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[Warning: This story contains spoilers for The 100’s season three premiere.]
Despite spending the entire second season fighting for peace, audiences knew it wouldn’t take long for Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and the rest of the Sky People to find themselves at odds once the third season of The CW’s The 100 began. Sure enough, Thursday’s season opener, “Wanheda: Part 1,” spent only minutes catching audiences up with what life has been like on Earth for the past three months before delving into several storylines that will set up the first half of the season.
With Clarke now officially marked as Wanheda, a.k.a. the Commander of Death, Bellamy (Bob Morley) having moved on with new character Gina (Leah Gibson) and the Ice Nation ready to rally, it seems as though death and bloodshed are imminent.
To find out what to expect, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with showrunner Jason Rothenberg to get his take on Wanheda, the big new threat to the Sky People, that steamy sex scene and more.
What kind of threat is the Ice Nation versus last season’s The Tree People?
Ice Nation is hardcore. They are much more overtly violent and will solve their problems that way. Tree Crew’s had to fight and they’re badass too, but they’ve evolved a little bit more and are the good guys in that bipolar dynamic. They’ve joined Lexa’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) coalition, become one of the clan because the threat of Mount Weather existed to all of them. But they didn’t want to be there. Nia (Brenda Strong), the leader of the Ice Nation hates Lexa and hates that they’re at that table. So when Clarke, in one day, took the threat of Mount Weather off the table, suddenly Ice Nation wondered well why the hell they were still in this thing. We enter the story at a time when that threat is out to rear its head in a big way. They all want Clarke because Clarke has the mantel of death, Wanheda. Wanheda is in the superstitious belief that if you kill Wanheda you control death. Everybody wants to do that and so she’s in trouble.
How important was it to show Bellamy moving on?
It was important that we saw that life moved on and that the people on the ground were trying to establish a real life and peace. That Bellamy could slow down for a minute and find somebody. We’ve seen him with other people before, it’s not like this is the first person he’s been with, but in terms of a relationship it’s the first one for sure. It’s a little hard to do something like that because we do a three-month time jump where you miss the first kiss and all the good stuff. It will bother some people probably but he deserves to be happy. Clarke left, she bailed on him and he feels betrayed by that. He didn’t know about her other “relationship” with Lexa either.
Was there any talk of having him move on with an existing character?
If we were going to do an existing lead as Bellamy’s girlfriend we would have wanted to see that play out. And I wanted to make sure that he cared about somebody and that would affect him in his decisions going forward in a different way.
There was mention of contraceptives. Is that a hint we should expect a pregnancy?
Yeah, there could be. I don’t love stories like that generally, but that was important to me to put in as a world-building nugget for sure. I’ve been trying to get that in for like two seasons and it keeps coming out. Things come out for various reasons, because of time usually. That line actually was cut at some point and I made sure we put it back in. I finally have to answer the question of how they took care of that problem or controlled the population on the ark.
What about Clarke’s hook-up — was that just a need for human contact?
She was looking for an escape, to feel good, to feel something other than miserable. I think we’ve all experienced that in our lives, where it’s like we just want to get wasted or forget about the pain or problems that you’re having or just escape in a sexual way with somebody that you don’t really know. That was what happened for Clarke. She’s on this escape trip and she’s definitely doing what she can to not think about what she’s done. Every time she closes her eyes she’s haunted by what she’s done so this is an escape.
Was it important that escape be with another female character?
It was important to me that it was with a woman because I feel like Clarke is bisexual so she can be with anybody. In terms of relationships, sexually or romantically she could be with anybody, which is cool. It’s an advantage as a storyteller. We don’t have to take half of that cast off the board. But I think there was some debate as to whether or not she was bi or doing it because Lexa was somehow manipulating her, controlling her thoughts. I wanted it to be clear. It could have easily been like hot grounder, trading post guy instead.
What happened to Raven (Lindsey Morgan) and Wick (Steve Talley). Is he returning?
He is not. She broke up with him, she pushed him away off-camera. Steve was great, he’s a busy actor and things happen casting-wise so we have moved beyond and Raven is definitely in that place. She’s pushing everybody away. She’s denying that she’s in that much pain really.
What can you tease about Jaha’s (Isiah Washington) journey with The City of Light?
I don’t plan on taking us back over those three months and seeing what happened, but we will figure out what he’s been up to for sure and how it happened and what happened and what they want together. That story really drives a lot of stuff as we sort of round the bend into the back half of the season. It’s different for us, so it felt like we needed to basically seduce people into that world a little bit. For the first half of the season we’re really Grounder culture and civil war. That’s huge and that’s happening but this other thing is percolating below the surface. By the time we understand the vocabulary visually and literally, it’s ready to take over, and it does. In a very cool way.
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
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