How The 100’s Murphy Has Changed Over The Years, According To Richard Harmon

The 100 Richard Harmon John Murphy The CW
(Image credit: The CW)

The 100 has been at it for nearly seven seasons now and, in that time, it has created room for its characters to change quite a bit. This can definitely be said for John Murphy, who has been an integral part of the series throughout its run. Now that The 100 is nearing its end with Season 7, Richard Harmon has reflected on just how much Murphy has evolved.

When discussing the show and his character, Richard Harmon reflected on the changes in his character. Murphy risked his life to save children, which is a huge step forward in his personal growth. The 100 will not be back until August 5, so that gives fans some time to consider Murphy’s future. But given his current situation, it's interesting to look back on his journey from past to present.

Asked about Murphy embracing a turn from solely acting out of self-preservation to leaning more towards the heroic end of the spectrum, Richard Harmon had provided some keen thoughts. And It sounds as though Murphy did not necessarily see what's happened in The 100’s final season coming down the road. On Murphy’s recent growth, Harmon told The 100’s Comic-Con@Home 2020 panel:

There’s been a lot of wrinkles added this season that I don’t think Murphy saw coming, which was kind of the pleasure of playing him this season is him falling ass backwards into a leadership role, which is something that I haven’t been able to do with him yet. Which I’ve always kind of been curious as what he would be like, which is obviously, first and foremost, is reluctant. He’s a reluctant leader, undoubtedly. But then as time goes on, I think you see him start to almost care about what happens to these people that he didn’t even know at the beginning of the season, and these people he’s leading. So that was kind of the pleasure of it. So yeah, I think he has changed in a lot of ways, [but] he’s still that same old Murphy down inside. I think we have to wait and find out as everything’s wrapping up to see where his allegiances to himself and everyone else really lie.

How much of his old self has Murphy kept? Well, Richard Harmon says he is still his “old” self, deep down, but what does that mean for Murphy’s future? Harmon had previously teased that he was surprised to learn his pitch for Murphy’s ending would be used by The 100. Considering Murphy’s story leading up to now, Harmon’s comments here and those regarding Murphy’s fate are potentially seismic clues.

Murphy has mostly been defined by his desire to survive. That goal has seen its boundaries increase as Murphy has worked to keep his true love, Emori, alive. Personally speaking, Richard Harmon’s tease seems to be slightly ominous regarding Murphy staying true to his newer-found loyalties. This is just me speculating, but there is a specific ending that comes to mind for a character like Murphy.

What if Murphy finds the ultimate redemption in sacrificing himself to save Emori and others? Was that Richard Harmon’s pitch? It would be the greatest symbol of his personal growth and a massive moment for Murphy if that were to be the case. Of course, it would not be a happy ending for him (or his fans). However, The 100’s showrunner has teased that any happy conclusions would be by its terms. So does this mean it may not necessarily be traditional in its positivity?

Murphy dying to save others would not be a happy ending in the sense that he would die, but it would be the ultimate sacrifice and a way of showing how much he's changed over the years. At this point, it is just a thought, yet it wouldn't even be a remote possibility if Murphy were not showing signs of growth.

The 100 will return with new episodes on Wednesday, August 5, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. This fall’s premieres will follow the conclusion of the sci-fi drama. You can also see how Murphy has changed by streaming past seasons of him in action on The 100 on Netflix, along with lots of content arriving in 2020.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.