Warning: There are spoilers ahead.
If you tuned into the mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead” last night, you definitely weren’t disappointed.
After weeks of teasing plenty of zombie gore and minor character deaths, the AMC series killed off two of its main leads.
Last chance to head back before spoilers.
Viewers were floored on social media not only by the death of medical adviser and group leader Hershel (Scott Wilson), but also fan favourite villain, The Governor (David Morrissey).
Hershel was decapitated by The Governor who later was killed by not one, but two women as he was subsequently stabbed by a woman he hated (Michonne) and shot by one he loves (Lilly).
Comic creator Robert Kirkman admitted afterward on “The Walking Dead” aftershow “The Talking Dead” that Hershel was originally considered to be killed off in season 2.
If you’re a fan of the comics though, you probably weren’t as surprised.
Honestly, it just made sense. Of course in the comics, it’s Tyreese, not Hershel who receives multiple blows to the head by The Governor.
The episode — and much of the first part of season 4 — played out like the comics (minus the entire flu virus).
Keeping the Governor around was always supposed to lead up to this “big prison showdown” between both he and Rick. In the comics, *spoiler* the Governor just happens to show up with members of Woodbury rather than a new clan he randomly happens upon (who all decide to follow his lead in a number of days).
After attacking the prison, he dies at the hands of his own people for getting tricked into harming innocent lives. *spoiler.*
This season when the Governor’s character was given his own two-episode story arc showing how he tried to change before returning to a ruthless maniac, that was all part of a setup for his demise. (Honestly, it felt a bit rushed — showing a softer side to the Governor before switching back to a madman in the past two episodes.)
The more suprising death for fans of the show and comics was Hershel’s.
After all, in the comics, it’s Tyreese, not Hershel, who receives multiple blows to the head from the Governor.
However, Chad Coleman (“The Wire”) joined the show recently as the axe-wielding Tyreese and creator Kirkman has previously said on “The Talking Dead” that he always wanted the “Wire” actor joining the cast as that character. There was no way the show was going to kill off his character after recently introducing him. His character has much more to bring to the show to let him go just yet.
If you looked, there were hints Hershel was being eyed as a major death.
When he was recently given his own time to shine on air in episode 405 “Internment” we figured he may be the next logical person to go. That much time spent on his character seemed a little odd at first when you have so many other popular characters to go indepth with — Daryl, Maggie, Glenn, Tyreese, Carl. Looking back, it’s easy to see how the producers were setting up for a goodbye.
Showrunner Scott Gimple previously said all of the episodes were leading up to episode 8. Hershel’s character episode proved how much of an asset he really was to the group making his death feel like a real loss to the show.
Plus, if you know the comics, you knew the characters were all going to be on the run and Hershel — having one leg — would have trouble travelling on the road.
Overall, it was a fitting ending for a character who may have seemed cast aside storywise earlier.
Here are a few fan reactions to the news of the two deaths:
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