Bellamy, a misunderstood character

Choosing what is best for our people : « I do it everyday »

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(/!\ Spoilers /!\ This article contains informations from season 1, 2, 3 until episode 8)

Close to his family

     The 100 starts with a Bellamy made to be hated, the actor (Bob Morley) says it himself. Indeed, his character constantly prevents any kind of communication with the Ark, thus avoiding the Guard's arrival on the ground. Ok, by killing the hope of many families still living in Space and by leading to the death of 300 people, Bellamy seems to deserve his selfish reputation. But delving into his case and progressing through the plot, we can notice that a pattern guides his actions : his sister Octavia.
     The young man would do anything to protect his sister (he was ready to kill the Chancelor in order to accompany the damsel not so in distress on the dropship). Bellamy knows that if he wants to maintain her protection, he has to stay alive and that means preventing any kind of force of order to get to the ground. So you must be thinking « wanting to protect his sister doesn't excuse everything, he forgets about the other teenagers' lives. ». Of course... but since he was 7 years old his life had only one purpose : keeping his sister's life secret while trying to make her life not too miserable. For over 15 years, he could only care about Octavia in order to protect his family. Bellamy never learned to worry about other people's lives.

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A frightened leader

     Some people reproach him for his lack of leadership. It's true that in many scenes we can perceive fear on Bellamy's face (let's applaud the great acting abilities of Bob Morley !). Bellamy fears for his life and therefore for his sister's. But Bellamy feels responsible for the group as the show progresses (for example he tries to protect Charlotte... Yes, remember that 12 year-old psychopath ?), other lives are added to his burden and his fear only keeps on growing. He's frightened to not be able to protect them all, to take the wrong decisions.

     The persons who accuse him of not being a leader think he acts better when he has to follow orders rather than ordering. I'll develop that point later but here I want to insist on the fact that Bellamy is a leader. He is not one like Clarke or Kane who use reason. No Bellamy runs on emotions. Yes I agree, it isn't the best way to make decisions but that is who he is. Bellamy is a leader and it shows. Many people listen to him, they look up to him. Incidentally, Pike isn't indifferent to that and that is why he tried to have such a powerful control on Bellamy. He knows that therefore many people will follow. Pike and season 3 aside, let's take the example of the season finale (season 1). Although the teenagers chose to follow Clarke and set out on an exodus to the ocean, there is an important exchange between our teenage leader and Bellamy

« those kids out there they listen to you » - Clarke
« they listen to you more » - Bellamy
« But 5 minutes ago they were willing to fight and die for you. You inspire them » - Clarke

A supported Bellamy

     Then comes the second season. According to me, it's the season that shows the golden and positive side of our hero. Because that's what Bellamy is in this season : a hero. Since the first episode, he doesn't hesitate over rescuing Finn. Thereafter, he saves a young girl who survived the Ark crash. I could go on and on with other examples but the most important one is his role inside Mount Weather. Important because of the image it creates of him but also because of the impact it will have on him. In this season, we notice the beneficial effects that Kane and Clarke have on Bellamy. Those two seem to bring out the best of him. Their influence is meaningful in the explanation of why Bellamy's major change during season 3. I'll write about this later on.

A betrayed Bellamy

   Yes because before getting to the heart of the matter, I'd like to advance an argument also explaining why our hero of a day can suddenly become a bloodthirsty sheep (yes I assure you, these two words can exist together...).
     In episode 15 of season 2, Lexa makes a deal with the Mountain men, saving her own and condemning to death the Skypeople. It's the first treason Bellamy has to endure. Because of this decision, Lexa gave Bellamy and Clarke no choice : to let their people die or to kill every Mount Weather citizen, including innocents. Together, but with a lot of pain, they take down the lever, saving their own but slaughtering the rest of the Mountain. This decision will keep on haunting him and he will never forget that the person who led to this choice was Lexa. He reminds it to Clarke in episode 3 (season 3)

« She left us to die in that Mountain. She will always put her people first. »

     By the way, it's in this episode that the second treason happens. Echo, who saved Bellamy's life for his first day in the Mountain, gives him a false information keeping him away from Mount Weather where an assassin launches the missiles. Bellamy made the mistake of putting his trust in her and that mistake cost the lives of his own and Gina's.
     Obviously those treasons cannot entirely explain why Bellamy approves Pike's Anti-Grounder campaign. But I reckon they are a trigger for his season 3 behaviour.

A broken soul

     What mainly explains the why and how of Bellamy becoming a big... let's say idiot to put it politely, are the losses which came one after another from the start of the show and especially from season 2. I believe Charlotte's death is the first of that long list. Bellamy did everything he could to save her but the child finally met her death and he was powerless. We can also discuss about Finn's fate. He has payed his massacre in Ton DC with his life (in case anybody had forgotten about it...). Bellamy must feel guilty about not going with him to the village (remember, he decided to escort the girl saved from the crash to Camp Jaha). I'm sure that every day he thinks back about what could have happened if he had accompanied him. But Bellamy also has the deaths of people who are not his own in his mind. He has the blood of innocents on his hands, the blood of people who protected him, risking their lives for him and his people. He is the first who wanted to save them and is the one who watched them die.

     However, losses aren't only measured in the number of deaths (unlike what Grounders and the marks on their backs say). Because Bellamy also lost his role as his sister's guardian, he saw his friends suffer the loss of their loved ones, he saw his people being tortured by the lunatics of Mount Weather, he saw the children whom parents he had killed. And above all, he saw his rightfulness as Skypeople defender taken away from him

     Before concluding, I want to insist on the responsibilité of two central characters that I've been talking about since the beginning of this article : Clarke and Kane.

     Clarke is the first one who made him think differently. Like Bellamy, she's affected by her choices and all of her losses. But Clarke is lucky. She decides not to go back to camp after the Mount Weather massacre. She's seen carrying her burden. She says she wants to carry her cross so others don't have to. The truth is she's running away, she can't bear what she has done. But guess who has to live with this everyday ? Who sees Jasper wrecked by Maya's death ? Who else has to carry that burden ? That's right : Bellamy. But what the serie doesn't show is his pain during that 3 month ellipse. Yet, as Clarke, Bellamy is tormented by their choice. That's why he needs her. Their exchange in episode 3 (season 3) is heartbreaking. Once more he asks her to come back, for their people :

« You should come home to yours »

     But the truth is he's the one who needs her the most. Bellmay needs Clark in this new ordeal and once more the young woman ignores his call for help.

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     What about his relationship with Kane. You must be wondering how Kane the voice of reason for some time (in my point of view since the first episode of the show) can be responsible for Bellamy's stupid decisions. Let's remark first their relationship's evolution. At the beginning it was very contentious (Kane disapproves and critises our young man's choices) but they both evolve and learn how to respect each other. During season 2 last episode, Kane ends up saying a grateful remark :

« You did good »

     During season 3 Kane keeps on shaping a Bellamy running on reason. Except that, as explained earlier, Bellamy runs on emotions and a trigger blows every effort made by our ex-chancelor : Mount Weather explosion by the Ice Nation. Follows a Bellamy tormented by remorse, sorrow and hatred (once again, let's applaud Bob Morley's spectacular work!)


     During episode 4 (season 3) starts an invisible arm wrestling between Kane and Pike. The reward ? Bellamy. The ex-chancelor makes the big mistake telling Bellamy that his choice to leave Mount Weather was a reasonnable choice (« You made a reasonable choice »). Because this choice is the cause of many people's death, including Bellamy's girlfriend. If taking reasonable decisions mean losing people who trusted him, then Bellamy doesnt want any part of it. But then, what can be the alternative ? Well those good old emotions. I think that Pike seduces him from the moment he pronounces those words :

« Anger is our policy »

     He offers Bellamy a return to his roots and an alternative to reason that only led to his losses and suffering. But Pike doesn't stop here. He also offers the young man to share his burden, something that Clarke denied him, and promises that it will not happen again (« Never again »). The Farm Station leader also claims to have a different plan than Kane who only managed to go from death to death

©Epic BCKY

     So, Pike rides a wave made of Bellamy's uncertainties, wounds and anger. He offers him to go back to what Bellamy does best : thinking with his heart.
     Careful, I'm not saying Bellamy is right. But we must understand why he is so lost in this season 3. I know many people believe that losing his girlfriend isn't reason enough to become a bloodthirsty murderer. Well it's because Bellamy was psychologically vulnerable from the very beginning. Clarke and Kane, by taking him under their wings, lured us with an image of an exemplary hero during season 2. Bellamy is a hero but he has always lacked of confidence. He is still that 7 year old boy who feels the burden of his responsabilities over his shoulders. His insecurity makes him a human being and we can identify ourselves with his character. All those losses unfolding in front of this young man led to this turnaround. Gina's death was only the final straw. Her death is a symbol. It throws back in his face that he couldn't save anybody. Not her, not Finn, not Charlotte, not the Mount Weather innocents... No one.
     Pike gives him the illusion that he can protect his people. Because that is what Bellamy has always wanted to do : protect his own.

« I do it everyday »

Izzy, AJI Team

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