“It's hard making it in a society that only cares about profit and pleasure. No wonder God has turned His back on us.”— Pryce blaming 'sinful' use of individual freedoms for social problems
Commander Andrew Pryce is a recurring character in the first and second seasons of the TV Series. He serves as a Commander in the Republic of Gilead, as well as being a leading member of the Sons of Jacob. He is in charge of the Eyes and chairs a board of local commanders called the "Council."
Before Gilead Edit
Originally from Metro Detroit, Michigan Pryce worked as a career counselor in Detroit prior to the rise of Gilead. Nick was one of his unemployed customers who gets in a fight with another customer. After Nick is thrown out, Pryce follows him and invites him out for coffee. Nick tells him about his brother and the hard times they've had, and Pryce tells Nick about a religious group he is part of called the Sons of Jacob that wants to "clean up" the country.
After the coup d'etat Edit
Pryce initially states they must treat "these girls (i.e. the remaining fertile women) respectfully, in a Godly fashion, despite the moral stain from their lives before". Guthrie rejects this as unaffordable "window dressing" and ineffective. By Waterford's request and to Pryce's resentment, Guthrie proposes to use all remaining fertile women as concubines, i.e. they should be collected and impregnated by men of superior status. Pryce then suggests the "Ceremony" scenario with the wife present for the act ("it would be less of a violation") and eventually agrees to the enslavement.
While watching Guthrie being led by two guards into an office building of the Eyes, Nick reports to a pleased Commander Pryce that Guthrie has been sleeping with his last two Handmaids and is skimming from the transportation budget, according to his aide and his Martha. Pryce remembers Nick to "be chiefly reporting on the activities of his own Commander" and regrets the recent loss in the Waterfords' household. He concludes "We are going to clean up Gilead, son."
In the present Edit
Season One Edit
Pryce chairs the council of local commanders (among them Waterford and Commander Bennett) who are hearing the case of Commander Putnam. Waterford is all for leniency, reminding that no one is free of mistakes and that Warren Putnam has a family, a wife and a new child. Pryce replies that the council should always stand against sin, and that Mrs. Putnam herself has asked that her husband receive the harshest punishment possible, as she fears for his immortal soul and knows that he must make an offering to God to find redemption. Ultimately, Putnam's left hand is amputated.
Season Two Edit
Pryce is out skeet-shooting with some other Commanders (among them Waterford, Putnam, and Cushing). Waterford insinuates that he’d like to travel to Canada along with Cushing to "ease sanctions" and states to have his house in order, to which Pryce corrects "back in order."
In an office building, Pryce and Waterford are discussing the progress that's been made on the new Rachel and Leah Center. After Pryce agrees with Waterford's suggestion to house visiting Commanders from other districts with local Commanders, Waterford changes the conversation to his driver, Nick. Waterford attempts to convince Pryce to reward Nick for his loyal service with a job opportunity in Washington. Pryce replies he should "find a way to keep him around" if he is as loyal and hardworking as Waterford claims. Unknown to Waterford, this is likely an effort on Pryce's part to ensure that Nick can continue to report on Waterford's activities.
Some time later, Pryce oversees a Prayvaganza in which Nick, among other Guardians, is escorted out to the main floor. Young brides, their faces covered by veils, then march onto the floor and stand opposite the men being “honored.” As Nick lifts his bride's veil, he sees a girl, Eden, who is much younger than him. Pryce proceeds to marry Nick and Eden in a mass ceremony alongside the other Guardians and young brides.
Pryce inspects the almost finished construction site of the new Rachel and Leah Center along with Aunt Lydia and Commanders Waterford, Putnam, and Cushing. Aunt Lydia is pleased about the increasing number of "girls" they "can process here". Waterford assures a suspicious Pryce that the "finishing touches" on the site will be done within two days.
Pryce attends the opening of the new center and congratulates Waterford on its construction. When Nick sees Pryce, he begs for reassignment and says there’s a lot he hasn’t divulged about Waterford. He then asks Pryce to promise to "protect the handmaid," to which Pryce replies he has his word. Later, as Fred addresses the men who’ve gathered, a whole bunch of handmaids stand along the auditorium’s back wall. Ofglen #2 steps out of line and turns to face her fellow maids, raising one hand so everyone can see that she’s holding a detonator. The women start to run. Ofglen #2, who was later revealed to be Lillie Fuller in the next episode, then walks into the assembly, holds up her hand once more and presses the button. As the red-clad women run for safety, a huge explosion rocks the center. 26 Commanders and 31 Handmaids then perished as a result.
Putnam reveals in conversation with Serena Joy that Commander Pryce was killed in the attack. In the aftermath of his death, Commander Cushing assumes his security-related duties and institutes harsher policies, such as increased checkpoints and random executions.
After the takeover, Pryce makes concessions to Waterford and Guthrie in the "handmaid issue." In the present, he spies on them and is Waterford's boss. This shows he's been gaining political power.
Prior to this death, Pryce appeared to be planning a purge of those Commanders who contravened Gilead's laws. In the novel, several characters who were alive during the timeframe of The Handmaid's Tale are described as "dying during purges" which occurred in the Middle Gilead Period .