The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira on Her “Bittersweet” Final Season as Michonne

Exiting The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira admits stepping away after eight seasons is “excruciating” and “bittersweet.”

“I don’t have a clue who I would be if I hadn’t had the opportunity to walk this walk,” the Michonne star said at Paley Fest New York on Saturday. “It’s excruciating, it’s bittersweet... The connection to this world never ends to me.”

Gurira was also on hand for TWD Season 10 panel at New York Comic Con, where Gurira opened up about wrapping her final season.

“I have finished with my time shooting. It was a really interesting transition,” Gurira said. “You wake up for a few days, you’re like, ‘Huh?’ Michonne, she’s in me, she’s in my bone marrow... It’s that sort of transition where you;re like, ‘Oh, it’s the day after.’ So, I’ve been in the day after for a while.”

The star, who was sent off TWD with a party that included a gigantic Michonne cake and an hour-long fireworks show courtesy of co-star Norman Reedus, also reflected on the “amazing fandom” that makes up part of TWD Family.

“The beauty of my journey has been all about this amazing fandom. Right from the jump I was embraced by the fans,” Gurira said. “I just had moved to Atlanta, Georgia, I had never been to the city before, I was stepping into this juggernaut... I was standing on a road with [Andrea actress] Laurie Holden... this car drives by and they go, ‘We love you, Danai! We love you, Laurie!’ I was like, ‘What? They know my name? They love me already?’”

“That invigorated me to give my all,” she continued. “I love you guys and will always love you guys, thank you.”

Gurira first publicly confirmed Season 10 would be her last when appearing at San Diego Comic-Con in July.

“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,” Gurira told Hall H. “I’m very, very thankful for the experience I’ve had in ways that I can’t even express right now. My heart does not leave in any way shape or form.”

How Michonne exits remains a closely guarded secret. According to executive producer Denise Huth, Michonne’s final season storyline is one that will give rise to “a whole bunch of other questions.” Showrunner Angela Kang can only promise “epic sh-t” from Michonne in year ten.

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“I cannot really say much about that. Just please watch,” Kang previously told EW. “We know that this is Danai’s final season and there’s going to be some really cool epic sh-t, is what I can say.”

The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.