It’s no secret that Danai Gurira’s The Walking Dead character, Michonne, has some serious trust issues. We’re talking about a lady who at one point maintained a literal barrier around herself with armless zombies, and who’s barely said a word since arriving at the prison earlier on Season 3.

But now that she’s found a pseudo-home and family in Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group (and those gnarly zombies are goners), she’s begun to let down her defenses. How much will she be able to open up?

Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Danai at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ “An Evening With The Walking Dead” on February 5, and the actress revealed that Michonne’s overall arc will center on her realization that she can’t go it alone a world filled with walkers.

“Her struggle has been to let go and to actually allow herself to get to the point where she concedes that she needs people, and she can’t do this by herself because physically she can’t,” Danai explained. “But it’s about conceding that she needs more than that. She needs more than her own strength and competency, which she’s very in charge of and connected to.”

It won’t be — and hasn’t been — an overnight transformation, that’s for sure. “I think there are stages and steps for her — getting to the point where she can really become vulnerable to a whole group of people and offer her commitment to them,” Danai continued. “That’s the first step.”

She’s made undeniable progress in recent episodes, so much so that Rick would rather confront the Governor (David Morrissey) in an outright battle than turn Michonne over to the one-eyed man.

Along with the complexity of her cagey character, Danai adores Michonne’s devoted fandom. “[The fans are] very loving. They’re great. They’re very excited. They really seem to enjoy her,” Dani gushed.

However, the Michonne of the show may not hew to what fans of the comic book series have come to expect. “Of course, sometimes there’s that idea of what she was supposed to be from the book, and it’s like the beauty of the show is they’re never going to do exactly what you would expect,” Danai added. “And the beauty of the show is that it’s a long game. So the idea of who she really becomes by the end of the season is yet to be known.”

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.