This interview is one of my big highlights from this year’s San Diego Comic Con. The producers, the writers, the actors, all the press articles, have been very tight lipped and spoilerphobic about the upcoming The 100 season two. So imagine our surprise with showrunner/executive producer Jason Rothenberg comes to our table in a rather good mood and drops a couple of big ones! What he says is important for any The 100 fan but at times this interview is hard to hear, so I’ve transcribed the entire nine and a half minute chat. There’s quite a lot said that shouldn’t be missed.
It even starts off really strange. Normally I don’t transcribe the banter between the interviewee and one of the bloggers, but in this case it’s super significant. You see, that “I’m not going to say that that was” comment was reneged about one minute later at the end of his answer to the first question. I know The 100 writers were on their Twitter and Tumblr smacking their heads over it, mocking their leader for failing to keep his mouth shut. Our interview recording was even shown with those captions on Tumblr! We were just chuckling among ourselves. So, because of that, I must give a glaring disclaimer…
MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Rothenberg banters with another blogger) I read your thing. I was really drunk and I said way too much. I read the thing. I read it because my assistant put it in front of me and said, “I can’t believe you said this, I can’t believe you said this, it’s highlighted, “Do not say this!” I’m not going to say what that was.
What can you tease about season two?
We just showed the teaser for season two at the panel. We know now we start the season in Mt. Weather. We pick up where the episode 13 finale ended. Yeah, I didn’t really give a lot of what Clarke sees at the end of the teaser, so we don’t actually see what she’s ‘holy shitting’ about but when it airs we will. I wanted to protect it a little bit. You’ll understand Mt. Weather, you’ll understand the reapers and how they got like that, you’ll understand the Grounders way more than we do currently. Lincoln and Octavia will take us into that world pretty intensely. The season is about these people coming together, there’s a lot of emotional reunions coming down the pipe, which I’m excited about. It’s fun for me as a writer to be able to like, “I’d really like what Kane and Bellamy are like together in a scene, that’s never happened before. Now this year we get to do that. That’s going to be cool…well, if Bellamy is still alive (smirk and “dammit” hand slap heavily indicates he is).
Are we going to get to see more crazy earth stuff with the radiation, like the little yellow cloud?
Yes, yes, yes. Everybody accuses us from stealing that from “The Hunger Games.” I read that and I was like, ‘I never read “The Hunger Games.” ‘ I came up with that idea totally independently of “The Hunger Games.” Someone told me that it was in that book and I almost pulled it. It just seemed like too delicious of a threat to these people. But we’re going to play with that a bit.
(TVFTROU) How long before the adults and the “kids” so to speak on the ground get to meet up?
The season is about that so it’s gonna to happen pretty early. What’s interesting to me that these hundred, how ever many are left, it’s far fewer than a hundred, but they bonded, they’re like a group that’s gone to war together. Nobody understands what that war’s like (except) those that did it and fought it together. And here comes mom and dad and other people from The Ark. Actually, you’ll find them judging what they did later. It’s like, ‘There’s not many of you left, you started this war.” It becomes a thing where they’re being blamed for things which is frustrating as well. In season one it was about them getting power and control over their world. albeit in a not so successful way. In season two that power gets taken away from them and suddenly they’re not in control anymore and that’s going to be difficult for them. Maybe by the end of the season we’ll see them wise up and figure out how to show mom and dad how to drive.
You went to a pretty dark place at the end of the season. So how to you step it up?
Well, I mean, it’s no lighter, that’s for sure. We’re in Mt. Weather – Mt. Weather is a very different place, which may be not so dark at first, but will prove to be illusionary. That lightness will go away…I’m talking too much about it now. It’s a dark show, it’s about survival. That’s what interests me. I’m not interested in making the prom episode or stuff like that. We’ll see. The network, I’m running the show this year by myself which is exciting and nerve-wracking and terrifying, and so we’ll see. They’re giving me enough rope to hang myself. So far, three episodes in, I think it’s way better than it was last year. I didn’t like the first three episodes that much (last year.)
We’re looking at the changeover of different writers for this new season. Do you think there’s going to be a huge impact now from the new writers from season one to season two?
The truth is as a showrunner, you want writers that will take it all the way. But it’s an impossible job. There’s too much to do, there’s too many things to keep track of, frankly you don’t want to write, and I didn’t have to last year obviously. This year I brought in some people, because I am first time showrunner, that are really experienced. So I’ve got four co-EP’s who have run shows before, all of whom are really good writers. One writer that was on Battlestar Galactica for the whole run of the show named Michael Angeles, Charlie Craig who’s run shows before, Bruce Miller stayed with us, he’s run shows before. I think the staff got more mature even though I’m less experienced. Frankly, that’s the thing I’m hoping, I’m hoping that’s how it works out. Now that I have some people that was the plan.
What can you tease about Jaha and has fate?
It’s going to be special (laughs). The truth is about Jaha, his character was done. That story has run it’s course. He has delivered his people to the ground, he’s Moses, not getting to go to the promised land after delivering his people…It really took a lot of thought to come up with a way to restart that story. I’m not saying we did or we didn’t, Isaiah’s not saying whether we did or we didn’t but…we did. And it’s going to be I think really surprising. It’s a journey though, it’s a journey that he’s on. One of the cool things about the season is they’re scattered, that was obvious with the case with him in space. How long he’s up there, whether he comes down, we’ll have to wait and see. One of the things about this season that I’m excited about is watching these intersect.
We’ve debated whether or not Wells is really dead, just based on seeing fingers and not bodies.
He’s pretty dead. He’s dead. Charlotte’s dead, Wells is dead. He got his throat slashed, he died on camera. He was bleeding out.
Are we moving into a scientific season? There’s a lot of sci-fi at the end with Eliza Taylor’s character.
Mt. Weather obviously has a level of technology that they haven’t experienced before, on the ground anyway, obviously up there (on The Ark) they did, and so we explore that for sure.
Can you tell us about this new language?
Have you guys talked to Marie yet?
Put her on the spot, tell her to speak the language. The Grounders have their own language which is a Creole English that’s sort of evolved over three generations. We hired this guy that does the languages for Game of Thrones to write it for us. The reason you heard some of them speak English is because English is the language of the enemy and the warriors speak it. The only ones we heard speak it are Anya, Lincoln, and Tristan all of whom are warriors. So when they go home you’re going to start to hear this thing. Lincoln is actually teaching Octavia how to speak it so she can be one of them.