Of course, we begin this article with a massive warning: Stop reading now if you want to avoid spoilers related to “The Walking Dead.” This was a huge episode for the show, and the last thing that we would want to do is to potentially ruin anything for you.
Now, we turn to talking about that enormous shocker: The stunning death of Hershel at the hands of The Governor. While this is a character who we predicted would die at the end of this episode, it’s still shocking to actually see him go … especially in a way that saw The Governor slicing off his head angrily as a result of him not accepting Rick’s negotiation, and offer for the characters to try to form some sort of harmonious environment in the prison together.
The irony here is that it was the way in which Hershel died came as a result of Rick picking up some of the things that he may have taught him about being a leader earlier this season. Speaking on tonight’s “Talking Dead,” Scott Wilson said that Hershel smiled in his last moments because he saw that Rick was trying to negotiate and find a peaceful solution, even though it didn’t happen. Wilson also told TVLine in a print interview that he found validation in the way in which his character was able to have these important moments to impact the rest of the group:
“The thing to me that is even more important than him being decapitated were the positions he took in 4.03 and 4.05. Those two episodes are more important than the way he lost his head at the end. I would assume that there will be some kind of audience response to Hershel losing his head. I would not want to be David Morrissey.”
In the end, Wilson recognizes that this is a TV show, and there of course going to be casualties. In this case, he just happened to be the one at the center of the story. While he’ll miss the show, at least he has a nice souvenir to hang on to for a little while: His own decapitated head. It’s kind of a creepy gift to keep, but in the end we suppose that it’s better than nothing.