The Expanse

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Name: The Expanse
Creator: developed for TV:
Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby
based on novels:
James S.A. Corey (pseudonym of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck)
Date(s): 14 December 2015 – 14 January 2022
Medium: TV series
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: The Expanse (TV series) page on Wikipedia
The Expanse (novel series) page on Wikipedia
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Expanse is a TV show based on the science fiction book series of the same name by James S.A. Corey.

Set 200 years in the future, humanity has colonised the solar system. There are frequent tensions between Earth and Mars, and the OPA (Outer Planets Alliance) fights for Belter rights against discrimination, poverty, and resource scarcity. Characters from various factions are drawn into a conspiracy that threatens all of humanity, as they try to protect their own people.

At the beginning of Season 1, on the Belter station Ceres, detective Joe Miller searches for a missing Earther, Julie Mao. Meanwhile, the crew of the Canterbury discover a new threat when responding to a distress beacon on an abandoned ship.



Core Crew

The Rocinante was originally a gunship in the Martian Congressional Republic Navy, used by the crew to escape the various unexpected threats they encounter, upgraded or disguised during rest periods at Belter stations, and used to explore and travel. The Roci’s core crew is the following:

Other Characters

Examples through Season 3 include:

  • Josephus "Joe" Miller, a detective on Ceres assigned to find Julie Mao
  • Chrisjen Avasarala, UN Deputy Under-Secretary of Executive Administration
  • Jules-Pierre Mao, a wealthy and influential Earth-based business tycoon
  • Julie Mao, the missing daughter of Jules-Pierre Mao
  • Clarissa Mao, Julie's sister
  • Sadavir Errinwright, UN Under-Secretary of Executive Administration
  • Cotyar, Avasarala's spy and bodyguard
  • Esteban Sorrento-Gillis, Secretary-General of the United Nations of Earth for part of the show
  • Annushka "Anna" Volovodov, Reverend Doctor (pastor) and former activist/speechwriter colleague of Sorrento-Gillis
  • Fred Johnson, "The Butcher of Anderson Station” during UNN service, now leader of Tycho Station and an OPA faction leader
  • Anderson Dawes, an OPA leader
  • Camina Drummer, initially Head of Security at Tycho Station, then captain of OPA Behemoth
  • Diogo, a Belter who was a thief on Ceres, then an OPA soldier on Tycho and Behemoth
  • Klaes Ashford, a Belter pirate who becomes 2nd-in-command on OPA Behemoth at Anderson Dawes’ demand
  • Bobbie Draper, a Martian Marine gunnery sergeant
  • Praxideke “Prax” Meng, a botanist on Ganymede
  • Michael Souther, admiral in the United Nations Navy then commander of the UNN Agatha King in Jupiter Fleet
  • Augusto Nguyễn, admiral in the United Nations Navy


  • Belter is a person born on a station in the asteroid belt
  • Duster is a person born on Mars
  • Earther is a person born on Earth

Lang Belta

This is a fictional language created by Nick Farmer, also referred to as Belter Creole. Some frequently-used example words include:

  • beratna - brother
  • copeng - friend
  • mi sasa - I know, sasa ke? - know?
  • keya? - ...right? agree?
  • setara mali - an affectionate term used for children or younger people, little star
  • beltalowda - the people of the Belt
  • inyalowda - people of the Inner plants (Earth and Mars)
  • welwala - derogatory term, planet lover, a Belter obsessed with the Inners, a traitor to your people

Hand gestures are also essential to Belter communication; this is shown in S1e3 on Ceres Station, when a Belter repeatedly works with an Earther Star Helix police officer to match hand gestures when saying a phrase in Belter Creole.


The Expanse is often described as a critically acclaimed show, with a cult following particularly among members of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) community. A large amount of fan activity focuses on discussion of theories, episodes, and characters between the books and TV series; fans are active on sites like Reddit. There is also activity around learning the conlang Belter Creole.

Fans of the show often refer to themselves and their fandom as Screaming Firehawks. It's a name that character Alex Kamal originally suggested in canon, for the ship that eventually became the Rocinante.

The authors (under the single pseud James S.A. Corey) approve of fanfiction but have asked that writers not send them their fanfiction works.[1]

The Expanse Fandom Exchange was organized by Tumblr user the-roci in 2018. The exchange was open to several different types of creative format, including fics, gifsets, fanart, playlists and vids. See Announcement post.

Cosplay is a popular activity among Expanse fans. Many cosplay their favourite characters at conventions, with Mars, OPA and Canterbury uniforms common. In October 2018, fan Christina Ward organized The Expanse Cosplay Week 2018 on Twitter using @ExpanseCosplay. Submissions were taken on Twitter using the hashtag ExpanseCosplayWeek2018.


Midway through the third season, in May 2018 Syfy announced that it would not be renewing The Expanse for a fourth season. Many reports suggest that the decision was influenced by the fact Syfy did not hold the streaming rights for the series, and not enough fans were watching the show live.

Fans immediately began to organize a campaign to save the show, especially on Reddit and Discord. An online petition encouraging Netflix or Amazon to pick up the series gained over 130,000 signatures. Crowdfunding campaigns raised money to fly a Save the Expanse banner over Amazon studios, and to launch a model of the Rocinante ship to the edge of space.[2] Several celebrities who are Expanse fans, including George R.R. Martin, Wil Wheaton, and Patton Oswalt, tweeted their support for the series.[3]

The cast and crew of the Expanse were also very active on social media during this time, particularly Cas Anvar (Alex Kamal), thanking fans for their campaign and encouraging live viewings.

Amazon picked up the Expanse season 4 in May 2018.[4] In July 2019, the streaming service gave the series an early renewal for a fifth season, before its fourth season had aired, leading to much fan speculation.[5]

The sixth and final season aired on Amazon during December 2021 - January 2022. It is related to the sixth novel of the book series, and there is a decades-long time jump before the seventh novel begins.

See Also:


As of 2022, these are the most popular pairings on Ao3

  • Chrisjen Avasarala/Bobbie Draper
  • Jim Holden/Naomi Nagata
  • Camina Drummer/Naomi Nagata
  • Amos Burton/Alex Kamal
  • Amos Burton/Praxidike Meng
  • Amos Burton/Jim Holden


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  • food for thought by plalligator. Set post s2, this lovely story follows Bobbie's discovery of found family with Avasarala and Cotyar and has outstanding voices that ring true to the show. (Chrisjen Avasarala/Cotyar/Bobbie Draper, pre-slash or gen)
  • Gravity Well by SpinelessDragon. A short smutty fic with the popular pairing of Amos Burton/Alex Kamal.
  • White Collar War Crimes by Szcay. From the summary of the fic, an AU where the protomolecule has been destroyed, but it has already disturbed the balance of the system. Earth and Mars are launched into war, lasting only a few bitter months before Mars is defeated. Now the unchallenged masters of the system, Earth demands reparations from the defeated nation that affects the crew of the Roci in ways they couldn’t imagine. (Amos Burton/Alex Kamal)
    • Other works may use this AU setting, in which Martian expatriates are required to have an Earther sponsor in order to work and live outside Mars. These works can be dark fics or Slavery AUs.






  • The Expanse subreddit on Reddit
  • LangBelta subreddit for discussing and learning Belter Creole
  • The Expanse RP was an unofficial, fan-made roleplay board dedicated to roleplaying in the Expanse setting post the events of season 1. Fans created their own original characters be they Belters, Martians, or Earthers. This community had their own website and forum (archived link) and an associated twitter account @TheExpanseRp. This community was active in 2018 and 2019, but appears to be currently offline.

Archives & Fannish Links


  1. ^ From a tweet posted by @JamesSACorey, "Just FYI, I think people should do their thing, but if you write #TheExpanse fanfic please don't tell me or send it to me. I won't open it." March 2016
  2. ^ AS ‘THE EXPANSE’ OWNERS TALK WITH AMAZON, FANS READY A ROCI MODEL FOR SPACE TRAVEL posted on 22/5/18, accessed on 24/5/2018.
  3. ^ The Expanse: George RR Martin, Will Wheaton, and an astronaut call on Amazon and Netflix to renew show posted on 18/05/2018, accessed 54/05/2018.
  4. ^ ‘The Expanse’ Moves to Amazon for Season 4 posted on 25 May 2018, accessed on 27 May 2018.
  5. ^ The Expanse renewed for Season 5, discussion on Reddit.
  6. ^ As of June 2022, the YouTube link is not accessible (marked private), but the video is referenced in a Reddit post. Accessed 9 June 2022.