The Ones Who Live - Rick's childhood reveal makes his bond with Hershel more significant

Rick Grimes learned many life lessons from Hershel Greene in the early seasons of The Walking Dead. New information about Rick's childhood makes this relationship all the more important.

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /
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The Walking Dead fandom has seen a resurgence with the release of the first episode of the Rick and Michonne spinoff, The Ones Who Live. This six-part series will fill in the blanks of what Rick and Michonne have endured since being a part and feature their glorious and long-awaited reunion.

This article contains spoilers forThe Walking Dead: The Ones Who Liveseason 1, episode 1, "Years."

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Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The first episode of The Ones Who Live, titled "Years," took viewers on a roller coaster ride with Rick (Andrew Lincoln). He experienced severe lows when he chopped off his hand and contemplated suicide. He would run through the motions of becoming a CRM soldier, but his end game was to try to escape for the fifth time. The whole episode had Rick narrating letters to Michonne (Danai Gurira) of which he told her time and time again that he tried to escape and make his way back to her.

The story begins five years after the bridge explosion and ends two years after that. At that time, Rick and his new ally Pearle Thorne (Lesley-Ann Brandt) had been tasked with setting up a command for the CRM in the Cascades. While in a helicopter with Rick's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Donald Okafor (Craig Tate), they are attacked, and Okafor, who believed Rick was destined for more, is killed.

Before the attack, Rick shared some enlightening information regarding his childhood, which explains his fondness for Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson). He recalls one night from his childhood when he was seven and had trouble sleeping. He got up to get some water as he maneuvered the squeaky floorboards of the old farmhouse, trying not to wake the other family members. From the stairs, he saw an orange light and discovered the crops were ablaze. He was terrified, and then his dad appeared to save him, with half of his body on fire, looking like a monster to the young boy. His father explained the fire was to protect the crops, and he shouldn't be afraid, telling him, "It may look like the end of the world, but it's only just the beginning." The fact that his father was certain and calm gave him peace in the situation.

Things improved for the Grimes family; they got a new barn, and the following year's harvest was the best ever. Later, after his father's death, Rick would learn his father lit the fire because the farm was about to fail. His actions shocked Rick as he believed his father to be the most honest man he knew. His father did what he had to do, even though it was wrong, to ensure his family's survival.

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Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC /

The fact that Rick grew up on a farm with a man he believed to be very honest explains his attachment to Hershel. The pair often had in-depth conversations about the state of the world and how they could survive it. Hershel filled a void in Rick's life over the loss of his father. This makes what Rick experienced with Hershel even more heartwarming than before.

"It may look like the end of the world, but it's only just the beginning"

Rick Grimes' father

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live airs new episodes weekly on Sunday on AMC and AMC+, with the finale airing on March 31.

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