For better or worse, The 100 TV show is a very different animal than Kass Morgan’s original book series.
This week’s episode of The 100 was huge, epic and with a flair of romance one wouldn’t usually associate with the CW series. While season 1 had its love triangle (sort of) and obligatory shirtlessness, season 2 has really been about the core of Jason Rothenberg’s vision: survival.
As the incredible show nears its season finale, we are beginning to look for ways to get through the hiatus… and if you haven’t already read the book series on which the show is loosely based, you really should. The books are great – and might just give you what you need, if you feel like the show is lacking a certain
Bellarke je ne sais quoi.
Like any book-to-show adaptation, Rothenberg’s The 100 takes certain liberties with the established canon. But reading through the Kass Morgan books, we were none the less shocked to discover a whole different world for our heroes (the ones that exist in the book-verse, anyway).
It’s possible to be a fan of both the books and the show, of course, once you accept the fact that they are VERY different stories.
With a different set of main characters, different relationships, and a very different Grounder society, fans of the TV series will struggle to recognize the world they’ve come to love. And, conversely, book fans scratch their heads at some of the changes the CW show made to the original story.
Since we watched the show before reading the books, we found ourselves in the former group. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of five plot points from Kass Morgan’s books that will freak TV show fans out.
Beware of spoilers, obviously.
1. Bellarke is canon. Very canon.
To the TV show’s credit, the Bellarke shipper community really seems to have formed because of the chemistry between the on-screen versions of Clarke and Bellamy, and not just because the characters are a couple in the books. (In fact, it’s always fun to see a Bellarke fan discover one of the more steamy passages from the novel – Homecoming has some real winners!)
But while you wait to see if your heroes will ever get together in the show, take comfort in the Bellarker paradise of The 100 book series, in which there is no Finn, no Lexa, no Raven, no random-threesome-chicks, and where Clarke very quickly ditches her boyfriend (!) Wells for Bellamy:
If you’re coming to the books after watching the show, this is like professional-level fanfiction… but canon. What’s not to like?
2. Lincoln is a girl, and her name is Sasha
We can imagine that, when first creating the world of the show, the writers sat down to decide what to carry over from the first book, and the idea of a “friendly Grounder” was one of the major things that stuck.
There’s this society of warriors existing just on the fringe of awareness for the delinquents, terrifying and potentially lethal (for a while, they believed that the Earthborns murdered a little girl and strung her up as a warning), but one of them is curious, and ventures too close. They capture her, and for a long time she refuses to speak.
The girl’s name is Sasha, she’s the daughter of the Grounder chief, and she gets friendly with… yep. Wells. Unfortunately, this kind of leaves Octavia without a role (she’s not a POV character), and we kind of like that she took Wells’ place in this dynamic.
3. Chancellor Jaha is Bellamy’s father
And Wells is Bellamy’s half-brother! This is a pretty cool reveal in Day 21, but we’re happy they didn’t decide to do this in the show; the “I’m your father” angle is probably a little too much of a soap opera trope at this point.
Like in the show, the book had Bellamy shoot Jaha in order to get onto the drop-ship with his sister, but that’s about where the similarities end as far as this storyline is concerned.
In the books, Wells and Bellamy have a very antagonistic relationship, not helped by the fact that they’re both in love with Clarke (who evidently has a type!), but they are mostly off on their own side-quests; while Wells gets to know the Grounder (or Earthling) girl Sasha, Bellamy takes off on his own to look for Octavia, who has been kidnapped.
Another interesting difference here is that Bellamy is presented as a bit of a loner in the books, whose main contribution to the 100’s little society is that he’s good with a bow. He prefers to stay out of the spotlight, while Wells is more of the leader, battling a very different set of enemies.
4. Wells is alive, and a main POV character
In the show, Wells is around for three episodes, and then he is killed by Charlotte in an absolutely harrowing sequence. Kids killing kids? Suddenly The 100 was less post-apocalyptic romance drama, more Battle Royale, and we loved it.
The decision to kill off Wells (and replace him with the slightly more edgy Finn) obviously signified a major break from the books, and also served as a bit of a would-have-been Jack Shepherd moment in Lost, where the writers wanted to establish him as the lead character and then kill him off in the pilot.
But in Kass Morgan’s The 100 books, Wells is very much alive, and the main character he always felt like he should have been. He and Clarke start out the series on the outs, like in the show, but then make up and make out, before finally deciding they’re better off as friends.
Wells soon finds himself entangled with the Grounder girl Sasha (they become the book’s version of “Romeo & Juliet”), while Clarke embarks on an adventure with Bellamy.
5. Clarke’s parents are alive, and already on the ground
In the books, both of Clarke’s parents were floated for treason after carrying out horrific experiments on children. But we learn in Day 21 that Jaha actually sent them on a covert mission to Earth! There they met the Grounders and stayed with them for a while, until some of their travel companions messed up and almost got them executed.
While Clarke is occupied by other things, she spends a lot of time wondering where they are and if they could possibly still be alive. Does she find them? Well, we can’t spoil everything…
Unfortunately this means that Abby has no connection to the Kane character in the books (who’s a total jerk), and we therefore can’t enjoy the wonderful Kabby chemistry. Oh well.
What do you think of Kass Morgan’s ‘The 100’ book series?
Kass Morgan herself wrote a really interesting piece for The Huffington Post back when the show was first adapted, which is definitely worth reading if you’re wondering how she feels about some of these major changes.
And don’t forget that the show returns next Wednesday, with the first part of the season 2 finale! Vote in our poll to help us predict which characters – if any – will die before the season ends.