The Walking Dead: Judith’s expendable? What it means to be ‘in the way’

One of these characters deserved a farewell, right?(Photo, Lizzy Samuels and Judith Grimes, The Walking Dead, AMC)
One of these characters deserved a farewell, right?(Photo, Lizzy Samuels and Judith Grimes, The Walking Dead, AMC) /

Fandom can be fantastically strange, and sometimes kooky.
The internet has its own bizarre attributes.  Combine the two together and seemingly anything can happen, for better or for worse.

Case in point:  While looking at a Walking Dead Facebook group, I stumbled upon an exotic comment, which I will only paraphrase here.  Someone had mentioned how sick they were of the character Judith, and wondered how long she was going to survive, because she is “in the way.”

As many people know, Judith is a baby on The Walking Dead, and therefore someone the entire group of survivors must take special care of.  My knee jerk reaction to the comment was to think, in so many words, “That’s messed up.”  However, it got me thinking about what it means to be “in the way,” both in The Walking Dead and in real life.

The poster added a “not to sound mean” to her comment, because no one wants to sound bad, but is anyone convinced?  Is it just the cruelty of fandom, or the cruelty of mankind?  Maybe I’m taking it too seriously, and maybe it’s not so cruel after all.  We are discussing a fictional character, right?

Or does it cut deeper than that?

“Judith, daddy hates to say this but babies are in everybody’s way during the zombie apocalypse, so I’m just going to leave you to your fate — whatever it is. Have a nice life!” (Photo: Rick and Judith Grimes, The Walking Dead screenshot, AMC) /

Throughout all the seasons, people will root for certain characters and simply want others to go away.  No one believes everyone is equally valid, at least if you press them on the matter.  Everyone has characters they don’t entirely like.

As I have noted previously, I had a problem with the character Lizzie Samuels, saying “To me she represents all that is naïve and backwards about the world.”

Well, what is more naïve and backwards than a child?  And Lizzie Samuels was indeed a child — not a baby but a child nonetheless, and she certainly jeopardized the group.  How different is she from a baby like Judith, really?  Maybe I am not a monster for my feelings about Lizzie, but it definitely reminds me to second guess myself.

Who is not expendable?  The writers will certainly keep Rick around.  Some fans have threatened to riot if Daryl Dixon dies.  Carl seems to face mixed feelings from Walking Dead fans, but is still a popular enough character.

But now, if I may get serious, who is not expendable in real life (if we can even call it that half the time)?
There are many Youtube videos with random posters not only arguing, but threatening actual physical violence, over whether or not songs are good.  That’s messed up, but it’s the world we live in.

Certainly most Youtube arguments don’t lead to actual physical violence, but there must be some psychological damage — a chipping away at one’s sense of self-worth — after reading hostile comments.   And when people murder each other in real life, don’t they often have a sense of that person being in the way?

The Governor. The Walking Dead - AMC
The Governor. The Walking Dead – AMC /

Some derive pleasure from killing, and it can bring to mind characters like The Governor, or maybe even some of “good guys” on the show.   I can imagine random encounters being much worse in a world full of zombies than in some chat room.

Some days I already feel like some people are in the way, and like I’m in the way of myself.   Fortunately, I know a bullet to the brain isn’t a worthwhile solution, but that is the difference between myself and certain other folks in this world, and in the world of The Walking Dead.

A person who seems “in the way” may have to be dealt with in a different way.  You might have to learn to live with them, and they with you.  This is what the big villains in history have failed to realize, and why they always pit other people against each other.

Not only is there a “divide and conquer” aspect to their need to control others, but they are also dividing and conquering themselves — dividing themselves from meaningful, potentially viable relationships with other people and conquering their sense of self-worth, to the point where the self can only be seen as a controlling force over others.

When one is under the illusion of needing complete control it becomes an all-consuming need, an addiction that can only be fulfilled by getting rid of all obstacles in the way.

Then again, I’m probably reading too much into what inspired my thinking.  I could just say, “You want to see a baby character die?  That’s messed up.”

Next: The Walking Dead: A Timeline of Events-From Morgan to Morgan

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