In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Robert Kirkman, creator of the comic book 'The Walking Dead', discussed the very climactic end to the mid-season finale, and went into detail on the loss of Hershel and its ramifications for the group:
[Hershel] was the moral compass of the group and it’s always good to lose the moral compass. It will all become clear when we finally show you the back half of season 4. It wasn’t enough for these characters to lose the prison. They also had to feel some kind of loss over something important and Hershel was that thing that was important to each and every character, so it made the most sense to take him off the table and see how it affects the characters, which we’ll see when we come back in a bit. So there’s a lot of cool stuff ahead because of that.
It is exactly this type of thinking that has made this show so enthralling and dramatic. The devil-may-care attitude on display with proclamations like "it's always good to lose the moral compass" really demonstrates that this series is and will continue to be full of surprises-which we are all very thankful for I'm sure. Don't get me wrong, I loved Hershel as much as the next guy, but the less we have him on the show, the less control we have on the often savage instincts on the others in the group. This will translate into more rash behaviour, more mistakes, more impulsive decisions and thus: more drama. Win for us!
As much as the show tries to throw in lessons of what it means to be a human being, helping those in need etc, in the end only one thing matters: survival. And while we are on the topic, I think I notice the start of a trend where old, wise, moral-compass-type men with beards go the way of the dodo.
So to the next old bearded dude on the show I have only one message: Make sure you save some of that money you earn. You will need it.
When asked why the Governor decided to give Hershel the hack-job instead of Michonne, Kirkman answered:
Well, there’s two things: I don’t think he knew that things were going to spiral out of control the way they did right after he killed Hershel so it’s entirely possible that he had a much more horrible plan for Michonne,
But two, because of that exchange between Hershel and the Governor in the trailer, and because of Rick’s comments mirroring a lot of what Hershel said, I think the Governor got the sense that this was the guy that was advising Rick and kind of represented the whole “we can all live together in harmony” attitude, and that’s the guy you want to take off the table just to show this is not what’s happening. I’m going to take this prison.
And as for the future:
The Walking Dead moves on. That’s what we do. We didn’t stay at the farm. We’re not staying at the prison. We’re always going to be going to new and cool and interesting dangerous places.
I would not expect the group to be getting reunited as quickly as they did at the end of season 2. Or possibly ever. So there’s definitely a lot of unknowns going into the back half of this season. We’ll just have to see if they come together It’s entirely possible that there will be some parts of that group that just don’t quite make it back.
Am I alone in hoping its Glen and Maggie that simply don't make it back, without explanation? Only time will tell!
What do you think of Kirkman's interview? What does the future hold? Let us speculate together!