After penning a heartfelt open letter, The 100 boss Jason Rothenberg addressed Lexa’s death to a large crowd at WonderCon on Sunday.
To recap: After Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Clarke (Eliza Taylor) finally consummated their relationship, the Commander tragically died in a freak accident after Titus aimed to kill Clarke, but accidentally shot Lexa.
Suffice it to say, there was a swift outcry from fans, particularly among the LGBT community, who were upset that a show as progressive as The 100 seemingly turned to the TV trope of killing off a lesbian character just after a particularly happy moment in her life, otherwise known as the “Bury Your Gays” trope.
“Knowing what I know now, I would’ve done things differently,” Rothenberg said, reiterating what he recently wrote in his open letter to the fans. But if given a second chance, would he have gone the same route? “The answer is yes, but I would do things differently.”
Specifically, Rothenberg said he would not have the sex and death be juxtaposed so closely, though he defended the decision to have Lexa die at the hands of a stray bullet. “This show doesn’t traffic in heroic battlefield death,” Rothenberg said. “I was trying to make a different point, I was trying to make a point that life is tragic, that somebody as powerful as Lexa could die because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Still, Rothenberg realized the power of social media in the wake of Lexa’s death. “I need to be careful,” he said, later noting that the money raised for the Trevor Project by LGBT fans has been the silver lining in all of this. “The excitement I showed on Twitter set up this expectation that somehow we weren’t going to blow it, that somehow it would be different for Lexa.”
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After a brief hiatus, The 100 will return on Thursday, picking up roughly 24 hours after Lexa’s death, giving viewers insight into how Clarke is dealing in the aftermath. “Clarke has always been good at compartmentalizing and pushing forward in even the worst situations, but this one’s different, this is her love,” Taylor said. “It’s going to be really, really tricky for her. It changes her. It really changes her for good. In true Clarke fashion, she will somehow get through it. It’s such a hard situation for her.”
However, Clarke will quickly be thrown for a loop when the conclave doesn’t go quite the way she had hoped — spoiler alert, but let’s not forget that the Ice Nation has a candidate of its own in the form of Ontari (Rhiannon Fish), who does pop up in Thursday’s episode. “She’s not the commander yet, she doesn’t have the flame yet,” Rothenberg teased. “The process is you win the conclave… and then you have to ascend. We’ll see how that plays out. It’s not a straight path.”
The next challenge would be for the flame to accept whomever becomes the next Commander, which is juxtaposed with A.L.I.E. (Erica Cerra) attempting to get all of the Sky People to ingest the chip back in Arkadia — a task made much more difficult in the wake of Raven (Lindsey Morgan) realizing there’s something amiss with this chip. “You get to see the hold that the chip has on people,” Morgan said. “You see Raven put her mentality to the test.”
“Jaha [Isaiah Washington] and A.L.I.E. are on a mission to chip all the people who are left on earth,” Rothenberg said. “I don’t think they counted on Raven’s tenacity and her strength of mind. We’ll now see that A.L.I.E. is going to have to figure out a way around. Can she overcome Raven’s free will? At some point, everybody will be tempted and we’ll have to wait and see if everybody can overcome that.”
The 100 returns Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.