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The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury is the second novel by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. It is a sequel to the Rise of the Governor. In a recent interview Robert Kirkman said "it's going to be a direct sequel to Rise of the Governor. We're going to meet new characters as they come to Woodbury and see how Woodbury is founded, and how the Governor continues to grow as a character. It all takes place before we met The Governor in the comic book series, and there's a lot more story to tell with that guy. We'll also look at others, Lilly is going to be another focus. It's going to be fun to explore those characters again."[1]

Plot Synopsis[]

The plot is divided into two parts with several chapters each; each part chronicling the origin of Lilly and how she came to be at Woodbury.

Part 1: Red Day Rising[]

Life hurts a lot more than death.
―Jim Morrison

The story begins following survivors Lilly Caul, Josh Lee Hamilton, And Bob Stookey as they attempt to recreate some form of community within the woods, nicknamed "Tent City". Lilly and Josh are among those who train the kids and teens with schooling and other survival tactics. While others, such as Bob, guard and scavenge for supplies. A hurricane hits Georgia, destroying major areas but sparing the group. Tensions begin to rise however, after several walker hordes descend upon the group, and the antagonism caused by leader Chad Bingham comes to a head, resulting in his death at the hands of Josh. Josh is forced to leave the group but is joined by Lilly, and Bob, who are also joined by two other survivors, Scott and Megan.

Some time passes and the group are barely making it out on their own. The group manage to come across a scavenging team while searching a local Wal-Mart. After initial hostilities, the scavengers, lead by Martinez, welcomes them to their crew and invites them to their community, Woodbury.

Part 2: This Is How the World Ends[]

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones.
―William Shakespeare

The group is lead to Woodbury and are taken back by how the community runs, they soon meet the leader of the group, Phillip Blake. The group begins to separate and begin to take odd jobs and positions within the community. The former Tent-City survivors are found unwelcome by several members within the 'utopia' and, after attempting to calm an escalating situation, Josh is killed.

Lilly begins to struggle with herself from the loss, but is tended to by Bob. She soon begins to grow suspicious about Phillip after the incident and several strange encounters with him. Lilly forms a group to find what The Governor is up to but find that Megan has formed a relationship with him. Megan quickly discovers what lies beneath "The Governor's" façade and takes her life, much to the dismay of Bob.

The group soon reveal his disturbing and tyrannical ideas of law & order and decide that they will fight the Governor. The group, including Martinez, plan to assassinate the leader while out on a run, but the plan quickly falls apart after a horde surrounds the vehicles they encompass. The group are forced to work together and Lilly's life is spared. The Governor gives her and the other insurgent's jobs chopping up dead bodies to feed to the walkers within their new "coliseum".

She is forced to keep The Governor's secret or risk being killed and vows revenge against The Governor's cruel reign.





  • During the events of the novel, there is a massive storm that hits Georgia which is told to be worse than any historically recent hurricane to hit the area. This hurricane is never mentioned in the comics.
  • In some copies of the book there is a publishing error. Pages 217-248 are bound into the book twice. When you finish reading page 248 the first time, you find the next page to be page 217 again. The next 32 pages are a repeat of 217-248 and then the book continues on with page 249 through the end.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is referred to as "Georgia Tech University"
  • Trey Barker is referenced as being a "Master Gunnery Sergeant", which is a Marine Corps rank, despite Barker being in the Army National Guard.