Rick Grimes didn't need help from Maury Povich on this one. As revealed in The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 4, Rick knew deep down that baby Judith was indeed not his child — but rather the daughter of his ex-best friend Shane, whom he killed back in Season 2.
The baby daddy reveal came out of the blue, but it was definitely interesting for the show to officially state that Judith is not Rick's. HuffPost recently spoke to Judith's true #TV parents, Jon Bernthal and Sarah Wayne Callies, who played Shane Walsh and Lori Grimes on the series. Bernthal shared that he knew about the planned reveal thanks to a text from Andrew Lincoln:
“I always thought in my gut it was Shane’s baby, but it was interesting that they took it there officially, that they had their Maury Povich moment."
The decision for Rick to kill Shane would become the beginning of the "Ricktatorship," as he made risky choices on behalf of the group in the hopes of bettering their chances of survival. Can you imagine if Shane lived to see the birth of Judith and how that would have increased tension among the group?
Bernthal also discussed his current relationship with his former castmates:
"I think most important with that show is I really love the people that make that show. That cast are some of the actors that I’m closest with in my life.”
Sarah Wayne Callies didn't get advanced word of the baby reveal, but had a heartfelt personal reaction to the news:
“It’s interesting because you actually landed in the middle of a very political question for me. I’m the mother of an adopted son in reality, so to me the parents of a child are the people who stand up and take responsibility for that child. I will lay down my life for that child, and I will love that child until the day I die. That makes Rick Judith’s father regardless of her biology.”
The actress then went on to poke a little fun at her former co-star and brief love interest:
“God bless [Judith] on the nose job she’s gonna need because Jon Bernthal’s got himself a honker, and mine’s not small either. Girlfriend’s gonna need some shading.”
The fact that Rick knew all along Judith was not his child — but it didn't affect his love for her — truly shares a lot about his character. Her birth parents may no longer be around, but she has a whole community looking out for her. She will grow up with one big loving family, just as the cast considers themselves off-screen.
Judith will probably be the most equipped to handle the zombie apocalypse when she is older because it is all she has ever known. Here's hoping the series survives long enough to see Li'l Ass-Kicker in action someday.
The Walking Dead returns for its eighth season October 22nd on AMC!
What did you think about the surprising baby reveal last season? Tell us in the comments below!