‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Explains the ‘Rebellion’ of Her Character Mary Ellen in ‘The Quilting’ Episode

by Anna Dunn
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

The Waltons actress Judy Norton once explained the rebellion of her character Mary Ellen in an episode called The Quilting. Walton, who played Mary Ellen throughout a good chunk of her childhood, now has a youtube series called Behind the Scenes of The Waltons. In the series, she takes a look at everything you may not know about The Waltons.

She often talks about her own opinions as well, and sometimes analyzes individual episodes herself. The series is absolutely fun, and her discussion about The Quilting approached the episode from her own unique perspective.

‘The Quilting’ Saw Mary Ellen Defy Tradition

The Quilting followed Mary Ellen, who took a stand against her grandmother and the tradition of her town. Their grandmother is making a quilt for Mary Ellen’s customary coming-of-age party. It was an old tradition to announce to the community that a woman had come of age. This was a way to say she was ready for men to court her. Mary Ellen, who wasn’t interested in marriage and found the custom outdated, rebelled against her Grandmother.

The Quilting is an episode from season 4 and really takes us through the transition of Mary Ellen being a child and a teenager to being a young lady,” she explained.

The Waltons was set during the depression. It often featured characters dealing with the conventional pains of young adulthood contrasted with the difficulty of the time period.

“She is not going in that direction Meekly,” Norton continued “But in typical Mary-Ellen fashion she is digging in her heels and determined to do things the way she wants and not the way her mother, or particularly her grandmother, in this case, feels she should.”

While the episode pointed out some scary experiences women had to go through at the time, it also tackled the interesting nature of a generational divide. While Mary Ellen couldn’t hate the idea of the quilting more, It was a treasured tradition for her Grandmother.

‘The Waltons’ Is Approaching its 50th Anniversary

The Waltons is approaching its 50th Anniversary. The show premiered in 1972. Fans who are wondering about a reunion can rest assured that something will happen. A lot of the cast still stays in touch, and Judy Norton has confirmed that they’ve recently had a zoom call to talk about a reunion.

“We are exploring a number of options for 2022 to see about celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beginning of ‘The Waltons’ series,” she said in another youtube video. Whatever they come up with, it should be lovely for fans to see everyone together again.

The Waltons touched the hearts of millions for years. Through re-runs, it still does. Judy Norton has brought a fresh new perspective to the show with her new youtube series, keeping the history of the show and the memories from the set alive and preserved.

Here is her video about The Quilting: