The Walking Dead: Baby Judith’s apocalyptic childhood

Rick, Carl and Judith. The Walking Dead - AMC
Rick, Carl and Judith. The Walking Dead - AMC /

Baby Judith is growing up in a very different world. What could life be like when she gets older? Let’s look at the possibilities The Walking Dead universe presents to her.

It’s tough being a kid in the apocalypse. Lori was terrified when she realized she was pregnant, and she died giving birth at the prison because maternity care simply doesn’t exist. Maggie’s pregnancy might fare better given that there is a baby doctor at the Hilltop. But what kind of life will these apocalypse kids have in the future?

In “Service,” the fourth episode of The Walking Dead’s Season 7, Rick greets Baby Judith in her crib at the beginning of the episode. Thankfully, the community of Alexandria affords Judith a crib and a bedroom and a pacifier. But it wasn’t always like that. There was a point when Carol and Tyreese had to carry Judith through the woods with no shelter in sight after the prison was evacuated. Heck, Judith was born in a prison and was unofficially named “Little Ass Kicker” by Daryl.

The events of her birth aside, what’s more interesting is thinking about what her life will be when she is old enough to see that something is wrong with the world. The reality is that Judith won’t know the difference; the world she lives in has always been filled with Walkers and death and times of plenty and times of starvation. She won’t have any memories of the world as it was because that wasn’t her world. Judith is a child of the apocalypse.

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Judith will have to learn how to defend herself at a very early age, the same way parents in our world teach their kids to swim to prevent accidental drowning. There cannot be any sugar coating the world she lives in. The adorable deer in the forest will always be food. Pets are not practical. (Unless you are King Ezekiel) She won’t know music on the radio (aside from CDs or records playing), or television (unless it’s a DVD), or the creature comforts that we have taken for granted.

Judith won’t know holidays or birthdays because the calendar is easy to forget when you spend days, weeks and months traveling night and day with no sense of what month it is. Time really doesn’t mean anything anymore, but Judith won’t know that. Judith will only know the world she lives in. In some ways, this might be easier because she won’t know anything else. Carl knows what life used to be like. Judith doesn’t know anything else.

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If Maggie’s child survives the pregnancy, then perhaps Judith will have a friend in the apocalypse who understands her perspective. Judith represents the new generation of humans for whom this post-apocalyptic nightmare is the only way of life they know, and that’s a chilling reality.