With season one in the rearview mirror, it's time to start thinking about where "The Walking Dead" will go in season two. We've already speculated that fan-favorite character Michonne will have a role to play next year, and another likely bet is that Rick Grimes and his pals will pay a visit to Hershel's farm.
Hershel Greene is many things: a farmer, a family man, a man of faith. But when the zombie apocalypse strikes, the deeply religious Hershel is forced to confront some sad truths about not just the state of mankind, but his own capacity for violence.
If the survivors end up visiting Hershel's farm, here are five actors we could see in the role.
Best known for playing overbearing and villainous father figures like Caleb Nichol on "The O.C." and Charles Widmore on "Lost," Alan Dale isn't necessarily the first person you think of when imagining a man with strong moral values — but that's why it's called acting, right? The imposing Dale could lend some of his natural danger to Hershel, bringing the character's inner torment to painful reality.
On the flip side of Dale is James Cromwell, the "Six Feet Under" actor that regularly plays pleasant father figures. But Cromwell is just as comfortable occupying villainous roles, as seen in "L.A. Confidential." The seasoned actor is perhaps a bit old for Hershel, but he brings a natural duality of righteousness and ferocity that's absolutely essential in getting the character right.
Already familiar to comic book fans as J. Jonah Jameson in the "Spider-Man" movies, J.K. Simmons would have a very different character to play in Hershel. That's nothing new for Simmons, of course, having played the laid back dad in "Juno" while starring as a vicious Neo-Nazi on "Oz" several years earlier. Simmons would bring the perfect amount of weight to Hershel, a character that oscillates between opposite ends of the emotional spectrum with alarming regularity.
As Christian Shephard on "Lost," John Terry is already well-versed in playing a beaten down old man who feels he has nothing left to live for. But where Christian was already at his lowest point when we met him on "Lost," Hershel's journey is about getting to that point and figuring out what to do next. It would be a beautiful counterpoint to Terry's "Lost" role, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he shares a striking physical resemblance to the character.
There's an immediate calming quality when it comes to Keith Carradine, who starred in "Dexter" for two seasons as the even-tempered but razor-sharp federal agent Frank Lundy. Carradine is equally at home when his characters are saddled with tragedy, which is the exact situation that Hershel finds himself in. Without a doubt, Carradine would nail the role.
Who would you cast as Hershel? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!