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RIP, Hershel: 'Walking Dead' Fans Mourn a Big, Bearded Loss

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Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) in 'The Walking Dead' Season 4 episode, 'Too Far Gone.'

Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) in 'The Walking Dead' Season 4 episode, 'Too Far Gone.'

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains storyline and character spoilers.

No, not Hershel!

We already called it "perhaps the saddest 'TWD' death yet," but the sight of kindly old veterinarian Hershel losing his head at the hands of the Governor on last night's "Walking Dead" midseason finale didn't just hit us hard.

Even the actor who plays him, Scott Wilson, tells TVLine the news of Hershel's demise came as a shock: "It was disorienting ... There’s no good time to tell someone that they are expendable. I would have preferred to still be there. I’m not, and now I’ll just be a fan instead of a participant."

But he also knows being a "Walking Dead" cast member means living on borrowed time. "It was going to be someone. It’s the halfway point of the season — you know someone’s going. And it happened to be my turn."

At least he got a souvenir out of it: Hershel's prop head, post-decapitation. "I do have [the head], which is very nice. I have it hidden in my closet."

We first met Hershel back in Season 2, as the patriarch of a Georgia farm where Rick and his band of survivors took shelter from the zombie apocalypse. He helped nurse Rick's son Carl back to health from a gunshot wound, lost one of his own legs to a zombie bite, and fought back a devastating flu outbreak in the prison with nothing but elderberry tea. He's survived by his two daughters, Maggie and Beth. He and his beard will be missed.

[Related: Take a Bite Out of Our 'Walking Dead' Recaps]

"Walking Dead" fans, though, are still coping with the loss, using (what else?) Twitter to work their way through the classic five stages of grief.  

Denial:

Anger:

Bargaining:

Depression:

And finally, acceptance:

Even a few celebrities took to social media to share their grief:

Oh, and as for the Governor? Yeah, nobody's really mourning that loss.

Season 4 of "The Walking Dead" returns Sunday, Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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