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Why do people like Ashnard?

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So I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but why do folks like Ashnard and consider him a good villain?

He always struck me as a generic conqueror villain. His motives seemed like 'axe crazy for no reason' unlike say Zephiel (child abuse) or Lyon (jealousy).

He seems like he was just evil because he needed to be because PLOT.

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Spoilers but in radiant dawn its revealed that ashnared was being manipulated by lehran and the fact that his wyvern is a prince is cool plus he hates laguz yet his wife is laguz and his son is part laguz he's far from my favourite but he is pretty good far better than fuckin berdo in FE5 :P

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I'd say he's a good villain because the game shows how twisted he is, with conducting experiments resulting in feral laguz and wanting to embroil the world in chaos is enough of a reason to want to stop him. Better than Nergal in FE7.

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It seems like you're not understanding the villain's reasons very much. Zephiel wasn't exactly the villain because an awful parent, Lyon didn't go nutcrud because of jealously and Ashnard wasn't the way he was, just because...Ashnard wanted to change the world into a place where, literally, all that mattered was power. He didn't believe in "birthright" and stuff like that. He believed that if someone had enough power to do something, than it should be granted to them.

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On 11/15/2014 at 9:10 AM, Youmu Konpaku said:

So I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but why do folks like Ashnard and consider him a good villain?

He always struck me as a generic conqueror villain. His motives seemed like 'axe crazy for no reason' unlike say Zephiel (child abuse) or Lyon (jealousy).

He seems like he was just evil because he needed to be because PLOT.

Ashnard has more going for him then you give him credit for. Particularly his philosophy. He's a Social Darwinist if every I saw one. He believes power is the only gauge of worth and seeks to prove it through conquest. He abhors the nobility and the concept of birth right. Despite what people say above I don't think he hates the Laguz either. He's from a country where people are raised to hate laguz but I imagine he respects them for their great physical strength. I can't recall any quote supporting or rejecting that idea though except him losing interest in his son when he learned he didn't have any powers of the dragon tribe.

A villain who is evil for no reason still tends to have some reason, they're just quite simple. Either greed, or they just find amusement in being evil. Ashnard has no shades of the former, he was quite content to lose Daein despite it being his homeland, but does have some shades of the latter however it is more an appreciation of battle then just having fun being evil. He allows Ike to come right up to his front door because he wants a challenge. He really doesn't care whether he wins or loses because if someone beats him in a fair fight then they kind of prove him right. He simply wasn't strong enough to take over the world. I imagine he respects Ike a lot, being someone born of lowly station but gained his authority through battle. They were probably designed as foils of each other.

Plus he has spikes on his armor and rides a kickass dragon he enslaved. I think that's a major deciding factor.

Edited by Jotari

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The experimentation drove Rajaion mad, and from where Ashnard was sitting (literally), he had to know how mad.

How could Ashnard approve of what happened to Rajaion and not approve of what happened to the rest of Izuka's test subjects?

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He probably did approve of it. Aside from giving him Rajaion it also made the Laguz much stronger and were really useful for the war effort.

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Spoilers but in radiant dawn its revealed that ashnared was being manipulated by lehran and the fact that his wyvern is a prince is cool plus he hates laguz yet his wife is laguz and his son is part laguz he's far from my favourite but he is pretty good far better than fuckin berdo in FE5 :P

He doesn't hate laguz, the only thing he hates is weakness.

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Jotari did a good job of explaining it, including the looking badass part.

He's a lot like the Joker in Dark Knight (AKA the best thing about that move) IMO. He's crazy and clearly evil, so you feel justified in hating him, but his philosophy makes sense in a twisted way that makes you begrudgingly respect him. He's also very consistently written, as opposed to some other FE villains, so his motivations don't get watered down by hypocrisy.

Out of curiosity, did you read all his battle convos?

Edited by bottlegnomes

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You can be a general or a dinner is one of the most hilarious phrases in videogames I've read.

Anyway Jotari explained it very well.

Edited by The Taninator

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Jotari did a good job of explaining it, including the looking badass part.

He's a lot like the Joker in Dark Knight (AKA the best thing about that move) IMO. He's crazy and clearly evil, so you feel justified in hating him, but his philosophy makes sense in a twisted way that makes you begrudgingly respect him. He's also very consistently written, as opposed to some other FE villains, so his motivations don't get watered down by hypocrisy.

Out of curiosity, did you read all his battle convos?

No.

Considering that having anyone not named Ike, Nasir, Ena, Tibarn, Naesala, or Giffca attack him does nothing and I'm not a huge fan of FE9 to begin with...

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I'm trying to remember if it was stated in FE10 that, having been born so far down in the line of succession, the situation was such that at birth he was thrust into a period where it was really dangerous to be a part of the huge royal line of Daein, because everybody in it was feuding with everybody, and he just came out on top of a battle of manipulation that somebody else started, or if it was more that it was Ashnard who turned it into a bloodbath and clawed his way to the top on his own initiative.

Either way, I just find the idea kinda funny, in a silly way, that somebody would come from a really distant spot in their family's royal line via intrigue and murder, and then when he gets to the top, it's like: "Okay, Your Highness, what do you want to do now?" And then he responds "FINALLY! FUCK THIS CLOAK N DAGGER SHIT, WE WAR MACHINE NOW SON. ALL ENTER, ONE LEAVE"

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It wasn't a battle of manipulation, it was a Blood Pact. He basically just let the curse kill off so much of his population that it inevitably hit the people in line to the throne. Which practically goes half against what Ashnard is established as anyway so I really don't like that particular contrivance.

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Yeah, Radiant Dawn didn't do the best job of handling a lot of stuff from PoR. I feel like the just shoehorned that pact in there so Almedha would know something about it.

No.

Considering that having anyone not named Ike, Nasir, Ena, Tibarn, Naesala, or Giffca attack him does nothing and I'm not a huge fan of FE9 to begin with...

A lot of what tends to make people like him is in his battle conversations, especially Reyson's. If you're interested check here: http://serenesforest.net/path-of-radiance/scripts/game-script/miscellaneous/special-boss-conversations/chapter-21-to-final/

"Okay, Your Highness, what do you want to do now?" And then he responds "FINALLY! FUCK THIS CLOAK N DAGGER SHIT, WE WAR MACHINE NOW SON. ALL ENTER, ONE LEAVE"

If only that was actual dialogue in the game.

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Yeah, Radiant Dawn didn't do the best job of handling a lot of stuff from PoR. I feel like the just shoehorned that pact in there so Almedha would know something about it.

To be fair, it was mentioned in Path of Radiance too. This comes from the end of chapter 18: "Ashnard's coronation, let me see... Yes, it was eighteen years ago. You see, a plague had struck the capital, spreading out to affect the surrounding region of Nevassa and beyond. Ashnard was crowned the year after that great tragedy finally subsided. In the entire history of Tellius, no calamity has claimed the lives of so many beorc and laguz--not since the great flood. Two years before, it struck Begnion, and the entire population of Serenes was nearly obliterated. The year after that, close to a thousand beorc--nobles and peasants alike--perished in Daein."

And Ashnard confirmed in the final chapter that he was responsible for that plague: "The thing that killed my father was not plague, nor was it another illness. It was me... There was my stepmother, too. And every brother who stood to be a legitimate heir...All of them died by my hand."

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Naesala: Ah…you found me out. All right, let’s proceed in earnest. No more tricks… Oh, look over there! Didn’t work, eh? Then die, madman! I won’t be doing you any favors if I let you live.

pffffft

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I think he relates nicely to the story, it's themes and the setting. But I also believe he is kinda underutilized. He only gets to show what he really represents when he ends up in a fight with Reyson of all people.

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To be fair, it was mentioned in Path of Radiance too. This comes from the end of chapter 18: "Ashnard's coronation, let me see... Yes, it was eighteen years ago. You see, a plague had struck the capital, spreading out to affect the surrounding region of Nevassa and beyond. Ashnard was crowned the year after that great tragedy finally subsided. In the entire history of Tellius, no calamity has claimed the lives of so many beorc and laguz--not since the great flood. Two years before, it struck Begnion, and the entire population of Serenes was nearly obliterated. The year after that, close to a thousand beorc--nobles and peasants alike--perished in Daein."

And Ashnard confirmed in the final chapter that he was responsible for that plague: "The thing that killed my father was not plague, nor was it another illness. It was me... There was my stepmother, too. And every brother who stood to be a legitimate heir...All of them died by my hand."

Yeah but you can interpret that reading to mean he actually killed them as opposed to "I was responsible for the plague"

This. I always took it to mean he literally killed all of them with his own hands, which would be in line with his belief that power should determine leadership. IIRC, the art of Ashy standing over his dad(?) was in PoR, so that would support this interpretation.

Edited by bottlegnomes

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This. I always took it to mean he literally killed all of them with his own hands, which would be in line with his belief that power should determine leadership. IIRC, the art of Ashy standing over his dad(?) was in PoR, so that would support this interpretation.

That artwork was used in Radiant Dawn when Almedha explained the Blood Pact in 3-13. The CG wasn't used in PoR at all. Ashnard tells Brys that he killed his father, Brys confirms his loyalty and leaves, Ashnard mocks him, scene change.

But he did indeed kill him with his own hands, so it's no surprise he has the sword in his hand in that CG.

Almedha: “In order to break the curse of the blood pact, two conditions must be met. The destruction of the document itself, and the death of the one bound to it. Either condition by itself is not enough. I watched it happen. Ashnard killed his father, then tore apart the pact. And before my eyes, the mark of the pact faded from the dead king’s arm” (quoted from the regular version of the script, btw)

Edited by BrightBow

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Actually had a conversation with a friend of mine and one other person about this very topic in the comment section of that same friend's FE9 story review:

He liked the idea of Ashnard being a sort of dark mirror to Ike, his problem with that theory is that it's barely explored:

"90% of the time, we only see him cackling and talking about his plans to hurt people or a summon a god. [in a story that's gone to great length's to develop complex, believable heroes and villains] he's just not an interesting character to watch and you find out about his motives too little too late...he [also] literately doesn't care if his plans go awry. His plan never concerned Ike or the Crimean army or giving them a chance to catch up, he saw Crimea as a stepping stone so he could invade Gallia and start a war between the Laguz and the Beorc (believing Begnion would have sided with Daein when it came down to it), but Ike grew stronger than expected and managed to unite all of the armies against him. Ashnard's response? "Well if I die so be it, they were stronger than me!" This self-destructive attitude could make an interesting character, but it's hard to invest in a conflict when the antagonist doesn't seem to care if he wins or not."

What I'm getting from this conversation is that Ashnard sitting on his throne laughing it up while our army suffers is not just another reason for us to hate him, but also part of his plan to attack once the continent's strongest have been lured to his doorstep, and that Ashnard's apathy to Ike beating him came from the fact that, since Ike had beaten him through strength, it did in fact help his plan of creating a perfect meritocracy, thus he wins anyway?

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Villains like Ashnard have been done a thousand times over.

I find him pretty lackluster, but then again most of the villains in the Tellius games are pretty cliched.

Edited by GARrus

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