The Walking Dead fans were left picking their jaws up from the floor last Sunday when episode 6, “Who Are You Now?” dropped the bombshell that Michonne gave birth to another child following Rick Grimes’ disappearance six years prior (or the previous episode, to us viewers). We didn’t get to learn much about the kid though and it was left to us to decide that he must be the son of Rick.
While speaking with EW, showrunner Angela Kang confirmed as much and also revealed that his name is R.J., as in Rick junior. Obviously, there’s some confusion from fans over when, well, you know, but Kang hinted that Rick and Michonne privately made the decision to have a child together after episode 3 of season 9.
“That is Rick junior, R.J., who’s scampering around. In episode 3, they go, ‘Well, let’s maybe start planning for the future in other ways.’ That was part of their hopefulness, that they believed that they could build a world where children could thrive. The kind of tragedy of it is that Rick was not around to see this happen. But for Michonne, it’s just another person that she is fighting for, and that she wants to keep safe, but it’s part of what plays into some of the philosophy and decisions behind how Alexandria is run, which is a big part of the story going forward for the season.”
Despite Kang’s pretty straightforward comments, some fans aren’t convinced that there won’t be another twist in the narrative of R.J.’s parentage later down the line. The big sticking point for people seems to be that they don’t think the child looks old enough to be around 5 years of age, which he’d have to be to have Rick as his dad. Young Anthony Azo plays R.J. on the show and, while we’re not sure of his age, The Walking Dead Wiki describes him as a “toddler American actor,” a term that suggests a child of up to 3.
Taken at face value, though, it’s a tragic development that Rick will never meet his son, as he was flown away in a helicopter by Anne and his friends and family believe him to be dead. However, there’s always hope that he’ll reunite with Michone and his children in Andrew Lincoln’s upcoming movie trilogy. We’ve even heard that it’s a possibility that Danai Gurira could show up in all, or at least one, of the films.
That remains unconfirmed for now, but in the meantime, be sure catch The Walking Dead season 9 every Sunday on AMC.