So far after playing two and a quarter routes (BL, church, half of the BE and half of GD) I see Edelgard with poor regard. At times I'm not sure if my issuse with her is intentional or not.
Edelgard preaches a lot about giving the people the opportunities to improve their status, but she never learns to understand their plights if she just sat for a second and understood what she was doing to them she would have been better received. She also is very contradictory of this fact saying it's okay to kill them to achieve her goals but bad for them to cling on to something to believe in like a church or a just ruler.
At times she feels very player panderly, fangirling over Byleth's in all routes arguably more so than other characters. Edelgard's death cutscene in the GD is the same exact cutscene as Silver Snow. That does not make that much sense. She barely knows Byleth in that route to give the " you could have been by my side speech.
In the majority of the routes, Edel is a tyrant that uses crests beasts, uses her people as a living shield and hunts down the faithful, Only in her route, she's a well-intentioned extremist that only kills when she absolutely has to, is tolerant of the faith and never uses crest beasts. I have a difficult time believing that Byleth and Byleth alone is the only person that prevents Edelgard not going full manic because the prof cared for her 5 years ago before vanishing keeping Edel in line I find difficult to buy.
Honestly, Edelgard's real problem was she needed to try a couple of other approaches to realize her goals before settling on "let's conquer the entire continent"
I do understand that she's on a timer. Only have what, 10 years left to live at the beginning of the game? But the game would not be as interesting if she opened up to the others lords turning this into 3 Houses into a standard FE game about everyone banding together to expose ancient evil conspiracy #7. Then again, I'm glad she didn't because 3H would be a lot more boring that way.
But still she'd have an easier time getting the Church's approval to handle Thales and she could always drop the "hey guys, did you know that archbishop pope is a dragon" bombshell to the public after. Not even Seteth is fully on board with current Rhea actions, it wouldn't take much to convince him. She was sitting on a treasure trove of (skewed) information to barter and blackmail with, and she kept it all to herself.
Even in ending of the Black Eagles ending, she's taking on TWISTED with Byleth's time powers gone and the Black Eagles Strike Force disassembled. Those who slither in the dark possibly taken difficult years to defeat in some of the endings. Even on her route Edelgard didn't fix Fodlan. She just merely repackaged it.