Heartland: Amber Marshall addresses Season 14’s emotional return

[Spoiler alert: Do not continue reading until you have watched the Season 14 episode, “Keep Me in Your Heart.”]

Midway through last fall, TV, Eh? began getting emails. There were rumours among Heartland fans that Ty Borden (Graham Wardle) would not return to the show. We the rumours true, those emails asked? I don’t like rumours, so I didn’t address them. Instead, I let the Season 14 premiere of Heartland speak for itself.

And, sadly, as those rumours were true. On Sunday night, viewers learned that Ty succumbed to the gunshot injury he received in Season 13. “Keep Me in Your Heart” was an emotional hour with a memorial for Ty as its centrepiece, a year-later goodbye for the characters that was truly emotional. Here, Amber Marshall answers our questions about Ty’s death and what it means for Amy and the rest of the family moving forward.

Congratulations on Season 14 of Heartland. Can you believe it’s been 14 seasons already?
Amber Marshall: It seems like only yesterday we were all meeting for the first time. The beautiful thing is the excitement we all shared to be a part of that first season, is still strong over a decade later. We genuinely love and respect one another. The cast and crew have remained close and all have each other’s best interests in mind.

COVID-19 threw a wrench in everyone’s lives. How difficult was it for you and the Heartland family to adapt to filming during the pandemic?
AM: Being such a close and social workplace, it took a while to become consistent with a new routine. We are a group that hugs when we meet in the morning and when we leave at the end of the day. We spend many hours on set in close quarters and typically in between scenes and setups we usually all huddle together and run lines, or chat socially. This all had to change in season 14 to allow for COVID protocol to be followed. Lunches were now spent alone in our trailers or vehicles and any time we had in between setups or scenes was usually spent the same way. In some ways it allowed me to get more ‘homework’ done during the day, but the social side of Heartland looked very different.

Sunday’s episode revealed that, unfortunately, Ty developed complications and passed away. As a cast member and friend of Graham’s, how hard has it been to not have him around on-set?
AM: The story of Amy and Ty has been very prominent since Heartland’s beginning. Graham and I have had many beautiful stories on Heartland over the years and have remained very close friends off-set as well. This year was a strange new reality on all fronts. In a way, the longevity of the Amy and Ty story gave me inspiration as an actor to be able to feel the grief and sorrow of losing that character. Graham and I still spoke often throughout the season and I was able to visit him recently as well.

What would you say to fans who are upset Ty is no longer on the show? He and Amy have been the centrepiece of this show since Day 1.
There are things in our lives we can never prepare for. And when something devastating happens it feels as though our world is ripped apart and could never be put back together. I know fans of the show will be deeply saddened by the loss of Ty and I hope that they can join Amy and the Heartland family during this season of healing. There will always be events in our life that are out of our control and upset us. Instead of attacking them, or shutting down, we experience the most growth when we remain open and understanding.

When we pick up with the new season, a year has gone by. How do you feel about the time jump?
AM: Heartland was supposed to begin filming Season 14 in April of 2020. At that time the scripts were written to be six months after Ty’s passing. When the pandemic caused us to push our start until September is was a beautiful thing for our story. Now, instead of ‘six months later’ we have a more powerful story of a whole year passing. I believe this added immensely to the journey of our characters. The memorial on the one-year anniversary of his death was so much stronger than if it was only six months later. Also, the seasons and backdrop to the stage we were setting was far more tailored to the events. To me, the colder climate and fall/winter landscapes make the audience feel the grief so much deeper than a spring/summer backdrop.

Ty leaves a huge hole in the family. How will Amy adapt to this new life, especially being a single mother?
AM: Amy is no stranger to loss. The series begins with the death of her mother and her journey forward down a new road which she must travel without Marion. It is the horses that have always grounded Amy and as she works to heal their traumas, they, in turn, heal her. When Amy loses Ty, she goes through a wide range of emotions. She is numb to it for many months, then has strong guilt for not doing more to prevent it. With Jack’s help and understanding, she accepts that it was out of her control and the best way to honour Ty is to move forward and be present for their daughter. Amy leans on what has always comforted her in times of sorrow: horses. She includes her daughter in this form of healing and together they share some beautiful moments.

What can fans expect from the new season of the show?
AM: As always, be prepared to laugh, cry and maybe throw something at your TV – perhaps all at the same time! This season is undoubtedly an emotional one, but the strength of the Heartland family coming together and the beauty of the cinematography brings so much to the hearts of the viewers who join us on this journey.

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of Michelle Faye Fraser for Rescued Horse Season Fourteen Inc.


31 thoughts on “Heartland: Amber Marshall addresses Season 14’s emotional return”

  1. I was saddened but shocked more of Ty dying. Season 14 was so emotional, cried for the most part. That was one character I did not see leaving the show. He will be missed tremendously. I have watched all 14 seasons, my favourite on Sunday night.

  2. It is exactly like Linda Reagan leaving “Blue Bloods” my other favourite show. So sad.

  3. I was in shock and saddened with the fact that Amy will not have Ty. I sat watching and was a mess. I cried loud and yelled NO!!! I just cannot believe he wont be there with Amy. It is hard to take.

    1. Why was ty taken out of heartland nobody is answering this question?was it his decision or the show

      1. It seems as simple as Graham moving on to other chapters in his life beyond Heartland. I wish him well.

  4. I just started watching Heartland with my mother last year. We have binge watched it to catch up. I felt like I was punched in the stomach, the whole episode was hard to watch.

  5. Why did they kill Ty’s character off the show?? Have watched the show from the beginning Glad it came back.

    1. My daughter and husband are not going to watch the show anymore, but I will still finish out the season. After watching his interview the three of us feel like it wasn’t a choice he wanted to make like it was a forced decision. I get people move on by man that really sucks.

  6. I am shocked, angry and so sad. It would really help to know why ty was written out. The love between Ty and Amy was the strength of the show. I was so happy to see their story bloom in season 13. Please help us understand why.

  7. I admit with no shame. I cried my eyes out when I found out Ty died. I missed that episode but thank God I saw the one tonight. Jan 10. I know I will cry many times during this years episodes. I just can’t help it. I love this show so much. By times I feel I am right there. RIP Ty

  8. I just found out Ty dies and I have cried like a baby tonight. I feel so emotionally drained! I. Live in Florida and about 1 year ago I came across the Heartland series and binge watched all episodes several times and we are always so late to receive new episodes from Canada so I love this show so much . I am so shocked by Ty dying. I am not a fan of this happening especially nor with all the COVID sickness and deaths now.
    I was hoping that maybe th y could have given us fans all over the world (Florida) one season of happiness and laughter to help our spirits remain a bit positive just now. Writers are A grade and make this show feel so real but I am so sad to see Ty die,I am not sure if I will watch amymore. Wishing cast and crew continued success and Graham Wardell the same

  9. It is sad Ty is gone. Waiting a year for Heartland to return. After the COVID crap and all the loss people have experienced this year from Cancer, heart desase, and others things Heartland was one thing we all looked forward to. He will be sadly .missed.
    Love this show. Best family show!!!

  10. I watched the show tonight not expecting the passing of Ty , l am deeply saddened, l don’t think l can continue to watch the show now , Amy & Ty are my favourite characters.

  11. Been watching heartland since day one .and 2winter kept watching all the repeats from season 1 to11
    I was surprised to find about him tonight
    About is dead him and Amy great couple
    Love the show great family show
    Sad tonight but keep the great work
    Stay safe will see you next Sunday

  12. I was shocked to learn Ty died. Have we not been through enough!! Amy and Ty were so great together, they grew up together went through so much. Not liking this scenario at all.

  13. I have been waiting for months to have heartland back. Tonight was so hard to watch. I cried all the way thru the show. I was looking for the ray of sunlight in the barnyard and happiness in the loft…but instead loss and sadness and anger. I started watching heartland while I was recovering from chemo. It got me thru the tough days….After watching him for that many years……There is going to be a real hole in the show without Ty….

  14. Why is it that our question about why Ty was written out not being answered. If it was his decision we would more likely understand but if not then why. Ty and Amy were the Heart of Heartland. Wish you all a great season but definately will not be the same.

  15. It had been the rumour for while and for some reason when I listened to Graham’s podcast, it just seemed like he was moving on with his life. I’m sure there are other things he wants than to be known as just Ty Bordon. He’s and interesting guy with interesting thoughts. I’m curious to see what he decides to do over the years to come.

    As far as Heartland is concerned, it’s definitely sad, but it is also how life goes sometimes, and I love that about the show. People die. Parents divorce. Breakups happen. Horses need to get re-homed. Elections happen and sometime you win (Lou) and sometimes you lose (Tim.) It’s life. I’m looking forward to seeing how they all adjust and move forward.

    As long as there is Heartland, I’m going to watch (and probably over and over and over again.)

  16. No pienso seguir viendo la serie ,hay que respetar a la audencia.Es una serie donde a pesar de cualquier problema siempre termina bien y en estos momentos tan dificiles con la pandemia no necesitamos mas tragedias

  17. It is very bad bad this time is in Lost and is supposedly dead from a gunshot wound. It will scar Heartland forever. If Ty does not come back by an accident in the writing such as mistake and his death that he was hiding incognito somewhere else; I will never watch Heartland again. FOREVER….

  18. Was tonight’s show according to the book this show is based on or did you have to rewrite the script to cover the leaving of Graham ?

  19. Shocked to see Ty die but I can understand as that’s how life sadly goes. You can’t control anything in life and just when you make plans they are blown up. You can crumble and give up or you can get back up and be a mother or parent to your child and continue life. I truly hope that my husband and son will live life to the fullest if I loose my fight. I watch this show because I’m home sick and love to see my home province Alberta Canada, miss the prairie’s with the mountains near by. I hope to see my home soon and my dad in Calgary Alberta but with covid-19 its impossible with my illnesse severe aplastic anemia causing bone marrow failure. I’m severely immune compromised and my dad is in a care facility in the last stages of MS. So this show is my only way of seeing my home. Thank you Heart Land ❤🇨🇦

  20. Heartland has been and will continue to be my favourite Sunday show to watch. This show has always portrayed real life family issues and this episode was truly a heart wrenching one. Ty is going to be missed terribly. I would like to say thank you to Graham for Ty and wish him the best in his next endeavour in life.

  21. 😪😪😪😪After watching this episode, I am still sad 2 hours later…….Well Graham, the time has come…….I wish u well man🙁☹🥺😦😧😨😰😥😢😭

  22. Won’t see it for some time in Australia, but know the outcome of episode one. Thank you Graham for 13 years. This has obviously been an incrediblyhard decision to make. Heartland will still continue on a different path. Much respect to Graham, Amber and all the cast & crew for filming during this difficult time.

  23. My only regret is I I’ll have to wait until, April or wnenever to start watching it because of channels im,in the,USA,

  24. Really sad this has happened ty and Amy took forever to get together, they are the heart of the show, if you wrote him out you just about killed your show, if he decided to leave then there isn’t much you can do. I am sure your ratings are going way down. Was hoping they would of had another baby and and built their dream home. This makes no sense, what is Amy going to do with the land her grandfather gave her. It would of been nice to see him become a vet

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