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The Walking Dead (TWD) Books

The Chalmers & Rise of the Governor

If you haven’t had a chance to read The Walking Dead novels, now’s the time! You may remember the mysterious casting news about Alanna Masterson, who arrived in episode 407 of The Walking Dead television show. It turns out she was cast as Tara Chambler, who is based on a character from Rise of the Governor.

For those of you who are confused, in addition to the comics we all know and love, Robert Kirkman is also the author of a series of novels (of the text-only variety) written along with co-author Jay Bonansinga. In the first book of the series, Rise of the Governor, we meet Tara Chalmers, who was part of the traveling Chalmers Family band before the apocalypse. We won’t spoil anything by going into the plot of the book, but it ties into the television show and sheds some more light on the origins of The Governor.

Clearly the show has taken these characters in some new directions (some changed family dynamics, moving them later into the Governor’s life). If you’ve read the novels, what do you think of the parallels between Rise of the Governor and the television show?

For those of you who haven’t read Rise of the Governor, what do you think of the Chambler family so far? Is the Governor going to settle down? What about adorable Meghan?

The comment with the most up votes will win a signed copy of The Rise of the Governor Delux Slipcase novel, which features chapter artwork from Charlie Adlard!


EDIT: The contest will end on Friday, November 22nd at 12:00pm PST.

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  1. Robert Dobbs November 20, 2013 at 9:39 am - Reply

    I think I want to go back to finding out what happens to the main group after I sat through the relatively tiresome flu storyline.

  2. Nathan Kotyk November 20, 2013 at 9:39 am - Reply

    The parallels have been awesome so far! As a hardcore fan its fun to see things from other walking dead mediums being brought in to the show. Im really excited to see where Lily’s story goes and see what they use from the comic as well as the other governor novels

  3. Elden Nielson November 20, 2013 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I don’t know if I want to know the fate of Meghan (or Penny v.2.0). Either way, I like how different outlets of The Walking Dead universe are tying together. I do like that the Governor took on the name ‘Brian’. It’s a spoiler alert without being a spoiler 🙂

    • Ernesto Galicia November 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      I thought the same thing when he said his name was Brian… but.. *SPOILER ALERT *.. If he was Brian Blake before becoming the Governor.. why would he have a photo with “his family”? if Penny wasn’t her daughter but Philip’s. That’s when I became confused. apparently on the show Philip Blake wasn’t ever Brian Blake??

      • Bastet November 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm - Reply

        i picked up on that, too…caught myself trying to scrutinize that photo to see if it was Morrissey or some other face.

      • Elden Nielson November 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm - Reply

        The show is divergent from the novels/comics, but this is their version. The novel happened prior to Woodbury, but the show has the Governor post-Woodbury now. However, in both instances, ‘Brian’ is adopting someone’s else’s kid as his own. I don’t think we will ever see the Brian Blake version of the character in the show because we’ve already seen too much and would be too unbelievable (even in a zombie apocalypse) to see a weak, feeble Brian Blake.

      • Michelle Walker November 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

        I read the novels and I know the origin of the gov in the book But I do not think that plays over into the tv show. Dont see how it could when HE was in the picture with wife and kid anfd if you read the novel you would understand that is not possible. LOL Do not want to spoil it. I still need to read Fall of The Gov!!!

    • Matthew W. Parmenter November 22, 2013 at 5:39 am - Reply
  4. Tracy Pierce Hidalgo November 20, 2013 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I haven’t read Rise of the Governor nor the graphic novels BUT I WANT TO! It’s just work related that has kept me from it. They dynamic of The Walking Dead is amazing. I have watched every episode twice and that includes the Talking Dead. This is good for me because I have heard of a little girl, another extended family, etc. but didn’t put two and two together until I read this. I also understand Tyrese has a huge part in the comics. I have watched a few minutes of my son playing the Walking Dead Game and I know there’s a black guy and a little girl. Is this connected somehow??

    • Elden Nielson November 20, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

      The video game chronicles the story of Lee Everett and Clementine. It’s yet another parallel that I think runs closer to the comic book storyline, though.

    • Nick Lemr November 20, 2013 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Not to the show. The Telltale game is linked to the comics, with comic book characters making little cameos, but it is set in the comic books’ universe. There was one character who was given a larger role, who was meant to be given a prequel story before her small-but-critical-role in the comics, but “The Road to Woodbury” novel rewrote her back story, so the Lily Caul in the game is not the same as the one in the comics. (Anymore)

  5. James Waylen Bray November 20, 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I’m really enjoying the governor storyline, I didn’t think I would before the episode aired hearing about it, but for some reason it had captured my full attention within 30
    seconds until the rest of the episode. Really well written episode. I really want to read the novels now.

    • Elden Nielson November 20, 2013 at 9:48 am - Reply

      I really like the first novel and even if you read the comics it still manages to surprise you at the end. The second novel is a little slow but I guess necessary because it ties in the third novel to the comic book story. Can’t wait to read part 2 of the third (haha) novel. I like Bonansinga’s writing.

  6. josh hammond November 20, 2013 at 9:47 am - Reply

    would be interesting to see how lily will react if/when she finds out about who the governor really is? seeing some interaction between her and martinez could be interesting since they may both see the same man but they certainly dont see the same person.

    i can imagine there is going to be a moment where the governor slips up and ends up calling meghan “penny”. it’ll be interesting to see how the people around him will react and respond to that as well.

    as a fan of the comics, tv series and novels its great seeing different aspects of each medium being used in the tv show. its keeping it interesting 🙂

  7. ls November 20, 2013 at 9:53 am - Reply

    When I first read the Rise of the Governor I hoped that there would be some tie in to the show or maybe webisodes based upon it. The story explains so much about how the Governor became who he was. As soon as I saw the full family I realized the tie in and got super excited. I’m a little disappointed that they had him take the name Brian on because of the name on the buildings rather then as a past reference, but since the episode takes place post-Woodbury it does make sense in a way. I’m very interested to see what direction the Governor character is taken, this is either going to open the door to redemption or for him to go even more bat shit crazy in the future.

  8. Thathenryguy November 20, 2013 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Thought it was interesting how the Governor (407) announces himself as Brian. In the novel, we believe the Governor as Phillip with his little brother, Brian, tagging along. The kindness the Governor shows in the beginning is similar to how Phillip acts in the novel, however it revolves more around Brian, who was runty and also suffering from some kind of illness at the time. Brian was also the voice of reason in the novel and you start to see that kind of behavior in the TV series (however the reference to the life of the king while the Gov and the little girl were playing chess suggests alterior motives). We’re also aware that Phillip winds up losing control during private sex and raping Tara and is banished from the hotel, where as in the show, ‘Brian’ seems to be under some kind of romance, even suggesting a kind of chivalry to the rest of the group by trying to be as quiet as possible during their love making. This is also where you see the differences between Phillip and Brian Blake in the novels and how the show placed the Easter egg of allowing ‘Brian’ to be reintroduced to the Chalmer family.

  9. Vixen November 20, 2013 at 9:56 am - Reply

    I knew it! I read “Rise” last year, before series 3. When these characters appeared Sunday, it must be like what all the comic book readers feel — I knew these people!! I wouldn’t spoil anything, but it was a good read, and I do plan on getting more of the books. Cool!

  10. Dani November 20, 2013 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I loved the episode and have read the first two novels in addition to the comics. I have seen so many mixed reviews. If you haven’t read the novels perhaps it did seem a little ‘boring’ compared to last week, or was it because we didn’t see Daryl 🙂

    For me it was exciting to see how they approach the Governor after Woodbury, loved how he took his name from the barn. His new “family” has given him a purpose, they need him! They certainly couldn’t kill a walker with their bare hands like he did and he will do what it takes to survive. Can’t wait to see what happens at the prison.

  11. Elden Nielson November 20, 2013 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Not sure if I should commend ‘Brian’ and Lily for keeping the noise down in the back of the truck or not. Don’t know what would be worse for Meghan – seeing ‘Brian’ take care of grandpa or seeing ‘Brian’…well…take care of Lily.

  12. Curtis Jolly November 20, 2013 at 10:56 am - Reply

    I saw the connection instantly, and I have enjoyed explaining it to friends that have questions about the latest episode. The events in the building in the Rise of the Governor were some of my favorites in the book. It seemed like a great portrayal of how life would be like in a larger city if the dead walked.

    As a fan of the graphic novels, I’m always looking for connections with the show, and I had completely dismissed any of the possible connections from the Rise of the Governor after the events on the show have played out to this point. I was completely surprised to see that it was worked into the TV’s storyline, and I loved the nod to those loyal fans of the entire work of the Walking Dead!

  13. Troy Kimball November 20, 2013 at 10:59 am - Reply


  14. Bastet November 20, 2013 at 11:51 am - Reply

    The Walking Dead TV show is awesome; the comic books are The Walking Dead: No. Holds. Barred.! The novels give you a view from the other side of the wall around Woodbury, mainly The Governor’s. If you are a fan of at least one, you’re bound to love the other two!!

  15. Keven Skinner November 20, 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

    I saw the paralells between the novel and the show right away. They hit on some great notes from the prequel while adjusting to the current setting (less characters, diff. characters etc), but the essence of that time in the book was translated very well on-screen. It also humanized the Governor in a way that made him more appealing to the audience. I sympathized with a villain, which is the beauty of the Walking Dead universe and continues to be the case. This season continues to utilize showrunner Scott Gimple’s ‘remix’ method to great success and most evidently so with this episode which I thought was by far the best of the season so far and one of the best of the series.

  16. Michael Highfield November 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    I’m a big Walking Dead fan, the show is by-far the greastest show ever made. i’m not much of a book reader but the Comics were easier to read because of the pics (love’em).I love how they make everything tie together on The Walking Dead,how they bring people in,then the next minute they get killed off.That’s what make’s me more into the show,knowing a family with a little girl (Penny’s look-a-like) are traveling with the Governor aka ‘Phillip’ aka ‘Brian’ aka ‘Psycho’.

  17. Jme November 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Please help me win a signed copy of Rise of the Governor! <3 twd

  18. Jared Welch November 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Meghan is an homage to Lilly’s best friend in Road To Woodbury, who’s kind of a whore and hangs herself at the end of the book. When the episode started, I paused it so I could thumb though my books quickly…Tara’s sister was April. But so glad they made her LILLY, been waiting to finally see Lilly on the show, she’s such an amazing character!!

  19. roy mckeen November 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    I like how he takes his name back from the book Brain cause he took his brothers after he took his brothers name Philip this is getting real confusing but I still love the show

  20. Owen De Val November 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    So, TV series of events technically go:
    Rise of the Governor, This is my WoodBury Governor, Fall of the Governor, Sulking of the Governor, Governor’s Pirate adventure, Get-with-woman-who-he-has-just-met-in-front-of-remaining-family Governor, Fall in the hole Governor and Coming Soon… So you’re Phillip not Brian… Governor, No longer your Governor Governor, Look I found a Tank-lets-go-storm-the-prison-again Governor and the final chapter Kill-them-all-but-die-anyway Governor. Phew! That is enough Governor for one day. Or is it Governor?

  21. Michael J. Scoggins November 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I think it’s a really neat revisionism of the book, but I’m a bit curious as to what it means ultimately for the Governor. With the book showing his transition from a caring individual to a ruthless one, does the path reversed pave the road to redemption? I’m going to assume not since when he is shown outside the prison, he’s alone, but that only makes me wonder if he lost everyone again or if his obsession to get back at Michonne makes him walk away from them.

  22. Ashley Smart November 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    “That black, oily, mildewy combination of rotting protein and decay – like human waste cooking in bacon grease” I really enjoyed reading the novels because it touched on things I’ve always wondered in the show. We know walkers can smell humans but never really mentions what the walkers smell like. In the novels you can smell the walkers before you can see them. The novel shows a different light on the Governor and why he ended up like he did… The novels are really worth the read 🙂 I really do respect how they keep the story very similar to the book with slight differences just like they do with the comic… So you are still guessing and unknowing what’s about to happen in the show.

  23. Kyra Johnson November 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    biggest fan of the walking dead tv series kinda upset that mural died! i hope the govener gets whats coming to him.

  24. Lillian Ann November 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    I love the show, love the comics but I am IN LOVE WITH KIRKMAN!!!!!!!!!! Please give me the votes to win something from him that he has signed for me 😉

    • Lillian Ann November 21, 2013 at 9:05 am - Reply

      I LOVE the way the show is going compared to comics, Kirky always said he wanted things to different to keep us interested in both, but keeping lots still the same to the original. I love never knowing the twist and turns that come into play. Noone is more amazing then Kirkman, but I love Jay too! Met him and he was so in love with telling us about the novels 🙂

  25. anna November 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    I will readily admit that i have not read the Governor series. Im waiting until I have all 3 in my possession before I start. I hate waiting to get the next book lol. Anyways, I have seen every episode of the tv show and read all the comics save the most current issue that came out. I have met most of the comic creators, except for Kirkman himself. I give major props to the people who write, produce, and create the tv show. I think the show gives Robert Kirkman another outlet to play with when it comes to his world. Not knowing anything about the 3 newest characters is a nice change because I dont know what to expect when it comes to the 2 women and the little girl. I like the change that its bringing out in the Governor. Only knowing comic Gov. and Season 3 Gov. its nice to know that he does have some human left in him. My honest thoughts on the little girl is that, he knows its not Penny but he will protect her with everything he has. If something happens to her, I fear that the Gov. will become the Gov. v2.0 and well that probably wont be very nice. An interesting change from the comics I think would be, that he does see the prison as a safe haven and somehow redeems himself enough with the Prison crew to be allowed inside with the women and the girl. I know at some point something is going to cause them to lose the prison, but what we dont know is if the Gov is with them or if he is the one who causes it. My other thought on this is, did he find a way for one of them to slip in and out of the prison at night to bait walkers to the fence with the rats? Has maybe the little girl or one of the women become part of the prison community and is baiting them that way? Im curious to see how this plays out, I do know as much as I hated the Gov at the end of last season (more-so over Andrea than Merle) that Im not quite ready for him to go just yet. Keep in mind there is still one person that we havent seen from the Gov’s slaughter last season…Where is the Bowman???

  26. Jr Davis November 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    When I started reading Rise of the Governor, I thought it was going to give better in sight to the events that led up to the governor(t.v series) being the way he is. Although I figured it was intended for the Governor(Comic series). So it is a little confusing having the time lines of those events from book fall to the future of the tv series instead of his past. However I am only 2/3s of the way through the book and have yet to see how the events will affect(s) him both in the tv series and the comic.

  27. nickhart November 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    The Governor was so upset about not being invited spaghetti Tuesday’s that he felt like he was slapped in the face with being offered Spaghetti O’s. He will now seak furious vengence for not beong Iinvited to Spaghetti Tuesday’s he will see all dead in Ricks group in the prison!

  28. Justin Jacobson November 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm - Reply
  29. Thomas Losey November 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Spoilers, but the question asks what we think of parallels. There are
    two underlying themes to the TV series. First, your life was bad before
    and relationships in the apocalypse make you better (Daryl, Carol,
    Michonne, Dale, Bob.) Secondly, can you do whatever is necessary to
    survive and can you be redeemed for doing so? (Rick, Carl, Merle, Carol,
    Andrea, Milton, Lori, Michonne, Tyreese, Shane, Martinez, Clara and
    yes, even Phillip) Considering the novels, it is sheer genius for
    Phillip to become Brian for redemption. Other parallels to consider,
    without spoiling things: Novels Lily/Josh Lee Hamilton and TV
    Lily/Brian (I’m thinking back of the truck here.) Novels Bob/Megan/Lily
    and future TV? Comics Governor/Michonne/Bob and future TV? And some
    minor nods from the TV series to the novels and comics that made me
    smile. When Ana and Sam were at the top of the stairs I immediately
    thought they were Megan Lafferty and Scott Moon. Rick’s sprained hand
    making him a lefty, brilliant! Waiting to see if the episode 4.07 and
    4.08 titles Dead Weight and Too Far Gone means Martinez has hooked up with the Hunters.

  30. Charlotte Harwood November 21, 2013 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Pinky swear and cross your heart-meghan

  31. John Mosher November 21, 2013 at 4:14 am - Reply
  32. Lali Hernandez November 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Well, if he’s anything like his brother, someone’s in for a bit of a rape.

  33. Trinity Crofts November 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I’m still pissed off he’s not his brother..

  34. CantgetenoughTWD November 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    As soon as i saw the episode i was ecstatic because i had read the rise of the Governor and half way thru the road to Woodbury. i love how the show used that the governor chose the name Brian. (don’t want to explain and spoil anything). The differences are amazing. i love how they put the little girl Meghan, to replace penny in the book. i believe that the Governor is going to be in the show much longer and cant wait to see how they develop this character “Brian”.

  35. Matthew W. Parmenter November 22, 2013 at 6:13 am - Reply
  36. Steve Collins November 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm - Reply
  37. john November 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Just saying I think that the governor should have seen that pit since it was so large but the kills were amazing in that part of it

  38. john November 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Has any one seen the new episode

  39. Dave Burke November 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    After seeing the Gov last year and in the last two episodes this year. I was a bit disappointed, AT First. Many were, but I/we did not know enough about the Governor to make that kind of decision. I needed a TWD Fix.
    I went to the book store and looked at the comics. They offer a somewhat different storyline. Almost got one. I will before too long, during the ‘off season’).
    Found the book The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. I read it in three days, solid. I won’t spoil it. It does start one week after “the turn”. The group of brothers and friends and Penny head to Atlanta to find the refugee camp. (blah blah blah for you Seinfeld fans) What ensues is a long, incredible, wonderful backstory.
    Before he was The Governor . . . you will just have to read it.
    Now, the episodes about the Governor are far more clear than a few weeks ago, and even last season.
    If those who are disappointed (reading the comments on the Facebook boards) want to get the Kirkman point of view, grab this book. What a story he wove.
    In your head, as you read, you will be able to see Rick and the group’s struggles, while Phillip and Brian and their group survive and evolve.
    One thing you won’t do, is say that the last two episodes were/are boring (I don’t think). A new light or backstory is shed on Martinez which filled a huge gap for me. Find out what happened to Penny.
    And then the mind blowing emergence of ‘The Governor’ threw me for a loop. Hey, I understand all your frustrations about the tv show and the emphasis on The Governor. Like I said, I needed a TWD Fix. I got it in this book. I’m not sure about the Road to Woodbury and The Fall of the Governor – how can top this read? But I may have to get them also, between the seasons for my continuing need for a TWD fix. What a tale. Thanks Robert Kirkman.

  40. shawn willis March 19, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply

    some people might not like the governor but i think hes awesome!!!

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