The 100 Executive Producer Jason Rothenberg was joined by actors Lindsey Morgan, Paige Turco, Eliza Taylor, Marie Avgeropoulos, Adina Porter, and Alycia Debnam-Carey earlier today for a panel about the upcoming third season of the show at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California.
“It has evolved, to my surprise. Definitely,” Eliza says. “It’s been kind of amazing [not knowing], actually, where the story is going, or how our character’s going to grow. Every day, I get to work, and I get to learn more and grow with this character, and I’m grateful every day.”
“One of the things I love to do is expand the world,” Rothenberg says about goals for Season 3 going in. “We’ve obviously done that a lot in the first three seasons. But at the same time, you know, the show started with The 100 wanting to kill each other, and could they overcome their internal conflict before the threat of the Grounders wiped them out? Last year, we introduced some new elements, and the conflict was a little bit more external. This season, we get into a bigger version of where the show started, which is there is internal conflict at [the camp] and there is a new group that comes in that really mixes things up and creates a lot of conflict, internally,” he teases.
With characters like Lexa, they will be telling a lot of story in a place called Polis, where we will get to know more about Grounder clans. “There is a civil war brewing there too,” Rothenberg reveals. “So, again, it’s about can these people overcome their internal stuff in time to avoid a bigger catastrophe? So forever, hopefully, is the answer. Keep doing that.” Overcoming will continue to mean that the characters have to make hard choices.
“I try to come up with scenarios that are so hard, in terms of the choice that a character has to make, that there’s no good choice,” Rothenberg says. “For instance, last season we know that I knew that that moment of choice was going to come for Clarke at the end, where she was going to have to pull the lever or not, and kill all of those people in Mount Weather to save her people. We could have been a little bit easier, and saved the kids, or, you know, for the person that asked about that before. But I wanted people to feel the cost of it. We try and create impossible choices all the time. You’ve got a good guy who makes a really hard choice, that isn’t necessarily a good guy’s choice.”
“Everyone, every character at the end of the day is doing what they think is right for their people,” Eliza Taylor says.
“I think that’s what is real,” Lindsey Morgan enthuses. There are no ‘Mary Sues’ on this panel, on this cast. And I love getting the scenes that I call them ‘Raven ruiner scenes’,” she says, where Raven will do something the audience might not necessarily like. “For example, the one when she wanted to sacrifice Murphy for Finn. That was one of my favorite scenes ever for Raven, because, you know, for someone she is very a righteous character, but you saw her make that decision to where ‘I’d rather protect my own, my own love, and sacrifice your life, than have his be risked’,” she recalls. “I think that was a very real and honest moment.”
“I’ve got to say honestly, it’s a very exciting time for women in television actually getting to play very strong roles,” Eliza Taylor graciously adds. “And God bless Jason for writing for us. I’m grateful every day. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to actually play a character with true integrity and strength, and it’s absolutely amazing.”
Paige Turco is also grateful for what The 100 female ensemble brings. “It’s rare to have so many women on one show with strength,” she says.
And when the time comes, does Jason Rothenberg have an endgame set for The 100?
“I know where I want the show to end,” he reveals. “I kind of know what I want the final story to be, and where I want these people to end up at the end. I don’t know how long that’s going to take. I’m not going to sit here and say that I want to do the show for as long as I can do it. I want to do the show for as long as it’s interesting to me, and creatively, I feel like we’re not repeating ourselves. So far, I think that’s where we are. But, you know, good Lord willing, we get to Season 4, we have a good idea of what we want that story to be. And by the way, if they said ‘This is it, wrap it up,’ we can make this idea I have right now for the wrap up happen at the end of Season 4, or 5, or 8.”
The 100 Season 3 premieres Thursday, January 21 on The CW. See some more of our coverage about the show here!