The 100: Sheidheda Twist Explained

We talked to showrunner Jason Rothenberg about tonight's game-changing Sheidheda twist

The 100 Sheidheda twist explained Russel Prime

Warning: this article contains spoilers for the season 7 premiere of The 100

The 100’s final season premiere closed with a dark, game-changing twist: Sheidheda is back, and he has taken over Russell Prime’s latest body. After so much speculation between seasons, we’re breaking down what it all means and how it could shape the future of Sanctum.

Throughout season 6, Sheidheda, the Dark Commander, threatened to overtake Madi. As one of the many commanders inside the flame, he was just one of many voices in her head. Unfortunately, he was one of the most powerful as well as one of the most brutal, and as she fed into her fears and grief about Clarke, his hold over her grew stronger. 

Clarke, Gaia and Raven were eventually able to save Madi by first removing the flame from Madi and then destroying the flame itself. However, Raven mentioned that she wasn’t able to find where Sheidheda’s code went. Given how powerful he is – and the tendency for Becca’s tech to never give up and die already – we knew after the season 6 finale that one of the biggest questions season 7 would have to answer was what happened to Sheidheda. 

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Since Sheidheda was connected to the Eligius IV computer as code before Raven lost track of him, many thought he might control that ship or the Eligius III. Controlling either would make him a formidable enemy beyond his strategic abilities and powers of manipulation, however, that’s not the direction The 100 went with. 

According to showrunner Jason Rothenberg, there was “no debating” how this story would go, as it seemed obvious, creatively. 

“It was the story that I knew that I wanted to tell,” Rothenberg told Den of Geek. “I got to keep [Russell Prime actor] J.R. Bourne and kind of craft an entirely new character.” 

If you’re wondering how long Sheidheda will be around, how big of a deal he’s going to be, or if he’ll somehow jump bodies again, we can only speculate. But J.R. Bourne is now a series regular and Rothenberg speaks highly of him, which suggests that the actor will be in the majority of the final season, even if Sheidheda starts traveling again. Perhaps he and Gaia will have another showdown?

It’s still unclear just how well Sheidheda understands the current politics in Sanctum, but it likely won’t take long for him to realize that while his new body has powerful enemies in Clarke and the Children of Gabriel, it also comes with serious protection from any still loyal to the Primes. It’s tough to imagine this character doing anything other than making a big impact on Sanctum and the show, in contrast to last season’s continual buildup

Keep in mind that while Sheidheda was controlling Madi, he awakened both the Grounders and the prisoners from cryosleep on the Eligius IV, providing himself/Russell Prime with a potential army to command as well as creating an even more factious situation in Sanctum. Thanks to him, not only are there Children of Gabriel, SpaceKru, and true believing and unbelieving people of Sanctum, there are also two additional groups with a tendency toward violence. 

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If Sheidheda was hoping for a powder keg – or a power vacuum – he may just have it. Either way, SpaceKru has plenty of challenges to face this season.