Here are my favorite quotes from the science fiction television series The Expanse. The TV series is based on a series of books, but this page does not contain any quotes from the books.
You might also like looking at the uniforms from The Expanse that I have compiled.
The below quotes may contain spoilers for The Expanse.
You have every right to be angry. You should be angry. But if we act like animals, it only justifies their belief that we are.
This is a quote from Anderson Dawes in the scene that introduces him. Dawes is one of the leaders of the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA), a political group working to free the people of the Asteroid Belt from the military dominance of Earth and Mars.
The OPA is often described as a terrorist group by the Earther and Martian characters in The Expanse. While OPA members are not above using violence to achieve their political goals, the OPA denies that they are a terrorist group.
In this scene, Dawes interrupts a bunch of dock workers who were physically harrassing a Martian. Dawes explains that the oppressed people of the Asteroid Belt must treat the Martians and Earthers with respect if they want to receive respect.
Earthers get to walk outside into the light... breathe pure air... look up at a blue sky and see something that gives them hope. And what do they do? They look past that light... past that blue sky... and they think... "Mine."
This is a quote from Anderson Dawes talking to Detective Joe Miller. Dawes and the other members of the OPA hate that the people of Earth believe that the Asteroid Belt's resources belong to Earth. Dawes wants the Asteroid Belt to become a political power independent of Earth and Mars.
My great uncle emigrated from Earth. He missed it terribly. He used to tell me stories about when he was a little boy about these endless blue skies. Free air everywhere. Open water all the way to the horizon. He told me that someday we would make Mars like that. When you spend your whole life living under a dome... even the idea of an ocean seems impossible to imagine.
This is quote from Lieutenant K. Lopez, a Martian intelligence officer aboard the Donnager, the flagship of the Martian Congressional Republic Navy (MCRN).
This quote from Lopzez is a key bit of world-building--it describes how most Martians see Earth and how badly Martians want to terraform their own planet.
DAWES: My sister Athena was touched by the hand of God. The most beautiful child in all the Belt. The smartest. But she was fragile. Her bones were like chalk from spending a lifetime in... zero-g. She was never going to recover... an impossible burden for a dirt-poor family of rock hoppers. When she became too ill even to travel... I had three other sisters to think about. Our family was starving.
MILLER: So you killed her.
DAWES: And that makes me a monster? There was no scrip to bury her, so I laid her to rest in a beautiful bauxite tunnel that we discovered together. Did you know that it is possible to cry so hard that your tears turn to blood? ...And living with this pain, I came to realize that I had millions of brothers and sisters in the Belt. I even count you among them.
This is another conversation between Anderson Dawes and Detective Joe Miller. Miller is trying to locate Julie Mao, an Earther who had switched her allegiance to the OPA and Dawes.
In this scene, Miller is accusing Dawes of brainwashing Mao to do lethal work for Dawes. Miller also accuses Dawes of using Dawes' sister Athena in the same way. Dawes clarifies to Miller that he did kill Athena, but only because of his family's poverty and the pains of growing up in low gravity.
This scene is very sympathetic to Dawes. It shows that he cared for his family, and for Julie. But this scene is also a reminder that Dawes really is a hardcore leader of a terrorist group. Dawes justifies his actions because he needed to kill his own sister.
The young people on Mars don't give a shit. They grew up under domes. They don't embrace old men's dreams of turning Mars into another Earth.
This is from Pyotr Korshunov, the Martian Minister of Defense, talking to UN Undersecretary Sadavir Errinwright. Korshunov was reflecting on his own desires to accelerate the Martian terraforming project, lamenting that young Martians don't feel the way he does.
People like you always forget, civilization has a lag time. Like light delay. [...] The ancient frontier. Those post offices, and railroads, and jails, cost thousands of lives to build. This is no different. I am the kind of man the frontier needs. You're the kind that comes after my work is done.
This is a quote from Adolphus Murty (a murderous villain character) to James Holden (the hero in The Expanse). Both characters are on a newly-explored planet, and Murty is trying to justify his own violent streak to Holden.
They hate us because we shame them. They hate us because they think we are weak. But they hurt us anyway. We make them feel ashamed. They are always going to hate the things that shame them. But we can teach them to fear us. To hate us. To hate us because they fear us. Because when you are weak... you can be surprising. And when our day comes. When we surprise them and all their strength. And on that day, they will fear us. Because they believe we are weak, we have the power to be audacious.
This is from a speech given by Marco Inaros, where he explains his theory of why Earth and Mars mistreat the people of the asteroid belt. This speech also foreshadows his plan to attack Earth.
The thing about civilization is that it keeps you civil. If you get rid of one, you can't count on the other.
This is a quote from Amos Burton to Clarissa Mao after a natural disaster wipes out civilization where they are at.
People are tribal. The more settled things are, the bigger the tribes can be. The churn comes and the tribes get small again.
This is the next thing that Amos says to Clarissa after the previous quote. Amos often refers to "the churn" as a term to describe wide-scale social conflicts.