Conageddon News Roundup
This past weekend, we were lucky enough to have two writers from Truth Bee Told present at Conageddon, a fan convention for The 100 that took place in Boston on March 17 and 18. Guests at the convention included Bob Morley (Bellamy Blake), Eliza Taylor (Clarke Griffin), Tasya Teles (Echo), Zach McGowan (Roan), and Rhiannon Fish (Ontari).
With the trailer for Season 5 of The 100 released just over a week ago and the premiere date for the new season slowly edging closer, there was plenty for the cast to talk about. Below, we have provided an in-depth round up of all the information we learned! Many thanks to Michaela Martin, one of our on-the-scene writers who took detailed notes of almost every panel and spent hours typing them up for us.
Bob Morley and Eliza Taylor on Bellamy, Clarke, and Bellarke
With six years having passed since the end of Season 4, it’s a given that the characters we once knew and love will have changed, possibly into people the audience no longer recognizes. For Bellamy and Clarke, what hints can they give us as to how their characters have changed over the time jump, what that means for their journeys this season, and how it will impact the relationship between the two characters moving forward?
“Clarke was a fierce protector of her people,” Eliza Taylor teased, “now she’s an even fiercer protector of one person.” In three words, she’s “[a] mama, strong, and defiant.” Clarke tries to mold Madi into a badass but since Madi was trained as a nightblood, she’s ended up teaching Clarke a lot as well. Taylor loved getting to play a “mum,” and the experience made her get her puppy, Bowie, who ran around all weekend in a tiny grounder costume made by the costume department. “I’m a mum twice over!” joked Bob Morley, who has two dogs.
When asked if Clarke would have a support system to help her bear things this season, Taylor thought for a moment before saying either Bellamy or her mother are her biggest supporters — they’re “the ones that tell her everything is going to be okay.”
As for Bellamy, he “isn’t the brother or father figure so much now, and he’s gotten way smarter,” said Morley. In space, Bellamy and Raven are co-captains, and Bellamy is trying to use his head and heart to honour Clarke and is growing as a person; he’s more rational than ever (maybe too much so), although his goals and ambitions remain the same: to keep his sister safe.
Morley admits that Bellamy didn’t feel like the same guy to him this season, because for him it had only been six months instead of six years; he had a hard time wrapping his head around where they took Bellamy this season for a while, but in the end, this is the best version of him. “When you start with a character that shot the chancellor, you expect him to be wild. There have been a lot of surprises in Season 5, but I don’t think he’s done anything out of character.”
In response to a question about Bellamy and Clarke being separated for six years, Taylor said that absence “makes the heart grow sadder.” (“I’ve been radioing [Bellamy] for-f*cking-ever,” Taylor teased her co-lead, to which Morley indignantly defended, “I never check my radio!”)
As to what Clarke is thinking of saying into her radio when she pauses after saying “I just want to say—” in the Season 5 trailer, Taylor wasn’t sure. She shared that in that scene Clarke had run out of water and thought she was going to die. Morley added that he hates it when the writers leave unfinished sentences in the script, because he doesn’t always know what Bellamy is holding back in those cases.
When Bellamy and Clarke finally meet each other again, “it’s overwhelming,” said Taylor, and “the way the reunion comes about is through a different avenue than you might expect,” Morley added. Multiple cast members, including Taylor and Tasya Teles, praised the reunion scene.
After reuniting, things between Bellamy and Clarke aren’t exactly easy, however. Their relationship is “turbulent,” according to Taylor, “with lots of ups and downs.” “It’s a very raw version of the two of them,” Morley added. Fans don’t need to worry that Bellamy and Clarke have lost their trust for each other over the six years they were apart, though. According to Morley, at this point their trust is “baked into their DNA,” while Taylor said that “seeing each other again really renews their trust and love for each other.”
Taylor also said that Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship is confusing for both of them. “They share a responsibility to take care of whoever’s around them. Being in a partnership that’s platonic but they both love each other… they need each other so desperately and they don’t understand what it really is.”
What else can we expect out of Season 5?
When asked to describe the newest season in one word, Taylor offered up “intense” while Morley cryptically said “Bloodreina.” If this word is in Trigedasleng (the grounder language), it could translate to something roughly meaning “Blood Queen” or “Red Queen” — which also happens to be one of the revealed episode titles this season and is commonly thought to refer to Octavia, who we know has a very big role this season.
They both also teased an emotional scene that neither of them had done anything like before — Morley suggested that it was some of the best acting of his career, and Taylor said that there wasn’t a dry eye on set.
If that’s not enough to look forward to, Morley also said that the Season 5 finale is “the craziest one yet.”
How will other characters and relationships have changed?
Bellamy and Clarke isn’t the only reunion we have to look forward to. After being separated from everyone she had once known for six years, Clarke has a lot of people she’s going to have to get to know again.
Taylor hinted that we would see a bit of a role reversal between Clarke and her mother, Abby, in Season 5, and that now Clarke will feel the need to take care of her mother instead of the other way around. “You’re going to see a different side of Abby,” Taylor said. “She’s gone through a lot in the bunker and is totally different.”
As for her reunion with Raven — the popular relationship dubbed “Princess Mechanic” — Taylor only said that it’s a little rough, but the love is there. She also gave a shout-out to Lindsey Morgan, who plays Raven, calling her a “beautiful, beautiful woman.”
With Octavia, it seems things won’t be all sunshine and rainbows. Clarke’s relationship with the leader of the Wonkru clan inside the bunker is “horrible,” according to Taylor, and stays that way for the majority of the season. Octavia’s relationship with her brother won’t exactly be rosy either, as Morley said, “without giving anything away,” that at times he would be not only afraid for his sister, but afraid of her.
When asked about Bellamy’s relationship with the other members of “spacekru”, Morley stayed quiet, joking that he didn’t want to get fired. However, he did let some tidbits drop; aside from being co-leaders with Raven, the relationship between Bellamy and Monty is highlighted a lot, and the two share some really good scenes mourning Jasper and Clarke. Bellamy possibly still hasn’t fully forgiven Echo for nearly killing his sister, but because of their situation in space the two are forced to tolerate each other.
As for his first meeting and relationship with Madi, Clarke’s adopted “daughter”, Morley was extremely tight-lipped. He did say that Lola Flanery, who plays Madi, is a “phenomenal little actor,” and that he likes how the dynamic “changes Clarke’s character. She’s a different woman than before.” Morley teased that Bellamy should stay away from Madi— “I know what you did with Charlotte!” “Please don’t teach her to stab!” added Taylor.
As for Echo, Tasya Teles said that she grows close to Raven (and even shares a room with her on the Ark!); the two are similar in that they’re both very pragmatic. Echo also becomes close to Murphy, acting almost as his therapist.
Asked about how her newfound family bond is tested in Season 5, Teles said, “I thought I found a family; I hope I did. Do they love me as much as I love them?”
Teles also said that over the six years in space, Echo realized that Queen Nia used her and “now she fights for friendship rather than duty.” She also hinted that there will be a big action sequence between Clarke and Echo, and that there is a scene that was “emotionally devastating” to film.
Other hints about Season 5?
Monty has an object he keeps that is emotionally significant (perhaps Jasper’s goggles?)
Season 5 newcomer and villain McCreary is a popular character with the cast
We will see more radioactive animals this season
There are a few scenes that are both emotional and full of action
Bellamy and Clarke kind of switch roles as the head and the heart; Clarke is more reckless now, like Bellamy was with Octavia
When asked about a book, film, or song that describes Bellamy this season, Morley first answered with “the dictionary; it’s logical and straightforward” and then also mentioned Les Miserables.
Bellamy doesn’t judge Octavia using violence for peace, since he’s done the same in the past, but he wants her to be better than he was
Clarke has a detailed notebook with stories about all the people in her life, including Lexa
According to Taylor, there are some flashbacks of how Clarke and Madi meet in episode 1. “[The meeting] is actually kind of funny. It definitely changes how she feels about her own mother.”
Bellamy will have a swordfight this season!
He also speaks a lot of Trigedasleng
To pass the time in space, Morley said, “Echo teaches Trig and sword fighting, Monty cooks, Bellamy delegates work and stares out the window a lot.”
We will maybe see Bellamy smile this season.
According to Morley, “The legacy of Jasper definitely lives on through Season 5. The last scene with Devon and Chris was my favorite scene in the whole show.”
We get a little taste of the backstory relating to Bellamy’s parents.
Conageddon also featured appearances from cast members whose characters have already exited the series, and we would be remiss if we forgot to mention them! Zach McGowan, whose character King Roan of Azgeda died during the final conclave fight in Season 4, was present, as was Rhiannon Fish, who played the nightblood and interim commander, Ontari, in Season 3.
McGowan’s career started when he began doing VO in a bar. He did people’s voicemail recordings in movie trailer style, which led to an indie trailer VO role. Before he was on The 100, he played Charles Vane on Black Sails, and had a recurring role in season 4 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD as Anton Ivanov. He ended up on The 100 because he already knew Bob Morley, who pitched him to the show’s Executive Producer, Jason Rothenberg.
On his character’s backstory, McGowan said that Roan, Echo, and Ontari all grew up together, but it was a rough childhood. He believes that Roan’s father is the one who did Roan’s facial scarring and is also the parent Roan takes after more, since his mother was more sneaky. It’s possible that Roan and Echo had a relationship together in the past (he even admitted that he’s read fanfiction of that couple!).
McGowan always does his own stunts when possible, but the turnaround time on The 100 is so quick that sometimes they don’t get much time to practice. For the big conclave episode they only had two rehearsal periods, and McGowan didn’t get to rehearse with one of the combatants at all; for the big sword fight scene between Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Roan, they only had one day to practice. Zach was known on set as the best fighter, and was in jiu-jitzu from age 7 through high school.
When asked about props, McGowan replied, “If it’s possible to break something, I will.” His favourite weapon was the shield, but he only got to use it once. His crown was specially fitted for his head, but happened to also fit Jason Rothenberg, who liked to borrow it.
Roan has a soft spot for Clarke “because she’s awesome!” Although the two started off on opposite sides, over time he realized that they shared a lot philosophy-wise, and came to respect her. Although Roan’s sexuality is never addressed in the show, McGowan said that he headcanons Roan as sexually fluid, and would have liked to see a romance between him and Bellamy.
Asked about something his character did that surprised him, McGowan admitted, “Almost everything — it’s like watching the show. I don’t know what’s coming. I was surprised when Roan called Emori a name [frikdreina, meaning mutant], like, we’re just insulting people now?”
And finally, if Roan got a last chance to have a conversation with some of the characters before he died, he would need to talk to Echo about him banishing her, apologize to Clarke for “being a dick” in their last scene together, and apologize to Bellamy for stabbing him in the leg.
How would Roan have done in the bunker if he had survived? “God, he would have been so miserable,” McGowan laughed. Asked if he believed Roan deserved redemption, McGowan said, “I don’t know if there’s any redemption for someone who takes part in microwaving another human being.
McGowan, the self-proclaimed “Bellarke President,” said that he would like to play Clarke so he could “one day, you know…” and winked at Morley, who responded, “hey, all you gotta do is ask.”
Rhiannon Fish was born in Canada but moved to Australia, and finds that sometimes a bit of an Australian accent slips through. She dropped out of beauty school before becoming an actress, and is interested in the makeup and hairstyling process in shows, especially special effects makeup. Her character, Ontari, always knew that her destiny was to be a leader.
Her favourite scene to film was the chain scene with Murphy (Richard Harmon), while her least favourite scene was the open-heart scene in the Season 3 finale. She finds that getting into wardrobe helps her get into character, “and having a sword.” If there was any decision she could tell her character not to make, it would be taking the chip in Season 3.
“I think the show does a good job of addressing how your past affects you.” Fish said. “I would have loved to see Ontari have a redemption arc.”
Looking Back on Previous Seasons
When Eliza Taylor first got the script, her initial thoughts on her character were that “she had a real Katniss vibe” and originally she saw Clarke not as herself, but as Jennifer Lawrence. “I always hate the leads of shows,” Taylor said, “so I had to make Clarke likeable.” For a while, it was hard for her to sound truthful in Clarke’s American accent, which can be seen in the pilot, but now it’s become instinctual.
Taylor also emphasized the importance of the show’s portrayal of its female characters: “What this show has done for women, it’s so powerful. I’ve played the ditzy blonde girl way too many times.” She also revealed for the first time that Warner Bros originally requested that she lose weight for the role of Clarke, but she refused.
She also just doesn’t feel as much like Clarke when she’s not covered in mud and blood, and for that reason playing Clarke at the beginning of Season 2 was hard for her. Speaking of mud and blood — Taylor said that one of her favourite scenes to film was the fight between Clarke and Anya in Season 2. The mud they used “had chocolate and milk in it,” Taylor said, “So the next day when we kept filming the scene, we reeked. The crew made us stand far away from them when we weren’t shooting.”
On entering the world of The 100, Teles said, “I auditioned for several characters on the show, many grounders. Echo is so different from who I am, so it was a lot of work to understand her motivations.” She found playing Echo in Season 5 was a challenge because she had to start all over again as to her character, since so much time has passed, and “I don’t have my massive fur jacket!”
Teles also shared that Echo blindly followed orders when she was younger, but as she grew up she developed a conscience and hated having to play her part in the Mount Weather attack. Now, looking back at her life, she realizes how much Nia abused and manipulated her.
Her favourite scene from the first four seasons is the one where “Clarke and Roan are having a chat in the cave, and Echo and Bellamy show up like, ‘hey…’ and then Arkadia blows up.” She also mentioned that one of her favourite scenes is from the end of this season, but of course couldn’t say what it is.
When asked to explain Bellamy’s mindset in Season 3 with Pike, Morley said, “He gets into Mount Weather, shuts down the Veil, releases the grounders, only to find that Clarke had let a bomb drop on his sister and Lexa had taken the grounders. I had to work really hard at convincing myself that his siding with Pike was in character, but I do feel like Pike had a point. And he was elected democratically. There was a big discrepancy between the two storylines, with the grounders and the sky people. One day Ian [Henry Ian Cusick, who plays Kane] and Mike [Beach, who played Pike] debated each other for half an hour trying to win me over, to really get it hashed out. They’re like my two dads.” Morley and Cusick even call one another “Dad” and “Son” on set.
The scene where Bellamy thinks Octavia is dead was extremely difficult for Morley to shoot, just having to cry with all these people standing around watching him. He also mentioned the scene in Mount Weather where Bellamy is hanging upside down as difficult to shoot.
On the topic of costumes, Morley mentioned how much he hated the gold Wanheda dress Clarke wore during the summit in Season 3, and how he was surprised that Bellamy didn’t react to seeing it. He misses Bellamy’s guard jacket and wishes he had brought it up to space. This season, he specifically asked for a blue henley because he associated the colour blue with the “good guys” (specifically Clarke), which Bellamy is trying to be.
Although Morley is sometimes frustrated with how stubborn Bellamy can be, he likes all the bad stuff he does. If anything, he wishes his character could be a little bit funnier, but doesn’t know how well it would work with his pre-established personality.
Both Morley and Taylor agreed that the beach scene in Season 3 was one of their favourites between their characters. Regarding the scene in Season 4 where Clarke threatens to shoot Bellamy, Morley praises Taylor, saying that “she killed it that day!” When asked whether Clarke actually would have shot Bellamy, Morley said “Yes, absolutely,” but Taylor wasn’t so sure: “I don’t know— she wouldn’t have killed him. Maybe maimed him, shot him in the leg.”
If Bellamy and Clarke got the chance to speak to each other one last time at the end of Season 4, both agreed that they would have said “May we meet again.” Morley added jokingly, “Hurry up!”
Bits and Bites
When asked which character they would bring back, Taylor said Luna and Morley said Wells. “He was my childhood best friend and I forgot about him,” Taylor said ruefully; Morley said that if Wells had lived, he and Bellamy would have been like co-captains. “I feel like there was respect, [Bellamy] just resented him because of his father. Wells would have been the head and heart, that’s why they had to kill him!”
Favourite mishap or blooper: Taylor said that “in my love scene with Alycia (Lexa), I misinterpreted it as being a lot more aggressive, and the director had to tell me to be more loving.” Teles said in the scene where Roan and Jackson are standing over the grounder in the radiation chamber, his nipple kept popping out of the strap and none of them could keep it together.
What did your character dream of being at five years old? Clarke would have wanted to be a doctor; Echo wanted to have a safe place, a family, a purpose; Roan wanted to be warmer. Morley revealed at his Q&A at Ottawa Comic-Con last year that Aurora, Bellamy’s mother, had always encouraged him to dream, so five-year-old Bellamy thought he could become absolutely anything.
If they could give their character advice, Teles would tell Echo that it’s okay to be vulnerable, and Taylor would tell Clarke to take a day off.
It makes Eliza happy that Clarke’s bisexuality makes fans so happy. Teles said, “I love how subtle the show is about sexuality— it’s a non-issue.” Fish mentioned that it’s about time we had a trans character, and that this would be a good show to have one on.
If swearing were allowed on the show, Clarke would absolutely swear a lot and Bellamy might in private, but not so much around other people.
On the topic of Lexa’s death, Taylor said, “I had no idea what was coming at me. Listen, guys. I didn’t know that the stray bullet was an offensive thing, so I just thought the whole thing was sweet and heartbreaking.” She said that if she could change any aspect of the show, she would stop them from killing Lexa and Finn — “They always kill the people she loves.”
Related to that, Taylor said that “Lexa’s death was a big deal, but killing Finn in Season 2 was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. People are gonna lose their minds this season, and regroup, and come back and do it all over again. It’s some of my best work, and I’m really proud of [Clarke] in Season 5, and of me too!”
If Octavia hadn’t shown up to fight in the conclave, Bellamy probably would have fought on behalf of Skaikru, but “I’d have done terribly— Bellamy’s a gun guy, and no guns were allowed!”
If there hadn’t been black rain at the end of the conclave, McGowan thinks Roan and Octavia would have been able to take Luna out, but wouldn’t have fought each other at the end. Morley disagreed: “We had a whole scene about you saying you were gonna kill my sister!” he protested, laughing.
If their characters had been grounders, Bellamy would have been in Azgeda and Clarke would have been in Floukru.
If Bellamy could go through another character’s story, Morley would like it to be Raven’s, but “Octavia would be cool, too.”
When asked about underrated Clarke dynamics, Taylor mentioned Clarke and Murphy, Clarke and Raven, and Clarke and Niylah. “I know we’re not in love or anything, but I’ll give you a cuddle!” she said of Niylah.
If The 100 had landed in Azgeda territory instead of Trikru, Morley thinks that “Azgeda were outcasts too, so they could have teamed up, taken their guns, and attacked Trikru, or it could have been like Pike.”
If they had had an Ark flashback to provide deeper insight, Morley would have liked to see Monty and Jasper with the weed, or how Miller and Brian met. “In Season 1, a line was cut where it’s revealed that Monroe killed her ex boyfriend, so that would have been interesting to see.”
If they had archived TV shows on the Ark, Bellamy would have like Game of Thrones, Vikings, Black Sails, Gladiator — “All the sword fights and sandals and speeches.”
Bellamy has no hope that Clarke is alive, he just hopes that his sister is. If Bellamy had had nightblood of his own he would have waited longer for Clarke, even though he doesn’t know if the nightblood works.
In terms of Hogwarts houses, Bellamy is a Gryffindor and Echo is a Slytherin. Taylor originally said Clarke is a Gryffindor (like her name), but accepted Clarke being a Slytherin as well.
Once when Morley read for a character, he had trouble getting into his head until he figured out what he ate for breakfast. Bellamy isn’t a breakfast guy, so Morley had to figure out what shoes Bellamy would wear.
In the episode “Day Trip,” Morley and Taylor did an entire scene in their natural Aussie accents and freaked each other out.
Taylor has worked with Lola Flanery all season — she makes sure she takes care of herself. She was the same age as Flanery is when she started acting. Flanery tricks them all into getting her snacks she’s not supposed to eat!
When asked which traits they find most admirable in each other’s characters, Taylor said she likes Bellamy’s tenacity, and Morley said he likes that Clarke is always right “and she’s not smug about it!”
When asked which traits they find admirable in each other, Morley said he admires Taylor’s professionalism (she’s always the first one on set) and Taylor likes that Morley lightens her up.
The 100 returns Tuesday, April 24 at 9/8c on The CW.