The 100's Final Season Introduces a Character Years in the Making

The 100 is well into its seventh and final season on The CW and while the post-apocalyptic drama is continuing to navigate some pretty uncharted territory, the series continues to surprise by building on its own lore and mythology built over the course of the previous six season. This week's "The Queen's Gambit" in particular, however, offered up its biggest surprise yet by "introducing" a character whose story not only reaches back to the days before the nuclear apocalypse that led to the events of The 100's first season, but one that fans have technically seen before as well -- Bill Cadogan.

At the end of this week's "The Queen's Gambit", Disciples leader Anders (Neal McDonough) goes to level 13 on Bardo and, after placing his hand on a Second Dawn symbol and saying "From the ashes, through the bridge, the Shepherd will rise", lifts open an enclosure to reveal a man in a cryogenic chamber: William "Bill" Cadogan. Anders calls him the Shepherd, but fans of the series know him as someone else: the leader of the Second Dawn doomsday cult from Earth over two centuries before.

For diehard fans of the series, this is a stunning reveal that ties all the way back to Season 4. You see, in Season 4 Earth is facing yet another nuclear apocalypse with the world's nuclear power plants melting down as they had only been designed to last for a century without maintenance. In the episode "The Four Horsemen", Jaha (Isaiah Washington), along with Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Bellamy (Bob Morley) search for a bunker build by the Second Dawn cult that they could, in theory, use to survive the coming nuclear death wave. Jaha shows Clarke and Bellamy a video of the cult leader, Bill Cadogan (John Pyper-Ferguson) warning a large group that "the end is coming," telling them "join me, join us, and together, when the Horsemen come, from the ashes we will rise."

Ultimately, Jaha, Clarke, and Bellamy end up finding the bunker, but it wasn't properly shielded from radiation -- a decoy bunker intended to dupe lower level members of the cult into believing that they were safe. The real, safe bunker is found later and is used to save 1200 people at the end of Season 4. As for what happened to the Second Dawn survivors from that bunker? That's left a mystery in Season 4 as it's found to be empty.

Now we know why. The 100's showrunner Jason Rothenberg told Fandom that, yes, the Disciples on Bardo are the descendants of the Second Dawn survivors.

"It was always going to be an interesting reveal," he said. "Here's this weird, older gentleman in a sarcophagus, being woken. The Shepherd was a real person, not just a spiritual deity. The Shepherd is alive and in a f***ing cryopod! But the fact that it's Cadogan I think is a bigger holy s**t than some guy in a coffin."

He added, "The descendants of the Second Dawn cult are the people on Bardo."

Fans will also get to see a bit more about Cadogan in next week's episode "Anaconda" which serves as the backdoor pilot for a potential prequel series, one that will show original end of the world that took place 97 years before the events of the series' first season.

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The 100 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.