Hershel Greene

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Hershel Greene
Hershel Greene (Comics).jpg
Hershel Greene, as depicted in the comic book series.
The Walking Dead character
Portrayed by Scott Wilson (TV series); Robert Kouroukilis (video game voice-over)
First appearance Issue #10 (comics)
"Bloodletting" (TV series)
Last appearance Issue #48 (comics)
"Too Far Gone" (Alive) (TV series)
"After" (Undead) (TV series)
"A" (Flashback) (TV series)
Created by Robert Kirkman
Species Human
Occupation Farmer, veterinarian

Hershel Greene is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and is portrayed by Scott Wilson in the American television series of the same name. He is the widowed owner of a farm in Georgia and has previous experience in the veterinary fields.


Comic book series[edit]

Hershel is displayed as a middle-aged man of Irish descent who grew up on his family's farm where he developed a love for animals. As an adult, he held a veterinary business with his wife, which ended up collapsing once she died. Distraught over the loss and unable to do much (while at the same time forcing himself to develop a more religious point of view), he chose to fulfill his father's dying wish by moving himself and his seven children back to the farm and tending to the livestock, as well as being able to return to the old and simplistic form of life that he missed while he was living in the city. He struggled with the family finances, especially when it came to the expenses from college for some of his older children. Hershel was sheltered from the reality of the outside world when the apocalypse began and confused about what exactly was happening; when his son Shawn was bitten, Hershel was unable to handle the thought of killing him and desperately clung to the belief that zombies were merely sick humans who could return to normal with a cure. He resorted to locking them up inside his barn whenever they wandered onto the property.

When the Atlanta band takes refuge at the farm after one of their own, Carl, is shot, he welcomes them with open arms; however, he gradually grows frustrated with them; this comes to a head when the barn bursts open and the zombies kill two of his children. He is distraught over their deaths and blames the survivors for what happened. After he discovers his daughter, Maggie, sleeping with Glenn, and sees that the other members of the group refuse to leave, he puts a gun to Rick's head and thus forces them out (though afterwards, he is ashamed and scared of the fact that he was on the verge of taking an innocent life). As the farm becomes increasingly unsafe, he and the rest of his people make the decision to join the Atlanta band at a safe and secure semi-abandoned prison where they next take shelter.

Hershel gradually makes amends with his fellow survivors and accepts Maggie's relationship with Glenn. His medical experience comes in handy for the survivors several times, such as delivering Lori's baby, as well as his farm-work knowledge, which he uses to start growing fresh crops in the prison fields. His two youngest daughters die at the hands of a deranged prisoner, adding to his family's death toll. He remains in shock for a while, only to get closure by forcing himself to watch the man's death at the hands of zombies outside of the premises. Now more than ever, he only lives for the protection and survival of his two remaining children. After marrying Maggie and Glenn, and knowing Glenn will take care of her for as long as he lives, he sees closure with that child and narrows his focus down to his youngest son Billy. He engages fiercely in the battle against the Governor and the Woodbury citizens but ultimately gives up on life after his son Billy is killed while they are fleeing the prison. In his last moments, he turned down the chance to escape with Rick and the others and remained hovering over his dead son's body until he caught the attention of the Governor. His tearful last words were, "Dear God, please kill me", before being shot in the head by the Governor.

Television series[edit]

Hershel Greene, as portrayed by Scott Wilson in the television series

Season 2[edit]

Hershel was described as being raised by an abusive, alcoholic father, which resulted in him running away from the farmhouse at 15 years old and later not being at his father's deathbed. During his time away from the area, he became a veterinarian. At some point, he married a woman named Josephine, and settled back on the farm. Within the first few years of their marriage, he descended into alcoholism; however, he managed to give up the habit once Maggie was born. When Maggie was older, Josephine died, which ultimately led Hershel to marry another woman named Annette (who had a son of her own from a previous marriage) and have a daughter with her whom they named Beth. Sometime after the apocalypse began, he lost Annette and his step-son to the hordes of zombies. He and the rest of his group remained unaware of the reality of the outside world and strongly believed that there could be a cure. As a result of this mistaken belief, Hershel kept a large group of walkers, mostly family and friends, locked in a nearby barn.

In the episode "Bloodletting", after Otis accidentally shoots Carl, Hershel treats the boy as best he can with the limited amount of equipment, but he will need to perform surgery, so Shane and Otis go to get more equipment. In the episode "Save the Last One", Shane arrives with the supplies, but reveals that Otis has died; miraculously, Hershel is able to save Carl's life. In the episode "Cherokee Rose", Hershel helps organize the group's search for Carol's missing daughter, Sophia. When the survivors settle down at the farm as Carl recovers, Hershel is watchful of their influence - particularly towards Shane's aggressive behavior and the group's hostile view of the walkers. He makes a deal with Rick to continue providing them safe haven, provided they stay away from the barn. In the episode "Chupacabra", Hershel is also wary of Maggie's closeness to Glenn, and becomes impatient at other difficulties the group has been causing. In the episode "Secrets", Dale confronts Hershel about the walkers he had been keeping in the barn, but Hershel defends himself by stating he feels they are just sick people. In the mid-season finale "Pretty Much Dead Already", Rick confronts Hershel about the barn, but Hershel demands that Rick and his group must leave the farm within a week. Shane impatiently breaks open the barn door, and the group exterminates the walkers he had so desperately kept captive, including his wife and son, as well as Sophia.

In the episode "Nebraska", Hershel sinks into a deep depression, running away and reverting to his old alcoholic habits. He abandons his previous beliefs for a cure and is convinced by Rick that he has to accept the new world in order to stay strong for his two daughters. Rick and Glenn find him at a bar, but when two survivors from another group arrive it leads to a violent confrontation and Rick shoots and kills them both. In the episode "Triggerfinger", other members from this group come looking for their two missing members, leading to a shootout. One of them, Randall gets his leg impaled on a fence and he is left behind, but Rick, Glenn, and Hershel save his life and take him back to the farm. In the episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner", Hershel gifts Glenn with a family heirloom symbolizing his approval of Glenn's relationship with Maggie. In the episode "Better Angels", Hershel finally agrees to let the group stay at the farm and move into his house. In the season finale "Beside the Dying Fire", when a horde of zombies invade his property, he fights tooth and nail to fend them off, albeit in vain. In the end, he is forced to retreat with Rick and Carl, not knowing if anyone else has made it off his property alive; he feels sadness over having abandoned his land. Going back to the highway, they stay there until the rest of the survivors come, without Jimmy, Patricia, Shane and Andrea. Jimmy and Patricia have been eaten, while Shane has been killed by Rick (and again by Carl after reanimating) prior to the zombie attack and Andrea was separated from the group and on the run from walkers. While most of the camp doubts Rick's leadership in light of recent events, Hershel has solid trust in Rick, believing they should keep moving together as a group.[1]

Season 3[edit]

In the season premiere "Seed", approximately eight months later, Hershel continues to be an active member of the group as they continually move around from shelter to shelter. He has also grown a beard. While clearing out the prison, he is bitten on the ankle and his lower leg is immediately amputated by Rick. In the episode "Sick", Rick and the others rush Hershel to one of the cells in critical condition. He shows positive signs of recovery, and later regains consciousness. In the episode "Killer Within", Hershel has recovered, and is able to get around by walking on crutches that Lori and Carol find for him somewhere in the prison. The celebration is interrupted by a horde of walkers, resulting in the death of T-Dog as well as Lori's death during the birth of her baby, Judith. In the episode "Say the Word", Hershel talks with Glenn while Glenn digs graves for Lori and T-Dog. In the episode "Hounded", Hershel appoints himself to the role of ensuring the well-being of Judith and Carl while Rick is frequently absent from the group (both physically and mentally). In the episode "When the Dead Come Knocking", Hershel tends to Michonne's gunshot wound. In the mid-season finale "Made to Suffer", Hershel allows Carl to investigate the arrival of Tyreese and Sasha's group.

In the mid-season premiere "The Suicide King", Herhsel argues with Rick to let Tyreese and his group stay, but Rick refuses. In the episode "Home", Hershel suggests to Gleen that the group needs to leave the prison with the oncoming threat of The Governor. In the episode "I Ain't a Judas", Hershel becomes increasingly frustrated with Rick due to his inability to listen to reason and him specifically, but nonetheless he continues to help him through this difficult time in his life. In the episode "Arrow on the Doorpost", Hershel and Daryl go along for support as Rick meets with the Governor to make an arrangement; Hershel spends the time conversing with Milton while Daryl talks to Martinez. In the episode "This Sorrowful Life", Rick confides to Hershel that the Governor claims he will let the rest of the prison group live if they surrender Michonne, but Hershel refuses to be a part of it. Glenn asks for Hershel's permission to marry Maggie, and Hershel gives his blessing. In the season finale "Welcome to the Tombs", Hershel is with Carl when Carl coldly guns down a Woodbury boy who was handing over his weapon. After the attack by Woodbury is over, Hershel is disgusted and tells Rick about the incident.

Season 4[edit]

In the season premiere "30 Days Without an Accident", Hershel is on The Council in the prison along with several others including Daryl, Glenn, Carol and Sasha. In the episode "Infected", a deadly sickness breaks out among the prison group population. In the episode "Isolation", Hershel argues with Rick to let him treat the sick, which Rick finally agrees to. In "Internment", Hershel continues to treat the sickness, and eventually the sickness is contained and cured when Daryl's group returns with antibiotics. In the mid-season finale "Too Far Gone," Hershel and Michonne are captured by the Governor and his band. Rick pleads for the new group to join with his, saying, "Anyone can change." Causing Hershel to smile knowing his advice has rubbed off on Rick. Whispering "Liar!," the Governor slashes Hershel's throat with Michonne's Katana, the standoff then turning into a firefight. Not long after the fight breaks out, the Governor pins Hershel to the ground, repeatedly slashing at his neck until he decapitates him, much to the horror of Beth and Maggie.

In the episode "After", his reanimated head is discovered later by Michonne after the attack and she remorsefully puts it out of its misery. In the episode "A," he appears several times throughout the episode in flashbacks.

Video games[edit]

Hershel makes his first chronological appearance in the franchise in Episode 1: A New Day. At the point where Lee Everett meets Hershel, Lee has just escaped from the nearby suburbs, together with Clementine, Shawn, who is still alive at this point, and depending on player actions, Shawn's friend Chet, or the police officer Andre Mitchell. Hershel tends to a leg injury Lee has sustained, and questions him about what he was doing immediately before and after the outbreak took place. The player can either choose to be honest as possible to him, making Lee lie by omission, or dodging and not giving straight answers to his questions. Shawn then brings up the necessity of fortifying the farm to keep the walkers out, which Hershel disagrees with, believing that the outbreak will pass quickly, but after prompting by Lee, he agrees to let Shawn do it. The next day Hershel questions Lee some more, and if Lee was at any point directly lying to him, he will have picked up on the contradictions in Lee's story, and confronts him about it, and no matter what he will underline the importance of honesty and trustworthiness in the trying times ahead. Their conversation is cut short when Shawn and Duck, the young son of a couple also staying on the farm, are attacked by walkers near the fence. Lee arrives at the scene first and can either choose to concentrate on helping Duck or Shawn, who is trapped under a tractor. Regardless of that, Shawn is killed by the walkers, and Duck is brought to safety by his father, Kenny. Hershel then arrives at the scene with his shotgun and shoots the three walkers attacking Shawn. If Lee concentrated on Shawn, he will stay alive long enough to tell Hershel that Lee at least tried to save him which will mitigate his next responses a bit, but Hershel will ultimately be grief-stricken and distressed about his son's death, and angrily tell Kenny and Lee to leave his farm and never come back.



Scott Wilson was officially announced as being cast in June 2011, along with co-stars Lauren Cohan and Pruitt Taylor Vince.[2]


  1. ^ "Beside the Dying Fire"
  2. ^ Michael Crider (June 28, 2011). "‘The Walking Dead’ Season 2 Casts Hershel & Family". Screen Rant. 

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