Michonne has been such a strong and fan-favorite character in Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic books that, for her first TV appearance, she was played by a stunt-double - as the producers meticulously searched for the right actress. Since she saved Andrea, armed with a katana and two chained Walkers in tow, Michonne has become one of the most down-to-Earth and level-headed characters in The Walking Dead.
Although not the de facto leader of the Survivors's group, Michonne's opinions and insights are highly valued by Rick Grimes, and she's proven to be Rick's voice of reason on multiple occasions. She's fierce, strong-willed, but she's also empathetic, and has become someone the Survivors can open up to and seek advice from. Also present in Negan's sinister line-up in the Season 6 finale, it's possible we may already have seen Michonne's last moments in The Walking Dead when the next season premieres. So, let's have a look at some of those moments that made Michonne such a pivotal character for both the Survivors and the show.
"Toddlers Find Me Funny"
Prior to the Apocalypse, Michonne led quite a happy life with her boyfriend Mike and her three-year-old son Andre Anthony. When the outbreak started, her family and a friend made it to a survivors's camp, but things eventually fell apart. Her baby died soon after and her boyfriend seemingly gave up hope, leaving her to wander alone. From then, Michonne became the first post-apocalyptic pet-walker, when she chained her boyfriend and her friend's zombified corpses to herself - as a means to disguise her presence among the Walkers.
That's exactly how she made her first appearance in The Walking Dead, saving Andrea from the aftermath of Hershel's farm herd in the Season 2 finale.
"This Place Is Not What They Say It Is"
Michonne and Andrea teamed up after Andrea's rescue, and they eventually found themselves in Woodbury. Pretty good at reading the situation, Michonne quickly realized Phillip wasn't what he claimed to be, but Andrea didn't. That led to both women following different paths, with Andrea staying behind and Michonne being assaulted by Merle as she left the community.
Convinced that the Governor was a bad man and that her friend was in danger, Michonne took it upon herself to end the Woodbury sham. During that Woodbury story-arc, she went on a vendetta against the Governor, killing his Walker-daughter and nearly killing him too. It would take Michonne a whole other season to finally end Phillip; by then he'd taken not only Andrea's life, but Hershel's as well.
"I Don't Miss What Was Before"
When she first appeared at the prison bearing baby formula and bad news, Michonne was a scarred, traumatized and closed-off person. Joining Rick's group - and eventually earning his approval and trust - made her slowly open up to some Survivors. Carl was first among those she trusted and cared for, and the two began a friendship which led to Michonne being Carl's confidant.
She also developed an interesting symbiosis with Daryl Dixon, going on runs and scouting missions with him. Michonne and Daryl share many features, as they are quiet and reserved - seeming almost unfriendly at times - but both have the ability to empathize with others and go to great lengths to protect their loved ones. As of Season 4, Michonne had secured her place and importance in the Survivors's group, serving as Rick's trusted adviser alongside Daryl.
See how Michonne measures up to the rest of the Survivors in our Season 6 kill count video:
"You Know What You Know And You're Sure Of It. I'm Not."
Rick, Carl and Michonne's relationship progressed up to the point of resembling a functional family. Michonne would reach Carl when Rick couldn't, and Rick would heed to her warnings and advice above pretty much everyone else's. It was Michonne's reasoning that led Rick to make the decision to follow Abraham to Washington D.C., after exploring Noah's fallen community. It was also because of Michonne that the Survivors headed to Alexandria, as she forced Rick's hand and made him give Aaron a vote of confidence.
"I Want This Place To Work."
The same happened in Alexandria, when Rick had his guard up - sharing his doubts with Carol and Daryl - and Michonne made an easy transition into a normal every day life. As both she and Rick were made constables by the community leader Deanna, Michonne was clear with him about her intentions to build a life in the Safe-Zone. Once more, she intervened and knocked Rick unconscious, while he was offering a free reality check to the Alexandrians.
"No One Is Leaving Anyone Behind"
As part of her commitment to ensure the Survivors had a home in Alexandria, Michonne proved to Heath that they were all part of the same community, as she helped lead some Alexandrians back to the Safe-Zone after the herd broke off. She also showed interest in Deanna's plans for a new Alexandria, keeping her hand-drawn prints and honoring her legacy. Later, Michonne joined Spencer - Deanna's only surviving family member - when he laid Deanna to rest, and offered him comfort and friendship.
"Spearmint And Baking Soda"
Michonne's biggest character arc began just last season, when she and Rick finally hooked up. After nearly four seasons of set up, Rick finally let his guard down and closed the distance to share a kiss with Michonne in 'The Next World'. With Michonne taking care of Judith and Carl calling her "family", it didn't take much for Richonne to become the newest The Walking Dead power couple.
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From loner Samurai to respected and strong leading female character, Michonne's evolution in The Walking Dead has been one with much hardship and selflessness. She not only grew stronger, but she also became a pillar of hope and determination for the community. Some say that, given Rick's bad luck with women (since all his previous partners have perished), it'll be Michonne who gets Lucilled in the Season 7 premiere. Should that be the case, Rick and the gang will lose one of the most low-key moral compasses the show's ever had; someone who does what needs to be done, but who also understands the weight of her actions:
Will Rick's Curse Be The Death Of Michonne In Season 7 Of The Walking Dead?