Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Michonne Has Her Katana Ready in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 16: “A”

The Walking Dead’s Michonne (Danai Gurira) has always been loyal, but she wasn’t always fiercely loyal to Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) group. Now she is, and we saw that look she gave Gareth (Andrew J. West) when he made Michonne leave Carl (Chandler Riggs) alone so she could go before Carl into the train car. Gareth, you’re screwing with the wrong lioness.

When we first met Michonne in the Season 2 finale, she was saving Andrea’s (Laurie Holden) life. She was loyal to a Andrea and it was a gut-punch to see Andrea choose the illusion of safety at Woodbury over her friend’s instincts. So Michonne went solo again. Then she met Team Prison, but they didn’t trust her, and she didn’t trust them, so they briefly considered selling her out to The Governor. But things changed on her little road trip with Rick and Carl. Carl said she’s one of them. She eventually earned their trust, but she still went off on solo missions at the start of Season 4, to look for The Governor (David Morrissey). It was something she felt she had to do. 


Then the prison fell and she went into a deep despair. She fought her way out of it, and when serendipity took her to exactly the right house, with Rick and Carl inside, she cried. She hasn’t left them since, and she’s only opened up further — especially to Carl, revealing her dark past to him but in a way that came off as natural bonding. Now Carl and Michonne are two of our favorite buddy characters and we’re rooting for Richonne to be a thang.

Danai talked a bit about Michonne’s journey while at Comic-Con, telling reporters (via Comic Book Resources) that Michonne's new family may bring out an even more ferocious side of her character, just like a wild animal shielding her young.

"I think that if you have people to protect, you can actually become more ferocious, like a lioness," Danai said, then shared a story to illustrate her perspective. "My sister and I were really stupid -- we were on a safari in December in Zimbabwe. She took all these pictures because we found all these lionesses with the lions. They would make the little lion cubs go away, because they were trying to figure out what we were. They were watching us and watching us -- just chilling, and we thought they were so far away. She took pictures and blew them up later, and there were three other lionesses we couldn't see that were ready to pounce at any second, watching us watch their kids. ... When you have something to protect, I used to say [Michonne] was like a cat, but now I think she's more like a lioness because she really cares about things she doesn't want to see harmed. She will go possibly further to protect them than she would have done before."

Don’t mess with the katana queen! Even with her hands tied, she can beat you down. Just ask Mitch in this deleted scene.

The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres Sunday, October 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Source: Comic Book Resources