In the world of The 100, the drive to survive is paramount and leaders are forced to make difficult decisions and make sacrifices in order to protect their people. In this quest, unlikely alliances have been made and broken, leaving personal scars which run deep. When Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) abandoned Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and the Sky People at Mount Weather a seemingly permanent divide was formed.
Clarke developed feelings for the person who forced her to chose to let Finn die a painful death or take him out with a stab of her own blade. Somewhere along the way, the relationship between Clarke and Lexa shifted from a political to a personal one, and the blurring of those lines has caused heartbreak and political turmoil between them.
When Lexa left Clarke and the Skaikru behind at Mount Weather, she set into motion a series of events that changed their dynamic forever. Even if Clarke forgives Lexa, she is a different person both internally and as seen by others. She’s Wanheda, a leader who left her people behind, and responsible for wiping out the Mountain Men. These all weigh heavy on her.
Does Lexa deserve forgiveness? More importantly, has Lexa earned forgiveness?
There are two pivotal aspects behind the friction between the two leaders. First, Lexa broke the pact between the Grounders and the Arkers when she made a deal to save her own people at Mount Weather at the expense of the Arkers. She made the decision to betray Clarke and sacrifice the 47 left behind in Mount Weather.
Second, as a result of Lexa’s betrayal, Clarke ended up killing an entire species of people, including men, women, children and even friends. Was this outcome Lexa’s fault? Not directly. That blame falls to Cage who wouldn’t stop harvesting Skaikru blood to save his own people. Clarke was left with a kill or be killed situation, though she wouldn’t have been in that position if Lexa had held up her end of the alliance in the fight against Mount Weather.
Lexa’s decision at Mount Weather wasn’t personal, it was about survival. She made a deal to save her people, even though it came at the expense of the 47 Arkers left behind, but that was a price she was willing to pay. The alliance to take on the Mountain Men was out of necessity at the moment and wasn’t a long, well-established pact.
Wouldn’t Clarke have taken the same deal if it was offered to her? Perhaps. Just that possibility opens up the door for understanding and forgiveness.
The initial reunion between Clarke and Lexa was brutal. After months in the wild, Clarke feral side took over as she nearly growled at her former ally and spit in her face. Despite the resentment and anger, Clarke’s abandoned assassination attempt proved a connection between the two remained. She didn’t want Lexa dead, and in that moment, there was hope for a reconciliation.
Lexa began her road to redemption when she sent Roan out to find Clarke and save her from the hands of the Ice Queen. While that was also an act of self-preservation, it was also the beginning of her journey to earn Clarke’s forgiveness.
The threat from the Ice Nation, just like that of Mount Weather before, required that Lexa and Clarke align themselves and their people together again. Through this necessity, Clarke’s tension eased toward Lexa, and they were able to work together politically, though it remained clear that personal forgiveness was not part of that … yet.
While Clarke bowed before Lexa and pledged allegiance for her people as the 13th Clan, Lexa took it a step further by bowing and declaring fealty personally to Clarke and to the Skaikru. And in that moment, a crack was opened — but just a crack — in the wall between them.
It’s now time for Clarke to forgive Lexa and trust her. They need each other if they are going to make it through the difficulties coming ahead. In the aftermath of the Field of Blood, Lexa’s first reaction was to hold Clarke prisoner in retribution for the attack and called for her army to retaliate. That was the old Lexa coming out to play and the one who Clarke couldn’t forgive. Instead of holding firm, Lexa took a different path and one which would threaten her own power.
Blood must NOT have blood.
Lexa’s decision to not retaliate for the massacre of her army was a huge step toward redemption. Was it enough to earn forgiveness? No, but it was close. Three hundred of Lexa’s people were massacred in their sleep by the very people they were there to protect and she let it go. She went against a fundamental belief of her people in an attempt to stop the killing and to preserve her relationship with Clarke and potentially with the Skaikru.
Lexa was the bigger person. She’s learned from Clarke and both trusts and values her counsel.
Ultimately, Clarke and Lexa need each other. They are both facing opposition from their people and need the support both personally and professionally. Clarke has attempted to quash her feelings for Lexa by claiming her actions were for her people, but she feared for Lexa’s life during the fight, connected with her during the nighttime visit, and ultimately her decision to spare Emerson’s life was due to Lexa’s influence.
Lexa’s commitment to “blood must not have blood, both at Arkadia and in regards to Emerson, demonstrated that she’s earned Clarke’s forgiveness. They both have blood, lots of blood, on their hands, but none of it has been unwarranted. They are good leaders because they will make the difficult decisions in order to save their people. Now is the time for Clarke to unburden herself and let Lexa in.
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