The Walking Dead season 11’s final episode feature narrations from Judith Grimes, which may tie into the show’s dropped original ending.
Judith Grimes’ The Walking Dead season 11 intro narrations work far better alongside the show’s original, unused ending. The final episodes of The Walking Dead bucked the usual formula by incorporating introductory narrations from Cailey Fleming’s Judith Grimes. Typically revolving around a specific character, these monologues would reference past The Walking Dead events, waxing lyrical about themes of hope, survival, humanity and togetherness. Although Judith did not sound significantly older during these voiceover segments, her language gave an overwhelming sense that much time had passed since the Commonwealth revolution of The Walking Dead season 11.
Judith would use such phrases as “that was a long time ago” over footage of characters like Lance Hornsby and Sebastian Milton, who The Walking Dead only introduced during its final season, giving the impression of many years passing between their deaths and Judith’s memory lane monologue. Strangely, however, AMC’s The Walking Dead series finale only skipped ahead one year – hardly long enough for Judith to consider the Commonwealth incident “a long time ago.” Judith’s The Walking Dead narration intros make more sense, however, when considered alongside the show’s cut ending.
The Walking Dead’s Original Ending Made Judith’s Narrations Better
The Walking Dead filmed an alternate ending in which grown-up versions of young characters, led by Judith Grimes, search for survivors in Atlanta, honoring their fallen friends by helping those seeking rescue. Judith’s intro narrations in The Walking Dead season 11 would adopt an entirely different meaning if spoken by her older self from the dropped ending, which would have taken place approximately a decade after the Commonwealth battle – much longer than the puny year that passes in the finished version of “Rest In Peace.” Adult Judith looking back on her group’s journey and talking as if the show’s events are a hazy memory feels much more natural.
AMC’s unused The Walking Dead finale ending would also explain why Judith Grimes alone delivers these narrations. Each intro sequence revolves around one character, and in the cases of Daryl Dixon and Negan, Judith is a logical choice to deliver the speech. Weirdly, Judith also gives monologues about characters such as Eugene Porter – a figure she has barely interacted with during The Walking Dead. If these intros were the thoughts and recollections of a grown-up Judith who has evolved into a true leader, however, it makes sense for her, as the future hero of the zombie apocalypse, to be the voice of her people.
Why Judith’s Narrations Still Work In The Walking Dead Season 11
Judith’s The Walking Dead season 11 opening narrations resonate more strongly with the abandoned ending, but still carry a degree of weight in the finished edit. Audiences may not witness the future of The Walking Dead onscreen, but the main story of “Rest In Peace” does end with Judith and RJ staring ahead toward a colorful landscape – a visual metaphor about hope and building for the future. Even as an unborn baby, Judith Grimes has always embodied hope in The Walking Dead, and because The Walking Dead’s ending is so future-focused, using Judith as a spokesperson still feels appropriate, despite dropping the big time skip.
More importantly, Judith has arguably the wisest head of any The Walking Dead character, irrespective of her tender years. While the adult survivors are hampered by conflict and uncertainty, Judith has always known exactly where her moral compass points, showing remarkable levels of poise and reason for a child so young. This alone is strong enough reasoning to give Judith Grimes the honor of narrating The Walking Dead episode intros. Judith is the only character with enough youth and maturity to look back semi-objectively and talk about past events as if they occupy a faraway corner of her memory.
The Walking Dead’s Future Can Still Pay Off Grown-Up Judith
The Walking Dead has ended, but Judith Grimes’ career as a hero may be delayed rather than discarded entirely. AMC is pushing ahead with numerous The Walking Dead spinoffs, including The Walking Dead: Dead City with Maggie and Negan, Daryl Dixon starring Norman Reedus, and a third spinoff starring Judith’s parents, Rick Grimes and Michonne. Indeed, these projects are partly why The Walking Dead veered away from its alternate flashforward ending, since jumping ahead to adult Judith makes little sense when stories remain to be told in the present.
The Walking Dead’s future after the Rick and Michonne spinoff series remains undecided, but given AMC’s evident interest in keeping the franchise alive, a sequel starring an older Judith Grimes is impossible to rule out. The promise of The Walking Dead’s dropped finale may, therefore, be eventually realized further down the line. If grown-up Judith does ultimately appear, The Walking Dead season 11’s opening narrations would retroactively become more meaningful – almost as if they were setting Judith Grimes up for a more central role in the franchise’s future.
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