‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 shambles out its sixteenth and final entry with Sunday’s “Welcome to the Tombs,” but how does it hold up to the comic book continuity? The battle between Woodbury and the prison comes to an explosive climax as the Governor leads his Woodbury army to the prison gates, while Andrea struggles to free herself from captivity, so what’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ as the season comes to a close?
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 16 “Welcome to the Tombs" in the comments below!
AMC: During his torture of Milton, the Governor coins the mantra “You kill or you die,” observing that people in their world have to kill to survive. After Milton refuses to kill Andrea and the Governor fatally stabs him, the Governor adds the phrase “or you die and you kill,” observing that Milton will inevitably turn to a zombie and kill Andrea anyway.
THE COMICS: The Governor’s words bear a striking resemblance to Rick’s early mantra “you kill, you die,” which was used to justify killing the prison inmate Thomas for his brutal murder of Hershel’s twin daughters. Sometime later, Rick realized the error of the statement and corrected himself, observing that most of them would have to kill other living humans in order to survive themselves.
Tyreese Stands Up to the Governor
AMC: As the Governor rallies his army to move on Rick’s group at the prison, Tyreese steps forward to declare that he and his sister Sasha have no place in the fight, and will remain at Woodbury to guard the gates and take care of the remaining civilians. The Governor viciously eyes Tyreese, but hands over a sniper rifle and coldly thanks him for his honesty.
THE COMICS: We’ve already spoken a great deal about how the comic Tyreese only met the Governor to be made an example of in front of Rick’s group, but worth noting is that Tyreese remained defiant to the end, and refused to beg for his life or give up the prison.
AMC: Charging into the prison full steam ahead, the Governor and his convoy of soldiers destroy the guard towers, and mow down any surrounding walkers with a 50 caliber machine gun. The Governor and his forces find the actual prison curiously empty, but when they investigate deeper into the facility, Rick blares the prison alarm and detonates several smoke bombs, drawing a number of walkers. The surviving soldiers flee the prison as an armored Maggie and Glenn open fire, ultimately forcing all the Woodbury soldiers to flee in a hasty retreat.
THE COMICS: The Woodbury assault went very differently in the books, as the Governor and his forces had no intention of damaging the fences, lest the prison itself become useless. Once their initial assault failed, Woodbury retreated to a safe distance. Sometime later, a desperate Governor led his forces into the prison through the fences, cutting down a number of survivors in a hail of gunfire. The assault still proved unsuccessful, as walkers soon followed into the prison en masse, and overwhelmed the surviving Woodbury forces, while Rick and the others fled, never to return.
AMC: Utilizing the riot gear suits from earlier in the season, Glenn and Maggie drive the remaining Woodbury forces out of the prison, curiously never once sustaining a single injury. The power of true love, perhaps?
THE COMICS: Glenn and Maggie were the first to discover the riot gear suits in their exploration of the prison, though multiple characters were observed to wear them in times of danger, even the Governor after stealing Rick’s armor. Glenn and Maggie were seen to wear the suits on occasion, but weren’t actually present during the final battle with the Governor, having evacuated with the weaker members of the group for safety.
AMC: Hiding in the woods for safety, Carl, Hershel and Beth encounter a stray Woodbury soldier fleeing from the battle. The young man slowly surrenders, and motions to hand his shotgun to Carl, but Carl coldly shoots him down anyway, later telling his father he killed the boy as a pre-emptive measure.
THE COMICS: Carl never actively participated in the fight against Woodbury, but the AMC incident bears similarity to an event from the books, in which Carl took it on himself to kill Allen’s young son Ben. Some time after the prison had fallen, Ben killed his twin brother Billy, failing to understand the immorality of his actions. The group wrestled with whether or not to kill Ben humanely, given his instability and their inability to help him, for which Carl snuck out of his tent one night and killed Ben for the sake of the group. Carl later confessed his action to his father, but only after Rick himself accidentally admitted to butchering an enemy group.
The Governor Turns on His Own People
AMC: Frustrated with their failure during the battle and growing increasingly unhinged, the Governor opens fire on his own forces, cutting down dozens of men and women who refuse to continue the battle against the prison. The only survivors of the massacre are Martinez, Shumpert and Karen, who hides under the body of her dead son until the Governor drives off.
THE COMICS: The comic Governor indeed grew frustrated with his failure to capture the prison, but never so drastically as to open fire on his own people. However, the Woodbury soldiers themselves expressed serious misgivings about their attack on the prison, one man distraught to have killed Hershel’s young son Billy, while another woman turned violent on the Governor after realizing she’d accidentally killed baby Judith. Yeah, it’s that dark.
AMC: Allen stood with the Governor in his insistence to return to the prison, but was naturally spooked by the Governor’s horrific slaughter of the Woodbury soldiers. Allen turned his gun on the Governor, but fails to react quickly enough when the Governor reaches for his own pistol and shoots Allen dead.
THE COMICS: Having been part of Rick’s group from the very beginning, Allen suffered a much different fate as the first to be bit on the leg, and have his limb amputated to prevent infection. Rick’s desperation in amputating Allen’s leg ultimately cost the man his life, as Allen died off-panel in the night from blood loss and infection, despite Hershel’s efforts to save him.
AMC: Despite a semi-valiant struggle to free herself from the Governor’s torture chamber before Milton could reanimate (seriously, why would you pause for conversation?), Andrea suffers a bite to the neck, and slowly begins to succumb to infection before Rick and the others arrive. Rick hands over his gun on Andrea’s request, and only Michonne remains in the room to watch her friend finally end her life on her own terms.
THE COMICS: Somewhat younger and more evolved over time than her AMC counterpart, the comic Andrea remains alive to this very day, the only survivor beside Rick and Carl to have been present at the original Atlanta campsite. She currently serves as a love interest and second-in-command to Rick, though worth noting is that she did take a bullet to the head during Woodbury’s assault on the prison. Thankfully, the bullet simply whizzed her skull and left a minor scar.
AMC: Though not without existing damages, destruction to its outer fences and several destroyed guard towers, the AMC prison remains standing after the Governor’s assault, and becomes a new home to the remaining Woodbury survivors that Rick agrees to take in with Tyreese. Ironically, bringing the Woodbury survivors to the prison without the Governor was exactly what the comic's Martinez intended to do, before Rick killed him.
THE COMICS: Following the Governor’s assault on the prison, Rick and the other survivors fled as the prison was reclaimed by walkers, and never returned. Curiously, it isn’t known what became of any remaining Woodbury inhabitants that didn’t take part in the Governor’s failed assault.
The Governor Will Return!
AMC: After massacring the majority of his forces in the wake of the failed assault, the Governor drives off with a visibly disturbed Martinez and Shumpert. It isn’t known if the Governor returned to Woodbury, considering he hadn’t arrived before Rick led the migration with Tyreese, but AMC has confirmed that David Morrissey will return as a series regular next season.
THE COMICS: Nope! The comic Governor definitively died during the failed Woodbury assault, shot in the head by a soldier named Lilly upon realizing she’d accidentally killed Lori’s baby. Lilly kicked the body to the invading walkers as a distraction to get the remaining soldiers to safety inside, though their efforts were implied to have failed.
What did you think of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 finale, "Welcome to the Tombs?" Were you surprised to see such major deviations from the books’ story? 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 season for more in-depth comic-to-TV comparisons of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4!