When The CW's post-apocalyptic survivalist series, The 100 debuted, Richard Harmon's John Murphy came off as an arrogant, self-centered character who had an antagonistic relationship with most of the post-apocalyptic Earth's other survivors. Over the first five seasons of the sci-fi series, however, Murphy has matured and mellowed as the stakes have increased, improving his rapport with his fellow survivors while earning their begrudging respect; a far cry from the mutual distrust they had shared for the show's earliest seasons.
For Harmon, this evolution of the character is the direct result of audiences and characters getting to know Murphy better over The 100's first five seasons. The snarky, sarcastic character has revealed his own vulnerabilities and taken on additional responsibilities as humanity continues to struggle for survival, first on Earth and, in the upcoming sixth season, on a new planet. The Season 5 finale ended with Earth becoming entirely uninhabitable, forcing the last vestiges of the species to travel across the stars, ready to colonize an alien world capable of supporting human life. While daunting, Harmon believes the survivors are the closest they have ever been as they land on this brave, new world.
"The more you've learned about us, the more humanizing it has become. I think that is what happens when you get to know people just better in general. You see the bad and the good, and I think its the same thing with our heroes; they've been forced to kind of meet us in the middle somewhere," Harmon explained during a press visit to the series' Vancouver set this past November. "That's probably why we're probably as cohesive of a unit of the beginning of the season as we've ever been, as far as the groups concerned. Like most people are pretty alright with each other. We have lasting kind of stuff and still some tensions going, as we always do."
Every single returning character in the series has gone to unexpected places over the course of the story, the end of relative innocence brought about by desperate, often brutal acts, just to survive. Murphy, in specific, has endured a lot, transforming from a self-centered individual to one that eventually found love and grew from someone that would always take the easy way out to risking his own life for his friends. This development has led him to gain a deep sense of respect from the authoritative Bellamy Blake over the course of the series along with his longtime rival Raven Reyes, continuing into Season 6.
"I'd say Murphy and Bellamy still have a great, great deal of respect for each other," observed Harmon. "And of course, Raven and have had such a kind of interesting journey over the years that I think has grown into a lot of respect as well."
Often covering his insecurities with his standoffish nature and sarcastic outlook, Murphy has since begun to open to those close to him, including his love interest Emori, as struggles to survive continue to mount. For Harmon, Season 6 is poised to be the most revelatory about the character and his mindset yet, as the cast embarks on a new beginning in a strange, alien world.
"He'll definitely have his kind of challenges to survive. And that'll put him into the classic Murphy mode that everyone likes to see. And that I love to do," Harmon teased. "This season answers the most prevalent [question about Murphy] I've ever had. And I won't say what the question is, but it answers a question that I think we've all been needing to know about him for a very long time, and it's gonna be really great."
The 100 returns on the CW for its sixth season starting April 30 at 9 pm ET/PT. The series stars Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Marie Avgeropoulos, Bob Morley, Henry Ian Cusick, Lindsey Morgan, Richard Harmon and Tasya Teles.