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I Love Flayn

The fandom treats Flayn as a joke and it's harming her image

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This is an issue I need to address that no one else ever seems to mention, but I suspect you're all probably all aware of on a subconscious level. Flayn is not respected or taken seriously as a character by the vast majority of the FE fanbase, and whenever anyone brings her up it's almost always in the context of a joke: either how she's "obsessed with fish" or how expressing any sort of fondness for her will enrage Seteth. I get that these jokes were born out of actual (though heavily exaggerated) elements in the game, but it's come to a point where jokes have begun to replace actual facts. For example, I recently shared the following fanart I had commissioned:

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(source)

And to my surprise and frustration, the most popular reaction was asking if Seteth would really be okay with Flayn and Byleth's marriage. Anyone who's played the game and actually knows these characters should not be asking this, but the fact is that the "Angry Seteth" meme has become so ubiquitous that a worryingly high amount of people have assumed it to be reality (this pic was commissioned specifically to challenge that assumption). I've been told that I "worry too much about memes" or "take them too seriously", but this sort of misinformation is what happens when people don't challenge this "it's all a joke, nothing matters" mindset.(And this doesn't just apply to Fire Emblem or even gaming, but that's too broad a topic for here).

And of course this isn't the only example, but I point to it as a particularly egregious case. There have also been times where people have doubted the the validity of Flayn's official character information because it doesn't mention "fish obsession". As a whole, there are just many, many instances where these memes are brought up on Flayn posts meant to be meaningful or serious, and the result is that Flayn is far less respected than most characters, even those who are hated by a lot of the fanbase (because hating characters requires a degree of respect for them, as you still have to acknowledge that they are important and that their actions mattered enough to be hated).

And yes, I'm sure people will bring up handfuls of other characters who have some recurring meme attached to them, but it still doesn't reach the amount of irreverence Flayn receives in comparison. Flayn is the only character whose autonomy people don't respect; I've even heard it said that Flayn isn't herself a character and is just a Seteth plot device. This couldn't be more wrong: Flayn is a beautiful, wonderful character in her own right and deserves to be viewed and treated as such. Not just an eternal punchline.

If you've read this far, thanks. I've brought up this discussion here as this is one of the more reasonable pockets of the FE fandom from what I've observed, so I trust you'll be willing to lend my points some degree of validity instead of saying I'm trying to "kill fun" or "thinking too much".

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I’d say I don’t think it’s in anything but good faith. Of course I can’t talk about every example, but I wouldn’t say that joking about a character or the source material is inherently disrespecting either. I think it depends on how seriously they mean it, but I’ve never seen anyone use a Seteth being overprotective of Flayn meme as if it was actually what would happen and not exaggerated to a comedic degree, and obviously so. 

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Yeah, unfortunately that's true of a lot of characters (Leonie, Ingrid, Marianne and even Dimitri to name a few). Certain parts of the fanbase like to treat their personality quirks or something they did once like it's their entire character. You hear people all the time saying stuff like "Leonie can't go five seconds without randomly bringing up Jeralt" or "Dimitri regularly murders children." Flayn's far from alone in that regard. The one that really gets under my skin is the treatment of Dorothea. I've seen a lot of fans talk about her like she's some kind of gold digging sex addict who slept her way into the monastery just to screw a bunch of rich guys (forgetting that she's into women too) and walk away with their money. Some people even change her backstory of being an opera singer to being a stripper or prostitute. But anyone who's actually played 3H and watched Dorothea's supports knows that, aside from her habit of flirting with people, she's not like that at all. The important thing is to remember that the people who make those comments aren't the entire fanbase, or even the majority in most cases. There's always gonna be a fringe that hates on a character or turns them into a walking punchline for no reason. But I'm sure that if you seriously asked someone their opinion of Flayn (or Dorothea, or Leonie, etc.), you wouldn't just get a lame joke answer. Yeah, I think there are a few memes that really shouldn't exist, but I don't think any of them actually go so far as to completely ruin a character's image.

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2 hours ago, Sooks said:

I’d say I don’t think it’s in anything but good faith. Of course I can’t talk about every example, but I wouldn’t say that joking about a character or the source material is inherently disrespecting either. I think it depends on how seriously they mean it, but I’ve never seen anyone use a Seteth being overprotective of Flayn meme as if it was actually what would happen and not exaggerated to a comedic degree, and obviously so. 

Well I just gave you an example of how widespread and overused this joke is that people are now seemingly unaware that it even is a joke. No matter what one individual's intent might be, this is unquestionably harmful to Flayn's perception.

25 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

Yeah, unfortunately that's true of a lot of characters (Leonie, Ingrid, Marianne and even Dimitri to name a few). Certain parts of the fanbase like to treat their personality quirks or something they did once like it's their entire character. You hear people all the time saying stuff like "Leonie can't go five seconds without randomly bringing up Jeralt" or "Dimitri regularly murders children." Flayn's far from alone in that regard. The one that really gets under my skin is the treatment of Dorothea. I've seen a lot of fans talk about her like she's some kind of gold digging sex addict who slept her way into the monastery just to screw a bunch of rich guys (forgetting that she's into women too) and walk away with their money. Some people even change her backstory of being an opera singer to being a stripper or prostitute. But anyone who's actually played 3H and watched Dorothea's supports knows that, aside from her habit of flirting with people, she's not like that at all. The important thing is to remember that the people who make those comments aren't the entire fanbase, or even the majority in most cases. There's always gonna be a fringe that hates on a character or turns them into a walking punchline for no reason. But I'm sure that if you seriously asked someone their opinion of Flayn (or Dorothea, or Leonie, etc.), you wouldn't just get a lame joke answer. Yeah, I think there are a few memes that really shouldn't exist, but I don't think any of them actually go so far as to completely ruin a character's image.

At least with those characters you can say those quirks are theirs. The Angry Seteth meme is just that, a Seteth meme, reflecting what I said about how Flayn is viewed not as her own character but an extension of him. At least with the fish thing you can say that's an exaggeration of Flayn's quirk.

Also, I've never seen anyone mock or make derogatory memes about Marianne. You'll never see the majority of comments on her fanart be overtaken by memes.

EDIT: Also worth mentioning is, with all of those characters' detractors who do nothing but meme them, they also have legions of people who love and respect them outside of any jokes or memes. Flayn cannot claim the same luxury.

Edited by LelouchUzumaki
Adding to point

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It’s got a lot to do with intent, whether they’re actually meaning that it’s all there is to the character. I like to poke fun at characters I like.

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4 hours ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

because hating characters requires a degree of respect for them

I hate Micaiah and have absolutely no respect for her whatsoever.

All in all, I think you're way too serious about this. If Flayn were a real person, then fine, but she's nothing but a collection of pixels and polgons.  The way you come across is as though you're "defending your waifu", and as a result I can't take you seriously.

Edited by NinjaMonkey

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7 minutes ago, NinjaMonkey said:

I hate Micaiah and have absolutely no respect for her whatsoever.

Does your hatred of Micaiah have to do with her personality or the decisions she makes in the story?

8 minutes ago, NinjaMonkey said:

All in all, I think you're way too serious about this. If Flayn were a real person, then fine, but she's nothing but a collection of pixels and polgons.  The way you come across is as though you're "defending your waifu", and as a result I can't take you seriously.

You act like I'm the only person in this fanbase who loves and is genuinely passionate about a character (and you know that's not the case).

10 minutes ago, Armchair General said:

This is why we can't have fun, anymore...

From the sound of that you seem like the exact type of person this pertains to. Why treat characters with seriousness and consideration when they can all be le funny maymays?

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15 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

Does your hatred of Micaiah have to do with her personality or the decisions she makes in the story?

Her speed growth is garbage,  I'm forced to field her throughout the game and I don't respect her decision to save one kid, which then gets three other people killed!

15 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

You act like I'm the only person in this fanbase who loves and is genuinely passionate about a character (and you know that's not the case).

True, but you're the only one that made a thread about it. I really like Vika, but I wouldn't make a thread bemoaning the lack of respect people have for her, because I have better things to do with my life than defending fictional characters on the internet.

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2 hours ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

At least with those characters you can say those quirks are theirs. The Angry Seteth meme is just that, a Seteth meme, reflecting what I said about how Flayn is viewed not as her own character but an extension of him. At least with the fish thing you can say that's an exaggeration of Flayn's quirk.

In all fairness, part of that is because Seteth and Flayn are so frequently thought of as a "pair" of characters that most people immediately think of them both rather than one or the other. You see the same exact thing happen with Seteth. You'd think Flayn's the only person he ever talks or cares about the way people joke about him. That's just a common side effect when you have two characters who are almost always seen or mentioned together.

2 hours ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

 Also worth mentioning is, with all of those characters' detractors who do nothing but meme them, they also have legions of people who love and respect them outside of any jokes or memes. Flayn cannot claim the same luxury.

Do a Google image search on Flayn. Unless you drew all that fanart and shipping art and stuff I could've gone without seeing, this simply isn't true.

39 minutes ago, NinjaMonkey said:

I hate Micaiah and have absolutely no respect for her whatsoever

Same. I don't like Felix at all and I have no respect for him as a character.

23 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

You act like I'm the only person in this fanbase who loves and is genuinely passionate about a character (and you know that's not the case).

We all have our favorite characters, yes. But you're choosing to single out Flayn as some sort of protected class that nobody should ever be allowed to joke about. All while pretty much turning a blind eye to other characters who get treated exactly the same way. You're Flayn-stanning, basically.

29 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

From the sound of that you seem like the exact type of person this pertains to. Why treat characters with seriousness and consideration when they can all be le funny maymays?

And this is where I stop taking your topic seriously.

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1 hour ago, NinjaMonkey said:

I hate Micaiah and have absolutely no respect for her whatsoever.

All in all, I think you're way too serious about this. If Flayn were a real person, then fine, but she's nothing but a collection of pixels and polgons.  The way you come across is as though you're "defending your waifu", and as a result I can't take you seriously.

 

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35 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

In all fairness, part of that is because Seteth and Flayn are so frequently thought of as a "pair" of characters that most people immediately think of them both rather than one or the other. You see the same exact thing happen with Seteth. You'd think Flayn's the only person he ever talks or cares about the way people joke about him. That's just a common side effect when you have two characters who are almost always seen or mentioned together.

You say that, but at the same time there are countless pieces of Seteth fanart (including shipping fanart) where no one feels compelled to mention Flayn once. No one is going to mention what Flayn will think if you say you love Seteth or post shipping art with him. It's not the two-way issue you claim it is, and that is experience speaking.

35 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

Do a Google image search on Flayn. Unless you drew all that fanart and shipping art and stuff I could've gone without seeing, this simply isn't true.

Actually yes, I am responsible for the majority of Flayn x Byleth art, not drawn but commissioned. So with that you'd have to conclude her "legion of fans" is really just me alone. If not for me, almost none of it would exist.

35 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

We all have our favorite characters, yes. But you're choosing to single out Flayn as some sort of protected class that nobody should ever be allowed to joke about. All while pretty much turning a blind eye to other characters who get treated exactly the same way. You're Flayn-stanning, basically.

I never said that people shouldn't ever joke about Flayn. Just that it's a problem when jokes are starting to override truths about her character and the story of the game itself.

35 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

And this is where I stop taking your topic seriously.

Someone makes a flippant comment and I give a flippant reply, but clearly I'm the one in the wrong. Okay.

Edited by LelouchUzumaki

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Even if all this is true... so what? How is it harming or negatively impacting you or anyone else? None of this has any bearing on your ability to play the game and enjoy Flayn's support conversations, nor on your ability to commision fanart, read fanfiction, or anything else. Maybe, at a push, jokes about her might slightly decrease the number of fanworks or online discussions about her, but really, if someone cares so little about the character that they see her purely as a joke, were they going to be creating high quality fanworks to begin with? I'm not seeing what your actual problem here is.

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33 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

If not for me, almost none of it would exist.

i mean i really like flayn, she's probably one of my favorite 3H characters, and most likely one of the few 3H characters to have little to no mental problems

i just... don't feel like it's something i need to tell the whole world: i like her a lot and i'm fine with other people not liking her, and i honestly don't really care how many flayn fanarts are out there

Edited by Yexin

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29 minutes ago, lenticular said:

Even if all this is true... so what? How is it harming or negatively impacting you or anyone else? None of this has any bearing on your ability to play the game and enjoy Flayn's support conversations, nor on your ability to commision fanart, read fanfiction, or anything else. Maybe, at a push, jokes about her might slightly decrease the number of fanworks or online discussions about her, but really, if someone cares so little about the character that they see her purely as a joke, were they going to be creating high quality fanworks to begin with? I'm not seeing what your actual problem here is.

I don't think I'm asking too much by wishing there were other people who shared my love of Flayn; who I could discuss her with and share the things I've gotten of her and appreciate them on the same level. People like to bring up how there are other unpopular/hated 3H girls, but they all still have people who love them. They all have people who draw them in wedding dresses and kissing Byleth, and people who are happy to share such pics while saying how beautiful the art is.

My problem is that I am alone in viewing Flayn this way. And while jokes may not prevent a person who would have loved Flayn otherwise from doing so, seeing people continually misrepresent or trivialize her doesn't do anything to help my fandom isolation.

Edited by LelouchUzumaki

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2 hours ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

From the sound of that you seem like the exact type of person this pertains to. Why treat characters with seriousness and consideration when they can all be le funny maymays?

Hey, she was obsessing over a dying fish within the first two hours of the game. Shit's is as funny as Frederick's inability to eat wild game. People are going to latch onto it if it's early-game content.

Shit like this

 
But hey, have you considered that there's people who can accept the comedy with whatever drama that the game has to offer?
 
And for someone else, what does fanart has to do with this argument? I'm out of the loop because I generally avoid that kind of stuff.

 

Edited by Armchair General

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2 hours ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

From the sound of that you seem like the exact type of person this pertains to. Why treat characters with seriousness and consideration when they can all be le funny maymays?

Because there’s nothing wrong with doing either.

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1 hour ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

Actually yes, I am responsible for the majority of Flayn x Byleth art, not drawn but commissioned. So with that you'd have to conclude her "legion of fans" is really just me alone. If not for me, almost none of it would exist.

You expect us to believe that the entire internet's worth of Flayn art is all because of you? Nobody could possibly make such a definitive claim. So you're either straight up lying or wildly exaggerating.

1 hour ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

Someone makes a flippant comment and I give a flippant reply, but clearly I'm the one in the wrong. Okay.

Well, you don't seem very open to having a discussion here. You're just childishly ranting about how nobody else but you appreciates Flayn (which is far from true) and if someone tells you otherwise you jump all over them and tell them they're wrong. You're basically setting yourself up to be ridiculed.

23 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

They all have people who draw them in wedding dresses and kissing Byleth, and people who are happy to share such pics while saying how beautiful the art is.

Right, because the best measure of a character's popularity is the amount of people who ship them with Byleth. By your reasoning I must hate Dorothea because I ship her with Petra.

28 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

I don't think I'm asking too much by wishing there were other people who shared my love of Flayn; who I could discuss her with and share the things I've gotten of her and appreciate them on the same level

Well considering you seem to have a near cult-worship of Flayn, I don't think there's anyone who appreciates her on the same level. That hardly means everyone else hates her, though.

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13 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

You expect us to believe that the entire internet's worth of Flayn art is all because of you? Nobody could possibly make such a definitive claim. So you're either straight up lying or wildly exaggerating.

No, I specifically said Flayn x Byleth. I assumed that's what you referred to when you mentioned shipping art.

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19 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

I don't think I'm asking too much by wishing there were other people who shared my love of Flayn; who I could discuss her with and share the things I've gotten of her and appreciate them on the same level. People like to bring up how there are other unpopular/hated 3H girls, but they all still have people who love them. They all have people who draw them in wedding dresses and kissing Byleth, and people who are happy to share such pics while saying how beautiful the art is.

My problem is that I am alone in viewing Flayn this way. And while jokes may not prevent a person who would have loved Flayn otherwise from doing so, seeing people continually misrepresent or trivialize her doesn't do anything to help my fandom isolation.

What you're asking for here isn't just that other people like Flayn -- which plenty of people do, but that they like her in the same way that you like her, that they want to engage in the same activities that you do. For instance, I like Flayn a lot. In the "top ten characters" thread here last August, I ranked her as my fifth favourite character in the game. And considering how much I love the characters of this game, that's saying quite a bit. But, that said, I have zero interest in fanart of Flayn in a wedding dress kissing Byleth for a number of reasons. I'm largely indifferent to fanart, Byleth is my least favourite character in Three Houses, and the whole white wedding imagery is entirely too heteronormative for my tastes. And, honestly, given how young she is, I'm really not interested in shipping Flayn at all, personally.

Spoiler

And yes, I am well aware that she is actually an extremely old character of draconic heritage, and I'm also aware that she shows great maturity at various points of the game. Honestly, the dichotomy between the naivete and innocence of youth with the wisdom of age is part of why I like her as a character. But for my personal tastes, her youthful presentation is sufficient to make me uninterested in shipping her.

Essentially you're asking for people who like Flayn AND like Byleth AND are interested in shipping Flayn AND ship Byleth and Flayn together AND specifically ship male Byleth and Flayn together AND like fanart AND specifically like wedding fanart AND like that particular art style... And so on and so forth. Is it reasonable to want for other people to like exactly the same things that you do? Sure. But is it reasonable to expect this? Not even remotely. And making excuses about how people would like exactly the same things that you like if only it weren't for fish memes isn't helping anyone.

If you are feeling fandom isolation and want to better connect with people then you're going to have to make compromises and try to find common ground with people who like only some of the things that you like. Which is what literally everyone in fandom has to do.

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19 minutes ago, LelouchUzumaki said:

No, I specifically said Flayn x Byleth. I assumed that's what you referred to when you mentioned shipping art.

Fair enough, but my post mentioned all the different Flayn artwork you'd see, not just shipping. Which should be more than enough to prove that you aren't the only person in the world who sees Flayn as anything but a Seteth meme.

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. . .the hell happened in this topic?  The hell IS this topic?

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6 minutes ago, eclipse said:

. . .the hell happened in this topic?  The hell IS this topic?

Basically, anyone who makes an meme out of OP's favorite character is an asshole and we're trying to explain that it's possible to mock something because you love it.

 

Oh, and OP is citing the abundance of fanart to prove their point.

 

Edited by Armchair General

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1 minute ago, Armchair General said:

Basically, anyone who makes an meme out of OP's favorite character is an asshole and we're trying to explain that it's possible to mock something because you love it.

 

If the worst that anyone can think of is "meme", then. . .my goodness.

I'm still trying to figure out whether or not it's worth keeping this topic open.

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1 minute ago, eclipse said:

If the worst that anyone can think of is "meme", then. . .my goodness.

I'm still trying to figure out whether or not it's worth keeping this topic open.

Wait until tomorrow?

 

I mean, the guy would probably make another thread if he doesn't get this out of his system.

Edited by Armchair General

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