The 100 Season 5: Major Character Death Explained

We talked to The 100 showrunner Jason Rothenberg about the character exit in "Red Queen."

The 100 has a high body count, but it’s not as common these days to see someone who has been around since the pilot die. In the second episode of the season, the bloody “Red Queen,” The 100 lost someone who had been around since Day One: Jaha.

Thelonious Jaha has rarely been anyone’s favorite character. Not only is he an Old on a show that has prioritized the kids’ perspectives from the very beginning, but he has made some questionable decisions over the years.

Jaha presided over a command structure on The Ark that sentenced Clarke’s dad to death for trying to inform his fellow citizens of the Ark’s time limit, killed Octavia’s mom for having her, and sent the Sky Teens (including his own son) down to what could have been an uninhabitable Earth in the very first episode. Later, he helped A.L.I.E. slowly take over his people with her implants. And these actions are just the highlights.

With the death of such a controversial to write, did showrunner Jason Rothenberg know for sure how he wanted to write Jaha’s exit?

Ad – content continues below

“I didn’t always know for sure,” Rothenberg told Den of Geek during a phone interview. “I feel like the one thing that really mattered to me was that he went out heroically. He went out in a way that felt sad, and emotional, and heartbreaking, and not like triumph, and people rooting for the death of this character, who is sometimes an antagonist. That was very, very important to me, as we set out to break that story.”

Jaha was killed by an Azgeda warrior in the months following Praimfaya while Octavia’s leadership was still being solidified in the bunker. It’s ironic that the man who sentenced Octavia’s mother to death for Octavia even existing would be the one who would give Octavia the leadership advice she needed to quell the unrest amongst Wonkru. Then again, his advice seems to lead to a pretty brutal form of “justice” amongst Wonkru moving forward, so maybe it’s not so surprising.

“I wanted to tell a story where Jaha dies, in a way that is true to who he lived as, which was somebody who was always doing what he had to do, whatever it took, for his people to survive,” continued Rothenberg. “Certainly, he goes out in Episode 2 saving Sky Crew once again. But, also, that we were moved by it. I think that we achieved that, too. It is a significant loss, for sure.”

How did you feel about the manner of Jaha’s death? Were you sad to see him go? Sound off in the comments below.