R.J. Grimes (Antony Azor), the child of Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), is very much real.
The official Twitter handle for Skybound’s The Walking Dead noted the child, born during the six-year time jump that followed Rick’s disappearance and assumed death, is authentic and not a figment of a grieving Michonne’s imagination.
Rick junior was introduced in episode 906, “Who Are You Now?,” when wary and prowling newcomer Magna (Nadia Hilkes) witnessed a tender moment between Michonne and her son.
Despite evidence to the contrary, a subset of fans speculated the child was imaginary and a manifestation of Michonne’s mourning as she has since taken to talking to herself following the “death” of lover Rick.
Both Gurira and showrunner Angela Kang previously confirmed R.J. is the tangible younger brother of Michonne’s adopted daughter, Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming).
“We talked at the beginning of the season about what happens after war. One of the things you often see is baby booms. It's a sign of hopefulness,” Kang told THR.
“We wanted to show that Rick and Michonne were committed to each other, fully. They hadn’t gotten married the way others had; there was no proposal, no ring. And yet, they’re the couple who are completely committed to each other. It seemed like a sign of their commitment, and their optimism for the future. They believed they could bring a new child into this world and they could make the world better for that child.”
The boy’s conception emerged as a counter to Judith, whose mother, Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies), learned she was pregnant in Season Two when the group was holed up in an unstable situation at the Greene family farm — a surprise that forced an additional strife between Rick and Lori.
“It’s very different from when Lori was pregnant at a very different time in the apocalypse. Back then, they were worried that the baby wouldn’t even survive. It made sense, because it was all so fresh and new. If their baby cries, what happens to her, or to us?” Kang said.
“Michonne and Rick lived in a very different time, and we wanted to show that. We were very excited to do our [casting] search for our sweet little R.J. I think Antony, who plays the role, is absolutely adorable. Danai loves him. It was a fun process for us, imagining what a world with more children would look like, but also the tragedy that Rick never got to meet this child they were so excited about.”
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
The child is in her head. Judith never interacts with the kid. The kid only shows up when Michonne is alone. Never seen outside. It's her version of Ricks Telephone. #TWD— DarkDeadSet ダークデッドセット (@LukeNBoles) November 12, 2018
So after reading a number of tweets after this episode I have concluded...— Becca (@BeccaSowerby111) November 12, 2018
There is no Richonne child and she's imagining him.
There, I've said it. And now I'm sad.#TheWalkingDeadUK #TWD #TheWalkingDead
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?prevnext
If you don't mention someone in the span of 60 minutes, they don't exist
|| I’m now on the fence. Did Magna see RJ or Michonne picturing having a child? Ah I don’t know. Would explain why the boy looks a little too young. Judith never once mentions her younger brother.— ℜ. (@SaveRGrimes) November 13, 2018
He's real, and he's spectacular
am i the only one who doesnt think the baby is real— Chuckie (@ChuckieChk) November 12, 2018
100% Real Richonne Baby
Ok i so wanna get excited about the Richonne child but is he real or is he part of michonne's hallucinations? #TWD— Empress Boo (@WomanofGod8392) November 12, 2018
For sure they would go that far! Do you not remember the other fake outs? I think Magna saw Michonne miming that she was picking up a child, but essentially saw a broken Michonne who thought she was picking up a child. I think something happened to him, to be honest.— Meh (@MehGruber) November 14, 2018
"I can think of another way to build for the future"
Okay, does this child really exist or has Michonne cracked up and it’s just a figment of her imagination to keep her attached to Rick? #TheWalkingDeadUK— Kirsten (@kirsten93_) November 12, 2018
first, it was that rj wasn't rick's child, and now he doesn't exist and michonne is making him up. why do people have such a huge problem with him existing?????? like damn he's just a adorable 5 year old boy who looked like he was up past his bedtime. what did he ever do to y'all— angela (@richonnesmints) November 12, 2018
y’all are actually out here claiming that rj isn’t real when LITERALLY EVERYONE including Angela said from the jump that he was rick and michonne’ child.. okay. pic.twitter.com/HKj1qLEEra— ari (@kidtranquility) November 12, 2018