Doctober Spotlight – Dr. Hershel Greene
Just when you thought you heard the last from Lilith about TWD this week, today I want to feature Hershel, that beloved veterinary doctor from TWD who we lost all too soon. Doctors provide us with a lot in the real world, but in the apocalypse they have the potential to become vital to the survival of your group. And Hershel did just that for his group for a long time.
Hershel was not a human doctor, but a veterinary doctor, yet he proved that the medical expertise of a veterinarian could be applied to humans pretty easily. In season 2 we meet Hershel who has survived with many of his friends of family members on his farm in rural Georgia. He applies his medical skills to save Carl after he is accidentally shot by Hershel’s neighbor, and provides safe haven for Rick’s group.
The one aspect that I think the writers got wrong is Hershel’s compassion. Veterinarians are a very compassionate bunch of people, it oozes out of our pores like sweat, yet the writers of TWD interpreted that compassion as a reason to hold on to zombies as people that are just sick and might be cured. I think in reality that compassion would be channeled in to relief of suffering, and veterinarians would be among the first people to find putting zombies down the easiest.
In season 3 the group enters the prison, and Hershel has become both an outspoken member of the group when it comes to morality as well as their sole medical provider. He is the first of the group that they successfully save via amputation when he is bitten on the leg, and continues to be Rick’s right hand man.
In season 4 Hershel’s medical skills are put to the test when the prison their community is living in has a devastating flu outbreak. He saves countless lives, and helps put those that are lost down before they can rise again. He gets over his disgust of violence when necessary, and does the right thing for the group again and again. Of course, he has to find some way to deal with all this compassion fatigue, and while burying the bodies of those that he was unable to save the Governor finds him and Michonne. And you all know what happens after that. The loss of the best doctor to ever have lived during a zombie apocalypse.
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