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Jotari

Okay, so what even is Epimenides? (spoilers)

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I've just done Arval's paralogue, I think putting me solidly in the "finished" category of this game (though I am going to keep playing a while longer to get all the achievements). I've done the Byleth route of every route and the non Byleth route for Edelgard and Claude. So unless Dimitri's non Byleth routes turns out super enlightening (I highly doubt it), I'm left with the question "Uh, so what was all that about?" The trip to Zaharas was cool and all, but what even is Arval and Epimenides. Hell what is Shez for the matter? Is this explained in some book or bonus material I didn't bother to read? He (it, but I'm going to say he for convenience) is clearly something that reviles Sothis and is connected to the Agarthans but...that's all I know. Is he one of the original Agarthans? Someone from Sothis's home planet? An Agarthan experiment? In his paralogue he even considers Serios and the other Nabteans as fools who don't know what they're fighting for, suggesting he has some kind of further insight into Sothis's nature.

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It's never really cleared up at all IIRC. From my own theorising, I believe what the situation is, is that Epimenides was an original Agarthan who fought during the war and was presumably fatally damaged during the war. He somehow was able to separate his consciousness from his body and implant it in Shez's body (whether this means Shez is a thousand years old or if they are one of many subjects IDK). Then, considering Shez is from a remote village near Shambala, I presume Shez's mother was Agarthan and ran away with him and went into hiding. I also presume Shez was probably supposed to be an Agarthan weapon with Epimenides' powers that could rival Sothis' to kill her I guess.

Yeah, it's very unclear and this is purely just theorising and presuming. I don't even know if Epimenides is supposed to be a god like Sothis or if he was just a normal dude who was super powerful. Also don't understand why Arval exists and not just Epimenides but yeah...

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Epimenides was fine with just being Arval for the rest of (at least Shez's) existence. It was only when Shez allies with the vessel of Argathans' worst enemy that he somehow returns to full consciousness and control of Arval. He is even shocked on how this is possible but uses the chance to kill Byleth and Sothis. Or at least that is what I gathered.

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3 hours ago, Azz said:

It's never really cleared up at all IIRC. From my own theorising, I believe what the situation is, is that Epimenides was an original Agarthan who fought during the war and was presumably fatally damaged during the war. He somehow was able to separate his consciousness from his body and implant it in Shez's body (whether this means Shez is a thousand years old or if they are one of many subjects IDK). Then, considering Shez is from a remote village near Shambala, I presume Shez's mother was Agarthan and ran away with him and went into hiding. I also presume Shez was probably supposed to be an Agarthan weapon with Epimenides' powers that could rival Sothis' to kill her I guess.

Yeah, it's very unclear and this is purely just theorising and presuming. I don't even know if Epimenides is supposed to be a god like Sothis or if he was just a normal dude who was super powerful. Also don't understand why Arval exists and not just Epimenides but yeah...

For what it's worth, the first thing we see in the game's opening is an image of water in Shambala before the game cuts to the Nemesis war. And Arval talks about being born admit the sound of rushing water or something to that effect. So yeah I think we can deduce that Arval was hanging out in Shambala for a long time, possibly in one of those pod like things Nemesis was in in Three Houses. Wether this means Shez was physically in one of those pods *shrug*. I'd guess not considering Shez seems to have grown up as a child, unless it's memories of them as a baby.

I'm kind of fine with Epimendies being a bit of a mystery, but all in all I do think it's a shame that in all six routes we never once have a battle in Shambala. It's a nice distinct location not just for the game but for the series overall. And call me basic, but I like the dubstep! The Agarthans are also just left undefeated without a trio to Shambala, particularly in Golden Deer where they don't even beat Thales.

Edited by Jotari

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5 hours ago, Jotari said:

The Agarthans are also just left undefeated without a trio to Shambala, particularly in Golden Deer where they don't even beat Thales.

I never found that too much of a problem. Mostly for the same reason as to why it didn't bother me in Crimson Flower. Having a climactic final showdown with Rhea and then going to face the joke characters would make for a fairly anticlimactic finale. And also because defeating the crazy mole people strikes me as a mere formality. Just a mop up operation against some third rate faction.

Just like how Emperor Edelgard could casually crush them once she's done conquering Fodlan I also think the pact between the Empire and Alliance can just steamroll them. Granted there are at least some ways how the Aghartans can work in a post Golden Wildfire setting. Edelgard's still trying to conquer the Kingdom so Dimitri making allies with Thales out of sheer desperation could be kinda interesting.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I never found that too much of a problem. Mostly for the same reason as to why it didn't bother me in Crimson Flower. Having a climactic final showdown with Rhea and then going to face the joke characters would make for a fairly anticlimactic finale. And also because defeating the crazy mole people strikes me as a mere formality. Just a mop up operation against some third rate faction.

Just like how Emperor Edelgard could casually crush them once she's done conquering Fodlan I also think the pact between the Empire and Alliance can just steamroll them. Granted there are at least some ways how the Aghartans can work in a post Golden Wildfire setting. Edelgard's still trying to conquer the Kingdom so Dimitri making allies with Thales out of sheer desperation could be kinda interesting.

I wouldn't say it exactly bothers me here (though it does in Crimson Flower), I'm fine with Claude not fighting them as I was with Dimitri not fighting them in Azure Moon. I just think. It's a shame Shambala itself wasn't used as a setting as it would have made for a distinct map and a change of base from that exact same castle being used for the 900th time. The Agarthans also seem more...randomly motivated in Three Hopes. Like why did they suddenly do all that shit in Ordelia right when Claude and Edelgard are about to defeat Rhea? Some characters speculate to further prolong the war only...Why? Getting rid of Rhea should be their main aim.  They don't get anything out furthering the war. Then they show up on Crimson Flower's finale attacking Garrek Mach because...They need it for...reasons? And then they commit the ultimate crime of notbgicing me a Hegemon Edelgard boss fight in Azure Gleam.

Edited by Jotari

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None of the Agarthan stuff really made sense. Like, how they're all apparently human but can live for a thousand years. But Epimenides more or less does have an in-universe explanation:

 

Recall that Sothis (amnesiac child form who hangs out inside Byleth's brain) was created by implanting a magic stone into an infant. If that technology/magic works for Manaketes, it might work for humans too.

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3 hours ago, Hrothgar777 said:

None of the Agarthan stuff really made sense. Like, how they're all apparently human but can live for a thousand years. But Epimenides more or less does have an in-universe explanation:

 

Recall that Sothis (amnesiac child form who hangs out inside Byleth's brain) was created by implanting a magic stone into an infant. If that technology/magic works for Manaketes, it might work for humans too.

Sothis and Arval are clearly meant to be paralleled, but I think it's a bit of a jump to assume a similar creation. Sothis's crest stone is her literal heart. So in that regards we can do what Rhea did with humans. Its called  heart transplant. Shez also doesnt have a crest as a result of the process.

The second thing is the question of whether Arval is even human or connected to humanity at all. Because, he definitely doesn't look completely human. So if he is something else,  what manner of creature would he be to have something like a crest stone while not being a dragon?

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Posted (edited)
On 9/30/2022 at 5:58 AM, Azz said:

 Then, considering Shez is from a remote village near Shambala, I presume Shez's mother was Agarthan and ran away with him and went into hiding. 

Spoiler tag for the reveal of Shez's mother.

Shez's mother is

 

Patricia. This was revealed during the support conversation with Hapi. 

Edited by MadBoar

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1 hour ago, MadBoar said:

Spoiler tag for the reveal of Shez's mother.

Shez's mother is

  Hide contents

Patricia. This was revealed during the support conversation with Hapi. 

What? Hapi and Shez? I've gotten all of Shez's supports and don't remember anything of that nature. How does that even work out with the timeline? Given Patricia was pretty busy giving birth to Edelgard and then raising Dimitri until the tragedy of Duscar, which is only a handful of years before the start of the story.

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7 hours ago, MadBoar said:

Spoiler tag for the reveal of Shez's mother.

Shez's mother is

  Reveal hidden contents

Patricia. This was revealed during the support conversation with Hapi. 

It was never revealed to be Patricia. And it does not fit in the actual timeline nor Shez's character. It contradicts Azure Gleam's reveal of Patricia.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Jotari said:

What? Hapi and Shez? I've gotten all of Shez's supports and don't remember anything of that nature. How does that even work out with the timeline? Given Patricia was pretty busy giving birth to Edelgard and then raising Dimitri until the tragedy of Duscar, which is only a handful of years before the start of the story.

According to Dimitri and Hapi's support conversation in three houses, Patricia spent time with Hapi when Cornelia was conducting experiments on her. Hapi seemed to be very fond of Shez's mother during their support conversation. Furthermore, in both cases with Shez and Hapi, Patricia was in a remote location, hidden away. I am certain about this. Put the pieces together, and you end up with Patricia.  To figure this out, you have to pay attention closely. 

Also, I think there is a possibility that Patricia and Cornelia/Cleobulus are the same person, though I'm not 100% sure about this. 

Edited by MadBoar

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2 hours ago, MadBoar said:

According to Dimitri and Hapi's support conversation in three houses, Patricia spent time with Hapi when Cornelia was conducting experiments on her. Hapi seemed to be very fond of Shez's mother during their support conversation. Furthermore, in both cases with Shez and Hapi, Patricia was in a remote location, hidden away. I am certain about this. Put the pieces together, and you end up with Patricia.  To figure this out, you have to pay attention closely. 

Also, I think there is a possibility that Patricia and Cornelia/Cleobulus are the same person, though I'm not 100% sure about this. 

That would require Patricia to spend nine months away from either of her husbands giving birth to another baby without them noticing or suspecting anything. Unless Shez is actually meant to be one of Edelgard's legitimate siblings that died during the experiments, it just doesn't really make any sense.

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6 hours ago, Jotari said:

That would require Patricia to spend nine months away from either of her husbands giving birth to another baby without them noticing or suspecting anything. Unless Shez is actually meant to be one of Edelgard's legitimate siblings that died during the experiments, it just doesn't really make any sense.

Patricia is Shez' adoptive mother, not the biological mother. 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, MadBoar said:

Patricia is Shez' adoptive mother, not the biological mother. 

Oh well that makes a bit more sense, but not a whole lot more. All it does lead us to is "Connection to Agarthans".  The timeline also still seems highly irregular, as, according to what I see on the wiki, the Tragedy of Duscar happened only about four years before the start of the main story (which makes sense, Dimitri was already like 12 or 13), which means Shez was only with Patricia for four years, maybe even less as they've been a mercenary for quite some time before they meet Byleth which is in itself quite some time before the whole Kostas affair. So either Shez grew from an infant to an adult within the span of two years and didn't realize that was strange, or Patricia was warping across the continent Zelgius style to raise Shez at the same time as raising Dimitri.

Edited by Jotari

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Jotari said:

Oh well that makes a bit more sense, but not a whole lot more. All it does lead us to is "Connection to Agarthans".  The timeline also still seems highly irregular, as, according to what I see on the wiki, the Tragedy of Duscar happened only about four years before the start of the main story (which makes sense, Dimitri was already like 12 or 13), which means Shez was only with Patricia for four years, maybe even less as they've been a mercenary for quite some time before they meet Byleth which is in itself quite some time before the whole Kostas affair. So either Shez grew from an infant to an adult within the span of two years and didn't realize that was strange, or Patricia was warping across the continent Zelgius style to raise Shez at the same time as raising Dimitri.

When Patricia was in the Kingdom, she was kept hidden away. We don't know much about her activities during her time in the Kingdom. She may have actually been traveling between the Kingdom and other places during that time. Dimitri has very little memory of Patricia, so it is reasonable that she was not very involved, or at all, in raising him. 

It is possible that Cornelia intentionally killed Dimitri's bio mother through the plague, and then became the step mother as Patricia. Cornelia comes across as someone so sick in the head that she would enjoy playing the role as a nurturing mother while also being cruel and abusive. Despite being Agarthan, s/he doesn't show any interest into the Agarthan's grand ambitions.  She is the Sonia archetype.

Edited by MadBoar

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7 hours ago, MadBoar said:

When Patricia was in the Kingdom, she was kept hidden away. We don't know much about her activities during her time in the Kingdom. She may have actually been traveling between the Kingdom and other places during that time. Dimitri has very little memory of Patricia, so it is reasonable that she was not very involved, or at all, in raising him. 

It is possible that Cornelia intentionally killed Dimitri's bio mother through the plague, and then became the step mother as Patricia. Cornelia comes across as someone so sick in the head that she would enjoy playing the role as a nurturing mother while also being cruel and abusive. Despite being Agarthan, s/he doesn't show any interest into the Agarthan's grand ambitions.  She is the Sonia archetype.

Dimitri is still very attached to Patricia so it's clear that she was an important part of his life even if his actual memories are hard come by (and actual thing that can happen with trauma). I also don't recall Shez mentioning their mother vanishing for months at a time  in a way that's suspicious. And even if she was mostly hidden from public in the kingdom, she was still the Lampert's wife who would simirlaly notice her vanishing for prolonged amounts of time. I'm not exactly saying you're wrong, but if you are right then it's just a really weird writing choice that adds very little to the narrative, raising a lot more questions than it answers.

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Sorry for the double post, but it's just in my mind now as I'm playing through my Blue Lions no Byleth Route, one of the most interesting things about the nature of Epimenides is that Sothis seems to hate him just as much as he hates her. To the extent that she would literally steal Byleth's body, something that is completely out of character for her relatively good natured depiction in Three Houses (well, she does berate Byleth a lot, but she's also always on Byleth's side and will even marry them after they've just killed her daughter). We don't see a whole lot of Sothis in this game, but what we do paints quite a different picture or her. Though it might be the existence of Shez and Arval or it could just be a different direction in the writers room, leaning into the fact that Byleth is something of an antagonist in this game.

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On 10/4/2022 at 11:26 PM, Jotari said:

Sorry for the double post, but it's just in my mind now as I'm playing through my Blue Lions no Byleth Route, one of the most interesting things about the nature of Epimenides is that Sothis seems to hate him just as much as he hates her. To the extent that she would literally steal Byleth's body, something that is completely out of character for her relatively good natured depiction in Three Houses (well, she does berate Byleth a lot, but she's also always on Byleth's side and will even marry them after they've just killed her daughter). We don't see a whole lot of Sothis in this game, but what we do paints quite a different picture or her. Though it might be the existence of Shez and Arval or it could just be a different direction in the writers room, leaning into the fact that Byleth is something of an antagonist in this game.

 Sothis and Epimenides are the opposing gods from different religious,  with their followers being the Church and the Agarthans. The Church and the Agarthans fought a very long time ago, so there is a lot of animosity between the two. They both want revenge against each other. 

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3 hours ago, MadBoar said:

 Sothis and Epimenides are the opposing gods from different religious,  with their followers being the Church and the Agarthans. The Church and the Agarthans fought a very long time ago, so there is a lot of animosity between the two. They both want revenge against each other. 

Yeah, but we know what Sothis actually is, and have no clue what Epimenides actually is. Is he an alien dragon like Sothis? From the same planet? From a different planet? Native to Fodlan? Created by the Agarthan using Sothi's brains? All possible.

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One thing of note, in Azure Gleam, Myson asks Shez how he was the power of Epimenidies, but then seems to realise something, saying, "Unless, his core!" So maybe Epimenidies has something like a crest stone.

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19 hours ago, Jotari said:

Yeah, but we know what Sothis actually is, and have no clue what Epimenides actually is. Is he an alien dragon like Sothis? From the same planet? From a different planet? Native to Fodlan? Created by the Agarthan using Sothi's brains? All possible.

It is highly likely that the developers left some subtle hints about what Epimenides actually is . I can't play the game right now as I'm really busy with life, but maybe someone else will eventually figure this out.

17 hours ago, Aedan7479 said:

One thing of note, in Azure Gleam, Myson asks Shez how he was the power of Epimenidies, but then seems to realise something, saying, "Unless, his core!" So maybe Epimenidies has something like a crest stone.

That's interesting. You may be able to find other hints elsewhere in the game giving more information. Good luck!

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