'The 100' Ending Explained: What Happened in the Series Finale

The 100 has now come to an end on The CW with a final episode that gave a rare happy ending to the cast—though in the show's typical style, that finale was bittersweet. Season 7, Episode 16, titled "The Last War" also brought back some fan-favorite characters from the show's past as avatars of the judge who was deciding whether the human race was ready to transcend. It did not, however, bring back Bellamy (played by Bob Morley), much to some fan's frustration.

"We couldn't have Bellamy return in the end," The 100 creator Jason Rothenberg told Entertainment Weekly, "because the rules of transcendence were only the living shall transcend."

As the judge took the form of the person it was talking to most loved, Cadogan (John Pyper-Ferguson) saw the judge as his daughter Callie (Iola Evans), Clarke (Eliza Taylor) got to see her long-dead daughter Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and Raven (Lindsey Morgan) saw Abby (Paige Turco).

However, the judging was basically over before it began, Clarke finally got revenge on Cadogan by killing him as he took the test. However, once the test began, it had to be completed, meaning that Clarke failed it by committing murder. Raven tried to appeal, but still the humans were not able to transcend.

However, the remaining humans did a noble deed that finally allowed them to transcend. Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) gave an inspirational speech that stopped the war before too many people had died, leaving the judge to finally decide the humans were ready to transcend.

the 100 series finale
'The 100' series finale saw all the living humans except from Clarke able to transcend. The CW

However, as Clarke herself failed the test, she is left alone with only Picasso for company. The episode also confirms Bellamy's theory that only the living can transcend, meaning that The 100 ends with the cruel irony of the only person who believed in transcendence not being able to transcend.

Then, however, the show reveals that transcendence is a choice, and Clarke's friends have decided to come back and live out their lives with her rather than live forever without pain.

As such, The 100 gets the happy ending as Octavia, Raven, Murphy (Richard Harmon), Emori (Luisa d'Oliveira), Indra (Adina Porter), Gaia (Tati Gabrielle), Levitt (Jason Diaz), Jackson (Sachin Sahel), Miller (Jarod Joseph), Niylah (Jessica Harmon), Echo (Tasya Teles), Hope (Shelby Flannery), and Jordan (Devon Bostick) hug and start living out the rest of their lives without war.

Speaking to TVLine, Rothenberg said of this ending: "They can never procreate and they can't transcend, so this is it for them. They're going to live their days together as a family, grow old together, and when they die, the human race is over. It's OK, though, because we transcended and joined the universal consciousness. So it's a happy ending for the human race."

He explained to EW, meanwhile, exactly why Clarke's daughter Madi (Lola Flanery) decided to transcend: "Lexa on the beach, she says that Madi knew that Clarke would not want her to come back and be the only child.

"They're not going to have children, this is the last generation, they can't have offspring. And so, as a mother, Clarke would have obviously preferred for her daughter to transcend and go to whatever the next journey/adventure/whatever it is...That choice was made easier for Madi by the fact that Clarke wasn't going to be alone."

The 100 series finale is streaming now on The CW website and app.