We all know that cute, little scene of Relena opening Heero’s mail to check if he is still alive and being visibly relieved when she finds out that he indeed is. But that is not all there is to Mrs. Noventa’s letter. It also serves a second and much more important purpose:
It kick-starts the revival of the Cinq kingdom.
Again, the first time Relena reads it, it’s just to confirm that Heero is alive. But Mrs. Noventa’s words to Heero stick with her, too.
“I have no regrets. That’s what happens in war. A wrong turn can be painful for anyone. But you people are still young! I hope you’ll think about building a new future!
Our family is honored to have met with you!”
Those words may be aimed at Heero, and Relena certainly tries to relay them, going so far as to travel to the freaking South Pole to give him the letter while pondering the message herself, but ultimately she is the one who takes Mrs. Noventa’s plea to heart. The next time we see Relena, she has entered the political arena as the leader of the Cinq kingdom and is pushing for Total Pacifism, trying to build that new future Mrs. Noventa asked for. Gone is the revenge on OZ and gone is her inactivity while grieving her foster father. From then on, Relena assumes the perhaps most active role in the series.
Seeing as Relena and Heero are portrayed as very similar characters, it makes sense that she would take a letter originally meant for Heero so personally. That’s just adding another parallel between them by the writers.
It also makes sense that she is so adamant about him reading it. Just as it changed her views after that dark time she lost her father, she wants Heero to hear those helpful words, too, and benefit in the same way.
Given the information of Heero absolutely FUBAR’ing his mission and apparently seeking a death sentence from the Noventas, Relena must have concluded he is in poor shape emotionally right now, not caring much about his life at this point. Much like her after VFM Darlian was killed. Relena wasn’t overly concerned about what would happen to her, so long as she could shoot a bullet through Une’s chest. That she interrupts a duel just as Zechs is about to slaughter Heero doesn’t help either.
Here comes Mrs. Noventa’s letter. It tells them to stop living in the past and turn their gaze towards the future. Relena wants him to hear that message.
But he never does.
Despite flying all the way to the South Pole to deliver this letter, Heero never gets to read it. The one it influences is Relena.
And because the show is awesome and so are the writers, it’s Relena who then influences Heero. And when? During the Cinq arc.
It takes a long while and it’s subtle as heck because this is Gundam Wing, but Heero slowly goes from meaningless resistance and not believing in peace (calling it just a result of war) to actually fighting for a world where pacifism is possible. With the help of a battle system, funnily.
In other words, that new future Mrs. Noventa talked about. Except, it’s Relena
and Epyon who motivated him and not Mrs. Noventa.
All of this is only ever properly revealed in those very last episodes of the series (47 & 48) when Heero and Relena talk to each other and they throw compliments at each other, calling the other the reason they found the strength to live and carry on, and also during the helmet scene where Heero reveals he promised himself he’d protect her.
Why would he protect her? Because he believes in peace now and he knows she’s integral to it.
Well, that and he’s obviously fond of her.
But I love it. I love that something meant for one character had a big effect on another, who then in turn caused that big effect on the original one.
It’s parallels and character development and relationship development all rolled into one.
It’s Gundam Wing.