Unfortunately it’s not too often nowadays that you see a television show that features strong women. It’s normally a male-driven world where either some female characters get poor writing or aren’t utilized to the character’s fullest potential.
One of the beautiful things about The 100 is that it’s set in a dystopian world in which women are viewed as powerful, respected and feared. It’s a far reach from present society where women are still seen below men in terms of jobs, pay, and respect.
On The 100 there are three distinct groups of people all living on the same dystopian Earth: our main cast (aka the Sky People), the Grounders and new this season the Mountain Men. All three groups have strong women that are strong in either a physical or intellectual way and in some cases both. It’s a testament to the great writing and portrayal by the shows’ writers and the actresses that portray them.
Focusing on our core group, who are henceforth known as the Sky People, there are four specific main female characters that are incredibly important in terms of their strength. But that’s not to say there aren’t more. Because there are. It’s just if I went into specifics about every single strong female character on this show this would turn into a novella at the least.
Our show’s main protagonist Clarke is a prime example of how you don’t necessarily have to be physically strong to exude strength. She’s also a reminder that her drive forces her to adapt to the dire circumstances surrounding her on this brutal new world.
When The 100 first arrive on Earth, Clarke is one of two leaders (the other Bellamy) as they try to survive this new environment. It’s not because she’s seen as physically strong but because the other kids see the leadership in her. She exudes it. It’s in the way she speaks, the way she carries herself and the decisions she makes to keep the group safe. She’s been forced into some pretty terrifying circumstances, as well as meetings with the leaders of the other two groups and somehow she’s always the toughest one in the room. She’s survived difficult circumstances and had to make difficult decisions, but there’s no one you’d rather have watching your back than Clarke.
There was something about Raven from the moment she stepped on screen. Like Clarke, it’s in the way she carries herself. The confidence she has in her skills – technological and craftsmanship – and the attitude in which she carries herself. It’s probably why she’s my favorite character on the show. Raven is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to what she does. She’s also incredibly brave, as seen when she took a daring one-way trip to space and find the kids to prove life on the ground was livable.
This season, Raven has faced a conflict that runs much deeper than its physical state. In the season finale, Raven was shot in the leg by Murphy and almost died from the loss of blood. When Abby and co. found her, they had to do emergency surgery to save the leg. Surgery without anesthesia. It wasn’t just the surgery she survived, she had to deal with the mental trauma sustained when she learned she may never walk on it again. Sure she had her struggles, but she was able to look within herself to persevere.
If you were to have any doubts about a character’s surviving this harsh dystopian Earth I’m sure a lot of us would’ve chosen Octavia. But as we began to pull back the layers of her history, her emotional trauma and how she was able to overcome it and keep standing you can’t help but applaud her strength.
As we shifted into the second season, Octavia was separated from her protector and muscle Lincoln. But as we saw her evolution in the first season and how she charged head on into change in the second, we watched her become someone the Grounders – the ultimate warriors – respected.
Like mother like daughter they say. We sure know where Clarke gets her inner strength from in momma Abby. Abby is someone who’s had to made tough decisions in her life. She’s also someone who learned the meaning of sacrifice.
In season one, her sole mission was to find a way to Earth to reunite with Clarke. And as the Ark faced a horrific crisis that saw the deaths of a significant amount of people, Abby was forced to do whatever she could to protect those on the Ark. Heck, she almost got floated because of it. And she continued that same determination when they arrived on the ground. Whether it was to find Clarke and the kids or to protect her people from the threats that surrounded them, Abby’s sole focus was protecting those she cares about.
But it’s not just those from the Ark that are strong. Let’s look at our warriors, the Grounders. There are three specific characters that come to mind when thinking about the strong Grounder women and they’re all are/were in command: Anya, Lexa and Indra. They are all physically strong and capable, but more than that they are respected. They are the leaders. Men are answering them. It’s refreshing and empowering at the same time. But they’re also mentally tough as one has to be living on the ground.
Shifting focus to Mount Weather, there have only been two women we’ve gotten to see but they’re both strong in their own way. Dr. Singh has confidence in her abilities and believes in what she’s doing, despite how wrong it is. You know what they say, the villain is the hero of their own story. She stands up for what she believes in and doesn’t back down even when the threat is grave. Now, while Maya isn’t in the least bit intimidating she’s someone who is slowly coming into her skin. She’s someone who has lived in the background for so long that now with her stepping to the forefront you get to see her for who she is. And she’s someone that should be feared.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of strong women on television, but no one is doing it better than the folks at The 100.