|“|| That day, after the battle on the hill...The donkey we caught promised me the Colonel would spare my life...If I told them where you were hiding. Forgive me!|
My son... my wife... are dead.
— Caesar telling Winter the cost of his betrayal in War for the Planet of the Apes
Winter was born into Caesar's Ape Colony and his mother named him Winter because his fur reminded her of the snow. As a child, Winter grew up in the Ape Colony and his father served as a member of the Gorilla Guard and was a brave warrior in the eyes of Winter who sought to follow in the latter's footsteps.
As a young adult, Winter achieved his dream of joining the Gorilla Guard but struggled to fit in with his fellows as he felt out of place because of albinism which made him easy to spot in hunting and left him feeling inferior to the other gorillas. In the end, other apes stopped inviting him on hunts because the prey could see him. During games of hide and seek, Winter was always the first one foundWinter found comfort from his childhood idol and leader of the group Luca who made him see that he was a valuable member to the Ape Army.
War for the Planet of the Apes: RevelationsEdit
Guarding the ColonyEdit
Winter volunteered to go with Luca to confront the army of humans approaching from the North, but Luca tells him to stay with the female and child apes. Winter half-heartedly protests, saying he is willing to fight but Luca says that is why he is saying with them, to fight anyone that would threaten them and Luca leaves. Winter and the rest of the Guard escort them to an abandoned building in the city to hide from the humans.
Winter suddenly felt like his entire body was on fire from the inside and jumped and swung his hands in a panic trying to make the feeling go away. Winter then realized that the building directly across from them had been set on fire by a weapon fired on them by the humans. Winter stood on the street in horror as the fire grew and was almost caught in a cloud of smoke before another of the Guard, Red, pulled him away in time and told him what happened. Red yanked his arm and told him they need to help the women and children but Winter just curled up against the wall in the fetal position and started rocking back and forth. This continued until Luca arrived, gripped Winter's arm tightly and ordered him to stand up. Winter got on all fours again in shame and submission.
Winter went to sleep to prepare for a long journey into the woods and was awakened by Luca. While walking across a bridge, Luca, Red and Ajax, Luca's second-in-command of the Guard, gathered around him to hide his white fur and Winter again tells Luca he wants to stay and fight with him, saying he can learn to use a gun. Luca say he will show him how to use a gun and explains to Winter that the Guard acts as the wall of their kind when they have no walls, protecting the other apes from harm. Luca says Winter's fur color has no bearing on this task as knowing a wall is present is enough to deter enemies, especially if the wall (aka Winter) is strong enough. Winter confesses he was scared when the humans attacked and Luca reassures him that fear helps them know their limits and tells Winter he knows he will be strong when the time comes.
Tricked by RedEdit
After they reach the woods, Winter takes the early watch before another member of the Guard, Oak, relieves him to get some sleep. When Winter wakes up, he notices his gun is missing. Winter turns around after he heard someone's voice and saw it was Red, carrying both his and Winter's gun. Relieved, Winter moves to get his gun back from Red before he is told to sit back down. Winter then noticed the female apes and children were gathered together around a group of chimpanzees with guns lead by Grey, which confused Winter as they were supposed to be with Caesar. Winter then noticed four Guard gorillas were missing their weapons, had their hands bound, and were being guarded by Oak and several more chimpanzees.
Winter asked Red what was going on and Red told him that Caesar, Luca and the rest of the Ape Army were dead. When Grey arrived to tell them the news, Ajax and half the guard tried to take over, and in the confusion Ajax kidnapped Cornelia and Cornelius to hold them as hostages to get the female apes to follow him. Now, Grey was their leader and Winter tells Red he understands and reaches for his gun. Red tells him he will get it when he is convinced that he is not a traitor like the other members of the guard, including one that is dead named Ursus. Winter assures Red he isn't and goes with them, unaware of the true story.
In truth, the Ape Army was still standing and fighting while the gorillas and new chimpanzees in the camp are Koba loyalists planning to leave Caesar and start their own colony with Grey as their leader. In that confusion, Cornelia took her infant son and fled, while Ajax was injured and Ursus was killed trying to stop them.
Winter is forced to carry a very heavy pack on the long journey away from the city while he wonders where he stood within the group. Winter decided to be useful and gathered wood in order to build a fire and then looked for a lighter knot to set it while grieving Luca's "death". Red came up behind him while Winter was searching and handed Winter his gun back, proving Winter had earned his trust. Winter told Red he won't disappoint him, then Red told him some of the female apes sneaked off into the night. When asked why, Red lies about Cornelia being the one to convince Ajax to start a coup and the females who left were her closest followers. Winter is more confused than ever as to why Cornelia would instigate this rebellion and Red tells him Cornelia is desperate to keep her crown. Winter is hesitant, but tells Red if he has to, he will protect the troop from Cornelia and Ajax, pleasing Red.
Winter's confusion and failureEdit
Winter saw Oak return with Cornelia and Maple, one of Cornelia's followers, by his side and initially assumed they were his prisoners. When they continued getting closer, Winter noticed Oak wasn't carrying his gun anymore and slowly started pointing his gun toward Cornelia in preparation to shoot her. Oak tells Winter that Cornelia isn't the traitor and that Grey, Red and Oak were the true traitors, confusing Winter even more. Cornelia tells Winter that Luca and Caesar are still alive and Winter angrily shouted at her to stop moving, but she continued moving forward, telling Winter if he thinks she is his enemy, then shoot. Winter closed his eyes and tried to pull the trigger, but could not bring himself to do it.
Cornelia, Maple, and Oak went by him while Winter languished in his confusion at not knowing who was lying and who was telling the truth, and his failure to follow Red's orders. Winter realized the reason Cornelia went through him was because she saw he was the weakest link. Winter reported to Red everything that happened and Red demanded Winter surrender his gun and angrily sends Winter away because of his failure to shoot Cornelia.
After Caesar and Luca returned from the battle, Winter was welcomed back into the Guard despite his unwitting role in Red's coup. At some point, Winter took one of the empty seats on Caesar's council and sat beside Luca.
War for the Planet of the Apes ComicsEdit
Two months into the war, Caesar came up with a plan to cripple the humans in an attempt to stop the war: blow up the dam giving power to San Francisco. He lead a group of apes, among them Winter, Maurice and Rocket, telling them they need to destroy the dam to cut off the power, as it's essential to the humans.
War for the Planet of the ApesEdit
Two years into the war, Winter was present with Caesar and Luca as they arrived at the aftermath of a battle at the apes' trench in Muir Woods. All three look over the dead and wounded apes before approaching Spear guarding the captured soldiers, and the gorilla Red, who had defected to Alpha-Omega. Winter grew terrified as Red chastised Caesar for believing the apes who had sided against him feared him and threaten the entire tribe of what Alpha-Omega will do to them. After Spear silenced the traitorous ape, Luca proceeded in ordering Winter to take Red outside.
Rather than holding Red prisoner, Winter made a deal with him instead after Red broke free and attacked Winter. If Winter gave Red the location of Caesar's tribe's refuge, Winter would be spared by the Colonel and become a donkey. Letting Red go, he returned to Caesar, claiming the ape had escaped and showing his wound to enforce his lie.
Winter returned to the refuge and held his spear out when two shadows arrived on horseback then put it down after noticing it was just Rocket and Blue Eyes. At a council meeting that evening, Winter tried to convince the other apes to leave the colony to an oasis beyond a vast desert Blue Eyes and Rocket had discovered that very day. However, his cowardice was rejected, despite Blue Eyes' sympathy. Winter then secretly left the colony, unknowingly having enabled Colonel McCullough to take a group of soldiers there in an attempt to assassinate Caesar.
Life as a DonkeyEdit
Winter was integrated into the soldiers' "Donkeys" as promised. A few days later, Winter joined Red in handing out some chipmunk stew to a smaller group of soldiers that were waiting to rendezvous with McCullough's main base. A soldier named Boyle shouted at Winter to bring him some soup. Winter complied after being nudged by Red and filled Boyle's bowl but accidentally spilled some onto Boyle's boot. Boyle angrily kicked the bucket out of Winter's hands and Winter snarled at the human on instinct before Boyle pulled held gun to Winter's face.
Winter froze in fear while another soldier, Preacher, tried to calm Boyle down only for Boyle to call him a "donkey-lover" and have him sit down in shame. Boyle turns his attention back onto Winter and orders him to get him a new bowl and Winter goes to get one from the kitchen as he carried some dirty dishes to.
While searching for a new bowl Winter realized he had made a horrible mistake in joining the humans. Winter considered deserting the humans too when he was confronted by Caesar, Luca and Rocket. The alpha male's presence forced Winter to reveal that more soldiers were coming from the North and rendezvous with the Colonel at a place called "The Border". Breaking down, Winter apologized for his treachery and held up his hand for forgiveness, but Caesar made no attempt to accept as he revealed to Winter his son and wife are dead as a result of his cowardice.
Winter was shocked to hear this and realized that his life was in danger from Caesar's boiling anger. The apes spotted two shadows at the window, forcing Caesar, Rocket and Luca to hold down Winter and keep him silent. After the humans left, Rocket and Luca realized that Caesar had inadvertently asphyxiated Winter in his struggle to quiet him.
Despite his death, Winter's actions still had a great effect on the other apes, as his cowardice and betrayal to the humans directly led to the Colonel killing Cornelia and Blue Eyes. His actions also made it more difficult for the apes to travel and indirectly led to the capture of the apes and to the deaths of many apes, including Spear and Percy.
Winter would go down in history as a traitor and coward to the Ape Colony who only hindered their progress to get to their new home. Willing to work as a slave to ensure his own survival at the cost of his kind and betraying everyone who ever cared about him.
Caesar was also haunted by Winter's actions psychologically as well, as Winter causing the death of Caesar's wife and son started Caesar on a dark path. Caesar killing Winter (albeit accidentally) made himself feel even more like Koba and had nightmares about it where Koba taunted Caesar about how "ape not kill ape". Later Caesar's journey for revenge caused the death of Winter's mentor while in the guard, Luca.
Winter betraying the location of the apes to the humans led to the death of Caesar, Cornelia, Blue Eyes and Luca, indirectly making him responsible for Caesar, Cornelia, Blue Eyes and Luca's death.
War for the Planet of the Apes: RevelationsEdit
Winter was shown to be timid and unsure of himself. He doubted his ability to be a useful member of the Gorilla Guard because his white hair made him easy to spot, which he perceived as weakness. He was shown to be very self-conscious of his albinism and it lead to a lack of self-confidence.
He looked up to Luca greatly, and the older gorilla helped gain confidence through reassurances that he was just as strong and useful as the other gorillas of usual coloring.
War for the Planet of the ApesEdit
Winter also wasn't the bravest of apes, as he balked at every confrontation, and even cower in the face of danger. Winter was shown to be a coward. He became so scared for his own self-preservation that he betrayed Caesar to Red in return for being spared and to become a "Donkey" for his colony's enemies. These actions would eventually lead to his death at the hands of Caesar, albeit by accident.
- Animal Strength: Like all gorillas, Winter was powerful and strong. Despite this, Winter's strength was inferior, as Caesar was able to catch him off-guard by whacking him in the head with his gun and Luca placing his hand over Winter's mouth before Winter could sound an alarm, leading to be (accidentally) suffocated to death by Caesar.
- High-Level Intellect: Having been born to two apes who inhaled ALZ-113, Winter was born with increased intelligence, enabling him to sign.
- Sign Language: Having been taught by the older evolved apes, Winter had gained the ability to use American sign language.
- Speech: Having been given the ALZ-113, through unknown methods, Winter had gained the ability of speech. He did not have any verbal lines of dialogue in War, so it was unknown how good his english was.
- Expert Hand-To-Hand Combatant: Due to him being a member of the Ape Army, Winter was a capable fighter. Also like most gorillas, Winter uses his massive strength and speed in battle to make him a formidable opponent. However, Caesar was able to overpower him, as he unknowingly suffocated him to death.
- See Winter/Relationships.
- Winter was the quaternary antagonist of War for the Planet of the Apes.
- Winter is a rare albino gorilla, rather than with the typically brown or black fur. Due to his white fur, the Alpha-Omega soldiers had to use black ink for the "Donkey" tattoo on his back.
- Winter's name and albinism may be based on Snowflake, an albino gorilla who was kept at Barcelona Zoo in Spain from 1966 until his death in 2003.
- Winter's father was one of the first in the Gorilla Guard, as confirmed in Revelations.
- Winter is the second ape to be killed by Caesar, after Koba. However, unlike his killing of Koba, Caesar accidentally kills Winter.
- See Winter/Gallery.
- War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations
- War for the Planet of the Apes
- War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios)