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Characters / The Walking Dead TV Show The Governor

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Due to the Anyone Can Die nature of the show and quickly moving plots, only spoilers from the current/most recent season will be spoiled out to prevent entire pages of whited out text. These spoiler tags will be removed upon the debut of the following season, and the character bios will be updated then as well. Additionally, character portraits will be updated each half-season with the release of an official, complete set from AMC. If you have not seen the first eight seasons read at your own risk!


The Governor (real name: Philip Blake/alias: Brian Heriot)
"Welcome to Woodbury!"
Portrayed by: David Morrissey

"You can lose a lot of soldiers but still win the game."

The Governor is the leader of Woodbury, a closed-off and seemingly peaceful community of survivors. He's apparently an upstanding and charismatic leader to his people, but he harbors dark secrets that only his inner circle knows about. At the end of Season 3, he brutally massacres most of Woodbury before disappearing with his last two supporters.

When they abandon him, The Governor becomes a broken man and is only pulled out of it months later when he finds a family needing protection. Taking the alias "Brian Heriot", he soon comes to encounter another group of survivors and despite his attempts to atone for past mistakes, is consumed by his desire to take revenge on Rick and the prison group. He ultimately dies in Season Four's mid-season finale, having lost everything including his new family and the prison, and Rick's group is forced to move on in the wake of the devastation he leaves.


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     Tropes A-G 
  • Abusive Parents: His father beat him and his brother.
  • Action Dad: Villainous version.
  • Action Survivor: Worked an office job and a normal suburban life before the end of the world.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: He has long unkempt hair in the comic along with a much more overall menacing appearance. He dons a look similar to his comic appearance in Season 4, however, though this trope still pretty much stands. It should be noted however that his other counterpart, Philip Blake, is described as a muscular, Tall, Dark, and Handsome man.
  • Adaptational Badass: He seems to be physically superior to his comic book counterpart, and nearly beats Rick to death in a hand to hand fight. By contrast, his comic counterpart is mostly a long-ranged fighter.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: He is extremely cunning compared to his comic counterpart. He relies on his support network a lot less than his comic counterpart, for example.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Although he's still very much a bad guy, this version of the Governor has several Pet the Dog moments and, at least at first, seems to genuinely care for the well-being of Woodbury's citizens. This stands in stark contrast to his unrepentant psycho of a counterpart in the comic. He also doesn't rape Michonne like he does in the comics or have an overall He-Man Woman Hater vibe coming off him. He also sincerely cares about his zombified daughter Penny, ultimately wants her to be safe and normal again, and breaks down in tears when she's killed. Compare this to his comic counterpart Brian, who's "Love" for her is portrayed in a far more twisted manner to the point that it's heavily implied that he lusts after her.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Due to Composite Character. The Governor of the show isn't the original Brian Blake, but Phillip Blake.
  • Adopt the Dog: Lilly's Family.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Michonne discovers Penny and prepares to kill her the Governor appears and pleads Michonne to spare her, though his pleas fall on deaf ears.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: While his death marked the end of Woodbury, it’s hard not to feel sorry for him considering how he was just like every loving father and husband before the apocalypse began, and that apocalypse would go on and take both his family and his sanity.
  • And Starring: David Morrisey gets the "And" treatment.
  • Antagonistic Governor: He is the leader of Woodbury, and is one of the most dangerous villains the group ever faces.
  • Arch-Enemy: For Michonne. This is one sided in his part at first, but it became mutual after Andrea's death. He also becomes one to Rick after Rick continuously refuses to surrender and submit to his authority and especially after he kills Hershel in front of Rick.
  • Ascended Extra: Sort of. In the comics, his younger brother Brian is the one who became the Governor and Philip only serves as a Death by Origin Story for the former.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Deconstructed. Especially in the Season 3 finale and the Season 4 mid-season finale.
  • The Atoner: If his reappearance in Season 4 is something to go by, the Governor was trying to make up his past mistakes by helping a family in need. Subverted when he murders Martinez. He's visibly affected by it afterward. But then he murders Pete.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Starts getting deconstructed in the last half of Season 3. By Season 4, it completely is.
  • Ax-Crazy: He keeps decapitated heads of people he has had killed in fish tanks and stares at them for hours. In the mid-Season 4 finale, he goes Katana Crazy when he beheads Hershel in front of everyone to start the third battle for the prison.
  • Bad Boss: He murders his entire militia after they are routed at the prison and refuse to obey his orders to go back and fight. He later gets his entire second group killed (sans Lilly and Tara) by invading the prison a second time, including himself.
  • Badass Longcoat: He is occasionally seen wearing one starting with the mid-season finale.
  • Bait the Dog: At first, he seems to be a benevolent leader who is looking out for the survivors for the community. Then the wounded soldier that his men discover tells him where his comrades are and it all goes downhill from there.
  • Beard of Sorrow: He sports a massive, unkept one post-Woodbury.
  • Berserk Button: His authority and power being questioned or threatened. You can see how he barely keeps himself from snapping. This comes to a head in the Season 3 finale when he guns down his entire militia for wanting to give up on the prison.
  • Big Bad: Specifically in Season 3 and the first half of Season 4. Even after his death, he still has a lingering effect on the show, and for the next few seasons until Negan's arrival, no Big Bad ever truly matches his body count, level of power and threat.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: His public face is that of a stern but fatherly leader, when in truth he's a sociopath with a massive Messianic Archetype complex willing to use walkers as weapons and flips out and kills his entire militia when they refuse to perpetuate his revenge-driven feud with Rick's group.
  • Blood Knight: Anytime he gets involved in a violent act, he starts smirking like he's having the time of his life. Merle also says that the Governor always said not to waste bullets on walkers you could kill otherwise, but that he always suspected that the Governor beat and stabbed walkers to death because he liked it.
  • Boom, Headshot!: After being impaled by Michonne, Lilly finished the job by doing this.
  • Break the Haughty: After the events of the Season 3 finale and "Live Bait", Phillip was left for dead by his men, nearly starved to death and was later brought in by a family that, if he was in his Social Darwinist mindset from Season 3, he would consider "weak". Ultimately returns to his old ways when he hooks up with Martinez's new group.
  • The Cameo: Returns in season 5 as a hallucination to a dying Tyreese.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Only is portrayed as this in the dying Tyreese's hallucination, hamming it up about how evil he really was and how Tyreese was stupid to not see it. Chad L. Coleman also weighed in and said that Tyreese saw the Governor as a figure representing Death itself, hence why the Governor was far more malicious in his hallucination.
  • Character Development: He does become slightly more sane in Season 4, if only temporarily. For one thing, he no longer hates Michonne, realizing that Penny was dead the entire time. He also plans to give the prison group a chance to leave peacefully.
  • The Charmer: He's a smooth talker and his charm easily wins women over like Andrea or Lilly.
  • Chasing Your Tail: Fights Andrea while chasing her throughout the season 3 episode "Pray".
  • Chronic Villainy: Just when you think he's turning a new leaf, he's back to his power hungry and Darwinist mindset in "Dead Weight". Some things just never change. This ultimately gets both him and most of his group killed.
  • Climax Boss: His second attack on the prison kicks the heroes out of it and changes everything for them as a result.
  • Cold Sniper: In "Home".
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: In "Live Bait", Meghan, whom he had befriended, grows distant from him because she saw him put out her reanimated grandfather. Later in the episode, as a bunch of walkers close in on them, he calls out to her and she runs towards him to be carried off, having earned her trust once again.
  • Composite Character: The TV version of the Governor is a combination of brothers Philip and Brian Blake in the comic and book, as he's both the Governor and the real father of Penny.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: After jumping off the deep end, he kidnaps Andrea and tortures her, then tortures Milton for helping Andrea. He then tries to force Milton to kill Andrea against his will. He succeeds in a way after he mortally wounds Milton and leaves him in the room to zombify and bite Andrea.
  • Consummate Liar: His claims to the citizens of Woodbury about the National Guard soldiers getting killed by walkers and his branding of Rick's group as "terrorists" after they attack the town to rescue Glenn and Maggie.
  • Crusading Widower: Villainous example.
  • Cultured Badass: Loves tea, golf, public speeches... and blood baths.
  • Dark Is Evil: He is dressed mostly in black clothes.
  • Dark Messiah: Being an Ax-Crazy person with messiah complex will make you this by default.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In "Live Bait" and "Dead Weight", the audience is given a look at what's happened to him since his last appearance in Season 3.
  • Dead Person Conversation: His ghost haunts the dying Tyreese in season 5, taunting him over how he was fooled and how now he must "pay the bill."
  • A Death in the Limelight: The last three episodes of the first half of Season 4 were heavily focused on him until he was ultimately killed-off in the mid-season finale.
  • Death Seeker: Becomes one in Season 4 after losing his empire, killing his followers, and being abandoned by Martinez and Shumpert. He blindly wanders for several months before running into Lilly's family.
  • Declaration of Protection: Towards the family headed by Lilly after her father passed away he had befriended, especially Meghan, in "Live Bait".
  • Disc-One Final Boss: He's the Big Bad of Season 3 but met his end only at the mid-season 4 finale.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: In "Dead Weight" the Governor is briefly made The Dragon of Martinez's group. However, he proves to be the bigger man and takes control of the group by the end of the episode.
  • The Dreaded: Goes with being a Hero Killer. Merle even invokes this during a conversation with Hershel. The fact that he matches Rick on killing the most named characters proves this. Later, the prison group are noticeably shocked and scared when he reappears. His appearance to the dying Tyreese proves that he still has a slight hold over the heroes' psyches long after his death.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His introductory episode had him walking the line between "stern but good" and "a little too demanding, in a creepy way", until he walks into an armed camp of US soldiers, telling them about their missing comrade, waving a white flag. Then he whips out a pistol and his people gun them all down as part of an ambush.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Has a photograph of a wife and daughter, both of whom are seemingly deceased, much like the comics. It turns out, however, his daughter, Penny, is a walker and he keeps her hidden.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Most people refer to him only as "The Governor".
  • Evil Costume Switch: After losing Penny, in addition to his Eyepatch of Power, he began wearing much darker clothes, like a black coat. His hair also appeared more disheveled.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's Rick's, representing the worst that Officer Friendly could become: a brutal dictator driven insane with grief who could not recover.
  • Evil Overlord: Of Woodbury, although most of the town considers him a benevolent leader. They finally learn the truth the hard way when he guns the majority of them down. In the next season, basically he repeats history when he takes control of Martinez's new group by killing Martinez and Pete, then turning them into another militia that invades the prison a second time. And once again, they all die, including him.
  • Eye Scream: In "Made to Suffer", he's given an Eyepatch of Power after being stabbed in the eye with a glass shard, by Michonne.
  • A Father to His Men: After Merle had killed Gargulio, the Governor correctly tells him Gargulio's name. Also, regardless of his Blatant Lies about people who invade, he does seem to genuinely want to keep Woodbury's people safe and happy. This is subverted however after his breakdown, when he cares far more about revenge and power than protecting his people.
  • Famous Last Words: "Kill 'em all."
  • Faux Affably Evil: He may have been a good person at one point, but now his entire demeanor has become one of false reassurance hiding lie after lie.
  • Fingore: Bites Merle's ring and pinky fingers off before killing him.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: His final fight is a slugfest with Rick in the mid-season 4 finale.
  • Flunky Boss: Merle fought him when he was with a dozen Woodbury Mooks.
  • Foil:
    • It is not mentioned, but he is one to Michonne. Both lost those precious to them, but while Michonne became an outsider and managed to retain her humanity, the Governor became a ruthless sociopath who gathered people to manipulate. This is taken further when they both meet a family that accepts them as a Parental Substitute. When the Governor entered the Chambler family as a Parental Substitute, he merely did so to replace them with what he lost, while Michonne legitimately becomes a Parental Substitute to Carl and eventually gets with Rick after a while.
    • He's also one to Rick. Especially in Season 4, where there are extremely strong parallels between his actions post Season 3 and what Rick went through toward the start of the series. In season 5 it becomes more apparent when Rick moves into Alexandria and begins to act more like the Governor until he realizes he's starting to slip.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He had a very average life before the zombie outbreak.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Shows up to the prison for the final battle with two hostages, a tank, and a bunch of brainwashed, combat-ready people and orders Rick to leave or else.
     Tropes H-O 
  • Handicapped Badass: Being partly crippled by losing an eye doesn't stop him from kicking ass.
  • The Heavy: For events past Season 3 he's this. His second attack on the prison completely changed the group's lives since he ruined it and lead to the group finding Terminus and various other survivors.
  • Hero Killer: Gives this impression to all of the people around him, especially after the Season 3 mid-season finale. He also causes the deaths of Axel, Merle, Milton, Andrea, and Hershel before he died and nearly killed Rick during their final battle.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: He exemplifies this in both the comic and the TV show.
  • Iconic Item: His black eyepatch, despite its late arrival, due to its part in creating his comic counterpart's image. The action figure based on him even has two heads that can be attached to the body, with and without the eye patch.
  • Iconic Outfit: His black vest and long coat.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He's stabbed by Michonne In the Back while he's busy strangling Rick. Lilly later comes by to finish him with a bullet to the head.
  • It's All About Me: He has one of the most grossly bloated egos in the series. He laughs when Rick tries to propose a peaceful boundary between their two camps, incredulous that Rick is trying to make a decision, and makes it clear from the get go that he believes himself in charge of the meeting when he declares he's only there for Rick's surrender. During their sit down The Governor is condescending to Rick and seems to think he's scolding a child for much of their talk.
  • I've Come Too Far: In the episode "Too Far Gone", he returns to the prison determined to keep his own group safe and force Rick's group to leave. Rick pleads that they both can live at the prison and desperately tries to convince him that they aren't too far gone. The Governor calls him a liar and beheads Hershel.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The entire point of his Character Development (or lack of) in Season 4.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: He survives Season 3. Finally meets his demise in "Too Far Gone" when Michonne impales him with her sword while he's distracted trying to strangle Rick, and Lilly later finishes the job with a headshot.
  • Karmic Death: Like with many of his victims, he ultimately is left for dead without getting a headshot, by Michonne. And despite his massive ego he ultimately ends up as just another devoured corpse in the overrun prison yard, having utterly failed in everything he's tried. He's even put out of his misery by the woman he loved.
  • Kick the Dog: Too many to list.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: His murders of Allen and Martinez.
  • The Leader: Of Woodbury. He's a combination of Types I, II, and IV.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In a fight he's very fast, but still extremely powerful with a gun and can hit like a Mack truck, as Rick learned the hard way.
  • Like a Daughter to Me: He runs into a small family in an apartment, more or less adopting their little girl Meghan, who becomes a sort of Replacement Goldfish to Penny.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: He takes the alias of Brian Heriot from a name written on the side of a barn being used for messages left to others.
  • The Lost Lenore: Both his wife and Penny.
  • Love Redeems: It appears that the Governor himself is turning over a new leaf as of "Live Bait". He opens up to a little girl about how he lost his eye and fights off a number of walkers to keep her safe. Ultimately, however, it's subverted in how he quickly goes back to his old ways.
  • Madness Mantra: Apparently, after Penny got bit, he lost it. From taking careful notes on food and sanitation and the like, he instead filled page after page with slash marks.
  • Man Bites Man: Bites Merle's fingers off when fighting him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Lies and manipulates the citizens of Woodbury into following him, pulling the wool over their eyes on a number of issues while increasing their loyalty to him.
  • May–December Romance: Quite likely with Rowan. Then with Andrea. And then with Lilly.
  • Might Makes Right:
    Rick: We have sick people here. Children.
    The Governor: *shrugs* I have a tank. Doesn't seem like there's much to talk about.
  • Moral Myopia: As evidenced during his conversation with Milton during "Arrows on the Doorpost".
    The Governor: (on killing everyone at the prison) It's the only way to prevent a slaughter.
    Milton: ... That is a slaughter.
    The Governor: Not on our end.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "Dead Weight" he briefly feels bad about murdering Martinez. He gets over it and decides to take over the group instead.
  • Mythology Gag: In "Live Bait", he takes part of his alias from a storyline in the comic: Brian Heriot.
  • Narcissist: Of the Ax-Crazy, despotic variety. Unlike his psychopathic counterpart in the comics, Phillip Blake genuinely aspires (at least initially) to make Woodbury a secure and thriving community under his rule in the aftermath of the Zombie Apocalypse. However, whatever noble intentions he has are massively undermined by the fact that he is an unhinged megalomaniac who is extremely hostile and contemptuous towards all forms of authority besides his own. While he once had a family whom he genuinely cared for and remains capable of forming genuine attachments with other characters (like Andrea and Lilly), Phillip is mercilessly brutal to all who fail to provide him with the unwavering devotion to which he feels entitled regardless of how close they are to him. Despite imposing such lofty expectations on those around him, he sees no problem deceiving, manipulating and killing others to get what he wants.
  • Nothing Personal: To Michonne and Hershel, when he kidnaps them, he admits that he eventually accepted that his daughter was already dead before Michonne killed Penny. And he also seems to slightly regret having captured Hershel, admitting he is a good man.
  • Obviously Evil: In the second half of Season 3, he walks around in a black longcoat wearing an eye-patch.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Despite saying he dislikes nicknames, he initially refuses to tell Andrea his real name. Later, in "Killer Within", he tells Andrea his name is Phillip, but she's the only one who ever addresses him as such.
     Tropes P-Z 
  • Papa Wolf: Violently loses it when Michonne kills his undead daughter, Penny. Later, he kills three walkers with his bare hands to save Meghan, a little girl he met in "Live Bait".
  • Pet the Dog: He helps out a relatively naive family out of pure altruism.
  • Perma-Stubble: Unlike his counterpart's Danny Trejo-esque mustache.
  • Perspective Flip: The episode "Live Bait" gives insight to his feelings towards losing his family, mostly his daughter when he was unable to protect her from Michonne.
  • Plot Armor: Tons of it. Minor characters will literally walk into bullets for him. And he survives Season 3 without having to fight Rick, much to the ire of fans. His armor finally breaks in the mid-Season 4 finale when he invades the prison again. Here he does fight Rick, beats his ass, and get impaled by Michonne while he's distracted. Lilly later finishes him off.
  • Pretty Boy: Michonne describes him as "pretty boy, charming, Jim Jones type".
  • The Promise: Gives one to Meghan at the end of "Live Bait" to always keep her safe. He fails.
  • Promotion To Love Interest: For Andrea. In the comics, they were never acquainted both romantically and sexually.
  • Psychotic Smirk: When Rick and the group come back to rescue Daryl while firing at his henchmen, causing the townspeople to run in panic, he's the only one that seems to enjoy this.
  • Race Lift: His comics counterpart was of partial Latin descent.
  • Reality Ensues: He tries to change for the better, but fails because he's still insane.
  • Redemption Rejection: When the Governor attempts to take the prison for his group, Rick makes an offer to share the prison and live in peace. The Governor responds by calling Rick a liar and decapitating Hershel.
  • Red Right Hand: Shortly after losing his eye, the wound begins to bleed his bandages red, just as he pits Merle against his brother, Daryl.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Meghan for his dead daughter and possibly Lilly for his wife.
  • The Rival: To Rick, since they don't hate each other enough to be considered arch-enemies. At least until Season 4.
  • Sanity Has Advantages:
    • He's skilled at duping his followers into trusting him, and thinks himself cunning, but that same megalomania is inevitably self-defeating. After his sanity slippage, this culminates in him killing most of his surviving soldiers, angry that they failed him, when this achieves absolutely nothing, and results in him being stranded and nearly dying in the wilderness. His second group's final attack on the prison is an even bigger example: Rick directly points out to him, in front of all his new followers, that breaking through the prison fence with a tank defeats the entire purpose of capturing the prison in the first place. This genuinely never occurred to him, and he just starts incoherently growling that "we can rebuild the fences", even though Rick also pointed out that will be impossible too once the zombie hordes get attracted by all the noise from the battle. He then goes through on his threat to kill Hershel, basically out of spite - a defenseless one-legged old man on his knees - which horrifies a lot of his new followers. Even if the Governor had succeeded in killing all of Rick's group it's doubtful he'd have lived very long. After his sanity slippage, his needless brutality makes many of his own followers start to fear him and turn against him (Andrea, Merle, Tyrese, even Milton).
    • Even before his sanity slippage from Michonne's attack, he consistently kills off large organized groups of survivors - not because they're potentially dangerous to Woodbury, but because they're a threat to his undisputed rule. His favored tactic is to pick up lone survivors or small groups, to make them dependent on him in Woodbury. If he runs into a larger and well-armed group, like a squad of army soldiers, he ambushes them and wipes them out rather than share power with them. In contrast, Rick was willing to join forces with other survivor groups so long as they were friendly (Hershel's farm, Tyrese's group, later Alexandria), to stand together against larger threats. What happens when the Governor runs up against a large group that he can't easily neutralize? Use up all of his men trying to wipe them out anyway - never compromise, never surrender. The largest number of fighters he ever had at Woodbury was a little over 30 people - more than Rick had at the time, but he'd never have lasted against the bigger survivor enclaves in later seasons like the Saviors.
  • Sanity Slippage: Milton suggested that he was very different before all hell broke loose. Also, despite already being unhinged when we meet him, he clearly gets even worse after he loses an eye and his undead daughter to Michonne.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After killing Martinez and noticing weak leadership from Pete, he leaves Martinez's camp along with Tara, Lilly, Meghan, and Alisha. Subverted when they run into a muddy quicksand pit infested with trapped walkers, forcing them to return, and ultimately forcing him to usurp control of the group.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The more masculine one compared to his Non-Action Guy friend Milton.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: "Liar", in response to Rick's speech to him and his militia.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: He drags around a shovel to scare Andrea when he's chasing her in a warehouse.
  • The Social Darwinist: His "Kill or die" lecture seems like this.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The Governor doesn't survive the prison attack in the comics. Subverted in that he dies in the third prison attack, which is much more closely modeled on the comic one. Not only that, since Philip Blake is a Posthumous Character and only serves a Death by Origin Story for his younger brother Brian, who is the one who becomes the Governor in the comics.
  • Stepford Smiler: He smiles a lot to charm Andrea, hiding just how insane he is underneath it all. He later also uses this a lot to try to put Rick at ease during negotiations. It looks very fake, though it's subverted when he talks about when his wife died. He's clearly trying to maintain the charming persona but he's clearly grieving. It's the only point in their conversation when Rick empathizes with him and no doubt the only moment of sincerity from the Governor.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: His debut episodes in Season 4 highlight the Reconstruction of the Governor from nothing to meeting a new surrogate family, protecting them and re-establishing his position as a leader.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Tall, dark-haired, and a bonafide Chick Magnet.
  • Team Killer: He will not hesitate to take down his subordinates if he thinks they are no longer useful to him.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: By Season 4, he has absolutely no reaction to a walker mere feet away from him.
  • Two First Names: His last name is a gender neutral first name.
  • Übermensch: The show is pretty much dedicated on showing that he has his own set of morality.
  • The Unfettered: He clearly has no moral restrictions. Shane, at his worst, looks like a bratty kid in comparison.
  • Villainous BSoD: In his debut episode of Season 4. He's entirely lifeless until he meets Lilly and her family.
  • Villain Episode: In Season 4, the episodes "Live Bait" and "Dead Weight".
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After he snaps and guns down the entire militia save Shumpert and Martinez, he just hops back in his truck and continues down the road, not seen again until Season 4.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Overlaps with being A Father to His Men. He does seem to care about the people of Woodbury, but he antagonizes another group to provide for them. He also won't think twice on dispatching his subordinates if he sees it fit. In the Season 3 finale he snaps, and reveals himself to others as the villain by gunning down most of his people.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • First, his Suddenly SHOUTING! for Penny to "Look at me!" so that he can see some humanity in her (which does not exist). He goes into a complete breakdown later, after Michonne kills Penny and then stabs him in the eye with a shard of glass.
    • He gets even worse at the end of Season 3, massacring half his own town for next to no reason when the prison attack fails and the people go Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
    • In the mid-season finale for Season 4, he goes gradually more nuts. First, he decapitates Hershel when Rick refuses to leave. Then, when Meghan dies, he casually headshots her body to prevent her coming back, then sacrifices his group by pointlessly destroying the prison.
  • Would Hit a Girl: After Michonne puts a sword through his undead-daughter's head, he gets in a knock-down-drag-out-fight with her and holds nothing back.
    • When he explains to the captured Michonne and Hershel that he's going to invade the prison again, Hershel asks him that if he knows what it's like to lose a daughter, how can he go through with taking away his? The Governor coldly replies "Because they're not mine."
  • Would Hurt a Child: Knew that there were young children at the prison, and still ordered his army to attack and "kill them all".
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • After finding out that Merle failed to kill Michonne then lied about it, he turns Woodbury against Merle with an accusation of betraying the town.
    • Later he guns down most of the Woodbury Militia after they retreat from the prison and refuse to return.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After noticing weak leadership from Martinez he decides to kill him.
  • You Killed My Father: Goes both ways. The ultimately fatal attack on Penny results in him taking this position towards Michonne. In Season 4, the majority of the prison group were very pissed at him for killing Hershel, as two of them were his actual daughters while the rest of the majority considers him the Team Dad.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: In response to his murder of his men, Allen holds him at gun point to stop. The Governor pauses, then shoots him in the head in disappointment.
  • Zombie Advocate: Zig-Zagged. He kept his undead daughter Penny locked away in hopes that Milton will find a "cure". However, he also kept other walkers for staged fights, stating that it teaches the Woodbury residents not to be afraid of them. Another reason he kept them is for assaulting other groups if necessary.


Example of: