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Elena Appreciation Thread

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Who is Elena?

Everyone knows about Ike. He's the main character of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance for the Gamecube, a lead character in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn for the Wii, and a fighter in the Super Smash Bros series, debuting in Super Smash Bros Brawl. In Fire Emblem Heroes, he took 1st place in the men's division in the first Choose Your Legends event with a vote total that far exceeded that of all other winners that year. Undoubtedly, Ike is extremely well-known, and well-liked among a wide range of fans.

However, how many people know about his family? While fans who know about Mist and Griel give them some recognition, and rightly credit them with having important roles, they are largely unknown or afterthoughts to most who know about Ike. At least they are known, though. There is one other family member, however, who is even more obscure than these two. Quietly in the background, but irreplaceably critical to their games' plots, is Ike and Mist's mother, Elena.

Elena was first introduced to the world in the opening cutscene of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. However, that is also the last time the player sees her for a long time. She is referenced now and then throughout both Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, but by the time these events take place, she has already been dead for some time, hence her uninvolvement. This is because the events of Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn take place after her own adventure, and indeed result directly from it. However, in order to know Elena's story, we have to piece it together from what various other characters say throughout these home games.

The Story of Elena - full length (there's a summarized version below)

Elena once lived in the Kingdom of Daein as a cleric, and was married to Gawain: one of Daein's Four Riders at the time. Being one of the Four Riders was a very prestigious position, and only obtainable by someone truly powerful. Gawain was also mentoring a young swordsman at the time, who respected him greatly.

One day, a tragedy occurred: the Serenes Forest in Begnion was razed, and the people of the Heron Tribe who lived there were slaughtered. This event was called the Serenes Massacre. It was thought that none of the Heron Laguz survived, though this thought was inaccurate. Prince Reyson escaped the attack and went to live with the Hawk Tribe in Pheonicis. Princess Leanne was protected by the forest itself, and feel into a deep, enchanted sleep for many years. Prince Rafiel escaped into and through the desert, eventually being taken in by the Wolf Laguz (who had been thought to be extinct.) And one other, Princess Lillia, escaped to Daein, where she encountered Elena.

The Heron Princess entrusted Elena with the Fire Emblem: a medallion with a chaotic being sealed within. The power of the medallion would overwhelm most people, but Elena had a strong affinity with order, and so would not succumb to the medallion's power. The princess also taught Elena one of the Galdr of her people: songs with an innate power within them if sung by someone with the power to access the power of the songs. Though Elena did not have the power to use the Galdr, she did memorize the song. The Galdr (called the Galdr of Release) and the medallion were important and powerful things kept by the Royal Herons, but Princess Lillia was dying. And so, Elena agreed to keep these two important things safe. To do that, she would need to flee Daein.

When Elena told her husband about this, he agreed to go with her, even though it meant leaving behind his prestigious position, his friends, his people, and even his student. He chose to support his wife and the mission she could not turn away. Gawain and Elena left their life in Daein behind, and Gawain even changed his name to Griel in order to keep their identities hidden.

Eventually, the two of them became mercenaries and settled in Gallia: the land of the Beast Clan of the Laguz, ruled by King Caineghis. The Laguz were skeptical of the two of them at first due to the bad blood between the Laguz and the Beorc (humans), but over time, they even became friends with King Cainighis, who even extended trust to the neighboring human kingdom of Crimea. In a soldier exchange program, Gallian warriors went to train in Crimea, and Crimean knights came to Gallia to train there. One of the Crimean knights was a woman named Titainia, who met Griel in Gallia during this time. She was amazed at Griel's strength, and wound up befriending him. Through him, Titainia met his wife, Elena, and their two, young children: Ike and Mist. Elena would hum the Galdr she'd learned from the Heron Princess as a lullaby for her two children since they were young. She had once again settled into a happy life with her family...but, sadly, once again, that life was uprooted. This time, violently.

One day, Griel touched the medallion. The chaotic energy overwhelmed his mind, and increased his already powerful strength. He began killing in a mindless frenzy. No one could stop him. Unlike the others, Elena knew what had happened to her husband. She knew that this wasn't his fault. More importantly, she knew how to stop his rampage. For the sake of everyone around, and for the sake of her husband, it was an easy choice to make, even though it would be dangerous. Elena went to her husband, and managed to take the medallion from him. Tragically, however, as she was doing so, the frenzied Griel impaled his wife. The shock and grief were overwhelming for Griel, but Elena only looked on him with kindness and understanding. She knew that it was not his fault. She also was glad that she had succeeded in saving him from the power of the medallion. And there, she died.

Elena's Story Summarized in Bullet Points

- Elena started out as a cleric in Daein, married to Gawain of Daein's Four Riders.

- Elena met the Heron Laguz princess, Lillia, who entrusted her with an important song called the Galdr of Release, and the Fire Emblem, and then died.

- Elena fled Daein with her husband (who changed his name to Griel) in order to keep the Fire Emblem safe.

- Elena and Griel began living in Gallia as mercenaries with their two children. Elena met Titainia and became friends with her through Griel.

- Griel touched the medallion, which overwhelmed him with its power and set him into a mindless frenzy, killing many.

- Elena sacrificed her life to rescue Griel from the power of the medallion. The medallion was passed on to Mist, who was unaffected by it, just like her mom. The Galdr was passed on to both Ike and Mist as it was used as a lullaby for them.

- The events of Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn were only possible because of Elena's selfless, brave actions.

In Conclusion

Because it takes more effort to know Elena and her significance in her home games, most people probably don't understand what an incredible tale she really has. She is a brave and kind hero who has an exciting story in her own right, but often goes unnoticed. Though she's not the sort to demand attention, she certainly deserves recognition.

Something Extra

I want to get to know her better. If Intelligent Systems makes an Echoes version of Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn (preferably with both games being playable as a sort of "set" within one game), I personally think it would be awesome if we could play a bonus game: one focused on Elena as the game's "lord," and Griel/Gawain as the "Jegan." I think this would be the first time we have a staff-main as the "lord," too (the closest to this, I believe, was Celica from Gaiden/Shadows of Valentia), which would be cool. The game's story would follow Elena from just before she meets Lillia, and the bulk of it would be her and Griel escaping Daein with the medallion, encountering various foes (perhaps even a certain one of Griel's former students who is dismayed and confused at his teacher's sudden disappearance), then end with her rescuing Griel from the medallion, setting up perfectly for a playthrough of Path of Radiance. Personally, I think that an emblem-powered berserk Griel would make an excellent final boss, especially with the objective being "take the medallion" instead of "slay the boss." It would be especially perfect as a final objective for a cleric-type lord, I think. It doesn't have to be a full-length Fire Emblem game (especially if it's included in a "Radiant Echoes" game), but it certainly has the potential to give an opportunity to spend some more time with the characters of the world, and get to know and appreciate Elena much better!

Edited by eclipse

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I’ll admit, I’m a huge Tellius fan, so I always enjoy seeing this kind of posts. Elena is definitely an interesting character that doesn’t get much recognition (for one, she learned how to communicate with Lillia despite the language barrier) and her death is ultimately a heroic one. Her love story with Greil must have been one of a kind, too - as far as we know, Greil never pursues a new romantic relationship and Titania keeps her feelings to herself for a very long time (possibly forever, if Ike/Titania A is not unlocked) to respect the bond he and Elena once shared.

As for the side-story you mentioned, it’s probably very unlikely that such a thing may happen (tbf, I’d love a game with the original Four Riders, young Ashnard, etc.) but we may get something akin to the downloadable episodes and/or the Archanea Saga chapters that were included in FE12.

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It's a near-invisible post on the dark theme!  I can go in and fix the color, if you don't mind.

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@Goddess Serra

Thank you for the kind words! I didn't expect anyone to actually post a response since it's such a niche topic. ^_^ And yeah, that atypical love triangle is so heartwarming! I'm pretty sure it was even said that Titania and Elena got along. And you know, thinking about it, I wonder how Griel and Elena met. Good catch on the ancient language thing, too! Though, it could be that Lillia could speak the more modern language. Even if she wasn't the next in line to become the monarch of the herons (she was at least one of the elder siblings, but I don't know if she held this position or not) the fact that she knew the Galdr of release and had the medallion says something about her station: a sort of "keeper of the ancient, dangerous relics." So, with that position in mind, it's not too far a jump to suspect that she could speak the modern language in case of an emergency like what happened. (Even the Goldoans can speak the modern language, and they're a closed nation.)

As for Elena's story turning into its own mini-game, I know it's unlikely to actually happen, but I still wish it would. Honestly, I think a game centered on Altina, Soan, Dheginsea and Lerahn combatting the goddess of chaos with the blessing of Ashera and sealing said chaos goddess away is more likely. I like your idea for Ashnard and the four riders too, though! Hmm maybe it was during this time that Gawain met Elena... It would be neat to see him with his old allies, too, especially Tauroneo since they seemed to be fairly close.

@eclipse

Sorry, I only just saw your post! Thanks for the offer; go ahead! I'd appreciate it! =D

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@eclipse

Thank you! =D I'll trust that the content is fine, but if not, that's okay -- I believe I have it written elsewhere as well (while I was working out the final draft) so I can just fix it if something went weird. I'll still let you know if I find something, though, just in case it messes with the visibility again. Again, thanks for the assist! ^_^

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