The 100 wouldn't exist in the space that it does if not for the iconic Raven Reyes, a part of the legacy that the show prepares to leave behind during it's seventh and final season.
Lindsey Morgan took on the role of Raven Reyes in the first season, and since then has continued to showcase the strength and the courage that comes with the character that we all know and love.
She has approached the role with such skill and such talent, demonstrating how a fan-favorite character is created based on putting emotion and soul into each individual scene.
Coming off of The 100 Season 6, Raven has suffered some more loss and has had some anxiety-ridden challenges throughout Sanctum. From saving the people that she cares about to trying to hold on to her humanity, there is plenty still left undone moving into the last season of The 100.
While the show doesn't always find the time to allow for happiness, there is hope that Raven will be able to find that in herself. At the same time, so much of her journey continues to circle around doing better in the process.
A new world may have presented new problems, but it is the way Raven faces old challenges that continue to prepare her for what is yet to come.
Someone like Raven Reyes exists as a beacon of hope and of promise because of the irrevocable way that she is loyal to her values. It is both about the journey and the destination for her, with so much more waiting for her ahead.
Taking some time out to talk with us, Lindsey Morgan shares her thoughts on where the story goes from here for Raven and how her journey came together during Season 6. She also reflects on Raven's impact on her life and what a happy ending might look like for the show.
You got to shadow director Amanda Tapping, so I was curious about what that experience was like? And would you consider taking on a directorial role in the future?
Completely 110%. Being able to watch Amanda work and just knowing her story from being an actress herself to a transition into directing, it's such an inspiration and something I greatly aspire to be.
If I could be half of Amanda Tapping when I'm ten years older, I will be so satisfied with my life.
You mentioned in previous interviews that space and cryo helped Raven's condition improve, or even just helped relax it a little. Did this knowledge influence your approach to Raven's scenes in Season 6 and do you think this will continue to be touched on in Season 7?
Yeah, I think it helps but also because of where Season 7 starts - well I guess I can't say.
With Season 7 being the last for The 100, where do you hope to see Raven's story end up?
Raven's had quite a trajectory, and we really see her evolve and change and devolve sometimes.
As far as where it ends up, I don't know. I obviously want her to live, but I think she's really on this path of finally being able to understand people, understand herself, understand the value of human connection, and the value of life in a different way.
She never really had time to consider that until she's grown older and had the ability to reflect on everything they have been through. So I just hope she finds peace. As cliche as this is, the fans are right; I hope she finds happiness.
It is a fact that everyone just wants Raven to be happy. What do you think her version of happiness is? What could she consider being happy now in Sanctum?
Safety. That's one thing that The 100 only gets to experience glimpses of on their journey and that's feeling safe. The idea of safety and a feeling that they have a safe place to rest their head, they can lay down their weapons and put their guard down and just live life and have a family.
In the sense of they are each other's family so to have a meal together and not having a life-threatening situation at their door every day. Maybe a little farm with some pigs, chickens, and a motorcycle. The quiet life.
Earlier in the season Raven lost (Zeke) Shaw, a person who brought her genuine happiness. How did you approach having that impact her for her Season 6 journey?
It was a tough one. It obviously came about because Jordan Bolger had a contract with his new show and was off to do this different role, which is amazing and we wish him the best and so many congratulations for. But we both were just kind of like, "Oh what we could have been!".
Meeting Shaw was the first kind of relationship Raven experienced that was falling in love with someone that was a complete stranger.
This was someone she didn't know before and who didn't know her before, he didn't know the Ark and Raven didn't know Earth. Getting to explore that union and that bond together, it was very magical for her.
It was quintessential because she's been hit so many times and hurt so many times, so she wasn't able to let go of a lot of things or find peace of acceptance with it. She wasn't able to move on that much with her pain and the weight that she carries.
So with Shaw, it was another unfortunate reminder that bad things happen in life no matter what, but it must go on. She must go on despite how much she wants to give up a bit.
We've seen Raven give up and even though she never fully quits she still doubts herself and she has to rebuild herself each time even stronger. And that is what I think her strongest attribute is, she is able to rebuild herself better this time.
With Shaw's death it was another marker that despite the bad things that happen in this life, there are beautiful moments like her meeting him, being with him, and their brief relationship and how wonderful that was. There's still love and happiness possible in this situation and in this time that they are at.
Always strive for that, always strive to be better which is kind of what Monty was saying.
This time instead of letting Shaw's death break her down like Finn's death, Raven took it in stride and carried his memory in her heart. And I think that it helped her be stronger and to make her want to be a better person.
I think that is also why Raven is so hellbent this entire season about how everyone needs to be better and how everyone can't make the same mistakes. They need to learn from there, and we all need to be better people, for tomorrow and the rest of humanity.
I believe that Shaw gave her that perspective.
The theme of the show sometimes circles back to doing better and Raven has brought up recently that she has always been in touch with her humanity and made sure to do good. So what do you think is doing better for a person who always did better, to begin with?
I believe that if you see evil and you don't stop it, then you are no better than that. Although Raven hasn't "pulled the trigger" or done terrible things, she stood by and watched the people that she loved do those things. Or things be done to them.
So this part of her journey is now about how to enforce that. If she really wants to do good, then she could end evil.
It's not enough anymore to just make sure that there's no blood on my hands because there's blood on your friend's hands and you're holding your friend's hand.
I think that is going to be an interesting new perspective that Raven has to reconcile with and reconcile with her friends. The idea that I love these people but we've all done horrible things to survive and they have done more than me. How can we learn from that? How can we stop that?
Another big loss for Raven was Abby, someone she just managed to get to a better place with only for her to die right after that. How do you think Raven will recover from that?
I don't know if she will truly ever really recover from that.
For everything that has happened with Raven and for everyone who she has lost, it left a mark on her that she carries.
In the past, it was a heavy burden, but I think now because of Shaw, it becomes a badge of honor, a badge of love, a badge of remembrance. It is a reminder that this person is important to her and she needs to live her life in their honor.
Despite what Abby did to Raven, which was some terrible things, Raven also didn't always see her with compassion and she didn't help her.
Raven reacted very feral towards Abby because of her past with her mother. In the sense of being the best person she could be and in terms of enlightenment, it was about the right reaction to have to someone who was clearly hurting, which Abby was.
So Raven had to learn that, and she had to learn that she is quick to judge, quick to write off, quick to push away, and quick to blow.
She is fiery, but that isn't always the best way to handle situations or to deal with people. With Abby, it is to remember that all people need to be treated with respect and kindness, as well as to empathize more and to see things from their perspective.
I think that is a big thing that Raven is finally learning.
What was it like filming that scene where Raven watches Abby get killed by Russell?
It was so bizzare.
I love Paige Turco so much, I'm her biggest fan, and I think she's beyond brilliant. We have become great friends over the years, so I love her like a sister.
So filming that was surreal, we couldn't quite believe it, but the beautiful thing about it was as you see in the scene Sachin and I walked from afar, and we slowly start to realize what's happening.
But we are too late, and we are at this distance of not being able to do anything and are also prisoners of these people. We're also in that creepy room with all those skeletons, so it was just an experience as an actor to live that moment.
Sachin and I, in every take we were crying. It just happened, whether we wanted to try to cry or not, it was so moving and scary. We were grieving, we felt the loss of Abby, and it was also like the loss of Paige. I can't imagine returning to work on Season 7 without her, that feels surreal to me.
Coming off of that loss, for both Clarke and Raven, they got to share that hug during The 100 Season 6 Episode 13 after a few seasons of turmoil in their friendship. But it feels like that isn't enough, they should at least also have a conversation some point soon.
Do you think there's a chance for them to mend their friendship? Or do you think the place they are in now is as far as their relationship can go now?
I think we will have to see in Season 7, just because I'm not exactly sure what the dynamic is going to be.
But I agree with you, it is the loss of Abby for both of them, and it could be something beautiful to build that bridge that burned down and bring them together. Or it could cause a greater rift because they are angry at each other or blame one another for what had happened in the past.
I hope we can build a bridge, just because I think Eliza Taylor is amazing and super talented and I always love working with her. I would love to see that friendship explored again because we haven't seen that in three seasons.
Raven is definitely going to be grieving. I don't know at what stage of grief she will be at if it is anger or denial or sadness or acceptance. But again, as much as everyone else I want happiness for Raven and I want her to have her friends back.
What I found in Season 6 was that so many storylines were happening that sometimes we would return to characters after an episode break or two. How did you approach getting right back into that action and into channeling all those emotions again?
Yeah, sometimes that is a difficult part of filming television with an ensemble cast just because there are so many stories to tell, so you have to jump around for everybody. So it's never like a fluid timeline, like a play but that is just how filming goes.
Personally, I always have to remember what happened before; actors call it the moment before, you need to remember where you were and the scene and how you were feeling. If we haven't shot it yet, it is what you imagine and what you resonate with when you read about it.
So I always remember that before a take and I like to find what I call triggers. Like music, a song, or an item that really makes me feel close to Raven or that she's feeling in the moment.
Sometimes I use my leg brace, and sometimes I have used my necklace or the motorcycle that Shaw gave me before. It's almost like that Avengers memory stone thing where I have all these memories, and it brings me back to the scene. That's what I do, but everyone is a little different.
Heading into Season 7 there are two big mysteries to prepare for, the Anomaly and Sheidheda. Which storyline would you personally like to see Raven involved in more?
I feel like Raven has a bit of a vendetta now with Sheidheda, the Dark Commander, just because she was doing everything she could to save Madi and to kill him basically, and then he disappears at the end, so I think she is a little hellbent on that.
But Raven is also a scientist and she loves science, so who wouldn't be interested in the Anomaly?
Who would you like for Raven to spend more time with next season?
I never really get to work with Marie Avgeropoulos, so I would love to have some Raven and Octavia scenes since they never really get to happen. I also haven't got to work yet with Shelby Flannery, who plays Diyoza's daughter Hope.
It's always interesting getting to play with someone new, because you have no idea what they are like or what they will bring so it adds a nice element of surprise and fun.
Where do you think Raven's heart and head will be headed into Season 7?
Her head is focused on how will they survive now after everything that they have done.
But her heart lies with everyone that they have lost and remembering them, while at the same time using them as a badge of honor never to forget that I need to be better. Because I am so lucky that I have life when others who were more than valuable or more than worthy don't.
Raven has been an incredible presence on The 100 for what will be seven seasons. What have you learned from Raven throughout this experience?
I spent my 20s with Raven, so I have learned so much. I have learned to grow as an artist, as an actor, and to work on a television set and to work in the parameters that you are set for.
All of which is very different from the theater and very different from commercial work, it is something that you need to learn on its own which I think is great.
But I also learned so much about myself, just like Raven I went through ups and downs and values and struggles and hardships and triumphs and achievements.
And I guess my biggest takeaway from it all is that like Raven to never give up when you want to quit you should keep going because right after this mountain could be a rainbow. I really admire Raven's strength through it all and her willingness to never say die.
That's something that I went through my own struggles within my career, how it felt and if I'm doing the right thing and if I'm meant for it and if I'm good or talented.
You know what you think in your head, I thought about Raven and how she never gave up and gave her whole heart to whatever she was doing. I really admire that, and I take that with me from her with anything that I do now.
During The 100 Season 6 Episode 7 we got an episode of mind spaces. Clarke had one full of her drawings and Josephine had a library that contained books of her memories.
What do you think Raven's mind space would look like? And what do you think your mind space would look like?
I think Raven's mind space would be filled with mechanics and machine parts, but then also stars may be on the ceiling or an atmosphere of stars among the different machines that are being built and then torn apart. That would be really cool.
Mine would be ... I don't know. I don't know what mine would be.
Well then maybe that can be something that you just think about for yourself!
I'll think about it! Good question.
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Yana Grebenyuk is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.