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A post in another topic got me thinking about how race works in Fodlan, but since this is quite a sensitive discussion I'll lay down some ground rules first.

  • As always, everyone remains civil and respectful of each other's opinions, and especially no ad hominem attacks. We can have opinions about fiction without them being comments on who we are as real people.
  • This thread is intended to be a critical discussion of how race affects society and individuals in 3H. The thread should not be used for extended discussions about matters non-3H. Inevitably people will make comparisons to the real world - if those comparisons are to public affairs/common knowledge, please keep them concise, tactful and to the point. 
  • Please try to be as mindful of people's feelings as possible - if someone asks you to consider the wording or content of your comment, please respond positively and with an open mind.
  • Similarly, if someone has written something you find offensive, please act on the premise that the problem was of execution rather than intention. 
  • I'm sure the moderators will be keeping a close eye on this thread anyway, but I will also be proactive about making sure discussion doesn't get out of hand

The FE series has made attempts to explore race and racism in the past too, but its efforts in 3H are... mixed. For example, it is good at establishing how easy and commonplace it is for racism to come about and become embedded in both individuals and structures, and IMO it also makes honest attempts at representation of different races, (mostly) without trying to tokenise those characters or reduce their characteristics simply to their race. On the flip side, its exploration of the effects of racism, its nature, and responses to racism are all more lacking than you'd expect from a game which supposedly holds it as one of their more important themes.

Anyway, a couple of specific things I've been thinking about are:

Nabateans and Agarthans

Spoiler

One difficulty with fantasy settings exploring race is that often, the line between race and species is blurred beyond recognition, and thus different groups genuinely do have significant biological differences, that could and perhaps even should impact on inter-race/species interactions. But the usage of human appearance, speech etc. obscures those legitimate distinctions, both for the characters and the player. While the latter is probably unavoidable (and the former might arguably be too, from a meta perspective) the issue remains that the reality of Nabatean-human relations is never explored, but is just left as a vague analogue to race relations in the real world. 

Sothis' arrival and powers quickly set her as the object of adulation for humans, incapable of healing themselves, and it's envy of her position and abilities that sparked discontent in turn. And Rhea claims the Nabateans lived in gentle peace with humanity for a while in Fodlan. But it also sounds like this is a Fodlan without any kind of organisation - just some people, probably sustenance farming, in and near Zanado, rather than an entire continent being cared for. So it's doubtful that this picture of life was sustainable in the long-term.

Is that really the right way for us to interpret events? Should we just accept at face value that everything was good in the beginning? Is there actually a way for Nabateans and humans to live together in one Fodlan-sized society, and if so, what?

 

The Agarthans are potentially the most explicitly prejudiced characters in the game. However, their condescending and discriminatory language is directed at Nabateans and humans, implying that they see themselves as neither. In contrast, neither the Nabateans we meet nor the majority of humans interact with Agarthans directly, which is thus at least 1,000 years of hiding their presence, modifying history, hoarding knowledge and wealth, and plotting behind the scenes. It is also unclear exactly what their end vision of society would look like - but shadow control of a Fodlan-spanning Empire, or eradicating the Nabateans and their Church at any cost are both suggested. It's been said before that the Agarthans were written with little nuance - the Agarthans are not visible outside of their villainy and their motivation for it is so poorly explained. But all these Agarthan traits, including their depiction, hew very closely to racial stereotypes of certain groups in our world, stereotypes which were exploited and ended up having extremely dire consequences.

With that in mind, is it simply a huge oversight from the writers that the game eradicates the whole Agarthan race and culture in three out of four routes, and spends scarily little time fleshing them out while all but calling them its master villains? Especially since racism is supposed to be a key theme in the game.

Crests, Class and Empire

Spoiler

Empires in our world are often multicultural by nature, but play on the differences and tensions between other cultures and groups for the sake of profit and control. The Adrestian Empire was also racially ordered to help establish control, but in a slightly different way. The Empire's structure of government was formed around bearing Crests (which are the biological traits of Nabateans), thus creating a tiered system where the Crest-wielders (i.e. biologically part-Nabateans) and their families by extension ruled day-to-day over humans. In time, this system translated into economic tiering as well, and the Crests became disassociated from the Nabateans themselves, and more to do with religion. Nonetheless, the root of noble wealth and status is in having Crests, and subsequently maintaining racial/blood purity (of a mixed human-Nabatean bloodline, ironically). Even after the Adrestian Empire broke up, this race-class tiering system was still employed throughout Fodlan, so the class barriers that the characters experience are also inevitably born from a sense of superiority connected to their physiology. And unlike empires in our world, which operated and traded on assumptions of racial superiority, there actually was a physiological advantage conferred upon Fodlan nobles, which they used to justify the tiering and its subsequent benefits/disadvantages. The result is that class and race are inextricably tied together (as in our world) and improving the lot of one group cannot be done without improving the lot of the other, i.e. by changing the Crest situation. 

Does this mean that, from a sociological point of view, the only endings that genuinely improve Fodlan long-term are when either Edelgard survives or Hanneman is recruited, survives and marries someone who isn't Manuela? As far as I can see, those are the only two characters who genuinely strike at the Crest problem (but not the only two characters who want to deal with racism/classism/improving the lot of the people etc.).

Foreign Characters

Spoiler

I've heard both Cyril and Dedue be accused of suffering from internalised racism. I feel like seeing as Cyril left Almyra as a kid, and he's quite consistent about not really liking Almyra for its geography, that might be an overreaction. But I could believe it about Dedue (feeding Dimitri's saviour complex, assuaging Ingrid's guilt about being racist). Is that a legitimate claim - what do other people think?

Do people have any thoughts on these topics, or about anything else? Looking forward to a respectful discussion in the comments!

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I think it could have been handled a little bit better, but overall, it was a large step, so i do thank them for that. I feel like they should have had more characters with different skin colors tho instead of a cast of almost only white people.

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Ultimately I’d call 3H an okay step, but in no way perfect. VW is the perfect example of this- Claude preaches understanding and harmony between races, because of his mixed heritage and his genuine desire to make a better world. As far as I remember the game makes it clear that his dream isn’t something he achieved  in his lifetime, but he helped make those necessary first steps, which is good, as it shows that the game recognises racism as a systemic issue that is not easily changed. But the game doesn’t go far enough into those prejudices in my opinion- Claude makes a speech about how people should be treated equally and basically everybody rolls with it. Seeing Lorenz doubt Claude’s vision of the future, or having the Almyrans actually stay around and interact with the cast, would go a long way to showing why this dream is so far away, but also impress upon the audience the importance of trying to make an effort to connect with others. And an actual expedition into Almyra, where we see Claude being looked down upon by his people, would make Claude’s reasons more understandable- because as is, he tells us that he’s oppressed by both sides, but we rarely see it.

Ironically it’s Cyril who does more for portraying how Fodlans think of Almyrans. His support with Hilda portrays “casual” racism pretty well, where Hilda assumes Cyril will display certain traits (ferociousness, unreliability, just generally rowdy) because he’s Almyran. But after getting to know him better, and with a really nice letter from Holst, Hilda is able to re-assess Cyril in a more positive light. I think this interaction benefits from the fact that it’s a case of an individual being racist, and that being challenged, rather than a whole system- it’s more believable that a single person can change their viewpoint compared to a systemic issue being corrected.

Dedue, on the other hand, I enjoyed much more as a portrayal of systemic racism. We see time and time again people doubting him because of his heritage- when Flayn goes missing you can talk to a monk who believes Dedue did it because “those people are deceptive by nature” (why can’t we murder NPC’s in this game IS?), or you can watch a support where soldiers are talking crap about him behind his back. Not to mention his Ingrid support. There are reasons for these people to be suspicious of Duscurians, sure- the public was lead to believe the whole nation was involved with the Tragedy- but assuming that a person will be bad because of their heritage is classic racism, and the game doesn’t shy away from labelling it as such, IMO. I do wish that the reconciliation with Duscur was touched on a little more, as a first step towards ending the prejudice towards Dedue’s people, but the game does a good job of portraying how deeply racism goes towards Duscur, and how it affects Dedue by making him suppress parts of his cultural identity- and even how it factors into how he views himself as a tool to serve Dimitri (I guess that was the internalised racism you mentioned).

I guess I should touch on Petra briefly, though I should mention I’ve not seen many of her supports. Petra is a very proud person, and Brigid is one of the things she’s most proud of. My problem is that there aren’t (or I haven’t seen) any supports that really touch on the fact that she’s the princess of a country that tried to invade Fodlan and got subjugated in return. Caspar’s support deals with the war, sure, but we/I don’t see anybody react negatively to her racial identity- which makes me wonder why they shied away from portraying racism through Petra when they at least attempted with other characters. If Cyril is going to face sh*t despite being a war orphan that Rhea herself took in, the literal princess who has been taken hostage should raise a few hackles. A support with Constance, who lost nearly everything thanks to the Dagda/Brigid war, would have been super interesting. 
 

Anyway, those are some of my super disorganised thoughts. I have some more to say, but I’ll probably wait and see if anybody else brings that stuff up because I’m not sure how to properly articulate my thoughts.

Edited by Anathaco

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22 minutes ago, Anathaco said:

I guess I should touch on Petra briefly, though I should mention I’ve not seen many of her supports. Petra is a very proud person, and Brigid is one of the things she’s most proud of. My problem is that there aren’t (or I haven’t seen) any supports that really touch on the fact that she’s the princess of a country that tried to invade Fodlan and got subjugated in return. Caspar’s support deals with the war, sure, but we/I don’t see anybody react negatively to her racial identity- which makes me wonder why they shied away from portraying racism through Petra when they at least attempted with other characters. If Cyril is going to face sh*t despite being a war orphan that Rhea herself took in, the literal princess who has been taken hostage should raise a few hackles.  

Completely agreed. Originally I wanted to chalk it up to an attempt by the writers to allow characters not to be defined by their race and others' reactions to it, but in hindsight I think that's probably letting them off easy. It's strange that Imperial attitudes towards Brigid and its people were neutral (we'd expect the Empire to look down on Brigid, but Ferdinand is the only one who mentions something remotely like that to Petra, and that offhand comment is about Dagda, and barely part of the support), and it's even stranger that Imperial attitudes are neutral to Dagda (like with Petra, Caspar is the only one who brings up the war with Shamir, but she basically brushes aside the issue - although her personality makes that easier to understand). Given that Fodlan's interactions with its other neighbours have been just as hostile, the game gives no reason why Petra and Shamir are not subjected to similar kinds of discrimination. 

Speaking of Fodlan's neighbours, the only characterisation of the people of Sreng is that they are warlike and nomadic. I believe they're also called savage, though that might be misremembered. Either way, the Sreng territory used to be far bigger than what it is in 3H, with much of their land being lost to Faerghus and House Gautier in particular. Interesting how this fact is glossed over and the Sreng people ignored, despite AM being the route that most emphasises decentralised rule. 

30 minutes ago, Anathaco said:

A support with Constance, who lost nearly everything thanks to the Dagda/Brigid war, would have been super interesting. 

Agreed. Constance was a massive missed opportunity from multiple lore perspectives. She drops tidbits about the Dagda war, the Insurrection, the place of magic in society and Crest application, without ever really exploring any of those areas. 

34 minutes ago, Anathaco said:

VW is the perfect example of this- Claude preaches understanding and harmony between races, because of his mixed heritage and his genuine desire to make a better world. As far as I remember the game makes it clear that his dream isn’t something he achieved  in his lifetime, but he helped make those necessary first steps, which is good, as it shows that the game recognises racism as a systemic issue that is not easily changed. But the game doesn’t go far enough into those prejudices in my opinion- Claude makes a speech about how people should be treated equally and basically everybody rolls with it. Seeing Lorenz doubt Claude’s vision of the future, or having the Almyrans actually stay around and interact with the cast, would go a long way to showing why this dream is so far away, but also impress upon the audience the importance of trying to make an effort to connect with others. And an actual expedition into Almyra, where we see Claude being looked down upon by his people, would make Claude’s reasons more understandable- because as is, he tells us that he’s oppressed by both sides, but we rarely see it.

The game's treatment of Almyra is one of its most egregious failures IMO, although I couldn't think of anything to say about it beyond "they should have done better" (and there have been whole threads devoted to that already). Other FE games (i.e. Tellius) have at least made more in-depth attempts to discuss the issues of mixed-race peoples, whereas Claude and his backstory is dumped on us with only the bare minimum of exposition. But you're right - there were any number of ways to fill in the relationship between Almyra and Fodlan, almost none of which 3H took up, even though it was a necessary tool to make the player invest in a racism storyline. 

A big concern I have with VW's ending is that the events of VW provide absolutely no proof that Fodlan and Almyra can be united in the way Claude wants, i.e. without embellishing racist structures. While there is at least evidence in CF that the Crest system can be done away with (Hanneman's research, Edelgard attempting to flesh out the bones of a meritocracy), I can't think of a concrete example of Claude or anyone on that route describing what they can do to establish a non-racist system. Well, beyond having the Almyrans hang out, I guess. 

2 hours ago, Emmy said:

I feel like they should have had more characters with different skin colors tho instead of a cast of almost only white people.

This is actually a really simple thing the game could have done for the better - there are plenty of skin tones out there, and you can have a story that discusses racism without literally dividing into a couple of different skin colours. I think Catherine's skin colour is supposed to be tan from being out and about a lot - why not the same for Raph, or Caspar or Ingrid or Jeritza? Tbh, there are probably extremely unfortunate and cynical marketing reasons for why the skin colour of the majority of characters is pale white, and the characters with dark skin tend to have light tones.

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Having looked some of this stuff up…

With regard to Petras situation there´s a very short, very vague mention of her treatment in Petra x Hubert C. It´s also kind of interesting considering that for one she has an extremely weak position – her country suffered a military defeat followed by being made a vassal state as well as not speaking Fodlans language and not following the Goddess Faith. The only reason I can see for her not being subject to all to great ridicule is that she somewhat seems to have a close relationship with Edelgard, though how strong Edelgards position in the Empire is up to debate, at the very least in my eyes. Also, a small hint in Ferdinand x Petra B, mentioning the supposed inferiority of Brigids and in general foreign combat techniques.

As for Shamir, I mean she IS a Knight of Seiros and her not following the continents religion is apparently being tolerated by the Archbishop herself. Would you try to cross to someone like that?

What I personally find weird/interesting i suppose, is that as far as I am aware at least, is that the characters from houses that have borders to foreign nations don´t interact at all, barring Hilda x Sylvain. And that doesn’t look like a combination that tells you the lore of the land.

23 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

On the flip side, its exploration of the effects of racism, its nature, and responses to racism are all more lacking than you'd expect from a game which supposedly holds it as one of their more important themes.

Bolded: If I may, where did this come from? 

Edited by Imuabicus

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1 hour ago, Imuabicus said:

Bolded: If I may, where did this come from?

Yeah of course. I always thought this was the case because

a) the motivation of Claude (and therefore a key message of VW) was combatting human racism 

b) the Agarthans' motivation (what little we know of it) seems to be an identity-based hatred of the Nabateans

c) CF frames their pivotal conflict as the right of humans to lead humans, as opposed to Nabateans leading humans (i.e. a form of racial solidarity). Not saying that Edelgard blindly hates Nabateans, but it's a definitely a 'humans first' kind of situation

I mean, it's by no means the only major theme. Class and religion are two other big ones, but since race can't be divorced from either of those in this game, I think it's a fair statement to say race is a big theme of this game, too. 

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I would say the game is a step forward for the series on the topic of race, and definitely goes farther in addressing it than previous games, outside of Tellius.

Petra's arc suffers somewhat from never getting to see Brigid. We get a map there, yes, which in no way looks like a Leicester forest. But when she meets her grandfather, that's entirely offscreen. It's a shame IS/KT seemed to have no budget for making NPC portraits (see also: Holst, Baron Dominic). We never get to meet any other Brigidians (or whatever their demonym is), or learn of their culture and thoughts toward Fodlan.

Claude's big issue is, his route hews too closely to Silver Snow, with only minor deviations (Nader as an ally, Gronder, more Judith, and then Nemesis). Lorenz attempts to object to working with the Almyrans, only to be summarily overruled - giving him no chance to lay out the history of violence and distrust between their peoples. Claude never faces backlash from the other Alliance lords, either. And, like with Petra, we never get to see Almyra. The exploration of racism seems very half-baked.

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On 9/8/2020 at 1:27 PM, haarhaarhaar said:

In contrast, neither the Nabateans we meet nor the majority of humans interact with Agarthans directly, which is thus at least 1,000 years of hiding their presence, modifying history, hoarding knowledge and wealth, and plotting behind the scenes.

When did Agarthans "modify" history or lie about it? 

I'm not sure why people are still confusing lying about history as something anybody but the Church does. And we know for a fact that they did as Rhea herself admits in her S support.

On 9/8/2020 at 1:27 PM, haarhaarhaar said:

And Rhea claims the Nabateans lived in gentle peace with humanity for a while in Fodlan.

Nemesis was supposedly popular as they dubbed him "King of Liberation". This shows that humans wanted to be "liberated" by the Nabateans that ruled them.

 

Edited by SRPG Tryhard

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8 minutes ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

When did Agarthans "modify" history or lie about it? 

I'm not sure why people are still confusing lying about history as something anybody but the Church does. And we know for a fact that they did as Rhea herself admits in her S support.

Yep, not really attempting to excuse Rhea here. But the Agarthans tell Edelgard an incomplete version of events, including about their own role in affairs 1000 years prior. As for 'modifying', I was referring to the combination of interfering in the affairs of Fodlan and concealing their own existence and interests.

EDIT: There's a related charge against the Agarthans of actively impeding the development and learning of humanity. Rhea does something similar - both of these might be considered as modifying history, though I wasn't really thinking about that when I originally posted.

8 minutes ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

Nemesis was supposedly popular as they dubbed him "King of Liberation". This shows that humans wanted to be "liberated" by the Nabateans that ruled them.

Not disagreeing with this, either - but this is also just a competing interpretation of the past. I only said Rhea claimed the opposite was the case, not that she was telling the truth.

Edited by haarhaarhaar

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From DLC we know that Agarthans are consider separated race from Nabatean and Fodlanian.

Quote

Myson: Filthy rat. That will be mine. If I have to pry it from your dead hand, all the better! Children of the beasts, expose your true selves!

And from City Without Light

Quote

Ignatz: Do you remember what Solon called us?

Byleth:Choice 2: Beasts? (Relationship with Ignatz goes up)

Ignatz: That's right. He called us beasts.

Quote

Solon: They charge in without any plan whatsoever. Beasts, all of them... The experiment is over. Kill them!

Solon: You are but a savage, insignificant beast... Yet you think you can kill me?

Solon: To think...that I would lose to mere beasts.

Considering a few other factors:

- We never know any Agarthan sire a children with Nabtean or Fodlanian

- No Agarthan carries a Fodlan Crest or use relics. They have their own unique crest system that's not explained in the game

- No Agarthan ever changed into demonic beast

- Fodlanian, when exposed to crest stone, could change into demonic beasts.

 

I think the most likely conclusion is that Fodlanian were creation of Sothis, thus share similar heritage with Nabateans. While Agarthans were completely different "specie" in terms of genetic.

 

This reminds me of JRR Tolkien's Simarillaion, where Iluvatar created both elf and man, both known as Children of Iluvatar. While Dwarf was created by Aulë in a completely separated attempt and shares no blood connection with Children of Iluvatar

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13 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

But the Agarthans tell Edelgard an incomplete version of events

That's a common misconception. Her information comes from her house, not Agarthans, and is correct on as much as she says. People need to stop parroting the same lies since a year ago.

https://fedatamine.com/en-us/scenarios/254#event-63

Quote
Edelgard:
In the end, Seiros was victorious. The Immaculate One and her family then took control of Fódlan.
I know this because that knowledge is passed down from emperor to emperor.
And that is because the first emperor is the human who cooperated with Seiros, allowing humanity to be controlled in secret.

The incomplete story that Edelgard knows is more than enough to uncover how Rhea lied to everybody. If Rhea didn't rewrite history, then Edelgard and all of Fodlan wouldn't know only half the truth but all of it.

13 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

As for 'modifying', I was referring to the combination of interfering in the affairs of Fodlan and concealing their own existence and interests.

True, they have been interfering in Fodlan since Loog's rebellion as far as we know, but that's not "modifying" history. I also agree with you at comparing the Church with the Slithers in manipulating the people of Fodlan.

 

2 hours ago, Timlugia said:

I think the most likely conclusion is that Fodlanian were creation of Sothis, thus share similar heritage with Nabateans. While Agarthans were completely different "specie" in terms of genetic.

I agree with this. This explains why they used Nemesis to be able to acquire the crest of flames and later Edelgard, because they are incompatible with crests.

Edited by SRPG Tryhard

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4 hours ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

That's a common misconception. Her information comes from her house, not Agarthans, and is correct on as much as she says. People need to stop parroting the same lies since a year ago.

The incomplete story that Edelgard knows is more than enough to uncover how Rhea lied to everybody. If Rhea didn't rewrite history, then Edelgard and all of Fodlan wouldn't know only half the truth but all of it.

The information that comes from her house is correct. Where the Agarthans omitted the true events of history is in not revealing all the actions of Nemesis - the genocide he wages on the Nabateans and the truth behind the creation of Relics. Regardless of what you think about Nemesis or those actions, I consider those omissions to be lies, because Thales would have surmised this would make the Nabateans appear more sympathetic to Edelgard, which was not in their favour.

Again, I'm not saying everything Edelgard knew was a lie, just that she didn't know the whole truth, and part of the reason is the Agarthans. And in general, my criticism of the Agarthans is not an endorsement of Rhea or her actions, nor is it an inconsistent position with criticising Rhea.

4 hours ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

True, they have been interfering in Fodlan since Loog's rebellion as far as we know, but that's not "modifying" history.

Modifying is probably the wrong word, fair enough. I was originally trying to say that the version of events they preserved and passed on was an active attempt to smother the truth. Since they also interfered with the natural progression of mankind, something like 'manipulating the course of events" would have been more accurate.

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How did they omit something if they never talked about it in the first place? Thales already calls Nemesis a "thief" in front of her, he doesn't lie or attempt to withhold information about anything, as far as we see.

21 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

the truth behind the creation of Relics.

House Hraelverg also knew the truth about it, which is the only part of this 1000 year old feud that matters in present day Fodlan. Edelgard knows as much as she needs to know to see that Rhea is lying to people about the crests.

Whatever justification Agarthans have to hate the Nabateans is irrelevant. She wants to destroy them and end their 1000 year old cycle of revenge that worked at the expense of humanity in Fodlan, which is what truly matters to her.

29 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Again, I'm not saying everything Edelgard knew was a lie, just that she didn't know the whole truth,

I can see that. What I disagree with is why this eye for an eye deal, that they had been doing for millennia with humanity caught in the crossfire, matters now. It doesn't excuse Agarthans conducting crest experiments, nor does it excuse Rhea for holding a grudge against the entire human race.

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2 hours ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

How did they omit something if they never talked about it in the first place? Thales already calls Nemesis a "thief" in front of her, he doesn't lie or attempt to withhold information about anything, as far as we see.

I mean, Thales not talking about it is the problem. Edelgard only knows the more positive parts of Nemesis lore, because those are the only bits she's been told, and thus the only bits she can relay. 

2 hours ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

House Hraelverg also knew the truth about it, which is the only part of this 1000 year old feud that matters in present day Fodlan. Edelgard knows as much as she needs to know to see that Rhea is lying to people about the crests.

Whatever justification Agarthans have to hate the Nabateans is irrelevant. She wants to destroy them and end their 1000 year old cycle of revenge that worked at the expense of humanity in Fodlan, which is what truly matters to her.

None of this contradicts what I said. Her not knowing what she doesn't 'need' to know is not the issue - the Agarthans still withheld information from her, and one-sidedly deciding which information is relevant to someone is a part of being dishonest. 

2 hours ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

What I disagree with is why this eye for an eye deal, that they had been doing for millennia with humanity caught in the crossfire, matters now. It doesn't excuse Agarthans conducting crest experiments, nor does it excuse Rhea for holding a grudge against the entire human race.

Oh, are you asking why I brought this up? The reason why I brought this up wasn't for criticising the Agarthans, or to support Rhea implicitly. The Agarthans are only shown to do villainous things in the game. But the things they do aren't simply villainous. Much of it also corresponds to stereotypes of a certain group of people throughout history. Like, when you lay out the comparisons as I attempted to in the OP, it gets to a ridiculous extent. Those stereotypes directly fed into discrimination against that group of people for well over a thousand years, and resulted in some of the most famous and horrific suffering in memory. The reason I brought this all up is to ask whether people thought the writers simply didn't notice the similarities between the Agarthans and this stereotype, and if the comparisons were unintentional. Because if the Agarthans are at all analogous to the real world, then that goes beyond poor writing to genuinely offensive.

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Just wondering, how do we know the story passed down by House Hraelverg were actually accurate?

Edelgard never told us the detail of what exactly was passed on, just her interpretation of it.

Unless it was recited in verbatim, how could a complex verbal story maintain accuracy over 1000 years?

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14 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Edelgard only knows the more positive parts of Nemesis lore, because those are the only bits she's been told, and thus the only bits she can relay. 

No, already covered that. Edelgard never said anything positive about Nemesis. She has no reason to either, as Wilhelm fought against him and on the side of Seiros. Which is where her information originates from. I already proved this by citing in-game text. 

14 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

the Agarthans still withheld information from her

They didn't unless proven otherwise. Calling him a thief is directly contradicting Rhea's history while also painting him in a bad light, he's not withholding anything. 

It's not compatible with my argument because I don't willingly choose to ignore the times Thales didn't withhold the truth, or pretend that Edelgard praises Nemesis. 

The rest of the "analogy" is a big reach. Japanese writers don't have the same tropes that western ones do, which the trope you describe originates from. You just want to say what you want to say with no care for the logic behind it.

 

11 hours ago, Timlugia said:

Just wondering, how do we know the story passed down by House Hraelverg were actually accurate?

Edelgard never told us the detail of what exactly was passed on, just her interpretation of it.

Unless it was recited in verbatim, how could a complex verbal story maintain accuracy over 1000 years?

Yeah who knows. Maybe house Hraesverg didn't know how to use written words on a piece of paper to preserve a story?

What else are they hiding? Was Edelgard lying to us? Is Thales really Arundel? Did Wilhelm I actually exist? Did Hubert forge all the books in the monastery library? Is the game even real?

So much stupid and pointless speculation and denial of canon in-game writing. This isn't going anywhere. 

Edited by SRPG Tryhard

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1 hour ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

No, already covered that. Edelgard never said anything positive about Nemesis. She has no reason to either, as Wilhelm fought against him and on the side of Seiros. Which is where her information originates from. I already proved this by citing in-game text. 

I said 'more positive'. I.e. not about the genocide of the Nabateans or the full truth of the Relics, which I'd say are the worst facts about Nemesis.

1 hour ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

They didn't unless proven otherwise. Calling him a thief is directly contradicting Rhea's history while also painting him in a bad light, he's not withholding anything. 

It's not compatible with my argument because I don't willingly choose to ignore the times Thales didn't withhold the truth, or pretend that Edelgard praises Nemesis. 

I'm not arguing that Thales lies all the time, or that Edelgard is a Nemesis adherent. All I'm saying is that the Agarthans withheld information, because the extent of the truth Edelgard knows is not the extent to which the Agarthans know.

1 hour ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

The rest of the "analogy" is a big reach. Japanese writers don't have the same tropes that western ones do, which the trope you describe originates from. You just want to say what you want to say with no care for the logic behind it.

You're welcome to think that I'm reaching - indeed, that's exactly what I was asking when I made the original post, and I'd be happier if I was just overthinking things. However, the italicised statement is out of line - you don't need to tear down others even when you think they're wrong.

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21 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

I said 'more positive'. I.e. not about the genocide of the Nabateans or the full truth of the Relics, which I'd say are the worst facts about Nemesis.

I'm not arguing that Thales lies all the time, or that Edelgard is a Nemesis adherent. All I'm saying is that the Agarthans withheld information, because the extent of the truth Edelgard knows is not the extent to which the Agarthans know.

You're welcome to think that I'm reaching - indeed, that's exactly what I was asking when I made the original post, and I'd be happier if I was just overthinking things. However, the italicised statement is out of line - you don't need to tear down others even when you think they're wrong.

Well you already posted a falsehood about Edelgard parroting whatever Agarthans said which is debunked by a single line of in-game text that I posted. You also said that she believes them, which is also false since she doubts whether Nemesis was "just a thief" that Arundel dismissively calls him as. And that is the extent of what we are shown, everything else would be speculation.

The reason I entered this thread is to correct these misconceptions that are being spread around. Including the "how can we believe Edelgard" canon denying speculation by the other poster.

I don't really care for the forced politically correct analogy, but it's ironic that you complain for me disputing it when you supposedly claiming to be open to discussion. Actually posting my opinion on what group is similar to what irl historical party, would probably end up in deletion for being off topic, or worse, account suspension for political incorrectness.

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1 hour ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

Well you already posted a falsehood about Edelgard parroting whatever Agarthans said which is debunked by a single line of in-game text that I posted.

Didn't say that Edelgard 'parroted' anyone. For what it's worth, neither that position nor the position I actually hold is 'debunked' by the text you posted earlier, but now we're going round in circles here.

1 hour ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

And that is the extent of what we are shown, everything else would be speculation.

It's an inference, and there's a difference between that and speculation. Since we aren't told everything we know about the world of Fodlan, and even the things we are told can be unreliable, I think using inferences is perfectly acceptable.

Since this is a discussion, rather than some high-stakes quest for truth, speculation is very welcome and interesting anyway.

1 hour ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

The reason I entered this thread is to correct these misconceptions that are being spread around. Including the "how can we believe Edelgard" canon denying speculation by the other poster.

These are alternate and competing interpretations. The game encourages us to be critical about the lore presented, because that information is revealed through biased sources or in an incomplete fashion (and we also have competing sources of information), which also means that 'canon' is in some cases on quite shaky ground. Preventing the spread of misinformation is one thing, and you're welcome to do that. But that doesn't mean that different interpretations are invalid. And since neither myself nor anyone on this thread (as far as I can see) is lying or acting in bad faith, but just commenting on things about the game we find curious, I don't think this is a case of spreading misinformation anyway. 

The DLC casts doubt even on Wilhelm being an objective source of information. And while writing could certainly be a way to pass down that information, it isn't made explicit that the information is written down and not passed on orally. So the questions being asked by @Timlugia are also perfectly reasonable.

1 hour ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

I don't really care for the forced politically correct analogy, but it's ironic that you complain for me disputing it when you supposedly claiming to be open to discussion. Actually posting my opinion on what group is similar to what irl historical party, would probably end up in deletion for being off topic, or worse, account suspension for political incorrectness.

If you read my comment closely, you'll see that I'm quite happy to be disagreed with, and looking for contrary opinions was part of the point of me making the thread in the first place. My problem was with your wording of one sentence, which was unnecessarily confrontational and technically an ad hominem. I'd let that go in another thread, but I did promise to be proactive about ensuring conversation is polite in this one. 

I'm not sure why you've attached political correctness to this. Beyond setting what I think are reasonable rules for this discussion, I haven't attempted to censor anyone's speech in the name of being offended, nor have I demanded that anyone hold a specific set of viewpoints, political or otherwise. I also don't have the power, or even the desire, to suspend anyone for political incorrectness. What I do want to ensure is that conversation remains respectful and on topic, so if you have something to say which is respectful and on topic, then by all means.

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I can't imagine someone would be so naive to say that what we read in the game is false even when proof is cited. At this point I don't consider that you are talking about the game at all. You said it yourself, you're making your own interpretations to believe instead. That's probably why so many people are fed up with it.

I made a mistake to argue in the first place.

Edited by SRPG Tryhard

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29 minutes ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

I can't imagine someone would be so naive to say that what we read in the game is false even when proof is cited. At this point I don't consider that you are talking about the game at all. You said it yourself, you're making your own interpretations to believe instead. That's probably why so many people are fed up with it.

I made a mistake to argue in the first place.

Dude when you're being called out for being a condescending jerk the thing to do isn't double down on being a condescending jerk.

A lot of the point of these games is that no one here is a reliable narrator. To be sure you've heard of the unreliable narrator trope before. Edelgard is parroting what she's been led to believe, Thales is spinning what he's been led to believe, and Rhea is giving her account. All of them are biased and the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of the three narratives though personally I'm more inclined to believe the person who was actually there witness to the events I.E. Rhea, though I admit that even she is not reliable as her perception of events were absolutely colored by the tragedy that happened.

On 9/10/2020 at 8:03 AM, The Exalt said:

IS bit off more than they can chew writing wise.  Their world building laid a solid foundation to portray bring racism but the execution is a little lacking is some areas.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. Not that I think this is necessarily a bad thing, I'd rather they try and whiff on the execution a bit than never try anything risky at all.

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47 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Edelgard is parroting what she's been led to believe,

She doesn't parrot anything except the truth (that we have confirmed through other accounts) that is passed down from House Hraesverg:

Quote
Edelgard:
In the end, Seiros was victorious. The Immaculate One and her family then took control of Fódlan.
I know this because that knowledge is passed down from emperor to emperor.
And that is because the first emperor is the human who cooperated with Seiros, allowing humanity to be controlled in secret.

You are wrong about the "middle of the three" because simply none of what Edelgard says about the relics and 10 elites is false or is disputed by anybody else, including Rhea. Rhea is in fact the only person that we know for a fact has been lying, I don't see why people make the naive mistake of projecting this onto others to say that everyone is unreliable. 

47 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Dude when you're being called out for being a condescending jerk the thing to do isn't double down on being a condescending jerk.

Are you literally insulting me now? You're immature as hell.

Edited by SRPG Tryhard

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39 minutes ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

Oh you are literally insulting me now? 

Oh yeah just like you did to others in this thread! Doesn't feel good does it? I'm calling you out on being a jerk to people in almost every thread I see your name pop up in. You can never let things go and you always resort to insulting people and their intelligence as though you're some canon god who is always right and other viewpoints don't matter. Like I said before. Stop being a condescending jerk.

Edit to stay on topic: I don't care for the Agarthans in this story as they feel like bad caricatures of people and they're really the only group that I can say that for. The others (namely the Duscans? Duscurians? and the Almyrans) are handled a bit better I feel. The Nabateans could've stood some more exploration as well. After all they're basically dragon people and at what point does their biological differences stop making them a race and actually make them an entirely different species?

Edited by Silver-Haired Maiden

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It does seem like this part of the discussion has stopped being productive, so I suggest we move on. 

16 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

After all they're basically dragon people and at what point does their biological differences stop making them a race and actually make them an entirely different species?

Yeah I find this a really interesting question. Dragon people have basically always been a part of FE, but I can't think of a game where we know less about their ways and culture than in 3H. It feels like IS planned to make a lot out of them, but ended up not doing so. 

Flayn mentions that she and Seteth used to live among humankind (in Enbarr 1000 years prior at least, and perhaps after she woke up but before they came to Garreg Mach). Which would suggest that the Nabateans of old were at least acclimatised to human ways of living, and actually lived among humans. At the same time, Macuil has a cult of humans who live in the desert with him in his dragon form. I guess what I'm saying is that the line between race and species might even depend on the form an individual Nabatean takes. 

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