How Jon Bernthal Feels About Being Judith's Real Father On The Walking Dead

the walking dead shane

Since its earliest days, The Walking Dead has been killing off main characters without much looking back, though Season 7 has done a pretty remarkable job of paying homage to the past. (Particularly in the latest episode.) It was only this season where viewers got to actually confirm the parental heritage of one Judith Grimes, and that confirmation did not have Rick's name or DNA included. And even though actor Jon Bernthal hasn't been around as Shane Walsh since Season 2, the actor apparently had a strong reaction to learning he was Judith's fictional papa. According to Andrew Lincoln:

We did Comic-Con this year and Jon Bernthal and his family were all there. We were all in the swimming pool, just chilling out. I had to tell him just because I knew that Jon would want to know that it was his child even though he's not been in the show for four years, I kind of knew what kind of actor Jon Bernthal was. He was like, 'What! No. No, no, man. He was so angry about it. He was like, 'I wish I'd known! I want to re-do my scenes, again.'

I don't think I'd have ever guessed that Jon Bernthal would have reacted in such a way, which may just be because I'm projecting my disgust for Shane onto the actor. The situation surrounding the discovery likely played a role in shaping his mood around Judith's TRUE father. After all, if you're relaxing at a swimming pool during a fan convention with some old friends and co-stars, you probably don't want to hear a game-changing reveal about the breakout role that got you famous in the first place. Especially not one with such sticky circumstances. And, for what it's worth, Andrew Lincoln also told the London crowd at Walker Stalker Con this past weekend (via that he is also still not happy about that big Judith reveal. He's got bigger Negans to fry now, though.

If The Walking Dead decided to somehow go back and retcon the story so that Shane wasn't actually sacrificing Otis that one time, it would likely cause a big shift in how fans saw him, since that was definitely a point of no return for the former cop. But while that would be more of a positive spin on things, it's another thing entirely for Jon Bernthal to realize that Shane the Eventual Maniac was actually responsible for the only form of new life The Walking Dead has provided in its seven seasons. Of course, the actor probably isn't genuinely super-pissed about things, but I'm intrigued to know exactly how he feels now that he knows Shane's friend-turned-enemy is the one responsible for his child's welfare. (Well, Rick probably watches over Judith less than anyone, but still.) Acting is weird.

With neither Shane nor Lori around to give any inspirational talks to Judith about her future, it all rests in the hands of Rick and Carl and, now, Michonne, who seems to be inching closer than ever to continuing the Grimes bloodline. Thankfully, all those Richonne sex scenes are a lot less uncomfortable than Lori and Shane's business.

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. After you're finished reading up on paternity tests in the post-apocalypse, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what other shows are hitting the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.