Clarke Griffin/Lexa

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Pairing
Pairing: Clarke Griffin/Commander Lexa
Alternative name(s): Clexa, Princess Commander, Lexarke
Gender category: Femslash, F/F
Fandom: The 100
Canonical?: yes
Prevalence: popular
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Clarke/Lexa is a popular femslash pairing of Commander Lexa and Clarke Griffin in The 100 fandom.

Canon

Both Lexa's people and Clarke's people have been at war with each other for the entire first season and first half of the second season. Lexa officially meets Clarke when she goes to Lexa in order to put aside their differences and create peace between their people. They both respect each other very much and are shown to be alike in some ways. They shared a mutual respect and the task of leadership over their allied clans, often making hard decisions together. They share kiss in the lead up to the assault on Mount Weather; however, Clarke notes that she is not ready for a relationship so soon after Finn's death under Lexa's orders. Their relationship becomes strained after Lexa betrays the Sky People by not marching forward on Mount Weather in order to save her own people.

Three months after the events at Mount Weather the pair are reunited when Lexa has Clarke brought to Polis, after an intense meeting, Lexa starts making strides to help heal their relationship. Lexa respects Clarke's refusal to meet with her for a week before confronting her about having Sky People join the coalition. Clarke initially refuses, however after considering the effects a war with the Ice Nation she agrees to kneel and have her people join the coalition. Later Lexa kneels to Clarke and promises not to betray her again. Clarke begins to warms up to Lexa slightly, saying she doesn't want to watch Lexa die and later treating her injured hand after the fight. The pair later agree that "blood must not have blood" and Lexa allows Clarke's people to live after killing 320 of her warriors in hope to prevent a war.[1]

Fandom

This article or section needs expansion.

The show's introduction of Lexa in the second season, and the subsequent chemistry between her and Clarke, drew many femslash fans to the show. It's popularity increased after their onscreen kiss.[2] Alex Cranz wrote about the rise of The 100 within femslash fandom in their piece: The History of Femslash, the Tiny Fandom That's Taking Over the Universe

There was also interest in the first season of The 100. The show is full of very attractive women, who have a tendency to talk to each other and not talk about men. But it was Lexa’s comment about her dead girlfriend that brought fans to the show in droves.[...] By the end of the second season the pairing, Clexa, was rapidly consuming much of the energies of the fandom, and the fan output quickly became focused around the couple. Of the 13,462 The 100 fics on Archive of Our Own, 47 percent are Clexa focused. Bellarke, the primary hetero pairing? 43 percent.

It was the first time since Once Upon a Time that femslash stories dominated the fandom output, and the first time since Xena that such a femslash pairing was also 100 percent canon.[3]

After Lexa was killed in season 3 episode 7, the fandom reaction sparked an unprecedented media conversation about the lesbian death trope and showrunner involvement in fandom. The particular grievances of the Clexa fandom against Jason Rothenberg and other members of The 100 staff were chronicled on sites such as We Deserved Better, and lesbian media website Autostraddle compiled a list of dead lesbian characters that exemplified the scope of the problem and proved invaluable to the discussion, as several more lesbian and bisexual female characters died in the weeks after Lexa's death. The fandom created a fundraiser for the Trevor Project, which raised more than $100,000.

In the wake of Lexa's death, Clexa fandom created and embraced an alternate universe ship for the pairing, called Lexark. The pairing and its name most likely arose from this tumblr post, and refers Alycia Debnam-Carey's character on Fear the Walking Dead, Alycia Clark, paired with a fanon character named Elyza Lex. The AU ship became so popular that it became a canonical tag on Archive of Our Own.

Statistics

Common Tropes & Fanon

  • Alternate Universe - Modern Setting, College/University, High School, Roommates AU
  • Canon Divergence
    • Arranged Marriage - To strengthen the alliance between the Sky People and the Grounders.
    • Civil War - A civil war with the Ice Nation is often explored in fanworks as season 3 seemed to be heading in that direction before revealing the A.I. and City of Light plot.
    • Fix-it / Lexa Lives - Most fanworks set in canon circumvent Lexa's death.
    • Anya Also Lives - Anya's death is also often avoided in canon divergence works so that she can return as a mentor figure to Lexa. This trend did not develop until after Lexa's death in season 3, despite Anya’s death taking place in season 2.
    • Time Travel - A trope often employed to prevent Lexa's death.
  • Fake Dating - Typically in a Modern Setting.
  • Grounder!Clarke / IceNation!Clarke - A Clarke either born on the ground or sent to earth before the rest of The 100 and raised by Grounders or the Ice Nation.
  • Reincarnation - Lexa speaks often of her own belief towards reincarnation, and the show put its own the significance on the phrase "may we meet again.". This trope plays heavily into the Lexark pairing in Fear the Walking Dead.
  • Royalty AU - Clake's canon nickname of Princess and Lexa's position as a leader of the Grounders brought an easy uptake of royalty settings within fanworks.
  • Soulmates - Clarke and Lexa are often depicted as each others soulmates, be it in typical a Soulmate AU setting or otherwise.

Ship War

Main article: Bellarke vs Clexa

Some fans of this pairing have engaged in a ship war with fans of the pairing Bellamy Blake/Clarke Griffin

Fanwork Examples

Fics

  • Abby Doesn't Ask by onlyasdark, The four times Abby doesn't ask about the nature of Clarke and Lexa's relationship and the one time she doesn't have to (or the evolution of Clarke and Lexa after the dust settles, as seen through Abby's eyes.) (Five Things)
  • blood rush in the hazy glow by firetestsgold, "The locals aren’t fans of college kids. This is their neighborhood bar. They can get…territorial." Clarke studies the girl who stopped the fight before it began. Leaning back in her chair in the back of the bar, she's all dark hair and dark eyeliner and dark alcohol. Clarke can see what he’s saying: the glare etched into her face is a clear warning for anyone who might step forward to her. But the vodka has thinned Clarke’s blood; she’s always been brazen and right now she can’t take that warning as anything less than a challenge. She grabs Octavia’s wrist and pulls her forward. "C’mon."
  • the french connection by gostorain, When Lexa is lost and alone and (unsurprisingly) bored in Paris, Clarke is the one to find her and show her what she is missing. So much is lost in translation and their languages are oceans apart, but, oh, Lexa finds herself drowning in Clarke. The french café au.
  • in love and war and politics by centuriesofexistence, It's the most watched Senate race around the country, and Clarke Griffin is running one hell of an underdog campaign against the favored Cage Wallace. But she has a secret weapon that might save the campaign--and a secret that might ruin it. And both are named Lexa Ward.
  • Mystic Coffee by blindwire, Lexa is 95% certain that the girl that comes into her coffee shop each morning is a witch. Whether it’s the tattoos that she swears move when she sees them out of the corner of her eye or the way the girl’s hair changes color if she looks long enough (not that she’s staring), Lexa is positive something strange is going on.
  • The Library by ethiobird, You certainly come across intriguing personalities every so often when you tend bar. None quite so intriguing as the lone girl with cascading chestnut hair sitting at the end of the bar, drinking a whiskey neat and reading a book, however. Except, wait, that's your new co-worker. (or The College Bar AU in which Clarke is the Mom Friend bartender, Lexa is the new hire, and everyone is really just a hot damn mess. Shot of Jameson, anyone?)
  • Love on the Ground by hedaswolf, Clarke can’t meet Lexa’s eyes when she presses the dagger to her throat. She’s not the one Clarke wants to hurt and she knows it, deep down, beneath the bits of her that are ripped to shreds, that will never be stitched back together. Clarke comes to Polis to kill Lexa and stays because it's the path of least resistance, or at least that’s what she tells herself. This fic starts at the knife scene in the season 3 trailer and then takes on a life of its own from there. (Happy ending included.) (Canon Divergence AU)
  • More Women than Warriors by steklir (SilentStars), "Before you,' he said, 'you can see more women than warriors. Cowardly, unarmed, they will give up the moment they see the weapons and bravery of their conquerors who have given them such a drubbing so many times before." (Tacitus, Annals XIV.36) The first time Clarke sees the Head Girl she’s sitting on a throne, presiding over her dominion with a piercing stare and a crown of braids in her hair. Her warriors are spread at her feet, a multitude of them, all long-haired and wild and clad in identical brown regalia. There’s something of the sacred about her, like the crimson cloak draped across her shoulders and her divinity are one and the same. Or at least it feels that way. British girls' boarding school AU. Obviously.
  • One hundred (that's all i need) by clexatrash_af, The one where Lexa falls in love with Clarke in less than twenty words, but it's not in the way you're thinking.
  • She by thefooliam, Her roommate looks at her sometimes and Clarke is never sure if they’re going to kill or kiss each other. When Clarke Griffin forgets to complete her sophomore year residency application, she returns to college to find that they’ve paired her with the last roommate she ever expected to get. (Roommates AU, College AU)
  • stealing kisses by onemilliongoldstars, Clarke is an overachieving chess nerd, while Lexa leads the championship winning track team. They steal kisses behind the bookshelves and in the bathrooms and hope that their friends won't realise that their shirts are askew and their lipstick is smudged. (High School AU)
  • they take their shots but we're bulletproof by nightshifted, "Our winters are harsh," Lexa tells her. "You must have adequate shelter to survive them." "I survived you," Clarke says lowly. "I'll survive anything." (Canon AU)
  • this heart, fossilized and silent (once was tender and once was violent) by Chrmdpoet, Clarke is only three days into being a runaway when she realizes that she did not fully think this through. When she walked away from Camp Jaha, she took only herself, a handgun with limited ammunition, and the gnawing guilt inside her. Three days without food, water, fresh clothing, or bedding of any kind, however, and she is painfully aware of how foolish that decision had been. (Canon AU)
  • She by thefooliam, Her roommate looks at her sometimes and Clarke is never sure if they’re going to kill or kiss each other. When Clarke Griffin forgets to complete her sophomore year residency application, she returns to college to find that they’ve paired her with the last roommate she ever expected to get. (Roommates AU, College AU)
  • What heart's ease must queens neglect by thrace, Lexa is going to drag her country into the modern age kicking and screaming if she has to. Enter Clarke Griffin, United Nations election observer. (Modern Royalty AU)
  • The White Queen Running by KL_Morgan, Clarke wakes up wearing the tattoos of the Ice Nation. (OR: Soulmates, parallel worlds, and Ice Queen Clarke; oh my. Canon divergent from 2x16.)
  • Within Me An Invincible Summer by thrace, Clarke spends the winter resenting Lexa. But seasons change, and so do people. (Canon AU)

Art

Vids

Meta

Archives & Fannish Links

Tumblr

Recs

References

  1. Clarke and Lexa
  2. The 100 Season 2 Episode 14 "Bodyguard of Lies"
  3. The History of Femslash, the Tiny Fandom That's Taking Over the Universe
  4. Tumblr 2015 Year in Review: Most Reblogged Ships.
  5. 2016’s Top Ships
  6. the 100 most popular femslash ship tags on Archive Of Our Own as of July 8th 2015
  7. Top 100 F/F pairings with the most total works on Archive Of Our Own
  8. AO3 Ship Stats, Top 100 F/F pairings
  9. 2016 Year-to-Year List