TWD: What Happens to Sebastian Milton in the Comics?

Warning: this story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead comic books. Elitist. Entitled. Pompous. Petulant. Spoiled. Snobby. All are words to describe Sebastian Milton, son of Governor Pamela Milton, leader of the Commonwealth. Introduced in issue #177 of creator Robert Kirkman's Image comic book, the governor's son is "affluenza" personified. Sebastian is heir apparent to Ohio's Commonwealth community, where 50,000 survivors live as part of a network of settlements governed by his mother, an aristocratic politician. Ushering in the New World Order, so declares Governor Milton: "We're civilization. It's back. You're welcome."

After Eugene leads a delegation to the Commonwealth in the aftermath of the Whisperer War, Alexandria Safe-Zone leader Rick Grimes agrees to meet with Governor Milton to discuss incorporating Alexandria under the Commonwealth. But Rick and Pamela's ideologies clash when Rick learns of the classism that the governor believes establishes order in a world of chaos. 

"Whatever status we established in the life before died with that life," Rick believes. "We earn a new place in a new world now." For Pamela, a working class is the strong foundation of any civilization. "That's the world order," she says in their first meeting. "Always has been." Rick retorts: "Then maybe we need a new world order."

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(Photo: Image Comics)

As some of Rick's people assimilate into the Commonwealth, Sebastian accuses Rick of "disrupting the natural order of things" as civil unrest grows — and anti-Milton sentiment grows. Rick wants peace, fairness, and equality for all living in the Commonwealth. Even as Governor Milton publicly credits Rick for saving her life from an assassination attempt, Sebastian is threatened by Rick's growing leadership role. 

General Mercer, commander of the Commonwealth Army and head of Sebastian's personal security, plots a coup to overthrow the Miltons and install better leaders for the community. "You're not a leader," Mercer tells Governor Milton. "You're a f—ing wannabe queen, and I'm not waiting around until you try to install your shit-for-brains son as your replacement."

When social unrest boils over into a riot, Rick escorts Pamela and Sebastian to safety. With the revolt underway, Rick scolds Sebastian: "Everyone f—ing hates you! Your family takes advantage of the people here! You treat them like sh-t! And you're the worst among them!" 

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(Photo: Image Comics)

Mercer urges Rick to step up as leader and change the Commonwealth. "Lead these people the way you lead your people," Mercer tells him. As a civil war brews, a 1,000-walker horde swarms the Commonwealth. 

Governor Milton accuses Rick of conspiring with Mercer to unseat the Miltons and take over the Commonwealth. Rick calls for peace, telling the citizens of the Commonwealth: "We can live again. We are not the walking dead!"

Rick calls out Governor Milton for starting a war to maintain her power. The citizens rally around Rick, who tells the people of the Commonwealth: "Bring about a Commonwealth that works for you... rather than against you. If you don't want Pamela Milton to lead you — then don't let her lead you." 

Mercer arrests Governor Milton for her own safety, enraging Sebastian. "We f—ing built this place," he yells. "You think you can keep running it without us? You need us! You're f—ing lost without us!"

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(Photo: Image Comics)

With Governor Milton behind bars, Michonne credits Rick for inspiring the people of the Commonwealth. Optimism for the future and morale is at an all-time high as candidates prepare for the first organized election — and Rick is the clear front-runner. But Rick refuses to run for governor, choosing instead to return to Alexandria. "The Commonwealth needs to grow from within," he decides. "It needs to be someone who already lives here."

Before Rick can return home to Alexandria, Sebastian breaks into Rick's room and confronts him at gunpoint. 

"What I don't want to do is watch all my hard work — my mother's hard work — go down the f—ing drain because of you. I don't want to see the Commonwealth fall apart," Sebastian screams at Rick, gun in hand. "You've disrupted the natural order of things — you've ruined everything! One speech and my family is kicked out. I'm supposed to just pretend I'm like everyone else now? Because you said so? You're that powerful, huh? You feel powerful now?"

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(Photo: Image Comics)

Sebastian shoots Rick, striking him in the chest. In issue #192 of The Walking Dead, a shocked Sebastian apologizes — then shoots Rick again. And again. Sebastian Milton assassinates Rick Grimes. The next day, Rick's son, Carl Grimes, tearfully puts down his father's reanimated body.

Two days later, Pamela reports they've found Rick's killer: her son. "He'll spend the rest of his life behind bars for what he did."

Carl visits Sebastian in prison, where he explains "life had never been better" once the Milton family got the Commonwealth up and running. "We made the rules, we were on top," he says. "I did whatever I wanted. I thought I could do anything. So when your dad f—ed everything up... I thought... if he went away, everything would go back to normal." Rick was the first person he's ever killed. And he will be the last. 

Like Negan, who Rick once put behind bars, Sebastian spending the rest of his life in jail is the deserved punishment. "I get to check on you. See your misery. You get to sit and remember the life you had," Carl tells Sebastian. "That's a far better punishment than death. My dad taught me that. It's more... civilized. It's what he would have wanted." Should Sebastian ever be released, Carl promises, "I will find you. And before I put you back in this cell... I will hurt you."

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(Photo: Image Comics)

25 years later, Rick is immortalized as a towering statue erected by the people remembering Rick Grimes as "the man who made the world." Sebastian Milton remains imprisoned, his elderly mother his only visitor.

"The Walking Dead has, from a very early point, made it clear that they don't always follow the comics," Sebastian actor Teo Rapp-Olsson told ComicBook of his character's fate in an exclusive post-mortem. "We've seen that with Carol staying. Even the way that Abraham dies before Glenn, all these kind of aspects, but there's oftentimes little twists so that therefore comic book readers aren't going to just simply sit there and go like, 'Wow, I saw that coming from a mile away.' But in fact, actually leave you thrown for a loop."

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Rapp-Olsson continued: "And so while, obviously, [Sebastian's death on the TV show] is probably not what a lot of people expected, by that same token, it's what a lot of people did not expect and therefore, I think leaves people quite shocked. I'd gotten a message from one fan who'd seen [the episode] on AMC+ and was just like, 'I was screaming at my TV!' And some part of me was like, 'You know what? If we elicited you screaming at your TV, I think we've done our job right.'"

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