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There is a place for all of us. When I first landed on the earth, I met a woman who spoke of a place beyond the Dead Zone, a place where everyone is accepted — a City of Light.
Thelonious Jaha [src]


The City of Light was a shared simulation of the world, created by A.L.I.E. to harbor humanity with the aim of saving it. A.L.I.E. intended it to offer a better existence for mankind, one that is free of pain, hate, disease, and suffering. It is seemingly reached through the subconscious—through A.L.I.E. or meditation—after ingesting a chip.

Prior to War Against A.L.I.E., the City of Light was thought to be a real place, a mythical "promised land", which many Grounder outcasts have attempted to reach by crossing the desert known as the Dead Zone. Its true nature was unknown to any but a select few who were chosen to join it.

At the end of Season Three, the City of Light, along with A.L.I.E., has been destroyed by Clarke Griffin.

Throughout the SeriesEdit

In Many Happy Returns, the City of Light is first mentioned when Sienna tells Thelonious Jaha that he is in the Dead Zone on the way to the City of Light. She and her family are searching for the City of Light after they left their home so her deformed son, Zoran, could live. They trade Jaha to other Grounders for a horse to help them travel to the City of Light.

In Long Into an Abyss, Jaha suggests taking the Sky People across the Dead Zone and to the City of Light after the Grounder Commander tells them they need to leave their territory or die.

In Survival of the Fittest, Murphy takes Jaha to the dropship to visit his son's grave. The next morning, eleven other Sky People have arrived and Jaha invites Murphy to join them in their journey to the City of Light, a place where everyone is accepted.

In Rubicon, Abigail Griffin receives Jaha's note that he has taken twelve people in search of the City of Light and will come back for the rest of the Sky People once they find it. Meanwhile, in the Dead Zone, Jaha and Murphy and their group encounter a girl named Emori who was also allegedly headed to the City of Light. She and her brother attack the group and steal their supplies. Emori tells Murphy that the City of Light is "due north" before she knocks him out. Seven of the Sky People head back but Jaha, Murphy, and four others continue on.

In Bodyguard of Lies, Jaha and Murphy and the remaining two people from their group arrive at the end of the Dead Zone only to discover a massive solar panel field reflecting back what they thought was the City of Light. They continue on their journey across a sea, following after a drone.

In Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2), Jaha and Murphy finally reach an island across the sea. Murphy stays behind at a lighthouse while Jaha chases after another drone and arrives at a mansion. Within the mansion, he meets A.L.I.E., who tells him he has work to do on the nuclear warhead he came down to Earth in.

In Wanheda (Part 1), in A.L.I.E.'s mansion, Murphy wakes up clean and shaved and finds glass of water and an apple on the table in front of him. He drinks the water and spots Jaha kneeling down in the center of another room. He calls out to him but Jaha doesn't respond. A.L.I.E. pops up behind him and tells him that Jaha is in the City of Light. Murphy tells A.L.I.E. he knows what she is and throws the apple through her. Jaha awakens from his meditative state and tells Murphy to let him explain. He says that the outside world means nothing in comparison to the City of Light. Murphy tells Jaha that A.L.I.E. is the one who launched the bombs to end the world and Jaha says that she saved it.

Later, Murphy is on the shore of the island when a boat horn is heard in the distance. Jaha and Gideon arrive and Jaha apologizes to Murphy for keeping him in the bunker, but he claims they needed the time to convert the nuclear warhead into a power source so A.L.I.E. could complete the work she started with her creator. Jaha tells Murphy he needs him and wants to prove what they can do. Murphy tells him he is crazy as Jaha holds out his palm to give Murphy a device used to "experience" the City of Light for himself. He says there is no pain, hate, or envy. Murphy refuses and tells him that without pain, hate, or envy, he has nothing left. Jaha puts the device in Murphy's pocket and tells him to decide later. The boat arrives and it is Emori driving it. Gideon gets on the boat and Murphy asks Emori who she stole the boat from. A.L.I.E. pops up and tells Jaha she told him Murphy would come around.

In Wanheda (Part 2), Jaha and A.L.I.E. are wandering around the empty City of Light. A.L.I.E. reiterates how there will be no more suffering in the City of Light and Jaha volunteers to fill the place, starting with the Sky People. Murphy's voice breaks through Jaha's mind journey to the City of Light and he opens his eyes, seated at the front of the boat that has arrived on-shore. Emori tries to unload the case containing A.L.I.E. and Gideon grabs it from her, taking it with him off the boat. Emori tells them they're going around the Dead Zone this time as they start walking.

Emori's brother, Otan, asks Jaha if he has really been to the City of Light. Jaha takes Otan off on a walk while Gideon sits and thinks his way into the City of Light. Emori decides to go after the case while Gideon is sitting there in oblivion while he visits the City of Light. She tells Murphy they have other buyers and as she is about to take it, Gideon catches her and holds her by the throat. Murphy tries to get Gideon to put Emori down but no matter what he does, Gideon is unmoved, saying, "there is no pain in the City of Light." Emori stabs him in the neck, killing him. She grabs the case and takes off back to the boat. Murphy follows after.

At the boat, Emori pries open the case with her knife, revealing technology with the infinity symbol, which is the same logo stamped on the chip Jaha gave to Murphy. Murphy realizes the case is housing A.L.I.E. and Jaha had brought her with them. Otan shows up and demands the case from Murphy, taking Emori hostage. Jaha arrives as Emori asks what is going on. Murphy says that Otan "ate the damned chip" that Jaha gave him and threatens to drop the case into the water unless they let Emori go. Jaha starts proselytizing about the City of Light to Murphy and Murphy goes to drop the case in the water. Jaha and Otan give up and release Emori. Murphy throws the case far from them and into the water, leaving them running after it while he and Emori take off in the boat. Jaha is transported to the City of Light and tells A.L.I.E. they should go after them. Otan is there with them and his face is no longer disfigured. A.L.I.E. tells Jaha there is also no death in the City of Light as Gideon appears, also not disfigured and not dead.

In Red Sky at Morning, A.L.I.E. communicates with Jaha in the City while he attempts to stop Murphy, Indra and Pike from destroying the backpack containing A.L.I.E.'s power source. Emori warns the three that both A.L.I.E. and the City of Light are on the server in the backpack. Though Pike destroys the backpack, A.L.I.E. survives by migrating to the Go-Sci Ring in orbit.

At the same time, Raven successfully uses her new intellect to hack into the City of Light using Becca's passcode. In a part of the city called the Citadel, Raven discovers that A.L.I.E. is hiding something and hacks through the blocks A.L.I.E. puts in her way. A.L.I.E. brings forth Hannah Green's mind to distract Raven and Monty, but Monty chooses to delete his mother from the City of Light even though it means that she will be gone for good. Raven discovers that A.L.I.E. is hiding a kill switch, but the AI retreats from Arkadia's mainframe before Raven can activate it, kicking Raven out of the City of Light code.

In Perverse Instantiation (Part 2), Clarke decides to take the Flame while receiving a continuous transfusion of Nightblood from Ontari. After taking the Flame, Clarke realizes that she must enter the City of Light to find A.L.I.E.'s kill switch and stop her. As her friends defend her, Clarke enters the City of Light using one of the chips where the Flame shields her from detection and helps to guide Clarke towards the kill switch. As A.L.I.E. adapts, Lexa's spirit appears to help guide Clarke who finally enters through a hatchway created by Raven and finds herself in Polaris where the kill switch is located. A.L.I.E. reveals to Clarke that she created the City of Light as it is the only way to save humanity from the Second Nuclear Apocalypse. Despite A.L.I.E.'s protests and on the urging of Becca, Clarke activates the kill switch, destroying A.L.I.E. and the City of Light. All of the minds trapped within the City are freed and returned to normal.

In Nevermind, Clarke learns that she retains a neural mesh after taking the chip to enter the City of Light. As a result, Clarke survived the mind wipe and implantation of Josephine Lightbourne's Mind Drive.

In The Blood of Sanctum, after being asked how she learned the skills she needed to hack the Flame, Raven comments that she learned it in the City of Light.

Key to the City of Light Edit

Silicon-based

The Key to the City of Light is a silicon-based device that bear an infinity sign (or what Grounders referred to as the sacred symbol). Once a person ingests it, the filaments reconstitute in the brain stem and interrupts pain receptors, inhibiting certain neural pathways from firing. It is a device that allows them to communicate with A.L.I.E. and to experience the City of Light.

However, while the device eliminates the ability to feel physical pain, it would appear that it also eliminates any memories that might link to painful ones when dealing with psychological damage; after becoming connected to the City of Light, Thelonious Jaha had to be reminded of Wells Jaha by A.L.I.E., suggesting that his use of the Key has erased the memory of his son's existence to spare him the pain of his death. This idea is confirmed when Raven Reyes realizes while being questioned by Jasper Jordan that she has lost even the good memories of Finn following his death (Jasper talked about Maya after taking the chip, but he showed no sign that he had any conscious memory of her beyond what A.L.I.E. might have told him).

In Nevermore, Jacapo Sinclair was able to fry the chip inside of Raven using an EMP. However, Raven was left unconscious until Clarke cut into the back of Raven's neck and released the remnants of the chip. However, the need for an EMP makes it impractical to use this method on a regular basis, the device only having enough power to perform one more chip extraction after being used on Raven. After Ontari is rendered brain dead on A.L.I.E.'s orders, Clarke uses the device to remove the chip from her mother. Those who had the chip removed via EMP still had some of A.L.I.E.'s code in their brain. This allowed Abby and Raven the ability to see hallucinations, as well as increasing Raven's intelligence significantly. Raven got rid of the negative effects through a near-death experience, but is confirmed to still retain the heightened intelligence.

In Nevermind, Clarke discovers that the chip is still inside of her head and has given Clarke a neural mesh that protected Clarke from the drug the Lightbournes attempted to use to erase her mind. A manifestation of A.L.I.E. warns Clarke that if the same EMP technique she used to save Raven is used on Clarke to remove the chip, her mind will no longer be protected and can be erased. A.L.I.E. helps Clarke to protect the memory in the form of one of the chips, but she later gives it to Josephine Lightbourne.

In The Blood of Sanctum, Russell Lightbourne confirms that the EMP used on Abby to remove the chip also destroyed her neural mesh, allowing Russell to mind wipe Abby and make her the new host of his wife. When the Flame is destroyed by Raven, she realizes that it has to be removed like the chip after an EMP to avoid detrimental effects on Madi's health as Madi nearly dies after the Flame is terminated.

Chip Maker Edit

Chipmaker

The chip maker was a device used to create the chips known as "Keys to the City of Light". Creating more chips allowed A.L.I.E. to increase her following.

Inhabitants Edit

Formerly:

Visitors Edit

Formerly:

Appearances Edit

Season Two
Episode Appearance Status
The 48Absent
Inclement WeatherAbsent
ReapercussionsAbsent
Many Happy ReturnsMentioned
Human TrialsAbsent
Fog of WarAbsent
Long Into an AbyssMentioned
SpacewalkerAbsent
Remember MeAbsent
Survival of the FittestMentioned
Coup de GrâceAbsent
RubiconMentioned
ResurrectionAbsent
Bodyguard of LiesAbsent
Blood Must Have Blood (Part 1)Absent
Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2)Mentioned
Season Three
Episode Appearance Status
Wanheda (Part 1)Mentioned
Wanheda (Part 2)Appears
Ye Who Enter HereAbsent
Watch the ThronesAbsent
HakeldamaMentioned
Bitter HarvestMentioned
ThirteenMentioned
Terms and ConditionsMentioned
Stealing FireAbsent
FallenMentioned
NevermoreAppears
DemonsAbsent
Join or DieAbsent
Red Sky at MorningAppears
Perverse Instantiation (Part 1)Mentioned
Perverse Instantiation (Part 2)Appears
Season Four
Episode Appearance Status
EchoesMentioned
Heavy Lies the CrownAbsent
The Four HorsemenAbsent
A Lie GuardedAbsent
The Tinder BoxAbsent
We Will RiseAbsent
Gimme ShelterAbsent
God ComplexAbsent
DNRAbsent
Die All, Die MerrilyAbsent
The Other SideAbsent
The ChosenAbsent
PraimfayaAbsent
Season Six
Episode Appearance Status
SanctumAbsent
Red Sun RisingAbsent
The Children of GabrielMentioned
The Face Behind the GlassAbsent
The Gospel of JosephineAbsent
Memento MoriMentioned
NevermindAbsent
The Old Man and the AnomalyAbsent
What You Take With YouAbsent
MatryoshkaAbsent
Ashes to AshesAbsent
Adjustment ProtocolAbsent
The Blood of SanctumMentioned

QuotesEdit

Sienna: "This is the Dead Zone, on the way to the City of Light."
-- Many Happy Returns

Thelonious Jaha: "I heard of a place. A City of Light. It's across the Dead Zone."
-- Long Into an Abyss

Thelonious Jaha: "There is a place for all of us. When I first landed on the Earth, I met a woman who spoke of a place beyond the Dead Zone, a place where everyone is accepted, a City of Light."
-- Survival of the Fittest

Emori: "Everyone in the Dead Zone is looking for the City of Light. Almost no one finds it."
-- Rubicon

Thelonious Jaha: "We need a boat and a boat appears. This is our destiny. The City of Light is out there and we are gonna find it. Now, get in the boat."
-- Bodyguard of Lies

Thelonious Jaha: "How does an Island of Light sound to you, John, huh?"
-- Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2)

Thelonious Jaha (offering Murphy the opportunity to experience the City of Light): "No pain, no hate, no envy."
John Murphy: "No thanks."
Thelonious Jaha: "John."
John Murphy: "No. Pain, hate, envy...those are the ABC's of me. Hey, get rid of them, and there's nothing left."
-- Wanheda (Part 1)

Gideon: "There is no pain in the City of Light."
-- Wanheda (Part 2)

Jaha: "We all have pain. Some of it is physical from injuries or age. Some is mental from living with the loss of our loved ones. If you think about it, whether we fight that pain or succumb to it the result is the same. It diminishes our lives, robs us of our passions and past times and damages relationships between friends and lovers. What if I told you there's a simple way to eliminate it?"
-- Hakeldama

GalleryEdit

Notes and Trivia Edit

  • The City of Light was first mentioned in Many Happy Returns.
  • The Dead Zone was believed to be on the way to the City of Light. According to Emori, many grounders sought it there, but almost no one found it.
  • There were initially a few possibilities of what it could be:
  • Jaha has claimed that, once someone enters the City of Light, they become essentially immortal, as their minds will continue in the City of Light even with the deaths of their bodies. However, once Raven was released from the City of Light, she stated that this idea "depends on what you call 'alive'", raising questions about the nature of the City of Light and its ability to recreate the human mind. Notably however, Hannah Green's mind survived within until it was deleted and A.L.I.E. called the City of Light the only way to survive the Second Nuclear Apocalypse, suggesting that even after the world was destroyed, everyone's minds would still survive within.
  • People killed in the City of Light in "Perverse Instantiation (Part 2)" were later found dead.
  • The City of Light is actually Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Start a Discussion Discussions about City of Light

  • How was Jaha able to see ALIE?

    7 messages
    • He could see her in the mansion because his avatar is projected via holographic device hidden, probably in the furnitures,the walls or the ceilling.
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