The Primes are the four original families that colonized Sanctum after settling there as part of the Eligius III's Mission Team Alpha. They built the Sanctum sanctuary and protected it with a radiation shield dome to keep their people safe. Inside Sanctum, the Primes are revered as divine, royal and therefore leaders among Sanctum Citizens. The Primes have lived on for generations by transferring their consciousness into new black blood hosts during a holy, Naming Day ceremony. Only people with Royal Blood (Nightblood) can serve as hosts for the Primes.
A Prime's consciousness is stored in a cybernetic implant, known as the Mind Drive -a jailbroken early version of A.L.I.E. 2.0 (the Flame). When the Prime's Mind Drive implant is inserted into a person with royal blood, the Prime's consciousness takes over the host, replacing their memories and personalities. In so doing, the Prime gets to live on through the host. However, as seen with Clarke Griffin, the mind wipe sometimes fails after the transfer goes wrong as some of their hosts continue to survive, trapped within their own minds despite claims that the host's mind is wiped. According to Josephine, it's been hundreds of years since a mind wipe has failed. However, it is revealed that Clarke survived the implantation of the Mind Drives because she still had A.L.I.E.'s neural mesh inside of her. According to Clarke, it has interfered with it they used to wipe her mind, thanks to Clarke's experiences with A.L.I.E.
There are a total of twelve Primes. The thirteenth Prime, Gabriel Santiago, had a moral awakening and defected against his fellow Primes. In an effort to stop the resurrections, he destroyed the remaining Nightblood embryos and escaped being burned at the stake with the help of fellow Prime Ryker Desai. His followers became to be known as the Children of Gabriel. In Matryoshka, after Marcus Kane was resurrected using the Mind Drive technology, it was shown that Russell anticipated that he would become a new member of the Primes as would John Murphy if he had also used a Mind Drive. In Adjustment Protocol, Russell claimed that Murphy and Emori were the resurrected Daniel and Kaylee Lee whose Mind Drives had been deleted by Simone and were thus dead.
The first Primes originated from a group of colonists, Mission Team Alpha, who are also referred to as the Primes. They colonized Sanctum and became the ruling family through the bodies of the Nightblood hosts. They have rules for surviving on Alpha, by having times needed to get to Ryker's Keep, Tai Chai, Harvest Festival, Naming Day and jobs.
After the arrival of the people from Earth, conflict erupted between the Primes, Clarke and her friends which led to an uprising by the Sanctum Citizens when they learned the truth. All of the Primes except Russell Lightbourne and the rogue Gabriel Santiago were killed and Russell was imprisoned for his crimes.
Notes and Trivia
- There are 12 primes, with Gabriel Santiago being the 13th before he fled from Sanctum.
- There are 4 families of Primes; the four Lee's, the three Lightbourne's and Mason's, and the two Desai's.
- Their skeletons and the skeletons of their deceased hosts are kept in a huge room inside the Palace in Sanctum.
- Viewed as Gods by the people of Sanctum, the twelve Primes seems to mirror the Twelve Olympians of the Greek Mythology, with an angry Ryker even branding the Primes' leader, Russell, as Zeus, the first among the Olympians.
- According to Cillian, not everyone in Sanctum believes in the "divinity of the Primes".
- Clarke Griffin has the most Prime kills of anyone having killed Josephine, Simone, Caleb, Jasmine and Miranda. All of their deaths were permanent as Clarke used methods that prevented retrieval of the Primes for future resurrection.
- Both Miranda Mason and Daniel Lee are known to have taken Null lovers.
- Daniel's lover is a man named Zev, revealing that Daniel was LGBT.