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Welcome to my third character analysis! I've already done a Tauroneo and Micaiah character analysis and this time we'll be taking a look at Kurthnaga, who is easily my favourite dragon in the series, bar none and my third favourite character in all of Fire Emblem! Path of Radiance When Ike's ship crashes to the Goldoan shore, he gets out and angers a bunch of dragons. The dragons are about to kill him but fortunately, Kurthnaga, prince of the dragon tribes, stops them and promises to help move the ship. This shows Kurthnaga's empathetic nature. Also, Ike talked to Kurthnaga as if he were a simple commoner which shocked him but due to his humbleness it was of no problem to him. Also, we see that Kurthnaga is very much into diplomacy as he promises to convince his father to reprimand Kilvas. Kurthnaga also provided Ike with supplies on top of freeing his ship which shows his generosity. Furthermore, Kurthnaga would like to offer a whole feast but he can't because his father prefers isolation. This shows us that Kurthnaga's character conflict is respecting his father's decree VS his own generous nature. Basically he has to strike a balance which he does in this scene. Kurthnaga's complaints were brought forward by his father in the Laguz Royals meeting which shows just how much clout Kurthnaga has as this is a very important meeting and influences the geopolitics of Tellius. Also, Kurthnaga had a profound impact on Ike's character development in Path of Radiance as seeing his courtesy convinced Ike that the Goldoan Dragons are honorable but was conflicted how both dragons and the bird tribes be both laguz because before meeting these two tribes, Ike had only known the Gallian beast tribes so he naively assumed all Laguz are good. Basically Ike's perspective on good vs evil evolves after his meeting with Kurthnaga and realizes he can't equate the actions of a few with an entire species. Radiant Dawn Part 1 Kurthnaga comes to Daein to meet up with Almedha, his long lost sister but ends up getting captured by the Begnion occupation forces. While in prison, he once again shows us his empathetic nature by giving olvi grass to stop Micaiah's bleeding. So basically in his first appearance in both games, he has the honour of helping out the protagonist when they are in a bind. Also Aimee points out that Kurthnaga is a quiet person which confirms he's very introverted, much like Micaiah. It's no question why I like both these characters when they share many similarities. The game basically hammers the similarities between them even further in a base conversation. Kurthnaga has secrets, desires privacy, is kind/gentle and loves to feel the wind. Hmm I wonder who else is like that. Anyway this base conversation reveals to us that Kurthnaga loves nature and is very inquisitive when it comes to making observations. He'd make a great explorer or even a scientist. Finally we see that Kurthaga wanted to communicate with Almedha hence he gives her a sending stone. After seeing so many similarities between Kurthnaga and Micaiah, we finally see that the two have differing worldviews. Kurthnaga uses quotation marks to describe the liberation army which goes to show he does not believe in the use of force as a valid means of liberating a country. From this conversation it is quite clear that Kurthnaga is a pacifist and influenced by the teachings of Deghinsea. While similar in temperament, it makes sense why their political views are so different, Micaiah is raised up in a militaristic country so despite her gentle nature, it makes sense that she's no pacifist. Also, this base conversation showcases his intelligent and shrewd mind. He managed to predict what Micaiah was about to say before she even said it and read her feelings like a book. Kurthnaga may not have the mind reading abilities that Micaiah has but his sharpness allows him to do just that. Despite not approving of Micaiah's actions, he gives her the renewal scroll showing us how compassionate he is. Once again we see Kurthnaga balancing his pacifist mindset with his empathetic mindset. Also this base conversation is proof that Micaiah is not a Mary Sue, not even in part one. Mary Sues make other characters act out of character just to make the Mary Sue look good. If Micaiah were a true Mary Sue, Kurthnaga would have changed his beliefs on the spot and supported Micaiah with zero hesitation which wouldn't have been difficult to write considering how similar the two are and the fact Kurthnaga sees Begnion's oppression first hand. Finally, we see that Kurthnaga's character flaw is that he gets scared near a battlefield. I can relate to that as someone who is living in a land without war and can get frightened if I'm too close to fireworks, let alone an explosion. Part 3 Almedha messages Kurthnaga and asks him to save his son. Kurthnaga now has to make a difficult choice much like Rajaion did long ago. He shows that he can be very deceptive considering his explanation for being out late in the night makes sense given that he loves to look at nature and he didn't lie either because he was also doing that in the cutscene. When the Daein army has pretty much collapsed, Kurthnaga shows up in the moment of truth and makes a pretty badass entrance showing us the power of the Goldoan dragons and why their power is feared. His power was so immense that the entire Laguz Alliance is forced to fall back. There are plenty of powerful dragons in the series but other than Deghinsea and the dragon gods, Kurthnaga might be the most powerful because while armies lead by various lords like Marth and Roy have fought plenty of dragons, none of their armies were forced to fall back at the sight of just one dragon and I reckon Ike's army is a lot stronger. Just look at Tibarn, an extremely brave and powerful guy who went toe to toe with Zelgius, yet even he started freaking out at the sight of Kurthnaga and we all know how powerful Zelgius is. Being able to casually destroy a massive fortress is no small feat because defensive buildings take a lot of time to construct and are very valuable for defensive warfare and a pain to lay siege to but if you have Kurthnaga on your side, he can just casually wipe out a fortress that was able to fit 10000 soldiers. That's totally broken. Seriously, who needs a lot of military equipment, strategies/tactics, charisma, dedication and time when you can just wipe out armies and their infrastructure with ease? Also, Kurthnaga's entrance hypes up Deghinsea because unlike his son, Deghinsea is a lot older, bigger and has actual combat experience so when you confront him in the endgame, the player can feel the dread of having to fight none other than the legendary King of Dragons. Kurthnaga's initial intentions with the use of force was to stop the fighting so that the two sides can have a ceasefire followed by peace talks. So we see that Kurthnaga is sticking to Deghinsea's pacifist ideals but unlike his father, Kurthnaga is now starting to embrace the use of force for the greater good. Basically we see Kurthnaga's beliefs evolve from someone who didn't believe in the use of force at all to someone who believes it can be justified when it can stop additional bloodshed. When Micaiah spills the beans to Kurthnaga, she requests Almedha to give more information on the blood pact but if Pelleas dies Almedha refuses to do so as she's depressed. Kurthnaga shows us his charisma by convincing the sullen and stubborn Almedha to stop keeping secrets and to calm down. Once again Kurthnaga shows us his intelligence when he figures out that Pelleas doesn't have to die to break the blood pact and instead they can track down the Senator instead because it takes two people to make a contract. Anyhow from this point on, Kurthnaga is no longer the peaceful arbitrator we once knew him as. He has decided to fight on Daein's side for the sake of his sister and nephew. His meeting with Almedha ended up developing both their characters because Kurthnaga is no longer the pacifist that we once knew and Almedha has become an apologetic individual even though before she was quite proud and arrogant. The Daein army no longer has the defensive positions of castle Nox and even with those, they were hopelessly outmatched but with Kurtnaga and Nailah supporting the Daein army, the Daein army can still fight on even when Micaiah leaves the battlefield which goes to show just how powerful Kurthnaga is which is further compounded by the fact that Nailah, the other powerhouse keeping Daein afloat, hypes him up without bringing up her own power level. Nailah, like Tibarn, is pretty cocky, so it goes to show that Kurthnaga was more essential to the Daein Army's survival than Nailah herself. Despite Kurthnaga's resolve, his nonviolent nature still shows on the battlefield where he shows a lot of hesitation and is clearly an emotional train-wreck but despite that, his power keeps the Daein Army from collapsing. Part 4 Despite not having any experience with how armies function, Kurthnaga was thoughtful enough to suggest giving the sending stones to the herons so that all three armies can communicate. After going through the ordeal of fighting a battle, Kurthnaga is traumatized and unable to participate in the next two battles. As a matter of fact, he's so scared of blood that he can't talk to Ike until he puts down his bloodied sword. So while Kurthnaga makes an effort to become braver in part three, it resulted in him becoming even more frightened. In Kurthnaga's conversation with Ike, we learn that he's interested in reading books which makes sense because he's very intelligent and a deep thinker. Finally, we see some more development from Kurthnaga when he feels better after the conversation with Ike. Kurthnaga is quite the secretive introvert but he finally realizes that talking to people about his own problems is better than leaving them concealed. Endgame Kurthnaga has to come to terms with the fact he'll be fighting his own father and the rest of his tribe even though before endgame he was too frightened to even be near a battle. He has once again gained the resolve he temporarily gained at the end of part three but this time it is permanent and far greater than before. Meanwhile, he also learns more about his father and ends up respecting him even more which makes it even more painful to confront his father but commits himself regardless. Also, unlike Sanaki, who wasn't able to accept that Sephiran was on Ashera's side until he revealed his plans, Kurthnaga doesn't try to make excuses about his father and interrogates Nasir about why his father has joined Ashera even before Nasir reveals to him the purpose of his visit. This goes to show he isn't naive and can see the unfortunate reality with clarity without emotions clouding his judgement. He can put the pieces together by himself without it having to be spelled out. Granted, Kurthnaga hoped that his father could be talked out of fighting on Ashera's side but his hope wasn't inherently wrong because after being defeated in the fight, Deghinsea ended up agreeing that Ashera must be stopped. Deghinsea was just being stubborn and his defeat humbled him enough to listen to reason. Kurthnaga is willing to accept punishment for his actions in part 3 which goes to show his selflessness as well as regret for breaking Goldoa's neutrality. Yet of course, he can't allow the innocent to get punished for the crimes of a few. After being made king of the dragon tribes and after a history lesson by Gareth and Nasir, Kurthnaga becomes firm in his convictions and has no regrets at this point. He has also increased in his respect for his father despite seeing the flaws in his father's line of thinking. Furthermore, this base conversation once again shows us that Kurthnaga is good at second guessing what someone will say before they even say it. This is intellectually very impressive considering how this is the first time he's listening to this history lesson and how convoluted and hard to accept this story is. To this day I have a hard time wrapping around my head at the lore this game throws at you let alone being able to make sudden deductions the first time reading the script. In a talk conversation between Kurthnaga and Lehran, we learn that Kurthnaga was always fond of him even as an infant. An interesting observation I was able to pick up was that Kurthnaga's political ideology is a mixture of Lehran and Deghinsea. Basically Lehran is an internationalist and Deghinsea is an isolationist. Kurthnaga's actions throughout PoR and RD put him somewhere in the middle which makes me think that Kurthnaga was also influenced by Lehran in his infancy. Lastly, note that Ashera hypes Kurthnaga for being the strongest non divine being alive. This means Kurthnaga is stronger than Ike. Take that Ike fans. Epilogue Being true to his character, his ending has him maintain peace and arbitrate conflict. Quite a fitting end which stays true to both his character while respecting his father's legacy.
I have opted to finish and post this now that CYL2 character popularity poll is running. Please vote for Micaiah, one of the best-written characters in the series as you'll soon see. Background Information Micaiah was raised by some old woman, probably a priestess because it explains why Micaiah can use light magic and it also explains why Micaiah is more spiritual compared to her peers. Her guardian explains to her that she is branded and that she has to keep the brand a secret which is why Micaiah lives most of her life in seclusion. This explains her stoic demeanor and passive introverted dialogue. Unlike other lords in the series, Micaiah is not being raised to become a ruler/commander in chief, nor is she like Ike and Alm who were trained by a powerful warrior so it can be said Micaiah is probably the weakest combatant out of all the lords due to no combat experience or training which explains why she's such a weak fighter in game-play with bad growths in most relevant fighting skills such as speed, skill, strength and defense. This is a good way of integrating story with game-play. Being touched by the kindness that Micaiah's guardian showed to her, she herself becomes an empathetic individual who ends up feeding Sothe and taking care of him much like she herself was taken care of. Eventually, Micaiah became worried that her brand would be a burden to Sothe and runs away from him. While this action is morally despicable, she had a good intention which is the basis of Micaiah's character. After Daein lost the war, Sothe and Micaiah reunited and at this point, Micaiah promised that she won't keep any secrets from him again and stayed by his side from that point on, learning from her previous mistake of abandoning Sothe. Over the course of the Mad King's War, Micaiah is cared for by the people of Daein which touched her deeply especially when she can feel their own empathy which is the start of Micaiah's patriotic feelings towards Daein. Once Begnion occupies Daein and brutally oppresses its citizenry, Micaiah is saddened by the plight of her fellow countrymen and decides to become a freedom fighter along with Sothe. Afterwards, they meet up with Edward, Leonardo and Nolan and form the Dawn Brigade with Nolan as the leader. Thus, we see that even before the events of the game, Micaiah is getting character development as she initially runs away from Sothe but comes to the realization that the two should stick together. Furthermore, her apathetic nature towards other people is changed due to the events of the Mad King's War, Ike's subsequent "liberation" and the subsequent Begnion occupation. Hopefully, the argument that Micaiah receives no character development is thrown out the window. Just from her background alone, I root for Micaiah more than any other lord because unlike the others, she isn't fighting for political power, or in the case of Ike and Alm, isn't partially motivated due to enjoying fighting or vengeance. Part One Micaiah is shown in a cut-scene where she gets captured by Begnion soldiers but ends up getting rescued by Sothe. From this scene, we can deduce that Micaiah isn't a one-man army and will need protection from superior units throughout the course of the game which is also hinted at by Edward in the easy mode prologue and Nolan in Chapter 1-1. Chapter 1-P Micaiah mentions that she can't foresee the future whenever she wants. This is important because I've heard of people say she's only a good tactician and leader due to her ability to see the future but this ability only kicks in sometimes and it's mentioned explicitly when it happens so most of Micaiah's tactical feats are because she's a straight up good tactician which will be showcased later on. Anyhow, she helps out the local citizens by fighting against bandits with Edward. When Leonardo shows up, he criticizes Micaiah's decision to fight the bandits without additional help but Micaiah mentions she couldn't leave the citizens in their condition. Basically, Micaiah is willing to take big risks to protect the citizens of Daein which goes to show she's brave and sacrificial, hence suited to be the user of the skill sacrifice. It also shows she's very idealistic and reckless. Chapter 1-1 When it comes to explaining why there is so much Begnion activity, Micaiah is too ashamed to explain and temporarily disappears, forcing Leonardo to reveal the truth. Though she does come back to apologize to Sothe and Nolan which is good as she's starting to overcome her weaknesses in facing off people who may potentially be angry with her. This is good because after all, a shit load of people will be angry with her in part 3 but at this point it seems like Micaiah will just cower away unable to face the wrath of others. At this point in time, it is quite clear that Nolan is the one leading the Dawn Brigade and giving the battle strategies. Micaiah may be the one with foresight, but that isn't reason to make her the leader and strategist due to having far less experience and wisdom than Nolan. Once she does become a competent leader and strategist, it won't simply be because of foresight either or else she'd have lead the Dawn Brigade since the beginning, it'll be because she's actually smart, charismatic, experienced and decisive enough to do so. Despite Micaiah apologizing for getting into the fight and using sacrifice, she ends up doing the same thing again when Nico gets into trouble. Unfortunately, three others die as a result of the Dawn Brigade coming back. This goes to show that Micaiah is selfless to a fault and willing to disobey Sothe and Nolan's orders but there are actual negative consequences for her actions which is a good thing when it comes to writing main characters. Hopefully, she'll learn to respect authority later on. However, Micaiah's bravery and selflessness inspires the civilians which is neat as she's going to be pivotal to encourage the citizens to rebel. Chapter 1-2 Later on, she decides to help Laura retrieve medicine for the abbot and the DB does just that. Even though Nolan is the leader of the Dawn Brigade, it seems like from this point on, Micaiah is unofficially leading the Dawn Brigade. While this may seem like bad writing, it was intentional and will be addressed. Right now the problem with Micaiah is that she unintentionally usurps leadership positions undermining the real leader. Nolan doesn't seem to mind though as he's a passive individual not trying to exert his authority. After Laura gets the medicine, she gets captured by Jarod and Micaiah ends up tricking the group to split up so that they can escape. Unfortunately, while Micaiah can be quite deceptive (she told a lie with a straight face), she herself is quite naive and thought that by offering to sacrifice herself, she could free Laura and let the DB escape. Unfortunately, both of them will be held hostage and be used as the lure for the DB. Chapter 1-3:1-7 Anyhow, the DB allows the prisoners to escape and the merchants reveal that there is a prince in the desert leading an uprising. The DB decides to go there due to Micaiah's foresight revealing it to be their destiny. They eventually reach some ruins and Micaiah reveals to us that she's not racist. Unsurprisingly the main character is non-racist although what makes her even better is that she lives in a racist nation so being able to hold on to these ideals means Micaiah has a strong character as she's not easily swayed by the majority opinion. It is revealed that Micaiah harbors some level of resentment towards Ike but unlike the other people of Daein, her resentment is quite benign compared to the hatred Ike saw when he "liberated" Daein which goes to show she's not the type of person to harbor hatred in her heart. It seriously irritates that some people have the audacity to hate Micaiah due to her disliking Ike even though she has good reasons to do so. Furthermore, her resentment is pretty benign, all things considered, so if anything, we should be glad that Micaiah isn't some revenge crazed individual like Sasuke or Raven. Not saying I dislike either character (I actually like them) but Micaiah is obviously a lot more likable in comparison and doesn't give off reasons to hate her this early on. Also, she'll eventually change her views on Ike yet people still hold this against her. On the other hand, I don't see people hold the fact Jill used to be a racist against her because she develops out of it. Double standards much? In a base conversation with Kurth, Micaiah is considerate of people wanting their own privacy and hints that she too desires privacy but at the same time is willing to interact with people. This goes to show just because you're introverted and even have necessary secrets to keep, you can still get along with other people in a friendly fashion. Micaiah certainly cares about the soul as she's worried that the riches in the ruins may impoverish their souls. I can't understand why she'd complain about much-needed funds for the war effort, don't be so naive, you can't win a war without as many funds as possible, but at least it gives us more insight into her spiritual nature. Later on, there is a similar conversation later on where Micaiah is upset when Sothe takes money from a bunch of poor villagers due to feeling bad about their plight. Now that makes more sense than refusing free money, but despite feeling bad for this, she ends up having to make the tough moral decision of taking the money for the greater good. This base conversation foreshadows a major aspect of Micaiah's character conflict, having to overcome her empathetic nature in order to fight a war where she has to go against her compassionate nature for the greater good. Making tough decisions is what a leader does and it is great that Micaiah is starting to get rid of the naivety of thinking that she can win a war with limited money and she's starting to get her self-less to a fault nature under control. Once the Dawn Brigade merged with the Daein Liberation Army, Micaiah was made the vice-general because she makes an appealing figurehead/poster girl for the revolution. While initially, Izuka turned her off, she could sense that Pelleas had the right intentions so she decided to take the role. Her fortune telling was useful in deciding to attack Terin and also in the battle to take Terin. Afterwards, when it came to liberating a prison camp, Izuka wanted to poison the water but everyone was against this so Micaiah devised her own strategy which worked well. Finally, Micaiah is now showing a tactical nature instead of relying on her feelings and fortune telling. This tactical ability will be important later on when she loses her powers due to chaos from war and we will see the fruits of Micaiah's experience turn her into a good tactician unlike when she was first made the vice-general of the Daein Liberation Army. Micaiah obviously knows about the branded but ends up asking Pelleas about what they are as if she doesn't know anything about them. She basically manipulated Pelleas into thinking she's ignorant of what the branded are. When you think deeply about this, it is the perfect way of getting Pelleas to reveal his opinion of the branded. By acting like she doesn't know what they are, she can keep any suspicions of her brand away because it is less likely to be branded if you don't even know about the brand than if you know about it. If she were to ask him directly about his opinion on them, she'd give the impression that she's interrogating him and is curious about what he might think of her if she were a branded. It goes to show that while she may not be a talkative person, she knows how to use the correct words at the right time. Although this isn't always the case as you'll see later. Chapter 1-8 When Tormod and Sothe had a friendly talk, Micaiah was surprised to see Sothe so happy. She's so distant from people that she doesn't understand the concept of a friendship. Her emotional sentimentality caused her to accidentally hint at her true identity to Muarim. In a base conversation with Sothe, Micaiah reveals that she's very worried that people will start hating her if they come to know that she's branded. This demonstrates that Micaiah's character conflict is the fact she's afraid to lose people's love especially when she can feel it which amplifies the effect kindness has on her. Even though Micaiah is troubled that her secret may end up getting exposed, she reaffirms her commitment to her country and strengthens her resolve despite Sothe suggesting that they can still leave. After hearing people cheer her on, she feels even more satisfied with her actions although due to her humility, she doesn't believe she's a hero. Against the wishes of both Izuka and Tauroneo, Micaiah decides to go out to Shifu Swamp to rescue the prisoners despite the strong possibility of a trap. As a result of the success, Micaiah's popularity explodes even further which diminishes Pelleas' own authority. When it is revealed that Izuka drugged Muarim, Micaiah gets very angry showing us that she has a strong sense of justice but due to loyalty to Pelleas, she reluctantly tolerates Izuka's presence although the deal is that he never again tries to experiment on the laguz. Chapter 1-9 Eventually, the Begnion occupation army is ordered to stand down which ends the war, or so everyone thinks. After being a commander for so long, Micaiah wants some alone time because she is stressed out and because she's an introvert. It is a scientific fact that introverts gain energy and relieve stress when they have some alone time. Unfortunately, she ends up as easy prey for Jarod who happens to find her through sheer luck but she is in turn lucky when the Black Knight randomly shows up. It is revealed that she believes that even if she dies, people will continue to follow Pelleas which goes to show that she's very optimistic and is too humble to believe that she's everyone's paragon of hope. This, unfortunately, blinds her from reality and exposes her naivety. Fortunately, the Black Knight shows up to save her life and easily gains Miccy's trust which shows she has a trusting nature. After Jarod is defeated, Micaiah decides to spare Jarod's life so that he can be judged by the Apostle. A lot of people think this is a pretty stupid move but it does make sense from a political standpoint. The Apostle had just granted Daein freedom and they could very well risk the ire of Begnion if Micaiah is accused of killing Jarod which isn't unthinkable considering how shady Begnion is. Even the shrewd Soren had the same idea in chapter 3-3 where he said that Begnion senators should be spared as an act of goodwill even though this backfired on them as the senators weren't interested in peace and they'd have been better off killing them. So it can be argued that what Micaiah did there was actually intelligent and even if you disagree, it certainly doesn't make her dumb. Anyway, Micaiah makes a mistake, and there's a terrible consequence for her action which she has to pay for by setting out on one final battle which could have been avoided. Hence, saying Micaiah doesn't get punished for her mistakes is completely and utterly wrong. Also, this scene shows that Micaiah doesn't fight for revenge but for the freedom of her people. Now that freedom has been granted, she feels additional killing is pointless and wrong. Also, Micaiah wanting the Black Knight to be on her side against Sothe's wishes goes to show she's willing to cooperate with a war criminal for the greater good, showing some grey morality even in part one. One thing to note is that Micaiah's visions are becoming unclear. This isn't just a plot device so that Micaiah stops being successful in part three as it occurs in part one as well and is caused by enormous amounts of stress as well as the chaos of war. Therefore, the weakening of Micaiah's visions are grounded in logic and not just a cheap cop-out when the writers need it to be. Chapter 1-E While Micaiah doesn't want power for herself, her actions have unintentionally subverted the revolution from Pelleas' control. This is not very different from Nolan losing his authority over the Dawn Brigade. Though in Nolan's case, this was a non-issue because he didn't want to exercise his power so even though it's not mentioned explicitly, there is no plot-hole in regards to why Micaiah is leading the Dawn Brigade by chapter 1-2 when Nolan is supposedly the leader. After Jarod starts bombarding Nevessa, Micaiah sets off to kill Jarod once and for all. What this shows is that Micaiah learns from her mistakes and won't repeat them. This is how to write character development as there is a compelling reason for change and she becomes a better leader as time goes on. Her character is not static but at the same time, it isn't all over the place as there is a logical progression on how she acts. While Micaiah readily accepts Pelleas' request to become the supreme commander of the entire Daein army, she does mention that she'll eventually leave once Daein is completely secure because she can't hide how slowly she ages. Part One Summary In summary, Micaiah starts off as a naive idealistic person who constantly made rash decisions but ends as a responsible vice-general towards the end of part one. We can clearly see that in the prologue, Micaiah is not very leader-like and even Leonardo seems more of a leader considering it was Micaiah who was relying on him on what to say to Nolan and Sothe. By chapter 1-2, Micaiah started calling the shots but still made dumb plans such as letting herself get captured by Jarod. After she became leader of the Daein Liberation Army, she became a more intelligent leader and made strategies that liberated Marado State, freed prisoners from prisons , made proper preparations to rescue captives from the swamp, etc. While initially Micaiah was hesitant in collecting money, especially from people, she realized this was necessary for the war effort even though it pained her to do this. Micaiah had to struggle with the torment of hiding her brand which nearly got exposed twice so she's put into these scary situations but nevertheless reaffirms her commitment to the revolution and fights on. While Micaiah has accepted the position to become Daein's commander-in-chief, she plans to eventually leave which leaves room for future development. Part Three Chapter 3-6 and 3-7 Pelleas asks Micaiah to fight the Laguz Alliance and she accepts. A lot of people find it dumb that Micaiah is all of a sudden fighting a war against people she has no beef with but let's look at the reasons why she does so. Remember how she promised Pelleas she'll serve as the commander-in-chief of the Daein army? Well she's the type of person to keep her promises. She also trusts Pelleas' judgement due to the fact he has good intentions which is something she can feel due to her powers and her previous experience working with Pelleas. Why didn't Micaiah pressure Pelleas to spill the beans? Well he's clearly depressed and she obviously wouldn't want to worsen Pelleas' sadness. Trusting Pelleas' judgement is not OoC at all, she always had a trusting nature as shown previously with the Black Knight. Though Micaiah gives a rather bigoted reason for targeting the Laguz Alliance when Sothe pressures her even further. Her soldiers are excited to hunt down the laguz so she's going to lead the pack to satisfy their urges essentially. Now that is OoC since Micaiah holds no prejudice and is against Laguz hunts but this can be contextualized by the fact that Micaiah doesn't have a good explanation so she's reaching for whatever flimsy reasoning comes to her mind. Also, just because Micaiah is the main character and Sothe is her close confidante doesn't prevent him from tearing apart her arguments rather ruthlessly so enough of this lame complaint that Micaiah gets favored even when she does the wrong thing. Contrast this with Shinon, who hates Ike, going along with Ike in part three without any complaints in Ike's face. Really easy to see who the writers favor. If we have a look at Micaiah's conversation with Reyson, she further reveals her intention. Micaiah is politically pragmatic and she believes Daein will fall apart if they can't unite under King Pelleas. Think of it like this, if Micaiah refuses to go to war, the Daein army will get suspicious that their supreme commander doesn't want to fight which will hurt their loyalty to King Pelleas. Moreover, Daein would be forced to fight with or without her because Pelleas is adamant about it and the result won't be very pretty for Daein if they lose the war from her prior experience when Daein lost the Mad King's War. Hence, it makes complete logical sense that Micaiah would reluctantly command the army to minimize the chance of Daein losing because Daein losing could potentially result in the people of Daein suffering just like before the liberation. I won't deny the fact she's a camus. But she's a very well-written one whom you can sympathize with more so than the other camus archetypes in the series because she has compelling reasons to fight and this war isn't as black and white compared to most other FE wars. Also, most commander-in-chiefs end up following orders to go to war even in unjust conflicts so if anything, Micaiah is a very realistic character as her actions aren't always completely heroic just to please readers and instead are grounded in logic and realism. This makes her a very well-written character in my book. To each their own I suppose. Anyhow, Micaiah sets up an elaborate ambush considering how she's even able to conceal her army's smell with the wind currents and made use of the fog. Clearly a great use of weather conditions to prepare an ambush. On top of that, she made great use of the river terrain as it hinders the side that crosses it. Using both weather and terrain effectively for an ambush is just what I'd expect from a seasoned guerrilla warfare commander. After all, even though she was no tactician at the beginning, through her experiences as a rebel leader, she's become much better. This is an example of logical character growth. The way she positions her army is so effective that both Lethe and Ranulf comment on it. This is in spite of the Daein army being unprepared to take on the laguz due to lack of experience fighting them, lack of numbers and due to Begnion not giving proper intel to Daein. The lack of intel, combined with Micaiah's fortune powers not working, along with Soren's tactical prowess further bolstered by the Laguz Alliance's superior forces is what it takes to defeat her army. She's also learned the art of coercive diplomacy although due to lack of knowledge on her opponents' strength and numbers, she underestimates them. While many criticize Micaiah for being too submissive to Pelleas, she does ask Tauroneo to convince Pelleas to end the war so it isn't like she becomes a puppet. Also, it is quite clear that even the narrator says that Daein's attack on the Laguz Alliance was an act of aggression so saying that there is too much Micaiah pandering by the narrative is complete nonsense. It's not just Micaiah's opponents that call her out, even her allies and the narrator does. Despite being under sheer stress, Micaiah is able to hold her composure and firmly order a retreat despite opposition within her army yet is able to do so courteously. This goes to show she's level-headed even when the situation turns against her and she's on the verge of fainting. Finally, Micaiah's perspective on Ike begins to change. In part one, she'd get irritated whenever she hears his name but now she's willing to listen to what type of man he is. Sure she has to do this to gain intel on her opponent, but it's the start of her becoming more open minded. Chapter 3-11 Now that Crimea, the Apostle's Army, Gallia and Phoenicis have joined together Daein's military situation has gone from bad to worse. To counter the looming threat Micaiah ordered the Daein army to demand custody of Sanaki and threatens to invade Crimea if the demand is not met. Invading Crimea would be a stupid move but Goran makes it clear the Daein army was ordered to fight defensively and hold on to the bridge. So the threat to invade Crimea was just a ruse to bait the coalition into attacking the Daein army. This puts the Daein army in a more favorable position where they have access to light runes, catapults and pitfalls to hold off the much larger army. Furthermore, the bridge is narrow and not an open field so the enemy can't make use of their large numbers. So as you can see, when Micaiah has no good options, she's forced to choose the least worse strategy which of course fails but it is still commendable since the odds are stacked heavily against her. Once the Daein Army has been defeated on the bridge, Micaiah shows up and orders a retreat. The Begnion inspector is rather obnoxious but Micaiah firmly refuses his advice without being rude. She ends up fainting, again. She does comment on how she felt she always wished she didn't have foresight, but after losing it, she's upset about losing it. This is a pretty deep lesson that people in general take their blessings lightly and when they lose them, they finally realize how foolish they were. Chapter 3-12 Once Micaiah learns of the blood pact, she, like Pelleas, falls into despair but quickly regains her hope and suggests that Pelleas finds a way to undo it while she holds off the Apostle's Army to give him time. This is an important point because there's some misconception going around that Micaiah was willing to let the Senate conquer the world just to save Daein which is not true at all. The war against the Apostle's Army was merely a temporary evil that would kill thousands of soldiers on both sides to prevent the inevitable death of an entire country which has a much greater population than even the largest armies. So between Pelleas' idea that they follow the Senate no matter what, Sothe's insistence they die an honorable death, Micaiah's is the most balanced and logical approach. One aspect of Micaiah's character that I like is that she's willing to forgive people for their mistakes. Just because you screw up doesn't mean you deserve to be thrown vitriol, which generally speaking makes things worse, not better. What's done is done and that past mistakes can't be undone. What truly matters is the future. Furthermore, at this point Micaiah has reaffirmed and strengthened her commitment to protecting Daein despite the situation being much bleaker and despite no longer having the moral high ground. The situation is bleak and very depressing but Micaiah still has the time and mental sanity to converse with the peasantry which is very admirable. More importantly, this base conversation contains one of the most heart breaking lines from any FE character. Micaiah has a huge attachment to her people and wants to save them which is a good thing but unfortunately she's caught between a rock and a hard place where whatever she does, she commits a grave injustice. If she fights the good guys, she's killing people who she shouldn't be but if she chooses not to, she's letting her entire country perish. If she runs away, she's abandoning her responsibilities. Whatever she does, she's doing something immoral. Poor girl. Anyway, she's now willing to be looked down upon to fight for what she believes in which is a contrast to part 1 where part of the reason why she fought was because she was looked up to as a hero. Now her resolve has been strengthened to a level where her reputation no longer matters which is the epitome of selflessness. Sure she had those qualities back in part one but they have most certainly increased. Before the battle started, Micaiah's plan was questioned by both Sothe and Tauroneo and it was suggested that Micaiah herself is most opposed to such a plan but it goes to show how much willpower the girl has to go against her own empathetic nature. Sure the two ended up going on with it but she did use logic to convince them and it is out of character for either to abandon her. Anyhow can we just go over how brilliant this plan is? Terrain is used effectively to give Daein the high ground advantage as well as the ability to roll boulders at the enemy. Not only that, but General Maiel was sent with a decoy force to distract Ike's Laguz army, effectively splitting up the coalition allowing the main force of the Daein army to focus on the weaker target. Being able to fool Ike's army with a decoy is a nice maneuver because the Daein army is a lot smaller and it means Micaiah managed to fool Soren due to him being Ike's strategist. That decoy force was sent to their deaths which goes to show that Micaiah is no longer her idealistic self that believes she can save everyone unlike in part one where she'd always try to save everyone. She has learned that sacrifice can sometimes be necessary in war. Eventually it was revealed that she planned to set the Apostle's Army on fire, taking advantage of the terrain to douse the army with oil. She was even willing to kill Sanaki which goes to show how far she's willing to go. While this scene disturbs many people, it would be incredibly stupid to fight a conventional war when the Daein army is vastly outnumbered and would get decimated, so I think this was a wise decision that required a lot of willpower to execute. Once Tibarn suddenly captures Sothe and threatens to drop him down the cliff, Micaiah finally breaks down. She orders her army to stand down but later on says they'll continue fighting which prompts Tibarn to drop him. By now, it is quite clear how conflicted she is about what to do and after seeing her levelheadedness prior to this, I think it is refreshing to see her break down which goes to show that while she's a great leader, she is by no means perfect. Some people say that Micaiah should be more punished but seeing Sothe fall to what she believes to be his death is very brutal. Sure, he was eventually saved but those few seconds where he was falling must have been horrifying so she does get punished quite a bit. Tauroneo has to order the retreat because Micaiah has broken down and is too traumatized which goes to show that the scare was a brutal punishment. Despite not being able to light up the Apostle's Army and the Crimean Royal Knights, they took serious casualties so that ambush was still somewhat successful despite failing which is impressive considering their numbers and the fact they were on a time limit as the battle would effectively end once Ike's army would show up. Chapter 3-13 Pelleas asks Micaiah to take his life but Micaiah realizes that her ability to go against her own morals have a limit which is nice as it goes to show she's just a human with great resolve but not perfect. Pelleas basically points out that she is willing to kill countless strangers but not individuals close to her. While this might irritate many, this is a flaw of human nature. If a family member died you'd feel much worse than thousands of strangers dying. In spite of all her special powers, she's a very human character which makes her compelling. Anyway, the player is given the option of having Micaiah obey Pelleas' command, let Tauroneo do the job or attempt to sacrifice herself to guard Pelleas. If you opt to have Micaiah kill Pelleas, it goes to show that now she's even willing to kill individuals who she cares for to save her country, whereas previously, she couldn't. If you have Tauroneo kill Pelleas, this moment is similar to the time when Elincia lets Lucia get executed. This is in stark contrast to the previous chapter where Micaiah wasn't willing to let Tibarn kill Sothe. The third option is extra content available only on a second play through. Basically in this case, Micaiah at first allows Tauroneo to kill Pelleas but she see's a vision that tells her there is a better way and changes her mind at the last second. This adds on to her characterization from the second scenario and shows how selfless Micaiah is, and more importantly, that Micaiah isn't just blindly following orders and is herself a strong leader capable of changing the minds of both Pelleas and Tauroneo through both her actions as well as a logical argument. Also, remember Micaiah's prejudiced views on Ike in part one? Her battle conversation with Ike finally changes her mind on Ike. Back in chapter 3-7, she started becoming more open minded about Ike's virtues and now she's willing to accept that he's a good man. Though having a positive opinion on Ike makes her job to kill him harder since now she's not killing some hated enemy or just a generic soldier, but the man who Sothe wants to be like but is willing to go through with it due to her resolve. Furthermore, Micaiah's feeling very remorseful over her actions so saying she's some unapologetic person is asinine. However, feel free to dislike her because she most likely feels more awful about her actions than anyone who's played this game and is willing to be hated on. Finally, at the end of chapter 3-13, Micaiah orders her men not to attack Nailah but her men refuse to listen. This shows that while Micaiah is extremely charismatic to the extent that some of her soldiers blindly worship her, their loyalty does have its limits which is nice or else she'd be too perfect. Chapter 3E Thanks to Almedha and Kurthnaga's help, Daein now knows exactly how the blood pact is to be broken. The problem is that the Apostle's Army decides to move towards the Begnion border but at this point in time, tracking Lekain down would take too long and they can't risk to doom their country just yet. The chances of victory are virtually nonexistent, which is acknowledged by Micaiah, but this begs the question, why continue fighting if you'll lose either way? Micaiah has always been an optimistic person so she wants to earn Daein as much time as possible and not to waste the sacrifices. This is a logical fallacy that humans always fall victim to. It's called the fallacy of sunk costs. Basically, when you have already put in a lot of time and effort into something, even though you will most likely fail, you'll still continue to do it in order to not waste the sacrifice and cling to a false hope. Considering the chaos of war, sheer stress, love and passion, I think Micaiah falling victim to this line of thinking is very realistic and doesn't make her a stupid person despite the obvious irrationality of this course of action. An alternative reason is that if the entire Daein army is killed, the Apostle's army can advance to Begnion to finish off the senate and this would prevent the blood pact from being invoked because at that point, technically Daein didn't violate the terms and conditions. This way while the entire Daein army as well as a ton of Ike's forces will be sacrificed, at least the country of Daein can live on. Though the writing with the blood pact is poor so this is more of a speculation than concrete fact. Summary of Part 3 Many people think Micaiah's character is inconsistent between the two parts but in reality there is a clear logical progression. At the end of part one, Micaiah realizes that the only one the Daein people rally behind is herself, not Pelleas. So it is quite fitting for her to obey Pelleas' request because she knows very well that Daein will militarily and politically crumble without her lending support to Pelleas. She's very politically pragmatic and clearly not stupid. Another inconsistency people have is that Micaiah is too ruthless especially in regards to the oil and fire scene but in reality, at the end of part one, Micaiah learned that she has to become decisive and suppress her merciful nature when she chose to spare Jarod so it makes sense she'd become a ruthless commander because her first mistake costed the lives of many citizens of Nevessa but now the stakes are much higher so she can't afford to make the same mistake. This goes to show Micaiah learns from her mistakes. We also see that Micaiah is a much better tactician than she was in part 1 which makes sense because she has a lot of battle experience. Furthermore, she has warmed up to Ike despite being at war with him. We see that Micaiah's ideals and worldview are challenged immensely. A motive for Micaiah in part one was that people saw her as a hero which made her feel nice about herself but now she has to come to terms with the fact that people will see her as a villain. Her views on Ike were challenged and changed as well as her perspective on what it means to be just. Part 4 Chapter 4P Now that the environment is calm, we finally see Micaiah's sassy banter again and it simply isn't true that the only time she was sassy is when she said the infamous "father of Sothe's children" line. In a peaceful environment, she loves fooling around with Sothe and I personally love these lines. More importantly, Micaiah says that their first goal is to save the world implying that saving Daein is a side objective, albiet very important. The reason I'm emphasizing this is because Micaiah haters love to misconstrue Micaiah's ideology as some hardcore Daein nationalist who's willing to let the entire world crumble just to save Daein. Chapter 4-3 Micaiah shows us that she's confident with starting a conversation with Sanaki, despite Sanaki being jealous of her, a powerful authority figure and the same girl she tried to kill. This is in spite of being extremely introverted. Very different from the beginning of part one where Micaiah needed Leonardo to speak to Nolan before getting the confidence to do so herself. Basically this shows a change in behavior when it comes to dealing with others which is nice and subtle character development. Also, Micaiah is willing to talk to strangers about their romantic interests as well as her own. Previously, she'd mention her relationship with Sothe in a platonic fashion so it goes to show just how open Micaiah is now compared to before. Endgame Micaiah is now capable of having deep conversations even with Ike, who was just recently a hated enemy. Remember how Micaiah was planning to leave the Daein army at the end of part one after a few years. Finally she has gained the resolve to go back to Daein forever. This would happen even if Micaiah and Ike don't have this deep conversation, which is only possible with an A support with Sothe, so it's not like Ike was needed to convince Micaiah that she should go back to Daein. It can be said that her experiences in being with Daein despite the awful circumstances in part three strengthened her feelings to Daein even more than at the end of part one. Epilogue Well Micaiah becomes Queen of Daein regardless of whether Pelleas survives or not. Bare in mind that Micaiah doesn't have Daein royal blood so she's the only FE lord, to my knowledge, that leads the country despite not having the proper noble blood. In case you suggest that being the Princess of Begnion allowed Micaiah to take the throne, well think again. It's not common knowledge that Micaiah is the Princess of Begnion and she's too humble to spread this information to the general populace. Furthermore, why would she be made the Queen if she has the royal blood of Begnion which has nothing to do with the royal blood of Daein? If anything, it would make them less fond of Micaiah since Daein and Begnion have had bad blood over the years. I like that Micaiah becomes Queen on her own merit and not because of birthright. In a sense, Micaiah fulfills Ashnard's only good ambition where he desired that power be given to those worthy and not based on inheritance. Also, the story of a street-dwelling peasant from an oppressed minority becoming Queen is a heartwarming rags to riches story. Finally, I like how Ike and Micaiah both fulfill part of Altina's responsibilities. Ike is basically the warrior half of Altina because it is Ike to lend the final blow on the goddess. On the other hand, Micaiah is the ruler half of Altina. Micaiah starts her own dynasty much like Altina, not because of noble blood but because of their heroism giving them the admiration of the people to rule over them. This next point is very important because now I have to refute this criticism of Micaiah being a Daein nationalist. How can you make such a claim when Micaiah allows Talrega to gain more authority at the expense of the Kingdom of Daein? She may be fond of Daein, but it doesn't stop her from sacrificing a part of Daein's national authority to let others be happy.