The GovernorPlayed by David Morrissey
The Governor is the charismatic leader of Woodbury, a seemingly utopian community that's barricaded behind walls. He protects the citizens of Woodbury from walkers and provides them with shelter, food, clothing and perhaps most importantly, a semblance of what it was like to live in the world before the dead began walking. However, Woodbury's peaceful facade belies the authoritarian, often brutal methods employed by the Governor behind the scenes.
The Governor takes in Andrea and Michonne after Merle discovers them at a helicopter crash site in the forest. He quickly woos Andrea to his side and they become lovers. But his charms fail to work on Michonne, and he sends Merle to kill her when she leaves Woodbury.
Unbeknownst to most Woodbury residents, the Governor's ally, Milton, oversees a research lab to test whether walkers retain any trace of the humans they once were. The research is motivated by the Governor's undead daughter Penny, who he keeps locked in a secret chamber in his apartment, in hopes that she can be cured someday.
As time goes on, the Governor grows increasingly unhinged and consumed with bloodlust. At Andrea's insistence, he meets with Rick under the pretense of forging a truce. Instead, he threatens to obliterate the prison unless Rick hands over Michonne. He gives Rick two days to decide, although he secretly plans to kill Rick's group either way.
The Governor leads his army in an attack against the prison, but Rick's group manages to drive them away. On the retreat back to Woodbury, the Governor flies into a rage, screaming at his soldiers for their cowardice and eventually slaughtering them all.
Having lost his army, the Governor drives off with Martinez and Shumpert — his only remaining acolytes. They eventually abandon him, so he returns to Woodbury, burns it to the ground, and then wanders alone for months.
Using the name Brian, the Governor eventually befriends a family — sisters Lilly and Tara; their father David; and Lilly's daughter, Meghan, whom the Governor bonds with, in part, due to her resemblance to Penny.
When David dies from lung cancer, the Governor swiftly bludgeons him before he can reanimate, terrifying Meghan. The Governor decides to leave, but Lilly insists he take them along. They quickly begin a romantic relationship on the road.
The Governor eventually runs into Martinez, who allows the Governor and Lilly's family to join his new camp. Desperate to keep Meghan safe, the Governor secretly kills Martinez and takes over the camp, insisting they need a stronger leader. He fortifies the camp but realizes they ultimately need a more secure location.
While the Governor is scouting the prison, he stumbles upon Hershel and Michonne in the forest. He kidnaps them and convinces the people in Martinez' camp to attack. His plan to trade Hershel and Michonne for the prison goes awry and the Governor beheads Hershel, sparking an all-out battle. In the midst of the fight, Lilly walks up to the Governor carrying Meghan's corpse — she was bitten by a walker at their camp. The Governor shoots Meghan in the head and orders his army to "Kill them all."
In a rage, the Governor attacks Rick in the prison yard. The two pummel each other and the Governor is about to choke Rick to death when Michonne suddenly plunges her sword through his chest. The Governor is bleeding to death in the yard when Lilly approaches, gun drawn. She aims at the Governor's head and fires.