Remembering Chadwick Boseman: His Most Iconic Lines As King T’Challa, Black Panther | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman | Michael Buckner

Three years since his untimely passing, Chadwick Boseman’s lasting legacy as the Black Panther continues to endure



Chadwick Boseman was larger than life. Beyond his acting chops, his inspired portrayal of King T’Challa, the Black Panther, set off a cultural phenomenon of unparalleled proportions. “Wakanda forever!” Everyone, after the release of the first “Black Panther” film, was shouting this iconic line, while striking the ever-familiar pose. His impact, global and ever-lasting.

It cannot be understated how hardly his untimely death struck fans all over the world. We did not only lose a hero, but rather, a beloved friend who was taken from us far too soon. In commemoration of his third death anniversary, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Lupita Nyong’o took to Instagram to talk about a photo she took of Boseman in South Korea.

“Three years ago today, I experienced a singular pain at the news of @chadwickboseman’s death. The confusion was so profound that it took months to trust the feeling of joy again,” said Nyong’o.


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A post shared by Lupita Nyong’o (@lupitanyongo)

As we remember Boseman, let’s take a look at some of Boseman’s most iconic lines as King T’Challa, Black Panther.

What are you talking about? I never freeze.

As a king who has to lead a nation; to represent their people on the world stage; to take on the burdens of millions solely upon his shoulders; T’Challa had to put up a facade that would both inspire and deter. But behind that front, lies a kind-hearted soul that melts and weakens for his beloved, Nakia, played by Nyong’o. What makes this line funnier is that when he did see her, he did in fact, freeze.

Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows.

Even a king such as T’Challa is not above learning from his enemies. His encounter with Erik Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, taught him that Wakanda’s isolationist policy led to more harm than good. It was high time for Wakanda to change for the better.

“Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We can not. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”

I am not ready, Baba.

Many seem to forget that T’Challa was handed the crown prematurely upon the death of his father, T’Chaka. Thrown headfirst into the fire, he surely rose up to the occasion, but it cannot be denied, the boy also dearly missed his father.

“That is not what I am talking about. I am not ready to be without you,” T’Challa says to his father as they reunite in the Ancestral Plain.

Every breath you take is mercy from me.

Just because you get to see T’Challa’s good and vulnerable side does not mean that he won’t buckle down when the going gets tough. He is king, after all, don’t forget that. And Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) was surely reminded of this when he was at his mercy. 

You were wrong – all of you were wrong – to turn your backs on the rest of the world! 

Emotions high upon the revelation of the consequences of his nation’s actions, Boseman passionately delivers this iconic line upon meeting Wakanda’s past rulers in the Ancestral Plain. Goosebumps all over as he bares his soul, it’s my favorite line of his, to say the least. 

“You were wrong – all of you were wrong – to turn your backs on the rest of the world! We let the fear of discovery stop us from doing what is right. No more! I cannot stay here with you. I cannot rest while he sits on the throne! He is a monster of our own making! I must take the mantle back. I must! I must right these wrongs!”

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