In our last Battle ‘Ships column, we tackled The Vampire Diaries, pitting Stefan/Caroline (“Steroline”) ‘shippers against Klaus/Caroline (“Klaroline”) ‘shippers. It should come as no surprise that “Klaroline” won by a landslide on our poll, proving once and for all (at least on BookTrib!) that Klaus and Caroline are meant to be.
This time, we’ve picked a ‘ship with even more of a contentious fanbase: The 100. Based on a young adult series by Kass Morgan, The 100 tells the story of a future world desecrated by nuclear war, with the only survivors living on a spaceship called the Ark. But when it becomes clear that the Ark can’t sustain life much longer, 100 teenage prisoners are sent to earth to see if it’s inhabitable. It’s Lord of the Flies meets The Hunger Games as they struggle to survive in an unknown and deadly world — which includes occasionally making out with/stabbing each other.
The show is crazy addictive and fans get pretty heated about who main character Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor) should end up with. Even the BookTrib staff isn’t immune to the drama, which has lead to some, um, lively discussions about Clarke’s love life. Will she pick moody and strong Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley)? Or war leader Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey)? To help decide, here’s a brief rundown on both “Bellarke” and “Clexa”:
“Bellarke”: Bellamy and Clarke
I’m a sucker for initially-hated-each-other-then-fell-in-love couples, and that’s exactly what we get with Bellamy and Clarke. OK, they haven’t quite admitted their love yet, but we all know it’s coming. At the start of the series, Bellamy was that guy we all loved to hate: he kept riling the 100 up, promoted anarchy, and maybe-sort-of contemplated Clarke’s death. But it soon became clear that he was much deeper than his early behavior suggested and the more time he spent with Clarke, the more his natural leadership qualities started to emerge. Now it’s almost impossible to imagine one without the other. They need each other in order to survive (which they often admit) and they make the hard decisions together — like deciding to kill all the Mountain Men and then pulling the lever with locked hands. These two trust each other implicitly, turn to each other when things get tough and will forgive anything when it comes to the other. It doesn’t hurt that their chemistry is off the charts, or that their babies will be the most adorable things ever created. I need these two to kiss in Season 3 like I need air.
I will admit — it is pretty awesome to have a bisexual character on the CW, and Lexa and Clarke do have some stuff in common. Mainly, their ruthlessness when it comes to making the tough decisions for their people. But while Bellamy seemed like the ultimate hothead in the beginning, he’s mellowed a lot and his sense of justice is only getting stronger. He’s become a moral compass for Clarke and he’s one of the few people she’ll turn to for help. He takes the burden of leading from her shoulders, while Lexa only encourages Clarke to sink beneath it. As a couple, “Clexa” might just be too similar — they don’t help make each other better, they only revel in their faults. Bellamy is like Clarke’s right-hand man, the one she needs in order to become a true and just leader. So, yes, “Clexa” may be happening right now (ugh, whatever), but “Bellarke” is endgame.
I’m going to be honest: I’m a “Bellarke” supporter all the way — so much so that it doesn’t seem right for me to even summarize the opposing side (“Clexa” doesn’t stand a chance as far as I’m concerned). So in order to be fair, I’ll let my colleague McKenzie take over for why “Clexa” should happen:
“Clexa”: Clarke and Lexa
I hate to burst your “happy family” bubble, Rachel, but you’re not going to win this war; “endgame” is irrelevant when it comes to a post-apocalyptic world. You make a decent case regarding Bellamy and Clarke’s need for each other (as friendly comrades, I would argue) but you disregard the blatant connection between two of The 100’s strongest female characters.
Let’s put aside that having a bisexual leading lady on The CW is beyond ground-breaking and look at the facts. Lexa, as the Commander of the Grounders, and Clarke (at the time) the Leader of the Sky People — were brought together with one common goal: to rid the world of the Mountain Men. Sure, things didn’t go as planned, but we can’t ignore the undeniable chemistry between these two. Both are strong leaders in their own right, so can you imagine what a power couple Clarke and Lexa would be overseeing the reconstruction of humanity. They’d get ish done!
Yes, Bellamy can offer Clarke “adorable” babies (a cop-out argument by the way) but wouldn’t you rather have a partner who challenges you, forces you to better yourself, and ultimately complements you as a person (even in your darkest hour)? Sorry, but the truth is that Bellamy is an enabler and Clarke needs someone a little more aggressive and level-headed to get her through these difficult times. She won’t sugar coat things. Not to mention that Lexa planted one of the sweetest kisses on Clarke, winning her all the points in acknowledging the feelings she’s developed, which might even be leading to love.
Sure, Rachel can argue that “Clexa’s” undoing came when Lexa made a bad call towards the end of Season 2 leaving Clarke to deal with her betrayal, and ultimately pushing her to decide to wipe out the Mountain Men. But, as a leader Lexa did what she thought was right for her people. Yes, she cares for Clarke, but she’s a leader first and foremost and for that there was no compromise. In a way this was a great lesson for Clarke as she navigates this new world. Is Clarke unworthy of love or a second chance just because she has a rising body count (which is around 1,000)? No, her sins will be forgiven despite the harsh decision SHE made for her people. Thankfully Lexa’s ways have rubbed off on Clarke, or else YOUR favorites wouldn’t be alive in Season 3. This “Clexa” shipper out!
Verdict: Since we can’t be impartial here, we’re going to let you all be the judge of this one. Vote for either “Bellarke” or “Clexa” below!
Really want to get in on this conversation? We’re so excited to be welcoming Kass Morgan for an Author Live Chat on January 21 at 5 PM EST. Viewers will be able to submit questions and be a part of a fun, exciting conversation before the new season premieres. You don’t want to miss it!