Over the course of The 100 Season 3, fans turned on former fan-favorite character Octavia Blake, who dealt with her own inner demons.
Octavia Blake watched her boyfriend be executed by Chancellor Pike, leader of the people she had used to call friends and family.
She was further outcast by her peers from his death, peers that she’d never truly related to. Are we forgetting that, for 16 years, Octavia had to hide under the floor of the Ark so her mother wouldn’t be floated?
Her existence was never acknowledged by anyone except her mother and Bellamy, and when she was discovered, she was thrown into the Ark’s prison. Her existence was blamed on herself, and her mother who was killed for her treasonous acts.
She wasn’t allowed a chance to actually live, or communicate, with her fellow Sky people until she was part of the 100 sent to Earth for possible death.
Her existence, which she had no say in, resulted in her living under the floor, being thrown into prison, and sent to a completely different world to die.
Yet, in the pilot episode, Octavia is shown to be a free spirit, reckless yet strong, someone who had never gotten a chance to do anything normal.
Octavia: We’re back, bitches!
Her struggle over the past few seasons has been to find herself amidst the pain and struggles, which she did in the Grounders.
The Grounders allowed her a fresh chance, a chance to change herself and become something new. She wasn’t just the girl whose mother hid her under the floor anymore, she became a warrior. She became Indra’s Second.
Yet even with them, she couldn’t find a fresh start. For the acts of the Sky People, she was punished and ostracized from her new community, and she became an outsider with her former.
Lincoln accepted her and all of her flaws. From the first episode they interacted, they’ve been protecting each other. Lincoln became her people, and the Sky People took him away from her, too, in a gruesome execution because of his heroic acts.
Pike took away her person, and murdered 300 innocents Grounders sent by Lexa to protect them. Even though she didn’t exactly fit with the Grounders either, they became the closest thing to a community she’d imagined.
And the one person who had always been there for her turned his back on her: her brother, Bellamy. He sat idly by as Pike’s actions led to murdered Grounders and Lincoln’s execution; he let his fear overwhelm him, possibly with PTSD from the Mountain Men.
Bellamy was supposed to always protect Octavia. He promised her that. But his actions led to the mess they’re in now.
Fans turned their back on Octavia Blake when she beat Bellamy, unable to deal with her rage in any other way than the Grounders had shown her, and eventually murdered Pike in The 100 Season 3 finale.
Many have lessened her actions and explained their hate because she “beat up and killed a POC.” Did she? Yes. But Pike and Bellamy’s actions over Season 3 granted them the treatment they received.
Bellamy hit rock bottom and he now has to earn back his sister’s love and forgiveness, and Pike committed so many gruesome acts, the only logical exit for him in this world was being killed by someone. Octavia being that person makes complete sense.
The 100 has been very great about racial representation, and lessening a character’s actions because of their race is a disservice. True representation should show POC as heroes, villains, and everything in between.
More positive representation is necessary though, because as much as it grows, POC are still mainly seen in villainous roles and as the sidekick. The entertainment business needs more POC heroes, main characters, and needs to stop making them the best friend, or crazy villain. The 100 has started to do that.
Her brother helped take away everything that Octavia held dear, yet he hardly suffered any backlash. Clarke was so fast to easily accept what Bellamy had done, someone had to show him the consequences of his harsh and cruel actions.
So, no, I don’t understand the hatred of Octavia Blake.
She’s had the hardest life of anyone on the show, yet her actions on the ground are always looked upon as reckless and uninformed.
She’s growing up on the ground, and still becoming a human being. Her personality drastically shifted from the first episode to the hiatus for Season 4 because she had no real experiences on the Ark.
She’s always been treated like an outcast, and even on the ground, that was no different. Indra allowing her to become one of her people shaped who Octavia is, and who she’ll become.
She’s not one of the Sky People and she never was.
(Editor’s Note: It seems to be necessary to add that I do not condone or support Octavia’s actions whatsoever, which apparently wasn’t made clear enough. Rather, I hoped to explain why her actions were justified for her character’s arc this season, from her POV and how the writers portrayed those around her.)