Anyone who watched 'The Walking Dead's' second season finale "Beside the Dying Fire" knew it was a real brain nail-biter, with plenty of character deaths to go around, as well as a host of new twists and turns for the coming season, but what didn't we see?  And who among the survivors of Hershel Greene's farm just barely made the cut?

Season 2 of 'The Walking Dead' cost us - SPOILER ALERT - noble Otis, young Sophia Peletier, the wise Dale Horvath, forgettable Jimmy and Patricia, and even the surly Shane, but did you know that Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) himself was next in line for the chopping block?  According to a recent EW interview with 'Walking Dead' creator Robert Kirkman, "Hershel was originally going to be murdered by Randall in episode 12 ["Better Angels"]. So we were going to lose Hershel, Randall and Shane all in one episode, which I felt was really cool."

The Hershel Green of the comic books survived past the group's exodus from the farm, eventually making it as far as the prison (glimpsed in the final shot of "Beside the Dying Fire") before - POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT - dying in The Governor's final assault on the facility.  While there however, Hershel served a valuable purpose in using the prison's grounds for farming purposes, making the environment livable for the other survivors.

So what kept Robert Kirkman from pulling the trigger on Hershel Greene's AMC counterpart?  Says the creator, "At the end of the day we had so much story to tell with Hershel, and he had such a central role in the ensemble, and Scott Wilson is such a phenomenal actor that we felt like it was overkill. So [he] got a reprieve."

Kirkman is no stranger to killing characters with further story to tell however, as both young Sophia (Madison Lintz) and Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn)'s characters in the books lived well-past their onscreen counterparts, bypassing a number of story arcs in the process.  With Dale gone however, it looks like Hershel will take his place as the old man and moral compass of the group, for however long he lasts into next season.

What say you, ‘Walking Dead’ fans?  Should Hershel Greene have gone down along with the barn, or are you glad to to have Scott Wilson back for another season?  Who would you like to see bite the bullet to make room for new characters next season?  Tell us what you thought of ‘The Walking Dead’ season finale in the comments below!