This article is about the group of people who are descendants of ground survivors of the first nuclear apocalypse. You may be looking for the first inhabitants of the Ark who were also called the Grounders.
You think our ways are harsh, but that is how we survive.
Commander Lexa

The Grounders, also called Outsiders and Savages by the Mountain Men, is a term used to describe a person who was born on Earth's ground rather than in space or within 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. However, after the Mountain Men were completely killed, Lexa told the Sky People to join the Coalition as the thirteenth clan, in order to make peace with the Grounders.

After the Final Conclave, the Grounders and the Sky People merge together into a single clan, known as "Wonkru", thus succeeding the Coalition.

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] It is also shown that the Second Dawn cult members and other apocalyptic survivors are the ancestors of the Grounders. 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 lingers on Earth, much like the people from the Ark (who were immune through exposure to solar radiation in space). However, the highest levels of radiation will kill them.[2] Outside on the ground, the influential political factions have emerged from 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)".

It also shows that the Grounders are present in Egypt. However, they were wiped out by the radiation wave.

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", Charles Pike, Bellamy Blake, Hannah Green, and the rest of Farm Station massacre 300 sleeping warriors.

In "Heavy Lies the Crown", Clarke has a list of locations with their populations including Arkadia and Polis. Polis has 4000 people, Arkadia has 500, and Tondc has 300. There were several other locations on the list with their approximate populations.

After the Second Nuclear Apocalypse, the population of Grounders was reduced to approximately 1,103: 1,100 in the Second Dawn Bunker as part of Wonkru, two in space as part of Spacekru, and Madi in the Shallow Valley. By the end of the fifth season, Wonkru had 363 members left, thus averaging 25 members for each of their twelve clans (eleven Grounder clans and Skaikru). The exact population numbers are unknown.

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 faces 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: 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.

Flamekeepers Edit

Main article: Flamekeepers

The Flamekeepers are a group of Grounders, who act as spiritual members, teachers and guides to the Commander.

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 station Polaris. Lincoln is named after the presidential memorial, while Lexa and Ontari are named after the city of Alexandria and the province of 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

Below is the list of known Clans:[10]

Nomadic Grounders Edit

Nomadic Grounders, also known as Wastelanders or Frikdreina, 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 a safe haven. As of Praimfaya, the fate of all nomadic Grounders (except Emori) is still unknown, due to the Second Nuclear Apocalypse.

Notable Members:

Gallery Edit

  • Floukru flag
  • Sankru flag
  • Azgeda flag
  • Trikru 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.
  • The first Grounder on screen first appeared in "Earth Skills".
  • As of "Praimfaya", there are approximately 1,104 Grounders alive. This counts Emori, Echo, and Madi, who are outside of the Second Dawn Bunker and Niylah who took one of the Skaikru spots within the bunker.
  • As revealed in "Anaconda", the Grounders is founded by Callie Cadogan and some of the Second Dawn members who left the bunker.

See Also Edit

Sky People
Clarke GriffinBellamy BlakeOctavia BlakeJasper JordanMonty GreenJohn MurphyNathan MillerHarper McIntyreMarcus KaneAbigail GriffinRaven ReyesThelonious JahaEric JacksonJacapo SinclairJordan GreenWells JahaJake GriffinVera KaneDiana SydneyCharles PikeHannah GreenKara CooperJames Crockett
LincolnLexaIndraGustusAnyaTristanEchoRoanNiylahEmoriGaiaLunaNykoOntariIlianGuaraBrellNiaMadi GriffinSheidheda
Mountain Men
Dante WallaceCage WallaceLorelei TsingMaya VieCarl EmersonVincent VieLeeWhitman
Eligius Prisoner Faction
Miles ShawCharmaine DiyozaPaxton McCrearyMichael VinsonHatchNikki
Sanctum Citizens
Russell LightbourneSimone LightbourneJosephine LightbourneKaylee LeePriya DesaiRyker DesaiMiranda MasonJadeDelilah WorkmanBlythe Ann WorkmanJae WorkmanTrey
Children of Gabriel
Gabriel SantiagoNelsonLaylaTosh

References Edit

Start a Discussion Discussions about Grounders

  • 100 years...

    12 messages
    • You are right. And technically it wasn't even 100 years it was more like 97 years. They didn;t forget english but they did make their ...
    • as of right now, a "generation" is based on history and defining moments, so like some generation brackets are 20, years, 25, 15, ...
  • I wonder, could we ever see other humans on earth, aside from the American clans?

    3 messages
    • I would have thought this could be something they would do with this show, introducing nations and such. But, the grounders are descended from ...
    • I rlly wanted to ee other groundersfrom the other cotinents. But the 12 clans didn;tknow about anyone else.
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