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Why The Walking Dead Fans Think This Villain Was The Worst Part Of The Show

As much as fans of The Walking Dead love to root for the likes of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), it's hard to deny the appeal of the series' many villains. Whether they're only a thorn in the side of our protagonists for an episode or two or get whole seasons' worth of screentime, they are often some of the most complex and compelling characters on the show. Early in the series, no villain made as big of an impact as the Governor (David Morrissey).

When viewers first meet him, the Governor appears to be a fairly magnanimous (if not a little egotistical) leader who is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of his community. But that image doesn't last for long. In reality, he's a sadistic man who rules through manipulation and violence. Rick's group eventually goes to war with him, and although they prevail, they do so at a considerable cost.

The Governor is up there with the likes of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Alpha (Samantha Morton) as one of the most influential villains of the entire series. However, even though the fandom loves a good antagonist, not everyone is so keen on the Governor.

One of those fans, Reddit user u/man-who-says-E, started a thread called "Let's talk about The Governor..." to gauge fan opinion on the character. In their introductory post, they wrote, "This may be a seriously unpopular opinion – but I could not stand the whole Governor situation." They even went on to declare that the Governor storyline was "the worst part of the show."

Their opinion proved to be a bit controversial, but there were still plenty who agreed.

For some fans, the Governor came on too strong to be taken seriously

To kick off the discussion of the Governor, u/man-who-says-E wrote, "At the point he was introduced, it felt too soon for a villain of his level. He was just pure psychotic." They went on to say that they found the character himself to not be very interesting and cited the Governor's relationship with Rick's ally Andrea (Laurie Holden) as a particularly boring storyline. They concluded by saying, "by the time he was gone, it wasn't a 'yes! He's gone' moment, it was more of a 'thank Christ maybe this shows gonna get interesting again.'"

The feeling that the Governor was simply too over-the-top was shared by several other commenters. User u/Radiant_Solid7 wrote, "he was unrealistically evil just blowing dudes away...like come on."

User u/ladyrocky_33 didn't mind the Governor's wild villainous antics, but still found him to be "very flat and kinda cliché." While they didn't specify if they agreed that he was the worst part of the whole series, they did say, "I generally skip episodes with him in them."

Several users couldn't help but compare him to Negan, who they found similarly evil but way more compelling. User u/wardyman2 noted, "[Negan] was so much better as he was psycho and a good villain, [the Governor] was just trying too hard."

Despite the anti-Governor sentiments in the thread, the character did have more than a few defenders.

In defense of the Governor

Now, first off, nobody chimed in to defend, for instance, the fact that the Governor was known to throw his enemies into gladiator style combat arenas to fight to the death. But a few fans did step up to support him as a compelling villain for the series.

User u/__Negan___ responded to the original post by writing, "I liked to hate him tho, I thought he was a great character to hate." Similarly, u/will4xx said, "I enjoyed him as a villain." They did concede that the character overstayed his welcome a bit, but concluded by saying, "Negan is a much better villain...but the Governor got the better written arc."

Several commenters also had a very specific point to make regarding the criticism that the Governor's bad behavior was too over-the-top and didn't fit the overall narrative arc of the show. As u/__Negan___ said in their comment, "If you think he was psychotic, then better not read that part of the comics, he is an even worse person."

That argument is hard to disagree with, as the depravity of the Governor's rule was actually toned down for the series. In the comics, Rick, Glenn, and Michonne are the first to encounter the Governor, who kidnaps them and demands to know where the rest of their group are hiding out. When they refuse to comply, he tortures each of them brutally, including cutting off Rick's hand. And that's just the beginning of his storyline.

User u/swen72 put it best when they said, "you don't wanna know the s— comic governor got up to."

Thankfully, one of the joys of not living under the Governor's rule is that we are all free to disagree regarding how we feel about him.