There is joy in talking about the things we love deeply, as I found when I did my Month of Love in July 2014. The ladies at MGcircles wanted to do something similar so they started 100 Days of Fan Favorites as a challenge to bloggers, artists, and anyone in fandom who would like to participate to celebrate the things we love instead of focusing on the things we don’t. This will be an ongoing project for me with things posted sporadically but I am thrilled to be taking part.
I didn’t see Clarke and Bellamy coming. I knew people loved the idea of them together and so was primed for it but I was so invested in the non-romantic aspects of the show that it wasn’t something I thought a lot about. Then this scene happened and I was done.
Clarke and Bellamy started the series as opponents, each advocating for a fundamentally different approach to leading. At the beginning of the series, Bellamy thought of Clarke as a spoiled princess. As one of the two members of the Ark’s ruling class on the ground, Clarke represented everything about the Ark that Bellamy hated. She was the rule that led to his mother’s death. The rule that led to Octavia’s imprisonment. And the rule that led to him attempting to kill a man for the chance to look out for his sister again. Bellamy was the person making Clarke’s life incredibly difficult. He was the one standing in the way of every decision she was trying to make to keep The 100 alive when they were more interested in partying than finding food. He was the one encouraging the “whatever the hell we want” philosophy that would lead to the death of everyone on the Ark. Neither thought much of the other. Neither was willing to back down.
Then Atom was caught in the acid fog and Bellamy had to make some hard realizations about both himself and Clarke. She was able to do what he couldn’t and in doing so, forced him to see her as more than the spoiled princess he wanted to believe she was. While he still doesn’t like her, he begins to respect her. This moment also marks the first time that Clarke realizes that Bellamy’s attitude is nothing more than a facade. It may be an irritating facade but Clarke sees that there is a good person (or at least someone not quite as comfortable with violence as he led people to believe) underneath. In this moment, things change. That change starts as subtle but by the end of the next episode, they are the official co-leaders of the camp. They still don’t really like each other but there is a respect and an understanding present between them that wasn’t there before.
As time went on, the trust these two had in each other continued to grow. They were still learning how to lead and survive on Earth and sometimes they messed up. Bellamy was still acting out of self-interest at least some of the time and it led to some terrible consequences. But through it all, Clarke never stops believing that Bellamy can be a good person. She sees who he really is underneath the fear and the anger. She sees the man he wants to be and never doubts that it’s possible for him to be that man. She forgives him and attempts to absolve him of some of the guilt that he’s been carrying around since Octavia’s imprisonment so he can begin to move past it and be the leadership partner she wants and needs. And that is exactly who he becomes.
Season one ended with their separation, neither knowing what became of the other. When they are finally reunited, their body language says everything. Nevermind the way Clarke literally runs to hug him, as adorable as that is. We get to see Bellamy first being shocked that Clarke is still alive and then being amazed that she’s clinging to him like she may never let him go again. Octavia may be the one to vocalize how far they’ve come but you first see it in Bellamy’s reaction. He can’t believe that Clarke, the girl he couldn’t stand when they landed on the ground, is now the person who brought back his faith that they can survive this. Before Clarke launches herself at him, Bellamy looks exhausted. The weight of everything they have been though is getting to be too much. When they finally let go, he’s standing just a little taller. He physically looks less burdened and it’s because his partner is back. They are together again and things are just a little easier. You see the same thing from Clarke’s perspective. From the way she whispers his name to her smile as she hugs him to the way she buries her face in his neck, everything about Clarke’s body language says that things are a little better now. There is relief, joy, contentment, and safety written all over her face. I’ve said before that these two are each other’s homes and it is in scenes like this that you really feel that.
Even when these two disagree, they are a team. They give each other the strength to take on the burden of leadership, knowing that they are doing it with the other by their side. They care about each other’s well-being, not just physically but mentally as well. They encourage each other to have fun while they are able and take care of each other when they are sick or hurt. They provide balance for each other and when you put them together, they are an unstoppable force. If one of them makes a difficult choice, the other gets that it was the choice that had to be made. They remind each other that they are doing the best job they know how to do. They believe in the other’s ability to get things done and take care of their people.
They have an unshakable partnership and that is why I love them. If they ever do start a romantic relationship, it’s not going to be one based on physical attraction or a sudden connection. It is a bond that has been formed over time and tested again and again. It has been a constant choice to value the other and to stand by them. It will be the recognition that they are strongest together, that love isn’t a weakness. It will be the realization that it is with each other that they feel the most secure and most capable of taking on the horrors their lives have unleashed upon them. And to me, that’s what love is. It’s the choice to be with your partner, day in and day out, through all of the ups and downs of life. It’s the knowledge that whatever comes, you will face it together. That is what Clarke and Bellamy’s relationship represents to me and while I don’t know what the future holds for these two, I know that they’ve given me a strong, powerful representation of what that love can look like.