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Let’s Talk About This Scene For a Minute

This is from episode 49, the series finale.  Treize has just been killed, and Une has just ordered surrender to White Fang.  Relena is brought on board the station (long story), and the first thing Une does is pull a Heero and offer her a gun to shoot her with in revenge for assassinating Vice Minister Darlian, Relena’s father, at the beginning of the series.

Relena’s answer is to push the gun away and tell her “let’s put an end to all of this, the revenge and the battles.”

This is, by the way, the same woman she actually did shoot a gun at earlier in the series after her father’s murder.  So let’s put even more perspective on that, shall we?

Relena has the woman who murdered her father standing in right in front of her, asking to be shot.  The woman whom Relena herself has already shot at once (whether she was aiming to actually hit her is still up in the air).  Relena not only refuses to do so, but flat-out counteroffers to launch the proverbial hatchet into the sun so they can get shit done now (such as, oh, saving the rest of Earth from a catastrophic space debris impact).

Consider this an open letter to the (thankfully) few dimwits in this fandom who still can’t let a ten-year-old shipping grudge go:

Relena is a better person than you.

Relena doesn’t choose some bitterly clichéd “edgy” answer that letting Une wallow in her own guilt is a greater punishment than killing her.  Relena gives up revenge and gives up hating the person who took away one of the most important people in her life.  She lets it go, because carrying that grudge will not stop Block A from slamming into Earth right now and will not lead to peace after they do save the day.

Relena is, quite possibly, the strongest character in the series emotionally and mentally, and out of everyone, she’s the one who grows and develops the most.  From a starry-eyed, naive, sheltered teenager to a shrewd but compassionate politician with an almost creepy insight into what motivates people to try and kill each other.  This is why she becomes Queen of the World.  This is why she cedes the title to Treize, because she refuses to be the Romefeller Foundation’s puppet.

This is why she forgives the woman who murdered her father.

Thankfully, the bashing has died down and people have realized it’s possible to ship Heero and Duo (hell, I do) and still think Relena is the bee’s knees and recognize her for the BAMF she is.

All hail Queen Relena!


Forgive me for going on about this scene, but I actually really like it and really have a lot of feelings about Relena Darlian and her character progression over the course of the series.

Whenever I watch this scene, I keep in mind the scene we have that introduces her character—the daughter of a diplomat, who is understanding as she can be, but very young and clearly lonely.  You can see her left behind when her father has to go on yet another meeting, which she doesn’t protest about, both because she knows it can’t be helped and because she’s used to it.  She still glances back at the car, she still goes walking along the beach, she’s obviously still feeling abandoned, even though she tries not to.  She’s very isolated and lonely.

So, suddenly, this mysterious boy literally crashes to earth in front of her and fights his way out of the situation, knocking over the paramedics that have been called to help him.  How exciting and interesting must that seem to a lonely young teenage girl who constantly feels lonely and left behind?

How much like a fairy tale must that seem in that moment, to a girl who has been very sheltered all her life?  She introduces herself afterwards, even though the strange boy is no longer there, because it must feel like her fairy tale must finally be starting.

And it’s not a fairy tale.  GundamW is not about fate or romantic stories being told, it’s about the struggle and misery that war brings to people.  It’s about how much fighting sucks.  It’s about Relena growing up and finding her way, the balancing of her once maybe naive ideals with the more adult politics that she’s going to be shoved into.

I really like this scene because it establishes her character in a way that gives me such empathy for her, but also I felt shows just how far she’s going to grow over the course of the series.

And I just really, really have a lot of feelings about Relena Darlian, okay.  ;__;

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