Here's how it works. We talk. I ask questions, you answer truthfully, if you do not I will know it. If your answers are satisfactory, your consciousness and that of your entire species will become one with ours. You will transcend your human form and then become infinite. If you fail to earn this evolutionary leap, you will be eliminated, turned to crystal the way the Bardoans and countless other civilizations before them were.
The Judge explains the test to Bill Cadogan. [src]

Transcendence is a concept introduced in Season Seven. When a being transcends, their consciousness becomes one with the Judge's, and the being evolves beyond their physical form to become infinite. Transcended beings are at peace, will never feel pain, and will never die. The implication is that all transcended beings become part of an immortal hive mind.

Test

The final test, also known as the "Last War" to the Disciples, or Judgment Day, is an evaluation administered by the Judge to determine if a species will transcend or be eliminated.

Since the dawn of time, when a species reached a point where they were able to activate the final code on the Anomaly Stone, a member of the species could take the last test. The testee would cross the bridge created by the Anomaly Stone to an altered state of being and meet the Judge. The testee would have the chance to decline the test but if they accept, the test and the result of it cannot be halted.

The test itself involves the Judge asking the testee questions. The testee must answer truthfully and the Judge will then decide if their answers are satisfactory.

If the testee passes, then all alive members of the testee's species transcend. If the testee fails, then the entire species is wiped out with Gen-9. For species that pass the test, transcendence is a choice such that individuals can choose not to transcend with the rest of their kind and to thus return to their mortal form. However, once they choose not to transcend, the individual will never be able to have offspring and they will not be able to transcend upon their eventual death.

Hundreds of years ago, the Bardoans and the Ethereans took the test: the Bardoans failed and were wiped out, while the Ethereans successfully transcended. In 2054, Becca Franko discovered the code through the Flame, but Becca declined to take the test on behalf of humanity, instead returning to Earth. Two hundred years later, Bill Cadogan accepted the test on behalf of humanity, but Clarke Griffin killed him before he could answer the first question. Because of her action, Clarke failed the test. However, Raven Reyes appealed to the Judge to reconsider her decision. After Octavia Blake convinced Wonkru and the Disciples to stand down and stop fighting, the Judge deemed humanity worthy after all, and the human race successfully transcended.

Transcended Beings

Quotes

Bill Cadogan: "My god. What did you do? You're shivering. Where did you go?"
Becca Franko: "We're not ready. I have to shut it down."
Bill Cadogan: "What are you talking about?"
Becca Franko: "If you saw what I saw, you would let me shut it down."
Bill Cadogan: "Tell me what you saw, and I might."
Becca Franko: "Judgment Day."
Bill Cadogan: "Judgment Day came and went, and we're still here."
Becca Franko: "Because that wasn't Judgment Day. Please you have to trust me and know that none of us is ready for this."
Bill Cadogan: "I am."
Becca Franko: "Especially not you."
-- Anaconda
Echo (about the crystalized Bardoans): "This is what you're preparing to fight?"
Anders: "No. The Bardoans lost their last war. This is all that is left."
Octavia Blake: "Let me get this straight. The 10-foot aliens with superior technology that built this place got genocided and turned to stone by the enemy that we're gonna fight."
Anders: "Precisely. Now you know what you're training for."
Charmaine Diyoza: "I do love me an unwinnable war."
-- The Flock
Jordan Green (reading the translated Bardoan logs about transcendence): "The orb becomes like a star, challenging all we have done and all that we are."
Bill Cadogan: "Beautiful, don't you think?"
Jordan Green: "Only then will the last war begin. Make it past and cease to be fallible. Transcend into greatness. Evolve into more."
-- in A Little Sacrifice
Niylah: "Jordan has a theory."
Jordan Green: "That they got it wrong. The last war isn't a war at all. If I'm right..."
Niylah: "And that's a big if."
Jordan Green: "Then it's a test. Now, I'm just guessing here but probably to be taken by whoever enters the code."
Gabriel Santiago: "One individual representing a whole species."
Niylah: "No pressure there."
-- in A Little Sacrifice
Bellamy Blake: "I had an experience, something that changed me to my core, something that explains why we're still here and where we're going. It came to me in a vision. Mom was there. The Shepherd led me to her and there was a light and it was beautiful and warm and peaceful and I chose it and when I opened my eyes the storm had passed just like that."
Clarke Griffin: "Bellamy--"
Bellamy Blake: "Clarke I-- I know how it sounds, but it's real. A war is coming, the last war we will ever fight. Win it and we become the light."
Clarke Griffin: "Is that what the cult leader told you?"
Octavia Blake: "Did he tell you what happens if we lose?"
Bellamy Blake: "We won't."
Octavia Blake: "We turn into crystal, wiped out like Medusa turning people into stone. It's the end of everything."
-- in The Stranger
The Judge (as Callie; explaining the test to Bill): "Here's how it works. We talk. I ask questions, you answer truthfully, if you do not I will know it. If your answers are satisfactory, your consciousness and that of your entire species will become one with ours. You will transcend your human form and then become infinite. If you fail to earn this evolutionary leap, you will be eliminated, turned to crystal the way the Bardoans and countless other civilizations before them were."
-- The Last War

Notes and Trivia

  • In "The Last War", humanity achieves transcendence with the following exceptions:
  • Both Levitt and Echo had fatal injuries and were near-death when they transcended.
    • Echo's heart had stopped, but Hope kept her alive using CPR.
  • Madi Griffin had a massive stroke which left her in a paralytic state but with her mind still fully intact, hence she was still alive and able to transcend.
  • Emori had originally passed away, but was resurrected due to Murphy using his own body as a living host for her Mind Drive. Thus she was still alive and was able to transcend.
  • For individuals who transcend but later choose to return to their mortal form:
    • Any mortal wound sustained prior to transcendence is fully healed, as was the case with Levitt and Echo.
    • The individual can be restored to their original body even if they transcended in a host body, as was the case with Emori.
    • Returning appears not to heal any non-mortal injuries as Raven still uses the leg brace she required after her spinal injury from Murphy.
  • While it is possible to return to mortal form, those who have can never transcend again nor can they have children.
  • No matter what position the being transcended is in, the energy impression they leave behind is always in a standing position arms outstretched to the sky.

Gallery

See Also

Events
Wars

Grounder-Skaikru ConflictsMount Weather War
Arkadian Civil WarWar Against A.L.I.E.Battle for Eden

Other

TimelinePre-Apocalypse HistoryApocalypse OneFirst CullingDiana Sydney's Rebellion
Final ConclaveSecond CullingApocalypse TwoApocalypse ThreeTranscendence

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