“There’s got to be something else out there.” That’s what Michonne was thinking last season, Danai Gurira explained when she, Steven Yeun and executive producer Gale Anne Hurd sat down at San Diego Comic-Con to discuss The Walking Dead and what’s to come in season 6.
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Michonne and Glenn’s Choices and Loyalty
Michonne was one of the characters who wanted a place like Alexandria that could work because she was done running last season. Gurira explained that that goes back to a choice she made in season 4 episode 9, where she could have made herself two new walkers and returned to the Michonne she was when she first appeared on screen, when Andrea met her. “It really has been this decision to live, what does that really look like?” and figuring out what life means, she shared. “I think she’s been building into that identity of now it means we have to find a place, we have to find a way to function that doesn’t involve being on the road all the time. …There’s got to be something else out there.”
Gurira called that moment of Michonne saying they need to find a place “an expression of her standing in hope and in determination and really speaking in a way she’d never spoken for and asserting a hopeful path for the entire group.”
For Glenn, Yeun sees his heart as most important, “the thing that drives him continuously throughout this apocalypse.” While things may change, ultimately, his trajectory has not, and according to the actor, you can trace a straight line from season 1 to now of where he’s going to go.
While Michonne and Glenn are both loyal to Rick, they’re not “just mere followers,” according to Yeun, who pointed out that both characters have crossed lines and challenged Rick before, whether it’s physically or just verbally. “Ultimately, he goes with Rick because he does trust him intrinsically,” he continued, but as Hurd added, “it’s not blind trust.” They may believe in Rick, Gurira shared, but that doesn’t mean that they think he should be making every decision himself.
“They would never betray Rick, but they would keep from doing, as Michonne did, something stupid that threatened not only them, but him,” Hurd said, pointing to the end of last season. “He was waving a gun around and he was a threat to himself, to them, and to that new community, and that’s what that loyalty means.”
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Following the Comics and Season 6
According to the executive producer, there’s “an overall theme for each season that informs not only the story arc, but the arcs of each particular character” as well. Things like deaths of characters (like Hershel, Tyreese, Bob and Beth) affect everyone and “changes who they are and how they react and what it is they want.” Some characters have died at different points from the comic books, some are still alive and some are off the path the comics would have taken them. They have to take these characters where they’ve been developed on the show. “Remember, there’s no Daryl Dixon in the comic book, so all of those dynamics are shifted already,” Hurd added.
And they do know that there are expectations when it comes to certain characters. For instance, there are already people talking about who’s going to play Negan, much less when he’s going to show up. “It’s just never letting that get ahead of what is organically the evolution of the characters we have now,” she explained.
But here’s what is coming up on The Walking Dead season 6. Morgan is back (and different from how he was when Rick last saw him), which is going to change the dynamic. There’s this community that isn’t prepared to deal with what’s out there and “was living on borrowed time,” and they have to see if the two groups can find commonality, the EP teased.
The Walking Dead season 6 premieres Sunday, October 11 at 9pm on AMC.
(Image courtesy of AMC)