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Kill them all! Now!
~ The Governor's most famous quote.

The Governor is one of the main antagonists in the comic book series The Walking Dead as well as its novels. He is the ruthless leader of Woodbury who takes extreme measures to assume command over the residents of the town.


The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor

Brian Blake, also known as The Governor, is one of the primary protagonists in the novel The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor, alongside his brother, Phillip. He is described as being a skinny man and is intelligent and good-natured, but meek, insecure, and prone to shying away from danger or seeking protection from Philip (despite being the elder brother). Before the apocalypse he was briefly married to a "crazy" Jamaican woman named Jocelyn, who left him, and set up several music shop businesses with money borrowed from his parents - all of which failed. When the apocalypse started, he was living with his parents (it is unknown what happened to them, but they may have been killed at the start of the outbreak). He joined Phillip, his daughter Penny and Philip's two friends Nick and Bobby in order to survive. After Bobby dies from blood loss after being bit by a zombie, Brian, Phillip, Penny and Nick take their weapons and supplies and head off to find a home.

While traveling through Atlanta, the group meets a family in an apartment, where they take up residence but are soon kicked out by the family. They then live in an abandoned house, where a drug-addled and heavily armed gang attempt to take the house and kill the group.

A gunfight ensues and then ends with most members of the gang being killed and Penny being shot and killed as well, despite Brian's attempts to protect her. In response, an enraged and grief-stricken Phillip beats Brian severely, blaming him for not keeping his daughter safe. Nick helps Brian recover and the two discover, to their horror, that Phillip is holding two of the gang members, a man and a woman, captive and has been horrifically torturing them (and raping the woman) for days in revenge for what happened to Penny. Nick shoots both of them to end their suffering. Brian and Nick argue about Phillip; Brian is horrified by what his brother has done but refuses to abandon him out of sibling loyalty and gratitude for keeping the group alive so far, whilst Nick argues that Phillip has lost it completely and thinks they should leave him. After that, Brian, Phillip and Nick discover Woodbury, a beat up old town with a fair amount of people living in it. They then take up residence in a apartment, where Phillip sneaks Penny, as a zombie, inside and feeds her appendages from bodies of people he claims he didn't kill.

One night, Nick saw Phillip dragging a girl against her will and he and Brian tried to stop him, which ended with Nick shooting and killing Phillip and also accidentally shooting the girl Phillip was dragging. Nick was then killed on the spot by Brian, who held Phillip while he died in his arms. The next day, Woodbury is being terrorized by National Guard soldiers. Brian, who always went to Phillip for protection during intense situations, wonders what his brother would do, undergoes an out of body experience that has him carrying out the vision of what Phillip would do and murders the soldiers' leader, Gene Gavin.

Brian then encouraged the residents of Woodbury to help him kill the remaining soldiers and became the leader of Woodbury. One of the residents, Martinez, asks Brian his name, to which Brian tells him that his name is Phillip Blake.


Brian Blake the Governor

The Governor as seen in The Walking Dead comic book series.

Brian Blake was a primary antagonist of The Walking Dead comic book series. He served as the primary antagonist from Volume 5: The Best Defense to Volume 8: Made To Suffer. Although other villains exist throughout the series, Brian has been a much larger threat than others, leaving him to be the main antagonist of the comic series, until the arrival of other equally large threats such as Negan and Alpha. Brian's atrocity and brutal terror towards Rick's group affected their mindset drastically to date, making the main survivors even more colder and hardened than they ever were.

As the Governor, he feeds outsiders to the zombies and runs fights between his people with the zombies surrounding them. He also keeps Penny as a zombie pet and keeps the heads of his decapitated victims in fish tanks.

When Rick Grimes, Michonne and Glenn Rhee arrive in town, the Governor appears friendly at first, until he reveals his true colors and demands to know the location of the prison. When they refuse to reply, the Governor cuts off Rick's hand, rapes Michonne repeatedly and mentally traumatizes Glenn. After Marinez helped the three escape, Michonne brutally dismembers and disfigures the Governor and leaves him to die, but the Governor is saved by his two top men, Bruce and Gabe, and survives with the help of Bob Stookey, the town drunk who was a former army medic. After that, the Governor receives Martinez's zombified head and uses it as propaganda to make it like he was murdered by Rick's group in cold blood. With that, he and his army attack the prison, but they are soon forced to retreat. When Michonne and Tyreese follow them in an attempt to kill the Governor, Tyreese is captured and Michonne's katana is taken. With Tyreese hostage, he demands Rick and his group to give up the prison or he will murder Tyreese. After Tyreese tells them not to let him in and so they do, the Governor decapitates him with Michonne's katana and kicks his body into the grass field. He then returns to his people saying that Rick's group murdered Tyreese. They then attack the prison a second time. When many of the Governor's men are killed, the Governor, in an act of desperation, rams his tank through the prison fences. This leads to members of Rick's group killed and allows the zombies to enter the prison.

After murdering Alice, the Governor notices the Grimes family trying to escape and orders Woodbury resident Lilly Caul to kill them. She shoots and kills Lori, which causes her to fall on top of Judith and crush her. While the Governor executes Hershel, Lilly examines Lori's dead body and discovers Judith under her. Horrified and enraged, Lilly angrily brands the Governor a monster and hysterically berates him for making her kill a baby; she becomes furious enough to draw her gun at the Governor, but the distraction of oncoming zombies allows the Governor to fight back and punch her onto the ground. While fending off a horde of zombies, The Governor desperately tires to retain his control over his army by assuring them that - in spite of the escalating situation - they can still win the war. However, Lilly - finally realizing how evil the Governor truly is - openly pulls out her handgun and shoots him in the face. She then kicks his body into the hordes of the zombies, leaving the Governor to die as he gets eaten alive by the sheer number of zombies whilst Lilly and the remaining Woodbury soldiers use this opportunity to narrowly escape. With the Governor dead and his reign of terror finally brought to an end, the deaths of those that he himself had committed - including Tyreese, Axel, Patricia, Billy, Alice, Lori, Judith, and Hershel - have all been avenged.

TV Series

Main article: The Governor (TV)

The Governor also appears as a major antagonist in the live-action television series by AMC, although he is actually Phillip Blake as opposed to Brian Blake and has an altered backstory and personality. As a result, he is portrayed with much more sympathy as opposed to his comic/novel counterpart.

He was portrayed by David Morrissey.


  • Nick Parsons
  • Gene Gavin
  • Johnson
  • Greely
  • Trey Barker
  • Sam (Caused)
  • Stinson (Caused)
  • Scott Moon (Alive)
  • Megan Lafferty (Indirectly Caused)
  • Manning (Caused or Direct)
  • Tommy Zorn (Caused)
  • Christina Meredith Haben (Alive)
  • Bruce Allan Cooper (Before Reanimation)
  • Arlo Simmons (Before Reanimation)
  • Johnny Aldridge (Before Reanimation)
  • Evan (Before Reanimation)
  • Ronnie (Before Reanimation)
  • Alex (Before Reanimation)
  • Jake (Before Reanimation)
  • Andy (Before Reanimation)
  • Tyreese (Alive)
  • Axel (Caused)
  • Gus Strunk (Caused)
  • Patricia (Caused)
  • Billy Greene (Caused)
  • Alice Warren
  • Lori Grimes (Caused)
  • Judith Grimes (Caused, Accidental)
  • Hershel Greene
  • Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people (Caused and Direct)



  • In 2009, The Governor was ranked as IGN's 86th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
  • In a Comic Book Resources interview, Robert Kirkman jokingly said: "A lot of different characters have aspects of my personality, I think, but for the most part, I'm just making people up. Not one character is exclusively based on one person. Except for The Governor, who is exactly like Joe Quesada [editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics]. They are literally exactly the same.".
  • Regarding the torture and medical care of The Governor, Robert Kirkman wrote: "It wasn't that Bob was such a good medic that suddenly came out of nowhere that saved Governor's life-although he certainly did save his life. The idea is that Michonne was keeping The Governor alive, so she could torture him more. His wounds were bad, but not impossible to heal from.".
  • The Governor has suffered the most pain and injuries in the comic book series. For example, gunshots (chest, shoulder, cheek), amputations (ear, eye, fingernails, arm, some parts of his cheek, and penis), blood loss, been exposed to fire (Michonne stopped his arm nub's bleeding with blowtorch), hits, bites, and kicks (numerous counts, most from Michonne), and numerous falls (fall from Jared's tank, explosion). He has also vomited badly several times (both puke and blood) and he's been drilled in the shoulder.
    • The Governor is one of the two people in the comic series to lose an eye, Carl Grimes being the second.
      • The Governor lost his left eye which is opposite of Carl who lost his right.
  • Brian had mentioned to zombified Penny that he had attempted the act of cannibalism.
  • Brian is one of the many people who have been amputated in The Walking Dead.
    • Brian managed to have his arm, ear, and penis amputated by Michonne.
  • Brian is one of the few characters with a continuing nickname.
  • In the Comic Series, he loses his left eye to Michonne, whereas in the TV Series episode, "Made to Suffer", he loses his right eye.
  • In "The Governor Special", the origin of Brian's fish tank of human heads is revealed.
  • The Governor's signature sidearm is a Beretta 92SB Nickel, he also likes to use a Steyr AUG A1 assault rifle.
  • "He is a badass, just as in the comic book. He scares me." Glen Mazzara quoted as saying within an AMC interview based on fan questions.
  • In the Comic Series and corresponding novel The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, The Governor, Philip/Brian Blake, was of partial Hispanic descent. It appears that the show has gone another way with the character's origin, or at least his ethnicity.
  • The Governor is one of the few characters with a continuing nickname.
  • In response to a fan's worriment about how the nature of the character would be, in the face of mainstream television, Kirkman offered a reassuring statement that he would not be watered down for the show.
  • An Entertainment Weekly article released on September 14, 2012 confirmed The Governor's real name to be Philip, despite in the Comic Series, where his name is Brian.
  • The Governor is the first major primary antagonist, the second being Negan and the third being Alpha.
    • Also, unlike The Governor and Alpha, Negan is still alive and has a much longer lifespan than either The Governor or Alpha did.
    • He also has the shortest lifespan out of the three antagonists.
    • Also, each other the three major antagonists has a different status: The Governor is dead, Negan is alive, and Alpha is undead.
  • The novels The Road To Woodbury and The Fall Of the Governor show that the Governor seems to have two distinct personalities - "Philip/the Governor" who is the dominant personality, and "Brian", who is mostly repressed and submerged by "Philip" and reacts in horror to the atrocities the Governor commits. Although there is no mention of any supernatural elements in The Walking Dead, one fan theory is that Philip's spirit is possessing his brother's body, which goes some way towards explaining how Brian's personality could've changed so drastically, regardless of the traumas and madness he suffered.


           The Walking Dead 2010 logo Villains

WalkersRick GrimesShaneThomas RichardsThe GovernorBenChrisDwightNeganCaesar MartinezWoodbury ArmyThe HuntersPeter AndersonNicholasThe SaviorsSherryGregoryAlphaWhisperers


The GovernorGene Gavin


WalkersRick GrimesShane WalshTomasAndrewMerle DixonThe GovernorGarethDwightNeganSimonEd PeletierRandall CulverCaesar MartinezShumpertWoodbury ArmyThe Governor's MilitiaLizzie SamuelsAlishaMitch DolgenDanJoeLanLouTonyMaryDawn LernerPete AndersonRon AndersonNicholasThe WolvesOwenPaulaThe SaviorsGregoryGavinJaredDerekJocelynJedMorales

Video Game

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Fear the Walking Dead

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