From innocent and loyal daughter, to leader of the 100 juvenile delinquents sent to Earth, to Death Commander Wanheda, Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor) has come a long way since The 100 first premiered. And after the season three premiere jumped ahead three months, we saw even bigger changes in Clarke. Leaving Arkadia and all her friends and loved ones behind, she’s been living in disguise out in the wilderness, trying to survive as a Grounder and cope with the fact that she just mass murdered an entire civilization in Mount Weather.
“I don’t know that you could ever get over something like that permanently,” executive producer Jason Rothenberg tells Nerdist. “I think she’s going to learn how to put it in perspective, perhaps, this season. I don’t think she’ll forgive herself—perhaps ever, but certainly not for a long time—for what she’s done.”
Now that word has spread about what she did to Mount Weather, she’s become known as Wanheda, the Commander of Death. Obviously, Clarke is not too psyched about earning that title.
“Obviously she doesn’t name herself that,” Rothenberg says. “She becomes known as Wanheda by the Grounders because the legend spread and is given a name. They know her as the Commander of Death. This girl from space burned 300 badass Grounder warriors alive in a ring of fire at the dropship and then by herself. Although she had help from Bellamy, Monty, and others, she essentially single-handedly wiped out Mount Weather, which was the biggest threat on the ground. She took it out by herself in a day, after being abandoned by the Commander herself, who is supposed to be the biggest, baddest dog on the block.”
He continues, “That is the stuff of legend, and she becomes Wanheda. But it’s something that she hates. It’s something that she runs from, tries to hide from, changes her identity because of, and ultimately will discover that you can’t hide from who you are. You can’t sneak up on a mirror. Ultimately, we’ll see if she can figure out a way to rediscover her own humanity. She’s denying her emotions, she’s denying herself any kind of real understanding of what she had to do. This season’s journey for her is about rediscovering her own humanity. The theme of this season is, ‘What does it mean to be human?’ Clarke has to remember that.”
Of course, Clarke’s personal journey has to be put on hold for a moment, since she’s been captured by a Grounder bounty hunter, as there’s a price on Wanheda’s head. Meet Roan (Shameless and Black Sails star Zach McGowan).
“He certainly appears to be a bad guy when we first meet him,” Rothenberg says. “Subtly and not too slowly, we realize there’s more to that story. He’s complicated.”
McGowan agrees with Rothenberg, telling Nerdist, “Roan’s a complex person. He’s a person who is easy to write off as one thing or another, but he’s complex. He’s dealing with a very tough situation in life. He’s definitely scarred. But deep down inside, he might not be the worst guy around.”
And after hearing all the tales about the legendary Wanheda, Roan was more than a little shocked to see his prey was just a young girl.
“He’s fairly disappointed that this is the great Commander of Death,” McGowan says. “He was definitely expecting something more. But he’s going to come to understand her more over the course of things.”
But Roan’s not the only new The 100 character we’ll get to learn more about. Now that Jaha (Isaiah Washington) has made it to the “City of Lights” with Murphy (Richard Harmon), he’s linked up with the mysterious artificial intelligence A.L.I.E. (Erica Cerra), who may or may not be guilty of causing the nuclear apocalypse that ended civilization 97 years earlier.
“The other big story that we’re telling is the A.I. story, which takes less weight in the beginning of the season, as it percolates along as a sub-story, a B story,” Rothenberg says. “And it will—as you watch, going forward after episode four—begin to become more and more prominent until it explodes into the foreground of everything and becomes just insanely crazy and cool.”
And as Jaha continues to lose his damn mind and drink the Kool-Aid that A.L.I.E. is serving, viewers may be shocked to find themselves siding with Murphy.
“When John Murphy is the sane one, you’re in trouble for sure,” Rothenberg says with a laugh.
Images: The CW
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.