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For The Grounders who survived the nuclear apocalypse by living in space, see Sky People.
Reapercussions 016 (Indra)

The Woods Clan and Indra, the Chief of Tondc

You think our ways are harsh, but that is how we survive.
— Commander Lexa

The Grounders or Outsiders (by the Mountain Men) is a term used to describe a person who was born on Earth rather than in space or Mount Weather. The Grounders alive today are descendants of humans who survived the Nuclear Apocalypse 97 years ago. Many of the Sky People have negative views toward Grounders, just like a lot of Grounders have a negative view of the Sky People. They were the primary antagonists of the first season.

The Grounders maintain a hostile relationship toward the Reapers, Mountain Men, and Sky People. When the Delinquents first landed in their territory and burned a village to the ground, they retaliated and a conflict broke out. The Sky People, however, continued to seek peace with them. At first, Lexa, the Commander of the 12 Clans, was willing to extend peace to the Sky People provided that the Sky People leave their territory. Eventually, the Sky People and the Grounders form an alliance and agree to work together to free their people from Mount Weather. After the Commander forms an alliance with the Mountain Men in exchange for her people imprisoned within Mount Weather, it leaves the Delinquents at the mercy of the Mountain Men and jeopardizes the alliance between the Sky People and the Grounders.

History Edit

Not much is known about their history on Earth other than them being descendants of radiation-tolerant humans and doomsday preppers who survived the nuclear apocalypse 97 years ago.[1] According to Dante Wallace of the Mountain Men, the DNA of the offspring of the Grounders who survived on Earth outside Mount Weather evolved and adapted, making them immune to the radiation that still lingers on Earth, much like the people from the Ark (who were immune through exposure to solar radiation in space).

56 years before the Delinquents arrived on Earth, the Mountain Men first discovered the Grounders were able to walk above ground and began conducting experiments on them. Through the use of the Cerberus Project, the Mountain Men would collect Grounders. Then through the Harvest Project, the Mountain Men would use the Grounders to help filter the radiation out from the Mountain Men's blood. During the time of the Mountain Men, the Grounders feared to pick up guns because they believed that if they did, the Mountain Men would wipe them out. Any Grounder who used a gun was punished. [2]

Sometime during 2140s, Commander Lexa united all 12 grounder clans for the first time, forming the most influential political factions to emerge in the post-apocalypse, the Coalition.

Population Edit

Main article: Body Count

It is unknown how many Grounders are in the area. There are at least 12 Clans as well as an unknown amount of nomadic Grounders. Altogether, they do have the highest population count of the residents in the Tondc-Mount Weather area as witnessed by the sheer number of gathered warriors in "We Are Grounders (Part 2)," "Long Into an Abyss," "Rubicon," and "Blood Must Have Blood (Part 1)."

In "Long Into an Abyss," Lexa confirms that Clarke burned three hundred of her warriors in "We Are Grounders (Part 2)." In "Human Trials," Finn massacres 18 villagers in Tondc. In "Rubicon," Cage Wallace sends a missile to Tondc, killing 250 Grounders and Sky People. In "Hakeldama," Pike, Bellamy, Hannah, and the rest of Farm Station massacre 300 sleeping warriors.

Society Edit

Every village within a clan has a leader, as in the case of Indra, the Chief of Tondc, who have earned their place at the top through acts of strength and ferocity and through mentorship from previous leaders.[3] Every clan also has a leader who follows the Commander.[4] The clans choose their leaders differently, but most are chosen after the old leader has died.[5]

Children are trained from a young age to become warriors and are taught English and trained to fight. If a child is born with a mutation, they are cast out and abandoned. This action is believed to erase the stain from the bloodline. Some Grounders go against their people’s beliefs, however, choosing their family over their clan (as in the case of Zoran and his family).

Warriors have often been shown in some type of armor made out of a variety of materials such as: bone, leather, cloth, and animal furs. They often wear masks or helmets made out of bone and wood. Many wear war paint on their face and body when going into battle. Many members appear to have tattoos on their face and/or body.

Warriors fight with a variety of weapons: swords, daggers, spears, bows, and fists. Many members are skilled in hand-to-hand combat. They do not use guns as it is believed that if a Grounder picks up a gun, Mount Weather will wipe them out. However, they found way to make use of natural elements to wage chemical and biological warfare.


The Sacred Symbol of the Grounder Faith

In Grounder culture there are some beliefs and superstitions that come along with killing and surviving. It is believed that you gain power from the soul that you take away.[6] After the first kill is made, the member is honored by receiving a mark on their shoulder or chest. Every mark signifies a person the warrior has killed. Oftentimes these markings look like welts on the skin as if burned.

They are willing to negotiate peace deals as seen in the formation of the Coalition of the 12 Clans, the alliance with the Sky People, and the truce with the Mountain Men.

Languages Edit

Main article: Trigedasleng

Trigedasleng is a universal language, meaning most if not all Grounder clans know this language.[7] Only the Warriors speak English (Gonasleng), which makes them bilingual.

In Season Two, Lincoln teaches Octavia some of this language to help her blend in as a Grounder. With Lincoln being from the Woods Clan and them traveling to the Boat People, it can be assumed that all Grounder clans speak this language.

Capital Punishment Edit

Main article: Grounders/Crime and Punishment

Capital punishment in the form of Death by a Thousand Cuts occurs when every single member of the clan takes a turn cutting the convicted before feeding them to the bugs. For more egregious crimes, they start with fire and take the hands, tongue, and eyes. Everyone gets a turn with the knife before the Commander ends it with the sword if the person is still alive by then.

Nightbloods Edit

Main article: Grounders/Nightblood

Nightbloods, also known as Natblida, are Grounders with black blood. When a Nightblood child is discovered, they are meant to be sent to Polis to begin training for the Conclave in hopes of one day ascending to become the next leader of the Coalition.

Technology Edit

The Grounders live in the ruins of a great civilization, but they have fallen far from the heights just before the Nuclear Apocalypse. Grounders live in scattered villages, farming, hunting, and gathering. They use muscle-powered weapons like bows, spears, and swords ground from scrap metal; they ride horses; and their healers use herbs and poultices rather than modern medical techniques, but their weapons, transportation, and healing are all remarkably effective.

Traditions Edit

Grounder names for places and people are often derived from the names of earlier locations or landmarks that have had their names weathered away in parts from associated signage.[8] For example, Indra is the leader of TonDC, a derivation of Washington, DC, and Polis, the capital city of the Clans, is named after the space satellite Polaris. Lincoln is named after the presidential memorial, while Lexa and Ontari are named after the city and province of Alexandra and Ontario, respectively.

Since the Grounders don't use last names, their clan name is used instead.[9] Clan names appear to be geographically derived.

The Coalition Edit

Main article: Coalition
0. Coalition (Kongeda)

The Symbol of the Coalition

The Coalition, or Kongeda (Trigedasleng) is the collective name for the twelve clans who reside in the Tondc-Mount Weather area and the Eastern United States. After years of fighting, Commander Lexa was able to persuade Azgeda into joining the Coalition, uniting all twelve clans.

Each clan has its own chief, and is made up of multiple villages scattered throughout the Eastern Seaboard. Each clan also has its own ambassador to the Coalition, who represents the clan's interests before the whole.

Clans Edit

Bellow is the list of known Clans:[10]

Nomadic Grounders Edit

Nomadic Grounders, also known as Wastelanders, are Grounders who have no clan because they or a family member may have been seen as a "stain on the bloodline" due to birth defects and cast out. So far, they seem to inhabit The Dead Zone with some of them on their way to the City of Light in search of safe haven.

Notable Members:

Gallery Edit

  • Floukru's flag
  • Sankru's flag
  • Azgeda's flag
  • Trikru's flag
  • Lake People's flag
  • Symbols of the Twelve Clans (1/2)
  • Symbols of the Twelve Clans (2/2)

Notes and Trivia Edit

  • Jason Rothenberg stated that there are multiple groups of Grounders in the show; Water Grounders, Ice Grounders, Boat Grounders, and Mountain Grounders.[11]
    • The Ice Grounders are the Ice Nation and the Boat Grounders are the Boat People.
    • Some Grounders, such as the Nomadic Grounders, are not included in this list
    • Jason confirmed the names and symbols of all 12 Grounder Clans in the Coalition.[12]
  • As of Remember Me, it is confirmed that there are twelve Grounder Clans.
    • All twelve Grounder Clans are part of an alliance with each other called the Coalition.
    • Before Lexa united the 12 Clans, there were smaller Coalitions. [13]
  • Grounders fear both the Reapers and the Mountain Men
    • The Mountain Men used Grounders to turn them into Reapers
  • The marks on their shoulders/chests serve as a tally for their number of kills in battle. Each scar equals 1 kill.
    • Gaining kill marks is a great honor and a highly prestigious act among The Woods Clan.
    • Jason Rothenberg has added that Lexa, along with Clarke, have too many kills to allow for kill marks.

See Also Edit



Sky People


Mountain Men

Dante WallaceCage WallaceLorelei TsingMaya Vie

References Edit

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