The Walking Dead could be gearing up for its most tragic death yet, according to a new fan theory that puts Judith Grimes in the firing line. Rick has already lost Judith’s mom, Lori, and come to terms with the fact that Judith could well be Shane’s daughter instead of his. Nevertheless, he’s managed to keep Judith alive, years into a zombie apocalypse, which is no small feat.
Tragically, some fans believe that Rick’s impressive run of keeping Judith alive could soon come to an abrupt end. It has already been teased that The Walking Dead season 8 will have “lots of killing”, after all, and not all the deaths on the show can be reserved for little-known background characters. If Judith died, it would be a major event, sending Rick once more into a very dark place. It could explain what is going on in those confusing ‘Old Man Rick’ flash-forward scenes.
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As a fan theory presented by Forbes points out, one of the season 8 flash-forward moments shows Rick looking sad by a grave. Another one, further into the future, shows Rick with grey hair on his head and a blonde young girl in his home. But what if that girl isn’t Judith? What if it is actually Gracie, the girl that Rick saved from the Saviours' compound after killing her father? The crux of the theory is this: Judith dies and Rick mourns by her grave, before ultimately deciding to take in Gracie.
There is one big clue to support this theory. When Rick first found Gracie, there was a stuffed rabbit in her room. In Rick’s grey-haired flash-forward, the girl in his house is seen to be holding a very similar stuffed rabbit. It seems entirely plausible that this clue was put in for a reason, to hint to viewers that Rick may be about to lose one daughter and gain a different one.
However, this theory isn’t completely watertight. In the latest episode, when Rick went back to the Saviours’ compound to rescue Gracie, he didn’t appear to bring the rabbit back with him. Would Rick really risk going back there yet again, just to get a toy? There is also the small matter that Rick gave Gracie to Aaron upon returning home, rather than bringing her into his own home. It’s easy to look at these discrepancies as little red herrings, though, intended to throw viewers off the scent and not make Judith’s potential death seem totally obvious.
The Walking Dead continues with “Some Guy” on November 12th on AMC.