Another season of The Walking Dead, another long-running character bites the dust. In what’s becoming a tragic yearly tradition at this late stage in the show’s lifespan, season 10 of the post-apocalyptic drama will have to write out yet another fan favorite as the actor decides to move on. This time, the run will be the last to feature Danai Gurira.
Reports have been flying around for months about this, but it wasn’t until last weekend’s Comic-Con that Gurira officially announced her upcoming exit as Michonne. And now, AMC has released a video capturing the moment the actress made her emotional farewell to the franchise.
“I can confirm that this is the last season I will be on this amazing TV show as Michonne,” she said. “I’d just like to say that this has been one of the purest joys of my life, to play this role, and to be amongst these people and those that are not here right now and amongst all of you. I am very, very thankful for the experience that I’ve had in ways I can’t even express right now. I will say my heart does not leave, in any way shape or form.”
Gurira went on to explain that she still loves her TWD family and the series but she felt that now was the right time to follow new opportunities. On when she first joined the show back in season 5, the star added:
“I felt this energy, and it doesn’t ever end. The connection between us never ends, and that’s what keeps me going with the decision I made. It was a very difficult one, and it’s not connected to my heart. My heart stays right here. But it was about my calling, in a sense, and other things I feel called to. And the opportunities I’ve had, wanting to explore them for others through the other thing I do as a creator of work. So all I’m filled with is a lot of pain about leaving, and a lot of gratitude, and thanks to all of you, I love you guys, I love this show. TWD Family is forever. Forever. Thank you all so much, I love you all.”
As sad as this is, at least Michonne looks to be involved with most of season 10. Unlike Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan, who jumped ship in episode 5 of season 9, it’s believed that Gurira has already filmed the twelfth episode of the new run. Which means that we’ll have the character in both halves of the season. It’s just that she’ll likely have a reduced role and only appear in a handful of episodes.
Another silver lining is the fact that Gurira is thought to be returning to the TWD universe in Lincoln’s spinoff movies, which are coming exclusively to theaters. However, her comeback was not something officially revealed at SDCC.
The Walking Dead season 10 kicks off on AMC on Sunday, October 6th.