The 100 shattered expectations when they revealed that Clarke Griffin was a bisexual female lead. The CW presented not only a new LGBT+ character but the first representation that came from a lead role.
Clarke Griffin is the protagonist on The 100, always the fearless leader that keeps her people safe; and she also just so happens to be queer.
With the death of her love interest Lexa, there came the idea that Clarke's representation might somehow get diminished.
The thought process that Clarke's worth as a bisexual lead is somehow only tied to one relationship is not only wrong but also offensive. Clarke Griffin and what her character represents for the LGBT+ community was vital before, during, and after her relationship with Lexa.
Just as Lexa meant a lot to the LGBT+ community simply because she existed as the strong warrior that she was, Clarke means a lot as her own person.
Clarke was a strong bisexual female lead when she was with Finn, a man that she was with before we even knew her sexuality.
She was relevant representation when she was with Lexa and when she had a one night stand with Niylah who reappeared during The 100 Season 4.
Clarke Griffin mattered and will continue to matter even when she is alone, doing the best that she can to make sure no more lives are lost while everyone is trying to survive on Earth, or more recently trying to get back to the ground.
The question of Clarke's value as a bisexual character seems to come back to the idea that bisexual women only matter when they are in relationships.
Not even in all romantic relationships, but in specific ones with one gender. It takes away all the value that a character brings to the table based off of their importance as an individual.
Clarke Griffin exists in a universe where people die, and the show itself is premiering alongside a real-life movement that is trying to bring focus to LGBT+ death on television.
So at a time when fans are looking for queer characters that represent them, why is there a need to put Clarke down instead of lifting her up?
Clarke continues to work hard to keep her people safe -- to keep everyone safe -- and it also just happens that she is queer.
She is a fleshed out lead character, one who showcases what it means to be a woman in charge and whose sexuality is just a part of who she is instead of her entire arc.
There isn't a spotlight on just her sex and love life, but it is also not shoved aside. Both her role as a leader and as an amazing bisexual lady shines through when you watch The 100.
She has shown interest in more than one gender and also happens to be a kickass female hero who continues to selflessly try to ensure the people around her survive every single day.
Clarke is always making decisions she believes will better those around her and reminds us that there is strength in hope.
Clarke's words about overcoming pain ring true now more than ever. She believes that they can overcome any issue they face, and fans take inspiration from her beliefs to keep fighting their own battles.
So why is her worth continually being questioned?
Why should her sexuality matter less now that she is "alone"?
Does her sexual significance rely on one relationship?
The answer should be obvious, yet for some reason, it isn't.
Clarke's worth to the LGBT+ community shouldn't decrease because she might end up with another person -- a man, a woman, or no one at all.
Her value extends beyond her romantic relationships because limiting all that she represents for the sake of a 'ship, rips away everything that Clarke means to others.
She represents a community, and her relationships demonstrate that, but that shouldn't take away from everything she means as a hero.
Forcing her legacy away, not rooting for and supporting her as an individual going forward says a lot about the lack of understanding the audience has for Clarke Griffin as an individual.
If you think of Clarke as a human being instead of as a character, we should grant her all of the nuances of her life that we afford each other, inside and outside of relationships.
Clarke Griffin has plenty to offer as the bi lead as The 100 Season 5 approaches, and even though the concept of good representation might be subjective, the character continues to provide value, and there is no reason to try to erase that.
A conversation was opened within the LGBT+ community, and that itself makes Clarke a leader among lead roles for women on TV.
There is nothing to prove during The 100 Season 5 about how much Clarke means as a continued main queer lead on The CW.
She is alive and she is fighting. Her future is open. We should be excited to see where she goes next and to discover what Clarke does to remain a leader on all levels.
Clarke doesn't have to be tied down to the horrible and unfortunate death of Finn because she is still here and full of life. No matter whether her future includes romance or not, Clarke is remarkable, strong, and inspiring every single season.
There is nothing but hope radiating from her arcs on the show, something that always transfers over to those that identify with Clarke Griffin. She has more than enough value, and that is worth acknowledging once again as we gear up for the return of The 100.
Because no matter what happens in her romantic life, there is a bigger picture when it comes to this character, one on which everyone should focus. Clarke will continue to be remarkable, paving the way for storylines that will only be enhanced by her bisexual representation, not hindered.
The 100 returns for its fifth season April 24th on The CW.
Stick around TV Fanatic if you want to hear more from me before and during the season, and watch The 100 online if you need to catch up on the adventure.
Yana Grebenyuk was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April 2021.