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- "What can you do for me?! Why don't you all kill Rick right now... So I don't have to. That'd be a good start."
- —Peter Anderson[src]
Peter Anderson, commonly known as Pete, is a character and an antagonist first encountered in Issue 72 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is one of the three doctors living in the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Pete is the father of Ron and husband of Jessie. He served as one of the primary antagonists of Volume 12: Life Among Them and Volume 13: Too Far Gone.
To many residents of Alexandria, Peter was a normal man and was one of the most valuable people in the community. People like Douglas Monroe knew about his suspicious behavior before Rick Grimes arrived, but never acted on it, believing him to be too valuable to the community, as he was a doctor. Rick Grimes, however, suspected Pete of being a child beater upon meeting him. Rick later harasses Pete until he eventually snaps, showing that his mind was frail even before meeting Rick and that losing power over Jessie and Ron was his biggest fear. It is also hinted that the apocalypse turned him into a different person, where his wife Jessie says that ever since the outbreak started, Pete had changed into a violent sociopath.
Little is known about Peter's life before or as the outbreak began, except that he was married to Jessie Anderson and had a son named Ron Anderson. He likely lived in or near Alexandria before the outbreak started and he was a doctor.
Peter is seen attending Douglas Monroe's house party with his family. He finds Nicholas and Rick talking and interrupts asking what Nicholas has been doing these past few days. His son, Ron, asks if he can go and find Mikey, Peter tells him he can, but this captures Rick's suspicions, as he notices Ron's black eye and suspects that Peter has been abusing him.
While Rick is on his morning patrol around the Safe-Zone, he notices Peter sleeping outside on his porch. Peter wakes up and says hello, but Rick tells him that he does not even know his name. Peter then introduces himself as "Pete, never Peter". He explains that he sleeping on the porch because of a fight with his wife, Jessie, which happens frequently. Peter then apologizes about complaining to Rick, saying that he has heard what Rick's group had to live through, and feels like a "schmuck" complaining about his problems. Rick tells him it is fine and requests that he ask Jessie about letting him sleep inside on the couch, saying that he will freeze to death if he continues to sleep outside. Peter tells him he will do and Rick walks away, but not before giving Peter one last suspicious glance about his behavior.
Later Rick discusses Peter with Michonne. He explains how there is something strange about him, telling her that Peter's son had a black eye when the survivors entered the Safe-Zone, and that Peter's wife asks for permission to do things. Michonne tells him that she trusts his instincts and that if he feels something is wrong, he should investigate. Rick takes her advice and asks Jessie about Peter's strange behavior. She tells him that he is sometimes violent towards her, but not Ron. Peter suddenly walks through the door and immediately asks why Rick is in his house. Jessie tells him that Rick was asking about Ron coming over to his house tomorrow, Peter seems to not suspect a thing and Rick walks away, still unsatisfied about Peter.
Rick later brings up Peter's behavior to Douglas, telling him that he is a dangerous man. Douglas tells him that he can't do anything and that he is a doctor. Rick angrily tells Douglas that Peter needs to choose between exile or death. Douglas tells him he does not want to do this and Rick walks off towards Peter's home. When he arrives, Peter greets him at the door, angrily asking him what he wants this time. Rick responds by punching him in the face, demanding to know that he has been hurting his family. Peter tells him he has lost it and engages in a brawl with him. Rick tackles him through a window and their fight continues outside. Many people rush to see what the commotion is about and Rick tells Peter that if he touches his family again, he will kill him. Douglas steps in and tells Rick to stop, however, Rick pulls his gun on Douglas, telling him that he is doing the right thing and keeping Alexandria safe. Michonne sneaks up behind him and hits him over the head with a rock, telling him to look at what he has done. After their fight, Peter is seen being patched up and healed by Denise Cloyd, who asks him if he knows why Rick would do such a thing. Peter does not respond, and continues to glare at Rick in the opposite room.
After recovering from his injuries, Peter is seen near the front gate of Alexandria. Jessie leaves him and kicks him out of their house. Peter tries to stop her, but Michonne intervenes and tells him to let it go. Peter is then relocated to another home. This starts to dwell on his mind and drive him insane. He starts to ramble about it not being "his" house and throws a desk in violent outburst. He calms down after setting his eyes upon a set of kitchen knives, intending to use one to kill Rick Grimes.
After his violent outburst in his new home, Peter takes a kitchen knife and heads over to Scott's funeral. When he arrives, he is greeted by Douglas and Heath, who ask him what he wants. He angrily snaps back saying that they can all kill Rick for him, so he does not have to. Rick tells him to calm down before things get out of control. Peter then blames Rick for his family leaving him, but Rick retorts saying that his family is safe now and are not living in fear of him. This causes Peter to snap and pull out his knife, threatening Rick's life. Regina Monroe steps in and tells him to put the knife away. This, however, further angers Peter and he slices open Regina's neck in response. He is immediately tackled by Spencer Monroe and Rick holds him at gunpoint. Peter says this is all Rick's fault and he drove him to do this. Douglas then tells Rick to shoot Peter, and he does so, ending his life.
Peter's death, however, was a factor in causing the zombie herd to attack Alexandria, because when Rick shot Peter, the sound alerted Derek and his group to the Safe-Zone. When Derek's group were dealt with, it caused a massive herd of zombies to attack and almost destroy Alexandria.
This list shows the victims Pete has killed:
- "What can I say? That my husband changed? That he doesn't act like himself...that he's violent? ...Sometimes."
- —Jessie to Rick, on Peter's behavior[src]
Although Peter beat her, Jessie seemed to still love him. Jessie was originally terrified of Peter, almost refusing to speak to Rick when he tried to help her, fearing that he would beat her and Ron for disobeying him. However, after Rick confronts Peter about his abusive behavior, she seems to lose a great deal of her fear for Peter, going as far as kicking him out of their house. After his death, Jessie seemed thankful to Rick for taking care of him and it is highly likely that she stayed with Peter because of her love for Ron.
- "Why's your dad get to be good but my daddy is bad?"
- —Ron to Carl, over his father's death[src]
Like most boys, Ron loved his father and saw him as a good man, despite how he repeatedly abused both him and his mother. Like most children in battered families, Ron was completely unaware that what his father was doing to him was wrong. In fact, he saw Rick as the real bad man and murderer. His father's death left him very confused as to why his father was seen as the bad man and Rick was not.
- "I know his son, Ron, I believe, had a black eye the family didn't want to talk about. So that's him then...?"
- —Douglas to Rick, about Peter's behavior[src]
Douglas was always wary of Peter and had discovered that Peter was abusing his wife and son. Although he had this information, Douglas chose to take no action against him because Peter was a doctor. After Peter had been kept in a temporary house to keep Jessie and Ron safe, he eventually was driven insane and had the desire to kill Rick. This resulted in Regina trying to intervene and being murdered by Peter, having her neck cut open. Douglas quickly began to despise Peter after the murder of Regina and gave Rick permission to kill him, even if it was in front of many Alexandrians.
- "NICKY BOY! Where have you been hiding, man? I haven't seen you in days! How's Mikey and Paula?"
- —Pete to Nicholas, at the Monroe house party[src]
Peter and Nicholas seemed to be good friends. This is shown by their interactions towards each other at Douglas' house party. Peter also seemed concerned about Nicholas not being able to see him in the past few days, indicating a strong friendship between the two.
- "You have a wife and son who are safe--and aren't living in fear. And if you get your shit together...you can go back to them."
- — Rick Grimes to Peter, after he confronts him[src]
Ever since Rick first met Peter, he was suspicious of his behavior, due to his odd nature around his wife and his son's black eye. Their first encounters with each other were quite civil, despite Rick's suspicions, Rick was even concerned with Peter's well-being when he found him sleeping on his porch. However, as time went on, their relationship soured and Rick's suspicions became very strong after Jessie admitted Peter beats her. Peter also became annoyed with Rick constantly harassing his family and became very hostile towards him. This behavior led them into a brawl that greatly injured both men and also caused Pete to start to obsess over Rick. After his wife left him and kicked him out of their house, Peter was driven insane with a desire to kill Rick for causing all of his troubles. This obsession, however, would prove to be his undoing as Rick managed to kill him after he killed Regina Monroe.
- It's not clear what Peter's last name is. In Issue 77, Peter approaches Rick Grimes with a knife. Regina steps between them and screams: "Peter Anderson, what's gotten into you?! Put that knife away this instant!" But later at his funeral, Rick says: "Was the man who killed Regina truly Pete Dotson or was he changed--no different than if he'd died and come back?" This is most likely a continuity error, or Rick was simply insulting him.
- He is the only survivor of the Alexandria Safe-Zone to be directly killed by Rick Grimes.