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The Walking Dead’s Women to Take the Lead in Multiple Ways in Season 9

More Michonne, please and thank you.

michonne danai gurira

The Walking Dead can be a frustrating show for even the most diehard fans. Between circular and repetitive storylines, the deaths of fan-favorite characters, and the relentlessly bleak outlook, it’s easy to burn out on AMC’s hit series. For me, the most aggravating part is its refusal to capitalize on its deep bench of complex and powerful women, but that might soon change, as veteran writer and producer Angela Kang is set to take the reins as showrunner for the upcoming season 9.

With Scott M. Gimple stepping away to take a broader role in the hit franchise, Kang has promised a season of The Walking Dead that focuses more on women in positions of leadership, and with season 9 rumored to be Andrew Lincoln’s (Rick Grimes) last, there’s no better time to shift focus to the series’ frustratingly under-served characters.

“We’re going to see our women really step up,” says Kang, “and we’re gonna show a lot of stories about leadership with Maggie, with Michonne, with Carol. And they’re gonna go toe to toe with each other and with our men.” While Maggie’s ascendance to leading the people of Hilltop has given her much to work with, the series still gives short shrift to Carol and Michonne. While everyone is expecting Daryl to take the leadership position, I would love to see Michonne step up as the leader. Michonne is smart, capable, and a fierce warrior. She also has a strong sense of justice that would make her a thoughtful and pragmatic leader of the Alexandrians.

I would also like to see more air time given to Carol, who has been a part of the series since season one. No other character has undergone a metamorphosis quite like Carol, who started the series as an abused housewife. As Carol loses her family, she gains agency and adapts to an increasingly violent world. Carol is a survivor in every sense of the word, so it was a disappointment to see her walk away from the group to go live like a hermit in a cabin in the woods. As one of the only middle-aged warrior women on television, Carol is a vital presence and a rich and layered character that deserves more screentime.

“We’ll see some really complex relationship work,” says Kang, “and I’m so proud of the work that our women are doing on the show, and I’m really excited for our audience to see it because they’re having so much fun with each other. They’re just killing it.” We’ll have to wait and see what big announcements are made (if any) at SDCC this weekend.

(via Entertainment Weekly, image: AMC)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.