More Than Just A Character Death
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

More Than Just A Character Death

Reshop, Heda

More Than Just A Character Death

On Thursday March 3, 2016, yet another beloved fictional lesbian was killed off in a cruel and unoriginal way. This cruel and unoriginal trope involving character death is this: an LGBT, usually female, character often reconciles with a former lover of the same sex or finally has a romantic scene with her only for the aforementioned LGBT character to be killed shortly afterwards. Does this sound familiar?

The death I am writing about today is the death of Commander Lexa on the CW's television show The 100. This show is notorious for killing off characters. I am not disputing that. However, it is the way in which Lexa died and what she stood for to so many young LGBT people that makes this all the more upsetting. Historically, lesbians and women of other orientations who love women have not been treated very well by TV shows. The fact that there is an actual well-known trope called Lesbian Death Syndrome/Bury Your Gays is a good indication that this happens entirely too often. LGBT women do not see themselves in the media nearly as often as heterosexual people do. Writers often take advantage of this and use it to "queer bait" fans into following a show.

In the case of The 100, prior to when episode seven of season three aired on March 3, show runner Jason Rothenberg and the writers of the show had been highly praised in the LGBT community for The 100's well-written LGBT characters, most notably Commander Lexa and Clarke Griffin. Clarke Griffin (left) is the main protagonist of the show. She is a strong, flawed, caring 17-year-old bisexual girl who has a relationship with Commander Lexa. Lexa, who is close in age with Clarke and openly a lesbian, is the commander of 12 clans. She is strong, always looking out for her people, and is emotionally closed least until Clarke worms her way into her heart. They shared a kiss in season two but had no other romantic interactions until last week's episode in which they had a love scene.

The relationship was being built up a lot this season. The scene was beautifully and tastefully done and everything fans of Clarke and Lexa (better known as Clexa) shippers could have hoped for. Then shortly after, Clarke was dressed and ready to leave when Lexa's second in command, Titus, shot at Clarke because he believed the feelings Lexa had for her put Lexa and the clans in danger. Guess what happened next? Lexa just happened to walk into the room right into the path of a bullet intended for Clarke.

To those who do not understand, the fact that 15,000 people unfollowed Jason Rothenberg on Twitter after this happened may sound like an overreaction. People boycotting the show may sound silly to some, but the death of Lexa cuts a lot deeper than you may realize. Many young girls were either contemplating harming themselves or actually doing it after this episode. When your only representatives are killed over again, it is damaging to young people. For this reason,fans of the show made a page to raise money for the Trevor Project, which you can donate to here. Lexa was important to the LGBT community for multiple reasons. She was strong but not a robot. She was gay but not defined solely by it or used as a punchline because of it. She was well-written and played superbly by Alicia Debnam Carey. Some argue that we should be content with Clarke in the representation department, but bisexuals and lesbians are not the same. That would be like saying that Asian fans of a show shouldn't be upset about lack of representation because it has a black character.

As a bisexual woman who loved this show, Lexa's death has affected me very deeply. If she had to die, she deserved a death befitting her character, a death with meaning. She deserved more than an accidental death after the one shred of happiness she had been allowed in God knows how long. She had finally let herself believe that love was not a weakness only to die moments later. Intentional or not, that sends a strong message to LGBT women and girls that we don't get or deserve happy endings. We have been used for nothing more than plot devices for too many shows for too long. We deserve better.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments