It’s remarkable that The Walking Dead‘s Rick Grimes has managed to keep his daughter Judith alive for so long. The baby’s mother, Lori, died during childbirth, and her potential biological father was zombified and put down by Rick. Even her brother, Carl, has lost an eye. Throughout it all, though, Rick has done everything he could to protect her, but according to a new fan theory, he may be in for another tragedy down the line.
It all hinges on those head-scratching flash-forwards in the season 8 premiere, “Mercy.” One sequence showed Rick looking mournful next to a grave – not exactly a subtle hint that he’s going to lose someone close to him. Another scene spooled further forward and saw a greying Rick with a young blonde girl in his home, which seemed to rule out the option that Judith could be the one to die.
Or did it? Last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead might have offered another explanation for who this kid is. In season 8 episode 3, “Monsters,” Rick infiltrated a Savior compound and ended up accidentally orphaning a girl named Gracie. So, what if Judith does die at some point in the future, which naturally causes Rick to grieve for a period, but later on, he’s able to move on and adopt Gracie as his daughter?
The icing on the top of this theory cake is an apparently throwaway detail that links Gracie and the flashforward girl. In Gracie’s room, a stuffed rabbit can be seen in her cot. In the flashforward, Rick’s daughter has the exact same toy. Granted, Rick didn’t take Gracie’s rabbit with him when he rescued her, but this does suggest a connection was planted between the two children in order to get fans thinking.
It’s worth remembering, too, that the cast have teased some “big deaths” to come this season and, while Judith isn’t exactly a lead character, her death would surely be one of the most tragic of the whole show. Likewise, Judith died as a baby in the comics as well. Gracie is an original character created for television, though, so anything could happen with her.
We’ll just have to keep watching The Walking Dead season 8 every Sunday on AMC to find out where this all leads – if anywhere.