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This article is about the first nuclear apocalypse. You may be looking for the Second Nuclear Apocalypse.

Becca: "What is the root problem, A.L.I.E.?"
A.L.I.E.: "Too many people."
A.L.I.E. and Becca in a videotape from 2051 [src]

The Nuclear Apocalypse, also known as Praimfaya (Trigedasleng) or Apocalypse One, was a catastrophic event which took place in 2052, 97 years before the start of The 100 series.

It began when the Artificial Intelligence A.L.I.E. instigated a global nuclear exchange. Earth was left in ruins as a result, with the majority of inhabitants killed and the planet simmering in radiation.

This apocalyptic event is also known as "the Bombs" or "the Fire".


Frantic man

Chris records a video after A.L.I.E. started the nuclear apocalypse.

The Nuclear Apocalypse took place in 2052 after A.L.I.E. was accidentally released by Chris. A.L.I.E. quickly broke through the black ice encryption and the Faraday cage and began to hack launch codes from countries around the world. Chris attempted to stop her by releasing A.L.I.E.'s poison pill virus but that was unsuccessful.

Soon after, A.L.I.E. successfully launched nuclear missiles from various countries around the world. This included 27 missiles launched from China towards the United States. A.L.I.E. planned to kill 6.5 billion people, in order to reduce the population. However, it killed almost 11 billion people.

During this cataclysmic event, people all over the world with connections were stated to be scrambling for bunkers due to how sudden and unexpected the Nuclear Apocalypse was, giving them no warning at all. Having prepared for this eventuality, despite only learning of the apocalypse when the missiles were launched, 92% of the Level 12 members of the Second Dawn doomsday cult made it to their bunker before a nuclear missile destroyed Baltimore, saving 1,104 people. Meanwhile, the ancestors to the Mountain Men took shelter in Mount Weather, while those who survived in space stations, became ancestors to the Sky People. According to Jaha's files, all the government bunkers in the United States, were listed as compromised or unviable, except for Mount Weather at that time.


Thirteen 111

Two years after the fall, condition of relatively unscathed city, later named Polis

While the specifics of the world collapse are not known, it is apparent that nuclear exchange resulted in worldwide widespread destruction and the near-annihilation of the human species, and it left civilization in ruins throughout the radiation-affected globe.

Becca's flashbacks in "Thirteen," offered the first indication of the condition on the surface two years following the nuclear exchange and show still lethal levels of radiation and abnormal weather suggesting climate change.

According to Callie Cadogan, almost 11 billion people were killed in the aftermath.[1] After Becca arrived on Earth, her use of the Flame allowed Bill Cadogan to unlock the Anomaly Stone code to Bardo. Having found the Stone in South America 12 years before, he had never been able to unlock it. During her time with the Second Dawn, Becca warned Bill Cadogan after entering "the final code" into the Anomaly Stone that using it would bring Judgment Day. Though Cadogan called the Nuclear Apocalypse Judgment Day, Becca stated that it wasn't Judgment Day which will be the true end of the human race. After Becca was executed in order to get the Flame, Cadogan eventually led his followers, later known as the Disciples, through the Temporal Anomaly to Bardo, rejecting any chance of rebuilding life on Earth. However, Callie convinced a group of people to take Becca's Nightblood serum and join her in saving humanity on Earth. The group intended to search for other survivors, bringing with them enough Nightblood doses for 2,000 people and the language that Callie had created as a child as well as the Flame itself. Callie's group and those that they met along the way would become the ancestors of the Grounders, people who were able to survive on Earth's surface for the next 95 years. According to Titus, they were the first Natblidas.[2]

For 97 years, the Mountain Men still remained in Mount Weather, but as a result had no resistance to the radiation on the surface and were stuck underground. At the same time, the Sky People survived in space stations, isolated from their former natural environment.

97 years after the Nuclear Apocalypse, the truth about the events came to light when Thelonious Jaha and John Murphy made their way to Becca's Island where Murphy found old recordings revealing the events leading up to the AI's actions while Jaha met A.L.I.E. herself, still active even after nearly a century. With a Second Nuclear Apocalypse coming, A.L.I.E. attempted to force the remainder of the human race into the City of Light as she believed it to be their only chance of survival, but she was finally destroyed by Clarke Griffin after warning Clarke of what was coming.

Throughout the Series[]

In Pilot, 97 years after the Nuclear Apocalypse, the Delinquents are sent down to Earth from the Ark to determine if the planet has become habitable again or not as the Ark's life support system is failing. To their amazement, Earth is habitable, although they are shocked to discover that there are also survivors on the ground after a Grounder spears Jasper Jordan, having thought that everyone left behind on Earth had died out a long time ago.

In Contents Under Pressure, Clarke and Raven make contact with the Ark, revealing to everyone that the Earth is survivable, and the Sky People aren't the only survivors of the Nuclear Apocalypse as they had previously believed.

In Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2), while in the lighthouse bunker on Becca's Island, a shocked John Murphy finds a video recording of Chris revealing that A.L.I.E. had caused the Nuclear Apocalypse, but it was his fault because he let her out.

In Wanheda (Part 1), while trapped inside of the lighthouse bunker, John Murphy watches a series of videos, including one where A.L.I.E. tells Becca Franko that she would make life better by fixing the root problem of "too many people." Murphy quips that the AI certainly took care of that.

In Thirteen, in a flashback, Chris contacts Becca on Polaris to tell her that A.L.I.E. has gotten out and is hacking STRATCOM. Instantly realizing what the AI is doing, Becca orders Chris to launch her poison pill virus onto the Internet, but he had already tried that, and it was unsuccessful. Becca sends Chris to the lighthouse bunker as Commander Cole McAdams arrives with the news that 27 ICBMs have been launched from China headed towards the United States and watches from Polaris in horror as nuclear missiles crisscross the planet. Two years later, as Alpha Station prepares to destroy Polaris, Becca injects herself with her Nightblood serum and takes it to Earth in an effort to help humanity recover the planet. Becca lands near the Second Dawn Bunker where she's greeted by several members of the Second Dawn doomsday cult.

In the present, Murphy tells Titus about how A.L.I.E. was the one who destroyed the world, although he doesn't know the details, having been taught on the Ark that the nuclear apocalypse had been caused by governments and politics.

In Demons, Clarke Griffin, Bellamy Blake, Octavia Blake, Jasper Jordan, Monty Green, Raven Reyes, and Jacapo Sinclair learn from Becca's notebook that A.L.I.E. was responsible for destroying the world and that Becca had created the Flame to stop her.

In Perverse Instantiation (Part 2), A.L.I.E. tells Clarke and Becca in the City of Light about a coming Second Nuclear Apocalypse, caused by the nuclear power plants that weren't destroyed in the bombing melting down. A.L.I.E. justifies not telling anyone by pointing out that the last time the AI had tried to warn her creator of a threat to human survival, she had chosen to lock A.L.I.E. away and work on her replacement. Becca admonishes the AI for killing billions of people to solve overpopulation and apologizes for not teaching her that the goal isn't everything, but how you reach it matters too. Believing that humanity will find another way to survive the coming doom, Clarke pulls A.L.I.E.'s kill switch, terminating the AI who had caused the Nuclear Apocalypse.

In Echoes, while warning Roan about the coming Second Nuclear Apocalypse, Clarke compares it to the first one, telling him that the Grounders won't be able to survive this time without the help of the Sky People.

In Anaconda, in a flashback, Bill Cadogan warns his ex-wife and daughter that "the missiles are in the air" and sends a chopper to take them to the Second Dawn Bunker. Grace tells Callie that no one saw this coming and that people with connections all over the world are scrambling for bunkers as they speak. On the flight to the bunker, Grace and Callie witness Washington, D.C. being nuked.

Two years later, Becca Franko arrives with Nightblood, attempting to get Cadogan to use it as a method of retaking the planet's surface. However, Cadogan is obsessed with using the Anomaly Stone to leave the planet instead and the Flame allows Becca to figure out how to operate it, although Becca finds the code to something that terrifies her and refuses to help Cadogan further. As a result, he has her burned at the stake in order to get the Flame, but Callie takes the Flame and, along with a group of young people who had taken Nightblood, departs the bunker to retake the surface of the planet. Callie tells her mother that they have enough doses of Nightblood for 2,000 more people once they're found, becoming the first Grounders. Cadogan leads the rest of the Second Dawn cult through the Temporal Anomaly to Bardo, ultimately founding the Disciples, leaving behind Reese and Tristan to recover the AI for him at any cost.


Chris: "I tried to stop her...but I lost control. She got the launch codes. It was her. She did it...but it was my fault."
— in Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2)

Young Man #1 (in recording): "Chris? Where are you, man? Chris? Chris? Chris?"
Young Man #2 (in recording): "I knew it. The news was wrong. It wasn't China. The stupid son of a bitch let A.L.I.E. out."
Young Man #1 (in recording): "Help me. The radiation's coming. Unless we wanna share this place with a corpse, we need to get him outside."
— in Wanheda (Part 1)
A.L.I.E.: "As you know, I didn't think I needed an avatar; you did. Why not my creator?"
Becca Franko: "Please state your core command."
A.L.I.E.: "My core command is to make life better."
Becca Franko: "How would you do that?"
A.L.I.E.: "By fixing the root problem."
Becca Franko: "What is the root problem, A.L.I.E.?"
A.L.I.E.: "Too many people."
Becca Franko: "Too many people?"
— in Wanheda (Part 1)
John Murphy (watching the old recordings of A.L.I.E. and Becca): "Um... Too many people? Ah, well, you certainly took care of that, didn't you?"
— in Wanheda (Part 1)
Titus: "Tell me more about this computer program that ended the world."
John Murphy: "Come on. I don't have any details, ok? On the Ark, they just told us it was countries, politics. Big surprise, they were wrong."
— in Thirteen
Chris: "Becca, she got through the black ice encryption..."
Becca: "OK, Chris. Slow down."
Chris: "I have no idea how..."
Peri Gordon: "I'm locking in the signal."
Chris: "And now she's out of the Faraday cage. It's A.L.I.E. She got out. She's on the grid. She's cracking systems. She just got through portal security for STRATCOM in Omaha."
Peri Gordon: "What is she doing?"
Becca: "She's hacking nuclear launch codes."
Peri: "Why?"
Becca: ""Too many people." Send A.L.I.E.'s poison pill virus through the web. Do it now. Kill her.
Chris: "I did that 10 minutes ago. She's locked me out of everything."
Becca: "Chris, get to the lighthouse bunker. Do it now."
— in Thirteen
Cole McAdams: "Doctors, there's a situation on the ground. 27 ICBMs have been launched from China. No one knows why, but it's real. They're headed for the United States."
— in Thirteen
Raven: "Becca's journal is amazing. At 26, she found a pathway to access a human mind. That same year, she had to lock up A.L.I.E. because her answer for what was wrong with the world was too many people. She was 27 when it launched the bombs."
— in Demons

Clarke: Something's coming, something unlike anything we've seen before.
Roan: What's coming?
Clarke: You know the fire that ended the world. Lexa called it Praimfaya. It'll be like that, a wave of radiation that'll kill everything in its path.
Roan: Our ancestors survived Praimfaya, and so will we.
Clarke: No, you won't, not this time, not without us. Look. I don't know if we can stop it, but if we can't, all of us will be dead in 6 months. Science is our only hope.
— in Echoes

Grace Cadogan: "Hello, Bill."
Bill Cadogan: "Anaconda."
Grace Cadogan: "Bill, if this isn't real --"
Bill Cadogan: "It is. You have 20 minutes. I've already sent the chopper. It'll be there in five. I pray that you're both on it."
— in Anaconda
Callie Cadogan: "What the hell is going on?"
Grace Cadogan: "Anaconda is code for "the missiles are in the air." Now put on the damn pack."
Callie Cadogan: "He's lying. This is just another way to get us back. How would he know before anyone else?"
Grace Cadogan: "He doesn't. As we speak, there are people with connections all over the world scrambling for bunkers."
Callie Cadogan: "If he's telling the truth."
Grace Cadogan: "Cal, your father is a lot of things, but he is not a liar."
— in Anaconda



  • The cause of this disaster was first not widely known to the characters. On the Ark, it was originally told that countries and politics caused a nuclear war. John Murphy was the first to discover the truth when he saw Chris' suicide video. Later, Clarke and a few other Sky People learned the truth from Becca's journal. And after A.L.I.E.'s defeat, everyone have presumably discovered the truth.
  • The Apocalypse killed most of the human population.
  • A.L.I.E. was responsible for the Nuclear Apocalypse.
    • A.L.I.E. planned to kill 6.5 billion people to reduce the population, but instead, it killed almost 11 billion people.
  • Radiation from the nuclear fallout was present on Earth after 97 years.
  • Grounders call this event Praimfaya (Trigedasleng).
  • In the "Pilot", Jasper's shirt had "Earth Day 2052" printed on it.[3]
  • The video Murphy watches in "Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2)", that has been filmed on the day of the apocalypse, was stamped May 10, 2052.
  • According to the "Thirteen" script, some of the North America locations directly hit were: Washington DC, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Havana, St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas, Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Anchorage.[5]
    • Washington, DC's destruction is seen in a flashback in "Anaconda" as is the destruction of Baltimore.
  • In the novels, the Nuclear Apocalypse is called the "Cataclysm" by the Colonists and the "Forsakening" by the Earthborns.
  • 27 missiles from China targeted the U.S. during the Nuclear Apocalypse.
  • In "Anaconda," when Becca mentions Judgment Day, Bill Cadogan believes that she means the Nuclear Apocalypse. Judgment Day is what the Nuclear Apocalypse is called in the Terminator series which was also caused by a rogue AI, or in the case of A.L.I.E., an AI who doesn’t understand what was the humans feelings and the free choice.

See Also[]