TV Show: The Walking Dead
Filed Under: Everyday Person/Extraordinary Circumstances
Portrayed By: Danai Gurira
When we first meet Michonne, she appears as a mysterious shrouded figure who comes to the lone Andrea’s rescue. Armed with a katana and two walker “pets,” Michonne’s arrival introduces a mystical, almost-supernatural element to The Walking Dead. She is part phantom, part superhero, and 100% willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
We don’t learn much about Michonne for awhile—for a long time her story remains a mystery—although her friendship with Andrea reveals her capacity for loyalty and her capacity to survive. When Michonne and Andrea are introduced to the Governor and the people of Woodbury, we learn something else about Michonne: that she seems to have a keen intuition when it comes to people… almost as if she can completely size them up at first sight. This intuition—Michonne refers to it as trusting her gut—will continue to play out in subsequent episodes. We learn that Michonne’s first instincts about people—and whether they are good or bad—are almost, if not always, correct.
Michonne’s skills include not only the ability to know whom to trust, but also when to trust, and when a more gentle or aggressive approach is needed. Michonne is adeptly skilled at handling herself in a fight, certainly, but she is also sensitive to the emotional needs of a situation which often turns out to be an essential element of human survival. Perhaps without even intending to, Michonne becomes a critical and—more importantly—stabilizing member of the Walking Dead family because of her many skills and because she can be counted on to do the right thing in any circumstance. She becomes so important that when Michonne isn’t around—for whatever reason—her absence is notable.
Something’s gonna happen. Just don’t *make* something happen. – Michonne
Strength: It’s a given that anyone in the ZA who has been out in the thick of things for as long as The Walking Dead has been a series would embody a great deal of strength—both emotionally and physically. Once we learn more about Michonne—and over time, we certainly do—we can definitely ascribe to her the highest points when it comes to emotional strength. That Michonne has been able to live through what she has endured and somehow manage to keep her wits about her–while still maintaining a keen insight as far as the trustworthiness of others is concerned–is a testament to that strength. She is absolutely deadly with any weapon but especially her weapon-of-choice, her katana, and for all this we give Michonne a 5.
Dexterity: Michonne has a katana. A weapon she, at some point in the ZA, chose herself. Her choice of weapon alone, makes Michonne super badass. There aren’t many other survivors swooping through the ZA like a samurai dialed up to 11. The fact that she has a katana AND SHE KNOWS HOW TO USE IT is like some Buffy/River Tam levels of BORN TO DO THIS SHIT. 5.
Intellect: Michonne’s instincts are usually spot-on. She also is not afraid to stand up to Rick Grimes when he needs the wisdom of her experience and insight and this, in turn, has made him seem to trust her implicitly. These two have a very interesting dynamic, each a necessary compliment to the other—not that they are so different from each other, but they are also not quite the same. More than anyone, however, Michonne seems to be able to get through to Rick—supporting him when she feels his decisions are right and challenging him when she thinks he might need to consider a different point-of-view. 5.
Charisma: Michonne is often sparse with her words, only contributing to a conversation when she feels it is necessary. Her personal history and experience might make her a difficult person to get to know and this is by design. However, Michonne does possess a wealth of charisma and intellect—which is often demonstrated by her ability to connect with others when they desperately need it, as well as by her quick-wit and ability to deescalate a situation with a funny one-liner. 4.