The 100 always found a way to highlight the ups and downs between series leads Clarke Griffin and Bellamy Blake. From the beginning, the two were rivals until they found a way to work together, resulting in a very effective co-leadership. While Bellamy and Octavia deserved a better ending, Bellamy and Clarke also earned a far better conclusion to their dynamic.
While they worked best as a team, sometimes their differences would prevent Clarke and Bellamy from working together. Still, The 100 chooses to have their final moments portray their antagonistic dynamic rather than what made their relationship significant.
Clarke and Bellamy’s final moments together occur at the end of “Blood Giant,” where Bellamy is about to put Madi in harm’s way by handing over her sketchbook to Cadogan. The scene concludes with Clarke killing Bellamy, preventing him from risking Madi’s life.
The moment was shocking certainly but did not make any sense for Clarke and Bellamy’s relationship especially considering Clarke and Bellamy had been in a very similar position once before.
Season four’s “The Other Side” found Clarke and Bellamy in a parallel situation. Clarke holds Bellamy at gunpoint when Bellamy attempts to open the bunker door and save those trapped outside. However, this scene ends very differently.
Clarke does not want to kill Bellamy; that is clear as day. The idea of Bellamy’s death seems to harm her and would only be made worse by Clarke committing the act herself. So, during this confrontation, Clarke can not and will not pull the trigger on Bellamy. She would rather risk the sheer chance to save humanity than end Bellamy’s life. So, what changed between that moment and their last confrontation in “Blood Giant?”
Well, for one, six years apart did not help their relationship when Clarke and Bellamy reunited with different priorities. Throughout the fifth season, Clarke and Bellamy betray each other numerous times in the name of survival and saving those they love. Had Clarke and Bellamy never reconciled from this, perhaps Clarke killing Bellamy for Madi may have had made more sense.
Clarke was willing to do anything to save Madi in season 5. She was even willing to betray those she had considered friends. Anything to protect Madi was an option to Clarke. She needed to keep the young girl she had found in the valley years before who had become her daughter safe. However, season 6 makes the deliberate choice to highlight Clarke’s past decisions from season 5.
Clarke apologizes for leaving Bellamy behind in Polis and mentions that it is her biggest regret. Clarke even makes a point to tell Bellamy that he is her family too, and she will not forget that again. With Clarke and Bellamy’s relationship improving, The 100 took that opportunity to have Bellamy honor that commitment.
Season 6 finds Bellamy desperate and willing to do anything to save Clarke from Josephine once he knows Clarke is still alive. Bellamy does not stop, even declaring to Clarke (while Josephine has control of Clarke’s body) that he will not let Clarke die. However, when it seems that Clarke may die anyway, Bellamy refuses to allow that to be an option and performs CPR to save her life.
Letting Clarke die is not an option for Bellamy. He knows and remembers what it felt like to lose Clarke when Bellamy believed the Death Wave to have killed her, and he will not go through that pain again.
For everything Clarke and Bellamy experienced over the seasons, The 100 always remembers how essential they are to each other.
Their reunion at the end of “The Blood of Sanctum” is the most emotional and has them question if they did better this time. Their co-leadership has had Bellamy and Clarke rely on each other more than others, and it seems that they are more determined than ever to do better standing side-by-side.
So, this makes Clarke’s decision to kill Bellamy more confusing. Bellamy may have changed after his experience on Etherea, but at what point did Clarke determine that Bellamy was not worth saving?
Clarke had options. She did not need to kill him. Everything about their relationship leading up to their final scene suggests that Clarke, no matter what, would never kill Bellamy. Even at their height as enemies, Clarke would verbally spar with Bellamy or try to work things out. The two rarely resorted to violence against each other.
It is not entirely convincing that Clarke would resort to killing Bellamy, and narratively, it only manages to hurt both characters.
What was the point of Clarke and Bellamy’s relationship since it ended the way it had? Clarke and Bellamy were an example of a well-developed enemies to allies to friends dynamic. They had gone through several obstacles and come out the other side together. So what did any of it mean if it only brought them to the conclusion of “Blood Giant?”
Clarke and Bellamy’s ending does not highlight the best parts of their relationship, what they meant to each other, or any of the most extraordinary things that came from them being a team. Instead, it acts to show that no matter what they went through, Clarke and Bellamy ultimately ended up on opposite sides of a war.