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Here's How Michonne Could Return To The Walking Dead

Contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 10 episode 13.

Danai Gurira is ready to take a bow, but that doesn't mean she isn't planning an encore.

Last week's Walking Dead was the end for Michonne's (Gurira) journey with the survivors of Alexandria, but just because she's leaving the franchise's flagship series doesn't mean we've seen the last of her samurai sword-wielding badassery in the ever expanding world of The Walking Dead.

Michonne did not end up as a chew toy for some unassuming walker. She didn't even die a warrior's death in a dramatic standoff with villains du jour, the Whisperers. Instead, the series found a convenient way for Gurira to make her exit without eliminating the character from the larger continuity.

On season 10 episode 13, entitled "What We Became," Michonne discovered the first evidence that her partner Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) might still be alive. She radioed back to Judith in Alexandria, and let her daughter know that she's heading north to find "the brave man," a code name for Grimes. By the end of the episode, Michonne is seen with two leashed walkers as guards, joined by a new group of survivors, heading toward a mass of marching humans.

So Michonne marches north, and out of the flagship series, but don't count her out of the entire franchise just yet. With The Walking Dead expanding to include a third television series and a trilogy of feature films, chances are good that Gurira's Michonne will turn up in one or more of these future iterations.

So how will it happen, exactly? How will series overlord Scott M. Gimple insert Michonne back into the action? At this point, we can only speculate, but here are some of the possibilities.

Michonne follows Morgan onto Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead was the first show to spin off from the flagship series. At its inception, Fear set out to explore the very beginning of the zombie apocalypse that already held the world in its grasp on season 1 of The Walking Dead. On the original series, Rick Grimes spent the early months of the apocalypse in a coma. By the time he awakened, society had already collapsed; that left a nice, gaping hole in the timeline for Fear the Walking Dead to explore.

The prequel conceit didn't last, however. As Fear the Walking Dead sustained its popularity, accruing successive renewals year after year, Gimple decided that the best path forward was to "catch up" with the flagship series.

In terms of continuity, it wouldn't be impossible for Michonne to link up with the crew from Fear after marching north out of Alexandria in search of Rick, but there are reasons to remain dubious that this will be her destiny. Unlike Morgan (Lennie James), who made the transition from one show to the next as a planned crossover event devised by the showrunners, Gurira has made it clear that she elected to exit The Walking Dead to focus on her playwriting and her exploding movie career. It wouldn't make much sense to bounce from one episodic show in The Walking Dead universe only to immediately commit to another.

Because it clashes with Gurira's previous statements about her departure, we rate the probability of this one extremely low.

An older, veteran Michonne makes a cameo on The Walking Dead: World Beyond

The new series coming to the world of The Walking Dead some time in 2020 (per The Wrap) is entitled The Walking Dead: World Beyond. As previously reported, instead of dipping back into the apocalypse's past, World Beyond has its eye on the future. The new series plans to explore the zombie apocalypse ten years after the start of The Walking Dead through the eyes of a young cast of characters — the first generation to grow up among the dead.

It would certainly be odd if the writers decided to let Michonne off the hook in episode 13 only to kill her offscreen. With that in mind, it's certainly possible that she will still be around, swinging swords in the time of World Beyond. So will we see an older, seasoned Michonne popping in to school World Beyond's young heroes? It isn't out of the question, but if it happens, it will likely be down the road. The creative team responsible for World Beyond hasn't said anything to suggest that we will see any characters crossing over from The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead. According to Forbes, the new series is only intended to run for 20 episodes. That doesn't leave much storytelling time for World Beyond to scoop up a stray from an adjacent series.

If World Beyond is a big enough hit to merit an extension beyond its initial 20-episode run, anything's possible, but as things stand we rate the probability of this outcome moderately low.

Michonne reunites with Rick in one of the forthcoming The Walking Dead movies

Ever since Grimes' season 9 departure from The Walking Dead, AMC has been up front with its intention to produce a trilogy of movies exploring this key character's fate. Up until season 10 episode 13, clues about the plots of these movies were pretty scarce. We knew Rick had been rescued by a mysterious helicopter that had been stalking the Alexandrian survivors for at least half a season. We also know that Jadis, the cryptic leader of the garbage people who played a role in Alexandria's war with Negan's Saviors, had some pre-existing connection to the group operating the helicopter.

When Michonne discovered that drawing with the Japanese lettering (per ScreenRant), she turned up yet another important clue. Up until that moment, Rick was presumed dead by all of his former people in Alexandria. Even his partner, Michonne, couldn't have imagined that he might still be out there. Now that she knows, there's likely nothing that will keep her from learning the truth.

"Sword-wielding survivor discovers that her lover, long presumed dead, may still be alive somewhere in the vast unexplored expanse of the zombie apocalypse?" Sounds like a pretty compelling set up for a trilogy of films. We rate the probability of this outcome high. Stay tuned for any future details about the secretive Walking Dead film trilogy, currently in development.