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Richonne: Good or Bad for Michonne's Development?

Discussion in 'Michonne / Danai Gurira' started by QueenOfAlexandria, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. QueenOfAlexandria

    QueenOfAlexandria Post-Apocalyptic Power Couples Rule!
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    I wasn't sure if I needed to put this in this thread or in the Richonne thread. But since this will mainly focus on Michonne, then I guess it goes here. If not, I don't mind a moderator moving it to the right place.

    So, let's get started. I'm not talking about whether Richonne is a good pairing or not. Or if the way they ended up together is anything to smile about. We all have varying opinions on the latter, but I'd imagine most of us can all agree on the former. I don't want to rehash the whole thing, but I'm curious about something else. Examining the issues in other canon relationships in other shows have made me look more closely at Richonne, especially when it comes to the relationships that followed the friends to lovers trope much like Richonne did. One of the glaring issues that have bothered me with those relationships is what sparked this discussion.

    Do you guys think Michonne's relationship with Rick has hindered her own individual character development in the show? Do you think that while Richonne is a healthy relationship, it hasn't done much of anything for Michonne as an individual character?

    Personally, I think Michonne's relationship with Rick has made her a more well-rounded character. I don't think her being with Rick has taken away from who she is nor do I think she's OOC now that she's with Rick. The same person we saw in S3 wanting to see things for herself to gain personal clarity is still here. The same woman who isn't afraid to disagree with her best friend is still here; just because they're in a romantic relationship together hasn't changed that part of her personality. I don't commend the writers for much, but I will commend them for allowing Michonne the chance to maintain her personality even though she's with Rick. I've seen many TV shows where that's not the case; I've recently dropped some TV shows because those writers don't feel the same way. But Michonne still has her own agency and she's still the same person we know. Whether or not you feel the writers can do more with her is another story. We can all agree the writers can do more with her, but that's not the point.

    Do you feel like her relationship with Rick has adversely affected her characterization? Thoughts?
     
  2. MrsG

    MrsG The New Mrs. Grimes

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    Michonne is the same badass she was pre-Richonne; strong, independent and strategic. She was always a leader and never shied away from the difficult decisions. She and Rick will be a force to be reckoned with as they lead Alexandria. She was never Rick's 'yes (wo)man' she challenges Rick when needed, and will get down and dirty with the best of them. She's not afraid to put in work. I would argue Michonne has strengthened Rick and propelled his character growth. Michonne "...shit never stopped being together." :flirt:

    The writers have done a great job of keeping her well-rounded and levelheaded. Michonne combines smarts, sex appeal, compassion, and intelligence all in one. I think she's the most well written woman character on the show in that she has a dash of everything, whereas the other women have one or two characteristics or traits, Michonne HAS it all and has DONE it all. Her warrior status solidified, I can't wait to witness her greatness in her next round of adventures with her bae Rick by her side. :richonne:
     
  3. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    I feel like her relationship with Rick is an extension of where she has come as an individual character. She opened up her heart, slowly, figured out what she wanted for her. So I don't think they're mutually exclusive.

    Now, do I think the show uses Richonne now as a means to satisfy Michonne fans without giving as much attention to her as an individual? Eh, not really. I know some people feel this way, and I have at times, but season 7 did a lot to alleviate my concerns to be honest.

    I was pleased Michonne had time away from Rick in 7.04 in 7.07 for her to figure things out on her own. We got flashes of season 3 and early season 4 Michonne who operated solo. That was her way of dealing with this new threat -- but then she ultimately realized she wanted to do this as a team. With Rick.

    HOWEVER -- for the love of all that is Michonne, why can't she have a friend outside the Grimes family? I love the Grimes 2.0 dynamic (clearly), but I would kill to see Michonne grow closer with another character. Anyone at this point. I'd prefer another lady (Maggie, Sasha, Carol, Rosita) but I'd even take one of the guys (Gabriel, Jesus, Eugene, Aaron, etc.) But this is a grievance I have with the show in general. The characters don't seem to have friendships outside of their tight cliques.

    In answer to the OP, nah. I don't think Richonne has hurt Michonne as an individual, because we saw plenty of Michonne outside of being with Rick before she got with him -- so it wasn't what she was always about. Her relationship with Rick is just new (only since 610) and is a vital part of who she wants to be and where she is going.
     
  4. Cousin Peaches

    Cousin Peaches Nestled in Rick's Beard

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    No, and I think most of the people who say this just don't want/like her with Rick.

    *Happy New Year* :margarita:
     
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  5. candi18z

    candi18z Den Mother

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    Characters must have relationships in order for there to be any development. A character with no ties or no relationship with anyone is a character that is stuck and will easily be sidelined or replaced. Michonne's relationship with Rick is part of her growth as a character. For some strange reason Michonne is held to a different standard than the other female characters. Some fans want her to be an asexual character that kills Zombies, but is alone. She can't be strong and be in love. She can't be vulnerable or soft in any way or she will be weak. She must be stoic and strong all of the time or she is becoming weak, yet Carol, Maggie or Rosita are shipped with men all of the time and they can be vulnerable too. Everyone wants them to be paired up with a romantic partner and still fight Zombies. Michonne is the only female character on TWD that must be alone or she'll lose her strength.

    It seems to me like some fans have a problem with Richonne and they are using the old "Strong Black Woman"trope as an excuse because they are not comfortable with an interracial relationship but they won't admit it.
     
  6. winter

    winter Slopping Pigs

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    I agree and it's a shame because the cast have such great chemistry.
     
  7. ALDGRichonneLover

    ALDGRichonneLover "I wanted it to be ours, me and you"
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    In answer to the OPs question, the Richonne relationship has NOT hindered Michonne's development as a character. They have only been together technically for a few weeks including the time frame when Negan happened after they went canon. Why is it that only Michonne's status as a character is questioned by being with Rick when I don't recall any other TF ladies being put into question once they were in a relationship? It gets tiresome actually..

    Rick doesn't make Michonne less viable as a character because she has been viable and growing as a character since her first epic introduction back in S3. I loved her back then and became a HUGE fan since that day one iconic intro, long before Rick/Richonne happened. We have watched the journey of Michonne from hardened warrior, loner who resisted being part of a group who carried around pet walker's after her son's tragic death, to her friendship with Andrea, meeting Rick and TF and opening herself up again to commumity and along the way family, with TF/ Grimes 2.0. We watched her relationship with Rick evolve and change from adversaries, to friends, to besties and family to lovers. Being with Rick and Grimes 2.0 has allowed Michonne to tap into the side of herself, lost when Andre/Mike/Terry were taken from her during the ZA. She is allowed softness, vulnerability, love, hope, sensuality/sexuality (Michonne has ALWAYS been sexy/sensual and on point but her sexiness/sensuality has ratched up with Rick) her mothering and caring/loving side, while still maintaining her fearlessness, "my shit never stopped being together" boss warrior swag, her will to fight and get down and dirty with the best of them, her independence and critical thinking/strategic skills, the fact that she will still challenge Rick and speak her mind, all which she has not lost just because she is in a relationship with Rick. He complements and highlights her in many ways and she elevates him and makes him stronger as an individual character with her by his side.
    In fact, Michonnes relationship with Rick makes Michonne far more dangerous than before because she will fight and kill for her family. She now has a family and relationship to fight for than being an emotionless killer. This was evidenced in Service, Sing Me A Song and Hearts Still Beating. Michonne is still Michonne, she just is choosing to be all in with Rick because she no longer wishes to do things alone, or her way, and she is madly and deeply in love with him. Definitely a change from S3 Michonne even though glimmers of this Michonne peaked through due to the AbeGlenn traumas/Negan situation. Seeing her so vulnerable with Rick and letting her guard completely down, allowing other aspects of Michonne, that of mother, woman, lover, friend, confidant, partner, leader, sexual being to shine through due to her relationship with Rick has been wonderful and thrilling to watch for her. She chose happiness for herself, what and who she wanted, and that is Rick and Grimes 2.0. She said as much in East with her "I m not losing this" to Rick. Michonne has become a full fleshed out character and very well rounded comparatively speaking to other characters. Being in a relationship brings out other aspects of a person. I know some want to keep her in the stereotypical BW trope of too strong for love, single, badassed warrior zombie killer, which completely and utterly negates and diminishes Michonne as a woman who is loved, valued and cherished and as a mother since she was all this prior to the ZA. The idea of Michonne showing any other trait other than badassery for some makes her "weak" but what some folks really mean is that Michonne showing human vulnerabilties and emotions other than stoicism with Rick, an IR pairing, makes them uncomfortable for some reason. Whatevs..

    Now, would I love to see more about Michonne's previous life? Hells yes! There hasn't been much about her with the exception of the dream in After. We don't even know her last name or what she did for a living! (Side eyeing Kirkman for that one). So knowing more about Michonne would be awesome and why I want the Andre talk to happen. I want to hear HER thoughts about him, and her life pre- ZA. This would go a long way in fleshing out Michonnne individually as a mother and her past as well. In addition, I would love her to have more friends.and conversations outside of Grimes 2.0 like Doctor Grimes pointed out. I saw the beginnings with Gleggie and Daryl and when she went looking for Sasha with Rosita. But all of that was dropped along the way. Gimple.seems to have a hard time with his characters actually speaking to each other. The friendships are lacking for everyone and not just with Michonne. I would love for her to mix it up with Aaron, Father G, Sasha, Eugene, more Magonne/Sashonne, and Daryl. TF needs to act more like TF and I am hoping this character aspect gets more focus with 7B.

    Michonne will hopefully be right next to Rick, loving, planning, strategizing, and kicking ass for 7B and beyond, while still maintaining and showcasing through individual character arcs and dialogue, her individuality and growth as a woman, lover, friend, warrior, mother, and co-leader. This I want for Michonne.
     
    #7 ALDGRichonneLover, Jan 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  8. Patty Ran

    Patty Ran Watchtower Sniper

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    If a character has no unique bond with any one else on the show, there is really no room for development. The audience would not be as invested in the character either. A classic example of this is T-Dog. That guy was around for three seasons, yet had no special bonding with anyone, and when he died, I was like, T-Dog, who?! And this was when he wasn't even a distinct loner. He was always part of TF. Yet, somehow not really.
    Michonne started off as a loner and her arc development mainly was bonding with TF. Her being friends with Andrea, then Carl, Rick, Daryl and Hershel gave her depth. I believe this is important, because just sword-wielding will get boring after a while, as sexy as it is to see.
    So her relationship with Rick gives her another layer of development. Almost all women in the show have had relationships until now, except for Michonne. So this was her step forward.
    So far, the writers haven't done too terribly with her individual arc. In season 5, when Rick refuses Alexandria, Michonne says she wants to go see for herself. She did the same thing with The Saviors. [Although they could have shaped that arc a little better.] I hope they don't take away from her in the forthcoming seasons. That is my main worry. If they just have her stand next to Rick the whole time with barely any dialog and almost no individual story, that will be a sad, sad day for TWD. I hope that scenario never occurs.
     
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  9. QueenOfAlexandria

    QueenOfAlexandria Post-Apocalyptic Power Couples Rule!
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    You brought up T-Dog, and that's a perfect example of characters needing to bond with other characters or else they're going to drift off into obscurity. Even though he sacrificed himself to save Carol, he still didn't make much of a splash in the general scheme of things. He was just there. He was ultimately forgettable, which is sad because the potential was there.

    Going by that last part, I absolutely agree with you. Hopefully, the writers won't shaft us like that in the future. The chance is always there, but I would hope not. I'm putting a little bit of uncharacteristic faith in the writers where Michonne's individual characterization is concerned. Luckily, I don't see Danai allowing that to happen. She just strikes me as the type who fights for her character when it comes to anything that may come off as OOC. As for the other scenario of her just standing there, I'd imagine that would probably happen if other areas of the show continue to weaken. Meaning - if we have to go through Hell just to get more screen time for her and Rick and other primary characters, then it might happen. If her characterization suffers in that way, then I'd imagine it's probably gonna be the case for everyone involved. In which case, I won't be happy but I won't be as pissed off as I could be. Hopefully, we won't have another 7A situation on our hands. The writers could always screw us, but I'm hoping they won't.
     
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  10. QueenOfAlexandria

    QueenOfAlexandria Post-Apocalyptic Power Couples Rule!
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    Most of us have that same issue. Michonne doesn't have any other friends outside of her immediate family, which has always bugged me. But for some strange reason, Gimple & Co. don't feel like it's necessary for Team Family to actually interact and communicate like a family. None of these people talk to each other anymore. Even if they're not close, they could still talk to each other. Build up the interpersonal dynamics again like we had in the earlier seasons. I know everything's happening so fast, but there is always enough time to have these people talk to each other.
     
  11. ALDGRichonneLover

    ALDGRichonneLover "I wanted it to be ours, me and you"
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    Yep, T-Dog is a great example given. I know un popular, but I liked T-Dog and wished he were not treated like a rando and not given any development, just a a foil for Merle to showcase his racist tendencies (and I loved Merle and his cray). He was never given any background or propelled foward, he just existed. And he was sacrificed for Carol. I can't see DG/Michonne going this route unless it's like 7A when every character including the main Rick MFing Grimes, was pretty much sidelined (except for the bottles with Tara, Carol/Morgan and Daryl) by the focus on Negan and the Saviors. I am hoping that TPTB understand just how important Michonne is not only to Rick but as a character unto herself and to TWD canvas and story. They have a goldmine with Danai she can do it all as Michonne, so I am hoping she will continue to have focus and an individual POV with and without Rick during 7B and after.
     
    #11 ALDGRichonneLover, Jan 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
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  12. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    Yeah, it's ridiculous. I can only think of a few friendships/relationships/interactions on the show that have been capitalized on/developed/that feel "genuine":

    Since Gimple took over (so post-401)...
    Glenn and Maggie
    Glenn and Tara
    Tara and Eugene
    Eugene and Abraham
    Abraham and Rosita
    Abraham and Sasha
    Daryl and Carol
    Rick and Daryl
    Rick and Michonne
    Rick and Carl (but not so much anymore... ugh)
    Carl and Michonne
    Carl and Enid
    Morgan and Carol
    Rick and Gabriel
    Rick and Carol

    Otherwise the interactions seem very shallow, interchangeable, neglected, or brand new (like Maggie and Sasha; Ezekiel and Carol; etc.).
     
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  13. QueenOfAlexandria

    QueenOfAlexandria Post-Apocalyptic Power Couples Rule!
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    Fortunately, I think Danai has more clout than that. Which is why I never worry about her going out the way T-Dog did, because I don't see Danai not fighting that. No one even brings T-Dog up anymore; he wasn't a boring character, but the writers never felt the need for him to establish any real connections to anyone else. I absolutely believe he was only meant to serve as a foil for Merle, which is awful in of itself because why? I never appreciate when writers use Black characters to prop up and progress the story of their White counterparts. I've never been a fan of that, because it's gross. Even more so when it's to serve the story of a proud racist like Merle.

    Gimple & Co. just have the wrong vision, tbh. They don't know how to manage their time wisely so they waste it on unnecessary screen time for other characters. When that happens, everyone else suffers. The first halfs of these seasons are always bad because most of these episodes are forgettable with the exception of a few moments here or there. This may be an unpopular opinion, but 4A was probably the last first half they've written where the pacing was better. There was also still an emphasis on character development for primary characters. Anything post-S5 and the first halfs were wasted with the focus on unnecessary screen time for other characters. They did that in 7A too but it just seemed less tolerable this time around for some reason, and I just hope they listen to the critics because this is asinine.
     
  14. ALDGRichonneLover

    ALDGRichonneLover "I wanted it to be ours, me and you"
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    I agree! I will add Rick and Aaron, since he has been Team Rick from the get go. And I have LOVED all of their interactions since The Distance. Rick has come to to rely on Aaron especially during Daryls captivity and become a trusted friend and confidant Daryl and Aaron had a nice build up with scouting for more people, but dropped to fuel Daryls never ending man pain. And Aaron was there for Maggie during Glenn dumpstergate that was dropped as well.
     
  15. QueenOfAlexandria

    QueenOfAlexandria Post-Apocalyptic Power Couples Rule!
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    What's bad is that you're right. Even though I love the idea of Sasha/Maggie, they started out developing that dynamic in S4 but then they just dropped it. Most of the current dynamics aren't consistent, so I guess it's a good thing that Michonne doesn't have any friends outside of the Grimes because how long would it last? With the fact that so many people are being killed off, how long would any of Michonne's friendships last if she were to have at least one friend? I'm glad Rick and Michonne are technically friends; it's sad, because I feel like that's the only friendship that may continue on because I don't see Rick dying any time soon. But with everyone else, I always worry about that because the writers don't care enough to keep on characters with potential. So at any given time, any of these other people could die. With the exception of a select few, the writers view most of these characters as expendable anyway. So while I would love to see everyone (especially Michonne) develop and cultivate more friendships, I worry about the duration of these dynamics. What's the point in getting invested in any friendships the writers give us if one (or both) character (s) end up dying by the end of the season anyway? So while I mourn the family aspect of the earlier seasons, I guess there's a silver lining to the fact that Michonne doesn't have any deep bonds with anyone outside of her immediate family. If she makes one friend and they die, I doubt the writers would spend any necessary time exploring her grief as a result of that.
     
  16. MamaGrimes

    MamaGrimes 100% Certified Shipper Trash
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    I think Sasha and Maggie's friendship is one of the more consistent relationships on the show. They bonded after the fall of the prison while searching for Glenn (I still re-watch their awesome fight scene against the walkers with the street signs) and then they shared grief during 5x10 as well as healing at the end. Maggie helped Sasha with the prayer circle in 5x16 as well. Now season 6 was a hot mess where most relationships fell apart but I'm happy they have them together at Hilltop.

    Now, regarding the OP, Michonne is one of the most developed characters on the show as we've seen her progress from someone who shut herself off from others all the way to becoming part of a family unit as well as a leader in her community. Falling in love is simply a part of that forward trajectory.

    7a was fantastic for Michonne fans because, as stated above, she had her own arc as she was figuring things out. It was clear that Rick was devastated and a bit lost from the estrangement from Michonne and he was only half himself. We saw Michonne validate Rick with her kiss in 7x5, which tells me that she doesn't shy away from initiating conversations or affection (again, opening herself up), AND that she has the power to build up a formidable leader when he's been torn down.

    7x8 was a revelation to me as a Michonne fan. If anyone had any doubts, re-watch that episode. Michonne went out by herself (she's courageous) to scout enemy territory (she's still a strategist). She got the intel she looked for, didn't shy away from executing a woman (she hasn't grown soft) and then returned to Alexandria to give her man a call to arms speech that he simply couldn't turn away from.

    Michonne is the key. Andy himself called her that. Seven seasons in and to be called that?

    I'd say her development is just fine, thank you very much.
     
  17. Patty Ran

    Patty Ran Watchtower Sniper

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    I thought her interaction with Daryl in season 4 was quite nice, and they were on their way to becoming good friends. After the Claimers, it were the Grimes, Michonne and Daryl together. It was perfect setup for Michonne and Daryl's friendship to become stronger. Then, I thought the writers didn't really go anywhere with it. :(
     
  18. Eliziane

    Eliziane Walker Bait

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    I am in doubt because based on what has been presented so far the Michonne has been only the shelter for Rick and mother for his children so and wait to see what will happen.
     
  19. ALDGRichonneLover

    ALDGRichonneLover "I wanted it to be ours, me and you"
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    [​IMG]

    Yes, and yes Mamma Grimes!
     
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  20. MamaGrimes

    MamaGrimes 100% Certified Shipper Trash
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    I have to disagree with you on that one. Since canon:

    Michonne was behind Rick's decision to give Jesus more time to convince Gregory to deal with them showing that she has influence over his leadership.

    Michonne was one of the soldiers who took out the Saviors at the outpost in 6x12. She wasn't a shelter or babysitter in those scenes for sure.

    Michonne assisted Maggie and Glenn with setting up the ASZ defenses before chasing after Daryl in 6x15. A move she made without consulting with Rick and with no kids in sight.

    Michonne looked a murderer in the eye and didn't cower. She taught herself how to use a sniper rifle telling me she has big plans for Negan. She gathered intel on the Saviors and she helped to convince Rick to go to war.

    All is well with Michonne.