(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you have not watched Thursday’s episode of “The 100.”)
Four episodes into the third season of The CW’s “The 100,” and one pivotal character has bitten the dust.
The Ice Nation queen Nia (Brenda Strong) challenged the authority of the Grounder commander Lexa (ALycia Debnam-Carey), resulting in a head-to-head combat.
Lexa chooses to fight for herself, while Nia sends her son, the banished prince Roan (Zach McGowan). It’s supposed to be a battle to the death, but Lexa changes course when victory is imminent, sending her spear through Nia’s heart rather than Roan’s, proclaiming, “The queen is dead, long live the king.”
It’s a shocking moment, since Strong’s character had been heavily teased and lasted all of one episode. From Season 2, we know Nia has a particularly rough history with Lexa, having tortured and killed her lover Costia in the past.
The pacing of the show may not leave much room to explore that history now that Nia is gone.
“It’s hard, there’s so much in this season, the world explodes so much, there’s so much to cover,” Debnam-Carey told TheWrap. “And it’s a shame because Brenda Strong is so phenomenal. Working with her was so great. But Lexa, she has a short fuse. She’s tolerant to a point, so if someone’s really going to overstep her, they won’t get very far.”
The death of Queen Nia also crowned a new leader in Roan, who already has a somewhat complicated history with Lexa from this season alone, having plotted with Clarke (Eliza Taylor) to kill her recently. But now that Lexa and Clarke are on the same side again, Roan still has to work through his relationship with the two powerful women still surrounding him.
“He’s got complex emotions there,” said McGowan. “He has a certain amount of respect and admiration, and thankfulness towards them, but also they’re always kind of like the fly in the ointment in a way too. It’s complex and it won’t be simple as it heads to a conclusion.”
“The 100” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.