Hershel GreenePlayed by Scott Wilson
Hershel Greene owns the farmhouse where Rick and the other survivors seek asylum after the apocalypse. A recovering alcoholic and a man of faith, Hershel feels obliged to shelter the guests for a time, but soon chafes at their intrusion.
A veterinarian by trade, Hershel proves invaluable to Rick when his son Carl is accidentally shot. After performing life-saving surgery on Carl, Hershel relates to Rick his belief that everything that’s happened is God’s work, and that mankind will soon find a cure for the walker disease.
Hershel’s belief that the undead are just sick is so deep that he has corralled his friends and neighbors who have turned — including his wife and step-son — in his barn. When Shane discovers the walkers and slaughters them, Hershel realizes his mistake.
“I was a fool, Rick,” Hershel drunkenly laments. “There is no hope.”
To that end, Hershel adopts a more open attitude toward Rick’s people, inviting them to stay in the house and even embracing Glenn’s romantic interest in Maggie. “No man is good enough for your little girl,” he tells Glenn, handing over his grandfather’s pocket watch, “until one is.”
Hershel’s renewed hospitality proves of little consequence in the end, when the farm is overrun with walkers. Though he attempts to make a last stand — declaring, “This is my farm. “I’ll die here” — Rick soon convinces him to flee.
Exiled on the road, Hershel once again questions his devotion to God. “Christ promised the resurrection of the dead,” he tells Rick. “I just thought he had something a little different in mind.”