Michonne and Daryl aren’t the only ones with scars
How do we know whatever “f**cked up story” Michael Cudlitz is talking about only involved Michonne and Daryl? It’s entirely possible there were other communities or members of Team Family involved in whatever nasty thing went down. Ezekiel, Carol, Rosita or Eugene could have also taken part in whatever happened — but we haven’t seen their backs, so it’s hard to say. If more characters had the scars, it might be easier to piece together what happened, or at least, who was involved.
The scars are tied to Oceanside
When was the last time anyone mentioned Oceanside? Exactly. Some fans have theorized the scars could be tied to Oceanside, and a potential destructive run Michonne and Daryl might have made against the seaside group. They might have even wiped Oceanside out. How the two ended up getting the same scars is uncertain, but with little to no mention of Oceanside in the present, it’s possible the group’s (likely) downfall has something to do with them.
Could it have something to do with Negan?
As we saw with Carol’s run-in with Jed and the other former Saviors, there were still followers of Negan out there in the wilderness, fending for themselves. Could Michonne and Daryl have gotten captured by a group of Saviors who didn’t appreciate what they’d done to their former leader? Since the Saviors had previously made Daryl wear a jumpsuit with an “A”, we know they’re not above marking their prisoners.
The scars have something to do with Rick
Michonne and Daryl are probably the two closest adults remaining in the present-day with ties to Rick. Could the scars on their back be some kind of remembrance or marking as a memorial, similar to a tattoo? Or — could they have been briefly captured by the same group, who marked them with the scars, while they were searching for Rick earlier during the time jump?
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Something to do with Hilltop
It doesn’t take close watching to realize something big went down between Alexandria and Hilltop, or at least between Michonne and Hilltop. Could these scars be tied to whatever happened that separated the two groups? It’d be hard to believe that Michonne would attack Maggie’s former group, but it’s not too far-fetched to believe they could’ve gotten the scars as “punishment” for some action they took against Hilltop.
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
The scars aren’t tied to any main group
If The Walking Dead really wanted to throw a curveball, it could bring in an entirely different group of villains along with the Whisperers. That group could then have been the cause of Michonne and Daryl’s scars, if Daryl and Michonne somehow managed to be captured by them and marked, and then escaped.
The scars are tied to a group Michonne tried to take in
As we saw in the first half of the season, Michonne is very wary of newcomers now, or helping people outside the walls of Alexandria. Could her scar be linked to a group they took in? If Michonne made the choice to accept newcomers and they then caused harm to her people inside the walls, that would certainly have been enough for her to close the gates, so to speak. If Daryl was at Alexandria at the time, he could have then gotten a scar, too.
One of the weirdest, biggest mysteries from the first half of The Walking Dead’s ninth season has been the strange X-shaped scars on Michonne and Daryl’s backs.
Director Michael Cudlitz spoke to EW about the scars and said “It’s a really f**ked-up story” and that “it was bad.” He promised answers to the mystery later on in the series, but other than that, details have been scarce. Meanwhile, fans on Reddit, Twitter and other platforms have been speculating as to what the scars mean and why Michonne and Daryl are marked.
Click through the gallery for seven popular theories about the pair’s twin markings, and what those marks imply could have happened over the six-year time jump.