is disappointed. Confused, Daryl points out that he passed their test, but Pope reveals the test isn't over. When asked what more he wants from him, Pope simply tells Daryl he wants him to understand. Over a drink and a cigarette, Pope explains the backstory of his group. The Reapers started out as a military unit serving in Afghanistan, where they saw a great number of their comrades killed. Despite their sacrifice, the politicians didn't really care about them, and just used them as props. In those dark days, the soldiers didn't have much to hold onto but God and each other. After returning home, many Reapers found it difficult to reintegrate into society. Ultimately, Pope formed a mercenary group comprised of his old unit, and they served all over the world. During the Fall, Pope witnessed such carnage that his faith in God started to waver, just like Daryl's. When the military bombed the cities, the Reapers survived by holding up in a small church, as everything around them burned. Despite their perilous situation, none of the Reapers were even injured. It was then that Pope came to believe the Reapers were chosen by God to survive. He compares this situation to Daryl making it out of the fire unscathed, claiming that God chose Daryl tonight as well.

Pope brings Daryl to a bonfire where the Reapers are eating dinner, and orders Bossie to give Daryl some food. Pope then praises Bossie for carrying his fallen comrade for ten miles on his back, to which Bossie exclaims that he just did what any of them would have done. After inquiring about Bossie's wounds, Pope notes that the wounds are on his back. Despite Leah trying to calm him, Pope once again asks where Bossie was when Turner was being attacked. Petrified, Bossie claims he was there, facing the enemy. Acknowledging this, Pope tells Daryl that it's human nature to run when scared, and that it takes divine strength to risk everything for someone else. Pope commends Daryl got Leah out of the fire first, proclaiming that God baptized him in that fire. However, Pope warns Daryl that there is one rule he forgot to tell him: never turn your back on your brother. Pope then adds that God doesn't just use fire as His baptism, but also His wrath. With this, he throws Bossie into the bonfire and burns him to death for his perceived betrayal. Pope proclaims that the Reapers always run into the fire and towards the enemy.

"On the Inside"

Pope is seen when Carver interrogates Frost for what he knows about his groups whereabouts. Initially refusing to talk even when tortured, Pope tasks Daryl with taking over to see what he can get out of him. Daryl puts Frost in a chokehold and orders him to give up his friends' location. Frost refuses. Daryl chops off Frost's finger and again demands to know the location of his friends. Frost finally reveals the location of the supply depot. Pope dispatches Leah to scout the location with a crew of Reapers.

"Promises Broken"

Pope will appear in this episode.

"For Blood"

Pope will appear in this episode.

Trivia

  • Pope is one of the few antagonists who is the main antagonist for only half a season.
  • Pope is one of the characters from AMC's The Walking Dead that is an original character created for the show and does not have a counterpart in the comics.

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