‘Walking Dead’ Season 3: Michonne, Governor Shake Up the ‘Ricktatorship’

"The Walking Dead": The Governor (David Morrissey) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) (Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

The Walking Dead” returns for its third season this Sunday, Oct. 14 with the addition of two new characters to the cast — Michonne (Danai Gurira) and the Governor (David Morrissey) — both derived from the graphic novels but re-imagined for the series.

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“The Governor and Michonne open up the whole world,” “The Walking Dead” showrunner Glen Mazarra exclusively tells XfinityTV.com.

“She is a warrior and a bit of a misanthrope — not very good with people. The Governor is a smooth politician with a cruel underside — a very, very smart opponent. It is interesting that when Rick wants to shut out the world, you are suddenly putting these two other characters in play. It adds a lot of twists, surprises and energy to the show.”

Some time has passed between the Season 2 finale in which the farm was overrun with Walkers and the Season 3 premiere. It is evident in the first 5 minutes of the new season that Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) band has become a well-honed unit as they struggle for survival, but food is becoming an issue. They are searching for a locale that, like the farm, will enable them to spend some time, possibly grow some crops and where Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) can, hopefully, deliver her baby.

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Andrea (Laurie Holden), though, is still separated from the main group, but she and Michonne, who creepily keeps two armless Walkers on a chain, have bonded and are now depending on each other for their continued existence.

“As you saw in the last episode of season two, Michonne chooses to save Andrea and then we don’t know what happens next,” Gurira tells XfinityTV.com. “In the next episode, you will see the friendship is still there and is very much intact. They trust each other’s instincts and guts and they live in their strength.”

As described by Mazzara, Michonne is a warrior — and one of the most awesome things about the character is her skill with a Katana sword, which she uses to decapitate Walkers as smoothly as we slice into butter.

“The Katana is far, far cooler and far, far more precise — and scarier — than the broadsword,” says Gurira, comparing her Katana training to that she had for the broadsword in her theater days. “It was intense training. I was finding muscles I didn’t know I had and they were making a lot of noise as I was trained to wield this thing effortlessly. It is not a light instrument.”

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It was the toughness exhibited by Michonne that attracted Gurira, who was born in the U.S. but raised in Zimbabwe, to the role, especially since she considers herself to be a tough girl.

“It is all about, ‘Who would you be in a situation this dire?,” she poses. “There is an interesting logic to me about who she becomes considering the world she is in and the trauma she has endured. When you choose not to become a victim in world that hostile, to me, who she becomes is insanely logical.”

We don’t meet the Governor until the third episode of the season and, while many consider him to be the bad guy this season, that is not how Morrissey sees his character.

“I think he would see himself as doing everything he can to secure his town and people to make sure they are safe,” the British actor says. “That calls for some very tough decisions… He is doing things that people wouldn’t agree with and say is bad or sadistic, but he would say it is all necessary in the sense of security for his own place. I think that is what makes him even more dangerous. That he can justify everything.”

We know that Rick has declared that with the death of Shane and everything that happened leading up to that, that his band of survivors is no longer a democracy, or as some have labeled it, it is now a Ricktatorship!

That said, it isn’t going to just be Rick and the Governor who face off, but according to Morrissey, it is anybody outside of his community of Woodbury.

“Rick has a big community — there are lots of people — Lori, Andrea, Michonne and Daryl (Norman Reedus). There are a lot of people out there with whom he has to iron out relationships, but undoubtedly, Rick is the leader of another group, so there are certain things they need to sort out.”

“The Walking Dead” premieres its third season on Sunday, October 14 at 10/9c on AMC.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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