The Walking Dead: How The Show's Version Of Hershel Junior Is Different From The Comics
Meet Hershel Jr!
WARNING: SPOILERS for The Walking Dead 10x17, 'Home Sweet Home'
After what has felt like a long wait for fans, The Walking Dead is back, with six bonus Season 10 episodes intended to tide fans over until Season 11 begins later in the year. The first of these episodes, 'Home Sweet Home', focuses mostly on the returning Maggie Rhee, with the character explaining what she has been doing in the years since we saw her last, as well as introducing possible new villains the Reapers.
For long time fans, one of the most exciting elements of the episode was the chance to meet Maggie and Glenn's son, Hershel, often dubbed 'Little Hershel' or 'Hershel Jr' by fans.
As the series makes further deviations from it's comic book source material, it is already clear that the show's Hershel Jr may be quite different than his comic book counterpart. Here's a quick rundown on Hershel Jr's history in the comics, and what has changed for the show.
In the comics, little Hershel is conceived sometime after the group arrive in Alexandria. After getting to know some of the other nearby communities, Maggie and Glenn make the decision to move to Hilltop, believing it to be the best place to raise their unborn child, along with Sophia, their adopted daughter. Some of the other survivors accompany Glenn and Maggie to help get them to Hilltop safely, but unfortunately, the group is intercepted on the way by Negan and the Saviours, and Glenn is beaten to death.
Wanting to follow Glenn's wishes of finding a safe place for their child, Maggie chooses to continue on to Hilltop with Sophia. During her pregnancy, Maggie continued to participate in the war against Negan, eventually leading Hilltop's forces.
Maggie gives birth to her son, whom she names Hershel, after his Grandfather, during the time-jump after the end of the 'All Out War' comics arc. Hershel first appears in person as a toddler, sleeping in his crib when Rick Grimes visits Hilltop to help prepare for the upcoming Fair. He is often cared for by his adoptive sister Sophia, or fellow Hilltop member Brianna when Maggie is busy.
Hershel attends the fair with Maggie and Brianna, and is present when Rick announces the tragic news that twelve missing members of the community had been murdered by the Whisperers. He appears periodically through the comic's following story arcs, either with Maggie or in the background being cared for by Brianna or Sophia.
A Spoiled Adult
Sometime after the death of Rick Grimes, near the end of The Walking Dead comic's run, Maggie is elected as the new President of the Commonwealth, and moves there with Hershel. Unfortunately, the pressures of Maggie's new job mean she has very little time to spend with Hershel, so when she is with him, she tends to give him whatever he wants. As Hershel grows, sheltered from the true dangers of the Walkers and with his Mother conceding to his every whim, he develops a reputation within the wider community for being quite spoiled.
Following the comic's final time jump, Hershel appears as an adult, running the 'See The Walking Dead' show, travelling around the communities with a trailer full of zombies and showing them off, believing they are safely secured and will never escape. However, while touring the Commonwealth, one of Hershel's Walkers does in fact escape. The Walker is found and immediately killed by Hershel's adoptive brother-in-law, Carl Grimes. Rather than being grateful to Carl for averting disaster, Hershel is furious with him for destroying his 'property', and takes him to court over the loss. He is disappointed to learn that Maggie does not support him in the lawsuit, but pleased to learn that Carl will be forced to replace the dead Walker.
Instead, Carl, having grown up in the early days of the outbreak and remembering the danger, kills all of Hershel's remaining Walkers. Many of the older community members agree with Carl's actions, forcing a furious Hershel to give up on his show.
Now, onto the show..
The TV series take on Hershel Jr is already noticeably different than his comic counterpart. First seen as a baby following the end of the TV version of 'All-Out War', Hershel is absent following the second time jump, having been taken with Maggie to join Georgie's group. He reappears in episode 10x17 as an adorable eight-year old, played by newcomer Kien Michael Spiller. This was an age that the character was never seen at in the comics.
He is also far from being spoiled or sheltered like the comic version of the character. TV's Hershel has spent a lot of time travelling with Maggie, facing Walkers and likely witnessing at least some of the crimes of the Reapers. He was able to successfully escape and hide himself from a very skilled assailant during his first appearance, and though he has not been seen participating in a fight as of yet, Hershel is seen to carry a knife in his pocket, and most likely knows how to use it.
Described by The Walking Dead's showrunner, Angela Kang, as a perfect mixture of Maggie and Glenn, Hershel Jr is sure to be a welcome addition to the series.