Clarke Griffin is one of the main characters on the CW’s the 100. She lives privileged life on the Ark, a space station created after a nuclear war made Earth uninhabitable, until she breaks the law and is sent to lockup. Her journey begins when it’s discovered that the Ark is running out of air. Clarke is among the 100 delinquents sent to Earth to find out if it is inhabitable once again and safe for other Ark people to follow. But when they arrive, radiation poisoning becomes the least of their problems.
From the start, Clarke has been shown to be brave and selfless. She is a focused and capable heroine who puts the needs of her loved ones before herself. She is a feminist hero because she proves herself as a leader and can stand on equal ground with any man. Clarke has shown us countless times that she doesn’t need anyone to rescue her or save her. The only thing her character needs is for her people to be safe and for the cycle of endless bloodshed to end.
One scene in particular that showcases Clarke’s feminist, one-track mind is in the very first episode. After their ship arrives on Earth, Clarke soon discovers that their group won’t survive the night without supplies. She immediately sets to task finding a map and devising a path to get the precious resources they desperately need. Then, a group is formed to go out into uncharted territory. Clarke leads them, map in hand, when the only other girl of their team starts of their journey by saying, “Before you get any ideas… Finn’s mine.” Clarke’s snarky response is listed below.
Clarke places her focus on protecting the 100 and making sure everyone can survive the night over competing for a boy’s attention. This strength of character only grows as the story continues.
The second piece I chose to show Clarke as a strong, feminist character happens to be another scene relating to the character Finn. It occurs in the second season, after Finn’s character goes through a major ordeal, and ends up slaughtering an enemy village of unarmed men, women, and children.
In this world, “blood will have blood” and in order for there to be “peace” between Clarke’s people and their enemy, Finn will have to offer his life in the place of those he took. The punishment set for Finn’s death would have been brutal and at this point Clarke has exhausted all possibilities of saving Finn. She has bargained and begged, but nothing will save him from this outcome. In the end, Clarke chooses to kill one of the only people she truly, deeply loves in order to repay a debt that will provide a chance for a truce. She does this through a mercy kill, a stab to the heart before their enemy can inflict any more suffering and torture.
This brave act demonstrates Clarke’s core character. She is a leader – mature, wise, and full of strength. Clarke carries her people’s burdens so they don’t have to. Every move she makes, every act she commits is done in their name for their protection.
This level of self-sacrifice and devotion is unrivaled to any other character on the show – man or woman. Clarke’s only true fault is her overwhelming and utterly consuming desire to protect her people, to save everyone from war, suffering, and death, with her own happiness at expense.
This demonstration of feminism on the 100 is part of what makes this show a success as a whole. Having Clarke’s character be a such a central piece of the story allows for more representation, a chance to show that there is a variety of strengths a character can possess, not just one.
Clarke Griffin is a feminist heroine. She saves the boy. She saves her people. She saves herself. Clarke stands out in this narrative because of her own inner strength and the power she projects. I for one, would like to see more characters like Clarke Griffin represented in media. She is a heroine I hold near and dear to my heart because she is so well developed and human. She is not just a dystopian battle ready leader – she is a teenage girl who just wants to live a life in peace.