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so after seeing ghasts little post on twitter where he says that he actually likes surtr I've been thinking. Is surtr a bad villain? It's a question that's plagued me for while and I think I finally have an answer. Yes, he is a good villain though he just does not work with the "world" he is placed in. Let me explain. I think the main problem with people criticizing surtr as a poorly written villain is that they are criticizing him as a narrative villain. and well as a narrative villain, yeah he's very poorly written in that regard but he's not a narrative villain. He is a force of nature villain more along the lines of the joker or for another FE example Grima. Both types of villains fill the same role in that they move the story forward, but they do it in different ways. A narrative villain, in essence, is just another character with their own goals, motivations, backstory, etc. and it is those things that make up their character which drives the plot forward through trying to act on their innate human desires. A force of nature on the other hand isn't a character but rather they're more so a representation of some primal aspect of reality. They don't need a backstory, or motivation, or logical justification for what they do because that's not the point. The point of a force of nature is that their mere existence creates conflict and it's through that conflict that authors are able to explore different aspects of the world, characters, ideas, and themes of the narrative. Now if we look at surtr through this lens, then things start to make way more sense. Surtr is a physical representation of the ferocity and destructive force of fire. From his personality, goals, abilities, etc. all those things link back to that core idea. So if that's what IS was trying to do, then they succeeded. Hell his sort of "immortality" plays into this as well cause no matter how many times you extinguish a flame, it'll always come back so long as there is fuel to burn. It's actually quite neat to see how much thought went into writing him. Surtr on his own is not a bad villain if anything he's actually a pretty good one. However the reason he doesn't work is because well the main characters lack any kind of depth. Force of nature villains only work because of what they allow us to explore about the other ACTUAL characters in the story. The joker for example allows to really explore the idea of order outside the law and if that is truly orderly and just and that works because of how deep and a complex a character bruce wayne is. The askr trio and nifl siblings on the other hand. Yeah there's not much to explore there. Really the only one out of that group to get any sort of development is alfonse which is by far one of the best moments within book 2 because of how it shows what he's willing to sacrifice in order to stop the greater threat. That is where force of nature villains truly shine best in allowing us to develop and explore the other characters. Why else do you think helbindi and laegjarn are so well liked because they are perfect examples of what happens when Surtr's role in the story is actually done properly. Again Surtr in it of himself isn't a bad villain. He's just not utilized properly because of how flat the other characters are.
Since Book II is out right now since last night. I did looked at the surprising info when Laevatein was fought in Chapter 2 for Book II reveals that she is actually a second princess of Múspell. I was surprised to see Laevatein is actually a princess than one of Surtr's followers like Loki. But, with the info shows that Laevatein is the second princess and she is one of the four known main villains that can be fought against the Orders of Heroes in Book II Chapter 2. But, we haven't seen the first princess of Múspell showed up nor they mentioned it in one of the first two Book II chapters. Do you guys think the first princess of Múspell could possibly show as one of the newly revealed antagonist some of the new chapters released in the future after Book II Chapter 2 like as one of the new enemy bosses or do you think she could have a role that doesn't have any antagonistic ways like Surtr and Loki's info when she fought in Book II saids that she can manipulate similar to like how Gharnef and his archetypes did in the past Fire Emblem games. If she does appeared in the newer chapters for Book II or later on, I hope she does appear as one of the bosses fights for her kingdom or find something to bring peace to the world.