This The 100 article contains spoilers through Season 7, Episode 2.
The warrior formally known as Skairippa and Blodraina showed viewers a very different side in the most recent episode of The 100, with Octavia Blake becoming a mom, albeit through the kind of unconventional means that could only be possible on the CW’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi show. After half a season of wondering, the final season’s second episode “The Garden” showed what happened to Octavia when she ran into the Anomaly—a decade-long journey when Diyoza gave birth and the pair of warrior women raised the baby girl, Hope, in relative peace.
After all the blood, knee-slides, and cannibalism, it’s nice to have a change of pace, and certainly one that the character deserves. “At the end of the day,” Marie Avgeropoulous says, “Octavia’s heart is bigger than I think she even realizes herself.”
Den of Geek spoke with Avgeropoulos about the surprising turn for a character that already manages to “constantly shock viewers,” her feelings on how Octavia’s story will conclude, and what it was like to audition for the show and even shape the character, seven years ago.
While Diyoza is the one who carried hope for what I can only imagine is television’s longest pregnancy, clocking in at 235 years, many fans see Octavia as a second parent—and Avgeropoulos agrees.
“Hope calls Octavia Auntie O, but I feel like they were a blended family.” She calls the approach very progressive, and “a side of Octavia that the audience hasn’t ever seen before.”
Both Diyoza and Octavia have been through a long and well-earned redemption arc, and “The Garden” feels like recognition of that. “This season is a brand new, elevated nurturing side of her, which I think is quite lovely, considering how hard she was in the past.”
This season brings in a time travel element thanks to the Anomaly and the use of flashbacks to fill in details about Octavia, Diyoza and Hope’s time through the looking glass, as it were. As every episode reveals more, fans might find themselves rewatching past episodes with new understanding. How much of the final story did Avgeropoulos know last season? It turns out, not much.
“The beauty of playing Octavia and being a part of this 100-episode journey, that I’m so thankful for is, I didn’t get any time to prepare. And I feel like that’s very comparable to the fact that Octavia never really had any time to prepare, either, when she was in a leadership role, she didn’t know how to lead, in the case of crazy decisions that would affect other people’s livelihood, or their lives. And then down the road, to being a parent.”
One of the loveliest parts of the episode is seeing how much of Octavia’s parenting came from the ways that Bellamy raised her, especially considering his absence.
“I think it’s also very beautiful that she came to really get to the point of accepting how Bellamy took care of her. We see Octavia using the same parenting tactics that Bellamy was forced to do with her at a very young age, including putting the pinky in baby Hope’s mouth.”
Admittedly, none of this was Octavia’s plan when she ran into the Anomaly (if she had one at all), and she spends much of the episode trying to leave.
“She’s isolated from her family, and while she enjoys parenting Hope, I think having this relationship [with Hope], made her realize all the things Bellamy tried to teach her over the years.”
While Diyoza sees the world as a safe harbor away from a turbulent life (often of her own making), Octavia is desperate to get back to warn her brother about the Primes. Her relationship with Diyoza is incredibly profound, which makes it painful for Diyoza to watch O try every day to leave, but Diyoza has her whole world on Sky Ring. Once again, as the only person on the show with a sibling (other than Bellamy), Octavia’s mental calculus will always be different.
“I think Octavia was pretty resilient there on Sky Ring,” Avgeropoulos says. “In terms of her stubbornness and her skills to figure things out her own way, Octavia was always the kind of girl that had to figure things out for herself.”
Luckily she did, and that self-acceptance – as well as forgiveness for Bellamy and understanding of his overprotectiveness – brought her a sense of peace, even if it did inevitably lead to the end of her family on Sky Ring.
Seeing that strong woman fighting for her family on Sky Ring, it’s hard to imagine she’s the same one who landed on Earth and declared the iconic line, “We’re back, bitches!” seven seasons ago. Imagine how Avgeropoulos feels!
“It’s difficult to understand that those are the exact same people, because I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a woman, just like Octavia has.”
Back when Avgeropoulos first auditioned for the show in a “very scary audition room,” she was 24, sleeping out of her car, and going on what was probably her “2,000th audition in Los Angeles, California.”
“I got the call for the audition. And guess what, the audition words were ‘We’re back, bitches.’ So I grabbed a chair from the corner of the room. I asked politely if I could stand on it and they didn’t know why, but that was the only version I could do to show that was walking on earth for the first time.”
The rest, of course, is history.
While Avgeropoulos calls it an “honor” to have been on the show for seven years, her character’s journey means so much in particular because Octavia was altered to be so much more than just the girl from the trailer once the writers saw the actor’s skills.
“I’m grateful that the writers realized that I had athletic ability and transformed Octavia into a warrior. As actors we always use our bodies, but I feel like I use my body in two ways as Octavia, as an athlete and a warrior.”
It’s hard to imagine the character or even the show without that initial narrative arc to become not only the physically strong and sword-wielding, horse-riding, army-leading warrior, but also an independent woman who refused to stand in her brother’s shadow, a cultural go-between who trusted a stranger who looked nothing like her, and the only leader who could have ever united Wonkru.
After seven seasons and 100 episodes, Avgeropoulos is looking forward to what she sees as a fitting end.
“I’m really pleased with the way the writers decided to culminate Octavia’s 100-episode journey,” she says. “After everything she’s been through, she deserves the ending that everyone is about to see.”
The 100 Season 7 airs on Wednesday nights at 8pm ET on The CW.