In The 100 season 4, Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship only grows stronger as they try to navigate the end of the world together.
This article was submitted by Hypable reader and dedicated Bellarke fan Yana Grebenyuk.
Over the course of the first three seasons of The 100, Clarke Griffin and Bellamy Blake have shifted from enemies to best friends and partners, their chemistry standing the test of time as they truly define the term ‘slow burn.’
But how long is too long for a ship to remain completely platonic?
Bellamy and Clarke have shared a variety of scenes, but the romantic subtext has been getting clearer with each season. In fact, it’s surprising how many of their scenes are parallels of couples that have already become canon on the show.
The journey of Bellamy and Clarke finding themselves on different sides, only to then become leaders together and develop soft spots for one another is very reminiscent of Kane and Abby, whose relationship slowly grew from platonic to romantic over the course of The 100‘s first three seasons.
Both couples developed a connection that went beyond just co-leaders, and Kane/Abby is great example of how that kind of development can only get better with romance.
A more subtle parallel that not everyone may have noticed was to Luna and Derrick in the season 3 episode “Red Sky at Morning.” They were partners that led the Boat People together, mirroring the way Bellamy and Clarke were trying to save their people when they were on Luna’s rig trying to convince her to become the next Commander.
On The 100, strong couples that lead their people together always seem to parallel Bellamy and Clarke, because their romantic connection is founded in co-leadership. While working together to save their people, Bellamy and Clarke have not only grown closer as friends, but as potential romantic interests.
It’s not a stretch to suggest that Bellamy and Clarke are headed towards something more than co-leadership, too; the subtext is undeniable.
Why Bellamy and Clarke belong together
It always stays with me the way Bellamy and Clarke can share all their dark parts only with each other, and it’s the other person that keeps them grounded.
No one else could really understand Bellamy or Clarke the way they understand each other. Everything that they have been through and will continue to go through has bonded them, making them feel comfortable sharing exactly how they feel.
They don’t hold back in worry that they’ve got something to be ashamed of, or that they’re undeserving of the other’s support. Only with each other can they feel completely confident that, whatever they share, the other won’t think less of them; they can simply bare every part of themselves, both good and bad, and really open up. Bellamy and Clarke show emotion in scenes together beyond what we’ve seen them have with anyone else.
During season 3, the partnership definitely hit a wall, with Clarke having chosen to leave her people because she felt too guilty about what happened. Her isolation in Polis took its toll not only on her but on Bellamy as well: Without Clarke in Arkadia, Bellamy was losing himself after the Mount Weather deaths. He was stuck in his own blame, with Kane and Pike both playing to different parts of him thinking that they knew how to ease his pain best.
Eventually, Clarke and Bellamy met again in a chaotic confrontation, both pointing out that the other was at fault and wasn’t making the best decisions. If that wasn’t the greatest reminder that those two need one another, what is?
Image credit: fyeahbellarke
And it was only once they were back together towards the end of the season, leading and working with the others that progress was made in defeating ALIE.
Their friendship was stronger than ever, with Clarke holding Bellamy’s hand before she went into the City of Light because that reassurance was exactly what she needed before risking her life yet again.
I’ve also never seen a platonic couple hug as much as they have — or for that long, if we’re being honest. And let’s not forget Bellamy’s reaction to touching Clarke during gun training in “Day Trip,” or their constant need to hold hands or touch one another. Bellamy and Clarke don’t only have an emotional connection, they are also incredibly tactile with each other.
With all that in mind, there’s still a lot of progress these two have to make before they can come together in a romantic way, including actually admitting to themselves that they care for the other beyond just a close partnership. But it’s so clear to all the characters around them that I can’t help wondering what’s holding them back.
Everyone else sees it, so why can’t they?
Clarke’s previous loves Finn and Lexa both pointed out that she trusts and cares for Bellamy. There was careful consideration put in to remind us that Clarke cares about Bellamy more than the others, even giving us a moment where she just breathes out in relief because he’s safe after being stuck in Mount Weather.
Bellamy’s feelings haven’t been any less subtle, with ALIE actually saying that his loyalty to Gina couldn’t rival what he felt for Clarke. His feelings for his girlfriend didn’t compare to the feelings he had for his partner — this was actually stated in canon.
Meanwhile characters like Kane, Murphy and Jaha give Bellamy glances when Clarke is around or mention how lucky they are to have each other. Why would there be such a focus on reminding us that all these characters casually think of Bellamy and Clarke as a team that cares very much about one another if we weren’t supposed to factor that in?
Their casual touches and relentless desire to keep the other safe goes beyond them just being a team. Their friendship doesn’t shut down the prospect of romance; it enhances the potential that would come from it.
But why can’t Clarke and Bellamy just be friends?
Yes, it is possible that Bellamy and Clarke could just be platonic soulmates, destined to fit together perfectly but not pursue anything more. There’s even reasons why that could make sense, but why should a relationship with this much potential stop at friendship?
Their chemistry and the way their scenes are framed go beyond platonic interactions, their hugs are shot from every possible angle and their conversations always show how much the two care for one another.
They have reached a point where one can’t lead without the other, and where they literally can’t survive without each other. Bellamy and Clarke’s slow burn has the possibility to demonstrate how the ultimate other half for someone can be their best friend: They compete each other, with Bellamy being the heart and Clarke being the head. Their romantic chemistry is just icing on that cake, creating sparks in all their interactions.
The time is right for Bellarke to become canon
Clarke Griffin, the lead of The 100, has been through a lot in her personal life. She’s had to say goodbye to two great loves in a very short amount of time and hasn’t exactly had time to mourn. It looks like she is slowly getting ready to move on from Lexa, but what happens after that?
Clarke could rebound with someone else, but then what? Her love life may not be the main plot of the show, but she has had love interests in some sense in every season. Finn and Lexa are the main ones, but there was also the appearance of Niylah, and there’s no doubt in my mind that there will be something for her this season, too.
Realistically, Clarke can only have so many love interests before it feels like they are just created to keep the main character in some kind of relationship. It’s also safe to say that Clarke probably won’t find an epic love every season; she’s an incredible person and it makes sense why everyone falls for her, but we’ll all be very disappointed if she continues to have great loves while none of us in the real world will get more than one or two.
Clarke does deserve some happiness in the form of romance though, something that can be found in the form of her best friend and partner that she’s grown to trust like no one else.
Bellamy, on the other hand, had only brief moments in season 1 where he had sex with women, and then moved on. Then in season 3 we were introduced, very briefly, to Gina, and their relationship seemed sweet even if Bellamy couldn’t exactly share all the dark parts of himself with her. Bellamy and Gina were definitely worth rooting for, but we barely had time to do so before she was killed in the Mount Weather attack.
He hasn’t had a romantic storyline since Gina, and he isn’t exactly looking for anyone. It would be great to see him acknowledge that he doesn’t see a reason to when he’s already found Clarke.
At this point, I also don’t think introducing anything new would make sense for him. There’s just not enough time for us as an audience to meet a new character that would be sold to us as a potential romance for Bellamy; nothing that could truly rival the four seasons of buildup that he has with Clarke.
There’s really only so much room in Bellamy’s heart at the moment, with him thinking about the safety of Octavia and Clarke, the two main women in his life, as well as his people.
Why something needs to happen between Bellamy and Clarke in ‘The 100’ season 4
It made sense to slow down the progression between Bellamy and Clarke in seasons 1-3, but this may be the time to finally push those two a bit closer.
As hopeful as we are about a season 5 renewal, the show isn’t running on endless time, and both characters are at a point in their plots where it makes sense for them to start realizing their feelings for one another.
Bellamy’s scenes have pointed to him beginning to realize his feelings for Clarke, and while Clarke is obviously still grieving for for her past loves, there’s nothing like a potential end of the world to make you reconsider the time you may have while you keep trying to stay alive.
The thought that has gone into each interaction between these two can only serve as proof of Bellamy and Clarke making their way from friendship to romance. Bellamy and Clarke getting together, or at least acknowledging their feelings, is really the only logical next step at this point.
Over the first three episodes of season 4, Bellamy and Clarke have shared several scenes meant to serve as reminders that they can’t survive without the other. Writing each other’s names on the list was Bellamy and Clarke making sure that either they survived or died together. If Clarke was going to include Bellamy’s name, knowing that he wasn’t exactly looking to be a priority, then he was going to make sure she was with him because he can’t do any of this without her.
The core of their survival comes from them working together, and it’s through working together that they keep each other centered and succeed in figuring out the issue each season. So why is their progression from friends to lovers moving at an ironically slow pace while the radiation around them is quickly catching up?
Why Bellarke matters to me
Personally, for me, Bellarke matters because of the thought and depth that has gone into their story. Their progression has only gained momentum with each new season, and there’s really too much attention to detail for all of that to be considered random.
There’s also the topic of the representation they offer together and as individuals: Clarke’s representation as a bisexual lead is wonderful already, but being in a happy relationship with Bellamy would only continue that journey. And Bellamy is already breaking barriers as one of very few Asian men in a lead role. If Bellamy and Clarke became a couple, Bellamy would be seen in that romantic light, highlighting the fact that an Asian man is very much a viable love interest for the heroine in this story.
As for within the show, being together would only take the Bellamy/Clarke relationship to another level. They would develop a different dynamic, a more vulnerable one that could make the world just a little bit lighter for them. Their trust would only deepen and there would be a new layer to their already very well-crafted relationship.
Even though it made sense initially for the writers to take their time with this couple, in due time this marathon should run its course. This inevitable relationship will happen at some point, but there might be a need to speed it up a bit, because those two are ready, and so are their fans.
If there was another story worth telling before those two found their way to each other then I’m sure us waiting wouldn’t be a problem. But at this point, all paths lead back to Bellarke, and we’re ready to go on that journey with these characters.