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- "The Governor's gonna keep us safe. This is the best situation in the world to start a new life."
- —Austin to Lilly.[src]
Austin Ballard, or "Junior", is a main character that appears in The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor. He is described as having long dark, brown curls and compares to a rock star or bad boy.
Hardly anything is known about Austin Ballard's life before or as the outbreak began. The only thing we knew is that Austin had two brothers John and Tommy, both of them were killed in Atlanta by zombies.
Austin came to Woodbury from the north in bad shape along with ten other survivors. He has easily shined to be the better at combat and is known as a flirt around town. He can also be seen being constantly mothered by Barbara Stern. He ends up having a relationship with Lilly Caul and can be seen helping her throughout the novel.
While he, Lilly, Martinez and others are on a supply run, they run into a bit of trouble in a store that ends with Austin being mere milliseconds away from death, but he is saved by Lilly. He is grateful towards her afterwards and the two spend a lot of time together.
One night, at Lilly's apartment, the two share a drink and proceed to have sex, which, unbeknownst to them, gets Lilly pregnant. Austin expresses that he will take care of the baby with Lilly and will do his best as a father. He mentions that he is happy about the situation, and feels even safer knowing The Governor is keeping Woodbury safe.
After they decided to keep the baby, Austin and Lilly did a ritual to bid farewell to their past, they dig a hole on the ground, then Austin threw in his beloved marijuana, said "Time to put away childish things, here's to a lifelong love affair with weed, you got me through a lot of rough shit, but it's time to go."
Then Lilly threw in Megan's photo, saying "Here's to my BFF, my gal pal, my old friend Megan, may she rest in peace."
Austin then threw in his brother's harmonica, saying "I'd like to drink to my brothers, John and Tommy Ballard, who got killed by walkers in Atlanta last year, great musicians, good dudes, I hope they're in a better place right now."
Finally Lilly bid farewell to Josh Lee Hamilton: "Here's to an old friend of mine, he saved my life more than once. Hope we meet again someday."
After the ritual, Austin told Lilly he loves her, both of them look forward to the future, it is the first time since they settle down into Woodbury, they believe they could make it work and both of them and their baby will have a future here. Thus they are marching toward the tragedy.
Austin takes part of The Prison Assault, witnesses The Governor's death at the hands of his girlfriend and takes refuge inside The Prison, giving his own life to save Lilly and the others.
This list shows the victims Austin has killed:
- Numerous counts of zombies.
After the prison assault the remaining Woodbury survivors including Austin hold up inside the prison. With no other way to escape Austin distracts the horde of zombies to allow Lilly and the others to escape; he is killed and devoured in the process.
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- "Lilly? Have I mentioned that I love you."
- —Austin to Lilly.[src]
When Austin first arrived in Woodbury, he quickly grew attracted to Lilly, and would often flirt with her. She enjoyed his company, but never felt the same for him as he did for her, but one night after heavy drinking, the two engaged in sexual intercourse. Unknown to them, Lilly became pregnant. When he discovered this, he quickly matured, and promised Lilly that he loved her and would help her raise their child.
In the end, he gave his own life to protect her.
- "Trying to teach Junior here something. It's like pulling teeth."
- —Barbara to David.[src]
Although they were not seen together much, it is shown that Barbara cares for Austin and treats him like a son. Barbara would often mother him and get told what to do.