The Walking Dead has adopted a new theme for its fourth season – sustainability. And the most obvious manifestation of this theme is Flame, Michonne’s new horse, who was revealed in a new still released by AMC.

“One of the most compelling images is Michonne finding a new and possibly a lot more reliable type of transportation…It goes along with the new approach this season of sustainability. With a horse, you can go through the woods. You can get around obstacles…It’s actually a much more useful choice. Not only that, but Michonne looks badass on it,” executive producer Gale Anne Hurd told Entertainment Weekly.

For actress Danai Gurira, the horse meant a new source of freedom for her character, Michonne, but it also meant a lot of work for Gurira, who had to learn how to ride for the role.

“Then it was just crunch time, and I was like, I’ve just got to do this. It’s man over beast. I realize I’ve been given dominion over the animals and I’m going to take my dominion,” Gurira explained to EW.

Getting comfortable on a horse wasn’t easy, and Gurira worried that she wouldn’t be ready in time. But, now that she’s successfully ridden the horse as Michonne for the show, Gurira says she loves riding and can see how the horse would become important to Michonne.

“I love it. I love it now. And I totally get why Michonne would love it. It’s such a freeing experience, it’s you and this one creature and you don’t have to talk. And it does what you say, but it’s also this old being and it gets you were you need to go. It has this perfect function. It’s just a fantastic animal. So, I so get why she would jump on it and feel free. It’s like going into her man cave,” Gurira said.

Michonne will need all the power she can get, as executive producer Robert Kirkman hinted that the horse-ridding bad girl might be getting herself into trouble this season.

“Michonne in particular is going to have quite a bit going on with her because of that loss [Andrea’s death]. As we meet Michonne coming back this season, she’s on a mission to hunt down the Governor. It’s something she’s very obsessed with. It’s a big part of her character this season. She did lose Andrea and she lost her because of the Governor. She’s not willing to let that guy go or be out there. It’s something that might possibly be to her detriment, the fact that she’s so dedicated to finding this person. That’s something that very much informs her character this season,” Kirkman said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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