March 28, 2017 at 12:00 PM EDT

Andrew Lincoln did a jig when he first read the script for The Walking Dead’s season 7 finale. Norman Reedus compared the season-ender to Braveheart. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple called it “quantum intense.”

Through all these interviews, what we’ve pieced together is that the upcoming finale will be many things at once. Instead of the grim misery that awaited the Alexandrians at the end of season 6, it seems like there will be both joy and pain when season 7 comes to a close on April 2. And that is an assessment shared by Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne. “It’s a lot,” says Gurira of the finale. “It’s a lot of everything, and it is a very, very powerful way to end the season and a very heart-stopping one at the same time.”

While some Walking Dead finales are tragic and others triumphant, Gurira teases that this one will hit upon both. “It brings you to the precipice of all your fears and all your hopes,” she says. “I definitely felt that heart-stopping pain and hopeful joy at the same time while reading it. You’re pretty riveted and very full by the end of that, at least I very much was. It’s the heartbreak and the hope all rolled into one episode.”

What is this heartbreak of which Gurira speaks? Well, we have our own theory. As for the hope, one can’t help but think that could have something to do with these different communities — Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom, the junkyard, maybe even Oceanside — finally uniting to take on Negan. We’ll find out for sure soon enough.

For more Walking Dead intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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