I'm a little confused about some details of the premise of Aldnoah.Zero, particularly why the Orbital Knights waited 15 years without attacking, why they needed an excuse, and who is on Mars vs. the Moon. I'm about halfway through season 2, I was patient waiting for clues to be revealed but the series changed focus to Inaho vs. Slaine and the save-the-princess quest.
First of all, my understanding is: In 1999 Mars attacked Earth by sending the Orbital Knights and a bunch of other soldiers through the Hypergate on the moon. Yadda yadda, the Hypergate exploded, taking most of the moon with it. Now the folks who were sent from Mars are stuck here with no way back, presumably because Mars is out of range for normal travel. They can still, however, communicate with home, so they at least maintain contact.
- The war stopped because the resulting devastation from the moon's explosion caused a huge number of losses on both sides (Saazbaum, for example, lost his significant other).
- The Orbital Knights and the remaining original Mars army are stuck here, so they dug in on the remains of the moon and built bases there and throughout the debris belt.
- The emperor is on Mars (we know this for certain because Slaine comments about being on VERS during his unauthorized use of the audience chamber to warn the emperor).
So my first question is, is my understanding above correct? My remaining confusion is based on that understanding.
The things that I don't understand, then, are:
- Why were the Orbital Knights waiting for an excuse to attack Earth? Why assassinate Asseylum in the first place? The knights have both motivation and superior fire power, what stopped them from just... invading with no excuse?
- The only possible theory I have is the emperor didn't endorse it. But why would these guys care? They're trapped without the Hypergate. They have no hope of returning home nor do they seem to ever attempt to find a way home or even care. The emperor can't touch them from Mars (and the threat of taking their Aldnoah drives isn't valid, we've already seen that once they are activated they don't need any more interaction from people with the Aldnoah factor unless they need to be re-activated, and we know there's at least 2 princesses and 1 terran that can do this, and the princesses can pass on the factor through kisses and blood or something, even unwillingly). It just seems reasonable to me that people in this situation, especially people desiring the Earth's resources so badly and trapped on the Earth/Moon, would go for it out of desperation if nothing else. It doesn't seem feasible for an entire army + 37 orbital knights to sit by and twiddle their thumbs in this situation waiting for some excuse (which they orchestrated themselves with the assassination plot conspiracy).
- If you have the moral deficit necessary to conspire to assassinate your own princess as an excuse to attack, it doesn't seem so far-fetched to just skip the conspiracy effort and go for the attack.
- How did the princess even get to Earth? The OK are isolated due to lack of Hypergate. So she couldn't have been sent to Earth after the fact. She must have at least been there since 1999. She's obviously pretty young, she couldn't have been more than a newborn or toddler in '99. This means the emperor sent his newborn grand-daughter to Earth during the first war? That doesn't make any sense. What was she doing there and how did she get there?
- Why were the Orbital Knights hanging out on the moon in the first place?
- It seems as if it would have been a much more reasonable strategy for the knights and the Mars army to just go down to Earth and live there, or at least build a base on the surface (shouldn't be a problem with their vastly superior strength). We know their primary drive is lust for the Earth's resources (secondary drive is that they're just grossed out by terrans). The more power-hungry ones could just as easily dominate after going down to Earth.
- "Because Martians would never be accepted" isn't a great excuse for this. Inaho or Rayet or somebody early on even remarked on the fact that nobody can tell them apart unless they reveal themselves, since they're all human. There's no test for it. There's no way to tell. There were even Martian spies on Earth, a key point in the assassination plot. The Mars army and the knights could have blended in seamlessly.
- Where are the Mars army soldiers coming from? I assume that the only soldiers available are the ones originally sent 15 years ago, as Mars can't send more soldiers in without a Hypergate. So either they're making babies (but all would be 15 years or younger at this point) or the Mars soldiers are a finite resource and nobody seems to be concerned about this. They must have just sent a lot of soldiers the first time through? None of the Orbital Knights seem to be concerned at all about the survival of their bloodlines, so either the situation is already resolved (their families are with them and they're having kids) or they just... forgot?
- For that matter, how are they getting ammunition, supplies, and the materials needed to construct a moon base? Well, that's not a real question, I'm willing to let that one slide...
Anyways, it's very likely that I missed something in one of the episodes, and that's actually primarily what I'm looking for here. I am enjoying this series but in order to do so I have to set aside my questions about the fundamental premise, because otherwise nothing that's happening here seems to have any justification.
So the main thing I'm looking for is clarity on how the knights go to where they are and why they behaved the way they did in that 15 year gap, as well as what the princess is doing there. That is, some clarity on what remains of the link between Mars and the trapped Orbital Knights and army.