Even though we respect how The Walking Dead isn’t afraid to kill off their main characters, there's still a few members of Rick’s group who we could never forgive the showrunners for eliminating. And Michonne has definitely earned her place on that short list, thanks largely to the amazing performance by Danai Gurira.
Michonne is the ultimate survivor. She’s short on words, quick to action, and has the ability to adapt to any situation. Since she’s recently struck up a relationship with Rick, we’re fairly certain that Michonne will be sticking around for the foreseeable future of the show. Especially now that her skills with a samurai sword will be more valuable than ever as the allies going to war with the Saviors, who have already robbed Rick’s group of their guns and ammo.
While it’s no longer a surprise when Michonne jumps in at the last second to save the day, there's still plenty of moments from the comics and TV series where the character's action have left us aghast. And with season 7.5 mere days away, we figured it was time to compile a list of Michonne’s 15 Most WTF Moments.
15 "Take me to Negan."
For a little while there, it almost seemed as though Michonne wasn’t going to make it out of the last few episodes alive. While Rick was preoccupied with gathering supplies for Negan, the fearless warrior takes matters into her own hands and ambushes Isabelle, the feisty red-headed member of the Saviors. While it makes more sense for Michonne to either kidnap or kill Isabelle, instead Michonne seems to embark on a one-woman suicide mission when she demands to be taken to see Negan.
Even though Michonne should know full well that killing Negan and making it out alive would be a nearly impossible task, she doesn’t show any trepidation about the undertaking. That is, until Isabelle rolls up on one of the Savior’s outposts and Michonne realizes that she’d be killed or captured long before seeing Negan face-to-face. Even though she heads back to Alexandria defeated, we’re grateful that Michonne didn’t meet her demise in a season where Negan had already killed off far too many of Rick's group. Excluding Spencer. We weren't exactly sad to see him go.
14 Michonne’s “Pets”
Even though Michonne’s “pets” appear only briefly in both the comics and the TV series, the jawless, armless walkers are one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of Michonne. It’s a clever, albeit disturbing tactic Michonne employees to blend in amongst the walking dead. But the real WTF moment here comes when Michonne reveals that her “pets” weren’t intended to be used as camouflage at all.
Michonne tells Carl about her son, Andre, whom she was stationed at a refugee camp along with Andre’s father, Mike, and Mike’s best friend, Terry. After Michonne returned from a supply run, she discovers that the camp had been overrun with walkers, and that Mike and Terry were high at the time and unable to protect her son from being eaten. Instead of putting the two out of their misery, Michonne let them turn. She neutered them and placed them in collars so she could keep them around as a deranged form of punishment. It was only later that she discovered they also helped ward off other walkers.
Michonne eventually tells Carl that she was out of her mind for a very long time before being brought into Rick’s group, as if her story didn't already prove the point.
13 When She Punches Ezekiel in the Face
We’ve seen it dozens of times before: one character goes hysterical and the other one slaps them across the face to bring them back to reality. But Michonne has never been a character of half-measures; when she wants something done, she gets it done.
So when her then-boyfriend Ezekiel starts crying about his failures as a leader, Michonne doesn’t just give him a love tap on the cheek to snap him out of; she throws a full-blown punch right into his tear-soaked face. Ezekiel is utterly shocked. But one things for certain: he’s no longer sobbing.
Michonne has a history of rocky relationships (more on those below), and this is the perfect representation of her problems with intimacy. It’s also more likely that Michonne doesn’t just punch Ezekiel to make him man up, but rather that she needs him to stop sobbing because she’s always been incapable of dealing with her own feelings of loss and regret.
12 Snooping Around Woodbury
After investigating a helicopter crash, Michonne and Andrea are welcomed into Woodbury, though Michonne refuses to put her guard down despite the new walls that surround them. Almost immediately after entering the town, Michonne decides to break into the Governor’s house and steal back her samurai sword. She even stumbles upon the town’s gladiator arena where she unleashes a cage of walkers and proudly slashes them to bits. Michonne is eventually caught, and has a talk with the Governor before she inexplicably threatens to slice his throat.
Of course, audiences knew that the Governor would end up being the show’s first super villain, but at this point in the series Michonne really has no reason to suspect the Governor of any wrong doing. Michonne and Andrea are welcomed into Woodbury with open arms, the town is filled with every-day people, and the only caveat is that new-comers must surrender their weapons during a transitional period — which only makes sense. Despite all of this, Michonne continues to antagonize the Governor and ends up jeopardizing her chances of living back in civilization over nothing more than a gut feeling.
11 When She Lops Off Morgan’s Arm
When the walls of Alexandria finally collapse due to the pressure of an undead herd, Rick and Morgan find themselves fighting for their lives against the swarm of walkers. Morgan is eventually overpowered and a zombie takes a chunk out of his arm mere moments before Michonne rushes into help. She quickly notices the bite wound, and instead of helping Rick take out a few zombies first so they can safely carry Morgan to the doctor, she decides to chop off his arm right in the middle of the action.
Though it’s definitely a smart move to remove the infected area as quickly as possible, Michonne doesn’t even give Morgan a warning first. What makes this moments even worse is that the two had just started developing a serious relationship, and they spent the entire night before having an argument. Sadly, Morgan ends up dying from the wound and Michonne never gets a chance to tell Morgan how she truly feels.
10 When She Abandons Andrea
Even though Michonne is one of the most loyal member of Rick’s group, she wasn’t quite as selfless during her first few seasons of the show. After saving Andrea’s life and keeping her alive on the road for eight months, you would've thought that nothing could have separated the pair. However, after entering Woodbury the two quickly become at odds with one another, and Michonne seems to believe that they’d be better off back outside the walls.
Instead of waiting to see how things panned out in Woodbury, Michonne simply packs up her bags and tells Andrea to do the same. But when Andrea isn’t convinced that it’s the right move, Michonne turns her back and tells her, “You just slow me down anyway” before strolling out the gate. The move certainly seems cold-hearted of Michonne. After all, she spent months trying to nurse Andrea, her only living companion, back to health, only to abandon her once they found refuge. And we can’t help but think that if Michonne had stuck around, Andrea could have very well made it out of the third season alive.
9 When She Cold Clocks Rick
Rick has had his fair share of moments where he’s come unhinged, but luckily he’s always had a group of trusted followers there to talk (or knock) some sense into him. This is on full display at the end of season five, when Rick becomes obsessed with exiling the “town drunk” and he ends up holding the citizens of Alexandria at gunpoint while berating their incompetence.
While Deanna and her townspeople are frozen in horror, and Rick’s people are unsure of whose side they should take, Michonne swoops in out of now where and uses blunt force to get the job done. One swift blow to the back of the head puts Rick on the pavement, ending his madman tirade. Michonne doesn’t need to explain her actions, her serious side-eye says it all. The unexpected moment was a perfect ending to the episode, and proved once and for all that Michonne knows when enough is enough.
8 When She Gets Caught Talking to Her Dead Boyfriend
Michonne bought her way into the prison by rescuing Otis from a hoard of zombies, and Rick quickly saw that the katana-wielding warrior would be an asset to the group’s survival. Once inside, Michonne is hesitant to become too close with anyone, and she keeps herself busy staying in shape. However, Michonne’s hard exterior seems to be cracking when she’s seen giving a long-winded monologue about how she’s starting to warm up to her fellow survivors. There’s just one small problem: there’s nobody else in her cell.
When Andrea checks to see who Michonne's talking to, we’re baffled to discover that she’s been sitting alone the entire time. Of course, Michonne doesn’t admit to rambling on like a crazy person, and she tries to convince Andrea that she must be hearing things.
The sudden reveal makes us have second thoughts about Michonne, who seemed like a rock-solid survivor after arriving at the prison. However, after she becomes more comfortable with the group, Michonne is able to admit to Rick that carrying on imaginary conversations with her dead boyfriend helps her cope, which Rick knows more than a thing or two about.
7 When She Arrives at the Prison Gates
Just when Rick seems like he’s getting his sanity back following the death of Lori, he strolls outside with his new baby only to spot something outside the prison gates that warrants a closer look. As he approaches the perimeter, Rick gets his first glimpse at Michonne, who’s splattered with walker blood, carrying a basket full of baby food, and surrounded by a gang of zombies.
Michonne has never been one to ask for help, and as she stands at the prison gate shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of flesh-hungry walkers, she can’t exactly open her mouth and ask Rick to let her in. Instead, the character’s eyes says it all. Michonne is bleeding out, and closer to death then we’ve ever seen her before. Rick sees her desperation, and just when the walkers begin to turn on her, Rick and Carl rescue Michonne and bring her into the prison, where she becomes part of Rick’s group once and for all.
6 When She Seduces Tyreese
The biggest difference between Michonne in the comics and the show is definitely her relationships with men. In the show, Michonne seems interested in little more than survival, and her relationship with Rick doesn’t take shape until the group has formed a sustainable life for themselves in Alexandria. In the comics, however, Michonne has made no attempt to suppress her carnal urges. She pursues Tyreese, Morgan, Heath and Ezekiel — all to disastrous effect.
Immediately after arriving at the prison, Michonne sets her sights on Tyreese, despite the fact that Tyreese and Carol have already shacked up together. The first moments she has him alone, Michonne makes a not-so-subtle first move, not realizing that Carol is watching them through the window. This leads to the already emotionally unstable Carol trying to commit suicide, as well as a major fist fight between Rick and Tyreese.
This may have been the first time that chaos has ensued because Michonne put her physical needs over her emotional ones, but it certainly wasn’t the last.
5 Her Confession to Rick
For a long time, Michonne’s past was shrouded in mystery. She dropped hints about having a large family, a mortgage, and losing her two daughters, but we’d become accustomed to Michonne keeping her defenses up. In fact, Michonne’s ability to bury her despair and focus on the task at hand was one of the things we’d come to respect about the character. Which makes it a major shock when she finally reveals to Rick the true cause of all her suffering.
After spending some time out at sea (and largely being absent for the comic), it’s clear that Michonne has had a lot of time to do some thinking. She confesses to Rick that in her past life she was a workaholic who abandoned her husband and two daughters. When the world took a turn for the worst, Michonne was unable to reach her children, but she knows that they’re no longer alive.
Rick tries to tell her to let go of the past, but Michonne admits that she doesn’t deserve to be happy no matter how much he tries to convince her. It’s a heartbreaking confession that finally adds clarity to the character's steely and withdrawn disposition.
4 When She Shish Kabobs the Governor’s Daughter
When Michonne is waiting in the Governor’s apartment to enact her revenge, she discovers the secret room where the Governor keeps his zombie-head aquarium and his undead daughter. When the Governor finally does arrive, he begs Michonne to leave his daughter unharmed and he even surrenders his gun and knife, fully preparing to give himself over to Michonne in exchange.
While in the comics, Michonne locks the undead girl back up before she has her way with the Governor, in the show Michonne sees the anguish on the Governor’s face and decides to capitalize on it. She thrusts her sword through the back of the girl’s head, knowing full well that she’s just fueled the Governor’s rage.
A bloody fight ensues in which Michonne narrowly escapes death by stabbing the Governor in the eye with a shard of glass. Unfortunately, Andrea shows up and prevents Michonne from finishing him off once and for all.
3 The Character’s Debut
Plenty of characters on The Walking Dead have been given jaw-dropping introductions, including Negan, who debuted on the show just nine short episodes ago to a gut-wrenching reaction. But while Negan's intro had been built up for almost an entire season, Michonne's debut really came out of nowhere.
While Michonne is one of the standout characters in the series, her intro in the comic is admittedly not that exciting. However, the show was able to capitalize on fans' love for the character by having her unexpectedly swoop during the season two finale and save Andrea's life. And if you'd never read the comics before, seeing a character wielding a katana with two "pet" zombies in tow was all the more exhilarating.
With Michonne's debut, the series introduced audiences to a whole new class of survivor. Someone who was able to adapt to the new world order all be her lonesome, without going completely bananas in the process.
2 When She Tortures the Governor…
The Governor in the TV series is far more nuanced than the full-blown madmen that he is in the comics. He makes no attempt to appear as a sympathetic leader, and when he finally gets his hands on Michonne he imprisons and rapes her repeatedly. It’s no wonder that they chose to go a different route on the show…
We recently published an article on the moments from the comic that are too dark for the TV series, and Michonne’s retaliation on the Governor certainly made that list. While we certainly don’t fault Michonne for taking her revenge, that doesn’t mean the issue is any easier to stomach -- and the torture literally takes up an entire issue of the comic!
Like a scene straight out of a horror movie, Michonne runs down a long list of tools that she’ll be using on the Governor, including a hammer, power drill, blow torch, and even a spoon. And yes, it was what Michonne did with the spoon that ultimately had us going WTF???
1 …But Fails to Kill Him
After chopping off an arm, prying out an eye, and going to town with a power drill, Michonne somehow failed to put the Governor down. You'd think that Michonne could’ve delivered the coup de grace, or at least felt for a pulse, before she high-tailed it out of Woodbury. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
The Governor’s men nurse their leader back to health, and while Rick and Michonne are finally easing into life back at the prison, the Governor rolls up atop a tank with an army in tow. The attack would ultimately lead to the destruction of the prison, along with Rick’s wife and baby being obliterated by a shotgun blast.
Of course, Michonne can’t be held responsible for the actions of a madman, but we can’t ignore the fact that things would have undeniably better for all involved (well, except the Governor) if Michonne had just finished the job.
So which Michonne moment from The Walking Dead left your jaw on the floor? Let us know in the comments!