Thoughts&Musings: Jus dren, jus daun (The 100)

Source: tumblr and The CW

As if the photo up top didn’t give you an idea, this post is mainly about Lexa and her decision to betray her alliance with Clarke. Also, LOOK AT THAT WOMAN! *sighs* This is the moment I fell in love with Lexa. Anywho, I was driving around today with my mom, and was struck by an epiphany. I haven’t read any of the commentary on this show aside from what pops up on my tumblr feed, which is the sole reason I started watching the show anyway. It’s possible that everything I’m about to say has been said before, but I wouldn’t know. So, here goes. Stay with me till the end.

I know all of our Clexa feels are still recovering from the finale. Personally, I self medicate with fanfiction. {See Chrmdpoet’s this heart, fossilized and silent (once was tender & once was violent) on fanfiction.net.} But hear me out and let’s discuss, if you want. I’ve been thinking a lot about Clarke, Lexa, and the betrayal. The very first thing Lexa says to Clarke, “So you’re the one who burned 300 of my warriors alive.” Grounder ways demand blood for blood. Jus dren, jus daun. This plays out constantly. Finn massacred 18 innocent people at TonDC. He was supposed to be burned alive and suffer cuts from each surviving member of the village, before being granted the release of death by the Commander’s sword. Lincoln explains this lesson as Clarke scrambles to find a way out of Finn’s execution. “If death has no meaning, life has no value.” For being accused of poisoning Lexa, Raven suffered a portion of the thousand cuts, which would’ve ended in her death, before Clarke proved her innocence. For admitting treason, Lexa executed Gustus. For attempting to murder Clarke, at that point accepted, at least by Lexa and the leaders of the 12 clans, as Commander of the Sky People, Lexa sentenced Quint to death by Clarke’s hand. (To be fair, he dies by being eaten by a mutated gorilla, but you get my meaning.)

Why do we think that she has forgotten about the 300 burned on Clarke’s orders?

Because of the blossoming romance between her and Clarke, you say. Nope. Lexa believes love is weakness. Moreover, the last person she loved was tortured and beheaded. So being Heda’s beloved is a dangerous thing, doubly so, if the beloved is also a commander. That’s not to say there isn’t something there. There definitely is. (Aside: did anyone else get the feeling during Clexa’s public interactions that the rest of the room fell away, and only a small part of Lexa’s brain remembered that there were people around?)

Because she protects Clarke from Quint, you say. Nope. True, after incapacitating Quint in the woods, Lexa essentially says that she fights Clarke’s battles (or at the very least passes judgement). In the scene before this, though, in council chambers (which happen to be a metro station), Lexa lets Quint have his say for the death of his brother at the drop ship before calling an end to it. But by now the alliance is sealed. Finn is dead and the 18 he murdered have been laid to rest. Lexa cannot allow thoughts of the 300 burned warriors to distract her at this stage. She needs Clarke. She needs her knowledge of the inside of Mt. Weather, just like she needs Bellamy to stay alive as the inside man and disable the acid fog. (Thought I wouldn’t go there about the missile on TonDC. You thought wrong)

Just as the missile hit changed Clarke, showed her how far she would and would not go to protect her people, it did the same for Lexa. It was hard for her too. So when given the opportunity to save her people trapped under the mountain with no more bloodshed, she takes it. It has the added benefit of satisfying jus dren, jus daun re: the 300 burned warriors. Lexa’s people for Clarke’s people. Alliance or no alliance, that transgression could not be passed over. To have to sacrifice her almost love to duty is a price Lexa is ready and willing to pay, because her responsibilities to her people come first. She would rather have Clarke alive and hating her than dead by her own hands.

It does give an interesting dimension to the Clexa relationship/dynamic. Both women have now done something they would otherwise not have done, even at the worst times of war: murdered innocent people, both actively and passively. Lexa and Clarke knew exactly what would when they escaped TonDC. 250 people died, and they let it happen. To save their people. Clarke knew that shifting the lever would irradiate 320 (??) men, women, and children, including allies. It is something you can see reflected in her’s, Bellamy’s and Monty’s eyes. But they did it anyway. To save their people.

Uneasy lies the head the wears the crown. (Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2).

I’m interested to see what happens in S3, especially given Alycia Debnam-Carey’s commitment to Fear the Walking Dead. I am comforted by the fact that the character Lexa isn’t dead, since this is the kind of show where death is permanent. Hallucinations notwithstanding.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I am willing to engage in healthy discussion that does not disrespect the personhood of he/she/they who are speaking.

Until  next time

P. S. I just got the reference to Polis. All this time, I’ve been trying to figure out where Polis is located in the altered landscape that is DC, MD, and VA in The 100. I kept thinking south from DC, but nothing south of DC even all the way down in the boonies Virginia has ‘polis’ in it. Then it hit me. Annapolis. The capital of the Grounders, Lexa’s seat of power, is none other than the capital of my home state, Annapolis, Maryland. (Give me a break. I marathoned the entire series in the one and half weeks immediately following the original airing of the finale.)

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