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There is going to be spoilers here, so if you have not played the three routes and don't want to be spoiled, don't read.

I think some people are under some misconceptions about things in 3H and are easily swept by early things they see and tend to not realize aspects of the story in 3H that becomes rather clear abundantly. The primary thing is that people that condemn Edelgard as a villain or an antagonist and see her nothing beyond that, they tend to see her as someone that is unjustifiable, or just hate the fact that she started the war in 3H and think that it was totally unnecessary. 

This is completely false

The war in Fodlan was something that was going to be inevitable no matter what. Even if Edelgard didn't start it, war was going to happen one way or another.

In fact, had she not done it, Dimitri and Claude would have definitely caused a war to happen. 

I'll go and explain each case.

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  • Dimitri:

Surprised? Really shouldn't be. Dimitri is someone that, had he been left alone, would have caused a war to ignite. 

Dimitri's entire reason for going to Garreg Mach was always for the sake of revenge for the Tragedy of Duscur. He admits to as such to Byleth during the rain scene after Rodrigue's death during Chapter 17 of Azure Moon:

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Dimitri: Even my time at the Officer’s Academy was all so I could secure my revenge and clear away the regret of the dead.

He was not in Garreg Mach to have fun, but to gather evidence to confirm that the Empire was indeed behind the Tragedy of Duscur. Sylvain even makes note of it during Chapter 16 of Crimson Flower, along with Ingrid's dialogue in Chapter 18 of Verdant Wind and Chapter 17 of Silver Snow respectively:

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Sylvain: Some people are so in awe of King Dimitri, they call him the Tempest King. After he wins, there won't be anything left. He'll be a storm, leaving nothing behind. He hates the Empire so much he's willing to do anything to bring it down. 

Byleth: He hates the Empire? 

Sylvain: Yeah, because of the role the Empire played in the Tragedy of Duscur. You know, even back at the Officers Academy, he never had much to do with anyone from the Empire. 

---

Ingrid: Among our prisoners of war, there were quite a few people who served His Highness. One of them stated that the Empire was involved with the Tragedy of Duscur. If this is true, His Highness's motives seem clear. I can't help but feel that perhaps I should have been fighting by his side... 

---

Ingrid: I only know what little I overheard. But what I did hear implied that the Empire was involved in the Tragedy of Duscur. If it's true, that may explain why His Highness chose to fight the Empire. Perhaps I should have fought alongside His Highness.

Dimitri believed that the Empire was responsible for the Tragedy of Duscur, and therefore, he tried to investigate using any information he could pull up from the Church.

This is even proven during the events of Chapter 6 after Flayn had been kidnapped. Dedue and Byleth went around during the night and headed toward the library, only to find Dimitri there.

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Dimitri: Professor. Dedue. What are you up to at this hour?

Dedue: Your Highness! My apologies.

Dimitri: Oh, none necessary. I'm sorry for startling you. I was just doing some research. But I'm just about finished. I didn't realize how late it had gotten. We'd better head back to our quarters, Dedue. Until tomorrow, Professor.

(Dimitri and Dedue leave)

Sothis: A most unusual man! Whatever could he have been looking for so late at night? Hm? That book is quite askew... He must have rushed to put it back upon the shelf.

Byleth: ...

(Byleth looks at the book)

Sothis: It seems to be a record of donations from nobility. Arundel... That's not a name I know. But look at that! This Arundel gave quite a sum each year... That is, until the year 1174. He must have died or fallen to financial woe. Hmm... I can't imagine what this has to do with Flayn.

Dimitri already had a suspect, Arundel, his step-uncle and Edelgard's maternal uncle. 

Now here's the thing. Provided that Dimitri was convinced that Arundel was indeed behind it, does anyone realize the position that Arundel had in the Empire? 

He was the Regent. So, if Dimitri, the crown prince of Faerghus, were to attack the regent of the Empire, it would have caused a war to happen. Keep in mind that Faerghus is insane in itself with its toxic chivalric culture, as the death of Lambert made them so furious that they went and committed genocide on the people of Duscur. If Dimitri reveals that Arundel was behind the regicide, then the people of Faerghus would be outraged and would go to war with the Empire. 

And during Crimson Flower, Dimtiri went and allied himself with the Church and joined the war against the Empire. A lot of people are under the misconception that the Empire attacked Faerghus first and Dimitri was just defending himself, but that is overall false. Dimitri joined the war of his own volition, so it was not actually him trying to defend himself. He wanted revenge, once again for the Tragedy of Duscur.

Overall, it's clear that even if Edelgard had done nothing, Dimitri would have done something that would have inevitably sparked a war.

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  • Claude:

Poor Claude. People really take him for granted and undermine the things he does or says and think he's a jokester most of the time. But that's more at fault with Treehouse being utter shit at localization and thus messed up a lot of the lines and dialogue, removing some of the more dark and ominous things he says in the end.

But let's get something straight. Claude might not want to cause a war, but his plans and actions would have inevitably caused one to happen as well.

Claude is half-Almyran, which he mentions in his A support with Marianne (albeit in the form of a story) and how he wants to end the prejudice of the two realms so that there is no racism:

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Claude: Just listen. Once upon a time, in a faraway place, there was a young boy. This boy came from a despised lineage. In short, his mother was a daughter of the enemy. So the young boy was treated horribly by everyone around him. He hadn't done anything wrong. Everyone hated him simply for existing. Yelling, fighting back, explaining himself... Nothing he did could change his situation. When he was finally old enough, he ran far away from home. He escaped.

Marianne: It sounds to me like he had no choice. I would have done the same, had it been me...

Claude: Thing is, after he ran away, he still found himself in the very same position. People in the outside world hated him for where he came from.

Marianne: Well, now that's—

Claude: The boy thought he had no place to go. All he could do was destroy the boundary between the inside and outside worlds.

Marianne: Destroy the boundaries?

Claude: Right. If there was no outside and inside, just one side to share, then the people wouldn't have a reason to hate him anymore, right? It wouldn't be easy, but if he managed it, he could shrug off that burden.

But the thing about Claude's plan is overall something that isn't actually as peaceful as quite a few people seem to insist on.

When Edelgard confronts Claude during Golden Deer in Chapter 5, wanting to learn more about him, Claude makes a little hint about how he intended to try and accomplish his dream:

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Claude: Oh boy. I’m trapped here. I have no choice but to surrender under your intimidating gazes. My dream, in truth, is a selfless dream. But I require power to make it a reality. When I learned about the power of my Crest, I knew I had a chance. So I’m chasing that dream. To the bitter end, if need be. I came to this monastery because I thought I might find someone useful. Someone to help me on my path. So what do you think? If you promise to help me achieve my dream no matter what, I’ll promise to tell you anything.

Keep in mind that he says that he needs "power" and others to help him. 

If you consider how Claude acts in the other routes, Claude basically does a lot to ensure that he holds onto power as much as possible. 

  • Crimson Flower: Causes diplomatic infighting to keep the Alliance from breaking apart.
  • SS/AM: Still tries to keep the infighting going, less diplomatic and more violent in cases thanks to Count Gloucester, to still cling to power until he can't.
  • VW: Same as above with SS/AM, but this time, he manages to form a resistance with the Knights and Seiros by putting Byleth in charge. 

And that's just the political power. But Claude also wants actual fighting power. Hence why Claude basically coveted the power of the Sword of the Creator, mentioned by Edelgard to have the power to wipe out entire armies, and Nader to be able to cleave a mountain in two. It's basically a nuke. 

And when Byleth gets it in Chapter 4 in Golden Deer, Claude says this:

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Claude: The Sword of the Creator... Pulled right from the legends. I finally found it, and yet it ended up in Teach's hands. Could I even use it anyway? Damn it. There's no telling what's to come…

---

Claude: I have something else to ask. Please... I hope you'll accept this. When I first saw you wield the Sword of the Creator, I wanted to use your power to my advantage. I wanted to use you to make my dream of a new world come true. But before long, I realized what I really wanted was to see that new world... with you by my side.

And in both CF and his A support with Byleth, he reveals he wanted to unify Fódlan himself.

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Claude: In all honesty, I was hoping to become a supreme ruler and lead Fódlan to peace myself. But...that won't be happening now.

---

Claude: Just saying that doesn't achieve anything, though. I need to destroy the prejudices that have taken root in my homeland. That's why I came here, to see Fódlan with my own eyes. I thought I might be able to find a new perspective that could help me change things.

Claude: And what did I find? That the people here view anyone who's an outsider as a beast of sorts. I was shocked. Even though our cultures and beliefs are completely different, our two lands have that much in common. That's when I realized the only way to change things is to bring the whole world together and start anew. That's the dream I've been working towards since I first entered the Officers Academy five years ago. To unify the Alliance, and then all of Fódlan, and to bring a new set of values to this new land of mine... After that, I'd expand that vision to the rest of the world. Break down the walls and let a new perspective come rushing in! Start all over!

One thing about Claude is that Claude can and WILL use more lethal and violent force if it comes to it. He might want to avoid killing anyone and preserve lives, but that does not mean that he won't kill someone that stands in his way, as proven by how he intends to deal with Edelgard when it comes to:

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Claude: She’s a fellow student to all of us. If there’s a path that we can walk together, that would be preferable. But that all depends on Edelgard. If she won’t yield, then that’s that. If showing pity would put my allies in danger, I will not hesitate to kill her.

So if he is trying to use the Sword of the Creator to force the borders to be opened, would anyone actually comply? Actually, would Rhea even comply? The idea that someone was using her mother as a bargaining chip for demands? The woman would outright declare war on Claude herself. And therefore, Claude would have to retaliate, and a war would escalate as a result. 

We might like to joke and meme about Claude, but the guy is capable of causing wars and being just as ruthless as anyone else if push comes to shove. 

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  • Edelgard:

Now we are at our primary instigator. Do people think that Edelgard even really had that much of a choice in the war? 

Let's review Edelgard's case. 

If you look into the library records in Garreg Mach, we learn some important details when reading up on the register of nobles in the Empire, primarily, the case of House Hresvelg, House Aegir, and House Arundel.

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House Hresvelg resides in Enbarr, the Imperial Capital, claiming all of the surrounding territory as its domain. It boasted supreme authority both within the Empire and without until the Insurrection of the Seven in 1171, in which much of its power was stripped away by the nobility. In recent years, a series of misfortunes has plagued this storied house, and some believe dark clouds hover over the future of the Hresvelg reign. 

---

A house of dukes possessing great power within the Empire, second only to House Hresvelg. The head of the house came to occupy the post of prime minister, rendering the title hereditary one thereafter. House Aegir led the Insurrection of the Seven and, in many ways, holds the true power governing the Empire.

---

Formerly a minor noble house of the Empire. As head of the house, when Volkhard's younger sister became betrothed to Emperor Ionius IX, Volkhard was granted the title of Lord Arundel. Having worked closely with House Aegir, House Arundel is seen as one of the chief instigators of the Insurrection of the Seven. 

When Edelgard was still a child, during 1171, the Insurrection of the Seven began, where nobles had a power struggle against Emperor Ionius IX's power centralization policy. When it first happened, the real Arundel defected from Adrestia and went to Faerghus with Edelgard, likely to protect her. But by 1174, the year she returned all of a sudden, is the year that Arundel likely was killed and replaced by Thales, indicated from what we learn in Blue Lions:

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Sothis: It seems to be a record of donations from nobility. Arundel... That's not a name I know. But look at that! This Arundel gave quite a sum each year... That is, until the year 1174. He must have died or fallen to financial woe. Hmm... I can't imagine what this has to do with Flayn.

And after he was replaced, we learn what happened from Hubert's B support:

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Hubert: I suppose that question does warrant a response, considering it may mean your life. The answer requires me to explain some of the complex internal politics of the Empire. Are you familiar with Volkhard von Arundel? He is Lady Edelgard's uncle. You may also know him as Lord Arundel, the Empire's Regent. Many years ago, he took Her Majesty and fled to the Kingdom of Fareghus. Then, after a time, he returned to seize power. Joining forces with Prime Minister Aegir and my father, Lord Arundel rendered Emperor Ionius IX...politically impotent. Lady Edelgard is Ionius IX's daughter. I cannot begin to fathom the depth of her sadness at his betrayal. I see something of Lord Arundel in you... When I look at you, I feel I can almost see a second self lurking beneath the surface. It is as if you are in constant dialogue with something inside your heart--something with desires very different from your own. Does that description feel familiar to you at all?

So when that happened, House Hresvelg lost all political power. Edelgard's father was nothing more than a puppet emperor by that point. And then what happened with Edelgard when she was experimented on.

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Edelgard: My siblings and I were... We were imprisoned underground, beneath the palace. The object was to endow our bodies with the power of a Major Crest. I have always possessed the Crest of Seiros, inherited through the Hresvelg bloodline. But it was only a Minor Crest, and most of my siblings bore no Crest at all. In order to create a peerless emperor to rule Fódlan, they violated our bodies by cutting open our very flesh. Now here I stand, the fruit of that endeavor: Edelgard von Hresvelg! But that came at too high a price... The others were sacrificed. Ours weren't the only lives devastated by that terrible process. Innocents died as well, without even knowing what they were dying for. And there you have it, the truth of the Hresvelg's Empire.

Byleth: Who is to blame?

Edelgard: The prime minister and his gaggle of nobles. They had the Empire under their thumbs. My father, the emperor, tried to stop them, but... it was futile. My father was nothing but a puppet on a string by then. He was powerless to save us. I know how it all sounds.

Edelgard herself was nothing more than to be a puppet emperor herself. To be a "peerless emperor" that would help rule Fodlan. The point was, the corrupt nobles wanted to have a war, because as mentioned in Chapter 7, Ferdinand mentions this:

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Ferdinand: You know, the Empire used to control all of Fódlan. But after the civil war, the northern region split off and became the Kingdom. Later, the eastern part of the Kingdom seceded to become the Alliance. There are three powers today, but a thousand years ago, we were all united as one. Even now, among nobles of the Empire, there are some who dream of reunifying Fódlan...

So the corrupt nobles clearly wanted a war to reunify Fódlan. And those who slither in the dark wanted nothing more than to kill Rhea, whom they consider to be their most hated enemy. The moment that Edelgard survived her experiments and bore the Crest of Flames, the war was inevitable. Edelgard would be used to have the war happen. She wouldn't really have had a choice in the matter. 

What power did she have? None. The Insurrection rendered her family powerless.

But Edelgard, choosing to take the war to her own hands, started to work behind the scenes.

And during Chapter 12, Linhardt analyzes how Edelgard got to power:

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Linhardt: The most important nobles in the Empire are known for taking power from the previous emperor, my father included. I didn't think it possible that the Imperial princess could ascend the throne so easily. However, it seems that both my father and Caspar's are supporting Edelgard... Having both the Minister of Domestic Affairs and Minister of Military Affairs on your side gives you total control over the Empire's military and finances. They must have been making preparations for quite some time without anyone noticing...

And the slithers also backed her up with Arundel. And Hubert passing his own personal judgment on his father, it made Hubert be the next head of House Vestra. That allowed Edelgard to have most of the power in the Empire, and allowed her to rise to the position of Emperor, allowing her to strip any other nobles that would go against her. Hence why Duke Aegir, after realizing that Edelgard became the Emperor, didn't try to make any protests and accepted what Edelgard putting him under house arrest. 

But overall, her power only came from having promised the war and the power supplied to her by the slithers and other nobles that sided with her. If she tried to backtrack, she would just as easily lose her power once again. 

Say that Edelgard tried to get help from the Church or other nations (even though she had absolutely zero reason to trust any of them realistically), that would still cause a war to happen.

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I hope you guys managed to follow through with everything. No matter how you wanna look at it, the war of Fódlan was inevitable. Edelgard was simply the one that started it first before anyone else could. 

Edited by omegaxis1

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I agree with most of this. I'd argue that Dimitri would probably, realistically find a way to murder Arundel himself without causing a war. And knowing what we know about Arundel being head of the Slitherers, Edelgard would have completely let this slide. Also knowing what we know about Dimitri, he would have gone to Edelgard (since he clearly still had feelings for her) and talked to her.

In most cases, I don't think Dimitri's end goal of figuring out the Tragedy of Duscur was going to lead to full scale war. But in my personal opinion that's what's both wrong with Dimitri and what makes him so compelling and amazing to me. He's such a noble, good spirit. Aside from his severe PTSD/depression/violent personality, which he does overcome, he's super idealistic and almost entirely naive by comparison of Edelgard and Claude. Even in the way he talks with Edelgard in their parlay, he chooses the 'noble' path, of keeping a broken system and trying to slowly change it over time, because he cares so much about everyone.

It's honestly his biggest fault, and also something I entirely admire about his character because he's the typical FE lord in that sense. But I don't think Dimitri would have started a war inevitably. But I think that's actually sorta a bad thing, because it means the broken system would have stayed in place and nothing would have changed. It's why I find Edelgard/Claude's stories more compelling because they were going to actually change something.

 

On the other hand, I completely agree that Claude would have definitely started the war. And you can say that Treehouse messed up the localization, but as an English player, I got 100% of the things you said from Claude just fine. I think it's less a localization issue and more a people don't get subtly or implication or truly follow his characterization throughout the supports. There is absolutely nothing to suggest he's 'just a jokester', as at almost every turn they're showing small, dark parts of his nature.

Honestly I believe Claude would have easily killed Rhea and turned against the church himself. I honestly think Claude & Edelgard not joining forces was the silliest move they made, as their goals are so closely aligned in a lot of regards. But I think if you notice the power-hungry aspect of Claude, it caused him to want to fight versus give in. But I think for who he is, he should have joined with Edelgard, who would have totally supported his goal of no racism (I know it's deeper than this, but I'm just doing an overarching view), and just consented to not being top dog. Which he essentially does with Byleth, but I think that's the biggest miss of the games.

Everyone talks about Edelgard and Dimitri not talking, but I don't think they would have ever seen eye-to-eye and I think that conflict was inevitable. However I think Claude and Edelgard could have been really good allies together in the end. Not necessarily friends, but allies. But I could also see them coming to understand each other. Claude for instance would have also totally lied to his comrades about the attack on Arionhood the same way Edelgard did because he also sees the bigger picture and past stupid societal things like, 'lying is bad'. Whereas Dimitri doesn't.

 

But yes. Overall I agree. The war was inevitable. The system was broken and bound to break. It just took one person, truly hurt by the system and the secret war between Rhea/underground creeps, to rise up. I started on Dimitri's path, and I remember hearing all the supports and just thinking, "this world is so fucked, there's no way this is gonna last. Someone is gonna change this stuff up, because it needs to change".

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The case for Claude seems pretty tenuous. Yes his interest in the Sword of the Creator is a threat to the church, but he's unaware of the weapon's origin or how that would set off Rhea. Heck, he doesn't even put together that Rhea = Seiros until she spells it out for him.

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Rhea: I put Zanado behind me to gather the remaining children who were scattered across Fodlan...Finally, we killed Nemesis on the Tailtean Plains, and I took back the Sword of the Creator

Claude: Let me get this straight...Saint Seiros...is you!? You're kidding me right?

*Conversation gets interrupted by news of Nemesis*

Rhea: From the blood of the progenitor god, Sothis, he acquired the Crest of Flames. From her bones and heart, he crafted the Sword of the Creator.

Claude: The Sword of the Creator is made from her bones and heart?

So if Claude had abducted the Sword of the Creator obviously that would be a problem if he was found out. But it would also be apparent the moment he touches the thing that he can't wield it. He lacks Sothis' heart, which is the crest stone of that weapon. Assuming he can infiltrate the Holy Tomb without being found out, he would move on in search of some other relic. The most likely moment he would infiltrate the Holy Tomb is the same time the player does during the Rite of Whatever and discovers the Slitherers already down there. Unlike the Slitherers I doubt he'd abscond with something he can't use, and he would instead inform the knights of intruders. Claude may be atheist, but he doesn't hate the Church to a degree comparable to Edelgard/Slitherers

Once Claude does get his own Relic, would he start a war in five years if the other two Lords didn't do it first? Doubtful. Claude gets everything he wants in life through diplomacy and politics. His actions in non VW routes post time skip prove he does everything to avoid fighting or being absorbed by the Empire which wouldn't be easy. And this quote:

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Claude: She’s a fellow student to all of us. If there’s a path that we can walk together, that would be preferable. But that all depends on Edelgard. If she won’t yield, then that’s that. If showing pity would put my allies in danger, I will not hesitate to kill her

Is post time skip, right as your army is at the gates of Enbarr and the war is reaching its bloody close after countless deaths and a nuke levels Arianrhod. As the instigator of a war that took countless lives, anybody not in the Empire would be liable to want her execution. And even some folks in the Empire, no doubt, once word gets out that the Empire launched that weapon - a lie only Claude sees through. At least Claude sought peace until the end. Note that Byleth kills Edelgard in VW at her request, not Claude. And after the dirty deed:

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Claude: It's over. We were only able to beat her because of you.

Byleth: ...

Claude: This wasn't the conclusion I had hoped for. Even though...I...Never mind. It's over now. The important thing is that we won.

Compare this to when you choose to kill Claude in CF as he pleads for his life:

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Claude: I see. Right until the very end I read this whole thing terribly wrong...All my hopes have fallen to ash. It's all up to you now Edelgard...I hope you really do make the world...better...

Edelgard: *smiling portrait* Everybody! Raise your voices in cheer! Derdriu is ours!

Chapter end.

 

Edited by Glennstavos

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5 minutes ago, Kiran_ said:

I agree with most of this. I'd argue that Dimitri would probably, realistically find a way to murder Arundel himself without causing a war. And knowing what we know about Arundel being head of the Slitherers, Edelgard would have completely let this slide. Also knowing what we know about Dimitri, he would have gone to Edelgard (since he clearly still had feelings for her) and talked to her.

In most cases, I don't think Dimitri's end goal of figuring out the Tragedy of Duscur was going to lead to full scale war.

Edelgard would have needed to be the Emperor to even try to let it slide, which would be the point that she would start the war either way. Had it happened before that, then Dimitri just murdered the regent, which absolutely would not be taken lightly. If you kill, or even attack, a major political figure, it's very much instigating a war. Even if Dimitri wanted to insist that it was only him, his nation would have gotten dragged into it. Being the crown prince bears a hefty burden as his actions very much reflects on the nation itself. 

Or if Dimitri was able to realize that he cannot touch Arundel under normal circumstances, Dimitri may very well have started the war to exact revenge/justice, as he had done in Crimson Flower once he became King. 

Arundel wouldn't even need to die. If Dimitri attacks him, it's a declaration of war for an attempted assassination. 

6 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

I agree with most of this. I'd argue that Dimitri would probably, realistically find a way to murder Arundel himself without causing a war. And knowing what we know about Arundel being head of the Slitherers, Edelgard would have completely let this slide. Also knowing what we know about Dimitri, he would have gone to Edelgard (since he clearly still had feelings for her) and talked to her.

In most cases, I don't think Dimitri's end goal of figuring out the Tragedy of Duscur was going to lead to full scale war.

Claude being unaware of the origin or that Rhea would have taken personal offense is entirely irrelevant. The point remains that Claude coveted the power of the Sword to force his change to happen, and Rhea would have gotten angry because of that, or rather, literally any other nation honestly, given how xenophobic the nature of Fodlan is.

8 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

So if Claude had abducted the Sword of the Creator obviously that would be a problem if he was found out. But it would also be apparent the moment he touches the thing that he can't wield it. He lacks Sothis' heart, which is the crest stone of that weapon.

This is the part where Claude tried to use Byleth, as I very much quoted. He tried to use Byleth as a means to an end, but changed his ways as time went on, coming to really trust Byleth, where the JP version has Claude call Byleth a sibling. 

11 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

Once Claude does get his own Relic, would he start a war in five years if the other two Lords didn't do it first? Doubtful. Claude gets everything he wants in life through political favors. His actions in non VW routes post time skip prove he does everything to avoid fighting or being absorbed by the Empire which wouldn't be easy. And this quote:

 

As I very much tried to point out, Claude does not want to start a war. But a war would have been triggered as a result. It's basically a situation where he has a nuke and wants everyone to just surrender peacefully and listen to his demands. Thus, no one dies, and he gets his way. 

But it would be something that would have caused a war to happen as a result. 

13 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

So if Claude had abducted the Sword of the Creator obviously that would be a problem if he was found out. But it would also be apparent the moment he touches the thing that he can't wield it. He lacks Sothis' heart, which is the crest stone of that weapon.

First off, he does not plead for his life, but rather bargain, but still had an idea that he could still die, but hoped that would not be the case. Also, it's Byleth that ultimately decided to kill or spare Claude in these cases, not Edelgard. Edelgard having a normal face that is smiling does not mean that she's happy to kill him. But Claude was someone that was an obstacle that she had to remove. Whether he dies or is exiled, either way, it accomplishes what Edelgard overall wanted. 

 

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Great comments from all three of you! I don't have time to make any detailed additions not that I could compete with y'alls anyway, but I fully agree that a war was inevitable and Edelgard was simply the one with the shortest fuse. I think Dimitri would have had the sense to try and assassinate Arundel without sparking a war though; it's only after the timeskip that he loses his self-restraint (at least, that's my interpretation of him).

P.S.

1 hour ago, omegaxis1 said:

You know, even back at the Officers Academy, he never had much to do with anyone from the Empire.

This is a neat bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, since Dimitri can't Support with anyone from the Empire. Thank you for bringing this up!

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31 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

The case for Claude seems pretty tenuous. Yes his interest in the Sword of the Creator is a threat to the church, but he's unaware of the weapon's origin or how that would set off Rhea. Heck, he doesn't even put together that Rhea = Seiros until she spells it out for him.

So if Claude had abducted the Sword of the Creator obviously that would be a problem if he was found out. But it would also be apparent the moment he touches the thing that he can't wield it. He lacks Sothis' heart, which is the crest stone of that weapon. Assuming he can infiltrate the Holy Tomb without being found out, he would move on in search of some other relic. The most likely moment he would infiltrate the Holy Tomb is the same time the player does during the Rite of Whatever and discovers the Slitherers already down there. Unlike the Slitherers I doubt he'd abscond with something he can't use, and he would instead inform the knights of intruders. Claude may be atheist, but he doesn't hate the Church to a degree comparable to Edelgard/Slitherers

Once Claude does get his own Relic, would he start a war in five years if the other two Lords didn't do it first? Doubtful. Claude gets everything he wants in life through diplomacy and politics. His actions in non VW routes post time skip prove he does everything to avoid fighting or being absorbed by the Empire which wouldn't be easy. And this quote:

Is post time skip, right as your army is at the gates of Enbarr and the war is reaching its bloody close after countless deaths and a nuke levels Arianrhod. As the instigator of a war that took countless lives, anybody not in the Empire would be liable to want her execution. And even some folks in the Empire, no doubt, once word gets out that the Empire launched that weapon - a lie only Claude sees through. At least Claude sought peace until the end. Note that Byleth kills Edelgard in VW at her request, not Claude. And after the dirty deed:

Compare this to when you choose to kill Claude in CF as he pleads for his life:

 

I'm gonna go down on this point by point.

1) That isn't the point he was making. The point is that if Claude had gotten what he wanted (i.e. the Sword of the Creator), he would've used it. He also is only able to get what he wants (i.e. conquer Fodlan) in Verdant Wind because Byleth is on his side and armed with a weapon that can split a mountain. He was never planning to use it as a party favor.

2) And no... he definitely does not like the Church. He talks multiple times about the problems in Fodlan, most of which emanate from the Church. He's wary of revealing his identity precisely because Fodlan views foreigners as beasts and in turn is afraid of discussing his views on things as basic as whether the Goddess doesn't cause the crops to grow. Then of course there's this conversation where he straight up in the JP version says it would be better if Rhea stayed dead.

  • Byleth: 「死んでいて欲しい?」 クロード支援値アップ

  • Claude: 「危ないことを聞くな、あんた。正直に言や考えたことはあるが・・・難しい質問だよ、本当にな。ただ、彼女にはいろいろ聞くべきことが残ってる。 ...(explains all the knowledge they are missing that only Rhea can answer)...

  • Claude: だから、そういう意味では、レアさんには是非とも生きててほしいよ。

  • Claude: 一方で・・・フォドラの情勢って意味ではレアさんがいない世界も興味があるんだ。

Translation

  • Byleth: Do you wish for her to be dead? (Claude's support points go up)

  • Claude: Asking me dangerous questions, eh. Honestly, I have thought so before, but... it's a difficult question, a really difficult question. It's just that we still have so many things we need to ask her. ...(explains all the knowledge they are missing that only Rhea can answer)...

  • Claude: That's why, in that sense, I do hope she is alive.

  • Claude: On the other hand... if I were to consider Fódlan's state of affairs, I have more interest in seeing a world without Rhea.

Point being he only works with the church because Byleth is now the one running it. As long as Rhea is out of the picture, he can roll with that. Which is also why he's unapologetic about his desire to use the war to reshape Fodlan. That his Sensei who he trusts is now the one ruling Fodlan means he doesn't need to go with is original plan to conquer it. Something he admitted was his desire in Crimson Flower. Point being this idea that he was a diplomacy bro and not someone who took advantage of the war is completely counter to the actual narrative that occurs in Verdant Wind.

3) Yes, Byleth kills her in a cutscene that's a reuse from Silver Snow? How? Because in the JP version, she calls Byleth  (shi) meaning master/mentor which she never calls them outside of Black Eagles Class routes, always Sensei in other routes like everyone else. It isn't really indicative of whether Claude wasn't willing to live up to his words or not.

You're also ignoring that the cutscene following Derdriu if Byleth/Edelgard kill Claude has her lamenting Claude's death and wondering whether he was in control of the situation all along. It isn't as simple as her celebrating his death like you seem to be suggesting.

Edelgard: However, now that it's over, I can't help but wonder if he was in complete control of that entire situation.

 

Edited by SigurdVII

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24 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Edelgard would have needed to be the Emperor to even try to let it slide, which would be the point that she would start the war either way. Had it happened before that, then Dimitri just murdered the regent, which absolutely would not be taken lightly. If you kill, or even attack, a major political figure, it's very much instigating a war. Even if Dimitri wanted to insist that it was only him, his nation would have gotten dragged into it. Being the crown prince bears a hefty burden as his actions very much reflects on the nation itself. 

Or if Dimitri was able to realize that he cannot touch Arundel under normal circumstances, Dimitri may very well have started the war to exact revenge/justice, as he had done in Crimson Flower once he became King. 

Arundel wouldn't even need to die. If Dimitri attacks him, it's a declaration of war for an attempted assassination. 

Considering the ease of which she took the throne, I have 0 doubt she could have had that power as heir apparent. Yes, I agree, but my point is that Dimitri had found out Arundel was the culprit, he probably would have spoken to to Edelgard and the two of them would have hatched a plot to kill Arundel WITHOUT sparking war, and without it being a reflection on his nation. 

I understand the political nuance, but at the same time, how hard would it be to hide a murder? Clearly they've done it many times before. I mean hell, Edelgard tried to make it look like bandits attacked them in the beginning. And clearly the tragedy of Duscur was completely shrouded in mystery. I'm positive they could have found a way to have Dimitri gain revenge without anyone knowing it WAS Dimitri.

I agree if Dimitri just blindly attacked/and or people knew that it was Dimitri who did it, that a war would have been almost inevitable. I'm just saying based on his characterization and even with his dark side, I think he would have managed to find a solution that satiated his revenge without causing unnecessary bloodshed which he (generally) hates. 

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10 minutes ago, Kiran_ said:

Considering the ease of which she took the throne, I have 0 doubt she could have had that power as heir apparent. Yes, I agree, but my point is that Dimitri had found out Arundel was the culprit, he probably would have spoken to to Edelgard and the two of them would have hatched a plot to kill Arundel WITHOUT sparking war, and without it being a reflection on his nation. 

Already mentioned how Edelgard got the throne. Solely because she had the backing of the slithers, led by Arundel. As Linhardt stated, it should not have been that easy to ascend to the throne. 

Also, for Dimitri to talk to Edelgard to plot out, he had to be willing to approach her. Which he himself admitted that he won't do that, due to how they have both changed and are too different now. That's also if Dimitri is even willing to believe that Edelgard would believe him that her uncle is the one behind the Tragedy.

10 minutes ago, Kiran_ said:

I understand the political nuance, but at the same time, how hard would it be to hide a murder? Clearly they've done it many times before. I mean hell, Edelgard tried to make it look like bandits attacked them in the beginning. And clearly the tragedy of Duscur was completely shrouded in mystery. I'm positive they could have found a way to have Dimitri gain revenge without anyone knowing it WAS Dimitri.

I agree if Dimitri just blindly attacked/and or people knew that it was Dimitri who did it, that a war would have been almost inevitable. I'm just saying based on his characterization and even with his dark side, I think he would have managed to find a solution that satiated his revenge without causing unnecessary bloodshed which he (generally) hates. 

There are two problems here. Both the bandit thing and the Tragedy of Duscur are things that were done in a strategic manner and through help from using other parties, where Edelgard used  petty bandits (whether it was to even kill Dimitri or Claude, or to actually just scare the teacher away, not sure), and the slithers use the corrupt nobles of Faerghus that disliked Lambert's "radical" policies. Dimitri is a one man revenge party that is straightforward to a fault. Which pretty much defeats any form of subtlety in regards to assassinations. 

I mean, Dimitri literally snapped and tried to just straight up kill Edelgard in the most unsubtle way possible in Chapter 12. And this is despite how he heard how the one responsible for Duscur was Thales, having listened in on the Flame Emperor state that, but Dimitri still insists that it was Edelgard's fault.

Dimitri really isn't someone that shows to be able to think in a roundabout way to avoid bloodshed. That is actually more Claude's shtick. 

Edited by omegaxis1

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42 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Claude being unaware of the origin or that Rhea would have taken personal offense is entirely irrelevant. The point remains that Claude coveted the power of the Sword to force his change to happen, and Rhea would have gotten angry because of that, or rather, literally any other nation honestly, given how xenophobic the nature of Fodlan is.

This is the part where Claude tried to use Byleth, as I very much quoted. He tried to use Byleth as a means to an end, but changed his ways as time went on, coming to really trust Byleth, where the JP version has Claude call Byleth a sibling. 

You're quoting the wrong guy here. I never once mentioned Dimitri.

Quote

As I very much tried to point out, Claude does not want to start a war. But a war would have been triggered as a result. It's basically a situation where he has a nuke and wants everyone to just surrender peacefully and listen to his demands. Thus, no one dies, and he gets his way. 

But it would be something that would have caused a war to happen as a result. 

But Claude gets a "nuke" in all of the routes. His relic. Maybe he would believe his relic isn't as powerful as the fabled sword of the creator. But again I defer to the problem he would run into by not being able to wield the Sword. He can't bargain with a weapon he has no way of wielding, and it's apparent whether a relic is working in somebody's hands by it's glow. He can't hide it. If Claude does make all of these mistakes however, the church would send its knights just as they did with Miklan and likely give the order to execute him if he foolishly resists with no aid. And the Alliance would probably be lead by Count Gloucester from there who'd be thrilled. And this is all assuming he gets to the Sword before the Slitherers do which is unlikely.

Quote

Also, it's Byleth that ultimately decided to kill or spare Claude in these cases, not Edelgard. 

This is something the writers may not have agreed on. Because the kill scene aftermath casts serious doubt:

Quote

Edelgard: Derdrie is ours. The Alliance has collapsed, and their leader has fallen.

Byleth: Did we really need to kill him?

 

So while it's obviously the player's choice, there's still a disconnect. Say you killed Lysithea with Hubert in that chapter, and it gives you the option to kill or spare. Is that Byleth in the narrative shouting at him to spare her, is it Hubert's choice, or is the player controlling Hubert outside of the narrative against his will? It's the same for the Claude decision. Whoever makes the final blow would logically be the one to finish him off in gameplay - it's where the game presents you with the choice. So it could have been any of your units. But the writers don't point their finger at any agent. Maybe they wanted to leave that detail open to interpretation. I'm definitely curious though what the intended answer is but call it a casualty of Crimson Flower's lack of cinematics. We'll never know.

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2 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

You're quoting the wrong guy here. I never once mentioned Dimitri.

 

I didn't talk about Dimitri to you there, though. 

2 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

But Claude gets a "nuke" in all of the routes. His relic. Maybe he would believe his relic isn't as powerful as the fabled sword of the creator. But again I defer to the problem he would run into by not being able to wield the Sword. He can't bargain with a weapon he has no way of wielding, and it's apparent whether a relic is working in somebody's hands by it's glow. He can't hide it. If Claude does make all of these mistakes however, the church would send its knights just as they did with Miklan and likely give the order to execute him if he foolishly resists with no aid. And the Alliance would probably be lead by Count Gloucester from there who'd be thrilled. And this is all assuming he gets to the Sword before the Slitherers do which is unlikely.

 

Claude wasn't focused on Failnaught. It was the Sword of the Creator. The Sword of the Creator is literally the Relic among Relics, being the absolute most powerful. The fact taht I showed a quote how he actually specifically had been wanting that Relic shows as much. And that's also where I pointed out that he wanted to use Byleth. If he gets Byleth on his side, he basically has control of the Sword of the Creator. 

That's what you're missing from what I'm trying to say. Claude himself admits this.

4 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

So while it's obviously the player's choice, there's still a disconnect. Say you killed Lysithea with Hubert in that chapter, and it gives you the option to kill or spare. Is that Byleth in the narrative shouting at him to spare her, is it Hubert's choice, or is the player controlling Hubert outside of the narrative against his will? It's the same for the Claude decision. Whoever makes the final blow would logically be the one to finish him off in gameplay - it's where the game presents you with the choice. So it could have been any of your units. But the writers don't point their finger at any agent. Maybe they wanted to leave that detail open to interpretation. I'm definitely curious though what the intended answer is but call it a casualty of Crimson Flower's lack of cinematics. We'll never know.

As another person very well pointed out, Edelgard did in the end lament over Claude's death. She justifies it since this is overall a war that she started, she also says:

Quote

Edelgard: However, now that it's over, I can't help but wonder if he was in complete control of that entire situation.

 

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Two things.

Firstly, what's your point? Sure, Dimitri and Claude may have independently started the war later, but... they didn't. Edelgard did. That's why she's the villain.

Secondly, I'm unconvinced that Edelgard didn't want the war. In CF, she clearly sees herself as using the Agarthans to achieve her own ends of defeating Rhea and establishing her meritocracy. She wanted the war just as much as those other people you mentioned. Again, that's why she's the villain.

(Also, you made a typo, referring to Hubert as the head of House Varley, when it should be Vestra.)

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2 minutes ago, Seafarer said:

Two things.

Firstly, what's your point? Sure, Dimitri and Claude may have independently started the war later, but... they didn't. Edelgard did. That's why she's the villain.

Secondly, I'm unconvinced that Edelgard didn't want the war. In CF, she clearly sees herself as using the Agarthans to achieve her own ends of defeating Rhea and establishing her meritocracy. She wanted the war just as much as those other people you mentioned. Again, that's why she's the villain.

(Also, you made a typo, referring to Hubert as the head of House Varley, when it should be Vestra.)

First off, thanks for pointing out the typo thing.

Now, to your main two points. 

1) If a villain is defined by who started the war, there's a LOT of villains that are depicted as heroes then. Hell, going to the Tellius series, Ike and the Laguz Alliance are the ones that overall started the war that nearly caused all life to be erased. So would that not make them be the villains? They could have ignored the Begnion Senate having committed the Serenes Massacre, which would be downright horrible, but they went into the war KNOWING that the war may very well spell the end of all life, and still went and did it, so by your logic, Ike and the Laguz are the villains, not the Begnion Senate.

2) The point of the matter is that whether Edelgard wanted the war herself or not, it would have happened. So if it was going to happen either way, Edelgard would take advantage of it and fulfill her ambitions from it. Simply put, the war was going to happen. No literally way of avoiding it. 

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"A war would start anyway" can be used to justify pretty much anything. Ashnard did nothing wrong because Begnion's senate would eventually start a war anyway. Garon did noting wrong because Nohr will eventually get so desperate to attack Hoshido anyway. And so on.

 

I always said that Dimitri is too unstable to be given a position of power. Is indeed likely that he would attack Arundel. I however don't think he would be outright genocidial because there won't be five years of him accumulating his anger to the point of becoming a berserking madman. 

For Claude i would say that not all wars are equally unjust. Fighting a war to end racism can be either the right call or a senseless massacre in the name of an unattainable ideal. Claude to me seems the kind of person that can tell the difference and is not overly obsessed whit his past like the other two.

And i don't believe for a second that Edelgard had no choice. The slithers are in no position to attack Rhea whitout an emperor that is willing to mobilize the whole empire againist the church. Whitout her help they would get crushed whitin a few years, wich would leave her in the position to seize power whit no real opposition(Duke Aegir is not going to be this massive threat whitout Arundel around).

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1 minute ago, Flere210 said:

And i don't believe for a second that Edelgard had no choice. The slithers are in no position to attack Rhea whitout an emperor that is willing to mobilize the whole empire againist the church. Whitout her help they would get crushed whitin a few years, wich would leave her in the position to seize power whit no real opposition(Duke Aegir is not going to be this massive threat whitout Arundel around).

Really? The political power was in the Insurrectionists' hands though, not Edelgard's. Edelgard only got any power was because of the slithers. If Edelgard tried to rebel, they would strip her of her power again and then use her as a Crest breeding tool. This is literally already a case that has been very much proven with countless other nobles, with Jeritza's father and the noble that raped Hanneman's sister to death.

Edelgard was merely a puppet. In fact, it's abundantly clear that Edelgard and the slithers don't share an equal relationship. Edelgard cannot control them. When Edelgard confronted Solon, he literally threatened to kill her. When Edelgard killed Cornelia, Thales blew Arianrhod up before confronting Edelgard about it. There was never a choice. 

5 minutes ago, Flere210 said:

"A war would start anyway" can be used to justify pretty much anything. Ashnard did nothing wrong because Begnion's senate would eventually start a war anyway. Garon did noting wrong because Nohr will eventually get so desperate to attack Hoshido anyway. And so on.

The Begnion Senate never started the war. The Laguz Alliance did. They started it while KNOWING that Lehran's Medallion was a threat. 

7 minutes ago, Flere210 said:

I always said that Dimitri is too unstable to be given a position of power. Is indeed likely that he would attack Arundel. I however don't think he would be outright genocidial because there won't be five years of him accumulating his anger to the point of becoming a berserking madman. 

I mean, look at CF where Sylvain basically describes him as something one can consider very much to be a god of destruction. Simply cause he has two eyes and isn't as rabid as the other routes does not mean that he's any less sane. Actually, he's actually more sinister, given how he tried to actually deceive Rhea during Chapter 17. 

9 minutes ago, Flere210 said:

For Claude i would say that not all wars are equally unjust. Fighting a war to end racism can be either the right call or a senseless massacre in the name of an unattainable ideal. Claude to me seems the kind of person that can tell the difference and is not overly obsessed whit his past like the other two.

By that logic, you can consider Edelgard's war to be also just given that she is trying to overall end nobility and wants to remove a dragon lady that's been in power for too long. And doesn't change that Claude might not want a war, but if a war happened, he would fight in it. He just wanted to make sure he has the Sword of the Creator was at his side, so he has all the power he needs.

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21 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:
Claude wasn't focused on Failnaught. It was the Sword of the Creator. The Sword of the Creator is literally the Relic among Relics, being the absolute most powerful. The fact taht I showed a quote how he actually specifically had been wanting that Relic shows as much. And that's also where I pointed out that he wanted to use Byleth. If he gets Byleth on his side, he basically has control of the Sword of the Creator. 

That's what you're missing from what I'm trying to say. Claude himself admits this.

But your entire argument is that Claude would instigate a war anyway. Debating what ifs is a slippery slope when all we have are the actual events of the game. Assuming the four routes are all parallel dimensions of equal truth-ness. Claude's confession of using Byleth is only in the Golden Deer route because it's the only route in which they work together. A good gambler recognizes they can only work with the hand they're dealt. We don't get this confession in the other routes because Claude had reeled back his ambitions accordingly. The Sword of the Creator was a dead end for him because Byleth is not on his side. You have to be able to prove that Claude starting a war isn't a futile means of achieving his dream, and that he has the will to pull the trigger. But we already established he has no desire for war, let alone the means.

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1 minute ago, Glennstavos said:

But your entire argument is that Claude would instigate a war anyway. Debating what ifs is a slippery slope when all we have are the actual events of the game. Assuming the four routes are all parallel dimensions of equal truth-ness. Claude's confession of using Byleth is only in the Golden Deer route because it's the only route in which they work together. A good gambler recognizes they can only work with the hand they're dealt. We don't get this confession in the other routes because Claude had reeled back his ambitions accordingly. The Sword of the Creator was a dead end for him because Byleth is not on his side. You have to be able to prove that Claude starting a war isn't a futile means of achieving his dream, and that he has the will to pull the trigger. But we already established he has no desire for war, let alone the means.

What exactly do you think his plan was that involved wanting to have a sword that can cleave a mountain in two? It certainly isn't a backscratcher. Given how he wants to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, simply having the weapon and everyone knowing of its power was likely enough to force people to comply with his demands. 

Also, saying that we don't get his "confession" in the this or that route ignores the main point. In every route, all three characters are still doing and planning to do the same thing. Hence why Claude says to Byleth in CF when fighting him is that Byleth should have picked him. Hence why in CF he admitted to wanting to be the supreme ruler of Fodlan, which he also says similarly to Byleth in their A support in VW. Because in the end, that was his overall intention. 

Not to mention, the war was something that he clearly still have schemes in as we have seen. If Edelgard focused completely on the Kingdom and never was wary at Claude, Claude would have easily gotten the better of her, especially with the Almyran reinforcements. Very easy for both Empire and Kingdom to be flanked with by Claude if Edelgard wasn't proactive enough to foresee that Claude had a scheme.

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3 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

There is going to be spoilers here, so if you have not played the three routes and don't want to be spoiled, don't read.

I think some people are under some misconceptions about things in 3H and are easily swept by early things they see and tend to not realize aspects of the story in 3H that becomes rather clear abundantly. The primary thing is that people that condemn Edelgard as a villain or an antagonist and see her nothing beyond that, they tend to see her as someone that is unjustifiable, or just hate the fact that she started the war in 3H and think that it was totally unnecessary. 

This is completely false

The war in Fodlan was something that was going to be inevitable no matter what. Even if Edelgard didn't start it, war was going to happen one way or another.

In fact, had she not done it, Dimitri and Claude would have definitely caused a war to happen. 

I'll go and explain each case.

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

  • Dimitri:

Surprised? Really shouldn't be. Dimitri is someone that, had he been left alone, would have caused a war to ignite. 

Dimitri's entire reason for going to Garreg Mach was always for the sake of revenge for the Tragedy of Duscur. He admits to as such to Byleth during the rain scene after Rodrigue's death during Chapter 17 of Azure Moon:

He was not in Garreg Mach to have fun, but to gather evidence to confirm that the Empire was indeed behind the Tragedy of Duscur. Sylvain even makes note of it during Chapter 16 of Crimson Flower, along with Ingrid's dialogue in Chapter 18 of Verdant Wind and Chapter 17 of Silver Snow respectively:

Dimitri believed that the Empire was responsible for the Tragedy of Duscur, and therefore, he tried to investigate using any information he could pull up from the Church.

This is even proven during the events of Chapter 6 after Flayn had been kidnapped. Dedue and Byleth went around during the night and headed toward the library, only to find Dimitri there.

Dimitri already had a suspect, Arundel, his step-uncle and Edelgard's maternal uncle. 

Now here's the thing. Provided that Dimitri was convinced that Arundel was indeed behind it, does anyone realize the position that Arundel had in the Empire? 

He was the Regent. So, if Dimitri, the crown prince of Faerghus, were to attack the regent of the Empire, it would have caused a war to happen. Keep in mind that Faerghus is insane in itself with its toxic chivalric culture, as the death of Lambert made them so furious that they went and committed genocide on the people of Duscur. If Dimitri reveals that Arundel was behind the regicide, then the people of Faerghus would be outraged and would go to war with the Empire. 

And during Crimson Flower, Dimtiri went and allied himself with the Church and joined the war against the Empire. A lot of people are under the misconception that the Empire attacked Faerghus first and Dimitri was just defending himself, but that is overall false. Dimitri joined the war of his own volition, so it was not actually him trying to defend himself. He wanted revenge, once again for the Tragedy of Duscur.

Overall, it's clear that even if Edelgard had done nothing, Dimitri would have done something that would have inevitably sparked a war.

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

  • Claude:

Poor Claude. People really take him for granted and undermine the things he does or says and think he's a jokester most of the time. But that's more at fault with Treehouse being utter shit at localization and thus messed up a lot of the lines and dialogue, removing some of the more dark and ominous things he says in the end.

But let's get something straight. Claude might not want to cause a war, but his plans and actions would have inevitably caused one to happen as well.

Claude is half-Almyran, which he mentions in his A support with Marianne (albeit in the form of a story) and how he wants to end the prejudice of the two realms so that there is no racism:

But the thing about Claude's plan is overall something that isn't actually as peaceful as quite a few people seem to insist on.

When Edelgard confronts Claude during Golden Deer in Chapter 5, wanting to learn more about him, Claude makes a little hint about how he intended to try and accomplish his dream:

Keep in mind that he says that he needs "power" and others to help him. 

If you consider how Claude acts in the other routes, Claude basically does a lot to ensure that he holds onto power as much as possible. 

  • Crimson Flower: Causes diplomatic infighting to keep the Alliance from breaking apart.
  • SS/AM: Still tries to keep the infighting going, less diplomatic and more violent in cases thanks to Count Gloucester, to still cling to power until he can't.
  • VW: Same as above with SS/AM, but this time, he manages to form a resistance with the Knights and Seiros by putting Byleth in charge. 

And that's just the political power. But Claude also wants actual fighting power. Hence why Claude basically coveted the power of the Sword of the Creator, mentioned by Edelgard to have the power to wipe out entire armies, and Nader to be able to cleave a mountain in two. It's basically a nuke. 

And when Byleth gets it in Chapter 4 in Golden Deer, Claude says this:

And in both CF and his A support with Byleth, he reveals he wanted to unify Fódlan himself.

One thing about Claude is that Claude can and WILL use more lethal and violent force if it comes to it. He might want to avoid killing anyone and preserve lives, but that does not mean that he won't kill someone that stands in his way, as proven by how he intends to deal with Edelgard when it comes to:

So if he is trying to use the Sword of the Creator to force the borders to be opened, would anyone actually comply? Actually, would Rhea even comply? The idea that someone was using her mother as a bargaining chip for demands? The woman would outright declare war on Claude herself. And therefore, Claude would have to retaliate, and a war would escalate as a result. 

We might like to joke and meme about Claude, but the guy is capable of causing wars and being just as ruthless as anyone else if push comes to shove. 

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

  • Edelgard:

Now we are at our primary instigator. Do people think that Edelgard even really had that much of a choice in the war? 

Let's review Edelgard's case. 

If you look into the library records in Garreg Mach, we learn some important details when reading up on the register of nobles in the Empire, primarily, the case of House Hresvelg, House Aegir, and House Arundel.

When Edelgard was still a child, during 1171, the Insurrection of the Seven began, where nobles had a power struggle against Emperor Ionius IX's power centralization policy. When it first happened, the real Arundel defected from Adrestia and went to Faerghus with Edelgard, likely to protect her. But by 1174, the year she returned all of a sudden, is the year that Arundel likely was killed and replaced by Thales, indicated from what we learn in Blue Lions:

And after he was replaced, we learn what happened from Hubert's B support:

So when that happened, House Hresvelg lost all political power. Edelgard's father was nothing more than a puppet emperor by that point. And then what happened with Edelgard when she was experimented on.

Edelgard herself was nothing more than to be a puppet emperor herself. To be a "peerless emperor" that would help rule Fodlan. The point was, the corrupt nobles wanted to have a war, because as mentioned in Chapter 7, Ferdinand mentions this:

So the corrupt nobles clearly wanted a war to reunify Fódlan. And those who slither in the dark wanted nothing more than to kill Rhea, whom they consider to be their most hated enemy. The moment that Edelgard survived her experiments and bore the Crest of Flames, the war was inevitable. Edelgard would be used to have the war happen. She wouldn't really have had a choice in the matter. 

What power did she have? None. The Insurrection rendered her family powerless.

But Edelgard, choosing to take the war to her own hands, started to work behind the scenes.

And during Chapter 12, Linhardt analyzes how Edelgard got to power:

And the slithers also backed her up with Arundel. And Hubert passing his own personal judgment on his father, it made Hubert be the next head of House Vestra. That allowed Edelgard to have most of the power in the Empire, and allowed her to rise to the position of Emperor, allowing her to strip any other nobles that would go against her. Hence why Duke Aegir, after realizing that Edelgard became the Emperor, didn't try to make any protests and accepted what Edelgard putting him under house arrest. 

But overall, her power only came from having promised the war and the power supplied to her by the slithers and other nobles that sided with her. If she tried to backtrack, she would just as easily lose her power once again. 

Say that Edelgard tried to get help from the Church or other nations (even though she had absolutely zero reason to trust any of them realistically), that would still cause a war to happen.

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I hope you guys managed to follow through with everything. No matter how you wanna look at it, the war of Fódlan was inevitable. Edelgard was simply the one that started it first before anyone else could. 

Basically agree excepting on the degree of unwillingness that you paint Edelgard's actions with. Certainly she had little choice but to start the war, but she is just like the other Nobility in that she holds dreams of reunifying Fodlan. So She was always going to bury Claude and Dimitri even if the Agarthans let her go. I don't consider it much of a debate on the inevitability of war so much as I debate the degree of altruism of Edelgard.

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1 minute ago, omegaxis1 said:

What exactly do you think his plan was that involved wanting to have a sword that can cleave a mountain in two? It certainly isn't a backscratcher. Given how he wants to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, simply having the weapon and everyone knowing of its power was likely enough to force people to comply with his demands. 

And you don't think his plans would change once he realizes he can't use the sword or that Byleth would never join him? That in other routes he would still be planning to use the Sword/Byleth as his bargaining chip even though he possesses neither? You have to explain to me how Claude was going to start a war as surely as Edelgard had she not done so first.

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3 minutes ago, CyberNinja said:

Basically agree excepting on the degree of unwillingness that you paint Edelgard's actions with. Certainly she had little choice but to start the war, but she is just like the other Nobility in that she holds dreams of reunifying Fodlan. So She was always going to bury Claude and Dimitri even if the Agarthans let her go. I don't consider it much of a debate on the inevitability of war so much as I debate the degree of altruism of Edelgard.

Of course. She ended up have her own reasons for going into the conflict herself and wanted to fulfill her own ambitions. But in her case, even if she didn't have those ambitions, she would have been made to start the war regardless.

Also, keep in mind she didn't ever declare war on the Alliance or Kingdom, just the Church. But when she declared war on the Church, it's very unlikely that the other nations were going to just sit down and do nothing about it. In the other routes, Cornelia performed her coup and basically forced Faerghus into the war, and taking away any control Edelgard had on the war. 

1 minute ago, Glennstavos said:

And you don't think his plans would change once he realizes he can't use the sword or that Byleth would never join him? That in other routes he would still be planning to use the Sword/Byleth as his bargaining chip even though he possesses neither? You have to explain to me how Claude was going to start a war as surely as Edelgard had she not done so first.

Given how he schemes and adapts, he has ways and methods to plan around things. But clearly he would clearly have wanted to recruit Byleth and the Sword of the Creator still because of the power they have. But as we've seen during Crimson Flower, even without Byleth, he had planned to have Almyrans help him out. Not to mention, keep in mind as others have stated, Claude also is someone that things that the Church is messed up and would not mind if Rhea were to die. The guy cannot even talk about food not being a blessing of the goddess without being worried of being considered a heretic. 

Contrary to how you're trying to depict him as, Claude isn't someone that would have stopped in his ambitions even if he hit snags. 

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14 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

And you don't think his plans would change once he realizes he can't use the sword or that Byleth would never join him? That in other routes he would still be planning to use the Sword/Byleth as his bargaining chip even though he possesses neither? You have to explain to me how Claude was going to start a war as surely as Edelgard had she not done so first.

Considering he invites the Almyran Navy to Derdriu, it sure seems like he had something cooking. Navies aren't generally known for disembarking from their ships for defensive purposes. He specifically shuts down Derdriu in order to prevent people from snitching on their presence. Assuming that didn't attract the Empire's attention, what exactly did you think he was going to use them for?

And as has been stated, the issue isn't about whether his goals would work out, we as players outside the game know they can't. But his intention was to acquire the Sword of the Creator and he states outright to Byleth that he wanted to use them to his advantage. What would such awesome power be for if not to use it?

It also isn't about how he's good or bad. The state of Fodlan as it is being ruled by Rhea's control over the Church means there legit are no other options but violent ones. Rhea wants to maintain her control and she's shown to exercise ruthless means in order to perpetuate that. Claude's goal is to break open the borders, which is against the laws of the Church. It's only going to end in any way but violence. He averts that in Verdant Wind because he gets to be the hero who helped end the war and someone who's as close to him as a sibling is the new ruler of Fodlan.

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12 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Given how he schemes and adapts, he has ways and methods to plan around things. But clearly he would clearly have wanted to recruit Byleth and the Sword of the Creator still because of the power they have. But as we've seen during Crimson Flower, even without Byleth, he had planned to have Almyrans help him out. Not to mention, keep in mind as others have stated, Claude also is someone that things that the Church is messed up and would not mind if Rhea were to die. The guy cannot even talk about food not being a blessing of the goddess without being worried of being considered a heretic. 

Contrary to how you're trying to depict him as, Claude isn't someone that would have stopped in his ambitions even if he hit snags. 

I never said he stopped, this is the second time you've misquoted me. Just that the steps of the plan would change. As you have acknowledged, he enlisted the help of Almyrans when the capital was under siege. If he wanted to roll over and surrender, both on his plan and on his country, he would have done it earlier. With how much he had been planning for his loss it's obvious Claude doesn't achieve his dreams in CF, but he makes sure he didn't fail them either by placing trust in Teach and Edelgard. And if you kill Claude, that trust is betrayed. Teach and Edelgard were not the people he wanted them to be.

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1 minute ago, Glennstavos said:

I never said he stopped, this is the second time you've misquoted me. Just that the steps of the plan would change. As you have acknowledged, he enlisted the help of Almyrans when the capital was under siege. If he wanted to roll over and surrender, both on his plan and on his country, he would have done it earlier. With how much he had been planning for his loss it's obvious Claude doesn't achieve his dreams in CF, but he makes sure he didn't fail them either by placing trust in Teach and Edelgard. And if you kill Claude, that trust is betrayed. Teach and Edelgard were not the people he wanted them to be.

You don't call in the battle hungry Almyrans for simple defense. Hubert and Edelgard literally anticipated that Claude shutting down traffic in Derdriu was him preparing to launch an offense as well. As I very well pointed out, Claude clung to power in the other routes. He refuses to give up unless he has nothing left or cannot. Such as in AM where Dimitri wipes out Claude's forces, or SS where his forces likely still got wiped out and forced him to flee. And in CF, he tried to keep the Alliance together by inciting conflict. 

Claude trusts Edelgard and Byleth if you spare him, yes, but because he applied simply logic to how it was beneficial to keep him alive, as opposed to simply killing him. Yet even Edelgard states that Claude very well likely accounted for his own death. 

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The mere argument that Claude wanting the Sword of the Creator (and power in general) suggests that he would start a war is... pretty weak, to be honest. Weapons can fight wars, certainly, but they can also deter them. Nuclear deterrence, basically. 

A better case for Claude starting a war is this. Claude wants improved relations between Fodlan and Almyra, wishing to "tear down this wall" in the East. Many residents of both lands distrust the others, and don't want that. Claude pushing too hard for peace with Almyra (in a theoretical Fodlan where Edelgard never starts the war) would have serious potential for starting a civil war in the Alliance (which, depending on the responses by the Kingdom, Empire, Church, and Almyra itself, could very well spread).

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Just now, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

The mere argument that Claude wanting the Sword of the Creator (and power in general) suggests that he would start a war is... pretty weak, to be honest. Weapons can fight wars, certainly, but they can also deter them. Nuclear deterrence, basically. 

That's actually where I was going with Claude's overall intentions with the Sword. Be a nuclear deterrent where they listen to his demands and no one has to suffer from it. But what I was saying is that trying to do that was going to piss everyone off, particularly Rhea, which would cause a war to ignite as a result.

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22 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

That's actually where I was going with Claude's overall intentions with the Sword. Be a nuclear deterrent where they listen to his demands and no one has to suffer from it. But what I was saying is that trying to do that was going to piss everyone off, particularly Rhea, which would cause a war to ignite as a result.

I already suggested this so I'm curious why I'm off base. What makes you think the Church would ask the Empire and Kingdom to start a war if Claude took the sword of the creator? Why not do what they did with Miklan and send the Knights? If they only sent the knights, it would not be this inevitable world war you're suggesting all three lords were going to create.

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