Nightbloods or the Nightbleeders, also known as Natblida (Trigedasleng), are Grounders with an hereditary condition manifested by dark blood. Only Nightbloods can become Commanders since they are the only ones compatible with the Flame.
The serum created by Becca, which causes a person to become a Nightblood, is also referred to as Nightblood.
Two years after the Nuclear Apocalypse, Becca injected herself with a black substance, i.e. Nightblood serum, that genetically modified her blood, turning it black. The genetic modification allowed her to metabolize radiation, including radiation emitted by A.L.I.E. 2.0, solar radiation, and leftover nuclear radiation on Earth. Afterwards, Becca implanted A.L.I.E. 2.0 into her neck. 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 Nightblood vials 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 can be born to non-Nightblood parents. Whoever is the current bearer of A.L.I.E. 2.0 became known as the Commander (Heda[Trigedasleng]).
While Grounders lost most of the knowledge on what the dark blood does, in the fourth season, Abigail Griffin discovers that it helps metabolize radiation. She notices this when Luna, a Nightblood, was able to fully recover from Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) without any medicine while non-Nightblood Grounders died from ARS.
Throughout the Series Edit
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. The transfusion 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 manually pump her heart and keep it beating when her condition worsened.
The Conclave is Grounder tradition held upon the death of the Commander in which a Nightblood successor for the role is selected. 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 uses 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 Flamekeeper performs the ascension ceremony in which the victorious nightblood becomes the commander. The Flame from the old Commander is implanted into the neck of its new successor, 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.
Notable Nightbloods Edit
- 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.
Nightblood (Serum) Edit
"Nightblood" is also used to refer to an experimental serum created by Becca. According to the records, she first developed it for the Eligius Mining Company to protect against solar radiation for long duration space missions. She later used the serum to help the human body not reject the A.L.I.E. 2.0, protecting the body against radiation emitted from the device. In addition, it also helps the human body metabolize nuclear radiation. Becca made the cells combine by experimenting in space with perfluorochemicals and oxygenators, the building block of artificial blood.
Notes and Trivia Edit
- 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.
- Becca first developed Nightblood for the Eligius Corporation for them to use on prisoners and colonists, who were spending prolonged periods of time in space and needed protection from radiation.