A fan favorite character will be joining the cast of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Season 3 and we now know who will be playing him or her, but If you haven’t watched the season 2 finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” please STOP READING NOW! We’re serious, because we’re about to announce the casting of a character who was introduced in that episode who may come as a surprise to some.

So last chance…

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!! DO NOT SCROLL DOWN BELOW THIS POINT IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE FINALE!

Tonight’s Season Finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was full of surprises including a couple reveals in the last ten minutes that were likely to send fans of the comic books into spasms of excitement.

In a climactic scene as Laurie Holden’s Andrea is about to get chomped by a zombie, she gets saved with the sword slice of a character every fan of the “Walking Dead” comic book has been waiting for since the series started. The camera pulls back to reveal a shadowy female figure in a cloak covering her face with two zombies chained to her, which is a pretty cool image in itself (inspired by the image at left). Those who never read any of the comics were probably just wowed by that, but everyone who has read the comics knew immediately that this was Michonne, the bad-ass with a samurai sword who has proven herself to be tougher than most of the men trying to survive the zombie hordes.

Up until now, it’s been kept a fairly guarded secret when she might be revealed, plus they have kept the identity of the actress who would eventually play her an even bigger secret, but during AMC’s “Talking Dead” show that followed the season finale, “Walking Dead” creator and the show’s executive producer Robert Kirkman revealed the identity of the actress who would play Michonne and it’s…

Danai Gurira!!

The name may only be familiar if you watch HBO’s New Orleans drama “Treme” because she’s appeared on six episodes, but Ms. Gurira has been making small appearances on television shows and in movies for years. Getting the gig as Michonne is huge and is very likely to make her a household name if the show keeps doing as well for AMC as it has the last two seasons.

To tie into her introduction on the show, there’s also a six-page Michonne origin story in the April issue of Playboy Magazine on newsstands now.

(Photo sources: PNP/HRS/WENN.com)

Stay tuned for more information about the third season of “The Walking Dead” as it’s announced but for now, you can read the official AMC press release about the casting of Michonne below:

AMC has cast actress Danai Gurira (Treme/The Visitor) in the coveted role of Michonne in its original series, The Walking Dead. Tonights season two finale first featured the iconic character who will reappear in season three of the AMC series. Michonne, a fan favorite from Robert Kirkmans comic book series, is a mysterious woman armed with a sword.

The Walking Dead tells the story of the months and years after a zombie apocalypse, following a group of survivors who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The series goes on to explore the challenges of life in a world overrun by walkers, where the interpersonal conflicts often present a greater danger than anything else and over time, the characters grow willing to do almost anything to survive.

The Walking Dead received rave reviews from countless critics, both domestically and internationally. Above all else, The Walking Dead hasn’t lost the most important ingredient in its strangely successful recipe: its thrilling (The Hollywood Reporter). with Deads riveting cast of characters, the personal dynamics are almost as potent as the gory thrills (US Weekly). The Walking Dead is a feast. Dig in.(The Guardian- UK). It doesnt even take three minutes to realize that this series is setting standards (Der Tagesspiegel-Germany).

The Walking Dead secured a 2010 Golden Globe nomination for best television series and won the 2011 Emmy award for outstanding prosthetic make-up. It is executive produced by Glen Mazzara, Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman and Dave Alpert.

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