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The Walking Dead Just Torpedoed a Morbid Judith Fan Theory

This post contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 9.[hhmc]

Ever since The Walking Dead’s eighth season premiered, some fans have worried about the fate of Judith Grimes. In the weird Old Man Rick vision we saw in the season’s first episode, you might have noticed that an older Judith is carrying a stuffed rabbit that appears to be the same one Rick found in a crib at the Sanctuary. Could the girl in the vision, fans wondered, actually be Gracie, the girl Rick saved from that crib—meaning that Judith herself perished before reaching childhood? As the series has just revealed, it turns out that was not the case—and given what just happened to Carl, this is exceedingly good news, because Rick is dealing with enough trauma as it is.

Within the first minute of the episode, fans got hard proof that the girl in the vision was, indeed, Judith herself: as she walked through Alexandria with Rick, Judith spotted a familiar friend. When she ran up to him for a hug, Jerry exclaimed, “Sup, Jude!”

So unless Rick renamed baby Gracie, it seems safe to assume that Judith is safe for a while. In recent seasons, The Walking Dead has gotten pretty dark—but evidently, its writers are still not so heartless that they’re willing to kill off a toddler.

Whether these visions are a flash-forward to the show’s future or simply someone’s optimistic dreams remains to be seen—but with one morbid theory solidly behind us, let’s all focus on what’s really important: mourning the death of Carl Grimes, an eater of pudding, a good Samaritan to strangers, and now, the dying savior of Alexandria.

Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:What Time of Year Is It on The Walking Dead?

Daryl Dixon

This photo has a lot of layers—both literal and figurative. Clearly, the hat is a nod to the blistering sun—which, ostensibly, is also responsible for the impressive amount of sweat soaking through Daryl’s shirt. Then again, if it’s so hot, why on earth is Daryl—the king of bare biceps—wearing this loud button-down shirt? For the love of God, if we’re going to give him an unnecessary layer, make it a poncho.Photo: Courtesy of AMC.King Ezekiel

King Ezekiel

King Ezekiel looks like he’s ready for a snowy hiking trip with Bane in that long, fur-lined leather jacket. Somehow, he barely seems to be breaking a sweat—not that you'd see it through that coat.Photo: Courtesy of AMC.Rick Grimes

Rick Grimes

It’s been many a moon since we’ve seen Rick with dry hair. His perpetually sweat-soaked button-downs and water-logged locks are worthy of the desert—or Disney World in the summer. Yet, there he is, talking to be-leathered, unbothered King Ezekiel. If the rule of good leadership is “never let 'em see you sweat,” Rick should be fired immediately.Photo: Courtesy of AMC.Carol Peletier

Carol Peletier

Carol has taken to wearing a heavy-looking, camel-colored coat. And apparently it’s so cold in this scene that even the zombie had to put on her cardigan before stalking her prey.Photo: Courtesy of AMC.Sasha Williams

Sasha Williams

I guess it’s warm? I mean, everyone is definitely less layered than they were during the season premiere, as they all sat in a semi-circle shaking with fear in their jackets and over-shirts and long sleeves. Sasha’s even wearing short sleeves now!Photo: Courtesy of AMC.Maggie Greene

Maggie Greene

Then again, here’s Maggie, in long sleeves and an undershirt with no pit stains! Oh, to have that superpower.Photo: Courtesy of AMC.Enid and Carl

Enid and Carl

I give up. Here are Enid and Carl on roller skates. Enjoy the midseason premiere on Sunday night. I’ll be here, staring at everyone’s clothes and dejectedly muttering to myself.Photo: Courtesy of AMC.PreviousNext

Daryl Dixon

Daryl Dixon

This photo has a lot of layers—both literal and figurative. Clearly, the hat is a nod to the blistering sun—which, ostensibly, is also responsible for the impressive amount of sweat soaking through Daryl’s shirt. Then again, if it’s so hot, why on earth is Daryl—the king of bare biceps—wearing this loud button-down shirt? For the love of God, if we’re going to give him an unnecessary layer, make it a poncho.Courtesy of AMC.

King Ezekiel

King Ezekiel

King Ezekiel looks like he’s ready for a snowy hiking trip with Bane in that long, fur-lined leather jacket. Somehow, he barely seems to be breaking a sweat—not that you'd see it through that coat.Courtesy of AMC.

Rick Grimes

Rick Grimes

It’s been many a moon since we’ve seen Rick with dry hair. His perpetually sweat-soaked button-downs and water-logged locks are worthy of the desert—or Disney World in the summer. Yet, there he is, talking to be-leathered, unbothered King Ezekiel. If the rule of good leadership is “never let 'em see you sweat,” Rick should be fired immediately.Courtesy of AMC.

Carol Peletier

Carol Peletier

Carol has taken to wearing a heavy-looking, camel-colored coat. And apparently it’s so cold in this scene that even the zombie had to put on her cardigan before stalking her prey.Courtesy of AMC.

Negan

Negan

Again: here’s our Big Bad, zipped into his leather jacket, which looks like a thick summer sausage casing—and looking pretty comfy. In one episode, we see Negan all layered up and then totally comfy on the porch with Carl—sporting bare arms. One of those two outfits must be uncomfortable, right?Courtesy of AMC.

Paul Rovia (Jesus)

Paul Rovia (Jesus)

Jesus might be the key to unlocking this puzzle. In recent episodes, he’s been seen without his beanie and jacket—which would imply to us that it’s getting warmer. So perhaps it’s spring? But if that's the case, how are Ezekiel and the Kingdom growing such luscious apples and pomegranates? Back to Square One.Courtesy of AMC.

Tara Chambler

Tara Chambler

Far be it for us to tell a woman how to dress—but why layer two short-sleeved shirts? If it’s warm, this would theoretically be uncomfortable—and if it’s cool, wouldn’t it be easier to simply wear sleeves? Perhaps long-sleeved shirts are in short supply during the zombie apocalypse.Courtesy of AMC.

Morgan Jones

Morgan Jones

Morgan is wearing the same clothing as Rick these days, yet he produces less sweat. That kind of biological poise is why he belongs in a place called the Kingdom, and Rick does not.Courtesy of AMC.

Michonne

Michonne

Speaking of the Kingdom: my kingdom to whoever can explain to me Michonne and Ezekiel's clearly polar opposite body temperatures.Courtesy of AMC.

Eugene Porter

Eugene Porter

God, of course Eugene wears cargo shorts. Or, wait a minute, are those. . . cargo pants? Rolled up? Somehow that’s even more fitting, isn’t it? Yet, you’ll note, as Eugene sweats through his summer look, there's Negan. In leather. Barely sweating a drop.Courtesy of AMC.

Dwight

Dwight

I don’t know, man. I just don’t know.Courtesy of AMC.

Sasha Williams

Sasha Williams

I guess it’s warm? I mean, everyone is definitely less layered than they were during the season premiere, as they all sat in a semi-circle shaking with fear in their jackets and over-shirts and long sleeves. Sasha’s even wearing short sleeves now!Courtesy of AMC.

Maggie Greene

Maggie Greene

Then again, here’s Maggie, in long sleeves and an undershirt with no pit stains! Oh, to have that superpower.Courtesy of AMC.

Enid and Carl

Enid and Carl

I give up. Here are Enid and Carl on roller skates. Enjoy the midseason premiere on Sunday night. I’ll be here, staring at everyone’s clothes and dejectedly muttering to myself.Courtesy of AMC.

Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com. She was formerly an editorial assistant at Slate and lives in Brooklyn.

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