Season 2 has already gotten off to an explosive start. It might be tempting to think that things might calm down now that the Ark has landed and even Jaha is on the ground, but don’t get too comfortable yet.
“We’re not slowing down anytime soon,”(who plays Raven on the series) said.
Each character has faced their own set of challenges this season, but Raven’s have been more difficult than most. In the Season 1 finale, she was basically left for dead. Luckily Abby came down in the Ark and had the medical knowledge and supplies to help Raven, but only through an agonizing surgery. After all that, Raven was still left with a left leg that was paralyzed.
“She’s not great, I’ll tell you that,” Morgan said about Raven’s mental state in the Nov. 12 episode, called “Many Happy Returns.”
“But it’s also very much of Raven to be resourceful and work with what she’s given. She’s really not one to sit around and have a pity-party for herself, but at the same time it’s not easy. She’s in a high state of frustration – pure frustration about it all. But she’s trying to make it work,’ Morgan added.
“She’s never had [to deal] with anything like this before so she’s like, ‘Okay, how do I do this?'” Morgan said.
Raven isn’t the only one facing challenges this season. To portray Raven’s new disability, Morgan has gone through some of her own. The role has required her to do research like she never has before.
“First off it’s just such a physical characterization,” Morgan revealed. “Because your body is so used to the way it’s supposed to work. With [Raven’s] left leg paralyzed, I had to always be aware that my leg was limp.”
Morgan herself got a taste of Raven’s frustration when she suffered an injury of her own last season and twisted her ankle. “I almost have to laugh at the writers because they knew how frustrated I was,” Morgan said about that time. “Because I’m a big runner and I’m a really active person, I’d be on set cursing my ankle brace.”
This season, Morgan is facing a new set of physical challenges. “It really starts to put a physical toll on your body,” she shared. “My right leg became exhausted so quickly, even my joints started to hurt, because your body compensates when a part of it isn’t working correctly.”
“I was always very aware of my body position and how I was carrying myself and if it was accurate and believable,” she added.
Morgan found inspiration and valuable information for her portrayal at an informative website. “I found this website called The Experience Project,” she revealed. “It’s amazing. It’s this incredible website where people can input their own experiences, any kind of experience, whatever they want to contribute. And it’s first-hand accounts of that. I found a whole thread on paralysis [and] it was fascinating. Their specific thoughts and their specific emotions and feelings and experience that I, as an actor – you know we try to emulate it, we try to use our own imaginations but they are so specific and so touching that I needed to the personal first-hand accounts.”
When comparing the work she is doing on this season of The 100 to any of her career, Morgan called it the biggest challenge of her career, adding that the whole series has been pushing the envelope for her.
“They just keep pushing it, especially for Raven,” Morgan said. “She started out as the girlfriend in a love triangle. And then she’s evolved into such an awesome, dynamic, strong female character. That’s the writers, they built her that way and they keep pushing us in so many ways.”
“It’s definitely the hardest work I’ve ever done, but it’s also some what I’ve been most proud of for sure,” she added.
Fans were happy to see Finn stay by Raven’s side during her surgery. They’ve gone from childhood friends to boyfriend and girlfriend, a break-up and now a new friendship.
“They are at a nice, calm place, after all the storm and all the crazy,” Morgan said about where Finn and Raven are now. “They’re in a very mature place. I think they’re just both so grateful of the fact that they still have each other, no matter what. It’s evolved into a familial love, a brother/sister love, best friends. No matter what they go through and what they have gone through, it’s not going to change the fact that they are family, it’s not going to change the fact that they grew up together and they are best friends.”
Where they are now is in no small part due to Finn, who didn’t leave her even when he might have wanted to go searching for his new love. “Finn was there for Raven when he could’ve been looking for Clarke,” Morgan said. “But he chose to be by Raven’s side and Raven knows that and Raven sees that and that’s why she lets him go. Because she loves Finn and she knows that Finn’s heart wants to go, but Finn is trying to be a good guy and be her best friend. The biggest reason why Finn stayed is also the biggest reason why Raven let him go and that’s love. They love each other and they try to do right by each other.”
Find out how Raven deals with her condition in the next episode of The 100, airing on Wednesday Nov. 12 at 9/8c on the CW.