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What are your thoughts on Edelgard? *SPOILERS*

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I was just wondering if you agree that Edelgard and Rhea act in quite similiar ways why you love one and disgust the other. As you have written before two posts.

 

But back to topic I think Rheas Sins (whatever that means in the end) can be summarized to these list:

 

- Creation of Hosts for Sothis

- Executing Criminals without proper Court

- Lying (about history, the nature of Sothis, herself, ...)

- Keeping the Nobility in Power through Inaction and sacral authorisation

 

If you agree to the list we can discuss it step by step. Because most of the stuff I dont believe shes acting that evil, but lets see. Otherwise we just write wall of texts until noone knows which argument goes to which claim.

If you disagree please tell me what to add.

Edited by Nihilem

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5 hours ago, Diovani Bressan said:

Ok, I got pretty disgusted by a specific attitude from Evilgard: She lied about what happened in Arianrhod to her soldiers/classmates.

Evilgard lying, sayng that what happened in Arianrhod (the javelins of light) was the church , when the truth is that it was her Uncle and Those Who Slither in the Dark, bothers me.

This attitude made me don't like even more! In my opinion, she is such an unlikeable character...

I am feeling like I am playing Fates: Conquest all over again... which I feels that following this path is wrong!

It was a brilliant move as she managed to turn the destruction of Arianrhod as a propaganda coup to boost morale by instilling hatred of the church even further. If she told them the truth, it'd be even more demoralizing because it means that an allied force just back stabbed them. 

Edelgard is very cunning, I love her. Smartest female lord by far. 

Edited by Icelerate

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Just now, Icelerate said:

It was a brilliant move as she managed to turn the destruction of Arianrhod as a propaganda coup to boost morale by instilling hatred of the church even further. If she told them the truth, it'd be even more demoralizing because it means that an allied force just back stabbed them. 

Edelgard is very cunning, I love her. Smartest female lord. 

Yeah... that's true...

That was a smart move... evil, but smart. Using the destruction of Arianrhod to make the Church looks evil, when in fact Evilgard is the true evil of the game.

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Just now, Icelerate said:

It was a brilliant move as she managed to turn the destruction of Arianrhod as a propaganda coup to boost morale by instilling hatred of the church even further. If she told them the truth, it'd be even more demoralizing because it means that an allied force just back stabbed them. 

Edelgard is very cunning, I love her. Smartest female lord. 

And a move that will backfire quite hard if the truths ever got out. But noone questioned her cunningness. She just no hero but a cunning and sympathic villain.

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1 minute ago, Diovani Bressan said:

Yeah... that's true...

That was a smart move... evil, but smart. Using the destruction of Arianrhod to make the Church looks evil, when in fact Evilgard is the true evil of the game.

She's the most evil Fire Emblem lord. Hehe. 

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1 hour ago, Nihilem said:

I was just wondering if you agree that Edelgard and Rhea act in quite similiar ways why you love one and disgust the other. As you have written before two posts.

 

But back to topic I think Rheas Sins (whatever that means in the end) can be summarized to these list:

 

- Creation of Hosts for Sothis

- Executing Criminals without proper Court

- Lying (about history, the nature of Sothis, herself, ...)

- Keeping the Nobility in Power through Inaction and sacral authorisation

 

If you agree to the list we can discuss it step by step. Otherwise we just write wall of texts until noone knows which argument goes to which claim).

If you disagree please tell me what to add.

isn't Rhea the court?
 

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2 hours ago, Nihilem said:

I was just wondering if you agree that Edelgard and Rhea act in quite similiar ways why you love one and disgust the other. As you have written before two posts.

But back to topic I think Rheas Sins (whatever that means in the end) can be summarized to these list:

- Creation of Hosts for Sothis

- Executing Criminals without proper Court

- Lying (about history, the nature of Sothis, herself, ...)

- Keeping the Nobility in Power through Inaction and sacral authorisation

If you agree to the list we can discuss it step by step. Because most of the stuff I dont believe shes acting that evil, but lets see. Otherwise we just write wall of texts until noone knows which argument goes to which claim.

If you disagree please tell me what to add.

I like how you ask for quotes, then don't provide any in support of why you don't believe those 4 things aren't wrong?

Also, Rhea is the court, judge, jury and executioner, which is a problem in and of itself.

And while I agree Edelgard and Rhea act in similar ways, I don't recall Edelgard creating hosts because she was grieving over the loss of her siblings, lying about and rewriting history to keep humans under her control, or allowing the nobility to be the way they were. I don't understand what's so hard to comprehend about the idea that while you can have two characters that act similarly, their circumstances and actual motives/actions can determine if they end up being a character you like or dislike.

You can love a character and see their flaws and hate a character and see their good points? I've already explained in subsequent posts why I like Edelgard over Rhea, and already explained that I understand they have a lot of similarities as well. But it's the differences that do set them apart and ultimately determine why I fell in love with Edelgard as a character and not Rhea.

2 hours ago, Diovani Bressan said:

Yeah... that's true...

That was a smart move... evil, but smart. Using the destruction of Arianrhod to make the Church looks evil, when in fact Evilgard is the true evil of the game.

What exactly was evil about it? It was just cunning and the smartest move to make. She didn't want to ally with them either, but it was a necessary thing to achieve her goals. Even Hubert explains how painful it was for her to ally with them, but she put the greater good before her own personal feelings. And how is Edelgard the 'true evil' of the game? The closest she gets is the BL path in which I'd agree she is the true evil of that route, but in the other routes, I really wouldn't call her evil. Dictatorial and cunning, sure. Willing to kill anyone who stands in her way, sure. But evil? By whose standards? That's like calling Dimitri evil when he went all bloodthirsty and boar-like and murdered everyone around him. He was misguided and letting his demons win, but I wouldn't call Dimitri evil just because he slaughtered everyone who was getting in his way for revenge. Haha.

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It's "evil" in the fact that it's a lie used to her advantage. The Church is not responsible for Arianrhod - her former allies are. That is not a small thing to lie about.

You know what's also cunning but evil? Trying to assassinate her peers. The actual plan was sloppy and went hilariously awry, but if Kostas succeeded it would have been great for her plans and she could easily justify it as being necessary to avoid future bloodshed... but you're still murdering people whose greatest sin is simply existing lol.

Where do you draw the line?

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5 hours ago, Kiran_ said:

I think to Rhea it is rational. But I think overall it is wrong. Things can be both rational, evil and wrong. They can also be rational, evil and right. It's all a matter of perspective.

Humans in HER eyes. This is no longer a rational thought, it is simply a misguided prejudice. That's the equivalent of saying in a racist's eyes all BLANK race are animals. Which we've seen throughout history that people do and look what happens out of that. From a perspective that all BLANK race are meant to be servants because they are not capable of thought, that means slavery makes perfectly rational sense.

For specific beliefs, only RHEA says she's an arbiter of souls. This is how she exerted her control. Religion itself is a means of instilling fear and control on others. There is no concept of 'sin' aside from what Rhea herself creates, which is painfully obvious when it is revealed that really Sothis is—in lack of better terms—an alien. And those are her alien children (lol, this makes me giggle). Also funny, because Sothis, Rhea and the others also exhibit tendencies of humans. Arrogance. Hubris. Greed. Wrath. 

I'm not sure why you think I'm okay with experimenting on animals, but .... okay? And also, Sothis has limits to her power as shown. And even when she WAS alive, clearly war and suffering where still very much a part of existence or the war wouldn't have happened in the first place.

But the system was broken. I don't think she bears ALL responsibility for the war, but I think it was only a matter of time before the system broke. In this case, the person who broke the system also happened to believe blood and war was the only solution (which is arguably both rational and evil as well). 

Well its rational and good from her perspective. If we see it from her eyes, why should she view herself or her actions as evil?

Humans in her eyes are evil. We form judgments/beliefs based on our experiences and observing the experiences of others. Conceptually and theoretically not all humans think the same and act the same, but if every experience she has had or observed points to them being violent and dangerous should she not take an attitude of treating them as such until she is proven wrong? Morally you would say no, but in terms of self preservation why should she risk her life and those she cares about on a moral concept that humans are more than the product of their violent nature?

As to the point about beliefs, I'm not stating that Sothis is what God is to us. Merely stating that Rhea creates such religious constructs for her benefit and to perpetuate the union between Feudalism and religion.

As for animal experimentation I was making the point we as humans (not you or I) are able to rationalize it to be moral and just. So its not a stretch for Rhea to also use the same logic and come to the same conclusion to justify her actions.  

The point about Sothis being fallible and not omnipotent does not discount the point about her still being the best ruler in Rhea's eyes. Time manipulation, immortality and the ability to sunder and refrom the land of Fodlan at will makes her a step above all others, that is she is not the perfect ruler but simply better than all the other alternatives. War and suffering would probably still persist under Sothis but do you believe a ruler with less power or more power would be able to alleviate it the most? Even if your answer is no, I want to reiterate the point about how our judgments/beliefs are formed from our experiences. In her life Rhea has seen the rule of strength take those that she cared about, she has also seen it can be wielded to protect those she cared about and it was also the lack of strength that led her to ally with Wilhelm to avenge her family/species. Omnipotence  would be best to protect and propagate her family/species but the next best thing is Sothis, so why is that not an option to strive for?

I do not agree that the system was broken. The system is unjust and unfair and perpetuates tyranny and oppression but it does not mean the system is broken in the sense it cannot persist for say another 1000 years. Countless emperors before Edelgard knew about the failings of the system and the lies it was built upon,  but as long as they did their part in propping up the system it continued to exist. If your point is its inevitable someone like Edelgard would appear, I would counter that her new world order (best real life analogue is the Roman Imperial system) where power is concentrated in one individual is more likely to fall over than Rhea's Fedualism. 

When so much power is concentrated in one place and there is nothing that gives that holder of office legitimacy over another (Feudalism has divine right) besides power and ability it merely incentivizes ambitious individuals to follow Edelgards example, that is to enforce their will and ambition by might. This is not mere conjecture but closely mirrors the events of our real life analgoue the Roman Empire where ambitious individuals destroyed the empire in their pursuit of the Imperial throne. Its even more interesting to note the successor state of the Roman Empire eventually adopted a form of Fedualism  to provide that level of stability that was missing.

 

    

 

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Sorry if the question has been answered before, but did they ever explained who were the demonic beasts used by the empire?

Only in game explanation I remember was Hanneman accusing Empire using war captives for human experiments, but I don't remember in Crimson Flower Edelgard ever explains or defend using them. (We know empire deployed them regardless routes since they first showed up in Holy Tomb)

Did I missed something here or they just completely dodged this question?

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3 hours ago, Nihilem said:

And a move that will backfire quite hard if the truths ever got out. But noone questioned her cunningness. She just no hero but a cunning and sympathic villain.

It's not like the war would go on for a much longer time so when the truth does come out, the lie will already have had run its course. 

Can I still enjoy her for her cunning actions regardless of her morality? 

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You can add me to the "don't like her at all" corner. She simply crosses far too many lines for me to the point I cannot allow myself to like her in good faith.

Really, just the action of setting someone like Bernadetta up to die gives me sufficient reason to hate Edelgard. All the other shit she does is just a bonus.

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Sigh.

Edelgard doesn't set Bernadetta on fire: her tile is literally the only one not lit aflame when that trap occurs.

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The trap still occurs after her death though. So basically Edelgard used poor Bernie as bait so that when she died their enemies could be lit on fire. In other words she used Bernadetta as a suicide bomber. It’s kinda fucked up when you think about it 

Edited by Ottservia

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17 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

The trap still occurs after her death though. So basically Edelgard used poor Bernie as bait so that when she died their enemies could be lit on fire. In other words she used Bernadetta as a suicide bomber. It’s kinda fucked up when you think about it 

And somehow Petra gets to retreat, but Bernedetta doesn't.

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The trap can occur, but I'm not sure what actually triggers it. It certainly isn't Bernie's death: I've seen playthroughs where she's killed and it doesn't happen at all.

It's such a weird gameplay mechanic that I'd just dismiss it outright than use it as Edelgard ammo.

Edited by Crysta

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2 hours ago, Crysta said:

The trap can occur, but I'm not sure what actually triggers it. It certainly isn't Bernie's death: I've seen playthroughs where she's killed and it doesn't happen at all.

It's such a weird gameplay mechanic that I'd just dismiss it outright than use it as Edelgard ammo.

It triggers when the game recognizes the location as "overrun."

Petra will rush to save Bernadetta if you get wyverns there in turn one, although usually I score a dead Bernie by turn one. Once Petra charges the ballista and dies "retreats" Edelgard will set the whole thing on fire as an asset denial strategy, something that has been done in war for thousands of years. If you instead rush Edelgard before any of the previous triggers happen, the game will recognize her position as "completely overrun" and the platform will be set on fire but the trigger is generally set up so that once the Golden Deer/Blue lions have completely swarmed the platform, they'll be wiped out unless your units got to it first. Since a living Bernadetta has no dialogue for the platform going up in flames (to my knowledge) its likely a dev oversight that people come off as intentional. Bernadetta is the Black Eagles Sniper, she's armed to the teeth and has the assassin sneak skill, she's the best unit to put on the ballista and making preparations for losing the ballista as she did in the battle of the eagle and lion is just good tactics.

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12 hours ago, Kiran_ said:

I like how you ask for quotes, then don't provide any in support of why you don't believe those 4 things aren't wrong?

Also, Rhea is the court, judge, jury and executioner, which is a problem in and of itself.

And while I agree Edelgard and Rhea act in similar ways, I don't recall Edelgard creating hosts because she was grieving over the loss of her siblings, lying about and rewriting history to keep humans under her control, or allowing the nobility to be the way they were. I don't understand what's so hard to comprehend about the idea that while you can have two characters that act similarly, their circumstances and actual motives/actions can determine if they end up being a character you like or dislike.

You can love a character and see their flaws and hate a character and see their good points? I've already explained in subsequent posts why I like Edelgard over Rhea, and already explained that I understand they have a lot of similarities as well. But it's the differences that do set them apart and ultimately determine why I fell in love with Edelgard as a character and not Rhea.

What exactly was evil about it? It was just cunning and the smartest move to make. She didn't want to ally with them either, but it was a necessary thing to achieve her goals. Even Hubert explains how painful it was for her to ally with them, but she put the greater good before her own personal feelings. And how is Edelgard the 'true evil' of the game? The closest she gets is the BL path in which I'd agree she is the true evil of that route, but in the other routes, I really wouldn't call her evil. Dictatorial and cunning, sure. Willing to kill anyone who stands in her way, sure. But evil? By whose standards? That's like calling Dimitri evil when he went all bloodthirsty and boar-like and murdered everyone around him. He was misguided and letting his demons win, but I wouldn't call Dimitri evil just because he slaughtered everyone who was getting in his way for revenge. Haha.

There is no problem with Rhea being the court, judge, jury and executioner because this is not a modern Earth society. She is the religious leader in the equivalent of a fantasy medieval society. Even in our "real" history kings and emperors and archbishops historically didn't have a lot (or any) checks on their power. Which is why we don't have very many absolute monarchies ruling things today. Rhea was the absolute monarch of the Church of Seiros but she was definitely not a tyrant, it’s not like she was out committing wanton acts of murder just because people didn't believe in the Goddess. The ones who were executed plotted her assassination, broke into her tomb, assaulted her students and tried to steal literally her mother's remains. Sure they were deceived by TWSITD but they did the crimes and deserved their punishment. 

Also, Rhea created hollow people and tossed Sothis' heart into them to see if it would take. She basically created something from nothing and when Sothis failed to materialize in them they just lived out their lives and when they died, she tried again. Is this a good thing? Obviously not! She said that what she was doing was forbidden but it is very disingenuous to act as if she was conducting some kind of devastating human experimentation. She was not doing a TWSITD on these "creations". The only "human" that we know she did this on was Byleth who was dead.

Yes, Rhea rewrote the history but it had nothing to do with keeping humans under her control. It was to end the war and save what was left of her race. Think about what the true history of Fodlan (at least as much as Rhea knew) is: The Goddess of this world was a super powerful dragon who came from some other world and had a lot of children. The Goddess decided that Fodlan was nice and that she would protect it and started passing out technology to her new people. Of course, the people were not good and used their new toys to wage war on each other which led to the continent being nuked. The Goddess then had to use most of her power to fix the scorched land and afterwards she took a long nap to recover her strength. Unfortunately, while she was sleeping the Goddess was murdered by a bandit named Nemesis who drank her blood to give himself superpowers and took her heart and bones to have them crafted into a weapon of mass destruction. Then, Nemesis and his bandit gang went to the home of the Goddess’ children and slaughtered most of them. All the murdering bandits then drunk the dead dragons’ blood to give themselves superpowers and grabbed the hearts and remains so that they could also have powerful weapons. The remaining handful of the Goddess’ children relocated to the south to plot their revenge on Nemesis and his gang who were using their superpowers to wage war, enrich themselves and have children, passing down their ill-gotten dragon blood to their descendants.  Many years passed and finally the last of the Goddess’ children had gathered enough ambitious humans together to form an army, but the humans needed a little extra help so four of them gave their blood to the humans to wage war. And they won. The End.

Except it would never have been the end! It would have been an unending war on the descendants of the “Elites”, the Nabateans and their allies. They would have been hunted by every enterprising human who wanted their own superpowers, or they would have been hunted by those who saw them as abominations. Chaos and war would have destroyed Fodlan which was the exact opposite of what Sothis, and by extension Rhea, wanted. Yes, a thousand years later (!) Fodlan's society had turned increasingly toxic but that wasn’t Rhea’s intention nor was it her fault. 

I know that Edelgard (because she's been brainwashed virtually since birth) believes that Rhea has been moving humans around on her own personal chessboard for a millennia but we as the game players know that is not true. She leads the Church, which is as Jeralt said, a ridiculously large religious organization but she had no direct power over the nobles and by the time the game starts even her ability to influence them was waning. Let's be real here, she couldn't even get them to agree to let their children live next door to commoners in her own dormitory but she was supposed to be able to tell them how to run their territories! Sure, she could tell them that Sothis would damn them or send her army to smite anyone who got too out of hand but how many times would that work before she would have faced a violent uprising herself. The Church has specific doctrine on how disappointed the Goddess is with humanity's greed and violence, the Church encourages equality and good behavior and the use of power wisely so what else was she supposed to do? Rhea recognizes that there are problems in Fodlan, but she doesn't believe she can do more than she already has to fix them and believes Sothis is the only one who can (& since Byleth becomes Sothis-like, she's right).

I think Rhea is an absolutely fascinating character because she is so supremely damaged and yet all of the pain and suffering that weighs on her is turned mostly inward which leads to some extremely questionable decisions but even at her worst, she’s never evil nor is she a villain. We know that she is ruthless and that any amount of violent provocation will be met with an extreme response, but we also know that she can be very selfless and kind and that she values peace and order above all else (and that's not always a good thing). And that is why parts of her s-support are so sad because she starts to blame herself even for things that are not her fault. 

The flip side of that for me is Edelgard who is also a fascinating character and who is also supremely damaged, but she takes all of her pain and suffering and turns it outward with devastating effects for the entire continent. We know that she is extremely arrogant and values her own ideals above all else including the lives of innocent people and she never changes no matter what route you take in the game. She never acknowledges the failings in her plans or that there were other ways to achieve even better results and she never truly takes blame for what she has done or set in motion. She's a liar and manipulator on a scale even higher than Rhea at her worst and she never changes! The lack of change and self-doubt added to her fascism is why I do consider her a villain, even when playing her own route I kept thinking we're the baddies.

And Arianrhod was the pinnacle of my dislike for Edelgard. There are limits to cunningness and when you step over that line you have basically become worse than whatever it is that you are fighting against. In my mind that was the perfect opportunity for the Empire and Church to come together to fight the much larger evil and the fact that I couldn't just jump off the crazy train totally ruined it for me.

Edited by LilyRose
I can't spell

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22 minutes ago, LilyRose said:

There is no problem with Rhea being the court, judge, jury and executioner because this is not a modern Earth society.

If you are going to play this card, then there is no problem with Edelgard starting a war because Fodlan is not a modern Earth society, but one steeped in constant warfare anyway. Don't play this card.

Rhea's behaviour as a leader is not okay behaviour, and isn't supposed to be read as such. In fact it's extreme enough that a reasonable person might just do something drastic to get rid of her.

 

25 minutes ago, LilyRose said:

And Arianrhod was the pinnacle of my dislike for Edelgard. There are limits to cunningness and when you step over that line you have basically become worse than whatever it is that you are fighting against. In my mind that was the perfect opportunity for the Empire and Church to come together to fight the much larger evil and the fact that I couldn't just jump off the crazy train totally ruined it for me.

It's pretty obvious Edelgard considers the Church at least as evil as the slitherers and plans to defang both, and dealing with Rhea and consolidating power immediately is the best way to do that. (You obviously don't consider Rhea to be evil, but Edelgard does, and on the whole I'm inclined to agree with her. "Evil" is a strong word but "a  profoundly negative influence on Fodlan we would be better off without", yeah I'd go with that.)

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14 hours ago, Kiran_ said:

I like how you ask for quotes, then don't provide any in support of why you don't believe those 4 things aren't wrong?

That is because I first wanted to have a list of charges against Rhea. Like in a real court the prosecuting attorney starts with what acusses the defandant is charged with. Otherwise I have the feeling we are just spinning circles with the same arguments over and over, going through wall of texts and quote wars until someone gets bored. I went to this now multiple times so I want to try a little bit more structured discussion as an experiment to see if it gets a little bit more progression.

So is this the complete list?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

- Creation of Hosts for Sothis

- Executing Criminals without proper Court

- Lying (about history, the nature of Sothis, herself, ...)

- Keeping the Nobility in Power through Inaction and sacral authorisation

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Because then I would organize my argumentation around these topics and fill each point with evidence and quotes where I think Rhea is guilty and where not. I just wanted to make sure that we start with the same fundament we can always fall back to. Because otherwise I have the feeling a discussion will go to nowhere.

 

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I feel Arianrhod being destroyed would be good setup for a few (at least ONE!) chapter(s) where we strike against TWS. I've said it in another topic, but Hubert manages to figure out Shambala's location when they level Fort Merceus in VW route, so we figure it out here, and after Tailtean Plains (Kingdom is basically gone, Church on its last legs) Edelgard decides it's time to deprive TWS of their main base (as a setup for post-war eradication of them) and tells her strike force (and ONLY them as precaution against spies) the truth and the need to eliminate TWS' base. Afterwards, we go finish up the route with the epic confrontation against Rhea in Fhirdiad (which I'm perfectly happy being the end of route battle)

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1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

If you are going to play this card, then there is no problem with Edelgard starting a war because Fodlan is not a modern Earth society, but one steeped in constant warfare anyway. Don't play this card.

Rhea's behaviour as a leader is not okay behaviour, and isn't supposed to be read as such. In fact it's extreme enough that a reasonable person might just do something drastic to get rid of her.

Not really Fodlan doesn't have concept of "right of conquest" and it's thanks teaching of Seiros this continent has fairly modern view of morality. Everyone(Eldegard included) knows war is bad. 

Rhea executing terrorists without court in other hand is not matter of morality, but legality. Judgement was passed  according to system that was in established to do exactly that. We currently have better system, but that doesn't mean previous forms were wrong. 

Edited by Tenzen12

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3 hours ago, LilyRose said:

There is no problem with Rhea being the court, judge, jury and executioner because this is not a modern Earth society. She is the religious leader in the equivalent of a fantasy medieval society. Even in our "real" history kings and emperors and archbishops historically didn't have a lot (or any) checks on their power. Which is why we don't have very many absolute monarchies ruling things today. Rhea was the absolute monarch of the Church of Seiros but she was definitely not a tyrant, it’s not like she was out committing wanton acts of murder just because people didn't believe in the Goddess. The ones who were executed plotted her assassination, broke into her tomb, assaulted her students and tried to steal literally her mother's remains. Sure they were deceived by TWSITD but they did the crimes and deserved their punishment. 

Also, Rhea created hollow people and tossed Sothis' heart into them to see if it would take. She basically created something from nothing and when Sothis failed to materialize in them they just lived out their lives and when they died, she tried again. Is this a good thing? Obviously not! She said that what she was doing was forbidden but it is very disingenuous to act as if she was conducting some kind of devastating human experimentation. She was not doing a TWSITD on these "creations". The only "human" that we know she did this on was Byleth who was dead.

Yes, Rhea rewrote the history but it had nothing to do with keeping humans under her control. It was to end the war and save what was left of her race. Think about what the true history of Fodlan (at least as much as Rhea knew) is: The Goddess of this world was a super powerful dragon who came from some other world and had a lot of children. The Goddess decided that Fodlan was nice and that she would protect it and started passing out technology to her new people. Of course, the people were not good and used their new toys to wage war on each other which led to the continent being nuked. The Goddess then had to use most of her power to fix the scorched land and afterwards she took a long nap to recover her strength. Unfortunately, while she was sleeping the Goddess was murdered by a bandit named Nemesis who drank her blood to give himself superpowers and took her heart and bones to have them crafted into a weapon of mass destruction. Then, Nemesis and his bandit gang went to the home of the Goddess’ children and slaughtered most of them. All the murdering bandits then drunk the dead dragons’ blood to give themselves superpowers and grabbed the hearts and remains so that they could also have powerful weapons. The remaining handful of the Goddess’ children relocated to the south to plot their revenge on Nemesis and his gang who were using their superpowers to wage war, enrich themselves and have children, passing down their ill-gotten dragon blood to their descendants.  Many years passed and finally the last of the Goddess’ children had gathered enough ambitious humans together to form an army, but the humans needed a little extra help so four of them gave their blood to the humans to wage war. And they won. The End.

Except it would never have been the end! It would have been an unending war on the descendants of the “Elites”, the Nabateans and their allies. They would have been hunted by every enterprising human who wanted their own superpowers, or they would have been hunted by those who saw them as abominations. Chaos and war would have destroyed Fodlan which was the exact opposite of what Sothis, and by extension Rhea, wanted. Yes, a thousand years later (!) Fodlan's society had turned increasingly toxic but that wasn’t Rhea’s intention nor was it her fault. 

I know that Edelgard (because she's been brainwashed virtually since birth) believes that Rhea has been moving humans around on her own personal chessboard for a millennia but we as the game players know that is not true. She leads the Church, which is as Jeralt said, a ridiculously large religious organization but she had no direct power over the nobles and by the time the game starts even her ability to influence them was waning. Let's be real here, she couldn't even get them to agree to let their children live next door to commoners in her own dormitory but she was supposed to be able to tell them how to run their territories! Sure, she could tell them that Sothis would damn them or send her army to smite anyone who got too out of hand but how many times would that work before she would have faced a violent uprising herself. The Church has specific doctrine on how disappointed the Goddess is with humanity's greed and violence, the Church encourages equality and good behavior and the use of power wisely so what else was she supposed to do? Rhea recognizes that there are problems in Fodlan, but she doesn't believe she can do more than she already has to fix them and believes Sothis is the only one who can (& since Byleth becomes Sothis-like, she's right).

I think Rhea is an absolutely fascinating character because she is so supremely damaged and yet all of the pain and suffering that weighs on her is turned mostly inward which leads to some extremely questionable decisions but even at her worst, she’s never evil nor is she a villain. We know that she is ruthless and that any amount of violent provocation will be met with an extreme response, but we also know that she can be very selfless and kind and that she values peace and order above all else (and that's not always a good thing). And that is why parts of her s-support are so sad because she starts to blame herself even for things that are not her fault. 

The flip side of that for me is Edelgard who is also a fascinating character and who is also supremely damaged, but she takes all of her pain and suffering and turns it outward with devastating effects for the entire continent. We know that she is extremely arrogant and values her own ideals above all else including the lives of innocent people and she never changes no matter what route you take in the game. She never acknowledges the failings in her plans or that there were other ways to achieve even better results and she never truly takes blame for what she has done or set in motion. She's a liar and manipulator on a scale even higher than Rhea at her worst and she never changes! The lack of change and self-doubt added to her fascism is why I do consider her a villain, even when playing her own route I kept thinking we're the baddies.

I agree with most of this. Both of them are fascinating because they are so damaged and deal with that in different, extreme ways. Morally ambiguous characters usually spark debate, which is a good thing. People should always question and talk about morality and motives. Edelgard and Rhea mostly feel like genuine people who have gone through terrible things and are just trying to cope while also change society to what they think is best (Edel) or keep things mostly peaceful (Rhea).

If I really think on it, Edelgard strikes me as someone who is desperately trying to reach the light at the end of a dark tunnel. After losing her ten siblings to experimentation by TWSITD and suffering ill-effects from that, she wants to make the continent a better place where things like that never happen to anyone else. Problem is, she allies with the people who did that to her (even if she was planning on betraying them later), starts a world war without regard to people trampled along the way, and doesn't accept any other alternative. Why? It's hinted that she has a shortened lifespan like Lysithea, so she wants her change now. That leads to making risky, rash, and immoral decisions no matter the route (turning into a monster in BL is a prime example along with lying about the missile strike in BE). It's really sad. She keeps running to that light while slipping in puddles of her own making. 

I honestly think 3H is one of the best FE games because of the quality of the characters and world building. I'm constantly being blown away by the details every time I pick up the game.

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3 hours ago, LilyRose said:

There is no problem with Rhea being the court, judge, jury and executioner because this is not a modern Earth society. She is the religious leader in the equivalent of a fantasy medieval society. Even in our "real" history kings and emperors and archbishops historically didn't have a lot (or any) checks on their power. Which is why we don't have very many absolute monarchies ruling things today. Rhea was the absolute monarch of the Church of Seiros but she was definitely not a tyrant, it’s not like she was out committing wanton acts of murder just because people didn't believe in the Goddess. The ones who were executed plotted her assassination, broke into her tomb, assaulted her students and tried to steal literally her mother's remains. Sure they were deceived by TWSITD but they did the crimes and deserved their punishment. 

 

Not wrong, except every time the class is rather spooked by these executions. That does seem to hint for me that Fodlan's society hasn't the degree of engrained violence which would make the way she executed them all as that acceptable.

 

3 hours ago, LilyRose said:

Yes, Rhea rewrote the history but it had nothing to do with keeping humans under her control. It was to end the war and save what was left of her race. Think about what the true history of Fodlan (at least as much as Rhea knew) is: The Goddess of this world was a super powerful dragon who came from some other world and had a lot of children. The Goddess decided that Fodlan was nice and that she would protect it and started passing out technology to her new people. Of course, the people were not good and used their new toys to wage war on each other which led to the continent being nuked. The Goddess then had to use most of her power to fix the scorched land and afterwards she took a long nap to recover her strength. Unfortunately, while she was sleeping the Goddess was murdered by a bandit named Nemesis who drank her blood to give himself superpowers and took her heart and bones to have them crafted into a weapon of mass destruction. Then, Nemesis and his bandit gang went to the home of the Goddess’ children and slaughtered most of them. All the murdering bandits then drunk the dead dragons’ blood to give themselves superpowers and grabbed the hearts and remains so that they could also have powerful weapons. The remaining handful of the Goddess’ children relocated to the south to plot their revenge on Nemesis and his gang who were using their superpowers to wage war, enrich themselves and have children, passing down their ill-gotten dragon blood to their descendants.  Many years passed and finally the last of the Goddess’ children had gathered enough ambitious humans together to form an army, but the humans needed a little extra help so four of them gave their blood to the humans to wage war. And they won. The End. 

 

The 'rewrite' might have been her choice of tool here, buuuuut... Personal reflexion here, but that looks llike a downward spiral to me, and a bloody one. She built her order on that lie, and that means upholding that lie at all costs, so I guess the scholars chancing upon the truth for a reason or another accross the centuries had to be... dealt with, because once one lie is spotted, one search for others, and th whole structure ends up unraveling. And I can just bet the Agarthans are spreading 'old scrolls' probably full of these sorts of revelations around, because that looks like an easy method for sowing dissent by seeding this 'forbidden lore'.

 

Oh and GD route, once freed, first answer? Try to bullshit again. Claude has to get the answers out with a bloody pincers, and only got the bare minimum before the humble crow pie is fully eaten after Shambhalla. Rhea is just as much as a control freak than Edelgard can be, and these tendancies are far worst on an immortal ruling for centuries.

 

And honestly... Personal headcanon, but I wonder just how many Lonatos got crushed without a mention in the centuries this all took. Yes, this is much further playing scalpel here, but my line of thinking is 'First step is the easiest one', and 'An history of no one defying the Church gives an impression of invulnerability helping a lot'. And my guess is that she also had to write with a scalpel where the Agarthans were concerned, because I refuse to believe they only cropt up recently. To reach their point of power in-game, you are looking at a very long-term infiltration, and Rhea/Seiros both knows that these duckers survived Mama Sothis' wrath and uplifted Nemesis, I refuse to believe she would be so incompetent that to do nothing knowing the Agarthans are lurking in the shadows to rock her boat. She clearly failed since they have that grip now, but I refuse to believe she let them do anything they wanted for centuries.

 

3 hours ago, LilyRose said:

Yes, a thousand years later (!) Fodlan's society had turned increasingly toxic but that wasn’t Rhea’s intention nor was it her fault. 

 

You're right, it probably was not her intention. But she still has a responsability, because she is the immortal dragon who decided to rule that continent. And yes, that's ruling, from the moment she decided to impose herself peace and order to Fodlan. From that moment, she ruled, albeit with her own tools. And it made her accountable for the failures of her ruling, aka that growing toxicity an immortal should have spotted along the centuries, because that's certainly not a 'one-day' thing, and nipped in the bud a long time ago.

 

3 hours ago, LilyRose said:

 

I know that Edelgard (because she's been brainwashed virtually since birth) believes that Rhea has been moving humans around on her own personal chessboard for a millennia but we as the game players know that is not true. She leads the Church, which is as Jeralt said, a ridiculously large religious organization but she had no direct power over the nobles and by the time the game starts even her ability to influence them was waning. Let's be real here, she couldn't even get them to agree to let their children live next door to commoners in her own dormitory but she was supposed to be able to tell them how to run their territories! Sure, she could tell them that Sothis would damn them or send her army to smite anyone who got too out of hand but how many times would that work before she would have faced a violent uprising herself. The Church has specific doctrine on how disappointed the Goddess is with humanity's greed and violence, the Church encourages equality and good behavior and the use of power wisely so what else was she supposed to do? Rhea recognizes that there are problems in Fodlan, but she doesn't believe she can do more than she already has to fix them and believes Sothis is the only one who can (& since Byleth becomes Sothis-like, she's right).

 

Okay, I have to ask, where does exactly come the idea that Edelgard got her knowledge of Fodlan's situation from the Agarthans? Because everyone agrees she has trust issues (they are at the heart of the problem)... And then everyone says that she trusts the mole people who her open for Crest implentation and butchered her siblings, and the ones she very much plans on betraying the moent the thing she sees as the biggest monster (Rhea) is down. Just. Why?

 

Regarding Rhea, I would like to point out things like Canossa and the general history Popes/ HRE emperors. And remind people that the pope did all of that without his own armed forces. And for me, the loss of influence of the Church and its splitting off is more a sign of her rule failing that the fact she 'could not'. She decided to rule Fodlan using the pope card, as a supreme moral authority, she totally should have been condamning the seeds of these abuses as they cropt up. especially when her own core mythos is all about 'Bad Crest users get sword to the face'. She didn't enforce her Creed, so from that first step on abuse came the rest of the rot cascading down. And heck, medieval periods, the Church was probably the one educating these nobles and she failed to use that tool to kill the problem in the egg, even before Officiers' Academy. And the statu quo she enforced kept breaking down with each new war, with new kingdoms, loss of control of Church branches...

 

And on another note... I think her growing obsession with resurrecting Mama was Rhea being intellectually aware that she was failing, but because of her 'Only Mama knows better' mentality, she went with that resurrection gamble, and while she kept wishing for that critical, the rot kept spreading and breaking things... Sorry, but she is totally accountable for this shit (and on another note, Byleth stays their own person until the end, which does bring the lie to the idea only Sothis could do that. And it is just as good. The idea a continent can only work thanks to one person and only one accross the millenia is frankly depressing).

 

 

3 hours ago, LilyRose said:

The lack of change and self-doubt added to her fascism is why I do consider her a villain, even when playing her own route I kept thinking we're the baddies. 

 

More of a PS, but double standards, much? If Rhea executing people is 'Medieval society', and it is, Taxing Edelgard of fascism is also wildly anachronic.

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14 minutes ago, Hardric62 said:

 

Not wrong, except every time the class is rather spooked by these executions. That does seem to hint for me that Fodlan's society hasn't the degree of engrained violence which would make the way she executed them all as that acceptable.

 

I wouldnt say that. From the A-Support between Edelgard and Hubert we know that the adrestian emperor has the right to execute everyone (with official duties) which refuses to obey to his/her orders. Therefore, I cannot imagine that attempted murder of a political leader will be punished with anything less.

That the students are spooked by this is most likely because they not often witness these judgements. I mean for example in some states of America there is death penalty till today. But if you take a random class from these states and let them actually witness the execution there also will be spooked by it.

 

Edited by Nihilem

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