Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 8: “Too Far Gone” More Photos — Hershel and The Governor Die

It was devastating, but not that shocking, when Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) died in The Walking Dead Season 4. As Scott noted himself, he wasn’t even supposed to live past Season 2.

Still, it was pretty extreme to see how heroic Hershel died — a head chop from The Governor (David Morrissey) in a gruesome new twist on a storyline from TWD comic books.

Robert Kirkman, who writes the books and executive producers the TV show, talked about Hershel’s death on the Talking Dead breakdown after Episode 8.

"There's been a couple times when we've gotten close to taking Hershel off the show and we've always hesitated," Robert said. "It was definitely a hard decision this time. I think if you had pressed the issue a little bit with Scott we would've changed our minds," he joked to Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick.

"It's a rough one," he continued. "I've been killing people on The Walking Dead since before there was a TV show. It was never a big deal, but it is really starting to wear on me personally. It's tough knowing that I'm going to go to set next year and Scott's not going to be there. That's kind of screwed up. It's getting to the point where I want to be in the writer's room and be like 'You know what, let's not kill anybody. Let's not do that anymore.' It's pretty terrible, but it is what it is. You gotta kill people to make the show work."

It does seem like it would be unrealistic for everyone to magically survive season after season, with just “redshirt” deaths or no one dying at all. This is the zombie apocalypse and the conditions are brutal. The survival stakes are high and the death toll just illustrates how hard it is to live through this nightmare world.

It also has to be especially interesting for Kirkman to kill some characters a certain way in the comics, then find a new fate for them on TV. Some of the characters he’s still writing about in the books are already dead on TV, and some of the people surviving into the second half of Season 4 never made it this far in the books.

He and showrunner Scott Gimple are the puppet masters of the TV show, and if people don’t approve of some TV deaths, Robert can always blame Scott. That could be the only thing that saves him if anything happens to baby Judith — or Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus)!

The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Source: AMCTV