Dumbfounded fans might have asked themselves, over the course of this first half of season four of The Walking Dead, one central question, continuity-wise: How come Herschel suddenly had his missing leg somehow re-attached?
While later into the season viewers got visual confirmation that it was indeed a prosthetic leg Hershel was wearing, the show never went to any lengths to attempt to explain how he had managed to acquire it. While the question was addressed on the after-show Talking Dead (the leg was dismissed as a lucky find stumbled upon during one of the group's outwards expeditions), the mystery remained; at least until the guys over at the Walker Stalkers podcast interrogated a certain Mr. , who portrays Hershel Greene on the show, about the enigma of the fake limb. Wilson answered:
As far as I know, it hasn't been explained, but I think the assumption is they came up with the artificial leg at some point during the intervening time. Because the whole prison’s changed, it's more of a community. Certainly, you can see that at the beginning of the show. Rick is growing crops and raising pigs. It's been quite a bit of time that's gone by. [It] certainly gives enough times for Hershel to have worked something out or to have found something or someone bringing him a leg back and him figuring a way to make it work.
It's interesting how it's created some interesting situations. In the first episode, when Rick and Hershel were at the tomato plants, they dug a hole I put my leg in. And then they had this artificial leg sticking out the back. So in essence I was glued to that spot while we were shooting that scene. It's created a lot of situations like that from the time he lost his leg.
Well, there you have it folks. Not a fully-fledged explanation, but satisfactory to me. Now it'll be easier to concentrate on the show without wondering about that darned leg all the time...
The Walking Dead's fourth season airs on AMC, Sunday nights at 9 PM (EST).