Someone was going to win The Walking Dead lottery and get to kill The Governor (David Morrissey), it was just a matter of who.
We were hoping it would be someone from Team Prison, like Michonne (Danai Gurira), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) or Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). It would’ve been funny if it was Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino), but Lizzie is the new Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) taking down threats, so it could’ve happened.
The big winners were the unlikely tag team of Michonne, who got to slice The Gov. with the same katana he commandeered to kill Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), and Lilly (Audrey Marie Anderson), who put The Gov. down before he could even die and be zombie-fied in Season 4, Episode 8.
In the comic books, a Woodbury resident named Lilly Caul is the one to kill The Governor during the final Woodbury vs. Prison battle. The Hollywood Reporter asked comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman how the conversation went to make Michonne and TV Lilly jointly responsible for the on-screen kill.
“There has been so much going on between those characters,” Kirkman said. “We had shown Michonne hunting The Governor down in the wake of Andrea's death. While I thought it was very cool to not have a heroic moment and not have a satisfying death for The Governor, I like to torture the readers of the comic a little bit more than is acceptable when it comes to television viewers. I like the idea of this despicable guy just kind of dying and you don't get to feel good about a death, you're not going to feel like one of the characters had a win over him.”
Ultimately, he said, it made more sense to give Michonne that heroic TV moment because of her whole history with the Gov., thereby giving viewers some sense of justice and closure.
However, Robert added, “It was important to have her saving Rick in that moment. We never want to show Rick as being this action hero; he is this everyman, and I like the idea of there being a physical confrontation between Rick and The Governor. In an action movie, Rick would totally decimate that guy — but that's not our show. We can show our hero getting one over on him and then having him actually face death in a very real way. We thought it was cool to have Michonne come in and stop that.”
Team Richonne FTW! She’s always been more of a badass than Rick, or anyone else. How great would it be if she’s the one who saved Judith, too?
Back to The Gov.’s death. Entertainment Weekly asked Robert about TV Lilly’s motivation for shooting her old buddy “Brian.” Was it a mercy kill or out of anger? Both?
“It is a little bit of both,” he said. “In that moment Lilly is very angry with The Governor because she had in the episode prior said, ‘Let’s not do this. We don’t have to go after this other place.’ And she was very much against everything that The Governor was doing and to a certain extent didn’t even see why he was doing it because she didn’t know that burning vengeance that was in the Governor or that desire to control and to have the prison. I think The Governor ultimately hated that there was this group out there that was existing without him and was possibly doing better than him, and it was eating away at him. So I definitely think in that moment when she shot him, she despised him quite a bit. I do think there was a lot of hatred behind that bullet.”
Poor Lilly, Meghan, (Meyrick Murphy) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) should’ve stayed in that apartment building. They were doing just fine before Brian. Now Meghan is dead (although that’s not completely The Gov.’s fault) and Tara is out there, probably separated from Lilly. No one’s life was improved after meeting this guy!
Are you satisfied with how The Gov. died? Were you hoping he’d live, or that someone else would take him down?
The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly