The missing but believed-dead Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and late son Carl (Chandler Riggs) each have a presence in The Walking Dead Season 10. Carl died in Season 8, committing suicide before he could succumb to the effects of an incurable walker bite, leaving behind Rick and adoptive mother Michonne (Danai Gurira). In Season 9, Rick appeared to die in a bridge explosion when steering a horde of walkers away from the survivors and their communities, but was secretly rescued by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) and the mysterious CRM organization; this led to a six-year time jump, catching up with a 10-years-old Judith (Cailey Fleming) who believes her father to be dead.
In Season 10, Judith remembers her father by sharing stories of Rick's bravery — including his sacrifice at the bridge — with younger brother RJ (Antony Azor). Michonne, the leader of Alexandria, aims to honor Rick and Carl by working to fulfill their shared vision for a peaceful future.
"A kid warrior beyond her years, Judith is every bit Michonne's daughter from the way she handles her sword to the way she handles people. She is also her brothers' keeper, approaching the future with Carl's wisdom and RJ by her side," reads Judith's official character bio published ahead of Season 10. "Rick, too, is a part of her daily life as she shares her version of stories she's heard to keep his memory alive. Her history is never forgotten. She embodies the past, present, and future. Will she have to grow up too soon or will she be able to remain a kid for a little while longer?"
To keep her family and her people safe, Michonne grudgingly abides by the rules imposed by Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her Whisperers. Out of sight but never out of mind, the Whisperers threaten deadly consequences when enforcing their borders — a way of life that has caused a growing sense of paranoia among the Alexandrians and ally communities Oceanside and Kingtop.
If the survivors fail to squash that fear, they risk splintering the communities a second time.
"She's dealing with the massive threat for her community, and that involves taking a lot more comprehensive responsibility," Gurira said of Michonne's journey this season on TWD Season 10 Preview Special. "And at the same time, really feeding into her daughter. There's a lot of great stuff that connects her and Judith, into Judith really becoming her mother's daughter. That's a very beautiful thing, in terms of, 'How do you deal with an enemy, and how do you raise a daughter in this world?' It's a very cool sort of journey they're taking together."