The Walking Dead is set to enter a whole new era in the upcoming ninth season, but that doesn't mean all the characters will have forgotten what they loved and lost in earlier years. Michonne will still be mourning the death of her surrogate son and unexpected best friend Carl when Season 9 kicks off, and the show has found a heartbreaking yet beautiful way for Michonne to honor him. New showrunner Angela Kang revealed what's in store, saying this:
[I]f you look closely at Michonne's hair this season, you'll see she has a small plaid wrap around one of her dreads. That's a piece of Carl's shirt, which she's now wearing to keep his memory close.
I'm not sure if I want to laugh, cry, or start researching time travel to get to the Season 9 premiere as quickly as possible after Angela Kang's revelation about Michonne on theWalking Dead official blog. Michonne won't be reeling from the loss the same way she was at the end of Season 8, when Carl's death was still fresh. The big time jump means that she's had more than a year to come to terms with his thoroughly unexpected passing. She's not altogether over what happened to him, and she undoubtedly never will be. Nevertheless, her choice to honor him with a piece of his shirt in her hair indicates that she's at least doing what she can to cope.
Given Angela Kang's comments about the women of the zombie apocalypse stepping up in Season 9, it's probably safe to say that Michonne is doing an excellent job of coping, even if she's constantly aware of what she lost with Carl's death. Interestingly, the piece of Carl's shirt is not clearly visible in what we've seen of Season 9 so far, whether the official episode stills, the new art, or the trailer. In true Walking Dead fashion, the trailer is pretty darkly-lit, making it difficult to make out the details. Hopefully the new season will feature some sunshine. We do know that Season 9 will explore the reality of dwindling resources in the zombie apocalypse, so there may not be a lot of electricity in the settlements anymore.
Poor Michonne is likely to have a rough time in Season 9 considering Andrew Lincoln's departure probably means an unfortunate fate for Rick, perhaps at the hands of the Whisperers. He probably won't meet Alpha, at least as a living man. We've compiled a list of some of the most awesome theories about how Rick will leave the show, and there's plenty to speculate about. At this point, we can only hope that Michonne's trauma won't be too severe. Who knows? Maybe Judith will be able to motivate her to keep going, assuming The Walking Dead doesn't really twist the knife and knock off everybody left in the Grimes family.
Tune in to AMC on Sunday, October 7 at 9 p.m. ET to see Michonne and Co. back in action on The Walking Dead. If zombies aren't always your thing, check out our fall TV schedule for more options.