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What are your thoughts on Edelgard? *SPOILERS*

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31 minutes ago, Hekselka said:

I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

Have you seen the BE ending? She unified Fodlan, defeated TWSID and destroys the entrenched system of nobility. 

She also steps down as emperor and appoints a successor so it does seem like she thought these things through. Or are you saying it's bad that some of her choices were based on her emotions? 

No I am saying that if not for plot convenience it would never work. Well, if it wasn't plot convenience then Byleth and Hubert who actually know what they are doing and somehow managed keep Empire from falling apart (how? I don't have clue). As I said before, destroying crests was just her throwing tantrum. Empire army is weakened by war too, If Dagda decided attack again, empire would be conquered regardless of what kind of sucessor she found. Of course there should be also lot of people holding grudge and hidden Seiros worshippers (you can never destroy faith  by force) ready to revolt too on first opportunity. And of course TWSITD are still on loose for great time after her unification. This war was unecessary. If Edie were able consolidate her power in Empire enough to have bloody war with church, she had also enough power enact reforms without it. 

But, well she never aknowledged  Aliance and Kingdom  being anything more then parts of Empire that evil mustache twirling dragons stole from her predecessors, so I guess this war was necessary to set everything "right".

Edited by Tenzen12

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3 minutes ago, Tenzen12 said:

No I am saying that if not for plot convenience it would never work. Well, if it wasn't plot convenience then Byleth and Hubert who actually know what they are doing and somehow managed keep Empire from falling apart (how? I don't have clue). As I said before, destroying crests was just her throwing tantrum. Empire army is weakened by war too, If Dagda decided attack again, empire would be conquered regardless of what kind of sucessor she found. Of course there should be also lot of people holding grudge and hidden Seiros worshippers (you can never destroy faith  by force) ready to revolt too on first opportunity. And of course TWSITD are still on loose for great time after her unification. 

This war was unecessary. If Edie were able consolidate her power in Empire enough to have bloody war with church, she had also enough power enact reforms without it. 

 

If that is what you consider plot convenience then every fire emblem game has plot convenience in some way or another. 

But she doesn't want to do reforms, that goes against her character. If she were fine with just reforms then she wouldn't be Edelgard, she'd be an entirely different character.

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2 hours ago, Humanoid said:

Only know what I read from spoilers but I don't mind what I've seen at all. Hell, even if her motivations were pure conquest, I still would be supportive if I was on her route. FE is too often bound by modern morality and ignores the reality of the era it purports to depict. In a dog-eat-dog world, survival depends on being the biggest dog.

Actually, if we don't talk about high politics or modern morality from the hindsight, there is almost no reason for Byleth to join Edelgard at Holy Tomb.

From Byleth's perspective at Holy Tomb:

 

- Rhea saved Jeralt

- Edelgard and her associates killed Jeralt (even in her route her defense was very weak)

- She never explained to you her plan pre skip.

- Her associates almost killed you with some evil magics just recently, resulting Sothis sacrificing herself.

- She just insulted Sothis being an evil false god despite you know it's not true

- She just ordered to kill you and your friends for resisting taken over.

- She again threatening to kill you if you don't join her

 

Why would anyone, from Byleth's perspective to join her, unless they are very deeply in love with her, even more so than to Jeralt?

Edited by Timlugia

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Yes? I mean I said that much. Point is 

11 minutes ago, Hekselka said:

If that is what you consider plot convenience then every fire emblem game has plot convenience in some way or another. 

But she doesn't want to do reforms, that goes against her character. If she were fine with just reforms then she wouldn't be Edelgard, she'd be an entirely different character.

Of course Eldegard being who she is doesn't want just reforms. I said that much. Point is Eldegard being Eldegard means she did silly choices driven by emotions instead of reason and in three of four routes it lead to predictible result with her own route needing twist itself into cockscreew to make it work somehow.

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31 minutes ago, Tenzen12 said:

Have you seen the BE ending? She unified Fodlan, defeated TWSID and destroys the entrenched system of nobility. 

Hold there, not so fast

Her ending actually doesn't say that, it says Byleth has to fight TWSITD in the future. Compared to Byleth and Claude route actually fight and destroyed TWSITD

In fact you could interpret her endings as war continue to rage for times to come.

 

Quote

he/she will never stop standing against those who slither in the dark until Fódlan at last knows everlasting peace.

 

Edited by Timlugia

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13 minutes ago, Timlugia said:

Actually, if we don't talk about high politics or modern morality from the hindsight, there is almost no reason for Byleth to join Edelgard at Holy Tomb.

From Byleth's perspective at Holy Tomb:

 

- Rhea saved Jeralt

- Edelgard and her associates killed Jeralt

- She never explained to you her plan

- Her associates almost killed you with some evil magics just recently, resulting Sothis sacrificing herself.

- She just insulted Sothis being an evil false god despite you know it's not true

- She just ordered to kill you and your friends for resisting taken over.

- She again threatening to kill you if you don't join her

 

Why would anyone, from Byelth's perspective to join her, unless they are very deeply in love with her, even more so than to Jeralt?

Yeah; I agree; I think that is the reason why the actual Edel Route needs you to know more about her and getting attachment through that ceremony event to actually consider helping her reasonable.

____

The church for the most part has helped you; and only really shows it's negative side through the ruthless treatment of "sinners" (Traitors)

Edited by Troykv

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2 minutes ago, Tenzen12 said:

Yes? I mean I said that much. Point is 

Of course Eldegard being who she is doesn't want just reforms. I said that much. Point is Eldegard being Eldegard means she did silly choices driven by emotions instead of reason and in three of four routes it lead to predictible result with her own route needing twist itself into cockscreew to make it work somehow.

Eh, I disagree about that. I think the story did enough to justify the ending but I don't think we're going to get anywhere here. So if you believe it doesn't work that's fine with me.

2 minutes ago, Timlugia said:

Hold there, not so fast

Her ending actually doesn't say that, it says Byleth has to fight TWSITD in the future. Compared to Byleth and Claude route actually fight and destroyed TWSITD

I mean the fact that they actually bother mentioning it in the ending slides at least tells me that in the BE route they do eventually solve the TWSITD problem or else they would have mentioned in the ending that Edelgard and Byleth got murdered by Thales.

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36 minutes ago, Timlugia said:

From Byleth's perspective at Holy Tomb:

 

- Rhea saved Jeralt

- Edelgard and her associates killed Jeralt (even in her route her defense was very weak)

- She never explained to you her plan pre skip.

- Her associates almost killed you with some evil magics just recently, resulting Sothis sacrificing herself.

- She just insulted Sothis being an evil false god despite you know it's not true

- She just ordered to kill you and your friends for resisting taken over.

- She again threatening to kill you if you don't join her

On the flip side

  • Jeralt didn't really trust Rhea and told you to keep your guard up around her.....or the faith itself, really. I'm replaying the game and during Month 7, Jeralt says something about "yeah, i don't think the Goddess will actually come back".
  • Reading Jeralt's diary implies Rhea did something to you, to the point where your heart actually doesn't beat.
  • Edelgard says she's rebelling against the Church itself, not the faith.
  • Even during that battle, Edelgard does not actually wish to kill you. 

I'm not saying you're wrong but there's another way to look at it from Byleth's perspective. Ultimately, Byleth is a character whose personality and decisions are, for the most part, decided by you so it's hard to tell what Byleth would canonically do (though there doesn't appear to be a "golden path" here so i'm under the assumption that all routes are canon, unlike Fates where Revelation is the canon one, no doubts about it).

Edited by Armagon

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1 hour ago, Hekselka said:

If that is what you consider plot convenience then every fire emblem game has plot convenience in some way or another. 

But she doesn't want to do reforms, that goes against her character. If she were fine with just reforms then she wouldn't be Edelgard, she'd be an entirely different character.

I mean, really, this is what makes her (and characters like her) so compelling. You want them to be reformed, you want them to be good people, but they won't because doing so would go against their character.

Same thing with Walter White, or... I dunno, take your pick. There are a lot of great characters like that.

If she were just a flat out good person, she wouldn't be nearly as interesting. She's not. She's a bit selfish and she's a bit callous, which... really... is true of most people.

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Edelgard vs Serros is a rare case of villain vs villain in this franchise, it's like if Zephiel is fighting Loptyr. And IMO it is a great departure from the standard good vs evil trope most Fire Emblem games follow. 

On her path though, she reminds me a lot of Rudolf from Echoes, they both realized the religious institutions of their countries are deeply flawed and took some extreme steps to remove said institution. 

 

 

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It worked relatively well though. I mean you get commoners studying besides nobles like it's noone bussines. Commoners apparently can marry later too. Churce regularly deploy it's knights to protect civilians and they sucessfully managed mediate between Kingdom, Aliance and empire. Most troubles seem stem from individual countries being unable keep order by own power.
 

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I’m on mobile, so I can’t say too much now, but here is a short version of my view on her. Probably will expand on it later.

Edelgard is one of the many well done grey-morality characters for a well done grey-grey morality story. Her back story is compelling, her motivations engaging, and her means-to-the-end as controversial as you would expect. Broadly she is motivated by the following four things:

1. Her hatred for Crests, as the power they represent cost her entire family and who knows how many others.

2. Her hatred for the nobility. Or perhaps more specifically, the power the Crest-bearing nobles  wield over those without; non-crest nobles and commoners alike.

3. Her revanchist desire to restore both Fódlan to Adrestrian rule, and also to undo the restraints imposed on her ability to rule by the nobility of the Empire.

4. Ultimately to destroy that what she sees as the root cause of her Empire’s, her continent’s, and her own personal suffering; the corrupt Church of Serios.

Honestly, she reminds me a lot of many controversial figures from history. Individuals who’s actions brought great progress but also great suffering, and which one is highlighted the most is based on whether the figure won or lost their struggle. 

Overall, I admire her. I feel that she isn’t motivated by some blind list for power, that she has some idea of what her ultimate end goal is going to be. But in the process of trying to realize her dream, she makes plenty of poor or otherwise evil choices. Ranging from the allies she keeps in TWSITD to assassinating potential allies because she views them rivals. And like so many of those historical figures, she can (and will) be consumed by her desires in all but one route. I honestly thought that IS was not capable of writing characters like this any more. I am happy to have been proven wrong.

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3 hours ago, Armagon said:

Jeralt didn't really trust Rhea and told you to keep your guard up around her.....or the faith itself, really. I'm replaying the game and during Month 7, Jeralt says something about "yeah, i don't think the Goddess will actually come back". 

On the other side, just before Jeralt was murdered, one time you met him outside in a cutscene

and he also said that "Maybe we shouldn't leave the monastery to begin with, maybe there was no reason to leave at the first place"

So you could also argue that he's reconciled with Rhea somewhat later before his death. Maybe after Byleth picked up Sword of Creator he too realized Byelth might have greater destiny.

 

And Jeralt not being a believer yet able to serve as right hand man for Rhea, along with other non believers like Catherine, Cyril, Shamir just further proven that Rhea to a degree is tolerating different opinions as long as they didn't raise weapon against her (Lonato and Western Church)

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I suspect which ever route you choose first colors the lens you perceive her with. It seems that she, realistically, is given more depth if you choose her route and get to actually know her as a person. In the other routes, you don't get that, and you only see the consequences of her poor decisions. You have a much harder time demonizing someone after you get to know them first.

I've only completed the Golden Deer route so far, but I always suspected she was a well-intentioned extremist from her previews and all the debate seems to suggest that assumption is correct lol

Edited by Crysta

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@Timlugia I can't comment on the individual scenarios since, after all, I've only played one route - the Golden Deer - to chapter six. However, history is littered with pragmatists who ally themselves to those they might find repugnant. Whether or not Byleth personally supports Edelgard's values, it can be said to be the smart thing to hitch yourself to the likely victor. Then again, Byleth's motivations might be even more selfish than that.

That said, I can't really say whether any Byleth I play could justify going that way, and likely I wouldn't know until such a point I start the route and come to the decision point myself.

 

P.S. I take no issue with the church either for its supposed ruthlessness. In the cases I've seen so far, the action taken is probably the only action they could have taken without causing a complete loss of authority. Do the same with any real religious authority outside of the last century and you'd probably expect the same. Like any of the factions, I can't blame them for acts of self preservation.

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Based on her route, as I haven't done the others...

I love her as a character. I know and accept that she is far from pure and good, but I think she's got her heart in the right place and I do agree that sometimes it's necessary to go deep into the abyss in order to force an overall positive change in the world. Many historical figures I find fascinating for similar reasons. Often times, the people who have done the most to improve our world and society have done so by getting their hands dirty. It's really great to have such a complex lord that's so different from the rest, and I would say she's probably the most realistic of the bunch. Politics is messy and those in power will have to do dark things at some point or another if they don't want to lose it, regardless of the nature of their intentions. Edelgard is working towards a positive outcome that wouldn't be possible without suffering in the short term.

I'm curious to see how the other routes will further shape my view on her. Regardless, as a character she's great, whether we consider her a villain or not.

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Lots of people seemingly forming opinions based on one or two routes and/or synopsis of the others, which doesn't seem super fair to judge based off of? For what it's worth I've finished BE Empire and GD and have started BL route, so I'm not coming from a 100% complete picture either, but I've seen people attribute things to her "commands" that if you've played her route were clearly not ordered or advocated by her, but by TWSITD. Just sayin'.

Edelgard is a very interesting character, her goals, ambitions and methods ask a lot of difficult questions that require full context to totally suss out -- anyone making her out to be 100% justified or 100% villain are themselves 100% ignoring all nuance. There are actual moral dilemmas present in her story that don't lend themselves to easy answers.

 

The church for the most part keeps the peace between the larger nations of Fodlan, but it's clear in several supports from the commoner students, some of the paralogues/training missions, and your former life as a mercenary that the world is still a very dangerous place. Some people are forced into a life of crime because the Crest (read: caste) system is inherently pretty awful: It's not just financial and military might keeping the common people in line, it's a (fabricated) decree from the goddess that the nobles are above them. Even nobles can't escape this as demonstrated what Miklan, Lysinthea, and Edelgard herself have had to deal with based on it. And does maintaining a current peace excuse the evils of the past? The Church is revealed to have falsified numerous stories about themselves to glorify themselves at the expense of their enemies (true to life, still evil) Nemesis is mythologized as a "Lucifer" archetype -- the most powerful agent of the creator, gone mad with power, rebels against them and must be struck down by another champion. The reality is that Nemesis is more like Prometheus, he stole power from Sothis and gave it to the people and was punished for it. Also, destroying entire civilizations because they don't worship your mom, then destroying any knowledge that they ever existed is just about the most vile thing ever. Oh, ALSO the Church of Seiros is run by Seiros herself, and she murders people who don't worship "correctly", even now. She literally kills people who don't worship her and her family the right way. Like the church is EVIL, not even taking into account that it's run by a dragon who's becoming increasingly unhinged over time.

Edelgard is the only character that knows most of this information off the bat, and she resolves to do something about it. She knows that her cause will cause the losess of untold lives and that her only hope of success requires making temporary allies of some other truly vile people in an attempt to create a better tomorrow for everyone. A world where your hard work, talent and skill determines your lot in life rather than your magically gifted birthmark. Where no one will have to endure what she endured as a child ever again. One where humans can forge their own destiny without the tyrannical influence of what is essentially an alien invader. She knows she can't trust anyone other than her closest collaborators with this secret, the reach of the church is too universal and any information leaked before the plan takes effect gives the Church enough time to stop it and likely kill her before anything can happen -- she knows they've massacred people for lesser "crimes" than rebelling. There are absolute missteps that she makes, but nothing she doe in an effort to further this plan seems unreasonable given the context. And remember in her story's ending she abdicates the throne -- she doesn't want power, she just sees a "problem" and no one else seems to be willing or able to step up to fixing it, so she does it herself the only way she can think of.

The big question at the heart of everything Edelgard does is this: Is it justified to start a war brutal, long-lasting war during peacetime for any reason?  Because make no mistakes, despite her motivations and justifications her actions cause bloodshed on a MASSIVE scale.

also people who compare her to Zephial make zero sense to me -- Zephial had soured on humanity and wanted to return the land to the dragons they had stolen it from. Edelgard lives in a land ruled by a dragon and wants to liberate humans from it. It's the exact opposite motivation.

 

Edited by Ciaran
typos

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31 minutes ago, Ciaran said:

. The reality is that Nemesis is more like Prometheus, he stole power from Sothis and gave it to the people and was punished for it. Also, destroying entire civilizations because they don't worship your mom, then destroying any knowledge that they ever existed is just about the most vile thing ever.

Since you played GD, you should know that the claim made by the other side was completely different right?

 

Spoiler

That Nemesis murdered Sothis in her sleep, cut her into pieces to gain her blood and crest.

Consider Sothis' actual personality in the game, I found the claim she's vile and cruel really hard to believe

Edited by Timlugia

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7 minutes ago, Timlugia said:

Since you played GD, you should know that the claim made by the other side was completely different right?

 

  Hide contents

That Nemesis murdered Sothis in her sleep, cut her into pieces to gain her blood and crest.

Consider Sothis' actual personality in the game, I found the claim she's vile and cruel really hard to believe

I don't think Sothis was cruel, I think Seiros who we see being cruel was. I think Sothis was more than likely largely detached form the material world, but Seiros is clearly not that.

I do know about that claim, but I have a hard time believing it to be 100% true given it's source and how the Church doesn't seem to care about the supposed body parts being heirloom weapons of the various noble houses -- given how Seiros is as obsessive as she is about restoring her mother using Byleth as a vessel it seems strange to me that she allows Sothis's body parts to just be passed down as objects if that claim was accurate.

But this is part of the moral grey of the game, it doesn't tell you "X happened", it tells you how "X" is said to have happened. Great writing for prompting discussions like this one, where it's about interpretation and not fact. Themes, not just lore.

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8 minutes ago, Ciaran said:

I don't think Sothis was cruel, I think Seiros who we see being cruel was. I think Sothis was more than likely largely detached form the material world, but Seiros is clearly not that.

 

  Hide contents

I do know about that claim, but I have a hard time believing it to be 100% true given it's source and how the Church doesn't seem to care about the supposed body parts being heirloom weapons of the various noble houses -- given how Seiros is as obsessive as she is about restoring her mother using Byleth as a vessel it seems strange to me that she allows Sothis's body parts to just be passed down as objects if that claim was accurate.

 

But this is part of the moral grey of the game, it doesn't tell you "X happened", it tells you how "X" is said to have happened. Great writing for prompting discussions like this one, where it's about interpretation and not fact. Themes, not just lore.

Because those were not Sothis' body parts, those were from other 10 dragons murdered later by Nemesis and his followers.

Spoiler

Seiros and Empire together decided to enlist those 10 elites after death of Nemesis for empire to rule the land, so they rewrote the history to cover up 10 elites were Nemesis's generals. Each crest was a heart cut out from a different dragon

It's very obvious from Flayn's paralogue where you visited grave of her mother, which was a different female dragon, to recovery two relics weapons. Afterward Seteth told you the grave was actually holding the relics.

Edited by Timlugia

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I played Golden Deer, Blue Lions, and currently on Church route so I'm obviously biased.

She sanctioned a group of villians in the church and indirectly allows them to experiment on Innocents, Kronya turns innocent students into beasts and Edel has no problem with her, indirectly causes Jeralt to die, lures you into a trap by Solon to kill Byleth right after, she uses innocents and turns them into beasts for her army, and there is a certain cutscene in Blue Lions that really showcases how evil she is. Dimitri's mental state makes perfect sense when you see the shit she did/does to him. Worst part is that these groups she helps and sanctions do evil things, and her defense is "I had nothing to do with that", which Dimitri calls her out on.

I mean I don't really see how she can be seen as anything but evil. Maybe if I play her path I'll soften my stance on her, but she is a such a  monster on the other routes that I may just pass on it.

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@IzzyFresh While this is a trope I normally dislike invoking, with Edelgard, the idea that she “isn’t as bad” on her route compared to the other three is the classic “you were there to stop me”. This very much be my own bias talking, but how I played Byleth, it was as a teacher who while still pushing their students to their ultimate goals, they also were there to rein them in and guide them onto, if not the right path then a better path. The way El talks to Byleth during her later supports and on her route, it’s clear that this was how she views Byleth’s role; as someone who restrains her worst impulses and counsels her against poor choices. While we do not know if she held true to those ideals during the time skip, at least during her route, I would still call her actions one of a well-intentioned extremist but not one of a monster. 

Spoiler

I mostly base this interpretation given that you can spare some other students and even Claude on her route, as opposed to burning them all, like she is so fond of doing on every other route.

Though depending on your view of her vision and especially of the actions she took, she may yet still be a monster and I can understand why you might hold that view. El isn’t (the term “wasn’t” a bit more appropriate for the other routes) a good person. Her goals may be noble, but we all know what the stones on the road to Hell are paved with.

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I've completed Blue Lions and I don't have a blind hate for Edelgard. I remember declaring that both Rhea and Edelgard are crazy to my husband after meeting them though. I avoided a lot of story details before release so I was genuinely surprised at the 180 her character did for me. I did not expect her to be cast as a villain, kinda figured she would be a Corrin who could do no wrong. 

With that being said, I loved hating her during the Blue Lions route. I felt outside of her route the game still gave her depth as a bad guy which is good considering how one dimensional Hubert and the TWSITD are. I am bewildered that there are people who think she's a good romance. While Edelgard may not have wielded the dagger she was still responsible for Jeralt's death and the death of a lot of innocent civilians. She even states as much and now that I'm playing the Black Eagles route she hints at these transgressions during the school phase. If it weren't for my desire to see what is basically the "Villain" route I would never pick her or the church's side.

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12 hours ago, Timlugia said:

Hold there, not so fast

Her ending actually doesn't say that, it says Byleth has to fight TWSITD in the future. Compared to Byleth and Claude route actually fight and destroyed TWSITD

In fact you could interpret her endings as war continue to rage for times to come.

 

 

And Dimitri's route unknowingly killing TWSITD's mastermind?

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