|This article is about the Comic Series character. You may be looking for his TV Series, Video Game or Assault counterpart.|
|Age||Late 50's to early 60's|
|Family||Maggie Greene - Daughter|
Glenn - Son-In-Law (Deceased)
Sophia - Adoptive Grand-Daughter
Billy Greene - Son (Deceased)
Lacey Greene - Daughter (Deceased)
Arnold Greene - Son (Deceased)
Susie Greene - Daughter (Deceased)
Rachel Greene - Daughter (Deceased)
Shawn Greene - Son (Deceased)
|First Appearance||Issue 10|
|Last Appearance||Issue 48|
|Death Issue||Issue 48|
|Cause of Death||Shot in the head by The Governor.|
|Series lifespan||#10 to #48|
|The Governor executes Hershel.|
|Hershel Greene (Comic Series) Gallery|
- "It's all about faith, honey. My faith ain't never been stronger."
- —Hershel to Maggie.[src]
Hershel Greene is a character first encountered in Issue 10 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and is the father of Maggie, Billy, Shawn, Lacey, Arnold, and the twins Rachel and Susie. He is a relatively fit man for his age and is of Jewish heritage.
Characteristics and RoleEdit
Despite his grumpy and cold demeanor, for a significant amount of time, he ultimately served as the moral center of the survivors, being quick to help people whenever they were in need, spreading his influence of hope/reassurance and wanting nothing but the best for most of the people around him.
Whilst giving off an outwardly stern and cold appearance, he was a gentle man at heart, as he loved his family and nature; he only ever wanted the best for everyone close to him. He became a deeply religious man after the passing of his wife, and it's shown that his main and only reason for life since his her passing was the protection and survival of his children.
Hershel grew up at the farm and because of his love of the animals around him, aspired to be a veterinarian, which he later went to college for out in the city. He ended up staying in the city where he met the girl of his dreams, whom he later married and had seven children with. The two of them started up a business together, with his wife handling the financial end while he would be handling the physical end (caring for the animals and performing on them).
After his wife had passed, he had desperately tried to hold onto life by forcing himself to become increasingly more religious, and yet even despite this, he remained an emotional wreck, being convinced that his life now was empty even with his sons and daughters by his side. The business that they had operated soon fell apart despite his best efforts to keep it alive. Soon after, he began to take into consideration his father's last wishes, which were to look after the farm and tend to what needed to be done on a daily basis. With nothing else left in his life, he had decided to follow this wish and a year after his wife's passing, moved back to this childhood home along with his children (who would help him with the various daily tasks) to start his lifestyle anew.
He and the children continued to run the farm, with the youngest continuing to attend school until they graduated, and some of the older ones attending college at one point or another - all of which he gladly paid for. They still couldn't shy away from their required tasks however, as their father didn't feel like he needed to do all of it alone. As in the past, he continued to raise all of his children under a religious household.
Once the apocalypse broke out he gave refuge in the first days to several survivors, including Kenny and his family, Lee Everett and Clementine. However he kicked them off of the farm after his son Shawn unfortunately fell victim to the walkers surrounding the area before the farm had been barricaded. Loving him too much and not being able to kill him, Hershel decided the best solution to the problem was to contain him inside of the barn, which he then did with all of the other zombies that he and the others managed to capture and lock up. He strongly held to his belief that, for all anyone knew, this was only a disease and that there must be some kind of a cure which would turn them back to the living humans they previously were.
During this time, his neighbor Otis moved into the farm with his girlfriend Patricia, helping to put away the zombies and assist the Greene's with their daily work, in exchange for safety.
He first meets Rick Grimes and the others for the first time when Otis, during a hunt in the woods, mistakenly shoots Carl Grimes. Due to his veterinary experience, he is able to fix Carl up (a skill which comes in handy numerous times throughout the series). He has Carl rest inside of the master bedroom (with Rick and Lori of course in the same room) and provides everyone else with shelter inside the various rooms of the farmhouse.
He gradually gets to know the various survivors, most noticeably Rick, who he develops a mutual respect for, as they discuss their hardships and having the responsibility of looking after people even though they themselves had enough to deal with already. He was generally very friendly around the group for the first couple of days of their stay, if not a little grumpy here and there due to the stress he was facing. He allowed everyone to do things such as gun target practice, using the extra guns that he had lying around.
Things take a turn for the worse, however, one day when Rick discovered that he had been keeping zombies inside of the barn and confronts Hershel about the dangers of doing such a thing. Hershel is appalled that Rick and the others had been killing the zombies they encountered and argued his belief that it is a disease with the possibility of a cure being discovered. Hershel wants to show Rick his humane method of dealing with zombies, so he captures a roamer that had been slowly approaching them while his children distract the others already captured in the barn. It backfires, and the barn zombies escape, attacking the survivors. Arnold and Lacey are bitten, forcing Hershel to admit he was wrong and to shoot his children before they reanimate plus his already-zombified son, Shawn. The situation grew even more hostile when he caught his daughter Maggie having sex with Glenn. Being overly protective, he threw a fit, infuriated that she was defying both his own rules and the will of God. What she was doing was immoral, especially considering this person she engaged in sex with was a complete stranger.
This led Hershel into a downward spiral, the worst he had been since his wife's passing. His personality turned grim and his mindset was narrowly focused on getting the survivors out of the area so as not to lose any more of his children, or even his own life. A fight ensues between everyone, as he refused to let them stay after Carl was fully healed, calling them free-loaders. Lori, in a furious state, insults him about kicking them out when they had no other place to go. All of this ultimately led him to put a gun to Rick's head in order to show the rest of the group how serious he was and how much damage he could do.
The survivors, apart from Glenn, decide to leave and Hershel becomes even more emotional unstable, he convinces himself that because he was about to kill an innocent man, he therefore must be evil; not to mention a bad role model for the youngsters. He now believed himself to be a corrupt individual.
One or two days after the survivors leave, Hershel decides to cremate the corpses outside (both of his deceased children and of other zombies that were destroyed during the attack) in an open fire on his lawn. He continues to be severely depressed and wearing a blank expression on his face to hide his true feelings/vulnerability. Rick soon returns to the farm to tell everyone else about the newly discovered semi-abandoned prison that his group had taken refuge in nearby.
Even despite his resentment towards Rick for what had happened, he took into consideration the well-being of his own group and realized that his property was no longer secure. There was an increasing amount of zombies coming in to the area, and the barricade was getting increasingly weaker, which meant the farm would be more prone to more persistent attacks. He accepts Rick's proposal and follows him to the Prison, knowing full well that he wouldn't have the same control as he did previously, but all that mattered now was survival - for his remaining children, for himself and for their neighbors.
On his arrival at the prison, he settled in fairly quickly and attempted to make the best out of the situation he was in. He realized, after much thought and observing his surroundings, how much more secure everyone was here than at the farm. This resulted in him having a small, yet influencing, revelation - it made him look at himself and his past irrational behavior; his refusal to alter this mindset he had.
During his first night there, he had a conversation with Rick on the prison stairway rails, where he sincerely thanked Rick for bringing him and his family here, where they would be safe away from the horrors of the outside world. This would be the perfect opportunity to rebuild his life; better than how he tried to rebuild it at the farm where there was even more pain than he had counted on. He confided in Rick, the overbearing stress he felt and the inner demons that led to him pointing that gun. All of this however would be past him now and wouldn't matter with the new life he'd be starting - a life without any violence, blood or fear of the undead. Instead, what he would finally have now would be peace and assurance, which was what he was looking for all along.
The next day, he goes to check on his twins Rachel and Susie, who were playing inside of one of the many halls of the prison. He comes across the prison barber shop where he finds the mangled and decapitated corpses of his twin daughters. Maggie, who was following behind him, see's their bodies as well, and they both break down into tears together. It was an even greater shock once Hershel saw their heads reanimating. Stricken with grief, he couldn't bear to shoot them, so Glenn was the one to put them out of their misery.
After everyone had discovered the murder scene, Hershel and his two remaining children were sent into a deep depression. For a long time they stayed with Hershel in his jail cell, embracing him. Hershel himself at that point came to an ultimate realization - that they weren't safe no matter where they went. The increased loss of his children over the past few days and weeks made him gradually lose his grasp on the value of life and resulted in him deciding that his only true purpose from then on was to protect Maggie and Billy from the dangers of the outside world.
As days passed following the murder of the twins, he gradually began to accept Maggie and Glenn's relationship. He saw that his daughter was genuinely in love with a man who reciprocated the same feelings. He gives Glenn his blessing for the two of them to be husband and wife and married them with Bible in hand at the prison altar.
Using his farming expertise, he teaches the others how to work the land and plant crops. His medical experience also comes in handy when he's faced with operating on some of the survivors, such as cauterizing Allen's stump of a leg, bandaging up Carol's cut wrists, helping Alice deliver Lori's baby and amputating/cauterizing Dale's leg.
As the prison assault neared, Hershel and some of the other survivors began training with their guns to increase their chance of victory on their side. He openly stated that he hadn't used a gun in several years so his aim was a little off. He quickly got back the hang of it, however, much to Andrea's surprise when she took them out to shoot zombies.
When their opponents finally descended onto the Prison grounds, he (being the first to notice) and everyone else scrambled to take cover and gather their weapons for the battle. After Rick gets shot, he and others carry him to the operating room and remain with the wounded during the commotion outside.
As Maggie and Glenn plan to move out to a safer area before the attack, she tearfully hugs Hershel and is reassured by him about what they were about to do. He wants her to be safe and secure and reminds her to come back when all of it is over and done with. After they move out and Hershel closes the gate, he openly admits that he feels he has seen his daughter for the last time.
While the survivors prepare to face the Woodbury invaders, he initially is hesitant about going after the army, but soon changes his perspective. He joins everyone else in fighting against the ruthless Governor and his army. He and Billy began to use the riot gear, with Billy usually defending from the tower and Hershel defending the grounds of the area. He managed to take out several of the soldiers.
After his last son, Billy Greene, is killed while fleeing the prison, he finally gave up on life, seeing that his only other child Maggie was well taken care of now and wouldn't need him to protect her. He remained, cradling Billy's body, weeping and ignored Rick's call to hurry and join the other survivors, as they had a chance to make it to the truck. He is approached by The Governor, with his last words being, "Dear God, just kill me", before being shot in the head.
This list shows the victims Hershel has killed:
- Shawn Greene (Zombified)
- Arnold Greene (Before Reanimation)
- Lacey Greene (Before Reanimation)
- Numerous counts of zombies and at least one Woodbury survivor.
- Mentioned in Letter Hacks, Hershel was originally the one who was about to lose a leg after going to the Prison generator room. Writer Robert Kirkman thought Hershel had lost most of his children and that was tragic enough for him, so he decided Allen would be the one to lose the leg.
- In the TV Series, due to Allen's absence, Hershel is the one to lose a leg.
- Hershel is one of only two characters to have appeared in every form of Walking Dead media, having appeared in the Comic Series, TV Series, Social Game, Video Game, and Novels. The other is Glenn.
- Hershel is killed by The Governor during the prison fight in both the Comic Series and TV Series.
- In the Comic Series, he died by being shot in the head by The Governor during the assault. Hershel in the TV Series was decapitated by the same character before the actual firefight began.