Hershel Greene

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Hershel Greene
The Walking Dead character
Hershel season 4.png
Hershel, as depicted in the television series.
First appearance Comic:
"Issue 10" (2004)
Television:
"Bloodletting"
(episode 2.02) (2011)
Last appearance Comic:
"Issue 48" (2008)
Television: "A" (episode 4.16) (2014)
Created by Robert Kirkman
Portrayed by Scott Wilson
Voiced by Robert Kouroukilis (video game)
Information
Occupation Farmer
Veterinarian
Prison Council Member
Significant other(s) Josephine Greene (First wife; TV series)
Annette Greene (Second wife; TV series)
Children Maggie Greene
Beth Greene (TV series)
Shawn Greene
Lacey Greene (comics)
Arnold Greene (comics)
Billy Greene (comics)
Susie Greene (comics)
Rachel Greene (comics)
Relatives Unnamed (father)
Glenn Rhee
(son-in-law)
Comic:
Hershel Greene II
(grandson)

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. A devout Christian, with uncompromising morals and a stubborn attitude, Hershel remains fiercely protective of his large family, despite his many losses. In both mediums, he is initially introduced saving the life of Carl Grimes, the son of Rick Grimes after he is shot by one of Hershel's neighbors, Otis, and becomes the moral center of the group.

In the comic book series, Hershel is a farmer who initially exhibits a cold and cantankerous demeanor, before opening up to Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors, proving to be a gentle man at heart. He becomes a deeply religious man after the loss of his wife, and is of Jewish heritage. He spreads hope and reassurance to his fellow survivors, in particular, his second-born daughter, Maggie Greene and his youngest son, Billy Greene. Despite this, the loss of his son at the prison causes him to give up all hope on life, ultimately sacrificing himself, knowing his only surviving child, Maggie, is safe.[1]

Similarly in the television series, Hershel begins as a veterinarian and farmer, and soon advises Rick Grimes and proves himself to be a skilled diplomat, often coercing his fellow survivors to make the right choices suited for them. He deeply cares for and tends to his surviving daughters, Maggie and Beth Greene. Though he was disapproving of Maggie's relationship with Glenn over time Hershel came to accept him and Glenn came to view him as a father figure who also gave Glenn his blessing to marry Maggie. Unlike the comic book series, Hershel takes on a much more prominent role, as well as having a significantly smaller family (which includes seven children in the comics). In the television series, his family originates from Ireland.

The character of Hershel Greene and Scott Wilson's portrayal has garnered favorable reviews from critics and fans alike.[2][3][4]

Appearances[edit]

Comic book series[edit]

Hershel as depicted in the comic book series.

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.[5] 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.[6] He is distraught over their deaths and blames the survivors for what happened.[7] 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[8] (though afterwards, he is ashamed and scared of the fact that he was on the verge of taking an innocent life).[9]

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.[10]

Hershel gradually makes amends with his fellow survivors and accepts Maggie's relationship with Glenn.[11] His medical experience comes in handy for the survivors several times, such as his farm-work knowledge. His two youngest daughters die at the hands of a deranged prisoner, adding to his family's death toll.[12] Now more than ever, he only lives for the protection and survival of his two remaining children.[volume & issue needed] 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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

Television series[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.

Season 2[edit]

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.

Hershel preparing to fire at Dave and Tony's group.

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.

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", Hershel argues with Rick to let Tyreese and his group stay, but Rick refuses. In the episode "Home", Hershel suggests to Glenn that the group needs to leave the prison due to the looming 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]

Approximately six months after the end of the previous season, Hershel appears in the season premiere "30 Days Without an Accident" as a member of The Council, along with Glenn, Carol, Daryl and Sasha. After his conflict with Rick in the third season, Hershel now appears much closer with Rick in his guidance as the two have become close friends. His lifestyle has drastically affected Rick's lifestyle, as Rick had relinquished leadership after the third season and has now began farming in a quieter, peaceful environment. Hershel explains to Rick about planting and growing seeds at the prison. Later, Rick tells him about his experience with Clara, a mentally unstable woman he met in the woods to which Hershel explains that she was too far gone, and that he is not, and also explains she was wrong when referring to not coming back from the drastic actions you have to take, explaining that Rick came back.

In the episode "Infected", a deadly sickness breaks out among the prison group population and Hershel is among the people at the council examining the infected. He and the others decide to put Karen on isolation. In the episode "Isolation", Hershel is seen bandaging Rick's hand after his fight with Tyreese. He later goes into the woods with Carl to collect Herbs for the infected people. They both spot a decomposed walker as another one arrives. Once they return, Maggie tries to stop him from going inside Cell Block A to prevent him from being infected. Rick arrives and sides with Maggie, Hershel explains how they risk their lives and that he can help the sick. They both allow him to go and he goes inside and gives Caleb the herb medicine. When Caleb coughs, He spits blood into Hershel's face and Hershel himself thinks he is infected with the flu type infection. He also gives Glenn the herb medicine.

The episode "Internment" primarily focuses on Hershel as he continues to treat the ill people at the prison in Block A. Hershel, Glenn, and Sasha take care of several of the infected together until their situation spreads exponentially, which causes further problems. He attempts to reassure Dr. Caleb Subramanian that everything will be fine, before realizing that the doctor had given up hope, showing Hershel several guns he had packed and revealing blood running from his eyes and mouth. Later, Hershel revives a passed out Sasha, as she refers to him as a hero. When he exits the cell, Lizzie Samuels yells to Hershel, alerting him of 2 walkers in the room. Hershel gets pinned but a woman and man come to save him. However, the man's teenage son turns and bites his father, causing him to accidentally shoot and kill the woman. Hershel quickly runs to Lizzie who is pinned under a walker, and throws it onto a fence below the catwalk. Hershel then shouts at Caleb for a gun, before encountering the doctor, now dead and reanimated. After stabbing him through the bars of the cell, he retrieves a shotgun, which he uses to lure and kill the walkers. Right after, Hershel goes to get the breathing tube from the walker to save Glenn, but is pinned. Maggie, after hearing the gunfire from outside the prison, finally breaks into the cell block, and kills the walker and saves Hershel. She kills the remaining walkers and then they go to save Glenn, which they do. Afterwards, Hershel is seen back in Caleb's cell, where he tends to his corpse and attempts to read his bible before breaking down and sobbing over the events of the day. The next day, Hershel is confronted by Daryl, who asks where Carol is. Hershel, however, reassured him that she is fine, but directs him to Rick, as Hershel is aware of Carol's exile over the death of Karen, an infected survivor. He then rides with Michonne to burn and bury the corpses from the previous day.

In "Dead Weight", Hershel and Michonne are discovered by The Governor, who has returned with people from Caesar Martinez's camp, to successfully take over the prison after the massacre from the previous season, which caused him to be fail and start over. In the mid-season finale "Too Far Gone", The Governor ambushes Hershel and Michonne, knocking Michonne unconscious, as he forces Hershel to drop his gun. While they are held hostage, The Governor explains that he intends to take the prison from Rick so that his new group can live there safely, and will be using Hershel and Michonne to get it. Hershel tries, but fails to persuade The Governor that they could all live together. When The Governor states that he will kill members of Rick's group if necessary, Hershel states that The Governor should realize that threatening to kill a man's children is wrong since he used to have a child himself, but The Governor has already made his decision.

Once The Governor arrives at the Prison with his group and the two hostages, Hershel attempts to help Rick in reaching diplomacy. Rick spends several minutes pleading with The Governor, asking him to let Hershel and Michonne go and offering to let his group live in the Prison with the others. The Governor becomes irritated and holds Michonne's katana to Hershel's throat. Rick then looks down at Hershel and Hershel nods his head, as a sign of saying Rick has made the right choice. Rick frantically tries to reason, and reinstates Hershel's virtues of peace and that nobody is "too far gone", and that "we can all come back," leading Hershel to smile vaguely. The Governor begins to put down the sword, but then stops, muttering "liar". The Governor then swings the sword into Hershel's neck, partially decapitating him. This leads to the beginning of a massive gunfight, as Maggie and Beth watch their father's murder in horror from the prison gates, as they participate and then help the others escape as well as themselves. As Hershel bleeds out and desperately attempts to crawl away in the ensuing gunfight, The Governor catches up to him and repeatedly slashes at Hershel's neck with the sword until he decapitates him. In the episode "After", his reanimated head is discovered later by Michonne after the attack and she remorsefully stabs it with her katana.

In the season finale "A," Hershel appears several times throughout the episode in flashbacks. Hershel convinces Rick into pulling himself from the violence, and to gather animals to domesticate and grow crops in the plots of land. Rick later convinces his son Carl to do the same. His role in the episode is to show Rick's contrasting lifestyles of being a brutalized and uncompromising survivor and later returning leadership role to his previous relinquished leadership role between seasons three and four, much to the influence of Hershel. Hershel explains to Rick as they farm and laugh with Beth, as he jokingly refers to her as the new sheriff in the town that "it can be like this all the time". He is also shown hugging his daughter, Maggie and greeting Glenn after they return from a supply run.

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.

Development[edit]

Scott Wilson was officially announced as being cast in June 2011, along with co-stars Lauren Cohan and Pruitt Taylor Vince.[16]

On Talking Dead, it was revealed that Hershel was initially scripted to be killed by Randall in the episode "Better Angels" during Randall's escape. However, the producers decided to allow the character to live so that they could explore the dramatic potential of losing his farm in "Beside the Dying Fire" and Season 3.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (p), Adlard, Charlie (inker, cover), Cliff Rathburn (gray tones, cover colors) (i), Wooton, Rus (let). "Made To Suffer" The Walking Dead v8, 48 (April 2, 2008), 1942 University Avenue, Suite 305, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics
  2. ^ Handlen, Zack (October 27, 2013). "Isolation". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-the-walking-dead-internment-my-father-the-hero#yP0z9DK2qe0XPrPL.99
  4. ^ Cornet, Roth (November 10, 2013). "The Walking Dead: "Internment" Review". IGN. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v2, 10 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  6. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v2, 11 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  7. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v2, 11 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  8. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v2, 12 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  9. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v2, 12 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  10. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v3, 14 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  11. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v4, 22 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  12. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v3, 16 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  13. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v7, 37 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  14. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v8, 48 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  15. ^ Kirkman, Robert (w), Adlard, Charlie (penciller, cover) (p), Gaudiano, StefanoCliff Rathburn (gray tones) (i), Dave Stewart (cover colors) (col), Wooton, Rus (let), Mackiewicz, Sean (ed). The Walking Dead v8, 48 (January 8th 2015), 2001 Center St., 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704: Image Comics, Skybound Entertainment
  16. ^ Michael Crider (June 28, 2011). "‘The Walking Dead’ Season 2 Casts Hershel & Family". Screen Rant. 

External links[edit]