Edelgard von Hresvelg - Black Eagles House Leader

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It's pretty hard to have a continent-wide revolution without a war. Sometimes war is a necessary evil.

Edelgard isn't a villain, but a revolutionary. That's not to say she's morally righteous. Not at all. But she's not a villain. To call any of the house leaders outright villains undermines the moral ambiguity of the situation in an attempt to make it like any other Fire Emblem conflict. It's fitting a square peg in a round hole, and it's likely part of why the series rarely does true moral ambiguity: because anyone who isn't the paragon of virtue gets labeled as a villain due to some folks' insistence on maintaining a dichotomy, a binary that doesn't need to exist.

The Church of Seiros is literally run by clandestine lizard people who execute all those who go against the church and censor what information is available to the masses if it doesn't suit their agenda. They also keep possibly the strongest standing army in all of Fódlan. Rhea herself directly slaughters civilians in the final battle of the Edelgard route, something that NONE of the other house leaders did. She's judge, jury, and executioner when she's qualified to be none of those.

Edelgard's goal is simple: undermine the church, unite Fódlan by force (because no other way would work), take out Rhea, and do away with the current system of nobility in favor of a meritocracy.

We see and hear firsthand the effects of the church and the social crest hierarchy. Lonato, Miklan, Edelgard's own backstory, the atrocities committed by Ferdinand's father, Hubert's father, AND Bernadetta's father, the living conditions endured by Dorothea before she got discovered by the Opera, literally everything about Lysithea...the list goes on.

Rhea had to be removed by any means necessary. Edelgard, regardless of route, just happened to be the one to light the fire under everyone's collective butts to foster change.

Also now that I'm done with Edelgard's route I can focus more on making her moveset while I play Claude's. :p
Rhea also has an unpredictable time bomb in her split personality of Seiros that will dragon-nuke everyone if she gets upset enough for any reason. Letting her have her way may placate and delay her onslaught but who's to say the people who try to diplomatically change the system won't eventually cause her to flip and kill everyone anyway?
 

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In Edelgards case she still would be emporer and could get rid of the noble system in her own country. She actually does that BEFORE her invasion. The other countries would probably follow soon as the possibillity of social advancement would be quite attractive to skilled kingdom/alliance commoners. (Compare Situation to Germany after WW 2).

So to sum it up, the Kingdom and Alliance (even the church) did not pose any immediate thread to her or her rule, diplomacy/ peaceful solutions where possible but never considered and the only reasons for war was her Lust for power. And that makes her a villain.
The issue is that you're oversimplifying the issue of the Kingdom and the Alliance.

The Holy Kingdom of Faergus is integrally tied to the church. It would side with the church no matter what. The Alliance is less devout, but it's still split.

The church would see the Empire going against their established order and call on the other nations to crush the dissidents in the empire. Adrestia is strong, but it's nothing compared to the combined might of the church, Kingdom, and Alliance at their full power, especially when the church has all of the crest stones at its disposal.

Don't forget, Rhea sees any act of dissent as punishable by death. A united Fódlan is the only thing that could stand up to her, even if it has to be united by force.
 

Nihilem

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Rhea also has an unpredictable time bomb in her split personality of Seiros that will dragon-nuke everyone if she gets upset enough for any reason. Letting her have her way may placate and delay her onslaught but who's to say the people who try to diplomatically change the system won't eventually cause her to flip and kill everyone anyway?
That is an argument I can agree. If that would be known before the war. But I dont think that the leaders of the houses knew about this „turning mad over time“ stuff is a thing.

To the Revolutionary instead of villain discussion:

As I said I will not join a discussion if Edelgard is evil or if her actions were necassary etc. But if we define a villain as someone that does evil things on people who do not deserve them then Edel clearly falls onto this categorie. Because causing an unprovoked war which causes thousands of deads is evil and the kingdom/alliance citizens, who took most of the damage didnt derseve this.

If we want to include their reasoning in the definition, then there are much more FE villains which loose that status, because they are also convinced that they alone know a way to the golden future and those small evil deeds are tragic but absolutely necessary for said golden future.
 
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Icelerate

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By your logic Lyn is a villain during her story in Blazing Blade because she attacks Lundgren's forces without ever having been directly provoked by him, the latter plotting against someone she's never even known and only has the words of Sain and Kent to go on.
Lundgren sent assassins after her before she made a move against him.
 

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It's pretty hard to have a continent-wide revolution without a war. Sometimes war is a necessary evil.

Edelgard isn't a villain, but a revolutionary. That's not to say she's morally righteous. Not at all. But she's not a villain. To call any of the house leaders outright villains undermines the moral ambiguity of the situation in an attempt to make it like any other Fire Emblem conflict. It's fitting a square peg in a round hole, and it's likely part of why the series rarely does true moral ambiguity: because anyone who isn't the paragon of virtue gets labeled as a villain due to some folks' insistence on maintaining a dichotomy, a binary that doesn't need to exist.

The Church of Seiros is literally run by clandestine lizard people who execute all those who go against the church and censor what information is available to the masses if it doesn't suit their agenda. They also keep possibly the strongest standing army in all of Fódlan. Rhea herself directly slaughters civilians in the final battle of the Edelgard route, something that NONE of the other house leaders did. She's judge, jury, and executioner when she's qualified to be none of those.

Edelgard's goal is simple: undermine the church, unite Fódlan by force (because no other way would work), take out Rhea, and do away with the current system of nobility in favor of a meritocracy.

We see and hear firsthand the effects of the church and the social crest hierarchy. Lonato, Miklan, Edelgard's own backstory, the atrocities committed by Ferdinand's father, Hubert's father, AND Bernadetta's father, the living conditions endured by Dorothea before she got discovered by the Opera, literally everything about Lysithea...the list goes on.

Rhea had to be removed by any means necessary. Edelgard, regardless of route, just happened to be the one to light the fire under everyone's collective butts to foster change.

Also now that I'm done with Edelgard's route I can focus more on making her moveset while I play Claude's. :p
It depends on how you define "villain".

For me, it is simply a character whose actions aren't justified for the reader/player. Of course, a lot of that falls into subjectivity. But there are objective metrics, such as: to what degree are the individual's use of pain and death to achieve their means necessary to achieve their goal, and how sustainable is said goal through their means of pain and death?

It is quite arguable, through that lens, to claim she is a "villain". Still yet a teenager, before acquiring the throne, she has decided that war is the way to achieve the world she desires. This is quite presumptuous, not just because of her young age implying time spent trying to change the world peaceably, but all the years she has had are without the throne, which she knows she will be acquiring, and thus her breadth of options for change will grow greatly. Not all revolutions need be won by blood and metal, and not all at once.

Additionally, she makes use of bandits in order to kill noble students at the monastery, and consorts with Those Who Slither in the Dark, who serve as a force of "evil" in this world and therefore I'd argue worse than the Church since it actually does some good and houses good people within (and ironically Those Who Slither are the ones that messed with her body for the sake of crests to begin with, and she is aware of this). As far as war etiquette goes, these are by our own standards to be considered unforgivable crimes, and without being sufficiently led to think that Edelgard was forced to use death cultists and assassinating kids, which I should think would require a lot of justification, she naturally falls into this definition of villain and all around not a good person.

Another note is that while Edelgard's route involves defeating the church, the others do not, and despite that I think that in all of the routes the church is in a position to change from the inside.

As for the second part of said definition: how effective is conquest in ensuring the world she envisions? Crushing the church obviously does a massive, direct benefit for her goal, but what of the days to come? Generations of this society, we are to be believed, have valued crests, and others have benefited from this view. Is that going to change because of massive amounts of violence and the fear of it? I think not. Change is only real when it happens organically, and not only that but people all across the world will have lost family, noble and commoners alike, from the war. Resentment not just for the Empire but the motivations behind it will be sowed and not die out in a generation, it will be passed down as hate often is.

And if I recall correctly, she implied she'd step down to ensure that the world isn't being ruled on the basis of crests? Quite nice, sure, but will this also not help to allow her "progress" to be undone? Tradition, habit, and centuries of hierarchical inertia will settle back in quite easily I'd expect. My memory on this bit is hazy though.

Sure, war could be unavoidable if the amount of change achieved through peaceful reform becomes so great, but at least that would mean the Church is casting the first stone, and Edelgard can be rightly said to be defending herself and rightly say she has done all she can without having people die. But we know this to not be attempted. She does not spend any time even in the course of the game trying her hand at diplomacy, let alone her adult life as Emperor. My first route was hers, and she shows up in the tomb commanding her forces to kill anyone who tries to stop her.

This was quite the shock for me, because while she clearly was ambitious, she had not said anything to Byleth or her classmates about her ideas. And indeed, in that fight, students and the professor can die, even after she says in an optional dialogue option where Byleth attacks her she says "Despite what I said, I don't really want to kill all of you." It is so sudden that it even leads me to believe, effectively speaking, she doesn't genuinely care for any of her classmates or the professor, whose lives can be tossed away and aren't even worth trying to recruit. This honestly smacks my sensibilities in the face more than anything.

If my evidence is still seen as lacking for this definition, an alternative could be: Is the aggregate effects of death and suffering greater if they succeed or if they fail? Honestly, while there are some small cases of extreme abuse as you've listed (much of which, if not all, don't even directly involve the Church), even when put together they fall short the amount of destruction that 5 and half years of war causes. Indeed, relatively speaking such a massive war has not existed in Foldan for quite a while, as Jeralt can point out at the start of the game. Even if crests were to disappear, money, land, and influence will still remain, and all the incentives needed for abuse can still be acquired.

Phew, typed out a lot here. But the topic of Edelgard's status in Three Houses is something I've thought a lot about ever since she revealed herself as the Flame Emperor. My conclusion is unfortunate because it makes her character quite lacking in my eyes. She doesn't even have plain old revenge or power hunger, which while less interesting, could have naturally fit in better than what we've got, but obviously that is not the writers' intent, and thus she is left with nothing very satisfactory because it wasn't done very well.
 
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It depends on how you define "villain".

For me, it is simply a character whose actions aren't justified for the reader/player. Of course, a lot of that falls into subjectivity. But there are objective metrics, such as: to what degree are the individual's use of pain and death to achieve their means necessary to achieve their goal, and how sustainable is said goal through their means of pain and death?

It is quite arguable, through that lens, to claim she is a "villain". Still yet a teenager, before acquiring the throne, she has decided that war is the way to achieve the world she desires. This is quite presumptuous, not just because of her young age implying time spent trying to change the world peaceably, but all the years she has had are without the throne, which she knows she will be acquiring, and thus her breadth of options for change will grow greatly. Not all revolutions need be won by blood and metal, and not all at once.

Additionally, she makes use of bandits in order to kill noble students at the monastery, and consorts with Those Who Slither in the Dark, who serve as a force of "evil" in this world and therefore I'd argue worse than the Church since it actually does some good and houses good people within (and ironically Those Who Slither are the ones that messed with her body for the sake of crests to begin with, and she is aware of this). As far as war etiquette goes, these are by our own standards to be considered unforgivable crimes, and without being sufficiently led to think that Edelgard was forced to use death cultists and assassinating kids, which I should think would require a lot of justification, she naturally falls into this definition of villain and all around not a good person.

Another note is that while Edelgard's route involves defeating the church, the others do not, and despite that I think that in all of the routes the church is in a position to change from the inside.

As for the second part of said definition: how effective is conquest in ensuring the world she envisions? Crushing the church obviously does a massive, direct benefit for her goal, but what of the days to come? Generations of this society, we are to be believed, have valued crests, and others have benefited from this view. Is that going to change because of massive amounts of violence and the fear of it? I think not. Change is only real when it happens organically, and not only that but people all across the world will have lost family, noble and commoners alike, from the war. Resentment not just for the Empire but the motivations behind it will be sowed and not die out in a generation, it will be passed down as hate often is.

And if I recall correctly, she implied she'd step down to ensure that the world isn't being ruled on the basis of crests? Quite nice, sure, but will this also not help to allow her "progress" to be undone? Tradition, habit, and centuries of hierarchical inertia will settle back in quite easily I'd expect. My memory on this bit is hazy though.

Sure, war could be unavoidable if the amount of change achieved through peaceful reform becomes so great, but at least that would mean the Church is casting the first stone, and Edelgard can be rightly said to be defending herself and rightly say she has done all she can without having people die. But we know this to not be attempted. She does not spend any time even in the course of the game trying her hand at diplomacy, let alone her adult life as Emperor. My first route was hers, and she shows up in the tomb commanding her forces to kill anyone who tries to stop her.

This was quite the shock for me, because while she clearly was ambitious, she had not said anything to Byleth or her classmates about her ideas. And indeed, in that fight, students and the professor can die, even after she says in an optional dialogue option where Byleth attacks her she says "Despite what I said, I don't really want to kill all of you." It is so sudden that it even leads me to believe, effectively speaking, she doesn't genuinely care for any of her classmates or the professor, whose lives can be tossed away and aren't even worth trying to recruit. This honestly smacks my sensibilities in the face more than anything.

If my evidence is still seen as lacking for this definition, an alternative could be: Is the aggregate effects of death and suffering greater if they succeed or if they fail? Honestly, while there are some small cases of extreme abuse as you've listed (much of which, if not all, don't even directly involve the Church), even when put together they fall short the amount of destruction that 5 and half years of war causes. Indeed, relatively speaking such a massive war has not existed in Foldan for quite a while, as Jeralt can point out at the start of the game. Even if crests were to disappear, money, land, and influence will still remain, and all the incentives needed for abuse can still be acquired.

Phew, typed out a lot here. But the topic of Edelgard's status in Three Houses is something I've thought a lot about ever since she revealed herself as the Flame Emperor. My conclusion is unfortunate because it makes her character quite lacking in my eyes. She doesn't even have plain old revenge or power hunger, which while less interesting, could have naturally fit in better than what we've got, but obviously that is not the writers' intent, and thus she is left with nothing very satisfactory because it wasn't done very well.
There are a few things the game addresses that lessens some of those things.
A lot of people point out that giving peace a chance was never something she tried, but I think the game goes a long way to show that a peaceful approach wouldn't have worked. Namely, Lonato was described by pretty much everyone as a man of peace, and yet he, too, led an attack on them.

And then there's the bandit attack. For many, this is the hardest of Edelgard's actions to justify, but her logic is sound. Her targets are Dimitri and Claude specifically. Dimitri is the only heir to the Kingdom's throne and Claude is the son of the Alliance's sovereign duke (and also one of the only two Alliance houses that aren't pro-empire, alongside Goneril). Having them die on the church's watch would ruin the church's standing with the alliance and kingdom and help unite Fódlan against the Church. Rhea would have nowhere to hide, after all, if all of Fódlan were against her. And if all of Fódlan was against her, there would be less of a chance of a drawn out conflict. It would be over much sooner and arguably with less blood at the expense of Dimitri and Claude.

As for TWSITD, Edelgard fully intends on getting rid of them after Rhea is gone. She's made it clear to them that they're only a means to an end and not allies. Their purpose is simple: if the church is using their resources to fight TWSITD, they have fewer resources to spend on suppressing a rebellion. She's essentially using them as a distraction.

During the fight in the tomb, Edelgard goes on the defensive because she doesn't believe Byleth or her classmates would consider joining her, especially since Byleth became the Enlightened One. That's her biggest character flaw: she has severe trust issues. It's once again a matter of her weighing her options. She doesn't trust her former allies to side with her, and it's imperative that she steals the crest stones. Removing Rhea's ability to turn her subordinates into demonic beasts not only saves them from suffering, but gives the Church less of a tactical edge.

But one of the biggest reasons I think her motives and methods make sense is from something that the game doesn't spend a lot of time making explicit: Edelgard has a drastically shortened lifespan due to possessing two crests. She's literally in the same boat as Lysithea. It's a race against time.

That's why she jumps at the opportunity to do this. It very well could be a now or never thing, and wasting time on what could very well be dead end negotiations and losing the element of surprise could prove detrimental for her cause. That and even in routes that weren't her own, the church only changes its tune BECAUSE of Edelgard's war. Either way she acted as the catalyst for change.

Just my view of things. :p
 

Troykv

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There are a few things the game addresses that lessens some of those things.
A lot of people point out that giving peace a chance was never something she tried, but I think the game goes a long way to show that a peaceful approach wouldn't have worked. Namely, Lonato was described by pretty much everyone as a man of peace, and yet he, too, led an attack on them.

And then there's the bandit attack. For many, this is the hardest of Edelgard's actions to justify, but her logic is sound. Her targets are Dimitri and Claude specifically. Dimitri is the only heir to the Kingdom's throne and Claude is the son of the Alliance's sovereign duke (and also one of the only two Alliance houses that aren't pro-empire, alongside Goneril). Having them die on the church's watch would ruin the church's standing with the alliance and kingdom and help unite Fódlan against the Church. Rhea would have nowhere to hide, after all, if all of Fódlan were against her. And if all of Fódlan was against her, there would be less of a chance of a drawn out conflict. It would be over much sooner and arguably with less blood at the expense of Dimitri and Claude.

As for TWSITD, Edelgard fully intends on getting rid of them after Rhea is gone. She's made it clear to them that they're only a means to an end and not allies. Their purpose is simple: if the church is using their resources to fight TWSITD, they have fewer resources to spend on suppressing a rebellion. She's essentially using them as a distraction.

During the fight in the tomb, Edelgard goes on the defensive because she doesn't believe Byleth or her classmates would consider joining her, especially since Byleth became the Enlightened One. That's her biggest character flaw: she has severe trust issues. It's once again a matter of her weighing her options. She doesn't trust her former allies to side with her, and it's imperative that she steals the crest stones. Removing Rhea's ability to turn her subordinates into demonic beasts not only saves them from suffering, but gives the Church less of a tactical edge.

But one of the biggest reasons I think her motives and methods make sense is from something that the game doesn't spend a lot of time making explicit: Edelgard has a drastically shortened lifespan due to possessing two crests. She's literally in the same boat as Lysithea. It's a race against time.

That's why she jumps at the opportunity to do this. It very well could be a now or never thing, and wasting time on what could very well be dead end negotiations and losing the element of surprise could prove detrimental for her cause. That and even in routes that weren't her own, the church only changes its tune BECAUSE of Edelgard's war. Either way she acted as the catalyst for change.

Just my view of things. :p
And the whole thing with the TTSITD makes the idea of peace impossible because in a way Arundel set up Edelgard to be their champion
 

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More spoilers than an F1 spare parts shop here.

Though speaking of the subjectivity of Evil, the one thing I can't stand is when the narrative forgives a character when I feel they haven't earned it. (Example, Xerosic in Pokemon X&Y) Hope that's not gonna be a problem down the line in the story.
 

Troykv

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More spoilers than an F1 spare parts shop here.

Though speaking of the subjectivity of Evil, the one thing I can't stand is when the narrative forgives a character when I feel they haven't earned it. (Example, Xerosic in Pokemon X&Y) Hope that's not gonna be a problem down the line in the story.
I doubt that is going to be a problem.

The game at least gives you reasons to understand her even if you disagree; unlike someone like Berkut.
 
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But I have to admit that previously FE Heros have done quite villainous things and got away with it because it was „against evil“ and the actual villains are depicted as pure evil for evils sake. In 3Houses no faction outside TWSITD are depicted that evil.
Yeah, it's kind of like when you compare 70s/early 80s mecha anime villains to mid-late 80s ones. Although a tad more nuanced in that case, seeing as 70s villains tended to LOOK evil, regardless of whether their intentions were noble, thought of as noble, or straight-up plainly diabolical, while 80s ones were generally more grounded-looking and usually similar to real people. I hope that analogy made sense.
 

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The issue is that you're oversimplifying the issue of the Kingdom and the Alliance.

The Holy Kingdom of Faergus is integrally tied to the church. It would side with the church no matter what. The Alliance is less devout, but it's still split.

The church would see the Empire going against their established order and call on the other nations to crush the dissidents in the empire. Adrestia is strong, but it's nothing compared to the combined might of the church, Kingdom, and Alliance at their full power, especially when the church has all of the crest stones at its disposal.

Don't forget, Rhea sees any act of dissent as punishable by death. A united Fódlan is the only thing that could stand up to her, even if it has to be united by force.
No I dont think so...

First establish what we now for sure:

1.) Edelgard has the power to get almost total control of the empire without even starting the war. It was mentioned in her route that she killed & house arrested multiple high ranking ministers after claiming the throne, There also seems no opposition inside the empire.

2.) The Church is divided in 4 sections. Central (controlling the monastery and knights of seiros), western (connected to the kingdom), eastern (connected to the alliance) and southern (connected to the empire, seems quite inactive after a rebellion gone wrong). The section do not speak with one voice, infighting happens.

3.) The Kingdom is not the longer arm of the church. On mutiple occasions nobles from the kingdom supported the rebelling factions (edelgard/western church)

4.) The Church do not seem to interested in the inner politics of the realms. The even let open hostillities pass as long as you do not rally arms against them or go after the heroes relics (as seen e.g. Lonato, Western Church). But if you do - they come with all their might.

5.) Regardless what happens, the Alliance does what the Alliance does best - staying neutral and hoping for the Problems to go away.


What we do not know:

A.) If Edelgard needed the help of TWSITD to accomplish her rise. And if the attack on the church were their condition for their support.

B.) If the church even cares when Edelgard inside the empire makes reforms to allow non crest wielders into position of powers. The church itself has lots of non crest wielders in positions of powers, even some which are not from foldlan at all. On contrary the nobles of the realm are calling the church out for making stuff like that.

C.) If their would be a conflict between Empire and Church if the Kingdom would rally behind the church, exspecially if the church is clearly seen as the aggressor.



But all of that is pointless, because at no point in the story Edelgard suggested a diplomatic solution. Which is one of the reasons why personally see her as a villain.


But that does not mean I see her as a bad character. On the contrary she is a great character (as a villain that is ;)), exactly because the community is split between calling her a villain and supporting her. Exactly the same dilemma had the people of foldlan after her rebellion. Which makes it quite believable why half the continent supported and the other half opposed her.
 

Troykv

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No I dont think so...

First establish what we now for sure:

1.) Edelgard has the power to get almost total control of the empire without even starting the war. It was mentioned in her route that she killed & house arrested multiple high ranking ministers after claiming the throne, There also seems no opposition inside the empire.

2.) The Church is divided in 4 sections. Central (controlling the monastery and knights of seiros), western (connected to the kingdom), eastern (connected to the alliance) and southern (connected to the empire, seems quite inactive after a rebellion gone wrong). The section do not speak with one voice, infighting happens.

3.) The Kingdom is not the longer arm of the church. On mutiple occasions nobles from the kingdom supported the rebelling factions (edelgard/western church)

4.) The Church do not seem to interested in the inner politics of the realms. The even let open hostillities pass as long as you do not rally arms against them or go after the heroes relics (as seen e.g. Lonato, Western Church). But if you do - they come with all their might.

5.) Regardless what happens, the Alliance does what the Alliance does best - staying neutral and hoping for the Problems to go away.


What we do not know:

A.) If Edelgard needed the help of TWSITD to accomplish her rise. And if the attack on the church were their condition for their support.

B.) If the church even cares when Edelgard inside the empire makes reforms to allow non crest wielders into position of powers. The church itself has lots of non crest wielders in positions of powers, even some which are not from foldlan at all. On contrary the nobles of the realm are calling the church out for making stuff like that.

C.) If their would be a conflict between Empire and Church if the Kingdom would rally behind the church, exspecially if the church is clearly seen as the aggressor.



But all of that is pointless, because at no point in the story Edelgard suggested a diplomatic solution. Which is one of the reasons why personally see her as a villain.


But that does not mean I see her as a bad character. On the contrary she is a great character (as a villain that is ;)), exactly because the community is split between calling her a villain and supporting her. Exactly the same dilemma had the people of foldlan after her rebellion. Which makes it quite believable why half the continent supported and the other half opposed her.
There is one problem about dealing directly with them thought...

She doesn't have enough information about the TTSITD to try to nuke them... in fact, it was probably a good idea to don't openly oppose them because they would have actually nuked Enbarr.

And Arundel still has a lot of power in the Empire, even after stop being the de facto leader of the Empire; she need to gained more resources and trust before actually opposing him.
 
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Holder of the Heel

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There are a few things the game addresses that lessens some of those things.
A lot of people point out that giving peace a chance was never something she tried, but I think the game goes a long way to show that a peaceful approach wouldn't have worked. Namely, Lonato was described by pretty much everyone as a man of peace, and yet he, too, led an attack on them.

And then there's the bandit attack. For many, this is the hardest of Edelgard's actions to justify, but her logic is sound. Her targets are Dimitri and Claude specifically. Dimitri is the only heir to the Kingdom's throne and Claude is the son of the Alliance's sovereign duke (and also one of the only two Alliance houses that aren't pro-empire, alongside Goneril). Having them die on the church's watch would ruin the church's standing with the alliance and kingdom and help unite Fódlan against the Church. Rhea would have nowhere to hide, after all, if all of Fódlan were against her. And if all of Fódlan was against her, there would be less of a chance of a drawn out conflict. It would be over much sooner and arguably with less blood at the expense of Dimitri and Claude.

As for TWSITD, Edelgard fully intends on getting rid of them after Rhea is gone. She's made it clear to them that they're only a means to an end and not allies. Their purpose is simple: if the church is using their resources to fight TWSITD, they have fewer resources to spend on suppressing a rebellion. She's essentially using them as a distraction.

During the fight in the tomb, Edelgard goes on the defensive because she doesn't believe Byleth or her classmates would consider joining her, especially since Byleth became the Enlightened One. That's her biggest character flaw: she has severe trust issues. It's once again a matter of her weighing her options. She doesn't trust her former allies to side with her, and it's imperative that she steals the crest stones. Removing Rhea's ability to turn her subordinates into demonic beasts not only saves them from suffering, but gives the Church less of a tactical edge.

But one of the biggest reasons I think her motives and methods make sense is from something that the game doesn't spend a lot of time making explicit: Edelgard has a drastically shortened lifespan due to possessing two crests. She's literally in the same boat as Lysithea. It's a race against time.

That's why she jumps at the opportunity to do this. It very well could be a now or never thing, and wasting time on what could very well be dead end negotiations and losing the element of surprise could prove detrimental for her cause. That and even in routes that weren't her own, the church only changes its tune BECAUSE of Edelgard's war. Either way she acted as the catalyst for change.

Just my view of things. :p
Lonato was motivated by revenge, so I'm not sure I agree he is undeniable proof that trying to enact political form as emperor is a waste of time. You mention time, in that she doesn't have much, but while that may be a justification for why she is in a rush, trying to take short cuts, but that is ultimately selfish if the cost of being alive for the change is paid with the lives of others, and I still argue that such short cuts would theoretically undermine her reforms. The Empire will be a monster; the Church a victim. The Kingdom and the Alliance likewise would not ever, out of principle, sympathize with the Empire's goal, given that their leader was more than willing to have their own future leaders butchered. The Alliance less so, but they'd likewise know to never trust the Emperor even if they tried to earn favor.

While I love the Machiavellian nature of the bandit tactic (I hypocritically love Hubie lol), it begs the question of whether or not such a tactic is by its very nature something a baddie would do. But at that point, we'd just be debating semantics, and it isn't really interesting whether we call her a villain or evil, in truth, as it is interesting to discuss the legitimacy, effectiveness, and consistency of the character's motivation. Ultimately it's more of a spectrum than a binary, as you have said before, so the label itself isn't very handy.

On the topic of TWSITD, my main point is that the priority is a bit backwards. If, between the two, one should be taken out, and as quickly as possible if she has little time, there really should be no question which is the one that breeds no good in the world and which, between the two, has had their hand in her own suffering more than the other. It could be said that by temporarily turning back from the Church approves and aids them, but the same must be said then of turning her back, however temporarily, on the true "villains" of the story.

Whether she has trust issues or not doesn't really make her do only what is necessary, in fact it can cause the opposite. If you can't rely on anyone to guide you to a better path, you'll just ram straight into a bloody, horrific mess. Turns out by not seeing anyone else as pawns held arms length, SHE is the one not worth trusting.

As for the crest stones, I don't think she cares too much if they are used to cause suffering. I won't spoil anything though if you are still working on the Golden Deer route. I've successfully completed it.

With regard to the necessity of her being a catalyst for change, I don't think so.

End of Golden Deer route spoiler:

Rhea was going to step down and let Byleth replace her. If she had simply befriended him and waited just a little bit, she could have influenced him to make the changes she wanted directly from the Church, and no one would have had to die.
 
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Lonato was motivated by revenge, so I'm not sure I agree he is undeniable proof that trying to enact political form as emperor is a waste of time. You mention time, in that she doesn't have much, but while that may be a justification for why she is in a rush, trying to take short cuts, but that is ultimately selfish if the cost of being alive for the change is paid with the lives of others, and I still argue that such short cuts would theoretically undermine her reforms. The Empire will be a monster; the Church a victim. The Kingdom and the Alliance likewise would not ever, out of principle, sympathize with the Empire's goal, given that their leader was more than willing to have their own future leaders butchered. The Alliance less so, but they'd likewise know to never trust the Emperor even if they tried to earn favor.

While I love the Machiavellian nature of the bandit tactic (I hypocritically love Hubie lol), it begs the question of whether or not such a tactic is by its very nature something a baddie would do. But at that point, we'd just be debating semantics, and it isn't really interesting whether we call her a villain or evil, in truth, as it is interesting to discuss the legitimacy, effectiveness, and consistency of the character's motivation. Ultimately it's more of a spectrum than a binary, as you have said before, so the label itself isn't very handy.

On the topic of TWSITD, my main point is that the priority is a bit backwards. If, between the two, one should be taken out, and as quickly as possible if she has little time, there really should be no question which is the one that breeds no good in the world and which, between the two, has had their hand in her own suffering more than the other. It could be said that by temporarily turning back from the Church approves and aids them, but the same must be said then of turning her back, however temporarily, on the true "villains" of the story.

Whether she has trust issues or not doesn't really make her do only what is necessary, in fact it can cause the opposite. If you can't rely on anyone to guide you to a better path, you'll just ram straight into a bloody, horrific mess. Turns out by not seeing anyone else as pawns held arms length, SHE is the one not worth trusting.

As for the crest stones, I don't think she cares too much if they are used to cause suffering. I won't spoil anything though if you are still working on the Golden Deer route. I've successfully completed it.

With regard to the necessity of her being a catalyst for change, I don't think so.

End of Golden Deer route spoiler:

Rhea was going to step down and let Byleth replace her. If she had simply befriended him and waited just a little bit, she could have influenced him to make the changes she wanted directly from the Church, and no one would have had to die.
You forget that Rhea, regardless of how well-intentioned she may be, still is harbouring a crazy, hateful dragon god looking for any excuse to break out and kill/make humans suffer. And protecting Edelgard shows just how unpredictable and hair-trigger this can be (for all she knew Byleth could have had a more creative punishment for Edelgard than just killing her there). Only reason this doesn't become a problem in other routes is because she happens to off herself for Byleth's benefit, or beat the evil out of her on the church route. See, if she had just came fully clean about any of this earlier a lot of misunderstanding, suffering and resentment could have been prevented. But she doesn't, and the most probable reason is that Seiros is influencing Rhea even as she tries to be a good ruler... which brings into question why she thought she'd be fit for it in the first place. And if Seiros makes Rhea unable to listen to reason...
 

Nihilem

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Lonato was motivated by revenge, so I'm not sure I agree he is undeniable proof that trying to enact political form as emperor is a waste of time. You mention time, in that she doesn't have much, but while that may be a justification for why she is in a rush, trying to take short cuts, but that is ultimately selfish if the cost of being alive for the change is paid with the lives of others, and I still argue that such short cuts would theoretically undermine her reforms. The Empire will be a monster; the Church a victim. The Kingdom and the Alliance likewise would not ever, out of principle, sympathize with the Empire's goal, given that their leader was more than willing to have their own future leaders butchered. The Alliance less so, but they'd likewise know to never trust the Emperor even if they tried to earn favor.

While I love the Machiavellian nature of the bandit tactic (I hypocritically love Hubie lol), it begs the question of whether or not such a tactic is by its very nature something a baddie would do. But at that point, we'd just be debating semantics, and it isn't really interesting whether we call her a villain or evil, in truth, as it is interesting to discuss the legitimacy, effectiveness, and consistency of the character's motivation. Ultimately it's more of a spectrum than a binary, as you have said before, so the label itself isn't very handy.

On the topic of TWSITD, my main point is that the priority is a bit backwards. If, between the two, one should be taken out, and as quickly as possible if she has little time, there really should be no question which is the one that breeds no good in the world and which, between the two, has had their hand in her own suffering more than the other. It could be said that by temporarily turning back from the Church approves and aids them, but the same must be said then of turning her back, however temporarily, on the true "villains" of the story.

Whether she has trust issues or not doesn't really make her do only what is necessary, in fact it can cause the opposite. If you can't rely on anyone to guide you to a better path, you'll just ram straight into a bloody, horrific mess. Turns out by not seeing anyone else as pawns held arms length, SHE is the one not worth trusting.

As for the crest stones, I don't think she cares too much if they are used to cause suffering. I won't spoil anything though if you are still working on the Golden Deer route. I've successfully completed it.

With regard to the necessity of her being a catalyst for change, I don't think so.

End of Golden Deer route spoiler:

Rhea was going to step down and let Byleth replace her. If she had simply befriended him and waited just a little bit, she could have influenced him to make the changes she wanted directly from the Church, and no one would have had to die.

WTF that was new to me. But I dont mind the spoiler as GD shall be my third run which will take quite a while. But that brings me to a totally new theory (sorry for off topic). Could it be that the TWSITD knew that? Through their spiel for example. Because if things went normally, Edelgard would become emperor, Dimitry King and Byleth Archbishop. As Edelgard and Dimitri are known to dislike the Crest System and Byleth would probably to when he finds the truth about it (considering Sotis is in his/her head) that would mean that 3 of the 4 leaders of the continent would try to get rid of this system. Maybe the reasons why Edelgards Rebellion was that ... spontaneous and quick was because TWSITD knew the clock was ticking and manipulated her somehow to perform it quite recklessly and fast. All to avoid the Powers of the continent uniting against them.....

Now I really want a revelations type of story where the leaders get their s**** together and unite against the real fow (TWSITD and Mad Seiros that is)
 

Troykv

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WTF that was new to me. But I dont mind the spoiler as GD shall be my third run which will take quite a while. But that brings me to a totally new theory (sorry for off topic). Could it be that the TWSITD knew that? Through their spiel for example. Because if things went normally, Edelgard would become emperor, Dimitry King and Byleth Archbishop. As Edelgard and Dimitri are known to dislike the Crest System and Byleth would probably to when he finds the truth about it (considering Sotis is in his/her head) that would mean that 3 of the 4 leaders of the continent would try to get rid of this system. Maybe the reasons why Edelgards Rebellion was that ... spontaneous and quick was because TWSITD knew the clock was ticking and manipulated her somehow to perform it quite recklessly and fast. All to avoid the Powers of the continent uniting against them.....

Now I really want a revelations type of story where the leaders get their s**** together and unite against the real fow (TWSITD and Mad Seiros that is)
I mean I'm not sure if Rhea would actually step down before the war.

But that gives to thought, Lord Arundel did an incredible bold move after getting enough trust with it the Empire nobles and managed to essencilly destroy the previous regimen without actually killing the Emperor, getting his children into his hand; Edelgard in the end it was pretty much set up for Arundel to be his perfect warrior, giving her tons of power through that Crest and a personalized Weapon to fit her.

Pretty much her whole life move around the TTSITD, and she hates them for that; but she can't fight directly with them because they control to much about the Empire, and they have tons of secrets... so she needs more time, and try to gain their trust; otherwise Enbarr and the rest of the Empire will be doomed for their wicked and mysterious technology; it would be a lost cause the moment she tried to go the diplomatic way; and the only other way she would avoid fighting in this conflict was through taking the coward route and live restrained in the Monastery... and Arundel would still go to war at the moment the Kingdom falls; there are already some wicked apples there... waiting to rotten.
 
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chocolatejr9

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I'd like to support. I've been playing through the Black Eagles route, and Edelgard has proven to be quite sympathetic via her character interactions. Granted, I have a feeling that Byleth will get in first, being the protagonist and all, but Edelgard definitely has her appeal.

Also, if you don't mind me asking a different kind of spoiler, what exactly are the stats required for recruiting other characters? I want to be that one guy who renders the other two houses irrelevent by reducing them to two members each.
 
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Not really one for talks of, what is in the end, the morally grey. Anyone see the meme war that has happened because of the Polygon article that was made?
Something something Death Note, "Kira wins he's justice, Kira gets caught he's evil", history written by the winners yada yada. In the end the leaders need a balance between power, wisdom and courage to come out on top, that only Byleth can guide them towards. That's another cool Nintendo comparison: which Triforce piece would each lord get on their own? I say Power for Edelgard (Crest-granted physical strength and greatest amount of resources, but not enough courage to form true bonds or wisdom to properly reevaluate strategies), Courage for Dimitri (brave enough to face any situation regardless of odds, but not strong enough to guarantee victory nor wise enough to consider situations carefully) and Wisdom for Claude (constantly planning schemes to come out ahead, but not always strong enough to carry them out and a tendency to skedaddle when the going gets tough).

I'd like to support. I've been playing through the Black Eagles route, and Edelgard has proven to be quite sympathetic via her character interactions. Granted, I have a feeling that Byleth will get in first, being the protagonist and all, but Edelgard definitely has her appeal.

Also, if you don't mind me asking a different kind of spoiler, what exactly are the stats required for recruiting other characters? I want to be that one guy who renders the other two houses irrelevent by reducing them to two members each.
Short answer for recruiting everyone: high stats in absolutely everything.

Long answer is that doing so is not exactly ideal on a first playthrough, since you'll probably spead your resources too thin. You can recruit anyone at minimum with a B-Support and some luck, maybe doing small amounts of grinding for proficiencies they want (stat requirements drop with higher supports).
 
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All right, I want to know one thing: is FE Warriors still a fun game despite its issues?

Granted, I have a feeling that Byleth will get in first, being the protagonist and all, but Edelgard definitely has her appeal.
Well, it depends. Both :ultrobin: and :ultlucina: got in, one game before :ultchrom: eventually did. Byleth and the Three Thrones are of equal importance, so it's a toss-up.
 
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All right, I want to know one thing: is FE Warriors still a fun game despite its issues?



Well, it depends. Both :ultrobin: and :ultlucina: got in, one game before :ultchrom: eventually did. Byleth and the Three Thrones are of equal importance, so it's a toss-up.
It's probably going to come down to a combination of popularity and moveset potential. And they pretty much have to try extra hard on the second part for Fire Emblem fighters now; I don't think Byleth having a sword that sometimes whips is quite enough to shake the stigma. Edelgard seems to be the most popular pick now but I can see Claude giving her a run for her money.

Then again, the way Edelgard makes such an impact on Three House's story regardless of your choice, makes her hard to ignore in any scenario.
 

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All right, I want to know one thing: is FE Warriors still a fun game despite its issues?



Well, it depends. Both :ultrobin: and :ultlucina: got in, one game before :ultchrom: eventually did. Byleth and the Three Thrones are of equal importance, so it's a toss-up.
Watch we get Dmitri and Edelgard first because weapons triangle.

Honestly getting both would be great. Fills the triangle, both are well designed, would be cool. Poor Claude may get his Chance another day.
 
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Watch we get Dmitri and Edelgard first because weapons triangle.

Honestly getting both would be great. Fills the triangle, both are well designed, would be cool. Poor Claude may get his Chance another day.
Your first line suggested joking, but honestly how do you think the Dimitri fans would feel if they knew he was picked just to fulfill some arbitrary quota that is not even relevant in his home game? Weapon triangle is terrible reasoning for representation no matter how you spin it. If you really want Dimitri, argue instead about the merits of the lance itself and how Dimitri himself uses it. Or should we argue that there should be at least one playable Pokemon of every type for proper representation?

And besides, as much as I hate to admit it, there is also the potential issue of oversaturation, if you try to please every Three Houses fan. And since alts or clones don't look very likely without taking huge liberties with how the characters are portrayed...
 
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In any case, it kind of does feel like picking a Pokémon starter at this point, doesn't it? Only one major FE character from a specific installment can get in as an unique at most, the rest are generally SOL. Is it wrong to expect a fan art of Byleth as a Pokémon trainer deciding between Pokémon versions of the Three Thrones?
 
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In any case, it kind of does feel like picking a Pokémon starter at this point, doesn't it? Only one major FE character from a specific installment can get in as an unique at most, the rest are generally SOL. Is it wrong to expect a fan art of Byleth as a Pokémon trainer deciding between Pokémon versions of the Three Thrones?
(Pokemon Trainer laughs at the notion of "only one starter").

Sadly, Pokemon fans are likely far too preoccupied with Sword & Shield info to really play around with other franchise's elements. In the meantime, we can enjoy slick art like this involving the slick flame motif Edelgard's carved out for herself.



https://www.reddit.com/r/fireemblem/comments/cnpyc4/drew_edelgard_again_bc_i_lov_her_and_just/

So, uh, yeah, Edelgard's the Fire starter, Dimitri is Water and Claude is Grass. They eventually evolve to Fire/Dark, Water/Ice and Grass/Normal.
 
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In any case, it kind of does feel like picking a Pokémon starter at this point, doesn't it? Only one major FE character from a specific installment can get in as an unique at most, the rest are generally SOL. Is it wrong to expect a fan art of Byleth as a Pokémon trainer deciding between Pokémon versions of the Three Thrones?
I admit I would l like to see this happen being able to choose between Edelgard(axe), Dimitri(lance) and Claude(bow), but oh boy would the Smash fanbase freak out at basically 3 new FE characters as DLC. :p
 
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I admit I would l like to see this happen being able to choose between Edelgard(axe), Dimitri(lance) and Claude(bow), but oh boy would the Smash fanbase freak out at basically 3 new FE characters as DLC. :p
Well I mean, you don't see the rest of the Kalos or Alola starters as playable in Smash, so yeah. Although if Sak really wants to go for broke to make sure future FE inclusions aren't stagnant…:p
 

Aeon_Shadow

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Still in the middle of my first route (Black Eagles), but I could not help but notice that all three houses have eight members each, counting the leader.

And well...considering Smash has 8 alts total: I just imagined if either one of them or all three EVER made it in Smash, their alts could be references to the other students from their respective house XD. So that means:

Edelgard: Default, Hubert, Ferdinand, Dorothea, Bernadetta, Caspar, Linhardt, Petra
Dmitri: Default, Dedue, Annette, Mercedes, Felix, Sylvain, Ashe, Ingrid
Claude: Default, Lorenz, Hilda, Raphael, Ignatz, Marianne, Lysithea, Leonie
 

Nihilem

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What kind of stage dou you think Edelgard will come with (if she comes as DLC)?

A similiar one like skyloft just with Garreg Mach Monastery is my bet.
 
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EarlTamm

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Still in the middle of my first route (Black Eagles), but I could not help but notice that all three houses have eight members each, counting the leader.

And well...considering Smash has 8 alts total: I just imagined if either one of them or all three EVER made it in Smash, their alts could be references to the other students from their respective house XD. So that means:

Edelgard: Default, Hubert, Ferdinand, Dorothea, Bernadetta, Caspar, Linhardt, Petra
Dmitri: Default, Dedue, Annette, Mercedes, Felix, Sylvain, Ashe, Ingrid
Claude: Default, Lorenz, Hilda, Raphael, Ignatz, Marianne, Lysithea, Leonie
That's certainly a great idea, but we need to take into account that she would have a costume, which means one of other 7 needs to be that default look. One person would have to be left out.
 

Icelerate

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They give her the Crest of Flames for a reason, there are few places where it's possible to find that kind of blood; and gives people the most incredible kind of power between all the Crests.
Yeah but just because they gave her the power doesn't mean she has to follow them.

Are you an Edelgard supporter?
 

Kotor

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(Pokemon Trainer laughs at the notion of "only one starter").

Sadly, Pokemon fans are likely far too preoccupied with Sword & Shield info to really play around with other franchise's elements. In the meantime, we can enjoy slick art like this involving the slick flame motif Edelgard's carved out for herself.



https://www.reddit.com/r/fireemblem/comments/cnpyc4/drew_edelgard_again_bc_i_lov_her_and_just/

So, uh, yeah, Edelgard's the Fire starter, Dimitri is Water and Claude is Grass. They eventually evolve to Fire/Dark, Water/Ice and Grass/Normal.
It'd be more accurate to give them Fire/Steel for Edelgard, Water/Fighting for Dimitri, and Grass/Flying for Claude.
 
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So, from what I heard...

There's no entirely happy outcome for ANY of the routes. Aside from any support hookups.

It's easily among the darkest Nintendo games of recent memory.

Smash announcer Xander Mobus joins team Black Eagles for Edelgard. Claude's VA will have none of it:

We now have a supporter on the inside :demon:.
Top tier taste from a top-tier VA.
 
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So, from what I heard...

There's no entirely happy outcome for ANY of the routes. Aside from any support hookups.

It's easily among the darkest Nintendo games of recent memory.



Top tier taste from a top-tier VA.
When you think about it, the only thing stopping Xenoblade 2 from being even darker is having an actually reasonable god who can make things better for everyone.

Breath Of The Wild also has a fairly bleak tone throughout, and though it's ending was hopeful, the sequel shows they're not out of the woods yet.
 

EarlTamm

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Smash announcer Xander Mobus joins team Black Eagles for Edelgard. Claude's VA will have none of it:


We now have a supporter on the inside :demon:.
He's not alone.
Makes sense that Roy and Joker would side with the Black Eagles. Red and all.
 
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He's not alone.
Makes sense that Roy and Joker would side with the Black Eagles. Red and all.
Hot take: considering societal differences and Edelgard lacking the luxury of stealing hearts, there's a good chance Joker would be on board with what Edelgard is ultimately trying to do. He does technically operate outside the laws of his own society...

I can also see post-game Rex agreeing due to his experience with Amalthus and the Praetorium, even if he wouldn't be happy about it.
 
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