‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 shambles out its thirteenth entry with Sunday’s “Arrow on the Doorpost,” but how does it hold up to the comic book continuity? The conflict between Woodbury and the prison takes a temporary break to discuss a possible truce, while Merle maintains designs of his own with the Governor, so what’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ as the season continues?
As AMC's incarnation weaves in and out of storylines from the books and adds its own original characters and developments, we've compiled an in-depth guide for fans of the comic as well as AMC's ‘The Walking Dead’ to enjoy! Check it all the comparisons we found, and let us know your thoughts on ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode 13 “Arrow on the Doorpost" in the comments below!
Negotiation For a Treaty?
AMC: Though we’re not privy to the events that saw either Rick or the Governor agreeing to the meeting, the two respective leaders of Woodbury and the prison meet up at a neutral location to discuss terms of a treaty, though at first the Governor insists he’ll only accept Rick’s total surrender.
THE COMICS: The conflict between Woodbury and the prison took place on a very different level, as Rick, Glenn and Michonne only ever met the governor during their initial captivity at the town, informing the prison survivors of the looming threat upon their escape. As predicted, the Governor eventually found the prison and launched an assault, but no attempt at a “treaty” beyond the Governor’s empty promise of accepting surrender took place.
Martinez's Loyalties Start to Shift
AMC: After some fun growling and playful zombie-killing between the two, Martinez and Daryl bond over cigarettes and their respective positions as muscle to the leaders. Both men lament that Rick and the Governor likely won’t work things out, as they’d seemingly rather not kill one another.
THE COMICS: Martinez’s loyalties mainly started to shift once he saw that the Governor brutally hacked off Rick’s hand, shortly thereafter staging an escape for the prison survivors. Once out on the road, Martinez opened up to Glenn and the others about his past life as a gym teacher, and pre-Woodbury survival. Shortly after reaching the prison however, Martinez quickly fled with intent to bring other Woodbury citizens back (without the Governor), but Rick caught him along the way and killed him.
AMC: While Rick and the others attempt to negotiate a peace treaty with the Governor, Glenn prepares the armaments back at the prison, including tactical modifications and contingencies for people getting pinned down.
THE COMICS: Rick mostly took charge of preparing the prison for the coming war, much of which involved strategically placing both explosives and cars to give them a tactical advantage. Perhaps most important of all was the preparation of a truck to be used as an escape vehicle, stocked with food in the possibility the prison was lost.
The Governor's Inside Information
AMC: In the course of their sharing, the Governor reveals an intimate knowledge of Rick gained from Andrea, including that Rick was forced to kill his best friend Shane, and now raises a baby that might have been fathered by his best friend.
THE COMICS: The Governor had no such information on Shane, Lori or Judith, having only known Rick for a short time during his captivity at Woodbury.
AMC: While Rick and the Governor discuss the situation indoors, Daryl and Martinez get to bonding while Hershel and Milton share conversation as well, knowing their next meetings could easily be on the battlefield. The conversations somewhat sour the mood, as Milton and Martinez come to befriend those the Governor will likely have them attack in the near future.
THE COMICS: Rick’s group had precisely three allies from Woodbury, that of Dr. Stevens, Alice, and Martinez before his quick betrayal. Stevens (who shares a number of characteristics with Milton) died in the escape attempt, while Martinez’s efforts to ingratiate himself were quickly undone after arriving at the prison. The only Woodbury resident to become a permanent ally was that of Alice, who has no AMC counterpart.
AMC: As the two men debate the potential of a truce between Woodbury and the prison, the Governor shares a bit of his past in a prior life as an office drone with a younger boss. It was during his time at work that he learned over the phone his wife had been in an accident, after leaving a voicemail that continued to haunt him.
THE COMICS: The comics reveal very little of the Governor’s backstory, but the printed novel “Rise of the Governor” reveals that it was actually Philip Blake’s older brother Brian who assumed his younger brother’s name after the man’s death. Brian Blake had previously been married to a woman named Jocelyn, but only briefly, while Philip’s wife Sarah died in a car accident years earlier. Likely, AMC’s version has simplified the Governor’s identity as Philip Blake.
AMC: Having failed to persuade Glenn, Merle urges Michonne to accompany him on a secret mission to take out the Governor, pointing out that the two could easily use their skills as assasins to get close enough for the kill. Not wanting to kill anyone in the crossfire, especially Andrea, Michonne declines.
THE COMICS: In the books it was actually Michonne herself who recruited Tyreese for a similar mission to get close to the Governor, albeit while much of the leader’s forces were nearby following an attack. Sadly, the mission had a tragic ending that failed to take out the Governor.
AMC: Backing down from his original demand of Rick’s unconditional surrender, the Governor admits that Rick and his people can live in the prison unmolested if only he hands over Michonne. Whether or not he would have stayed true to his word remains to be seen, but he leaves Rick two days to think it over.
THE COMICS: While the comic Governor likely had more of a grudge with Michonne than Rick, he made no secret of his desire to overtake the prison and possibly move the Woodbury residents there. Even in his assault on the prison, the Governor initially took care not to damage the fences, lest the prison become worthless after Rick’s group bad been eliminated.
AMC: Having made his desire to avoid hostilities clear on multiple occasions, and now befriended Hershel and the others, Milton protests the Governor’s plan to kill Rick and his group regardless of whether they honor the terms in two days time.
THE COMICS: As with his introduction earlier in the season, we’re beginning to notice more and more in common between Milton and the Dr. Stevens of the books (despite a female Dr. Stevens in AMC’s Woodbury). Dr. Stevens made no secret of his dislike for the Governor in the book, and jumped at the chance to escape with Rick and the others. Ol’ Milton doesn’t have much of a spine, but he certainly seems headed down a similar path.
The Song Remains the Same
AMC: Despite being given an out by handing over Michonne, Rick returns to the prison and tells the group the Governor wants only war from them. Similarly, the Governor immediately abandons any intent of honoring a possible agreement with Rick, and instructs Martinez to prepare to kill them all next time. Though it may not matter, Rick does however consider handing over Michonne.
THE COMICS: Similarly, there was never any real chance of peace between Woodbury and the prison, even if a treaty had been proposed. Rick was also never posed with the choice to hand over Michonne, but would likely never even have considered it.
What did you think of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode 13, "Arrow on the Doorpost?" Did we miss anything else from the comics you might have caught?
Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back next week for our in-depth comic-to-TV comparison of episode 13, "Prey!"