When The 100 began, the hundred were a group of delinquents struggling to survive on the ground, and the council was desperately trying to conserve oxygen. However, by the end of the first season, there were severe differences in where the main characters landed. Afterward, everyone had to learn what it meant to make life or death decisions. Everyone showed character development during the seven seasons as their lives made it impossible not to. However, some experienced more than others due to their amount of time on the show or how involved they were in making massive choices.
Characters like Clarke and Bellamy were always relied upon to make the impossible choices. As leaders, they were placed in difficult positions, which lead to plenty of character development for them as they struggled with the aftermath of their decisions. However, someone didn’t need to be a leader to have such an immense character arc. People like Raven, Murphy, and Octavia were not leaders for most of the show, yet they played an integral role in the show’s events.
It isn’t that Echo doesn’t show character development. It’s that Echo’s most massive growth occurs off-screen. Echo receives one flashback in season seven that shows when she changed her loyalties to Spacekru. However, there are never any other scenes that show Echo’s bond with anyone other than Bellamy.
Echo is an integral part of the group from season five and onward, but it occasionally comes across as out of place since without knowing what happened during those six years. It becomes more confusing when Echo’s six years on Sky Ring, which the viewers get to watch, lacks the emotional weight of the relationships Echo made in space.
Monty does grow throughout his time on the ground, but he always remains consistent. Monty is, in a lot of ways, a steady rock of the group. Although Monty made it possible to irradiate level five, he doesn’t have many impossible decisions weighing him down.
Monty may fight to help his friends, but he has never wanted to go to war. Instead, Monty’s final arc shows his wish for peace and to avoid war. Later, he chooses to stay awake with Harper to have a happy life instead of fighting to survive.
Abby’s arc is more of a spiral toward antagonistic territory. Her choices on the Ark may have raised eyebrows and angered some, but she becomes something far worse after touching the ground. Abby struggles as a leader compared to Clarke’s experience with the Grounders, and it only gets worse from there. She really goes off the rails in season five.
Abby suggests cannibalism, then insists that Octavia make it illegal not to eat while also deciding that Kane had to give in first. She also used Raven’s shock collar to electrocute her because of Abby’s pill addiction. In season six, Abby is so consumed with trying to save Kane that she doesn’t realize that her daughter has been body-snatched.
When Murphy met Emori, she was just like him. Cast out and desperate to survive, Emori was looking out for herself and not interested in helping others. But, after teaming up with Murphy, Emori began to care about him, and the two latched on to each other as the apocalypse was set to arrive.
In space, Emori grew to be friends with Raven, learning about technology and engineering. In the series finale, Emori tells Raven that if the choice is between her and the entire human race, to save the human race. This is a drastic difference from the perspective Emori had when she was first introduced.
Raven is, perhaps, the smartest person on the show. Capable of building just about anything, Raven has helped save the day on more than one occasion. One of the most intriguing aspects of her arc is how it grew in the final season. Raven had always been complicit in everyone’s worst choices, even if she disagreed.
Yet, Raven spent a lot of time blaming others and ignoring her role in the events. When Raven had to make the difficult choice about the radiation chamber, she finally understood how it felt to make the tough call. She has the ability to understand why an awful action needed to be done and what it takes to live through it.
From being one of the biggest problems on the Ark to one of the most loved characters, Kane grew plenty during the six seasons. Kane had lived his life to the letter of the law for the sake of humankind. While that didn’t make him popular amongst the Ark’s citizens, it was also a trait that brought about issues after touching Earth. The Ark’s rules couldn’t apply on the ground, and as times changed, Kane changed with them.
He wanted peace with the Grounders, and instead of sentencing people to death, he wished to protect and save them. Kane died because he refused to live within another man’s body and, in his death, brought the Nightblood with him.
Clarke undergoes a lot of character development as she is constantly placed in a position to make life or death choices. Clarke Griffin, nicknamed Wanheda in season three, had become a force to be reckoned with. Similar to Monty, Clarke’s goals have always been consistent. From the beginning, all Clarke wanted to do was protect her people. That never changes throughout the show and as time goes on Clarke becomes more passionate to protect those she loves. Even in the series finale, Clarke is prepared to bear it so her friends don’t have to.
Even with Bellamy’s final storyline, he does undergo one of the biggest character developments. Bellamy went through a lot as he struggled to be the best leader he could. Bellamy was not the best person initially, but by the end of the first season, the real Bellamy had begun to shine through. In season five and afterward, Bellamy’s biggest desire was to live in peace, which was a huge difference from his willingness to engage in war during earlier seasons.
He also shows development in his relationship with Octavia. The two had struggled in their relationship for a long time. In season six, Bellamy finally acknowledges that Octavia is his sister, but not his responsibility. With Octavia’s development at that point in her redemption arc, the two could have had a chance to begin repairing some of the damage between them.
Murphy goes through some of the most monumental changes. First appearing as an angry delinquent at the Dropship, Murphy slowly transforms into a reliable friend. While he does earn his nickname, “Cockroach,” his survival skills begin to come in handy for more than just himself. Part of Murphy’s development began after getting close to Emori.
Then, Murphy became a team player to avoid Praimfaya, eventually becoming a vital part of Spacekru. Murphy’s changes are most noticeable in the final season when instead of changing sides, as he had with Josephine, Murphy remains strongly beside Emori. Murphy helps protect the people of Sanctum, being extra aware of protecting the children.
Octavia Blake may have had the longest journey of anyone else. She landed on the ground known for being the illegal second child. Over time, Octavia grew into a warrior, becoming close with Lincoln and Indra. She was the fighter Skaikru needed in the Conclave. After having a furious fourth season, she seems to have made peace, at least at the moment, with how she wanted to move forward. Unfortunately, Octavia’s path wouldn’t stay consistent for long.
Time in the bunker brought about Blodreina and the Dark Year, two aspects that took Octavia a long time to move beyond. Ten years on Sky Ring allowed Octavia to grow, but even when she returned to Earth, it was difficult for Octavia to step foot in the bunker. However, after years of fighting, Octavia showed her most massive growth by saving the human race, understanding that the best way to survive what comes next is not to fight a war.