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Only Danai Gurira's 'Michonne' can save The Walking Dead

FUTURE: Having Michonne played by Danai Gurira take the lead could win back Walking Dead fans (Image: Danai Gurira/Instagram)

IT'S BEEN nearly eight years since we started our long, intense and at times heartbreaking journey with Andrew Lincoln’s character on The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes. He lost everything, got it back, lost most of it again and now AMC are taking him away from our screens. Granted, you could argue how much more can he take? In the season just gone, the internet went into meltdown at the decision to kill off the popular character Carl Grimes (Rick’s son) played by Chandler Riggs.

This was a bold move as it went against the canon of the comic book series by Robert Kirkman. The writing should have been on the wall for Rick with AMC taking no prisoners and not being afraid of unconventionality.

Rick is not only the main character but also a pivotal cog in The Walking Dead wheel. One Twitter user even wrote in utter disgust: “If you kill Rick you must kill the show”! There is no doubt that losing Andrew Lincoln will leave a seismic void in the show; one that writers are hoping will be filled by fan favourite Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus). Time will tell if this pays off; however with a drop in viewing figures since season five (where viewing figures were at their peak). It appears another bold move is required that is off topic (from the comics series) and aid in winning back disgruntled fans.

LEADER: Gurira displays the type of leadership the show can benefit from

The answer I believe is to have Michonne (played by Danai Gurira) take the helm from Rick.
Michonne is a katana-wielding survivor who, like Rick, has overcome trauma and heartache to rise as a leading figure in the series. From her introduction as a hooded figure in the season two finale to single-handedly defeating a key villain (the Governor) twice, Michonne has proved herself a fearless warrior and worthy leader.

She also appears to be Rick’s voice of reason ever since they escalated their platonic relationship in season six. Michonne often guides Rick in big decisions such as when to fight back against unreasonable groups (The Saviors spring to mind) or seeing the good in people and not being quick to offer the judgment of death (the case of Negan in the season eight finale).

A strong case can be made for Michonne to lead the group to safety and peace. Danai Gurira displays the type of leadership The Walking Dead can benefit from as Okoye in Black Panther. As the last standing female black character in the show, you have to wonder what it would take for Michonne to rise to the top on her own merit and not as the love interest of a leading character. Maybe she should leave the show like her former co-star Sonequa Martin-Green (who played the character Sasha Williams but left after season seven to play the lead role in Star Trek: Discovery). Perhaps the show will then live up to its title The Walking Dead.

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