We hated seeing Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) meet his maker in The Walking Dead Season 4 midseason finale, “Too Far Gone”, but as the lovely actor already noted, killing off beloved Hershel must have been a hard decision for Scott Gimple to make.
The skilled showrunner chatted with The Hollywood Reporter and opened up about why he felt it was Hershel's turn to go, especially since he had cheated death numerous times before. “From a story standpoint, they lost the prison, they lost their home, civilization and Hershel was the embodiment of a civilized and humanistic approach,” he explains. “This episode and where the story is turning is what happens when all that is taken away, especially for Rick. Hershel was the driving force beyond — Carl and Judith — to Rick's change when we join him at the beginning of the season. Everything he tried to achieve had been taken away from him over the first five episodes, and now he's lost the person who walked him through that. It's a very important part of the story that Hershel died; it isn't just shock death. We're going to see now with all these things taken away from Rick if he can come back from this. Moving into the next season and a half, the loss of Hershel will be felt and will be this driving element in Rick's character.”
As saddened as we still are about Hershel’s passing, hearing Scott explain it in terms of Rick’s larger story arc actually makes perfect sense. Hershel was like a father to Rick, and he has been continuously tested since the start of Season 4 (and even before that) but always had Hershel by his side. Scott makes a good point when he notes that the second half of the season will be about whether or not Rick can come back from his mentor’s death.
And, as can be expected, Rick is hardly the only member of Team Prison who will be grappling with Hershel’s death come 2014. For starters, both of Hershel’s daughters — Maggie and Beth Greene — witnessed The Governor (David Morrissey) decapitate dear old dad, a sight they’re likely not going to forget anytime soon.
Scott Gimple says that both Greene gals will be “incredibly” changed by Hershel’s death. “It helps define both of them into who they become and it affects them very deeply in this next half-season and beyond. Hershel's death, the loss of the prison, civilization and everything they built up — this has all been taken away from them, and they are moving into very uncharted emotional waters.”
We love Maggie and Beth and will hate to see them suffer in the back eight, but you know what Kelly Clarkson says: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Do you feel badly for Maggie and Beth? Tell us what you think below!
The Walking Dead Season 4 resumes on February 9, 2014, at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter