|This article is about the character from the TV Series. You may be looking for his Comic Series counterpart, his victims, his Novel Series counterpart, the actor, or the stuntman.|
|Age||Late 30's to mid 40's|
|First Appearance||"Walk With Me"|
|Series lifespan||"Walk With Me" to Present|
|The Governor Gallery|
David Morrissey Gallery
Philip, better known as "The Governor", is the main antagonist of Season 3 of The Walking Dead. He is a survivor of the undead apocalypse who is in command of the fortified town of Woodbury after the outbreak.
Appearance and Personality
The Governor is a very tall, slim built Caucasian male with brownish-gray hair. He is often seen wearing a navy blue shirt with a vest, beige pants, a watch, and a sheath that holds his gun and signature weapon, the Bowie knife. After the severe damage dealt to his eye at the hands of Michonne, Philip is forced to wear an eye-patch.
The Governor plays off a facade of a stern, just leader, but is in reality is a sinister and disturbed man. He is a smooth talker, commonly able to talk his way out of situations and uses this ability to manipulate others into doing his bidding. He is obsessed with keeping power, and prefers to be in control at all times. However, he also has dark secrets; such as keeping the reanimated corpse of his daughter and having a room filled with walker heads.
The Governor was a family man, having had a wife and daughter. He was dissatisfied with his life, having a mediocre job and house. His wife died in a car accident eighteen months prior to the outbreak, leaving him and his daughter to rely on one another.
Philip eventually arrives at the town of Woodbury where he takes over and becomes the leader for the township.
The Governor arrives at a helicopter crash scene with a handful of men including Merle Dixon, Shupert, Martinez and Tim, in trucks. Unbeknownst to them, Andrea and Michonne were watching from a distance. While investigating, he finds one of the soldiers as a zombie. He takes his knife and stabs the bisected man through the top of his head. As they put the one surviving soldier in a truck, Michonne's pet walkers begin making noise.
He and his men look around, which causes Michonne to quickly take the pets out. Merle finds them and they capture them. He loads them in the truck and drives them to Woodbury. While Michonne and Andrea are in the hospital, he comes to check on them. When Michonne demands her weapons, he says they can't leave yet. Andrea asks about why they are being kept as prisoners, to which he tells them they're not prisoners, they're guests. He shows Andrea and Michonne around Woodbury. He gives them an apartment and tells them to spend the night so Andrea can rest.
He tells them to come over to his place tomorrow. Early the next morning, he goes to a hidden lab, where he has Milton experimenting on walkers. Milton tells him about Michonne's walkers, about how they had starved and were being used as camouflage. He enjoys the idea. Milton asks to meet the girls so he can ask them questions. At breakfast, he answers Andrea's question about Woodbury. He leaves early to check on the surviving soldier. The soldier tells him about a camp some military members are stationed at. He sets out to the camp/military convoy. When he arrives, he feigns being friendly, but then shoots a Soldier.
His men come out of the bushes and kill the others. He picks up an M16 and looks around the campsite for supplies. When he sees a soldier running away, he shoots the soldier, before ordering Tim to finish him off. Later, he and his men arrive back at Woodbury with supplies. He lies to the town, saying the soldiers were dead when he arrived. As he leaves, Andrea asks for his name, which he denies her. Later that night, after apparently having sex with Rowan, he goes inside a secret room, where he stores walker heads inside fish tanks. He watches them for entertainment.
Philip comes across Michonne, who is inspecting one of the army trucks stolen from the National Guard and driven into Woodbury. Philip keeps to his story that the men died fighting against zombies, and that the bullet holes were probably from fighting an enemy before. Philip has a parting drink with Andrea (since he has gotten news of her wanting to leave). Philip tells her about what happened to his wife, and tells Andrea that she can return to Woodbury at anytime. Merle talks to him, requesting his permission to go on a scouting mission to search for Daryl, as he now has the location of the Greene Family Farm. Initially, Philip refuses since it is too risky, but agrees to accompany Merle on the search if he can get more concrete evidence.
Philip is seen brushing the hair of his undead daughter Penny. When he accidentally tears a chunk of her scalp, she goes into a fit of rage. Philip restrains her, but notices that Michonne is glaring into the window at the two of them (although she cannot see Penny's face as Philip covered it). Philip admonishes Michonne when she breaks into his apartment to steal her katana, and slaughters several walkers in an industrial courtyard near Milton's lab. When Philip offers Michonne a spot on his research team, she grabs her katana and holds it to Philip's throat. Later on that night, he invites Andrea to a gladiator fight including chained-up walkers and a fight between Martinez and Merle. While Andrea is disgusted by it, Philip believes it to provide entertainment for the Woodbury citizens and a way to keep them from fearing walkers.
Knowing that Michonne is dangerous, he sends Merle, Crowley, Tim, and Gargulio to kill her. Later, Andrea asks of she can help out. He says she can, and she asks to be on wall duty, and he agrees to it. However while on wall duty Andrea leaves the walls to kill a walker, causing him to scold her. She apologizes, and also reveals to him she liked the walker fights, but was ashamed that she did. He tells her she doesn't have to be ashamed, because he loves them. They share a drink, and end up sleeping together. Merle interrupts them, because he has vital information. He goes in the hall so Andrea won't hear. Merle tells him Michonne is dead (but in fact, she is still alive), and that he kidnapped two people from his old group: Glenn and Maggie, and that they are apparently held up at a secure location. He instructs Merle to lock them up for interrogation and not to tell anyone, especially Andrea, because she knows them.
After spending the evening with Andrea, Milton arrives and informs him that Mr. Coleman is ready. He nods and sends Milton to go. Needing to distract Andrea, he sends her to assist Milton with his research. With that cleared up, he goes and confers with Merle, who has been interrogating Glenn for most of the day. He sets off to interrogate Maggie. While there, he at first attempts being reasonable and nice, but she gives him the silent treatment. He then takes a different approach and demands that Maggie takes off her shirt. She refuses, and he says that he will bring in Glenn's hand if she doesn't. She takes off her shirt, and then he forces her to take off her bra. She stands topless and he comes over, unbuckling his belt. When she still doesn't flinch, he pushes her onto the table and demands information, but she tells him to "go to hell". He then takes Maggie, still topless, to Glenn at gunpoint along with Merle and Martinez. Assuming he raped her, Glenn tries to attack him. The Governor prepares to shoot Glenn, but Maggie divulges everything he needs to know about her group: They are camped at a prison near Nunez and that their group is small. He leaves her and Glenn and discusses the prison with Merle, Milton, and Martinez. He is shocked that only ten people could clear out that whole overran prison. He realizes the group is strong and they need to be prepared. He sends Merle and Martinez to scout out the prison.
The Governor comforts Andrea after her experience with Mr. Coleman and is worried since the presence of Glenn and Maggie makes it possible for Andrea to discover them. He has them executed but they are saved by Rick, Oscar, Daryl, and Michonne, who had arrived to rescue them. A shootout erupts in Woodbury's streets and when Andrea witnesses the attackers in the smoke, Philip panics and orders her to go inside. The Governor goes to his house and is horrified to discover Michonne with her sword and his zombified daughter, Penny, prepared to execute her. The Governor pleads with her not to do it, but Michonne kills her anyway, beginning a brawl in the secret room. During the struggle, several of the tanks are thrown to the floor, spilling out the heads inside. During the battle, he attempts to drag her arm toward a walker's snapping jaws, but she is able to escape his grasp. As The Governor is strangling her, Michonne grabs a piece of broken glass from one of the tanks and stabs The Governor's right eye, blinding him. As she is about to finish him off, Andrea arrives with her gun drawn at Michonne. When confronted by Andrea about the tanks and Penny, The Governor says that he used them to get ready to prepare for the real, outside world. During a gathering of the citizens of Woodbury, he informs them that Merle led Michonne and the others to attack Woodbury and brands him a traitor. The Woodbury soldiers bring in Daryl (who was captured during the shootout), and Philip asks the citizens what they think should be done to the terrorists. Philip taunts Merle saying, "You wanted your brother, you got him."
Philip will appear in this episode.
This list shows the victims Philip has killed:
- Sean (Zombified)
- Franklin (Before Reanimation)
- Corporal Brad
- Wilson (Caused)
- Lieutenant Welles (Caused)
- Six U.S Military Soldiers (Caused)
- Richard Foster (Out Of Mercy)
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people.
- "Don't hurt my little girl."
- —The Governor as he begs Michonne not to kill Penny.[src]
She is Philip's undead daughter and despite making a few appearances, plays a key role in his mentality and actions. Philip secretly cares for Penny in his apartment, as revealed in the episode "Say the Word". He brushes her hair, sings to her, and tells Michonne that she does not need to suffer, implying he still believes Penny is alive and is "under the grip of a terrible, terrible illness". When Michonne puts her down (meant to hurt Philip) in "Made to Suffer", Philip is extremely distraught and overwhelmed, attacking Michonne with rage. Penny's death furthers his decline to insanity and causes him to be more cold, vengeful, dangerous, and determined to get revenge on Michonne and kill the survivors living in the Prison.
Milton and The Governor are described to be close. Milton is one of The Governor's right hand men and Milton informs The Governor of his research and anything he has figured out about the zombies. Milton seems to be in The Governor's inner circle, along with Merle Dixon.
- "You go to that Prison, you stay there."
- —The Governor to Andrea.
The Governor showed interest in Andrea when they first met and eventually his charisma soon won her over to the point where she decided to stay in Woodbury rather than continue on with Michonne. In the episode "Hounded", Andrea and Philip are sharing a drink and end up kissing, beginning a romantic relationship between the two. Their relationship takes a bit of a blow when Andrea finds the Governor's reanimated daughter and tanks of zombie heads in his apartment.
Merle and The Governor seem to be close allies. Merle is Philip's right hand man, and Merle accompanies Philip when they go out to gain supplies. Merle seems to be in The Governor's inner circle, along with Milton. Although Merle is Philip's right hand man, some tension can be seen between the two. This can be seen in the episode "Killer Within", when Philip denies Merle permission to look for his brother unless he gets more solid evidence. It it also worth noting that Merle seems to fear Philip to some degree. In "Hounded", Merle decides to lie to him about Michonne's fate, rather than have Philip think of him as a failure. His relationship with Merle quickly sours in "Made to Suffer" after being attacked by Michonne, realizing that Merle lied about killing her. At the end of the episode, he declares that Merle was a spy for the "terrorists" that attacked the town, and cites his relationship with Daryl, who was captured, as proof. With both brothers standing in the arena with the crowd calling for their deaths, the Governor tells Merle "You wanted your brother, now you have him." effectively ending their positive relationship.
Haley seems to be part of The Governor's inner circle since she was present with Milton, Merle, and Andrea after Dr. Stevens treated him. When naming the deceased after the attack on Woodbury, The Governor used a different tone with her name suggesting a sort of friendship.
Rowan is seen in Philip's bed at the end of "Walk With Me", hinting that they are having sexual relations. Rowan states that Philip is a good man and has made her, and the other Woodbury residents, feel safe behind the walls of Woodbury. It is unknown what his relationship with Rowan is now as he is now sleeping with Andrea but it may be possible it was nothing serious and just sex.
- 303. "Walk With Me"
- 304. "Killer Within"
- 305. "Say the Word"
- 306. "Hounded"
- 307. "When the Dead Come Knocking"
- 308. "Made to Suffer"
- 309. "The Suicide King"
- "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 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 Phillip, despite in the Comic Series, where his name is Brian. However, he could be Brian going under the guise of Phillip, as in the novel.
- The Governor will relate closely to his Comic Series counterpart.
- In "Hounded", Merle chooses not to reveal to The Governor that Michonne has survived, due to the fear of his wrath. This is similar to how Dwight decides not to tell Negan about Paul Monroe's escape, for the same reason. 
- As a result of this lie, he lost his right eye to Michonne, which was one of the factors to him betraying Merle.
- In the TV Series, the Governor loses his right eye during the fight with Michonne, whereas in the Comic Series, he lost his left.
- The Governor most likely betrayed Merle due to his loyalties being questionable and Merle lying about Michonne being dead, resulting in Penny's death and The Governor losing his eye.
- In the TV Series, he suffered much less damage from Michonne in the fight, as he only lost an eye, whereas in the Comic Series he lost an eye, arm, ear, and had his genitals nailed to a 2x4. He did, however, lose his daughter, causing him much more emotional pain than physical.
- The Governor is one of two characters to appear on a promotional Season poster, the other character being Rick Grimes.
- ↑ Inside Episode 308 The Walking Dead: Made to Suffer The Walking Dead (December 2, 2012)
- ↑ Kimberly Potts, No, John Hawkes will not be playing The Governor on "The Walking Dead.", Reuters, (February 2, 2012).
- ↑ AMC confirms The Governor to appear in Season 3, AMC.
- ↑ Volume 18 - Issue 104
- ↑ Season 3, Episode 6 - "Hounded"