Why we’re crushing hard on Michonne from “The Walking Dead”
I’m way too stoked The Walking Dead is back – especially since the last three episodes have been nothing short of extraordinary. Between that badass explosion courtesy of the one and only Daryl Dixon, a totally new compound to explore, the soap opera that is Abraham’s life, and the GREATEST ROMANTIC PAIRING IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION, I’m 100% hooked again.
But my favorite thing about this show, aside from its addicting cliffhangers, is its bevy of strong female characters. From Andrea to Carol, to Deanna, Sasha, Rosita, and Maggie, The Walking Dead has given us so many women to look to in case we ever find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic setting (and, you know, in general). My favorite of these characters is, hands down, Michonne – and to be honest, I’d be appalled if I found any fan of this show who didn’t love her (and Danai Gurira, the amazing actress who breathes life into her character). The juxtaposition of Michonne’s hard surface mixed with the depth of her past and admirable vulnerability make her not only the most intriguing female character on TWD, but one of the most interesting characters on television today, period.
Here’s why Michonne will my #WCW every week until TWD goes off the air, AKA hopefully never. Oh, and spoilers are ahead, so if you aren’t caught up on this week’s episode, beware!
She has commanded respect since her first appearance
The first time we see Michonne, she is coming to someone’s rescue, because of course. She’s Michonne, and that’s kind of what she does. But all we see is this mysterious hooded figure who looms over Andrea, complete with her own set of pet walkers. As one does.
My first thought was that whoever this person was was not someone to mess with, and I was right. Ever since that scene in the season 2 finale, Michonne has proven that she is not the person to cross. And the best part is she has earned this respect just by being herself.
She is just hardened enough
Michonne had been through a lot before we meet her, which we discover as her storyline progresses over the next couple of seasons. For example, we learn that she had a son, who was left in the charge of her boyfriend and his friend and for whose death she carries immense guilt over. We also learn that said boyfriend and friend are now, in fact, her armless pet zombies.
But though Michonne lets her past demons follow her (quite literally), she doesn’t let them control her. Deep down, she knows the importance of family and camaraderie – and doesn’t let her very raw anger over what happened in her past cloud everything that lie ahead. This ability to still see the world for what it is and what it can be is what keeps her alive – even more so than her intense fighting skills (though, I mean, those do seem to help a lot).
She’s the most loyal character on the show
Though it takes Michonne a while to open up (which, truthfully, she never does 100%) and trust others, once you have her in your corner, she is there for life. Not once, to my knowledge, has Michonne gone back on her word or betrayed anyone she has made a promise to. She is always the one doing the dirty or difficult work for the people who have proven they deserve her loyalty. Her close relationships with Andrea, Deanna, Carl, and even little Judith have been some of the most meaningful in the entire show just because we, as viewers, know that when Michonne lets down her guard, you must really be something special. Sure, she’s just a fictional character, but every time I see Michonne on screen, I feel challenged to prove something. Now that is powerful.
And the 100% most badass of everyone, including Rick
Let’s get back to those fighting skills really quick. While everyone else is wielding a gun (or, in Daryl’s case, a crossbow or bomb launcher or whatever), Michonne is content brandishing a freaking katana. Close range? No problem. Hope you didn’t like having a head.
As a huge fan of Kill Bill, I have to say this is one of my favorite parts of Michonne’s character. To me, it says she feels the need to be close to the action instead of far removed from it – which keeps her feet planted firmly on the ground at all times. She also has no problem rummaging through walker guts, and barely bats an eye at anything that most would deem uncomfortable when it’s time to do or die. Mad, mad respect.
She is one half of #Richonne
In general, Michonne doesn’t prioritize romance, because let’s be real: most people are probably not good enough for her. She has also made it all but crystal clear that she doesn’t need a partner. But if the right person came along…well, she is human, after all, and we know someone has stolen her heart at least once in the (now seemingly very distant) past.
Enter Rick Grimes, the only character on the show who has proven he is strong, smart, and trustworthy enough to earn the affections of Michonne – a character who, herself, has proven to be Rick’s equal in all times of crisis, and basically the only member of the group that has been able to keep him in check when he goes too far. In fact, I’m pretty sure every sane person who tuned in to the Feb. 21 episode screamed in joyful unison when this (FINALLY) happened.
“The Richonne thing – we get it a lot,” Danai Gurira, the absolutely stunning actress who plays Michonne, said during The Walking Dead panel at last summer’s San Diego Comic Con. “They’re friends, you know. And people want that. I love that folks want Michonne to get some. I always say that. I say to my boss, ‘Michonne’s a nun. She don’t give none, she don’t get none.’”
NOT ANYMORE! And we far-removed-from-the-cast fans aren’t the only ones squealing with glee – at the same panel, Andrew Lincoln (who plays Rick) said his mom is totally just like us.
“My mom is desperate for Rick and Michonne to get together,” Lincoln admitted, adding that she has told him, “’If you had any political balls, you have to get those two people together.’”
Well I, for one, am glad Andrew Lincoln’s mom got her wish. Now we can all sit in anticipation every weekend, waiting for adorable #Richonne moments between all the scenes of them romantically dismembering walkers together. Can it be Sunday night yet?