Headcanons yay! My turn, my turn XD
I don't know why, but I'm somewhat obsessed with finding pairings that are not only cute or work well, but also make a certain degree of sense within the canon. As such, while these are my headcanon pairings, they are not all necessarily my preferred ones. I spoke with another person at great length on another site about this and he helped convince me of the legitimacy of certain pairings I had never even thought of before. I managed to sway his opinion in favor of some of my favorites that he had initially rejected - well, okay, just one - but for the most part these pairings are either ones he changed my mind about or ones that we'd both supported to begin with. (I may or may not quote a few of his explanations in this post because trying to rephrase them myself is somewhat tedious and unnecessary.)
So without further ado, based on personality, supports, shared traits and themes, and Future Past scripts - and excluding the Avatar (as well as both Morgans) - here are all my FE:A headcanon pairings:
Chrom x Sumia - Much as I hate to admit it, the game does kind of shove them in your face. The game's opening, the "lovebirds" cutscene, Sumia being Chrom's first default marriage option, the hug scene, and their dialogue in general really...though it's a shame that the one clear "canon" pairing's support conversations don't have a bit more depth to them. (Pies...really? Sigh.) That's unfortunately the main thing keeping from really liking this couple, even though I consider it my headcanon. But oh well.
Lissa x Lon'qu - This is quite possibly my OTP for this series. I absolutely adore these two. Aside from the fact that they're just plain adorable together, the character development throughout their supports is fantastic. In the beginning Lon'qu sees Lissa as nothing more than an annoyance, and protecting her as just part of his job. I imagine his bodyguard assignment must have gone on for several weeks, and he slowly began to grow attached, but was scared of what would happen to her if he did. Flashbacks of Ke'ri and all that. I like to think that his C-A supports with Cherche did still happen, except that he used them as a way to justify his love for Lissa instead of falling for Cherche herself. Cherche was acting more like a therapist to Lon'qu than a possible lover, in my opinion. In the end he is genuinely concerned for Lissa's safety and wants to be the one to protect her as her husband, not just a bodyguard. The situation of failing to protect the girl he cared about tried to repeat itself, but this time he succeeded and even found new love. It just makes sense. And it has the added effect of turning me into an emotional pile of mush.
Also, the parallel between these supports and Owain's supports with his father is not exactly subtle. So Lon'qu protected his son from an arrow too, huh? Well then...how about that.
As for Lissa's side of things...well, the warm, energetic girl getting the distant, brooding guy to open up is not an uncommon theme. I admit I'm a sucker for this trope because it makes a lot of sense and feels the most genuine, when done the right way.
Frederick x Cordelia - Oddly enough, I paired these two up initially and ended up regretting it. The S support in particular felt rather forced on Cordelia's side - "I love Chrom, I love Chrom, I love Chrom, I love - Frederick, you love me? Alright, forget Chrom! Unrequited love sucks anyway!" It wasn't until later that I learned to appreciate the pairing for what it is. To begin with, their supports are unique in that apart from them sharing a common ground of being diligent and hardworking to the point of perfectionism, Frederick is the first person to understand how hard it is for Cordelia to be considered a genius by everyone around her. Others may sympathize, but only Frederick can really and truly get it - and Cordelia appreciates that a lot. Their S support shows that Frederick already had feelings for Cordelia for a relatively long time just like she had feelings for Chrom but was too embarrassed to express them, and she remained oblivious just like Chrom. In the end, unlike Cordelia, Frederick mustered the courage to confess his love and was rewarded. Cordelia, at that point having grown tired of her unrequited love (which is proven by at least three other supports that I can think of) and knowing full well what kind of man Frederick really is, decides she would be an idiot to pass up such sincere devotion and accepts the proposal, and with it, is finally able to start moving on. It's not an "instant recovery", as I initially thought. Perhaps her love for Chrom had already begun to fade and it just took her until this moment to recognize that. Maybe getting all of her pent-up emotions out during the picnic with Frederick - a scene that is mostly viewed as comedic but may actually hold some weight - helped her to realize that the pain wasn't worth it. Whatever the reason, I'm now able to justify Cordelia's acceptance of Frederick's proposal a lot better than before and view this pairing in a new and much more positive light.
Not to mention the heavy implications of Frederick being Severa's father. Who else would make her do chores? Even the shopping trip fits into the picture, considering that Frederick calls his child "daddy's pride and joy". Another thing I noticed is when Severa offers to spend time with Lucina, with the line "We can unload all of our pent-up complaints about our perfect parents!" Parents, plural, implying that Severa has more than one of those. Yes, she could have simply been referring to her own mother and Lucina's father, but it fits much better if you apply the word to both of Severa's parental units. And Frederick is pretty much the only one who perfectly fits into that description, further adding onto Severa's inferiority complex. On a related note, the fact that Severa's starting class is a mercenary makes sense if one takes into account who Frederick and Cordelia are at their core - perfect loyal knights bound by their duty. So Severa, due to her personality and out of protest, decided to become someone totally opposite - a mercenary, who is free to choose her own loyalties and whom to work for.
Sully x Stahl - I don't think this one needs much explanation, since so many people seem to ship these two. Putting the green and red knights together at last is a fair enough justification, though one should also be able to appreciate just how well their personalities balance each other out. Stahl needs someone with enough motivation and drive to get him to work a little harder, and Sully needs someone who will challenge her but also respect her as an individual. Their A support took me by surprise because I didn't think Sully was one to worry about how people thought of her. Her character does seem rather one-dimensional at times, but that scene gave her some much-needed depth. And Stahl was the one she was willing to share her worries with, as well as the one who managed to pick her back up again, and in just the way she needed. Even the line Stahl sometimes says after a dual-strike once the enemy is defeated - "That was all you!" - is perfect for Sully, who I think needs that sort of encouragement from her husband every once in a while to alleviate any remaining fears she may have of a man downplaying or surpassing her achievements.
It's worth mentioning that Sully x Stahl is also the only pairing with their own unique ending at the end of the game. So there's that.
Ricken x Miriel - This pairing, for me, is up for debate. I don't even see a whole ton of chemistry between Ricken and Miriel, personally. The argument my friend gave me to tie them together was solely centered around Laurent's dialogue from Future Past 3: "Father, do you know why I became a mage? I never had a gist for magic like you or mother. In fact, she told me I was not suited for it. I lacked the substance. Nonetheless, I persisted. Why do you suppose that is?...It's because you were always looking over my shoulder while I practiced. You were there to encourage me after every failure, to ensure I never gave up." Considering the dialogue in all the Future Pasts varies depending on who your pairings are, and there's nothing else I can think of that backs up this speech in particular (aside from the fact that Laurent is, indeed, a mage), the reasoning for this pairing really isn't all that solid. There's just not a whole lot to argue against Ricken and Miriel being together. They're both mages, sure, and the backstory Laurent gives us here fits perfectly well with their respective personalities. And all the units I'd prefer to pair up with either of them are already tied to someone else. Well, except for Kellam (whose supports with Miriel are surprisingly cute), but I just can't manage to justify leaving Ricken single. So as far as this pairing goes...I'm just kind of rolling with it for lack of a better option.
Vaike x Maribelle - I'll admit I was skeptical at first glance, but these two really do go great together. This is a prime example of "opposites attract", and I loved seeing each of them try to adapt to the others' culture (even if Maribelle was somewhat more successful at it than Vaike was). Their interactions are rather hilarious as well. So there you go.
...What, you wanted a better reason? Okay, fine. Many people have already pointed this out, but...Brady. I mean, come on. Who else could he have gotten his looks and speech patterns from? It's even acknowledged in Future Past 2 - "You inherited the best parts of Maribelle and yours truly. Like the way you talk." "I definitely didn't get that part from Ma..." Not to mention the fact that Maribelle continues her teaching of shared culture experiences with her son, who clearly wants nothing to do with chess or teatimes or any of that other junk but had it all beaten into him by his mother. Also, if Vaike is in fact Brady's father, that makes Brady's hair blonde - which is apparently one of the multiple stereotypical traits of Japanese delinquents, most (if not all) of which Brady embodies. Vaike even mentions during support conversations with Sully that he was a delinquent himself prior to joining the Shepherds.
Nowi x Donnel - My first pairing with Nowi was Ricken. Their supports are adorable, and I thought the two of them were perfect together - good friends right from the start, either one willing to take the blame to cover for the other, and they had the added bonus of both looking younger than they really were. I added it to my list of headcanon pairings and for a while no one could convince me otherwise. Then I got Nah and read her supports with her father...and my blind Nowi x Ricken devotion came to a screeching halt. I tried, I really did, but it just didn't make any sense. All of Ricken's interactions with Nowi were centered around them acting like children - mostly playing around or getting in trouble. Hell, their A support ended with him promising to take her on a tour of every festival they could find after the war was over. So when Nah started saying things to Ricken like "you're so serious and responsible" and "I have no idea what you see in her", it just didn't seem to add up. Ricken has his serious moments to be sure, but I could never really picture him in the "stern father" role. The part where he scolds Nah in particular made me feel like he had suddenly turned into a completely different character. So for a while I was at a bit of a loss.
Luckily for me, there was another unit that went with Nowi even better than Ricken did! I hadn't picked Donnel up in my first run - I failed to level him up in that one paralogue so I basically shrugged and went "eh, screw it" - so I had no idea what he was like or that his own supports with Nowi were easily just as adorable. Donnel actually fits the "serious and responsible" tag too - you'd pretty much have to be after working on a farm your whole life. And he always takes his duties seriously, even if they're just remnants of what he remembers from his previous life - he grows and hunts food for the whole army, and helps Tharja find ingredients for her curses without a trace of hesitation, simply because that's how his village does things. At the same time, his interactions with Nowi didn't seem forced at all. Donnel is responsible, but quite friendly and easygoing too. Throughout their supports they bonded over each other's past history and vowed to help one another out. Donnel seems to be one of the few people who knows how to handle her well and even enjoys doing so. It's not a stretch whatsoever to consider that they'd end up together and still fit Nah's description (and skepticism). Also, I love the idea of Donnel's stone - the one he himself kept to remember his deceased father by - being given to his own daughter in turn, to keep Nah's memory of him alive when he died in the bad future.
Olivia x Libra - Although this is a somewhat bland pairing, at least in my opinion, it's true that they both have gentle personalities, and were both brought together by dances. Though I wasn't really sold on this one until taking a closer look at Inigo's supports with his father, particularly this choice remark - "For being such a softy with everyone else he sure doesn't pull any punches with me..." Being soft with everyone describes Libra perfectly. As a priest, an advocate of proper behavior, this also explains his discontent about Inigo's womanizing habits. Many people like to use this particular trait of Inigo's to justify Virion as being his father, but that doesn't explain why Virion would be so disapproving of it now, and there's a separate explanation for how Inigo picked that habit up in the first place, so I don't consider the reasoning all that valid. That and I don't believe that just because two people have similar personalities it automatically means they're related. Libra is further tied to Olivia when Inigo expresses his desire to follow in his parents' footsteps and be a dancer. Libra and Olivia are both professionals (Libra has to perform ceremonial dances as a part of his occupation), so it makes sense that the son of such people would want to become a dancer as well.
Gregor x Cherche - This is another pairing that took me a little while to warm up to, mostly because I was utterly convinced that Cherche and Virion were meant for each other. But she and Gregor go together remarkably well too. The two of them share a connection that stems from the past - by saving Minerva, an act that reflects on Gregor's own past as well as the type of person he is, he also saved a huge part of what would later become his own family. This continues into the future where it is now Gerome who thanks Gregor for saving their wyvern. Gregor's ending with Cherche is also the only one where he is able to recover fully from his financial problems. What's more, all of Cherche's other S supports, even with Virion, have this "I shall graciously accept your feelings" vibe on her part, whereas with Gregor she is completely charmed. And Gregor is even willing to face his fear of heights for her. It's sweet.
Now even with all this, I can see why this pairing is overlooked more often than not (in terms of headcanons, anyway - I've seen loads of people pair them up for gameplay benefits). The thing is, Cherche has solid connections with three characters: Virion, Lon'qu, and Gregor. Lon'qu is tied to Lissa, but what's keeping me from pairing Cherche with Virion? Before I'd have said, well, nothing at all. In fact, they were part of my headcanon for a long time until another match for Virion I'd never seriously considered before was brought to my attention.
Virion x Tharja - Alright, before I start explaining, let me just ask a simple question that always used to bother me. Why in the name of all the gods is Noire's starting class...an archer? Is it really just because she happened to pick up a bow off the ground? I seriously doubt it. Without prior training, she wouldn't have known how to use it properly, for one thing. Her stumbling across the exact weapon she knew how to use is rather convenient, admittedly, but it's much more plausible than the assumption that she magically figured out how to use a bow and arrow mere minutes after she picked one up.
So alright then, Noire was trained as an archer. So I defer to my earlier question...why? Surely, with Tharja's influence, she would have learned to use magic - if not curses, then just anima magics at least. I could easily see her being raised as a mage. When I got Noire in my first run I immediately class changed her to dark mage and then upgraded her to sorcerer because it seemed to fit her character so much better (also her stats and growths in magic were off the charts thanks to my initial Henry x Tharja pairing). I ignored her default archer class because it didn't make any logical sense to me. What reason could there be for her to turn away from magic and pick up a bow, of all things? There's only one answer that really works - and that's if Virion is her father. He's the only first generation archer given to you in the game, after all. Some of Tharja's other potential husbands can change into some bow-wielding class, but nothing specifically focused on archery.
This by itself isn't reason enough to justify Virion x Tharja as a possibly canon pairing, of course. Let's look at some other hints. Virion's Japanese name, Viõru, sounds a lot like violet, and he can be a bit of a coward at times - Noire is a shrinking violet herself, and is very shy. Virion is resistant to hexes - Noire may have inherited this trait, which is why Tharja was willing to use her for hex-testing in order to perfect them (and she succeeded up to the point where even Virion was not immune anymore). In Future Past 1, if Virion is Noire's father, the bow that the Risen took from Noire was her memento of him. Tharja going berserk after her husband's death adds up a little bit more if one remembers how she asked Virion to swear to her that he would live. Tharja's supports with Virion are also the only ones in which she doesn't bring up the Avatar at all, and one of the very few in which both characters are shown to be truly caring and sincere. Oh, and if you compare Virion and Noire's love confession pictures, they have almost the exact same pose. Probably just a coincidence, but still...
The main problem I still have with this pairing is the fact that there are so many things connecting Virion to Noire...but little connecting him to Tharja herself. The supports are nice, but overall their personalities just don't fit together as well as Virion and Cherche's, or Tharja and Henry's, to throw out a couple examples. If it weren't for Noire, I would wonder why Virion was even a marriage option for Tharja at all. But when you take do Noire into account...there are just too many hints to ignore.
Gaius x Panne - Once again, this pairing took a little convincing before I could accept it. It just seemed a bit random at first. But sure enough, upon closer examination, the game itself practically ships them together all on its own. Panne mistakes Gaius for a taguel, and the latter eventually becomes genuinely interested in taguel culture, which pleases Panne a great deal. Then in supports with his father Yarne says that the former left him in safety, went to fight Risen and died. Gaius acts the same way in Future Past 2. Yarne even states: "I know what you're trying to do. You're pushing me away so the enemies will come after you instead!" There's an additional parallel between Gaius and Yarne - the former is a thief that must be hidden and stealthy so that he isn't caught; the latter tries to hide himself more out of fear than anything, but nonetheless attempts to remain hidden in order to not get himself killed. And finally, after the war Gaius returns to his "less savory enterprises", and his wife either is not pleased or does not care. Except for Panne, who actually joins him. So she is not only his partner in life, but in his line of work as well.
...And I believe that's all the first generation pairings. I'll get to the children later, but for now I'm going to just post what I've got because I've been typing this up for the last several hours and I think it's long enough.