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What are your thoughts on Edelgard? *SPOILERS*

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2 hours ago, Hekselka said:

I still need to complete GD so for now I'll take your word for it (140 hours in and only 2 routes completed, not even reached the GD timeskip, god this game is long). Even then Edelgard still pushes Claude very hard on the war offensive which shows that she's really competent. 

I did complete the BE and BL routes. She's definitely better than Dimitri, his breakdown while understandable is something a ruler has no need off, especially not in a time when your country is in great peril.

Well Edelgard broke down long time ago. Dimitri at least got over that eventually, Eldegard did not.

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On the history thing. I don't think it doesn't reveal the whole truth. Like, I mean, I don't think there'd be a 5th path that revealed the whole thing. Maybe extra snippets but not a whole other version.  I'm pretty sure that's what the GD path is. Otherwise there'd be no point to it. I'm curious as to why you guys think the GD isn't just the whole truth? 

Spoiler

It would make no sense for Els version of  history to be true. For one, there's almost no details and it's very vague. Also it's told by those who hate Rhea and want the empire to wage war against her. It's also never mentioned elsewhere on any route and directly contradicts what we know. It also makes perfect sense for Edelgard to believe she's the only one who knows the truth and is "liberating" the people. She lacks self awareness and is unable to break out of her own delusions and see the bigger picture after all.

 Whereas the GD info matches perfectly with what we know from the mentions of history and the flashback at the beginning along with Sothis's talk of the red canyon in her gaiden. Even Eddies uncle mentions Nemisis being a thief, hinting he knows the truth. I mean does Rhea saying "You took everything I loved" make any sense in the BE ver? No, but it fits perfectly with the GD. And Rhea was there so. 

And as others say, Sothis is clearly nothing like they describe. Secondly. Claude's has a lot of detail and as his is the route in pursuit of the whole truth, it wouldn't make sense if they didn't reveal it. That's why I think the ending of the BE is what it is. Not to mention the humans starting wars and then turning on the heavens fits TWSITD's actions whereas the other is classic manipulation tactics to get someone to do your work for you.  

Byleth losing Sothis powers, not only because El is trying to rid the world of her power, but Byleth going against what Sothis would wish as she clearly was against the war. And I think it's fitting that because of that, his connection to her was severed forever. 

Also where does it say ever, that the church is responsible for the crest thing? I thought it was TWSITD and the more twisted nobles.  They mention they're powerful relics and not to misuse them, but they don't say to define people by them. Felix says he was raised to be strong, a crest meant nothing if you couldn't swing a sword. He also mentioned- everyone in his area was raised like that. Sylvain says the opposite so it seems to be up to the nobles themselves. I never saw the church encourage that and Seteth is against that view.  Anyway,  how does inventing communism fix it?  A classless system with a supreme ruler. Perfect. Really. 

And if I hear one more word about killing non believers, I'm gonna lose it. She employs several in her knights after all. They punish those who turn against them. Extreme yes, but are they supposed to just roll over and die? Also ruling the world? She was gonna turn the position over to Byleth. Rhea has problems, but she ain't evil. she only loses it after a massive betrayal, similar to Dimitri on one route. She steps down willingly and peacefully otherwise. Unlike a certain someone who makes it clear that the only way to end the war is to kill her. 

It seems El is just directing her anger at them unjustly because of those who slither manipulating her just like they did with Lonato and the western church. It's sad she never learns the truth and lives in a world of delusion. Ironic that she thinks that of Dimitri. Actually, I never noticed it but it really is. She says he's obsessed with her in his delusion and yet she's the same with Rhea. 

And of course, Dimis breakdown was bad, they all acknowledge it and were helping him through it. Actually Rhea too, church route. Els the one who doesn't. That's why she's worse. She never reforms or recovers. 

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Just now, Tenzen12 said:

Well Edelgard broke down long time ago. Dimitri at least got over that eventually, Eldegard did not.

That too, it's just that Edelgard is able to keep most of her emotions on her sleeve.

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Just now, Zelda2120 said:

It seems El is just directing her anger at them unjustly because of those who slither manipulating her just like they did with Lonato and the western church. It's sad she never learns the truth and lives in a world of delusion. Ironic that she thinks that of Dimitri. Actually, I never noticed it but it really is. She says he's obsessed with her in his delusion and yet she's the same with Rhea. 

And of course, Dimis breakdown was bad, they all acknowledge it and were helping him through it. Actually Rhea too, church route. Els the one who doesn't. That's why she's worse. She never reforms or recovers. 

Yup Edelgard sure shows irony.

  • Her strong attachment to Byleth began when they saved her at the beginning of the story from a bandit. A bandit whom, unbeknownst to them, was hired by Edelgard herself as part of her plan to assassinate both Dimitri and Claude.
  • On the Golden Deer route, she declares that Claude has no right to change Fódlan due to having insufficient knowledge of Fódlan's history of suffering, yet she herself has a very ignorant and biased view of their history, which she obtained from knowledge passed down from emperor to emperor from her ancestor which conveniently left out how Nemesis was a bandit who committed genocide on the Children of the Goddess, consumed those they slaughtered for power, and pilfered the grave of the Goddess.
  • In her own route, she bemoans how her enemies refuse to surrender, fight to the last, and then surrender regardless anyways, not understanding why they wouldn't go for the more peaceful option if the result of surrender was the same. In the other two routes, she dies after stubbornly refusing to surrender when the chance is offered to her.

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5 minutes ago, AbsoluteZer0Nova said:

Yup Edelgard sure shows irony.

  • Her strong attachment to Byleth began when they saved her at the beginning of the story from a bandit. A bandit whom, unbeknownst to them, was hired by Edelgard herself as part of her plan to assassinate both Dimitri and Claude.
  • On the Golden Deer route, she declares that Claude has no right to change Fódlan due to having insufficient knowledge of Fódlan's history of suffering, yet she herself has a very ignorant and biased view of their history, which she obtained from knowledge passed down from emperor to emperor from her ancestor which conveniently left out how Nemesis was a bandit who committed genocide on the Children of the Goddess, consumed those they slaughtered for power, and pilfered the grave of the Goddess.
  • In her own route, she bemoans how her enemies refuse to surrender, fight to the last, and then surrender regardless anyways, not understanding why they wouldn't go for the more peaceful option if the result of surrender was the same. In the other two routes, she dies after stubbornly refusing to surrender when the chance is offered to her.

In a way, this is part of why I have little intention of replaying Edelgard's route anytime soon, because it's the route that actually tries to feed you misinformation. Edelgard is completely off in regards to Fodlan's history, directing every problem at Seiros/Rhea when it really wasn't just her that was a problem.

Now that's not to say I think Edelgard is badly written. If anything, I think this sort of discussion actually shows they wrote a compelling character, but as you said, her situation is very ironic.

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18 minutes ago, Sentinel07 said:

In a way, this is part of why I have little intention of replaying Edelgard's route anytime soon, because it's the route that actually tries to feed you misinformation. Edelgard is completely off in regards to Fodlan's history, directing every problem at Seiros/Rhea when it really wasn't just her that was a problem.

Now that's not to say I think Edelgard is badly written. If anything, I think this sort of discussion actually shows they wrote a compelling character, but as you said, her situation is very ironic.

Yeah same here, I like the path more so just because it's the 1st time we're playing as the Hardin, Arvis, Walhart that wins at the end of the day so it's a interesting new perspective.

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This conversation is especially really bad on the morality spectrum for Edelgard because here Dimitri is more sane than he was in BL until he gets his redemption scene (here he has his friends with him and didn't endure the loneliness that he did in his path) and she's basically trying to find fault with him DEFENDING HIS COUNTRY his moral obligation like what the heck Edelgard?

Edited by AbsoluteZer0Nova

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5 minutes ago, AbsoluteZer0Nova said:

Yup Edelgard sure shows irony.

  • Her strong attachment to Byleth began when they saved her at the beginning of the story from a bandit. A bandit whom, unbeknownst to them, was hired by Edelgard herself as part of her plan to assassinate both Dimitri and Claude.
  • On the Golden Deer route, she declares that Claude has no right to change Fódlan due to having insufficient knowledge of Fódlan's history of suffering, yet she herself has a very ignorant and biased view of their history, which she obtained from knowledge passed down from emperor to emperor from her ancestor which conveniently left out how Nemesis was a bandit who committed genocide on the Children of the Goddess, consumed those they slaughtered for power, and pilfered the grave of the Goddess.
  • In her own route, she bemoans how her enemies refuse to surrender, fight to the last, and then surrender regardless anyways, not understanding why they wouldn't go for the more peaceful option if the result of surrender was the same. In the other two routes, she dies after stubbornly refusing to surrender when the chance is offered to her.

Right? The last one is especially bad on the BL route where 

Spoiler

she spits on Dimitris offer of peace and has the nerve to try and kill him with his gift to her.

TBH I'm so glad Byleth was far less hesitant to fight El on that route. It's my own personal canon one after all. Like she supports Dimi's wish for peace but has a firm resolve to do as they must. Whereas the others, she's like I don't want to fight her- constantly. And I'm like, come on girl, I get you used to be her teacher but no. Actually the GD route was really hard, just cause I wasn't on the BL side and Byleth wasn't there to help them. Too painful.

Also claiming Rhea's a monster for not evacuating the capital citizens but she does the same thing on GD? 

Or talking of innocents caught up in suffering because of the church and then starting a war, even thinking she has the right to decide which lives weigh more. 

 

Also question, I've seen enough of her route to last a lifetime, but what do you think of the claim that she is better on her own route? Or that Byleth reins her in and prevents her from becoming a conqueror? Is there something I'm missing about her actions there? Cause I just can't see it.  She confides in him, but it seems she doesn't actually do different then the other routes? Like her convo with Dimitri? She actually tries to justify herself like THAT? 

Like Els interesting. A good villain, but as a person, I can't stand her. 

On that note though, do you think that's why crestless people turn into monsters when wielding a relic? Like if they have the blood of the dragon, it would recognize them as its owner right? Whereas otherwise, it punishes them for trying to wield such power? I'm just thinking FE4 where the weapons were given as a result of a covenant with the dragons and nothing happened if someone else tried to used them. They just wouldn't be able to. Or did it mention something else and I just didn't notice? 

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@Zelda2120 Yeah I believe that's meant to be the case for those that didn't inherit crests as not being compatible with when using a relic. Probably something like the power that flows through when using a relic is what triggers it and if you don't have a crest your body can't handle the stress of the relic in like a wave length sorta way.

 

Also I do happen to like the BL ending for Dimitri and Edelgard because it has multiple layers of depth to it as Dimitri reaches out his hand to a fallen state Edelgard as Byleth did for him when he was in a fallen state. However the tragedy in it is that in regards to the dagger when Edelgard remembers Dimitri's words to her as children about using this dagger to carve a future for herself no matter what and to not give in has double meaning as the dagger represents hope and resolve for Edelgard in continuing to live on no matter the struggles she endures but to not accept loss and waver from the future she's seeking out. Young Dimitri saved her, but he tragically also doomed her too with those very words and so when she doesn't accept Dimitri's offer of peace it's also because she desires suicide by cop as she's far too gone in blood in trying to realize her dream and to accept Dimitri's hand would be to spit on the graves she has piled up on her path for a better world. Just like how for example Malos from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 says words can be a curse.

The conversation between Dimitri and Edelgard is way better than the one that Alm and Celica had in their differences. 18:07

 

 

Edited by AbsoluteZer0Nova

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2 minutes ago, AbsoluteZer0Nova said:

@Zelda2120 Yeah I believe that's meant to be the case for those that didn't inherit crests as not being compatible with when using a relic. Probably something like the power that flows through when using a relic is what triggers it and if you don't have a crest your body can't handle the stress of the relic in like a wave length sorta way.

 

Also I do happen to like the BL ending for Dimitri and Edelgard because it has multiple layers of depth to it as Dimitri reaches out his hand to a fallen state Edelgard as Byleth did for him when he was in a fallen state. However the tragedy in it is that in regards to the dagger when Edelgard remembers Dimitri's words to her a children about using this dagger to carve a future for herself no matter what and to not give in has double meaning as the dagger represents hope and resolve for Edelgard in continuing to live on no matter the struggles she endures but to not accept loss and waver from the future she's seeking out. Young Dimitri saved her, but he tragically also doomed her too with those very words and so when she doesn't accept Dimitri's offer of peace it's also because she desires suicide by cop as she's far too gone in blood in trying to realize her dream and to accept Dimitri's hand would be to spit on the graves she has piled up on her path for a better world.

The conversation between between Dimitri and Edelgard is way better than the one that Alm and Celica had in their differences. 18:07

 

 

Oh, I don't disagree. I think it's a very fitting and indeed, inevitable ending for that route and cruel fate those two share. It really is impossible for them to coexist, they've changed too much-as Dimitri says.

 I just meant I dislike her actions as a person. 

As for Alm and Celica, I agree, but that's because their fate is the opposite of these two. I mean, you couldn't have a conversation like Dimi/El and reconcile it with echoes ending.  Or vice versa. As you know- Strength vs compassion when you need both was the point of gaiden. Though honestly, I didn't get why they were fighting. Like, I sort of do but it seemed more just so they were split up. Whereas here, one couldn't accept a future built on corpses and one couldn't accept the present. You can't really have both after all. 

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7 hours ago, Tenzen12 said:

Well, Stalin did what he did because he believed in better society just like Eldegard. 

And Hitler solved massive poverty in Germany, plus he managed divert all hate on racial minority. Replace jews with dragons... 

That is a really unfair comparison.

Even before Stalin came to power, there was a lot of debates on what is the true nature of socialism within Russia and certainly among the communists (e.g. Mensheviks vs Bolsheviks). Leninism was already found on cynicism and opportunism, and Lenin's doctrine led to the purging the true idealists (by framing them as anti-revolutionists). So the short answer is no, neither Lenin nor worse Stalin truly believed in communist ideals a la Marxist when they came to power.

And directly comparing Edelgard with Hitler cannot be more mistaken. Edelgard's political objective is to take out the system of crest and topple the theocracy that was built on heaps of lies. There is no evidence at all indicating Edelgard's ideal has anything to do with manakete being a race that must be erased from the ideal society. This is in stark contrast with Hitler's policy on prosecuting (and eventually exterminating) the Jews, and constantly spreading propaganda (including influencing academia) to justify their actions (the church is doing some thought control in a similar way though.

The more appropriate comparison is between El and Napoleon. 

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This conversation is especially really bad on the morality spectrum for Edelgard because here Dimitri is more sane than he was in BL until he gets his redemption scene (here he has his friends with him and didn't endure the loneliness that he did in his path) and she's basically trying to find fault with him DEFENDING HIS COUNTRY his moral obligation like what the heck Edelgard?

Didn't Dimitri just turned his follower into demonic beasts a little earlier? He does not have either legitimacy (defending an outdated corrupt system) or moral high ground in this conversation. And since they were having war with one another, I don't see how this particular conversation paint Edelgard as the villain.

Almost every historical victory is built on corpses and tears. Take allies victory in WWII as an example, two atomic bombs, napalms on Japanese cities, rape of Berlin etc. War (and revolution) is ugly, just or not.

Edited by matchalatte

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3 minutes ago, matchalatte said:

Didn't Dimitri just turned his follower into demonic beasts a little earlier?

From what I heard, nope. Dedue did it without telling Dimitri.

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8 minutes ago, matchalatte said:

That is a really unfair comparison.

Even before Stalin came to power, there was a lot of debates on what is the true nature of socialism within Russia and certainly among the communists (e.g. Mensheviks vs Bolsheviks). Leninism was already found on cynicism and opportunism, and Lenin's doctrine led to the purging the true idealists (by framing them as anti-revolutionists). So the short answer is no, neither Lenin nor worse Stalin truly believed in communist ideals a la Marxist when they came to power.

And directly comparing Edelgard with Hitler cannot be more mistaken. Edelgard's political objective is to take out the system of crest and topple the theocracy that was built on heaps of lies. There is no evidence at all indicating Edelgard's ideal has anything to do with manakete being a race that must be erased from the ideal society. This is in stark contrast with Hitler's policy on prosecuting (and eventually exterminating) the Jews, and constantly spreading propaganda (including influencing academia) to justify their actions (the church is doing some thought control in a similar way though.

The more appropriate comparison is between El and Napoleon. 

I don't want to say too much about the history, but...

An interesting fact is that the gatekeeper will flee off the empire in the BE route because he is a pious believer. In other routes, a monk will come and thank you for restoring the monastery and letting her being able to return to it. She also tells you that in these five years she needs to hide from the imperial army and lives a underground life. So it seems that Edelgard has some persecution policy based on religious identity( tbf she might be okay with those who believe in the goddess but against the church, but she seems completely intolerant toward any church member) . In her ending, the game clearly states that the church of seiros disappeared forever. Although it is very vague, I highly doubt that one can make the major religion disappear just by killing the archbishop and telling all the member of churches ”don't believe it” and they all willingly give up their beliefs peacefully. 

Also, she is cooperating with people who are doing human experiments, and benefits a lot from their research results by having an army including the Crest beasts (As far as I know, the game never tell us that whether those Crest beasts in her army are soldiers or villagers/common people, and whether they are willing to be turned into the beasts or not. But judging from the fact she is cooperating with TWSITD, it looks very suspicious. ) In other routes she directly commands the Crest beast army to attack the monastery.

So she is starting a war with an army including human beings being turned into irreparable beasts alive as a weapon to fight, which could be closed to the level of some of the war crimes against humanity, if those are really common people and they are unwillingly turned into the beast. 

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Reading through the posts here, but I'd like to put down my own thoughts as someone who went in with my first route as Black Eagle and NOT getting a positive impression of her.

It took every fiber of my being to not choose the Church route when faced with her betrayal in the Tomb, and it was just because I didn't want to lose her and Hubert as units that I went down the Crimson path.

That whole scene revealed to me that she does not genuinely care for her peers nor the professor. She literally commands her forces to kill anyone who stops her, without providing so much as an explanation for her former allies as to why they should stand down. She claims, if you attack her, that she doesn't want to kill any of you, but it doesn't change the fact that you and any of them could still die, and she didn't even try to prevent this situation other than using bandits to kill innocent nobles to rally the other countries to initiate the war on her behalf.

That's the main issue with her, although there are many. I'm not given any sufficient reasoning for why war is the only way to make the world better in terms of crests and their relationship with politics. She is a TEENAGER, not even emperor yet, engaging in assassination attempts, and makes preparations for war, without even attempting peaceful reform on the throne. War is a last resort option, but for her it was her first decree as Emperor.

Not to mention aiding terrorists, the same people that are the source of her trauma, which she is entirely aware of; the justification being she is using them against the Church that is the source of why people care about Crests in the first place. Sure, Rhea and the Church have major issues, but compared to Those Who Slither in the Dark, practically a death cult with no redeeming qualities, the Church actually does some good and has good people trying to make the world better. Whether or not she intends to destroy them afterwards, call me crazy but I think her priorities are bizarrely backwards here... shouldn't the CHURCH be the one saved for later?

The Fodlan world isn't perfect, but she invites far more bloodshed than there is in the world, and intends to replace suppressed individuals and resentful masses with... suppressed conquered people, and families, common and noble alike, feeling resentment for their losses in the war. All for what... to FORCE people to not value crests? When generations have been founded in the faith, families having been heavily invested in them, such an ingrained value system won't change overnight out of fear. It's not an organic change in belief. War can be justified, but for the sake of ideals... it's results would be brittle at best, backfiring at worst.

Her methodology has been excused because she may not live long due to being experimented on like Lysithea. She's taking the theoretically quickest path to change so she can be around for it. Yet... this is a fundamentally selfish desire, one that is quite bad if the price to be paid for her haste is the lives of thousands of people. This is, again, assuming cutting corners for change will actually establish genuine change.

I've also heard that she has trust issues, and that is why she doesn't try to not kill anyone in her way... which is pretty baffling because that obviously makes her the least trust worthy.

The professors and the house leaders are all sympathetic towards the plight of crests. Changing things is something nearly everyone would have agreed upon, but she doesn't extend a hand but rather an axe. This is all in her own route. She isn't "nicer" in the others as one would expect.

I'm not saying she is evil incarnate, nor a terrible character, etc. but... I'm definitely not a fan.

Edited by Holder of the Heel

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@MrPerson0 @matchalatte

Yeah Dimitri didn't approve of it. Dedue did it on his own because it was what he thought was their only way to achieve victory and when Dedue does the very same thing for himself in becoming a beast this is what Dimitri says in a sad tone when he dies. 

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Edited by AbsoluteZer0Nova

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55 minutes ago, matchalatte said:

Didn't Dimitri just turned his follower into demonic beasts a little earlier? He does not have either legitimacy (defending an outdated corrupt system) or moral high ground in this conversation. And since they were having war with one another, I don't see how this particular conversation paint Edelgard as the villain.

Almost every historical victory is built on corpses and tears. Take allies victory in WWII as an example, two atomic bombs, napalms on Japanese cities, rape of Berlin etc. War (and revolution) is ugly, just or not.

There are some major differences between those two, though. Most importantly, Dimitri did not do it and he is unaware of it till the last moment. Dedue gave those soldiers Crest stones. And it is clearly states that soldiers are voluntarily to turn themselves into the beast because they believe that's the only way (not to say it is a good thing). If they lose this battle, the empire are going to succeed in invading the capital of Kingdom and the Kingdom will be wiped out from the history (as in BE ending shows). So what those soldiers do are more out of desperation and in the belief that they are sacrificing themselves in an honourable way (not to say it is good, again).

While for Edelgard, the game does not inform us where these beasts in her army come from. They might be volunteers, maybe not. But considered the length they existed in her army, she must acknowledge it and allow it. And she directly attack the monastery with it( in other routes), benefiting from the fact that it is a powerful weapon against Rhea. And she as the Flame emperor goes to the Holy Tomb and commanding her soilders to grab the Crest stone. 

I also don't think Dimitri is intentional to 'defend an outdated corrupt system'. Dimitri get his own problems, but he and church is more like cooperators with a mutual enemy rather than one defending the other. His main aim here is defending the Kingdom which does give him a little bit of legitimacy. And I think 'they were at war with each other' is not a very accurate description. More like 'She is claiming the war on two other countries and the church'. 

And you are right, war is ugly. But that's why other lords at least have moral high ground on this issue (Though I do think on other issues she might be morally better). They are not the one who starts an unnecessary war, she is. 

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@Holder of the HeelIn her ending, the game clearly states that the church of seiros disappeared forever.

I do think your theory that she will prosecute the church members is plausible. Make no mistaken, it is ambiguous whether El will become a tyrant later or not and she is definitely the type that will rule with an iron fist. But if we look at the BE ending narrative she indeed succeed in her political/social reform and stepped down as promised. By historical standard, this already make her on par with the greats (crude reference: Augustus, Alexander, Washington, etc.)

Another two main points of contention are 1. her use of (and weaponization of) beast form (in non BE routes in which her position was much weaker); 2. her temporary alliance with TWSITD.  

To respond to the first point, I think that her behavior is certainly indefensible by modern moral standard. But it is still defensible from a strategic point of view. Again, we can't make such judgement in isolation from the real world. For instance, there are plenty of morally devastating but strategically sound decisions made by the allies in WWII. It is also easy to find such examples in present day (without going too much into detail, but say the role of torture and killing drones in counter-terrorism). In addition, it is unreasonable to expect international/human right conventions to exist in medieval Fodlan that forbid such experiments. Hence, it becomes unfair to judge characters who must make decisions base on non-existing ethical standards.

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Also, she is cooperating with people who are doing human experiments, and benefits a lot from their research results by having an army including the Crest beasts

The second point is more defensible than the first, especially if you view El as a leader of a major power instead of an individual. As I argued (and showed evidences) in a previous post, her temporary alliance with TWSITD was a sound choice from a diplomatic point of view, and probably the biggest contributing factor to the decisive victory against TWSITD. I will give you a short version of explanations as follows

1. By cooperating with TWSITD, El can gain influence and vital intels (and technology to close the gap) from such a secretive organization. In fact, Hubert's paralogue explicitly shows that El is actively trying to sabotage TWSITD from within and without such effort TWSITD may be untouchable. This is further confirmed in the GD route in which the location of the TWSITD's citadel and its Thales was revealed by Hubert's letter to Claude.

2. Given El's precarious position within the Empire's internal political struggle (as demonstrated by the cutscene of El's secret coronation),  El cannot realistically consolidate her legitimate power within the Empire without first cooperating with her uncle Arundel/Thales and by extension the almighty TWSITD.

3. Cooperating with supposedly 'evil' power for expediency is commonplace (and justified) in international relations. Just look at US Soviet alliance against Hitler, or US and PRC alliance against the USSR, or US Saudi alliance against Iran (highly contentious but worth doing a bit of research for this). It is unreasonable to expect El, as the leader who represents those against the church (and TWSITD) to make decisions purely base on her conscience (she does have one because she confess somewhat to Byleth in a sincere fashion), that would be wildly irresponsible and injudicious.

I am not saying El is a saint or even likable in non BE route, of course not. But saying El is just morally corrupt or irredeemable is a gross simplification of a highly nuanced character. Contrast with Dimitri, who is more obsessed with personal strife and personal ideals, El is arguably the better leader. The game does have a much serious political undertone so by analyzing El politically you do find another layer that is rather flavorful.

 

 

 

 

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I do like Dimitri as the tragic loyalist in the BE route. Every main character is tragic in their opposite route except Claude. TWSITD is in the story to satisfy players who need a comic villain in this morally grey setting. 

 

Edited by matchalatte

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1 hour ago, matchalatte said:

I do think your theory that she will prosecute the church members is plausible. Make no mistaken, it is ambiguous whether El will become a tyrant later or not and she is definitely the type that will rule with an iron fist. But if we look at the BE ending narrative she indeed succeed in her political/social reform and stepped down as promised. By historical standard, this already make her on par with the greats (crude reference: Augustus, Alexander, Washington, etc.)

Another two main points of contention are 1. her use of (and weaponization of) beast form (in non BE routes in which her position was much weaker); 2. her temporary alliance with TWSITD.  

To respond to the first point, I think that her behavior is certainly indefensible by modern moral standard. But it is still defensible from a strategic point of view. Again, we can't make such judgement in isolation from the real world. For instance, there are plenty of morally devastating but strategically sound decisions made by the allies in WWII. It is also easy to find such examples in present day (without going too much into detail, but say the role of torture and killing drones in counter-terrorism). In addition, it is unreasonable to expect international/human right conventions to exist in medieval Fodlan that forbid such experiments. Hence, it becomes unfair to judge characters who must make decisions base on non-existing ethical standards.

The second point is more defensible than the first, especially if you view El as a leader of a major power instead of an individual. As I argued (and showed evidences) in a previous post, her temporary alliance with TWSITD was a sound choice from a diplomatic point of view, and probably the biggest contributing factor to the decisive victory against TWSITD. I will give you a short version of explanations as follows

1. By cooperating with TWSITD, El can gain influence and vital intels (and technology to close the gap) from such a secretive organization. In fact, Hubert's paralogue explicitly shows that El is actively trying to sabotage TWSITD from within and without such effort TWSITD may be untouchable. This is further confirmed in the GD route in which the location of the TWSITD's citadel and its Thales was revealed by Hubert's letter to Claude.

2. Given El's precarious position within the Empire's internal political struggle (as demonstrated by the cutscene of El's secret coronation),  El cannot realistically consolidate her legitimate power within the Empire without first cooperating with her uncle Arundel/Thales and by extension the almighty TWSITD.

3. Cooperating with supposedly 'evil' power for expediency is commonplace (and justified) in international relations. Just look at US Soviet alliance against Hitler, or US and PRC alliance against the USSR, or US Saudi alliance against Iran (highly contentious but worth doing a bit of research for this). It is unreasonable to expect El, as the leader who represents those against the church (and TWSITD) to make decisions purely base on her conscience (she does have one because she confess somewhat to Byleth in a sincere fashion), that would be wildly irresponsible and injudicious.

I am not saying El is a saint or even likable in non BE route, of course not. But saying El is just morally corrupt or irredeemable is a gross simplification of a highly nuanced character. Contrast with Dimitri, who is more obsessed with personal strife and personal ideals, El is arguably the better leader. The game does have a much serious political undertone so by analyzing El politically you do find another layer that is rather flavorful.

 

 

 

 

Well, but from a pure medieval ethical ground...

Attacking the church (which is actually a better church compared to the reality), killing the 'saint', blaspheming the Holy Tomb, starting a war against other 'non-heretic' states, cooperating with people who hold the demonic cult, would be considered as evil by the standards of most common medieval people. Actually it is modern ethical standard (from yourself and many others) found her redeemable and willing to take a more flexibale and utilitarianism perspective on her. 

That's to say, personally I am not concerned so much about her morality. She might be the morally best character among others depend on which standard you are using. What fails me the most is that she shows no political talents and essential skills and abilities to rule the whole continent in the actual presentation of the narrative except the game told you so. Yes, there is a political reformation blabla, but the game really not demonstrates any details and the gradual process, instead we only saw her using violence to gain everything without consider all the possible alternatives at first. Is that a quality of a capable political reformer? I doubt so. She also has serious issues to compromise with people who have different ideology with her. And She really lacks any ability to communicate with people who can be her potential allies. Besides, even her ability of plotting against others is very questionable- at the beginning of the story, what happened if byleth did not save her? She died because of the bandits she hired herself? What a talent plan with political wisdom...

Even her mental stability seems not suitable for a future ruler, although she is not the worst. She is willingly to make herself a monster at the end of BL route and she seems lost the last bit of sanity at that point. 

In addition, you example of her cooperation with TWSITD as the evidence of her diplomatic ability just the opposite to me. I found it is hard to understand  her diplomatic choice. At best she might be forced to cooperate with TWSITD. 

Another problem is, she seems very easy to be misguided. I believe that what Rhea told us is the truth or the most closest to truth (you can argue it is not). It seems to me that her ideology and action is based on the false information and she is misguided while she don't realize that. She just believes that the empire version of history is right and never bothers to seek any concrete evidence or doubt that just like church the empire can also change the history to its need therefore she should take with the information with a skeptical eye. 

Like I said before, the main problem I am with the BE route, is that the good ending is so unrealistic and unconvincing to me. To me, Edelgard shows no personal ability of ruling a country in the game narrative, and I found it is hard to believe that she will become a capable and good ruler. (The same with other two lords though) 

But I do agree that she is a much nuanced character than a simple morally corrupted villain. I generally like all her supports and finds that it really adds layer to her personality. And yes, she might be a better (or less worse, imo) ruler than Dimitri, but better than a mentally unstable man does not makes one a good and capable ruler. I personally think Claude can be the best ruler out of three- at least the game shows us that he has the ability to seek cooperation, maintain a divided union by political wisdom,  much more reasonable diplomatic choice, and some strategy to fight back the most powerful states with a divided and weaker union. Plus he is mentally more stable, and actually discovers the whole truth about the history while Edelgard is ignorant of the truth and be misguided throughout the game. But I don't want to drag into any stan vs stan fight so I have to say even you think she is a better ruler than Claude it does not make her automatic a good and capable ruler. Just the least worst one perhaps.

To sum up: The game really not convinces me that Edelgard could be a capable ruler of the whole continent although it told us so in the ending. For those who think the ending is convincing and think she can be a capable ruler, I can understand why they found her 'good'. 

Edited by genagi

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I think pretty much everyone in this thread has gone through most of what I have to say, but I want to add that I always found Edelgard's goal of creating a world without Crests to be both a bit vague and impractical. She never goes too much into detail of how exactly she will make it happen, and it feels like whatever method she could come up with wouldn't be complete, since there could be factors like people going into hiding to preserve their bloodlines in secrecy. That was a part of Edelgard's character that I questioned, but I think Hanneman's A support with her basically provides her with an actual method to work towards, and Hanneman even invents what he says he will in his ending. Without Hanneman, I don't think Edelgard's goals could realistically ever be achieved properly.

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Seeing this thread makes me sad... Not because I'm mad; but because I'm feeling like there is something wrong in me.

Edited by Troykv

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@matchalatte

And seems like I have to say something about all the historical comparisons you make although I really don't want to. These topics are highly controversial for a reason. Just a kind reminder: She is the one who starts the war she wants to achieve her own aim and invades other two countries while the three states has no wars at each other for over 300 years and the other two states shows neither intention of invading nor posing actual threat to the empire. So if you want to find some relevant history counterpart,please consider the above fact, otherwise the discussion is pointless.

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"This conversation is especially really bad on the morality spectrum for Edelgard because here Dimitri is more sane than he was in BL until he gets his redemption scene (here he has his friends with him and didn't endure the loneliness that he did in his path) and she's basically trying to find fault with him DEFENDING HIS COUNTRY his moral obligation like what the heck Edelgard?"

His kingdom is merely a renegade province of the empire. Their "kings" have no legitimate claim to the land.

Its the type of real world reasoning that countless wars have be started over IRL.
 

1 hour ago, Troykv said:

Seeing this thread makes me sad... Not because I'm mad; but because I'm feeling like there is something wrong in me.

What do you mean? I don't think either Edelguard or Demitiri are in the right here. If anyone is the good Lord in this game its Claude but hes powerless without Byleth's support. 



 

Edited by wissenschaft

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