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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki

"The Hollow Men" is the first part of The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. It spans chapters 1-8. It is the first part of the series overall.


There's nothing glorious in dying. Anyone can do it.
―Johnny Rotten

The novel begins with Philip, his daughter Penny, his older brother Brian, and his best friends Bobby Marsh and Nick Parsons staying in an upper class house at Wiltshire Estates; the group had been driving for three days away from their home in Waynesboro, Georgia in order to escape the apocalypse, and were heading towards the refugee center in Atlanta prior to stumbling upon the walled community - infested with undead and recently abandoned. The group intended to stay only for a night, but upon finding ample provisions and amenities inside, they chose to make it a more permanent settlement, hoping to wait out the crisis.

As they go out scavenging and build barricades, the undead become drawn to their presence. Days later, after fending off another small wave of them from the fences, Bobby is bitten by a child-zombie while trying to rest, and immediately turns after dying, prompting Phillip to kill him. With the undead clawing at the barricades continuing to grow in number, the group buries Bobby. Brian goes into the basement and makes a sign that states "ALL DEAD DO NOT ENTER". The group packs up their vehicle with weapons and supplies, leaving the next night. Brian posts the sign outside the gateway before they ultimately depart.

The survivors are eventually forced to reach Atlanta's outskirts on foot, due to the road being packed with wreckage and abandoned cars. They find the surrounding landscape - and thus civilization at large - in utter ruin, and have many close calls with undead before finding another vehicle, which they use to drive into the city.

Atlanta appears completely abandoned and marked with the same signs of catastrophe they had seen earlier. Philip drives further into the city despite the omens, but after reaching the Capitol Building, they encounter a vast herd of walkers, which number in the thousands, coming towards them.