The topic of leadership is on the tips of everyone’s tongues as we are ushered into an era of uncertainty within a post-Brexit world and prepare ourselves to face the legacy of President-Elect Trump. But in the world of THE TRIBE, most leadership battles are a heck of a lot more clear cut. In fact, whenever the inevitable discussion comes around, there is one single name that constantly wins by a considerable margin.
It really isn’t much of a surprise. Let’s face it, this headstrong believer in democracy, alongside her stance at never backing down from a bully, and her ability to pull the tribe through some tough times, places her firmly in the realms of prime leadership material. Though Amber is far from perfect – and though some would even argue that many of her achievements could be attributed to other members of the tribe – it is still quite difficult to deny that she is a great leader within the chaos of a post-apocalyptic world.
But, there is one other woman who is far too often overlooked. Someone who possesses both emotional and psychological scars, but who always looked out for everyone – above even her own needs – and has emerged from all of her trials as a confident, loving individual who you could argue has held the core of the tribe together far more efficiently than Amber ever has.
Yes, I think it’s time that we all started singing the praises of Salene.
As we mentioned over in our survival guide editorial on resourcefulness, Salene was a welcome breath of fresh air who swept through the aftermath of any event and brought about order and understanding. She was often thought of as the ‘mother hen’, and she was. The very heart of the tribe, Salene constantly pushed everyone to work together in order to achieve their goals, always made sure that even the youngest members of the tribe had their voices heard, and tried to keep everything together when it all seemed like it would fall apart.
But what makes Salene so special in my eyes is just how much she has weathered the storms.
Facing her illness, tackling alcoholism, and succumbing to the need of safety within the Chosen in order to protect her unborn child … all of these events have simply shaped her into a more determined individual, and she has constantly risen into a more confident persona. Riding off on Apollo in order to track down Ryan set this character on a path to the leader that she could always become.
With half of the tribe captured by the Technos, and with Amber and Trudy MIA, it was Salene who began to take charge, who helped rally the tribe to face the new threat within their midst. As the storyline continued, we saw Salene continue to blossom into a worthy leader, aided by Pride as they began a romantic entanglement.
Salene’s time with both Pride and the Gaians was the final click into place, that moment when you could just see the air of leadership. But unlike Amber’s headstrong leadership persona, Ebony’s bludgeon, or Bray’s standoffish feel of acceptance, Salene’s leadership persona always felt warm and welcoming – but like a mother hen – you knew that if you hurt her children then all hell would break loose.
The re-integration of Amber into the latter half of series 4 saw Salene take a step back into more of a subordinate role, but she continued to head up the fight against the Technos alongside her tribe.
It is somewhat of a shame that the continuation novels really overlooked not just Salene, but all of the tribe members who had spent a significant time amongst the Gaians. With the City far behind them, those who had learnt to survive within the wild should have been brought right to the fore – namely Amber, Trudy and Salene. Instead, the latter two were pushed back by quite a degree, and we never saw them excelling within their new environment. It was here that we should have seen Salene grow even more as a sub leader within the tribe – bringing her experience and knowledge to the benefit of the group.
0.88%. That is the percentage of fans who voted for Salene as leader within The Tribe Official Facebook page’s most recent vote. It feels like such a shame. Salene has done a lot for the tribe, and has come through a lot of personal issues, become a strong leader who I’d argue could rival even Amber. Heck, I’d quite easily argue that Salene had the best character development arc across the entire show.
So my friends, join me on my quest. It is time that we stop overlooking Salene’s greatness. Here’s to Salene!