The 100: A struggle for the world building of Sanctum

The 100 -- "Hesperides" -- Image Number: HU704A_0360r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Lindsey Morgan as Raven and Shannon Kook as Jordan Green -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The 100 -- "Hesperides" -- Image Number: HU704A_0360r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Lindsey Morgan as Raven and Shannon Kook as Jordan Green -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. /

Had The 100 ended in season 5, its decision to conclude the series with a significant time jump and the possibility of a happier future on a new planet would have been a brave and satisfying finale. As it happened, The 100 continued for two more seasons, and the excitement of their new home, Sanctum, would wear off quickly.

At first, Sanctum had promise. The concept of a foreign land and unknown animals and conditions was reminiscent of the hundred’s first days on Earth. The Red Sun toxin, although dangerous, suggested terrifying and intriguing possibilities.

But, it did not take long for the excitement and promise of Sanctum to become nothing more than an obstacle or threatening territory, and that begins with the Primes. The Primes, leaders of Sanctum, have a dangerous secret, but the stakes are not confirmed until Clarke Griffin wakes up as Josephine Lightbourne, and suddenly the risks have lifted.

Still, The 100 gets a solid few episodes from Josephine body-snatching Clarke. However, it is not enough to hide that Sanctum does not have the same level of world-building and intrigue compared to the Grounders on Earth and the several seasons of development that followed their initial season 1 introduction.

Skaikru learned what it took to survive on Earth as the Grounders did, including a new language, fighting styles, and societal rules. The world was constantly expanding as the series continued, showing there was always more about how the Grounders had survived and lived. Had its prequel not been canceled, viewers would have been able to watch as the society they knew so well came to be.

Unlike several other antagonists in the show’s history, the Primes lack the morally grey area that made others so compelling, even if they were controversial. The Primes are selfish, body-snatching people wanting to continue their immortal lives. Everyone else has been brainwashed to believe the Primes are Gods.

Sanctum, as a location, eventually becomes a background to events taking place, but at least season 6 uses the environment to its advantage, as well as its citizens. Unfortunately, season 7 does not, having one foot out the door and focused on other planets.

Murphy and Emori get significant development when taking over as Sanctum’s leaders, as their roles usually had them follow Clarke or Bellamy’s leadership. So, season 7 is solid for their character growth. Still, Sanctum is also one of the slowest moving plots in the final season, and one of the reasons is that none of the central storylines are happening there, and it almost comes across that the Sanctum plot is there to kill time.

Season 7’s more significant concerns follow Octavia, Echo, and Diyoza on Bardo, the mystery revolving around Bellamy’s whereabouts, Clarke and Raven’s attempts at finding their friends, and the questions about an upcoming war or test. Sanctum does some things for Madi and Indra, but the culmination of everything the season is working toward places Sanctum in the background, and it is not a good look for one of the central locations of the season.

In the end, Sanctum does not end up mattering anyway. Earth has become survivable again, and although most of humanity has transcended, the few that remain choose to live out the rest of their lives on Earth.

Sanctum never holds the same emotional connection Earth did, and although Earth always felt like home to those who chose to live, The 100 could have done more to give Sanctum a more emotional point in the story.

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