So Jason Rothenberg tweeted "The Alliance of the 12 Clans. Maybe Lexa knows that without a common enemy, they all go back to fighting with each other." And it reminded me of the part in your fic about how after Costia died she decided to "wage peace as revenge" so I was wondering - did you know at the time that you wrote this that Lexa also had this in mind when she made the deal? Also what do you think Lexa's action plan is after this?
i legitimately know only as much as all of the other viewers, so no, not really. i mean, i studied narrative & characters for years in university, so for me it’s not the most difficult to sort through actions & motivations, especially for someone like lexa, who, like kane says, is a visionary. the idea of ‘waging peace as revenge’ is kind of interesting bc it actually gives lexa an incredible amount of power but at the same time it is absolutely the best thing for her people, & i think lexa is actually incredibly compassionate as well (& in so many ways, especially after costia) v selfless: lexa probably wants violence as revenge, but her people—the people she’s been fated to put first from the day she was born—don’t deserve that sort of danger or war, even though they would fight for her.
for me, lexa is really interesting, bc she tells clarke that she stopped caring abt anyone after costia died. & i think she really meant that she stopped caring abt herself, abt Just Lexa—bc it’s obvious that she cares deeply abt her people, even if that’s out of a v imbedded sense of duty. she put away every personal emotion she had, sure, but she cares profoundly for her warriors & all of the people she, as commander, ultimately protects. & when you think abt it that way, when the ice nation attacked lexa—commander lexa & Just Lexa—by killing costia, the natural course of action, the emotional course of action, is lexa waging war: blood must have blood.
but lexa had another option: negotiating a peace treaty. she’s ultimately incredibly merciful in this, bc she saves the lives of an unknown & great number of people on both sides. no one conquered anyone, which is probably the biggest revenge commander lexa could’ve ever gotten. (in my headcanon that i wrote lexa kills the queen, but after that, she negotiates a treaty).
in the same way, with the Arkers, she’s compassionate: firstly, she has grounds, certainly, to attack them; clarke killed 300 of her warriors & finn slaughtered 19 unarmed people without any just cause. lexa, if she was did what one might predict (if she, for example, operated in an american kind of way toward war, which is so interesting) would probably have annihilated the Arkers, bc she has an entire army at her disposal & she could've—probably would've—won.
but instead she negotiates another alliance with clarke, & one that is, at the end of the day, as kind as possible a negotiation as this kind of world—the grounders’ system of justice—would permit. she lets clarke kill finn in a way that was fast & comparatively painless. clarke has really no punishment for this, not in a way that really endangers her people. lexa holds up the alliance even though clarke goes against what part of the rules were. & lexa immediately stops any sort of rebellion of her people.
so i think lexa cares immensely for her people—& for the Arkers, bc they become her people—& she holds the sanctity of others’ lives kind of above everything. she’s willing to die for that; she was entirely willing to die so that clarke could live when they were attacked by the gorilla. which is why i think princess commander is really interesting: lexa—Just Lexa—cares again, but it’s different than costia, bc, at least for a while, clarke is a political ally that makes a lot of sense. lexa is using her head when she makes this alliance, & then her heart gets involved.
but at the end of the day, lexa’s people come first. lexa will die for them, & i think in many, many ways, Just Lexa has: costia died, & she waged (unexpected) peace; she sacrifices clarke & her friends—people clarke loves—for hundreds of her own people. commander lexa, in such a weird & kind of predictable way, though—overpowers Just Lexa, & i think it has to do with how lexa was raised but also bc lexa is brilliant, she’s a brilliant leader, bc she is really selfless. the only person lexa has v little compassion for is herself.
but in terms of plot i’ve no idea. the logical part of me—& the part of me that admires the narrative decisions of the writers—honestly thinks that lexa is going to do exactly what she said: leave & obey the treaty, at least for now, & take her people back to polis. she’ll try to heal her people: rebuild tondc, establish a stable place of governing in polis. which makes so much sense on so many levels: clarke is our hero in this story, time & again, & in this finale, she will get to be again if lexa isn’t there (helped out, ofc, by other characters that we adore). but in addition to that, there’s so much conflict set up for a s3: clarke & lexa might still v logically have to deal with her, bc i can guarantee that lexa doesn’t want to annihilate clarke & the rest of the Arkers by her own hand, & she’ll probably want to form a new alliance with them.
& clarke is a really good leader, & she thinks with her head too, really, even if she’s more open with her emotions than lexa is, so clarke would have to want a treaty with the grounders too. it makes sense to have them have to work something political out with one another, & it’d be awkward & tense but give kind of this space to explore two world leaders who do, v much, care abt one another as well as their people. peacetime is vastly different from wartime, right? & clarke is fascinating, bc her character has, until now, at least, stayed this glittering, star stuff princess, even if she kills finn: it was honorable & merciful & clarke is so driven by good she’s v hard to taint. what lexa did is going to push clarke so close to a v dark thing, like, as lincoln says, the monster that exists inside of her.
& i think that’s a fascinating mirror to what happened with costia & lexa, bc in the moment of breaking—lexa’s vengeance could’ve been destructive or healing—lexa reigned that violence in & saved her people & the lives of so many other innocent civilians that would’ve never wished for the tragedy of what happened to costia. & it’s interesting to see where clarke will go, bc basically a v similar thing happened: her people are being killed & hurt, her love just betrayed her; she is dealing with so much loss. clarke, for being this girl who fell from the sky, has never really fallen, & i don’t think she actually will. but i think she’s going to get really close, closer than we’ve seen her.
& ofc, there’s the off chance that lexa will come & swoop in & save the day. but i don’t actually think that’s smart writing, not really. clarke doesn’t need anyone to save the day, bc she’s clarke & we’ve been invested in her ruthless, adamant goodness since day one. the rupture of clarke’s goodness would ruin her character (which is what happened to finn, & it’s important to see that explored, but there’s no need to do it again), & that goodness is probably going to drive her v close to doing v questionable things to survive & to save her people. she’s already made incredible impossible decisions, but she’s hugely emotionally impacted by them.
so no, i think clarke doesn’t need lexa to come in & save the day. i think clarke can do it herself, & this is war & this is politics, & i think it makes sense for her to have to deal with lexa in the next season, bc it would allow her to explore more of the world (which, rad, & could move the setting in fascinating cinematographic ways), & it’s also a learning experience for clarke, in the most cruel way: lexa chose her people; lexa has been born to choose her people. clarke was allowed to choose love until maybe her father & certainly when she got sent to the ground, so her learning curve is quite different.
& ultimately i think it brings up the question of love & forgiveness, which we always need discussed & shown. clarke, up until this point, has been kind of the savior figure (in a really unproblematic way, & i don’t mean to reduce her to an archetype), & lexa is, to her people, the same thing in many ways. there’s a term that we use a lot in biblical & milton studies called felix culpa, or the happy fall, & essentially it suggests that adam & eve’s fall into sin is lucky, or happy, bc it allowed god to teach his people abt order & punishment, but also to provide them with jesus, a savior, which is the root of his goodness, &, with belief in this grace, in this goodness, is what allows people to go to heaven.
& not that the 100 works anywhere near that kind of rhetoric (i’m not suggesting that at all). but i like the idea of a sort of felix culpa for clarke & lexa (clarke, interestingly enough, has literally already experienced something like this: she was punished bc of her father (savior figure!) & sent down to earth from the sky to save her people, to redeem her people). lexa has had the same kind of thing: she was created to protect & save her people (remember jesus in gethsemane before he’s crucified; his desperate prayers to god to—if it be his will—take away this sacrificial nature). lexa has the same kind of desperation abt her, but she sacrifices her own Self time & again for the sake of her people, for the life of her people.
so it’s even more fascinating bc when you think abt it, lexa’s betrayal could be the beginning of a really, really fascinating take on redemption & compensation & what it means to be forgiven for impossible choices. bc at the end of the day, if clarke is eve, & she offers something to lexa in love, lexa didn’t take it. she chose earth rather than a hellish eden, & neither of them are the temptress & neither one of them are the savior & none of them bit the sign of the apple in half. we deserve that story told so many more times than it has been.
bc really, two young queer ladies ruling the world & trying to save their people by waging peace as revenge—& sorting out if there can be love & self-compassion in all of that—is exactly what we need.