Michonne

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Michonne
The Walking Dead character
Michonne2 (Comics).jpg
Michonne, as she is first introduced in Issue #19 of the comic book series.
First appearance Issue #19 (comics)
"Beside the Dying Fire" (TV series)
Created by Robert Kirkman
Tony Moore
Charlie Adlard
Portrayed by Danai Gurira
Information
Occupation Lawyer
Significant other(s) Mike
Tyreese (comics)
Morgan Jones (comics) Ezekiel (comics)

Michonne (/mɨˈʃɔːn/ mi-SHAWN) is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and is portrayed by Danai Gurira in the television series of the same name.[1] Producer Frank Darabont stated in an interview with Fearnet in 2011 that Michonne would officially appear in the third season of the show.[2] After Darabont was fired, there was speculation that those plans might have changed. However, in an interview with The Watercooler in late January 2012, Gale Anne Hurd confirmed that Michonne would appear in future seasons. She had a predominant role in season 3 and became a major force within the group and as a character, becoming the main female protagonist and Rick's right-hand woman.

Appearances[edit]

Comic book series[edit]

Michonne is introduced as a mysterious woman armed with a katana. She first appears towing two armless, jawless zombies in shackles, and she causes no small consternation among the group. She saves Otis from zombies and follows him to the abandoned prison where the group is located.[3] She immediately bonds with Tyreese, recognizing him from his days in the NFL and shares his passion for weightlifting. Having seduced him, she precipitates the breakup of Tyreese and Carol, which results in a relationship between Tyreese and Michonne.[4]

Michonne reveals that she was previously a lawyer coming out of a marriage in which she lost all of her children. At first, she appears to have suffered some kind of trauma or mental illness, often carrying on conversations with herself when she was alone. Michonne would converse with her deceased boyfriend, as Andrea first notices in the prison. Michonne later admits to Rick Grimes that she has imaginary conversations with her dead boyfriend to keep herself from breaking down; it is a coping mechanism to deal with the horror of the real world. In return, Rick shows her a rotary telephone he used to "call" his wife, Lori, making Michonne feel much better about her mental health.

Michonne is among the small group sent out to investigate the recent crash of a helicopter, and they stumble upon the town of Woodbury. The Governor betrays and captures them, and violently rapes, tortures, and uses Michonne as a toy. However, he soon realizes she must be dealt with when she proceeds to kill all the participants in a gladiator-style tournament.[5] The group escapes, but Michonne remains behind, saying "she has to take care of some things". She then sadistically tortures the Governor before making her way back to the prison with the rest of the group.[6] When the Governor retaliates, Michonne and Tyreese go on the offensive, attempting guerrilla warfare in order to buy the prison time to prepare for the next attack. However, this battle at the prison results in Michonne's fleeing after nearly being captured, and Tyreese's being captured and used as a bargaining tool in order to get into the prison. When this fails, the Governor kills Tyreese with Michonne's katana. Moments later, she returns and reclaims her sword, disappearing into the woods nearby.[7]

After the events at the prison, she returns to look for the RV survivors and puts Tyreese's reanimated remains to peace. After she finds nothing but footprints, she begins to follow them and stumbles upon Rick and his son, Carl; she saves Carl from a roamer and then joins up with Rick and Carl. She bonds with them and keeps Rick's self-conversations secret. Michonne protects Carl as a mother would, and she goes to great lengths to protect Rick due to her respect for him. Later, they rejoin the other surviving members of the group at Hershel's farm.

Michonne travels with the survivors in search of safety, and inquires about Morgan Jones' whereabouts. When Rick asks if she finds Morgan attractive, Michonne admits that she does, but is still grieving over the loss of Tyreese. When the survivors locate the town of Alexandria, a safe haven from the undead, it appears that Michonne and her friends are finally given an opportunity to rest. However, Michonne has a difficult time relinquishing her sword, as seen with her confrontation with Alexandria resident Douglas. Another resident, Olivia, persuades Douglas to allow Michonne to keep her weapon. Shortly thereafter, Michonne settles into her new "home" and even hangs her sword above the mantle. She recalls all of the horrific ways she has used that sword to survive, and finally proclaims, "I am through with you."

Michonne begins to let her guard down, and Rick asks Douglas if there is a job for her in the community. Since there is no need for lawyers, Douglas recommends making her a constable, to uphold the law in Alexandria. Michonne attends a welcome party held by Douglas in honor of Alexandria's new residents. Throughout the majority of the party, she is quiet and reserved. When one of Alexandria's residents, Barbara, tries playing matchmaker between Michonne and a young man named Heath, Michonne steadily wearies of the conversation among the partygoers and attempts to leave. Barbara makes an attempt to dissuade her from leaving, and although she means well, she becomes insistent about what Michonne would care to eat. Barbara continues to reiterate how worried she would be to cook a meal that Michonne did not enjoy, and Michonne angrily asks if that is what she truly concerns herself about. The guests grow silent, prompting Michonne to leave.

She finds Morgan, who confesses to having left the party earlier, and the two commiserate about not caring for chipper people. Michonne admits their conversation made her feel even more alone. She then lets her guard down and rests her head on Morgan's shoulder. The two end up having sex that night. However she's annoyed and turned off by Morgan's refusal to let go of the fact that his wife is dead and gone.

Even after her boyfriend's death and Tyreese's death, Michonne ends up falling for Morgan. The two ultimately get a chance to make up afterwards, with her agreeing to take things slow and get to know each other better. She's devastated when he gets bitten and stays with him until he dies; then she vanquishes his remains, herself.

Later, she, Rick, and Abraham stumble upon a man who claims to be from another, larger town. She does not trust him; however, she trusts Rick's judgment. She remains a vital member in the survivor group.

Television series[edit]

Michonne, as portrayed by Danai Gurira in the television series

Michonne makes her first appearance near the end of the second season finale, "Beside the Dying Fire", wherein she saves Andrea from a walker by decapitating it with her katana (which features a triquetra on the inner crossguard.[8][9]).

As in the comics, she is accompanied by two walkers chained to her side-by-side with their arms and lower jaws removed (to prevent them from attacking her or others). In removing their ability to eat, Michonne effectively tamed these walkers.[10] Michonne has demonstrated economic uses for her pet walkers, such as using them as human pack mules by loading supplies onto their backs[11] as well as a camouflage/repellent, as their presence and scent fools other walkers into thinking those accompanying them are also walkers.[10] Michonne later dispatches the walkers shortly before she and Andrea are discovered by Merle. At the same time Michonne had demonstrated that she did not fear the uncanny. Fear of the uncanny is a fear caused by something familiar all of a sudden becoming unfamiliar. Her "pack mules" are a perfect example of her lack of fear because she used people that were dead as tools instead of running away from them. Most people would be too afraid to take this action because dead people are not supposed to move and by moving, zombies are directly defying death.[12]

Season 3[edit]

In the season premiere "Seed", it is show that since rescuing Andrea and having survived the winter months with her, Michonne has developed a strong bond with Andrea. When Andrea starts experiencing severe flu-like symptoms, the two are forced to relocate in search of proper medical supplies.[13] In the episode "Walk with Me", they come across the scene of a recent helicopter crash, and after taking cover in the woods, they are discovered by Merle, one of the Governor's enforcers. The two are brought back to a thriving, small town in Georgia called Woodbury. Andrea, taken in by the Governor's charm and hospitality, is hesitant to leave the community. Despite this, Michonne remains wary of the community, and, particularly, the Governor.[14] In the episode "Killer Within", Michonne examines vehicles the Governor claims to have found at an abandoned National Guard post, and suspects the Governor of killing the soldiers for their equipment. She tells Andrea that she wants to migrate to the coast, but Andrea has started to develop a relationship with the Governor.[15] In the episode "Say the Word", Michonne sneaks into the Governor's quarters to retrieve her sword, and while there she reads a notebook that ends with the name Penny followed by countless tally marks, hears what is presumably Penny scratching behind a locked door, and overhears Milton mentioning his experiments. After failing to convince Andrea to leave Woodbury, Michonne sets off on her own into the wilderness.[16]

In the episode "Hounded", Michonne is pursued shortly afterwards by Merle and his crew. After ambushing Merle's party, killing two of them in the process, and receiving significant injuries, she spies Maggie and Glenn on a supply run in a nearby town and overhears directions to the prison where they are staying, but Michonne is not able to make contact with them as they are ambushed and kidnapped by Merle. A wounded and weakened Michonne soon arrives at the prison with Maggie and Glenn's basket of infant supplies. In the episode "When the Dead Come Knocking", Michonne is brought into the prison, albeit cautiously, by Carl and Rick, who directs Hershel to tend to her wounds. Michonne informs them of Glenn and Maggie's abduction by Merle, of the Governor, and of Woodbury. In the mid-season finale "Made to Suffer", she accompanies Rick, Daryl, and Oscar to rescue Glenn and Maggie from Woodbury. In the process, Daryl is kidnapped. After Glenn and Maggie are rescued, Michonne breaks off from the larger group and proceeds to discover the Governor's zombie-head aquaria and zombified daughter, Penny, whom she kills despite his pleas not to. She and the Governor get into a hand-to-hand fight, which she wins, stabbing him in the eye during the scuffle. Andrea's arrival and intervention at gunpoint prevents Michonne from killing the Governor, and Michonne instead withdraws. When Michonne returns to Rick's group, they question her reliability after her disappearance, but she counters that they need her due to the loss of Daryl.

In the mid-season premiere "The Suicide King", Rick continues to show distrust toward Michonne, and tells her that she will be sent away when she is fully recovered. In the episode "Home", Michonne observes Rick as he hallucinates an encounter with his recently deceased wife, Lori. Michonne later joins in on the group's strategy planning to organize a sneak attack on Woodbury. Glenn plans for her and himself to go, however, the plan is soon dissolved. When the Governor and his men attack the prison, Michonne helps defend it. After the Governor's men unleash walkers into the field, she and Glenn help the disabled Hershel escape. In the episode "I Ain't a Judas", when Andrea comes to the prison to start a negotiation with them, Michonne tells her The Governor sent Merle to kill her, demonstrating that he won't allow anyone to leave (or live) who isn't under his control. In the episode "Clear", Rick has her join him and Carl on a weapons run to Rick's hometown, where she bonds with the two and eventually earns their trust (Rick confirms to her that she is "one of us"). In the episode "Arrow on the Doorpost", while Rick, Hershel, and Daryl go to Woodbury to meet with the Governor, Merle wants Michonne to help him attempt a sneak attack but she declines. In the episode "Prey", a flashback reveals that Michonne knew her original "pet" walkers when they were still alive. In the episode "This Sorrowful Life", Rick reveals to Merle that the Governor claimed he would leave the prison group alone if they handed over Michonne. Merle takes it upon himself to capture her and deliver her to the Governor, but as they talk in the car he has second thoughts and releases her; he instead ambushes the Governor's group alone and kills a number of them before the Governor finds him and kills him. In the season finale "Welcome to the Tombs", following another attack on the prison Rick, accompanied by Michonne and Daryl, sets out to locate the Governor. However, they come across the scene where the Governor slaughtered his own troops. One survivor (Karen) leads the group back to Woodbury to locate Andrea, as they fear the worst for her safety after learning she had fled Woodbury for the prison, but never arrived there. They manage to find Andrea but not before she has been bitten by the reanimated Milton, whom she managed to kill. Michonne offers to stay with her in her last minutes before killing herself to prevent reanimation, using a pistol borrowed from Rick. While Michonne is with Andrea in the room, the others outside the room hear a gunshot offscreen. Michonne is seen with Woodbury's remaining citizens and the rest of the group returning to the prison.[17]

Season 4[edit]

In the season premiere "30 Days Without an Accident", Michonne comes back to the prison for a break from her tireless search for the Governor. In the episode "Infected", Michonne is about to head back out on her search, but tries to get back in when a walker attack is announced and she injures her ankle. Beth tends to her wounds, and asks her to watch Rick's baby Judith; when Beth leaves the room, Michonne breaks down crying as she cradles the baby. In the episode "Isolation", she volunteers to go with Bob and Daryl to get antibiotics from a veterinary college to treat a deadly illness that has broken out among the prison population, and Tyreese joins them before they leave. On the car radio they hear a message offering sanctuary at a place called Terminus before the car is swarmed by walkers and they are forced to flee on foot. In the episode "Indifference", they obtain the needed medicine from the college. Daryl argues with Michonne that the Governor won't be found, and that she is more needed at the prison, and she ultimately agrees to give up her search. In the episode "Internment", they return to the prison with the medicine. Michonne and Hershel load walker bodies onto a truck and leave the prison to dispose of them. In the mid-season finale "Too Far Gone", the Governor kidnaps Hershel and Michonne and convinces his new group to use them as hostages to take over the prison. At the prison, the Governor takes a well-armed caravan with a tank and demands that Rick order his group to leave the prison, using Hershel and Michonne as leverage. Rick tries to reason with the Governor, while the Governor holds Michonne's katana to Hershel's neck. Rick instead offers to let the Governor's group stay at the prison with his group, but the Governor calls him a liar and decapitates Hershel. Rick's group opens fire, and Michonne rolls away and unties herself. The Governor orders his group to kill everyone at the prison, and they attack, breaking down the fences with their vehicles. When the Governor is punching Rick in the face, Michonne impales him through the chest with her katana and escapes as the prison is overwhelmed by walkers drawn by the noise.

In the mid-season premiere "After", Michonne returns to the prison, where she discovers Hershel's reanimated head. After ending Hershel's walker form with her katana, she takes two new walker pets and travels through the woods. While sleeping, she has a nightmare about her former life. The nightmare reveals that Michonne lived a comfortable life with her boyfriend Mike and her young son before the apocalypse.[18] Later she investigates footprints belonging to Rick and Carl and follows them to a house that they have taken shelter in. In the episode "Claimed", Michonne joins Carl on a run for more supplies in the neighborhood and reveals more about her past in an effort to cheer him up. She reveals she had a three-year-old son named Andre Anthony who died shortly after the outbreak began. Rick, Carl and Michonne are forced to travel in the direction of a camp known as Terminus because a group of men intrude on their house.[19] In the episode "Us", Michonne, Rick, and Carl are following a set of train tracks, and it is revealed that the group of men have been tracking them. In the season finale "A", Michonne, Rick and Carl are nearing Terminus. In the night they are ambushed by the group of marauders and held at gunpoint. Daryl, who is travelling with the marauders, attempts to reason with the leader - Joe, to no avail. Joe orders his gang to beat Daryl to death, before telling Rick his group will rape Michonne and Carl before killing him. Enraged when a group member tries to carry out the act on Carl, Rick snaps and brutally kills Joe by biting out a chunk of his throat. In the following confusion, Michonne manages to get hold of a gun and kill two marauders. With the marauders dead, the reunited gang continue to Terminus. On the outskirts of Terminus, Michonne confesses to Carl the details of her son's death and the reasoning behind keeping two walker pets. Upon entering Terminus and realizing it's a trap, Michonne along with Rick, Carl and Daryl flee across the grounds, to eventually become captured. Forced into a container, the group are reunited with Glenn, Maggie, Bob and Sasha, as well as meeting Abraham, Eugene, Rosita and Tara. Michonne is present as the season closes with Rick uttering the words: ...they're screwing with the wrong people.

Development[edit]

Her first appearance in the season finale of Season 2 of the TV series was just a cameo and she was played by a stand-in.[20]

Danai Gurira was officially announced, during an episode of Talking Dead, to have been cast as Michonne. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kirkman was quoted saying "there's a lot to that role, and Danai, more than any other actress, showed us that she could exhibit that strength and show what an intense character she could be and, at the same time, have that emotional core and be able to show a vulnerability to a certain extent that we don't see much of but is definitely there." He added, "She really was the whole package, and I think she's going to do a really good job".[21] Danai later commented on implementing her comic counterpart's traits:

"I was trying to really investigate a character and allow her to have as much dimension as possible and crack it open even more. What you see through the writing and vision of the creator, you add to it by bringing your full humanity and by really delving into the character's background and their motives and fears; all those things can make a multidimensional character come to life. That's how I've been trained from the beginning and how I've created characters in the past on the stage or through my playwriting. I plan to bring all of that to the table to allow Michonne to be as rich and complex as possible. I'm excited to bring her to life as someone who really has a lot of life and a lot of complexity."[22]

Reception[edit]

Michonne was voted #86 on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.[23] Regarding the television portrayal of the character, her scowling expression, reserved nature, and "Magical Negro"[24] qualities have been much-discussed by reviewers and online forum posters,[25][26] and Pajiba.com has created a visual collage that parodies the character's limited facial expressions, titled "Michonne"s Variety of Emotions" however season 4 changes that as she shows a wide range of emotions.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neumann, Clayton (March 18, 2012). "Actress Danai Gurira to Play Michonne in The Walking Dead Season 3". AMCtv.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Darabont on ‘The Walking Dead’: Stephen King a Possibility; Michonne in Season 3". Screen Rant. June 25, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ The Walking Dead #19 (May 2005)
  4. ^ The Walking Dead #21 (July 2005)
  5. ^ The Walking Dead #31 (October 2006)
  6. ^ The Walking Dead #33 (Dec 2006)
  7. ^ The Walking Dead #49 (May 2008)
  8. ^ "The Walking Dead Michonne's Katana (SKU: MC-MC-WD001, Price: $249.99)". Medieval Collectibles. Retrieved April 2013. 
  9. ^ Lacey (November 8, 2012). "The Blah-king Dead – Walking Dead Recap – Episode 3.3 – Walk With Me". Geekenfreude.com. Retrieved April 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Walk With Me"
  11. ^ "Seed"
  12. ^ Bishop, Kyle. Raising the Dead:unearthing the nonliterary origins of zombie cinema. Diss. Philadelphia: Heldref Publications, 2006. Print.
  13. ^ "Seed".
  14. ^ "Walk with Me"
  15. ^ "Killer Within"
  16. ^ "Say the Word"
  17. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (Mar 3, 2013). "Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Clear': The weak shall inherit the earth". 
  18. ^ McIntyre, Gina. "'Walking Dead': Danai Gurira on slaying zombies, Michonne's nightmare". Hero Complex. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  19. ^ Rawlings, Nate. "The Walking Dead Watch: 'Claimed'". Time. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ Neuman, Clayton. Actress Danai Gurira to Play Michonne in The Walking Dead Season 3 The Walking Dead (March 18, 2012)
  21. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 19, 2012). "'The Walking Dead's' Robert Kirkman on the Casting of Danai Gurira as Michonne". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  22. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 22, 2012). "'The Walking Dead's' Danai Gurira Excited to Embody Badass Michonne". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Michonne - #86 Top Comic Book Heroes". IGN. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  24. ^ DeVega, Chauncey (Nov 26, 2012). "Michonne or Maggie? Race, Gender, and Rape on The Walking Dead TV Series". Daily Kos. 
  25. ^ Shaunna Murphy, Hollywood.com Staff. "'The Walking Dead' Recap: Walk With Me". New York Post. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  26. ^ David Hinckley (November 15, 2012). The Daily News http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-11-15/news/35139277_1_michonne-danai-gurira-trusts |url= missing title (help). 
  27. ^ "Michonne's Variety of Emotions". Pajiba.com. November 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.