Nightbloods, also known as Natblida (Trigedasleng), are Grounders with the hereditary condition manifested by dark blood. Only Nightbloods can become Commanders since they are the only ones compatible with the Flame. In Season Four, Nightblood is also the name of the serum, created by Becca.
Two years after the Nuclear Apocalypse, Becca injected herself with a black substance and implanted A.L.I.E. 2.0 into her neck. It is unclear what the injection did, but it may have changed her genetics to make her blood black, allow her to be compatible with A.L.I.E. 2.0, and/or cause her to be resistant to the nuclear radiation on Earth. When Becca returned to Earth, she saw humans in hazmat suits in the distance and tells them that she is here to help. With her, Becca brought a case of the black substance she injected herself with.
Becca's tale became the origin story of the First Commander (Pramheda[Trigedasleng]) and those with the dark blood became known as Nightbloods (Natblida[Trigedasleng]). The majority of Grounders have normal colored blood, but may be carriers for the dark blood since Nightblood children are born to non-Nightblood parents. It is unclear if the dark blood does anything besides show compatibility with A.L.I.E. 2.0 and resist radiation. Whoever is the current bearer of A.L.I.E. 2.0 became known as the Commander (Heda[Trigedasleng]).
As of season 4 episode 3 we learn that Nightblood also makes the carrier completely immune to radiation and gives him the capability to fully recover from ARS (Acute Radiation Syndrome) without any medical assistance.
Throughout the SeriesEdit
In Stealing Fire, after commander Lexa is accidentally killed by Titus, Ontari slaughters all other Nightbloods in their sleep before the Conclave, and presents their heads in the throne room to declare her victory.
In Perverse Instantiation (Part 2), Clarke, with Abby's help, used an exchange transfusion, similar to the ones done at Mount Weather, to replace her blood with Ontari's. This allowed Clarke to temporarily have the black blood and for her body to accept the Flame. However, it was only successful so long as Ontari's heart kept beating to let the blood flow into her system, requiring Abby to open Ontari's chest so that Murphy could massage her heart and keep it beating when her condition worsened.
The Conclave is grounder tradition in which a Nightblood successors to the Commander is elected, held upon the death of the previous Commander. The Flamekeeper (or Fleimkepa in Trigedasleng) is responsible for retrieval of the Flame from the previous Commander and overseeing the Conclave for the selection of the new Commander.
The Flamekeeper use scouts to find Nightbloods. When a Nightblood child is discovered, they are sent to Polis to begin training for the Conclave. For each batch, or "class", of novitiates, a Conclave is held when the last Commander dies, during which the Nightbloods fight to the death. The survivor would then become the next Commander. The belief among Grounders is that the Commander's spirit (in fact the A.I. chip of A.L.I.E. 2.0) "chooses" its successor through this process.
Once the victory horn is sounded the victor is taken to the temple, where the Flame Keeper performs the ascension ceremony in which the victorious nightblood becomes the commander. The Flame from the old Commander is implanted into the neck of the new, and with it, the new Commander is endowed with the spirits of all the past Commanders. As part of the rites of Ascension for a new Commander, they are required to recite the lineage of past commanders.
- Becca, the first commander.
- Commanders who ruled after Becca and before Lexa and members of their Conclaves. At least four, during the time of Flamekeeper Titus.
- Lexa's Conclave: Lexa, Luna, Luna's brother and six other novitiates.
- Ontari's Conclave: Ontari, Aden and six other novitiates.
- Clarke (temporarily)
Currently, the only known living Nightblood is Luna.
Nightblood is the name of an experimental serum, created by Becca. It was designed to help the human body not reject the A.L.I.E. 2.0, and protect it against radiation, emitted from the device. It can also help the human body become immune to the radiation. Becca has made the cells combine by experimenting with perfluorochemicals, oxygenators, and the building block of artificial blood, in space. According to the records, Becca first developed what is known as Nightblood for the Eligius Mining Company, for long duration space missions, where criminals were put into hypersleep and given Nightblood to protect against solar radiation. The Grounders with dark blood, were called "Nightbloods", because their names derives from the Nightblood serum and also because of their dark blood.
Notes and TriviaEdit
- Past commanders are honored on Ascension Day.
- The Flame is passed from commander to commander. When a commander dies, the Flamekeeper takes the Flame from the dead regent and guards it until the Conclave is over and the next commander has been revealed.
- If a Nightblood flees or refuses to participate in the Conclave, they are considered cowards and traitors to the blood and are typically hunted down. As was in the case of Luna.
- Nightbloods were first revealed in Watch the Thrones. Following Clarke's failed assassination of Nia, Nia drips Ontari's blood onto Clarke's face explaining that Ontari will become the next commander. When Clarke asks Lexa about the nightblood, she explains it is the blood of the commanders.