Characters: The Walking Dead TV Show Hershels Farm Survivors
Due to the Anyone Can Die nature of the show and quickly moving plots, only spoilers from the current/most recent season will be spoiled out to prevent entire pages of whited out text. If you have not seen Season 1, 2, and 3 read at your own risk!
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The Greene Family
"You step outside, you risk your life. Take a drink of water, you risk your life. You don't have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you're risking it for."
"I can't profess to understand God's plan, but when Christ promised a resurrection of the dead, I just thought he had something a little different in mind."
Hershel is the owner of a farm that was mostly spared by the zombie apocalypse. He allowed the survivors to stay on the farm during their search for Sophia, but secretly kept a barn full of walkers, including his wife and step-son, believing they were simply sick. After the group is forced to leave the farm, his medical knowledge is vital to their survival and makes him one of their main assets and leaders.
When the group occupies the prison, Hershel tries to keep Rick on a moral path during the conflict with Woodbury and encounters with other survivors. After the end of the battle against Woodbury and the growth of the group in the prison, Hershel begins growing crops in the prison yard to provide food for the group.
- Abusive Parents: His father beat him badly, causing Hershel to leave the farm until he died.
- Action Dad: When he needs to be.
- Adaptational Badass: He is more emotionally stable than his comic counterpart ever was. He's also more combat proficient as evidenced in the Season 2 finale. Also, losing his leg doesn't stop him from kicking Walkers' ass. He even conceals a gun on his leg stump.
- Adaptational Heroism: He is more doting and compassionate than his comic counterpart.
- Age Lift: Went from being a few years to a decade older than Rick in the comics to being old enough to be his father.
- The Alcoholic: Got sober the day Maggie was born.
- An Arm and a Leg: Due to getting his right leg bit while searching for Maggie and Glenn in the prison, Rick promptly makes a tourniquet then uses a hatchet to cut off part of the leg below the knee to stop the spread of the infection.
- Artificial Limbs: Has a peg-leg in season 4.
- As the Good Book Says: He quotes from The Bible in several episodes.
- Back for the Finale: He appears in several flashback scenes in the season 4 finale, eight episodes after his death.
- Badass: He sure knows how to use his God shotgun. His actor Scott Wilson speculates that Hershel was pretty wild in his youth.
- Badass Beard/Beard of Sorrow: He sports one beginning in season 3.
- Badass Bookworm: He is well-versed in The Bible, being a devoted Christian and all.
- Badass Grandpa: Possibly older than Dale, and even more badass than him.
- Closest Thing We Got: Despite being a veterinarian, Hershel mostly treats the various scrapes, bullet wounds, and arrow wounds that the survivors tend to accumulate. He's also the prison group's main doctor during the flu epidemic, as Dr Caleb quickly succumbs.
- Composite Character: His characterization for the prison arc (specifically the leg amputation) was fused with comic-Dale's, due to the latter's early exit from the show.
- Cool Old Guy: He's approaching seventy, but is an excellent shot and medic, dispenses good advice to the group, a little seen but witty sense of humor, and is extremely calm under pressure.
- The Governor even admits he likes Hershel for being a good man after he's kidnapped him.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Similar to Tyreese's fate in the comics, Hershel's neck is slashed in a botched decapitation attempt, and then it's followed up by the Governor hacking brutally away at the neck to decapitate Hershel completely.
- Crusading Widower: Twice.
- A Day in the Limelight: Season 4's "Internment" mostly revolves around his attempts to manage the illness spreading through the prison while waiting for the other to return with medication.
- Despair Event Horizon: When he sees first hand his walker neighbor shot and then put down by Shane. Then Shane forces his own group to massacre the walkers in the barn, including Hershel's zombified family and neighbors. He manages to recover quickly.
- Doesn't Like Guns: But he sure knows how to use them.
- Drowning My Sorrows: After the walker barn massacre and realizing that the walkers can't be helped.
- Farm Boy: He grew up on his farm and inherited it after his parents died.
- Go Out with a Smile: Because of Rick realizing that you can come back from the things you do to survive.
- Handicapped Badass: By "Killer Within", becoming crippled didn't slow him down or really phase him to any degree. He even uses his crutches as a weapon to kill a walker.
- Last Stand: Tries for one in the second season finale but gets rescued at the last moment.
- Little Brother Is Watching: In season 4, when the prison has a block full of sick people, he takes extra precautions to make sure none of the patients witness him taking dead bodies from the block. Later during a walker outbreak he draws the walkers away from a cell with 2 children so they don't see him killing them with a shotgun.
- The Medic: As a veterinarian, he's the closest thing the group has to a doctor. Also serves as the Combat Medic in Season 3, until he loses his leg.
- Morality Pet: Towards Rick. Hershel is a sort of father figure to Rick, who he looks to for advice to do the right thing. Hershel even smiles proudly when Rick pleads to settle things peacefully with the Governor and his group, claiming that people aren't too far gone and can change from the bad things they have done.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Hershel saving Rick's son and letting the survivors stay on his farm ends up being something he later regrets. His oldest daughter gets into a relationship with Glenn, much to his disappointment. Rick and the survivors refuse to leave the farm and guilt trip him about it. And he watches in disbelief as his family and friends (whom are walkers) in the barn are slaughtered by Shane and the survivors after they find out about it.
- Not to mention that the Walker invasion of the farm was technically Rick's fault, as it was either the sound of Shane's firearm going off as Rick stabbed him or Carl shooting an infected Shane that alerted the Walker army to the location of the farm, and Hershel gets to watch as many of his friends are eaten alive overrun in the ensuing battle.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Hershel reveals to Lori that he's a veterinarian, not a practicing surgeon. This does not comfort Lori at all considering that he's about to attempt a complicated surgical procedure on a critically injured Carl.
- Obi-Wan Moment: He gives Rick a warm, knowing smile before his decapitation.
- Off The Wagon: Following the barn massacre of the walkers. Luckily, he gets better quickly.
- Off with His Head!: His ultimate demise, courtesy of The Governor, in "Too Far Gone".
- Open Heart Dentistry: After Carl is shot, Hershel has to operate to remove the bullet fragments, but he had only done the procedure on animals before, since he is a veterinarian.
- Overprotective Dad: Both to his blood relatives and his step-kids.
- Parental Substitute: To Rick.
- The Patriarch: Both of his family and somewhat for the group.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: He initially only refers to Glenn as the "Asian boy", although he never treats him poorly. He later tells Glenn the country was built on immigrants, however. Eventually averted, as he gives Glenn his father's watch after realizing that Glenn and Maggie are attracted to one another, saying, "No man's good enough for your little girl until one is."
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In season 4.
- Religious Bruiser: He is the Token Religious Teammate of the group as well as the resident Badass Grandpa.
- Sacrificial Lion: In season 4.
- Selective Obliviousness: Towards the fact that walkers are no longer people. Shane shooting one without it dying convinces him he was wrong.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Hershel didn't survive the prison attack in the comics, but in the show he does. The first two, at least.
- Team Dad: Takes the role over from Dale after he dies. It helps that he's actually the dad to two members of the group. By Season 3 he advises on how to care for Judith, advises the rest of the groups on relationships, is Rick's main source of advice, and is the one who tries hardest to help Rick with his loosening grip on sanity.
- Technical Pacifist: He knows how to use a gun, but just doesn't like to.
- Token Religious Teammate: One of the few group members to keep any faith in God after the apocalypse started.
- White Shirt of Death: Was wearing his Iconic Outfit when he died.
- Zombie Advocate: He considers them merely sick people who could one day be cured until Shane finally demonstrates otherwise by shooting one through various vital organs to no effect. After this, he has no trouble helping to kill walkers.
"We just can't stand around here with our asses hanging out."
Portrayed by: Lauren Cohan
Maggie is Hershel's oldest daughter, and the most welcoming member of the farm to the group. She quickly established a relationship with Glenn and became one of the groups main defenders and scavengers. She accepted Glenn's proposal near the end of Season 3.
"We don't get to be upset. We all got jobs to do."
Portrayed by: Emily Kinney
Beth is Hershel's youngest daughter, and the girlfriend of Jimmy. She develops a friendship with Carl and helps keep the groups spirits up through her singing. In Season 4, she has begun a relationship with Zach, a new member of the prison community.
- A Day in the Limelight: "18 Miles Out".
- Season 4 also brings us "Still", which serves as a dual day in the limelight for both Beth and Daryl.
- Action Survivor: Though she's definitely not among the most competent fighters in the group, by the beginning of season 3 she's capable of defending herself if necessary and able to take out walkers without flinching.
- As of the season 4 episode "Too Far Gone" it seems she's on her way to becoming a full-fledged Action Girl, as her father's death motivates her to take an active role in the ensuing battle and she later hits the road with Daryl after the prison is lost and the group is forced to scatter.
- Angst Coma: Following the barn walkers being shot and being attacked by her own undead mom. She snaps out of it, but starts thinking about suicide.
- Ascended Extra: She started off as little more than a background character, but slowly got more screentime and eventually became a main character in season 4.
- Beware the Nice Ones/Beware the Quiet Ones: Easily one of the sweetest members of the group, and she doesn't tend to say too much, but when a fight breaks out between Merle and several of the others she responds by storming into the room and firing a pistol into the air to get their attention.
- Broken Bird: In Season 2, she outgrows it in Season 3.
- Break the Cutie: The loss of her mom and brother plus the barn massacre traumatized her pretty heavily. Her emotional state after Jimmy's death isn't really shown due to the time skip between season 2 and 3, but she seems to have recovered pretty well.
- Canon Foreigner: She never appeared in the comics.
- Cartwright Curse: As of the season 4 premiere, both of her romantic interests have ended up as zombie food.
- The Cast Showoff: Because Emily Kinney is a trained singer, Beth gets a couple big singing scenes in the season 3 episodes "Seed" and "I Ain't a Judas", and then again in season 4's "Alone".
- The Chick: Compared to all the women in the group (and cast), Beth fills every aspect of the trope in spades.
- Damsel in Distress: She is apparently kidnapped by an unknown party in "Alone".
- Dawson Casting: Beth is 16-18. Emily Kinney is 28.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments once she starts getting more screentime. She is a teenager, after all.
- Despair Event Horizon: Crosses it following the barn massacre of the walkers. She eventually recovers.
- Driven to Suicide: Halfway through Season 2, she comes to believe there is no hope left in the world, and tries to convince Maggie that they should kill themselves together. When she tries, she only makes a shallow cut on one wrist and can't go through with it. Ultimately it's Interrupted.
- Due to the Dead: A big fan of this, much like her father: she insists on covering up a desecrated corpse even when no-one is around to see it, yells at Daryl for having a little too much fun killing walkers, and finds it "beautiful" that someone would still take the time to embalm corpses during the zombie apocalypse.
- Emotionless Girl: By Season 4, Beth is starting to edge into this territory; when Daryl tells her that Zach is dead, she responds with a simple "okay" and tells him that she doesn't cry anymore.
- Fanservice Pack: Thanks to her wardrobe
- Farmer's Daughter: Not so obvious as with Maggie.
- Forced to Watch: Along with the rest of the prison group in "Too Far Gone" when the Governor executes her father.
- Girly Bruiser: While still more feminine than her older sister, she's a competent-enough Action Girl in her own right. This is more evident in season 4.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: By far the most innocent and sweetest character on the show.
- The Heart: On her way of becoming this.
- Hidden Depths: Turns out to have quite a pleasant singing voice.
- The Idealist: After the prison group is scattered in the second half of season 4, she is the most convinced that there's a chance they might be able to find each other again. Though there are a few hints that her positive attitude is at least partly an act to keep her motivated.
- Neutral Female: Initially.
- Never Say Goodbye: Beth refuses to say goodbye to Zach before he goes on the supply run, despite him telling her that it could be dangerous. She later tells Daryl that she's glad she didn't say it even though he doesn't return.
- Odd Friendship: With Daryl starting in season 4. Bordering on Ship Tease at times, though Word of God says they won't go there.
- Parental Abandonment: Her mom has been dead at the start of the story. While her father was brutally killed in front of her.
- Pink Means Feminine: Until "Arrow on the Doorpost", where she switched to wearing a white blouse. She dons a pink jacket in the season 3 finale "Welcome to the Tombs", though.
- Promoted To Parent: She's the main caretaker for Judith.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Promoted to series regular for season 4.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge/Unstoppable Rage: In the mid-fourth season finale after watching Hershel get executed by the Governor.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Flees the prison with Daryl once it becomes clear that sticking around is a losing proposition.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Picks up an assault rifle alongside her sister in "Too Far Gone".
- Stepford Smiler: Shades of it in season 4. Although on the surface she still appears cheerful and upbeat, her total lack of reaction to her boyfriend's death implies that she has become emotionally numb to trauma.
- More or less confirmed in "Still"; she admits that she really just wants to lay down and cry but "they don't get to do that".
- Technical Pacifist: If firing a pistol just to stop three of her teammates from arguing are any indication.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Maggie's tomboy.
- Took a Level in Badass: Pretty much the everyone in the group did (to varying degrees) during the time skip between Seasons 2 and 3, Beth included. She doesn't take part in much on-screen action and is presumably still pretty low tier in her group, but the sole fact that she even can fight is a huge step up in and of itself.
- During the Season 3 premier, she's briefly seen standing watch with a gun. Later that episode, we see her stabbing walker-heads through a chain link fence and then joining in with the rest of the group as they open fire on the horde.
- After a fight breaks out between Maggie, Glenn and Merle, she promptly storms into the room and fires a pistol into the air to stop them.
- The death of her father in "Too Far Gone" angered her so badly that she even picked up a rifle and joined in the battle to defend the prison against the Governor.
- Unable to Cry: By Season 4, she has gone through so much grief that she tells Daryl that she doesn't cry anymore, even after learning that her new boyfriend Zach has died. She gets over it in "Isolation", after learning Hershel is treating the sick inhabitants of the prison and risking his own life in doing so. However, watching The Governor behead her father shows that she's still got some tears in those ducts.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Her fate following her kidnapping is still unresolved as of the end of season four.
Other Hershel Farm Survivors
"I'm responsible. I ain't gonna sit here while this fella takes this on alone."
Portrayed by: Pruitt Taylor Vince
Otis is a farmhand on Hershel's farm. After accidently shooting Carl, he accompanies Shane to recover medical supplies. Shane shot him and left him to be eaten by walkers so he could escape with the supplies.
- Death by Adaptation: In the comics, he is Killed Offscreen screen in the prison arc by being Eaten Alive by walkers and later put down by Rick.
- Eaten Alive: After Shane shoots him in the knee to serve as bait.
- The Lancer: He is Hershel's right-hand man.
- Nice Guy: Even more so than in the books, where he's a racist. Otis is torn up over accidentally shooting Carl, and immediately volunteers to help get the medical supplies needed to save him. He also refuses to abandon Shane to the walkers, but this gets him killed, as explained in the No One Gets Left Behind entry.
- No One Gets Left Behind: He absolutely refuses to leave Shane behind to be eaten by walkers, but this ends up getting Otis killed as Shane decides that he can't risk them both dying and being unable to get the medical equipment to Hershel, leading him to shooting Otis in the knee and leaving him as a distraction for the walkers.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Shane made the decision for him.
: Jane McNeill
"You were the last one with him. You shared his final moments. Please. I need to hear. I need to know his death had meaning."
Otis' wife, she aids Hershel in maintaining the farmhouse. She was eaten by walkers when Hershel's farm was attacked.
- Age Lift: From the comic version, going from being in her mid-20's to her mid-40's.
- Bit Character: No pun intended.
- Death by Adaptation: In the comics, she died when the Governor attacked the prison.
- Demoted to Extra: None of the characterization given to her in the comics made it into the show.
- Eaten Alive: In the second season finale as the group flees the farm, a walker comes out of nowhere to grab her and proceeds to munch down as a few other walkers join him.
- Happily Married: She and Otis appeared to have a very loving relationship.
- Red Shirt: Gets very little screen time or characterization before dying.
- Widow Woman: After Otis dies.
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"Hershel! It's happened again."
Portrayed by: James Allen McCune
A young farmhand on Hershel's farm, and the boyfriend of Beth. He was eaten by walkers when Hershel's farm was attacked.
- Bit Character: He's such a minor character that most reviewers didn't even bother to learn his name.
- Canon Foreigner: He never appeared in the comics.
- Eaten Alive: While driving the RV, walkers manage to burst in while it's parked during his rescue of Rick and Carl and eat Jimmy before he can escape.note
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: To Beth, though this might be partially excusable due to the following episode taking place months later.
- Heroic Fire Rescue: During the second season finale, Jimmy takes the RV and rescues Rick and Carl from the burning barn as the walkers attack. Unfortunately, he gets eaten when walkers break into the RV.
- Gangsta Style: He holds his gun like this during training. After T-Dog tells him not to, he becomes much more accurate and is later able to kill a few walkers when the farm is attacked.
- The Generic Guy: He has pretty much zero discernible character traits.
- Nice Hat: He is often seen wearing a straw cowboy hat.
- Red Shirt: So much so that the cow Dale finds mutilated in the field was originally meant to be Jimmy's body. Jimmy is such a bit part that his death was replaced with a cow and it made very little difference.