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Who should have betrayed their faction?

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1 minute ago, omegaxis1 said:

It never had anything to do with "right or wrong" but simply that Byleth was destined to oppose Edelgard because he's a child of the goddess. But CF is the route where Byleth opposes that fate.

I'm not trying to say Edelgard feels like she's doing the wrong thing (and the general point you're making here seems true) but it's all the more reason why she feels a need to justify herself to Byleth - Byleth has thrown away their birthright for her, and she's scared they'll regret it, especially because Byleth comes to mean much more than a powerful ally.

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1 minute ago, haarhaarhaar said:

I'm not trying to say Edelgard feels like she's doing the wrong thing (and the general point you're making here seems true) but it's all the more reason why she feels a need to justify herself to Byleth - Byleth has thrown away their birthright for her, and she's scared they'll regret it, especially because Byleth comes to mean much more than a powerful ally.

I don't recall her "justifying" herself to him. Keep in mind that every time she's giving him the choice, she tells him that she's going to fight against the Church and Rhea, making it clear that her path will likely lead to the death of Byleth's own kind. Unless you consider her expressing her reasons and letting down her barriers to show her more vulnerable side as her "justifying" herself, but that certainly wouldn't be the case. 

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9 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

I don't recall her "justifying" herself to him. Keep in mind that every time she's giving him the choice, she tells him that she's going to fight against the Church and Rhea, making it clear that her path will likely lead to the death of Byleth's own kind. Unless you consider her expressing her reasons and letting down her barriers to show her more vulnerable side as her "justifying" herself, but that certainly wouldn't be the case.

Hmm this sounds a little like pedantry to me. Byleth doesn't technically know (but they could feasibly suspect) a lot about their heritage until just prior to Fhirdiad where Edelgard has The Chat - before that point she never mentions Byleth fighting against their own kind, or Byleth's relation to Rhea, but keeps whatever she does know (it doesn't seem like that much anyway) to herself. I don't disagree that she's being vulnerable by speaking to Byleth privately throughout CF, but it's just as much about confirming Byleth is onside (because that is critical to her goals) as it is an emotional journey for her (because a big part of her can't bring herself to believe anyone would or could choose to walk alongside her). She's more afraid in those moments than actively manipulative - she obviously has plenty of reason to fear opening up to people. It just so happens that in this case her personal issues coincide with her public duty to win (and Byleth is key in both).

So yeah, while I'm no shrink, it seems to me like she keeps asking Byleth of his choices as a way of explaining herself to them while affirming her own choices - not only is Byleth's approval paramount as the first person Edelgard has truly let in, it's also the scariest to obtain, because for Edelgard a lot publicly and privately rides on it (even if gameplay mechanics means that the player is locked in for the ride anyway). If you don't want to call that justification, that's fine though too.

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10 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Hmm this sounds a little like pedantry to me. Byleth doesn't technically know (but they could feasibly suspect) a lot about their heritage until just prior to Fhirdiad where Edelgard has The Chat - before that point she never mentions Byleth fighting against their own kind, or Byleth's relation to Rhea, but keeps whatever she does know (it doesn't seem like that much anyway) to herself. I don't disagree that she's being vulnerable by speaking to Byleth privately throughout CF, but it's just as much about confirming Byleth is onside (because that is critical to her goals) as it is an emotional journey for her (because a big part of her can't bring herself to believe anyone would or could choose to walk alongside her). She's more afraid in those moments than actively manipulative - she obviously has plenty of reason to fear opening up to people. It just so happens that in this case her personal issues coincide with her public duty to win (and Byleth is key in both).

So yeah, while I'm no shrink, it seems to me like she keeps asking Byleth of his choices as a way of explaining herself to them while affirming her own choices - not only is Byleth's approval paramount as the first person Edelgard has truly let in, it's also the scariest to obtain, because for Edelgard a lot publicly and privately rides on it (even if gameplay mechanics means that the player is locked in for the ride anyway). If you don't want to call that justification, that's fine though too.

I mean, Byleth literally tells Edelgard, to her face, that he was blessed by the goddess, and Edelgard tells him that she intends to oppose the Church that worships the goddess. She expresses it at the end the deeper case, but she always gave him an out while explaining her own intentions. The fact of the matter is that Edelgard doesn't shy away from expressing what Byleth being by her side entails and how she's giving him an out with it in mind. 

She only explains her reasons only when he sides with her, in a point when she doesn't believe he would side with her.

It's why his decision to protect her is so shocking. Hell, she even says before he made his choice that she knew that she and him would be in opposition.

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9 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

I mean, Byleth literally tells Edelgard, to her face, that he was blessed by the goddess, and Edelgard tells him that she intends to oppose the Church that worships the goddess. She expresses it at the end the deeper case, but she always gave him an out while explaining her own intentions. The fact of the matter is that Edelgard doesn't shy away from expressing what Byleth being by her side entails and how she's giving him an out with it in mind. 

She only explains her reasons only when he sides with her, in a point when she doesn't believe he would side with her.

It's why his decision to protect her is so shocking. Hell, she even says before he made his choice that she knew that she and him would be in opposition.

Yep I don't disagree with this. Your comment I've quoted here doesn't contradict what I said earlier either, and both can be true at the same time.

Out of interest is there any particular reason you defend Edelgard so intensely?

 

 

Returning to the thread, what do people think of the (semi-serious) case for Anna "betraying her faction"? Anna is unlike almost every other character in the game, in that she is available to recruit in Part I or Part II, and her recruitment conditions are only:

1. Complete Ch. 2 

2. Be in Garreg Mach

So she is the only character who canonically sides with Byleth on every route, since the faction that Byleth joins inevitably occupies Garreg Mach in Part II. Her motivations for fighting with you are pretty mild (she just wants to do research, she claims), and she promises to make it worth your while. So in this case, for her to betray her faction, would be for her to aid whichever side Byleth opposes.

Her motivations in general are to make money, and collect rare items. The best way for her to make the most money (and gain access to information) would be to play both sides - sell items and/or information to both armies. It wouldn't be a breach of her deal with Byleth, given that she consistently does pay the player for their services (Trade Secret quests every month and gives you half the share of treasure from her paralogue), but it would be a betrayal given that there's a war going on. Is there any reason for her to be loyal and only do business with Byleth's faction?

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54 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Yep I don't disagree with this. Your comment I've quoted here doesn't contradict what I said earlier either, and both can be true at the same time.

Out of interest is there any particular reason you defend Edelgard so intensely?

I'm more going about the fact that one of the biggest aspects of Edelgard's beliefs and characteristics is choice. She desires freedom for humanity and for people to have a choice. I frankly find the aspect of people trying to play it off as her forcing people to fight for her as arguing in bad faith. Everything about Edelgard and even her own route is about choices. 

Her route is something that you have to CHOOSE to enter. 

You don't get a choice in Blue Lions or Golden Deer, and Silver Snow is a default route that Byleth doesn't choose of his own will. 

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45 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Yep I don't disagree with this. Your comment I've quoted here doesn't contradict what I said earlier either, and both can be true at the same time.

Out of interest is there any particular reason you defend Edelgard so intensely?

While I can't answer for him, I can answer for me.

In my case, because I like her. Edelgard might be a conqueror and a warrior, but she is also a human being. Underneath her tough exterior she is a traumatised young girl who want nothing more than to make the world a better place so that the horrible thing that happened to her and her siblings wouldn't happen to anyone else ever again. Edelgard isn't a typical villain who enjoys bloodshed and death, she mourns the fallen, her decisions do weigh on her conscience. She is stubborn to a fault, but she is a very sweet girl on the inside as evidenced by her love of sweets and armoured stuffies (Teddie Bears). She is also very easily embarrassed, which is adorable.

Given everything that she is, I don't think it is fair to paint Edelgard as some kind of monster, she is very sympathetic and human proving that even those who starts wars and conquers nations are very much still a person who can have quite a few redeemable qualities. She is the living embodiment of why judging a person solely by their actions can be misleading. Edelgard is so much more than just a conqueror. 
 

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2 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Out of interest is there any particular reason you defend Edelgard so intensely?

In my case, because she is a character that is special and well built. I am used to this type of intense debate (defense or attack on a character). I remember many years ago I was on a Naruto forum, and the topic of the weekly chapter ended in a boxing ring between Pro-Narutos and Pro-Sasukes. It was crazy 😂
 
 

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12 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

For someone telling me to be neutral, your words are riddled with bias over being anti-Edelgard

well you're not wrong I hate all of the Lord so technically I'm only neutral in the fact that I dislike them all.

 

12 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

And again, no. The students leaving Edelgard in Silver Snow only shows how they are with Byleth's influence. I mean, look at Ashe and Lorenz, who join the Empire even if you recruit them on certain routes and have to re-recruit them again. They only don't need to be if you are on their house's path. It just shows how Byleth's influence works. So the Black Eagle students aren't all against Edelgard or would be "canonically" at all. 

Okay the two characters you just mentioned were forced to fight on the empire side. ashe because his family. Lorenz Is without a doubt the most force character to be on the empire side. Literally admitting he doesn't want to be there.

 

12 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

And Edelgard has definitely not been lying or making up. There's only been 1 lie she said, and it was regarding Arianrhod. That's the one and ONLY lie she ever made. Everything else goes up to the matter of perspective from how she actually knows more of the truth than 99% of Fodlan does. Since the rest of Fodlan have been fed the many lies of the Chruch. You know, the Church run by Rhea, who has factually falsified history for her own purposes. The writers themselves remark that the history of Fodlan can hardly be trusted because of Rhea. Edelgard's the only one that knew some of the truth, even if it's lacking in certain context. 

Because when you are holding some of the truth, and then see through the rest of the lies, then the rest comes to your own interpretation. 

Cause how would Edelgard have learned the entire truth when the people that KNOWS the truth went through great lengths to HIDE the truth? 

Yes a very much terrible lie used as an excuse just to make people hate the church more. 

also the same developers who told us that they left a bunch of hints inside of edelgard's route so we wouldn't trust her because she might be lying to us. It sounds like a deliberate ploy to create tension. 

Also she never told anyone about those who slittered in the dark until way at the end. she blatant was lying about them. That's two lies with the price of one. 

none of them are friends they aren't friends by truth or by love or anything. The only house that has true friends throughout the whole game is the blue lion house. And they're the most dysfunctional group of them all but you can argue that none of them would ever leave their king.

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Just now, jawaunw said:

Okay the two characters you just mentioned were forced to fight on the empire side. ashe because his family. Lorenz Is without a doubt the most force character to be on the empire side. Literally admitting he doesn't want to be there.

Yet such "force" is completely gone when you are in their house routes respectively. Ashe is never  on the Dukedom's side in AM, nor is Lorenz helping the Empire in VW. Like I said, it's a matter of how Byleth's direct influence affects them to a great extent. 

2 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

Yes a very much terrible lie used as an excuse just to make people hate the church more. 

Out of the already long list of reasons to hate the Church, this is not the end all, be all things to hate the Church for. It's literally just one more thing. Not even the game treats how Arianrhod's destruction was bad to the point that people were extremely vengeful on the Church. All it does it just motivate them to win the war as fast as possible. If you have things where people want to slaughter everyone in the church, you'd have a case. But no one does. Because people already have reasons to hate the Church. 

Hell, Lorenz even states it himself of how many nobles want Rhea dead, and have just played lip service to the Church for so long out of fear of losing power. 

4 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

also the same developers who told us that they left a bunch of hints inside of edelgard's route so we wouldn't trust her because she might be lying to us. It sounds like a deliberate ploy to create tension. 

Also she never told anyone about those who slittered in the dark until way at the end. she blatant was lying about them. That's two lies with the price of one. 

What "hints" are you referring to? We know that Edelgard is definitely thinking about deeper things, but she's not lying to us. If anything, most of the time, she's trying to get Byleth to understand the problems of Fodlan and the corruption of the Church.

Also, nope. Hanneman himself is aware of their existence, and even remarks about how the Empire would likely be going against them after the war. So there's definitely people that are aware of there being some less than savory allies within the Empire.

So no, there's no "two blatant lies". And withholding information until the time is right is not the same as actually lying. 

6 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

none of them are friends they aren't friends by truth or by love or anything. The only house that has true friends throughout the whole game is the blue lion house. And they're the most dysfunctional group of them all but you can argue that none of them would ever leave their king.

Dude... where do you get the idea that you can define how "friends" are? Are you the master of friendships that you can declare who are friends and who aren't? People have friendships that are friendships to them and would be true by their own beliefs. 

So no, the Black Eagle House would still be friends because the people in there believe as such.

What you said here is just downright silly. 

 

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16 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

well you're not wrong I hate all of the Lord so technically I'm only neutral in the fact that I dislike them all.

 

Okay the two characters you just mentioned were forced to fight on the empire side. ashe because his family. Lorenz Is without a doubt the most force character to be on the empire side. Literally admitting he doesn't want to be there.

 

Yes a very much terrible lie used as an excuse just to make people hate the church more. 

also the same developers who told us that they left a bunch of hints inside of edelgard's route so we wouldn't trust her because she might be lying to us. It sounds like a deliberate ploy to create tension. 

Also she never told anyone about those who slittered in the dark until way at the end. she blatant was lying about them. That's two lies with the price of one. 

none of them are friends they aren't friends by truth or by love or anything. The only house that has true friends throughout the whole game is the blue lion house. And they're the most dysfunctional group of them all but you can argue that none of them would ever leave their king.

That just means you are biased against everyone, not neutral. 

Also, did you even read what I wrote about why it is a really stupid idea to tell the Empire as a whole who was really responsible for the destruction of Arianrhod?

The short summary is this, the Agarthans will take an official declaration of their existence as an act of war and destroyed more cities in retaliation. She lies because she cannot officially admit that the true culprit even exists without risking her own people.

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56 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Yet such "force" is completely gone when you are in their house routes respectively. Ashe is never  on the Dukedom's side in AM, nor is Lorenz helping the Empire in VW. Like I said, it's a matter of how Byleth's direct influence affects them to a great extent. 

Typically I'd call it inconsistent writing but there's actually good reasons behind that. Lorenz flat out says he still has to convince his father not to help the empire because they might get attacked. Ashe I don't know much about because he spent most of his time on the bench.

 

56 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Out of the already long list of reasons to hate the Church, this is not the end all, be all things to hate the Church for. It's literally just one more thing. Not even the game treats how Arianrhod's destruction was bad to the point that people were extremely vengeful on the Church. All it does it just motivate them to win the war as fast as possible. If you have things where people want to slaughter everyone in the church, you'd have a case. But no one does. Because people already have reasons to hate the Church. 

Hell, Lorenz even states it himself of how many nobles want Rhea dead, and have just played lip service to the Church for so long out of fear of losing power

What does this have to do with the comment I made? Like I'm serious like this has no reason being here I'm talking about the lie and not the church.

 

56 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Dude... where do you get the idea that you can define how "friends" are? Are you the master of friendships that you can declare who are friends and who aren't? People have friendships that are friendships to them and would be true by their own beliefs. 

So no, the Black Eagle House would still be friends because the people in there believe as such.

What you said here is just downright silly. 

 

This seems to be the biggest point here man. I'd like to put down that yes as a human being I have the right to question the concept of friendship between people. I mean look at the Black eagle supports all of them have coming together moments except with Edelgard. there was a giant wall between them that no one ever is able to get past except the main character with his magic superpower.

 

48 minutes ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

That just means you are biased against everyone, not neutral. 

Also, did you even read what I wrote about why it is a really stupid idea to tell the Empire as a whole who was really responsible for the destruction of Arianrhod?

The short summary is this, the Agarthans will take an official declaration of their existence as an act of war and destroyed more cities in retaliation. She lies because she cannot officially admit that the true culprit even exists without risking her own people.

I mean I'm only realistically like that for the Lords they're all just too happy-go-lucky for me. no one is truly a villain except those who slither it's just another good guy versus Good guys scenario. 

 

and I'm saying the LIE is bad more in the way of the Black eagle students rather than the people this is a perfect chance for her to show weakness towards them and try to have comfort with them and rally together to come out stronger. 

 

I mean the Black eagle house just skips the reunions entirely. they're either completely different camp they literally only follow the teacher. the only reason they stayed with the empire outside of the Black eagle route is because it's their home and well special enemies. I mean they really should have had a reunions battle for the crimson flower route blue lions are the ones who should never have stuck together. 

And the keep with the thread I still think the black eagles Ashe and Lorenz are the only people who would literally leave their house because of circumstance.

I still don't understand why anyone would think Lysithea what willingly join the empire if it wasn't for the teacher. 

 

 

Edited by jawaunw

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3 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

Typically I'd call it inconsistent writing but there's actually good reasons behind that. Lorenz flat out says he still has to convince his father not to help the empire because they might get attacked. Ashe I don't know much about because he spent most of his time on the bench.

I mean, you aren't wrong, since the recruitment method is a mess in itself, but the fact remains that Byleth being the mentor of their class has a direct influence over how the students act. Byleth is a literal god, so people would either greatly fear Byleth or admire him. There's a reason why his charisma is high. 

4 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

What does this have to do with the comment I made? Like I'm serious like this has no reason being here I'm talking about the lie and not the church.

You treat this one single lie as if hating the Church more is some kind of apex where it has terrible consequences. But they are already at war with the Church. You're treating the lie like it's such a god awful thing, when you can't even remark that it changes how people view the Church. 

5 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

This seems to be the biggest point here man. I'd like to put down that yes as a human being I have the right to question the concept of friendship between people. I mean look at the Black eagle supports all of them have coming together moments except with Edelgard. there was a giant wall between them that no one ever is able to get past except the main character with his magic superpower.

You can question, but not judge and state that they are or aren't friends. You are a human being, but certainly not a master of friendship that you declare what is what. Friendship is based on an individual's feelings and emotions. 

And no, the Black Eagles are literally much closer as a result of Crimson Flower, where Caspar even teases Edelgard over her feelings for Byleth, and Edelgard doesn't even get upset over it. The fact is, Edelgard is able to grow closer to her friends because they were able to let down their own walls. 

And "magic superpower" would make sense to an extent. They share the Crest of Flames, and there is the case of how Crests can influence an individual's tastes and even indicate personality link as well, basically bringing about a nature vs nurture kind of thing. Edelgard not only has the Crest of Flames, but also the Crest of Seiros. Not to mention that unlike others, Byleth literally is not bound by normal concepts of perceiving other people. Edelgard always has to deal with being the Imperial princess or Emperor. Byleth's the only one that has no sense of notion toward that. 

And you know, he's a god. Literally. 

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5 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

Typically I'd call it inconsistent writing but there's actually good reasons behind that. Lorenz flat out says he still has to convince his father not to help the empire because they might get attacked. Ashe I don't know much about because he spent most of his time on the bench.

 

What does this have to do with the comment I made? Like I'm serious like this has no reason being here I'm talking about the lie and not the church.

 

This seems to be the biggest point here man. I'd like to put down that yes as a human being I have the right to question the concept of friendship between people. I mean look at the Black eagle supports all of them have coming together moments except with Edelgard. there was a giant wall between them that no one ever is able to get past except the main character with his magic superpower.

 

I mean I'm only realistically like that for the Lords they're all just too happy-go-lucky for me. no one is truly a villain except those who slither it's just another good guy versus Good guys scenario. 

 

and I'm saying the LIE is bad more in the way of the Black eagle students rather than the people this is a perfect chance for her to show weakness towards them and try to have comfort with them and rally together to come out stronger. 

 

I mean the Black eagle house just skips the reunions entirely. they're either completely different camp they literally only follow the teacher. the only reason they stayed with the empire outside of the Black eagle route is because it's their home and well special enemies. I mean they really should have had a reunions battle for the crimson flower route blue lions are the ones who should never have stuck together. 

And the keep with the thread I still think the black eagles Ashe and Lorenz are the only people who would literally leave their house because of circumstance.

I still don't understand why anyone would think Lysithea what willingly join the empire if it wasn't for the teacher. 

 

 

So you dislike the Lords, including Edelgard because you think they are too good? I will take that as a compliment. Granted out of the three I don't actually think that Claude has enough blood on his hands to be as interesting as the other two, I wish that the developers would have focused more on his underhanded tactics. Dimitri's and Edelgard's differing versions of justice has resulted in the both of them having quite a bit of blood on their hands. Despite their good intentions. It is complexity like this that makes them interesting. 

 

But lying to the Black Eagles, you might just hit the nail on the head. Edelgard has trust issues and therefore has trouble showing weakness to people other than Byleth. It isn't really about Edelgard being a terrible person, it is about her having some issues based on her past. One of Edelgard's primary weaknesses is her inability to trust people, despite regarding them as friends. It is only Byleth trusts enough to know that they wouldn't cause any trouble if they knew the truth. Which all stands back from Edelgard's trust issues and how her position distances her from people. As the previous commentator pointed out, Byleth is the only one who doesn't let her position as the Emperor get in the way of regarding them simply as Edelgard. 

 

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Belated: Very few characters, honestly.  I agree with the earlier point in this thread about defection from your country to the point of joining the other side to be rare.  It does happen, but only because of A) An existing rebel faction that already dislikes / wants to overthrow the government for other reasons, and aiding another country is just a means to an end; B) the other country has already conquered a region and is recruiting; or C) Zealots willing to abandon their families to fight for what they believe in.  Now, for Fire Emblem named characters and aristocrats with the power to control their own destiny, sure, they can be a special case; plenty of the French ancien regime DID run off to Austria or England rather than serve the First Republic or Napoleon.  But those were not large numbers of people.  It's a lot to ask people to abandon their families, friends, and property.

For characters, I agree that Ashe / Ferdinand / Lorenz / Hanneman strike me as the most likely to go rogue.  Ashe is a rare character with basically nothing holding him down to any one loyalty, no family, no money, no obligations; he's also a driven, moral character that could potentially be convinced that Byleth is Just That Awesome.  Ferdinand gets dispossessed and his father arrested.  Lorenz is category B above - the Glouster domain is allied to the Empire so it's not weird for him to be recruited, even if his ideological alignment isn't great with CF, and his distaste for Claude makes him a plausible Lions pickup as well.  Hanneman's plot is just deeply anti-old-Empire that he left behind and compatible with what Edelgard's new Empire plan is.

While I don't peg them as likely traitors, I could at least sorta buy Marianne, Petra, Raphael, & Leonie switching sides, as their ties are somewhat weaker to their factions.  (Manuela->CF too for similar reasons to Hanneman.)  Everyone else is a lot sketchier; I tend to feel actively bad if recruiting them.

People talked about the final mission in CF, and I kinda disagree it makes sense for Ashe and Annette to switch sides there - at least the way the game presents the scenario.  No, setting the city on fire doesn't make tons of sense (why doesn't Edelgard just stand back and do nothing?), but the game acts like Rhea's setting Fhirdiad on fire is a useful-if-desperate military tactic; the bulk of the forces you fight there are Kingdom troops.  It doesn't seem to act like Rhea is actually destroying the city herself, oddly enough.  So to the extent that this mission is treated just as Edelgard invading Fhirdiad with a dramatic backdrop, it's fine.  More generally, it's important for establishing that Faerghus, while maybe once unified to Adrestria, is its own separate place now that is not going to quietly submit to an army unifying it.  Edelgard has one of her most tone-deaf lines there, something along the lines of "a Kingdom without a King?  Why are you still fighting?"  (Yeah, and why didn't Iraq cool off after we killed Saddam Hussein?  Sigh.)  Well, the people of Faerghus are the kingdom, not the king, and if Ashe wasn't already recruited he's not going to go along now with a conquering force just because they're strong.  Annette has a tie to the Royal College of Sorcery here and is also presumably fighting from local pride.  I thought it made sense.

Edited by SnowFire

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22 minutes ago, SnowFire said:

Belated: Very few characters, honestly.  I agree with the earlier point in this thread about defection from your country to the point of joining the other side to be rare.  It does happen, but only because of A) An existing rebel faction that already dislikes / wants to overthrow the government for other reasons, and aiding another country is just a means to an end; B) the other country has already conquered a region and is recruiting; or C) Zealots willing to abandon their families to fight for what they believe in.  Now, for Fire Emblem named characters and aristocrats with the power to control their own destiny, sure, they can be a special case; plenty of the French ancien regime DID run off to Austria or England rather than serve the First Republic or Napoleon.  But those were not large numbers of people.  It's a lot to ask people to abandon their families, friends, and property.

For characters, I agree that Ashe / Ferdinand / Lorenz / Hanneman strike me as the most likely to go rogue.  Ashe is a rare character with basically nothing holding him down to any one loyalty, no family, no money, no obligations; he's also a driven, moral character that could potentially be convinced that Byleth is Just That Awesome.  Ferdinand gets dispossessed and his father arrested.  Lorenz is category B above - the Glouster domain is allied to the Empire so it's not weird for him to be recruited, even if his ideological alignment isn't great with CF, and his distaste for Claude makes him a plausible Lions pickup as well.  Hanneman's plot is just deeply anti-old-Empire that he left behind and compatible with what Edelgard's new Empire plan is.

While I don't peg them as likely traitors, I could at least sorta buy Marianne, Petra, Raphael, & Leonie switching sides, as their ties are somewhat weaker to their factions.  (Manuela->CF too for similar reasons to Hanneman.)  Everyone else is a lot sketchier; I tend to feel actively bad if recruiting them.

People talked about the final mission in CF, and I kinda disagree it makes sense for Ashe and Annette to switch sides there - at least the way the game presents the scenario.  No, setting the city on fire doesn't make tons of sense (why doesn't Edelgard just stand back and do nothing?), but the game acts like Rhea's setting Fhirdiad on fire is a useful-if-desperate military tactic; the bulk of the forces you fight there are Kingdom troops.  It doesn't seem to act like Rhea is actually destroying the city herself, oddly enough.  So to the extent that this mission is treated just as Edelgard invading Fhirdiad with a dramatic backdrop, it's fine.  More generally, it's important for establishing that Faerghus, while maybe once unified to Adrestria, is its own separate place now that is not going to quietly submit to an army unifying it.  Edelgard has one of her most tone-deaf lines there, something along the lines of "a Kingdom without a King?  Why are you still fighting?"  (Yeah, and why didn't Iraq cool off after we killed Saddam Hussein?  Sigh.)  Well, the people of Faerghus are the kingdom, not the king, and if Ashe wasn't already recruited he's not going to go along now with a conquering force just because they're strong.  Annette has a tie to the Royal College of Sorcery here and is also presumably fighting from local pride.  I thought it made sense.

Still, why the army of Faerghus would be in favour of burning down their own capital with the civilians in it is beyond me. It seems quite counter-productive to protecting their people. It also makes no sense from a military standpoint, as you say, Edelgard could have just waited them out and they would have essentially have destroyed their last stronghold. 

So why does Edelgard act? I think the answer is to save the citizens of Fhirdiad from the fire as she doesn't want any more innocents to die than is absolutely necessary. Did Rhea know she would react this way? If so, that seems like a pretty weird assumption to make for someone who presumably believes that Edelgard is evil. 

It isn't that they are fighting without a king that I find odd. It is that they are following someone who just told them to burn down their own capital. The knights of Faerghus abandoned any code of chivalry by supporting this move, as knights, they are sworn to protect their, citizena, not to participate in their slaughter. Logically speaking, this should lose Rhea the support of Faerghus as a nation because of such obvious disregard for the lives of their citizens and the oaths of its knights. They would probably still oppose Edelgard, but they shouldn't obey Rhea.

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Personally I think the whole setting Fhirdiad on fire was bad writing, done explicitly to show how far Rhea had fallen and to give a cool map, without any actual thought to how dumb that would be for her to do. Like genuinely that move made no sense, from an emotional or logical perspective. Emotionally, doing it to scorn the people who hurt you? Makes no sense. They could just not enter the city and then you've accomplished nothing. Logically you're destroying your defenses and turning the soldiers against you at worst, causing them to abandon to save the people at best. So yeah, I don't think that whole scenario was very well thought out.

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44 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Personally I think the whole setting Fhirdiad on fire was bad writing, done explicitly to show how far Rhea had fallen and to give a cool map, without any actual thought to how dumb that would be for her to do. Like genuinely that move made no sense, from an emotional or logical perspective. Emotionally, doing it to scorn the people who hurt you? Makes no sense. They could just not enter the city and then you've accomplished nothing. Logically you're destroying your defenses and turning the soldiers against you at worst, causing them to abandon to save the people at best. So yeah, I don't think that whole scenario was very well thought out.

I don't think it was SUPPOSED to make sense. Rhea had lost her mind. She literally now just blames humanity itself for her suffering. Rhea was never sane. CF is just where she finally lets it all go. And the fact that the Church of Seiros and even people of Faerghus are willing to rationalize it, no matter how horrible and outrageous it was, it shows how humanity's dependence on Rhea and the Church had gone too far.

Edited by omegaxis1

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15 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

I don't think it was SUPPOSED to make sense. Rhea had lost her mind. She literally now just blames humanity itself for her suffering. Rhea was never sane. CF is just where she finally lets it all go. And the fact that the Church of Seiros and even people of Faerghus are willing to rationalize it, no matter how horrible and outrageous it was, it shows how humanity's dependence on Rhea and the Church had gone too far.

Eh, I mean you can read that into it if you want but I don't agree. I think you're rationalizing bad writing. Even insane people have some form of logic to their actions, based on their own perceptions of reality, and there's no logic to be had in what Rhea did. Causing hurt to Edelgard and Byleth? Yeah if they marched into the city but they very well could have not. Maybe she was just okay with taking that risk but she's always been shown to be an intelligent leader and a very competent war strategist. These are things you don't just lose, in fact things like that are typically what people retain even in the case of mental illness. So yeah, I still think it's more the result of bad writing to set up a cool scene without much actual thought put into it.

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6 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Eh, I mean you can read that into it if you want but I don't agree. I think you're rationalizing bad writing. Even insane people have some form of logic to their actions, based on their own perceptions of reality, and there's no logic to be had in what Rhea did. Causing hurt to Edelgard and Byleth? Yeah if they marched into the city but they very well could have not. Maybe she was just okay with taking that risk but she's always been shown to be an intelligent leader and a very competent war strategist. These are things you don't just lose, in fact things like that are typically what people retain even in the case of mental illness. So yeah, I still think it's more the result of bad writing to set up a cool scene without much actual thought put into it.

What know what? I agree. Every route has their own form of bad writing, and I should not deny that even CF suffers from this a little. 

Honestly, if Rhea's plan to burn the city was to lure Edelgard in because Edelgard would be trying to save the civilians, which Edelgard noted earlier were trapped inside, it should be clarified more. 

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29 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

What know what? I agree. Every route has their own form of bad writing, and I should not deny that even CF suffers from this a little. 

Honestly, if Rhea's plan to burn the city was to lure Edelgard in because Edelgard would be trying to save the civilians, which Edelgard noted earlier were trapped inside, it should be clarified more. 

Even a line talking about how she knew Edelgard would march to her doom would be acceptable. Anyway, I think it's a cool scene but that it wasn't executed very well. For Rhea to slip so far that even Catherine doubted and hesitated could have been a seriously awesome moment.

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Yeah, basically it's a case of "don't read too much into plot holes."  Even in the realm where Rhea is explicitly trying to lure out Edelgard out (where I too thought they might go), the gameplay makes it pretty clear that she's set her own side of the map on fire, which is not how you'd go about such a thing in reality, but the nature of Fire Emblem maps constrains a bit here.  Basically, there's two somewhat incompatible scenarios going on at endgame, where elements from both seem to be true:

* A desperate Rhea wildly thrashes at all nearby for being useless traitors as part of her descent to madness in the CF route.  This is intended for Rhea character-wise, defeating her and ending her madness is a good thing and builds up her boss fight.  But clearly isn't what happened gameplay-wise (could have made it all Golems and Church loyalists if so).

* The Kingdom / Church alliance makes a final stand at Fhirdiad.  They aren't angry at Rhea because it's not Rhea's "fault" for the fire in this world, they're angry at the Empire.

I'm fine with reading basically everyone other than Rhea / Catherine as being in the second scenario, while Rhea lives in the first scenario, and Catherine attempts to justify how both of these scenarios can be true at once by presenting the fire as a military tactic rather than an insane leader lashing out.

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2 hours ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Personally I think the whole setting Fhirdiad on fire was bad writing, done explicitly to show how far Rhea had fallen and to give a cool map, without any actual thought to how dumb that would be for her to do. Like genuinely that move made no sense, from an emotional or logical perspective. Emotionally, doing it to scorn the people who hurt you? Makes no sense. They could just not enter the city and then you've accomplished nothing. Logically you're destroying your defenses and turning the soldiers against you at worst, causing them to abandon to save the people at best. So yeah, I don't think that whole scenario was very well thought out.

Starting the fires would've made more sense if the Imperial Army had already entered Fhirdiad. Catherine could have suggested evacuating the citizenry, with Rhea saying there's no time to do so. Still a morally questionable move, to say the least, but at least there's a logical reason for the course of action.

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1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Starting the fires would've made more sense if the Imperial Army had already entered Fhirdiad. Catherine could have suggested evacuating the citizenry, with Rhea saying there's no time to do so. Still a morally questionable move, to say the least, but at least there's a logical reason for the course of action.

As mentioned above, even Rhea just saying that Edelgard would come in to rescue the civilians would help. Edelgard mentions that Rhea had locked the civilians inside. 

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49 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

As mentioned above, even Rhea just saying that Edelgard would come in to rescue the civilians would help. Edelgard mentions that Rhea had locked the civilians inside. 

I agree that that would be better than we got, certainly. Still, I hold some degree of distaste for the scenario where Edelgard only enters Fhirdiad after Rhea starts the fire. Basically, because it's a morally obvious choice, whereas everything that came before it (turning on the Church, invading the Alliance, invading the Kingdom) had more nuance. Rhea was already a strong enough villain (manipulative, deceptive, quick to judgement) without resorting to the mustache-twirling "haha burn civilians alive". To some degree, turning Edelgard's last step into a clear humanitarian mission undercuts the route's theme of "these people are well-intentioned and have moral standards, but they support and perpetuate an unjust system, so they must be stopped".

Though I'm not especially a fan of Edelgard, I do enjoy her story more than the others, because of the impressive moral stakes and nuance it offers. I don't necessarily expect agreement, but I hope this rationale makes some degree of sense.

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