Name: Hershel Greene
First Appearance: The Walking Dead #10 (July 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 4"
Number of Appearances: 66
Comic Book Appearances: 30
TV, Film Appearances: 35
Video Game, Computer Game Appearances: 1
Enemy of: zombies
Hershel Greene is one of the most religious characters in The Walking Dead series. In both the comic book series and the TV series, Hershel is clearly Christian, and apparently Protestant. In both series, his religious beliefs are important to him and an important part of the stories in which he appears.
We have seen one wiki-style reference source which stated that Hershel told Rick he is Jewish while Rick and his company were staying on the Greene farm. A careful reading of the comic stories in which the Grimes group stays on the Greene farm reveals that this is not the case. There are no reference to Jewish heritage or affiliation by Hershel or anybody else in these stories. Furthermore, when Hershel buries his children (Shawn, Lacey and Arnold), he marks their graves with a Christian cross. The misremembering of Hershel Greene's religious affiliation a being Jewish may stem from his surname, which is the last name of many real-life Jewish people as well as some fictional Jewish characters.
BELOW: Hershel Greene suggests that Rick should pray for his son:
Rick: Thanks, Mister, I really--
Hershel: Name's Hershel Greene. Don't thank me just yet. Your time would be better put to use praying for the boy. I ain't had a prayer answered in a good solid few months... So I figure we're about due for something good.
Source: The Walking Dead #10 (July 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 4", pg. 7, panel 6. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Charlie Adlard. See also: prayer; Protestant; Rick Grimes; Hershel Greene
BELOW: Hershel Greene is furous when he finds his 19-year-old daughter in bed with Glenn: Hershel Greene is portrayed as a fairly religious man, one of the most overtly religious characters thus far in "The Walking Dead" series. He has been generous to Rick Grimes' and his band of zombie apocalypse survivors in allowing them to stay on his property and in his family's home. It is not surprising that he is furious when he finds his daughter in bed with a member of Rick's group.
Hershel: Maggie, I-- What the hell are you doing?!
Glenn: Oh, sir! Uh... I really didn't want--your daughter and I-- We-- I'm sorry!
Hershel: Not yet you aren't!
Maggie: Daddy-- No!
Hershel: And you! What have you done, Maggie? Lacey, Arnold, and Shawn haven't been in the ground twenty-four hours and you're doing this? You make me sick!
Maggie: Glenn and I are in love, Daddy. I wanted to tell you before but I just couldn't! We love each other and there's nothing you can do about that. I'm nineteen! I'm old enough to do whatever I want! He slept here last night because I asked him to. I--I just... I've never slept alone in this room before! I couldn't-- Not with Lacey gone. I needed somebody to be here.
Source: The Walking Dead #12 (Sep. 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 6", pg. 2-3. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Charlie Adlard. See also: sexual morality; Glenn Rhee; Hershel Greene; Maggie Greene
BELOW: Rick is firm in his belief that zombies should be killed; Hershel believes to do so may be murder: Rick Grimes has just learned that Hershel Greene has been keeping family members and neighbors who became zombies locked up in the farm's barn. Rick is shocked and argues with Hershel about it. Hershel is shocked to learn that Rick kills zombies. Hershel believes that doing so may be murder. He regards the the zombies as sick "people," while Rick believes that the people they were are dead, and that the zombies that remain are soulless monsters who should all be killed. An excerpt from their argument is shown here. Note how Hershel adamantly states he does not want to have "blood on his hands" if the zombies turn out to be sick people who are really alive. He is deeply concerned about not committing the sin of murder.
Rick: I don't think I could live without my son... But you've got to listen to me, Hershel. That thing in your barn... It's not your son.
Hershel: Get your f---ing hand off me! Not my son?! What made you such a g--damn expert?! I don't know about you but the zombies around here didn't come with a f---ing instruction manual! We don't know a g--damn thing about them. We don't know what they're thinking--what they're feeling. We don't know if it's a disease or side effects of some kind of chemical warfare. We don't know sh--! For all we know these things could wake up tomorrow, heal up, and be completely normal again! We just don't know! You could have been murdering all those people you "put out of their misery."
Rick: They're dead. Before they get back up--before they try to eat you--they die. You said you saw your son die. He's dead. Those things are rotting corpses with pieces missing. They're not sick people... They're dead.
Hershel: Rick, listen. These things could be in the early stages of recovery. They could be healing... and that's why things aren't working right. This is all completely unknown to us. We've go no clue how to handle this. I don't want to have blood on my hands if we find out these people are alive.
Source: The Walking Dead #11 (Aug. 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 5", pg. 4, panels 1-5. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Charlie Adlard. See also: murder; sanctity of life; Rick Grimes; zombies; Hershel Greene
BELOW: Hershel's strong ethical and religious beliefs prompt him to "do what he can to help his fellow man": Hershel Greene has been tremendously kind to Rick Grimes and Rick's band of zombie apocalypse survivors. Hershel used his medical skill to save Carl's life after Carl was shot by Otis. Plus, Hershel has allowed Rick's entire group to stay on his farm and has shared his food and resources with them.
Rick: Still, I just wanted to let you know that I really do appreciate all you've done for Carl, and you allowing us to stay here.
Hershel: Don't mention it, I'm just doing what I can to help my fellow man.
Source: The Walking Dead #11 (Aug. 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 5", pg. 8-9. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Charlie Adlard. See also: charity; Rick Grimes; Hershel Greene
BELOW: Hershel Greene buries three of his children and marks their graves with crosses: When Hershel Greene tried to herd a wandering zombie into his barn, the zombies already in the barn (including his zombified son Shawn) escaped and attacked. Hershel's eldest son Arnold and his eldest daughter Lacey were both killed by the attacking zombies. Rick Grimes and his band of survivors help Hershel kill all of the zombies. Afterward, Hershel buries Arnold, Lacey and Shawn. He marks each grave with a simple wooden cross.
Source: The Walking Dead #11 (Aug. 2004): "Miles Behind Us, Part 5", pg. 21, panels 2-3. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Charlie Adlard. See also: cross; kneeling; Protestant; Hershel Greene; Lacey Greene; Arnold Greene; Shawn Greene
Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: