The 100 & The Grand Disappointment of Bellamy Blake

Let's talk about how The 100 failed one of its best characters, Bellamy Blake, and how it failed many of its other characters in the process.

Bellamy Blake in The 100 Season 7
Photo: The CW

This The 100 articles contains MAJOR spoilers for “Blood Giant.” Do not read if you have not yet watched the episode.

The final season of The 100 may be going out with a bang, but it’s certainly not the kind of plot-twisting its fans had hoped for. Given that this is a show that has killed off several of its major characters over the years in a variety of painful and shockingly abrupt ways, many viewers likely already knew that we’d be forced to say goodbye to several of our favorites before the end of things. But no one could have possibly expected that we’d be forced to watch Clarke Griffin kill Bellamy Blake in cold blood during the final moments of “Blood Giant,” with just a trio of episodes remaining before the series’ final credits roll forever.

With this twist, The 100 has decided to double down on its worst tendencies: choosing shock value over character development, and suffering over hope. The choice to kill off Bellamy is not just a heartbreaking decision, but an infuriating, disappointing, and utterly nonsensical one. He doesn’t die defending those he loves or sacrificing himself for the greater good of his people. His last words are the sort of blank, cultish claptrap about saving humanity that even Thelonious Jaha would hav laughed at. Everything that mattered about his existing narrative arc—and the relationships this show has spent literal years building—is sacrificed on the altar of a shock twist and honestly? It sucks.

To be fair, Bellamy has been such a nonentity in Season 7 that the decision to kill him off does make a certain amount of sense. He’s been largely absent from the story and has almost no Season 7 story of his own. Furthermore, his sudden conversion to fanatical religious zealot feels like it was the choice of a stranger rather than the character we have seen evolve over the previous six seasons. In other words, while “Blood Giant” was the worst of the worst, this episode doesn’t mark the first moment that The 100 has failed Bellamy this season.

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Yet, this particular method of offing him does nothing to serve the narrative, except crush Clarke just a little bit further by forcing her to do it herself and theoretically raise the emotional stakes for the season finale by reminding viewers that no one on this show is ever truly safe. (A lesson which, seven seasons in, it seems unlikely anyone needs anymore.)

But for those of us (i.e. me) who have been steadily defending The 100 through a stream of poor decisions during this final season, Bellamy’s death feels like a slap in the face.

Not only was there apparently no grand overall plan for this character, the show didn’t even care enough to fake it. Perhaps if Bellamy had been part of this season for more than 45 minutes, the choice to make him a true Second Dawn believer could have been fleshed out enough that some aspect of this twist might have felt earned. Maybe if The 100 had shown us a Bellamy so utterly desperate for something to believe in, who so needed to put his burdens down at long last that he would reject everything that had ever mattered to him to do so, then maybe this episode would have at least felt like a tragedy rather than a joke.

Instead, Bellamy’s death seems like nothing so much as more gratuitous torture porn on a series that seems to have forgotten how to do anything other than make its characters suffer.

At this point, I’m not super sure why humanity even wants to survive on Sanctum, or anywhere else for that matter. There’s no joy, no hope, no peace to be found anywhere in The 100 universe. And, though it’s true that the show has never pulled any punches about the grim nature of the world in which its story is set, the circumstances of Bellamy’s death are next-level bleak. Shot dead by his best friend—who loved him more than anyone, save perhaps Octavia—after he threatened to risk her child’s life over a random sketchbook that ended up in the enemy’s hands anyway. There’s so much wrong with all of this that it almost defies description.

Bellamy has spent seven seasons and literally over a hundred years fighting alongside Clarke, believing in her when no one else did and helping her bear a truly incomprehensible burden. He loves her, he trusts her, and he has proven time and again that he’s willing to sacrifice almost anything for her. The idea that he would suddenly put her daughter at risk in the name of a newfound faith he essentially just read off the back of a cereal box is ludicrous in the extreme.

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Similarly, Clarke herself has proven that she’s incapable of imagining a world without Bellamy in it—she’s already failed to kill him when the fate of humanity was at stake once before, and even as late as Season 6, she names leaving him behind in Polis as her greatest regret. The idea that Clarke wouldn’t at least try to find another way to protect Madi that didn’t involve murdering the other most important person in her life is insane. At the very least, the Clarke we’ve spent seven seasons watching would have aimed for his hand instead of going for the kill shot right away. (And, you know, actually retrieved the sketchbook that started all of this.)

Furthermore, we all already know that Bill Cadogan is an untrustworthy charlatan running a centuries old scam, so it’s not like Bellamy’s supposedly principled determination to save humanity by offering up Madi to his new cult friends actually means anything. We may not actually agree with Clarke’s decision to shoot her BFF, but we all know she’s not wrong about what the Second Dawn will do to her daughter once they get their hands on that book. And the worst part is, on some level, Bellamy must know that too.

It was difficult enough understanding how Bellamy could so easily betray his friends at the end of “Etherea” by exposing their lie about the Flame and then calmly watch them get as a result. It’s practically impossible to grasp how he could stand next to Clarke and try to argue that the risk to Madi’s safety is worth it, because he has suddenly found a new whacked out religion that will save humanity? And to reference their “together” refrain—which has seen them commit genocide and risk the future of their people at each other’s sides—in an effort to get Clarke to relent? Couldn’t Bellamy have at least died for refusing to hand over the sketchbook and doom his best friend’s daughter? That, at least, would have given his death some real meaning.

And while Bellamy absolutely deserves better than the ending this show gave him, the other unfortunate lesson of “Blood Giant” is that The 100’s women do too. At this point, the show’s obvious delight in forcing its female characters to make impossible choices and endure repeated personal betrayals in the name of gritty storytelling every single season doesn’t seem so groundbreaking anymore; it just feels gross. Now Clarke will not only have to bear the burden of killing her best friend, she’ll have to face Octavia and Echo, who will likely never forgive her for her choices, even if they manage to understand why she did what she did.

In its final season, The 100 didn’t just kill off one of its leads and destroy one of its foundational relationships in the process, it betrayed everything it stood for along the way. Showrunner Jason Rothenberg continues to insist this show is about survival and the dark things humanity is willing to do in its name. But if Clarke’s journey is what survival looks like, who among us would ever want any part of that?