As viewers of The Walking Dead Season 4, we’ve been learning about Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) backstory slowly but surely, but one guy who knows the whole spiel (and has for quite sometime) is comic book creator and show executive producer Robert Kirkman. To be fair, Robert already had a basis for Michonne’s TV history in the comics, but as we know, he likes to change things up for the AMC drama.
In Season 4, Episode 9: “After,” we learned that Michonne had a boyfriend and son, and in this Sunday’s Episode 11: “Claimed,” we’ll learn even more painful details about her past. Earlier this month Robert was interviewed by Wired and asked if what we see playing out on screen is what he always had planned for TV Michonne. “It is somewhat in line with what her backstory is in the comic book series and there’s definitely more that will be revealed as this season goes on, but this is what we’ve had in mind for this character since the very beginning,” he dished. “There’ve been other ideas and plotlines thrown out in the writers’ room, but it was always the plan to reveal that the Mike and Terry characters, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s friend, were her [zombie] pets. There are going to be more layers revealed about how that came about and what lead to that. But that has always been our backstory and it’s great to finally have that revealed on the show.”
We don’t know if we’ll get to see those exact additional layers in the February 23 episode, but we have heard reports that Michonne tells Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) more about her son during the pair’s “epic” supply run.
Robert may have the luxury of borrowing some TV storylines from the TWD comics, but he also has the ability to not include certain things from the graphic novel in the TV show. In the comics, for example, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) lost a hand in a brawl with The Governor (David Morrissey), but on the show Robert allowed his protagonist to keep both of his hands… at least for now.
Robert explained, “There are certain things where I can look back with hindsight having done the comic. That’s one of the most fun aspects of being in the writer’s room. I can say, I did the story this way and the audience reacted this way. Deconstructing things from that point of view and really being able to game them out long-term is a lot of fun.”
And speaking specifically about one-handed Rick, Robert noted that would be much more difficult to explain and compensate for on television, though he didn’t rule out Rick losing a limb in the future. “There are a lot of times in the comic book where people don’t notice it because the panels don’t move, but Rick is standing on top of something he would not have been able to climb on without a hand… It’d be more difficult to do that in the television show. All that being said, I’m not ruling out the possibility that he may lose the hand eventually.”
Ok Kirkman, you slay us!
Are you surprised that Robert has known Michonne’s backstory all along? Do you think he’ll really chop off one of Rick’s hands? Tell us what you think below!
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.