The 100: The Virtues of Patiently Shipping Bellarke

Bellarke fans, I count myself among you in how much I love Bellamy Blake and Clarke Griffin’s story. However, the mood as of late around the fandom has left a bad taste in my mouth, where I feel compelled to get a few words out there.

To start, I’ll freely admit that I love and easily get attached to TV shows and their characters. That said, when I don’t like a specific direction that storytelling has taken, I either suffer through it, hoping for the best, or I quietly show myself out. We all have a choice of what to spend our time watching, as it’s not like there’s a lack of options in peak TV era.

That amount of options, however, means that it’s easy for people to feel entitled as to having certain ownership of the shows they enjoy. If those TV shows aren’t checking the boxes they have laid out, they can simply criticize it loudly over and over for the simple reason that the story didn’t turn out exactly like they wanted.

Well, no shit. After all, you’re not the one writing it.

Is that harsh? Possibly yes, but it’s the truth. Because from what I have seen, there are a lot of Bellarke shippers out there who have adopted this bratty point of view — which, to put a fine point on it, is robbing you of seeing how amazing the story is for these two – especially during the most recent outting this year.

Over the course of five seasons, Clarke and Bellamy have gone from intensely disliking, and barely tolerating the other, to becoming each other’s person. The entire backbone of this post apocalyptic sci-fi show has been intertwined on how their relationship has changed and grown over the years. Understanding, trust, and forgiveness have shaped the cornerstones of what they’ve experienced. Despite the world challenging them, they’ve always found their way back to each other — even with seemingly insurmountable odds against them.

It’s taken a long time to get here and, as slowly and carefully crafted as their story has been, I do believe that’s been the entire point. Aside from the usual threats of death, danger, and potential dismemberment, the only obstacle standing between them now going into season six is quite literally romantic in nature.

Now, I’m not here to argue about Becho, but the fact is that if it weren’t for Bellamy dating someone else, there would be nothing in the way. They’ve overcome enemies physically and emotionally dividing them into making choices that hurt each other, threats against their lives, and a six year separation. Bellamy has been called out by his own sister for still loving Clarke, and Clarke kept her 2199 radio calls to him a secret, even when she had the opportunity to be honest. Of course, that was until Madi kindly let the cat out of the bag on that one, bless her heart.

Going into season 6, we have Bellamy, who forgave Clarke simply by learning about those calls; who knows full well he loves her and, in turn, at least suspects how much he matters to her. My dear Clarke loves (yes, I said it and I believe it) Bellamy, but has no idea he loves her back, and is exactly the type of person to step back to put his happiness first. This is going to be gloriously messy and I am so here for it.

Is it perfect? Well, no — there isn’t a perfect TV show out there. What we hope for is a story that is compelling, that draws us in through their characters — and that’s exactly what The 100 has consistently done, especially with this time jump.

We can argue over contentious plot twists all day, but you can still bet we’re going to be glued to the screen when season 6 lands next year. If you took a look at the Bellarke tag on Twitter, however, you might think the story sucks, that Jason Rothenberg hates the Bellarke fandom, that we are all being baited, or all of the above.

The truth is none of those beliefs are based on facts — just fear. Fear that our attachment is blinding us to having the rug pulled out from under us; that we are “reading it wrong” to the point where we can’t trust our own brains. If anyone is telling you not to trust yourself, I am asking you — PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN.

Trust your eyes, and what you see, because as much as we hang onto every interview, script tease, and hints out there, what really counts is what happens on screen. If you have to block out the entirety of Twitter, Tumblr, and social media to focus on the story in season 6, please do so. I can guarantee you’ll have a lot less stress on your hands.

That way you can enjoy seeing this story play out without worrying, because I have every bit of faith in Bellarke — including their relationship crossing into canon romantic territory. I won’t predict details, because that’s a moving target you’ll never hit with this show, but the writing is on the wall in bright neon. If you take off the shipper goggles, that is.

I know it can be easy to fall into that mindset, to set specific expectations, but I am asking you (for a second time), please don’t. If you insist on thinking you are “owed” Bellarke in any way, shape or form, you should kindly get the hell out. There’s no such thing as being “owed” a specific story development. The only thing the writers owe us is to do their characters justice — and I believe that, flaws and all, The 100 always has.

I know that if Bellamy and Clarke can be patient for 2,199 days (plus 125 years in cryo) to find their home *each other* again, then I think we can do the same to see how their story plays out on this brand new world.

After all, don’t the best love stories happen right when you’re least expecting them to?

The 100 returns in the spring of 2019 on the CW.

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