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Danai Gurira on what’s next for Rick and Michonne on The Walking Dead

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Oct 20, 2017, 1:15 PM EDT

Rick and Michonne have been a power couple on The Walking Dead since Season 6, and their devotion has been tested by zombies, Saviors, and Jadis’ strange and grating proposal. Danai Gurira shares her thoughts about what’s in store for Richonne in the upcoming Season 8.

Michonne had been a one-woman, two-zombie show until Andrea came along, and she soon allied herself with Rick and the Ricksters. And with that, her attitude adjusted away from self-survival toward keeping her friends and neo-family alive.

Gurira told Entertainment Weekly, “[She] and Rick go through some really interesting realizations in Season 7. About loss and what they must do and who they must do it for.”

Gurira, who name-checked Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela along the way, said that Michonne has realized personal loss doesn’t matter as much as fighting for humanity and creating a new world.

“[W]e’re doing this for something bigger than ourselves is this next place that she’s gotten to," she said. "And so it really was about him regalvanizing her to understand, this is not about us. It’s about the future we’re trying to build. And we have to keep our eyes on that.”

And we’ll be keeping our eyes on their journey, too. The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres on October 22.