4:30 pm EDT, November 11, 2018

‘The 100’ season 6: Everything we (don’t) know about Eligius III

The 100 season 6 tracks the lost Eligius III mission, which landed on the new planet 200 years before our heroes. Who were they? What happened to them? And how are they connected to the show’s existing mythology?

In The 100 season 6, our heroes arrive on a brand new planet, aboard the Eligius IV mining ship.

While everyone was in cryo sleep, Monty and Harper stayed awake to wait for Earth’s recovery. When it become obvious that this wasn’t going to happen, Monty found a way to hack into the mission files of the mysterious Eligius III, following the course they set for this new world more than two centuries ago.

228 years (give or take) after the first apocalypse, the sleeping giants touch down on the surface of the unknown planet, and have to figure out what happened to the crew of Eligius III, and what connection they may have to our heroes.

We don’t know much about Eligius III, or who were on board. In fact, much like how the files on Eligius IV were encrypted, The 100‘s cast and crew have been almost completely mum about their origins and fates.

The closest thing we’ve gotten to a clue is this snippet from our post-season 5 finale interview with showrunner Jason Rothenberg:

“Eligius III, and what’s become of them, is obviously going to be central to the story. It’s been just over 200 years since Eligius III landed on this planet, [and] think about the difference between now and the Earth that our characters landed on 97 years after the nuclear apocalypse! A whole new culture was created with a whole new religion and everything. And that was only 97 years!

“What we do ultimately reveal is fascinating and really, really… weird. And different. And fun. And also has very, very deep roots in the existing mythology of our show.”

That tells us almost nothing, but we’re The 100 fans — almost nothing is all we need!

So here is everything we (don’t) know about the Eligius III mission, who sent it, and what might have happened to it on the two-sun planet:

The Eligius Corporation: Powering a Better Tomorrow

The Eligius Corporation, or the Eligius Mining Company, was concerned with long-distance space travel, mining asteroids and searching for habitable planets ahead of the first apocalypse.

It is named after Saint Eligius, patron saint of goldsmiths, coin collectors, horses, veterinarians and, notably, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Eligius was also a missionary, and worked for 20 years to convert the pagan population of Flanders to Christianity.

The Eligius Corporation sent four vessels (that we know of) into space. Eligius I was an unmanned mission to the asteroid Proxima Six, where it discovered a goldmine of so-called ‘Hythylodium,’ a powerful energy source.

This prompted the company to send two manned missions to the asteroid: Eligius II, which failed due to insufficient manpower, and Eligius IV, which was loaded with criminals that could perform the hard labor required.

Eligius III, however, had another objective: this vessel was bound for a distant planet in the Goldilocks zone of a binary star system, ostensibly to mine it for oil, since Earth was running out.

It is possible that Eligius needed the Hythylodium in the first place in order to fuel a mission to the two-sun planet, making this the corporation’s primary objective… and making you wonder if they really just went there looking for oil.

Becca Pramheda (Erica Cerra), whose AI technology ALIE was responsible for ending the world, worked with the Eligius Corporation in some capacity: she originally developed the Nightblood solution for Eligius, ostensibly to protect against solar flares during long-distance space travel.

It is possible that she met the crew at this time, perhaps even knew them personally, depending on just how close her company Polaris was involved with Eligius.

As we know, Becca also later used the Nightblood to help the first Grounders survive increased radiation levels on the ground, and to interface with ALIE 2.0, aka. the Flame.

The crew of Eligius III, however, appear to have been injected with Nightblood specifically to protect them against radiation on the two-sun planet, since Eligius IV crew member Zeke Shaw (Jordan Bolger) knew of the serum and the reason for the blood alteration procedure.

All four (known) Eligius missions launched before the first apocalypse in 2052. The Eligius IV mission launched in the 2040s, and we assume the Eligius III mission launched not long before, considering that Becca developed the Nightblood serum for them, and she was born in 2025.

(Note: In order for them to have been on the new planet for a full 200 years before our heroes arrive in (approx.) 2280 AD, they have to have arrived by 2080, which means they must have traveled there in about half the time it took Eligius IV.)

Since Eligius was aware of not only the planet’s existence, but its potential oil resources and the need for Nightblood serum due to its two suns, the corporation must have known a fair bit about it before launching the mission.

It is unclear how they obtained this information, whether the planet’s existence and potential for supporting human life was public knowledge pre-apocalypse, or if the Eligius III mission’s true aim and destination was kept secret (maybe even from Becca).

Two suns: The Second Dawn of a better tomorrow?

Another potential clue to who Eligius III were, and what their true mission was, lies in the cult of Bill Cadogan: the auspiciously-named ‘Second Dawn.’

We know the Second Dawn cult members as the first Nightbloods, the ones who survived Praimfaia in Bill Cadogan’s Polis bunker and shunned technology, but worshiped Becca’s Flame AI in secret, to Cadogan’s chagrin.

The cult would eventually leave the bunker, mix with other apocalypse survivors, and form the society and religion of the Grounders. Their worship of the Flame battled with their desire to shun technology, eventually making Becca Pramheda, the AI and the Commander who bore it religious symbols rather than a celebration of technological advancements.

Until now, we’ve assumed that the title ‘Second Dawn’ referred to the impending apocalypse and the rise of a new age of humanity on Earth, once the world had been cleansed of what made it ‘evil’ (technology, and too many people), and only the chosen Level 12 cult members remained.

Bill Cadogan, a doomsday fanatic with enough funds to build both the Polis bunker and a dummy bunker near his childhood home, ostensibly believed that technology was the root of all evil. And yet, there are clues that he was somehow affiliated with Becca’s company Polaris ahead of the apocalypse (the Second Dawn logo appears on her equipment in season 4).

It is of course still very possible that Cadogan himself knew nothing about the two-sun planet, and that he only foresaw the ALIE-induced apocalypse — he might have even helped put the idea into her head — and the cult slogan, “from the ashes we will rise,” would support that theory. (The ashes being Praimfaya, and the rise being the Grounders.)

However, now that we know there is a planet with two suns, and therefore a literal second dawn, which we saw at the end of season 5 — and, more importantly, we know that at least some people knew about the planet’s existence before Eligius III left Earth — it seems almost too great of a coincidence that Cadogan’s cult and Eligius’ mission should not be somehow connected.

Second Dawn even sounds like it is affiliated with Eligius, the name not only recalling the dawn of a second sun, but the dawn of a brighter new day — or, as the Eligius slogan puts it, a “better tomorrow.”

We might speculate that, at the very least, Cadogan probably knew as much as Becca did about the two-sun planet and the need for Nightblood there, which inspired his cult name. And since this train is free-wheeling already, let’s just go ahead and play with the idea that Cadogan was involved with, or even owned, the Eligius Corporation.

After all, Saint Eligius himself is curiously both a figure associated with religion and science, being the patron saint of electricity and mechanical engineering and also a pious missionary who sought to ‘save’ the Pagans through religion. (In the Mary Doria Russell novel The Sparrow, the main character is a Jesuit priest who leads a mission to a distant planet with three suns, a propos of nothing.)

If Cadogan was involved with or even knew about the Eligius III mission, the vessel could very well have been manned and/or infiltrated by members of the Second Dawn cult (the secret 13th level, perhaps?). If so, their mission might not have been oil at all, but rather to colonize the new planet and usher in this ‘better tomorrow’ for humanity.

This would make them and their descendants essentially cousins of the Grounders, everything they could have been if not for Becca and the Flame’s influence (until Madi arrives, anyway). They might even be divided into the same factions, since the clan symbols came from the bunker.

However, unless some other wild twist is coming, Bill Cadogan himself did not go on the Eligius III mission, since in The 100 5×10, we see a flashback of Becca Pramheda being burned at the stake by Cadogan inside the Second Dawn bunker.

Of course, as fun as it is to theorize, the connection between the Second Dawn cult and Eligius is pure speculation at this point. But it would certainly be one intriguing way to link the show’s mythology with the society we discover in the new world.

Meeting the Eligius III descendants?

Whomever was or was not on the Eligius III ship 200 years ago, they probably hadn’t cracked the code to eternal life, so let’s assume for now that they’re all long dead. (Unless, of course, cryo sleep was involved?)

200 years is a long time, longer than six years even, and if there are any Eligius III descendants left on the planet, they must be at least six generations removed from the original pioneers from Earth.

They may have evolved a whole new society of their own — based on the Second Dawn cult or otherwise — or they may have interbred with any potential native species the planet may have had, becoming something new. (They also might have wiped them out. Humans gotta human.)

Like everything else about The 100 season 6, the new cast member announcements have been slow in coming, but two actors have been announced that could potentially be playing descendants of Eligius III: Teen Wolf‘s J.R. Bourne, who plays ‘peaceful leader’ Russell, and Bitten‘s Greyston Holt.

First of all, there is no getting around the fact that these actors look remarkably alike. At 48 and 33 years of age, respectively, they might not have been cast as father and son as some fans are speculating, but their characters could potentially still be somehow related.

That is, if they’re from the same factions at all. For all we know, Holt plays an Eligius IV prisoner, a member of Wonkru, or someone else altogether.

But if we presume for a moment — because why not? — that they’re both members of the society our heroes encounter on the new planet, they would likely be descendants of the Eligius III mission, or else native planetarians that would at least know what became of them.

(Since we know humans usually bring death and destruction with them, and this society is described as “peaceful,” that might be a mark in the favor of Russell, at least, being a descendant of the planet’s original inhabitants!)

It is also possible that existing characters know more about Eligius III than they’ve previously let on. Shaw, as the last living member of the Eligius IV crew, appears to have some knowledge about them, probably from the classified files.

And Monty (Chris Larkin) broke through the mission log encryption, and probably learned more than just the path they took to the new planet. This information could be passed on through video messages or through his son Jordan (Shannon Kook).

Once on the surface, it’ll be up to the characters — and the audience — to piece together the clues left behind by Eligius III, to figure out where they came from, what happened to them, and how they are connected to the society we eventually encounter on the two-sun planet.

What do you think? How does Eligius III fit into The 100‘s existing mythology, and what have they evolved into during their 200 years on the new world?

‘The 100’ returns in 2019

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