The Governor (The Walking Dead)

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The Governor
The Walking Dead character
The Governor (Comic Series).jpg
First appearanceIssue #27 (comics)
"Walk with Me" (TV series)
Last appearanceIssue #75 (comics)
Created byRobert Kirkman
Charlie Adlard
Portrayed byDavid Morrissey
Information
OccupationDictator of Woodbury, Georgia
 
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The Governor
The Walking Dead character
The Governor (Comic Series).jpg
First appearanceIssue #27 (comics)
"Walk with Me" (TV series)
Last appearanceIssue #75 (comics)
Created byRobert Kirkman
Charlie Adlard
Portrayed byDavid Morrissey
Information
OccupationDictator of Woodbury, Georgia

The Governor is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead, and was introduced in the third season of the American television series of the same name in Episode 3 "Walk With Me."

In 2009, The Governor was ranked as IGN's 86th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[1]

Contents

Appearances

Fictional character biography

Aside from simply "The Governor," the character's name appeared to be Philip 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.[2] For years, he had been an educated yet unemployed hipster of sorts.

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.[3]

Comics

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. Blake initially acts hospitable, however 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, Blake proceeds to cut off Rick's hand, mentally tortures Glenn, and has Michonne restrained, stripped and repeatedly raped.[4] To learn the location of the prison, he allows the survivors to escape the premises with the help of one of his guards. However, Michonne stays behind and finds her way to Blake's 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 genitals and his left eye. Finally, she takes her leave (just barely avoiding Blake's thugs) and rejoins the group in their escape. When they ask her if the Governor still lives, Michonne is disturbingly uncertain.[5]

Blake does survive, 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 hadn't returned (he had in fact been murdered by Rick near the prison). He 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.[6] Things don't 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, Blake 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 and/or young members of the opposing group. Both factors result in the remnants of his army turning on him, killing him, and throwing his corpse to the zombies, and making a last-ditch attempt to fortify the prison. Whether or not they succeeded is unknown.[7]

Television

The Governor first appears in the third episode of the third season, having kidnapped Andrea and Michonne from the woods after witnessing them near a downed military-helicopter. He murders the surviving soldier after he tells him where the rest of his squad is. When The Governor arrives at the squad's camp-out, he and his men shoot them all to death and take their supplies. He and Andrea begin a sexual relationship.

The series Governor superficially appears to be much different from the comics version, but bears many similarities. Referred to as a "Jim Jones type" by Michonne, he affects the air as a kind and caring community leader whose supply parties are, in truth, bandit raiders. His name is Phillip, and he has an infected daughter named Penny whom he keeps hidden and feeds zombie parts to; Michonne uncovers clues that indicate he is mentally disturbed, including a notebook that begins as a sort of urban planning diary that is actually full of disturbing tally marks. Woodbury, under his rule, is a community that thinks of him as a kind leader.

In the midseason finale of season three, during Rick's foray into Woodbury to rescue Glenn and Maggie, the Governor is stabbed in the hand and the eye with a piece of glass by Michonne, echoing the dismemberment she gives him in the comics. He then proceeds to rally Woodbury against the prison survivors, labeling them terrorists and raiders.

Casting and development

The Governor, as portrayed by David Morrissey in the television series.

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, explained that he would be shown as a man self-absorbed with the concept that the new apocalyptic world is his chance to have the power he lacked in everyday life. He is driven as an individual and is willing to resort to the most extreme of measures to achieve his ultimate goal.[8]

References

  1. ^ Governor is number 86 IGN. Retrieved 10-05-09.
  2. ^ The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor
  3. ^ The Walking Dead #32 (October 2006)
  4. ^ The Walking Dead #29 (June 2006)
  5. ^ The Walking Dead #33 (December 2006)
  6. ^ The Walking Dead #43 (October 2007)
  7. ^ The Walking Dead #48 (April 2008)
  8. ^ http://screencrush.com/walking-dead-governor-sexy/.