Caesar Martinez

Caesar MartinezPersonally, I was starting to miss The Walking Dead: the mid-season break was unbelievably long. Finally, with The Suicide King, everything’s back to normal on AMC. The character we’re going to speak of today is one I missed in the previous episodes, Caesar Martinez, portrayed on screen by Jose Pablo Cantillo. He’s one of Woodsbury‘s residents, a member of the city’s guard. He’s the one who, in Say the Word, fought against Merle Dixon in the arena, and that in the last episode effortlessy tried to prevent the civilians to try and escape from Woodsbury. At the moment, he just had some fringe appearances, but in the comics he had quite a major role. As often happens with TWD characters, you’re warned: major spoilers ahead.

Not much is known about Caesar Martinez’ life before the zombie apocalypse. He was a gym teacher in an unnamed town in Arkansas. He really cared for the children he taught to, even if he never married nor he had children of his own. For some unknown reasons, he cut all bonds with his parents, and they didn’t speak to each other. When a mysterious plague started turning everyone into flesh-eating zombies (he called them biters) everyone looked for a shelter; the school in which he worked was declared a “safe zone” by the city’s authorities, and Martinez welcomed in it many children along with their parents. In order to lower the tension and to reassure the children, Martinez organized a basketball tourney, involving every present and managing to create some fun also in an apocalyptic situation like the one they were stuck in. Unfortuantely, “safe zones” weren’t safe at all, and Martinez’ school made no exception. During a night, a pack of biters broke in, and attacked whoever they found on their path. Terrified, Caesar escaped with caesarmartinezcomics1some others, while the majority of the children and of their parents got eaten by the walkers. The experience became quite a trauma for the man, who, many times after the event, still heard the children’s screams in his head, regretting not to have stayed and fought for them. Martinez searched for a safe place in the surroundings, and finally arrived in Woodsbury, a city which wanted to become the ultimate oasis for everyone escaping from death. Martinez entered the comunity, and helped to fortify the city’s walls, becoming a fence guard.

In the days spent at Woodsbury, Martinez became fascinated by the personality of the community’s leader, the man known as The Governor, a strong commander who was able, at Martinez’ eyes, to protect everyone who happened to pass by Woodsbury. He was the gaurd in charge when Rick GrimesGlenn and Michonne arrived at the city’s doors. He let them in, bringing them to the Governor. He next saw Rick at the hospital, where he was taken after the Governor had cut his right hand. At that point, Martinez appearantly understood what kind of man his leader was, and decided to free Rick and his fellow survivors. After convincing the city’s doctor, Stevens, to help him, Caesar freed Rick and Glenn, he knocked out Gabe, who was guarding Michonne (who had been raped by The Governor) and freed her too. Once the small group arrived at the prison, they found it overrun by zombies. Martinez showed to be more than willing to help, and killed many walkers, thus contributing to the prison’s recapture. However, he stayed with Rick’s group just a little: that very night, when (almost) everyone was sleeping, he escaped, with caesarmartinezcomics2the intention of running back to Woodsbury. Rick, however, never fully trusted him, and had followed him with Dale‘s RV. Martinez was run over and threw in the mud. Rick reached him, and Caesar tried to convince him that he was just coming back to the city in order to free the few good people that sill lived there from the Governor’s tyranny and to bring them in the prison. Rick didn’t believe him, and, sure that Martinez had acted on the Governor’s orders all the time just to inform his boss on the prison’s location, he strangled him to death. Martinez turned into a zombie, and his wandering corpse was later found by Woodsbury guard. He was decapitated, and his head was used by the Governor as a means of propaganda: telling his people that Rick’s group had unmotivatedly killed Martinez, leaving his zombified body outside the city’s walls as a declaration of war, the Governor incited the people’s hatred, and convinced them to attack the prison. Martinez’ head was later put in one of the fish tanks the Governor had in his apartment.

Caesar Martinez is a broken man, whose conscience never ceases to torment him. He has always had a natural gift as a mentor for youth, and abandoning so many children to a horrible death transformed him. He is completely dominated by the Governor’s personality, and even if he understands what kind of man he is, he will do anything to ensure some kind of safety to the people around him, atoning this way for his past sins.

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1 Comment

  1. […] drank all the time. When they were searching a shop for provisions, they met another group led by Caesar Martinez: after a first moment of mutual distrust, Lilly and the others were invited in Martinez’ new, […]


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