What Do the X Scars on Michonne and Daryl's Backs Mean on 'The Walking Dead'?

There’s a lot we don’t know about what happened to the survivors during the six-year time jump between Rick’s “death” and when Judith saved Magna’s group from walkers in The Walking Dead Season 9. What we do know is at some point, Michonne got a mysterious X scar on her back. In episode 7, “Stradivarius,” we found out she’s not the only one with that mark. But what does it mean?

Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 7 below.

At some point during that six-year gap, the survivors became divided. Something happened between Michonne and Maggie, and at this point, they’re barely aware of each other’s lives. Michonne didn’t even know Maggie was at Hilltop until Episode 7.

In episode 6, Michonne hinted that something happened to Alexandria during her speech arguing that Magna’s group shouldn’t be allowed to stay.

“I remember, and I know that you do, too,” she told everyone gathered to vote.

After that, we saw the X scar on her back, and we can infer that perhaps things didn’t turn out so well the last time they let newcomers into their community. However, the two might also be unrelated.

In “Stradivarius,” Carol tries to recruit Daryl to go with Henry to Hilltop since she has obligations at the Kingdom. Though Daryl initially refuses, he and Henry save each other from walkers in the middle of the night, and he changes his mind. As Daryl is changing his shirt, we see he, too, has an X scar on his back.

the walking dead season 9 episode 7 stradivarius norman reedus daryl dixon
Daryl (Norman Reedus) has an X scar on his back in 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Episode 7 "Stradivarius"

Here’s a few questions we have about those mysteirous X scars after watching The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 7, along with some possible answers.

Where Were Michonne and Daryl When They Got Those X Scars?

Daryl has been off on his own, looking for Rick since they never found his body. But could Michonne have been with him looking for Rick when something happened? Or could Daryl have been in Alexandria?

A tease from Michael Cudlitz, who starred as Abraham and directed Episode 7, suggests the latter may be more likely.

“Where we’re dealing with Michonne, where she has separated herself from the Hilltop group, and sort of isolated herself with just Alexandria, we’re not exactly sure why,” he said to Insider. “A lot of it’s tied to the ‘X’ that we see on her back.”

As for whether we’ll see any more of those X scars in The Walking Dead this season, the answer seems to be yes.

“That is something that connects them all, even though they’re all separated right now,” Cudlitz told Insider.

Could the Scar Be Connected to Why Maggie Left?

This could also tie into whatever happened between Michonne and Maggie. Maggie is no longer the leader of Hilltop, but instead left with baby Hershel to join Georgie’s group. Maybe Maggie was around for whatever happened and decided it was safer for her son to leave as a result.

Who Marked Them?

The most likely explanation is that the survivors ran into a group of people who presented themselves as friendlies. Maybe Michonne mistakenly let them into Alexandria, which would explain why she’s so against letting Magna and the others stay, especially after seeing Magna’s prison tattoo.

Another theory: the people with X scars gave them to each other as a reminder of some terrible experience they survived.

“It’s a big, really f—-ed up thing that happened during that break,” Cudlitz told Entertainment Weekly.

Either of the above possibilities would fit that.

What Do the Scars Mean?

An X is often used to mark a spot on a map so is that what’s happening with these X marks? Could it explain why their lower backs have been scarred?

Furthermore, should we be expecting whoever’s responsible (if it’s not the survivors themselves) to come back? Or has that danger passed?

When Will The Walking Dead Season 9 Explain the X Scars?

Unfortunately, fans won’t get an explanation in next week’s midseason finale, but it’s coming before the end of the season.

“There will be answers … in the second half of the season,” showrunner Angela Kang promised EW.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Media via AMC