Set in an indeterminate year in the distant future, 97 years after a nuclear war has devastated the surface of Earth, the only remaining humans are residents of a flotilla of orbiting space stations known as "The Ark". 100 juveniles convicted of various crimes are sent to the surface to test its habitability. Among them is 17-year-old Clarke Griffin, the daughter of the Ark's chief medical officer and chief engineer. The 100 discover a lush Earth filled with new wonders and dangers. A small group of five, including Clarke, makes an overland trek to a possible site of food and supplies located through the forest at the former Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in the former state of Virginia in the former United States, while the rest remain at the landing site and celebrate their new world. Back on the Ark, the leader of the Ark, Chancellor Jaha, has been shot, causing Councilman Kane, the second in command to take charge. The new leader does not believe in mercy in a place where all law breaking is a capital crime.