In "Sing Me A Song," of The Walking Dead, viewers were treated to an adventure straight from the pages of the comics. Carl launched a daring one-man assault on The Sanctuary, killing two Saviors, and then, surprisingly, he was treated to a tour of the compound, courtesy of Negan himself.
While the episode's closing scene was also lifted from the comics (#Negan sitting on the porch of a house in Alexandria waiting for Rick to return), there was one chilling addition: Carl parked by Negan's side, forced to sit still as Negan bounced baby Judith on his lap. Thanks to this scene, fans are in a frenzy, concerned for the safety of both Grimes children. They need not worry. Working on evidence from both the show and the comics, Rick's children are probably safe.
They Are Worth More Alive Than Dead
In the comics, Negan returns Carl safely to Rick with no punishment other than the removal of the bandage covering his destroyed eye. He does this (or so he tells Rick) to prove that he is not such a bad guy. Underneath though, the threat is clear. He chose not to hurt Carl, but that decision could change at any time. The threat of any grievous injury to Carl is used as leverage by Negan to keep Rick under his thumb.
A similar scenario will likely be at play in the show, albeit enhanced with the addition of completely helpless baby Judith. Though Rick appears to be playing the game for now, Negan knows that he is still dangerous. As long as Carl and Judith live, Negan can use the promise of their safety to keep Rick in line. If he killed them, Rick would have nothing left to lose, and only become more dangerous.
Any harm towards Judith will come as an extra shock after we recently learned about Judith's true parentage:
Assuming that Daryl succeeds in his latest attempt at escaping The Sanctuary, Negan will be pissed upon discovering the loss of his most important hostage. He will need something to regain his leverage over Alexandria, and what better way than to take custody of one of Rick's own children? There are equally compelling arguments for why Negan may take either Grimes child.
Upon finding Baby Judith, Negan seems instantly enamored with her. Babies, it seems, are still an uncommon commodity in the apocalypse. We have received hints that a child of his own is something Negan wants, thanks to the solemn "Maybe next time" that Dwight delivers to Sherry after a negative pregnancy in S07E03. Surely, though, with that many wives, one of them should have conceived by now? If Negan cannot produce a child of his own, it would be a clear blow to his masculinity. Taking Judith to raise as his own could both soften the blow as well as help maintain power over Rick.
Negan taking Carl hostage is also a strong possibility. As seen in this most recent episode, Negan likes, even respects Carl. In the comics, they develop an almost friendly relationship that could be expanded upon in the show if they were to appear together on a more regular basis.
Taking Carl away from the main group (at least temporarily) would likely lessen the workload for actor Chandler Riggs, giving him more time to undertake his college studies while keeping his role on the show.