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The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor is the third installment of the four-part novel series of the origins of the infamous antagonist, the Governor. As with the previous two installments, it was written by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. Robert Kirkman has stated that we will be seeing characters from the comic series, such as Rick and Michonne. The novel will end "pretty much the same place as in the comic" but from The Governor's perspective. Because this novel was so long, Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga made the decision to release it in two parts. The first part was released on October 8, 2013 and the second part was released on March 4, 2014.

Plot Synopsis[]

Part One[]

Part 1: The Gathering[]

So when the last and dreadful hour This crumbling pageant shall devour, The trumpet shall be heard on high, The dead shall live, the living die, And Music shall untune the sky.
―John Dryden

The story begins with Bruce and Gabe fighting in the arena. As the fight concludes, Lilly decides to leave the arena, when the Governor suddenly steps forward, and addresses the people of Woodbury. The Governor tells the people he is aware of their dwindling supplies, and that a group of citizens will be sent out on a supply run soon. Later that night, Lilly has difficulty falling asleep. She finishes off a bottle of cold medicine, and falls asleep. While she is asleep, she has nightmares about her first days in Woodbury, and the death of her other friends. She is awakened in the early morning by Martínez, who has come to take her on the supply run. Along with Martinez, Austin Ballard, Wes, and David and Barbara Stern, they leave Woodbury to go on the supply run. As they ride around, Austin tries to flirt and make small talk with Lilly. She mainly keeps to herself and ignores him though she does find him attractive. They finally come to what they were looking for: a deserted and ransacked Piggly-Wiggly.

At first, the group thinks that the run was for nothing, until they see the warehouse behind the Piggly-Wiggly. Martinez thinks the warehouse may contain supplies. They prepare to enter and leave the truck ready to be loaded along with a lookout. There are several dead inside along with many supplies. They clean out the walkers and gather supplies onto pallets for transport. Austin is attacked by a walker that was hiding in a freezer; however, Lilly manages to save his life. The group leaves the warehouse with their supplies as more walkers draw near it. On their way back to Woodbury, they witness a helicopter flying overhead. As they watch it, the helicopter crashes in the woods nearby. They rush to the crash site, with Austin almost getting bitten by a walker that was hiding in a swamp. Everyone seems to drop their guns at the worst possible moments. When they get to the crash site, they discover the pilot dead and the passenger disoriented and severely injured. They make a stretcher for the passenger, who has passed out, and at her insistence also haul out the pilot, and return to their truck.

On their way to Woodbury, the passenger regains consciousness and reveals her name to be Christina. She tells them about her past job, the pilot, and why she wants to give him a Christian funeral, and where they had been hiding at. After talking with the others, she passes out again. They eventually make it back to Woodbury, where Christina is taken to the infirmary. While she stays in the infirmary, she meets Dr. Stevens, and he warns her about the Governor, telling her not to trust him. A short period after this, the Governor comes into the infirmary with Bruce and Gabe right behind him. He asks to be alone with Christina. When they are alone, the Governor seems kindly and asks Christina questions about herself, and where she was previously located. She at first dodges these questions, and gives vague answers. The Governor makes veiled threats and uses some suggestive physical threats without actually touching her. As he is doing this, he continues to question her, and she finally reveals the truth.

She tells of her having been holed up in a news station with many others, and eventually running out of supplies. People started turning on one another. To escape this, her and her friend Mike, who was the pilot and her cameraman, tried to escape by leaving in the news chopper, little did they know someone had tampered with the helicopter's engine. Satisfied by what he heard, The Governor tells Christina to get some rest and welcomes her to settle down in Woodbury because the town needs good people like her. He seems to have sympathy for her ordeal but Christina realizes that the Governor is really just trying to glean information for his own purposes and remembering what Stevens said to her, confronts him. She calls him a bully, and says that Dr. Stevens warned her about trusting him. The Governor drops his façade and attacks her. He mentions giving someone a chance, referring to Stevens, before he chokes Christina to death.

Gabe comes in, asks what happened, and the Governor tells him to listen as to how they will handle the situation. A short period later, the Governor, as well as Bruce and Gabe, go to Doctor Stevens apartment. The Governor inform him of Christina's death, and how her death is on Stevens' hands because he warned her against the Governor. The Governor informs Stevens that he needs to watch himself, and that if they ever come across another doctor, then Stevens will be easily replaced. Stevens gets the message, and says he will listen to the Governor. The Governor, along with Bruce and Gabe, then leave Stevens apartment. As they are leaving, they hear gunfire coming from the entrance to Woodbury. As they approach the entrance, they see Martinez walking with three strangers (Rick, Glenn, and Michonne). The Governor approaches them, and offers to give them a tour of the city.

Meanwhile, Austin leaves the arena fight to go visit Lilly, who had earlier offered to help train him to survive better in the world. They go off to the outskirts of the town, where they train for many hours. Austin gets tired off it, believing Lilly is doing this to make fun of him, and as he leaves he ends up tripping and falling. Lilly helps him up, telling him she didn't mean for any of it to seem mean, and as they are about to share a kiss, Lilly realizes Austin had fallen on his knife and is bleeding from his side. She then rushes him to the infirmary.

On their way there, they come across the Governor, who now has a bandage over his left ear, standing in front of a storage room containing all the arena walkers, who are eating the remains of Christina and Mike. They asked what happened to his ear, and he tells them the visitors that arrived earlier attacked him, and so he chopped off presumably their leader's hand to keep them away. They tell the Governor they hope everything else is ok, and then they continue to the infirmary. When they get to the infirmary, they notice one of the visitors (Rick) lying in the infirmary, and he is missing a hand. Doctor Stevens patches Austin up, and they return to Lilly's apartment. When they get to her apartment, they both get drunk, and end up having sex.

Meanwhile, back at the storage units underneath the racetrack, the Governor enters one of the visitor's holding cells (Michonne), and has Bruce take her pants off and tie her legs to opposite ends of the rooms. He then has Bruce leave them alone, and he proceeds to beat and rape Michonne. Back in Lilly's apartment, Austin and Lilly clean themselves up, and before he leaves, Austin tells Lilly he loves her. He then returns to his apartment and goes to sleep, with Lilly doing the same. Meanwhile, back at Michonne's holding room, Bruce is standing outside, and he remarks to himself that the Governor has been in the room for a couple of hours. He wonders what the Governor is doing to her, and how much longer it will be. Just as Bruce's legs are about to give out, the Governor emerges from the room, and returns to his apartment.

He enters his apartment, where his undead niece Penny tries to attack him. He slaps her, and realizes her bucket of food rolled out of her reach. He brings it back to her, and when she doesn't like it because the body parts have spoiled. The Governor remarks that he doesn't see how she eats it, and that he tried it once and it was horrible. He then sits in his recliner and tries to go to sleep, when there is suddenly a knock at his back door. He goes to the back door, and sees Gabe, who is holding a metal box. He gives the box to the Governor, and then the Governor tells Gabe to let no one come up to his apartment, because he needs to get some sleep. The Governor then closes the door, and as he returns to his recliner, he gives Penny Rick's hand, which was inside the box.

He then returns to his recliner, gets two heads out of the box, one belonging to Christina and the other to Mike, and he places them in an aquarium. He then sits in his chair, and stares at his aquariums full of heads, remarking that nothing good is on. Then, in a deep part of his mind, Brian begins to speak up, asking how someone could do such horrible things to the human beings. Philip ignores these questions, and he falls asleep.

Part 2: Showtime[]

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, nor ever shall be.
―Matthew 24:21


Part Two[]

Part 1: Battlefield[]

I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
―J. Robert Oppenheimer


Part 2: Doomsday Clock[]

The ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korah’s men and all their possessions. They went down alive into the grave, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them.
―Numbers 16:23


Part 3: The Fall[]

The call of death is a call of love.
―Hermann Hesse






  • It's stated early in the book that just over 2 years have passed since the dead started walking when it has actually been just 7 months.
    • Early in the second part of the novel, It's stated that Penny has been dead for over a year, when she has been dead for around half a year.
    • Lilly remembers having met the Governor over a year and a half ago, when only over half a year has passed since she met him.
  • It's stated that during the Governors torture at the hands of Michonne, the power drill is used on his left shoulder when in the comics it's shown to be his right shoulder.
  • Wes is called "Gus" throughout the novel.
  • Dialogue from the comic is occasionally changed.
    • The dialog between Bruce and Bob where he is fetched to take care of the injured Governor varies slightly. Mainly Bob says "for about fifteen minutes... about a million years ago" instead of "for about two weeks forty goddamn years ago!".
    • Instead of saying "Kill them all!", the Governor says "Destroy them all!"
    • Instead of calling Alice a "Bitch" before executing her, the Governor says "Traitor".
  • The National Guard base is destroyed around May 11, whereas in the comic series, this happens around early July.
  • During his speech to Woodburians, it is mentioned the Governor had a microphone given by Rudy Warburton. This never happened in the comics; the Governor never had a microphone, and Rudy is nowhere to be seen.
  • During target practice, the Governor "closes his right eye and peers down the barrel with his left." At this point, he has already lost his left eye.
    • Additionally, Lilly comes to talk to him about the speech he gave to Woodburians, during the target practice. In the comics, the interaction between him and Lilly never happened.
  • Novel states the Governor and his army took the bodies of the first assault with them while withdrawing, including Simmons, Johnny, Ronnie, Jake, Evan, Andy and Alex, and Governor later on shot most of them in the head, avoiding the reanimation. In the comics, the army left in a hurry and was not able to take the bodies with them. Additionally, most of the soldiers were already shot in the head.
  • In Part 2 it states that twenty-three soldiers participated in the prison assault, not counting Brian or Gabe. While twenty-five civilians stayed behind in Woodbury. After retreating from the first assault they take the bodies of seven dead soldiers with them, reducing the militia's numbers to sixteen.
    • Soon after, this is contradicted because many more than sixteen survivors die, and most are even given names. Not counting Brian, Gabe or soldiers who are identified in the comic but not mentioned in the novel, the total militia count is brought up to thirty-two.
    • Additionally, Part 2 mentions that the remaining residents of Woodbury after the assault consist of twenty-nine civilians total counting the militia survivors. Seven women, seventeen men, and five children all under the age of twelve.
      • This too is contradicted because based on previously mentioned families and residents who can be safely assumed didn't partake in the assault: Eight women remain and twelve children. In Descent, new characters who have always lived in Woodbury are introduced such as the Slocum and Coogan twins as well as Nathan, Alyssa and Robbie who alone bring the count up to seven without including the two Sizemore girls, the two boys traumatized by the arena fight, or Matthew Williams (none of whom are mentioned again past their initial appearance).