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Spoilers ahead for the seventh episode of The 100's final season, called "The Queen's Gambit."
The stakes of The 100 Season 7 skyrocketed in "The Queen's Gambit," with the danger rising on Sanctum, Clarke and Co. arriving on Bardo only to learn that Bellamy is dead, Team Skyring (a.k.a. Hope, Diyoza, Octavia, Echo, and Gabriel) agreeing to fight with the Disciples, and the reveal that the Shepherd is none other than Second Dawn leader Bill Cadogan from Season 4. Now, after the events of "The Queen's Gambit," I find myself wondering: is The 100 finally ready to start killing key characters in the final season?
Okay, The 100 admittedly already seemingly revealed that Bellamy died, and the only death on this show that could be a bigger deal than Bellamy would be Clarke. That said, how many of us really think that the male lead of The 100 was given such an unceremonious farewell, especially after Bob Morley made an appearance in "The Queen's Gambit," even if it was via flashback? If we assume Bellamy is alive and remember that The 100 is a deadly show in its final season, then it stands to reason that the show could start reducing the size of the cast sooner rather than later.
In fact, I'm predicting that we're soon in for a reveal that Bellamy isn't dead after all, which adds fuel to my suspicion that some key characters will soon be on the chopping block. A twist that Bellamy is alive, even if it's one that many viewers saw coming, would be good news. Having watched The 100, a happy reveal that Bellamy's "death" was a fake out makes me think that it'll come either after or before somebody important dies. There have also already been some unlikely survivals in Season 7 so far, including all the main characters who spent time on Skyring. Something has to give, right?
After the events of "The Queen's Gambit," I have some candidates who I think are the most likely to be killed off sooner rather than later. I'm leaving out characters like Niylah, Miller, and Gaia since I don't think they would pack the same emotional punch as one of the bigger characters, and might feel more gratuitous than anything else. Here are the four characters that I'm most worried about at this point:
Emori is by far the one that I'm the most worried about. She spent most of "The Queen's Gambit" trying to reunite families who had been split for years, but her reunification event was ruined when Nikki's Eligius people with the stolen guns crashed it, and Nelson agreed that he and his people were with her after he had to kill his biological father following a rejection. Nelson was so determined to kill Emori that Nikki of all people was the voice of reason. Emori is one of the moral centers of The 100 whose death would completely destroy what little balance remains on Sanctum, which would be a very 100 turn of events.
Murphy would do anything for Emori, and that probably includes avenging her. The death of one of the last two "Primes" might set the Faithful on fire, and Sheidheda still has control of them. Indra and Wonkru would side with Murphy in the event of Emori's murder, and the result could be a good old-fashioned 100 bloodbath. That said, The 100 seems to be dropping clues that Emori could be pregnant with Murphy's child, not the least of which was Nikki's comment that Emori had a "glow" to her. I'm not sure even The 100 would reveal that a key character is pregnant, only to brutally kill her off. This isn't Game of Thrones, after all! Still, consider me officially concerned about Emori.
Diyoza has survived an awful lot on The 100 and was willing to make big sacrifices, but now she has something that she's definitely not willing to sacrifice. Or rather, somebody she's not willing to sacrifice. Diyoza loves her daughter, and she revealed in "The Queen's Gambit" that her heart would "break into a thousand pieces" if Hope only saw her as a brutal killer, and that she still sees Hope as a little girl. If a situation comes down to Hope being at risk or Diyoza sacrificing herself, I would put my money on Diyoza's death.
I also have to argue that of the notable characters of The 100 Season 7, Diyoza is on the second tier of importance and doesn't have essential skills. Hope, Echo, and Octavia are all skilled fighters as well, and Echo and Octavia could probably equal her. Diyoza is an important character who nevertheless isn't so important that the show can't continue without her, and she has a big motivation to give up her life. She has even arguably been redeemed enough for her death to pack an emotional punch with the audience.
Speaking of characters who are important but not so important that The 100 couldn't go on without them, I would say that Echo qualifies. She has strong relationships thanks to her years on the Ring and then Skyring, but there's a reason why Clarke and Raven called for Echo third after Bellamy and Octavia when searching for their missing friends. Echo's arc in Season 7 feels to me like it's leading to either death or a rebirth of sorts, and Echo carving Azgeda scars into her own face after killing a lot of people without a second thought doesn't make me feel better about her odds of survival.
In the Echo/Bellamy flashback, Bellamy called her out for her blind loyalty that causes her to cross lines, and her Anomaly hallucination in the Season 7 premiere featured an imaginary Roan calling her out for following Bellamy because she needs a leader rather than because she loves him. Echo's story could culminate in a tragedy and subsequent death, a la Finn way back in Season 2, or something more redemptive showing her growth and ability to evolve from just following the strongest personality in her life. Either way, Echo feels to me like she could be dying, although I'm guessing she'll last at least into the second half of the season.
Gabriel is arguably the most objective character on The 100 right now, biased more by his desire for knowledge than anything else. That said, he also betrayed his friends, one of whom is the stab-happy Echo. As Anders noted, Gabriel's studies of the Anomaly Stone spanned considerably less time than the people on Bardo, and Clarke turning up at the end of "The Queen's Gambit" means that they might not need him all that much anymore. Could he face retribution for betraying for his friends? Or will The 100 deliver him the answers he desires, only to kill him off? Or would he too sacrifice himself for his friends after betraying them?