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The True Tragedy of Three Houses

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After working on trying to de-toxify myself fro the reddit BS, I began to think about the state of the characters in 3H, how they operate, what they believe in, and why things happened the way it did. After a while, it finally hit me. 

It's something that Itachi says in Naruto:

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And that's basically it. 

Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude, and Rhea. They are all bound by their own beliefs and ideals, which became their reality, that they simply could not see what the others saw or felt. To them, the reality of each other was nothing more than an illusion.

Consider how each character acted.

  • Rhea:

Suffering from a trauma of genocide, Rhea simply could not trust humanity. She couldn't believe in opening up to people and confiding her secrets. Because of that, she simply doesn't accept anyone that would dare to oppose the Church or her way of using her power. She cannot accept the choices that Edelgard makes, and especially the idea that Byleth would join her. Her trauma made her unable to accept it and to her reality, this was Nemsis 2.0. She even censors and hides information, constantly keeping secrets, and it took five years of imprisonment in the non-CF routes for Rhea to finally change and start confessing her secrets, but for someone that's lied for so long, it's hard to tell how much actually true. 

  • Dimitri:

He's been consumed by his desire for vengeance because of the trauma he suffered from the Tragedy of Duscur. He was so traumatized that his own mind kept thinking about the events and manifested into "ghosts" that told him to seek revenge. It's a delusion, yes, but it's Dimitri's reality. Not only that, but despite Byleth telling Dimitri to try and reconnect with Edelgard, Dimitri refuses to, believing that they both changed too much. And though misguided and false, he believed that Edelgard was responsible for the Tragedy of Duscur. The truth is not so, but the truth is what Dimitri made of it. He saw and ultimately believed what he thought was the truth. And because of that, he refused to listen to anything Edelgard had to say, whether it was the truth or not. Even in CF, Dimitri wasn't going to listen to reason, cause it's still the same insane Dimitri as Part 1, that cannot believe in anything else and refuses to listen to any explanations. 

  • Claude:

Claude might not be as traumatized emotionally like the other three, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't bear his own trauma. Being persecuted by Almyrans for being half-Fódlan, then going to Fódlan and learning that they view Almyrans as beasts. It made Claude unable to trust people with his true heritage and instead kept trying to use and scheme his way to getting what he desired. Edelgard tried to talk to Claude and even offered to exchange secrets, but Claude basically made an unreasonable demand, making Edelgard drop the matter. In fact, despite how they hold similar ideals, whether it's VW or even CF, Claude refused to ally with her, with VW cause Edelgard went off more on the deep end and made too much violence, and in CF cause he wanted to rule Fódlan himself, as he admitted. He only backs off when he has no way of winning anymore. 

  • Edelgard:

Poor Edelgard, there is so much about her reality that makes it hard for her to really open up. For one thing, she's the ONLY one that learns that Rhea is a dragon and the alternate history of Fódlan from her father. Just HOW does she tell this to people? No one would believe her. And she's of a family who's political power was stripped by the corrupt nobles. And the Agarthans experimented her thanks to Duke Aegir and his cohorts locking her and her siblings up. She can't tell others. Not to mention, the trauma and environment during it made her forget some memories, so she doesn't remember Dimitri. And going to war against the Church of Seiros is something that none of her friends would have agreed with. And because of that, in the non-CF routes, because her reality was something she was not able to share with others that believed in, so she just became closed off. Regardless of whether Dimitri or Claude tried to talk to her or how badly she was being beaten, she was too set on her path by that point. She lost and sacrificed so much that there was no way that she could give up, else she had wasted lives for nothing. She needed to make the sacrifices mean something or die trying. 

-

Had they all been able to believe in other people, and not be trapped under their own reality due to their personal emotional issues, and actually be able to talk to one another, thus being able to see each other's reality and become more understanding and accepting, then maybe, just maybe, they could have made the war be against the Agarthans, and not each other before the Agarthans. It'd have been a war where Edelgard fought with the others to free the Empire from the Agarthan's control. 

But that's not how reality works.

People can't let go of their issues easily, because their reality is something that shaped them into what they are. Changing oneself is to break yourself and rebuild into something different, and that's not only scary, but even painful for the person. Rhea needed to spend five years imprisoned to finally change. Dimitri needed to have Rodrigue take a blow for him from someone that sought revenge like Dimitri had, and then be told that he doesn't have to listen to what others want and instead do what he wants. And Edelgard and Claude both learn to trust others more often, but for the former, only at the most critical moment when she needed someone to believe in her, while Claude simply had someone that was fighting with him the entire way. 

Ultimately, this conflict was inevitable.

And that is the true tragedy of 3H.

Which makes the story that much more beautiful. 

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I think one of the most tragic thing about FE3H was that ever step that was taken by each character was human.

There was no evil god pull the strings behind everything, no big bad in the shadows, yes, Those Who Slithered In The Dark where most definitely had a say in crafting certain elements and moulding certain people in certain way, but they where never the main cause of conflict. It was always the three houses and the church. It always one person and their ideals verses another. Even is per say Rhea and her siblings weren't quite human; they where people, they where just a person as any other human was.

Rhea was the survivor of a genocide, she watched her siblings and her mother die, for nothing more then human hatred. Yet even after losing so much she still showed humanity kindness and love. But that didn't stop her own disillusion. Rhea is a broken woman who misses her mother dearly. I think it's clear that she never moved on. And while she didn't blame all humans for what had happened, her trauma left her feeling that any attempts to defile the church is just as how you said it; It's Just Nemesis 2.0. 

It's just humanity taking all that she has left away from her. And she can't do that, not again, never again. 

Another interesting point is that Edelgard mirrored Rhea in so many ways; both are broken tragic women who suffered through the death of their loved ones for no other reason then the crests, and a trauma leading to them taking such a stubborn stances. But I feel the two could never truly communicate.

There's some weight behind Edelgard wanting to destroy the Crest system, helping the oppressed poor. But is so much bloodshed needed for it? A tough question to answer. But due to the suffering she had to cope with, and her short lifespan, it's all she can be driven to do.

 Rhea's plight about hiding everything from humanity makes sense to, at least to her. All she's seen humans do is destroy and kill. Isn't she simply doing what's best for them? Keeping them safe? In her mind she's doing was best, what keeps the peace, even if it means allowing for such a broken system to stand before her.

Both had been through so much horrible stuff of similar shades; yet here they are, opposing each other for reasons they can only see as logical due how they where raised.

God I feel so sorry for Dimitri.The poor lad. He was a survivor a tragedy to, and that shaped him into a man who would eventually break down into anger and rage and hate. So disillusioned. So tormented. While every single one of the Lords and Rhea suffered; Dimitri suffered the worst most openly. He begin hearing voices, see things, his mental health was collapsing, and he was sure the only way to end it was Edelgard's head. But of course it would solve nothing, it never would. Revenge doesn't mean anything in the end. Those people would still be dead.

Claude is the most sane, and one who while didn't suffer the most, still had his own demons. I don't really have much to say about Claude, even if he had issues he never let them overtake him or use them to justify doing horrible things. He had a noble goal and didn't let his own suffering get the better of him with it. He's probably one of my favourite, if not my favourite (yeah even maybe more then Edelgard) and think he's great. He's just a poor guy trying to work with what he's given, and even after years of being treated like hot garbage thanks to the prejudice of others he still tries to be a real nice dude, even with all his scheming and plotting.

Overall yeah, this was all one big mess waiting to happen, and all it took was the pieces to fall into place, and by gods it was horrible.

There was no fighting a god, or a devil, or a monster. People where the monsters, whether they human or mankete or otherwise; people did this. This is all loss by the hands of one person or another; and that's what I think makes this such a horrible, beautiful tragedy.

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Grade-A writeup. I know we've disagreed in the past, but I agree with 'most everything here. In a sense, the Lonato chapter, despite coming just hours into the game, captures this core theme. Stubborness, old wounds, irreconcilable differences of values - these things all breed war. Edelgard says it best - to pity those who die in fighting for a cause they deem just is to disrespect them. Three Houses respects its key characters enough to let them adhere to a standard, and fight for it, even if the player tries to change their minds.

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Yeah, this game is a tragic yet beautiful story. However much we want to we cannot save everyone. I can't save both Edelgard and Dimitri, however much I would want to. Edelgard will refuse to live in a reality where her reforms are not realized. Even if you try to spare her she will not have it. Dimitri loses himself to his obsession with vengeance and mental issues without outside help

Byleth is very important to all of these people. His/her support makes all the difference to the house leaders and Rhea.

Take Edelgard for example, she is the one I know best. Byleth and his/hers unexpected support of her broke through her emotionally distant and cold facade. Edelgard was actually able to open up to someone completely, companionship she hasnt had for many years. With someone she felt she could trust at her side she never fell to the darkness as she would have otherwise, strenghening her sense of compassion. Making this Edelgard a just and kind leader who avoids civilian casualties, spares people where she can and works to establish diplomatic relations with Almyra.

But in saving Edelgard, Dimitri and Rhea lose themselves to their issues as Byleth was not there for them. Who to save is a question of priorities, and for me I am very attached to Edelgard. I don't hate Rhea or Dimitri, but I also want to protect Edelgard. So for me that is the choice

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Sums it all up nicely I'd say. It's not perfect, but I think overall the writers did a pretty dang good job with the story and world they set up. :)

That being said, I do hope they take a break from tragedies for a bit. A simple feel-good story like Sacred Stones and Path of Radiance is nice every now and then. No need to have my heart ripped apart in every game. 😄

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6 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Grade-A writeup. I know we've disagreed in the past, but I agree with 'most everything here. In a sense, the Lonato chapter, despite coming just hours into the game, captures this core theme. Stubborness, old wounds, irreconcilable differences of values - these things all breed war. Edelgard says it best - to pity those who die in fighting for a cause they deem just is to disrespect them. Three Houses respects its key characters enough to let them adhere to a standard, and fight for it, even if the player tries to change their minds.

That quote very clearly explains why Edelgard didn't have any problem dying for her cause, would also explain why she don't take being spared well as she feels that sparing her life is disrespectful. One thing I really admire with Edelgard is that she accepts death with grace, she doesn't beg for her life, she stares death in the face and requests being killed. I like her a lot, so seeing her die is painful to me, but they should remind myself that Edelgard wouldn't want me to pity her. She made her choice and that choice was to die for her cause. At least Edelgard is consistent, if you're willing to sacrifice the lives of others. You should also be willing to sacrifice your own life. I think that is valiant. There really hasn't been many characters like Edelgard, are very nature makes hard to properly classify. But they would generally put her in the same category as Lelouch from Code Geass, or V from V for Vendetta, idealistic revolutionaries with questionable methods and good intentions, seeking social overhaul through any means. I have always been a sucker for that type of character. 

Yeah, I am obsessed, but considering that this game has such great characters, and you really blame me? 

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3 minutes ago, Jotari said:

The tragedy, like a whole lot of fiction, is that no one bloody talks to each other.

This entire conflict could have been avoided if everyone was just willing to hear everyone else out. But the fact that they don't is not the fault of the single individual, but practically all of them. Edelgard has trust issues since her imprisonment and don't think anyone would understand, she is absolutely wrong, a lot of people among the students in Garreg Mach shares her concern about the abuse of crests and that the nobility system needs major reform, including both Dimitri and Claude. Rhea is so obsessed about her past trauma that she relates everything to her war with Nemesis and also don't trust anyone with her secrets, she also mistakenly believe Edelgard to be a second Nemesis and is way too quick to give out death sentences without a proper trial. Dimitri basically needs a scapegoat for the tragedy of Duskur to handle his personal trauma and he is unwilling to accept the truth (now what it Edelgard actually told him who was actually responsible? But once again, she won't because she thinks there is no way he will listen to reason. So she isn't even bothering to try).  Claude also has trust issues because of constantly hiding his heritage, but he is a bit more reasonable in this regard than the rest. Every single one of these people are the way they are because of personal trauma that has affected them greatly. 

The entire thing basically comes down to everyone misunderstanding each other, a classic tragedy plot point also present in the likes of Romeo and Juliet, where both end a dead because they misunderstand the situation and overreact immediately. But this is a classic for a reason, it is effective, and it makes the audience wish that things turned out differently. 

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6 hours ago, Sentinel07 said:

Sums it all up nicely I'd say. It's not perfect, but I think overall the writers did a pretty dang good job with the story and world they set up. 🙂

That being said, I do hope they take a break from tragedies for a bit. A simple feel-good story like Sacred Stones and Path of Radiance is nice every now and then. No need to have my heart ripped apart in every game. 😄

Spoiler

?

The core story of Sacred Stones is that of two youths having to fight and kill their best friend, who succumbed to the darkness while trying to save his dying father. Also not being able to save good people, like Selena, Glen, and Ismaire. Also Orson goes mad with grief due to the death of his wife, causing him to go traitor and screw a zombie.

Rated E for everyone.

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5 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

The entire thing basically comes down to everyone misunderstanding each other, a classic tragedy plot point also present in the likes of Romeo and Juliet, where both end a dead because they misunderstand the situation and overreact immediately. But this is a classic for a reason, it is effective, and it makes the audience wish that things turned out differently. 

It's not just misunderstanding. It's unwilling to open up to one another. To let go of their insecurities. 

Just because you have the objective truth in front of you, does that mean you will accept it? 

Also, I wouldn't say that Edelgard is absolutely wrong that no one would understand. Having issues with the Crest System is one thing, but there are people that believe in the Crest System or of the nobility system. Dimitri is one that does believe in it. He even remarks that there's a reason that such things withstand the test of time, and that without placing stock on Crests, the "metaphorical blade would rust." Even Ferdinand felt that he should be able to convince Edelgard not to dismantle the nobility. 

Everyone holds different beliefs. It's whether they are able to put aside their personal cases and hear each other out. 

But there's only 1 Byleth and the biggest changes only happen at the point of no return.

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15 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

This entire conflict could have been avoided if everyone was just willing to hear everyone else out. But the fact that they don't is not the fault of the single individual, but practically all of them. Edelgard has trust issues since her imprisonment and don't think anyone would understand, she is absolutely wrong, a lot of people among the students in Garreg Mach shares her concern about the abuse of crests and that the nobility system needs major reform, including both Dimitri and Claude. Rhea is so obsessed about her past trauma that she relates everything to her war with Nemesis and also don't trust anyone with her secrets, she also mistakenly believe Edelgard to be a second Nemesis and is way too quick to give out death sentences without a proper trial. Dimitri basically needs a scapegoat for the tragedy of Duskur to handle his personal trauma and he is unwilling to accept the truth (now what it Edelgard actually told him who was actually responsible? But once again, she won't because she thinks there is no way he will listen to reason. So she isn't even bothering to try).  Claude also has trust issues because of constantly hiding his heritage, but he is a bit more reasonable in this regard than the rest. Every single one of these people are the way they are because of personal trauma that has affected them greatly. 

The entire thing basically comes down to everyone misunderstanding each other, a classic tragedy plot point also present in the likes of Romeo and Juliet, where both end a dead because they misunderstand the situation and overreact immediately. But this is a classic for a reason, it is effective, and it makes the audience wish that things turned out differently. 

I feel I should note Romeo and Juliet is a particularly bad example as the two characters literally can't talk to each other (which itself comes with a bit of bullshit, namely a completely out of nowhere plague stopping the letter). Fiction is absolutely loaded with characters who just don't communicate at all.

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I don't know how this game did it, but it made me feel sorry for both Rhea and Edelgard at the same time, I initially didn't think that to be possible. Am I the only one who feel this way?

9 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

It's not just misunderstanding. It's unwilling to open up to one another. To let go of their insecurities. 

Just because you have the objective truth in front of you, does that mean you will accept it? 

Also, I wouldn't say that Edelgard is absolutely wrong that no one would understand. Having issues with the Crest System is one thing, but there are people that believe in the Crest System or of the nobility system. Dimitri is one that does believe in it. He even remarks that there's a reason that such things withstand the test of time, and that without placing stock on Crests, the "metaphorical blade would rust." Even Ferdinand felt that he should be able to convince Edelgard not to dismantle the nobility. 

Everyone holds different beliefs. It's whether they are able to put aside their personal cases and hear each other out. 

But there's only 1 Byleth and the biggest changes only happen at the point of no return.

You have a point, but there are also plenty of people who would be willing to join Edelgard because of their bad experiences with the crest system. Lysithea, Sylvain, Ashe, because of the death of his adoptive father, and there is more. Edelgard isn't as alone as she thinks even if I understand this isn't something you can trust to anyone, Seems like there is no getting along for Edelgard and Dimitri, because neither will compromise

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I think there's a lot of bad critique of fiction out there in which people essentially argue "well, that's not what I would have done if I were in this character's position". As the audience we have all the info that characters lack, but even when that character is presented with those extra details, you can't really say this or that way is how they "should have acted". Because you're not that character and you don't live in this fictional universe with its alternative philosophies and rules.

But I also think this cuts both ways. Assuming a character wouldn't believe the truth when it's presented to them also misappropriates their agency as free thinkers. 

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50 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

I think there's a lot of bad critique of fiction out there in which people essentially argue "well, that's not what I would have done if I were in this character's position". As the audience we have all the info that characters lack, but even when that character is presented with those extra details, you can't really say this or that way is how they "should have acted". Because you're not that character and you don't live in this fictional universe with its alternative philosophies and rules.

But I also think this cuts both ways. Assuming a character wouldn't believe the truth when it's presented to them also misappropriates their agency as free thinkers. 

True, this is exactly the reason I don't blame Edelgard for her decisions, even if she is wrong on occation, how could she possibly know the truth about Rhea and Nemesis when Rhea straight up refuses to tell anyone the truth? She just knows what the Dragon is running the church and that they have falsified the history of the world, but she doesn't know in what way. Normally, it is fairly safe to assume that someone rewrites history to make themselves look better than they actually were and their enemies worse ,(but this was not what Rhea did, she made me extremely strange move of covering up the full extent of the enemy's crimes, a conclusion almost no one would jump to. If they didn't know the details). It also doesn't help that Rhea is also making a really bad impression on her as she has a tendency to become a rather unforgiving when she's angered. So it really looks like to Edelgard that her course is just and that she is overthrowing the tyrant who has manipulated the world for over a millennia.

From Rhea's perspective, it really looks like Edelgard has joined the people who commited genocide on her race over a millennia ago, immediately jumping to the conclusion that she is another Nemesis, but this is because her personal trauma makes it very difficult for her to not draw this conclusion and there are a lot of things that makes Edelgard look really bad. Rhea doesn't know that the Flame Emperor has tried to distance herself from the actions of her supposed allies in Remire, nor that she hates working with them, and it's basically only doing so because she has very little choice and they do have a common enemy (at least Edelgard seems to think so, but she has also been tricked into believing that the church is worse than her shady allies). 

The only way the situation really could be resolved is if two things happen, first Edelgard needs to be willing to tell people the truth about why she is doing all of this and the fact that she hates working with those of slither in the dark, secondly, Rhea must actually be willing to listen and forgive the past transgressions. But maybe they will just never really agree what is best for Fodlan and there will be a war regardless.

While I am trying to remain as neutral as I can in all of this, it should be clear from my profile where my allegiance lies, I have a huge bias towards Edelgard because I just like her that much. I have made my choice and I don't regret it, and I think the world she created in crimson flower is good, even if it required quite a lot of tragedy get there. But maybe if the people in power refuse to listen. Maybe war is the only recourse for reform. The death of Rhea and Dimitri is regrettable, but at that point they have fallen into insanity so badly that this course of action might have been necessary. (At the very least Claude is fine, never killed him, if I were Edelgard I would have given him a position of power in the new government, he is one of the most capable people around). It does seem like every ending in this game has a somewhat decent end state for the world. So it is really a question of who you really want to live and whose future you want to bring about. 

 

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1 hour ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

True, this is exactly the reason I don't blame Edelgard for her decisions, even if she is wrong on occation, how could she possibly know the truth about Rhea and Nemesis when Rhea straight up refuses to tell anyone the truth? She just knows what the Dragon is running the church and that they have falsified the history of the world, but she doesn't know in what way. Normally, it is fairly safe to assume that someone rewrites history to make themselves look better than they actually were and their enemies worse ,(but this was not what Rhea did, she made me extremely strange move of covering up the full extent of the enemy's crimes, a conclusion almost no one would jump to. If they didn't know the details). It also doesn't help that Rhea is also making a really bad impression on her as she has a tendency to become a rather unforgiving when she's angered. So it really looks like to Edelgard that her course is just and that she is overthrowing the tyrant who has manipulated the world for over a millennia.

From Rhea's perspective, it really looks like Edelgard has joined the people who commited genocide on her race over a millennia ago, immediately jumping to the conclusion that she is another Nemesis, but this is because her personal trauma makes it very difficult for her to not draw this conclusion and there are a lot of things that makes Edelgard look really bad. Rhea doesn't know that the Flame Emperor has tried to distance herself from the actions of her supposed allies in Remire, nor that she hates working with them, and it's basically only doing so because she has very little choice and they do have a common enemy (at least Edelgard seems to think so, but she has also been tricked into believing that the church is worse than her shady allies). 

The only way the situation really could be resolved is if two things happen, first Edelgard needs to be willing to tell people the truth about why she is doing all of this and the fact that she hates working with those of slither in the dark, secondly, Rhea must actually be willing to listen and forgive the past transgressions. But maybe they will just never really agree what is best for Fodlan and there will be a war regardless.

While I am trying to remain as neutral as I can in all of this, it should be clear from my profile where my allegiance lies, I have a huge bias towards Edelgard because I just like her that much. I have made my choice and I don't regret it, and I think the world she created in crimson flower is good, even if it required quite a lot of tragedy get there. But maybe if the people in power refuse to listen. Maybe war is the only recourse for reform. The death of Rhea and Dimitri is regrettable, but at that point they have fallen into insanity so badly that this course of action might have been necessary. (At the very least Claude is fine, never killed him, if I were Edelgard I would have given him a position of power in the new government, he is one of the most capable people around). It does seem like every ending in this game has a somewhat decent end state for the world. So it is really a question of who you really want to live and whose future you want to bring about. 

 

People other than Linhardt actually taking Hammerman's research seriously would also help side step a lot of the conflict.

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5 minutes ago, Jotari said:

People other than Linhardt actually taking Hammerman's research seriously would also help side step a lot of the conflict.

That research is rather important, their combined effort actually helped save the lives of both Edelgard and Lysithea. It does actually seem like Edelgard was funding their research, but the war was already way underway by that point. 

I have a bit of a different view on crests than Edelgard in that I consider them to be mostly incidental and the real problem is the nobles abusing their authority, they used crests to justify their position, yes, but it is not the crests themselves that is the problem. But I do generally agree with her, I also think that the blood reconstruction surgery should be straight up banned as it is a horrible practice (just look at what Edelgard and Lysithea went through)

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53 minutes ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

That research is rather important, their combined effort actually helped save the lives of both Edelgard and Lysithea. It does actually seem like Edelgard was funding their research, but the war was already way underway by that point. 

I have a bit of a different view on crests than Edelgard in that I consider them to be mostly incidental and the real problem is the nobles abusing their authority, they used crests to justify their position, yes, but it is not the crests themselves that is the problem. But I do generally agree with her, I also think that the blood reconstruction surgery should be straight up banned as it is a horrible practice (just look at what Edelgard and Lysithea went through)

I have been debating for a while now to make a "Crests did nothing wrong" topic as I'm in agreement with you there.

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On 2/15/2020 at 1:04 AM, omegaxis1 said:

After working on trying to de-toxify myself fro the reddit BS, I began to think about the state of the characters in 3H, how they operate, what they believe in, and why things happened the way it did. After a while, it finally hit me. 

It's something that Itachi says in Naruto:

unknown.png

And that's basically it. 

Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude, and Rhea. They are all bound by their own beliefs and ideals, which became their reality, that they simply could not see what the others saw or felt. To them, the reality of each other was nothing more than an illusion.

Consider how each character acted.

  • Rhea:

Suffering from a trauma of genocide, Rhea simply could not trust humanity. She couldn't believe in opening up to people and confiding her secrets. Because of that, she simply doesn't accept anyone that would dare to oppose the Church or her way of using her power. She cannot accept the choices that Edelgard makes, and especially the idea that Byleth would join her. Her trauma made her unable to accept it and to her reality, this was Nemsis 2.0. She even censors and hides information, constantly keeping secrets, and it took five years of imprisonment in the non-CF routes for Rhea to finally change and start confessing her secrets, but for someone that's lied for so long, it's hard to tell how much actually true. 

  • Dimitri:

He's been consumed by his desire for vengeance because of the trauma he suffered from the Tragedy of Duscur. He was so traumatized that his own mind kept thinking about the events and manifested into "ghosts" that told him to seek revenge. It's a delusion, yes, but it's Dimitri's reality. Not only that, but despite Byleth telling Dimitri to try and reconnect with Edelgard, Dimitri refuses to, believing that they both changed too much. And though misguided and false, he believed that Edelgard was responsible for the Tragedy of Duscur. The truth is not so, but the truth is what Dimitri made of it. He saw and ultimately believed what he thought was the truth. And because of that, he refused to listen to anything Edelgard had to say, whether it was the truth or not. Even in CF, Dimitri wasn't going to listen to reason, cause it's still the same insane Dimitri as Part 1, that cannot believe in anything else and refuses to listen to any explanations. 

  • Claude:

Claude might not be as traumatized emotionally like the other three, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't bear his own trauma. Being persecuted by Almyrans for being half-Fódlan, then going to Fódlan and learning that they view Almyrans as beasts. It made Claude unable to trust people with his true heritage and instead kept trying to use and scheme his way to getting what he desired. Edelgard tried to talk to Claude and even offered to exchange secrets, but Claude basically made an unreasonable demand, making Edelgard drop the matter. In fact, despite how they hold similar ideals, whether it's VW or even CF, Claude refused to ally with her, with VW cause Edelgard went off more on the deep end and made too much violence, and in CF cause he wanted to rule Fódlan himself, as he admitted. He only backs off when he has no way of winning anymore. 

  • Edelgard:

Poor Edelgard, there is so much about her reality that makes it hard for her to really open up. For one thing, she's the ONLY one that learns that Rhea is a dragon and the alternate history of Fódlan from her father. Just HOW does she tell this to people? No one would believe her. And she's of a family who's political power was stripped by the corrupt nobles. And the Agarthans experimented her thanks to Duke Aegir and his cohorts locking her and her siblings up. She can't tell others. Not to mention, the trauma and environment during it made her forget some memories, so she doesn't remember Dimitri. And going to war against the Church of Seiros is something that none of her friends would have agreed with. And because of that, in the non-CF routes, because her reality was something she was not able to share with others that believed in, so she just became closed off. Regardless of whether Dimitri or Claude tried to talk to her or how badly she was being beaten, she was too set on her path by that point. She lost and sacrificed so much that there was no way that she could give up, else she had wasted lives for nothing. She needed to make the sacrifices mean something or die trying. 

-

Had they all been able to believe in other people, and not be trapped under their own reality due to their personal emotional issues, and actually be able to talk to one another, thus being able to see each other's reality and become more understanding and accepting, then maybe, just maybe, they could have made the war be against the Agarthans, and not each other before the Agarthans. It'd have been a war where Edelgard fought with the others to free the Empire from the Agarthan's control. 

But that's not how reality works.

People can't let go of their issues easily, because their reality is something that shaped them into what they are. Changing oneself is to break yourself and rebuild into something different, and that's not only scary, but even painful for the person. Rhea needed to spend five years imprisoned to finally change. Dimitri needed to have Rodrigue take a blow for him from someone that sought revenge like Dimitri had, and then be told that he doesn't have to listen to what others want and instead do what he wants. And Edelgard and Claude both learn to trust others more often, but for the former, only at the most critical moment when she needed someone to believe in her, while Claude simply had someone that was fighting with him the entire way. 

Ultimately, this conflict was inevitable.

And that is the true tragedy of 3H.

Which makes the story that much more beautiful. 

Indeed, it is a tragedy. At night, under a gibbous moon, I can still sometimes see the ashes from Battle of Belhalla being spread on the four winds.

Edited by Wraith

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I have been looking around for a site that offers informed, balanced discussions of this amazing game from all sides, where people can argue and debate without attacking each other. It looks like I've found that place here. Great discussion - not only really insightful, giving me lots to think about, but also beautifull written. Thank you!!!!

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1 hour ago, Licoriceallsorts said:

I have been looking around for a site that offers informed, balanced discussions of this amazing game from all sides, where people can argue and debate without attacking each other. It looks like I've found that place here. Great discussion - not only really insightful, giving me lots to think about, but also beautifull written. Thank you!!!!

Yes, this place is great, the debat discourse is the just so much more friendly than usual, I have been to other places yet to compare and this is one of the friendliest site have encountered.

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11 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

From Rhea's perspective, it really looks like Edelgard has joined the people who commited genocide on her race over a millennia ago, immediately jumping to the conclusion that she is another Nemesis, but this is because her personal trauma makes it very difficult for her to not draw this conclusion and there are a lot of things that makes Edelgard look really bad. Rhea doesn't know that the Flame Emperor has tried to distance herself from the actions of her supposed allies in Remire, nor that she hates working with them, and it's basically only doing so because she has very little choice and they do have a common enemy (at least Edelgard seems to think so, but she has also been tricked into believing that the church is worse than her shady allies). 

Keep in mind that Rhea actually doesn't know about the Agarthans yet and it's only when Hubert's letting reveals them that she finally knows. But yes, the other part of seeing them as Nemesis 2.0 is very much the case. But then Byleth became the 2.0 for her, since she keeps comparing him to Nemesis. The thing I find rather amusing is how Rhea doesn't even think about Remire or anything. All she's angry about is what they did in the Holy Tomb since it's personal. She even outright states that no matter the reason, going against the Church is equal to death. 

10 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

That research is rather important, their combined effort actually helped save the lives of both Edelgard and Lysithea. It does actually seem like Edelgard was funding their research, but the war was already way underway by that point. 

I have a bit of a different view on crests than Edelgard in that I consider them to be mostly incidental and the real problem is the nobles abusing their authority, they used crests to justify their position, yes, but it is not the crests themselves that is the problem. But I do generally agree with her, I also think that the blood reconstruction surgery should be straight up banned as it is a horrible practice (just look at what Edelgard and Lysithea went through)

 

9 hours ago, Jotari said:

I have been debating for a while now to make a "Crests did nothing wrong" topic as I'm in agreement with you there.

I'm... personally in disagreement there. It's not just about removing the Crests. The Crests are like a crutch. Taking out Crests helps a lot, but the nobility won't be dismantled that easily. Hence why only Edelgard's route ever succeeds in dismantling the nobility system. The biggest irony is that Hanneman's research benefitted only from the cruel sacrifices of the experiments performed by the Agarthans. Everything that helps comes from the deaths caused by people that have no moral compass. Hannaman only made progress thanks to how the war allowed him to get his hands on some Agarthan tech.

Also, the thing about how the corrupt nobles are the problem is something I find amazing. Edelgard knows that corrupt nobility is an issue, but does getting rid of them stop future generations from doing the same thing? What's to stop them? Edelgard is looking at the bigger picture. She's looking directly at the root of the problem, which is the nobility system itself, and how Crests support those nobility, and the Crests are upheld because the Church always places them as objects of worship. 

5 hours ago, Licoriceallsorts said:

I have been looking around for a site that offers informed, balanced discussions of this amazing game from all sides, where people can argue and debate without attacking each other. It looks like I've found that place here. Great discussion - not only really insightful, giving me lots to think about, but also beautifull written. Thank you!!!!

Yeah. Compared to reddit, this place is heaven.

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Great write up! Will say that I find it quite odd how the;

Spoiler

Cindered Shadows scene with Dimitri asking Edelgard about her hair colour isn't in the normal storyline. It'd lend more credence to his belief of them both having changed too much to really reconnect, given that she blatantly does not remember him. I suppose it'd ruin part of the tragedy of her not remembering him until it's too late but I feel it could've been some nice build up to the reveal where Dimitri mentions they knew each other when they were young.

Not saying this would have changed anything mind you, but it could have been fit in nicely and made his reaction to Byleth telling him to try and reconnect a bit more natural, he's not willing to intrude when she's basically a completely different person now and you'd be able to see -why- he ends up thinking so.


Aside from that I think the game could've possibly benefitted from more scenes like the one with Claude and Edelgard that you mentioned too, where they kind of try to reach out in their own ways to each other but thing's simply don't work out. It'd make things all the more bittersweet really.


As for the good place for discussion bit; We're not jumping on each other's throats for our preferences for one, it's also much less likely to be an echo chamber. This was only my second Fire Emblem game but I'm honestly already tired of various paths like Fates and now Three Houses. Especially with all the -genuine- negative discourse that has surrounded this game with people, again, being at each others throats rather than actual productive discussion surrounding the game, as well as the frankly terrible split of resources resulting in all routes feeling genuinely incomplete. At most two paths, but preferably one solid game is what I'd want next time.

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Itachi was truly a genius wasn't he? A true shinobi in every respect. but yeah I agree with what's said here. then again honestly, I've drawn a lot of Naruto parallels with 3H cause Edelgard's goals are very similiar to Sasuke's by the end of the series. They both want to reform a system they view as flawed because it's those flaws that has allowed for the suffering for both themselves and the world at large. They both realize they blood they have to spill but they'll do it anyway for the sake of making the world a better place. Regardless, I've been chewing on 3H's story for a while now and honestly the biggest thematic through line I can find is what Edelgard says at the end of CF where she says

"When humanity stands strong and people reach out to one another, there is no need for gods" or something to that effect which is interesting because it's very similar to what Claude says at the end of Verdant Wind where in he states:

"Yet we have the strength to scale the walls between us. To reach out our hands in friendship so that we can open up our true hearts to one another"

What's interesting about these statements is that it kinda makes them hypocrits in a way. Because both of them refused to reach out to each other and show their true intentions until the war happened and that's why the war happened. The same can be said of Rhea and Dimitri. Every major character in this game hides some kind of secret or rather they never their true selves or true intentions. Hell the whole reason Edelgard hates the church is because Rhea is lying to everyone about herself and the world's history. Dimitri's whole arc centers around him being to true himself and learning to fight for what he believes in not the belief of others. In Azure Moon he even tries to reach out to Edelgard but she's stubborn and doesn't reciprocate. She refuses to reach out therefore she loses the thematic conflict. That's something to chew on anyway

 

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7 minutes ago, Axel987 said:

Great write up! Will say that I find it quite odd how the;

  Reveal hidden contents

Cindered Shadows scene with Dimitri asking Edelgard about her hair colour isn't in the normal storyline. It'd lend more credence to his belief of them both having changed too much to really reconnect, given that she blatantly does not remember him. I suppose it'd ruin part of the tragedy of her not remembering him until it's too late but I feel it could've been some nice build up to the reveal where Dimitri mentions they knew each other when they were young.

Not saying this would have changed anything mind you, but it could have been fit in nicely and made his reaction to Byleth telling him to try and reconnect a bit more natural, he's not willing to intrude when she's basically a completely different person now and you'd be able to see -why- he ends up thinking so.


Aside from that I think the game could've possibly benefitted from more scenes like the one with Claude and Edelgard that you mentioned too, where they kind of try to reach out in their own ways to each other but thing's simply don't work out. It'd make things all the more bittersweet really.


As for the good place for discussion bit; We're not jumping on each other's throats for our preferences for one, it's also much less likely to be an echo chamber. This was only my second Fire Emblem game but I'm honestly already tired of various paths like Fates and now Three Houses. Especially with all the -genuine- negative discourse that has surrounded this game with people, again, being at each others throats rather than actual productive discussion surrounding the game, as well as the frankly terrible split of resources resulting in all routes feeling genuinely incomplete. At most two paths, but preferably one solid game is what I'd want next time.

Ironically, Fates doesn't really have much hate on who likes which path better. 

Just now, Ottservia said:

Itachi was truly a genius wasn't he? A true shinobi in every respect. but yeah I agree with what's said here. then again honestly, I've drawn a lot of Naruto parallels with 3H cause Edelgard's goals are very similiar to Sasuke's by the end of the series. They both want to reform a system they view as flawed because it's those flaws that has allowed for the suffering for both themselves and the world at large. They both realize they blood they have to spill but they'll do it anyway for the sake of making the world a better place. Regardless, I've been chewing on 3H's story for a while now and honestly the biggest thematic through line I can find is what Edelgard says at the end of CF where she says

"When humanity stands strong and people reach out to one another, there is no need for gods" or something to that effect which is interesting because it's very similar to what Claude says at the end of Verdant Wind where in he states:

"Yet we have the strength to scale the walls between us. To reach out our hands in friendship so that we can open up our true hearts to one another"

What's interesting about these statements is that it kinda makes them hypocrits in a way. Because both of them refused to reach out to each other and show their true intentions until the war happened and that's why the war happened. The same can be said of Rhea and Dimitri. Every major character in this game hides some kind of secret or rather they never their true selves or true intentions. Hell the whole reason Edelgard hates the church is because Rhea is lying to everyone about herself and the world's history. Dimitri's whole arc centers around him being to true himself and learning to fight for what he believes in not the belief of others. In Azure Moon he even tries to reach out to Edelgard but she's stubborn and doesn't reciprocate. She refuses to reach out therefore she loses the thematic conflict. That's something to chew on anyway

Actually, that's the thing. Byleth is the factor that makes them start to change. Both Edelgard and Claude have serious trust issues, and for good reason. But Byleth helps them learn to open up and trust others more. It's why in CF, Edelgard is able to regain her own humanity and let the little girl that was trapped underneath emerge by the end. And in VW, Claude learned to trust Byleth to the point of calling them a sibling in the JP version, and then actually risk charging into Nemesis to give Byleth a chance to win, when in the beginning, Claude would run off at the first sign of trouble. 

It isn't that they're hypocrites, but their quotes are the manifestation of their change.

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There's one problem that is quite large with the 3H story... And that is Crimson Flower. 

 

There can be no denying that the story was magnanimously established that the church was not responsible for the evils of the crests. That was brought on by Nemesis and the Ten Elites. Rhea changed history (a nod to Deghinsea) in order to protect possible future bearers of crests from being slaughtered by folks who might seek their destruction just because they were descendents of the Elites. It shows some courage and forthcoming goodness on the part of Rhea... Of which I wouldn't have done myself. Those Who Slither in The Dark have a name: the Agarthans. I will refer to them as their name. They were behind Nemesis and the Elites decision to slaughter Rhea's brethren and make weapons of their bodies and crests of their hearts. 

 

The problem with Crimson Flower is that Edelgard blames the church for the evils of the crests and claims that those "beasts" Dragonkin and children of the goddess, are to blame for all evils. False. It was man who decided to make the crest bearers nobles. Not Rhea or the church. Or her dead mother who made no such decree of anything. Edelgard at first seemed to make her decisions out of ignorance, which could be understood but never excused. However, later on in the story, it is readily revealed that she knew all along who were the real problem. But not to the fullest extent. Instead of confronting Rhea before declaring war, to find the truth, she just sets ablaze a continent claiming: "For the freedom of Fohdland!" Except... She's uniting them under empirical rule... Which from what I remember... Is not freedom. Stupid. She even openly discovers in Arionrhod that the church was not responsible for the pillars of light that rained from the sky, and even knows who is... And she says to us, the protagonist and Hubert: "Let no one know of this." Then she calls a meeting of the strike force to say: "The church did it." Had I been able to make a choice, I would've chose (as Byleth) to kill her where she stood for that damnable lie. 

 

It's humorous, to say the least. Her entire story can be summed up to a modern expression of hatred of God (Christ) because someone told her she had to. I.e. her father. Pathetic. And to me, she has no redeemable qualities after that story. I have my problems with Dimitri acting a fool, and Claude meddling in Fohdland affairs even though he's an almyran, trying to push that ridiculous open boarders agenda politically in a video game. But Edelgard is the worst bad guy in the series in a long time. Crimson Flower tries to make her seem like the good guy, when in reality, that route cements her evil. I will take solace and pleasure in defeating her in all my future runs. Gladly. 

 

3H is a great FE... But it has its problems and they're big ones at that. I'll still play the game... But I am more looking forward to the possible and hopefully inevitable remakes of FE4 and FE5. 

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