Poor Hershel. No one wants him to be killed off The Walking Dead, but his death has been predicted for two seasons now. First he was the naive farmer who kept walkers in his barn, then he was the “old” guy who lost his leg in a prison crawling with threats. Now he’s still the one-legged old guy living in a dangerous prison, and we know Season 4 — which starts October 13 on AMC — is going to have even more obstacles.
This year, the walkers are hungrier, there are more people in the prison to protect/potentially turn on you, The Governor is still out there planning Team Prison’s destruction, and there’s some new threat that could be worse than zombies and humans. So it makes sense to look at the cast and figure, once again, that Hershel could be the most likely to kick the bucket.
In a way, Hershel (Scott Wilson) is the new Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) — the voice of reason/moral center to keep everyone from losing any semblance of humanity. But is he too sensitive for this world? Not only is he older than everyone else, with only one solid leg to run with, he’s a compassionate guy who would probably gladly give his life up to save another. Plus, he’s a veterinarian and that makes him as good as a doctor in these times. He’s the kind of medic who would be down in the trenches helping people who are hurt, which would also put him in danger.
Plot-wise, Hershel’s death could be a wake-up call and bonding moment for the combined forces of Team Woodbury and Team Prison, kind of like how Dale’s death brought the farm group together in Season 2. It would also devastate the Greene girls — Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Beth (Emily Kinney) — but it could bring them even closer together and force them to turn to others (Glenn? Carl? Daryl?) for support.
Spoiler alert! Potential Season 4 spoilers ahead
All that known, it makes us wonder if some chatter making its way around the web might be valid. Over at Spoil the Dead, fans have been tracking spoilers that suggest a major prison attack is being filmed, and is likely scheduled to air around the mid-season finale.
Then Norman Reedus (Daryl) posted two photos of actor Scott Wilson (Hershel) — one day Scott's Hershel was covered in a little blood, the next day he was covered in a lot and someone commented that they heard it was Scott's last day. In another photo, a crew member was wearing suspenders in Hershel's honor.
Around the same time, actors in the Greene family (Hershel, Beth, Maggie) were seen out at dinner, and took photos with fans. More cast members were also seen out at dinner, leading some to speculate that they had gathered for one of the classic "death dinners" to send off a character.
Some outlets have picked up the Hershel dies speculation, but it's possible Hershel — as a medicine man — was bloodied up because he was helping someone else. He may have tried to save someone who was dying. Maybe people were just wearing suspenders for fun. Maybe the cast was out together for someone else’s death dinner, or just because they don’t have a whole lot else to do in rural Georgia. Besides, Norman probably wouldn’t post spoilerish photos of bloody Hershel if Hershel were indeed dying … right? (Although, if you look at here Norman’s Instagram, the first bloody Hershel photo from August 1 is there, but not the one from August 2 with the reported comment about his last day.)
What do you think? It would be sad to lose Hershel, but would you be surprised if he was one of the deaths this season?