The 100 has had many tragic characters with heartbreaking storylines over the past four seasons. Ilian of Trishanakru recently became one of them.
For those who need a reminder, Ilian was a simple farmer and a skillful warrior. He also helped kick off the second episode of the fourth season in a brutal way. Under the influence of A.L.I.E., he murdered his entire family. When Clarke pulled the kill switch on A.L.I.E., he came to his senses and mourned for his loss while also vowing to avenge them.
He had a brief appearance in the series, but I appreciated seeing a new and refreshing face in a vicious and violent world.
Very briefly, I love that he was played by Chai Hansen. If you follow Chai on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll quickly learn about his kind and sweet nature. Not only that, but he’s a talented actor, and his final episode in The 100 demonstrated that.
Like everyone else in the series, Ilian lost his loved ones. But instead of taking his revenge out on the people who wronged him, he took it out on their technology. He wanted to completely get rid of what he thought contributed to the problem and prevent it from happening ever again. Sure, he ended up screwing everyone over, but he didn’t know Praimfaya was coming. He acted in the present and hoped the future would be different.
When he was sentenced to die, he didn’t fight back. When he was given the chance to escape, he didn’t come back seeking more vengeance. Instead, he went home. He went back to give the future a chance. That’s exactly why he joined the conclave in “Die All, Die Merrily.” He was fighting for his clan’s future.
So when Echo’s struck him with her arrow, my heart broke for him. He was a warrior, like he told Octavia, but he still had his humanity. In a lot of ways, he reminded me of Lincoln.
“She’s gone down such a dark path since the death of Lincoln,” said Marie Avgeropoulos in an interview with TV Insider. “I think her morals and everything have become incredibly skewed this season. She hasn’t found her place once more. She’s been accompanied by Ilian, whom she has learned a lot from, but didn’t really realize she had learned anything until his last moments after Echo murdered him in the conclave—she was cheating and betrayed everybody. Yeah, I don’t think Octavia realized how dark she has really become until Ilian’s death when she recites the prayer back to him. That this is the beginning of our next journey. It didn’t seem like she was listening a lot of the time, but I think Octavia learned a lot from Ilian and his Trishanakru ways.”
Needless to say, I cried and I cried some more when Ilian died by the hands of someone who cheated. It hurt even more when Octavia repeated the words he told her in the previous episode, “Do not fear death for it is only the beginning of the next journey.”
What a tragic character. Every time I think about him, it saddens me all over again to know his future was cut short.
Featured Image: Warner Bros. Television