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Home | Character Profiles: The Walking Dead: Hershel Greene

Character Profiles: The Walking Dead: Hershel Greene

Now that the much anticipated Season 2 of The Walking Dead has ended, in the coming weeks I’ll continue to be bringing you a special look at our beloved cast of characters and a peak at some new ones. This week we’ll look at Hershel Greene.

Hershel Greene is head of the Greene family and takes care of the Greene farm. Scott Wilson portrays Hershel. He is the father to Maggie and Beth and employed Otis on his farm before Otis died. Hershel grew up on the farm and it has been in his family for 160 years. Unlike the comic, his relationship with his father was a constant struggle. Their relationship was so bad that he was forced to leave the farm when he was 15. He never let go of a grudge against his father and became estranged from him. Hershel eventually became a veterinarian and married his wife that gave birth to Maggie. Around this time he hired Otis as a farmhand and his wife, Patricia, also joined them on the farm. Hershel’s wife passed away from unknown causes when Maggie was a teenager. Soon after he began dating and eventually married a woman named Annette who already had a son, Shawn, from a previous marriage. She also winds up having a daughter, Beth. Maggie was at first against him re-marrying in the first place. However she eventually warmed up to her step-mom.

Before Maggie was born he had a bit of an alcohol dependency. He eventually gave it up and banned it from the house entirely. At the beginning of the outbreak his wife and step-son were bitten and soon succumbed to the illness. Believing that the zombified versions of people were still just sick people, he decided to lock them in his barn to be held for a potential cure. Otis was able to wrangle other friends and neighbors into the barn to wait.

Hershel is very kind and family oriented. He tries to hold onto hope longer than the other survivors. He is also a bit of a religious man. At first he is hesitant to letting Rick and the group stay at the farm but eventually does when he is confronted by Rick about Lori’s pregnancy. Recent events have taken place that have tested his faith in the world and in other people. Now Hershel believes that Rick and his group were a bad omen. He puts his faith in Rick, since Rick has shown him that he would like to stay at the farm and follow his rules, at least come to some sort of compromise. His feelings about the other survivors on the other hand vary greatly.

There are several differences between Hershel in the comics and Hershel in the television series. One of the main differences is the size of his family. In the comics his family consisted of his deceased wife, three sons (two living), and four daughters. Also, he does not have an alcohol dependency and his relationship with his father was a positive one not one filled with so much anger and pain.

Main Relationships:

Maggie Greene: Maggie is Hershel’s oldest daughter, she is Beth’s half-sister. Hershel’s relationship with her is very good. He still sees her as his little girl and will do anything to protect her. He does not approve of her relationship with Glenn, at first. Recent events have unfolded that have given him a much better perspective on Glenn. He spends time with her whenever he can.

Rick Grimes: Rick and Hershel have a pretty good relationship with each other. Rick has always tried to do right by him and follow his rules. He knows the farm is Hershel’s and in the beginning fought to make sure everyone else knew. Even though he has been opposed by Shane, Rick has still tried to do the right thing. Now he feels like he has something to prove to Hershel and to the group after Shane stormed in and unloaded all the guns and unlocked the barn full of walkers. Since Lori is pregnant he doesn’t oppose to them staying on the farm, he now turns a blind eye to other certain members of the group.


Glenn: When the survivors arrived at Hershel’s farm, he didn’t immediately take a shine to anyone except for Rick. When he starts to notice that Maggie may have some feelings for Glenn he starts to distrust him even more. It isn’t until after the situation in the bar with unknown survivors that Hershel started to see that Glenn is a good man. He sees that he wants to protect Maggie as well. Hershel gives Glenn a family heirloom of a pocket watch and they have a bit of a heart to heart. He now trusts him with Maggie.

Hershel’s relationship with the other survivors vary. He is kind to everyone but tries to keep the survivors at arms length. He babies Beth and she has not been the same since her mother died. She attempted suicide recently but backed out of the decision realizing that she does have things to live for.  Andrea tried to make her see the decision that lies in front of her and she chooses to live. Recent events have seen Hershel open up quite a bit. He has also lost his faith in god. He does not think like he did before the outbreak. He also does not agree with Shane. He thinks that Shane is a loose cannon and can put everyone at risk. At first he establishes the rules of his farm and his barn and tries to separate himself and his family from the others. Shane ultimately breaks these rules, releasing the walkers from the barn and causing the family to be faced with their loved ones and neighbors who are infected. Because of this they don’t get along. After the situation with the barn and they wind up picking up Randall, decisions must be made. He begins to turn a blind eye towards the group since they have betrayed his trust with the barn. He lets Rick take charge.  He does begin to see eye to eye with the survivors, letting them stay indefinitely at the barn but  by the end of the season Hershel makes his last stand at the barn.  He is now a living member of the group.

What lies ahead for Hershel? Is he still a god fearing man or will be become a man to fear? What will he bring to the group? Will he have a new voice, new perspective on the matters at hand? What would you do? If your faith was tested how would you survive and persevere?

Have I forgotten to mention anything else about Hershel? Who is your favorite character in the series or comic? Please sound off in the comments section and look out in the coming weeks for the next Character Profile: The Walking Dead: Maggie Greene. Revisit the first season on DVD and Blu-ray and continue to read The Walking Dead comics. You’ll be glad that you did. The Walking Dead will return with season 3 in October. Stay Tuned!

Sources: The Walking Dead Wiki (Hershel Greene)

Character Profiles: The Walking Dead: Hershel Greene

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