Clarke Griffin/Lexa

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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, also known as Clexa or less commonly Lexarke, is a ship in The 100 fandom of Commander Lexa and Clarke Griffin. It's a juggernaut pairing in The 100 fandom, coming in second only to Bellamy Blake/Clarke Griffin,[1] as well as being a juggernaut in general fandom as one of only 3 femslash pairings to break AO3's Top 100 Pairings according to centreoftheselights' AO3 Ship Stats.[2] Clexa's longterm popularity in fandom likely has something to do with a very devoted fanbase who are both active in the creation of fanworks as well as activism itself. Lexa's death on the show spawned widespread outcry about harmful tropes related to queer characters in media and spawned the femslash-focused procon Clexacon.


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.[3]


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. The popularity of the ship only increased after their onscreen kiss[4] and it quickly grew into being one of the most popular ships in the fandom. 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.[5]

Lexa's Death

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 also created and embraced an alternate universe ship for the pairing, called Lexark. The pairing and its name most likely arose from a post by Tumblr user alyciasass, expressing a desire for Alycia Debnam-Carey's character on Fear the Walking Dead, Alycia Clark, to get a girlfriend named Elyza Lex played by Eliza Taylor.[6] The AU ship became so popular that it became a canonical tag on AO3[7] and the fanon character of Elyza Lex features in over 300 works.[8]


See More: ClexaCon.

In 2016, shortly after Lexa's death and the following cascade of queer women dying in media, Holly Winebarger, Ashley Arnold, and Danielle Jablonski started to plan ClexaCon, a multimedia con for LGBTQ women and allies.[9] The first ClexaCon was in March 2017 and featured a variety of panels about topics related to the representation of queer women[10] as well as a variety of industry guests from various shows.[11] It has continued to grow since then, with ClexaCon 2020 scheduled for April 16 - 19.


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 ruthless Ice Nation.
  • Reincarnation - Lexa speaks often of her own belief in reincarnation, and the show puts 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 - Clarke's canon nickname of Princess and Lexa's position as the powerful 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.
  • Post-canon - God!Lexa brings the real Lexa back or it turns out that she was in fact the real Lexa all along.

Ship War

Main article: Bellarke vs Clexa

Because Bellamy Blake and Clarke Griffin can be considered the main characters of The 100, it's no surprise that many fans ship them. This caused considerable tension between fans of Bellarke and fans of Clexa as Clexa began gaining popularity, resulting in accusations of biphobia, homophobia and racism being thrown around and culminating in a ship war between the two pairings that many fans felt split the fandom into awkward factions.


  • Clarke/Chip (aka Clip) - After Lexa's death, her consciousness was stored in a cybernetic chip. Clarke was fiercely protective of the chip, at one point yelling "It's Lexa!" when another character tried to destroy it, and was often seen caressing and staring longingly at it. This led to the crack ship pairing of Clarke and the chip (Clip romantic getaway).
  • Clexa pick up lines - Either Lexa tells a lame pick up line and Clarke is not amused, or Clarke tells the pick up line and Lexa is confused because she doesn't get the references to the modern world.
  • Lexa being extra (aka Lextra) - Crack posts making fun of Lexa's flair for overly dramatic speech and entrances/exits, usually paired with an unamused Clarke.
  • Lexa is a candle hoe - the Clexa fandom noticed the excessive amount of candles that Lexa always seemed to have in her tent and bedroom. This gave rise to crack posts often involving Clarke's reaction to Lexa's obsession with candles.

Lexa's "Return"

The series finale return of "Lexa" (technically a higher being who took on Lexa's appearance because she was Clarke's greatest love[19]) was met with mostly positive reactions from the Clexa fandom. Although it was not technically Lexa, many in the fandom felt that it offered them closure and one last chance to see Alycia Debnam-Carey as "Lexa". Many shippers also took the confirmation that Lexa was Clarke's greatest love to mean that Clexa are indeed soulmates.

Fanwork Examples


  • 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)
  • Catch Me, I'm Falling by EffortlesslyOpulent and sam_kom_trashkru, The HSAU where Aden plays cupid with Clarke, Lexa, and all of their friends, and ends up watching practically all of them fall for each other. (High School AU)




Archives & Fannish Links





  1. ^ "The 100 (TV)" tag on AO3. Accessed 22 Dec 2019.
  2. ^ AO3 Ship Stats 2019 by centreoftheselights. Posted 24 Jul 2019. Accessed 22 Dec 2019.
  3. ^ Clarke and Lexa
  4. ^ The 100 Season 2 Episode 14 "Bodyguard of Lies"
  5. ^ The History of Femslash, the Tiny Fandom That's Taking Over the Universe
  6. ^ Posted from alyciasass. Posted 5 Mar 2016. Archived 24 Mar 2016. Accessed 22 Dec 2019.
  7. ^ "Alicia Clark/Elyza Lex" tag on AO3. Accessed 22 Dec 2019.
  8. ^ "Elyza Lex" tag on AO3. Accessed 22 Dec 2019.
  9. ^ Our Stories Matter: An Interview with ClexaCon. Posted 24 Fec 2017. Accessed 22 Dec 2019.
  10. ^ 2017 Panels & Workshops. Accessed 22 Dec 2019.
  11. ^ 2017 Featured Guests. Accessed 22 Dec 2019.
  12. ^ Tumblr 2015 Year in Review: Most Reblogged Ships.
  13. ^ 2016’s Top Ships
  14. ^ AO3 Ship Stats 2015
  15. ^ AO3 Ship Stats 2016
  16. ^ AO3 Ship Stats 2017
  17. ^ AO3 Ship Stats 2019
  18. ^ AO3 Ship Stats 2016
  19. ^ "'The 100' Showrunner on the Series Finale's Big Events and Surprise Appearances". Archived from the original on 2020-10-03.