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Who should have betrayed their faction?

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3 hours 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.

There's nothing logical about the scene at all. It's the most inconsistent thing that happens in the entire game. and completely slaps the face of people like Catherine and Rhea cuz it's so out of character. especially with Rhea who doesn't want a genocide to happened again but it's doing the exact same thing that happened to her.

 

1 hour 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. 

which makes the scene even more confusing because they were just told to set the place on fire. Unless I'm confused and missed the scene where she said keep the citizens in their houses. Because they should be trapped only by the virtue of the fire.

 

one of the biggest complaints I have is that they want them keep all of the Lords to clean.  They couldn't even justify rhea hating humans Even at her worse she never said she hates humans. which comes right into the face of this scene that makes her commit the same thing that she hates the most in the world.  

 

The writers of this story wanted to have their cake and eat it too. especially with edelgard's route where they have to justify her going to war with her as a villain. That's why Dimitri and Rhea act so different in the route they have to justify them somehow being villainous and they couldn't even do that. 

 

just like how edelgard said she's going to take over the world in the blue lion route.

 

 

Edited by jawaunw

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2 minutes ago, jawaunw said:

which makes the scene even more confusing because they were just told to set the place on fire. Unless I'm confused and missed the scene where she said keep the citizens in their houses. Because they should be trapped only by the virtue of the fire.

one of the biggest complaints I have is that they want them keep all of the Lords to clean.  They couldn't even justify rhea hating humans Even at her worse she never said she hates humans. which comes right into the face of this scene that makes her commit the same thing that she hates the most in the world.  

The writers of this story wanted to have their cake and eat it too. especially with edelgard's route where they have to justify her going to war with her as a villain. That's why Dimitri and Rhea act so different in the route they have to justify them somehow being villainous and they couldn't even do that. 

just like how edelgard said she's going to take over the world in the blue lion route.

I think it's less the route and more the people. 

I mean, many Dimitri fans defend or justify many of Dimtiri's actions, even some that are unjustifiably bad. I mean, geez, they say that Dimtiri doesn't WANT to hurt others, but feels he has to, why are these people saying that, but condemning Edelgard, who starts a war, not because she wants to, but because she feels she has to? 

It's also sad that the writers really sucked at making Claude. They admitted to wanting Claude to be worse than he was presented, and admitted he became more of a good guy.

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I think that the strangest thing about it is that if Rhea assumes that Edelgard will come to the rescue of the civilians. That relies on Edelgard being a good person. She is, but why does Rhea think that? I at least give her the benefit of doubt that she legitimately believes that Edelgard's side is evil. Her entire rationale in this entire war doesn't make any sense, unless she is working from the assumption that her enemies are evil. 

But if Edelgard was the evil tyrant Rhea believed her to be, she wouldn't have come to the rescue of the civilians and Rhea would have essentially defeated herself by burning down her own stronghold. Essentially, this entire plan would never have worked if Rhea's claim of Edelgard being wicked was actually true.

34 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

I think it's less the route and more the people. 

I mean, many Dimitri fans defend or justify many of Dimtiri's actions, even some that are unjustifiably bad. I mean, geez, they say that Dimtiri doesn't WANT to hurt others, but feels he has to, why are these people saying that, but condemning Edelgard, who starts a war, not because she wants to, but because she feels she has to? 

It's also sad that the writers really sucked at making Claude. They admitted to wanting Claude to be worse than he was presented, and admitted he became more of a good guy.

Edelgard and Dimitri are very similar in that regard, they both doesn't want people to get hurt but feel like it is unavoidable. They both live for a memory of those who are dead and is doing what they are doing allegedly to fulfil their wishes. The primary difference is that there is a part of Dimitri that does take pleasure in killing and causing suffering to those he deem evil. But there is also a side of Dimitri that does not. I think Dimitri have a legit split personality. Edelgard, by contrast, doesn't enjoy killing anyone, but is willing to accept innocent people dying for the sake of a better future as she knows that when it comes to war, it is unavoidable. 

It also seems like Edelgard is more tolerant of morally dubious people than Dimitri. Boar Dimitri after his reunion with Byleth get angry at the very insistence of not straight up murdering the bandits that have come to loot Garreg Mach, citing that, but allowing one to live is implying that Byleth things that their lifestyle of looting and pillaging is justified. In the eyes of Dimitri their actions makes these bandits unfit to live and any mercy towards them, contributing to them hurting more innocent people.

Edelgard, on the other hand, frequently associates with bandits and people like Jeritza. Presumably because she understands that sometimes circumstances can drive you to do things you don't really want to do. Some of them are just desperate to survive, and whatever they have done it doesn't stop them from still being human. Despite all the people he had killed, Edelgard takes pity on Jeritza and gives him a sanctuary, trying to make use of his bloodlust for a more productive purpose. Edelgard is herself in a situation where she feels like she hasn't much of a choice but to do some of morally unscrupulous things. Maybe that is what makes our heavy less absolute stance on morality and therefore she is more merciful to supposedly evil people than Dimitri.

Dimitri's sense of justice leads to part of him thinking that killing some people is morally justified because they are evil. I don't think Edelgard ever had any such delusions, she makes no pretense that those deaths she is responsible for in the war didn't necessarily deserve to die. She always understood the ramifications of her actions but deemed it necessary

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1 hour ago, jawaunw said:

There's nothing logical about the scene at all. It's the most inconsistent thing that happens in the entire game. and completely slaps the face of people like Catherine and Rhea cuz it's so out of character. especially with Rhea who doesn't want a genocide to happened again but it's doing the exact same thing that happened to her.

Rhea's overriding goal is to resurrect Sothis and protect the Children of the Goddess, and in the CF route she has entirely failed at both, as Byleth betrayed her and Seteth/Flayn are either dead or in hiding.  This is the "anagnorisis" moment in a tragedy where somebody realizes that everything they worked for has been worthless or counterproductive.  It's reasonable to assume that her mental state would not be the best and she would be lashing out at unconnected humans in general.  The main way it'd be out of character is that it doesn't seem to militarily make any sense for an ancient veteran of wars - but as stated already, the game acts like firing Fhirdiad does make sense and this is a reasonable thing to do, so in-setting she isn't making a terrible mistake tactically.

Quote

one of the biggest complaints I have is that they want them keep all of the Lords to clean.  They couldn't even justify rhea hating humans Even at her worse she never said she hates humans. which comes right into the face of this scene that makes her commit the same thing that she hates the most in the world.  

Not to sidetrack the conversation too much, but nah, all of the routes except for maybe Silver Snow show multiple sides of the lord, and they aren't "clean."  Edelgard still does some questionable things in the CF route if this is what you're referring to, so I disagree it's letting her off scot clean.  Also, to the extent this is a valid complaint, I feel that a certain other recent Fire Emblem is an infinitely worse offender - that being FE Fates.  No need to go into detail, but Fates takes pains to ensure that nothing bad that ever happens is Corrin's "fault", even on Conquest, even when it plainly is their fault.  Nothing in Three Houses comes close to doing that, i.e. you win the battle while miraculously sparing all enemy troops, then evil allies roll in and execute the boss anyway, or the boss commits suicide rather than die by the Lord's hand after getting beat up which somehow makes it okay.

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14 minutes ago, SnowFire said:

Rhea's overriding goal is to resurrect Sothis and protect the Children of the Goddess, and in the CF route she has entirely failed at both, as Byleth betrayed her and Seteth/Flayn are either dead or in hiding.  This is the "anagnorisis" moment in a tragedy where somebody realizes that everything they worked for has been worthless or counterproductive.  It's reasonable to assume that her mental state would not be the best and she would be lashing out at unconnected humans in general.  The main way it'd be out of character is that it doesn't seem to militarily make any sense for an ancient veteran of wars - but as stated already, the game acts like firing Fhirdiad does make sense and this is a reasonable thing to do, so in-setting she isn't making a terrible mistake tactically.

Not to sidetrack the conversation too much, but nah, all of the routes except for maybe Silver Snow show multiple sides of the lord, and they aren't "clean."  Edelgard still does some questionable things in the CF route if this is what you're referring to, so I disagree it's letting her off scot clean.  Also, to the extent this is a valid complaint, I feel that a certain other recent Fire Emblem is an infinitely worse offender - that being FE Fates.  No need to go into detail, but Fates takes pains to ensure that nothing bad that ever happens is Corrin's "fault", even on Conquest, even when it plainly is their fault.  Nothing in Three Houses comes close to doing that, i.e. you win the battle while miraculously sparing all enemy troops, then evil allies roll in and execute the boss anyway, or the boss commits suicide rather than die by the Lord's hand after getting beat up which somehow makes it okay.

I agree with that Edelgard isn't entirely clean, no lord in this game really is with the possible exception of Claude, which honestly makes him less interesting than the other two. 

I always get is shut that down my spine whenever someone debates in terms of "getting away scotch free" or "getting away with it". I think that mindset is the first step on a very dark path. Edelgard is more than just the sum of her crimes and to reduce it down to just requiring punishment and judgement for misdeeds. Is ignoring someones inherent humanity, ignoring who she is as a person and what she really feels just to define her solely by her worst actions. This is more than just about Edelgard, it is about my views on justice and rehabilitation in general. 

I can never understand or approve of that mindset which is why I also have trouble truly supporting Dimitri. 

I am not saying you have that mindset, but it is just something that I got reminded of. 

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@Darkmoon6789 Dimitri's struggle with sadism conflicting with his morals isn't due to multiple personalities. He's just struggling to reconcile conflicting aspects of himself. He wants to follow his own moral code, but he also has desires that conflict with his code, and to make it worse, those desires are partly being sated by doing the things his code requires him to do. He commits egregious violence because he's trying to satisfy both of his desires. He satisfies his moral desires by punishing those he considers guilty, evil, or unjust, but also satisfies his sadistic, violent side by exacting revenge that exceeds what is deserved.

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3 hours ago, SnowFire said:

Rhea's overriding goal is to resurrect Sothis and protect the Children of the Goddess, and in the CF route she has entirely failed at both, as Byleth betrayed her and Seteth/Flayn are either dead or in hiding.  This is the "anagnorisis" moment in a tragedy where somebody realizes that everything they worked for has been worthless or counterproductive.  It's reasonable to assume that her mental state would not be the best and she would be lashing out at unconnected humans in general.  The main way it'd be out of character is that it doesn't seem to militarily make any sense for an ancient veteran of wars - but as stated already, the game acts like firing Fhirdiad does make sense and this is a reasonable thing to do, so in-setting she isn't making a terrible mistake tactically.

I definitely agree with this.

I'll also add that, in general, much as I like 3H's writing, it does not feel to me like the writer(s) had a strong understanding of actual military tactics... or perhaps more likely, just didn't care. Dramatic skirmishes in thematically fitting locations/situations were obviously the priority, regardless of how much or little sense they would make.

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48 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I definitely agree with this.

I'll also add that, in general, much as I like 3H's writing, it does not feel to me like the writer(s) had a strong understanding of actual military tactics... or perhaps more likely, just didn't care. Dramatic skirmishes in thematically fitting locations/situations were obviously the priority, regardless of how much or little sense they would make.

I definitely think its more that it was given a lower priority. If any dev would understand actual military tactics then it would be Koei. Military history is what their core franchises are build around. Sure, its a wacky Kung Fu take on military history but the various tricks and schemes that generals used tend to be present in some form or another. IS also isn't entirely without pedigree since the Tellius game had its wars more written as a military campaign rather then a string of unrelated battles. 

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6 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

I agree with that Edelgard isn't entirely clean, no lord in this game really is with the possible exception of Claude, which honestly makes him less interesting than the other two. 

Claude wasn't done nearly as well as he could have been, sadly. That said, he's still a fairly well written character who gives off the impression that he could have done more damage if events had been different. It just so happens that he'd rather be an opportunist than an instigator, given the option. One thing they did really well is that I couldn't always tell when he was being serious or joking, lying or telling the truth. Maybe it's a bit of all at once? If he had time to set up all his plots, what could he have managed to pull off? However, Edelgard sees to that he doesn't when she declares war against the church.

 

6 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

I agree with that Edelgard isn't entirely clean, no lord in this game really is with the possible exception of Claude, which honestly makes him less interesting than the other two. 

I always get is shut that down my spine whenever someone debates in terms of "getting away scotch free" or "getting away with it". I think that mindset is the first step on a very dark path. Edelgard is more than just the sum of her crimes and to reduce it down to just requiring punishment and judgement for misdeeds. Is ignoring someones inherent humanity, ignoring who she is as a person and what she really feels just to define her solely by her worst actions. This is more than just about Edelgard, it is about my views on justice and rehabilitation in general. 

I can never understand or approve of that mindset which is why I also have trouble truly supporting Dimitri. 

I am not saying you have that mindset, but it is just something that I got reminded of. 

Questions for ya. Do you believe everyone in Three Houses deserves a second chance? If Edelgard does, then does Dimitri? Does Rhea? Not even naming others, those three are victims of circumstance and have all handled their trauma in both terrible and great ways. They all have the best of intentions and do terrible things to achieve them. If you'll forgive the worst in one person, then it stands to reason you'd forgive the worst in someone else you aren't as close to.

Now, let's say your government destroyed your country and killed it's own citizens, but had the best of intentions (which differ from person to person). What about another country ruining yours? Would you simply forgive them and let them be? Or would you remove them? People's ideas of justice, right and wrong are different. If everyone was given a second chance, and a third, and a fourth, we'd have anarchy. That's why we have rules, punishment, justice. Rules may be unfortunate, but many people aren't kind enough to show that we can do without them. History has proven that time and time again, as well as our present day lives. Can we release serial killers into the wild, because maybe some of them didn't want to kill but couldn't help themselves?

While I think it's possible to forgive everyone I mentioned, it would be foolish to let them "get away scot-free". Forgiveness does not exclude taking measures to make sure others aren't harmed. You can forgive their "inherent humanity", but still not hand them another knife because they say they are really sorry. It seems like you think that punishment and justice means someone has to take perverse pleasure out of it, invariably. That's a very black and white view on the matter, and dangerous in it's own way.

Responsibility goes hand in hand with accountability. That's part of the job description. Edelgard knows this. Her opponents want to hold her accountable, and she accepts this, though she won't let it happen because she still has a goal to achieve. If Edelgard herself has come to terms with all this, who are we to tell people not to judge her? She certainly has done her own fair share of judging.

Anyway, I'm kinda of rambling on without a clear goal in mind, but keep this in mind: Idealism is a very admirable trait and though we'd be lost without it, take care that it doesn't go to such extremes that less well-intentioned people will take advantage of it. Because they will. And if they hurt you or others, what will you do about? How will you stop it from happening again?

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7 hours ago, Vitezen said:

@Darkmoon6789 Dimitri's struggle with sadism conflicting with his morals isn't due to multiple personalities. He's just struggling to reconcile conflicting aspects of himself. He wants to follow his own moral code, but he also has desires that conflict with his code, and to make it worse, those desires are partly being sated by doing the things his code requires him to do. He commits egregious violence because he's trying to satisfy both of his desires. He satisfies his moral desires by punishing those he considers guilty, evil, or unjust, but also satisfies his sadistic, violent side by exacting revenge that exceeds what is deserved.

If that is true, then his darkness is genuine and his mental issues cannot be used as an excuse for it. I wouldn't pursue judgement against Dimitri because he is later repentant for a lot of his worst deeds. But I do think he is actually morally worse than Edelgard who doesn't have any sadistic impulse or takes any enjoyment from slaughter, even if her casualty rate is probably higher due to starting the war. 

It just comes to show why I prefer Edelgard, she has no illusions that any of the innocents that dies in her war deserves it. Nor that those who fight for the church are bad people. Everything is down to necessity for changing the society in Fodlan. It is a lot more honest than fooling yourself into thinking your enemies are literal. Demons and deserves to die. She is even willing to spare Rhea if she surrenders. And she does in many routs when Rhea is captured. Comes to show that the number of casualties isn't everything

1 hour ago, Slyfox said:

Claude wasn't done nearly as well as he could have been, sadly. That said, he's still a fairly well written character who gives off the impression that he could have done more damage if events had been different. It just so happens that he'd rather be an opportunist than an instigator, given the option. One thing they did really well is that I couldn't always tell when he was being serious or joking, lying or telling the truth. Maybe it's a bit of all at once? If he had time to set up all his plots, what could he have managed to pull off? However, Edelgard sees to that he doesn't when she declares war against the church.

 

Questions for ya. Do you believe everyone in Three Houses deserves a second chance? If Edelgard does, then does Dimitri? Does Rhea? Not even naming others, those three are victims of circumstance and have all handled their trauma in both terrible and great ways. They all have the best of intentions and do terrible things to achieve them. If you'll forgive the worst in one person, then it stands to reason you'd forgive the worst in someone else you aren't as close to.

Now, let's say your government destroyed your country and killed it's own citizens, but had the best of intentions (which differ from person to person). What about another country ruining yours? Would you simply forgive them and let them be? Or would you remove them? People's ideas of justice, right and wrong are different. If everyone was given a second chance, and a third, and a fourth, we'd have anarchy. That's why we have rules, punishment, justice. Rules may be unfortunate, but many people aren't kind enough to show that we can do without them. History has proven that time and time again, as well as our present day lives. Can we release serial killers into the wild, because maybe some of them didn't want to kill but couldn't help themselves?

While I think it's possible to forgive everyone I mentioned, it would be foolish to let them "get away scot-free". Forgiveness does not exclude taking measures to make sure others aren't harmed. You can forgive their "inherent humanity", but still not hand them another knife because they say they are really sorry. It seems like you think that punishment and justice means someone has to take perverse pleasure out of it, invariably. That's a very black and white view on the matter, and dangerous in it's own way.

Responsibility goes hand in hand with accountability. That's part of the job description. Edelgard knows this. Her opponents want to hold her accountable, and she accepts this, though she won't let it happen because she still has a goal to achieve. If Edelgard herself has come to terms with all this, who are we to tell people not to judge her? She certainly has done her own fair share of judging.

Anyway, I'm kinda of rambling on without a clear goal in mind, but keep this in mind: Idealism is a very admirable trait and though we'd be lost without it, take care that it doesn't go to such extremes that less well-intentioned people will take advantage of it. Because they will. And if they hurt you or others, what will you do about? How will you stop it from happening again?

 

Short answer, yes, I do think both Edelgard, Rhea and Dimitri have the potential to be good enough people to deserve a second chance. But this isn't exactly feasible given the situation, practicality is also important, and if I have to issues between them, I would choose Edelgard. They still have sympathy for Rhea, but her actions at Fhirdiad hurt a lot of innocent people. Killing her wouldn't be acceptable because her actions make her deserve death, but because it might be the only way to make sure she won't hurt further innocents. 

Even the same action can carry a lot of different meanings depending on the motivation behind said action. I would argue that the Joker from Batman should probably be killed, not because of any ideas of Indus Irving to pay for these crimes or any such nonsense. But simply because his track record of escape attempts, and ever increasing kill count makes this a matter of it being necessary for saving other people. As well as it being nearly impossible to rehabilitate someone like him. When making a decision like this you need to take into consideration the likelihood of someone changing their ways and becoming a benefit to society instead of a detriment as well as the risk they pose. If they are ever let out again. . Ultimately we lock criminals in prison not because they deserve to suffer, but because we have to protect further innocents from being harmed by their actions as well as a closed off environment being the best circumstance to try to rehabilitate these people. 

But even if necessary, we should never take pleasure in the suffering of another or in the taking of lives. This is ultimately what I accuse people in favour of punitive justice for doing. 

I am also not exactly in favour of my country's leadership right now. I would be in favour of another country, taking it over. If I am confident they will run things better. Ultimately, well-being of our citizens is more important than nationality. If a male general Empire invaded Earth and managed to make this craphead of the planet into a utopia that was better for everyone. I would be firmly in favour of our alien saviours. 

I think it is the fact that neither Edelgard, Rhea or Dimitri aren't ultimately bad people that makes the story into the tragedy. Ideally I would like to save all of them, but I know that is impossible. So I have to focus on the one who is my favourite. Even in real life. I do wish I could save everyone, but that won't be possible, so necessity will take priority over ideals. Protecting people will be the number one priority and we will deal with rehabilitation and second chances when we can afford it. But I do hope that if their world truly does have an afterlife that Sothis will take mercy on all three of them, regardless of route. They all deserve a better than to suffer for eternity for their actions. I do take ideas of an afterlife in consideration as well when dealing with this topic. Even if I don't believe in it myself. 

I have had discussions elsewhere with fanatics who believe that actions like what Edelgard did needs to be paid for eternally in the afterlife. It is a belief also shared by Rhea . According to her own statements. I just don't see the point, there is no magical need to make anyone suffer regardless of what they have done. That is injustice, it is sadism. We must do what we must in this life, but if there is another I will never sanction any action to carry over into the next one. It is remarkable how little empathy, some people have one dealing with condemning the dead. 

The annoying thing with Edelgard is while I do think she would deserve a second chance. Even if she loses. She do seem insistent to die in this circumstance, so my insistence on helping her would go against her wishes. We see this very same scenario with Dimitri in Azure Moon. Ultimately her death is her own decision, I can't blame Dimitri in Azure Moon or Byleth in Verdant Wind and Silver Snow for it. They simply respected her wish. Do I truly have a right to force are to live on when she clearly doesn't want to? I don't know the questions that. But it being her decision makes her death easier for me to handle. I would just want Edelgard to be remembered as the person she really was, rather than a caricature. I would prefer history to remember the real reasons behind her actions rather than being painted as a villain. Her willingness to die is just another sign of her self-sacrificing nature and I do find it admirable in a way. 

Not that I expect a world based on medeval Europe to have such an advanced understanding of justice and rehabilitation. Edelgard knows from experience that in her world death is probably better than any prison sentence as by this era humanity didn't yet have a concept of rehabilitative justice. People still wrongly believed in. eye for an eye.   

Edited by Darkmoon6789

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19 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

If that is true, then his darkness is genuine and his mental issues cannot be used as an excuse for it. I wouldn't pursue judgement against Dimitri because he is later repentant for a lot of his worst deeds. But I do think he is actually morally worse than Edelgard who doesn't have any sadistic impulse or takes any enjoyment from slaughter, even if her casualty rate is probably higher due to starting the war. 

It just comes to show why I prefer Edelgard, she has no illusions that any of the innocents that dies in her war deserves it. Nor that those who fight for the church are bad people. Everything is down to necessity for changing the society in Fodlan. It is a lot more honest than fooling yourself into thinking your enemies are literal. Demons and deserves to die. She is even willing to spare Rhea if she surrenders. And she does in many routs when Rhea is captured. Comes to show that the number of casualties isn't everything

That depends on what you mean by a genuine desire. Dimitri has been suffering from some form of mental illness his entire life. Can you say that he's fully responsible for his thoughts and feelings? But beside that point, this also relates to a bigger theme of Azure Moon, which is the ramifications of living in a military culture.

While Edelgard's ideal country strives toward an enlightened and educated population that can decide things for themselves, Dimitri's culture is one of duty, vocation, and stratification. Not everyone will be expected to improve themselves in this society, but society will have a place for them. Someone who has a predilection toward violence will become a soldier, and their excesses of violence may be kept in check by a superior who is more capable of controlling them. Azure Moon and the game in general work to break down the idealization of war, but that doesn't mean a country where soldiers are honored is bad. Of course, Dimitri has his own mental problems that both help and hurt him in his culture, but just saying he's morally wrong ignores most of the commentary the game makes.

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15 minutes ago, Vitezen said:

That depends on what you mean by a genuine desire. Dimitri has been suffering from some form of mental illness his entire life. Can you say that he's fully responsible for his thoughts and feelings? But beside that point, this also relates to a bigger theme of Azure Moon, which is the ramifications of living in a military culture.

While Edelgard's ideal country strives toward an enlightened and educated population that can decide things for themselves, Dimitri's culture is one of duty, vocation, and stratification. Not everyone will be expected to improve themselves in this society, but society will have a place for them. Someone who has a predilection toward violence will become a soldier, and their excesses of violence may be kept in check by a superior who is more capable of controlling them. Azure Moon and the game in general work to break down the idealization of war, but that doesn't mean a country where soldiers are honored is bad. Of course, Dimitri has his own mental problems that both help and hurt him in his culture, but just saying he's morally wrong ignores most of the commentary the game makes.

I am primarily talking about Dimitri in between the holy tomb mission and the death Rodrigue. The person he becomes at the end of the route is a different story entirely. But the darkness within him, is best expressed during his interactions with Randolph, where it is very clear that Dimitri views his enemies as monsters worthy of death, even if they are just soldiers fighting to protect their families. It is Dimitri at his worst, as Dimitri when he is trying to negotiate and later is willing to spare Edelgard is Dimitri at his best.

I don't know if you're implying that Edelgard idealise war. But I don't think this is accurate. Edelgard is more than aware of the horrific nature of war, as implied by her interactions with Byleth after the holy tomb mission in Crimson Flower. She knows that innocents and civilians will be caught up in the chaos and that she will be responsible for their deaths by giving the order to start the war.  A decision that is weighing on her all the way through. 

So why does she do it? Well, because she believes that by overthrowing the church. She will be able to put an end to the bloodstained history of Fodlan. She legitimately believes that while the war will be terrible, it will lead to fewer lives lost in the long run, as by victory. She believes that she will be able to usher in a golden age of peace and prosperity. The tragedy is that both Dimitri and Edelgard wants to achieve the same thing, to put a stop to the cycle of the strong oppressing the weak. Dimitri doesn't believe that Edelgard's methods will work due to her methods being leveraging strength in order to change society. 

I don't actually think the game takes a stance on whenever Edelgard's war was right or wrong. It is much smarter than that, it presents a complicated scenario and lets everyone make their own conclusion based on the information presented. We know that the war is costly, but we do not know if the brighter future ushered in by Edelgard whenever she wins or loses is worth that price. There is a possibility that it is. The message I get is that war is terrible, but sometimes it might be necessary. Which I think is a far more nuanced message than any simple lesson that war is bad.

You're right in that of Edelgard and Dimitri are very complex characters, which is why I find them so amazing.

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30 minutes ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

I am primarily talking about Dimitri in between the holy tomb mission and the death Rodrigue. The person he becomes at the end of the route is a different story entirely. But the darkness within him, is best expressed during his interactions with Randolph, where it is very clear that Dimitri views his enemies as monsters worthy of death, even if they are just soldiers fighting to protect their families. It is Dimitri at his worst, as Dimitri when he is trying to negotiate and later is willing to spare Edelgard is Dimitri at his best.

I don't know if you're implying that Edelgard idealise war. But I don't think this is accurate. Edelgard is more than aware of the horrific nature of war, as implied by her interactions with Byleth after the holy tomb mission in Crimson Flower. She knows that innocents and civilians will be caught up in the chaos and that she will be responsible for their deaths by giving the order to start the war.  A decision that is weighing on her all the way through. 

So why does she do it? Well, because she believes that by overthrowing the church. She will be able to put an end to the bloodstained history of Fodlan. She legitimately believes that while the war will be terrible, it will lead to fewer lives lost in the long run, as by victory. She believes that she will be able to usher in a golden age of peace and prosperity. The tragedy is that both Dimitri and Edelgard wants to achieve the same thing, to put a stop to the cycle of the strong oppressing the weak. Dimitri doesn't believe that Edelgard's methods will work due to her methods being leveraging strength in order to change society. 

I don't actually think the game takes a stance on whenever Edelgard's war was right or wrong. It is much smarter than that, it presents a complicated scenario and lets everyone make their own conclusion based on the information presented. We know that the war is costly, but we do not know if the brighter future ushered in by Edelgard whenever she wins or loses is worth that price. There is a possibility that it is. The message I get is that war is terrible, but sometimes it might be necessary. Which I think is a far more nuanced message than any simple lesson that war is bad.

You're right in that of Edelgard and Dimitri are very complex characters, which is why I find them so amazing.

While Edelgard is more acutely aware of the consequences of her actions, remember that Dimitri is somewhat out of touch with reality. He regularly hallucinates post-timeskip, and while he's clearly worse at that point than he was in the past, we don't actually know exactly how unstable he was at all times during White Clouds. It's unfair to say that Dimitri is absolutely evil for his actions when he isn't fully aware of reality.

It's good for Edelgard to always have the greater scope in mind as she leads, but in Dimitri's warrior culture where people must work within their role, that isn't always useful. Carefully weighing the risks of fighting when you're on the battlefield, unable to escape, and facing an enemy that will do everything in their power to kill you in order to avoid being killed themselves, isn't practical. I think the game does a great job here in situating legitimate insanity next to the voluntary fervor of a soldier, and asking the viewer to decide if there's a distinction between the two. Ultimately, the tragedy of Azure Moon isn't that Dimitri is evil, it's that he's a mentally unstable person put in the wrong position at the worst possible time, and others have to suffer the consequences for actions that he can't be fully blamed for taking due to his insanity. He would be perfect as a soldier, where his love of violence could be let loose as necessary and held back by a superior who knows when it's time to stop fighting. At that moment, he would be an amazing soldier, but a poor king, yet a king is what he is.

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8 minutes ago, Vitezen said:

While Edelgard is more acutely aware of the consequences of her actions, remember that Dimitri is somewhat out of touch with reality. He regularly hallucinates post-timeskip, and while he's clearly worse at that point than he was in the past, we don't actually know exactly how unstable he was at all times during White Clouds. It's unfair to say that Dimitri is absolutely evil for his actions when he isn't fully aware of reality.

It's good for Edelgard to always have the greater scope in mind as she leads, but in Dimitri's warrior culture where people must work within their role, that isn't always useful. Carefully weighing the risks of fighting when you're on the battlefield, unable to escape, and facing an enemy that will do everything in their power to kill you in order to avoid being killed themselves, isn't practical. I think the game does a great job here in situating legitimate insanity next to the voluntary fervor of a soldier, and asking the viewer to decide if there's a distinction between the two. Ultimately, the tragedy of Azure Moon isn't that Dimitri is evil, it's that he's a mentally unstable person put in the wrong position at the worst possible time, and others have to suffer the consequences for actions that he can't be fully blamed for taking due to his insanity. He would be perfect as a soldier, where his love of violence could be let loose as necessary and held back by a superior who knows when it's time to stop fighting. At that moment, he would be an amazing soldier, but a poor king, yet a king is what he is.

True, I also never said that Dimitri is absolutely evil. But I see him as a cautionary tale of what an obsession with vengeance can do to an otherwise good person.

As you say, Dimitri would be a great soldier if he had a superior to tell him what to do, but as king he doesn't have a superior. But being a terrible king doesn't make him a bad person. Being a monarch is very demanding and I just don't think that someone with severe mental issues would have an easy time in that role. It is even possible to be too good a person for that role as a level of ruthlessness is sometimes required to make difficult decisions and this needs to be counterbalanced by empathy to avoid becoming a tyrant. Even after overcoming his mental issues, I think that Dimitri's inability to handle the deaths of innocents makes him less ideal as a monarch.

I have thought that Dimitri had a certain similarity to Jeritza. Who also have a need for violence due to severe mental issues. But Edelgard gave him and his need for bloodshed a place within the Imperial hierarchy as a soldier. So his mentality was put to use for the sake of the war effort. The greatest problem he faces is what he would do once the war is over, would Edelgard's peaceful utopia still have room for a person like him? Maybe if Dimitri wasn't born as king, he might have been better off in a similar position as Jeritza, channelling his bloodlust into his role as a soldier. In another life he could easily have had the same role as the Death Knight.
 

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5 minutes ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

True, I also never said that Dimitri is absolutely evil. But I see him as a cautionary tale of what an obsession with vengeance can do to an otherwise good person.

As you say, Dimitri would be a great soldier if he had a superior to tell him what to do, but as king he doesn't have a superior. But being a terrible king doesn't make him a bad person. Being a monarch is very demanding and I just don't think that someone with severe mental issues would have an easy time in that role. It is even possible to be too good a person for that role as a level of ruthlessness is sometimes required to make difficult decisions and this needs to be counterbalanced by empathy to avoid becoming a tyrant. Even after overcoming his mental issues, I think that Dimitri's inability to handle the deaths of innocents makes him less ideal as a monarch.

I have thought that Dimitri had a certain similarity to Jeritza. Who also have a need for violence due to severe mental issues. But Edelgard gave him and his need for bloodshed a place within the Imperial hierarchy as a soldier. So his mentality was put to use for the sake of the war effort. The greatest problem he faces is what he would do once the war is over, would Edelgard's peaceful utopia still have room for a person like him? Maybe if Dimitri wasn't born as king, he might have been better off in a similar position as Jeritza, channelling his bloodlust into his role as a soldier. In another life he could easily have had the same role as the Death Knight.
 

Basically this. 

A ruler that loses himself to emotion and is driven by obsession is unfit to be a leader. This is why Ferdinand hardly ever has anything positive to say whenever he speaks of Dimitri. He expresses that Dimitri having little control over emotions is what makes him a bad leader, because a leader's duty is to put aside personal emotions to do what is necessary. 

Look at what Dimitri's obsession for revenge does in every non-AM route.

VW/SS has his army decimated and he dies. He accomplishes NOTHING. His death had no real meaning, and only caused more lives to be lost. Even CF is similar, only people try to think that Dimtiri not being as insane as he is in the other routes means that he's in this just to defend his country, when the guy literally says, multiple times, that he wants revenge on Edelgard for Duscur. This is especially why CF refers to him as the Tempest King, rather than the Savior King as he is called in AM. 

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Since we're discussing Dimitri, who I love as much as y'all love Edelgard, I shall jump back into this discussion.

When talking about Dimitri, it is vital to remember that he was suffering a literal break in reality, induced by severe trauma and untreated PTSD and survivor's guilt. He was literally suffering from psychosis, so badly that he was talking to dead people who he genuinely believed to be there. So bad that he believed Byleth to be another angry dead person coming back to haunt him for failing them.

When talking about psychopathy, approximately 30-40% of combat veterans report auditory or visual hallucinations/delusions. That is a significant chunk. The guy can hardly be blamed for his actions if he's not even in touch with reality at the time. More than anything, he needs genuine medical care. I'm not saying that what he did was okay, people still got hurt, but allow me for a moment to turn your own defense of Edelgard back at you.

Dimitri felt remorse for doing what he did. He considered himself a monster for doing it but felt it was necessary to do so in defense of innocent people who couldn't defend themselves any longer. He hated himself for doing it but considered it a necessary sacrifice in order to help other people and make the world a better place by ridding it of monsters like himself. He just went about it on a far more personal level than Edelgard did, instead of starting a war to do it he decided to do it with his own two hands.

Also you guys talk about obsession with vengeance as though Dimitri was a completely sane and rational person at his worst. He wasn't. In White Clouds, before he started losing himself to a PTSD related break entirely, he absolutely wanted revenge but he hadn't let it consume him. It took the betrayal of someone he once cared about incredibly deeply to drive him off that edge.

Since war was also brought up, of all of the 3 lords, Dimitri would be the one to understand the true horrors of war more than any of the others. It was Dimitri present at the assassination of his father and the resulting deaths of everyone around him, it was Dimitri who was sent to quell the rebellion. You can claim that Edelgard understood the horror of war all you want but the fact is she didn't. None of you do either. You think of it as something necessary for change and sometimes it is, but if you truly understood you might be a little less quick to defend Edelgard. Just like Edelgard might have been more hesitant to declare war. War is a monster. It's very nature is tragedy and suffering, it is a fire whose fuel is living human beings. No soldier wants to be maimed or die on the battlefield and for every one that is hurt or killed there are many more people who are also hurt - their loved ones, friends and family. That's not even touching on the human rights violations that tend to take place during war. Don't do this unless you can handle it, but go and look up actual war time accounts. Look at actual images of battlefields. Not the Hollywood crap but actual footage. It is horrific, it is awful, it is a fate that you shouldn't wish upon even your worst enemy. I don't want to get into too much detail because this is a public forum but I cannot impress upon you enough just how horrid war actually is.

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On 6/1/2020 at 5:42 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

I definitely agree with this.

I'll also add that, in general, much as I like 3H's writing, it does not feel to me like the writer(s) had a strong understanding of actual military tactics... or perhaps more likely, just didn't care. Dramatic skirmishes in thematically fitting locations/situations were obviously the priority, regardless of how much or little sense they would make.

 

On 6/1/2020 at 6:35 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

I definitely think its more that it was given a lower priority. If any dev would understand actual military tactics then it would be Koei. Military history is what their core franchises are build around. Sure, its a wacky Kung Fu take on military history but the various tricks and schemes that generals used tend to be present in some form or another. IS also isn't entirely without pedigree since the Tellius game had its wars more written as a military campaign rather then a string of unrelated battles. 

The Tellius games and 3H are the only ones that discuss military tactics to a great extent but even than leave a bit more to be desired. 

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57 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Since we're discussing Dimitri, who I love as much as y'all love Edelgard, I shall jump back into this discussion.

When talking about Dimitri, it is vital to remember that he was suffering a literal break in reality, induced by severe trauma and untreated PTSD and survivor's guilt. He was literally suffering from psychosis, so badly that he was talking to dead people who he genuinely believed to be there. So bad that he believed Byleth to be another angry dead person coming back to haunt him for failing them.

When talking about psychopathy, approximately 30-40% of combat veterans report auditory or visual hallucinations/delusions. That is a significant chunk. The guy can hardly be blamed for his actions if he's not even in touch with reality at the time. More than anything, he needs genuine medical care. I'm not saying that what he did was okay, people still got hurt, but allow me for a moment to turn your own defense of Edelgard back at you.

Dimitri felt remorse for doing what he did. He considered himself a monster for doing it but felt it was necessary to do so in defense of innocent people who couldn't defend themselves any longer. He hated himself for doing it but considered it a necessary sacrifice in order to help other people and make the world a better place by ridding it of monsters like himself. He just went about it on a far more personal level than Edelgard did, instead of starting a war to do it he decided to do it with his own two hands.

Also you guys talk about obsession with vengeance as though Dimitri was a completely sane and rational person at his worst. He wasn't. In White Clouds, before he started losing himself to a PTSD related break entirely, he absolutely wanted revenge but he hadn't let it consume him. It took the betrayal of someone he once cared about incredibly deeply to drive him off that edge.

Since war was also brought up, of all of the 3 lords, Dimitri would be the one to understand the true horrors of war more than any of the others. It was Dimitri present at the assassination of his father and the resulting deaths of everyone around him, it was Dimitri who was sent to quell the rebellion. You can claim that Edelgard understood the horror of war all you want but the fact is she didn't. None of you do either. You think of it as something necessary for change and sometimes it is, but if you truly understood you might be a little less quick to defend Edelgard. Just like Edelgard might have been more hesitant to declare war. War is a monster. It's very nature is tragedy and suffering, it is a fire whose fuel is living human beings. No soldier wants to be maimed or die on the battlefield and for every one that is hurt or killed there are many more people who are also hurt - their loved ones, friends and family. That's not even touching on the human rights violations that tend to take place during war. Don't do this unless you can handle it, but go and look up actual war time accounts. Look at actual images of battlefields. Not the Hollywood crap but actual footage. It is horrific, it is awful, it is a fate that you shouldn't wish upon even your worst enemy. I don't want to get into too much detail because this is a public forum but I cannot impress upon you enough just how horrid war actually is.

I don't disagree with you. Dimitri had a LOT of issues. However the point is more toward how Dimitri really isn't fit to be a leader. Him being overall suicidal and wanting to focus on revenge, even during Part 1 as he admits in AM during the rain scene, he's definitely someone that expresses something that shouldn't be at the top of the chain of command. Had he been just a soldier, then he would be kept under control by a superior. But he IS the top dog, and therefore, no one can actually stand against him. That's why Gilbert and Rodrigue ended up going on a suicide attack on Gronder, even though they knew it was risky and likely suicidal. 

If you speak to some NPCs before Gronder, in VW, the NPC feels confident they can get through it. But in AM, the NPC are basically expecting to die. 

Great that he recovers in AM, but should he still be the leader of the nation? Being a leader is a responsibility that puts expectations on you. Dimitri is a good man, but being a good man doesn't mean being a good leader. 

Also, I would personally say that it's extremely bold claim to say that only Dimitri actually understood the horrors of war and death and the others didn't. Claude is in Almyra, that makes battle be sport. And frankly, Edelgard experienced betrayal, nobles fighting for power that they would use force to take it, and death through the Insurrection of the Seven and her experiments. She knows what war will bring, and she knows that people would die. And even Edelgard didn't want the war at all. She didn't want it anymore than others that reject war. But her paths all lead to war and suffering of countless people, so she accepts her inevitable sins. 

After all, there's no point in being afraid of the inevitable. 

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1 hour ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Since we're discussing Dimitri, who I love as much as y'all love Edelgard, I shall jump back into this discussion.

When talking about Dimitri, it is vital to remember that he was suffering a literal break in reality, induced by severe trauma and untreated PTSD and survivor's guilt. He was literally suffering from psychosis, so badly that he was talking to dead people who he genuinely believed to be there. So bad that he believed Byleth to be another angry dead person coming back to haunt him for failing them.

When talking about psychopathy, approximately 30-40% of combat veterans report auditory or visual hallucinations/delusions. That is a significant chunk. The guy can hardly be blamed for his actions if he's not even in touch with reality at the time. More than anything, he needs genuine medical care. I'm not saying that what he did was okay, people still got hurt, but allow me for a moment to turn your own defense of Edelgard back at you.

Dimitri felt remorse for doing what he did. He considered himself a monster for doing it but felt it was necessary to do so in defense of innocent people who couldn't defend themselves any longer. He hated himself for doing it but considered it a necessary sacrifice in order to help other people and make the world a better place by ridding it of monsters like himself. He just went about it on a far more personal level than Edelgard did, instead of starting a war to do it he decided to do it with his own two hands.

Also you guys talk about obsession with vengeance as though Dimitri was a completely sane and rational person at his worst. He wasn't. In White Clouds, before he started losing himself to a PTSD related break entirely, he absolutely wanted revenge but he hadn't let it consume him. It took the betrayal of someone he once cared about incredibly deeply to drive him off that edge.

Since war was also brought up, of all of the 3 lords, Dimitri would be the one to understand the true horrors of war more than any of the others. It was Dimitri present at the assassination of his father and the resulting deaths of everyone around him, it was Dimitri who was sent to quell the rebellion. You can claim that Edelgard understood the horror of war all you want but the fact is she didn't. None of you do either. You think of it as something necessary for change and sometimes it is, but if you truly understood you might be a little less quick to defend Edelgard. Just like Edelgard might have been more hesitant to declare war. War is a monster. It's very nature is tragedy and suffering, it is a fire whose fuel is living human beings. No soldier wants to be maimed or die on the battlefield and for every one that is hurt or killed there are many more people who are also hurt - their loved ones, friends and family. That's not even touching on the human rights violations that tend to take place during war. Don't do this unless you can handle it, but go and look up actual war time accounts. Look at actual images of battlefields. Not the Hollywood crap but actual footage. It is horrific, it is awful, it is a fate that you shouldn't wish upon even your worst enemy. I don't want to get into too much detail because this is a public forum but I cannot impress upon you enough just how horrid war actually is.

As I have been saying before, I don't hate Dimitri or think he is evil. Your defence of him. It makes perfect sense. I would not hold his actions against him. He is definitely emotionally compromised by his trauma for most of the story, which could explain his often times irrational conclusions. For example, it makes a mention later on in the story after he recovered some of his sanity that he suspected that Arundel was responsible for the tragedy of Duscur, as he had been suspicious of his sudden stop of donations to the church. But if he suspected Arundel, why did he spend so long blaming Edelgard for said tragedy? I guess the answer might lie in the fact that he just wasn't thinking rationally at the time due to his issues. He needed a scapegoat to deal with his trauma and Edelgard was convenient for that role due to her actions as the Flame Emperor.

You might also have a point in that Dimitri had experienced the horrors of war firsthand, the tragedy of Duscur was beyond horrific and it is pretty much a slaughter as the death of Lambert caused the knights of Faerghus to essentially committed genocide on an innocent party. But Edelgard has been through trauma of her own, even if it is of a different nature. She is no stranger to suffering. I am uncertain of how much experience Edelgard has had with war, I am uncertain if he ever fought a real battle before the start of her revolution. 

She might have more emotional distance from it, but at the very least, she does understand that innocents will die because of her decision and she did hesitate as a consequence. But to her, the more immediate suffering is the one caused by the crest system and the church as this is the kind of suffering she has experienced. So, the suffering caused by the nobility and the church by the attitude towards crests and the importance of the society of Fodlan places on them is what feels the most real to her for the same reasons as Dimitri's personal experiences with war means that he is more intuned to the suffering caused by war. Essentially Edelgard's experiences with the systematic suffering caused by the brutal, unfair and unjust society of Fodlan makes her unable to accept the existence of this system for another minute, and is why she is willing to move heaven and earth to create a new system. 

Edelgard's actions are as much motivated by her trauma as Dimitri's actions are motivated by his. So if you extend sympathy to Dimitri regardless of his actions for these reasons, you should also show the same courtesy to Edelgard. Just because someone likes one of them doesn't mean we have to consider the other a monster. Dimitri is actually my second favourite character in this game and if Edelgard didn't exist, he would have been my favourite. I am a bit bothered by that. I don't get why liking one of these characters always has to come at the expense of the other, I can even fall into that trap myself, I guess because my protective instincts kick in whenever someone wants to harm Edelgard.

I have been exposed to a lot of the awfulness of humanity, I am well aware of the horrors of war. But I am more well researched on the details of the horrors of systematic human rights violations such as what was done during the Holocaust, what was committed by the Soviet government during the reign of Joseph Stalin, as well as the torture methods used by the Catholic church and the Protestant churches during the mediaeval era, including the witchhunts and the inqusition. War is horrific, yes, but so is living under a theocracy or a oppressive government. Nowadays I try to avoid looking at such material because my mental state can't handle it as well as I used to.

The worst part about living under a oppressive system is that often times, it brainwashes you into thinking that oppression is okay. I can only imagine how horrible it must be to live as a woman in a Third World country that considers you a second-class citizen, the culture, even possibly having brainwashed you into thinking this is the natural way of things. Places that practices genital mutilation and stoning rape victims to death. And because of the brainwashing the governments of these places engages in the people might never break free from this of their own accord. I have trouble accepting a reality such as this and however horrific war is, there will be suffering for a time when trying to overthrow this type of system. But in the long run. Such actions might prevent quite a bit of suffering and give the people living in these regions a higher standard of living. Like Edelgard, if I had the power to stop these types of things I would not sit idly by and let these abuses of human rights continue. It is from this context, I view Edelgard's actions. I can sympathise with her desire to use any means to change the world for the better because she is sick of the world, being such a crappy place. Peace is all well and good, but the unwillingness to act that often times comes with too much of an aversion to war can sometimes perpetuate suffering and make people doormats for those who aren't adverse to violence. 

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good to do nothing"

Sorry for the long post, but I have a lot to say on the subject. I guess I am trying to say that while I sympathise with both Edelgard and Dimitri, I do understand Edelgard's way of thinking a bit more. Even if she is in the wrong that will not change the fact that I will still love Edelgard. But I don't think that whenever she is in the right or wrong is all that obvious. 

Edited by Darkmoon6789

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22 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

I don't disagree with you. Dimitri had a LOT of issues. However the point is more toward how Dimitri really isn't fit to be a leader. Him being overall suicidal and wanting to focus on revenge, even during Part 1 as he admits in AM during the rain scene, he's definitely someone that expresses something that shouldn't be at the top of the chain of command. Had he been just a soldier, then he would be kept under control by a superior. But he IS the top dog, and therefore, no one can actually stand against him. That's why Gilbert and Rodrigue ended up going on a suicide attack on Gronder, even though they knew it was risky and likely suicidal. 

If you speak to some NPCs before Gronder, in VW, the NPC feels confident they can get through it. But in AM, the NPC are basically expecting to die. 

Great that he recovers in AM, but should he still be the leader of the nation? Being a leader is a responsibility that puts expectations on you. Dimitri is a good man, but being a good man doesn't mean being a good leader. 

Also, I would personally say that it's extremely bold claim to say that only Dimitri actually understood the horrors of war and death and the others didn't. Claude is in Almyra, that makes battle be sport. And frankly, Edelgard experienced betrayal, nobles fighting for power that they would use force to take it, and death through the Insurrection of the Seven and her experiments. She knows what war will bring, and she knows that people would die. And even Edelgard didn't want the war at all. She didn't want it anymore than others that reject war. But her paths all lead to war and suffering of countless people, so she accepts her inevitable sins. 

After all, there's no point in being afraid of the inevitable. 

You can think Dimitri isn't fit to be a leader all you want. I don't really see a point in arguing that one because it's all down to what you think is a good leader. However if you think someone during a psychotic break can be controlled by a superior officer then you have another thing coming. Now Gilbert and Rodrigue and that whole culture is an entirely different can of worms, loyalty to your King/Prince should also include knowing when to step in and stop them. That one is entirely on them and their misplaced sense of duty. I personally think a lot more people should have spoken up against Dimitri, not that I think it would've done much good. But at least they could claim they tried, jeez xD

As for the thing about the others, Dimitri is the only one stated to have been in battles like that (of the house leaders) before the game starts. Claude has never been in battles quelling rebellions that he states so we can't assume either way. And yes, Edelgard experiences some really traumatic shit, but the insurrection and experiments are not the same thing as killing people on a field of war. An actual war magnifies that by magnitudes. It's that sort of thing multiplied by the number of soldiers and the countries fighting. So no, Edelgard genuinely had no idea. Edelgard may not have wanted the war but that does not absolve her of the responsibility of starting it. One thing I feel these games, none of them, do accurately is portray just how bad war is. To be fair none of them have the appropriate rating to do so. But Edelgard is idealistic and frankly naive, so while she can claim she accepts the responsibility of the blood at her feet, she does not understand the suffering that the blood she spilled entails. Hubert understands much better than she does in my opinion.

16 minutes ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

Snip as this was incredibly long... not that I can say much. 

The problem is you're still treating it as though Dimitri was in control of his emotions or actions. He wasn't. He was in the middle of a psychotic break with probably some schizophrenia thrown in for good measure because the poor guy wasn't already fucked up enough. It's also worth considering that episodes of psychosis generally take years before they reach their worst stages with warning signs presenting as much as 3 years before the episode goes to it's worst. The horrors that he experienced at such a young age were definitely the cause of his mental issues. He watched everyone around him die in a brutal assassination attack, and even not counting Duscur he was personally responsible for putting down a rebellion of civilians by order of his then superiors. I forget exactly how old he was at that time but he was far too young. It was Dimitri that tells Ingrid that Glenn did not die a hero's death, that his death was tragic and fucked up (he does it in more polite words) and that it's not something he would wish on anyone, especially not a friend. Survivor's guilt is a powerful thing and so is combat related PTSD. Between those things it's no wonder he's messed up. The difference is, unlike Edelgard, he was left floundering for somewhere to rest blame. Edelgard had her people responsible in the Agarthans and the Church, she knew who to go after. Dimitri didn't know who was responsible for ruining his life, for ruining his family, for ruining his kingdom. He had no one to fall back on, no contingency like Edelgard did. Also she was never stated to have been in a serious battle beyond a few skirmishes before attending Garreg Mach so, like with Claude, we can only guess. Since it wasn't mentioned, I'm leaning toward she wasn't.

No, the more immediate suffering would be all the people being brutally torn apart in the war. Rhea's system would be more long-term suffering. Edelgard is more interested in undoing the system that may cause more long term suffering, even at the cost of a lot of short term suffering.

Both of them being motivated by trauma was exactly my point. It's why I used your own defense of Edelgard on Dimitri, because it fits them both. They have different methods and honestly, Edelgard being more clear headed and not in the middle of an episode of psychosis probably makes her more personally responsible than someone who is literally disconnected from reality. But the defense of them both being well intentioned and determined to stop injustice at all costs stands for both of them. As for that last bit, I don't really get it either but allow me to say this. When you go off about every single point someone brings up about Edelgard in staunch defense of her, it can drive people to dislike her more. It's why I've cooled off a lot on my defense of characters, I used to be that way over Micaiah. Sometimes just letting people have their opinions is the way to go.

Systematic oppression is also a horrible thing. I never said it wasn't. Most of those examples you listed also directly led to the horrors of war as well, generally perpetrated by said systematic oppressors. However consider this, how much media now do you see portraying war as this glorified and honorable thing? Go back and look at almost any war movie or game put out in the last... 30 years. Then tell me if they glorify the war or they demonize it. I'd be willing to bet literal money that the majority glorify war. They make soldiers out to be heroes instead of scared kids fighting for their survival. Don't get me wrong, many of those soldiers are heroes. But they're also terrified kids, fighting for their lives and the life of the person next to them. Fighting to make it home. I never said war wasn't sometimes necessary. Just that, if she had truly understood just how awful war is, she might have done some things differently. (Also it's worth pointing out that Fodlan's system was not comparable to the Holocaust in any way, shape, or form, so maybe let's not make those comparisons?)

You sure do like to throw that quote around a lot. I have another one for you. "Two wrongs don't make a right." One thing being wrong does not justify doing another wrong thing in response.

My biggest problem is that I think too many people try to judge Dimitri as an individual at his worst when that's literally impossible to do to someone who is in his situation. You can't judge someone based on them suffering a psychotic break. People will do things during those episodes that they would never do otherwise because they're not experiencing our reality, I mean the guy was literally talking to dead people. Now you are more than entitled to your opinion about his methods or whether or not you think he'd make a good king. As I said before, most of that is just personal opinion on what makes a good leader. But after Dimitri has started down the road to recovery, I think he'd make a pretty good king. Yeah, he'd need the support of those around him but that's... kind of a given for any good ruler, Edelgard and Claude included.

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43 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

The problem is you're still treating it as though Dimitri was in control of his emotions or actions. He wasn't. He was in the middle of a psychotic break with probably some schizophrenia thrown in for good measure because the poor guy wasn't already fucked up enough. It's also worth considering that episodes of psychosis generally take years before they reach their worst stages with warning signs presenting as much as 3 years before the episode goes to it's worst. The horrors that he experienced at such a young age were definitely the cause of his mental issues. He watched everyone around him die in a brutal assassination attack, and even not counting Duscur he was personally responsible for putting down a rebellion of civilians by order of his then superiors. I forget exactly how old he was at that time but he was far too young. It was Dimitri that tells Ingrid that Glenn did not die a hero's death, that his death was tragic and fucked up (he does it in more polite words) and that it's not something he would wish on anyone, especially not a friend. Survivor's guilt is a powerful thing and so is combat related PTSD. Between those things it's no wonder he's messed up. The difference is, unlike Edelgard, he was left floundering for somewhere to rest blame. Edelgard had her people responsible in the Agarthans and the Church, she knew who to go after. Dimitri didn't know who was responsible for ruining his life, for ruining his family, for ruining his kingdom. He had no one to fall back on, no contingency like Edelgard did. Also she was never stated to have been in a serious battle beyond a few skirmishes before attending Garreg Mach so, like with Claude, we can only guess. Since it wasn't mentioned, I'm leaning toward she wasn't.

No, the more immediate suffering would be all the people being brutally torn apart in the war. Rhea's system would be more long-term suffering. Edelgard is more interested in undoing the system that may cause more long term suffering, even at the cost of a lot of short term suffering.

Both of them being motivated by trauma was exactly my point. It's why I used your own defense of Edelgard on Dimitri, because it fits them both. They have different methods and honestly, Edelgard being more clear headed and not in the middle of an episode of psychosis probably makes her more personally responsible than someone who is literally disconnected from reality. But the defense of them both being well intentioned and determined to stop injustice at all costs stands for both of them. As for that last bit, I don't really get it either but allow me to say this. When you go off about every single point someone brings up about Edelgard in staunch defense of her, it can drive people to dislike her more. It's why I've cooled off a lot on my defense of characters, I used to be that way over Micaiah. Sometimes just letting people have their opinions is the way to go.

Systematic oppression is also a horrible thing. I never said it wasn't. Most of those examples you listed also directly led to the horrors of war as well, generally perpetrated by said systematic oppressors. However consider this, how much media now do you see portraying war as this glorified and honorable thing? Go back and look at almost any war movie or game put out in the last... 30 years. Then tell me if they glorify the war or they demonize it. I'd be willing to bet literal money that the majority glorify war. They make soldiers out to be heroes instead of scared kids fighting for their survival. Don't get me wrong, many of those soldiers are heroes. But they're also terrified kids, fighting for their lives and the life of the person next to them. Fighting to make it home. I never said war wasn't sometimes necessary. Just that, if she had truly understood just how awful war is, she might have done some things differently. (Also it's worth pointing out that Fodlan's system was not comparable to the Holocaust in any way, shape, or form, so maybe let's not make those comparisons?)

You sure do like to throw that quote around a lot. I have another one for you. "Two wrongs don't make a right." One thing being wrong does not justify doing another wrong thing in response.

My biggest problem is that I think too many people try to judge Dimitri as an individual at his worst when that's literally impossible to do to someone who is in his situation. You can't judge someone based on them suffering a psychotic break. People will do things during those episodes that they would never do otherwise because they're not experiencing our reality, I mean the guy was literally talking to dead people. Now you are more than entitled to your opinion about his methods or whether or not you think he'd make a good king. As I said before, most of that is just personal opinion on what makes a good leader. But after Dimitri has started down the road to recovery, I think he'd make a pretty good king. Yeah, he'd need the support of those around him but that's... kind of a given for any good ruler, Edelgard and Claude included.

You know I am starting to understand your perspective now. Just know that I don't really debate to change people's minds, I participate in these debates because I find it entertaining and because it helps me further my understanding of the game, its themes and through it explore philosophy and increase my understanding of the world in general. To do so, you must be exposed to opposing points of view. People are usually set in their ways, which means that trying to change their minds is pointless.

Edelgard likely did underestimate the horrors of war when she started it, but during over five years of war, I think she slowly started to realise just how horrific it really was, which put quite a burden on her. But it isn't like she could take back the declaration of war by that point. She was already committed to her path and she had to see it through and hope that her future would be worth it in the end. I think this is the reason she shuts down emotionally over the course of the war, her empathetic side can't handle all the bloodshed and being responsible for it, so she has to shut down that side of herself in order to carry on. Only Byleth could break down that icy shell and help Edelgard embrace her humanity once again. 

For this reason, I think that Edelgard after her victory in the war in Crimson Flower will likely never want to start a war ever again, because after having experienced war in person. She would understand its horror better than anyone. She wouldn't want more blood and her already heavy conscience. I think that all the death she has been responsible for would bother her specifically because Edelgard is a good person at heart. The concept of the person as good as Edelgard being responsible for so much death and having to deal with the consequences to her psychological well-being is exactly why I think Edelgard is such a compelling character.

You do have a point in that a lot of media glorify war, it is just that the military and therefore the government has an incentive to do that as otherwise people would never sign up to be soldiers, not if they understood that in real war, often times it is not a battle of good versus evil, in most cases were consists of battles between two evils. It is only really a question of degrees. I have found after researching World War II that every single nation involved in this war has been responsible for the mass slaughter of civilians. The allies might have been the lesser of two evils, but they are not the heroes they are often portrayed to be. It is highly unlikely that any participant in a war is innocent of war crimes. It is just that it is usually only the loser that gets convicted.

So if I have to ask you. Considering what you said about Dimitri and mental issues. Are you familiar with Azula from Avatar the Last Airbender? I have used similar arguments in defence of her in the past with the argument that she isn't truly responsible for her actions due to the immense level of psychological abuse she suffered from her father and her suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, to the point that she does have hallucinations. 

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7 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

I have thought that Dimitri had a certain similarity to Jeritza. Who also have a need for violence due to severe mental issues. But Edelgard gave him and his need for bloodshed a place within the Imperial hierarchy as a soldier. So his mentality was put to use for the sake of the war effort. The greatest problem he faces is what he would do once the war is over, would Edelgard's peaceful utopia still have room for a person like him? Maybe if Dimitri wasn't born as king, he might have been better off in a similar position as Jeritza, channelling his bloodlust into his role as a soldier. In another life he could easily have had the same role as the Death Knight.

I can't speak for Jeritza's similarity to Dimitri, but I want to make sure you aren't suggesting that Edelgard handled Jeritza in the best way, or even in a particularly good way. Jeritza's entire life is one huge catastrophe, and Edelgard didn't save him from any of it - in fact she amplified his trauma. I'm not saying that she was under any obligation to help him, or that hurting him was her intention. But joining Edelgard just did not help Jeritza - it was certainly beneficial for Edelgard, but let's not imply that it was an equally beneficial relationship, or that any of the situations Jeritza was placed in were good for him.

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3 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

I can't speak for Jeritza's similarity to Dimitri, but I want to make sure you aren't suggesting that Edelgard handled Jeritza in the best way, or even in a particularly good way. Jeritza's entire life is one huge catastrophe, and Edelgard didn't save him from any of it - in fact she amplified his trauma. I'm not saying that she was under any obligation to help him, or that hurting him was her intention. But joining Edelgard just did not help Jeritza - it was certainly beneficial for Edelgard, but let's not imply that it was an equally beneficial relationship, or that any of the situations Jeritza was placed in were good for him.

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Jeritza's psychosis basically require him to kill? What I am essentially suggesting here, is that if Edelgard didn't provide him with "hunting grounds" and targets for his Death Knight persona to kill. If it wasn't for this he would target people at random and be a danger for basically the entire population of Fodlan. Making him a soldier for her cause provides him with an outlet for his bloodlust that doesn't endanger citizens of the Empire.

Maybe it isn't the best for Jeritza as it still encourages his murderous tendencies, something he probably shouldn't be embracing. But any regular monarch would have just killed someone like him because of the danger they pose. So I do consider Edelgard bearing his life and making use of them to be a mercy. 

To my understanding, Emelie snapped after his father revealed his plan to force Mercedes to marry him, giving birth to his Death Knight personality when he killed his father in a violent rage. The only person who has ever managed to get Jeritza to give up being the Death Knight is Mercedes. Edelgard wouldn't be capable of doing so. So her choices would be to either kill him or make use of him. But I am uncertain of when he started working for Edelgard, and if he possibly killed more people in between him killing his father and him becoming a soldier for the Empire.

I just used this as an example of Edelgard showing more mercy to a criminal than Dimitri ever would. It seems like she shows more sympathy to such people, and understand that circumstances can drive people to banditry considering she is far more relaxed about working with such people than I would expect of Dimitri. She isn't usually interested in judgement and therefore can be seen as more merciful.

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2 hours ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Jeritza's psychosis basically require him to kill? What I am essentially suggesting here, is that if Edelgard didn't provide him with "hunting grounds" and targets for his Death Knight persona to kill. If it wasn't for this he would target people at random and be a danger for basically the entire population of Fodlan. Making him a soldier for her cause provides him with an outlet for his bloodlust that doesn't endanger citizens of the Empire.

Maybe it isn't the best for Jeritza as it still encourages his murderous tendencies, something he probably shouldn't be embracing. But any regular monarch would have just killed someone like him because of the danger they pose. So I do consider Edelgard bearing his life and making use of them to be a mercy. 

To my understanding, Emelie snapped after his father revealed his plan to force Mercedes to marry him, giving birth to his Death Knight personality when he killed his father in a violent rage. The only person who has ever managed to get Jeritza to give up being the Death Knight is Mercedes. Edelgard wouldn't be capable of doing so. So her choices would be to either kill him or make use of him. But I am uncertain of when he started working for Edelgard, and if he possibly killed more people in between him killing his father and him becoming a soldier for the Empire.

I just used this as an example of Edelgard showing more mercy to a criminal than Dimitri ever would. It seems like she shows more sympathy to such people, and understand that circumstances can drive people to banditry considering she is far more relaxed about working with such people than I would expect of Dimitri. She isn't usually interested in judgement and therefore can be seen as more merciful.

Jeritza is a useful military tool. He becomes loyal to Edelgard personally, and is an effective fighter and general (putting aside the gameplay mechanics of how you beat the shit out of him like, up to 7 times in VW). While he is temperamental and murderous, he follows whatever orders Edelgard gives herself - his obstructionism rears its head mainly with respect to TWSITD, which suits Edelgard just fine. So Edelgard, in contracting Jeritza to fight for her, did the logically correct thing in accomplishing her goals, something which hindsight guarantees as the right call. Mercy has nothing to do with it, as far as I can see - it's a profit-loss calculation, and Edelgard sees greater profit in keeping Jeritza alive and indebted to her than dead. As far as Edelgard herself is concerned, she did the right thing, because she did what was best for her - if compassion or mercy was involved (and there is no evidence to suggest that it was) then it was entirely incidental/secondary.

Jeritza, however, was in no position to refuse Edelgard's offer - that's what happens when you kill a noble (no matter how crappy they are). 

That doesn't change the fact that the situation Edelgard placed him in is one that entirely exacerbates his already fragile mental state. While we don't know the exact timescale between Jeritza killing his father and joining Edelgard, we do know that he killed his father in a rage. It's a precursor to the Death Knight personality, but it is not the Death Knight. The Death Knight is an example of Jeritza somehow harnessing a fragment of his personality and murderous instincts for use in battle, shown by the donning of the mask.  But Jeritza did not choose to snap at the moment of killing his father. The incidents share similarities, like memory loss, and it's clear that this event ultimately led to the existence of the Death Knight. However it did not inevitably lead to the existence of the Death Knight. It is serving Edelgard that allowed Jeritza to habitually access this dysfunctional part of himself, and gave him an excuse to run free with it. In a world without mental health provision, that might seem like an acceptable release, but it most certainly is not. Throwing someone with a burgeoning dissociative personality disorder into violent situations is Bad Psych 101, and it is entirely Jeritza's status as a killing machine that gives him the leeway to endorse his own murderous urges. When your value is already defined as your role as killing machine, it is not only easy but likely that you adapt yourself to fit that new role. We see that exact process in the journey of the Death Knight in 3H. He never takes off his mask in non-CF routes because his entire reason for existing (on the battlefield, but also continuing to exist at all) is to kill - Edelgard's enemies just happen to be the people he's allowed to kill without punishment. 

Unless, of course, you complete Mercedes' paralogue - as an important person from his past, Mercedes has the ability to make him re-access his Jeritza personality, even if only briefly (she doesn't have the access or the opportunity to break down the Death Knight's walls any further than that). He doesn't remove his mask in CF pre-DLC either, although the DLC (presumably to cut corners/because you have so little time in Part II) decides to just reintroduce him without his mask, and no prior explanation of why he turns up and why he took off his mask in the first place, apart from gameplay convenience. But the DLC only confirms what being a tool of war has done to him - he is at first only capable of valuing others in terms of battle potential (hence his original attraction to Byleth), and as such is almost incapable of human connection even with people he spends a lot of time with, like his subordinates. He is constantly at risk of losing control over his actions (as seen where he goes Death Knight on Mercedes) despite Jeritza actively disliking who he is as the Death Knight. His Byleth A-rank is entirely couched in the language of murder and violence, despite the emotions behind them being that of attraction and connection. These unhealthy behaviours and his inability to communicate effectively began in him because of a traumatic childhood, but were ingrained in him through years spent existing purely for the purpose to murder on command - of course he develops an unhealthy attachment to killing and a whole personality developed around it when those actions are the ones reinforced by the only presence he accepts as having any kind of power over him. 

Tying this to my original thread, if it were in Jeritza's power to do so, he should turn his back on the war in a heartbeat. Beyond his contractual obligation he has no real reason to fight for Edelgard, especially when one of the costs is Mercedes' death. Of course, not only does he value holding up his end of the bargain, but it seems likely that Edelgard is providing him carte blanche immunity in return for working for her, so Jeritza really has little choice in the matter anyway - but it remains that he should betray Edelgard and not fight for the Empire, although he isn't in a position where he can.

Now I'm pretty wary about speaking on Dimitri (because as you know I haven't played AM yet) but it seems like he is simply more rigid about morality. He can't stomach working with evil even if their goals coincide with his own, and he is less open-minded/relativistic in general. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just different to Edelgard. Having sympathy/compassion for more groups of people doesn't necessarily make you a 'better person', although I'd be the first to accept that opinions will and should differ on that. What I will say is that the fact that Dimitri would be more likely to punish Jeritza (and execution is potentially, but not necessarily, the result of such punishment) doesn't make him inherently worse than Edelgard. Feel free to argue that Edelgard is worse or better, just don't use Jeritza as evidence for that claim.

Edited by haarhaarhaar

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You19 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Jeritza is a useful military tool. He becomes loyal to Edelgard personally, and is an effective fighter and general (putting aside the gameplay mechanics of how you beat the shit out of him like, up to 7 times in VW). While he is temperamental and murderous, he follows whatever orders Edelgard gives herself - his obstructionism rears its head mainly with respect to TWSITD, which suits Edelgard just fine. So Edelgard, in contracting Jeritza to fight for her, did the logically correct thing in accomplishing her goals, something which hindsight guarantees as the right call. Mercy has nothing to do with it, as far as I can see - it's a profit-loss calculation, and Edelgard sees greater profit in keeping Jeritza alive and indebted to her than dead. As far as Edelgard herself is concerned, she did the right thing, because she did what was best for her - if compassion or mercy was involved (and there is no evidence to suggest that it was) then it was entirely incidental/secondary.

Jeritza, however, was in no position to refuse Edelgard's offer - that's what happens when you kill a noble (no matter how crappy they are). 

That doesn't change the fact that the situation Edelgard placed him in is one that entirely exacerbates his already fragile mental state. While we don't know the exact timescale between Jeritza killing his father and joining Edelgard, we do know that he killed his father in a rage. It's a precursor to the Death Knight personality, but it is not the Death Knight. The Death Knight is an example of Jeritza somehow harnessing a fragment of his personality and murderous instincts for use in battle, shown by the donning of the mask.  But Jeritza did not choose to snap at the moment of killing his father. The incidents share similarities, like memory loss, and it's clear that this event ultimately led to the existence of the Death Knight. However it did not inevitably lead to the existence of the Death Knight. It is serving Edelgard that allowed Jeritza to habitually access this dysfunctional part of himself, and gave him an excuse to run free with it. In a world without mental health provision, that might seem like an acceptable release, but it most certainly is not. Throwing someone with a burgeoning dissociative personality disorder into violent situations is Bad Psych 101, and it is entirely Jeritza's status as a killing machine that gives him the leeway to endorse his own murderous urges. When your value is already defined as your role as killing machine, it is not only easy but likely that you adapt yourself to fit that new role. We see that exact process in the journey of the Death Knight in 3H. He never takes off his mask in non-CF routes because his entire reason for existing (on the battlefield, but also continuing to exist at all) is to kill - Edelgard's enemies just happen to be the people he's allowed to kill without punishment. 

Unless, of course, you complete Mercedes' paralogue - as an important person from his past, Mercedes has the ability to make him re-access his Jeritza personality, even if only briefly (she doesn't have the access or the opportunity to break down the Death Knight's walls any further than that). He doesn't remove his mask in CF pre-DLC either, although the DLC (presumably to cut corners/because you have so little time in Part II) decides to just reintroduce him without his mask, and no prior explanation of why he turns up and why he took off his mask in the first place, apart from gameplay convenience. But the DLC only confirms what being a tool of war has done to him - he is at first only capable of valuing others in terms of battle potential (hence his original attraction to Byleth), and as such is almost incapable of human connection even with people he spends a lot of time with, like his subordinates. He is constantly at risk of losing control over his actions (as seen where he goes Death Knight on Mercedes) despite Jeritza actively disliking who he is as the Death Knight. His Byleth A-rank is entirely couched in the language of murder and violence, despite the emotions behind them being that of attraction and connection. These unhealthy behaviours and his inability to communicate effectively began in him because of a traumatic childhood, but were ingrained in him through years spent existing purely for the purpose to murder on command - of course he develops an unhealthy attachment to killing and a whole personality developed around it when those actions are the ones reinforced by the only presence he accepts as having any kind of power over him. 

Tying this to my original thread, if it were in Jeritza's power to do so, he should turn his back on the war in a heartbeat. Beyond his contractual obligation he has no real reason to fight for Edelgard, especially when one of the costs is Mercedes' death. Of course, not only does he value holding up his end of the bargain, but it seems likely that Edelgard is providing him carte blanche immunity in return for working for her, so Jeritza really has little choice in the matter anyway - but it remains that he should betray Edelgard and not fight for the Empire, although he isn't in a position where he can.

Now I'm pretty wary about speaking on Dimitri (because as you know I haven't played AM yet) but it seems like he is simply more rigid about morality. He can't stomach working with evil even if their goals coincide with his own, and he is less open-minded/relativistic in general. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just different to Edelgard. Having sympathy/compassion for more groups of people doesn't necessarily make you a 'better person', although I'd be the first to accept that opinions will and should differ on that. What I will say is that the fact that Dimitri would be more likely to punish Jeritza (and execution is potentially, but not necessarily, the result of such punishment) doesn't make him inherently worse than Edelgard. Feel free to argue that Edelgard is worse or better, just don't use Jeritza as evidence for that claim.

It does seem to me that Jeritza has no real dedication to any cause, but would more or less fight for anyone as long as they provide an opportunity for him to exercise his combat skills. Which is why he also follows Arundel after Edelgard lends him over to him. Even joining in at Remire village, which happens against Edelgard's orders. 

I wouldn't expect Edelgard to have knowledge of modern psychology, from her perspective, she could very much believe that her arrangement with Jeritza is mutually beneficial. But it is as you say, it is secondary to his utility, and I don't think Edelgard has all that much understanding of who Jeritza is as a person, considering that Edelgard pre Byleth has trouble getting close to people due to her trust issues.

Personally, I do actually think that holding compassion for more people is inherently more good. To refuse sympathy and compassion for certain people is dehumanisation and dehumanisation is the root of many of the worst acts ever committed by humanity. I don't think punitive justice, and eye for an eye is good at all, as the motive for it (vengeance) is inherently self-serving and sadistic. To enjoy inflicting suffering upon someone, regardless of what they have done this in my view inherently evil.

But in my mind being good in the first place is very closely tied to having empathy for people, therefore my definition of evil is lack of empathy. Which is closely connected to defining good as altruism and evil as selfishness. Good and evil are such nebulous terms, so it is probably for the best that I define my definition of good and evil. 

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