The Walking Dead: Did The Governor live up to the comic version?


The Governor is one of the most memorable characters from AMC’s The Walking Dead, but how did he compare to the version in the comic book franchise?

The Walking Dead is one of the most popular shows on television, but most fans of the hit zombie survival series have not read what has happened in the comic books. The pages of the graphic novels have served as a blueprint for how the show has gone to this point, however some changes were made along the way to characters and situations that gave the show a different feel from the inked pages.

One of the biggest differences between the two is The Governor. One could argue that through 100 issues of the comics, he is the biggest villain of the comics. He was also the villain that the AMC show spent the most time developing. Let’s break down some of the major differences between the two characters.


The Governor, The Walking Dead - Image and Skybound
The Governor, The Walking Dead – Image and Skybound /

In the comics, The Governor was not a very handsome man. He had long hair, a mustache, an eye patch, and a face that only a mother could love. He also last an arm during the altercation with Michonne when she discovers Penny. Wearing a lot of vests and body armor, Blake was never much of a fashion icon.

The charismatic David Morrissey won the role of The Governor on AMC’s The Walking Dead. When at Woodbury, he was always well-groomed and nicely dressed. He also wore an eye patch, but it was over the other eye. Then, there’s the scruffy pirate version of The Governor we saw after Woodbury fell, having some of the fans call him a “pirate” at that time.


The Governor from the comics is much stranger and more vicious than the television version. In the comics, he chops off Rick Grimes’ hand and feeds it to Penny as well as the bodies of his fallen warriors, then removes all of her teeth so she can’t bite him. And I won’t go into detail about the things he does to Michonne after he captures her in the comics, but he does violate her sexually, making him even more despicable.

AMC’s version is much softer. No chopping off limbs or violation of women. The scenes with him and Meghan Chambler made people think there was a side of him that showed remorse and care for humanity, only to flip the whole idea on its head when using the people at the camp as fodder for an attack on the prison.

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While the comic and television versions of The Governor on The Walking Dead were so different in both appearance and attitude, AMC did a good job of bringing the character to life. Yes, he could have been more brutal like in the comics, but giving him the appearance of being somewhat human was much better television than making him appear to be a massive sociopath.

Of course, there are also the limitations of television. There is no way that the show can get away with showing some of the graphic things that he did over the course of the comics. Despite that, AMC altered the character enough to create an unforgettable personality (of course, helped by the performance of Morrissey) that left a mark on the franchise.

This is one of the cases where the comics and the show don’t match up, but that’s okay. Both versions of The Governor were massively entertaining despite their differences. For developing a TV friendly character based on this character that was widely accepted by fans of The Walking Dead, AMC deserves major credit.