Clarke The 100: Delinquent, Born Leader, Medic-on-the-Ground. Everything You Want to Know About The 100’s Most Important Character

Clarke Griffin, from the 100, was born on the Ark in October 2131 to parents Abigail and Jake Griffin. The former once served as the Ark’s Chief Medical Officer, whereas the latter was a Senior Environmental Engineer. Clarke was 17 years old when she became part of the 100 delinquents sent to Earth. Her mother eventually followed suit at the end of Season 1.

Clarke The 100

Before Clarke was imprisoned, she overheard a conversation between her parents about the rapidly dwindling level of oxygen available on the Ark. They estimated the supply could only sustain the population for the next six months. Jake wanted to share the information with the public, against the orders of the Chancellor. Abigail reported her husband’s intention, leading to Jake being “ejected” into outer space as a form of execution. Clarke was considered an accomplice and therefore sent to the Delinquents’ Camp.

Clarke Griffin’s Journey

Since this is about Clarke Griffin from The 100 series, rather than the novel, the easiest way to learn about her is to keep track of her journey season-by-season in the show.

Season 1

Clarke Griffin is part of the original 100 delinquents sent from the space-based colony known as the Ark. It is a colony established by the supposed only survivors of a global nuclear disaster about a century ago. For three generations, everybody on the Ark thinks of the planet as an entire nuclear exclusion zone. The descent is a form of both punishment and experiment to see whether the Earth has recovered.

Clarke The 100

As soon as the ship touches the ground, Clarke realizes it misses the actual destination: the Mount Weather facility, an old quarantine zone where she and the other 99 teenagers should be able to find supplies. Instead, they encounter an unexpected and unfriendly group of survivors, known as the Grounders. Throughout much of the first season, the delinquents—primarily led by Clarke and Bellamy—are trying to stay safe from the Grounders. Due to all the limitations, Clarke even makes herself the medic on the ground, doing what she can to take care of the sick and injured. She also has a brief romantic relationship with Finn, another delinquent. However, Clarke is forced to mercy-kill Finn after he is captured by the Grounders.

At the end of the season after a bloody battle against the Grounders, Clarke is captured by the Mountain Men, a more aggressive group of survivors operating from Mount Weather.

Season 2

The second season draws an action-packed storyline that helps establish Clarke Griffin as the delinquents’ true leader. As it turns out, the Mountain Men are still prone to die from the leftover radiation outside the Mount Weather facility. They have kidnapped many Grounders before to be used as bone marrow donors. Now, they also capture Clarke and dozens of Sky People for the same purpose. Clarke escapes the facility, works together with the Grounders’ leader, and comes back to Mount Weather to rescue everyone. She and Bellamy deliberately open a hatch at the facility to irradiate the entire bunker, killing all the Mountain Men in the process.

Season 3

With the Mountain Men no longer posing threats and the Grounders now becoming more agreeable, the delinquents have another problem in the shape of artificial intelligence called A.L.I.E. To make things worse, the A.I. is able to mind-control and turn humans against each other. Season 3 is also when Clarke develops a romantic relationship with a Grounder leader named Lexa, although it ends abruptly when Lexa dies in an unexpected tragic fashion. Her death gives Clarke access to the tool and power to defeat A.L.I.E. Before Clarke permanently shuts the A.I. down, it warns of an imminent (and apparently inevitable) nuclear disaster.

Season 4

In an attempt to save everyone from the disaster, Clarke makes herself a test subject to recreate the “Nightblood” genetic trait, which gives immunity to nuclear radiation. If successful, everybody else can follow suit. The person to oversee the test is Abby Griffin, her own mother and the former Chief Medical Officer of the Ark. Unfortunately, the Nightblood experiment still has not displayed any positive effects when the disaster finally strikes. Many people die, and some escape by flying into space. Six years after the disaster, Clarke is seen emerging from a hideout, a scene that reveals the Nightblood test has truly worked on her.

Season 5

Clarke is now accompanied by a young Nightblood girl named Madi. The two are facing a new enemy, the Eligius men, a group of prisoners who have returned to Earth from an asteroid mining colony. They plan to take over the Earth from whoever is in charge of it and have access to a weapon of planetary destruction. Clarke often finds herself juggling between dealing with the prisoners, making peace with the surviving clan, and raising Madi. When the prisoners cannot get what they want and are facing defeat in the battle against everybody else, they trigger the weapon and destroy the Earth.

Clarke The 100

It is a good thing that Clarke and the others have time to get into a spaceship and fly beyond the Earth’s atmosphere before the explosion. Clarke decides to take her place in a cryogenic chamber on the spacecraft and will remain asleep for 125 years. She and Bellamy are the first to wake up only to realize that Earth will never fully recover. Now they are heading to another inhabitable planet they might be able to call home.

Season 6

On a moon known as Sanctum, the original inhabitants (referred to as Primes) use other people’s bodies to host their minds. At the same time, a Prime member’s actual consciousness is stored securely like digital files on memory drives. Clarke falls victim to the system and is rescued by Bellamy. It is not an easy rescue effort, but eventually, Clarke survives and plays a major role to defeat the Primes.

Season 7

A faction known as the “Disciples” is behind the mysterious disappearances of Clarke’s friends, including Bellamy. Clarke is leading a search party to find and rescue them. During the mission, she learns that the leader of the Disciples is Bill Cadogan, who in the past lived on Earth. When Bellamy returns, he is no longer the man he used to be; he is now a follower of the Disciples. In a strange turn of events, Bellamy tries to kill Madi, but Clarke stops the attempt and kills him instead. In the series finale, Clarke kills Cadogan and as a result, loses her chance to Transcend—the process where someone becomes part of a hive of immortal consciousness. She returns to the scorched Earth accompanied by her most loyal friends.

Although Clarke’s journey might sound a little too generic, the character does encounter countless challenges and ordeals often to save others. From the very beginning of the series, Clarke seems to have dealt only with difficult choices. For sure she makes mistakes and takes the wrong decisions from time to time, but she never acts for the sole benefit of herself. We think that her fate, as determined in the series finale, doesn’t really do her character justice. Clarke deserves much better than having to kill Bellamy and losing Madi. It almost feels as if Clarke has to take the worst punishment for doing what is best for the people she loves and being a hero.

Do you think Clarke Griffin is the true role model of The 100? Are her decisions to kill Finn and Bellamy justifiable? We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know:

Is Clarke Griffin the main hero of the series?

She almost definitely is, at least by the series’ own standard. Many major characters are often led to questionable decisions and judgements. For example, Octavia forces people to engage in cannibalism and will not hesitate to kill anyone standing in her way; Bellamy even takes on a Grounders-killing rampage for all the wrong reasons. On the other hand, Clarke does almost everything she has ever done out of selflessness to ensure survival. That said, showrunner Jason Rothenberg explains that while Clarke is certainly a protagonist, she is not a hero in the conventional sense of the word.

What are some major differences between the novel and the TV series regarding Clarke Griffin?

She is a major character in both the novel and TV series, but the developments are not identical. In the novel, Clarke and Bellamy are involved in a romantic relationship; their love story affects the storyline a great deal. The TV series depicts Clarke as bisexual and has never been romantically involved with Bellamy.

Who portrays Clarke Griffin in The 100?

Clarke Griffin is portrayed by an Australian actress Eliza Taylor. In 2003, she was one of the main roles in the children’s program Pirate Islands as Sarah Redding and in the Sleepover Club as Rosie Cartwright. She will appear in two upcoming films; It Only Takes a Night (as Ruby Allen) and I’ll Be Watching (as Julie).

Check out other articles by month: