New World, Same Demons: ‘The 100’s Marie Avgeropoulos on Octavia’s ‘Most Challenging Enemy Yet’

Marie Avgeropoulos in 100 - 'The Children of Gabriel'
Diyah Pera/The CW

Throughout the past five-and-a-half seasons of The 100, Octavia Blake (Marie Avgeropoulos) has faced down some fearsome foes. She’s battled — and emerged victorious against — enemies both human and environmental, won a conclave and survived the fiery end of the world… twice.

But the youngest Blake sibling has also lost, and lately, she’s lost more than she’s won. She lost her title and her followers, many of whom appear to have held grudges against her for the fighting pits. She lost her brother, who seems to have given up all hope that she can be redeemed. She seems to have lost her hand to a mysterious temporal flare. And now, to hear Avgeropoulos tell it, Octavia will face her biggest battle yet with an all-too-familiar nemesis.

Will she win, or will she lose? We chatted with Avgeropoulos to find out about Octavia’s mental state and family troubles, how she bonded with co-star Ivana Milicevic, and why Octavia’s hand is going to play a significant role in the rest of the season.

With each week that passes, I get a little more concerned about Octavia’s mental state. Does she really want to die, or is there something deeper going on?

I think Octavia is dealing with a few things. Having to leave Blodreina behind and move forward now that everybody’s out of the bunker and facing new challenges, I think the biggest challenge for Octavia is facing the challenge within herself — the PTSD from the immoral and unethical decisions and actions she had to face in the bunker. You’ll see how she deals with these emotions and how she has to battle the demons within herself in order to ensure her survival.

Speaking of battling inner demons, there was a really interesting snippet in the trailer that seemed to be Octavia facing Blodreina. Is there anything you can share about that scene?

Yeah! That, for me, is my favorite episode this season and it’s coming up soon. I kept teasing that Octavia is going to face her biggest fear and her most challenging enemy yet — and I think you just said you realized what it was, so I’m not releasing any spoilers here — is herself. You’re really going to see into Octavia’s mind with her frustrations and her angst and her anxiety, and hopefully it shines some light for the fans and gives some empathy for what she’s gone through.

How is Octavia feeling about Bellamy right now?

It was the icing on the cake to really cause her to spiral when Bellamy didn’t allow her on the ship. Especially after she went into straight-up warrior mode and took on six enemies at the same time, but they still weren’t pleased with her. When he denied her access to survival, she had to turn and walk away. That’s one of her biggest triggers — her fear of abandonment. You’ll have to see if the Blakes can come together this season and how that unfolds, and if Bellamy can ever forgive her.

That was going to be one of my next questions. Is there a chance these two can reconcile, or are they too far apart at this point?

Me being the youngest of four kids, I understand the complexity of sibling rivalry. It does exist, but blood is thicker than water. There is underlying love because you’re family no matter what happens. There are a lot of bumps in the road to recovery for their bond, and it’ll be interesting, how they navigate toward that.

In terms of dynamics I’ve really enjoyed this season and gotten to see a lot of, I’m really loving Diyoza and Octavia. Did you expect them to have scenes together? Were you surprised when you read those scripts? I love it!

I was surprised when I read that, but I was really excited because I love working with Ivana (Milicevic). Our first bonding moment was when her and I were in that gooey pit. I think we were in there for about 10 hours, and we weren’t allowed to get up and go to the bathroom because it was really challenging for the special effects department to reset all the goo every time. And (Ivana) was pregnant, in real life. I took one look at her and was like, “Listen. I really gotta go.” And she said, “Me, too.” I’m like, “Okay, let’s do it.” So we just peed in it, all night, together. And that’s how we really bonded. [Laughs]

Well, that’ll bring you together with a co-worker! That’ll do it.

Absolutely. I had to check in. I didn’t have the heart to quietly pee and not let her know. I had to lay it out there, and she was on the same page.

About that flare. We saw something weird going on with Octavia’s hand after the flare hit. Is there anything you can tell me about how that’s going to affect her?

It’s going to become a very physical challenge for her moving forward. But then, to tease a little something, people will realize it’s not just a physical ailment — it’s a sign. It was given to her for a reason, and throughout the season you’ll see exactly why.

Octavia doesn’t know about everything that’s going on inside Sanctum with the Primes and the chips in the necks. If she did know about that, how do you think she would’ve reacted? Do you think she would’ve approved of what the Primes are doing?

I think Octavia can smell BS from a mile away. [Laughs] I think she has difficulty trusting people regardless of whether this is a new world or not. So I think she would have to raise a lot of questions and would have a problem with authority, since she’s always had that complex about her. She is still coming off the heels of being the authority.

And this is centuries-old authority! So that would be really tough for her. Although I guess you guys are technically centuries old now, too, after the time-jump…

I know! But when you’re frozen, somehow you don’t age. It’s amazing. I wouldn’t mind some of that. [laughs]

The 100, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW