The queen is dead. Long live the king!
That's right, folks. As of The 100 Season 3 Episode 4, Queen Nia of the Ice Nation is no longer. King (formerly, Prince) Roan is now the de facto leader of his people.
This twist was crazy epic and so satisfying. This development is going to propel the plot forward in the best way possible.
While this feels like a little bit of a waste of the very talented Brenda Strong (Nia) and really awesome scarification make-up, I can honestly say that I'm impressed. I didn't see her demise coming so soon in the season.
She's been long-trumpeted as Lexa's great foe, the evil rival who tortured killed Costia, Lexa's first love, for intel on Lexa. I was expecting something a little more drawn out, but this show is stellar at defying and/or exceeding expectations.
That said, Nia's very sudden death was incredibly well done. We spent much of "Watch the Thrones" listening to/watching Clarke be panicky and worry that Roan would easily defeat Lexa. Clarke did the best she could to prevent Lexa from fighting Roan.
Clearly, Clarke's experience with Roan scarred her a bit; she was positive that Roan would easily defeat Lexa in battle, so she immediately fell to plotting some way to get Lexa out of the battle altogether.
First, she tried reasoning with Roan and having him off his mom. Then, with Roan's blessing, she decided to take matters into her own hands and attempt to poison Nia. Which very nearly worked! Alas, it was all for nothing, because Lexa had it handled all along.
Don't you feel silly (and relieved) now, Clarke? You forgot that your Commander is a total badass.
Clarke's fear seemed equal parts her underestimating Lexa's fighting prowess and overestimating Roan's power. With a dash of "Oh god, Lexa can't die" thrown in for good measure.
The Grounder storyline in "Watch the Thrones" pretty much cemented the depth of Clarke's affection for Lexa, and the fact that she has forgiven her. No tricks, no ruses here. If Clarke hadn't forgiven her, I sincerely doubt she would have gone through all that trouble in trying to prevent the Roan-Lexa fight.
Also, those emotions at the battle scene were powerful. Eliza Taylor (Clarke) is amazingly talented at conveying so much wordlessly, as is Alycia Debnam-Carey (Lexa). They're all big eyes and quivery lips and their exchange right before Lexa went to work on Roan was just crazy moving.
Lexa: I'm glad you came.
Clarke: Me too.
There are four or five other brilliant Clexa exchanges hanging out in The 100 Quotes I collected from "Watch the Thrones." There were just too many great examples to choose from. That moment and the bedroom Clexa scene (Lexa smiling! Soft eyes! Clarke speaking Trigedasleng and Lexa repsonding in English!) were my two favorites.
Nia's actual death was just really cool. Perfect aim, straight through the heart, everyone was shocked. Luckily, everyone began chanting "Heda, Heda" almost immediately, so it didn't seem like there'd be any pushback to Lexa's very sudden assassination. She clearly proved herself, surviving against Roan and taking out Nia in one fell swoop.
Was Roan in on Lexa's plan? Doubtful. He seemed ready to die, in my eyes. I do not believe he knew what Lexa was going to do.
Now that Nia is no longer and Roan is about to step into a leadership role, it would appear that the tumultuous Grounder political landscape is calmed on that front. Then again, as noted already, this show exalts in supplanting expected plotlines. As cool and enigmatic and engaging a character as Roan is (I want him to stick around always and forever, please), it's important to note we know nothing about him or his motivations right now.
Sure, he seems plenty genuine about only wanting to get back to his people. Now that he is king, though, it stands to reason we might see a different side of Roan. Or Roan's true colors, hidden all along, even. Obviously, we have no way of knowing, but I am so interested in finding out what's going on with him and what kind of leader he'll be.
Back at Arkadia, the adults (+ Bellamy) were dealing with the fallout of the sneak attack on Mount Weather. Pike, predictably, wanted swift and immediate vengeance. Kane and Abby were like, "Nah, chill." (Paraphrasing, but that was basically it.)
I can understand where Pike is coming from, to a degree. He was unofficially tasked with protecting these people, and he has watched them slowly be killed off by the same group of people (he considers all Grounders the same people), for months now. He partially blames himself for this latest group's demise, because he followed Bellamy/Echo to the Summit when he suspected something was a little off.
But then, Pike straight-up emotionally manipulated a vulnerable, grieving Bellamy. That was not cool. I had to pause the episode when Pike told Bellamy that it was Bellamy's fault (and Pike's own) that all of those people died. I don't buy for a second that Pike was commiserating. He was playing on Bellamy's weakness, on his grief, to get those guns he needed.
And it worked, unfortunately.
Bellamy's turn to the dark side may seem sudden, but I'd argue that it's totally logical and in-line with his character. It's not character regression.
This is the same Bellamy who planned to rig the drop ship to incinerate the attacking Grounders at the end of The 100 Season 1. This is the same Bellamy who put his hand on top of Clarke's and pulled the trigger to irradiate an entire race of Mountain Men. This was all in the name of protecting his people; hard choices made in the name of saving lives he'd promised to protect.
While attacking Indra's defense army is a huge misstep, you can kind of see the correlation between his past acts (and even Clarke's past acts) and this one.
Also, more generally, dude is not thinking clearly. He's messed up over Gina. Pike is preying on him. All I'm hoping for at this point is that Bellamy doesn't spin too far out of control under Pike's influence, before it's too late.
But hey, if he does spin out of control, I will very much be here waiting for the scene where Clarke talks sense back into him. Kane being so disappointed in Bellamy also made me hugely sad. I've enjoyed the beginnings of a mentor-mentee, possible surrogate father/son relationship between them.
No City of Light again, which I am pretty sure means that those characters will be re-joining at least some portion of the main cast. They've been journeying for a while now, so they'll probably be knocking at the Arkadia back door right as Pike and his veritable lynch mob makes their way back from hunting season. Sigh.
As anticipated, Pike was named Chancellor right after being jailed by Kane and Abby for attempting to steal guns and kill all the Grounders in site. He immediately pardoned himself and his followers and set off to wholly undo all the progress in peace-making that Kane has accomplished. Damn it, Pike, you should've just gone back to being a teacher.
In smaller subplot news, Jasper and Monty were featured briefly. To be honest, their sidebar felt a bit shoehorned in. While Devon Bostick is still killing it with portraying Jasper's insurmountable grief, I'm starting to get a little irritated at Jasper.
Monty was trying really hard to be there for him and Jasper was just obstinate and rude. And he accidentally lost Finn's ashes. That's heartbreaking! And I say this as someone who didn't particularly enjoy Finn. Just imagining Raven's reaction to that news made my heart hurt.
Octavia was still trying to run away with Lincoln, but Lincoln was stuck on the idea that remaining at Arkadia and proving himself to be a good little peaceful Grounder was the best way to encourage peace.
I was totally on board with Lincoln before, when it wasn't so apparent that Pike was such a great orator/his followers are just super easily influenced into "angry mob" mode. I'm starting to lean towards "Listen to Octavia and get the hell out of dodge." Lincoln's fate seems to be precariously hanging in the balance right now and it's stressing me out.
- Little Aden looked super relieved that he didn't need to assume the Commander role, did he not? I don't blame you, kid.
- Am I the only one who found that scene where Lexa had Aden assure Clarke of his fealty, should Lexa die and Aden assume Commandership, very cute? I don't know, it seemed like Lexa was being sassier than usual and I loved that dynamic between them.
- Where can I buy Lexa's nightgown?! Gorgeous!
- Where was Raven? I feel like she may have been useful in at least attempting to talk Bellamy off of this self-destructive ledge he's gotten himself up on. Or, at the very least, there could have been a great scene or two between them. I love Bellamy and Raven as platonic friends.
- I know this didn't happen, but I swear it sounded just like the old ambassador with the super gruff voice said, "Slow your roll" to Titus. I know he didn't; he said something else in Trigedasleng. But it totally sounded like "Slow your roll" to be, and I burst out laughing at it.
- The guy playing Titus is just... not very good at all. He keeps pulling these silly overdramatic faces and it's very cringe-y.
- What's going to happen to Mountain Man Emerson now that Nia is dead and Roan is in control? I don't imagine Roan will be keen on keeping him around.
- Miller found his boyfriend! I'm so happy.
What did you think of "Watch the Thrones"? Are you said to see Queen Nia go? What are your expectations for King Roan? Let us know your thoughts by hitting the comments and watch The 100 online here at TV Fanatic to catch up on anything you've missed!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.