The Governor (The Walking Dead)
|The Walking Dead character|
The Governor, as depicted in the comic book series.
|First appearance||Issue 27 (comics)
"Walk with Me" (TV series)
|Last appearance||Issue 48 (Alive)
Issue 72 (Flashback)
Issue 75 (Bonus Ending)
|Created by||Robert Kirkman
|Portrayed by||David Morrissey|
|Occupation||Governor of Woodbury, Georgia|
|Significant other(s)||Andrea (TV series)|
The Governor is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead, and was introduced as the main antagonist of the third season of the American television series of the same name in the third episode "Walk with Me".
Fictional character biography 
Aside from simply "The Governor," the character's name appeared to be Phillip Blake; however, with the release of the novel The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, it was revealed that his actual name was Brian Blake. Phillip was revealed to be his deceased brother.
When the dead began to rise, Brian and Phillip gathered a small group, which included his niece Penny, and were constantly on the run because of unsecured locations (one of which was Wiltshire Estates, which Rick's group also coincidentally stayed in for a brief amount of time). Eventually, they came upon Woodbury, a ravaged town being led by National Guard militia that used fear to assert their authority. After becoming the last of his group, Brian rallied the townspeople against them and afterward declared himself "Governor" of the four blocks that made up the settlement. Initially appearing a fair and strong leader, he became consumed with his sense of power and control, while at the same time becoming increasingly deranged because of his surroundings. He kept the zombified Penny tied up in his apartment, feeding her severed body parts of those who displeased him.
Comic book series 
Following their kidnapping and brutal murder of a group of stranded news channel employees, the Governor is soon met by Rick and his band of survivors when they track Woodbury from the crashed news channel helicopter. The Governor initially acts hospitable; however, he quickly turns on them and imprisons them. Attempting to find the location of the prison where Rick's group have found shelter so as to obtain needed supplies for the town, he proceeds to cut off Rick's hand, mentally tortures Glenn, and has Michonne restrained, stripped and repeatedly raped. To learn the location of the prison, the Governor allows the survivors to escape the premises with the help of one of his guards. However, Michonne stays behind and finds her way to his apartment, where she manages to tie him up, and proceeds to torture him with various implements, dismembering and disfiguring him. He loses his right arm, his fingernails, his right ear, his testicles, and his left eye. Finally, she takes her leave (just barely avoiding the Governor's thugs) and rejoins the group in their escape. When they ask her if the Governor still lives, Michonne is disturbingly uncertain.
The Governor survives with the help of a citizen who had medical experience, and eventually is able to find the prison after days of having search parties look for the guard who had not returned. The guard had, in fact, been murdered by Rick near the prison. The Governor uses the guard's murder as an encouragement to the townspeople to rally against Rick and his group, and to look at them as monsters and killers deserving of death. Things do not go according to plan, as Rick's group puts up a tenacious defense that leads to a humiliating retreat. After a failed later attempt to gain his way into the prison by use of a hostage, the Governor crushes the fences, the prison's primary defense, with a tank. A bloody massacre ensues, leading to an incredibly high death toll and ultimately making the prison less secure and less habitable.
Tensions steadily rise within his group, as the ammunition they have remaining is limited and a handful of their own moral consciences come into play, especially when killing defenseless or young members of the opposing group. Both factors result in the remnants of his army turning on him, killing him, throwing his corpse to the zombies, and making a last-ditch attempt to fortify the prison. Whether or not they succeeded at the latter is unknown.
Television series 
The Governor first appears in the third episode of season three, having kidnapped Andrea and Michonne from the woods after discovering them near a downed military helicopter. He murders the surviving soldier, Lt. Welles, after Welles tells him where the rest of his squad is. When The Governor arrives at the squad's encampment, he and his men shoot them all to death and take their supplies. While concealing all of this from Andrea, he and Andrea begin a sexual relationship.
The television series Governor superficially appears to be much different from the comics version, but actually bears many similarities. Woodbury, under his rule, is a community that thinks of him as a kind and caring leader. However, Michonne accurately describes him as a "Jim Jones type", and his supply parties are, in truth, bandit raids.
The Governor's name is Phillip Blake, and he has a zombified daughter named Penny, whom he keeps hidden, feeds body parts to, and grooms affecionately while playing the lullaby Bye, baby Bunting. Michonne uncovers clues that indicate he is mentally disturbed, including a notebook that begins as a sort of urban planning diary that devolves into list of names followed by pages of disturbing tally marks.
In the midseason finale of season three, during Rick's foray into Woodbury to rescue Glenn and Maggie, Michonne kills Penny (the Governor's zombified daughter). The Governor attacks Michonne, and in self-defense she stabs him in the hand and the eye with a glass shard, echoing the dismemberment she gives him in the comics. He then proceeds to rally Woodbury against the prison survivors, labeling them terrorists and raiders. Encouraged by Andrea, he eventually meets with Rick in a secluded area to offer him peace in exchange for Michonne (while actually planning to kill all of Rick's group and torture Michonne). Later on, his relationship with Andrea ends when she finds out about his dark, sadistic, duplicitous nature.
Merle kidnaps Michonne two days later, but lets her go and instead lures walkers to the The Governor's meeting place to ambush The Woodbury army. After Merle shoots eight of The Governor's men, The Governor shoots and kills Merle, leaving his body to reanimate as a walker.
In the season three finale, The Governor leads his army into the prison to kill Rick's entire group, but Rick and the others have set a trap, expecting his arrival. Ambushed and outgunned by a very prepared Maggie and Glenn in riot gear, The Governor's army flees the prison in terror. The Governor stops the fast-fleeing convoy, and, in response to their protests against returning to the prison, he opens fire and slaughters them all, sparing only Ceasar Martinez and Shumpert - his two best henchmen. A Woodbury resident, Karen, escapes his rampage by playing dead. As the season ends, The Governor, Martinez, and Shumpert's whereabouts are unknown.
Casting and development 
The character is portrayed by British actor David Morrissey. Glen Mazzara, when asked about the direction of the character for the third season of the show, described the Governor as a narcissist, who sees himself as the future savior of civilization and is willing to resort to the most extreme of measures to achieve his ultimate goal.
The Governor's eyepatch in the television series is on the opposite eye from that in the comic books.
- Governor is number 86 IGN. Retrieved 10-05-09.
- The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor
- The Walking Dead #32 (October 2006)
- The Walking Dead #29 (June 2006)
- The Walking Dead #33 (December 2006)
- The Walking Dead #43 (October 2007)
- The Walking Dead #48 (April 2008)