Amongst all the bromances, and actual romances on AMC’s The Walking Dead, is the show lacking in female friendships?
In the early seasons of The Walking Dead we saw some amazing – and groundbreaking in the genre – female characters, and some powerful friendships between them.
The friendship between Lori and Carol was important not only in the development of Carol – allowing her support to move on from Ed and deal with the loss of Sophia – but also in showing us Lori as a woman outside of the love triangle with Shane and Rick.
Season 3 gave us one of the most pivotal relationships on the show with the friendship between Andrea and Michonne. It was a friendship that changed everything, providing the link between Woodbury and the prison, and of course, introducing Michonne to Rick.
After the fall of the prison, we saw a deep bond form between Maggie and Sasha. At first bonding over the loss of their siblings in season 5, we then saw them become a vital support for each other after Negan’s brutal murders of their partners Abe and Glenn.
Inevitably though, all these friendships have been a casualty of the battle for survival as Lori, Andrea, and then Sasha were killed, cutting the friendships off in their prime. One might then assume that the women left would be seen drawing together and forming even stronger friendships between each other. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
With the divisions in the communities which came with Negan’s reign of terror, we actually saw a greater split in the relationships of the leading women, and the focus fell on their relationships with men. Maggie at Hilltop was supported by Jesus and dealing with Gregory; Carol at the Kingdom was concentrating on Ezekiel and their son Henry; and, of course, Michonne and Rick were a force to be reckoned with at Alexandria.
Although it was always implied that these three women had a strong bond, we rarely saw it on-screen. While Michonne and Maggie had shared several scenes, it’s shocking to realize that Carol and Michonne didn’t even share a conversation on the screen until season 6 of The Walking Dead.
After Rick’s departure last season, the relationship between the female leads became even more fractured with Maggie leaving to assist Georgie, and a rift forming between a grieving Michonne and her former family members, resulting in Michonne refusing to assist the Kingdom in a time of need.
Although much of that rift was resolved due to the pressing threat of the Whisperers, and the shared grief caused by the pike deaths, we still didn’t see the depth of friendship between Michonne and Carol, that we saw with each of them and Daryl.
Now that Michonne is leaving The Walking Dead, it’s unlikely to be something that will be focused on in the latter half of season 10. However, there is hope in the return of Lauren Cohan as Maggie at some point in the near future.
This could allow for some powerful re-connection and pairing up between the two longest-serving female leads, Carol and Maggie. Hopefully this may also ripple out and result in more female friendships being highlighted on screen.
It would be nice to see Rosita form a strong friendship with fellow fighters Magna or Yumiko, and away from her daddy drama. We saw Carol hug Connie and approve of her friendship with Daryl, so perhaps we could see more of that bond without the man in the middle. Perhaps too, Maggie could be the one to win over a distrustful Kelly, on her return to Hilltop.
Whatever happens, we know the loss of Michonne will leave a big hole in The Walking Dead universe and it would be a great opportunity to see the women bond together more as they share the burden of leadership. Although it seems unlikely any of them will be inviting Alpha to any girly nights in for cocktails and karaoke.