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He was left to die all alone, in the worst possible place on the planet. Is that what he deserved? Is it really so black and white? You'd asked me back then, I would've said yes. But now? I don't know. Is it gray? Is it something else? Tranquilitas Ordinis. What if it's just stories we tell ourselves to sleep easier?
―Perlie to Negan about his brother.[src]

Perlie Armstrong is a main character and a former antagonist, as well as a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead: Dead City. He is a marshal for the New Babylon Federation and served as the secondary antagonist of Season 1.


Perlie comes off as ruthlessly ambitious and brutal. He seeks to keep order above all else and will stop anyone who breaks the New Babylon Federation's judicial code. As a marshal, he follows his code almost to a fault. He has no qualms with brutality, as he executes a person by throwing her to the walkers for breaking one of the rules even after complying. However, he privately admits that he was just doing his job and he didn't personally want to kill her. Perlie seeks to find Negan and bring him to justice for the murder of five men and stops at nothing to get to him. He goes to extreme lengths to follow his code, as he still arrests Negan even after he saved his life.

Below his rough exterior is a vulnerable side. Perlie holds a lot of guilt for abandoning his brother at the start of the outbreak. To this allies, he seems to be very caring and friendly, as he seems to get along well with two other marshals, Gritz and Jano, even acting as a mentor for the latter. He also is a family man and vows to keep them safe no matter the cost. After realizing that Negan had actually killed in revenge for a brutal attack on his wife, Perlie lets go of his hatred of him and lets him go. He even covers for him, lying to the Prefect about killing Negan.


Bronx, New York[]

Before the outbreak, Perlie grew up in the Bronx and had an older brother named Joel. They were extremely close, despite Perlie driving him crazy. When Joel got a job as a dock worker keeping the rivers clean of debris, Perlie got one too. However, Joel was restless and had a number of problems that led to him getting into fights and getting in-and-out of jail. He eventually became so addicted to drugs that he tried to rob his parents. When Joel was caught, he attacked his mother.

With their parents too afraid to do anything, a furious Perlie kicked Joel out of their lives and Joel became estranged from all of his family and friends, who changed their phone numbers on him. Joel subsequently moved to an apartment in Manhattan. Three years before the outbreak, Joel sent his brother a letter begging to come home and for Perlie's help with getting his life back together. However, because Perlie was still angry, he didn't even open the letter, although he never threw it out either.


Bronx, New York[]

When the outbreak began, Perlie and his parents were able to get out of the city just in time, but Joel was left trapped in Manhattan.

New Babylon, Virginia[]

Perlie eventually married and had three daughters with the family settling in New Babylon where Perlie got a job as a marshal enforcing the law.

Over eighteen years after the outbreak began, Perlie began hunting down Negan Smith, a man wanted for murdering a New Babylon Federation magistrate and four other men, which Negan had done in revenge for the men robbing and beating his wife, Annie.

Season 1[]

"Old Acquaintances"[]

At night, Perlie and two other marshals arrive at the bar and Perlie has Jano check the rooms and shows the patrons Negan's Wanted poster, asking if they've seen him. Perlie reveals that they are hunting for Negan because he murdered a magistrate in cold blood along with four other people which means that Negan will be executed for his crimes under New Babylon law. "For what this man has done, he'll be dangled upside down and sawed in half lengthwise from the groin to the head, very, very slowly. This is a man who has built up an empire like a greedy king. Story goes he once lined up a group of unarmed folks, and he bashed in a man's head with a baseball bat in front of the man's pregnant wife." Perlie states that tranquillitas ordinis - tranquility, justice, order and the law - is what keeps their federation of states at peace, and he presses Jones again if she has seen Negan.

When Jones again lies that she hasn't seen Negan, Perlie drags her outside, stating that liquor, drugs, gambling and whoredom are illegal under New Babylon law and together, amount to a public execution. Perlie shoves Jones up against a fence that has a herd on the other side, and she finally admits that Negan worked at the motel killing walkers before a woman took him. However, she doesn't know who the woman was or where she took Negan and one of the other patrons describes Maggie's vehicle as a blue truck that was parked out front. Although pleased that she finally told him the truth, Perlie lists another part of the law about aiding and abetting a fugitive and shoves Jones through the fence into the herd which devours her, horrifying Jano.

Jano realizes that the person who took Negan is most likely "the same woman that's been looking for him and leaving all those broken bones behind." Perlie reassures Jano that he didn't want to do what he did to Jones, but it had to be done although Jano doesn't look so sure about that. Perlie finds Maggie's map book fallen on the ground with a page torn out of it and he determines from the index that the missing page is a map of Manhattan.

From across the river, Negan observes the large plume of smoke from a fire in Manhattan, and Maggie explains that she camped out for three days watching the city and she saw the smoke show up like that every morning at the same time and then again at night. Negan realizes that Maggie thinks that it's a cooking fire for breakfast and dinner, but he suggests that "sometimes a building on fire is just a building on fire." Before they can leave on a nearby boat, Maggie and Negan hear a vehicle pulling up.

Inside the marshals' vehicle, Perlie uses Maggie's map book to search the shoreline for possible locations where she and Negan might cross into Manhattan. Jano asks what the deal with Manhattan is and why it's so special and Perlie explains that "Manhattan was one of the epicenters. Military destroyed all of the bridges and tunnels hoping to contain it. Hoping to contain... them. Once home to a million and a half people. Now..." Perlie sends Gritz and Jano to do a sweep, looking sadly at an envelope with a return address for Joel Armstrong in Manhattan. As Jano takes a piss, he's captured by Maggie and she and Negan use Jano as a human shield against Perlie as they take off in the boat. The two marshals quickly begin untying a boat of their own from the roof of their car.

In Manhattan, Maggie, Negan and Jano eventually reach a blockade and see a vehicle driving by playing loud music and leading a massive herd of walkers. Maggie, Negan and Jano take cover behind some trash as part of the herd starts heading towards them, but cockroaches from the trash start crawling all over them. Their attempts to dislodge the cockroaches causes a garbage bag to fall, revealing that the cockroaches are coming from a walker corpse on the other side. Deciding not to stay, the three come out of hiding as someone starts shooting the walkers approaching them from behind, causing them to dive for cover. Recognizing the shooters as Perlie and Gritz, Jano calls out to them, but Negan pulls him back to the ground. Spotting a door nearby, Negan leads his companions into Big J Cleaners.

Inside, Maggie, Negan and Jano split up to look for another way out. Perlie and Gritz enter, and they barricade the doors against the walkers. Perlie leaves Gritz behind to guard the doors, instructing him to not let anyone out. Maggie, Negan and Jano hide while Perlie searches for them. Calling out to Maggie while Negan restrains Jano from revealing their position, Perlie identifies himself as a New Babylon marshal, revealing some personal details about himself so as to give Maggie a sense about what kind of a person he is and that he is not her enemy. Perlie describes New Babylon, calling it a capital city that is more of a small town with three-lined streets and families looking out for each other. Perlie has a wife and three daughters who mean everything to him. Perlie recognizes that, while he doesn't know why Maggie is with Negan or has taken Jano hostage, she has her reasons, possibly even good ones. Perlie sincerely offers to hear Maggie out if she reveals herself, but he warns her that he'll be a little less open to hearing her out if Perlie gets to her first and he will get to her.

Unnoticed by Negan and Jano, a walker comes up behind them. Perlie finds a walker covered in a plastic bag and he puts it down with the bayonet on his rifle. As Negan walks away, a distracted Jano is attacked by the walker who has a rat living inside of it's mouth. Negan puts down the walker and saves Jano, but Perlie accidentally shoots Jano after he stands up, killing him and shocking Perlie. Maggie and Negan run while Perlie is distracted and the herd breaks through the doors and devours Gritz. Negan breaks through the door to the back room and takes care of a walker on the other side while Perlie lines up a shot on him. Maggie sneaks up behind the marshal and they struggle over the gun, but Perlie overpowers Maggie who finally reveals that she needs Negan's help to save her son. Although he hesitates for a moment, Perlie refuses to relent, pushing down on her throat with his gun, but Maggie smacks him in the face with her chain and finally overpowers Perlie and knocks him unconscious with the butt of his own gun. Maggie nearly beats the marshal to death with his rifle, but she hesitates and then changes her mind after seeing Negan. Tossing the rifle aside, Maggie escapes with Negan into a backroom.

"Who's There?"[]

In Big J Cleaners, Perlie awakens and spots his rifle across the floor and walkers wandering the room. Perlie prepares to go after his gun, but a zombified Gritz walks past it, causing Perlie to change his mind. As walkers continue to move around the laundromat, Perlie looks again at the envelope with Joel Armstrong's Manhattan address.

Perlie makes his way to Joel's Apartment and breaks through the locked door, blocking the hole with a dresser after hearing the growls of walkers nearby. In the kitchen, Perlie finds a lot of empty food cans scattered around, suggesting that Joel had run out of food at some point and drug paraphernalia on the stove. In the dust-covered living room, Perlie finds a picture of himself and Joel who is revealed to be his brother and an empty gun case. Looking at a picture of himself and Joel with their parents, Perlie spots a body in the bedroom behind him in the mirror. Perlie finds Joel dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, having presumably committed suicide after running out of supplies and being left to face starvation. Perlie sadly covers his brother's body with a sheet and lays Joel's rosary beads on top of it. Taking Joel's loaded gun, Perlie goes to leave, but finds walkers trying to get through the door. Perlie climbs out of the window and down a ladder, but he gets caught in a net.

That night, Perlie continues to struggle in his net as four walkers surround him. The Croat drives up with two Burazi and uses the spikes on his helmet to put down the walkers with headbutts. The Croat has Perlie cut down and, after disarming the marshal, tells him with a laugh "don't worry. You're safe now." As the Croat leaves, the Burazi drag Perlie away.

"People Are a Resource"[]

Inside, a captive Perlie Armstrong is removed from the back of the ambulance. The Croat welcomes Perlie who is led past where some of the Burazi are loading a body into a fluid filled tank. Handcuffed to a railing in the Croat's office, Perlie watches as some of the Croat's people practice near a large ring in the center of the arena.

In Perlie’s lavish cell, a Buraz delivers two plates of dinner, a bottle of wine and turns on a record player before standing off to the side. The Croat enters the room and joyfully greets Perlie, turning on a heat lamp and the lights. The Croat invites Perlie to dine with him, reassuring the marshal that "it isn't magic, I promise. Only science. That was my profession. Alternative energy. So naturally, when I first arrived here, I couldn't help asking myself what is the most abundant natural resource on this island? Death. The sewers are full of it. The bodies break down and produce methane and because the intermolecular forces are weak, the gas can be pressurized into a liquid fuel at regular temperature. Amazing, isn't it? What we have built here is a sanctuary. And all are welcome." The Croat pushes a handcuff key across the table towards Perlie, and asks why he is here and who he brought with him. The Croat can't offer Perlie refuge until he no longer poses a threat because, above all in this world, we must stay safe.

The Croat suddenly discovers that the meat on his dish is rotten with larva inside of it and shoves himself away from the table. The Croat is concerned because rotten meat can host all kinds of bacteria and, without the treatment that humanity once had, it can be deadly. The Croat demands to know why the Buraz would serve him rotten meat before interrupting his explanation and forcing him to swallow the handcuff key. The Croat furiously shoves the Buraz's head and neck several times into the railing, breaking the man's neck, killing him, before shoving him over the edge to the arena floor below and leaving.

At the arena, a cheering crowd chants "doma smo" or "we are home" in Croation and the Croat announces that they are celebrating the Buraz that Negan killed because death is no end, but rather it is their fuel "because people are a resource." Cheering, some of the crowd take hits off of the methane coming from the corpse and the Croat forces Perlie to take one too before shoving him into the ring.

A disorientated Perlie is chained to a post in the ring and the zombified Buraz that the Croat had killed earlier, his head tilted at an angle from his broken neck, is shoved in with him. Dodging the walker a few times, Perlie manages to grab him from behind, wrap his handcuff chains around the walker's throat and, pinning the walker against the post, dig the chain into his neck hard enough to decapitate the man. The disappointed crowd throws bottles into the ring and Perlie grabs a broken one and uses it to cut open the walker's stomach and retrieve the handcuff key, freeing himself. Two more walkers are shoved into the ring with Perlie who searches for a way out. Unable to find one, Perlie removes his right boot, after hesitating over his left boot, and he uses it to bash in the walkers' faces, impressing the Croat.

In Perlie's cell, the Croat congratulates Perlie on the best show that this place has ever seen in years and offers the marshal a towel to clean himself up. While the Croat claims not to enjoy such barbarism, it had to be done. "When the world became unstable, my family and I found shelter in a post office. We were starving, so I went to look for food. When I got back, I smelled it immediately. My family... my wife Mia, and my daughters Nika and Hana, and my son, Filip, had become a meal for another starving family. And I was too distraught to even think of killing myself. By the time that would've occurred to me, I had already found a man who had become my new family, and teach me how to protect the things that matter, which makes me wonder what it is that you are protecting in that boot." One of the Buraz holds a blade to Perlie's neck while another removes his boot. Inside, the Croat find the envelope with Joel's address on it and reads Joel's letter to his emotional brother begging for Perlie's help after everyone had changed their phone numbers on him. Perlie tearfully begs the Croat to stop, admitting that it's just him as Perlie's two partners are dead. Perlie reveals that they had come to Manhattan to bring a wanted man named Negan home. The Croat is shocked to learn that Negan is in Manhattan.

"Everybody Wins a Prize"[]

Negan asks to see him, and the Burazi bring out the captive Perlie Armstrong.

The Croat believes that Negan wants the marshal who has been pursuing him so doggedly, but Negan clarifies that he actually wants Hershel. The Croat already knows because Perlie told him, and he asks what Maggie has promised Negan to get him to help her. Negan simply reiterates his demand for Hershel, but the Croat tells him that it will be difficult and require a conversation and asks Negan to come to him to talk, but Negan just stands his ground instead. Understanding that Negan doesn't trust him, the Croat decides to make a gesture to show him that the Croat only comes in the spirit of friendship and brotherly love. On the Croat's signal, the three men fling Perlie off of the catwalk, but he manages to grab onto the one that Negan is standing on. Much to the Croat's shock, Negan begins pulling Perlie up instead of letting him die. The Croat sends his two men after Negan and Perlie and he shoots the marshal in the leg with his weapon and tries to pull him up with it, but Perlie manages to rip the hook out of his flesh. Pulling Perlie up, Negan flees with the marshal as the Croat watches on in shock that Negan would save the other man's life rather than kill him.

Having managed to escape from the overrun arena through the subway, Negan and Perlie make their way into an abandoned shoe store near the station exit that they used. As Negan checks outside, Perlie grabs his weapon and recites the New Babylon Federation's judicial code about murder which authorizes him to summarily execute Negan for his actions. Annoyed at the marshal's actions in the aftermath of Negan saving his life, Negan raises his hands and tells Perlie that "you're a dick."

"Stories We Tell Ourselves"[]

Negan and Perlie make their way through the city with Perlie keeping Negan at the point of his modified Nail Gun. Taking shelter in an abandoned souvenir store as walkers pass by, Negan warns the marshal that his boat has already been sunk by the Croat who has the entire island on lockdown. Negan reminds Perlie that he had saved his life, but Perlie claims that it had nothing to do with him and everything to do with Negan and Maggie, although Negan states that Maggie isn't his friend. Perlie tells Negan that saving his life doesn't bring back the magistrate and the four other men with him that Negan had killed. "Those assholes, they damn near killed my wife. If you had seen what she looked like when I found her, well, I guarantee you'd done the same," Negan states. Perlie is visibly surprised by this, apparently having been unaware of what had happened to Negan's wife. Drawing his knife, Negan prepares to leave through the front door, but Perlie takes his knife and forces Negan to leave with him through the back.

Continuing through the city, Perlie reveals that they are going to Chelsea Piers, but Negan reminds him that the boats are all sunk. Handing Negan a brochure for Chelsea Piers, the marshal explains that they just need a dock because they float, and all the two men need to do is disconnect it. An impressed Negan realizes that Perlie is actually from New York City and Perlie admits that he's from the Bronx. Perlie explains that had worked for the state doing drift collection boats, picking up debris and keeping the rivers clean. In turn, Negan reveals that he had been a gym teacher before the world ended.

With a herd approaching from both directions down the street, the two men quickly move across the street and through the fence with the herd following after them, only to have more walkers emerge from all directions to corner them. Negan and Perlie manage to make it inside of a building through a barricaded window and find a disturbing effigy inside. The two guess that it was made by either an avant-garde artist from before or someone who had lost their mind afterwards and they search for a way out that's not blocked by walkers.

Passing a torn-apart racoon, Negan and Perlie find a corpse tied to a chair with an empty bottle of alcohol next to it and an axe in its head that had been rigged up as a form of suicide. Realizing that the corpse is that of the artist, Negan comments that Perlie was right and that it was definitely an after situation. Perlie experiences a flashback to finding Joel's corpse in his apartment after his brother's own suicide while a walker moves past the still open door, noticed by Negan.

Continuing on, Negan grabs the walkers and shoves it into Perlie before making his escape. Perlie manages to bash the walker's head in while Negan reaches a stairwell with a door boarded up at the bottom marked "DO NOT OPEN. DEAD OUTSIDE." As Negan struggles to open it, Perlie suddenly rips off the boards with his nail gun, revealing the street outside to be clear, but collapsing from the exertion on his injured leg. Rather than continuing with his escape, Negan stops as he doesn't like to leave people behind to die no matter how big of an asshole that they can be. Negan offers to help Perlie in exchange for him giving up on dragging Negan back to New Babylon, but Perlie refuses the deal. Negan asks if Perlie thinks that he knows him, guaranteeing Perlie that he doesn't and asking why he's doing this. Even though Perlie refuses to answer him, Negan decides to help the marshal regardless and helps him limp outside.

Negan leads Perlie to an old school bus where he retrieves the bus's First Aid kit in order to treat Perlie's wound. Perlie is surprised that Negan had known about the First Aid kit before he remembers that Negan had used to be a gym teacher. Perlie questions why Negan is helping him, and Negan claims that it's because Perlie's death would probably be pinned on him, and Negan would be wanted twice as bad with someone much worse than Perlie coming after him as Perlie's replacement. As they settle in for the night, Perlie takes out Joel's letter and opens up to Negan, telling him that "my brother. His name was Joel. We were close. Even though I annoyed the ever-living Hell out of him. Would've followed Joel anywhere. So, when he got that job on the docks, I got one too. He was funny. Had this, uh, charisma. But he was restless, too. Got into fights, in and out of jail, had problems we just couldn't see. One night my folks caught him breaking in, lookin' to steal from them. He attacked my mother. So high he didn't know what he was doing. They were too scared to do anything about it. Maybe they hoped it would go away. So, it fell on me, which left me... angry. He was my big brother. He let me down, abandoned me. So, I guess I wanted to abandon him right back. This was the last time I ever heard from Joel. Couldn't bring myself to open it. Three years later the city fell apart. Mom and Dad and I got out just in time, but... it happened so fast, I didn't think... He was left to die all alone, in the worst possible place on the planet. Is that what he deserved? Is it really so black and white? You'd asked me back then, I would've said yes. But now? I don't know. Is it gray? Is it something else? Tranquilitas Ordinis. What if it's just stories we tell ourselves to sleep easier?"

Running into the middle of the street, Ginny fires a Flare Gun into the air which is seen by both Negan and Maggie.

"Doma Smo"[]

After spotting the flare, Negan and Perlie search a parking lot for Maggie, believing that she had been the one to fire the flare. Ginny draws their attention using the whistle that Negan had taught her, shocking Negan who happily greets the young girl and demands to know how she got to Manhattan. Maggie joins the group looking for Ginny, and she admits that Ginny had turned up at the arena just before the walkers came, guessing that Ginny had just wanted to be with him. A herd begins to approach, drawn by the flare, and Negan insists that Ginny can't be here as he can't protect the young girl and help Maggie at the same time, angrily reminding Ginny that the plan was for him and Maggie to come to Manhattan to get Hershel while Ginny stays safe with Maggie's people. Perlie offers to take Ginny where she needs to go while Negan stays with Maggie to rescue Hershel. Ginny holds on to Negan who tells her to go with Perlie who is good people and can keep her safe. Ginny continues to refuse, so Negan tells her that he can't go with her, and she can't and doesn't want to stay with him. Ginny doesn't know him, and Negan is not who she thinks he is. Speaking for the first time since her father died, Ginny tells Negan "I... want you to...", but Negan interrupts her, annoyed that after months of silence, Ginny finally wants to talk now.

With Ginny refusing to relent, Negan finally admits to Ginny, much to everyone's shock, that "I killed your dad. I'm not wanted for robbing a wagon train. I killed five men. And your daddy, he was one of them. It's why I tracked you down to the farm. Why I let you tag along, 'cause I knew you had no one. You? You're just a debt that I had to pay. That's it." Heartbroken by the revelation and Negan's harsh words, Ginny leaves with Perlie. Once Ginny's gone, Negan becomes visibly upset by what he had to do in order to get Ginny to leave, leaving Maggie visibly sympathetic with him. As the herd approaches, the two quickly leave the parking lot.

Across the river on the mainland, Perlie pulls his and Ginny's makeshift raft ashore, and tells her that it's time to go. With a long glance back at Manhattan, Ginny follows the marshal.

Early the next morning, while staking out the now-abandoned entrance to Madison Square Garden, Maggie wonders if the plan with Perlie is going to work. Negan notes that Perlie had been surprisingly glad to see him, calling it all water under the bridge. While their reunion didn't go off without a hitch, with all of their history and "that brotherly bullshit," Negan thinks that he and the marshal can work something out.

Perlie drives Ginny to the Bricks where Nina greets her with a hug. The marshal sees that the young girl has forgotten the jacket that Negan had given to her in the car, but Ginny silently refuses to take it.

Perlie drives back to New Babylon, passing a small herd of walkers in a field. Perlie briefly pauses at the community's sign where three people have been hanged for their crimes and they have reanimated. In an office, Perlie meets with the Prefect, the leader of the New Babylon Federation, describing what he had witnessed in Manhattan and lying that he had killed Negan. The other men in the room cheer for Perlie killing Negan and Perlie finishes out his story that he got back to his boat and found his car where he had left it with enough ethanol to get him home in one straight shot. The Prefect expresses disappointment that Perlie shot Negan as she would've liked to put him on display instead and make a statement to other survivors. Perlie refuses a cigar which is against New Babylon law, and the Prefect asks how his daughters Marjorie, Bea and Dessie are doing, promising that they looked out for them while he was gone. In an implied threat, the Prefect suggests that she should pay them a visit so that they know about how hard their father and his heroics to protect the Federation's body politic.

As Perlie reluctantly takes the cigar, the Prefect describes just how much work had gone into making it and how central heating is the optimum way to maintain the exact temperature that's needed. Ethanol comes from corn which takes up thousands of acres of fields, so the New Babylon leader wants to hear Perlie's story again, but this time, she wants him to tell her all about the methane which is a much easier and cheaper method of fuel.

Season 2[]

Perlie will appear in this season.

Killed Victims[]

This list shows the victims Perlie has killed:





Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Season 1
Season 2
Appears Voice is heard
👁 Appears with no lines Appears in a flashback
Appears as a walker 🖼 Appears in a photograph/video
Appears as a corpse Appears in a hallucination/dream


For more images of Perlie Armstrong, please visit Perlie Armstrong (Dead City)/Gallery.


  • Perlie was originally revealed with the name Izaak.[1]
  • Perlie shares similar traits with Stéphane Codron from Daryl Dixon. Both lost their brothers and both were secondary antagonists who redeemed themselves at the end of Season 1. They both were after the protagonists but eventually let them go.