11:10 am EDT, July 25, 2017

‘The 100’ season 5: 19 big things we learned at SDCC 2017

The 100 cast and crew were out in San Diego promoting season 5. They left us with a lot of intriguing hints about what’s to come… and more concrete information than you might think.

If you haven’t seen The 100 season 4 finale yet, turn back now — spoilers ahead! (Also, the whole show is on Netflix. What are you waiting for?)

After a thrilling season of close calls and only choices, The 100 season 4 closed with the spectacular, magnificent destruction of everything we knew and loved.

“Praimfaya” not only wrecked the world: it obliterated the show as we know it, propelling us six years into the future, catching up with Clarke — now with a little Nightblood companion at her side — and leaving us with absolutely no idea about what’s happened to anyone else.

Related: Five characters who deserve more screen time in The 100 season 5

Octavia is the unlikely leader of the Polis bunker people: 1,200 souls consisting mostly of Grounders from clans that had up until very recently been at odds. In space, her brother Bellamy is trapped on the Ark with only Raven, Murphy, Echo, Monty, Harper and Emori for company for the next six years.

‘The 100’ season 5: What we learned at SDCC 2017

At San Diego Comic-Con 2017, cast members Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, Lindsey Morgan, Richard Harmon, Marie Avgeropoulos and Chris Larkin, along with showrunner Jason Rothenberg and director Dean White, were on hand to answer questions from journalists. (Hypable was repped at the event by Pamela Gocobachi — see our video interviews here.) Newly minted series regular Tasya Teles made her triumphant panel debut, where we were treated to some more banter and a stunning season 5 sizzle reel narrated by newcomer Madi (Imogen Tear):

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Rather than a straight recap, the sizzle reel tells the story of The 100 so far as a fairytale, with heroes and monsters, ‘bad children’ vanquishing their foes and learning that they’re stronger together.

It is a fascinating way to break down the so complicated, morally complex plot of The 100: we know ‘there are no good guys’ (we should, anyway, they’ve only said it like 76 times), yet the story Clarke has told Madi — this simplified, nostalgic and heavily edited-for-adult-content version of Clarke’s memories — seems to be a reflection of what Clarke wants to remember her traumatic experiences as. It’s easier to cast yourself as a hero if the people you were fighting were monsters; it’s easier to remember the friends and family you’re starting to believe you might never see again as larger-than-life figures in a story.

Madi’s tale is framed as if it took place a long time ago, and in some ways, it did. For The 100, which has operated in increments of time, six years might as well be a hundred. Clarke is well on her way to constructing a mythology, and when we pick up in season 5, we’re inspired now to wonder whether Clarke herself has started to believe in the distorted version of events she’s reframed as a bedtime story for a scared child.

Which brings us to what this sizzle reel actually revealed about The 100 season 5, which was… actually, more than we might expect considering they haven’t even started filming yet.

The 100 Season 5

We catch a few glimpses of a world even more broken than the one the 100 (excuse me, the 101 counting Bellamy) landed on six years ago, including a destroyed Polis and a barren landscape. We start to understand just how vital it’s been for Clarke to have the rover, in order to make it through the irradiated wasteland.

We see a child sitting by the fire; a child much smaller than the Madi we meet in the flash forward, indicating just how long she’s been in Clarke’s care.

And when Madi asks what they’ll do if the monsters return? We see Clarke square her jaw and declare herself the potential aggressor in season 5, her voice changing as she delivers a sober promise: “Then we’ll kill them all.”

What has Clarke become? What will Clarke be to her former friends — the ‘heroes’ who have so neatly existed in her fairytale and whose re-emergence likely won’t be as magical as Madi has come to believe? What will she do to her perceived enemies?

These are all questions that we have no real answers for yet, which just makes the wait for season 5 all the more exciting/excruciating. In order to fuel our speculation (and prompt think-pieces just like this one, hopefully), Rothenberg and the cast did drop some teasing tidbits about The 100 season 5. Here are 19 of the biggest hints or bits of information:

The 100 season 5 info

1. Clarke’s old friends are Madi’s heroes

As the sizzle reel made clear, Madi has spent the past five years of her life hearing stories about Bellamy, Octavia, Raven and the rest, and they’ve been built up to be ‘heroes’ in her mind, spurred on by Clarke’s biased point of view and the need to simplify the story of The 100 into ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ ‘good’ and ‘bad.’

But as any The 100 fan knows (or really should know by now), these are the exact polarities that the show defies. There is no good or bad, there are no heroes or villains; there is only ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ from the perspective of ‘us’ versus ‘them.’

Madi’s perception of who the ‘good guys’ are is likely about to change dramatically when she and Clarke meet up with the spacekru, the bunkerkru and the Eligius prisoners.

2. Clarke is embracing her maternal side

Eliza Taylor emphasized several times how excited she is about Clarke becoming more “maternal” this year, because, as she told TV Line, “I can add a little bit of myself in there.”

She told Access Hollywood that we can expect “a lot of flashbacks,” including some showing Clarke meeting Madi and them forming that all-important bond.

But it won’t be all songs and bedtime stories: at the main panel, Rothenberg compared their relationship to that of Sarah Connor and John Connor, with Clarke having raised Madi to be a warrior, and to “be prepared” for what’s coming.

And ‘maternal’ should in no way be assumed to mean weak or soft — with Clarke becoming a parent also comes an added sense of protectiveness for her charge, which will probably make her fiercer and more dangerous for those she perceives as enemies.

3. The Eligius prisoners are ‘from our time’ (!!!)

During the main panel, Rothenberg casually dropped what is probably the biggest reveal yet about The 100 season 5: not only did he confirm that the prisoners are indeed from Earth, but that they’re from a pre-apocalyptic world that is only decades away from our time. Our time. OUR TIME!

It had previously been speculated (by me, oh well, another day another theory) that the Eligius crew would be descendants of the original prisoners that left Earth for the mining colony pre-apocalypse, but nope, The 100 is gonna go full Fallout 4 and bring back a group of characters that have been cryogenically frozen for 100+ years, and who remember Earth as WE remember it.

This is not only a really cool sci-fi thing, but it also introduces a completely foreign element into the show: reality. The closest we’ve come to ‘old-world values’ on The 100 until now were the Mount Weather inhabitants, who had clung on to pre-war society the best they could (their clothing and behavioural patterns even indicating that they’d perhaps regressed a few decades), ruled by a traditional patriarchy in the form of Dante Wallace and his son/successor Cage.

Now it looks like we’re getting a group of people — prisoners, though “very different” from the delinquents in season 1 — who remember the world as it looked in the City of Light; who remember ice cream and shopping malls and sidewalks and borders and democracy. The way they interact with each other and the characters we know, who have so effectively transcended the societal structure as we know it, it going to be extremely interesting.

4. We’ll meet 3 ‘powerful’ new characters

When asked which characters he was most fired up to write about in season 5 (by Hypable’s own Pamela Gocobachi), Rothenberg actually name-dropped — without the actual dropping of any names — three new characters, whom he described as “powerful.”

Are they from Eligius? Are they perhaps three kickass female co-captains played by the former members of Destiny’s Child? Are they Bill Cadogan and his two backup clones? Are they Kabby triplets? Anything’s possible!

It should be noted though that in the IGN interview (see below), Rothenberg says that the Eligius crew will “seem like villains” that ultimately “will be a threat,” but “we’re gonna find some guys in there that we really like,” including a potential love interest for somebody. So that’s probably at least one of the new characters accounted for, right?

EDIT: As the above video from The Geekiary confirms, one of the new characters is indeed a female Eligius leader! Thanks Tracey for the link!)

5. The season’s themes are ‘regeneration’ and ‘rebirth’

In the same IGN interview, Rothenberg confirmed what he’s implied before, that this season is about “regeneration and rebirth.”

The full-circle-ness of the Eligius crew being the new Ark survivors, Clarke being the new Grounder and Wonkru being the new Mountain Men is obviously a big part of that, but the ‘rebirth’ and ‘regeneration’ is about a lot more than just the story being reset: we might also see the Earth begin to regenerate, allowing more hope for humanity’s survival moving forward. Hopefully.

But as for a happy ending? That’s still a firm “no” from Rothenberg, who confirms once again that this story, like all of his favorite stories, is a tragedy. So just, you know, keep that in mind.

6. The ‘garden of Eden’ won’t be big enough for everybody

The main source of conflict this year appears to be who gets to live on Clarke and Madi’s precious piece of green land. Seeing as the Eligius ship is landing there, it could indicate that this is the only inhabitable place on the globe (or else The 100 is just really committed to keeping its action within North America), which means that we’re setting up for another big war between the different factions.

At the outset, at least, the main conflict is set up to be about who gets to occupy the inhabitable land, with the two main contenders being Wonkru and Eligius. How Clarke and the spacekru choose to align themselves will likely add to that tension, too.

7. Octavia is gonna go super!dark (as opposed to just regular old Skairippa dark)

Never one to mince her words, Marie Avgeropoulos appeared to give quite a lot away in the TV Line interview about where we’ll see Octavia at the start of season 5 (which has previously been revealed by Rothenberg to be ‘an unexpected place’).

“All of these clans haven’t let go of previous animosities, so there’s a lot of drama, a lot of beef, so in order to keep the peace and riots at a minimum, she’s had to come up with a way to reprimand their bad behaviour. And apparently it’s a pretty brutal way,” said Avgeropoulos in the video. (Notably, the word she used to describe this in the panel was “plan” — so whatever brutal things Octavia is doing to ‘keep the peace,’ they are premeditated.)

“She’s under the floor, again, but this time she’s forced to be a leader and she doesn’t know how to do that, so she’s gonna have to learn the hard way,” Avgeropoulos further revealed to ClevverTV.

In the press room, Rothenberg alluded to the fact that things might have been calmer during the first five years, before the bunkerkru realized they were trapped. “The psychology is very different for somebody that knows there’s a five-year [time limit],” he said. “I can live through that. But if I’m here forever, I’m gonna behave differently.”

Octavia Blake The 100

8. Octavia may also be… bald?

When talking about how the characters might look different next season, everyone’s raving about Bob Morley potentially growing a “sweet moustache” (Admiral Adama style?), but let’s talk about OCTAVIA’S potential big hair change!

At the panel, Avgeropoulos said she and Jason had had some talks about a radical new look for Octavia she hadn’t agreed to yet, and later she joked that she’d donate her “shaved head hair” to Bellamy’s beard wig.

So, Furiosa!Octavia in The 100 season 5? PLEASE AGREE TO THIS, MARIE!

9. Bellamy, Clarke and Octavia will go through the most ‘extreme’ changes

Despite the exciting newcomers, Jason Rothenberg reaffirmed in the press room that the trio at the centre of his tale is still the Blake-Griffins, saying, “For me it’s always about Bellamy, Clarke, [and] Octavia.”

He also revealed that those three are the ones who’ve changed the most, in “extreme” ways: “it’s been really fun so far this year to see how far I can push that, to see how much we can change a person from what we know of them and still have it feel like that person and not feel out of character.”

In our press room video, Morley described Bellamy as a “pacifist” and “quite a good leader,” and at the panel, he said Bellamy had “grown up a little bit,” which might give us a clue as how Bellamy has changed. Usually so pro-active and quick to protect his people, has the older Bellamy perhaps become more benevolent, more trusting, with less of an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ perspective?

Rothenberg’s statement that, “Bellamy is gonna have to help Clarke come to see that we have to do things differently now,” and calling Bellamy “heroic and holistic” in the press room, also seems to support that Clarke may have developed to be the more confrontational, territorial of the two, where previously she’s been the one who’s made more of an effort to reach out and find common ground with ‘the others’ du jour.

As for Bellamy and Octavia, who are both leaders now, Rothenberg reveals to IGN that after they all reunite, we can expect “clashes” between the Blake siblings, after they’ve been been apart for so long and changed so much, in very different ways. (Does this imply that Bellamy and co. will side with Eligius in the battle for Eden? Maaaybe?)

10. Clarke’s messages to Bellamy will be addressed in episode 1

When Access Hollywood asked Bob Morley how he thought Bellamy would react to hearing Clarke’s daily news blasts, Morley implied that we won’t have to wait long to find out the answer, saying, “That’s kind of addressed within the first episode.”

Since Jason Rothenberg told IGN that reunions will be “early, but [not] at the beginning” of the season, Bellamy and Clarke likely aren’t reuniting in the premiere episode, so just how it’ll be addressed is anyone’s guess. (An educated guess, and popular theory, is that Bellamy has been able to hear Clarke’s messages without being able to respond.)

On how long we’ll have to wait for reunions, Rothenberg further said: “It’s gonna take a little while, but we did jump six years so that we could skip most of the time that they were apart, so we’re gonna get them back down to the ground pretty quickly, and we’re gonna get that bunker door open eventually.”

11. Bellamy’s relationship with Echo will continue to develop

It was evident from The 100 season 4 that Bellamy and Echo have formed some sort of connection, and in the SDCC press room, Bob Morley flat-out refused to tease what their relationship looks like six years later. Interesting.

He did say that we’re gonna see the relationship “develop,” explaining, “there’s a part of her that understands something about Octavia that Bellamy is drawn to. I think [Echo and Bellamy are] both very similar in a way, but yeah, they’re definitely shifting. Because they’re not fighting anymore, they’re not enemies, they’re gonna have to work together as a team.”

So however that dynamic has unfolded over the course of the time jump, “that’s one that’s definitely gonna dictate a lot of who [Bellamy] is this season.”

12. Bellamy and Clarke are still ‘the heart of the show’

In an interview with TV Guide, Jason Rothenberg reaffirmed what he’s said several times before, that Clarke and Bellamy are “the heart of the show,” and that he finds them “amazing together.”

Regarding any potential romantic development, Rothenberg of course wouldn’t give a concrete answer one way or another (which really shouldn’t surprise anyone), though he did add that, “it’s always evolving … it’s been their story from the beginning and it’s their story today, and you never know.”

13. Abby Griffin is alive!

In the TV Line interview, Jason Rothenberg also confirmed that, while he wouldn’t give the same guarantee to anyone else, Abby Griffin is indeed alive in present day.

He and Taylor also hinted that Clarke and Abby’s relationship will change as a result of Clarke now having a ‘child’ of her own.

That’s at least one piece of good news, right?!

14. Jaha will return at least once

(Okay so this one didn’t directly come out of SDCC, but it’s my list so I do what I want.)

Isaiah Washington might no longer be a series regular, but the actor has confirmed that he will indeed be back in season 5, episode 3, writing on Instagram:

Jaha’s story ended somewhat harmoniously in season 4 with him taking charge of a child, essentially coming full circle on another Ark, with another son.

It’d have been possible for them to write him out, allowing him to just exist peacefully in the bunker without us ever seeing him again (he can bunk with Bryan and Wick, eh?), but I’m very happy this isn’t the case. It’ll be interesting to catch up with Jaha in season 5, to see how he’s changed as a result of having a child to take care of (much like Clarke, incidentally).

Of course he could also just be back to be killed off, but I hope that’s not the case. I guess we’ll see in 5×03!

15. That SenseSp8ce crackpot theory is… not so crackpot after all?

You know all of those wild fan theories about space orgies that I instantly dismissed as being something The 100 would never do? Yeahhh, about that…

“Six years is a long time,” Rothenberg said at the panel, and appeared not to be joking when he revealed that, “we’ll see people get together, break up, get back together, casual sex, not so casual.”

So yeah, this might actually be the time they make all the wildest shipper dreams come true, using the six year waiting game to allow these seven characters (Bellamy, Raven, Murphy, Echo, Emori, Harper and Monty) to work through some tensions and try some different relationships on for size before landing on pair-ups that will likely surprise us when we meet them again post-time jump.

But I’m gonna be honest: I’m still expecting that this is all a big misdirect to hide the fact that the Eligius ship has intercepted with the spacekru and split them up. There’s no way they’ve actually just been stuck up there with nothing to do but each other for six years, right? Right?

tl;dr I’ll believe in the space orgy when I see it!

The 100 Murphy Raven

16. Raven and Murphy might be one of the spacekru pairings

Between their wink-winks at the main panel, Richard Harmon saying in the press room that, “I think we have really good chemistry on screen, there’s this weird fire between [us],” and Jason calling their development “interesting” this season, we should at least consider the possibility that six years on the Ark has given Murphy and Raven time and ~space~ to explore that connection a little further.

Certainly if we’re gonna take Jason’s statement about couples breaking up and getting back together at face value, the two existing couples — Memori and Marper — are both on the chopping block, and all potential pair-ups should be considered.

Raven/Murphy, Echo/Bellamy and Raven/Bellamy were the only ones that were brought up repeatedly during SDCC (though Bob Morley seemed pretty quick to dismiss Raven/Bellamy as a romantic option when speaking to ExtraTV, instead describing them as a leadership team), but that isn’t to rule out other possibilities like Raven/Echo, Murphy/Bellamy or Emori/Monty. Hell, anything’s possible. It’s been six years. They’ve been so bored up there, allegedly.

Plus, remember that just because a couple breaks up during those six years doesn’t mean they can’t get back together, so don’t lose hope for Marper and Memori just yet. All we know is that, if Jason is to be believed, there will be some frivolity happening up on that Ark Station.

17. Raven will learn how to fight

When asked at the panel what kind of hobbies the characters might pick up, Lindsey Morgan suggested that Raven (who is also Bellamy’s second-in-command now, by the way) should get some combat training, and Jason quickly jumped in to say, “you will.”

So that’s the Raven/Echo thing all set up and ready to go, right?

The 100 season 4 episode 2 Kabby again

18. No babies

During the panel, when asked whether there’ll be a baby either in space or the bunker, Jason flat-out said no.

Soooooo I’m gonna go ahead and take that as a MAYBE to the Kabby baby, then. I mean, does it even COUNT as a baby if it’s like five years old by the time we meet it? #nevergiveupnevergivein

19. There’ll be ‘very pivotal, emotionally intense’ flashback moments

Although we’re all eager to see what everyone’s up to six years later, a lot has also happened during those six years, and The 100 isn’t gonna completely blow past that.

In fact we can expect a lot of flashbacks, as confirmed by several of the actors, and Jason at the main panel. Whether we’ll open the season with a flashback remains a secret, but as the season goes along, “we will come to understand how all of them became the characters that we will see in the premiere” (which I guess kind of confirms that the premiere will not be a flashback episode).

My reaction to all of this intriguing information about The 100 season 5? BRING. IT. ON.

What was the most interesting reveal about The 100 season 5 to come out of San Diego Comic-Con 2017?

‘The 100’ season 5 premieres in early 2018

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