With AMC’s The Walking Dead heading toward season 9, creator Robert Kirman teases that (for now, Baby) Judith could take over when Rick Grimes eventually departs as leader of the TV show.
In recent months, The Walking Dead has been dogged by falling ratings and a change of power at the top, but it hasn’t stopped the network putting its full might behind the series as it moves into another new chapter. When season 8 comes to a close, it will also wrap the ‘All Out War’ saga of the comics and head into unknown territory. With rumors that we could miss the Whisperers as the next big bad, no one knows where new showrunner Angela Kang will take the story. However, as certain as the dead will keep on crawling toward our cast of survivors, Rick Grimes isn’t going to live forever and his time will eventually draw to a close.
Like Jack from Lost or Michael from Prison Break, everyone needs a leader, but Kirkman is remaining tight-lipped on who will take over from Rick. Speaking at 2018’s Walker Stalker Cruise (via NME), Kirman was asked who is next in line to be The Walking Dead‘s main character:
Although the character of Judith has been around since season 3’s ‘Killer Within’, she is only technically one year old and the various changing baby actors mean that we have barely got to know Lil’ Asskicker apart from the odd sound of crying or montage cutaway. That being said, the idea of Rick’s last-remaining child taking over his legacy is an interesting one indeed.
Of course, with Judith still resembling a baby in season 8, Walking Dead would need to pull a Fear The Walking Dead and include a major time jump to see her lead the group. Who knows though, a leap to an even more dystopian future somewhere down the line could be the perfect way to reinvigorate ratings. However, in the immediate aftermath of Rick’s death, there are any number of characters who could fill his role. Fan-favorites like Daryl, Maggie, or Carol have all shown they have what it takes to tackle the apocalypse or could it be someone new?