Sunday's milestone episode of The Walking Dead featured another major departure of a beloved character, and fans are paying tribute.
The day we all knew was coming finally arrived when Danai Gurira's iconic character Michonne finally made her grand exit -- in expectedly surreal fashion: Exploring Michonne's path through life and how things could have turned out differently.
The episode -- which extensively featured hallucinations that were made up of reimagined and repurposed footage from past episodes, told from different perspectives -- was something of a testament to Michonne's impact on the series, and fans didn't fail to extol the virtues of the character and Gurira's powerful performance throughout the entire series.
"13 minutes into the episode and she’s already trending. Her impact 🔥 #TheWalkingDead" on Twitter user pointed out, showing the level of love and interest the character and her departure generated across the world on Sunday.
"Just watched Michonne’s final episode of #TheWalkingDead. I’m speechless. My mind is absolutely blown. I cried multiple times," a fan page for The Walking Dead tweeted ahead of Sunday's episode. "Incredible last episode for one of the greatest #TWD characters ever!"
Just watched Michonne’s final episode of #TheWalkingDead..— TWD Fan Page (@FTWDFans) March 21, 2020
I’m speechless. My mind is absolutely blown. I cried multiple times.
Incredible last episode for one of the greatest #TWD characters ever! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/W5WaTZmMXk
"Her name is michonne. forever our katana queen," another user wrote, referring to the character's penchant for samurai swords when it comes to decapitating the undead. "THANK YOU DANAI GURIRA #TWD"
Here are a few of the most heartfelt and adoring fan tributes to the beloved character and the celebrated actress who portrayed for her eight seasons.
I am very sad that this is the last episode of Danai/Michonne. I can't direct it yet... I wish a lot of happiness to Danai Gurira who is an excellent actress. And I hope that Michonne will have a very good ending worthy of Danai she played for 8 years. I will miss her ❤️👸🏿#TWD pic.twitter.com/1Y8NlJSrCM— 𝒫ℯ𝓉ℯ𝓇 🗽 (@PeletierGrimes) March 23, 2020
Danai Gurira showcases her phenomenal talent in tonight’s #TWD and gives Michonne an exit that really, in my opinion, could not have been done better. I’d go as far to say as it’s one of the best episodes of the show. Watch it!!— Kayla (@jaimeofoldstone) March 23, 2020
michonne is & will always be one of the greatest characters in twd pic.twitter.com/SBGQOT4Ngr— katie (@chmblers) March 20, 2020
She brought Rick back from a dark place— Niamh ⎊ (@GillansGalaxy) March 22, 2020
She was Carl's best friend
She raised Judith as her own
She brought RJ into the world
She's more than just a chick with a sword!
We love you Michonne Grimes💞 #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/OkTw4i0nuK
To Danai Gurira,— The Walking Dead World (@TWalkingDWorld) March 23, 2020
Thank you for being part of this crazy world we call #TheWalkingDead. For embracing the fans and celebrating the #TWDFamily. For bringing Michonne to life and for showing us what strength, leadership, and vulnerability looks like.
Thank for being our Michonne. pic.twitter.com/D7LPO0vOGd
danai gurira has spent 89 episodes portraying michonne grimes beautifully. one of the best fictional characters of all time portrayed by a superbly talented actress. i’m gonna miss her so much #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/mKVvmZfWm1— Patrick (@memeforhire) March 23, 2020
Danai’s acting, the score & cinematography, the revisiting of old #TWD scenes in a crazy new way, Michonne leaving to find Rick..— TWD Fan Page (@FTWDFans) March 23, 2020
Everything about Michonne’s final episode was absolutely incredible. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/S3zrkMbpAD
Gurira first announced her departure from the series during last year's San Diego Comic Con in July. She later opened up to ET about what leaving the show meant, and how hard it was to make the announcement in the first place.
"I will always look at it as TWD forever in my mind," she shared of her bond with the cast and crew while talking with ET at the season 10 premiere in September. "We love each other. I'm part of a family. It never ends. I'll never leave this family. That's how I hold it in my heart."
"It was very difficult to tell that to the audience and I struggled through it because it wasn't an easy decision to make," Gurira added in regards to her Comic Con announcement. "But it was time for me to start exploring other aspects of what I do as a storyteller."
"I’ve had an amazing time. I love the arc that [Michonne] got to take, and the way that she gets to exit the show is really special," she added.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.