The Walking Dead episode 18, “A New Deal,” showed tender father/daughter moments between Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Judith (Cailey Fleming). Daryl has taken on the role of a father to Judith as he still believes that his brother and Judith’s father, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), is dead. this is quite the change from season 1. Daryl was a lone wolf who wanted nothing to do with the others in the group.
This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 11, episode 18, “A New Deal.”
Judith is a child born after the outbreak and doesn’t know life before. The Commonwealth is the first taste of life pre-outbreak that she has ever had. This is a pleasant experience for her with new clothes, new friends, and a feeling of security.
With both of her parents gone, Uncle Daryl has taken on the role of caregiver for her and her brother RJ (Antony Azor). For Daryl, this is a task he doesn’t take lightly, as he had a lousy upbringing and wants to do all he can to ensure that these children have someone they can rely on.
The Walking Dead Judith
In the Episode Insider, showrunner Angela Kang stated Judith not taking the gun initially is a nod to stories from westerns where someone hangs up their gun to live a peaceful life.
Judith makes this stand as this is how she wants to live without weapons in a community she feels safe in. She wants this for all of their family members. Daryl tells her that it is his job to keep her safe and that he is sorry things aren’t what she wants them to be.
Towards the end of the episode, Judith again takes a stand and grabs the gun once more. The look on her face says it all. She wishes things were different but knows that this is her life and carrying the gun is required to keep things safe.