The 100 Season 6: Jason Rothenberg on Upcoming Pair-Ups, The Bellarke Partnership, and Characters Facing Their Demons

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The 100 Season 6 is finally here, which means so are the questions about essentially every new detail shared with the audience. 

With what we have seen so far during The 100 Season 6 Episode 1 and The 100 Season 6 Episode 2, the story is unfolding with threats that are currently serving as tests before the actual journey for most of the characters begins. 

Coming off of "Red Sun Rising", an episode that managed to pack in integral flashbacks and an action-packed confrontation with new age hallucinations, it only seemed fair to loop Jason Rothenberg into the conversation about what to expect next. 

Clarke and Bellamy Together  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

Taking some time out to talk with us, Jason Rothenberg reflected on our introduction to the theme of facing your demons as well as our first look at one version of Russell Lightbourne. He also touched on what to look forward to when it comes to Bellamy and Clarke this season, and even weighed in on Diyoza's endless pregnancy wait.   

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The main theme of this season is " Face Your Demons", with outside forces like the eclipse forcing our favorites to confront things they may not want to deal with. Can you tease how the characters will continue to deal with their inner demons? Especially with the hallucinations?

Yeah, I mean it is definitely a theme that continues beyond the eclipse. The eclipse and that is one of the things by the way that is misleading on some level of the two trailers; it is like done in The 100 Season 6 Episode 2.

It is a thing that exists as a potential threat, and we will refer to it, but it is so not a big huge part of the season. It is just a way to introduce the new dangers of the world.

Clarke Chained Up - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

The real story of the season kicks off when the three bears come home, and that doesn't happen until the end of episode 2 and beginning of The 100 Season 6 Episode 3.

In terms of facing their demons, we mean that in different ways for different characters. Some of which it is very very literal, and some of which is just a way of sort of saying that people are going to have to answer for the things that they've done and try to get past it in other people's minds and certainly in their own minds. 

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Can we please talk about the Russell Lightbourne 2.0 situation? Did you want the audience to be aware of the connection before the characters were?

I wouldn't say that there are two versions of them necessarily.

Then characters with exactly the same names. There is probably something to that, right?

Without talking too much about it, it definitely hints at a royal lineage. In our own worlds we obviously see examples of that, in the Royal Family, for instance, Henry  VIII, there were obviously seven other Henrys. We see examples of that with the Pope as well. It doesn't necessarily mean that but I'm not not saying it means that.

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What can you share about Bellamy and Clarke's partnership this season, especially since their conversation about the radio calls?

When Bellamy and Clarke are on the same page and in alignment, obviously things go well. And when they are on opposite sides of a story, problems arise, to say the least. 

Last season they found themselves clearly at odds over some choices and over the way that things unfolded. Obviously, she left him to die in the fighting pits, and he helped facilitate putting the Flame in her daighter's head. Everybody has reasons to be pissed at everybody else. 

Bellamy and Clarke Finally Talk - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

This season they begin to forgive and move forward from last season, there are some really beautiful scenes between them working it out in the episode that follows "Red Sun Rising". And I feel like going forward, as always their relationship drives the narrative in many ways. Going to what we were talking about before, nobody has seen anything yet about Clarke's journey this season. 

Clarke's journey in particular and Eliza Taylor's performance in the role this season is something unlike what we have seen her do before. It will challenge that relationship in many ways both good and bad. I feel like I can't talk about it because it is so special and such an important part of the season, but the actors will be together quite a lot. 

There are fun pair-ups in the first two episodes of the season. My favorite was Diyoza and Raven and Madi. Which was yours?

It's funny because my favorite pair-ups really haven't yet paired up at the end of The 100 Season 6 Episode 2. I do love Raven and Diyoza together; I thought that was a fun story for sure in episode two.

But Diyoza and Octavia is the pair-up that is one of my favorites that hasn't obviously happened yet. So that is yet to come. 

Octavia's Space Issues - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

Murphy and Clarke is another pair-up that happens quite often this season that I think is pretty special. It is always fun to see Richard and Eliza working together; they are both so awesome. 

That doesn't really answer your question but I like them all, I always like to mix it up and through people together that were unexpected. But having sort of the former enemies like Diyoza and Octavia together was fun, and it will be a highlight for people I think. 

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Speaking of Diyoza, will you ever put her out of her misery and let her give birth to her baby?

I know, it's the longest pregnancy in the history of the universe. It has been 200 years, she's been through cryo twice. 

Will she have her baby? Eventually, she will have her baby. Yes. 

What were the other songs considered for Murphy's big performance? 

The way music works in The 100 is that I pick it, so I love that song. There were other songs on my wishlist but I love the Waterboys, and I happen to feel like that song though has a bit of a meta-meaning in terms of "That was the river, and this is sea" talks about Seasons 1 through 5 were the river, and now this is the sea.

We are doing something different and bigger and hopefully better moving forward, so it just felt right. And in my head, I saw Richard Harmon doing it before he actually did and he surpassed that expectation.

Murphy In Chains - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

Hopefully, at some point, we could release the full version of his performance because it is insanely awesome.

It, of course, had to get edited for the show and we cut into that beautiful Bellamy and Clarke scene and there's other things going on in the narrative as well. We would love to be able to show the whole thing at some point; we might not be able to for rights reasons. 


The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

Stick around TV Fanatic for more features, slideshows, episode previews, and reviews, 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.

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The 100 Quotes

Lexa: My fight is over.
Clarke: No, I won't accept that.
Lexa: You were right, Clarke. Life is about more than just surviving.
Clarke: In peace may you leave the shore. In love may you find the next. Safe passage on your travels until our final journey on the ground... May we meet again.

This is how we save our people.