‘Walking Dead’ Season Finale Introduces New Character, Has the Web Buzzing

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New "Walking Dead" cast member Danai Gurira (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

The season finale of AMC's zombie thriller “The Walking Dead” closed with a bloody battle, the introduction of a new character, and a feeding frenzy of searches on the Web.

Last night's Season 2 ender came to a dramatic conclusion with the surprise introduction of a sword-wielding woman (the better to slice off undead heads) who comes out of nowhere to save Andrea (Laurie Holden) from certain death by zombie.

The character, Michonne, has stepped into the show from the pages of Robert Kirkman’s “Walking Dead” comic series, and will be played next season by the “Treme” actress Danai Gurira. (Last night, the character was played by a stand-in.) The Iowa native born to parents from Zimbabwe has also been in episodes of "Lie to Me," "Law & Order," and "Life on Mars."

The mysterious figure appears as a Grim Reaper-style loner, in a hooded cloak and dragging along with her two jawless, armless zombies in chains. In short, this is the heroine the downtrodden survivors of the zombie apocalypse have been looking for.

And fans went looking for her online, too. Even though Michonne turns up only in the final moments of the episode, searches on the Web skyrocketed after her appearance. Viewers looked up “Walking Dead Michonne,” “The Walking Dead Finale,” and “The Walking Dead Michonne.” 

Kirkman told the Hollywood Reporter that the arrival of the hooded heroine signals to viewers that the show is "transitioning into a new world" where the survivors are "faced with more adversaries, danger, and different kinds of threats" and added that Michonne is a "big part of that."

Season 3 will feature the new character along with British actor David Morrissey, who will play the villainous Governor; it'll also introduce the prison, which is a big setting in the comics and which we caught a glimpse of in the final shot of last night's episode. The series seems to be promising faster-paced action and major zombie drama.

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