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- "You step outside, you risk your life. You take a drink of water, you risk your life. And nowadays you breathe, and you risk your life. Every moment now... you don't have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you're risking it for. Now, I can make these people feel better and hang on a little bit longer. I can save lives. And that's enough reason to risk mine."
- —Hershel to his daughter Maggie and to Rick Grimes, regarding the situation in the prison with the flu and how he could help the ailing people[src]
Hershel Greene is a main character and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is a farm owner who lived in rural Georgia for many years with his family. Hershel is the father of Maggie and Beth Greene. He married twice, his first wife being Josephine Greene and his second wife being Annette Greene, who brought along her son from a previous marriage. With the passage of time, Hershel becomes a mentor for Rick Grimes.
Hershel is the quintessential stubborn farmer. Perhaps stemming from his religious beliefs, he believes strongly in what he considers to be right and is known to be uncompromising in defense of his morals. He also cares deeply for his family and protecting them (particularly his daughters Maggie and Beth). Protecting is one of the few times he will go against even his own moral code and do what needed to be done.
Hershel is a former alcoholic who spent a lot of time at the Carriage Bar before the birth of his daughter Maggie. After giving up drinking on the day of Maggie's birth, Hershel went so far as to ban all alcohol from his house to avoid temptation. Hershel relapsed following the barn massacre, but once again gave up drinking immediately afterwards, telling Dave and Tony this during the confrontation in the bar.
When Rick first encounters Hershel, Hershel holds a belief that the walkers are still living people who are sick and as such, he keeps the ones he can find in the barn on his farm until a cure can be found for them. At one point, Hershel compares a walker's crazed state to a schizophrenic. Hershel refuses to hear otherwise and sees the dangerous people as those who go around killing the walkers, believing it to be murder. Hershel's beliefs come mainly from the fact that he was living a sheltered life on his farm and most of what he knew about walkers came from watching the chaos of the Apocalypse on TV. After seeing Shane Walsh shoot Louise Bush multiple times in the chest and Louise keep coming, Hershel realized his mistake. As a result, he finally accepted that his wife was gone, but became so despondent that he took up drinking once again briefly.
As of Seasons 3 and 4, Hershel is shown to be a skilled diplomat, often talking down the other survivors from taking disastrous actions or talking them into taking the right ones, though these talks do not work as desired with everyone.
Hershel grew up on a farm which had been possessed by his family for over 160 years, as a young child he was presented a pocket watch originally owned by his father (whose own father had passed down to him through generations.)
Hershel experienced a difficult childhood and thus had a negative realtionship with his alchoholic and abusive father where eventually by the age of fifteen he moved out. Hershel never let go of the grudge he held against his father and thus avoided all contact with him which resulted in him not being present at his deathbed; a matter to which Hershel does not regret.
In his later years, he became a veterinarian (due to his love for animals), it was during this period where Hershel eventually met Josephine Greene where the two then became married.
Within the first few years of their marriage however, Hershel also had begun to descend into alcoholism much like his father, during these periods after returning drunk from the local tavern, he was frequently forced to sleep on the downstairs couch by Josephine. Additionally, he pawned his pocket watch in order to pay off his drinking debt, though Josephine was able to repurchase his watch which she held onto until he had proven to be able to sober up.
The pair had their first daughter Maggie Greene, it was her birth which fortunately enabled Hershel to finally give up his alcoholism habit. However, six years later Josephine died (due to unknown circumstances.) Hershel eventually met another woman, Annette, who had a son Shawn from a previous marriage; the pair soon became married and had their child Beth Greene. Initially Hershel was faced with hostility from Maggie for his remarriage though she eventually warmed to her new step-mother.
As the outbreak started, Annette and Shawn were bitten by their undead fellow townspeople, and soon died and turned. Hershel, not believing their deaths and thinking they were merely under a disease of some kind (as the television/radio broadcasts seemed to imply) had Otis put them in the barn for holding until what seemed like an epidemic to him would blow over. He barricaded his remaining family and friends within the farm and had Otis continue to wrangle the townspeople that came onto the premises and put them in the barn.
Hershel makes his first official appearance where he attempts to save Carl Grimes, who was hit by a stray bullet during a hunting accident, but is only able to remove one of the six bullet fragments. He explains that he will require better supplies, so Otis and Shane Walsh agree to go to a local high school to scavenge the appropriate medical tools. While waiting for the equipment, Hershel and Rick discuss a possible cure for the zombie outbreak. Rick states that there is no cure, but Hershel believes otherwise.
While continuing to wait for Shane and Otis's return with the medical supplies, Hershel watches Carl's vitals carefully and informs his parents Rick and Lori that if he doesn't get the medical supplies he needs soon, then they would have to decide whether to risk operating on Carl or not. However, near the end, Hershel receives the required medical equipment he needs to save Carl's life and in fact does so near the end of the episode. Hershel is also the one who tells Patricia that Otis was killed by walkers.
Hershel continues to monitor Carl's condition after a funeral for Otis. After, he provides Rick with a map to help locate Sophia Peletier, a young girl from Rick's group who went missing two days before, but informs that Rick and Shane need to relax and rest before they wind up hurting themselves. Hershel enforces the rules for his property and Rick agrees to follow his rules and tells him that once everyone is ready to travel again, they must move on and cannot stay at his farm.
Hershel begins to grow more and more impatient with Rick and his group of survivors as they begin to borrow things of his without asking and both groups co-existing too well. He has hinted towards Maggie and her relationship with Glenn as well as Rick taking Jimmy along with him to search for Sophia without Rick asking and finally Daryl Dixon taking one of his horses. He then talks to Rick and tells him that he wants Rick to control his people and he will control his. Later he finds out that Carol Peletier -- Sophia's mother -- and Lori decide to prepare a meal for everyone without asking to use his kitchen. After, Daryl is accidentally shot by Andrea and Hershel's medical expertise is needed again to patch up Daryl and he says he's amazed that Rick and his people have made it this far since they are more careless than he is. Hershel joins everyone for a quiet dinner and later Glenn discovers Hershel's dark secret about the barn.
After Glenn discovers the barn of walkers, Dale Horvath confronts Hershel about it, but to no avail. Hershel remains unswayed, and continues to suggest that Rick and his group should move on.
Rick confronts Hershel about the barn, telling him that the survivors can handle the situation for Hershel. Hershel states there is no situation, and that the group needs to be off of his farm by the end of the week. Rick tells him that they can't go back out on the road and that Hershel doesn't truly know what the undead are like. Hershel continues to refuse, prompting Rick to reveal Lori's pregnancy; telling Hershel to reconsider sending the group off the farm. Hershel decides to give Rick a chance, and brings him and Jimmy out to attempt to wrangle some undead that got stuck in some mud to prove that Rick is willing to let go of killing. Seeing this, Shane confronts Hershel, who is driving a walker to the barn with a noose. Shane shoots the captive walker held by Hershel several times while asking how it's still "alive" and moving, before finally putting it down with a bullet to the head. Hershel collapses to the ground and helplessly watches as Shane, Andrea, Glenn, Daryl, and T-Dog slaughter the walkers in the barn. He also sees the undead Sophia exit the barn, and her death at Rick's hands. Hershel realizes that he was wrong about the walkers and commits himself to protecting his family and farm from them.
Hershel is still numb and in shock after the barn massacre. Patricia and Maggie, on either side of him, gently guide him back to the farmhouse. Shane repeatedly accuses him of knowing that Sophia was in the barn, which Hershel insists he didn't know. Shane goes to grab Hershel, but Maggie steps in and slaps him. Later, devastated by the violence at the barn, he secretly leaves the farm and goes to town so he can drink at a bar. Beth suffers a breakdown and it is discovered Hershel is absent. Rick and Glenn leave the farm in order to locate Hershel and bring him back to the farm so he can tend to his daughter. The two locate Hershel at The Carriage Bar, a local tavern Hershel frequently attended before Maggie's birth. Hershel gives an impassioned dialogue during which he admits the barn massacre has caused him to finally realize the truth. He admits that Rick was right and he was wrong about the disease and its aftermath. Hershel agrees to return to the farm but as they are about to leave, the doors to the bar open and two new survivors, who introduces themselves as Dave and Tony, appear. Hershel says very little during the tense exchange, quietly following the lead of Rick as the former law man attempts to keep the location of their safe haven under wraps. Hershel takes stock of the situation as things quickly take a turn for the worse.
The group of three starts to head back to the farm, but are pinned down by a scouting party of Dave and Tony's gang. Gang members Randall, Sean, and Nate ask about their lost friends, both of whom are lying dead on the bar's floor. After Rick reveals they're dead the gang opens fire on them. Rick tells Hershel and Glenn to head toward the back of the bar where they can escape to the car. Rick follows them later and tells Hershel to cover Glenn. After the two are outside, a man named Sean fires at Glenn. Hershel, who used to be against the use of firearms, knows how to use them and shoots Sean in the chest. A walker, drawn to the gunfire, approaches Sean while he is still alive in agonizing pain. Hershel attempts to put down that walker, but realizes that Sean cannot be saved and leaves him. Rick goes after Glenn, who is frozen in terror behind a dumpster outside the bar. The youngest member of Dave and Tony's gang, Randall, is set up as a sniper on top of the pharmacy across the street. Randall fires at the trio. Nate calls for Randall to join him as they escape before the area is overrun by walkers and Randall jumps from the top of the pharmacy, impaling himself on a wrought iron fence. Rick heads for Randall, who has been left behind by Nate. Hershel tries to cover Sean, who is still alive, from walkers, but the gang member is easy prey for the walkers. Hershel is momentarily distracted by the carnage before racing to diagnose Randall's fate. Hershel, whose world view has completely changed in the wake of the barn massacre, suggests putting Randall down to spare him the fate suffered by his former counterpart. Rick pleads with Hershel, who argues there's nothing they can do to save him. Glenn suggests amputation and Hershel begins to take stock of the situation but it quickly becomes apparent time is not on their side. With the walkers getting closer, Rick pulls Randall's leg off the fence and the four leave for the safety of the farm. Once home, Maggie completely ignores Hershel as he diagnoses Randall's situation and informs the group the outsider won't likely be able to walk for at least a week. Later, he came upstairs to check on Beth. Maggie yells at him for leaving Beth alone. When the group decides whether or not they should abandon Randall or not, Shane thinks they should kill him and Hershel yells at him and reminds him that he still haven't forgave him after what he did to their barn by releasing and killing every walkers on sight that the Greene family managed to capture.
Dale goes to Hershel, asking for his support. "I don't want to know," Hershel insists. "I leave it with Rick." In the farmhouse, Glenn finds Hershel checking up on Beth. Hershel asks Glenn about his family and tells him about his own Irish heritage. He hands Glenn a pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather. "No man is good enough for your little girl," Hershel says, "until one is." Hershel's cows escape and are wrangled back. It appears at least one was not recovered, as Dale finds it with its entrails ripped out. Distracted by the cow, Dale is attacked by a walker. Rick calls for Hershel and asks him if Dale can survive his injuries; Hershel shakes his head. Rick cannot bring himself to shoot Dale, so Daryl takes Rick's gun and mercy-kills Dale with a shot to the head.
Hershel permits the group to move into his house, though he voices concern about Shane to Rick. He is also seen helping to bring the things of the Atlanta survivors into the house and telling Lori that she can have his room and he will sleep on the couch. Later that day he is seen investigating the barn after Randall's escape. Rick demands T-Dog and Hershel gather everyone into the house for safety.
Hershel is first shown inside the house with the others, waiting for Rick, Shane, Daryl, and Glenn to return from their search for Randall. When walkers invade his farm, Hershel tells the group that it is his farm, and he will die defending it. Hershel shoots many of the approaching walkers with a shotgun while the others slowly retreats from the farm one by one. Rick saves Hershel from a walker who sneaks up behind him by shooting the walker in the back of the head. Rick pulls Hershel to a car and they flee the farm while the barn burns. In the back seat of the car, Hershel looks at the over-run farm. Hershel later insists that Rick take Carl to a safe place, and offers to stay at the section of highway where Sophia got lost to wait for the rest of the group, even if it means his death. But the remaining survivors, except Andrea, arrive just before Rick departs. Hershel embraces Maggie and Beth and the group learned from one another about Shane, Andrea, Jimmy, and Patricia's fate. The group discusses their plans for the future and start heading down the road. After Rick reveals that everyone is infected, he listens to Maggie and Glenn second-guessing Rick's leadership, but Hershel shuts them down, being one of only two people (along with Daryl) to still trust Rick.
Hershel and the rest of the group discover a prison Rick believed could be their new home. Before settling into the prison, Hershel talks to Rick about Lori and the possibility that she may have lost the baby due to stress and over exerting herself. Hershel and the others went into the prison's fence and Rick assigned Hershel to shoot the walkers from one of the towers together with Carl. That night, Hershel suggested that they should plant some seed so they can grow crops. Also, Hershel asked Beth to sing one of Paddy Riley's song at the campfire, but Maggie declined by saying "Daddy, not the one please." Hershel then changed his request and told Beth to sing "The Parting Glass." Beth then proceeds to sing, and Maggie eventually sings along with her sister. The day after Rick, Glenn, Daryl, T-Dog, and Maggie cleared out cell block C, Carol called for Hershel to come over as Lori wanted to talk to him about the baby. Lori expresses to Hershel her fears and assumptions that her son can't stand her and that Rick hates her for putting him in difficult situations. That day, Rick, Daryl, T-Dog, Maggie, Glenn, and Hershel attempt to clean out another section of the prison. The group soon runs into small herds of walkers and is forced to retreat. During this, Glenn and Maggie become split up from the group by walkers and lock themselves in a closet.
The group, noticing the disappearance of the two, plan to go back and search for them. While they are searching, Hershel is seen stepping over what appears to be a dead inmate. The group circles back, safe from the walkers and Hershel is again seen stepping over the inmate, which shockingly awakens. The formerly dormant walker grabs Hershel by the leg and bites into his calf. Rick shoots the walker in the head and the group quickly responds to the tragedy that has taken place. They are last seen inside a vacant cafeteria where Rick examines the bite. Rick, quickly thinking, removes his own belt and ties it above the bite before taking a hatchet and messily amputating Hershel's lower leg to save him. During the amputation, Hershel loses consciousness. Stuck inside the cafeteria, the group looks up and sees a group of living human inmates staring back at them.
Hershel is rushed into one of the cells in C Block, and the team attempts to stop the bleeding. Carol eventually slows it down with help from Carl who retrieved medical supplies from the infirmary. At one point during the episode, Hershel appears to stop breathing. Lori checks his pulse multiple times, and eventually gives him mouth-to-mouth CPR. He soon darts up and grabs Lori in much the same way the dormant walker had grabbed him, but she is pulled away from Hershel. He appears to be alive, as his eyes are still their normal color, and he soon falls back asleep. As a precaution should Hershel turn, he is handcuffed to the bed frame. Soon, when Rick returns from helping the other prisoners clear another cell block, and enters the cell Hershel is in, Hershel wakes up. He raises his hand, and holds Rick's hand, but doesn't say a word. He soon falls back asleep.
Hershel is shown in this episode to have recovered well from his amputation and is beginning to walk with crutches. When Walkers start to pour into the prison after Andrew took his revenge, Hershel and Beth hide behind a gate and remain there throughout the episode. At the end of the episode, Hershel is present when Maggie emerges from the prison carrying Lori's newborn child in her arms and witnesses Rick's sad, distraught fit. He appears to be saddened by Lori's loss as well.
Hershel appears in this episode standing on his crutches, talking to Glenn as he mourns the deaths of Lori, and T-Dog. While Hershel believes that the two remaining prisoners, Axel and Oscar, are good people, Glenn believes that all of the prisoners should have been killed at first sight.
Hershel is seen first in the episode, eating with the others in the cafeteria of the prison. He later visits Rick, who is still in the prison's boiler room waiting for the phone. Rick tells him about another group of survivors, and how he is trying to join up with their group for safety, but tells Hershel not to say a word to the others about it. Hershel offers to sit with Rick, but Rick says no. Hershel is seen holding Judith when Rick returns to the group a second time. He passes Judith to Rick, who has finally come to embrace his newborn daughter. Afterwards, he, Rick, Judith, Carl, and Beth walk triumphantly out to the prison-yard as the group realizes that things seem to be looking up.
Hershel is seen behind Rick as he opens the gate to retrieve Michonne's unconscious body. He also asks Rick if Michonne has any bites on her, to which he replies that it is only a gunshot wound. He is seen with the other survivors as they interrogate Michonne. He is also seen stitching up Michonne's gunshot wound (inflicted by Merle). Afterwards, despite the gentle treatment, she replies with a stern "thank you."
Hershel appears mostly by Beth's side during this episode. Hershel puts Judith to sleep in her crib and talked to Beth and Carl, sitting on the stairs. When Carl hears a noise emanating from elsewhere in the prison, Hershel attempts to stop him from investigating the noise but ultimately decides to let him go. He is later seen when he sees the new group arriving in another cell. Sasha Williams glares at him and yells at them to unlock the door when Carl locked it. Tyreese, Sasha's brother and the leader of the group, calms her down and gives Hershel and the group his assurances that they're not looking for trouble.
Hershel is seen in the common room, doctoring Allen's leg. Hershel bonded with Tyreese and the two shares some of their stories since the outbreak began. Hershel told Tyreese that he shouldn't get too comfortable here, as he can't make the decision whether Tyreese's group can stay here or not. When Rick, Glenn, Maggie, and Michonne return to the prison, Hershel and Beth hugs Maggie and he told Beth to take her sister inside to get some medication. Back in the cell, he examines Glenn's injuries in his cell, surprised that Glenn sustained no broken bones. He informs Glenn that he is like a son to him, before leaving to talk to Maggie. Hershel told Maggie if she has anything to talk about and also notice her strange behavior around Glenn. He told her that he is proud of her and that she got her mother's spirit and stubbornness. She lay down in his arms and the two bonded with each other. Later that evening, Hershel wanted Rick to let Tyreese's group join their cause. When Rick says no while deciding the fate of Tyreese's group, Hershel argues against the decision due to their shortage in manpower following Oscar's death and Daryl's abandonment. Shortly after, Rick screams around the room, and Hershel stared at Rick, confused about his act of sudden tantrum.
After Rick's outburst towards the hallucination of Lori and indirectly towards Tyreese, Hershel is seen with the group inside of The Prison. He listens to Glenn's proposal on how to defend themselves from The Governor, but recommends that the group leave the prison rather than risk retaliation from Woodbury. He later comments that Glenn's decision to take over the leadership from Rick may be unwise at this time since Maggie is still recovering from her and Glenn's detention and torture in Woodbury, also advising Glenn to comfort his daughter. Later, when Glenn is outside and about to leave the Prison to scout, Hershel advises him to stay and take stock. Glenn ignores his council and leaves. Distraught, Hershel notices Rick wandering outside the Prison. There, he notices Rick outside of the fence, deciding to counsel him about his mental status. Rick confesses to Hershel his visions of Lori and Shane and Hershel urges him to come back inside of The Prison, where it is safe, but before Rick refuses. Just then, The Governor attacks them. Hershel ends up pinned down within the prison fence where the "walker bomb" is deployed. Hershel is rescued by Michonne and Glenn before he can be harmed.
Hershel is seen with the rest of the group discussing the Woodbury situation. When Rick attempts to wander off, Hershel yells at him to get back here and do something, but Rick ignores him and wanders outside. Hershel visits Merle in his cell, where they bond over their amputations and a Bible verse. Merle tells Hershel of The Governor's planned pecking order during a second attack, with Merle being the first death and Rick being the last because The Governor wants Rick to watch his family and friends die around him. Andrea returns to the Prison, and appears shocked to see that Hershel has lost his leg. He then informs her of Lori's fate and the birth of her baby girl, and asks why she's so sure that The Governor is willing to negotiate. Later that night, while Beth is singing by the candlelight, Hershel voices his concerns about Andrea's inner conflict and The Governor's numbers. Rick agrees and says that they need to match those numbers, then decides to go for a supply run in the morning with Michonne and Carl to try and find some bullets and new weapons. Rick then tells Daryl and Hershel that they will be in charge while he's gone.
Hershel goes along with Rick and Daryl to the meeting with The Governor. Later, he is seen talking to Milton Mamet about his amputation, and even jokes about his question regarding the leg, the two seem to form a bond of sorts because of this. When the meeting is over, he leaves with Rick and Daryl. Back at the prison when the meeting is over, Hershel privately mentions the group's sentiments about going to war with Woodbury. He and Carol believe they think the group should leave the Prison behind and take their chances on the road to avoid any more hostility from Woodbury and The Governor, but they would go along with whatever Rick felt was best. It's then that Rick reveals the truth: the Governor asked for Michonne. Hershel stands up for Michonne, saying she earned her place. However, when asked if he would risk Maggie and Beth's lives for her, Hershel cannot counter.
Hershel is still against the idea of Rick handing over Michonne to The Governor, and agrees with Daryl when he says that the decision is not like them. Later on, Hershel and his daughters pray with a bible and he said he would do anything to keep Maggie and Beth away from harm. While in his cell, Glenn visits him and says that he now understands why Hershel gave him the pocket watch and tells Hershel that he wants to marry Maggie. Hershel gives Glenn his blessing. Hershel is later seen on the outside of the Prison, along with the other remaining members of the group as Rick denounces having sole leadership.
Hershel is first seen packing important medical supplies in bags, he then hides out in the woods with Carl as the Woodbury army ambushes the Prison and retreat when they are ambushed themselves. Jody, one of the Woodbury soldiers, runs off into the woods where he comes across Hershel and Carl. Despite surrendering his gun, Carl shoots him anyways. Hershel tells Rick about what really happened with Jody, as Carl had lied to Rick. Hershel tells Rick that Carl gunned Jody down and Jody had no intentions on killing either of them.
Later, at the end of the episode, Hershel cheerfully guides the remaining Woodbury survivors to their new home in the Prison, most of whom are children or elderly.
Within the time gap between Season 3 and Season 4, Hershel has started a garden out on the prison yard. He also now has a prosthetic leg that Daryl found on a supply run.
Hershel is first seen with Rick out in the gardens. He is talking to Rick about how to plant things and use seeds to grow more plants. Before Rick walks away, Hershel makes a joke aimed at Rick regarding the proper clothing to farm and grow crops. He also tells Rick that him and the rest of the council want him to carry a gun when he goes outside the prison.
Later at the end of the episode he is talking with Rick about the situation with Clara, he tries to persuade Rick that there was nothing he could do and she was wrong about not being able to come back from the brink of insanity. When Rick suggests losing the prison, Judith, or Carl would put him in that position, Hershel says, "not even then."
Hershel is first seen examining the new infection with Caleb Subramanian (a doctor), Rick, Daryl, and Bob Stookey (a newcomer to the prison, who worked as an army medic) before he meets with the rest of the "council" to discuss the new situation at the prison and how to deal with it, putting Karen in isolation in the process.
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.
Hershel is in Block A taking care of the infected survivors. Hershel, Glenn, and Sasha take care of several of the infected together until things go to Chaos. He attempts to reassure Caleb 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 and when he exits the cell, Lizzie 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. Right on time, Maggie 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. He then rides with Michonne to burn and bury the corpses from the previous day.
When The Governor arrives at the prison, he discovers Hershel and Michonne outside of the fences disposing walker corpses from the previous attack. He then aims his gun at the both of them.
The Governor ambushes Hershel and Michonne, knocking Michonne unconscious, and forcing 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 cry for their father, watching from behind the Prison gates. 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, utterly decapitating and killing him.
Michonne comes across Hershel's reanimated head when she comes back to the Prison, and stabs it with her katana. Later, he is mentioned by Carl as one of the survivors Rick failed to protect when he is scolding an unconscious Rick.
Hershel is seen in flashbacks through the episode. His main role in these flashbacks is to encourage Rick to stop going out on runs and instead begin farming at the prison and teaching Carl how to be more balanced.
In an hallucination, Rick finds himself back at the farm. Hershel greets him and boasts he has his leg back. Rick embraces him and apologizes for what happened to him and his family, but Hershel reminds him Maggie’s strong. Rick tells him he has to find his family but Hershel tells him he doesn’t and just has to wake up.
- Killed By
- The Governor (Alive)
After Rick pleads with the Governor's group to put down their guns and join them at the prison, the Governor blatantly refuses under his breath and proceeds to slice Hershel's neck using Michonne's katana.
Then, as a mortally wounded Hershel vainly drags himself away from the fight, slowly dying from lost blood, the Governor catches up with him and brutally hacks the rest of his neck, completely decapitating him in the process.
- Michonne (Zombified, Out of Mercy)
After the destruction of the prison, Michonne finds Hershel's reanimated head and, with sadness, puts it down.
This list shows the victims Hershel has killed:
- Sean (Caused)
- Caleb Subramanian (Zombified, Out of Mercy)
- Noris' Son (Zombified, Out of Mercy)
- Crying Mom (Zombified, Out of Mercy)
- A few unnamed prison newcomers (Before Reanimation, Zombified, and Out of Mercy)
- Numerous counts of zombies
- Hershel was one of the few members of Rick's group who believed in God and the Afterlife.
- Hershel is the first main character to die in a mid-season finale, the second being his daughter Beth, the third being Deanna and the fourth being Spencer.
- In many ways, Hershel had replaced Dale as the moral compass of the group. This was foreshadowed both by their interaction with each other and with other survivors:
- Dale's conversation with Hershel in "Judge, Jury, Executioner" consisted of him appealing to Hershel for support regarding the fate of a prisoner. Hershel turned a blind eye at the time, which is ironic, as Hershel would later plead a case for Rick to spare Tyreese and his group's lives in "The Suicide King".
- Dale had a very paternal relationship with Glenn, who actively sought his approval. Hershel would later become a very real father after Glenn became involved with his daughter Maggie.
- Rick revealed in his eulogy at Dale's funeral that he would often look to him for approval regarding difficult moral dilemmas. He would later tell Hershel of his plan to turn Michonne over to The Governor in hopes of a truce and, when asked by Hershel why he was telling him and not the others, Rick answered that he was hoping Hershel could talk him out of it.
- Dale in the comic series lost his leg and had to use crutches and later a peg-leg Andrea built for him. With Dale dying much earlier in the TV series, Hershel lost his leg, survived, and was forced to use crutches. By season 4, he obtained a prosthetic leg which is more advanced than Dale's Comic Series peg-leg and which permitted him to wear a full pair of boots again.
- On the Talking Dead episode in which Scott Wilson guest stars discussing "Too Far Gone", in which Hershel is killed, a strong parallel is made between the characters of Dale and Hershel, who are confirmed to have been moral centers for the group, and that this had a strong impact on fan reactions to their deaths.
- Scott Wilson, who portrays Hershel, revealed that there is a portrait of his mother as a young girl hanging in the farm house.
- 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.
- Hershel is one of the many amputees in the series, having his leg amputated by Rick Grimes to prevent him from turning and untimely being decapitated by The Governor.
- Hershel is the first person in the TV Series to survive the infection, due to having his leg amputated so the infection can be contained from the blood.
- Hershel is the first Greene family member to be killed on a mid-season finale; he was followed by his youngest daughter, Beth, who was killed in the mid-season finale of Season 5. Both also died after Rick tried to talk the killer into letting them go.
- Hershel is one of few characters to have appeared in almost every form of Walking Dead media, having appeared in the comic series, TV series, Social Game, video game, and novels.