The 100 Showrunner on the Clarke and Lexa Dynamic and the Road to War in the Finale - IGN (2023)

The 100

Jason Rothenberg on heading towards the end of Season 2 and the early renewal for Season 3.

The 100 Showrunner on the Clarke and Lexa Dynamic and the Road to War in the Finale - IGN (1)

ByEric Goldman


Feb 25, 2015 5:58 am

Note: Including a bit of an oddly specific spoiler warning here, as this interview delves into something already revealed in a CW promo for this week's The 100... though it wasn't something the writers wanted revealed beforehand.
With just three weeks left, The 100 is going into the home stretch of Season 2, and war is upon us. Last week saw Clarke (Eliza Clarke), Lexa (Alycia Debnam Carey) and their combined forces set out for Mount Weather, to rescue their people trapped inside, with an inevitable confrontation with the “Mountain Men” close to occurring.
I spoke to The 100’s executive producer and showrunner, Jason Rothenberg, about what’s in store in this week’s new episode and heading into the final episodes of the season.

In Season 2, The 100 has become an incredibly focused, adrenalized show, and there's been little time for romance. But more than a few fans have mentioned seeing some notable chemistry between Clarke and Lexa… And then a short promo ran over the weekend on the CW that actually showed the two kissing, though the show’s writers quickly noted on Twitter they weren’t exactly excited that was revealed early.

Suffice to say, this was not a topic I was going to ignore when speaking to Rothenberg…

IGN: So going into this week's episode, Clarke and Lexa are united, but it looks like they have some pretty big philosophical disagreement, including in the – gratuitous plug! -- clip we’re running on IGN. How much will these disagreements impact the effectiveness of them going into combat together?

Rothenberg: Their storyline this episode is really awesome. They have some disagreements. They certainly have some philosophical disagreements. Clarke is coming to probably realize that Lexa’s “no emotion” way of going is not ideal and probably best if maybe she herself is not living by those rules. But they are certainly, for the foreseeable future -- meaning the next episode -- not dis-united, if that’s the word.

IGN: Let me get it out of the way and ask about the Clarke/Lexa kiss. On a show where there’s less and less reason to ask about kisses, what can you say about the clip… that maybe you did not want to speak of?

Rothenberg: Well, I’m okay speaking about it. I wouldn’t have put it out as a clip. It has generated quite a lot of discussion, which can only be good for the show, I hope. I think that there’s not much to say about it other than that the context about it matters quite a bit. I tweeted about that at the time. I feel like the things that happen, that lead up to it, and the things that happen after it are just as important as the kiss itself. So obviously that’s lost in the literally eleven second thing that was put out there. But, I mean it’s genuine, for sure. They both are… It’s not like it’s not a real kiss. It’s hard for me to talk about it. It upset a lot of people and it made other people really excited.The 100 Showrunner on the Clarke and Lexa Dynamic and the Road to War in the Finale - IGN (2)

Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Alycia Debnam Carey as Lexa in The 100.

IGN: That clip that we ran does indicate that there is some jealousy from Lexa regarding Bellamy. Lexa preaches one thing as far as closing off her feelings, but we’re seen other hints – not just regarding Clarke – that that’s not true. How much will we see that other side of Lexa that she herself is trying to push away as she’s trying to be so hard core?

Rothenberg: I think that Lexa is genuinely into Clarke. She definitely finds her powerful and beautiful and intriguing and someone that she can relate to leader to leader and that’s where that probably comes from, all of that emotion. It’s certainly real on her part. And it is slightly, I suppose, hypocritical in terms of the philosophy she’s been spouting about being not emotional. It’s the Queen Elizabeth story, right, as per the movie Elizabeth. I’m not an Elizabethan scholar! [Laughs] But she tried to rule almost in an asexual way. She shut down her emotions in many ways. That’s sort of in the Lexa school of leadership, but you can’t really do that. If you try to shut down your heart, if you try to shut down your emotions, bad things happen. We have to feel things. We’re human beings so I think ultimately Lexa’s conflict will be between her heart and her head, what’s best for her people and what’s best for her. I think that’s what every leader has to do. You have to somehow, at some point, subjugate what’s right for you for what’s right for the pope you’re tying to lead.

IGN: Meanwhile, you’ve got Jaha and Murphy on this very different journey, away from the others. What can you say about obstacles that they’re going to encounter as they venture further this week?

Rothenberg: Now that’s the real love story! Their journey continues, they’ve got a really cool story this week. We’re getting closer to the reveal of what the City of Light may or may not be. Jaha is becoming obsessed. He’s certainly convinced that it’s the answer, that that’s the promised land and Murphy is definitely persuaded at the moment by Jaha’s belief and his treating him as a human being and giving him respect and we’ll see where it all leads. It’s not going to lead where anybody is imagining it leads.The 100 Showrunner on the Clarke and Lexa Dynamic and the Road to War in the Finale - IGN (3)

Lindsey Morgan as Raven in The 100.

IGN: Kane obviously needs to heal but what can you say about the other characters that are not venturing forward on this attack, like Raven and Abby and what part they’re going to play in these final three episodes?

Rothenberg: Raven is a big part of the ultimate, let’s call it assault, on Mount Weather. That story doesn’t get told until [episode] fifteen and sixteen, really. Raven’s a big part of that, for sure and she’s a big part of fourteen as well. Fourteen is the story of an army on the march that has stopped just outside of the acid fog zone and is waiting for Bellamy, on the inside, to get that acid fog shut down. They can’t move forward until he does it, otherwise, obviously, they’ll all get melted by acid fog. So we find the army waiting, hovered, getting more and more tense and on the inside, that’s Bellamy’s position. Can he get that thing done in time to save his people who were being systematically bone marrowed to death? They’re hiding right now, so before they get discovered…

IGN: Might Dante factor in again?

Rothenberg: Well, we have definitely not heard the last of Dante, for sure. One of the things that I think is really important about the last episode, and it’s been something that we’ve been weaving into the story little by little -- by the way, I’m incredibly fluent in your reviews -- one thing that you sort of bumped on was the notion that we told the story of the good German, essentially, last week. That there was a resistance or people within Mount Weather that are not just purely bad. Your criticism is not a bad one, which is that we should have told that story sooner. The truth is, that’s what Maya was representing. So to me, it was important to really begin to flesh out the idea that we’re not dealing with just a bad guy. We’re dealing with people inside Mount Weather who are helping our heroes and children who are totally innocent. For me, it’s the story of the show at large. There’s no real villains and there’s no real heroes. Everybody is doing what’s right for their people. How far will you go to survive? How far will Clarke and the people on the outside go to save their 44 remaining friends on the inside?The 100 Showrunner on the Clarke and Lexa Dynamic and the Road to War in the Finale - IGN (4)

Devon Bostick as Jasper in The 100.

IGN: Jasper went to a very intense place in the last episode. Kind of like Clarke, you have to ask is that a place you can come back from? How much has he altered at this point from the guy we knew?

Rothenberg: I think that all season Jasper has been… he lost Clarke and Bellamy as the leaders. All of them did and Jasper has risen to be the one inside Mount Weather that’s holding it together, with Monty’s help, obviously. That has changed him. He’s a leader in his own right now. He certainly got dark in the last episode but he’s doing what he has to do. He will do anything to make sure that his people survive this horrible ordeal. In that moment in the axe fight of episode thirteen, which I just thought was amazingly executed by our director, Dean White – just brutal the stuff we put on the CW’s air, which I always love to do. Yeah, I feel like Jasper has gone dark. We will see flashes of that lovable sense of humor but he has come of age in many ways. So he is different for sure. At the end of the season, he’s going to be changed by it. I hope that in Season 3, if he makes it through the end, he can find a way to become that lovable character again but I don’t think that’s possible. It’s sort of like Lord of the Ring when Merry and Pip come back from the journey of that story, they’re not the same. It’s just what happens. The death of innocence is what happens so maybe we’ll find that lightness in other places, maybe we won’t, but it’s a good question. Certainly it’s something that you have to grapple with as a writer. His role was comic relief, in many ways in Season 1. That’s not what his role has been in season two. It’s been something very different and I think much more important in the bigger story.

IGN: Well now we have Lincoln as the comic relief, right?

Rothenberg: Yeah, he’s hilarious! A laugh a minute!

The 100 Showrunner on the Clarke and Lexa Dynamic and the Road to War in the Finale - IGN (5)

IGN: This is the first time I’m speaking to you since it happened, so congratulations on the early renewal. How’s it been crafting the end of the season with the knowledge in mind that it’s leading to Season 3 for sure?

Rothenberg: Will the truth is I always knew, or I knew at the beginning of this season, where this season was ending. We figured out as a writing staff, probably five or six weeks into working on the season, what the big sort of world revealing turn at the end of this season was going to be. So the renewal hasn’t affected it at all. What the renewal has done is it’s made it a lot easier and more fun to go to work every day. Going up [to Vancouver] to the finale, which I wrote, and the writing was all done, this year was a blast because I knew it wasn’t the end. Last year, we went up to make the finale and we had no idea if this was “Goodbye forever” or, “See you next season,” so just on that level, it was amazing. It was just total relief. It also has let us really begin to plant seeds that aren’t going to bear fruit until next season. The way that the white room, at the end of Season 1, helped us really turn the ship into where Season 2 was going, the ending of Season 2 is going to do that and then some. I think it’ll be really, really surprising to people and it’s going to change the game the way Mount Weather and the white room did this year. For me, I get bored if it’s the same story every season. I like to tell stories fast, obviously. I want to reveal more of the world. I want to tell stories of how it got this way.

Eric Goldman is Executive Editor of IGN TV. You can follow him on Twitter at @EricIGN, IGN at ericgoldman-ign and Facebook at

In This Article

The 100 Showrunner on the Clarke and Lexa Dynamic and the Road to War in the Finale - IGN (6)

The 100

The CW


Did Clarke and Lexa sleep together? ›

Lexa and Clarke have sex in “13,” but then Lexa dies later. Pro: This is a reasonable and defensible desire, and this is where the compression of the season causes problems.

Why was Lexa killed off The 100? ›

On March 3, 2016, Alycia Debnam-Carey's fan-favorite character Lexa was shot by a stay bullet after consummating her relationship with Eliza Taylor's Clarke, The CW's first bisexual lead character.

Will Lexa return to The 100 Season 7? ›

Yes, The 100 fans finally get to see Lexa – and Clexa – together again. But this Lexa is a dark pseudo-villain that's willing to hang the literal end of humanity around Clarke's neck, as just one more burden for her to carry.

What happens to Clarke and Lexa in The 100? ›

As Lexa worked to bring peace to the clans, Clarke forgave her and they became allies again and later lovers. Lexa's Flamekeeper, Titus, disapproved of their relationship and during an attempt to kill Clarke, shot Lexa by accident instead. Despite Clarke's desperate attempts to save her, Lexa died from her wound.

Was Lexa The Love Of Clarke's Life? ›

“The truth is that Lexa was the love of her life, but [Clarke] is only 18 years old,” showrunner Jason Rothenberg tells EW. “We move on, we figure out a way to compartmentalize, and you try and you don't forget. The person should never forget.”

What is Lexa and Clarke real name? ›

She is best known for her portrayals of the characters Lexa on the dystopian science fiction series The 100 (2014–2016; 2020) and Alicia Clark on the horror drama series Fear the Walking Dead (2015–2022).
Alycia Debnam-Carey
Years active2003–present
2 more rows

How old was Lexa when she died? ›

Lexa died on February 16, 2150 at age 21. Yu gonplei ste odon, Heda. In memory of Commander Lexa, what are some of your favorite scenes?

Why did Lexa have a chip in her neck? ›

Titus' attempts to kill Clarke literally backfired, with Lexa being caught in the crosshairs. Following Lexa's death (… yeah), Titus removed the Alie 2 chip from the back of her neck, explaining that it contains the memories and wisdom of all former Commanders.

What did Lexa say before she died? ›

While Lexa is dying, she takes the time to reassure Clarke. “My spirit will live on,” she says. “There's nothing you can do now. The next commander will protect you.”

Who succeeded Lexa? ›

Madi Griffin of Louwoda Kliron Kru, successor to Lexa in the lineage, was the first Commander of Wonkru and the final Commander to bear the Flame.

Who becomes commander after Lexa dies? ›

A.L.I.E. Ontari was a recurring character during the third season. She was portrayed by actress Rhiannon Fish and debuted in "Watch the Thrones". Ontari was a Nightblood from the Ice Nation and after Lexa's death came to Polis in order to become the next Commander.

Who stays with Clarke at the end of The 100? ›

Octavia, Raven, Murphy, Emori, Indra, Gaia, Levitt, Jackson, Miller, Niylah, Echo, Hope, and Jordan have all chosen to live the rest of their lives with Clarke on Earth. And that's the end—a happy ending.

Was Lexa Clarke's greatest love? ›

Lexa's message helped Clarke decide to do the right thing in the end, while also driving her to tears. The series finale saw Clarke take a test to determine the fate of the human race. During the test, the Judge took on the form of Lexa because she was Clarke's greatest love.

Why did Lexa betray Clarke? ›

There are two pivotal aspects behind the friction between the two leaders. First, Lexa broke the pact between the Grounders and the Arkers when she made a deal to save her own people at Mount Weather at the expense of the Arkers. She made the decision to betray Clarke and sacrifice the 47 left behind in Mount Weather.

Does Lexa have a crush on Clarke? ›

I think Lexa, personally, is a bit beyond that. She adapts to the situation where and when… But of course, she's admitted feelings to Clarke, so she does care about it and she feels it.

Who is Clarke's greatest love? ›

In the series finale, the Judge taking on Lexa's form served to confirm that Lexa was in fact Clarke's greatest love.

Who was the love of Clarke's life? ›

Clarke ends up losing Lexa, the commander of the Grounders and Clarke's lover, while many of her family and friends fall under the AI's control.

Who is Clarke's soulmate? ›

What is this? There is a reason that Bellamy and Clarke are referred to as soulmates, with the narrative affirming that through a look, a touch, a line of dialogue, or even a transition between ground and space.

What language does Lexa speak? ›

Term Translation

Trigedasleng (TRI-ge-da-sleng), sometimes shortened to Trig, is the language spoken by the earth-born people, the clans of Mid-Atlantic United States, known as Grounders.

Who does Clarke have a baby with? ›

Congratulations to Eliza and Bob (Clarke and Bellamy) who just had their baby!!!! : r/The100.

What is the age difference between Clarke and Lexa? ›

Lexa and Clarke are next door neighbors and best friends (Lexa being 4 - 5 years older).

What was Lexa to Anya? ›

Anya was Lexa's mentor before Lexa was called to be the leader of her people.

Does Lexa have a last name? ›

Grounders do not have surnames. Her name was Lexa. That's it. They use their clan as their surname (for example: Lexa kom Trikru, Roan kom Azgeda, Luna kom Floukru).

Is Lexa in the 100 books? ›

Lexa is a fictional character from the American post-apocalyptic science fiction television series The 100, produced by The CW. The recurring television character (portrayed by Alycia Debnam-Carey) does not appear in the books on which the series is based.

Why does Lexa bleed black? ›

Becca Franko created the Nightblood serum for the Eligius Corporation to increase people's resistance to radiation. The serum was successful but had an additional consequence of making the subject's blood become black. The serum genetically altered the subject, making the gene therapy hereditary.

What is on Lexa's forehead? ›

Now, it is most likely that Lexa's forehead piece is a combo between certain spiritual meanings associated with a bindi and the helm of awe. This forehead piece is probably meant to reference the spiritual side of the Grounders.

What does Lexa have on her forehead? ›

The thing in Lexa's neck is ALIE II

“The ALIE II code resides in that crystal matrix — which we call 'the flame' — that came out of the back of Lexa's head.

Why did Titus shoot Lexa? ›

Titus extremely hates Clarke, and is xenophobic towards her for being a Sky Person, in which he hates all Sky People. Because of this, he tried to kill her, but ended up accidentally killing Lexa. Titus' hatred towards Clarke begins to grow as he blamed her actions that resulted in Lexa's death.

What were Clarke's last words to Lexa? ›

Clarke's last words to Lexa :'( I'm gonna take titus's head ARGHHH | The 100 show, The 100, Clexa.

How long did Clarke know Lexa? ›

Timeskip to Clarke being brought to Polis on January 29, 2150 (Wanheda II) and then Lexa's fear of doorways turning out to be correct on February 16 (Thirteen Reasons Why Look Before Entering A Room). Altogether that's 29 days Clarke and Lexa knew each other and they were on good terms for approximatelly half that.

Who did Clarke sleep with? ›

Clarke kisses Niylah and they have sex. In Wanheda (Part 2), Niylah is seen being beaten and thrown around inside her trading post by Roan's partner.

Why did Lexa have that thing in her neck? ›

Fundamentally, the Flame is a computer chip, also known as A.L.I.E. 2.0. It's inserted into the base of a Commander's neck, enabling an A.I. to fuse with their brain. Becca — the original creator of the world-destroying A.I. A.L.I.E. — created it in order to remedy her past mistakes.

Who does Clarke sleep with in season 6? ›

It doesn't take Clarke long to make friends, though, since the photos also show her getting her flirt on with a man named Cillian (Carlo Marks). You can probably guess how that turns out given that there are also photos of her naked in bed and gazing out the window with him.

Does Clarke have a daughter? ›

The child is her adopted daughter.

We also know there's a group of 1200 led by Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) in the bunker, but Clarke is the lone survivor on the planet. And then we reveal she's found Maddy, this Nightblood child.

What was the AI inside of Lexa? ›

The upgrade is that the second AI is augmented by a human being, by humanity, and the first one was not. Lexa's not an AI, Lexa is a woman who happens to have an augmented consciousness in the form of this AI.


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