Michonne is officially saying goodbye.

Danai Gurira, who played Michonne on The Walking Dead since the third season, has officially announced her departure from the show during the show’s Comic Con panel. She emotionally described her decision as one that involved “a lot of pain” and “a lot of gratitude.”

“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,” she said. “I’m very very thankful for the experience I’ve had in ways that I can’t even express right now. But I would say that my heart does not leave in any way shape or form. The beauty of this family is that the TWD family is forever…I love you guys, I love this show.”

Her decision, she said, was “a very difficult one and it’s not connected to my heart, my heart is right here…it was about my calling and other things I feel called to.” As we reported earlier this year, it was the belief that Gurira might indeed feel called to bigger things now that her on-screen star was rising thanks to Black Panther and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She also has a thriving career on the stage as a playwright.

As for Michonne, you will be able to see her in a “handful of episodes.” She is also likely to appear in some form or fashion in the planned series of The Walking Dead films that will also star Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes.


It’s Official: Danai Gurira Is Leaving ‘The Walking Dead’

Photo: Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images