How The Walking Dead Will Lead Up To Danai Gurira's Exit As Michonne

the walking dead season 10 premiere michonne danai gurira amc
(Image credit: AMC)

The Walking Dead lost two of its longest-running stars during Season 9 thanks to the departures of Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan, and now another is leaving the zombie apocalypse behind in Season 10. Danai Gurira, who joined the cast of The Walking Dead for Season 3, will depart the show. Naturally, fans have been speculating about how she'll leave ever since the news broke.

After The Walking Dead found a way to write out Andrew Lincoln's Rick without killing him off, anything seems possible. Executive producer Angela Kang has some promising words about Michonne exiting the action. Only time will tell if Michonne is still alive when she checks out of the zombie apocalypse, but Kang can already reassure fans that Danai Gurira will be showcased in Michonne's final arc. Here's how Kang puts it:

[Season 10] showcases her leadership and strength, and her love for her people and her family. I’m excited to have the audience see Danai’s work during this last arc on the show, because she’s just amazing. She brings so much to every episode she’s in.

Despite debuting as a pretty stoic character who seemingly only cared about Andrea among the living, Michonne grew to become a pillar of the survivors, and is now a leader, a badass, and a mom to two kids in the zombie apocalypse. That's no small deal. According to Angela Kang in her comments to TVLine, her leadership, strength, and love will be on display in Danai Gurira's final arc. As long as she doesn't go out with a whimper but a bang, I'll be happy!

Well, maybe not a bang so much as a slash with her katana. Danai Gurira isn't expected to appear in all the episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10, but then even series regulars on a show with such a massive ensemble have been known to not appear for episodes at a time. The bigger question might be when Michonne's final episode airs. Rick and Maggie's departures happened quite early in Season 9; will be Michonne stick around longer, even if she doesn't appear in every episode? And will she be the only regular departing in Season 10?

At this point, I'm just hoping Michonne is still alive when Danai Gurira bows out. I was one of the many convinced that Rick was destined to be zombie chow as soon as Andrew Lincoln's departure was announced, and the shocking announcement that Rick will instead star in some Walking Dead movies leaves me hesitant to declare that anybody is definitely going to bite the dust. Maggie wasn't chomped off to the great zombie apocalypse sanctuary in the sky either.

Michonne is also mom to two kids, and unless The Walking Dead intends to kill them off too, keeping Michonne alive would arguably be the best course of action. Hey, maybe Michonne will get wind of Rick's survival and decide to head off to join him with their kids! The young actress who plays Judith was a key part of post-time jump The Walking Dead Season 8, and she's going to make serious bank in Season 10, so it's possible the show might not want to let her go, and I can't see Michonne willingly leaving Judith behind.

So, I won't rule out Michonne's death, even if my fingers are tightly crossed that she gets as much of a happily-ever-after as is possible for her at this point. There will still be an emotional core on The Walking Dead without her, so I say give her a solid sendoff!

Find out how her final story begins when The Walking Dead debuts in the fall TV lineup on Sunday, October 6 at 8 p.m. ET on AMC, to be followed by the premiere of a new season of Talking Dead. A bunch of other shows will premiere that night as well, so be sure to check out our fall TV premiere guide to figure out what to watch and when to watch it!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).