Every time The Walking Dead goes to war, a Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) gets his wings. Sunday's 1011, "Morning Star," saw Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) hand Daryl a patched up vest with a newly added angel wing while Hilltop prepared for war against Alpha's (Samantha Morton) Whisperers and her walker army. Daryl lost one of his wings sometime during the mostly skipped over six-year period that followed the disappearance and presumed death of best friend Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who Daryl last saw make a stand against another walker horde in Season 9 episode "What Comes After." It was the same episode where Fleming's aged-up Judith made her first appearance.
"I had the idea for it, and then Angela [Kang, showrunner] and I spoke about it, and she kind of ran with it," Reedus said of Daryl's new wing on Talking Dead. "And then Cailey ended up texting me, and she's like, 'So what do you want me to do with the wing?' I said, 'Just remember you're Rick Grimes' daughter, and he was my best friend, and we're going into battle.' She's like, 'Got it!' Then I texted her right back, 'Please no glitter.'"
But the 12-year-old star, tasked with restoring the wing, admittedly wanted to spruce up the worn out biker vest with cheery colors.
"Daryl had two wings on his vest, and now half of the wing is gone," Fleming said on Talking Dead. "So Judith gets Daryl's vest, and she paints the other half of the wing for him. There's that little wing detail on it, and then there's ten stars, I don't know if you recognized it, but there's ten stars for ten seasons."
If Fleming was in full control of the look — ultimately a blue wing opposite the weathered wing that was once pure white — she "probably would put rainbows, and unicorns, and glitter, and pink and purple, and all of the pop of neon colors on it. But maybe that's not good for battle [laughs]."
Michael E. Satrazemis, who directed the episode, told Insider Fleming was given an outline but allowed the freedom to lend a personal touch to the new wing revealed during a key scene in "Morning Star," where Daryl urges Judith to stay out of the fight and look for Ezekiel (Khary Payton) should her uncle fall in battle.
"Tell you the truth, when we were talking about it, we thought it was really important that Cailey designed it and that Cailey drew it herself," Satrazemis said. "Really, that came out of the conversation that Norman and Cailey had. She came up with those ideas. I wanted it to be from her hand, and I wanted it to be from her creating. I think that that's always important."
Despite her promise to Daryl, Judith finds herself in danger alongside the other children gathered at Hilltop when the fiery battle against the Whisperers continues to unfold in episode 1012, "Walk With Us."