The 100 destroyed most of humanity in its Season 4 finale, “Praimfaya.” While thousands of people died in the Death Wave, those in the bunker and on the island all survived, though not necessarily as they expected. 

BuddyTV talked to Executive Producer Jason Rothenberg about which characters will be returning in Season 5, the time jump, the similarities between the prisoners’ arrival now and that of the original 100 delinquents, Bellamy and Clarke, the mysterious Nightblood Madi, and more!

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Do you want to calm any fears about which characters may or may not be back for Season 5? 

Rothenberg: No, not really. Here’s a safe bet: If they didn’t die on camera, then they are probably coming back in some capacity at least in Season 5. 

In a way, it seems like at the end of Season 4, we are jumping back to where we were at the end of the Season 1 pilot. At the beginning of the finale, Octavia said they are Wonkru now. Now that they are all grounders and a new space ship has arrived, it’s almost like Skaikru arriving again. Is that the theme going into Season 5? A reset of the story?

Yeah, that’s a great way of putting it. Actually, we have talked about it being a perspective swap where at the end of the pilot in The 100 Season 1, it was– rather the entire concept of the series in Season 1 was 100 criminals, juvenile delinquents in the case of the 100– landed on the ground and now another group of prisoners are landing on the ground. And they’re like our heroes in Season 1 realizing that that they weren’t alone. 

These prisoners will realize they are not alone. This time, Clarke, as the story in Season 5 begins, is the lone real survivor. Clarke and Madi are the lone survivors. They’re the grounders and they are going to need help obviously. It’s a total switch of perspective. We are the grounders. They are the prisoners. They are the people who are landing on Earth and thinking it’s theirs to only realize, “Not so fast.”

There will be a lot of story that happened during the time jump. Do you have plans to do flashbacks or provide insight either on the show or in other formats?

Yes, we’re going to definitely at certain times of the season flash back and see some of what unfolded over that 6 year and 7 day time jump. You use time jumps in order to skip ahead and tell a story after the time jump, but in this case we’re jumping so much awesome stuff. Obviously, surviving up on that ring for our heroes who go to space is pretty fraught with drama and we want to see that. And with the bunker story– with 1200 people are stuck in that bunker from different walks of life– it’s going to be really, really intense in terms of their survival story. 

So, yes, we will see some of it. But, again, the reason you do a time jump is to jump ahead and so the story going forward will be even more intense, which is why we’re doing it. It will also be fun to sort of shuffle the deck on relationships. 

You think of the four seasons that this show as unfolded across, I think it’s something like 8 months that they’ve been on the ground. They are now going to be apart from each other for almost 10 times that amount of time, so it’s a lot of character interaction which we miss, which I acknowledge for some people will be frustrating.  But, it’s also a really cool way to reset the table and get to tell story in a different way that we’re all really excited about.

On Clarke and Bellamy’s separation

Separately [Bellamy and Clarke] is a similar thing to [Bellamy and Octavia]. As Clarke says to him in the finale, he has to start to use his brain as well as his heart. He’s always been an impulsive, emotional, reactive person. And that’s what we love about him. He cares so deeply about his people, and he charges in blindly sometimes, and sometimes that gets him in trouble as Clarke says in the episode. He needed to start finding a unity of both of those organs for lack of a better word. And that’s what he’ll do now. He’ll be forced to do that on some level without Clarke. And we’ll hopefully see him becoming a fully realized head and heart leader that I think he’s destined to become in Season 5. 

Clarke’s a Nightblood and so it was a fascinating challenge for us to think of her as the last person on the planet. She’s literally the last human being on Earth as the season ends, and provides a whole host of challenges, and cool stories that we can tell in Season 5 before we bring them all together again.

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It seems like Clarke’s always the one who ends up having to be on her own for good or bad.

Yeah, for very different reasons this time obviously. In Season 2, she went on her own because she couldn’t bear to see their faces anymore and be reminded of what she had to do. This time she didn’t choose to be on her own. In that moment, it was I’m going to sacrifice my life to save my friends. 

This finale sort of led to another choice point for her. In the past, it’s always been a horrible psychic toll, having to kill one group of people to save another group of people. This time it was self-sacrificial. She chose to die in order to let her friends escape the Death Wave. Now, she didn’t know she was going to survive. She didn’t know the nightblood would kick in and she’d survive this radiation at the time. It leaves her stranded which I think sort of allows us to tell all these amazing stories of her being sort of legend like “Lone Survivor” at the beginning of Season 5.

At the end, we have the introduction of Madi. Who is she?

We meet Madi in that pop out at the end 6 years and 7 days later and she’s a Nightblood child who Clarke found at some point over the last 6 six years and clearly has become bonded to that person. They are very, very, clearly connected now– deeply connected. In fact, again, … when we see them at the end of Season 4, they have been together for years, far longer than Clarke was ever with any of our characters on the ground prior to this. 

That’s a really, really intense and very familial sort of mother-daughter almost bond that’s gonna be tested. That’s going to change Clarke. Suddenly, her decision making– the way any parents’ priorities shift the moment they become a parent– her priorities are going to be vastly different than they were in the past. 

What happens when what’s good for Madi, for her surrogate child essentially, what happens when what’s good for her is not what’s good for Skaikru or Bellamy or Octavia. We’ll see that tested in really cool ways in Season 5.

Is there a potential for any other children to be added next season?

Sure. Yes, probably not Nightblood children. If you’re a Nightblood and you weren’t in the path of destruction, you’ll alive. I’m not saying we’re telling the story of multiple Nightbloods showing up, but I do think there probably will be another young character who play a role next season.

The 100 Season 5 will air on the CW in 2018. Want more news? Like our 100 Facebook page.

(Images courtesy of the CW)