After seven seasons and 130+ years, The 100 is counting down its final episodes with one major unresolved question in Season 7. No, it’s not “What’s up with the Anomaly?” Instead, the biggest mystery of the post-apocalyptic series is: “Will Clarke Griffin and Bellamy Blake continue their emotional journey from enemies to begrudging-co-leaders to friends to lovers?”
After everything these two have endured, together and apart—the longing glances, sacrificing others to save one another, those hugs—the question of whether Bellarke will happen could honestly go either way. And that tension has and can be incredibly frustrating, for shipping and non-shipping viewers alike. While the “shipping” segment of any show’s fan population can sometimes be treated as “silly” or “less valid” than the flavor of fannishness of those who spend more of their time in curative fandom, relationships are a vital part of any character-driven drama. The relationship between Clarke and Bellamy has been a main focus of this show from the very beginning and, as we move towards its hopefully epic conclusion, viewers deserve to see some kind of cathartic resolution when it comes to the Bellarke dynamic, whatever form that might take.
So let’s dive into this worthwhile debate. Will we end on a last-minute kiss or close on another intentionally missed opportunity? Should Bellamy and Clarke start a romantic relationship, or should the growth these two characters have gone through together be ultimately defined in a different, no-less-important form of relationship? Den of Geek contributors Lacy Baugher and Natalie Zutter argue both sides of the issue…
Pro: Yes, Bellamy & Clarke Should Get Together in Season 7
Shout it from the rooftops, the answer to this is obviously a resounding yes. In fact, Bellarke should have gotten together roughly three seasons ago, and it’s both bad form and kind of lame/lazy storytelling that we’re still having this shipper debate with just 13 episodes of the show to go, ever.
At this point, I honestly think I care more about whether Clarke Griffin and Bellamy Blake finally figure out they’re in love with each other than I do about the fate of the human race in this final season. Sorry, humanity, it’s been a wild ride with your Anomalies and your Sanctums and what all else, but I just need these two to be happy for more than approximately thirty seconds at a time and preferably concurrently. Don’t even feel like you need to explain to me what the Anomaly is, if it comes to that. I’m good.
(For the record: This is probably not the attitude that I, as a viewer, should be heading into this season holding. And yet, I am. I regret nothing.)
The thing is, Bellarke is meant to be. And I say that not just because they’re my favorite couple on the show (they are) or because their story is a wildly compelling one (it is). It’s because The 100 has constantly centered so much of its story around this relationship, consistently circling back to it like a lodestone.
The show is deeply aware of what these two mean to one another, coyly dropping lines and double-entendres that reference their deep and obvious feelings. It unabashedly embraces almost every single romance trope imaginable when it comes to this pairing,
Though they were originally positioned as something closer to adversaries at the beginning of the series, the pair grows to grudgingly respect, and then completely depend on one another. They make big, life altering decisions together (Hi, Mt. Weather!), and are constantly being pulled apart by circumstance and forced to fight their way back to one another. Their hugs are very aggressive. And they utterly refuse to give up on one another, no matter what happens. (Clarke called Bellamy in space every day for six years following the Praimfaya disaster.)
They’ve fought and forgiven each other. They’ve openly declared they can’t live without one another. (Ugh, remember when they both very forcefully wrote each others’ names on the list of designated bunker survivors back in Season 4? Kill me.) And their obvious care for one another is something that’s frequently designated as the other’s weakness, by both friends and foes.
Yet The 100 has, as yet, refused to pay any of this off with an actual relationship. At this point, not giving us Bellarke is a massive bait and switch, and I’ll completely understand the fandom’s anger if things go that way.
Clarke and Bellamy have, essentially, been to hell and back together, over and over again. Repeatedly pushed into leadership roles they never asked for and forced to make life or death decisions for most of their people whether they wanted to or not, this pair has borne weights and responsibilities well beyond their years. Yet throughout their many struggles and tragedies, they’ve had each other, and have formed the kind of true partnership that is both obvious and rare. The two know each other in a way that no one else does – or probably ever could.
And then, of course, there are the dozens of lingering hugs, tortured glances, and difficult, awkward silences when one of them realizes that the other has acquired a new romantic partner during their latest enforced separation from one another. These two are so obviously in love with each other it hurts, and they deserve the chance for something that looks like happiness.
Yet, over the course of the show’s six seasons to date, The 100 has spent an untold amount of time trying to figure out ways to keep Bellamy and Clarke apart. It’s honestly exhausting, unnecessary, and perhaps even bordering on unrealistic. They’ve each thought the other was dead at various points, literally spent years apart, had long-term relationships with other people, adopted random children, and fought on opposite sides of a war for a bit. Isn’t that enough?
Far too many series seem to think that the only interesting part of a couple’s story is exploring the tension of whether or not they’ll get together. But I’m here to tell you: The Moonlighting curse is a myth. Instead of figuring out another way to keep this couple apart, try something else.
Show me how two people in love navigate difficult situations, like, say, battling a series of body-snatching humans reinventing themselves as gods. Let me see them working together to literally rebuild humanity from its own ashes. Show us that, even in a world as dark and grim as this one has become, that happy endings are still possible.
Even in the darkest times, there is light, and this is the pairing that proves it. Give the people what they want already, show. It is time for Bellarke.
– Lacy Baugher
Con: No, Bellamy & Clarke Shouldn’t Get Together in Season 7
We know how a final season loves giving an OTP that big kiss to end things on a high note, but consider this: If it hasn’t happened by now, there’s got to be a reason. Hear me out, and consider the less sexy but more emotionally resonant option: friendship. Not just friends, but best friends.
Lacy isn’t wrong that Clarke and Bellamy have an incredible connection, unparalleled by anyone else on the show despite the shared traumas endured by the last of humanity. Both have had to take on difficult leadership roles when they were far too young. They’ve decided who dies, or who lives with their existence made that much worse; they’ve refused to let others shoulder those burdens, to the detriment of their own mental health and ability to connect with others.
For as much as I make jokes about Clarke and Bellamy being the parents of the other members of The 100 and every subsequent survivor they’ve collected since then, their vibe is more cooperating coparents than romantically-bonded couple. They’ve always set themselves apart from the others; no one understands the burdens of leadership, the consequences of making the hard but necessary decision, the way the other does. He’s the heart, and she’s the head.
In that situation, of course, there’s the temptation to act on mutual attraction, and it’s obviously there in each and every one of their all-too-rare, emotionally-charged hugs. But adding sex into the mix would make their already shaky connection implode. They’ve had a hard enough time forgiving each other without the extra pressure of maintaining a romantic relationship—and neither of them has a stellar track record in that department.
Again and again, poor Clarke has had her love life tied up in death: Having to kill Finn to appease the Grounders. Watching Lexa get killed in a random and brutal way mere minutes after they finally had sex. The last time the poor girl let her guard down at Sanctum and hooked up with a rando, she got drugged and almost mind-wiped! At this point, I would not blame her if she wanted to keep any potential partners away, for fear that they would either die for her sake or betray her when she’s at her most vulnerable.
Clarke calling Bellamy every day for six years even though he didn’t answer? Putting each other’s names on the list of who gets to survive the death wave? Negotiating, compromising, sacrificing to save each other’s lives over and over? That’s what best friends do.
We don’t see enough platonic friendships, especially friendships between a man and a woman, held up in television as an ultimate form of human relationship; after a certain number of seasons, it inevitably dips toward the romantic, just to “freshen” things up. This close to the end, throwing Bellarke together would feel like a hail mary, more like narrative desperation than justification. Anyway, with Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley married in real life, fans can still get their Bellarke fix via Instagram.
Now, I will settle for a compromise: a Clarke/Bellamy/Raven throuple. I’m still thinking about Bellamy and Raven’s hookup back in season 1 when he was lording over the camp and she wanted to work out some frustrations; for as much UST as Bellarke might have, he and Raven got to resolve that sexual tension. What’s more, Raven and Clarke’s dynamic has always matched Bellarke for tempestuous emotional effect, from spending years as rivals for the affection of a boy (RIP Finn) and then a mother (RIP Abby, damn this show) to finally reaching some sort of mutual understanding. Though Bellarke feels like it would burn out long before the world actually ends, I could see Raven doing what she does best: finding the perfect solution.
– Natalie Zutter
The 100 Season 7 premieres Wednesday at 8pm ET on The CW. Find out more about it here.
Do you think Bellamy and Clarke should start a romantic relationship in Season 7? Let us know in the comments below.