Narm / Fire Emblem: Three Houses
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Fire Emblem: Three Houses is by far the most expansive Fire Emblem to date, but it's a bit of a double edged sword as it allows for more unintentionally funny moments, at least some can even be invoked by the player.
- The Lord class's attack animation when running up to attack enemies while equipped a sword involves them essentially lightly tapping the enemy with the sword to do damage. While they have other animations, it's the most common one, and despite that the animation is intended to be reminiscent of how fencing swords (such as the Rapier) are wielded, it is very jarring for how silly it looks, given the context.
- Due to the timeskip, some support conversations unintentionally become hilarious when characters continue addressing events that occurred pre-timeskip. It makes it seem like characters have been stewing over events or failing to solve trivial problems, for five years. Especially egregious with Annette and Mercedes, where the ending of their B support, if unlocked in the school phase, makes it seem as if they were mad at each other for the entire timeskip. This is made even more awkward by the fact that, for some unexplainable reason, their A support is locked to after the timeskip, while their B support is not.
- If Annette is wielding her Hero Relic, and is in the right (or wrong) class, it might look like she's carrying around a giant mop instead of a powerful, legendary hammer.
- Characters talk about Edelgard's strong feelings for Byleth on the Azure Moon and Verdant Wind routes, and it is true that Byleth saved her life from the bandits in the prologue, which started her interest in them. The problem is that your opportunities to interact with house leaders that aren't your own are extremely limited after said prologue, so it seems like Edelgard is in love with Byleth because they saved her once and then said hello to her a few times in the intervening months.
- The cutscene when Kostas is defeated for the first time. After laying on the ground for a moment, he suddenly flips up with his band of thieves behind him... All of whom do nothing but stand there and cheer him on rather than fight beside him as he charges at Edelgard, making his gang look rather lazy.
- Making this scene even more awkward, what does Byleth do when they see this? They charge forward and push Edelgard away from harm, nearly taking the blow for her, if not for Sothis' interference. Yet not only did Edelgard take out a dagger to protect herself, which itself is a bit odd when she had an axe beforehand yet still means she could've protected herself nevertheless, Byleth had enough time to ready their weapon and block the attack with how long it took Kostas to reach Edelgard, which's exactly what they do when time is reversed. It was meant to introduce Divine Pulse into the story, but it ended up making Byleth look oddly incompetent. You really can't blame Sothis for being annoyed and chastising them over this.
- In general, the Gender-Neutral Writing might sound a bit awkward in English, particularly everyone referring to Byleth as Jeralt's "child" rather than son or daughter. Even in Jeralt's final moments, he refers to Byleth as "kid" if the Affectionate Nickname didn't strike any chords before, it's not going to there either. And even worse, in the journal you read right after this, he keeps referring to Byleth, his newborn baby, as "the child". It's especially odd when neither Robin or Corrin were written this way. It makes you wonder why they didn't just have the voice actors record those lines twice with "son" and "daughter" instead.
- The cutscene immediately preceding the timeskip on the Crimson Flower route. Byleth being injured and put into a coma for 5 years by Rhea transforming into a dragon and going berserk should be dramatic, but while the other routes end Part 1 with an anime cutscene, CF has to convey this moment with a CG illustration, text boxes and generic dialogue models, which don't work well for action scenes. Byleth wakes up in the next chapter the same way they do in the other paths too, with no explanation as to how their body moved.
- Edelgard's incredibly anemic rebuttal to Dimitri calling her out on her actions on the Crimson Flower route comes across as so tactless that it unintentionally becomes hilarious. The intent of the line was supposed to be her calling out Dimitri for the fact that he is just going to continue the cycle of conflict without trying to stop it, but the writers conveyed that in a way that makes it clearer how hypocritical it is, yet also makes it sound much sillier than it was intended.
Dimitri: Must you continue to conquer? Continue to kill?
Edelgard: Must you continue to reconquer? Continue to kill in retaliation?
- With the confirmation that Edelgard is indeed written as the sole villain of the story an argument can be made that this is supposed to show her hypocrisy. Which however begs the question why absolutely no one calls her out on how absolutely buckwild this argument is.
- The cutscene ending the penultimate chapter of the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes with Thales firing Javelins of Light at Shambhala in an attempt at Taking You with Me, and Rhea pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to stop them is fittingly dramatic up until it slowly zooms in on Thales' body crushed under the rubble sporting an incredibly goofy Jaw Drop expression.
- If you complete Mercedes and Caspar's paralogue on the Azure Moon route, you will get a bonus scene at the end of Chapter 20 in which Mercedes cradles her dying brother's head in tears. It's incredibly sad except for the fact that Jeritza's voice still has the Death Knight filter applied to it despite his mask clearly being removed in the CG.
- Can be forced by the player thanks to DLC items nothing says "Unintentional comedy" better than sporting attire.
- Lysithea's A support with Linhardt is heavy in what the actual meaning of it is, namely Linhardt asking her about choosing to die young with a Crest, or remove it and live a normal life. However, the writers decided to have Linhardt go about this by using sweets as his metaphor in it, with him being serious when saying things like how if she tries to have both sweets, his way of saying she cannot both have a Crest, and have a normal life, it will poison her. It can somewhat kill the deeper meaning because it's very difficult to get over how silly Lindhardt's analogy is, something that Lysithea is confused about In-Universe as well.
- Making someone the Dancer class can be this depending on the character, especially if they're more suited for direct combat and/or their character clashes with the Dancer class. Special mentions goes to the three house leaders, especially Dimitri, who still retains his Dancer class even during his radical change in demeanor after the timeskip.
- The loading screen tutorials can become this, depending on when they show in-between the route's storyline. For example: A tutorial about having tea time with your units (which specifically features Edelgard) can be largely ironic/darkly humorous if it shows up around the time of The Reveal that she was the Flame Emperor and is planning to wage war against the Church of Seiros, if playing any route but Crimson Flower.
- The reveal about the Flame Emperor's identity on the Blue Lions route can come across as very hilarious. During the reveal, Edelgard's shown wearing an oversized helmet that just BARELY shows off her face, and her figure does not fit the Flame Emperor armor. It isn't much better on the Golden Deer route, where what could have been a great reveal through sheer shock value is derailed by their helmet just unceremoniously vanishing into thin air without even the dignity of a proper movie.
- While they can be a Tear Jerker, Character Deaths can be this. When a character dies on the battlefield, the battle music abruptly stops and switches over to a somber tune as the dying character gives their final words. While tragic, this can also have the side-effect of veering into becoming melodramatic if the player didn't actually bother to build a relationship and get to know the character who died, particularly on a first play-through of the game. Granted, the fact that defeated characters only die after the Time Skip lessens this effect.
- Anytime someone says that Byleth somehow has a connection the goddess becomes ridiculous if they're dressed in the Sothis regalia. It just makes everyone look incredibly dense when the answer is glaringly obvious. Especially Macuil and Indechthey observe that they can sense Sothis' power within Byleth, but decide they should try to test it to make sure anyway.
- Dimitri's pre-timeskip greasy, noodle hair. It can be hard to take him seriously as a pristine, sensible person when he looks like he wore a headband for too long, or can't find a good hairstylist. It actually gets worse in his post-Timeskip look because his hair looks even more greasy. That combined with his new personality has the fans jesting that he doesn't bathe enough.
- Like the above, Lorenz and Leonie's pre-timeskip hair has also drawn jokes in the fandom, being compared to a melon and a pumpkin, respectively.
- Owing to the fact that the majority of characters share the same animations, we have Hapi using Hilda's, which sometimes happen during otherwise serious scenes, like Hapi telling Dimitri how she was experiment on as a child whilst twirling her hips and swaying from side to side.
- Randolph and Ladislava's deaths during the protection of Garreg Mach on Crimson Flower are meant to be seen as a terrible, tragic thing that reminds Edelgard of the terrible costs of warbut not only are they one-note NPCs who are only there for three chapters and do nothing of importance, they also die offscreen. Edelgard does get to have a final conversation with Randolph, but because it's done with the in-game cutscene graphics, she's filmed standing from the waist up and he isn't visible, so she looks like she's giving a tender, heartfelt sendoff to nothing in the most perfunctory way possible. Compare this to their deaths in the other three routes; Randolph's death in particular has more impact on Azure Moon than it does on the route where he was the player's ally.
- Dedue's name is hard to take seriously, thanks to how closely it sounds to "doo doo". Just hearing his name spoken can cause inappropriate giggling in the game's more dramatic moments.
- No character has a dedicated turning animation, instead doing a single stepping animation while the model rotates. This isn't so bad, or even noticeable, when the game is playing a normal or humorous scene since the characters are often looking at each other and turning away is often done quickly, but sometimes during somber and emotional scenes the game will try for a slow, dramatic turn around and it looks like the character is just spinning in a microwave.
Funny / Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Ingrid: When you were eight, you came on to my sweet, sweet granny! My GRANNY!
- Sylvain's response to the above does not help the situation when he admits that Ingrid's grandmother was gorgeous.
- Ingrid also mentions a time where he "Made eyes at that scarecrow", to which Sylvain claims it to be a "Sad and tragic accident."
Linhardt: And how necessary is charm? It just gets in the way of living your life.
Dorothea: If you lack charm, nobody will give you a second glance.
Linhardt: Right, which means more time for napping.
- In her C Support with Ferdinand, she starts having a panic attack while Ferdinand, in his own way, wants to help her get more social. This culminates in her shoving him to the ground and him potentially spraining his wrist. While he doesn't blame her in the slightest, she now worries that she's marked herself as his "eternal rival."
- In her C Support with Edelgard, she decides to start taking notes on how to be more confident by following the future emperor's example. She decides the best way to do this is to follow her throughout the day. This leaves the usually unflappable Edelgard exasperated.
- After an otherwise heartwarming C support with Byleth, she descends into panicked denial when Byleth asks if she was singing in the greenhouse the other day. She runs off in embarrassment.
Bernadetta: Useless! Worthless! Unmarriageable! Augh!
- In her C Support with Sylvain, he starts praising the book she had written and left behind in the library, but she's so shocked that she left it out in the open she goes catatonic and misses most of his praise. When she finally comes to and runs away, she starts musing she'll have to burn the book and briefly entertains burning him too to get rid of all the evidence before she snaps out of it.
- In her C Support with Hubert, he tells Bernadetta that there had been a figure walking around in the middle of the night with a needle. When Bernadetta says that she'd been embroidering, Hubert states he suspected as much, and she leaves him no choice. Bernadetta immediately flees, as Hubert slowly gives chase like he's a horror movie villain. When Hubert catches up, he fulfills his duty... to tell her that she shouldn't be running around with that needle or she would poke herself or someone else. Bernadetta is so shocked/terrified that she passes out while standing up.
- It gets even better in her B support with Hubert, whereupon she asks Hubert to stop trying not to scare her because she needs to face her own fears. Hubert obliges and releases the most hilariously over-the-top Evil Laugh possible, scaring Bernie out of her wits and causing her to immediately retract her request.
- In her C Support with Ingrid, Ingrid tries to get her out of her room in order to attend training. When Bernadetta refuses, Ingrid simply kicks the door down, terrifying Bernadetta into compliance, since if Ingrid is willing to kick a door down just to get at a classmate, what would she do to someone she truly doesn't like?
Ingrid: Don't ask questions you don't want answers to.
- In her C Support with Felix, she's so terrified of him that when she sees his sword, she panics and disarms Felix before running away. Felix's response? To watch in awe because he's never seen that technique before. He even approaches her in B support to ask her to teach him what she did. Better yet, it apparently involves "waving her arms around like a madman" for a few seconds.
- Bernadetta and Raphael's C support starts with Bernadetta trying to play an instrument in the privacy of the greenhouse. She jokingly asks the flowers what they thought of her performance, and is predictably freaked out when she gets a response.
Bernadetta: Isn't that right, little flower? You're the only one who heard, aren't you? What did you think?
Raphael: That was amazing!
Bernadetta: (shrieks) Why's your voice so deep?!
- Bernadetta and Petra's B rank support. Starting with Bernie lamenting that she is on hunting duty, Until Petra appears and begins to guide her on how to hunt. One such way involves comparing hunting to collecting vegetables, in her own words: "You take the blade in your hand and take the lives of the vegetables". Which results in Bernadetta to panic about being a "Vegetable Murderer". It all seems to look up with Petra's knowledge until the hunting itself. In which Bernie is chased by a RABBIT she is hunting!
Bernadetta:[in panic] No! stay back! I'm sorry mister rabbit! I didn't mean it! [sobbing] Why are you the one chasing me!? Ow!
- Bernadetta and Alois' C-support opens with Alois wondering how to approach Bernadetta... only for Bernadetta to talk casually and friendly with him and Alois was so distracted that he didn't realize that Bernadetta had just talked to him.
- Bernadetta makes a Hurricane of Puns involving her name in her support with Seteth.
Bernadeta: Bernie's all "Berned" out now. I guess if they're no good, we'll just have to "Bern" 'em all, eh? Heh-heh.
Seteth: Let's... leave the topic of burning aside for now, shall we?
- The 1.2.0 update added a new support partner for Bernadetta. Who is it? Jeritza, the Death Knight!
- Bernadetta somehow manages to get along with him easier than most of the rest of her classmates.
- In her C support she can't seem to wrap her head around the fact that Jeritza is the same person as "Professor Jeritza" who taught at the school before the timeskip. And then, in her B support she does, as she calls it, "detective work" to find out who Jeritza really is and "discovers" that he's the Death Knight a fact that, as Jeritza points out,everyone already knew.
- Bernadetta is afraid of, or intimidated by, pretty much everyone. Jeritza believes he's a threat to pretty much everyone, including his own sister. And yet, Bernadetta walks right up to the Death Knight, and quickly tries to befriend him, claiming they're kindred spirits.
Ferdinand: Ah, Dorothea! The dining hall seems so much brighter with you here.
Dorothea: Ferdie! I must say, you are quite adept with flattery. Please, give me some more.
- And later in the same conversation, it's her bluntness in tone that really sells it:
Dorothea: You got it right on the first try. I hate you.
Sylvain: How do I say this without digging myself any deeper?
- Their entire support chain is generally emotional, but another hilarious moment comes at the end of their B-support. After confiding in each other how their Crests have ruined their lives, they proceed to joke about the silly fixation their culture has on Crests.
Mercedes: Oh Sylvain, will you save me from the burdens of having a Crest?!
Sylvain: Oh, yes! I think I love you, Mercedes, and I mean that! Let's get married and have Crest babies!
Mercedes: Sure, sure.
- For more humor with a touch of irony, if you get their paired ending, they do get married, but their oldest child doesn't actually have a Crest.
- In their supports, Claude overhears Annette singing about flowers and proceeds to give her a full literary analysis and critique of the song, somehow warping it into a bleak observation of death and mortality. He is genuinely intrigued when she exclaims that her song was only about flowers growing out of the earth.
- Something similar happens in her supports with Felix, who overhears her singing about food. In their B support he questions her about the song and the dance steps she was doing while singing - because of his naturally sarcastic demeanor, Annette assumes he's mocking her and storms away in a temper, baffling Felix who was genuinely interested.
Annette: YOU'RE EVIL, FELIX!note In the Japanese version, she screams "BAKA BAKA BAKA!" at him
Felix: OK, go ahead, protect me. But if you act like a fool and get yourself killed, I'll kill you.
Dedue: How can you kill me, if I am already dead?
Felix: I... You-you know what I meant!
- The entire B-support is side-splittingly hilarious, just because they both treat the matter like life and death. They seriously talk as if Sylvain bailing Dimitri out is akin to him going to war.
Sylvain: Relax, Your Highness. Relax. I'll sort this whole thing out, real easy. All we have to do is figure out how to make this girl lose interest in you. And making girls lose interest is what I'm best at! You just wait right there, and I'll fix everything.
Dimitri: It was my naiveté that brought this about. I cannot place this immense burden on your shoulders...
Sylvain: This is no job for an amateur. You need a professional's help. Trying to do everything yourself has never served you so well, so just leave this to the master. Even the dagger incident could have been avoided if you had just talked with me beforehand.
Sylvain: A knight of Faerghus never goes back on his word...isn't that right?
Dimitri: You're a good man, Sylvain. I'm sorry to do this to you.
Sylvain: Please, Your Highness. I've spent years honing my skills for just this situation. Watch and learn.
- Even funnier, if this support is opened right after the five-year time skip, it turns from a serious question of whether or not Dimitri angered some Imperial soldiers to Dimitri awkwardly revealing that it's not. Mood Whiplash at its finest.
- "The dagger incident" is likely referring to Dimitri attempting to woo Edelgard when they were kids by giving her a knife as a farewell gift. Take your pick over what's funnier—that Dimitri is still mortified over it, or that Sylvain was apparently a casanova even back then.
Sylvain: When I saw you, I just had to come over and say hello because finding you here...feels like fate. Maybe we could go get some tea. Get to know each other better?
Woman: I think you must have mistaken me for someone else. Someone who cares. Please excuse me.
Lorenz: Exquisite. Simply masterful. When is the wedding?
- The B Support follows up with her being absolutely mortified because he had run around to all her friends to see how they felt about her and make sure she was getting along with everyone... even threatening an unspecified boy that is implied to be Sylvain for looking at her with leering eyes.
Claude: Ah, of course! Good ol' Dorte.
Linhardt: As capable as you are striking. Next to you I am a mere infant.
Ferdinand: Oh, you are far too kind... Although I do work hard each day to achieve all of which you speak.
Linhardt: You've mastered all the important noble skills. You drink tea, talk about how great you are, ride horses...
Ferdinand: Indeed! I went for a ride earlier today.
Linhardt: Is that so? You'll have to tell me about it sometime, when I'm not walking away...
(Linhardt walks away.)
Raphael: I'm so tough! I'm gonna stand my ground! I don't need help from anyone! And when things don't go my way, I'm gonna act all sad and moody!
Raphael: I can't believe I was so mean to my muscles! I need to make it up to them! I gotta go eat some food so my muscles can get the nutrition they need! And I can't waste any more time talking about it!
Dimitri: Hold on! What happened to your muscle pain? And if you eat too much, you'll give yourself a stomachache! Uh oh... He's headed straight for the stairs. I thought he could hardly walk with his muscles in that state...
Raphael: *offscreen* Aaghh! My muscles!
- Made better by Manuela saying all of this, and Byleth's only reaction is for their eyebrows to shoot to the top of their head.
- Their B support manages to top it: as Manuela laments her poor luck with men, Byleth manages to assure her that the problem is not her appearance. When she asks if the problem is her personality, one option has Byleth simply averting their eyes and trailing off into dead silence. She somehow managed to rationalize this to mean that she should have more flaws, to which the only response is a flat NO.
Edelgard: Your Majesty, you must know your supreme talents are needed at present. Why not gaze at these documents instead of the sky?
- Earlier in their B support, Edelgard complains to Byleth about how much work she needs done and how she simply wants to take a break and eat sweets. If Byleth responds, "Such are the burdens of an emperor," not only does she remark about how they sound like Hubert, Hubert's support goes up, implying that he's secretly listening in on their conversation.
Linhardt: So it's as I said, then, isn't it? The tallest fighter has the advantage...and my father could beat yours in a fight.
- Even more amusing after the timeskip, where despite Caspar undergoing a growth spurt while Linhardt remains the same height, the latter is STILL taller. Caspar will comment on his increase of height if you get the support post-timeskip, but still ends up losing badly.
Mercedes: I thought you might end up bending some needles if you tried mending this on your own, but... How did you manage to break a pair of scissors?
- This support isn't timeskip locked, so it's very possible for the giant, formerly bloodthirsty king to be grumbling about his inability to sew.
Claude: See, there's a graveyard over here. Might run into some of those ghoooosts you hate so mu-he-he-ch...!
- Even better, during a Reddit AMA, Joe Zieja admitted the chuckle was unscripted. They clearly liked it, because they left it in!
Leonie: Now, hold on! How come it's not rude for you to just pass ''me'' by?! Look at me! I'm a girl, you know!
Sylvain: Uh... Oh, I see. A girl. You're... a girl. Huh.
Anna: Cut him in half like my prices!
- In their A support, Manuela walks in on Seteth praying to Saint Cethleann, and comes to the conclusion that he's in love with her. While she attempts to console him on how hard it must be to have feelings for someone who died hundreds of years ago, Seteth just stands there looking like he wants to die. Knowing that Seteth and Flayn are actually Cichol and Cethleann makes it even funnier.
Dorothea: Well done, Caspar! You're such a cute little boy! I'm proud to have you as a sibling!
Caspar: I'm not cute, and I'm NOT little. How would you feel if I made YOU call me "big bro"?
Dorothea: Oh? Well, I wouldn't mind that at all, big bro.
Dorothea: Something wrong, big bro?
Caspar: Ughhh, this is the WORST. (runs off as Dorothea laughs)
- For the B-Support in particular, Lorenz before he realizes Manuela put his poetry to lyrics makes a comment on how Manuela would be able to fit into high society...had it not been for drinking and lack of manners.
Seteth: I seem to recall, also, that you declined to participate in a mock battle. That was due to a headache, yes?
Hilda: I have a very fragile body, you see. [obviously fake and exaggerated coughing] Its so kind of everyone to be accommodating.
- The C support starts with Byleth approaching Jeritza as he is eating ice cream in the lunch hall. Byleth just walks up and stares in disbelief at the Death Knight, just casually eating something sweet. Jeritza's reaction is more or less a blunt, "What? I can't enjoy sweets?"
Jeritza: If you need something, spit it out. My ice cream is melting.
- The A-support starts with him fantasizing about a duel to the death with Byleth. Out loud. His tone makes it clear that he'd find it quite enjoyable. We don't get to see Byleth's expression, but their only response ("Do you...really want to keep going with this?") is surprisingly amusing.
- This is then immediately followed up with Felix's genuinely upset-sounding deflection of Lysithea's attempts to justify the bribe in the first place.
Lysithea: If people knew I was shoveling cake into my face by the fistful, they'd think me nothing more than a child!
Felix: Adults eat cake.
- Flayn then counters that one sure way for Claude to get a reaction out of Seteth would be for him to ask for permission to marry her. Claude immediately shuts own the idea because he doesn't want to deal with the ramifications, and when Claude tries to change the topic Flayn gets clearly annoyed.
Ferdinand: You are an imperial beauty. Please accept me as your hus—
Edelgard:HALT FERDINAND! There is a time and place for everything....but that time is not now.
Memes / Fire Emblem: Three Houses
I have something to ask of you.
Memes involving Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Please add entries in the following format:
- The meme. Explanation The explanation behind the meme.
- Further mutations and successor memes, if any.
Due to the sheer number of memes that Three Houses has generated, this page has been split into multiple sections.
- After the 2/13/19 Direct, people began comparing the game to Harry Potter due to the Player Character being a teacher training students on how to use weapons and spells, culminating in jokes about your character being "the next Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher." The titular Three Houses being the houses that the students at the Officer's Academy are sorted into helps quite a bit. Comparisons to the dorms at Kaiba's Duel Academy are also common for similar reasons.
- Edgy Pokémon GO. note Similarly, some fans were quick to point out that the three houses and their leaders' colors, personalities and fan reception very much fits those of GO's Teams Valor, Mystic, and Instinct. Upon finding similarities, the fandom quickly started joking about either the Team leaders swapping places with the House leaders or in general making GO more humorously dark.
- Persona: Three Houses/Persona 3 Housesnote Alternatively, there have been comparisons to the Persona series, especially given the Academy Phase's focus on time management via various social activities. As with the GO example above, it's common to compare each of the houses to the Persona games they share colors with, which as noted under Friendly Fandoms in the YMMV page has made it surprisingly coincidental that they also share themes: Persona 3 and the Blue Lions are about setting aside personal tragedies in the past to fight for a better future, Persona 4 and the Golden Deer are about seeking the truth and seeing through various lies and deceptions, and Persona 5 and the Black Eagles are about reforming society by going after corrupt individuals, even if it means using less-than-ethical methods. As a final nail in the coffin, the 22 Crests have been confirmed to be based on the 22 Major Arcana, which Persona also uses.
- The game's promotion/class change system takes the form of exams, which was demonstrated by having Edelgard take the "Brigand Exam", spawning many jokes about how various brigands from the previous games were actually highly educated with degrees in Banditry.
- "Hoes Mad". Explanation Whenever people complain about the quantity of Fire Emblem content on Nintendo's Twitter, the fanbase is quick to respond with this image. This meme got more use after Byleth was revealed for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at a point in time where the meme was already being used for the Dragon Quest Hero's reveal and had since had several variations.
- Every single one of the generic NPC lines, because you hear them a lot when exploring the monastery. You'll even hear the "happy" ones when everything about the monastery is somber after Jeralt dies. The more narm-tastic ones in particular caught on even faster for various reasons.
- "If the teacher doesn't arrive in five years, we are legally allowed to kill each other."Explanation A spin on a memetic myth about being able to leave class without being considered absent/getting in (legal) trouble if the teacher hasn't shown up to start class within the fifteen minutes that it's supposed to have begun.
- No dog petting? Game's trash. Explanation Nearly everyone's response (some joking, others not) to learning that you can't pet the dog was to trash the game, claim they're returning it, rate it 0 out of 10, and so on. Feeding dogs and cats was later added with the third wave of DLC.
- Lost Items Explanation The in-game hints for finding the owners of Lost Items are often extremely vague or could apply to more than one recipient. But since there's no penalty for selecting an incorrect Lost Item, players often brute force the problem by trying every Lost Item on a student.
- Showering students with flowers Explanation Offering Gifts to students is the easiest way to get their Support up for recruitment, and players receive a large amount of flowers from Gardening through normal gameplay.
- Tea Time. Explanation As people have discovered some of the more complex or even ridiculous tea time requests, many have taken to photoshopping entirely different or unrelated characters into the default Tea Time background, ranging from Oliver to Jotaro Kujo.
- MaleDancersExplanation For the first time ever in the main series, the fan-favorite Dancer class is no longer gender-locked. Characters like Felix, Dimitri, Sylvain, and Dedue immediately became popular candidates for the role despite or because of their in-game protests.
- Lizard PeopleExplanation Overall description for Rhea, Seteth, and Flayn; being high up in power, shady about it, and having green hair with green eyes as a genetic code for... something. Made even funnier with The Reveal that they're actually dragons.
- Dubstep Emblem Explanation The soundtrack to Three Houses uses EDM/dubstep elements liberally, despite taking place in an Enlightenment-adjacent fantasy world, especially in Shambhala. Fans frequently chant Dubstep Emblem in the comments section of any OST uploads to express enthusiasm, bemusement, or surprise at the combination.
- Those who rave in the dark Explanation A Fan Nickname for those who slither in the dark due to this.
- Manservice! Explanation Many players have noted how the Brawler, Grappler, and War Master outfits are easily the most revealing outfits in the game, with said classes being male-locked. For reference, the most Fanservicey class outfit the females get is the Gremory, which is a sexy, but still modest dress that covers most of their body.
- The [x] house:
- Black Eagles, the Waifu house Explanation To a lesser extent, the Black Eagles house have been joked to being a house filled with female characters who are "Waifu" material due to their designs and personalities.
- Black Eagles, the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual House Explanation Majority of the same sex S-support options originate from this house and/or are exclusive to this route, those being Edelgard, Dorothea, Linhardt, and as of DLC wave 3, Jeritza (although he technically belongs to the Church of Seiros, he is only playable on Crimson Flower). In addition, Mercedes of the Blue Lions was born in Adrestia and thus is considered an honorary part of the Black Eagles for this purpose. Beyond that, there is also some Ho Yay subtext between same-sex pairs such as Ferdinand & Hubert (who sometimes gets tagged as asexual), Linhardt & Caspar, and Petra & Dorothea.
- Blue Lions, the Otome/Husbando house Explanation Unlike the other two houses, the Blue Lions are predominantly male, and each of them can be interpreted as archetypes common in Otome games. Cue jokes about the Blue Lions being a house of Otome game love interests.
- The Boys Love house Explanation Referring to the Blue Lions house as the Boys Love house has become a steady growing meme due to both terms sharing the same abbreviation BL. It also helps that the Fan-Preferred CoupleSylvain/Felix as well as the Ambiguously Bi Dedue and Dimitri reside in Blue Lions. With the reveal of Yuri Leclerc being from Faerghus, him being another Gay Option for Byleth and his being a former Blue Lions member before being moved into the Abyss, this only adds to it.
- Golden Deer, the Meme house Explanation Golden Deer fans have noticed how the house has a high proportion of characters who are a Fountain of Memes, especially Claude. Additionally, Joe Zieja, the voice of Claude, has been known to embrace Memetic Mutation, which is apparent from his community involvement and Golden Deer propaganda.
- Ashen Wolves, the Sewer Kids/Rats/Mole People Explanation As the Ashen Wolves live underground, fans often associate them with sewers, rats, and all manner of vaguely creepy things. Fire Emblem-themed snowclones of "We're the rats" have proven especially popular.
- Black Eagles, the Waifu house Explanation To a lesser extent, the Black Eagles house have been joked to being a house filled with female characters who are "Waifu" material due to their designs and personalities.
- "Ball is life."Explanation The second wave of DLC added in a new outfit for the students called "House Loungewear", which looks too similar to basketball jerseys or PE uniforms. Named after a meme about people loving basketball too much to the point of it controlling nearly every aspect of their lives.
- This is definitely NOT the Three Houses OSTExplanation A reaction to Nintendo's copyright striking crusade against essentially everyone that tried to upload the game's soundtrack on Youtube as part of a massive purge. Many channels try to get around it by claiming it's not a music track from the game, simply by saying it isn't in the title. Fans of games with similar copyright striking crusades have also begun to resort to this tactic, such as with Final Fantasy VII Remake.
- On This Very Wiki, some of the memes on this page have been used as gagsforafewvoiceactorpages.
- Karen Explanation An Original Character created by Erica Lindbeck, originating from this tweet. Even though she's not an actual character in the game, shewasembraced and became a Memetic Badass. Became Hilarious in Hindsight when Karen turned into a catch-all term for an obnoxious woman in 2020.
- A picture in which Edelgard and Dimitri are trying to kill each other while Claude is doing something funny. Explanation Which summarizes the relation between the three lords nicely.
- "Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a game about war."Explanation The caption to any number of pictures featuring the wackier aspects of the game, especially as the DLC started coming out, which featured things like maid outfits and loungewear◊.
- "No beta we die like Glenn" Explanation "No beta we die like men" is a phrase often used by fanfic authors to indicate that their story hasnt been read by a beta reader generally a friend or acquaintance acting as an amateur editor prior to being posted. Three Houses writers started jokingly using this phrase instead.
- "Ah, yes, you want Zapdos!!!" Explanation A popular Memetic Mutation of God-Shattering Star.
- "We could ride in a yacht or fall with a frog on slippery floor. Slippery floor. Have a martini. Or be a fly." Explanation A less popular, but still well-known, Memetic Mutation of the lyrics to "God Shattering Star".
- The Three NoblesExplanation One True Threesome of Ferdinand/Sylvain/Lorenz that began popping up in the JPN fanbase and eventually spread to the west. Ever since Constance was introduced, she's occasionally replaced Sylvain as the third noble.
- Honorary X House Member Explanation (spoilers!) A meme in the western fanbase of varying seriousness in which fans claim characters are canon recruits of a certain house based on their connections to a location or characters from it. For example, Lysithea is considered an honorary Black Eagle due to being the only non-Black Eagle student that can have a support and ending with Edelgard as well as them both having backstories that cause them to sympathize with one another, should she be recruited. Even the DLC characters dont escape this with Constance being considered an honorary Black Eagle (Or an Silver Snow aligned character due to her opposition of Edelgard), Hapi being an honorary Blue Lion and Balthus being an honorary Golden Deer, this all being supported by characters they can support as well as the lords of those respective houses they can have an ending with. Yuri is more of a special case, however due to originally being from Faerghus, some Blue Lions fans claim hes an honorary Blue Lion. The fact that he was actually formerly a member of the Blue Lions when he originally enrolled into the academy only solidifies him as this with some fans.
- Sewer Trio Explanation In the Cindered Shadows DLC, Linhardt, Ashe and Hilda are the only members playable from each of their respective houses along with their house leaders. This rather odd trio are hilariously portrayed as a new Power Trio who are coincidentally found wandering at night and just so happen to have connection with the Ashen Wolves and knowledge about the Abyss and the Rite of Rebirth in some ways.
- The Faerghus Four / The Childhood Friend Quartet Explanation A nickname that has popped up for the childhood friend faction of the Faerghus characters Dimitri, Ingrid, Felix and Sylvain as a group.
- House Leader Impressions Explanation In different supports, Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude jokingly imitate different people's voices, specifically Hubert, Catherine and Marianne respectively. Some range from pretty simple to downright hilarious. People have joked that this is a requirement in order to be considered a true house leader. Yuri even gets in on the fun when he imitates Bernadetta's voice in a group task scene.
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- Edelgard's speech on how the crests are ruining the world generated some humorous parodies during pre-release, ranging from parodying one of Anakin's lines as "From my point of view, the crests are all evil!", to Edelgard expressing anger◊at the popular toothpaste brand Crest.
- People comparing Edelgard's appearance, house colors, personality traits, and plot or character beats to Daenerys Targaryen. This only intensified after the reveal of her timeskip design, and intensified even further once she was revealed to fit firmly into the Rudolf archetype.
- Edelgard's portrait of Byleth Explanation Edelgard's interest in Byleth has been prominently featured throughout the game, particularly on the Black Eagles route where the player can actually see her hidden Adorkable side in her interactions. This picks up momentum following the timeskip during a cutscene, in which Byleth notices something on Edelgard's desk in her bedroom, later on revealed to be a portrait Edelgard painted some time ago of them. Her flustered reactions over claiming that the portrait is disgraceful prompted many fans to imagine what the portrait is at full view and whether it really is as disgraceful as Edelgard claims or if she is a decent artist but wound up projecting some... less than pure intentions on Byleth's portrait.
- Edelgard of the Rebellion.Explanation The similarities between Edelgard and Lelouch have not gone unnoticed by the fandom.
- "MUST YOU CONTINUE TO RECONQUER? CONTINUE TO KILL IN RETALIATION?" / "Just stop defending yourself LOL." Explanation (Crimson Flower spoilers!) A very poorly translated line said by Edelgard to Dimitri in the penultimate mission of Crimson Flower and fan paraphrase. It turned memetic when fans, even those sympathetic to Edelgard, mocked her for using Insane Troll Logic to push the consequences of her conquest on the conquered.
- Bisexual Disaster Explanation Because Edelgard is canonically bisexual, she is frequently paired with female Byleth, the pairing itself popular among the LGBT community. In many fanart and fanfiction pieces depicting their romance, because of her inner Adorkable side, Edelgard is oftenportrayed as a frequently flustered Smitten Teenage Girl driven by her hormones whenever she's around her teacher. Her cute reactions turn Up to Eleven when Byleth catches her amidst her adoration and lust.
- Emperor Maid-elgard. Explanation The third wave of DLC featured the ability to dress characters up in servant-wear, which meant that all female characters would be done-up in maid outfits, and the pun was too good to resist for the internet.
- Edelgard's height. Explanation Edelgard is among the shortest characters in the game, standing at only 5'2 tall pre- and post-timeskip. Thus fans have a field day at the fact that one of the most influential characters in the story is shorter than most of her allies/enemies.
- Feralgard Explanation A meme thats popped up in the fanbase has Edelgard switching roles with post-time skip "Feral" Dimitri before his redemption, even down to wearing similar attire or her time-skip design combined with his. She's often drawn wearing an eyepatch as well, as he did on Azure Moon.
- Edelgard pads her armor. Explanation Datamining revealed that Edelgard has the third-smallest bust post-timeskip, even though she doesn't look that small compared to characters with a larger bust than her. This led to jokes that Edelgard has A-Cup Angst and is trying to make her bust look bigger to compensate. Best exemplified in this comic
- "Teacher, you're alright. Don't come to the monastery tomorrow." Explanation Believed to have been posted on 4chan by a school shooter, the phrase "Some of you guys are alright, don't come to school tomorrow" became an extremely dark joke. Naturally, this led to jokes for Crimson Flower attributing it to Edelgard.
- Edelgard's forehead. Explanation Edelgard's hairstyle leaves her forehead uncovered. Naturally, like Haru Okumura from Persona 5, this led to many jokes at how big her forehead is.
- Ive been defeated, but I cant fall here. I must make my retreat! Explanation As an enemy, Hubert is one of the few students who's fought very frequently during the story, and up until his final appearance, every time he retreats in Part II he spouts some variation of the line in question. On the Azure Moon route in particular, Hubert can be fought up to seven times before he finally kicks the bucket.
- Bernie Explanation During the Nintendo Treehouse event on day 2 at the Three Houses gameplay showcase, the woman playing the game referred to Bernadetta as "Bernie". Cue 2020 jokes (she actually does refer to herself as Bernie in-game).
- "I can't think of a clever title for this post, but i put in a lot of effort, so just upvote it"Explanation This little video parodying Bernadetta's rather lusting fandom became a massive hit among the community due to its absurdity and overall length.
- Burnadetta. Explanation (Azure Moon/Verdant Wind Spoilers!) Continuing the Running Gag of people being set on fire, the Post-Timeskip Battle of Gronder Field sees the fort Bernadetta stands on set on fire by Edelgard. The fact that her name sounds like "Burn" only served to fan the flames.
- Bernadetta writes fanfics. Explanation Bernadetta and Sylvain's support is based around how Sylvain likes Bernadetta's written story in their C-support and is genuine in wanting Bernadetta to go on her endeavors of being an author come their B-support, creating jokes like this with Sylvain as the avid reader begging for Bernadetta to update her story, an interaction often found in the fanfiction writing community, going around the Fire Emblem community.
- Due to Bernadetta's love for carnivorous plants, plenty of fanart has depicted her alongside a Piranha Plant.
- Linhardt, the lovechild of LynandReinhardt. Explanation Reinhardt and Lyn's Brave variation were known for being one of the deadliest Game-Breaker duos in Fire Emblem Heroes. When a trailer showed Linhardt, whose name sounds like a Portmanteau Couple Name and whose hair is slicked back like Reinhardt's and green and ponytailed like Lyn's, and the trailer using Linhardt specifically choosing to master in riding on horseback and magic, people joked that the devs had canonized them as a ship and given them a child.
- Linhardt is baby. Explanation During his C Support with Ferdinand, Linhardt refers to himself as an infant during his Sarcasm Mode toward the oblivious Ferdinand. Naturally, the fandom rolled with the line.
- "I am Ferdinand von Aegir."Explanation The voice line Ferdinand speaks pre-timeskip when he's picked while his health is mostly to entirely full, made memetic thanks to Billy Kametz's delivery of the line. You're probably going to hear it a lot. The line is actually hammier in Japanese. Naturally, when the line was not included in the English dub of Fire Emblem Heroes, many fans were disappointed, especially as the line is spoken once again in Japanese.
- Ferdie Sanders. Explanation In Ferdinand's A-support with Edelgard, he brings up the idea of free universal education for commoners, which surprises and impresses Edelgard. It also brings to mind some of Bernie Sanders's education policies, and given that the politician is a very memetic figure, the similarities were noticed. "Ferdie" also comes from Dorothea's nickname for him.
- Ferdinand is a bee. Explanation In Ferdinand's supports with Dorothea, he asks her why she hates him, and she gives him the cryptic hint that he's "like a bee". This has since been adopted by many fans.
- Ya like jazz? Explanation Ferdinand's supports with Dorothea end on a romantic note and their support chain is bookended by comparisons between Ferdinand and a bee, so it was inevitable that a connection would be made to one (in)famously memetic moment of Interspecies Romance in Bee Movie.
- Dorothea issecretly a Joestar. Explanation Pre-timeskip, Dorothea wears a Nice Hat that strongly resembles Jotaro Kujo's. Cue the countless barrage of JoJo memes that followed.
- "Hoes mad, hoes mad, hoes mad..."Explanation While the meme is used more generally within the game community, Dorothea is a prominent poster girl of the meme because Allegra Clark, her English voice actress, once sang a short song with nothing but "Hoes Mad" as its lyrics, and Dorothea is a singer. The song gets repeated often by her or gets put on Dorothea for good measure.
- Comrade Dorothea.Explanation Since Dorothea is the only non-noble member of the Black Eagles (Petra starts out in the Commoner class, but she's still the princess of a foreign nation) and makes no secret of how much she disdains the nobility, many jokes have been made about her being a revolutionary in waiting. It's helped along by a very exploitable moment in her and Ferdninand's C-Support: "I hate you."◊
- "YOU WILL BE SLAPPED DOWN!" Explanation One of Petra's critical quotes in the game. The fanbase immediately picked up on it because of how absolutely silly it sounded.
- "Hoes are feeling the mad" Explanation Petra's rendition for the "Hoes Mad" meme, thanks to Faye Matagiving her take on the meme while staying in-character. The phrase tends to get mixed in whenever one wants to express 'Hoes Mad'.
- Punished Dimitri Explanation Post time-skip, Dimitri resembles Punished Snake from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
- "Kill every last one of them!" Explanation A line said by post-timeskip Dimitri during the E3 2019 trailer. This particular line of dialogue quickly turned memetic, using it for overly aggressive reactions, joking about treating every map as a "rout the enemy" to gain experience, or simply to make fun of Dimitri for being over-the-top.
- Dimitri eats weeds. Explanation If you choose Dimitri and Dedue for armor training pre-timeskip, Dimitri comments that edible plants sometimes grow intermingled with weeds. Dedue warns him not to eat the weeds, to which Dimitri simply responds "I am just saying..." The weirdness of it all has been compared to Chrom's memetic eating of an orange with the peel on, with people joking that Dimitri especially post-timeskip just loves chomping down on weeds and survived his vagrant period by subsisting on them.
- "Is this some kind of twisted joke?" Explanation (Azure Moon Spoilers!) Everything about Dimitri's reaction to learning the identity of the Flame Emperor quickly became a meme, from this line, to his facial expression and laugh, to the ensuing massacre that follows.
- Rescue romance without the romance! Explanation Fans being incredibly irritated that you can't get an S Support with Dimitri as male!Byleth. Sometimes taken to the extent of saying that Byleth deliberately reset time and came back as a woman in an Azure Moon New Game+ solely so s/he could finally marry Dimitri.
- "Uno Reverse"/"No u"Explanation In Dimitri's S-support, in response to Dimitri offering her a ring, female Byleth offers him one in turn. Or, to put it another way, she responds to his proposal by proposing back. Fans immediately ran with it for cute shipping/humor purposes.
- "Dimitri murders woman."Explanation One Twitter user claimed Dimitri was misogynistic due to the events of the Blue Lions route, claiming he murdered women as evidence. Once the Fire Emblem community found this, it quickly took off for the sheer Insane Troll Logic, and people used it to joke about how evil they were for doing anything in-game now.
- Dimitri of the Counterattack.Explanation Just like Edelgard and Lelouch, there's been comparisons between Dimitri and Suzaku.
- Cheese Gremlin Dimitri Explanation (Spoilers!) Dimitri likes all the cheesy dishes in the Dining Hall despite not being able to taste anything. Combined with his line about striking down thieves "even if it means becoming a rat myself" and this joke, drawings of post-time skip Dimitri as a feral cheese-hoarding gremlin have become increasingly common. Plus, Edelgard's deathly afraid of rats...
- Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd = DABExplanation People took notice of his full name's acronym and thus it's popular to depict him as Totally Radical and trying his hardest to stay on top of the most recent fad memes.
- "I hope this month is peaceful." "I cannot allow it."Explanation After the mission at Remire village, Dedue and Dimitri will share their thoughts during Exploration time about it. Due to how their interactions are given a small sentence that acts as a summary of what the topic is, it's actually Dimitri talking about what happened to the village, but it makes it look like Dimitri is telling Dedue that Violence Is the Only Option since they are right next to each other.
- Dimitri's strength. Explanation Dimitri's brute strength is quite often exaggerated in art, such as breaking bones (or outright killing) his peers from simple movements like slaps on the back or arm-wrestling.
- Dedue's seeds.Explanation In the beginning of the game, Dedue requests that you plant his vegetable seeds in the green house. Fans immediately took this out of context by instead of vegetable seeds, it's... something else.
- Initial Dedue / Helicopter Dedue Explanation Dedue's Brawler + Grappler critical hit animation has him spin around a bunch of times before hitting the unlucky foe. this video exploited this fact and helped make it even more popular.
- Ingrid, the Otome Game protagonist.Explanation With the reveal of her bio that she is Childhood Friends with Dimitri, Felix, and Sylvain, many started joking about her being the otome game protagonist; being designed by Chinatsu Kurahana, who is known for her works on otome games, and being voiced by Manaka Iwami, who voices Tohru Honda in the 2019 animated adaptation of Fruits Basket, didn't help either.
- Ingrid the Racist. Explanation One of her dislikes is the people of Duscur. In game, this is due to very personal reasons in her backstory. Some fans instead exaggerate her discrimination, particularly towards Dedue, to comically and annoyingly absurd degrees. This meme has further mutated as her being the "CEO of Racism"◊, as well as Claude's response◊ being that he would like to "talk". This is now a Fandom-Enraging Misconception however, so anyone who tries to accuse Ingrid of being a petty racist often gets shut down pretty quickly.
- Clown Felix Explanation (Spoilers) In Felix's shared ending with Leonie in a non-Blue Lions route, the pair end up as street performers after mercenary work dries up. A viral tweet made their ending widely known, and jokes about Felix as a clown took off in record time.
- "Disgusting"◊Explanation The Three Houses version of a franchise-wide meme that Ephraim started back in Heroes.
- Felix and cats Explanation During Tea Time, "cats" is one of the topics that elicits a positive reaction from Felix. The image of Felix secretly doting on every cat he comes across was far too silly for fans to ignore, so they tend to crop up alongside him in fan art. And that's before we mention that Catnamed Felix...
- VergilUchiha. Explanation Due to his aloof attitude, sword skills, and somewhat similar-sounding voice, Felix is often compared to Vergil and Sasuke. On top of that, a Budding Talent in Reason leads many to put him into the swordwielding Mortal Savant Master Class. Felix's spell list is entirely lightning based and he even does ninja hand signs, further increasing his resemblence to Sasuke.
- Thigh-high boots Explanation Felix's post-timeskip getup inexplicably includes a pair of indigo thigh-high boots. A deluge of fanart and open thirsting from certain partsof the fandom inevitably followed.
- Chick Magnet Felix Explanation Felix's sheer number of paired endings with women have not gone unnoticed by the fandom. Many like to portray him as a Chick Magnet who receives envy from his childhood friend, Sylvain. Like here, for instance.
- Felix is into redheads Explanation Of Felix's possible A-supports, three (Annette, Leonie and Sylvain) have red hair. Of those three, Annette and Sylvain are popular ships for him, and pairing him with Leonie is also well liked for the Clown Felix meme explained above. He's also the only character who can A-support all three. Some have joked that a support chain with Ferdinand should be added to complete the set.
- Cat Felix Explanation Due to his Tsundere tendencies as well as the fact that Felix canonically likes cats, fans have taken to depicting Felix as an animal in the form of a cat, usually paired alongside a dog or fox version of Sylvain and sometimes Ingrid.
- Sylvain dancing Explanation Twitter user minatums made a 3D animation of Sylvain dancing, and Twitter users quickly inserted him into absurd situations, such as him getting ignored by all the girls at the Academy ball. There's a Twitter account dedicated to dancing Sylvain edits, and his voice actor, Joe Brogie, even admitted to binging every dancing Sylvain video he could find.
- Hoes before BrosExplation Sylvain will quickly transfer houses if you play as female Byleth. This has led to some jokes about how having a hot teacher can directly lead to him killing his childhood friends Dimitri, Felix and Ingrid later on.
- Latino SylvainExplanation Sylvain's middle name, Jose, is an incredibly common given name in Spanish. Thus, a lot of fans like to interpret him as a suave Latino casanova.
- Sylvain reaction◊images◊ are very popular in the western Fire Emblem fandom, to the point of even spreading outside of the Fire Emblem community.
- Dog Sylvain Explanation Fans have taken to depicting Sylvain as a dog when drawing him as an animal most commonly paired alongside cat Felix as noted in his meme section. Though its not as common as dog Sylvain, some fans have taken to drawing Sylvain as a fox as well.
- Sylvorm Explanation A trend in the western fanbase in which Sylvain is drawn as a red worm on a string aka a Squirmle. It was started by a Twitter artist that drew worm Sylvain alongside worm on a string versions of Felix and Dimitri but it eventually branched out to memetic levels with worm Sylvain alone, usually featured alongside human versions of the other members of the Blue Lions.
- Annette was in Smash the whole time!Explanation Annette's English voice actress, Abby Trott, also sang the opening theme of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, "Lifelight", leading to jokes at how Annette joined Smash even before Byleth did.
- "I'm your girl." Explanation Annette's Pre Ass Kicking One Liner in Part 2, which caught on with many fans.
- "Ara ara."Explanation Mercedes, being the typical motherly Cool Big Sis, often finds herself uttering this in the Japanese version. Fans like to associate this phrase with her as her memetic Catchphrase, as opposed to using the English equivalent ("My my" or "Oh my" or "Oh dear"), very similar to how Fire Emblem Heroes treated Hector's phrase "Oho!". It's also used in more, ahem, interesting memes with pre-timeskip Caspar, Ashe, Ignatz, and Cyril.
- Mercedes cuts her hair to save her life.Explanation Mercedes is a motherly character with Motherly Side Plait. Amongst anime fans, however, that hair has become synonymous with "That character is going to die." AKA "Dead Anime Mom Hair" (most prominently thanks to Fullmetal Alchemist). So, according to the joke, Mercedes cut her hair in the Time Skip to avoid the "Dead Anime Mom Hair" syndrome.
- Exhibitionist Mercedes Explanation Mercedes off-handily mentions how she once forgot to get dressed in Byleth's support. Fans have taken it to the point where Mercedes constantly doesn't wear underwear.
- Upside-down Claude Explanation After the box art for the regular copy of Three Houseswas revealed, fans took note of Claude being the only character that is displayed upside-down on the cover. Memes and jokes ranged from Claude actually being Spider-Man to photoshopping Claude's character portrait upside down when displaying him. Claude actually does fire his bow while upside-down if he counterattacks an adjacent enemy after dodging their attack. Joe Ziejatook note by announcing his role as Claude while hanging upside down.
- "It's absurd that I'm not allowed to suck Claude's dick"Explanation A great number of male players have Stupid Sexy Flanders for Claude and are angered that he isn't a gay option in spite of being flirtatious with players of both genders. The same podcasters also called Three Houses "Fire Emblem for girls", alluding to the fact that Edelgard is a marriage option (and the Black Eagles house in general) is overlooked by men but overwhelmingly popular with women.
- Claude, the Shounen HeroExplanation (Verdant Wind Spoilers!) This started after the E3 trailer, which showed Claude giving a heartfelt speech about hearts and friendship, but it really took off once everyone started playing the Golden Deer route and saw that the route ends with you breaking into a secret base, busting up some giant robot mechas, then taking out a zombie army.
- Claude ends racismExplanation (Verdant Wind Spoilers!) The Verdant Wind route reveals that Claude has an Almyran heritage and plans to end Fodlan's isolationism so that people can learn to accept other cultures and overcome their prejudices. Also, all Almyrans in the story have a noticeably darker skin tone. Thus, the meme about Claude being an anti-racism crusader took off, with even Just a Pancake getting in on the action.
- Claude invented All Day BreakfastExplanation One fan made an edit based on a McDonald's commercial that Joe Zieja voiced.
- #Redraw Riegan Explanation Based on the "Redraw Reigen" meme from Mob Psycho 100, it became popular on Twitter to take reaction images and meme images and redraw them with Claude and often the other Golden Deer students using the hashtag Redraw Riegan.
- DJ KhalidExplanation (Spoilers!) A Nintendo Dream Magazine interview reveals that Claude's real name is Khalid. Therefore, some people make fun of this because of the familiar resemblance to DJ Khaled.
- Prince Khalid! Fabulous he! Khalid Ababwa!Explanation (Spoilers!) The fact that Claude is a prince who is very similar to Aladdin and the above mentioned DJ Khalid worked in the Live-Action remake puts a very unique spin into the Prince Ali song.
- "Hilda, Hilda!"Explanation Hilda's way to cheer on a kill (usually with an axe) by chanting her name, despite constantly claiming herself as a fragile flower, gets memetic quick.
- "You're making me work!" Explanation One of the quotes Hilda will say before landing a crit against an enemy. Because Hilda is one the strongest units of the game despite how lazy she tries to pass herself off as people have spun this quote into making a Hilda a Memetic Badass who can take on anyone once she starts taking the fight seriously.
- Good Hilda, Evil HildaExplanation Hilda gets one of the most unfortunate cases of Name's the Same within Fire Emblem, in which her name was previously used by the monstrously evil and hatedQueen Hilda of Friege, while Hilda herself is a sweet fan favorite. Because of this, fans make efforts to differentiate between the good Hilda and the evil Hilda, and sometimes makes it like that the former shows great shame, disgust, and utter hatred at the latter. Or for some gadflies or trolls, discussion about Fodlan's Hilda is susceptible of said gadfly/troll to instead refer to Jugdral's Hilda. Or portray several Jugdral characters (in particular Tailtiu, who got severely tortured and abused to death by her region's Hilda) looking at Hilda in a suspicious tone (or in case of Tailtiu, flat out PTSD). This is contrasting with the other case of Name's the Samewithin the same class, Lorenz, since Lorenz of Grust is an upstanding, honorable man that would make Lorenz Hellman Gloucester feel very honored to share the same name.
- Hilda likes cash, and her hair to her ass.Explanation A video on Twitter went viral of various screenshots of Hilda that went shockingly well to the song "BeeFlo Mix" by Flo Milli...and the lyrics going a deeper level of being both enormously catchy, and also shockingly accurate to her in-game personality.
- Tiddies too big to be contained by the shirt. Explanation One of the most prominent points of Raphael's design is how tight his shirt is, which serves to emphasize just how muscular he is, much to the pleasure of female and gay male fans. The same naturally applies to Balthus as well.
- "My name is Lorenz Hellman Gloucester." Explanation When the player meets Lorenz before selecting a house, he says this line. Due to his affinity for his nobility being much like the aforementioned Ferdinand's, it has been made into his counterpart of "I am Ferdinand von Aegir".
- Lorenz Face. Explanation Lorenz's face or hair (or very well both) have been spliced onto pretty much every single character from Three Houses. Some of the more notable examples come from Joe Zieja and Allegra Clark's review of Three Houses memes.
- Marianne, the daughter of Berkut and Rinea.Explanation Marianne's hairstyle and color look very similar to a cross between those two, leading to basically everyone joking that she's their child. This meme was strengthened by the fact that Marianne has skills in white magic (like her "mother") and lances and riding (like her "father"), while her crest resembles Duma, the patron god of the empire Berkut and Rinea were from.
- FortressKnight Marianne Explanation Marianne became popular for this kind of class. Her starting class and promotion makes her into a Squishy Wizard. However, her Armor and Fortress Knight promotion turns her into a massiveMighty Glacier by increasing her offense and defense, which is ironic considering the armored classes is a Tier-Induced Scrappy and it helps her survive her infamous paralogue. Fans have joked how unbearably heavy the armor must be for a girl like her wearing such armor.
- Marianne doesn't have UNO, so go fuck off. Explanation Based on this animation of Marianne's C-support with Hilda, which depicts the pair arguing over whether or not Marianne has Uno on her Xbox. Fans quickly caught on to this, and as such, whenever fanwork puts Marianne and Hilda together, this will likely be referenced.
- Leonie wants to sleep with Jeralt. Explanation Leonie often mentions that she is Captain Jeralt's apprentice multiple times in the game, especially to Byleth. Naturally, fans started to joke about Leonie's obsession with Jeralt going to questionable degrees.
- The fact that the Golden Deer house and route (Verdant Wind) name is similar to Golden Wind caused many crossover references. Most likely due to how Golden Deer is the meme house and Vento Aureo is the most memeticJoJo Part.
- Fodlan Leon. Explanation Yuri bares more than a passing resemblance to Leon in the Shadows of Valentia remake. The fact that Yuri also has a budding talent in bows (Leon's main weapon) doesn't help and he's also romanceable by a Male!Byleth as well.
- Wrong name. Explanation Yuri's Pretty Boy looks combined with the fact that he is bisexual led to fans joking about how his name should be Yaoi instead.
- Flat Earther Yuri Explanation In Yuri and Hapi's B support conversation, Yuri expresses disbelief at the notion that the earth they are standing on rotates around, leading to Flat Earther jokes from the fandom.
- "Woah...that lady looks real dead pal."Explanation (Spoilers!) Balthus offers this blunt line in the DLC when he sees Sitri's dead yet pristine corpse that at a glance might just look like she's sleeping. Cue jokes that Balthus would say this in the face of any dead body, or even someone who just looks dead or even sleeping.
- MILF Hunter Explanation When it's revealed in Balthus's support with Claude that he used to have a crush on Claude's mom and asked for Claude to set up a meeting between him and his mom for his own closure, many fans took fun in the joke of regarding to Balthus as such. Similarly, he expresses attraction for Judith, an older woman, in the two routes where she can be encountered. With the way his hair looks in the timeskip, some have compared him to Kakyoin.
- "I know, I'm buff as heck. What of it?" Explanation This is one of Hapi's tea time lines from observing her closely. Her sarcastically blunt delivery of it was worth a lot of laughs, prompting fan artists to draw her as buff as she claims to be.
- Ohohoho! Explanation Constance's Noblewoman's Laugh in the Japanese Audio started making rounds around the fanbase. The English version is usually transcribed as "Ahahahaha~!"
- "You Are My Child Now." Explanation A line originally spoken by Garon that depicts Byleth as The Assimilator, draining every other house of all its students.
- Male Byleth's fetish for older men.Explanation (Spoilers!) Pre-release reviews revealed the ientity of the male S Supports for Male Byleth (thus understood at the time to be Gay Options). Two of these three options are Alois, who has a wife and a daughter old enough to attend Garreg Mach, and Gilbert, who is Annette's father, leading to many fan comics depicting Stacy's Mom scenarios complete with a horrified Annette. However, in the final game, it turned out that the ultimate relationship is platonic, not romantic. In fact, with Alois, male Byleth marries a nameless female villager. Nevertheless, some lines in the earlier part of the S rank could be taken as flirty and leading up to a romantic confession on Byleth's side, resulting in some people keeping this meme alive (or in other cases, accusing this conversation of being an unfortunate case of Bait-and-Switch Lesbians).
- Got flipped on its head with female Byleth's S Support with Seteth, as he's actually Flayn's father, not her brother. Naturally, the same meme formats found new life with this particular romance, complete with Flayn being horrified at Byleth becoming her new mom.
- Similarly, Male Byleth's fetish for pretty boys.Explanation Male Byleth can S-support with Linhardt, Jeritza, and Yuri by the end of the Wave 4 DLC, all of whom are fair-faced Bishōnen, in contrast to Female Byleth's more varied f/f options. This led to jokes about cute young men being Male Byleth's type.
- Byleth's arm communication.Explanation Given that Byleth is not fully voice-acted outside of battles or passing certifications, and every cutscene shows him/her only gesturing with his/her hand, or tilts their head, or otherwise nonverbally communicates whenever s/he responds in a dialogue, fans have started to jokingly act as though Byleth were completely mute, and does all of his/her communication through arm gestures.
- 200% Chest. Explanation A few months after the game's release, a datamine revealed the internal multipliers the game applies to the generic female model's chest to create each character's unique model. Female Byleth's is set to 200%, behind only Manuela (220%, by the way). This quickly caught on as an Unusual Euphemism.
- In general, the fandom tends to love portraying Byleth as an overly-casual, UncertifiedEccentric Mentor based on the fact that they're not much older than their students and they had absolutely zero teaching experience or education prior to being recruited as a professor at Garreg Mach.
- "F isn't for respects, it's your grade!" Explanation "Press F for respects" is a common phrase (and a meme of its own) said in response to someone's death or unfortunate incident. With Byleth's status as a professor who leads their students to life-threatening battles combined with Fire Emblem's permadeath mechanic, this has led to the depiction of Byleth giving fallen students an "F" in their performance.
- Willeth.Explanation An alternate interpretation of Byleth that makes them out to be every Stern Teacher stereotype in the book in and out of the classroom, complete with school-themed crit lines like "The bell does not dismiss you. I do." The name comes from the "Byl"/"Bill" part of their name being elongated to a "proper name" version, fitting their new personality.
- Looking cool Byleth!/Go to sleep, Byleth!Explanation Cassandra Lee Morris voices Sothis in the dub of the game, andcomparisonsto Morgana (whom Cassandra also voices) have skyrocketed. It doesn't help that many people say Three Houses feels like a Persona game, or that Sothis is Byleth's companion the same way Morgana is to Joker. Becomes even more hilarious considering that both Joker and Byleth are in the first Fighters Pass for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- Sothis is Byleth's Stand Explanation Fans of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure began equating Sothis's Time Master abilities to the various time-manipulating enemy Stands from the series. More specifically, Divine Pulse is a weird fusion of The World, Killer Queen Bites the Dust, and King Crimson's sub-Stand Epitaph; the fast-forward during battle and skip function for the Academy section are akin to King Crimson or Made in Heaven; and New Game+ is basically D4C.
- Rhea's hips. Explanation While immediately apparent from the opening cutscene and her in-game model, a lot of fans were clued into Rhea's extremely curvaceous body after a tweet highlighting this fact went viral. Nowadays, it isn't too uncommon to see fans joking about Rhea being a "dummy thicc milf pope" and such. Best exemplified here and here.
- Alabama 101 Explanation (Spoilers!) On the Silver Snow route, Rhea is one of Byleth's love interests (for both genders). However, Rhea is actually Seiros the daughter of Sothis and Sothis is currently residing inside Byleth. Rhea is also responsible for creating Byleth's mother Sitri, and in the Cindered Shadows DLC, it's revealed that Sitri saw her as a Parental Substitute. Put two and two together, and you get Parental Incest (and even Grandparental Incest) Up to Eleven. Granted, Byleth is their own person and not merely a reincarnation of Sothis, with Sothis's soul basically riding around inside their body as a passenger, and Rhea never states she saw Sitri as her daughter, but that hardly makes things any less awkward.
- Takehito Koyasu voices DIO and Seteth. Given that Seteth is a romantic option for female Byleth, memes began to steamroll in:
Seteth: Oh? Youre approaching me? Instead of running away, youre coming right to me?
Byleth: I cant marry you without getting closer.
Seteth: Ho ho! Then come as close as you like.
- It's now common for commenters to imagine Seteth going "WRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY" in the background if you S-Supported Flayn. Which is fitting for him since he's really her father.
- #SetethSays / "I have something to ask of you..." Explanation People often replace Seteth's quests in edits with ridiculous and frequently anachronistic problems, such as him and Flayn being stuck at a McDonalds, asking Byleth to find Edelgard and have her stop terrorizing Flayn in Minecraft, and this page's image.
- Breaking the Bro Code Explanation (Spoilers!) Male Byleth can support and even marry Flayn, who is revealed to be Seteth's daughter (he actually reveals this to you in his and Flayn's paralogue once you beat it). Due to his Overprotective Dad tendencies, fans often quote that going out with Flayn and even marrying her is "breaking the bro code".
- Takehito Koyasu voices DIO and Seteth. Given that Seteth is a romantic option for female Byleth, memes began to steamroll in:
- Fish. Explanation Flayn's obsession with fish, Seteth's insistence of giving Flayn more fish, and fishing being the most effective way to gain professor levels given you have enough bait, has not gone unnoticed by the fans. Some are even starting to say that Flayn and Byleth have a fish fetish.
- Flayn, queen of social distancing Explanation In Flayn's C-support with Sylvain, she demands that he stand several feet away from her while talking to her, because Seteth told her to stay away from him. After the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many have joked that she's simply practicing appropriate social distancing.
- Jeritza's CounterattackExplanation One of the skills Jeritza learns is Counterattack. Due to his Char Clone vibes, it is becoming very fitting for Jeritza to be comparable to Char from Mobile Suit Gundam.
- After Jeritza's DLC supports revealed his past involving his father, fans were quick to point out that the game somehow managed to one-up Count Varley for "worst dad ever".
- Soraya Manuela Explanation Manuela looks a lot like Soraya Montenegro from María la del barrio and has a name that sounds like it could come from the show, prompting many artists to redraw existing Soraya memes as Manuela.
- Anna's shopkeeper quotes are often quoted among the Fire Emblem community, usually to mock how annoying they are. The quotes in question are "Welcome!", "Is that the one?", "Thanks a bunch!", and "Come back soon!".
- The Gatekeeper:
- "Greetings, Professor! Nothing to report!" Explanation The Gatekeeper's usual opening message to Byleth when he talks to them. Thanks to the vocal talents of Kyle McCarley, this otherwise throwaway line has been subject to memes ever since.
- The Gatekeeper vs. the Abysskeeper Explanation In Abyss, there's another nameless NPC that reports to Byleth in the same vein as the Gatekeeper, appropriately named the Abysskeeper. His existence alone lead to memes where the original Gatekeeper views the Abysskeeper as a Worthy Opponent and their battle as worthy for something to report.
- The Gatekeeper is Alm in disguise! Explanation Due to sharing the same voice actor, fans have joked around that the Gatekeeper's true identify might be Alm, even though 1. This takes place in a different time, and 2. Alm never had the option of getting a Lance-based class in his home game.
- The Death Knight:
- Death Knight's identity. Explanation (Spoilers!) In the same vein as the Black Knight in the Telliusgames, fans have been making up theories on who the Death Knight is, ranging from plausible (Edelgard, Dimitri, Jeritza, or Hubert) to outright ridiculous (Bernadetta, Dorothea, Seteth, or someone in the faculty). The Death Knight has since been conclusively confirmed to be Jeritza's Split Personality.
- The Flame Emperor:
- Tier-list RodrigueExplanation When fans began to assemble tier list templates in anticipation of the game's release, they ran into a problem the only available image of Rodrigue at the time was his map portrait (basically a cropped version of his official art that appears in battle menus). The issue was resolved by cropping the map portrait from the rest of the screenshot, then upscaling it, horrible compression be damned. The resulting image was affectionately dubbed "Tier List Rodrigue", and the bottom tier of most lists tends to be reserved for him.
- Solon's gigantic head. Explanation Solon's design brings the "galaxy brain" and "I work out at the library" jokes to mind.
- "So the Fell Star consumes even the darkness itself..." Explanation (spoilers!) Solon says this after Byleth escapes from Zaharas by fusing with Sothis. This line caught on with fans, especially after Solon said this line once more in Byleth's reveal trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, albeit with "the Fell Star" replaced by "joining Smash".
- Dude, you just posted Cronje! You are going to lose subscriber!Explanation When Kronya was first revealed, her name was spelled as Cronje, leading to many "you just posted cringe" jokes.
- 440% Chest. Explanation Cornelia has one of the biggest, if not the biggest bust out of all the female characters in the game. While her chest modifier is unknown, many fans just settle on doubling Manuela's 220% chest for Cornelia.
- CEO of Racism/Final Boss of Racism Explanation (spoilers) Since Nemesis is the final boss of Verdant Wind/Golden Deer/Claude's route, and Claude as previously mentioned is associated with "stopping racism" memes, Nemesis is often portrayed as the final obstacle to overcoming discrimination, variously parodied as the personification of bigotry or just as an overdramatic Racist Grandpa. It helps that he actually looks like an old man, if a very muscular one. And he did commit genocide against the Nabateans, so he is indeed pretty racist.
- OK, Boomer. Explanation (spoilers) Claude calls Nemesis a "Crusty old bastard" early in the final battle, leading to memes that Claude just called the Fell King a "Boomer."
- Alpharad Explanation Aelfric's Japanese name is Alphard, which is also the name of the constellation Hydra's brightest star... and it's also one letter off of the name of a popular YouTuber. Cue the jokes.
- Aelfric is a simp. Explanation (Spoilers!) Aelfric is the Big Bad of Cindered Shadows, with his goal being to revive Byleth's dead mother Sitri. Aelfric talks about how much he loved Sitri, even as she married Jeralt, leading many players to label him as a "simp".
Dimitri: Meme every last one of them!
Recap / Fire Emblem: Three Houses
WARNING: UNMARKED SPOILERS You have been warned.
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The knights immediately recognize that Jeralt is the famous Blade Breaker and former captain of the Knight of Seiros and insists that he and Byleth return to Garreg Mach Monastery with them and the students. Though relucent, Jeralt agrees and the two return to the monastery, where the head of Garreg Mach and archbishop of the Church of Seiros, Lady Rhea, asks Jeralt to rejoin the Knights of Seiros. Much to everyone's surprise, she also offers Byleth to teach the students of the Officer's Academy as a professor. They both agree to the offers, but Jeralt privately warns Byleth not to trust Rhea. Byleth is then given the choice of leading one of the academy's three houses: the Black Eagles, the Blue Lions, and the Golden Deer, each populated by students from the Empire, Kingdom, and Alliance respectively. Byleth assumes their duties as the teacher for their chosen house, training their students and leading them in mock and real battles on behalf of the Knights of Seiros. Soon, it is discovered there is a conspiracy against the Church when Byleth thwarts an attempt to steal the Church's most valuable Heroes' Relic, the Sword of the Creator. Mysteriously, the Sword awakens when Byleth holds it, and Rhea allows them to keep it.
Byleth and their class are then sent to recover a stolen Heroes' Relic from a bandit clan, but the Relic turns their leader, named Miklan, into a monster, leading Byleth and their students to wonder about the true nature of Relics and Crests.
Later, a chapel at the monastery is attacked by demonic beasts, and Jeralt is murdered by a student in the confusion; the student is an agent of "Those Who Slither in the Dark", a cult that opposes the Church. Reading Jeralt's diary, Byleth discovers that Jeralt fled from the Church due to Rhea's plans for Byleth when Byleth was born. Byleth pursues the cultists responsible for Jeralt's death, but is led into a trap and sent to a plane of darkness by their leader, Solon. Sothis then explains that she now remembers she is the Progenitor God, implanted into Byleth in hopes she would be reborn. Sothis merges herself fully into Byleth, granting Byleth the power to escape the plane of darkness, though she sacrifices her individuality in the process. Byleth returns and defeats Solon with a newly empowered Sword of the Creator.
Upon returning to the monastery, Rhea leads Byleth to the Holy Tomb, where she attempts to awaken Sothis. Edelgard, revealed to have been the mysterious Flame Emperor the whole time, then attacks the Holy Tomb with her army, accusing the Church of being corrupt and secretly ruling Fódlan from the shadows, and it is revealed Rhea is a dragon in disguise; some routes further reveal her to be Seiros, with her attempts at resurrecting Sothis indirectly birthing Byleth. Depending on Byleth's choices and the house they lead, they may either side with any of the three houses or the Church. If Byleth sides with Edelgard, they help her lead an assault on Garreg Mach. If they side with Rhea, Dimitri, or Claude, then they help in the defense of the monastery. Regardless of the side, Byleth is on, they are knocked unconscious at the end of the battle and wake up five years later, discovering that Fódlan has been plunged into a vicious war as the Empire, Kingdom, Alliance, and Church battle each other. The routes then diverge.
Silver Snow (Church of Seiros Route)
Byleth and their forces head to the main base of "those that slither in the dark", where they learn that they are the remnants of the nation of Agartha, a technologically advanced civilization that was wiped out by Seiros' kindred in ancient times. Defeated, the Agarthan leader Thales calls down numerous javelins of light to destroy his own base. Rhea turns into her dragon form to protect Byleth and the others but is gravely wounded. After conquering Shambhala, Rhea reveals that Byleth's mother was her twelfth failed attempt to create a vessel capable of housing Sothis' consciousness; she conceived Byleth with Jeralt, but was forced to order Rhea to transfer the Crest Stone in her heart into Byleth to save them after they were stillborn. Rhea is suddenly driven mad by the power she used saving Byleth at Shambhala, and Byleth is forced to defeat her in a final battle. In the aftermath, the Empire, Kingdom, and Alliance are dissolved and Fódlan is unified under the Church with Byleth as its new ruler.
Crimson Flower (Black Eagles Route)
Byleth reunites with their students and Edelgard, and finds out that the Kingdom has allied with the Church while the Alliance remains nominally neutral. Edelgard plans to eliminate the Alliance before moving on to the Kingdom. Byleth is able to quickly seize the Alliance capital and eliminate Claude from the war, either through killing or exiling him. They then advance into the Kingdom, taking a vital fortress. However, Edelgard's uncle Arundel, an ally of "those who slither in the dark", arranges for the fortress to be destroyed as revenge for Edelgard interrupting his own plans. Edelgard keeps Arundel's treachery a secret and tells the others that the fortress was destroyed by Church weaponry. Undeterred, Edelgard continues to lead her armies to the Kingdom's capital. Dimitri meets Edelgard in battle, but is defeated and killed. The Kingdom army is routed and Rhea withdraws to the Kingdom capital with her Knights. In her increasing madness, Rhea sets fire to the city, forcing Edelgard to attack to put a stop to her. Working together, Byleth and Edelgard are able to kill Rhea. Byleth nearly dies, but Sothis's Crest Stone embedded in their heart dissolves, reviving them. In the aftermath, Edelgard unites all of Fódlan under the Empire and abolishes both the Church and the nobility. She then turns her attention to "those who slither in the dark".
Azure Moon (Blue Lions Route)
Having his purpose renewed and guided back on the path of light, he focuses on saving Fódlan and liberates the Kingdom from imperial rule, assuming his rightful place as king. With his own lands secure, Dimitri rescues Claude from imperial forces. Claude dissolves the Alliance and cedes its lands to Dimitri before departing Fódlan. Dimitri then marches for the Empire capital itself. Wanting to make peace with Edelgard, Dimitri arranges a meeting with her and suggest they join forces to realize their goals. Edelgard refuses, however, forcing his invasion into Adrestia. Dimitri is able to defeat Edelgard and once again offers her mercy, but is forced to kill her when she attempts to attack him. In the aftermath, Fódlan is united under the Kingdom with Dimitri as its ruler, while Byleth becomes the new archbishop of the Church when Rhea voluntarily steps down.
Verdant Wind (Golden Deer Route)
Byleth and Claude press on towards a strategic Empire fort, and receive aid from the foreign nation of Almyra. However, the fort is destroyed by a rain of javelins of light before they can seize it and the Almyrans decide to withdraw. Claude admits that he had secretly opened relations with Almyra, and announces his desire to open Fódlan's borders to the outside world and end the continent's isolationism. Byleth and Claude continue their advance, attacking the Empire capital. Edelgard is defeated and killed, but Byleth and Claude learn that "those who slither in the dark" have been manipulating both the current war as well as the war 1000 years ago. Rhea confirms the existence of the group, and Byleth and Claude set out to stop them.
Claude's army defeats the cult in their secret underground city and their leader Thales attempts to destroy them with another series of javelins of light, but Rhea intercepts the javelins in her dragon form and is gravely wounded in the process. Meanwhile, Nemesis is awakened from his tomb by the cult; he and his 10 Elites had merely been a band of thieves who took power from Sothis and her kin after they were slain by Nemesis in the ancient era. Their blood was the source of the nobility's Crests. Nemesis is resurrected by the cult as a final attempt to destroy Fódlan, but Byleth and Claude destroy Nemesis and his undead army. In the aftermath, Fódlan is united under the rule of Byleth, while Claude leaves to become king of Almyra and the two work to improve relations with Fódlan and other foreign nations.
Four of these mysterious figures introduce themselves as Yuri, the leader of the group and a former rogue; Balthis, a pugilist with a history of owing debt (and a friend of Hilda's family); Constance, the daughter of the fallen House Nuvelle; and Hapi, a dour young girl whose sighs can attract monsters. Together, they form the Ashen Wolves, a "fourth house" that has no official affiliation with the Officer's Academy. Here, beneath the monastery, they live in the subterranean city of Abyss, a refuge for those huddled masses of Fodlan under the auspices of the cardinal Aelfric. Aelfric is also an old friend of Jeralt, as well as Byleth's mother, Sitri. It is explained that the Ashen Wolves and the other denizens of Abyss have been allowed to exist under the condition that their affairs do not affect life in the monastery above ground, with Yuri serving as the de facto leader of the Wolves and looking after the Abyssians.
As of late, mercenaries have been poking around Abyss in search of something. Research into the matter eventually reveals their objective to be the Chalice of Beginnings, an ancient artifact said to be created by the goddess and, under the guidance of Saint Seiros and with the aid of the Four Apostles, was used in the Rite of Passage in the hopes of bringing life back to the goddess. When the Rite failed, the apostles and the chalice vanished from history. Byleth leads Yuri and company on an excursion ends in the retrieval of the chalice. When they return to Abyss, however, they receive troubling news: brigands have kidnapped Aelfric and are demanding the chalice in exchange for his life.
With Rhea's blessing, Byleth and Yuri confront and rout the kidnappers. Suddenly, however, Aelfric and Yuri betray the party: Aelfric intends to attempt the Rite of Rising in order to resurrect Sitri, for whom he had long harbored affections. Having found her preserved body in the depths of Abyss, he plotted and planned to bring together the Ashen Wolves, who carried Crests of the apostles, and sacrifice them to use their blood for the ritual. Yuri seemed to be a willing participant in Aelfric's scheme, one that would see him die as well.
Little does Aelfric realize, Yuri is actually working as a mole for Rhea, reporting his activities. He wasn't able to act against him since he was holding his old friends hostage, but, having relayed his plan to Byleth in secret beforehand, he secured their safety while setting himself and the other Ashen Wolves as bait to buy time for Byleth and the Knights of Seiros to save his friends. Aelfric gathers what blood he is able to and attempts the Rite of Rising, only for things to go horrifically awry as he mutates into a monster, forcing Byleth and company to put him down.
Rhea explains afterwards that Sitri was physically frail when she lived and, when she gave birth to a child whose heart didn't beat, beseeched Rhea to give them her "heart". Rhea honored Sitri's last request, then took her body into Abyss to preserve her, unable to bear the thought of simply laying a beloved friend in the cold earth.
With the situation resolved, Rhea officially announces that the Ashen Wolves house would be immediately disbanded, and its members would be free to do with their lives as they wished. Abyss would continue to serve as a refuge for those in need, with Byleth, Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude vowing to look after the city and its people. Satisfied that Abyss is in good hands, Yuri and his pack part ways with Byleth.
Three houses tvtropes
Fridge / Fire Emblem: Three Houses
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- The main color each house uses share unit alignment colors and their plot in the story:
- The Blue Lions are blue like Player Units, and with Faerghus's connection to knights and chivalry, appear the closest to classic fantasy heroes.
- The Black Eagles mostly use red as their main color, as in Enemy Units, as they are often the antagonists in all routes save for their own.
- The Golden Deer are yellow like Other Units, as they stay outside of the conflict between Black Eagles and Blue Lions.
- The Church of Seiros is green like Ally Units. With the exception of the Black Eagles, they often are allies to Byleth.
- When Byleth first meets Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude, they immediately ask them to join their respective nations in a way Claude even calls heavy-handed. But recall some recruitment conversations in past Fire Emblem games and how quickly some characters would switch sides, then recall that these three are the Lords of the game. They're just doing what all Lords do but this time, they're trying to recruityou!
- Annette having high growths for axes makes sense when you realize that her father is Gilbert, who not only is one of the Knights of Seiros, but also offers lessons in Lances and Axes.
- In addition, her family weapon happens to be the Crusher, which is a magically attuned axe. The axe can only be used by users with the crest of Dominic, and Annette happens to have this crest.
- Similarly, Flayn has a strength in lances, despite being otherwise a squishy white mage. Seteth can tutor you in all three corners of the Weapon Triangle, but he is particularly associated with lances in the story (namely, the Spear of Assal) and he probably tutored Flayn, too.
- Byleth's official profile lists their age as "??", but Jeralt's journal indicates their age as being 21 at the start of the game. What gives? Well, when introducing you to Rhea, he claims that you were born after he'd already left the Knights of Seiros. His journal indicates that that's a lie: Byleth was born at the monastery, but Jeralt faked their death when he lost faith in Rhea so that he could sneak them away. Byleth's age is listed as a mystery because Jeralt doesn't want Rhea to find out who you are.
- Byleth is commonly described as not showing much, if any, emotion, with even Jeralt himself pointing out how he's never seen Byleth laugh or cry, suggesting something odd with them. Then it's revealed that Byleth was stillborn, and was only revived when Rhea implanted Sothis' crest into them. The reason why Byleth shows no emotion is because they are literally just a walking corpse animated by Sothis' power.
- They start demonstrating feelings throughout the year they spend in the monastery, though. The game frames it as being a result of them having more human contact with all the students and staff, with the house leader of your choice even commenting the first time Byleth smiles, but there's another curious thing that happened at the start of the game: Sothis's awakening. And she often shares the same feelings as Byleth, which points towards her sleep being part of what caused their emotional stuntedness.
- Additionally, with Jeralt expressing surprise early in the game that Byleth is acting on their own accord rather than to wait and see, some of Byleth's Leeroy Jenkins tendencies in the first part of the game makes sense. With Sothis' awakening, Byleth is finally acting based on their emotions for the first time and develop to be more in touch with their emotion in time.
- Several characters' stats, proficiencies, weaknesses, and personal skills perfectly reflect their personalities and backgrounds:
- Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude have Imperial Lineage, Royal Lineage, and Leicester Lineage respectively which grants them an extra 20% more experience. Being the future leaders of their respective factions, they are expected and pushed to grow much stronger and faster than all of their fellow peers.
- Bernadetta's shyness prevents her from interacting closely with others. Her preferred weapons are lances and bows, weapons that can attack from a distance. She also has a hidden talent for riding and mounted units can move again after attacking, perhaps to retreat back. Her personal skill, Persecution Complex, reflects her tendency to retaliate back with intensity should she feel herself being persecuted, as in the case of her past when her father tried disciplining her. Her weaknesses are in Swords, Axes, Brawling, and Heavy Armor, which are more suited for someone on the frontlines, something Bernadetta has almost a psychosis against.
- Ferdinand, who has a Crest of Cichol is proficient in swords and axes, but has a preference for lances, Seteth, who is the Cichol, has this same situation, the holy weapon associated with the crest of Cichol is the Spear of Assal which is a lance. Lances and Swords are associated with the nobility Ferdinand strives to emulate and he likely took on axes as part of his one sided competition with Edelgard.
- Ashe is proficient in axes and bows, which are usually associated with bandits and thieves. This, along with his personal skill Lockpick, is because Ashe used to be a thief to feed his family before being adopted by Lonato, as explained in the B-rank support conversation with Byleth.
- Sylvain's personal skill, Philanderer, allows him to inflict more and take less damage while adjacent to a female ally. Being the Casanova Wannabe he is, it's only normal he would want to show off and make a better impression.
- Lysithea's lifespan is shorter due to the crest experimentation that she experienced. She also has one of the lowest HP stats in the game. Her personal skill, Mastermind, allows her to gain double the skill experience earned in battle reflecting her being a studious and hardworking prodigy. Additionally, her weaknesses in the Weapon Triangle trio and Heavy Armor can be attributed to most of the weapons either being too huge for her petite body size or too heavy for someone with a reduced physicality.
- Marianne loves animals to the point that her personal skill is called Animal Lover where she regains HP when adjacent to a mounted unit. She's also proficient in riding and flying.
- Lorenz starts the game with an E+ rank and proficiency in Reason, though the rest of his stats are all E rank, apart from riding and lance. Given that Mercedes mentions offhandedly that Lorenz went to the Fhirdiad Royal School of Magic, it's likely that he gained those traits there.
- Edelgard has a weakness in Faith. Not only does she oppose the church, as someone who built themselves back up after being in a very dark place, she saw piety as a weakness in character, as said with her B support with Manuela. As for her weakness in Bows, it is because she is usually very direct, something bows by nature doesn't allow her to be, which, incidentally, is a subject strength for Claude.
- Hubert dislikes heights. It's no wonder that he has weakness in Flying. His weakness in Axes is because axe wielders usually take a direct approach on the front lines out in the open and is associated with brute force, something that wouldn't be fitting for someone who's more a more calculating behind the scenes kind of guy like Hubert. That's also why he has a strength in Bows. Incidentally, this also contrasts with his liege Edelgard, who has the opposite proficencies in axe and bows. His disdain for the Church of Seiros is also reflected in his Faith weakness.
- Caspar has weaknesses in Reason and Authority, AKA the more brain-intensive study fields, something the "fight first, think never" Caspar struggles in. Like Edelgard, Caspar is a very direct and straightforward individual, which is why bows are also a weakness of his.
- Linhardt's weaknesses are in Brawling and Axes. Both weapons are heavily associated with violence and blood, and considering Linhardt is Afraid of Blood, he would be far more reluctant to use them compared to other weapons. Linhardt being neutral in all other skills aside from the above two and his proficiency skills is an indication of him being Brilliant, but Lazy; he's shown in Petra's supports to be quite skilled with weapon combat on a theoretical level, meaning it's not impossible for him to pick up new skills and use them efficiently, but without Byleth's influence, he'd rather not try and put in the effort. His skill in Faith also makes sense since he'd rather not fight to begin with. Not only that, but despite his neutral stance towards the religion itself, Linhardt is deeply fascinated with the Church's history and his personal knowledge towards the subject likely carries over into his faith training.
- Dorothea's weaknesses in Riding and Flying can be attributed to the fact that riding animals in your finery is not exactly the most stable fusion. Also, in traditional warfare, mounted combatants were considered more elite or specialized than others, aka, a more noble path. As someone who dislikes nobility, it makes sense she'd be firmly against learning skills that many nobles are specifically good at.
- Petra has a weakness in both fields of the magical arts. Not only does she follow another religion entirely, Petra's still having issues with the language of Fódlan, so a field that is very wordy is going to be Petra's bane. Cyril, whom has the same weaknesses as Petra, is in a similar situation, though in his case, it's because he's flat-out illiterate.
- Petra also has a penalty in when on Stable Duty, but interestingly doesn't have a weakness in Riding itself. Both sides make sense considering Brigid is a heavily forested archipelgo that seems to favor flying mounts over grounded ones. She likely wouldn't be familiar with the diet and care a horse would require. However, Petra is studious and works hard to overcome her weaknesses, so her determination likely deters a possible weakness in Riding when she's learning from her professors.
- Dimitri's weaknesses are in Reason and Axes, which are topics that Edelgard, the target of his Irrational Hatred, can excel in. His weakness in Reason can also be explained by Dimitri being very driven by his emotions rather than logic, to the point where he dies in three out of four routes because of his desire for taking revenge (with one route having his death be caused by a Leeroy Jenkins moment that no rational individual would have gone through with).
- Dedue's weaknesses in Riding and Flying are less an issue with him and more that animalsare scaredof Dedue, as seen with his B+ Support with Annette. His weakness in Faith can be attributed due to him believing in other gods.
- Felix's weakness in Authority can be attributed to his Personal Ability Lone Wolf. Ingrid remarks that his tactics when leading troops are both unorthadox and useful in some situations, but not very pragmatic in a traditional fight.
- Sylvain's weakness in Bows is to better make him a foil to Felix, who has a strength in Bows. It's also likely he prefers to show off on the front lines or otherwise take a more flashy position in the battlefield other than supporting from the rear as an archer.
- Mercedes has weaknesses in the Weapon Triangle trio and Heavy Armor. She's not the type for violence, which is what weaknesses usually imply. Dimitri's support with Mercedes even shows that she doesn't know how to hold a sword, let alone swing it.
- Annette's weaknesses in Bows and Heavy Armor serve to make her a foil to not only Mercedes (another magic unit with potential with a physical weapon type), but to her estranged father Gilbert. Additionally, use of a bow requires a lot of precise aiming, which Annette, being rather clumsy and careless, wouldn't be great at.
- Claude's weakness lies in Lances. Lances are associated with the Fódlan nobility and Claude did not grow up around that culture. Much like Shamir and Petra, his weakness in Faith is because he doesn't believe in the Church of Seiros at all.
- Lorenz's weakness lies solely in Brawling, the least sophisticated of all the weapon archetypes. Not only that, but using them would make him look more barbaric than any other weapon, damaging his potential chances for a suitable partner and conflicting with his image of refined nobility.
- Raphael's weaknesses in Bows is (once again) because Raph prefers the direct approach, while his weakness in Reason lies in that he does have poor academic grades, though his neutrality in Authority means he's not hopeless. His weakness in Riding may be because he's just too heavy.
- Ignatz's weakness in Flying can be because he's already quite nervous; heights probably amplify it. His personal skill Watchful Eye increases his hit rate by 20. Ignatz wears glasses, thus allowing him a more accurate line of vision. Ignatz is also surprisingly observant, picking up small details about people that others miss.
- Marianne's weaknesses in Heavy Armor and Brawling can be attributed to, like Mercedes, not being the type for violence.
- Flayn's weakness in armor likely comes from the fact that she's one of the smallest characters and isn't particularly physically formidable.
- Flayn and Seteth both have weaknesses in riding. As they're both dragons in human form, it's possible that horses can sense this and feel uncomfortable around them and are much better off trying to ride Wyverns, which are descendants of dragons.
- Manuela and Hanneman's strengths and weakness are a yin-yang parallel to each other, not just in regards to Reason and Faith (though Hanneman doesn't have a weakness in Faith).
- Manuela's physical weapon proficiency is in Swords, while Hanneman's in Bows. Hanneman often snipes at Manuela and Manuela is quick to cut back.
- Manuela's special unit archetype proficiency is Flying, while Hanneman's proficient in Riding and has a weakness in Flying. Manuela's flighty, while Hanneman's grounded in logic.
- Jeritza's weaknesses are in Faith and Authority. It's made abundantly clear in his supports with Mercedes that he despises the Crest system for how much pain and suffering it brought onto not only himself, but his beloved mother and older sister, thus having low faith in the goddess and the church. As for his low authority growth, it's shown that his Blood Knight Death Knight identity makes him not hesitate to disobey orders from authority, such as being willing to abandon his soldiers to the javelins of light in the Verdant Wind/Silver Snow routes. This isn't helped with him being The Dreaded, making him difficult to approach and having limited supports.
- Anna's weakness is in Reason and Authority. Her low Authority gains can be explained by Anna not only being usually by herself, but she keeps everything very professional and doesn't try to bond with people, which can be seen in the fact that she's the only one that can't have any supports at all, not even with Byleth. As for Reason, the Annas in the past games have been very eccentric, and having a Secret Shop would be very contrary to someone who has a Money Fetish like Anna.
- Yuri's weaknesses are Lances, Axes, Riding, and Flying. Lances are seen as symbols of knights, a group of people Yuri feels uncomfortable with, and axes are seen as a weapon of brute force, something he doesn't like doing. Meanwhile, animals and other creatures are harder for him to manipulate, as shown when he tried taking advantage of Hapi's ability but the plan derailed a bit during Cindered Shadows.
- Balthus's weaknesses are Lances, Bows, and Flying. Balthus is known to be a very direct individual and those three skills involve being as far away from the opponent as possible, something that as a brawler like him wouldn't benefit from.
- Constance's weaknesses are Axes and Heavy Armor. Both of them represent each side of her split personality; her normal, haughty behavior has her stress the importance of being a lady, which having an axe would the most unladylike weapon someone would think of, but her more lethargic personality when exposed to direct sunlight wouldn't benefit from heavy armor, as it would make her even more sluggish.
- Hapi's weaknesses are Brawling, Authority, and Heavy Armor. Hapi doesn't like her ability to summon monsters, so it makes sense for her to distance herself from the more animalistic fighting style of bare-handed combat, while her disdain/disillusionment toward authority figures would make her a poor commander. Meanwhile, as someone who lived in a village far away from civilization, she wouldn't have many opportunities to learn about wearing heavy armor. Interestingly, despite being a fairly big critic of the Church of Seiros, she does not have a weakness in Faith, likely because her issues stem from how she was treated by the knights rather than from the faith itself, at one point seeming to imply that she believes in the goddess if only so she could make complaints about the church to her.
- Data mining (or hacking the characters in question into your party) reveals that even some of the non-playable characters get in on this bit of fridge brilliance:
- Jeralt has been on the run from the Church of Seiros in general and Rhea in particular for Byleth's entire life. Thus, he has a weakness in Flying, the most conspicuous travel method possible, and a strength in Riding, a less-visible way to outrun potential pursuit.
- Sothis is weak in every category due to Exhaustion-Induced Idiocy: It's hard to learn anything when you can barely stay awake long enough for a brief conversation.
- Kronya is weak in Lances, Axes, Riding, and Flying because she's an infiltrator and assassin, and all of these are extremely difficult to conceal at best.
- Cornelia is weak in Authority due to Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and Heavy Armor due to being a spellcaster.
- In addition, characters have Budding Talents for stuff that seems odd at first, but make sense with their personality, relationships, backstories, etc.
- Byleth's Budding Talent is in Faith, aka Light and Healing magic. Faith is heavily associated with the Church of Seiros, and seeing how they're a vessel of Sothis...
- Add to this Rhea's skilled in Swords, Brawling, Faith, and Authority, all growths that get a bonus from Byleth's Enlightened One unique class. The only thing Rhea teaches that isn't on that list is Reason. This all indicates that Rhea and Byleth are not so different.
- Edelgard has a Budding Talent for Reason magic. Given she rejects the Church of Seiros and wants to remove their grip on the world, she would naturally decide that if she will use magic, it will be one that runs opposite to her enemies. Also, Reason magic is depicted as being related to the Arts and Science, so naturally a progressive type of magic would suit her best.
- Dimitri has a Budding Talent for Riding. As someone who tries to be noble and righteous, it makes him a Knight in Shining Armor like he tries to project outwardly. It also helps him get over his possible skittishness over potentially harming a horse from his bouts of freakish strength.
- Claude has a Budding Talent for Axes. Being known as a schemer and a tactician, Claude knows that if his plans ever fail, he can simply fall back on raw power. This is also a reference to Fates, where Axes and Bows, his affinity weapon, are on the same spot in that game's weapon triangle. Alternatively, this could also be due to the fact that he's part Almyran, who are usually known for having lots of axe-wielding Wyvern Riders, thus he's learning to embrace his heritage.
- Hubert has a Budding Talent in Lances. Hes Edelgards right hand, and in the Black Eagles route, her main supporter. Hes The Lancer for her. Plus, it creates a Weapon Triangle dynamic between the two that somewhat reflects their personalities and relationships with each other; Byleth as a sword has power over Edelgard, Edelgard as an axe has power over Hubert, and Hubert as a lance has power over Byleth (at least, he wants to).
- Ferdinand has a Budding Talent for armor. Edelgard is proficient in armor, and Ferdinand has an intense rivalry with her. It makes sense, then, that one of the areas Edelgard is good in also is one that if trained in, Ferdinand can use as well.
- Bernadetta has a Budding Talent for Riding. As someone who is timid and skittish, her having riding means she can use an animal to get in, attack, and then retreat, which is something many of her supports essentially involve her doing to other people; following, and then retreating when she gets noticed. Also, fellow nervous wreck Marianne is more comfortable among animals more than people, and animals are often therapeutic for those who are as troubled as she is.
- Marianne's most natural job progression will lead her into the Holy Knight class. Who would be her mount? Surely none other than her dear friend featured in a lot of conversation with her, the noble Dorte.
- Anna has a Budding Talent for Riding as well. As an intrepid proprietor, Anna can likely see the bonuses of riding around a horse, which allows her amazing movement.
- Dorothea has a Budding Talent for Faith. Being a former songstress that was taken from poverty, she saw how fake people, especially those in the nobility, could be, thus she could only rely on her charm to push her though, which is also why it starts out as a subject weakness. While she never regains her faith in the Church, she does believe in Byleth ... who is the vessel of Sothis.
- It's also possible that while she may not believe in the faith, she still has potential of using the magic itself. Her personal abilities give her allies healing, showing that she does have the potential of supporting them. She also is heartbroken by the effects of war so of course she would want to study white magic to minimize damage and casualties.
- Mercedes has a Budding Talent for bows despite being magic focused. As her Sacred Weapon, the Tathlum Bow, is one, it means she would naturally have a gift for wielding it, but due to the events of her life, would naturally avoid using it unless given motivation to do so.
- Ashe has a Budding Talent for Lances. As someone who wants to be a knight but is concerned about his past as a commoner, it shows his desire to be a knight like his adoptive father, as lances are weapons associated with chivalry and knighthood. If given the motivation, Ashe can grow to follow in his footsteps.
- Marianne has a Budding Talent for Lances as well. While it could be due to Lances being the affinity weapon of both Pegasus Knights and Cavaliers, which features horses as mounts, it's later revealed in the War Phase that her family's Hero's Relic, Blutgang, is a sword, which historically gets beaten by lances. Due to Marianne having a intense loathing of her Crest of the Beast/Maurice, it could stand to reason she'd want to learn how to be better at what usually trumps swords. Additionally, the skill Marianne gets from unlocking her Budding Talent is the Combat Art Frozen Lance, which does magic damage, just like Blutgang.
- Felix has a Budding Talent for Reason magic. As Reason magic is often associated with science or understanding, it makes his status as something of a Only Sane Man among his house more fitting, plus it serves as a divergence from his Faith-using father. As for why Reason starts off as a weakness and why Faith isn't, it could be due to Felix's rather blunt and "to the point" attitude, which is not usually a mindset for a subject that embodies creativity, or inheriting at least some aptitude for Faith from Rodrigue.
- He's nonetheless bad at it between a low Magic growth and only two spells, which are in fact identical to Dimitri's.
- Sylvain has a budding talent for Reason. This seems arbitrary, except his support with Annette foreshadows this Sylvain manages to point out a formula that is displayed as incorrect while viewing it upside down, something Annette missed. He's also shown to be rather insightful and logical in general behind the philandering. Sylvain is quite smart but pretends not to be to spite the expectations his family have placed on him.
- Hilda has a Budding Talent for heavy armor. As someone who dislikes the front line but is very strong.
- Ignatz has a Budding Talent for Reason magic. Being interested in painting, he would normally have an affinity for something like Reason magic, but as we find out, his merchant family had wanted Ignatz to become a knight after deciding that his older brother would inherit the family business, forcing him to suppress his creativity. Byleth simply kicks it in the pants and into high gear.
- Lysithea has a Budding Talent for Swords. She also has a Crest of Charon, which she shares with Catherine. In their B support, Catherine and Lysithea become something akin to sisters over their shared crest, so she learns something she normally dismissed to be closer to Catherine. The Charon Hero Relic, Thunderbrand, is also a sword.
- Flayn has a Budding Talent for Reason. Saint Cethleann is noted for her healing skills. What better way to persuade possible questioning eyes than pick up a topic that runs opposite of what Cethleann is best known for?
- Jeritza has a Budding Talent for Flying. In his C support with Byleth, he mentions that the Death Knight persona is just that: a persona, and has revulsion around the persona. As such, taking an interest in riding on wyvernback can give him a much needed break away from being the Death Knight, and allow him a sense of freedom from the pain and trauma associated with the Death Knight.
- Yuri has a Budding Talent for Bow. As someone who loves working in the shadows, a bow can benefit from killing someone without them knowing. This also explains why he was asked by the Church to kill a group of people, they recognize his potential for using the bow.
- Balthus's Budding Talent for Reason makes perfect sense when you learn that he is already a graduate of the Officers Academy. He already knows the stuff he learned there but has forgotten a detail or two. With Byleth's help, he can eventually remember everything he has forgotten, basically a simple refresher course.
- Constance has a Budding Talent for Brawling. This fits both of her split personalities, her normal self has the fiery temper needed to land a good hit and her more passive self when exposed to sunlight doesn't have to worry about holding a heavy weapon, making both sides cooperating each other.
- Hapi has a Budding Talent with the Axe. An axe is not only a weapon but a tool as well, which in her village, would use constantly to chop wood or anything else requiring an axe since they are far away from civilization. Since Hapi would most likely know how to use an axe as a tool, she can easily figure out how to use it as a weapon with a little guidance.
- She also says that swinging axes are a great way of letting out her negative feelings, preventing her from sighing and summoning monsters by accident.
- As a subversion, Annette reveals in her supports that her skills in magic is due to hard work and concentration, making her one of the few students to lack a budding talent. Similar arguments can be made for Caspar and Raphael, who train very hard for different reasons and lack budding talents.
- Similarly, Ingrid lacks a budding talent. It's mentioned she trains regularly to become a knight, meaning that she would naturally have no interests in anything but her dream. The same applies to Leonie, who in her case wants to imitate her idol Jeralt.
- Linhardt lacking a budding talent is a similar situation to the above five, only reversed. As he mentions himself, he prefers to focus only on what interests him and quickly tires of things. Thus, he lacks the diligence to study and master a new topic before he gets bored.
- Petra lacking a Budding Talent as well makes sense given she is technically already focused on learning something that she has a hidden talent in; speaking/writing the Fódlan language. With her focus on learning, she likely has no time to consider other avenues, plus not being from the mainland, she likely already has her cultural habits, and thus sticks to them. Her support with Byleth also reveals she trains hard to be the future ruler of Brigid, which helps explain her lack of one as well.
- Conversely, none of the teachers or knights have a Budding Talent, with the exceptions being Flayn, Jeritza, and Anna. Not only are all the knights and teachers adults with years of training, many of them previously attended the monastery, and so any possible hidden talents would either have been discovered already or not realized in time, so the possible potential went amiss.
- Flayn is an exception because she never got to attend school due to Seteth keeping her safe from people interested in her Major Crest of Cethleann, and thus develop any additional traits from being around other people. Such a reason can be similar to what Jeritza went through.
- Byleth's lack of skill weaknesses, while at first appearing to be simply for player convenience, is likely due to their mercenary upbringing requiring them to be prepared for any job. Likewise, Leonie, who was also trained by Jeralt, also lacks any skill weaknesses.
- Ingrid's lack of skill weakness is due to her dedication to become a knight, meaning that in the event that her main weapon is unavailable, she will be able to improvise. Her neutralities in both types of magic is likely due to her Strength and Magic growths being equal.
- Ferdinand also lacks any skill weaknesses. He's a major Determinator, so any weaknesses he might have had are likely being compensated by pure force of will.
- Byleth's Budding Talent is in Faith, aka Light and Healing magic. Faith is heavily associated with the Church of Seiros, and seeing how they're a vessel of Sothis...
- Most of the students in the Blue Lions have fur on their clothing after the timeskip. This is perfect considering Faerghus has a cold climate.
- Mercedes is the only one of the Lions not to have fur in her time skip outfit. This is a reflection both of her pacifistic nature and a nod to the fact that she was originally from the warmer climates in Adrestia; she likely wouldnt wear fur for those reasons.
- Cyril's notes for the Advice Box are drawings instead of written questions, which is another case of Gameplay and Story Integration. His support with Lysithea reveals he can't read, which also means he can't write.
- At least one student in each house possesses a Major Crest. Felix has the Major Crest of Fraldarius. Aside from her Crest of Charon, Lysithea also possesses the Major Crest of Gloucester. Only the Black Eagles lack a Major Crest, since their storyline revolves around stopping the influence of Crests in Fódlan. The kicker here is that someone actually possesses a Major Crest of Flames: Edelgard.
- Ashe can support two particular students outside his house: another orphan, Cyril, and another student adopted by a noble, Marianne.
- Sylvain is a big skirt chaser, and his supports reflect this he has a support with several female characters, but most of them don't go to an A-Rank, which gives them a paired ending. This is a reflection of Sylvain's secret contempt for the girls he tends to flirt with. He knows that a lot of them are only interested in his Crest, and that he's likely to just end up in an arranged marriage to a noble girl anyway, hence why he doesn't have an A-Support even with girls that already have their own Crests.
- Likewise, the few girls he can get an A-rank with are all people who manage to see through Sylvain's flirting one way or another: Dorothea is sympathetic towards Sylvain's circumstances of being wanted only for their talents, Mercedes makes an effort to understand him due to having experienced the harsh side of bearing a Crest, Ingrid is one of his closest childhood friends, and Byleth is patient enough to be given a personal explanation from Sylvain himself.
- Regarding his interest in Byleth, despite being completely jealous of them for growing up without the social baggage that having a crest would cause, Sylvain is also likely relieved that Byleth, having no opinion about the crest system in general due to their upbringing, was able to see him as a person rather than seeing him as a trophy husband or great noble to sucker up to because of his crest.
- Sylvain doesn't A-support with Bernadetta or Marianne, despite having largely platonic supports with them and knowing they'd never use him. The issue is that he knows he habitually hurts women emotionally. Both of these women are very emotionally fragile and would be far more hurt by him than any of the other females he can A-support with.
- Mercedes is the only one from the Blue Lion House to be proficient in bothReason and Faith magic. Perhaps this is because she was originally from the Empire, who boasts the largest numbers of mages.
- At least one of the students in each house comes from outside of Fódlan. Petra is the princess of the Brigid Archapelago while Dedue is from Duscur. Similarly, the foreigner in the Golden Deer is Claude himself, who originated from the kingdom of Almyra. The Church of Seiros is not exempt, either- Shamir is from Dagda, and Cyril, like Claude, is Almyran.
- Two of the main healers, Marianne and Mercedes, are shown to be very devout to the teachings of Seiros. The same thing can't be said for Linhardt. This ties into the fact that the Black Eagles route is potentially about conquering the church, though as Linhardt is not notably antagonistic to said church like others in the same house it is also a sign of how it is only potentially so.
- The Leicester Alliance is known for having a history of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder among its leaders, which leads to a collection of nobles who, despite swearing an alliance with each other, are ready to break away from the group should things prove opportunistic for them. Perhaps as a representation of this, the Golden Deer is the only house that lacks any loyal students aside from their leader being non-Black Eagles, as every student can be recruited to another house. Even Hilda, the closest Golden Deer has to a second-in-command, can be recruited to Blue Lions or the Church Route. Hilda can be recruited to Black Eagles only during the month between choosing against Edelgard and the timeskip.
- Similarly, for Edelgard and Dimitri, their Number Two's have known their lords for years to allow Edelgard and Dimitri to trust them. Hilda, on the other hand, only knew Claude for a shorter time period and thus, doesn't have the full loyalty that Hubert and Dedue had with their respective lords (until the five-year time skip should she not be recruited).
- Hilda can never be poached to the Black Eagles unless you side with the church. Several of Hilda's supports and some of the conversations she had in the game reveals that Hilda is very observant and crafty with her surroundings, which includes observing people. Along with being Edelgard's literal next-door neighbor in the monastery, Hilda would have noticed how unnerving some of the princess's actions were before the start of the game, and in the Verdant Wind route she admits that she wants no part in joining Edelgard's plans on starting a war, so Hilda decided that she could never join the same path as Edelgard would have. Even if Byleth sided with Edelgard, Hilda would have already made up her mind about Edelgard and refused to join Byleth. For this reason, she likewise refuses to surrender and be spared when confronted in battle after the timeskip in the Crimson Flower route, preferring to die facing them than join.
- This can also explain why she can be recruited into the Blue Lions house. While she admits that she doesn't care much about Dimitri or the Kingdom, Hilda would also notice that Dimitri is kind but traumatized by the events of his past and as such, wouldn't mind joining the Blue Lions when prompted, believing that Byleth would be able to help him.
- Another reason is that Hilda really cares for Claude despite their bickering, so the church and Blue Lions routes will most likely ensure his safety and not make an enemy out of him. The Black Eagles route, on the other hand, is the route where Claude can possibly die depending on your choices.
- Since the Leicester Alliance has no official ruler, there is no central figure for the Lords to swear fealty to. As a consequence, Claude is the sole lord of the trio who does not have an official retainer. Similarly, when you learn more about Claude's backstory and trust issues, he would be the one Lord who doesn't want one.
- Byleth's future personal class, Enlightened One, has proficiencies in sword, brawling, faith, and authority. We see Seiros capable of all four from the beginning movie scene in the fight against Nemesis. She leads an army (authority), she is a child of the goddess (faith), and she takes on Nemesis with a sword (self-explanatory) before resorting to her fists and feet (brawling) to finish the job.
- In order to go with Edelgard in the Black Eagles route, you have to go with her to see her crowning as the next Emperor, or else you automatically side with Rhea and the church. There are some perfectly valid reasons for Byleth to do so, however:
- Edelgard mentions that normally, crowning the next ruler of a nation requires a member of the church to oversee it. She instead brings Byleth, who acts as the witness instead, due to her disdain for the church. In doing so, Edelgard has effectively pinned any future actions as being Byleth's fault. Byleth now has a real motivation to leave the church; to avoid being blamed for her crowning. Alternatively, by going, Byleth now feels a sense of responsibility to oversee Edelgard as the next Emperor and can join her to see the path laid out completed.
- If Byleth goes with her to the crowning, Byleth sees how passionate Edelgard is about her future and doing what she thinks is right by standing against the church. This allows them to see that Edelgard's attack on the tomb was not motivated by a hunger for power or other such evil desires, but out of a desire to stop what she sees as the corrupted church. Without that understanding going in, Edelgard's actions come across as a straight betrayal of trust and thus Byleth has no reason to go with Edelgard.
- While you have a choice to follow Edelgard's lead, you can also go against her even if you went and saw Edelgard's coronation, showing that despite having an understanding of Edelgard's goals by seeing her coronation, Byleth may also be horrified at how far Edelgard is willing to go for her goals and can go against her when prompted.
- Actually, why Rhea snaps in the Black Eagles route can also be explained, being an example of lacking critical context. While Rhea was already unstable, why does she snap in particular in this route? Edelgard just attempted to steal the Crest Stones, which as revealed in the Verdant Wind route, was made from her murdered fellow Children of the Goddess and the Holy Tomb now served as a grave for them alongside their mother. At this point, she believes that Byleth is Sothis. So when Byleth sides with Edelgard, Rhea believing that Byleth wouldn't do so if they were Sothis, she does not take it well in the slightest, to say the least.
- Moreover, it was after a year of various incidents that would have not been helping Rhea's temper in the slightest. One noble moving against the Church, an attempt being made to steal Sothis's bones or Seiros' remains both of which play into her Trauma Button of the Red Canyon. Flayn, aka Cethleann, aka one of Rhea's few surviving family, being kidnapped and her blood stolen. The Flame Emperor being connected to Remire Village, and the attempt to steal Sothis's spine, which is the Sword of the Creator. All of which connects to Edelgard. Throw in Kronya's killing of Jeralt, who was someone that Rhea trusted enough to bring back on board without hesitation, and using more Crest Stones to transform students into monsters Rhea's rage is not unprovoked even before the nature of the Holy Tomb is brought into play.
- Rhea remembers and cares for Edelgard's ancestor, Wilhelm I, fondly. Her rage towards her should she battle her as Seiros makes clear that she greatly treasured him, and takes Edelgard's act as spite towards him and a stain to his memory.
- Those Who Slither in the Dark are almost all unnaturally pale, because they are the survivors of an ancient civilization who retreated underground for centuries. They are pale because they never saw light for most of their lives.
- Certain Crest weapons will damage the user if they don't have the appropriate Crest. Others do not, but heal more per turn should the wielder have the appropriate Crest. At first, it seems random which is which, until you realize some very important details about their construction: The 10 Elites' weapons were all made from the bones and hearts of the dragons they share a Crest with. They were forged to be incredibly dangerous weapons first and foremost, and most certainly without the consent of their sources. The Four Saints, on the other hand, crafted their weapons with much more benevolent aims in mind, resulting in the weapons both not having Crest Stones, but also not inflicting harm upon those who would wield them. The Inexhaustible, for example, is a Saint weapon and glows blue, as opposed to Failnaught, which is an Elite weapon and glows red. Inexhaustible does not harm the user at all, while Failnaught will inflict backlash against anyone without a Crest, because one was crafted from a place of benevolence while the other was crafted by the Agarthans with only hate.
- Why are there so few playable units that can naturally learn dark magic? One reason is that, like how it was back in Valentia, "Those who slither in the dark" are the main practitioners of dark magic, and so most enemy units that do use it belong to that group, with only the rare few who practice it normally. Second is that Lysithea and Edelgard were experimented on by "Those who slither", with the experiments giving them access to dark magic, while Hubert has taken to studying any scraps given by said group, allowing him to learn their magic even if he can't replicate the weapons given away. Jeritza, who is closely affiliated with Hubert and "those who slither in the dark," can also learn dark magic. One of the Ashen Wolves, Hapi, also learns dark magic; she has a Major Crest of Timotheos, the New Game+ item that bestows this crest on its holder is called the Dark Dragon Sign, and she also happened to be experimented on by "those who slither".
- Byleth bears the Crest of Flames, or in other words, the Fire Emblem.
- While other students may express distress at their first kill in combat, Dimitri is the only character adamant about his disgust for killing, expresses how he sees it as a purely evil action, and is deeply disturbed by and ashamed of his own love of combat and bloodthirsty side. Why? He witnessed the massacres following the Tragedy of Duscur, and saw the final, suffering moments of his father and close friends. Of course hed have such a visceral reaction toward it!
- Why Claude comes off as a lot less
troubled in all routes, especially compared to his fellow house heads Dimitri and Edelgard. A couple of reasons come to mind.
- The first is that he did not grow up in Fódlan, and so there would have been no reason for him to be a target of the machinations of Those Who Slither in the Dark. He therefore doesn't have a reason to rage against the system or desire utter revenge like Edelgard and Dimitri, nor the immense trauma Rhea has, and so he's much more willing to cooperate to achieve his goals than achieve them through brute force.
- The second is that he doesn't have enablers the way the others do. Hubert, Dedue, and many of the church staff are too blindly obedient to their respective leaders and would not tell them that they are behaving wrongly. These followers Yes-Man tendencies most likely give their leaders more cover to feel justified in stewing in their problems or to ignore the criticisms from (not blindly obedient) supporters like Ferdinand and Felix. Meanwhile, Claudes two main confidants/supporters are Hilda and Lorenz, who each take their own glee in telling Claude off if they think hes gone too far.
- Finally, despite a childhood of alienation, distrust, and assassination attempts, both his parents are alive at the time the game starts and love him. This is in contrast to the complicated family history of Dimitri (who had very loving parents, but they died in a tragedy that his step-mother may have initiated) and Edelgard (whose mother may have been an agent of Those Who Slither in the Dark and whose father, despite being the Emperor, could not stop his children from being subject to Crest experimentation), that each directly led to their respective issues.
- Why is Rhea a Brawling trainer? Because she is actually Seiros, and as seen in the opening movie, Seiros is quite skilled bare-handed.
- Linhardt doesn't stand out as a magic user and a healer compared to the other students, due to his lack of exclusive spells and average growths. But there's a good reason for it; Linhardt hates fighting and battle as a whole. Why would he be motivated to excel in combat if it means he'd get sent out in battle more if he was?
- Certain characters can be recruited if you beat them after the timeskip with Byleth. There's some fridge brilliance in these characters.
- If you side with Edelgard, Lysithea could be recruited. The Empire boasts itself with mages, and Lysithea is talented with magic. Like Edelgard, she also has two crests due to the crest experimentation she underwent. Finally, she also abhors the crest systems, and even becomes a commoner in most of her endings.
- If you side with Dimitri, you can recruit Lorenz. Like the knights of Faerghus, Lorenz is skilled with both lances and horseback riding. He also values honor and his responsibility as a noble, a trait common for the people in the kingdom.
- If you pick Claude, Ashe can be recruited. The Golden Deer is mostly filled with commoners who are excellent with bows, and Ashe is the only commoner outside of the house to have a high affinity with bows.
- Ashe and Lorenz are only (re)-recruitable in part two if you had them in part one, and also are re-recruitable on Silver Snow. This not true of Lysithea.
- Byleth not using the divine pulse when Rodrigue was killed could probably be because of what Sothis said after Jeralt died. Some deaths cannot be avoided.
- The Kingdom sides with the Church of Seiros in the Black Eagle Route due to the fact that they are loyal to the Church. Faerghus gaining its independence from the Empire was legitimized by the Church of Seiros.
- In some ways, Edelgard bears some similarities with Seiros. Edelgard shares Seiros' crest as well as a bit of her appearance. She's also able to wield Seiros' Sword in the Church route. Like Seiros, and by extension Rhea, Edelgard could turn into a more powerful form at the cost of her humanity (Hegemon Edelgard). In the Blue Lions route, Edelgard tries to kill Dimitri with a dagger, the same weapon Seiros killed Nemesis with.
- Hegemon Edelgard only appears in the Azure Moon Route because that is the only route that pushes Edelgard to her limit. In the Crimson Flower Route, Edelgard fights alongside Byleth, who bears the Crest of Flames and wields the powerful Sword of the Creator. She doesn't need to sacrifice her humanity. In the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow Route, the Kingdom was eliminated early with the death of Dimitri, meaning Edelgard's only threat was the Alliance and a few followers of the Church, leaving her confident that they could turn things around. The Empire was still strong enough to defend itself, and when pushed back, Thales/Arundel was still around and she could rely on him if needed.
- She also had less time to prepare in the Church and Golden Deer routes. On the Blue Lions route, her main enemies take a huge detour after the Battle at Gronder Field, to retake the Kingdom and then save the Alliance, just to then turn their attentions back to the Empire. In the other routes, they maintain the offensive, and Edelgard can do nothing but establish closer and closer layers of defense.
- Despite having put a lot into backing Edelgard, "Those who slither in the dark" don't have named commanders aiding the empire in Edelgard's final battles on the Church and Golden Deer routes, unlike when they still back her in the final battle of Black Eagles and Blue Lions. It's due to their failed attempt to kill Byleth at the fortress with the missiles, as it allowed Hubert to locate where their base of operations was. So they had to hastily prepare for an invasion by an invading force from the victor, and barely prepare their backup plan Nemesis on Golden Deer in time. Notably, despite using the missiles on Black Eagles, Hubert is unable to locate where they came from, ensuring the battle with them would be far longer.
- Crests and Heroes Relics have indeed been a boon for protecting the continent from invaders, as even "Those who slither in the dark" technology can't compare to the weapons forged from dragons and the power obtained from their blood that they created. Thus, Hanneman's artificial crest research would be a vast boon for the unified continent in each ending when recruited, as even the average soldier can now have a crest-like tool when needed and make any attempted invasion by a foreign country backfire.
- Despite the Four Saints descending their crests and having as much political and religious importance to the land as the Ten Elites, they do not seem to have a noble house established anywhere in Fódlan, with Linhardt, Ferdinand, Bernadetta, and Hanneman (bearers of Cethleann, Cichol, and Indech for the last two respectively) coming from entirely different houses. This is because they are not the descendants of the Saints, as they had no children and gave their crests through blood transfusions with future founders.
- Depending on what route you pick, you can find out that Flayn spent centuries asleep after getting wounded in the battle with Nemesis. Given this, the timing and details of Byleth's Convenient Coma leading into the five-year timeskip make a lot more sense. It's likely that Byleth was significantly injured at the final battle of the White Clouds section of the game, given the circumstances of it the castle crumbling around them and potentially getting blasted to cinders by dragon fire via enraged Rhea (Black Eagles), or falling off a cliff (everything else), for example. Byleth fell into a deep sleep while their/Sothis's power helped them recover from that. It also explains why Byleth didn't suffer any muscular deterioration, as is common in coma victims presumably Flayn didn't have to relearn to walk, despite having slept for far longer. Basically, entering a dormant state to heal is something that Nabateans have the ability to do, and Byleth is Nabatean enough to do so as well.
- This also explains why if Seteth is the one to find Byleth after the timeskip he's the only not really confused by them mentioning they slept for 5 years. Since he was already talking with Flayn and Rhea about how Byleth might now be "Kin" to them prior to the attack before the timeskip, this mostly just confirms to Seteth that his theory was correct.
- In the opening cutscene of the war, the player can see red flashes in the battlefield similar to when Nemesis attacked with the Sword of the Creator. Later, it is revealed that the 10 Elites (plus Maurice) were actually allied with Nemesis. The red flashes are the other Heroes' Relics of the 10 Elites, fighting the forces of Seiros.
- Rhea's change in demeanor in the Black Eagles route should Byleth side with Edelgard can easily come across as very sudden, and it is. It also can be seen as a moment where Rhea's instability and now broken hope to revive Sothis overwhelm her and drive her mad, and to an extent it likely is. But there is also a side to it that makes a ton of sense in another way. At an early point in the preceding battle, Edelgard orders that her soldiers "take every one" of the Crest Stones, and Rhea responds with an enraged "do you even know what those stones are?!" When one considers that the stones are the hearts of her kin, and that the last time such a mass collecting of Crest stones happened was when Nemesis massacred her people and cut up their bodies, Edelgard's raid is unintentionally causing Rhea to basically relive the most traumatic/horrible period of her life. In her eyes, Edelgard just became the same as Nemesis, and Byleth becomes no better when they side with Edelgard. Indeed, since they carry Sothis' Crest Stone (albeit on their heart) and uses Sothis's powers, they become, in her eyes, a new Nemesis.
- A subtle bit of foreshadowing during the intro cutscene and the truth of who Nemesis actually was. It shows the battle between Rhea and Nemesis, and all of the soldiers on Nemesis side are Brigands. And what is the Brigand class often associated with? Thieves.
- Why can Manuela and Seteth bond and potentially marry? Recall Seteth's devotion to Flayn. Seteth would do anything to protect her, and her disappearance leaves him emotionally devastated. Then we find out that Manuela went above and beyond searching for her: she worked out the likely culprit, confronted him, got stabbed, and remained conscious long enough to point out the passage the culprit escaped through. Despite her flippant behavior being completely at odds with Seteth's sternness, her actions reveal a remarkable care for the people in the Monastery, including Seteth's family. So, not only does her compassion earn his respect, it also shows how similar they are after first blush. It also helps that Manuela can also support with Flayn.
- Why don't "those who slither in the dark" drop their missiles when the Blue Lions are marching onto Enbarr? The war is about to end and not in their favor, so that would be as good a time as any, right? Well, the only one we actually see using them is Thales, who was killed in the battle for Derdriu. What's more, he was taken by surprise and was fighting on the front lines hardly a situation that allows you to drop missiles on your own location. It's very likely that Thales is the only one who can use the missiles, and by killing him, the Blue Lions unknowingly saved themselves from an Arianrhod/Fort Merceus.
- Near the end of the Black Eagles route, Dimitri tells Rhea that even if he dies, the Blaiddyd bloodline will live on. This is a pretty throw-away line that doesn't really tell you who he's talking about...but then you remember that he has an uncle. An uncle who is still alive, since Cornelia never framed Dimitri for his murder. An uncle who is also, according to Sylvain, a skirt-chaser. Dimitri probably has some bastard cousins running around.
- This also leads into Fridge Horror. His uncle gets assassinated on three out of four routes, and in the Blue Lions route, we specifically see Cornelia saying that once Dimitri's dead, the Blaiddyd line will be extinct. If Dimitri had cousins, he probably doesn't anymore.
- This also leads to Fridge Horror on the Black Eagles route. Dimitri's uncle and possible cousins are never dealt with. Who's to say that in ten-twenty years, we won't see a pissed-off Blaiddyd come back, fully grown, to avenge their family and Kingdom and reclaim their throne? Really does make Edelgard into another Arvis...
- On the flipside, it's possible that they died when Seiros set the capitol on fire. Which means the Blaiddyd family line is gone in the Black Eagles route. Perhaps Seiros really should have let people evacuate...
- Except his uncle doesn't live in Fhirdiad. He's the Grand Duke of Itha, so he lives over there.
- Granted, since Cornelia knew about the bastards, it's possible that Edelgard would know too, and would make dealing with any potential successors a priority. Whether she would handle the matter peacefully or lethally is up to the beholder.
- As mentioned under Gameplay and Story Segregation, the fact that Hubert, whose preferred prestige classes are Dark Mage and Dark Bishop, doesn't have easy access to Dark Seals. Given that the Death Knight works for Edelgard, and helping Hubert therefore would help out Edelgard, why doesn't Hubert have one and have to get it from the Death Knight? Actually, this is quite easy to explain it helps obfuscate the fact that Edelgard is really the Flame Emperor. If he had one, he would have to explain where he got that Dark Seal from, and if he mentions it was from the Death Knight while being confronted, nobody would question it, as he has several witnesses explaining where he got it.
- Even if Byleth were to side with the Adrestian Empire, Hubert still doesn't have easy access to Dark Seals, despite having the Death Knight as an ally and the Empire's continued Alliance with Those Who Slither in the Dark (a group with many dark magic-users in their ranks). However, the working relationship between Edelgard and Those Who Slither is very strained, especially on the Crimson Flower route, where the "Fell Star" one of the biggest perceived threats to Those Who Slither remains Edelgard's ally. Given that Thales (correctly) suspects Edelgard of plotting to dispose of his cult once she has dealt with the Church, he may be depriving her of a valuable resource should she retaliate.
- It seems almost like a cliche or Poor Communication Kills that Edelgard didn't point out that Those Who Slither in the Dark are the true enemies, as they have been the cause of most background conflict prior to the game. Why wouldn't she have joined with Claude to get rid of them? For one, they didn't know where their bases were (when they fired the lance on the Golden Deer route, Hubert narrowed down their base). She still needed them to accomplish her goal you never turn on your own allies when you still need them. Strategy 101.
- Her refusal also means she doesn't entrust anyone but herself to deal with them, which fits her dislike of losing control. Hubert, though, would want them crushed even if by the losers, which is why he leaves behind a letter to their base on Golden Deer/Silver Snow (no missiles were launched in the Blue Lions route for him to trace back to their base, but he would likely still leave a letter with what he knows).
- The fact that several Crest stones are available only on New Game+ makes a lot of sense it's not a guarantee that you'll pass down a Crest, as shown by Miklan. So even if their bearers in the past did have children, there's still a chance that they didn't inherit a Crest.
- Manuela will show up in your party with a pretty high Sword stat. In her supports with Ferdinand, however, they mention a play Ferdinand saw that Manuela starred in, her character wielding a sword. It's likely that the reason Manuela is so good at sword fighting is because she practiced it a lot during rehearsals. Dorothea another diva from the same opera company Manuela was a part of is also proficient with swords, for likely the same reason.
- On the other hand, despite not only defaulting to Priest/Bishop but also running the infirmary in-story, Manuela is fairly lacking in white magic; her only spells beyond the Heal and Nosferatu that all units get when starting their Faith training are all support spells rather than offense or healing (Ward, Silence, and Warp), and even when kept in a magic class, her Magic will usually hardly be higher than her strength. This makes perfect sense after viewing Hanneman's support conversations with Alois, wherein it's revealed that Crestbearers have a much higher affinity for magic than non-Crestbearers. Even adding in characters who merely have a budding talent, like Felix and Sylvain, almost all proficient magic-users have Crests, but Manuela does not. (The other exceptions are Dorothea, who is Manuela's protege, and Hubert, who exclusively learns the rare Dark magic that's largely tied to the Agartheans.)
- Manuela's not a very good dedicated healer, despite being the school's physician. While suspect at first, it makes sense as she explains that she specializes in traditional medicine. This makes sense as there's plenty of people who know white magic that can heal physical wounds. Manuela explains that white magic can do very little against sickness and infection, things that nurses in schools in real life often are taught to deal with.
- This also makes sense in that she can't learn physic (remote heal) in a way, while most of her spells are support spells. Manuela mentions the difference between healing magic and medicine in one month, and sure enough, one of the things white magic does (Boosting vital energy) is her specialty. She uses white magic to boost her patients while using medicine to help them recover.
- Both the Crimson Flower and Azure Moon routes use "Apex of the World" as the final map's track. This is to emphasize how similar Edelgard and Rhea/Seiros are at this point in these stories. Their tragic pasts have compelled them to take extreme measures to change the world, and in doing so, they've lost their humanity and transformed into literal, but more importantly, metaphorical monsters. That's the reason this track isn't present in the Silver Snow route: Rhea's only fought because her injuries accidentally triggered dragon degeneration. You're not fighting a woman who chose an evil path, you're (potentially) putting down a mindless beast the woman unintentionally became.
- Ferdinand is one of the hardest units to recruit, as he won't join by simply asking you, as his B-support is locked post-timeskip, and he needs a proficiency in Heavy Armor which Byleth has no real reason to train. In several of his supports, it's shown that his heavy rivalry with Edelgard is out of a desire to help and guide her properly, and in Crimson Flower, he ends up being almost a second retainer to her, alongside Hubert. Of course it would take an incredible amount of effort, you'd need to make a really good case to get him to defect from Edelgard and the Empire he devotes his life to.
- Caspar is similar. His royal house is tied to the Ministry of Military Affairs and his father is the current Minister, but unlike Ferdinand, who gladly takes up the role as second retainer to Edelgard, Caspar knows he's second in line and doesn't care as much, including many of his endings where he abandons his house to become a wandering warrior; this is shown by how Caspar looks for Brawling, which Byleth has a natural affinity for, so Byleth has an easier time to recruit Caspar. And additionally, Caspar's C-Support conversation with Edelgard has him mention that he doesn't really care if he didn't inherit anything, because it means that he can make his own future. So even if he had losing a family to risk by joining Byleth, he had less qualms about leaving because his other family members can pick up the slack in response to his absence.
- Or you can recruit Ferdinand by simply raising your Heavy Armor skill to D+and getting his invisible C+ support.
- Both Ferdinand and Caspar's B-Support conversation with Byleth are locked until the time skip hits, thus making it hard to actually recruit them. Considering the positions their family had in the empire, they had more at risk (family for Caspar and heritage for Ferdinand) by joining Byleth among the rest of the Black Eagles, especially outside the Crimson Flower or Silver Snow routes.
- Despite going to war with Those Who Slither In The Dark in the Black Eagles' epilogue, none of them mention anything about Nemesis despite him being used by the Agarthans in the Golden Deer route. Why? Because it's speculated that Sothis's power kept Nemesis alive all these years, and since the route ends with Byleth's Crest Stone dispersing after killing Rhea, Nemesis must have died after the Crest Stone vanished, meaning Those Who Slither In The Dark can't use him against Edelgard and Byleth.
- When recruiting students to your house isn't problematic in itself, Blue Lions and Golden Deer in particular might as well be interchangeable (and the Black Eagles students all have reasons to see Edelgard's actions as unjustified and join with Byleth against her), the problem arises when a member of those two houses, plus the faculty, side with the Black Eagles to later fight on Edelgard's side of the war, as for some, it can basically be seen as a betrayal to their respective nation. While their loyalty to Byleth is a primary factor, some from outside the Black Eagle students do have potential or stated reasons to side with the Empire:
- Leonie and Alois both have their loyalties to Byleth, but also with Jeralt, both of whom promised him to look after his child after his death. In addition, they both realized that Jeralt had reservations with Rhea, leading the both of them down this path.
- Lysithea sees her twin Crests as a curse due to the second one being forced on her to the detriment of her lifespan, and holds no love for the value society places on Crests as she would rather be judged for how hard she works. (In fact, she can even surrender to you if the player never attempted to recruit her as Claude told her to do so if she lost the fight and that Byleth and Edelgard are trustworthy.)
- Felix hates the idea of chivalry and duty and sees his father, Dimitri, and Dedue in a terrible light. He explains that this path is his to go down and not one guided by those above him. It doesn't help that Glenn was killed trying to save Dimitri, something that's been eating away at him for a long time.
- Mercedes, a character who is highly devoted to the Church to begin with, sees the danger of the Church and the Crests, as her step-father basically abandoned her mother and her after her mother bore him a child with a Crest to help him with his standing and her adoptive father only really cares for her due to her Crest, using her to get ahead in life and become a noble. Also if she finds out that her younger half-brother is the Death Knight, she might take this chance to become closer with him and help him through his issues.
- Marianne also suffered under the system, as her particular crest made her hated and is a source of self-loathing, and it is implied that part of the reason she allied herself with Edelgard is for the sake of abolishing the system. Because of Byleth, she has a reason to live for again as her A-support of them says and has nothing to lose.
- Sylvain has a lot of problems because of the crest system, as well. He had to deal with high expectations, people choosing to trust him as a Crest wielder rather than a person, and worst of all he lost his brother; Miklan who had become so envious of Sylvain for having a crest that it severed any familial relationships they would have.
- Ashe has personal reasons to side with Edelgard, if recruited. He lost his adoptive father, Lord Lonato, because of the Church of Serios and wants to find out why the church executed his adoptive brother. His brother's death led Lonato to lose his sanity and seek revenge on the church. In this route, he will never forgive the church because of being Locked Out of the Loop. Ironically, he stays Locked Out of the Loop if he joins Edelgard.
- Ingrid had a lot of arranged marriages because of the Crest system as well. She was also almost married to a Jerkass merchant. Ingrid was only able to cancel that marriage thanks to Dorothea, who knows about the merchant's true colors. However, the merchant wanted to kidnap Ingrid after the group found out about the merchant's true colors. If it weren't for Byleth and Dorothea, who knows what would have happened to her.
- The Gloucester house supports the Empire anyway, so Lorenz would have no hesitations to fight with the Black Eagle Strike Force if recruited.
- The Alliance is stated to routinely backstab each other for power it makes sense that people like Ignatz and Raphael would turn on the Alliance who might have been throwing them under the bus. In fact, Raphael doesn't even appear as an enemy at all on Crimson Flower. Ironically, doing so would be siding with the nobles who are known to backstab the others for power, like Gloucester, while the genuinely good nobles stand against the Empire.
- Hanneman's sister suffered like what Mercedes' mother had to endure, married so she can produce a child with a Crest for a noble who was losing influence, as while she didn't possess a Crest, her future children can possess Crests. Unlike Mercedes' mother, despite all the children she bore, none of them bore Crests, and her husband being abusive (which only got worse after failing to bear him a child with a Crest), combined with her already weak health, led to her death, leaving Hanneman unhappy with the system and became disgusted with nobility in general, renouncing his nobility. While he would rather give everyone Crests to bring more equality and bring down the value of Crests by making it more widespread, getting rid of them is probably an okay alternative. Additionally, if he is not recruited in non-Crimson Flower routes, he will always default to siding with the Empire.
- Manuela has a more personal and slightly sinister reason she wants to get revenge on the Death Knight. And of course, if you ally with the Death Knight, what will get you closer to him than if you had to face him on the field of battle? Manuela is also an Imperial citizen, as the Mittelfrank Opera Company is based in Enbarr.
- Speaking of Neutral characters, Shamir, despite her service to Rhea and the Knights of Seiros, she's still a mercenary from Dagda, so she probably figured that sooner or later, she would have to fight against the church. In fact, failing to recruit her has her side with the church due to her feelings for Rhea, only to be killed as a result.
- Annette probably has the least reason to even join the Empire side, considering her father, Gilbert, is a prominent Knight of Seiros. While she does have a bit of resentment, the only way we can see this resentment towards Gilbert is on the Blue Lions route where she's had plenty of time to get over it. Including any resentment towards the institution who stole her father away. And of course she's going to acknowledge a world where her hard work is recognized over her crest.
- Hapi is already very cynical about the church. It's no wonder why she joins up with Byleth and Edelgard to go against them.
- Thanks to his stepmom making his life crap and targeting him because of his being descended from a commoner, Balthus is given plenty of motivation to get rid of the current status of nobility and hope for his mom to no longer suffer at the hands of his stepmom.
- Constance has no love with the former nobles of the Empire, so when learning about Edelgard's past and that she dismissed most of the nobility, she figured that siding with her is not only a way to regain her house, but also a metaphorical "Up yours" to the same nobles that dismantled it.
- Yuri saw the Empire as the strongest faction and doesn't want his gang to be in the crossfire. There is also the fact that Edelgard's reforms can give his people an easier life so they don't suffer.
- This even goes in reverse for why students in the Black Eagles House would side with either the Kingdom of Faerghus or the Leicester Alliance.
- Ferdinand sees Edelgard's conquest as going too far and believes that as a noble's duty, he should side against his country in order to save the people of Aegir.
- Petra has developed resentment of Brigid being a vassal state of the Empire. The war is a chance for Brigid to finally be a free land once again.
- Bernadetta is terrified of being by her family despite her father being disposed as a noble and wants to be as far away from him as possible.
- Linhardt hates blood and violence. Since the Adrestian Empire is the aggressor no matter what, he wants to make sure that there is little bloodshed towards any innocents during the war.
- Caspar's sense of justice and Edelgard's refusal to explain her actions will have him see her as a tyrant who should be stopped.
- As a commoner, Dorothea is disgusted on how normal people are being affected by the Imperial army and she helped out those who were in trouble prior to joining up with Byleth again, so understands the severity of the war.
- The Japanese title of Three Houses, 风花雪月, is not only a Genius Bonus, but it also referenced the routes available in the game. To note:
风= Verdant Wind (Golden Deer Route)
花= Crimson Flower (Black Eagles Route)
雪= Silver Snow (Church Of Seiros Route)
月= Azure Moon (Blue Lions Route)
- Linhardt and Leonie's post-timeskip paralogue becomes inaccessible on the Crimson Flower route if you kill Flayn and Seteth in Chapter 15. Seeing as The Immovable is Saint Indech, he most likely refuses to humor those who've killed his fellow Saints, who are his last remaining family. Seeing as Linhardt suspected that The Immovable was Indech from the start (and he can come close to realizing that Flayn is Cethleann in supports before the timeskip), he probably concluded that asking one of the Saints for a weapon after killing his brother and niece is asking to get killed without the pretense of a challenge.
- He's also shown to disappear after losing, meaning he has a means to hide and protect himself, and will likely leave now that he has no treasure to protect even if Edelgard is informed after the paralogue. So he is in no danger.
- If played in the Crimson Flower route, neither Edelgard nor Hubert are available for the paralogue in contrast to other routes where Dimitri and Claude are both available (with Claude having a special dialogue if brought for the paralogue). Due to Edelgard's heavy dislike of Nabateans, and how Linhardt suspected that The Immovable is Indech, Linhardt told Byleth to not tell Edelgard anything about it before the paralogue begins in case she reacts horribly at the possibility of The Immovable being Indech himself. After the battle, he asks Byleth to only inform Edelgard of what happens at a good time and not otherwise, still keeping Indech's identity to himself.
- The game doesn't provide an explanation for why Byleth doesn't use Divine Pulse to save themselves when falling into the chasm after being blasted by Thales. However, even if in the actual gameplay the player hasn't used Divine Pulse at all, from a story perspective, this happens after the single biggest battle Byleth has yet been in, wherein they helped repel a large portion of a massive invading army. It's reasonable to assume they had used up Divine Pulse for the time being. Another consideration is how Thales previously appeared to be able to react to a use of Divine Pulse (where he warped in to block an attack aimed at Kronya), meaning even if Byleth did have any uses of Divine Pulse left, they might have failed to change anything (depends on if it was only fate that kept Byleth from changing things, or if Thales' own powers played a part too).
- And regarding the fate aspect, given Byleth ends up injured, hidden, and dormant at approximately the same time for five years regardless of route could imply that it is another "fated" aspect of the timeline and thus impossible for Byleth to successfully interfere with. Put another way, even with time powers, there are many things that "will be" as well as things that "can be," and only the latter can change.
- It might also be that it takes a second of focus to use Divine Pulse, and falling into the chasm isn't exactly conducive to that.
- Another possibility that could also apply to the other times Byleth seemed to forget that they had Divine Pulse... they didn't really forget. They actually did use it, but the timeline refused to change. We only saw them try and fail to save Jeralt for the sake of narrative and Thales.
- Of course the Wind Caller falls asleep when he is defeated. Nabatea go into dormancy to recover if they use up too much of their power, and he was fighting more seriously than the Lord of the Lake was (who was only testing them).
- Why does the Death Knight show a lack of respect towards those in the western church and later on to Solon despite them being his superior, remains stationary in the first 2 fights with him, and mention that he was specifically told to let Byleth and their class go if he ran into them? This is foreshadowing the fact that his boss aka Edelgard has Teeth-Clenched Teamwork with Those Who Slither, and most likely ordered Death Knight to be as unhelpful as possible.
- A bit of meta/game design brilliance: the Black Eagles are the only house who "need" Dark Seals to get the most from a unit's natural strengths (since Hubert is the only male unit who learns Dark Magic). They're also the only house with a character who naturally trends toward the Thief class. Petra is very likely to outspeed the Death Knight by their second or third appearance, giving the player a low-risk method of obtaining the seals (viz. having Petra steal them immediately before ending the mission).
- Rhea's dialogue is very clear that Serios and Wilhelm von Hresvelg, first emperor of Adrestia, were very close. So why does the knowledge Edelgard claims was passed down from the first emperor paint Serios as a villain? Because it's been a thousand years and the message has been corrupted and/or context has been lost.
- Either that, or it's an in-universe Values Dissonance; previous Emperors before Edelgard most likely had no problem with the information as is and agreed with Seiros, and Edelgard is the first to see problems with the actual truth about Seiros.
- Most likely the first the accusation in particular being the war was over whether Nabateans or humans ruled the continent... Seiros' fury against Nemesis being extremely personal isn't exactly hidden. It doesn't take much to put together that Nemesis did something (aka: Near Genocide of the Nabateans and desecration of their bodies to create weapons). Especially as Nabatea wouldn't have been forgotten at the time. Note that the dubsteppers call Nemesis a thief while Edelgard doesn't they kept the inciting incident for Seiros vs Nemesis from her.
- While the above about the slithers keeping info from Edelgard may be true, it is important to note that Edelgard thinking the fight was over what type of being should rule the continent is apparently a mistranslation. What the dubbers put as "a simple dispute" really said something more like "they simply fought." i.e. Edelgard doesn't claim to know why Nemesis and Seiros fought (and sadly does not seem to want to find out); rather, her focus is that the fight was not due to Nemesis being a chosen of Sothis who was corrupted as the church claims.
- Either that, or it's an in-universe Values Dissonance; previous Emperors before Edelgard most likely had no problem with the information as is and agreed with Seiros, and Edelgard is the first to see problems with the actual truth about Seiros.
- Each final boss's particular gimmick makes sense, given what we know about them.
- Nemesis may be leading a powerful army, but it's the army (and his resources) that are the biggest threat. Nemesis himself is a powerful enemy, but he's only effectively untouchable for the majority of the mission because his Ten Elites grant him an absurd stat-buff and attack immunity so long as they live. Once they're taken out, he's significantly more manageable. This reflects how he only became a major threat because TWSitD made him into one, and why Rhea and the Byleth-Claude team could beat him both cut him off from his more dangerous tools, and he underestimates them when having the upper hand.
- The Immaculate One is, for all intents and purposes, just a bigger, meaner Black Beast, and the Black Eagle Strike Force has plenty of experience taking those down. Especially one that doesn't move, is a huge target, and is berserk enough for the "Gambits are noisy enough to Draw Aggro" rule to still apply.
- Hegemon Edelgard has brought the full power of the Crest of Flames within her out, yet she manages to be weaker when harnessing it than Nemesis is, who sustains an entire undead army with his Crest of Flames, and makes poor decisions with her attacks. This shows how the artificial means of gaining said power have not been the boon for Edelgard that "those who slither in the dark" or Edelgard assumed it would be, and how attempting to throw away the things that pushed her forward (the past) has left her weaker mentally than she was when she began, and she will even prioritize attacking targets like Dimitri (whom she rarely hits) for reasons that she assumes are logical, but are guided by personal feelings.
- Loog rebelled against the empire and managed to win despite controlling the lands that had a harsher climate and probably couldn't support as large of a population or army as the remaining empire. How did he win? The Heroes' Relics. At the time of its founding, the Kingdom controlled all of its present-day territory as well as Leicester. That accounts for the bloodlines of nine of the Ten Elites and their corresponding Relics. The only one the Empire had was House Martritz and the Rafail Gem, as well as Aymr.
- However, Leicester was still an Imperial land back then, which mean that all the Relics associated with it (Failnaught, Freikugel, Luin, and Thyrsus) were as well.
- Actually if you view schedule details and check up on the Leicester Founding Day, it says that it celebrates when the Alliance broke away from the Kingdom. Meaning Failnaught, Freikugel, Luin and Thyrsus were Relics on Loog's side.
- Additionally, we don't know if the Rafail Gem was House Martritz's Relic since Mercedes's mother, whom we know she got her Crest from, was married into the House.
- In the Abyss library, it is revealed that Loog primarily owed his victory to the support he received from the Agarthans.
- However, Leicester was still an Imperial land back then, which mean that all the Relics associated with it (Failnaught, Freikugel, Luin, and Thyrsus) were as well.
- In the beginning, Byleth and the three house lords make up the full melee weapon triangle. This is also true storywise.
- Edelgard wields axes. Ultimately, she emotionally cripples Dimitri (lances), but on the other hand, Byleth (swords) is her downfall in all paths. 3 out of 4 story branches have them as her enemy, and even with them as her ally, she ends up as a much different person thanks to Byleth compared to her other incarnations.
- Dimitri uses lances. All in all, Byleth (swords) is little more than a skilled individual to him on any route other than his own, and so they largely have little effect on him. Edelgard (axe) manages to overtake his finer judgement, meaning only with Byleth (who can trump her) being at his side can he overcome her.
- Byleth uses a sword. Unless s/he joins her, s/he's always going to fight against Edelgard's (axe) empire and only faces Dimitri (Lance) at the behest of Edelgard, meaning s/he never truly faces his/her weakness during the story unless s/he's backed up by somebody who has his/her enemy's weakness.
- Claude, being a bow user, doesn't really have any direct ties to anybody. Storywise, in addition to being a neutral party to the war, his own route deals with taking care of the true cause of the conflict that was hiding behind the others while not being able to do much to resolve the issues that had overtaken Fódlan himself, as his endings always leave Byleth in charge of the united kingdom. In the end, he wasn't a direct part of the personal conflicts, and if the battle gets thrown his way, then he always loses, but if given his chance, he snipes the actual threat behind the front lines.
- Each of the Golden Deer gain their own Color Motif post-timeskip with each of their colors representing something about that character:
- Claude is gold. He is the leader of the Golden Deer, secretly Almyran royalty, and the least emotionally troubled of the three lords, and never falls down a dark path, even as an antagonist despite implying at such in the Japanese version.
- Hilda is pink. She is known for using her looks and charm to get others (mostly men) to do her work for her, is quite fashionable, and enjoys crafting her own accessories.
- Lorenz is purple. Purple is commonly associated with nobility and Lorenz takes great pride in his noble status.
- Marianne is blue. She is a Shy Blue-Haired Girl who also invokes True Blue Femininity. Blue is also the color of depression, which Marianne likely had pre-timeskip.
- Ignatz is green. Most of his paintings seem to be either landscape paintings or of the Goddess, Serios, and Saint Cethleann, who all are associated with green.
- Leonie is orange. Who else wears orange? Her idol Jeralt.
- Raphael is yellow. He is a friendly Gentle Giant and several of his supports feature him trying to make someone happy.
- Lysithea is white AND purple. In the East, white is associated with death and purple is a rare color in nature. Bearing two Crests is extremely rare and Lysithea doesn't have long to live as result thanks to the experiments that gave her said Crest.
- Solon reveals that "those who slither in the dark" have Crest Stone-like objects in their chests when ripping Kronya's heart out to crush it. This seems odd, until it's revealed through the Crest Stones used as giant monster weapons that the demonic beasts they start mass-producing all use artificial Crest Stones, allowing them to even make unique types to suit their objectives. Unlike the actual flesh of the Nabateans or their blood, they managed to replicate one of the things that would make them see themselves as gods. The Remire tragedy, a result of using Flayn's blood, is also implied to be them perfecting the means to awaken said artificial Crest Stones for this purpose, since they require the blood of the Nabateans to continue their research. The flesh of the Nabateans is also not implied to not rot, as it's still alive even as part of the Heroes' Relics, meaning they have all the resources needed to produce more Relics.
- A meta example. In-Universe, the Goddess Rite of Rebirth is said to be the day where the goddess is said to have arrived in the world. The date of the celebration is 7/26 (July 26th); if read on the real world calendar, this is the same day that Fire Emblem: Three Houses was released world-wide. So the goddess did, in a sense, arrive into the world.
- An interesting similarity between Byleth and Nemesis is that in the latter's army, there are exactly 12 unique units, the 10 elites, Odesse, and Nemesis himself. How many units can you deploy in the final map? 12.
- Wyvern Riders require Axe proficiencies to promote. Then why does Seteth, who by default is a Wyvern Rider, wield a lance? Because he is Really 700 Years Old who's been in hiding for most of the time and axes are a relatively recent Weapon of Choice for Wyvern Riders, starting with Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. Before that, they used lances just like Pegasus Knights (and were originally promoted Pegasus Knights). Seteth is utilizing tactics from past games because that's what he is accustomed to. Not only that, the weapon that is associated with him as Saint Cichol is a lance, which he presumably wielded in the past against Nemesis and his army; thus, he would be very comfortable wielding lances.
- This could also explain why Faith users get the Nosferatu spell early on, even if the rest of their White Magic list is healing-focused and they never get much offensive white magic: it's a holdover from the days when magic was Cast from Hit Points (such as in Gaiden/Echoes). These days, it's a vestigial part of the curriculum, since safer casting methods exist and the spell itself is terrible, but it's taught either due to tradition (Faith implies it's the longstanding church that directs the teachings) or because it demonstrates theory useful for later spells.
- The three lords have a theme with time that represents how they turn out in their own routes and the other routes where they are not chosen:
- Edelgard represents the future, which is even her title in Heroes. Her single-minded determination to see the future fulfilled causes her to disregard the past and the present. Her knowledge of history are half-truths and in other routes not her own, she ignored how her war caused more pain to those in the present. Her inability to compromise on her vision on the future ultimately leads to her demise outside her own route. She only succeeds in reaching her future once she is able to trust others with her past and being more conscious of the people around her in the present.
- Dimitri represents the past. Dimitri's past fueled most of his actions and outside of his own route, is trapped in it and thus, he could not see a present or future. Being trapped in his past led him to be killed in other routes not his own, and he only changes for the better once he starts living for himself in the present and moving steadily toward the future.
- Claude represents the present. Claude's past shaped himself and while he has grand ambitions for the future, he also realizes the importance of the present and works on what is going on right in front of him before focusing on the past and future. This led to his route unraveling many of the fallacies of Fódlan's history while also allowing Claude himself a chance to survive in every route to adapt.
- To further highlight Claude's focus on the present, his final antagonists both represent the future and the past, mostly in their themes and music. "Those Who Slither in the Dark" employ futuristic technology that is completely out of place in Fódlan (and the series proper), and their music leans more towards the very modern EDM or dubstep genre. They look to the future with their wicked schemes and machinations. Nemesis, revived by said group, represents the past, being a powerful historical figure brought back from the dead. His musical theme is very operatic in nature, a genre and type of music that had its start long ago. He's a herald of a time long gone, brought back to seek revenge on those who live in the now.
- Rhea, as a major player in the plot, can be seen as representing all three periods of time: She longs to recreate her happy past by reviving her mother, but her grief keeps her trapped in the present, as she cannot truly connect with anyone in the monastery, has ruined her potential relationship with Jeralt that could have helped her move on, by keeping him in the dark about the circumstances of the death of his wife and the condition of his baby, and despite her remorse, didn't learn anything from it and still never told him the truth until it was too late. Rhea additionally keeps Fódlan stuck in its current stagnant status quo. As for the future, Rhea represents each of the three lords as a leader, but she represents what the three lords would have become if they fail to overcome their current issues. Like Claude, Rhea is an outsider who, despite her warm and likable demeanor, cannot open up to her allies and followers, is quite a schemer whose plans have alienated people around her, and has to hide her true identity to get her plans moving in Fódlan. Like Dimitri, she's traumatized by a massacre that claimed many lives including her parent, and hides a deranged, psychotic self underneath her warm persona that is obsessed with avenging the dead regardless of the dead's actual desires, and their obsession with the dead is partly fueled by insanity. They also have a strong obsession with killing the object of their hatred without getting all the facts, which is her downfall in the Crimson Flower route. Like Edelgard, Rhea seeks to do what is best for Fódlan by controlling it, is a control freak whose methods can alienate her allies, and both are ruthless when it comes to dealing with their enemies and enforcing their vision on Fódlan.
- Rhea at first seems oddly more traumatized than any of her kin by the events of the Red Canyon. But then we learn on Verdant Wind that she was the only Nabatea to survive Nemesis' assault on Zanado. The other surviving Nabatea had left the canyon some time before. Thus Rhea was the only one of them to witness firsthand the horror and trauma of what happened there, Indech and the others only hearing about it. (In fact, Rhea may have only narrowly avoided being a victim herself )
- The Holding Hands motif between Dimitri and Byleth on the Azure Moon route. Pre-timeskip, if selected to meet female!Byleth at the Goddess Tower, Dimitri will tell her that, in his opinion, the goddess would never even offer her hand to someone begging to be saved, and that even if she did, humans can't reach out and accept it. By the start of Part 2, Byleth is literally fused with said goddess, and she does, indeed, offer Dimitri her hand which Dimitri refuses at first, but accepts once he is finally at the point where he wants to be saved.
- Petra, despite being a Brigid princess, is a "Commoner" in terms of gameplay. Gameplay and Story Segregation? Maybe not so much, actually. A Noble will have claims to land, wealth, and social ties in Fòdlan. All of which are things Petra does not have befitting her status of a political prisoner, since anything she would be entitled to doesn't mean much in Fòdlan.
- Also, while Petra is a princess, she isn't from Fódlan, and would be at best like that of an exchange student. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that she was entered as a commoner because not only the above, but because from a political perspective, she lacks any weight in the academy.
- Additionally, Fòdlan nobility has something Petra doesn't: Crests.
- Seiros's crest stone vanishing at the end of Crimson Flower is just as much symbolic as it is literal. In this route, Byleth fights against the church and the status quo of Crests. The death of Rhea (the institution), the death of Sothis (the goddess), and the removal of Crests. (The Crest Stone.) Byleth's hair returns to normal s/he's become a regular human, who s/he ultimately chose to side with, and to hand the future for. Humans.
- Claude's annoyance at being referred to as the "Master Tactician" in Verdant Wind seems odd, especially considering it's a rather impressive title. But then you realize that, considering how he entrusts the job to them even post-timeskip, he probably considers Byleth more worthy.
- In the S support image of Jeritza, Byleth is seen wielding the Sword of Seiros instead of the Sword of the Creator. In every route besides Crimson Flower, Edelgard uses the Sword of Seiros as a Battle Trophy, but here, Byleth uses it instead. It is Gameplay and Story Integration that Edelgard prefers axes and Byleth prefers swords. Also, Byleth does not have the Crest of Flames anymore, so the Sword of the Creator because it's a Heroes' Relic would be useless or too fatal to use. The Sword of Seiros, on the other hand, is a sacred weapon, and anyone can use a sacred weapon with no penalty.
- Jeritza can only support Mercedes (his half-sister and reason for living, more or less) and Byleth. Another case of Avatar-sexual? Maybe not necessarily Jeritza's supports with Mercedes suggest that his Death Knight persona is a Superpowered Evil Side and that he might suffer from all sorts of psychological issues such as dissociation, as shown by the fact that he killed his and Mercedes's father and despite Jeritza ordinarily being able to keep it under control, it can still come out, even against Mercedes. It can actually be some clever Gameplay and Story Integration he's afraid of what he's become, and intentionally distances himself from others, only opening up to Byleth and Mercedes.
- This also puts some of his actions into perspective:
- Wandering at night, alone he is trying to keep the Death Knight persona under control, so not to lash out at any students. And especially not Mercedes.
- Not being able to teach Byleth skills pre-timeskip and otherwise being dismissive if talked to. It gives people a reason to keep their distance from him, and hopefully away from him if the Death Knight persona surfaces.
- Why he's so reluctant to chase you around until much later on. Jeritza is Fighting from the Inside.
- Why he helps you out on Verdant Wind and Silver Snow apart from wanting to aid Hubert in getting revenge on Those who Slither in the Dark, it's Jeritza in control. He runs to direct Byleth's attention away and goads them to follow so that they will not be killed by a javelin of light.
- Why he gives up his weapon as well the only route in which he survives is Crimson Flower. The only route in which you can have Mercedes and Caspar but not unlock their paralogue is Crimson Flower. On every other route, he intentionally gives it up to Caspar so he wouldn't risk harming someone who he doesn't want to.
- Constance and Bernadetta can now also support Jeritza.
- In their A-support, Bernadetta admits that they have a lot in common avoiding people due to difficult pasts though their trauma affects them differently. Bernadetta also isn't afraid of the Death Knight in particular, unlike most others.
- Constance knew Emile as a child, and they were close back then. The Death Knight tends to lose himself in combat, but Constance constantly plans ahead, which evens itself out. Constance likewise isn't afraid of Jeritza because, as she mentions in their C-support, she is a gifted mage and could take him out if she needed to.
- This also puts some of his actions into perspective:
- At first, it might seem strange that Leonie was granted the Inexhaustible instead of Bernadetta, who had the corresponding crest. However, this connects to the fact that most of the crests themselves were not granted to the descendants willingly, as all but a few are forcefully taken by the Ten Elites who ingested their blood and made relics out of their bones, the crests later being inherited by their descendants (exceptions being the Crests of the Four Saints and Seiros, which were given willingly to humans). Many of the characters who received hero relics obtain them through inheritance, an inheritance that their ancestors had taken forcefully from its source. Leonie, on the other hand, obtains it by proving her worth to the Immovable himself, and thus, is granted the Inexhaustible as a result.
- On the Black Eagles route, Edelgard mentions that she was afraid that Byleth would side with the Church so they would be with their 'family'/fellow gods. In other words, joining Edelgard means deciding that your blood does not define you very fitting for her meritocratic perspective.
- The Golden Deer are the only house that can potentially survive every route beyond their own with all of its members intact, if you assume that Claude survived the offscreen battle of Gronder and retreated to Almyra. Given Claude's more neutral stance, how his plans on Crimson Flower ensured the Alliance would get out of any result with minimal casualties, and the Alliance's more neutral stance on non-Verdant Wind routes, this makes sense. It's quite possible that pragmatism is Leicester's answer to Faerghus's chivalry.
- The Combat Art "破天", lit. "Breaking Sky", is translated as "Rend Heaven" in Fire Emblem Fates, but translated as "Ruptured Heaven" in Three Houses, and shortened to "Ruptured Sky" in Fire Emblem Heroes. However, all four names exactly describe how Byleth escaped from the darkness of the Forbidden Spell of Zahras casted by Solon after fusing together with Sothis in Chapter 10, by literally cutting the sky in the main world with their Sublime Creator Sword, which used to have the "Ruptured Heaven" Combat Art with the Sword of the Creator form.
- The murals at the start of each month depict a story. The recurring characters are a young man and a stag. They live their own lives, falling in love and having families. But they intersect when the man kills the stag leaving its mate and child behind. Eventually the man is enlisted in the war, which shows him about to engage the son of the stag he killed. Just like in the main story there is no real villain, just a difference in perspective. It also foreshadows the main cause of the plot, as the hunter made armor out of the bones of the stag he killed.
- Many units have Secret A.I. Moves that are not possible within the normal standards of what you can do. While this is likely just a gameplay thing to make the enemies hard, it makes sense that the students without your guidance would seek alternative routes for power, and naturally take up unique abilities over the five years you were gone.
- If the player chooses the Black Eagles and sides with Edelgard after the Holy Tomb incident, they will no longer be able to hire battalions affiliated with the church at the guild after the timeskip. As Crimson Flower is the only route where the church is an enemy rather than an ally, this makes sense. note If the player sides with the church or gets railroaded onto the Silver Snow route, however, they will be able to hire Empire-affiliated battalions after the timeskip.
- Why can Felix and Ferdinand, despite their loyalty to Faerghus and Adrestia respectively, be recruited to fight for the other country or Leicester? Because they do not have the same Undying Loyalty displayed by Dedue and Hubert. If Felix is recruited to the Golden Deer, post-timeskip, his reasons for defecting to Leicester despite having spent the last five years fighting the Dukedom boil down to self-preservation and believing Leicester has a better chance against the Empire. Ferdinand in his B-support with Byleth on any route besides Crimson Flower explains that he refused to be Edelgard's puppet, and if talked to after the battle of Gronder on Verdant Wind, he reveals that he believes Edelgard is "running amok", and that he is duty-bound to stop her.
- When you completely break a giant enemy's armor, you're usually rewarded with smithing materials. This is because you literally break the enemy armor (for example, the giant shield of the titanus or the demonic beast's mask) which leaves behind fragments that are small enough to carry away and smelt with.
- Constance and Hapi both lack Hero's Relics, despite Balthus and Yuri both having one. Then you realize that Nemesis is revived at the end of Verdant Wind using the Crest Stones of Noa and Timotheos, meaning the Agarthans likely stole their Crest's Relics at some point to do so. This also explains where they got the resources to make the Dark Creator's Sword that Nemesis wields.
- Cindered Shadows gives an explanation for how characters with powerful magic in various Fire Emblem games can get captured and held in seemingly normal restraints or prisons. Namely, a Silence spell renders them unable to use magic until it is removed or wears off.
- The identity of the Cardinals of the Church are a closely guarded secret, likely so that Seteth and Rhea can more easily slip back into their positions in the Church by claiming to be one of said Cardinals.
- In Cindered Shadows, the form Aelfric takes when merged with the Chalice of Beginnings and Sitri is (on the stats/info screen) noted to have been influenced by Crest Stone shards. Yet no such shards are mentioned to have been in the chalice or near it. Then one recalls that Aelfric is one of Rhea's "children", i.e. someone she granted her Crest to by giving them her blood and shards from her own Crest Stone, i.e. the shards that influenced the transformation came from within Aelfric's body.
- In her B support with Seteth, Manuela relates how she first visited the monastery as a child. She wandered off from her parents, following a beautiful singing voice she heard and sang back to it. The voice was singing from somewhere out of sight, and she never found who it was. She came to believe the voice was the goddess herself, and the event helped her discover her own talents as a songstress. On its own, the story is simply a sweet, mysterious tale, but then one recalls that in the game, we see that Rhea likes to sing in solitude, though her voice travels some distance. Manuela may not have heard the goddess' voice, but rather the voice of the goddess' daughter.
- Most of Lysithea and Edelgard's supports are very vague about the conclusion to their Your Days Are Numbered plotline (the closest Lysithea gets is her ending with Felix mentioning that she died sometime before him). This is probably due to the fact that Lysithea can be recruited into the Crimson Flower path, meaning her endings could happen in parallel with Edelgard's. So if one had an ending where they explicitly died, while the other had one where they were cured, it'd end up feeling very unfair.
- The Ashen Wolves all represent one of the factions in the game. Wait a minute, this is three houses there are four Ashen Wolves, so who's the fourth? Obviously... that's Yuri. Because he's working for Rhea therefore he represents the Church of Seiros Silver Snow.
- The Crimson Flower route is the shortest one in the game with 18 chapters. This actually makes sense. In all the other routes, the Empire starts off with the upper hand post-timeskip and it's an uphill battle to defeat them. But in Crimson Flower, you're playing as the Empire, meaning that by the time of the timeskip, half of Fódland's already been conquered and you can easily steamroll the rest.
- On another note, all of the other routes start with the primary objective of winning the war, but then take a detour when the main lords decide to also uncover truths that are important to them and/or all of Fódlan. But Edelgard stubbornly refuses to believe shes wrong about the truths of Fódlan she learned from TWSITD and from the Hresvelg line, she wouldnt waste time trying to uncover the actual truth. Shed rather just get the war done with.
- As mentioned above, Dorothea has a budding talent for Faith, but when fighting her as an enemy, shes in the Warlock class. On other routes, fellow mage Lysithea can upgrade into a Gremory, who utilizes both types of magic. Becoming a Gremory is actually very easy for Dorothea, so why not her too? Well, one obvious reason would be that without Byleth, she never discovered her budding talent. But, as a general for the Empire, who literally started a war with the Church, Dorothea would have abandoned the need for Faith as soon as she joined the Black Eagle Strike Force, and cutting out the option of being a Gremory.
- If Manuela isn't recruited in the Azure Moon route, she'll appear in Dimitri's paralogue "The Silver Maiden" as an assassin. It seems strange considering if she is recruited, she is in the Priest class, which heavily utilizes white magic. However, consider that white magic is derived from faith, along with her sword proficiency, it all makes sense. She's no longer in a faith-based class because she lost her faith in the goddess, so she utilizes her other proficiency.
- Ashe, Hilda, and Linhardt all couldn't sleep which is why they join you in Abyss mode. Seems weird for Linhardt of all people to be up at this hour, right? Not so much it's noted in the main game that when he gets focused on a particular subject of research, he may forgo sleep entirely for extended periods.
- Which can also explain his tendency to nap all the time because he borks his sleep schedule doing that.
- When choosing a class for Constance, all of her clothes, armor included, are bright shades of dark and light pink, and light blue here in there, opposite of the more subdued hues of the other characters' classes. Since shes trying to revive her house from ruin, it makes sense shed want to stand out compared to everyone else; it would give a member of House Nuvelle the chance to shine in the war, and help be recognized/rewarded for her efforts.
- While most assume that the official confirmation of Almyra having middle-eastern theme came with the reveal of Claude's real name, it was already hinted before that. After the timeskip, check Claude's battalion "Immortal Corps". Now, which real-life empire was known for their elite unit called "Immortals"?
- Sylvain's A and A+ supports with Felix and Ingrid, for the most part, go smoother than the C and B supports. Why is this? While they're at war and had to put aside any petty arguments, they're also back in the same age bracket. Sylvain is almost 20 at the start of the game, while Felix and Ingrid are 17 for most of the academy phase. In the war phase, Sylvain is 25 while they're 22/23. The age gap isn't as noticeable.
- Several characters get attack bonuses in addition to the standard hit/avoid. These bonds are also closer than usual.
- Byleth & Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude, Yuri, and Flayn: Byleth helps the former three overcome their worst traits, and Yuri flirts with Byleth regardless of gender. Flayn feels a close bond with Byleth.
- Edelgard & Hubert, Dimitri & Dedue: The second party is a vassal and confidant of the former.
- Claude & Hilda: While Hilda can be recruited out of house, she does care for Claude, and will die rather than let the Empire hurt him.
- Annette & Mercedes: Best friends.
- Annette & Gilbert, Flayn & Seteth: Daughter and father.
- Mercedes & Jeritza: Siblings.
- Felix, Sylvain & Ingrid: Childhood friends. Of note is that they have a close bond with each other but not Dimitri, implying that there is a level of distance.
- Dorothea & Manuela: Manuela was Dorothea's senior in their opera company, and Dorothea says she looked up to Manuela. Of note is that Manuela always teaches the Black Eagles unless Byleth does first.
- Ferdinand & Lorenz: While most supports between characters that don't know each other usually start with some tension, these two are superficially similar and get along from the start.
- Raphael & Ignatz: Despite Ignatz blaming himself for the death of Raphael's parents, Raphael just wants to be friends again.
- Catherine & Shamir: Partners in the knights, with subtext.
- Alois & Leonie: While this may seem random, both Alois and Leonie look up to Jeralt, and if recruited to the Empire, do so because they believe that's what Jeralt would've wanted, and to protect Byleth.
- Hilda & Balthus: Holst and Balthus went to the Officers' Academy together, and Hilda has known Balthus since she was a child.
- Dorothea & Hilda: While this goes unused in the final version, both women are very feminine and have similar interests despite coming from opposite upbringings. Hilda is also one of the more relaxed nobles.
- Bernadetta & Marianne: While this also goes unused, both characters have a difficult time interacting with other people. It's likely that they can detect that the other feels the same way and thus are more comfortable around each other.
- Note the order that the Blue Lions sound off in their version of Chapter 12; Dimitri, Felix, Ashe, Sylvain, Mercedes, Annette, Ingrid, Dedue. This is, for the most part, their order in the roster, except for Dedue, who goes between Dimitri and Felix. Dedue can also be permanently lost.
- This happens again in their version of Chapter 22, where the soundoff order is Dimitri, Dedue (if the criteria was met), Felix, Ashe, Sylvain, Mercedes, Annette, and Ingrid. This is their order in the roster, including Dedue being in his correct place (between Dimitri and Felix).
- This also roughly matches when their character archetypes would've been recruited. The Lord (Dimitri) first, Dedue (Draug) as the starting companion who can defend everyone else but mostly the Lord, Felix (early-game Navarre), Ashe (early-game Gordin), Sylvain (early-game Cain), Mercedes (early-game Lena), Annette (Linde), and Ingrid (early-mid game flier).
- The other recruitable characters follow this, too. Seteth and Flayn are clearlyvery important characters introduced into the story much earlier than they can be recruited, and Gilbert as the late-game unit that's more of a "Just in case I need someone powerful or fill a spot" (Gotoh).
- In the Azure Moon version of Chapter 13, note the groups. Mercedes and Annette spawn in the bottom-left corner. Ingrid, Felix, and Sylvain spawn in the top-right corner. Ashe, curiously, shows up with Gilbert. Of course Ashe is going to be the only one who doesn't spawn with another student, he's the only Blue Lion who starts with no connections beyond home country!
- While Sylvain and Ferdinand have similar builds, Ferdinand has a lower Defence growth and base. This makes sense, as Sylvain grew up with Miklan and thus toughened up a bit as a result. Ferdinand, meanwhile, did not experience the same abuse, hence why he's squishier. He's also smaller than Sylvain in both height and width, and thus has less bulk to begin with.
- The fail condition for the first half of Cindered Shadows' 4th chapter is specifically Byleth's death. This might seem a bit strange, considering that Byleth isn't exactly a plot critical character for this mission. But the reason is actually mechanical. Should a unit with the item required to complete the map die, the item will go to the convoy. Since Byleth is the only way to access the convoy, their death would render the level unplayable, hence why their death is that level's lose condition.
- Why does the Church (or rather Rhea) keep the ability of Heroes' Relics to transform people into monsters secret? Because the Nobles Houses are very successful at keeping the relics away from those who would be in danger usually. And as canon shows in CF with Dedue and his men in CF and the dubsteppers in general the monster creation is weaponizable. And due to the sheer amount of Nabatean material in the direct aftermath of the Red Canyon and Seiros' Shield's specific ability, Rhea probably has seen the monster creation weaponized before.
- The lyrics of Edge of Dawn make it clear that Edelgard valued her time at the academy immensely and on some level wished they would never end. This ends up being reflected in her post-timeskip outfit, which actually heavily resembles the female Garreg Mach uniform when the two are compared. Both outfits feature six buttons on the chest, a pair of decorations on the waistline of the skirt, and very similar sleeves and boots.
- Each of the three lords can gain supports with certain Garreg Mach faculty and knights, and is a reflection of their origins and personalities:
- Edelgard forms supports with Hanneman and Manuela, two people who originated from the Adrestian Empire, and more notably are not Knights of Seiros. Edelgard is more likely to forge bonds with her educators who treat her as a student instead of a princess, as opposed to the Knights who spout off devotion to Rhea or about the Church. Their supports with her play an important role of softening Edelgards extremist views in the Crimson Flower route; Hanneman teaching her that Crests arent inherently bad, just abused by nobles and he wants to use his research to dismantle the nobility by giving Crests to everyone. Manuela teaches Edelgard that belief in the Goddess does not have to be connected solely to the Church nor is it a form of blind devotion, and belief and prayer does not stop people from taking their own initiative.
- Dimitri forms supports with Catherine, Gilbert, and Alois, the former two are people from the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus who knew Dimitri from his childhood, and the latter is devoted to the Knights of Seiros, who the Kingdom has strong ties with. Catherine and Gilbert are deeply affected by actions they committed in relation to the Tragedy of Duscur that traumatized Dimitri, and his supports with them focus on the concept of loyalty, but also running away from shame or trauma and reconciling with that guilt. For Alois, his support is a breath of fresh air for the suffering prince, with his light heartedness and jokes offering reprieve from Dimitri's internal darkness.
- Claude forms supports with Shamir and Cyril, who like him are outsiders to Fódlan, Shamir from Dagda and Cyril from Almyra. Both of his supports focus on thoughts of returning to their lands of origin, reflecting on Claude eventually returning to Almyra to become it king. However the conversations with these two show how their values are opposites of Claude's personality, and challenges the latter's perspectives: Shamir is calculated like Claude, but is stoic and cold with no goals in mind other than working for herself, whereas Claude is a cheeky trickster with a good heart who wants to work to help others. She teaches Claude to be more aware of his surrounding and careful with himself. Cyril is Almyran like Claude, but is very critical of his home country for their treatment of orphans and the practices that cause so many orphans, and on the other hand his excessive devotion to Rhea throws Claude off, as he loves Almyra and has a strong distrust towards Rhea and the Church of Seiros for various reasons. Cyril informs Claude of the deep flaws Almyra has, convincing him that there is a lot that needs to change there too. He also convinces him that not all of the Church's actions are bad or secretive and that he doesn't need to make an enemy of Rhea to accomplish his goals, that indeed he has something in common with her in his desire to help the powerless.
- Interestingly Edelgard cannot support with any of the Knights of Seiros, coinciding with her own animosity towards the Church. This is despite the fact that two of them, Shamir and Alois, can actually switch sides and fight for the Empire against the Church.
- Coinciding with this, the only one of the two who Hubert is capable of Supporting with is Shamir. Given his general distrusting personality, you'd think he'd at least have similar misgivings towards Alois that he does to Shamir but then you can look deeper into the motivation of the two former Knights. Alois joins the Empire purely out of Undying Loyalty towards Byleth. By that point in the story, Edelgard and Hubert alike have developed complete faith in Byleth so by extension, Hubert has no reason to mistrust Alois' motives. Shamir however is a different matter, being both of Dagda descent and a former member of the Church. It takes until reaching an A-rank support with Shamir that Hubert finally accepts that Shamir was telling the truth of not holding past grudges against the Empire or maintaining fealty to the Church.
- Crimson Flower features a bit of dialog that implies why Rhea keeps so many secrets from Seteth and Flayn despite them being family. Should they survive, Seteth writes a letter expressing that he must prioritize Flayn's safety and return to a life in hiding. Rhea's only response is a resigned "As expected, I am the only one left." The implication is she never believed Seteth would stay by her side, just as he didn't at the end of the War of Heroes. She doesn't appear to begrudge him prioritizing Flayn, but this also means she doesn't see him and Flayn as caring enough to stay with her to the end. From Rhea's perspective, her life was effectively still one of solitude as it had been ever since she lost everyone in Zanado, and she would eventually be the "only one" of her mother's progeny to keep fighting.
- In the opening, when Serios has killed Nemesis, she holds up the Sword of The Creator, close enough for the blood to stick to her cheek, while symbolically talking to her deceased mother. When one learns who her mother is, and what happened to her, no wonder Serios holds the sword so close during her comment. Its one of the few things that remains of her mother.
- The actions of the house heads in the cutscene showing off the students foreshadows their end goals in the three routes:
- Claude is displaying a map of Fódlan to his classmates, a symbol of how he wants to break it isolationist barriers to interact with the world outside of Fódlan in Verdant Wind.
- Edelgard is magically showing off her Crest of Seiros, hinting how Crests are a major motivator behind her actions to dismantle nobility and start the war.
- Dimitri is seen sparring and shows off immense strength in the fight, displaying how he becomes fixated on fighting everything in order to kill Edelgard in Azure Moon before finding a genuine reason to fight: to liberate the Kingdom and the continent from the Empire in the time skip.
- Crimson Flower is the one route the player can only enter if they consciously choose to do so rather than get railroaded onto. Quite fitting for the lord harboring a desire to build a world where a person can choose their own path to carve.
- Pre-timeskip, Edelgard and Dimitri wear gloves and gauntlets with their school uniforms respectively, while Claude is the only one of the Lords to not wear something on his hands. The former two have killed and have a lot of heavy secrets to hide, hence their "hiding" the stains on their hands. Claude, despite hiding his heritage, has the least amount of skeletons in the closet, and is open to others if they return the favor.
- All of the Adrestian nobles have the same naming scheme, which is "Firstname von Lastname." note Edelgard von Hresvelg, Hubert von Vestra, Ferdinand von Aegir, Linhardt von Hevring, Caspar von Bergliez, Bernadetta von Varley, Hanneman von Essar, Jeriza von Hyrm/Emile von Bartels, Constance von Nuvelle, Mercedes von Martritz. All of the Faerghus nobles also have the same naming scheme, which is "Firstname Middlename Lastname. note Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd, Felix Hugo Fraldarius, Sylvain Jose Gautier, Annette Fantine Dominic, Ingrid Brandl Galatea, Cassandra Rubens Charon, Miklan Anschutz Gautier, Lambert Egitte Blaiddyd, Rodrigue Achille Fraldarius. The Leicester nobles, meanwhile, follow both patterns. note Claude von Riegan, Lysithea von Ordelia, Marianne von Edmund, Judith von Daphnel, and Balthus von Albrecht coexist alongside Lorenz Hellman Gloucester and Hilda Valentin Goneril. Given that the Alliance is the youngest nation, it hasn't had the time to develop its own unique naming pattern yet. That more follow the Adrestian pattern is likely due to the Empire being the largest and most powerful nation and Leicester being founded on freedom from Faerghus.
- Meanwhile, regardless of where they come from, all the commoners follow the same naming pattern, which is simply "Firstname Lastname," or just their first name. note Dorothea Arnault, Petra Macnary, Dedue Molinaro, Ashe Ubert, Raphael Kirsten, Ignatz Victor, Leonie Pinelli, Manuela Casagranda, Shamir Nevrand, Alois Rangeld, Cyril, Yuri Leclerc, Hapi, Byleth Eisner. As they come from more humble backgrounds, they don't need to stand out.
- Petra not having a middle name despite being Brigid royalty is because she's not from the Empire. Cyril lacks a last name due to being a war orphan, while Hapi lacks one due to being from an isolated village.
- Seteth and Flayn also lack last names. As they are actually Saint Cichol and Saint Cethleann, they don't really need last names. This also applies to Rhea aka Saint Seiros, who is revealed to have no last name via datamining.
- Meanwhile, regardless of where they come from, all the commoners follow the same naming pattern, which is simply "Firstname Lastname," or just their first name. note Dorothea Arnault, Petra Macnary, Dedue Molinaro, Ashe Ubert, Raphael Kirsten, Ignatz Victor, Leonie Pinelli, Manuela Casagranda, Shamir Nevrand, Alois Rangeld, Cyril, Yuri Leclerc, Hapi, Byleth Eisner. As they come from more humble backgrounds, they don't need to stand out.
- While the Noble and Commoner classes mostly play identically (being a weak, unspecialized class) and appearing to be distinct purely for flavor, the Noble class actually has a +5% modifier to the Charm growth. As they have to lead, the noble students have likely been trained to exude charisma before they enrolled. It also subtly highlights the advantages of noble birth.
- According to Sylvain, the Crest bloodlines have been getting weaker. This is reflected in-game, as most of the Major Crest-bearers are Nabateans (Rhea, Seteth, Flayn), had it implanted (Byleth, Edelgard, Lysithea), come from isolated regions (Balthus, Hapi), are inbred (Constance), or are implied to have received it from the original bearer (Jeralt and Yuri). Felix and Catherine are the only exceptions.
- Crest bloodlines getting weaker also makes sense from a biology standpoint: a child receives half of the materials from each parent, and this also applies to Crest blood. Unions with both partners bearing Crests - or just Crest blood in general - would ensure the baby gets a 'normal' dose of Crest blood, yet if only one partner has such, the baby gets a half-dose. Rinse and repeat over generations, and of course the supply of Crest blood would be dwindling in the present day; regular blood is an infinite supply as long as humans are around, while Crest blood is the exact opposite due to the near-genocide of the Nabateans.
- Normally after the completion of the Black Market Scheme paralogue, Edelgard will step in to explain who Baron Ochs was and that he was involved in a deal to get his daughter, Monica, back. She'll note Monica was found recently, explaining why he was not aware of this yet. However, should you do the paralogue after Monica has been revealed to be an enemy, then Edelgard will simply look on with a "..." as Hapi and Balthus wonder about who he was and why he did all this. Presumably this is to avoid questions she does not want asked, like why after a few months had passed the Empire had not yet informed Ochs that his daughter had been found. After all, if anyone were to be able to tell it wasn't really Monica, it would have been him, and Edelgard could not have her hated ally revealed yet.
- Through their supports you learn that Hubert has gone behind Edelgard's back to carry out actions she would not be okay with for the sake of her goals. This may explain some of the seemingly out of character Kick the Dog actions that Edelgard carries out in non-Crimson Flower routes, such as a letter she sends to Petra if the latter joined another house, effectively trying to blackmail Petra into joining her army or else Brigid would be their next target of Invasion. note By comparison when you first initiate the Crimson Flower route, Edelgard makes it a point to tell her classmates that she would understand if they choose not to ally with her and would not force them to. This would also be in keeping with a implied threat he makes toward the families of his classmates if he fights any of them in the Battle of Garreg Mach. Alternatively, Edelgard may be fine with her classmates not supporting her, but them choosing to actually oppose her may be another matter. During the Black Eagles version of the Holy Tomb, Edelgard asks her classmates to stand down because she doesnt want to fight them... then orders her soldiers to steal the Crest Stones and kill anyone who gets in their way, suggesting that the latter is more likely. Then, during the battle at Garreg Mach, Edelgard doesn't threaten the families of her former classmates, instead just threatening the students themselves.
- The Azure Moon route is ultimately the most straightfoward of the four routes and the one where the player learns the least about Those Who Slither in the Dark, Byleth's origins, the Nabateans and the origins of Fódlan. This is a given that since, of the three lords, Dimitri is by far the most reactive. Unlike Edelgard and Claude, Dimitri initially has no major goal to reform Fódlan and after this Trauma Conga Line the only thing he directly cares about for a while is getting revenge on Edelgard. It's only late into the Azure Moon route that Dimitri starts to consider what he will need to do for Fódlan if he wins the war.
- Dimitri's path is also more focused on him than Byleth. Much of it is getting Dimitri out of his Ax-Crazy ways, go back to reclaim his own kingdom, and then think about Fódlan. He's also so obsessed with the past that he completely disregards the present and the future. The story is about he has to care of himself first before worrying about anything else.
- Depending on which route you are playing, if you didn't recruit the student during the first half of the game, then they will be completely absent during the War Phase. If you pay closer attention to their dialogue and/or paralogues in other routes, their absence makes sense:
- Annette does not appear in Verdant Wind or Silver Snow. Unlike in Azure Moon, where Dimitri assumes the throne with the Church's support, in these two routes he is exiled with Cornelia making a power grab. Annette's uncle opts to side with Cornelia and the Empire over the loyalist and explicitly keeps her and her mother away from the conflict. In Crimson Flower, while he likely did try to keep her from the conflict, it ultimately proved fruitless when the Black Eagle Strike Force invades Firdihad and Rhea seemingly forces the remaining Kingdom Forces to try and fend them off.
- The Ashen Wolves quartet (Yuri, Balthus, Hapi, and Constance) will completely disappear in every route. Due to living in Abyss, they have absolutely no personal stakes in the conflict and likely fled for their own safety.
- Lorenz will not be present in Crimson Flower. As noted in other routes, despite being part of the Alliance, House Gloucester casts its allegiance to the Empire. In Silver Snow and Azure Moon, they will arrive as reinforcements to support the Empire in fighting for control of the Bridge of Myrddin. In Crimson Flower, it's the Empire Strike Force who launches the preemptive attack, and reinforcement from Gloucester proves to be unnecessary.
- Marianne doesn't appear in any route outside of Verdant Wind. Of all the nobles described in the game, Margrave Edmund is perhaps the most pragmatic and would prefer to wait until the dust clears to throw in his full support to the victor.
- Raphael also doesn't appear in Crimson Flower. It may seem odd at first, but he has his little sister to take care of during the war. Edelgard has Byleth on her side, meaning she will not be taken extreme measures as seen in the other routes - where Raphael had to be involved.
- Azure Moon is the route in which you learn the least about Those Who Slither in the Dark. While this is a consequence of Dimitri's tunnel vision-driven obsession with killing Edelgard, it also ironically reflects Edelgard and Hubert's rather dismissive opinion of Dimitri. From the very first chapter it's apparent that Edelgard does not hold Dimitri to the level of respect she gives Byleth or even Claude note Edelgard chews Dimitri out for thinking Claude was trying to lead the bandits away instead of just saving his own hide. When defeated in Verdant Wind and Silver Snow, Hubert will have a letter delivered to Claude and Byleth respectively, letting them know what he knows about TWSITD, while he does not offer that same courtesy to Dimitri.
- The fact that, in the Blue Lions route, the Agarthans never launched Javelins of Light and never provided information to figure out whereabouts of their base wouldn't help matters either.
- While the game never explicitly says why Rhea and her allies decided to stall technological progress, the history of the Nabatea (at least as far as Rhea understood it) provides implied answers. Namely, first they helped humans progress, enabling them to grow into a powerful and prosperous civilization with incredible technology. However, the result were wars that eventually led to a massive war against the Nabatea themselves that devastated the entire continent and took at least a thousand years to heal from. So then the Nabatea opted to live apart from humans, let them progress as they pleased without interference. The result (from Rhea's perspective, as in truth the root cause was enemies from the past) was Nemesis genociding most of their remaining kind, including their progenitor. So Rhea and her allies opted for a new approach, to steer Fódlan toward worshipping the goddess Sothis, and for Rhea to be a influential part of Fódlan's power structure through the centuries while keeping technology that could enhance war or reduce faith in the goddess stymied.
- Ferdinand and Lysithea's paralogue, in which they try to save Duke Aegir from rioters, is not available in the Crimson Flower route. In all the rotes, Duke Aegir is stripped of his title and placed under house arrest, with the key difference being Ferdinand's presence. In other routes if recruited, leadership of the territory is passed onto Lord Arundel, who abuses his station to heavily tax the commoners. In Crimson Flower, since Ferdinand remained loyal to the Empire, he ended up inheriting the leadership of his territory so the commoners are never pushed to the point where the events of the paralogue would occur.
- For players more critical of the Crimson Flower route, this could also be to avoid making the Empire look bad.
- Of the three Lords, Edelgard notably has the least amount of supports outside of her own house. Subtracting them, the only people Edelgard can support with are Lysithea, Constancenote After the Cindered Shadows DLC expansion was added and Professors Manuela and Hanneman. This is noteworthy since Edelgard has major trust issues when it comes to see her vision for Fódlan come into fruition so she only lets those who she can absolute trust get closer to her.
- On the meta level, while many of the life-sim elements and side quests in Monastery appear tedious and monotonous, they 1) reward the invested effort by allowing to explore the story deeper and get to know the students better in a realistically gradual way, and 2) provide opportunities for stats and level grinding and/or earning support points, which enable you to poach more students and therefore avoid fighting and likely killing them during the war phase, letting you literally and figuratively Earn Your Happy Ending not only for yourself and your chosen team, but also for other sympathetic characters.
- What's with Byleth's seemingly purely aesthetic dagger? It's established that daggers are a symbol of cutting one's own path in Faerghus. Jeralt, their father, was originally a knight from Faerghus, and most likely a nobleman. He checks all the marks. He has a middle name, he's horseback rider that uses lances, and has fur incorporated into his outfit. He probably gave Byleth that dagger for the symbolism. The dagger's sheath is also royal blue, the color of the kingdom.
- There is an old superstition that giving someone a knife as a present is bad luck, because it may 'cut the relationship.' Maybe someone should have told Dimitri that when he was younger.
- Dimitri is the only one of the three Lords who has a weapon incorporated into his school uniform. It's not even his main weapon. Yet, he's the only one who is passionate about learning swordsmanship, especially from Byleth, who is established to be a Master Swordsman. The Lord being a sword-user is a tradition in the Fire Emblem series , reflecting him being the closest to the usual Lord-type the series usually has at first glance, at least.
- Likewise, the in-game Lord class specializes in swords and lances. Edelgard and Claude favor different weapons. Dimitri is the best person for it.
- Hilda and Cyril's paralogue being the only one available during Chapter 12 doesn't just make sense from an out-of-universe perspective (the player can't recruit them on Silver Snow until Chapter 12), it also makes sense from an in-universe one as well. All of the other Part I paralogues are either personal errands (Yuri/Constance, Seteth/Flayn, Balthus/Hapi, Ashe/Catherine, Manuela/Hanneman, Ingrid/Dorothea, and Anna) or national internal matters (Ignatz/Raphael, Sylvain, Lorenz, Alois/Shamir, Felix, and Dedue), and with the Imperial army coming down on their heads, the Church has to suspend all non-essential missions. However, Hilda and Cyril's paralogue deals with a foreign army attacking Fódlan's borders, and the denizens of Fódlan absolutely cannot afford to face an all-out war with Almyra while the Empire is fighting everyone, so they get a pass.
- If one is to take the Tarot Motif themes into account, the characterisation hints can be brilliant. Dimitri is Strength/Justice (He and Ferdinand's motifs are unsure, meaning one could be the other). Dimitri is incredibly strong, but also very just. Ferdinand, too, is incredibly just. Claude is the Moon a guiding light, but more mysterious and unearthly.
- In a slightly bigger reach, Sylvain, who is death, states that he sees everyone as equal.
- Edelgard is shown to repeatedly defeat Ferdinand in combat. His preferred weapon type historically loses to her's. In fact, Edelgard has higher stats than Ferdinand in all but three categories (HP, Lck, Spd) and ties in a fourth (Def).
- The HP and Lck leads are easily explained. Edelgard underwent a blood reconstruction surgery, reducing her lifespan, and the misfortune is obvious. Ferdinand did not suffer this surgery, and thus maintains his lifespan. Their Def scores being equal is likely due to Edelgard's heavy armor strength cancelling out the loss from the surgery.
- His Spd lead, meanwhile, is likely due to him simply being taller and thus having a longer stride. (175/180 cm to 158 cm)
- Metawise, the separation of the Empire into the Kingdom and Alliance makes historical sense. The Empire started as the Frankish Empire and split into France and Germany/Austria, and England for a while was controlled by the Normans/Angevins from France.
- Unlike the Black Eagle students, Flayn heats up fast in sauna despite originally coming from the tropical climates of Enbarr in Adrestia. It might have to do with being a dragon; cold-blooded reptilian creatures are more receptive to drastic temperature changes compared to warm-blooded humans.
- Edelgard's alliance with Those Who Slither in the Dark is a rather shaky one fueled by their mutual hatred of the Church rather than any loyalty between them. Edelgard even makes several unveiled threats towards them that she plans to eliminate them after Fódlan has been conquered. It should come as no surprise then that the TWSITD several attempts at eliminating Byleth specifically seem to be done to spite Edelgard. Regardless of the route you play, Edelgard expresses great interest in recruiting Byleth as an ally, only exemplified after it's revealed that they can wield the Sword of the Creator. TWSITD likely sees Byleth is a future threat and at first tries to sever Edelgard's attempt to make them an ally (the destruction of Remire Village, the death of Jeralt), and then they make several attempts on Byleth's life.
- At first, most Fire Emblem fans may find it odd that all the Dark Magic spells in this game have Greek letters placed in front of their names even though they otherwise act the same as they did in previous titles. Later, we find out that said dark magic was either mainly practiced by or was invented by the Agarthans/Those Who Slither In The Dark. And what is the Theme Naming behind all their named members? Greek figures.
- Jeritza's presence as a teacher seems strange as he's the only teacher without a specific house attached to them, serving as a specialist teacher. But he's the combat instructor- Manuela and Hanneman are both poor offensive units, and the teacher Byleth replaced ran away from their students at the first sign of trouble. As shown with the Gautiers, nobles are expected to be capable fighters and defend their land in combat, so it wouldn't do that a school for nobled to be incapable of teaching combat. He doesn't get a replacement after leaving, because Byleth is more than capable of filling the role!
- Kostas' only real character trait other than "violent thug" is a disdain for nobility. At first this seems like just a bit of rudeness added for flavor, but think about the fact he was recruited by Edelgard. Presumably this is what drew her to him; had he proven himself a useful long-term ally, he would have been more than eager to help abolish the system of nobility.
- On the Church, Blue Lions or Golden Deer routes, Thales will be the one to attack Byleth and send them plummeting down, triggering the 5-year-long time skip. However, on the Black Eagles/Crimson Flower route, it will be an enraged Rhea instead. Also, towards the end of the Church and Golden Deer playthroughs, Thales commands his Agarthans to stop Byleth and the party at all costs and unleashes Javelins of Light when they lose, even if it means destruction of their base Shambhala — a move eerily mirroring the order to torch Fhirdiad by Rhea/Seiros during the final battle of Crimson Flower. Even the context is pretty similar: they both have lost their second-in-command in the previous battle (Edelgard for Thales, Dimitri for Rhea), find themselves cornered in their last stronghold and try to pull a Taking You with Me. This serves as a Foreshadowing that, at the end of the day, there's somewhat less difference between them than either side would admit:
- As two sides of the Gharnef archetype, they are both embittered by being wronged in their pasts — specifically, having significant parts of their nations destroyed by the enemy — and seek for revenge, manipulating events from the shadows.
- They both see the humanity as foolish and incapable of getting along on their own and deem themselves and themselves alone worthy to rule over them, albeit with different approaches to their rule — Rhea tries to show more benevolencein her reign, with mixed results, while Thales's vision is much more openly tyrannical and malevolent.
- Either of them is willing to go to any lengths to achieve their goals, disregarding well-being or potential harm done to those they see as their tools: Thales subjected Edelgard and her siblings to terrible experimentation in a ruthless pursuit of having a warrior empowered with two Crests, while Rhea was willing to go all the way to see Byleth become the new incarnation of her mother Sothis, even at the potential risk of them losing their personality.
- In the end, while Rhea had far better reasons behind her grievances, being obsessed over them had a detrimental effect on her sanity, putting her at times dangerously close to her Arch-Enemy.
- If Bernadetta's such a shut in, why does she attend class? Edelgard says that she makes sure she goes, but what if you want to recruit her to the Blue Lions or Golden Deer? You get your answer as you recruit her: She tells Byleth that she feels at ease around them. Hence, she shows up in class even without Edelgard forcing her because because she actually wants to be there.
- Also, if she is such a recluse, why does she have such a high number of support chains? It's because she wants to make friends, something her father explicitly forbade her from doing (especially if they were a commoner). Bernadetta makes it clear that she hates her father, and she would rather anger him than give in to her own social anxiety.
- Bernadetta also experiences one of the more notable growths during the Time Skip, both physically and mentally. Likely being around her Black Eagles companions (and subsequently away from her father) allowed her to mature in both body and mind.
- Seteth's hobby is writing fables. He's probably the one who wrote the church's mythology.
- It may seem ironic that, for all of Edelgard's declared meritocratic aspirations, in Crimson Flower endings, characters from the nobility end up taking the majority of positions in the government. However, upon checking historical information — such as early years of Soviet Russia, independent India and the like — this situation actually seems less ironic and more of a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome. In a society that until recent times had a rigid societal hierarchy and limited inter-class mobility, scions of the upper classes are the most likely to have the best education available, and the majority of personnel sufficiently skilled to run an aspect of a country will come from those.
- Rhea in general is a master of this trope. One of the earliest examples is the Lap Pillow scene at the end of Chapter 10. To the untrained eye, it looks like Byleth is being soothed following the aftermath of the last battle, and in a sense they are... but then you realize that at the time, Rhea sees Byleth as a vessel to revive her mother and wishes to merge their mind with Sothis, which likely will erase Byleth's identity. When you realize Rhea is not only talking to you, but also through you, what would normally be comforting actions gain a new, disturbing light. Even assuming that Rhea doesn't believeByleth will be erased or taken over doesn't remove the disturbing implications so much as makes her ignorant or naive regarding them.
Rhea: Close your eyes, dear one. Sleep, just a while longer. I will be watching over you, always and forever...
- Depending on just when Rhea precisely developed romantic feelings for Byleth and to what degree she regarded them as separate from her mother at the time, there can be disturbing incestual subtext with her mother who she knows is awake within Byleth during most of part 1 of the game. That said, the actual S rank support only happens years after Rhea knows her mother's mind has left Byleth.
- Rhea said she created Byleths mother as the last of twelve attempts to make an artificial body for Sothis' Crest Stone. But its not clear if this made these creations only a case of Artificial Human (or rather Nabatean) or if they could also be genuinely considered Rhea's children. If the latter is true, then Byleth could find themselves in a romance with someone who is technically their grandmother.
- And Cindered Shadows potentially made it worse. One could argue if you really wanted to make the Byleth/Rhea relationship work, that "Byleth boinks their grandma" was simply speculation. We didn't know what their mother was like after all, we didn't know what their relationship was like. Cindered Shadows has Rhea explicitly say that Sitri looked upon Rhea as if Rhea were her mother. Does this whole situation count as Relationship Writing Fumble? Admittedly, Rhea never states she shared Sitri's sentiment in the same way, only that she wanted Sitri to have a bright future, and that she saw her as her child in the same sense that she saw Cardinal Aelfric as her child (i.e. a spiritual leader sense and someone under her close care and protection in the monastery).
- Relationship Writing Fumble would mean that the writers unintentionally made the relationship come off as romantic instead of some other interpretation of it, but they clearly wrote Rhea's S-support to be a romantic one, no two ways about it, so they definitely knew what they were doing. Also, maybe people take that line from Cindered Shadows a little too literally. Rhea only says that Sitri *looked* at her like a mother, not that she actually thought Rhea was her mom, and I don't think they referred to each other as "mother" and "daughter" respectively either; for all we know, that could've just meant that Rhea was someone that Sitri really appreciated and looked up to in a role model kind of way, akin to the relationship Dorothea has with Manuela.
- And Cindered Shadows potentially made it worse. One could argue if you really wanted to make the Byleth/Rhea relationship work, that "Byleth boinks their grandma" was simply speculation. We didn't know what their mother was like after all, we didn't know what their relationship was like. Cindered Shadows has Rhea explicitly say that Sitri looked upon Rhea as if Rhea were her mother. Does this whole situation count as Relationship Writing Fumble? Admittedly, Rhea never states she shared Sitri's sentiment in the same way, only that she wanted Sitri to have a bright future, and that she saw her as her child in the same sense that she saw Cardinal Aelfric as her child (i.e. a spiritual leader sense and someone under her close care and protection in the monastery).
- More of Fridge Sadness, but it's possible for Byleth to have Leonie's B support after their father's death, but before you are able to talk to her at the monastery. In her support, she's aggressive towards Byleth talking about how what Jeralt meant to her and comes off as standoffish. But when you talk to her at the monastery, she genuinely seems heartbroken for both herself and you. While it's mostly due to how supports work, if it happens then it's really sad thinking about she tried to talk about Jeralt to you without breaking down in tears before showing what she's really feeling just days later.
- If she isn't recruited, Marianne does not make any further appearances in either Black Eagles route or the Blue Lions route after the timeskip. Her A support if she is recruited reveals that before the timeskip, she had been praying for her own death before Byleth's influence caused her to stop. Considering Byleth wouldn't be there to help her open up in these other scenarios...the implication is not comforting.
- A slightly happier alternative is that she just didn't care to show up to fight in the war, considering how her attitude towards war/social events pre-timeskip was "do I have to go?" Granted, it still suggests Marianne is still depressed, but better than the other option.
- Marianne has an extra chair in her room while everyone has one. If you look at where the chair is located, it would mean the worse could happen if she wasn't supported.
- Marianne mentions in previous supports with Byleth that she's only really at the Academy because her father wants to make her a more desirable bride for a rich, influential nobleman. Best-case scenario, he went through with that and Marianne is still alive in the timeskip. Still miserable, still depressed, but now also married to someone who views her as a person as secondary to her political influence. Poor Marianne.
- Thinking about what could have happened if Flayn hadn't been rescued in chapter 6 is not pretty:
- Since she was kidnapped to harvest her blood, "those who slither in the dark" may have simply kept her alive and taken more blood as they needed, which would be horrible by itself.
- Or, they may have decided that having another Crest Stone was more worthwhile than waiting for her to produce more blood and, well...
- Or, most disturbingly, they decide to take the female Nabatean they have in captivity and use exceptionallyhorrific methods to give them a steady supply of blood and Crest Stones.
- Of course, they can do what they did a millennium ago. They can "weaponize" her.
- Ignatz and Ingrid's support has a drawing of Seiros look like in Ingrid's words "a maniacal demigod". Now remember what happens to Rhea in the Crimson Flower route.
- It's noted when Nemesis revives that him ingesting Sothis's blood is what allowed it to be possible. This means the remnants of "those who slither in the dark" could one day weaponize Edelgard, who also gained some of her blood for the second crest, on the likes of Blue Lions or Church of Seiros routes, and have an army of Undead Imperial Forces under her command to lead just like Nemesis himself, resurrected by the Crest of Flames just like her.
- Considering that on Blue Lions and Silver Snow, there are still people who care about her (Dimitri, the entire Black Eagle house), they'd probably want to bury/cremate her body in secret just so her grave isn't desecrated. So "those who slither in the dark" wouldn't have her body, whereas they seemed to actively be storing Nemesis' just for this purpose.
- On Verdant Wind and Silver Snow, should Dedue survive it's explicitly noted he destroys Edelgard's body, removing any chance of it being used by "those who slither in the dark."
- On the Black Eagles route, you can kill Claude, who is the son of the Almyran king. One can imagine he wouldn't be too pleased to hear about that, and what better time to get revenge than while the Adrestian Empire is still weak and recovering from war?
- Actually, Edelgard's paralogue deals with this possibility, regardless if Claude lives or dies, there is an invasion force heading towards Fódlan's Throat. And they are dealt with rather easily, and the fortress being reinforced to prevent further invasions. so Fódlan is in no danger from future invasions, and even should Almyra attack, it is the the late Alliance's Nobles's responsibility to repel the attacks, and in the BE, they are in a relatively strong position despite formally being dissolved, so the Empire could focus on post-war rebuilding. And considering Claude has half siblings who have tried to kill him, it's even likely killing Claude might give Edelgard favor with them should they ascend the throne.
- Cyril states in his and Hilda's paralogue (which you would need to get on another route) that the attacks on Fódlan's Locket aren't the Almyrans seriously attempting an invasion it's them having fun. Nader's happy reaction to being defeated in Edelgard's paralogue is pretty much stating that he's having the time of his life. If Almyra really wanted to attack, their army would be a lot stronger than what we fight.
- Regardless, Fódlan is in a good position for the time being, Fódlan's Throat is an impenetrable fortress, protected by Leicester military which is still relatively powerful due to Edelgard's strikes causing minimal damage to the Alliance as a whole, and Fódlan as a nation are no strangers to attempted invasions by Almyrans .And considering Claude has half siblings who have tried to kill him, it's even likely killing Claude might give Edelgard favor with them should they ascend the throne. Either way, Almyra won't be able to invade after losing so many people in such a short time, and it is the entire point of the wall to keep Almyrans from invading.
- Many of Dimitri's epilogue slides such as Felix, Dedue, and Marianne mention that many years after the game, Dimitri eventually dies, and in some slides, to illness. Considering that the Blue Lions are the only route where Those Who Slither in the dark aren't fought directly, only Thales is defeated in his Arundel guise, and that there is still a significant amount of Agarthians with an intact base, who's to say Dimitri wasn't assassinated in those slides and the rest of the Lions aren't aware of this? Note that none of Claude's or Edelgard's endings allude to their death, and they decisively finish off Those Who Slither In The Dark.
- It's actually not many of his slides those are the only ones (well, and Flayn, but her outliving her husband is to be expected). His solo ending and his paired epilogues with F!Byleth, Mercedes, Ingrid, Annette, Catherine, and Gustave don't mention him dying at all. Also, if the Agarthans could get to Dimitri, they would have been way more likely to Kill and Replace him like they have with every other important figure they could get close to (Cornelia, Arundel). Add in that they aren't actually in that great a position you eliminate their entire leadership down to a named Mook, Myson and there's no way they could have something to do with it.
- A brighter but also not so nice look at it at the same time is that Dimitri could have gotten ill from overworking himself. Considering how hellbent he was to atone for his time of being Ax-Crazy
Characters / Fire Emblem: Three Houses
The Class of 1180 note First row (L-R): Marianne, Dedue, Lorenz, Raphael, Bernadetta; Second row: Leonie, Dimitri, Ignatz, Felix; Third row: Caspar, Hilda, Female Byleth, Ingrid, Sylvain; Fourth row: Mercedes, Male Byleth, Dorothea; Fifth row: Annette, Petra, Hubert; Sixth row: Linhardt, Claude, Edelgard; Seventh row: Ashe, Lysithea, Ferdinand. Not pictured: Flayn, theAshenWolves.This page details the characters of Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Due to the Loads and Loads of Characters spread out among multiple factions among the game's various routes, this character page is split into multiple sections.
- Main Characters:
- The Black Eaglesnote (Hubert, Petra, Linhardt, Dorothea, Caspar, Ferdinand, and Bernadetta)
- The Blue Lionsnote (Dedue, Sylvain, Ingrid, Felix, Mercedes, Annette, and Ashe)
- The Golden Deernote (Hilda, Raphael, Leonie, Ignatz, Lysithea, Marianne, and Lorenz)
- Garreg Mach Factions:
- The Ashen Wolvesnote (Yuri, Balthus, Hapi, and Constance)
- The Church of Seirosnote (Seteth, Flayn, Aelfric, Sitri, Jeralt, Catherine, Alois, Gilbert, and Shamir)
- Officers Academy Instructors and Staffnote (Manuela, Hanneman, Jeritza, Tomas, Cyril)
- Historical Figuresnote (Nemesis, Seiros, Ten Elites (Blaiddyd, Riegan, Lamine, Goneril, Charon, Fraldarius, Gloucester, Dominic, Gautier, Daphnel), Four Saints (Cethleann, Cichol, Indech, Macuil), Four Apostles (Noa, Chevalier, Timotheos, Aubin), Wilhelm I, Loog)
- Antagonistsnote (Flame Emperor, Death Knight, Kostas, Metodey, Thales, Solon, Kronya, Myson, Chilon, Bias, Pittacus, Odesse)
The houses of the Officers Academy are each made up of students from one of three nations in Fódlan. They are the titular protagonist groups of the game. As a teacher, the player gets to choose one of them to lead and instruct.
- Animal Motifs: Each house is represented by an animal that has particular symbolic or mythological meaning to either the church or the respective nation: Eagle, Lion, and Deer. The Church of Seiros is represented by a white dragon while the Abyss is represented by a wolf via their own House.
- The Black Eagles are inspired by the twin-headed eagle that serves as their nation's coat of arms, and the black armor their soldiers wear.
- The Blue Lions owe their name to their founding king, Loog, who was known as the King of Lions and had a penchant for the color blue.
- The Golden Deer are coined from creatures of the same name that are said to have been sacred protectors of the Leicester region since ancient times.
- The Church of Seiros is represented on their banner by the white dragon known as the Immaculate One, said to have been sent by the goddess herself to assist Seiros.
- The Ashen Wolves are named for creatures said to guard the goddess' home, the star Sirius, the name specifically having been given to them by Rhea.
- Aristocrat Team: Each house is primarily composed of royal and noble youths from their respective countries.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the factions, as with the nations they represent, is associated with a color:
- Black Eagles/Adrestian Empire: Red
- Blue Lions/Holy Kingdom of Faerghus: Blue
- Golden Deer/Leicester Alliance: Yellow
- Church of Seiros/Knight of Seiros: Silver and Purple, but the leadership is associated with Green
- Resistance Army: Gray and Red
- Those who slither in the dark/Nemesis and his Liberation Army: Black
- Ashen Wolves/Abyss: Silver and Purple
- Dysfunction Junction: A majority of the characters have issues which are apparent in higher Support levels. Parental Abuse, being saddled with the responsibilities expected of Crest-bearers, victim of dark experiments resulting in shortened lifespans... Some even take Undying Loyalty to disturbing extremes, like Hubert executing his own father as part of Edelgard's purge, assassinating people Edelgard spared, etc., or Catherine burning down all of Fhirdiad under Rhea's orders on the Crimson Flower route despite her own misgivings about the idea. The list goes on.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble:
- All the houses have an even amount of students in both genders (with the exception of the Blue Lions, which is predominately male* while all three Houses have three girls, three boys, the House Leader, and the leader's retainer, Dimitri and Dedue are both male). This also includes the freely recruitable characters of the Church of Seiros note Gilbert and Jeritza are not freely recruitable, even if the player sides with Edelgard, as Seteth, Cyril, Catherine, and Flayn are not available on Crimson Flower.
- Freely recruitable students are also this way, with three females and three males that can be taken from their native houses into another house note Hilda cannot be recruited to the Black Eagles until after the player has missed or passed up on the opportunity to betray the Church, making her (and the Golden Deer by proxy) an exception.
- Geodesic Cast: The three main classes are organized with a general similarity, although there are a few outliers and role overlaps.
- In terms of their roles and gameplay in general, the three houses are consisted of: a house leader, a retainer, a healer, an offensive spellcaster, a warrior, an archer, a tank, a flier, and a cavalier or two.
- Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude are house leaders, having major story importance and being one of the most powerful units. All three also have access to the exclusive Lord class.
- Hubert, Dedue, and to a lesser extent Hilda are retainers, incredibly loyal to the house leader and unable to be recruited to other houses note Hilda can be recruited to the Azure Moon and Silver Snow routes but not Crimson Flower. They also parallel each other's roles in their scenes on their respective routes.
- Linhardt, Mercedes, and Marianne are healers, excelling at Faith magic and having access to the long-range healing spell Physic. Their default class is the priest line.
- Dorothea, Annette, and Lysithea are offensive spellcasters, excelling in Reason magic and have access to numerous offensive black and/or dark magic spells. Their default class is the mage line.
- Bernadetta, Ashe, and Ignatz are archers, excelling in Bow. Their default class is the archer line. All three also tend to be socially awkward among people, fitting their roles of fighting away from the front lines.
- Ferdinand/Petra, Sylvain/Ingrid, and Lorenz/Leonie are cavalries, excelling as mounted units. Ferdinand. Sylvain, Lorenz, and Leonie are all default into the cavalry class line, one of Petra's default class is Wyvern Rider, and Ingrid's default class is Pegasus Knight.
- Petra, Ingrid, and Claude are the fliers, with strength in Flying and affinity for a flying class (or in Claude's case, an automatic promotion)
- Edelgard/Ferdinand, Dedue, and Raphael are the tanks, having very high Defence and HP growths, and affinity for heavy armour (or in Edelgard's case, an automatic promotion).
- Ferdinand, Sylvain, and Lorenz also serve as Jack-of-All-Stats. They have no exceptionally good stats but no exceptionally poor ones and many skill strengths but few, if any, weaknesses, meaning they can fill nearly any role in the party if need be.
- Petra, Ingrid, and Leonie being the secondary mounted units of their respective houses, also have a similarity in that they are nimble speedsters with high dodge and speed stats. All three are able to easily dodge attacks and deal double hits.
- Caspar, Felix, and Raphael are the infantry physical combatants, having excellent offensive stats, though their defenses and speed vary greatly between them (Felix has the best speed but the worst defenses, Raphael has the best defenses but the worst speed, and Caspar strikes a middle ground). All three also have a hobby of training their combat prowess, as well as having an affinity in Brawl, while conversely starting with a weakness in Reasonnote Felix can flip his weakness to a strength after unlocking his budding talent, allowing him to fufill the role of a Magic Knight.
- In terms of characterization:
- Ferdinand, Felix, and Lorenz are all the sons of high-ranking nobles within their respective nations, and act as a rival to Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude, respectively. On their respective routes, they challenge their leader to better themselves.
- Dorothea, Sylvain, and Lorenz are the designated "flirt" of their respective houses. Dorothea and Lorenz are actively looking for a spouse for their respective goals and as a result flirt with almost everyone, while Sylvain isas described by Dimitri a "skirt chaser".
- Petra, Dedue, and Claude are the outsiders. All three have distinctive appearance compared to the rest of their house members and have experienced discrimination due to it in one way or another.
- Bernadetta and Marianne are the resident Shrinking Violets of their houses, being socially awkward and tending to avoid conversing or socializing with others if they can get away with it.
- Dorothea, Ashe, and Leonie are students who come from poor backgrounds, pursuing an education at the Officer's Academy to better themselves and their stations in life: Dorothea, by finding someone wealthy to settle down with; Ashe, by becoming a knight; and Leonie, by following in Jeralt's footsteps as a mercenary.
- Caspar, Felix, and Raphael are the major Blood Knights of their houses, the ones most ready to throw down and fight as a first option.
- Linhardt, Annette, and Lysithea are the magic masters of their respective houses, the students who study magic the most and excel at it.
- Lindhardt and Hilda are Brilliant, but Lazy: both are noted for excelling when they put their minds to their task, but often choose not to (Lindhardt prefers to sleep while Hilda suffers from an inferiority complex to her big brother).
- Claude and Linhardt are historians, curious about the nature of things like crests and the church's history. The Blue Lions, who don't have such a character, also have the route with the least information on the setting.
- In terms of their roles and gameplay in general, the three houses are consisted of: a house leader, a retainer, a healer, an offensive spellcaster, a warrior, an archer, a tank, a flier, and a cavalier or two.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
- In regards to magic, the majority of spellcasters are females, with only Linhardt and Hubert being "canonical" male mages (Sylvain and Lorenz can make good magic knights, but their "canonical" class is Paladin which cannot use magic). Which kinda hurts the use of Dark Mages/Bishops in the base game, as these classes are male-only. DLC rectifies this by adding four magic wielding classes, two unisex and two female-only.
- Inverted in regards to bows- of the four "canon" archers among students, three (Claude, Ashe, and Ignatz) are boys, with Bernadetta being the only girl.
- Team Title: Because of the game being known outside of Japan as Three Houses and its setting, the houses are the focus of the story and gameplay.
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The Adrestian Empire
- Animal Motifs: The eagle as it is both the Empire's coat of arms and the name of the house for students from Adrestia.
- Ambition Is Evil: At the start of the story, the Adrestian Empire is by far the most corrupt territory on the continent. The Empire's nobility are very ambitious in their desire for wealth, status and power. This will often lead them to make outright villainous decisions to get what they want, regardless of who they betray, hurt or kill.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: The Prime Minister and some of the other Imperial ministers stripped the Emperor of power in a soft coup and enforced their own laws on the Adrestian Empire. Several of them are implied or outright stated to be corrupt and power-hungry, particularly Duke Aegir (who heavily abused the people of Hrym during his regency and approved the horrific Crest experiments Edelgard underwent).
- An Axe to Grind: Imperial non-magic combatants are often seen wielding axes, such as Ladislava, Edelgard and Caspar.
- Black Market: Adrestia's capital has one, which serves as the centerpiece for Balthus and Hapi's paralogue.
- The Coup: Nine years before the story, the current Adrestian Emperor Ionius IX was a victim of one by seven noble houses after he attempted to push reforms that would consolidate all the power to his position, which came to be known as the Insurrection of the Seven. By the time the plot begins, hes nothing more than a Puppet King, leaving the de facto ruler of the nation the Prime Minister.
- The Cycle of Empires: By the time of the game's plot, Adrestia sits firmly in Phase 3, having lost multiple territories over the years while also having a corrupt bureaucracy obsessed with Crests where the Emperor and their lineage have little to no actual power.
- Dark Is Evil: The Empire is primarily associated with the colors black and red. Not only is it by far the most corrupt territory at the start of Part I, in all non-Crimson Flower routes, Edelgard declares war on the rest of Fódlan, making the Empire the primary antagonist faction.
- Dark Is Not Evil: On the Crimson Flower route. Thanks to Byleth's influence, Edelgard tones down her more extreme actions and becomes more merciful towards her enemies, including being more accepting of those who still worship the Goddess. While she still makes morally questionable decisions, she is more willing to resolve things peacefully rather than through violence.
- Decapitated Army: On non-Crimson Flower routes, Edelgards death marks the end of the war and forces Adrestias military to surrender towards the victorious faction.
- Elective Monarchy: A variant of an Elective Monarchy is Edelgard's plan for the Empire long term should she win, planning to have the throne be for "the most well suited" individual rather than just for the Hresvelg dynasty, with Edelgard even willing to pass over her own children should they not be qualified.
- The Empire: Once had dominion over the entirety of Fódlan, and still controls the southern half and at least one vassal state.
- Empire with a Dark Secret: Unbeknownst to the general populace, after the Insurrection of the Seven took place and Lord Arundel came back from the Kingdom, the heirs to the imperial throne were captured and experimented upon with the stated intention of infusing them with a Major Crest (as opposed to the Minor Crests some of them already had) to create a perfect emperor, a process which led to the deaths of almost all of them. It's heavily implied this happened as a result of those who slither in the dark capitalizing on the Insurrection to replace some of the imperial staff with their own agents to further their own goals, with one of the victims being none other than Lord Arundel himself. For them, the purpose of providing the means and resources for the experiments was not to make a perfect emperor, but to create an ultimate weapon against the Church of Seiros and the remaining Children of the Goddess. Their greatest success was Edelgard, who they used Sothis' blood (referring to her as the "defiled beast") on to make her into the second person since Nemesis to bear the Crest of Flames.
- Faction Calculus: Powerhouse. The empire primarily relies on hard-hitting magic-users and armored knights to overwhelm the enemy.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: It's a mixture of Austria and the Eastern Roman Empire.
- The German-sounding names, the black eagle and the color red of their associated house both call to mind the House of Habsburg, which ruled over the Austrian Empire. Unlike the Holy Roman Empire which was more a confederacy of states, the Adrestian Empire is an authoritarian Empire. Their political situation even sort of mirrors the later Austrian Empire at the dawn of WW1, having had many parts of it break off and becoming independent but the Empire being militaristic and inclined towards reconquering lost lands.
- Like the Eastern Roman Empire, Adrestia is an empire in decline. It once controlled most of the continent before losing many of its former territories. Despite this, it still remains a powerful nation culturally and militarily. Its architecture even resembles that of Italy and Rome and it borrows the Eastern Roman double-headed eagle as part of its heraldry.
- Fatal Flaw: Arrogance and Pride. Adrestians believe themselves to be the wealthiest and most powerful nation in Fódlan, and the continent's rightful rulers. Because of their hubris, there is much discord among the ministers and they outright refuse to let go of their pride for any reason. This makes the Empire tragically easy to manipulate, and to goad into war under these pretenses against nations they don't see as legitimate. In non-Crimson Flower routes, this eventually leads to the nation losing their leadership and ending up fairly damaged as a result.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Mage. Adrestia relies heavily on its mages in its military.
- Geodesic Cast: As most of the Black Eaglesnote with the exception of Petra and Dorothea are children of prominent nobles, most of the important figures in the Empire have a counterpart in the Black Eagles class that helps inform their character and place in the empire. Duke Aegir's superseding the Emperor is a dark parallel to his son's attempt to constantly challenge Edelgard, for example.
- Greed: A grave flaw of the Empire is their ruling class's insatiable desire for power and wealth. Compared to the other two nations' nobility, those of Adrestia appear to most value the status that comes with a Crest in the family over any practical uses it may have. Many Imperial nobles are only concerned about their own status and will do whatever it takes to advance themselves or gain power.
- Leitmotif: "The Leader's Path" plays during scenes related to the Empire.
- Meaningful Name: Adrestia was the name of a Greek goddess of revolt and equilibrium between good and evil. Edelgard revolts against both the corrupt government that stole her nation from her and later against the Church of Seiros in the hopes of creating a better world.
- Pride: The Empire's Fatal Flaw. They believe they're the strongest and wealthiest of the three nations, which makes them look down on the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus and the Leicester Alliance. This can also cause problems as stated by Linhardt in his C-Support with Dorothea. He points out that his father, the Minister of Domestic Affairs, and Caspar's father, the Minister of Military Affairs, don't get along, yet they value each other greatly. However, because of Count Hevring's pride, he refuses to make amends with Count Bergliez. This leads to discord between civil ministers and military officers.
- The Purge: Upon taking power, Edelgard and Hubert conduct one on the corrupt nobility and those who oppose them. The lucky ones, such as Count Varley, are simply stripped of their titles and placed under house arrest. The unlucky ones, such as Marquis Vestra, are killed outright. Some, such as Count Bergliez are allowed to join the army as generals during the timeskip.
- Red Is Heroic: Red is a national color in the Adrestian Empire, shown by the Imperial banner and the red cape Edelgard wears during the Academy phase. On the Crimson Flower route, it's played straight as they re-unify the land and defeat the "false goddess" Rhea while refraining from more questionable actions.
- Red Is Violent: On non-Crimson Flower routes, the Adrestian Empire often serves as the main or a major antagonist, and red is their primary color.
- Resurgent Empire: On the Crimson Flower route, the empire successfully unifies Fódlan once again by conquering Faerghus and the Leicester Alliance, restoring it to its original size.
- Secret Police: House Vestra's role in the Empire is described as such. Some of their tasks include protecting the imperial lineage and dealing with the Empires "most unsavory duties" while acting from the shadows.
- Unwitting Pawn: Played with in particular once Part II rolls around. While "those who slither in the dark" are manipulating the territory to accomplish their own goals, the same can be said of the Empire as they take advantage of their allies' resources and troops to further theirs. Moreover, not only does Edelgard plan to dispose of them once the war is over (and she actually does wipe them out on Crimson Flower and allows Byleth to do the same on Silver Snow and Verdant Wind), "those who slither in the dark" are also fully dependent on the Empire's support and success to achieve their agenda.
- Vestigial Empire: Downplayed. While Adrestia is nowhere near the peak of its power like it once was, it's still the most powerful force on the continent. And should Byleth side with Edelgard and the Black Eagles, "vestigial" goes right out the window.
The Brigid Archipelago
An archipelago off Fódlan's west coast. They serve the Adrestian Empire as a vassal state.
- Born Under the Sail: Petra mentions they have a rather strong sailing tradition, fitting for an island nation.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: It shows aspects of various Native American cultures and the Kingdom of Hawaii, though their names and attire are distinctly Celtic.
Duke Ludwig von Aegir
Voiced by: Daisuke Endou (Japanese), Doug Stone (English)
- Alas, Poor Villain: The former duke is killed by the people of Hrym who blamed him for their current hardships, since he was the ruler who initially taxed them harshly. Though Lysithea, who's from House Ordelia and knows the history of Hrym and Ordelia, has reason to hate him, she remarks that it really wasn't his fault this time, as he hasn't been in charge of Hrym for several years, and feels his murder wasn't deserved.
- Asshole Victim: While he can be killed because of something that wasn't his fault this time, the fact that he's a corrupt Evil Chancellor who masterminded the Crest experimentation that gave Edelgard her second Crest and killed or crippled the rest of her siblings can make it hard to feel sorry for him.
- Bald of Evil: He's noticeably losing hair, and he's corrupt.
- The Dog Bites Back: After the insurrection, Duke Aegir was put in charge of Hrym, and he levied brutally heavy taxes and fines on the people, more than that of his own territory. Once he was stripped of his power, Arundel took his place. A group of rogues from Hrym found Aegir traveling alone in the forest. Blaming him for their misery, they killed him and stole his belongings.
- Deal with the Devil: His alliance with Lord Arundel during the backstory and Part I very much counts as this. While the deal in question is never directly stated, evidence points out Duke Aegir facilitated those who slither in the dark's infiltration into the Empire and their Crests experiments in exchange of producing a Super Soldier that could be used as a puppet emperor to take over Fódlan.
- Evil Chancellor: He led a conspiracy of nobles to seize power for themselves, leaving the emperor their puppet. According to Edelgard, he also masterminded and approved the Crest experimentation that infused her with a second Crest and ended up killing/crippling the rest of her siblings, which was possible thanks to the Duke's connections with those who slither in the dark.
- Fat Bastard: He has a noticeable gut, and he's counted amongst the corrupt nobility.
- Fatal Flaw: Greed. Duke Aegir's greed and corrupt lust for power led him to lead the Insurrection of the Seven and becoming the de facto ruler of the Adrestian Empire. He also heavily taxed the people of Hrym territory at the start of his rule and forcing grave hardships on them. This allowed Lord Arundel to take charge of Hrym during Duke Aegir's imprisonment and forced even harder burdens on the people of Hrym in his name. Because of Duke Aegir's well-known corruption and evil, this caused the people of Hrym to blame him for pushing them to the brink and killing him.
- Killed Offscreen: He dies during the timeskip if Ferdinand isnt in your party in non-Crimson Flower routes.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When Edelgard is made Emperor and places Duke Aegir under house arrest as one of her first decrees, he briefly tries to argue before backing down, realizing that he's not dealing with a feeble old man anymore but someone with every reason and ability to have him killed.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Duke Aegir is pretty much the exact kind of noble Ferdinand despises, and is likely the reason why Ferdinand tries to act as a proper noble. In fact, though Ferdinand is not happy about Edelgard deposing his father, he will still readily admit that the man was indeed greedy and arrogant.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Ferdinand's comments about his father in Chapter 11 and the Duke's reaction towards Edelgard's coronation in Enbarr all but state Duke Aegir was kept in the dark about Edelgard and Hubert's movements in the Empire and their dealings with both "those who slither in the dark" and other fellow members of the Insurrection.
- Minor Major Character: Despite the Duke's actions casting a huge shadow over many events of the story, it can be striking to find out he only appears onscreen in only two scenes in the whole game (with both being easily missable, and the other being exclusive to Black Eagles).
- Misplaced Retribution: Played with. He did in fact harshly tax the citizens of Hrym, far more so than those of his home territory, to the point of causing droves of people to attempt to flee to Ordelia in desperation. After he lost his noble title, he's imprisoned in Enbarr for years while Lord Arundel took charge of Hrym. Arundel imposed even heavier taxes on the people, and they're conscripted for war as well (with brutal repercussions for the slightest hint of defiance) this Arundel did in the name of Aegir, stoking the people's fury and directing it at Aegir. When the former duke finally escapes imprisonment, rioters at Hrym kill him. As Lysithea explains, he was by no means a great ruler, but he was not the villain this time.
- Named by the Adaptation: He's only referred to as "Duke Aegir" or "Prime Minister" with no first name given aloud in Three Houses, but Heroes gives him the name "Ludwig".
- Unwitting Pawn: Ultimately, the main beneficiary of his conspiracy was Lord Arundel/Thales, who used the opportunity to amass power and conduct experiments on the imperial family. Indeed, Arundel openly turns against him the moment Edelgard takes the throne.
- Visionary Villain: If Edelgard's choice of words and comments about him are any indication, the reason Duke Aegir approved the experiment "those who slither in the dark" performed on herself and her family was because of the prospect of having a "peerless emperor" that could be used to rule Fódlan.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: On the Crimson Flower route the paralogue in which he dies never occurs, because since Ferdinand remained loyal to the Empire, he assumed the leadership position of his territory rather than it being passed to Lord Arundel. What happens to Duke Aegir never gets revealed, but in many of Ferdinand's endings he officially earns the title of Prime Minister so Duke Aegir either remained imprisoned or at the very least was stripped of his titles and power.
Lord Volkhard von Arundel
Class: Dark Knight
Voiced by:Masaki Terasoma (Japanese), Christopher Corey Smith (English; credited as Chris Smith)
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: On the Azure Moon route, after he meets his demise at the hands of the Kingdom army, Hubert calls it "a drop of joy amid a pool of sorrow".
- Big Bad: According to Hubert, he's the leader of "those who slither in the dark" as not only have Solon and Kronya once served him, but he is also in control of the group's troops. Since it's heavily implied he's actually Thales, this makes sense.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: On the Azure Moon route, he shares the role of main villain with Edelgard. While he's more malevolent and is directly responsible for most of the tragedies in both her and Dimitri's backstories, she is more prominent and personal of an antagonist, eventually becoming the Final Boss. Azure Moon is also the only route where their alliance doesn't implode one way or the other.
- Character Death: While it is ultimately left ambiguous, it is noted on the Azure Moon route that Arundel was a very generous donor to the Church of Seiros up until a few years before the game started (specifically, right before he returned to the Empire with Edelgard), so it is heavily implied the real Arundel was disposed of and replaced by Thales at that point. As for the man we see during the story, he either dies during the invasion of Derdriu in the Azure Moon route, is implied to be taken down alongside those who slither in the dark in the Crimson Flower route, or dies under his true identity on the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes as Shambhala collapses over him.
- Cool Uncle:
- Played straight in the past. Edelgard's supports with Manuela reveals he once took her to the Mittelfrank Opera Company to watch Manuela's performance, and according to Dimitri's supports with Hapi, Lord Arundel went to great lengths during the Insurrection of the Seven in order to ensure Edelgard's safety, taking her out of the Empire and even hiding her presence in the Kingdom just so she couldn't be turned into a political pawn.
- Unfortunately averted hard in the present. By the time you meet him, he's become a callous sociopath who clearly has no actual love for Edelgard and merely sees her as a tool. That's because Arundel is almost certainly long dead.
- Defiant to the End: On the Azure Moon route, once he's at Dimitri's mercy and the latter demands him the truth about her stepmother's involvement with the Tragedy of Duscur, Arundel chooses to spite him and carry the secret to his grave.
Arundel: You are not qualified to look into the darkness.
- Didn't Think This Through: On Crimson Flower, in response to Edelgard and the Black Eagle Strike Force killing Cornelia, he has those who slither in the dark use a "javelin of light" to destroy Arianrhod so he can Make an Example of Them. In doing so though, he instead strengthens Edelgard's hatred for him and his allies, and thanks to this, it's implied that Hubert, like he does on Silver Snow and Verdant Wind, is able to trace it back to their base. His act of petty vengeance ends up leading to the loss of their last bastion.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Arundel takes a bigger role in the Imperial Army during Azure Moon after Edelgard is badly wounded at the Gronder Field bloodbath and is forced to step back during her recovery. He personally leads the attack on Deirdru, the only instance in the entire game where he can be seen on the battlefield. At least under this guise.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He makes a brief appearance after the end of Chapter 4 while speaking to the Flame Emperor, revealing he was using the Western Church as pawns, before he's introduced properly later in the story on the Azure Moon and Crimson Flower routes.
- Evil Uncle: He's Edelgard's uncle and Dimitri's step-uncle, who experiments on and kills the siblings of the former and tries to kill the latter. However, he is heavily implied to be a subversion since the man the player knows as Arundel is indicated to be a disguised Thales, who murdered and replaced the original Arundel.
- Face Death with Dignity: On the Azure Moon route, where he finds the light he longed for in death.
- Faux Affably Evil: In Hubert's Paralogue, Arundel remains polite throughout and asks for "help" in dealing with some Demonic Beasts that went out of "those who slither in the dark's" control, and even allows Hubert and Byleth to take the "Arrow of Indra" as a gift for their work in saving the mages caught up in the chaos. Hubert, however, makes it abundantly clear Arundel was using the incident as a means of demonstrating "those who slither in the dark"'s power with even the "gift" being a prototype magical lance nearly as powerful as a Hero's Relic yet capable of being wielded by anyone. Arundel is also significantly less polite if some of the mages end up dying, even saying he "expected too much" of Byleth and Hubert.
- Fake King: It's implied Thales replaced Arundel just so he could abuse the regent's position in the Empire, allowing him to join the Insurrection of the Seven and thus the ability to experiment on Edelgard and her siblings. On non-Crimson Flower routes, after the timeskip he also imposes heavy taxes and brutal conscription practices on the Hrym territory under Duke Aegir's name after the latter is put in house arrest and stripped of all his titles and territories.
- Fantastic Racism: On the Crimson Flower route, he is downright jubilant at the prospect of Rhea's death and humanity's supremacy.
- Foreshadowing: There are various hints scattered through the game that he is not what he seems. Specifically, that the Lord Arundel seen in the present is actually Thales impersonating him:
- During his meeting with the Flame Emperor, Arundel calls Nemesis a "thief" in front of his associate, which puzzles the Flame Emperor as there are no official records of Nemesis being described as such, and the way he speaks of Nemesis' "King of Liberation" title hints at an odd sort of knowing amusement.
- In non-Crimson Flower routes, when Edelgard requests backup from her uncle, in the following cutscene Thales shows up instead of Arundel.
- In Crimson Flower, not only is he referred to as the boss of "those who slither in the dark" (as is considered as such by Hubert), he also happens to be absolutely delighted over the idea of humanity being freed from a "false beast of a goddess".
- If you're a Blue Lion, Sothis drives attention to the fact he suddenly stopped donating to the church for some time ago, suggesting that it could've been due to him perishing, which is seemingly disproven a few chapters later when he's shown talking to Dimitri in the flesh. Also, in Azure Moon proper, no javelins of light are ever deployed in the story compared to the other routes, and the path also happens to be the only one where Arundel is slain under that identity.
- Lastly, many characters mention how his personality and behavior feels off as he changed quite suddenly at some point (much as is said about Cornelia and Monica), which played a huge factor in Edelgard acquiring trust issues as he suddenly brought her back into Enbarr to experiment on her and her siblings.
- Guyliner: He sports some subtle eyeliner beneath his eyes.
- Interface Spoiler: Averted. Unlike Cornelia, who has Agarthan Technology as her personal skill, Arundel has the Commander skill instead. Moreover, his spell list when fought in Azure Moonnote Hades Ω and Thoron is wildly different compared to when he's fought as Thales on the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routesnote Death Γ and Quake Σ.
- Karmic Death: On the Azure Moon route he is killed by Dimitri's army, the man who lost his family in the Tragedy of Duscur which Arundel helped orchestrate. The kicker is that Dimitri never finds out who was responsible for it, so he avenges his family without even knowing it.
- Kill and Replace:
- Implied. His shared voice actors with Thales and sudden shift in personality in Imperial Year 1174 indicate that the real Arundel was most likely murdered and subsequently replaced with the former.
- Hapi and Dimitri's support has Dimitri speculate he had no idea what was going on with his sister just as Dimitri and Lambert knew nothing about Edelgard, implying that Cornelia had a hand in killing and replacing him.
- Manipulative Bastard: Instigated the Tragedy of Duscur via his underling Cornelia and Edelgard's mother.
- My Name Is ???: How Lord Arundel's name is displayed during his first appearance.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
"Do not oppose me!"
"I control your fate!"
"Time to take your leave!"
- Removed Achilles' Heel: He has the Cavalry Effect Null skill, which removes the weakness his class usually has towards anti-cavalry weapons.
- Speak Ill of the Dead: On the Azure Moon route, Arundel indirectly calls Cornelia an idiot once he realizes she failed to keep the Kingdom under her thumb since Dimitri and his allies have come to Claudes aid. In a similar vein, should Dimitri fight him, Arundel will claim he has become just like his father: a savage.
- Sugary Malice: On the Crimson Flower route, after the battle at Arianrhod, he politely talks to Edelgard the way one would expect a lord to speak to his empress, but the underlining sentiment behind his words makes it clear he sees the death of his underling Cornelia as a betrayal and that he will exact penance. True to his word, Hubert almost immediately comes running after this declaration to reveal Arianrhod has been destroyed entirely by "those who slither in the dark"'s javelins of light.
- Turns Red: Lord Arundel's magic stat receives a huge boost once he's low on health thanks to his Defiant Magic skill.
- The Unreveal: Downplayed as far his true identity is concerned. While it's never spelled out outright in-game, there are a lot of hints scattered across the four routes that the Lord Arundel we see during the story is actually Thales in disguise.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Arundel's spells have low accuracy and he even lacks the Reason skill, yet the damage they can deal are nothing to scoff at.
- The Usurper: According to Hubert, it was Lord Arundel who spirited Edelgard off to Faerghus as a child and later, with the aid of Prime Minister Aegir and Hubert's father rendered Ionius politically impotent.
- Visionary Villain: Shows shades of this on the Crimson Flower route. Right before the Final Battle, he suggests Edelgard that once the war is over, she could try seeking a future where the Empire is in control of the whole world. Edelgard herself shoots down that idea, as she is only interested in ruling Fódlan.
- Weapon for Intimidation: On the Crimson Flower route he has the fortress city of Arianrhod destroyed and a good portion of the Imperial army stationed there slain by the "javelins of light" to try and put Edelgard in her place for killing Cornelia. This only motivates Edelgard, Hubert and Byleth even further to give him and his group what's coming to them.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind routes, he makes no other appearances after Chapter 4. Ultimately subverted, given it's heavily implied he still reappears in the story later, but under his true identity instead.
- Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: His real identity is Thales, the leader of "those who slither in the dark," himself.
- You Remind Me of X: Hubert in his B-Support with Byleth mentions that he senses something similar about them to Arundel, specifically that they have a "second self" they are in constant dialogue with. This doesn't bode well since Hubert hates Arundel.
The Minister of Military Affairs and Caspar's father.
- The Dreaded: Caspar is terrified of his father, and if opposing him worries that his army can't possibly win if Count Bergliez takes the field. Justified when, before the invasion of Enbarr, Caspar reveals that over the course of the war the Empire has won every battle in which Count Bergliez was present.
- A Father to His Men: On Verdant Wind and Silver Snow, after the conquest of Enbarr, he apparently gives up his life so that his men would be spared.
- Four-Star Badass: At least according to Caspar.
- The Ghost: He never appears onscreen.
- Heroic Sacrifice: On Verdant Wind and Silver Snow, Count Bergliez sacrifices himself to save the lives of his men.
- Interservice Rivalry: He and Count Hevring, the latter of whom is the Minister of Domestic Affairs, can't stand each other.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: He participated in the Insurrection of the Seven, which ultimately lead to the war being started. The war that ended up with him dead years later. That said, he also always survives The Purge of corrupt nobles following Edelgard's ascension, and is granted important command positions, suggesting he earned his pardon.
- The Unfought: He's never actually faced on any of the routes that feature the Empire as an enemy.
Fleche von Bergliez
Voiced by: Yui Nakajima (Japanese), Eden Riegel (English)
- Alas, Poor Villain: On the Azure Moon route, after Byleth mortally wounds her to prevent her from killing Dimitri, she dies crying for her already-dead brother, begging him to save her.
- Anti-Villain: Just like her brother Randolph, she's technically considered a villain outside of the Crimson Flower route because she is with the Adrestian Empire, opposing the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus/Leicester Alliance/Church of Seiros. On the Azure Moon route, she tries to kill Dimitri and Rodrigue dies taking the blow, but she does it to avenge the death of her brother.
- Avenging the Villain: While Randolph isn't exactly evil (though he is a sworn loyal enemy commander with, ahem, more than a few lives taken by him), she hates and tries to murder Dimitri in response to his death.
- Big Brother Worship: She's shown to have quite the high opinion of Randolph. Her attempt at avenging him on the Azure Moon path most certainly came from a place of love.
- Broken Bird:
- She's ordinarily a Nice Girl; however, on the Azure Moon path she can't stand how Randolph met his end and plots to kill Dimitri once he drops his guard.
- Averted on the Crimson Flower route where she handles her brother's death better. She's sad, but she doesn't wish to seek revenge, likely because she witnessed his death of battle wounds rather than believing he was tortured to death.
- Death by Irony: On the Azure Moon route, she tries to kill whom she thinks murdered her beloved brother, but she gets struck down by the person who was actually responsible. Granted, Dimitri planned to torture Randolph to death, while Byleth's action was a Mercy Kill.
- Irony: It's strongly implied on Azure Moon that she acts as she does based on the belief her brother was tortured before Dimitri killed him. Not only does Dimitri never get the chance, Byleth does the deed to spare him. Fleche ends up being similar to Dimitri in misplacing their target of revenge due to lacking key details.
- Mum Looks Like a Sister: Well, aunt, but she visibly looks much younger than her nephew Caspar. She could easily be mistaken for Caspar's little sister, especially considering she's only encountered after the timeskip. Makes sense when you factor that she and Randolph are half-siblings to Caspars father; their mother implicitly had a MayDecember Romance with the previous Count Bergliez. Adding further credence to this is Fleche and Randolphs father retiring due to poor health and their elder half-brother succeeding him, despite Fleche and Randolph being (or so their mother believed) his favoured children to inherit the Bergliez title.
- Nightmare Face: She sports an absolutely deranged snarl as she attacks Dimitri and rants at him for murdering her brother.
- Revenge: Attempts to avenge Randolph on the Azure Moon route, stabbing Dimitri before being struck down. Rodrigue's death and last words from her assassination attempt causes him to realize the pain he's caused and start the path of atonement.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Her most prominent appearance is on Azure Moon, where her actions indirectly set the final quarter of the plot, as it were, into motion.
- You Monster!: On the Azure Moon route, she snarls that Dimitri is a monster after swearing that she'll never forgive him for Randolph's death, right before she attempts to stab him in the back.
- I Owe You My Life: He gives Constance the Hero's Relic he obtained from Dagda after the war, all to honor her parents who are implied to have saved him during the war with Dagda and Brigid.
- Irony: He risks his life to reclaim the Hero's Relic he got from Dagda, only to happily give it up to Constance who spoke badly of his family at the start of the Paralogue.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: He's the only leader of one of the Empire's great houses who does not have a child attending the academy.
- Pet the Dog: Petra is grateful towards him even as an enemy for ensuring she was spared and allowed to live. Him siding with Edelgard is the only thing that makes her conflicted about opposing the Empire.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Gerth is portrayed as a man who puts his duty and loyalty to the Empire above nearly everything, making his part in the Insurrection to be implied due to believing that Ionius' actions threatened the stability of the Empire. Notably, his House isolated itself from the others afterwards, choosing to perform his duties and not much else, and even then, in Constance and Yuri's paralogue it's shown he's willing to turn a blind eye to it if it means fulfilling a debt.
Emperor Ionius IX
Emperor Ionius IX
Voiced by: Kouichi Souma (Japanese), Paul St. Peter (English)
- Abdicate the Throne: Just before the Time Skip, he abdicates his throne in favor of Edelgard, believing that she will be a more capable monarch than he was.
- Adult Fear: He confesses this regarding the experimentation done on Edelgard and her siblings. The Insurrection of the Seven, which reduced him to a mere figurehead, left him powerless to help his children, and he was horrified by what happened to them.
- The Casanova: Downplayed. According to Edelgard, out of necessity and need for heirs, he had a bevy of lovers despite being married. He fathered a total of eleven children during his reign, though only Edelgard survived.
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: They highlight his age and illness.
- First Love: Also doubles as Love at First Sight. Meeting Edelgard at the Goddess Tower will reveal that her mother, Anselma (a.k.a. Patricia, Dimitri's stepmother), was this for him. Ionius was a student of the Officers Academy before becoming Emperor and when he was crowned after graduation, he married for political reasons. One day, he visited the monastery and snuck up the Goddess Tower out of nostalgia. There, he met Anselma, who had just enrolled, and the pair fell in love immediately. Immediately afterward however, Edelgard admits that's how the "story" goes, suggesting it could just be Imperial propaganda and that despite the chance it isn't the truth, she wants to believe her parents were indeed in love with each other.
- Good Parents: There are plenty of signs that he truly loves Edelgard, and he expresses regret at how he could do nothing to help her when she was experimented on with the rest of her siblings and how she was taken to the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. The fact that Edelgard bears no grudge against him further cements this, though as shown by the Cindered Shadows DLC, she does at least think he could have done more.
- Incurable Cough of Death: His speech is peppered with coughs, showing just how weak he's become.
- Killed Offscreen: After abdicating and passing on his throne to Edelgard, he is not seen again. Given that he was already half-dead from illness at that time, it should come as no surprise when Edelgard mentions near the end of the story that he died quite a while ago, as she reflects on all the tragic events that have shaped her life.
Edelgard: Everything that's happened... it's all just part of the ebb and flow of history. The Tragedy of Duscur, our days at the academy, Father's death, and the five years you were gone... After all of that, at long last, we're here at this point in time. I hope you'll stay by my side until the very end.
- King on His Deathbed: Given his constant coughing and the weariness in his voice, it is evident that he is not long for this world.
- Puppet King: What he's been reduced to as a result of his age, illness, and the machinations of the corrupt nobility, all of which have left him too weak to effectively fight policies he doesn't agree with. However, it is still he alone who has the ability to crown his successor as Emperor, which he grants Edelgard when she comes to him for it.
- Small Role, Big Impact:
- The man appears in only one scene on the Black Eagles route, and an optional one at that. In spite of this, the events of this scene canonically happen in all routes, and it forever alters the entire course of the continent.
- His powermongering also resulted in the Insurrection of the Seven, which in turn led to those who slither in the dark gaining influence over the Empire, and thus being able to experiment on Edelgard. As such, the central plot of the game is partiallya result of his actions.
- Strong Empire, Shriveled Emperor: Adrestia may be a Vestigial Empire in the current day, but it's still the most powerful nation in Fódlan. Ionius himself, by contrast, is an old man wracked with illness and reduced to a Puppet King by several traitorous nobles, and he hates it for what his weakness cost his children and sole surviving heir Edelgard.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Possibly downplayed. Besides gathering all the power of the other noble houses for himself, in the Japanese version of Hubert and Hanneman's C-Support, the latter mentions how Ionius also wanted to dissolve the privileges of the consort kin (as in, his multiple wives), which is suggested to have been the reason Anselma ended up exiled from the Empire despite the rumors claiming she was the one he loved the most and providing him a child with a Minor Crest of Seiros.
Class: Cavalier → Wyvern Rider → Wyvern Lord
Voiced by: Noriko Namiki (Japanese), Katelyn Gault (English)
- A Hero to His Hometown: She's rather popular amongst the citizens of the empire, who see her as a war hero.
- Anti-Villain: Even outside of the Crimson Flower route, Ladislava is not what you would call evil, as she's an honorable woman well-loved among the Empire's citizens as a hero, only being considered a villain because she's participating in a war of conquest.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Ladislava's personal skill is General, which grants immunity to instant death and reduces damage caused by gambits.
- Dragon Rider: She's a powerful Wyvern Rider, although oddly she's a Cavalier in her Guest-Star Party Member appearance on the Crimson Flower route during the battle of Garreg Mach.
- Killed Offscreen: According to Randolph, she meets her end during the Church's attempt to recapture Garreg Mach on the Crimson Flower route.
- Kryptonite-Proof Suit: On routes other than Crimson Flower, she has the Aurora Shield, which nullifies any Flying weakness she might have unless it's stolen from her.
- Humble Hero: Despite her abilities, she doesn't boast about them, which makes her rather relatable to citizens.
- Lightning Bruiser: She's reasonably fast and is quite bulky on the physical side.
- Mauve Shirt: On the Crimson Flower route, she's basically a high-ranking mook with her own face and personality.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
"For the Empire!"
"For Her Majesty!"
"Prepare to die!"
"I'll break you!"
- Rank Up: Post-timeskip on the Crimson Flower route, she's gone from head of Edelgard's personal guard to a general in the army. Of course, this means she's no longer capable of protecting Edelgard herself and thus she entrusts that role to Byleth.
- Recurring Element: Sort of. She is what happens when you take one half of the Wyvern Duo, being the red-colored wyvern rider girl that was pioneered by Minerva, except not making her recruitable at all (even when you're siding with her) like 'sympathetic female enemy generals' like Ishtar.
- Red Baron: She's called the "Scarlet Warrior."
- Supporting Leader: On the Crimson Flower route, she takes care of important logistical concerns in running the Adrestian army that Byleth can't (such as maintaining order in recently occupied territories).
Class: Trickster → Forlorn Beast
The father of Monica. He is the head of an Imperial noble family that has fallen on hard times since the death of the previous family head. Appears in the DLC Paralogue "Black Market Scheme".
- All for Nothing: His attempts to free his daughter are meaningless since, by the time the paralogue featuring him becomes available, Byleth has already freed Monica. It's eventually revealed that the rescued "Monica" is an imposter and the real Monica is long dead, so he never had a chance of saving her to begin with.
- Anti-Villain: He's simply a desperate man trying to save his daughter. He only comes into conflict with Balthus because Ochs needs the Vajra-Mushti to save his daughter.
- Bonus Boss: Appears in Balthus and Hapis paralogue, where he is attempting to sell the Vajra-Mushti in order to get his missing daughter back.
- Degraded Boss: The Demonic Beast he transforms into during the second phase of his fight reappears later in the story as a normal monster enemy for specific chapters.
- Dying as Yourself: After being mortally wounded as the Forlorn Beast, he spits out some last words in his human form before perishing.
- I Have Your Wife: He's trying to sell the replica Heroes' Relic Vajra-Mushti to Monica's kidnappers in return for her safety.
- One-Winged Angel: After being defeated, he attempts to use the Vajra-Mushti but turns into a demonic beast due to his lack of a crest. The party has no choice but to put him out of his misery.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His daughter is almost certainly dead, having been murdered so that Kronya could infiltrate the Officer's Academy.
- Papa Wolf: Isn't afraid to attack the freaking heir apparent of his homeland if it means that he can save his daughter.
- Poor Communication Kills: He might have been able to survive the paralogue if he had just told the heroes why he needed Vajra-Mushti; Edelgard even demands he explain himself if they fight, but he just brushes her off.
- Unwitting Pawn: Those who slither in the dark were manipulating him into giving them the Vajra-Mushti in return for releasing Monica, a hostage that they already killed.
- You Are Too Late: His goal is to get the Vajra-Mushti to save his daughter, who's already long dead.
Randolph von Bergliez
Voiced by: Jun Konno (Japanese), Ben Pronsky (English)
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In the Azure Moon route when Dimitri has him dead-to-rights, Randolph drops any confidence and pride as he pleads Dimitri to be let go so he can be with his family. Dimitri isn't convinced, throwing Randolph's pleas back into his face and pointing out that he's destroyed plenty of families by acting as Edelgard's attack dog during her bloody coup and following war.
- Anti-Villain: Even outside of the Crimson Flower route, Randolph is not what you would call evil, only being considered a villain because he is with the Adrestian Empire, and actively participating in a war of conquest. This is somewhat Deconstructed on the Azure Moon route, as Dimitri points out that he's still killed countless people in battle.
- Big Brother Instinct: He keeps Fleche from joining him in battle, especially on the Azure Moon route, where he fears the "One-eyed man" (Dimitri), who is infamous for brutally killing soldiers.
- Big Eater: Never actually seen first hand, but in the Crimson Flower route a smitten NPC you can talk to after the mission in Derdriu actually mentions that Randolph has quite the appetite.
- Break the Haughty: At the receiving end of a Breaking Speech in a combination of Armor-Piercing Question, a "Not So Different" Remark, and These Hands Have Killed by Dimitri to which he tries to deny, but Dimitri refutes his responses because they're in a war while shooting down his excuses.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Randolph's personal skill is General, which grants immunity to instant death and reduces damage caused by gambits.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: On the Azure Moon route only, of the Noble Top Enforcer antagonists often seen in Fire Emblem. While he fights for sympathetic reasons, his honour-bound tendencies end up being his downfall, and Dimitri makes a solid point that trying to claim the moral high ground in war doesn't make one any less of a killer.
Randolph: This... this is war. I did what I had to; for the Empire... for my people... for my family.
Dimitri: So, you are piling up corpses for the people and your family. And I'm doing the same for the salvation of the dead. After all is said and done, we are both murderers, both stained... both monsters.
- Fatal Flaw: His Hot-Blooded nature and glory seeking tendencies prove to be this, as in every route except the Crimson Flower route, during the defense of Garreg Mach from Imperial forces, one of Byleth's allies (Seteth in Silver Snow, Gilbert in Azure Moon or Claude in Verdant Wind) taunts him, intending to trick him into marching his soldiers headfirst into a fire trap. In every route where this crops up, Randolph is so incensed by the taunting that he sends his men forward, right into said trap.
- Glass Cannon: His attacks carry a ton of weight but his lackluster defenses mean it won't take much to take him down.
- Glory Seeker: Seeks glory for the sake of his family and little sister.
- Heroic Sacrifice: On the Crimson Flower route, he dies of his wounds from defending Garreg Mach from the Churchs surprise attack.
- Hot-Blooded: He's not too far off from his nephew Caspar in this department. Fleche is constantly worried about him because of it.
- In Spite of a Nail: No matter what route you pick, he ultimately dies in an attempt to retake Garreg Mach Monastery from Byleth and their allies. The differences are: whether he's one of the defenders (on Crimson Flower), the head of the attackers who then lives to be threatened with torture before being put out of his misery (on Azure Moon), or the head of the attackers who dies right after being defeated (on Verdant Wind and Silver Snow).
- Mauve Shirt: On the Crimson Flower route, he's basically a high-ranking mook with his own face and personality.
- Mercy Kill: On the Azure Moon route, after he is defeated and captured by the Blue Lions, Dimitri contemplates how he is going to torture him, either by forcing Randolph to watch his comrades be killed one by one before him or by simply gouging his eyes out. To spare him, Byleth steps in and quickly executes Randolph before Dimitri is able to do either of these things.
- Moral Myopia: When he begs to be able to return to his family, Dimitri calls him on having this — noting he must have, directly or otherwise, ended the lives of many who want the same thing. Randolphs only retort is to claim that a monster like Dimitricould not understand love, which backfires as hes subjected to a viciousBreaking Speech that evidently shakes Randolph to his core.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
- A meta has been written about how Randolph's actions in Chapter 14 on non-Crimson Flower routes, where he attacks Garreg Mach, are beyond strategically stupid and was the real point the war turned in Byleth's favor.
- On Azure Moon specifically, his attack on Garreg Mach puts in motion a chain of events that result in Dimitri regaining his sanity and abandoning his suicidal rush into the Empire. This then allows Faerghus to regain its strength, save the Alliance, and win the war. Whoops.
- Parental Favoritism: His father, the previous Count Bergliez and Caspar's grandfather, favored his second wife, Randolph's mother, and she hoped that Randolph would succeed him to the earldom, despite the previous count having an older son from his first marriage, Caspar's father and Randolph's half-brother. Ultimately, Caspar's father inherited the countdom after the previous count was forced to retire early on account of poor health.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
"I won't fail!"
"I'll show you!"
"I'll protect my family!"
"I'll do what I must!"
- Sadistic Choice: Upon being captured after the battle for Garreg Mach, he's given a choice either to watch his subordinates killed one by one or to have his eyes ripped out. At that point Byleth steps in to give him a third option.
- Straight for the Commander: In non-Crimson Flower routes, he'll attempt to invoke this trope at one point during his second appearance by charging right towards Byleth as a last resort.
- Supporting Leader: On the Crimson Flower route, he takes care of important logistical concerns in running the Adrestian army that Byleth can't (such as keeping the monastery secure when Byleth and co. are on the front lines).
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: The same NPC that points that he's a Big Eater? Also mentions that he's quite the eye candy and it's made clear that she prefers his traditional Hunk looks to Hubert's Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette looks.
The Minister of Religious Affairs and Bernadetta's father.
- Abusive Parents: He treated his daughter abominably, such as tying her to a chair in order to mold her into an obedient wife, and prohibiting her from befriending commoners. Some of Bernadetta's behavior implies he may have been physically abusive.
- The Ghost: He never appears onscreen. However, his house is allegedly behind the reinforcements Enbarr receives during the final stage of the Azure Moon route.
- Greed: His daughter mentions his obsession with money, and he only sees her as bait for a rich husband.
- Hate Sink: He's perhaps one of the most despicable characters in the game who isn't part of "those who slither in the dark".
- Irony: Count Varley is the Minister of Religious Affairs (which would imply that he has some decency), yet he is by far one of the most hated characters in the game because of his severe mistreatment of Bernadetta.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While keeping Bernadetta from having friends (especially if they were a commoner) is no doubt cruel, Yuri reveals to her that she was frequently a target for assassination due to the power her family's house had. If Yuri hadn't hesitated, she would've been killed by her childhood commoner friend.
- Laser-Guided Karma:
- Count Varley's abuse of his daughter resulted in her becoming a reclusive shut-in. After Edelgard takes the throne, he's forced into house arrest.
- Count Varley's goal was to marry Bernadetta off to Ferdinand to improve House Varley's status. If Bernadetta ends up with Ferdinand, she renounces her claim to House Varley, meaning that Count Varley gets what he wants, but doesn't benefit in the slightest.
- The abuse he afflicted on her, causing her extreme shut-in nature, led to rumors about her (that she was a scary shut-in princess who made cursed dolls) that caused Ferdinand to beg his parents not to engage them as he was terrified of her, as revealed in their A+ support. His treatment of his daughter actually made her appear less marriageable.
- It's entirely possible to never have Bernadetta marry. If this is done, she becomes one of the Varley territory's greatest leaders, and her father doesn't get a cent.
- Even in the Crimson Flower route, no matter who Bernadetta marries, her father doesn't benefit at all, because he's under permanent house arrest. He's forced to become a shut-in like his daughter, and like the Emperor he stripped power from.
- Offscreen Villainy: All of his abusive treatment of Bernadetta is confined to her backstory, and the audience never meets him in person.
- Papa Wolf: Had an ambiguous moment of parental fury in Bernadetta's backstory. When Yuri was hired to kill her by other nobles, he hesitated since he valued his friendship with her. This hesitation allowed the Count to find him in her daughter's room and beat him to within an inch of his life, but not enough to kill him. It's unclear whether he was genuinely concerned for his daughter's safety or was simply "protecting the merchandise". Either way, he never explained his actions to his daughter, which permanently terrified her out of trying to be friends with other people, especially commoners like Dorothea.
- Parental Neglect: According to Bernadetta, by the time she hit her teens Count Varley "calmed down" from his previous abuse and now simply ignores her existence most of the time and treats her like a disappointment the few times he does interact with her. Bernadetta considers this infinitely preferable, and it's hinted he stopped the abuse only because he now considers her a lost cause to marry off.
- Ambiguous Situation: Why exactly did he betray the Emperor despite his House's loyalty? Hubert doesn't care for the answer and despises him for it regardless of reasoning, but Hanneman states that the Marquis Vestra he knew wasn't the type who desired power for personal gain and believes he did it for Hubert's sake.
- Archnemesis Dad: He is Hubert's, though it seems to be one-sided as far as the Marquis is concerned. Hubert hates him for taking part in the Insurrection of the Seven, viewing it as a betrayal of House Vestra's loyalty to the emperor, and more saliently, for personally abducting Edelgard. As such, he has no problem with having him killed as part of Edelgard's purge of the corrupt nobility following her ascension.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: As House Vestra had always served as the main protectors of the imperial line, his decision to side with the Insurrection against Ionius was effectively this.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He raised Hubert to be unwaveringly loyal and protective of Edelgard; which may have been a mistake considering he was involved with the torturous experiments inflicted on her by the Agarthans. Hubert takes proxy revenge for Edelgard by having the man executed.
- The Ghost: While his influence on the backstory is immense, he never makes a direct appearance.
- Killed Offscreen: He is among the nobles subjected to The Purge following Edelgard's ascent to power. It's implied he could have been taken prisoner and simply put under house arrest like Varley and Aegir, but Hubert had him killed to ensure he couldn't become a problem and partly because It's Personal.
- Like Father, Like Son: When Hanneman offers the possibility that Vestra's betrayal of Ionius was motivated in part by a love for Hubert, Hubert's response is that if that's the case, then his own betrayal of his father was motivated in part by his love for Edelgard and he's just following in his footsteps.
The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus
- Animal Motifs: Lions. Students at the Officers' Academy from the Kingdom are assigned to the Blue Lions and the founding king of Faerghus, King Loog, earned the nickname the "King of Lions".
- Blade on a Stick: The preferred weapon of choice for most Kingdom warriors is the lance. It's reinforced by the fact that most Heroes' Relics from the Kingdom are lances, including Areadbhar, the Lance of Ruin and Lúin.
- Blind Obedience: One of the Kingdom's gravest flaws is their promotion of knights blindly following their master's orders. To make it worse, some people romanticize Blind Obedience and portray it as the equivalent of being an honorable knight. Felix criticizes this heavily and is one of the major reasons why he hates chivalry and knighthood.
- Blue Is Heroic: Blue is a predominant color in Faerghus due to the founding king, Loog, being known for wearing clothes of the same color. The house for Faerghus students in the Officers' Academy is the Blue Lions and Kingdom soldiers are shown to wear blue in their armor. Depending on which route you take can ultimately avert this, especially since the Kingdom has committed actions that can't be considered heroic. It's played straight in Azure Moon thanks to Dimitri regaining his sanity and changing Faerghus for the better.
- Decapitated Army: On the Crimson Flower route, despite Dimitri's death, this situation is averted, as Faerghus' military and populace then rally behind Rhea and the knights of Seiros instead, due to the country's long-standing support for the church.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of The Good Kingdom comprised of Knights In Shining Armor. While the people of Faerghus may view themselves as a righteous and honorable people, some of their actions are far from such. This includes the Tragedy of Duscur, Lonato's rebellion, the actions of the Western Church, and some Kingdom nobles aiding in killing King Lambert. Because of their immense reverence for honor, knighthood and chivalry, most of them are often blind to when they don't act nobly. This causes them to fall into self-righteous hypocrisy, promote blind obedience and act on nothing but zealotry to destroy their enemies.
- Faction Calculus: Balanced. Faerghus's knights rely less on raw power or numbers, preferring to balance out their forces.
- False Flag Operation: A large portion of Faerghus' population holds prejudice toward the people of Duscur and treat them with suspicion or worse. Relations had been bad for some time already, but they completely fell apart when King Lambert and many Kingdom officials and soldiers with him were horribly slaughtered during a diplomatic mission to Duscur. This assassination was pinned on the people of Duscur and came to be known as the Tragedy of Duscur. In truth the assassination was a high level conspiracy by certain Kingdom nobles who opposed Lambert's reforms, said conspiracy also being enabled/planned by "those who slither in the dark" agents and taking advantage of the pre-existing prejudices toward Duscur to make them the scapegoats and sow instability in the Kingdom (the Tragedy inciting a series of bloody rebellions, bandit proliferation, and overall chaos that also drove a deeper wedge between the Western and Central Church). Said prejudices meant most in the Kingdom did not question that Duscur was to blame, despite the things that did not add up about it. As Sylvain notes, the people of Duscur logically lacked the power and numbers needed to so completely slaughter the king's elite forces, and it's implied they also lacked motive due to how Lambert was a reformist who sympathized with the people of Duscur, and therefore should have been the last person they would want to kill. Prince Dimitri's own testimony was ignored despite being the sole available witness and adamantly testifying that the people who attacked were not of Duscur. The resulting punishment/retaliation was the mass-killing of the Duscur population and the destruction of their land, the survivors losing all rights to govern their homeland.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: France and England. The Kingdom's treatment of knights and chivalry parallels how real-world France and England treated theirs. The lion, which is an important animal in Faerghus, is also the symbol of England. Its Grim Up North traits and names also give it some elements to the Holy Roman Empire or Germany (particularly to Adrestia's Austria) and Russia. There's also major Celtic influences as well, shown by some of the names used.
- Faerghus (name of the Kingdom). Faerghus is a variation of the name, Fergus, an Irish, Scottish and Manx name meaning "man strength".
- Blaiddyd (surname of the Royal Family). Blaiddyd is Welsh for "Wolf Lord" and the name of a legendary Brittonic king who promoted the use of necromancy.
- Fhirdiad (Capital of Faerghus). Fhirdiad is a variation of the Irish Ferdiad, the foster brother of Cúchulainn from the Ulster Cycle.
- Arianrhod (A fortified fortress in Faerghus, also called the Silver Maiden). Arianrhod is a figure from Welsh mythology.
- Areadbhar (The Hero's Relic of House Blaiddyd). Aréadbhar was a spear in Irish mythology wielded by the hero, Lugh. It translates to "Slaughterer".
- Fatal Flaw: Their Knight Templar tendencies. The people of Faerghus tend to view themselves as righteous, acting on nothing but zealotry to destroy those who disagree with them and falling straight into self-righteous hypocrisy, whether it be the Western Church, the Tragedy of Duscur, Lonato's rebellion, or the Dukedom. Notably, they are usually blind to it and don't recognize when they aren't acting nobly, unlike Dimitri who even at his worst is wracked with guilt over what he's become or on Crimson Flower, where it's the desperation of being forced into a corner, with their loved ones, nation, and king on the line, that leads to the soldiers turning themselves into demonic beasts (even knowing what Dimitri would have to do even if they defeated the empire).
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Fighter. The kingdom's military is disciplined and has a sense of chivalry instilled in them.
- God-Emperor: After Dimitri is slain by Edelgard on the Crimson Flower route, Rhea seizes leadership of Faerghus and becomes this to the kingdom.
- The Good Kingdom: It's a holy kingdom full of knights in shining armor. Its exact relationship with this trope varies depending on the route.
- On the Azure Moon route, it's played completely straight. After Dimitri recovers from his Sanity Slippage and the Rightful King Returns, you are cast as the heroic kingdom trying to stop a power-hungry warlord from conquering the world.
- On the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind routes, it's subverted. The Kingdom is beaten down into a puppet state, the rightful prince is utterly Ax-Crazy and gets himself killed with little fanfare, and it's ultimately up to either La Résistance or The Alliance to save the world.
- On the Crimson Flower route, it's zigzagged. The Kingdom is basically well-intentioned and is fighting against a war of conquest, making them a Hero Antagonist, but they continue to oppose you on behalf of the Church even after Rhea goes fully Ax-Crazy and burns Fhirdiad to the ground in order to kill you.
- Grim Up North: Downplayed. Faerghus is able to sustain a functioning kingdom with little issues, but the cold environment forced them to adapt and made them vulnerable to sieges. This is stated by Dimitri in Crimson Flower after the fall of Arianrhod and the deaths of Rodrigue, Felix and Ingrid (if the last two aren't recruited). Dimitri says that if the Empire lays siege to Fhirdiad, then the Kingdom's defeat would be inevitable.
- Honor Before Reason: The Kingdom populace values honor and chivalry above all else. Because of this, they are determined to do whatever they believe to be honorable to the point where it can lead to self-destructive obsession or self-righteous hypocrisy. Their zealotry leads to their destruction on the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind routes because they blindly follow Dimitri to Enbarr, despite the fact that he's become violently insane and only cares about killing Edelgard. Likewise, on Crimson Flower, when Dimitri falls in the Tailtean battle, the remaining Kingdom commanders join and support their other supreme authority, Rhea, even going along with her obviously insane order to torch their own capital city and last stronghold.
- Hufflepuff House: On the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind routes, the Kingdom gets the least amount of focus of any of the three nations in Part II. The closest you get to visiting Faerghus is Chapter 15, which takes place on the Kingdom/Alliance border, and you only fight Kingdom forces in that chapter (against defectors to the Empire) and the Battle at Gronder on Verdant Wind, after which they are permanently removed from the war due to Dimitri's death.
- Hypocrite: The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus could undoubtedly be seen as the most self-righteous and hypocritical of the three nations. They believe themselves a righteous and honorable people, yet they've used their zealotry and beliefs to justify morally reprehensible actions.
- After King Lambert's death, the people of Faerghus immediately blamed the Duscur populace (with no legitimate proof) for his death and slaughtered them to near extinction. While King Lambert's death was a tragedy, the Faerghus army slaughtered men, women, children and elderly when they destroyed Duscur. Because they did it to avenge their king, it's justice in their eyes instead of a genocidal massacre. Hardly the actions of a "chivalrous and honorable" people.
- The Western Church has been plotting to kill Rhea and take control of the Church of Seiros because they believe themselves to be the true disciples of the Goddess. However, while they accuse the Central Church of being irredeemably corrupt and wicked, they use their beliefs to justify their extremist actions. This includes attempting to assassinate Rhea on several occasions, manipulating others (most notably Lonato and Christophe) for their own agendas and raising rebellions. Though they blame the Knights of Seiros for the Tragedy of Duscur, the Western Church advocates for the extreme separation of class, race and culture. During Ashe's paralogue, the Western Bishop hypocritically claims they didn't use Lonato and instead helped him. Ashe is clearly infuriated by this and calls the Bishop out.
Western Bishop: All we did was provide Lonato salvation from his misery!
Ashe: Salvation!? You used him and threw him away!
- Lonato also falls under this from his rebellion. Though he was right that Christophe was executed under false circumstances, Christophe still knowingly tried to help the Western Church assassinate Rhea due to being easily swayed by their arguments. To avenge his son, he started a rebellion that involved innocent people both as militia and destroying those who opposed him. Despite the lives he endangered, Lonato believed that he was on the side of righteousness when in reality, he was acting out of rage and grief. This made it tragically easy for the Western Church to manipulate him just as they did his son.
- In Azure Moon, it's revealed that Viscount Kleiman, a noble who betrayed Faerghus and sided with Edelgard, was involved in the Tragedy of Duscur. When Dimitri, Byleth and Gilbert question Kleiman's servant, he explains that the Viscount thought King Lambert's reforms were dangerous and had to be stopped. Based on what the servant said, the Viscount believes what he did to be justice... despite his actions having led to the near extinction of the Duscur populace, the deaths of many Kingdom soldiers, knights and officials, the near collapse of Faerghus's government (and the resulting suffering of the common people due to bandit proliferations and riots) and, on a lesser note, psychologically scarring Dimitri.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The Holy Kingdom has a proud tradition of knights, and chivalry is one of their most important values. Their banner is decorated with a knight atop a griffon.
- Knight Templar: The Kingdom's Fatal Flaw. Because of their belief that they are righteous due to their reverence for honor and chivalry, the people of Faerghus will fall back on nothing but zealotry to destroy their enemies and justify their actions. Any action they take, whether it be the near genocide and persecution of the Duscur populace, the Western Church plotting to take power from Rhea by manipulating both Lonato and his son, Christophe, or betraying the Kingdom and siding with the Empire after war breaks out is justified in their eyes because of their zealotry. Perhaps one of the biggest examples is during Azure Moon, Dimitri discovers that Viscount Kleiman, a noble who betrayed Faerghus, was involved in the Tragedy of Duscur. When confronting the servant who revealed this, he states that he believed the Viscount to be the embodiment of justice and he did what he thought was right. Unsurprisingly, Dimitri chews him out for this in a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
Dimitri: And so, in the name of justice, he caused massacre upon massacre out of love for his homeland. You murdered your own king, killed our soldiers and involved innocent citizens. And yet you have the gall to speak of justice!?
- Laser-Guided Karma: Before the beginning of the story Faerghus massacred much of the population of Duscur, erasing it as a nation in the name of their "ideals" concerning retribution out of the belief they conspired to slaughter their king and his retinue, and some treat even the memory of Duscur as something that should be forgotten as they are seen as nothing but a bunch of evil kingslayers. By the end of the story, in three out of four routes they suffer the same fate as Duscur: being destroyed and then promptly forgotten about by the rest of the cast, in the name of Edelgard's ideals. They are then regarded as a bunch of loyalist idiots following an insane king's (or in the case of Crimson Flower an insane archbishop) "plan" which either doesn't work (Crimson Flower) or just plain old wasn't a plan to begin with and was just the most violent suicide in the history of Fódlan.
- Lawful Stupid: One of their biggest flaws is their obsessive devotion to honor and chivalry. This causes problems for Kingdom citizens on both a personal level (Gilbert left his family in shambles because of his self-flagellation over the Tragedy of Duscur, and Rodrigue's views on Glenn's death permanently strained his relationship with Felix) and the whole Kingdom on a macro level (throughout Verdant Wind and the first half of Azure Moon, the Kingdom army follows Dimitri despite the fact that he's clearly violently insane and doesn't care about the Kingdom's best interests, and this outright leads to the complete collapse of Faerghus on Verdant Wind and Silver Snow (the latter route especially notable as the Church of Seiros offers to assist them in battle against the empire if they will only wait for the church's troops to recover, but Dimitri refuses to delay)).
- Leitmotif: "The King of Lions" plays during scenes related to the Kingdom.
- Martyrdom Culture: The Kingdom prides itself on knightly chivalry, right down to the idea that it's a knight's duty to die following their king or lord's orders. Naturally this has disastrous results on Silver Snow and Verdant Wind. Without Byleth around to give the now unhinged Dimitri pushback, the Kingdom gets driven directly to their own destruction.
- Meaningful Name: Faerghus is a variation of the name, Fergus, which means "man strength". It is very fitting for a nation of Knights In Shining Armor who prioritize martial skills and personal combat.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: In Faerghus, some people romanticize Blind Obedience and portray it as the equivalent of being an honorable knight. In Azure Moon, after Gwendal is killed in the Valley of Torment, Gilbert states that it's the way of knights to obey their master's orders without argument and that Gwendal was a good man. Dimitri is not convinced by this since Gwendal willingly followed his master, Lord Rowe, after betraying Faerghus and siding with the Empire.
- Proud Warrior Race: A knightly and chivalrous variant, but with some Grim Up North flairs, especially as children are taught to wield a weapon before they learn to read or write.
- The Remnant: On the Crimson Flower route, the last remnants of the Faerghus army (led by Annette and Ashe, if they didn't defect) comprise about a third of the enemy composition of the final battle.
- Succession Crisis:
- King Lambert's assassination as a result of the Tragedy of Duscur briefly caused one of these, as while crown prince Dimitri survived he was deemed far too young and inexperienced to take the reins in a tumultuous time. The Grand Duke of Itha and Lambert's older brother, Rufus (who was passed over the line of succession originally due to his lack of a Crest), took charge of the kingdom with the intent of passing it back to Dimitri once he came of age, though his regency has had its own share of problems thanks to the Western Church stirring up trouble and Rufus proving to be a fairly inept, skirt-chasing ruler.
- Depending on the route taken, this can potentially spring up again post-timeskip. Specifically on non-Crimson Flower routes where Dimitri is framed for the assassination of Rufus and forced to go on the run, with the major conspirator and court mage Cornelia becoming Faerghus' Puppet King. It's resolved on Azure Moon where Dimitri gets his act together and rallies his people to oust the puppet state, but on Verdant Wind and Silver Snow, Dimitri's death or ambiguous disappearance without an heir left behind effectively destroys any hope of salvaging Faerghus' ruling structure and leaves them out of the rest of the war.
- Tautological Templar: Comes with their Fatal Flaw of their Knight Templar tendencies. Because many people of Faerghus are so convinced of their own righteousness, they believe that any action they take is justified through their zealotry and dedication to chivalry. The Kingdom army slaughtered the Duscur populace because they blamed them for King Lambert's murder, claiming it was justice. The Western Church started numerous rebellions and manipulated Lonato as well as his son, Christophe, because they viewed Rhea as a heretic and believed themselves the true disciples of the Goddess. Viscount Kleiman and several other Kingdom nobles are revealed to have been involved in the Tragedy of Duscur in the Azure Moon route. Despite the tragedies they caused and the atrocities they committed, some of the Kingdom nobles involved believed what they did to be justice because they acted out of love for their homeland.
- The Theocracy:
- It is called the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and was founded due to mediation from the Church of Seiros to end the War of the Eagle and Lion, which Loog initiated to fight for its independence from the Adrestian Empire. That said, it is noted that the country's rulers are long-time supporters of the Church and this automatically puts them at odds with the empire when Edelgard initiates her plan to destroy the Church's grip on Fódlan.
- On the Crimson Flower route, Dimitri readily grants Rhea and the knights of Seiros asylum after the empire attacks the monastery, and fights alongside her troops in his Last Stand against Edelgard. Despite his death, the country's support of the Church also prevents it from collapsing, as its people and military then submit to Rhea's authority as archbishop.
- Undying Loyalty: The people of the country respect and adore serving both their royal family and the church. On the Azure Moon route, despite his long absence, the violent acts he committed, and the fact that he had been publicly declared a traitor by Cornelia, Dimitri receives a warm reception from his subjects when he finally returns to Faerghus to assume his responsibilities as king, having even openly rebelled beforehand when he returned. On the Crimson Flower route, after Dimitri is killed in battle by Edelgard, the populace then submit to Rhea's authority as the archbishop of the church. Despite Rhea's decision to burn Faerghus' capital to slow down the empire's advancement, the kingdom's soldiers still fight alongside the Knights of Seiros out of loyalty to their fallen liege.
Christophe GaspardThe son of Lord Lonato, and adoptive older brother to Ashe.
- Cool Big Bro: Of the adopted variety, towards Ashe. In Ashe's Support with Mercedes he favorably compares his Team Mom classmate to Christophe, stating that his older brother shared the same kind of playful and warm personality that made him very easy to get along with. Outside that, its made very clear that Ashe holds Cristophe's memory in incredibly high regard and fondness, and his death affected Ashe just as firmly as it did Lonato.
- Everyone Went to School Together: He was a student at Garreg Mach around the same time Catherine (or Cassandra, as she was known at the time) was, both were members of The Blue Lions and actually became close friends during their school years.
- Fatal Flaw: During Ashe and Catherine's C-Support, Catherine tells Ashe that Christophe was too trusting of others, which made him an excellent Unwitting Pawn for the Western Church. Had he not been so naïve and blindly idealistic, he would've realized that the Western Church was using him as a pawn to kill Rhea and secure their own power.
- Posthumous Character: His death motivates Lord Lonato's actions, and is key to the supports between Ashe and Catherine.
- Stupid Good: "Stupid" might be a far harsher word than necessary, but considering Catherine describes him as being foolish and the kind of man who did not have it in his nature to distrust others, it's tragically clear that his good nature, idealism, and genuine Nice Guy personality was ruthlessly taken advantage of and it made him a perfect Unwitting Pawn to be used.
- Unwitting Pawn: Ashe's support with Catherine reveals that while he wasn't involved with Duscur, he was part of another plot by the Western Church to assassinate Rhea, and she comments he was too naïve and idealistic because he was easily swayed by their reasons. While he knew the plot was to kill Rhea, he was unaware that the Western Church was only using him for the sake of increasing their own power.
Voiced by:Akemi Okamura (Japanese), Jessica Gee-George (English)
- Absolute Cleavage: She has a deep plunging neckline to compliment her enormous breasts.
- Break Them by Talking: When she's defeated, she reveals to Dimitri that it was his stepmother, the woman whom he saw as his own mother, who arranged for his father's assassination at Duscur for selfish reasons. The revelation greatly shakes an already unstable Dimitri, but didn't last quite long since Dimitri has also recovered a majority of his psyche thanks to Byleth and a previous incident.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Played With. She readily admits she killed Dimitri's uncle and framed him for it, but also states that until Dimitri asked her she had "forgotten all about that loveliness."
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: On the Crimson Flower route, despite the Black Eagle Strike Force aiming to kill her, Cornelia still orders her Titanus warriors to kill Kingdom soldiers if they can, despite the fact said soldiers are her only other hope of surviving.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: She has the Unsealable Magic skill in all of her appearances.
- Court Mage: Cornelia's position in the Kingdom, awarded for curing the plague that ravaged it.
- Defiant to the End: In her last moments on Azure Moon, she readily accepts her impending death and spends her final act revealing uncomfortable truths to Dimitri to mess with him.
- Death Faked for You: In non-Crimson Flower routes, after Dimitri manages to escape his execution for having allegedly killed his uncle, Cornelia publicly claims he was slain regardless for the sake of destabilizing the Kingdom. In Azure Moon, it's revealed the fact she never allowed anyone to see his body convinced Gilbert that Dimitri was most likely still alive somewhere.
- Fallen Heroine: Originally an Imperial scholar, she became beloved as a saint by the Kingdom when she cured the plague that ravaged the country, though the real one was likely killed and replaced by a member of "those who slither in the dark," sometime after these heroic deeds.
- False Friend: To Patricia, who was friends with the real Cornelia.
- Foreshadowing: There are various hints scattered through the dialogue in the monastery over the course of the game that she is not what she seems, and that her interests do not align with either Faerghus or Adrestia. One bit of dialogue notes how her personality and behavior changed quite suddenly (much as is said about Arundel and Monica), and at one point after the timeskip a merchant wonders about why she has imposed ridiculous levels of taxation on the parts of Faerghus she rules over. He points out that it makes no sense to drain a region so completely if they intend to keep making use of it as a conquered land. However, the goals of "those who slither in the dark" are just that, the complete ruining of Fódlan.
- The Ghost: On Silver Snow and Verdant Wind, she is mentioned a couple of times in dialogue and at the beginning of Part II when the narration explains the state of the world after the timeskip, but never personally encounters Byleth.
- Giant Robot: On the Crimson Flower and Azure Moon routes, she commands several Titanus, giant metal warriors armed with BFSes that can fire Sword Beams. These are the very same mecha that guard Shambhala in the other two routes.
- Graceful Loser: Takes her death on the Crimson Flower route well, declaring how everything is going as planned as she dies.note In the original Japanese text, she dies impressed with the fact that Edelgard was the one using them all along. She is similarly accepting in Azure Moon, simply remarking "so this is as far as I go."
- Impossibly-Low Neckline: Her revealing dress appears to be strapless, so it looks as if it could fall off from a single motion.
- Improbable Age: Idle dialogue from Sylvain in Chapter 8 reveals that she saved the Kingdom from a plague about 15-20 years ago. Datamining reveals that she's currently 30, meaning she would have had to have done this at no older than 15 and somehow become a Imperial scholar even younger than that. This is a hint that the real Cornelia was probably bumped off by an Agarthan plant who was younger than she was.
- Interface Spoiler: Checking her status screen on both Crimson Flower and Azure Moon routes reveals she has Agarthan Technology as her personal skill, the same one Solon and Kronya had as enemies in Part I. This gives away that her true allegiance lies with "those who slither in the dark".
- Karma Houdini: On the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind routes, she abandons her position in Faerghus when Edelgard is defeated and is never seen again. It's unknown if she was killed during the fall of Shambhala or if she was even present there at the time.
- Kill and Replace: Implied. Her sudden shift in personality sometime after saving the Kingdom from the disease afflicting it and access to "those who slither in the dark"'s technology indicate that the real Cornelia was most likely murdered by the group somewhere between Imperial Year 1165-1168, and that some high-ranking Agarthan assumed her form and took her place.
- Killed Off for Real: While it is ultimately left ambiguous, it is noted on the Azure Moon route that Cornelia used to be far more kind and different before the game started (to the point that by Dimitri's own admission, even her likes and dislikes changed), so it is heavily implied the real Cornelia was disposed of and replacedby a high-ranking Agarthan at that point. As for the woman we see during the story, she will always die on the Crimson Flower and Azure Moon routes as Cornelia's an obstacle for both Edelgard and Dimitri's goals.
- Lady of Black Magic: A cruel and self-serving Gremory, whose true allegiance lies with "those who slither in the dark", with powerful dark magic spells at her command.
- Magic Staff: On the Azure Moon route she wields the Asclepius, an ancient magic staff that restores her HP every turn.
- Ms. Fanservice: Falls into the series tradition of being the designated sexy mage antagonist. She wears a very revealing dress that exposes her back and cleavage, and has an enormous bust size.
- No Name Given: Unlike Tomas and Monica, who were explicitly replaced by Solon and Kronya, or even Arundel, who was implicitly replaced by Thales, it's never revealed or hinted at what the fake Cornelia's true Agarthan name is.
- Older Than They Look: Pre-timeskip Sylvain speaks of her and considers how beautiful she was said to be back when she saved the kingdom. He then adds how long ago that was (over 15 years before Part I of the game) and that he expects her to be pretty old by now and wonders if she has aged like fine wine. He hasn't actually seen her at this point, but she clearly doesn't look as old as Sylvain seemed to think she was even five years later. Downplayed of course given that Manuela shows how well even normal people can age, and while datamining the game reveals Cornelia's 30 years old, we don't actually know if this refers to the Agarthan replacing her or simply to the age her disguise's meant to invoke....
- Poison Is Evil: Cornelia carries the Poison Strike skill every time she's fought.
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They Wasted A Perfectly Good Plot / Fire Emblem Three Houses
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