Edelgard von Hresvelg - Black Eagles House Leader

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Yeah unfortunately the anonymity of the internet let trolls of all kind do their thing. I would just ignore them and continue to root for interesting characters for smash - regardless if they are male, female or whatever.

After all they want you to be upset about them, so if you do they are winning ...
Yeah, best to just ignore them, they crave attention. Especially when you can access an "ignore" option.
 
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What do you think of this Edelgard write up? I think it was excellent, especially the link to the author's own struggles.
Well I guess that's another point in common Three Houses has with Persona: sensible portrayals of mental illness.

Futaba is kind of a mix between Edelgard and Bernadetta if you think about it.

I think Edelgard's character development is underrated. It's often said she's a static character who undergoes no development but I think this is far from the truth.

At the start of the game, Edelgard is willing to murder Claude and Dimitri to make her goals easier. She doesn't show any signs of hesitation or remorse in conspiring to do so. On the other hand, in Crimson Flower, Edelgard is willing to spare Claude and is upset at killing Dimitri despite being far more justified in doing so than before. This shows that Byleth's influence on her after Byleth saves her from Rhea, despite his affiliation with the Church, was able to turn her into a more empathetic person who values human life. This is further shown in the final chapter where Edelgard rushes into the fires of Fhirdiad to rescue the trapped civilians when she could just let them and Rhea's army die before swooping in and finishing off Rhea. Contrast that with the other routes where Edelgard shows no value for civilian life and is willing to install a tyrant like Cornelia to fulfill her own ambitions. On the other hand, she never chooses to ally herself with Cornelia and actively ends her despite antagonizing her uncle in Crimson Flower.

Lastly, at the end of the game, Edelgard says that when humanity stands up for one another, they can overcome whatever challenges they face. Contrast that to part one where Edelgard is too reliant on herself to change the world instead of seek allies which backfires on her unless she's lucky enough to form a bond with Byleth.

All in all, I think Edelgard has one of the most unique character arcs in FE, especially for an FE lord, so it pisses me off when people say she doesn't develop at all.
That line just before the final battle is especially poignant when you consider it's literally what you did for her in the Holy Tomb. Does she write up the manifesto in routes other than Crimson Flower? That ends up earning allies in the other countries almost immediately. Managing to change even one person's mind on the state of affairs ended up being all the proof she needed to convince herself that there are others besides her who'd like to see change.

I'll never get over someone comparing that Crimson Flower split to Edelgard rolling a 20 on a diplomacy check for Byleth.

Well, of course. It reminds me of a comment someone did in regards to Steve; for detractors, he'd simply be another face to punch when he gets in.

And then there's this guy:


Was the scorn of gamers everywhere just for laughing at their faces when they lose. People still played as him once he got in.
And now Duck Hunt Dog is more emblematic of tricky 10000 IQ plays than mockery. Ain't it funny how things work out.
 
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I seriously hate this. I'm a girl and I like to play as strong women (like Samus and Edelgard not Peach or something). It doesn't stop me from enjoying characters like Ridley and Joker, who are my mains, but we only have like 4 or 5 characters I would consider strong women.

The funny thing is that I'm actually the kind of person who complains about SJWs when there's actual annoying stuff going on, like people throwing a fit over someone using the English voice over for a game with a Japanese option, yet I get called out for being one myself over stuff like this. People just throw that term around every time anyone lists representing women more as a positive as if that's some radical opinion.

Sorry for the rant.
Edelgard's and Samus's circumstances are eerily similar; the Slithers have similar motivations and goals to the Space Pirates, those being belief in their own superiority which gives them the right to dominate everyone else (or at least whoever is leading for the latter due to the hive mind nature of the Pirates). But things went just differently enough to have them grow into very different people. The main difference is that Samus is far more idealistic than Edelgard, and has less crushing responsibilities.

Given how Fusion ends though, it may not be long before Samus has to contemplate some drastic measures of her own...
 

Icelerate

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I think some people ignore her development because they view it as avatar/player pandering. What do you guys think about this opinion and how would you go about addressing it. I do think the point is for the avatar to be a paragon, the shining light to brighten and improve the world of Fodland as well as the main characters and quite possibly the writers want the player to feel good about themselves but it's written well and such a direction in the writing isn't inherently bad.
 
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I think some people ignore her development because they view it as avatar/player pandering. What do you guys think about this opinion and how would you go about addressing it. I do think the point is for the avatar to be a paragon, the shining light to brighten and improve the world of Fodland as well as the main characters and quite possibly the writers want the player to feel good about themselves but it's written well and such a direction in the writing isn't inherently bad.
The turnaround for Edelgard's character is probably too uncomfortably quick for some people. You do see it build up in Black Eagles, but since all three routes play very similarly in the school phase I guess others tend to subconsciously downplay it's importance.

It's also easy to see the scenes of Byleth and Edelgard interaction as "canon shipping" like in Awakening with Chrom and Sumia which can be annoying for some, even if only because they see it as interfering with their own ships.

Crimson Flower treats Byleth's character differently than other routes in that it focuses on his traits as an individual more so than a godly figure that everyone looks up to, or fears in the case of the Slithers.

It's the only route where his Sothis-granted powers are renounced and he doesn't become the new archbishop of Fodlan or ruler of any kind, outside of the natural privileges of marrying into whoever's house he decides. The war was not his/her's, it was Edelgard's, and she gave him/her every opportunity to walk away. But Byleth supports her because it was his/her choice, not an obligation or expectation.

Then again, the Black Eagle students and possibly Adrestia as a whole are probably the least devout supporters of the religion by far, even before Edelgard came into the picture. Could be any number of reasons, the Slithers having their roots there, being sore about how the church supported the rebel faction that would become the Kingdom of Faerghus or the incident with the now-nonexistent Southern Church.
 
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I wonder how many people just eliminate the middleman and dive straight into the
church of Seiros route
when they get the chance.
I don't hear a lot of this except for completionists and those who ultimately can't stand Edelgard. Word-of-mouth that the route is very similar to Golden Deer with it's charismatic cast does not help.
 
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I don't hear a lot of this except for completionists and those who ultimately can't stand Edelgard. Word-of-mouth that the route is very similar to Golden Deer with it's charismatic cast does not help.
>letting the avatar help wreck the other two lords just to get rid of the one they don't want
That's next level kind of pettiness if I've ever heard of it. Good grief.

If Edelgard or a 3H rep gets in: Who would you want to see as spirits and who would they be represented by?
I would love to see Hilda in here, although I'm not sure who'd do her. Rhea can definitely use Palutena, though.
 
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If Edelgard or a 3H rep gets in: Who would you want to see as spirits and who would they be represented by?
Palutena as Rhea is a must (and maybe she transforms into Charizard or Ridley after the first KO).
Then I could see Dark Pit being Claude (especially for the dark skinned alt), Robin ad Hubert, Female Villager as Hilda, Zero Suit Samus with a Killing Edge as Petra and I would love a battle with an escaping Flayn while Sethet tries to protect her, but I'm unsure about who might work for them. Same goes for Dimitri.
 
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Calamitas

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I don't hear a lot of this except for completionists and those who ultimately can't stand Edelgard. Word-of-mouth that the route is very similar to Golden Deer with it's charismatic cast does not help.
I literally just finished this Route yesterday, and honestly. . . it's not that good. The moment you decide to turn against Edelgard, the rest of your Black Eagles just follow suit, and keep talking about how she is oh so evil, and crazy, and must be stopped. With how literally one single different decision can have them act in the exact opposite way, it just really rubs me the wrong way. What also doesn't really help is that after the timeskip, the Route isn't even really about Edelgard anymore. You see her once directly after the timeskip, and then literally not a single time until she's the boss of her chapter, where she also dies. I haven't played Golden Deer yet (now that I'm done with the Church, I'm doing Blue Lions first), but from what I've heard, it really feels like a lot of copy-paste was done here.
And even with all this, the final boss of the route is still Rhea in her Immaculate One form, reusing the same Garreg Mach map that was already used twice. It's just nowhere near as interesting as the BE final boss, because the entire enemy army consists of just nameless goons that were driven crazy along with her. Not to mention that there, Rhea was actually properly set up to be the final boss.
 
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I literally just finished this Route yesterday, and honestly. . . it's not that good. The moment you decide to turn against Edelgard, the rest of your Black Eagles just follow suit, and keep talking about how she is oh so evil, and crazy, and must be stopped. With how literally one single different decision can have them act in the exact opposite way, it just really rubs me the wrong way. What also doesn't really help is that after the timeskip, the Route isn't even really about Edelgard anymore. You see her once directly after the timeskip, and then literally not a single time until she's the boss of her chapter, where she also dies. I haven't played Golden Deer yet (now that I'm done with the Church, I'm doing Blue Lions first), but from what I've heard, it really feels like a lot of copy-paste was done here.
And even with all this, the final boss of the route is still Rhea in her Immaculate One form, reusing the same Garreg Mach map that was already used twice. It's just nowhere near as interesting as the BE final boss, because the entire enemy army consists of just nameless goons that were driven crazy along with her. Not to mention that there, Rhea was actually properly set up to be the final boss.
Sounds like they were running out of dev time when they got around to doing that route. Would have been better off just leaving it on the cutting room floor, getting to it is a hassle anyways.
 

Nihilem

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I literally just finished this Route yesterday, and honestly. . . it's not that good. The moment you decide to turn against Edelgard, the rest of your Black Eagles just follow suit, and keep talking about how she is oh so evil, and crazy, and must be stopped. With how literally one single different decision can have them act in the exact opposite way, it just really rubs me the wrong way.
Well if finding out that dear friend not only conspired with mad evil cultist and tried to kill you but also plans for a continent wide war with sothis-know-how much innocent victims let you reconsider your friendship then I dont know what will. All for all, the reaction when following Edelgard is the more suprisimg one.
 
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Well if finding out that dear friend not only conspired with mad evil cultist and tried to kill you but also plans for a continent wide war with sothis-know-how much innocent victims let you reconsider your friendship then I dont know what will. All for all, the reaction when following Edelgard is the more suprisimg one.
You don't just change your view of a friend of yours so radically without even talking to them once. At least in
Edelgard's route they confront her about what happened and she even lets them escape if they want, but after hearing her reasoning they decide to stay with her since she is their friend and agree with her vision and ideal. That's way more reasonable than arbitrary decide that she is a devil just because shady lady pope said so.
 
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Well if finding out that dear friend not only conspired with mad evil cultist and tried to kill you but also plans for a continent wide war with sothis-know-how much innocent victims let you reconsider your friendship then I dont know what will. All for all, the reaction when following Edelgard is the more suprisimg one.
Yes, it's surprising. That's the whole point. Edelgard has just made herself look really, really bad, and common sense at the time would seem to paint her plan as being needlessly violent and short-sighted. That is why it is only possible to have the option to side with her if you build a bond with her enough for her to share some of her secrets, and go to her coronation to confirm that she isn't making anything up about her past. It gives Byleth proof enough that what Edelgard is motivated by isn't malice or a lust for power like the Slithers, but a genuine belief in doing what's right.

And at this point, you know even less about the church and it's members, not helped by the fact even your own father was suspicious of them to the last.
So in the end, either Byleth doesn't come to understand Edelgard and sides with the church he sees as the lesser of two evils at the very least, or he does and refuses to cut down someone he/she's formed a deep bond with just because someone he/she doesn't know very well orders him to.

>letting the avatar help wreck the other two lords just to get rid of the one they don't want
That's next level kind of pettiness if I've ever heard of it. Good grief.
Well, it's just a theory. Chances are most people who start Black Eagles have a somewhat open mind and only change their minds about Edelgard near the split, or just plain miss a step to unlock Crimson Flower. I've also heard people playing the routes in an order they feel will enhance their experience or understanding of the plot, which can mean doing Silver Snow before Crimson Flower.

Sounds like they were running out of dev time when they got around to doing that route. Would have been better off just leaving it on the cutting room floor, getting to it is a hassle anyways.
And people say Crimson Flower is the route that was rushed, just because they don't get to personally solve everything...

How is getting to it a hassle when it has no prerequisites, though?

You don't just change your view of a friend of yours so radically without even talking to them once. At least in
Edelgard's route they confront her about what happened and she even lets them escape if they want, but after hearing her reasoning they decide to stay with her since she is their friend. That's way more reasonable than arbitrary decide that she is a devil just because shady lady pope said so
Bernadetta is well enough to roam about outside of her room only in this route, which automatically makes it 10 times better than any other route.
 

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Yes, it's surprising. That's the whole point. Edelgard has just made herself look really, really bad, and common sense at the time would seem to paint her plan as being needlessly violent and short-sighted. That is why it is only possible to have the option to side with her if you build a bond with her enough for her to share some of her secrets, and go to her coronation to confirm that she isn't making anything up about her past. It gives Byleth proof enough that what Edelgard is motivated by isn't malice or a lust for power like the Slithers, but a genuine belief in doing what's right.

And at this point, you know even less about the church and it's members, not helped by the fact even your own father was suspicious of them to the last.
So in the end, either Byleth doesn't come to understand Edelgard and sides with the church he sees as the lesser of two evils at the very least, or he does and refuses to cut down someone he/she's formed a deep bond with just because someone he/she doesn't know very well orders him to.



Well, it's just a theory. Chances are most people who start Black Eagles have a somewhat open mind and only change their minds about Edelgard near the split, or just plain miss a step to unlock Crimson Flower. I've also heard people playing the routes in an order they feel will enhance their experience or understanding of the plot, which can mean doing Silver Snow before Crimson Flower.



And people say Crimson Flower is the route that was rushed, just because they don't get to personally solve everything...

How is getting to it a hassle when it has no prerequisites, though?



Bernadetta is well enough to roam about outside of her room only in this route, which automatically makes it 10 times better than any other route.
Weirdly enough, there's also evidence pointing toward the fact that Verdant Wind may have been rushed, too.
 
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That's Golden Deer, right?
. . .That basically means that the only route that doesn't really feel unfinished/rushed is Blue Lions, isn't it?
I guess you can say they got the lion's share of the development time!

I'll be here all week.
 

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That's Golden Deer, right?
. . .That basically means that the only route that doesn't really feel unfinished/rushed is Blue Lions, isn't it?
I'm playing through Blue Lions right now and its clear that it was one of the first routes that was written. A lot of the major characters in the pre-timeskip missions (Lonato, Sylvain's brother, etc.) are directly related to the people in the Blue Lion house. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that it was the first route written.
 
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I guess you can say they got the lion's share of the development time!

I'll be here all week.
Is it really? Or is it just because almost all the greater lore gets swept under the rug to focus more on the relatively run-of-the-mill by Fire Emblem standards story?

This certainly results in a more cohesive story, but also one that gives the least answers on the world itself.
 

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Is it really? Or is it just because almost all the greater lore gets swept under the rug to focus more on the relatively run-of-the-mill by Fire Emblem standards story?

This certainly results in a more cohesive story, but also one that gives the least answers on the world itself.
I was just going for the pun, lol.

Blue Lions has its fair share of consistency issues as well, no doubt. Namely the
Flame Emperor reveal
muddles Edelgard's motivations a bit compared to how it was kept consistent in other routes. There's also the fact that TWSITD isn't addressed at all, Rhea basically noped out of the narrative, and the fact that, if I remember correctly, Azure Moon is the only route without any unique maps.
 
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I'm currently doing GD (still pre time skip tho) but according to many people online who have played almost all routes it's by far the best from a writing prospective, so I have no idea why it would feel rushed.

I'm playing through Blue Lions right now and its clear that it was one of the first routes that was written. A lot of the major characters in the pre-timeskip missions (Lonato, Sylvain's brother, etc.) are directly related to the people in the Blue Lion house. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that it was the first route written.
It may be true but in the end it really made that storyline suffer (as it happens when you try to adapt a story into a new setting), since it is the one route that basically has no story besides Dimitri's arc, and BL's writing is all over the place.
You don't really see anything of Fodland's lore, you don't get any answers about the Church/Rhea's objective or Byleth's past, and you don't even get to know that TWSIDT actually exists as a separate being from the Empire (and in fact they LEAVE at the end, so the evilest group will return sooner or later).

It also doesn't help that it has a lot of plot holes, like there really is no clear reason for Dimitri to side with the Church and save Rhea in his route, or for conquering all of Fodland under the Kingdom's domain.

Also it feels quite hypocrite for the BL students to condemn Edelgard for starting a war when they basically worship Loog, the first king of Fargheus who got the independence from the Empire with a bloody war, as a fairy tale hero.

Or how Dimitri wants to stop "the strong trampling on the weak" when he is defending the one entity who has been doing it for ages.
Also his arc...it only really lasts a couple of dialogues and he immediately snaps out from being a murderous monster to his nice persona, it was so quick to the point that I didn't really felt he was really truly sane but just a bipolar psychopath hiding his bad side which might return at any time if triggered.

Even Dedue states that Dimitri is a really good man, but that makes him a terrible king since he empathize too much with people sufferings, and yet everyone wants him to be the king of the whole continent???

Or how he keeps saying that people should follow their dreams at any costs...unless you are Edelgard.
He tries to negotiate peace with Edelgard...except that when she shows up he doesn't ask her why she attacked the Church but just started rambling about why war is bad and that she was wrong ignoring all she had to say.

HECK, in the final battle Dimitri states that someone who sacrifices everything for their dreams doesn't deserve any mercy only to show mercy to Edelgard in the last cut scene.
TBH BL is the worst route from a story/writing prospective, at least IMO.
Sorry for the rant, but after having to suffer for 70 hours I wanted to share my opinion lol.
 

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I was just going for the pun, lol.

Blue Lions has its fair share of consistency issues as well, no doubt. Namely the
Flame Emperor reveal
muddles Edelgard's motivations a bit compared to how it was kept consistent in other routes. There's also the fact that TWSITD isn't addressed at all, Rhea basically noped out of the narrative, and the fact that, if I remember correctly, Azure Moon is the only route without any unique maps.
Wait Blue Lions has no unique maps? I thought church route had no unique maps and, you know...
Hegemon Edelgard
 
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I'm currently doing GD (still pre time skip tho) but according to many people online who have played almost all routes it's by far the best from a writing prospective, so I have no idea why it would feel rushed.


It may be true but in the end it really made that storyline suffer (as it happens when you try to adapt a story into a new setting), since it is the one route that basically has no story besides Dimitri's arc, and BL's writing is all over the place.
You don't really see anything of Fodland's lore, you don't get any answers about the Church/Rhea's objective or Byleth's past, and you don't even get to know that TWSIDT actually exists as a separate being from the Empire (and in fact they LEAVE at the end, so the evilest group will return sooner or later).

It also doesn't help that it has a lot of plot holes, like there really is no clear reason for Dimitri to side with the Church and save Rhea in his route, or for conquering all of Fodland under the Kingdom's domain.

Also it feels quite hypocrite for the BL students to condemn Edelgard for starting a war when they basically worship Loog, the first king of Fargheus who got the independence from the Empire with a bloody war, as a fairy tale hero.

Or how Dimitri wants to stop "the strong trampling on the weak" when he is defending the one entity who has been doing it for ages.
Also his arc...it only really lasts a couple of dialogues and he immediately snaps out from being a murderous monster to his nice persona, it was so quick to the point that I didn't really felt he was really truly sane but just a bipolar psychopath hiding his bad side which might return at any time if triggered.

Even Dedue states that Dimitri is a really good man, but that makes him a terrible king since he empathize too much with people sufferings, and yet everyone wants him to be the king of the whole continent???

Or how he keeps saying that people should follow their dreams at any costs...unless you are Edelgard.
He tries to negotiate peace with Edelgard...except that when she shows up he doesn't ask her why she attacked the Church but just started rambling about why war is bad and that she was wrong ignoring all she had to say.

HECK, in the final battle Dimitri states that someone who sacrifices everything for their dreams doesn't deserve any mercy only to show mercy to Edelgard in the last cut scene.
TBH BL is the worst route from a story/writing prospective, at least IMO.
Sorry for the rant, but after having to suffer for 70 hours I wanted to share my opinion lol.
Poor, naive Faerghus. You thought you won your independence from the Empire, only to let the Church run things for you in fear of reprisal from Adrestia. And ever since, the church philosophies have bled into the Kingdom, shamelessly glorifying actions of the past to suit their narratives, expecting everyone to just take their word for it and being incredibly overzealous towards any kind of opposition, sometimes to the point of full-on racism. Because of those glorified fairy tales, you can see many students in Blue Lions trying to flee from or bury their issues under aspirations of knighthood and training, convinced that everything will be forgiven once they hit it big.

Dimitri himself, as a result of his traumas, has all but stated that he thinks looking to the future is a waste of time. That is why he can think of nothing but maintain the status quo that has been maintaining relative peace while making token changes to it for the little guys. But the way he is currently, a single surprise attack from any enemy could do him in, because things that haven't directly happened to him, never will until they do.
 

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I'm currently doing GD (still pre time skip tho) but according to many people online who have played almost all routes it's by far the best from a writing prospective, so I have no idea why it would feel rushed.
Claude is very disconnected from the story compared to the other two lords and Rhea so I'm not sure how it is the best.

Furthermore, it is almost a retread of the Church route.

Edelgard asking Byleth to end her peacefully makes the least amount of sense on GD and makes far more sense on the church route. Nemesis suddenly appearing derails the plot and then leaves the question why he doesn't appear in the other routes.
 

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This is how I personally see each route.

Verdant Wind: The most charming one but also the one affected the most for shared content creating a lot of weird moments.

Silver Snow: Like VW but less charming and with less weird moments because of shared content.

Crimson Flower: The most consistent experience (the route doesn't lose time in BS and everything actually makes sense) but also the most incomplete (the deal with Thales always be bother some)

Azure Moon: The most complete route (everything that was needed it's here) but also the most inconsistent one (a lot of weird **** happens here)
 
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Azure Moon is the only route without any unique maps.
One could argue Ch18 is unique as it has enough differences to BE E 18 to be considered its own thing.
Though besides that, the only(non-paralogue) maps that are not shared between routes are BE E 17 and GD 22.
Counting paralogues, Claude's and Ferdinand/Lysithea's are also unique and are not used in any other chapters.
I'm currently doing GD (still pre time skip tho) but according to many people online who have played almost all routes it's by far the best from a writing prospective, so I have no idea why it would feel rushed.


It may be true but in the end it really made that storyline suffer (as it happens when you try to adapt a story into a new setting), since it is the one route that basically has no story besides Dimitri's arc, and BL's writing is all over the place.
You don't really see anything of Fodland's lore, you don't get any answers about the Church/Rhea's objective or Byleth's past, and you don't even get to know that TWSIDT actually exists as a separate being from the Empire (and in fact they LEAVE at the end, so the evilest group will return sooner or later).

It also doesn't help that it has a lot of plot holes, like there really is no clear reason for Dimitri to side with the Church and save Rhea in his route, or for conquering all of Fodland under the Kingdom's domain.

Also it feels quite hypocrite for the BL students to condemn Edelgard for starting a war when they basically worship Loog, the first king of Fargheus who got the independence from the Empire with a bloody war, as a fairy tale hero.

Or how Dimitri wants to stop "the strong trampling on the weak" when he is defending the one entity who has been doing it for ages.
Also his arc...it only really lasts a couple of dialogues and he immediately snaps out from being a murderous monster to his nice persona, it was so quick to the point that I didn't really felt he was really truly sane but just a bipolar psychopath hiding his bad side which might return at any time if triggered.

Even Dedue states that Dimitri is a really good man, but that makes him a terrible king since he empathize too much with people sufferings, and yet everyone wants him to be the king of the whole continent???

Or how he keeps saying that people should follow their dreams at any costs...unless you are Edelgard.
He tries to negotiate peace with Edelgard...except that when she shows up he doesn't ask her why she attacked the Church but just started rambling about why war is bad and that she was wrong ignoring all she had to say.

HECK, in the final battle Dimitri states that someone who sacrifices everything for their dreams doesn't deserve any mercy only to show mercy to Edelgard in the last cut scene.
TBH BL is the worst route from a story/writing prospective, at least IMO.
Sorry for the rant, but after having to suffer for 70 hours I wanted to share my opinion lol.
The LoogXEdelgard situation is not that unrealistic but it's a shame it's not called out in the narrative. People will simply believe the history they're taught is right and their history justifies Loog, ignoring that his revolution likely had the same effects on the people as Edelgard's war because they didn't see those effects, and people will focus on the negative immediate effects rather than the long term ones they can't feel. But in history, you are taught both of those as immediate, so people tend to look at the positives more often.

Though I don't think it's wrong to consider Loog a great hero, in fact, I'd bet he was more than justified in his revolution as well, it's just the hypocrisy behind it that is worrisome.
 

Nihilem

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Or how Dimitri wants to stop "the strong trampling on the weak" when he is defending the one entity who has been doing it for ages.
Who do you mean with that? It cant be Rhea, because she has shown to be a caretaker of the weakest. Just look at the stories of Cyril, the orphans of Nemire or even Catherine. Rhea took care of them when they were at their weakest and noone in the entire world gave a s**t about it.

Or is that about that she doesnt use her "sacred authority" (which is literally worth nothing considering how many lords stood against her in the war. She just had the support of Dimitri and the knights of Seiros) to tell the noble families to stop using their god stolen .... i mean given ... powers for their personal gain? Which is funny because she actually did exactly that. But the Lords didnt care and continued to use it how they pleased.

Or are referring to the "they control the continent in the shadows"? Because as long as I dont see any evidence for that outside of Edelgards fantasy stories I will not believe that. In contrast everything we know points to the conclusion that the church of the middle has no clue whatsoever what is currently going on in fodlan.
 
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Shishœ

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Personally, I feel like 3H does character writng amazingly well but the route split hurts the story writing a bit in pacing and what's dealt with. You can examine a character even if they're fragmented across 3 routes, it's still the same character, but events are a linear experience. Honestly, I just hope IntSys drops this whope route split thing in the future, it feels like they wanted to make up for Fates and it's great for replay value but I'd like a more concise and linear experience for a game like FE unless choices that actually matter were more abundant.
 
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You can tell that IS never really did so many story paths before. For all its faults, Fates had three at most, and they're all consigned to their own standalone releases. At best, it's a learning experience for them.

Although I wouldn't be shocked if they want to please traditionalists next time and go back to the usual FE formula super hard, with good vs. evil, and wizards and magic dragons being behind everything.
 
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Who do you mean with that? It cant be Rhea, because she has shown to be a caretaker of the weakest. Just look at the stories of Cyril, the orphans of Nemire or even Catherine. Rhea took care of them when they were at their weakest and noone in the entire world gave a s**t about it.

Or is that about that she doesnt use her "sacred authority" (which is literally worth nothing considering how many lords stood against her in the war. She just had the support of Dimitri and the knights of Seiros) to tell the noble families to stop using their god stolen .... i mean given ... powers for their personal gain? Which is funny because she actually did exactly that. But the Lords didnt care and continued to use it how they pleased.

Or are referring to the "they control the continent in the shadows"? Because as long as I dont see any evidence for that outside of Edelgards fantasy stories I will not believe that. In contrast everything we know points to the conclusion that the church of the middle has no clue whatsoever what is currently going on in fodlan.
Rhea is a caretaker, sure, say that to the countless nuns and babies she experimented on in order to resurrect her mother, or the people of Fhirdiad she purposefully didn't evacuate before setting everything on fire just to make the battle more confusing.

The orphans of Remire was more a political move more than anything, not taking them in would have raised more eyebrows than necessary, and we never see her interact with them.
The Church, despite all its founding, never really adopts other orphans or tries to help them. Look at Dorothea's support with Ferdinand to see that the Empire was full of homeless children, where was the Church for them?

She cares so much for Cyril that she teaches him how to read and write in order to have an opinion of his own...oh wait, no she doesn't, and that is because Rhea wants mindless goons following her orders. Both Cyril and Chaterine admit in their supports that they don't belive in the Godess but would do anything for Rhea, and we see that in CF were they set ablaze a city full of civilian people, the same city that protected them for five years. She also didn't really cared for Sethet and Flayn either, since she doesn't inform them of her true goals and even sends them to basically die in CF in a desperate attack against Garrech Mach.

She and the Church are the responsible for the toxic society based on Crests, rewriting history as to put themselfs on the righteous side and keep the power for them. Look at after you get Sylvain's Lance from Micklan, she gets mad if you choose not to give it to her despite it being a relic of Sylvain's family. She wants it so that the Church has the control of has many Holy Relics, weapon said to be deal breakers in battles, as possible, and the Knights of Seiros are said to be the strongest knights of all Fodland. They also helped Fodland's suddivision as smaller countries, which since every ending has it reunited proves that was a big mistake.
It also doesn't help that they can execute whoever they please without any trial, look at how Rhea immediately asks for Edelgard's head, the only heir for the throne of Ardestria, without even trying to understand what drove her to do something so extreme.

She even admits in her S Support that she should have never had the power she did, and again every route has her step down as the Archbishop and the Church either dismantled or heavely reformed, again proving her inadequatancy for the role.
She didn't even do anything for the Emperor when he was basically stripped of all his power and had his family kidnapped by Aroundel, who casually was someone who donated a lot of money to the Church regularly. Not discovering the existence of TWSITD even when they were basically taking over the Empire was an inexcusable oversight from her part.

Rhea and the Church were the bigger problem of Fodland society, that is a fact, all reconductable to Rhea's incapacity as a ruler and selfish goals. She isn't entirely evil, and her backstory is understandable, but the game makes it clear that in order to achieve a better Fodland she and the Church needed to be modified, if not completely wiped off.
 
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You can tell that IS never really did so many story paths before. For all its faults, Fates had three at most, and they're all consigned to their own standalone releases. At best, it's a learning experience for them.

Although I wouldn't be shocked if they want to please traditionalists next time and go back to the usual FE formula super hard, with good vs. evil, and wizards and magic dragons being behind everything.
So many? It's just one more than Fates (well, three and a half if you consider the similarities egregious enough).

Sales numbers would probably disagree on dropping the multiple routes aspect, even if we can't expect them in every Fire Emblem game going forward.

This is how I personally see each route.

Verdant Wind: The most charming one but also the one affected the most for shared content creating a lot of weird moments.

Silver Snow: Like VW but less charming and with less weird moments because of shared content.

Crimson Flower: The most consistent experience (the route doesn't lose time in BS and everything actually makes sense) but also the most incomplete (the deal with Thales always be bother some)

Azure Moon: The most complete route (everything that was needed it's here) but also the most inconsistent one (a lot of weird **** happens here)
I consider Crimson Flower's brevity to be very much a "your mileage may vary" type of thing. I said it before, the game establishes well ahead of time that dealing with the secondary antangonists will be much different than the main conflict, especially in Hubert's paralogue. Plus, the other routes don't necessarily handle them gracefully either, being shoehorned in for completion's sake or just ignored entirely. I'm a humble person and I much prefer how Crimson Flower ends for Byleth than other routes.

Personally, I feel like 3H does character writng amazingly well but the route split hurts the story writing a bit in pacing and what's dealt with. You can examine a character even if they're fragmented across 3 routes, it's still the same character, but events are a linear experience. Honestly, I just hope IntSys drops this whope route split thing in the future, it feels like they wanted to make up for Fates and it's great for replay value but I'd like a more concise and linear experience for a game like FE unless choices that actually matter were more abundant.
There are plenty of choices, they just don't massively change the plot with two exceptions and I'm honestly OK with that (I don't want an Ow The Edgehog type of deal with a gajillion endings based on a multitude of little actions). Sometimes it's just gameplay like how you build your characters, or it's smaller story bits like who you recruit, what paralogues they give you and how they develop in the circumstances you put them in. All these things wound up making me feel more invested in a FE game than I have in a long time, and I'm fairly certain that I'm not alone when I say the benefits this type of experience has given us far outweigh the pitfalls that also resulted from it. They can always improve, and it's not like "traditional" FE games are safe from inconsistent writing and whatnot either. We live in an online age where everything can be scrutinized and gaps in info can be Googled or Youtubed, which works out well for those who don't have time for multiple playthroughs.
 
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Aeon_Shadow

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Regarding the criticism about Azure Moon: Man it's a good thing this isn't on the FE subreddit, else the Dimitri stans over there would be all over it, what with how much the subreddit loves kissing his ass.
 

Nimbostratus

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Welp.

I'm not normally one to be a keyboard warrior, but I was doing too much lurking today, and I've seen quite a few statements that come across as either heavily biased or factually incorrect. So here I am. Honestly, I'm writing this largely in hopes that you can appreciate some of the other paths/characters, not to say you should like Dimitri and Rhea more than Edelgard. Nor do you need to prefer Azure Moon to CF, as the Blue Lions obviously has some faults, the biggest for me being:

1. Rhea's rescue and decision to step down happening off screen.
2. Claude’s baffling decision making at Gronder is poorly set up, and probably could have been fixed with a bit more effort.
I want to be fair here, but I'll first admit my own biases- I don't really like Edelgard due to the fact that I disagree with far too much of what she says and does.
Given that she's an imperialist taking down a church, maybe I'm inherently inclined to do so as someone who is religious and citizen of a tribe decimated by American imperialism.
That being said, I think she's a well written character with believable motivations, and I'm glad she exists. As for her getting in Smash... well, I'm not really sure how I feel yet.

Anyways, I now enter spoilers and somewhat tangential rambling, which you can read at your own discretion. I apologize in advance for the tl;dr, but I'm not sure I'll post any more, so I need to address all my thoughts.

It also doesn't help that it has a lot of plot holes, like there really is no clear reason for Dimitri to side with the Church and save Rhea in his route, or for conquering all of Fodland under the Kingdom's domain.
I don't think it's much of a stretch that Dimitri sides with Rhea and the church on the BL route considering from his perspective it appears that El's started an unprovoked war against them? And he seems much more concerned with his revenge (at first) and defending his homeland (after his redemption) than he does with "saving" the church, so it's more like allies by circumstance.

And conquering all of Fódlan? The Leicester Alliance dissolves and joins the kingdom without even being requested to after he saved their army at Derdriu, which obviously came as a surprise to Dimitri, and the Empire was left in disarray after a war he fought in defense of his homeland. The Adrestian royal bloodline and many of its leaders are gone, so it's not too surprising that it would fall under Faerghus's domain. Heck, given the commonality of inter-royal marriages, it's not even out of the realm that Dimitri has the closest living claim to the throne (not saying that's actually the case, of course).

Personally, I actually would have preferred Fódlan not unify on that route as well, but the idea that Dimitri is hypocritically waging a war of conquest seems unfair. He just kind of falls into it.

Also it feels quite hypocrite for the BL students to condemn Edelgard for starting a war when they basically worship Loog, the first king of Fargheus who got the independence from the Empire with a bloody war, as a fairy tale hero.
Some others have already talked about this some (winners get to write the history as to which war was ethical), but I'd also point out that generally speaking, people are more sympathetic to wars of independence than wars of conquest. I know I am. One usually means a group of people has more say in their governance, while the other means the opposite. That's a generalization, of course, but I think we can agree that's the case more often than not.
To serve as an example, would it be hypocritical to have respect for the American Revolution but bothered if the British came in later and tried to permanently reconquer it, even if it was, to say, end slavery in the USA? There are plenty who might see such a conquest as just, but I don't think it's hypocritical to view those wars differently.

Or how Dimitri wants to stop "the strong trampling on the weak" when he is defending the one entity who has been doing it for ages.
Again, he's mostly concerned with his own kingdom being trampled by El's war and Cornelia's reign. He rarely refers to the church itself. And to what degree Rhea is doing the trampling is debatable, as I'll talk about more later.

Also his arc...it only really lasts a couple of dialogues and he immediately snaps out from being a murderous monster to his nice persona, it was so quick to the point that I didn't really felt he was really truly sane but just a bipolar psychopath hiding his bad side which might return at any time if triggered.
I can accept the case that Dimitri's redemption arc is rushed. I think that can be attributed in part to game mechanics. There needs to be a section when Dimitri can't be supported/taught, and then there has to be a specific point when he can. That creates a bit of a hard cutoff that makes it difficult to stretch things out.
I don't think it's as rushed as some people will make, and Dimitri definitely isn't magically "cured" after Gronder. His anger, guilt, or trauma isn't gone, but he chooses to not to let it consume him and determine his actions because he knows it won't lead to anything good. Some of his supports make this clear. Your reference to his two personas actually reminds me very much of his A Support with Felix, where he confesses both sides are still a part of him. His Byleth S Support is another good reference.
I'd go into more detail about why I think his arc mostly works, but that could be a whole article in of itself, and I doubt I'd change many minds, so I'll leave you be on that account.

Or how he keeps saying that people should follow their dreams at any costs...unless you are Edelgard.
I mean, when I encourage my friends to follow their dreams, I'm usually working under the assumption that they aren't planning to start a continental war...
And when he does give the knife back during the negotiation with El, he actually does tell her to cut her own path. Unfortunately, she unerringly persists on a path is in direct conflict with his own. That’s not really the case with anyone else.

He tries to negotiate peace with Edelgard...except that when she shows up he doesn't ask her why she attacked the Church but just started rambling about why war is bad and that she was wrong ignoring all she had to say.
I don't love this scene either, but that sounds like an unfairly anti-Dimitri reading of it. Given Edelgard started the war, she kind of needs to answer why, and she doesn't make much effort to explain in that conversation other than that she "had to." I'm not really sure at what point you think Dimitri cuts her off or ignores her. El on the other hand writes him off a highborn unable to understand the motivations and feelings of the poor (even though he's had a pretty crap 9 years, including 5 while homeless, alone, and running for his life). El’s also the first to say negotiating is useless and cut things off. I don't get the idea that she ever planned to explain more than she did.

I think the intention there was to highlight that it’s their philosophies on the nature of change and the morality of ends-justify-the-means that makes reconciliation impossible, not their actual visions of an ideal world. The result is that it kind of feel like they’re talking over each other, but I don’t see how Dimitri comes off any worse.

HECK, in the final battle Dimitri states that someone who sacrifices everything for their dreams doesn't deserve any mercy only to show mercy to Edelgard in the last cut scene.
Ha, this is true, but I don't think it's hard to believe anyone would be horrified by a monster trying to kill them but feel more sympathetic when seeing their defeated stepsister in the flesh. It's a turn around, but his arc is still clearly that of forgiveness, so it's not really a big deal. Everyone can be a bit back-and-forth or hypocritical. I mean, Edelgard and Hubert complain in CF Chapter 17 about Dimitri not calling for parley and not playing fair despite them making no efforts at parley either and right after taking Arianrhod by subterfuge and blaming Arundel's attack on it on the Kingdom... not exactly playing cleanly, either.

Rhea is a caretaker, sure, say that to the countless nuns and babies she experimented on
First off, there were twelve subjects, not countless. That's a needless use of hyperbole. From how I read it, it sounds like they were artificial humans that Rhea created, and when it became clear that they did not bear Sothis, she moved on. I some kind of tests were run to determine that, but I never got the impression they were “experimented” on in the same manner as Edelgard or Lysithea. Byleth's mother seemed to have lived a relatively normal life. Correct me on that if I’m wrong. Just looking at the timeline, it lines up well for Rhea to create a homunculi, let them live their full lives, collect the crest stone after their death, and try again about twelve times since Tailtean.
Not to say Rhea is pure, of course. Creating artificial life is still debatable, and I wasn't fond of her trying to turn me into her momma. It was obvious that Byleth had developed his own personality/conscious by that point, and surely she was aware that person probably be lost if her plan went through.

The orphans of Remire was more a political move more than anything, not taking them in would have raised more eyebrows than necessary, and we never see her interact with them.
Calling it a political move is frankly biased conjecture. It was a good deed. Maybe it had ulterior motives, maybe not. There's not really any evidence either way, so I wouldn't pass off your interpretation as fact.

The Church, despite all its founding, never really adopts other orphans or tries to help them. Look at Dorothea's support with Ferdinand to see that the Empire was full of homeless children, where was the Church for them?
This implies that the Church has the resources to completely solve the orphan crisis, particularly in the empire where the church’s influence is at its the lowest. The Church is trying to help (Cyril, the orphans mentioned in Dimitri's C Support, the Remire orphans, even Mercedes and her mother), but to blame them for not having created a utopia is kind of ridiculous. We've got a lot of governments and charity organizations trying to fix our world's problems, and I'm not going to accuse them of being behind a conspiracy to keep people weak just because there are many still suffering. Well, unless you actually do believe in a conspiracy like that.

we see that in CF were they set ablaze a city full of civilian people, the same city that protected them for five years.
Yeah, we don't get much context for just how many of the Fhirdiad citizens perish here (I'd like to think Catherine would tell them to flee first), but Rhea has clearly lost it at this point. She's desperate and absolutely pissed that she was so close to bringing back the progenitor god, just for Byleth to join Edelgard. I would say her wrath here doesn't mean she was always hateful towards humans, though, if that implication is being made.

She also didn't really cared for Sethet and Flayn either, since she doesn't inform them of her true goals and even sends them to basically die in CF in a desperate attack against Garrech Mach.
Rhea is secretive, probably because she is indeed engaging in dubious efforts, but she makes her plan to use Byleth as a vessel for Sothis clear to Seteth after the fight in the Holy Tomb. What more to the plan was there? And the discussion before Chapter 15 make it quite clear that Seteth went to battle willingly and that Flayn insisted to come as well. It was a bloody fight that apparently came down to the wire, not a suicide mission. Blaming commanders for casualties is an argument could be made against any military leader, including Edelgard. I'm not sure what Rhea's reaction is to Seteth and Flayn's deaths since I spared them on my play through, but she just seemed resigned when hearing they left, not angry or entitled.

She and the Church are the responsible for the toxic society based on Crests, rewriting history as to put themselfs on the righteous side and keep the power for them.
Hmm, the church probably isn't doing enough to help, though their literature states the nobles are abusing their power, and Seteth speaks poorly of crest worship in his Ingrid support. The historical revision is a compromise with the Elites and an effort to keep people from seeking out more Nabatean blood. Again, it's questionable, but human lust for power is as much to blame as Rhea's decision to lie to protect her kind.

Look at after you get Sylvain's Lance from Micklan, she gets mad if you choose not to give it to her despite it being a relic of Sylvain's family. She wants it so that the Church has the control of has many Holy Relics, weapon said to be deal breakers in battles, as possible, and the Knights of Seiros are said to be the strongest knights of all Fodland.
Umm, the church literally gives the Lance of Ruin back to Margrave Gautier. Sylvain gets it back from him in his paralogue. If you keep it, Rhea's understandably annoyed at you disobeying her for no obvious reason until Sylvain explains he has permission to keep it, at which point she relents. This is a non-issue. How many relics are actually controlled by the church other than Thunderbrand, which belongs to Catherine? (plus the Sword of the Creator, but it's being sealed away indefinitely)

They also helped Fodland's suddivision as smaller countries, which since every ending has it reunited proves that was a big mistake.
This is propaganda by Edelgard, somewhat supported by Manuela when she mentions the centrality of Garreg Mach's location. But all we really know is that the church mediated peace in favor of Faerghus's independence and got a good deal out of it in return. Loog and the northern lords presumably had their own reasons for rebelling. This resembles Edelgard and Hubert's bitterness at the Insurrection at the Seven, when it is suggested elsewhere that it was provoked by Ionius himself when he tried centralizing power. El seems to have a habit of not facing up to her own family's potential mistakes.
Personal opinion, but I would have preferred seeing the three lands remain separate and learn to cooperate with each other. Frankly, they seem to be getting along mostly fine (no major conflict, plenty of friendships between the academy students) until El and TWSITD start a war.

It also doesn't help that they can execute whoever they please without any trial, look at how Rhea immediately asks for Edelgard's head, the only heir for the throne of Ardestria, without even trying to understand what drove her to do something so extreme.
This happens after Duscur, when the kingdom's government was in shambles, and when threats are made directly at the Central Church (ex. Lonato, the Western Church). Is there evidence they can go about sentencing anyone on a regular basis? I doubt Rhea calling for Edelgard's head was fully legal, just her being pissed off at the moment upon seeing her student and heir to the empire set up by her family trying to steal her family's remains to make monsters.

She even admits in her S Support that she should have never had the power she did, and again every route has her step down as the Archbishop and the Church either dismantled or heavely reformed, again proving her inadequatancy for the role.
Well, that much is clear. Her goal was always to step aside after bringing back the progenitor god.

She didn't even do anything for the Emperor when he was basically stripped of all his power and had his family kidnapped by Aroundel, who casually was someone who donated a lot of money to the Church regularly. Not discovering the existence of TWSITD even when they were basically taking over the Empire was an inexcusable oversight from her part.
Above, you accuse the church of having too much authority to execute criminals out of its jurisdiction, but here they're blamed for not acting enough? I don't think the church ought to have gotten involved with the Insurrection at face value, and I don't have any reason to think they knew of the child experimentation going on under the scenes. Which is honestly a question of mine. How did no one notice all of the Ionius's children suddenly vanish? TWSITD had a lot of power in the empire to control the stories getting out, but I don't know how you explain all of them away. Are we to presume everyone thought El's siblings just died of disease or something?
And I don't buy the implication that the church is covering for Arundel because he donates to the church considering he cut that off, presumably once real Arundel got replaced with Thales. I'm pretty sure that scene is just to tip us off as to his change of persona and show how TWISTD operate by taking on the identity of popular, well-to-do people, much like that of Cornelia the kind mage who saved Faerghus who should be old by this point suddenly turning into what we see in game.
Not rooting out the Agarthans is a failure of Rhea's, but it's not like they're easy to find. Considering she insists accompanying you to Shambhala to defeat them, it's not like she doesn't care.

She isn't entirely evil, and her backstory is understandable, but the game makes it clear that in order to achieve a better Fodland she and the Church needed to be modified
Agreed. It's a bit unfortunate, though, that it seems Rhea would have given up her authority to Byleth willingly after eventually accepting them as the true heir to Sothis (which is what happens on all routes but CF). Seteth is up for reforming the church as well, and Hanneman is already researching how to make crest inheritance redundant. Of the future leaders of Fódlan represented at the academy, literally no one loves the role of crests in society, and only a few (Lorenz, Ferdinand) are even hung up on the placement of nobility. If the war was just averted for a few years, things would have looked very different. Not that I necessarily blame Edelgard since she's also being pressured by TWSITD, but I'm not personally convinced the war was necessary.

To briefly end things on a positive note, I'd welcome any form of future Three Houses content in Smash, which most of us can agree on. :)
 
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Welp.

I'm not normally one to be a keyboard warrior, but I was doing too much lurking today, and I've seen quite a few statements that come across as either heavily biased or factually incorrect. So here I am. Honestly, I'm writing this largely in hopes that you can appreciate some of the other paths/characters, not to say you should like Dimitri and Rhea more than Edelgard. Nor do you need to prefer Azure Moon to CF, as the Blue Lions obviously has some faults, the biggest for me being:

1. Rhea's rescue and decision to step down happening off screen.
2. Claude’s baffling decision making at Gronder is poorly set up, and probably could have been fixed with a bit more effort.

I'll first admit my own biases- I don't really like Edelgard due to the fact that I disagree with far too much of what she says and does. Given that she's an imperialist taking down a church, maybe I'm inherently inclined to do so as someone who is religious and citizen of a tribe decimated by American imperialism. That being said, I think she's a well written character with believable motivations, and I'm glad she exists. As for her getting in Smash... well, I'm not really sure how I feel yet.

Anyways, I now enter spoilers and somewhat tangential rambling, which you can read at your own discretion. I apologize in advance for the tl;dr, but I'm not sure I'll post any more, so I need to address all my thoughts.

I don't think it's much of a stretch that Dimitri sides with Rhea and the church on the BL route considering from his perspective it appears that El's started an unprovoked war against them? And he seems much more concerned with his revenge (at first) and defending his homeland (after his redemption) than he does with "saving" the church, so it's more like allies by circumstance.

And conquering all of Fódlan? The Leicester Alliance dissolves and joins the kingdom without even being requested to after he saved their army at Derdriu, which obviously came as a surprise to Dimitri, and the Empire was left in shambles after a war he fought in defense of his homeland. The Adrestian royal bloodline and many of its leaders are gone, so it's not too surprising that it would fall under Faerghus's domain. Heck, given the commonality of inter-royal marriages, it's not even out of the realm that Dimitri has the closest living claim to the throne (not saying that's actually the case, of course).

Personally, I actually would have preferred Fódlan not unify on that route as well, but the idea that Dimitri is hypocritically waging a war of conquest seems unfair. He just kind of falls into it.



Some others have already talked about this some (winners get to write the history as to which war was ethical), but I'd also point out that generally speaking, people are more sympathetic to wars of independence than wars of conquest. I know I am. One usually means a group of people has more say in their governance, while the other means the opposite. That's a generalization, of course, but I think we can agree that's the case more often than not.
To serve as an example, would it be hypocritical to have respect for the American Revolution but bothered if the British came in later and tried to permanently reconquer it, even if it was, to say, end slavery in the USA? There are plenty who might see such a conquest as just, but I don't think it's hypocritical to view those wars differently.



Again, he's mostly concerned with his own kingdom being trampled by El's war and Cornelia's reign. He rarely refers to the church itself. And to what degree Rhea is doing the trampling is debatable, as I'll talk about more later.



I can accept the case that Dimitri's redemption arc is rushed. I think that can be attributed in part to game mechanics. There needs to be a section when Dimitri can't be supported/taught, and then there has to be a specific point when he can. That creates a bit of a hard cutoff that makes it difficult to stretch things out.
I don't think it's as rushed as some people will make, and Dimitri definitely isn't magically "cured" after Gronder. His anger, guilt, or trauma isn't gone, but he chooses to not to let it consume him and determine his actions because he knows it won't lead to anything good. Some of his supports make this clear. Your reference to his two personas actually reminds me very much of his A Support with Felix, where he confesses both sides are still a part of him. His Byleth S Support is another good reference.
I'd go into more detail about why I think his arc mostly works, but that could be a whole article in of itself, and I doubt I'd change many minds, so I'll leave you be on that account.



I mean, when I encourage my friends to follow their dreams, I'm usually working under the assumption that they aren't planning to start a continental war...
And when he does give the knife back during the negotiation with El, he actually does tell her to cut her own path. Unfortunately, she unerringly persists on a path is in direct conflict with his own. That’s not really the case with anyone else.



I don't love this scene either, but that sounds like an unfairly anti-Dimitri reading of it. Given Edelgard started the war, she kind of needs to answer why, and she doesn't make much effort to explain in that conversation other than that she "had to." I'm not really sure at what point you think Dimitri cuts her off or ignores her. El on the other hand writes him off a highborn unable to understand the motivations and feelings of the poor (even though he's had a pretty crap 9 years, including 5 while homeless, alone, and running for his life). El’s also the first to say negotiating is useless and cut things off. I don't get the idea that she ever planned to explain more than she did.

I think the intention there was to highlight that it’s their philosophies on the nature of change and the morality of ends-justify-the-means that makes reconciliation impossible, not their actual visions of an ideal world. The result is that it kind of feel like they’re talking over each other, but I don’t see how Dimitri comes off any worse.



Ha, this is true, but I don't think it's hard to believe anyone would be horrified by a monster trying to kill them but feel more sympathetic when seeing their defeated stepsister in the flesh. It's a turn around, but his arc is still clearly that of forgiveness, so it's not really a big deal. Everyone can be a bit back-and-forth or hypocritical. I mean, Edelgard and Hubert complain in CF Chapter 17 about Dimitri not calling for parley and not playing fair despite them making no efforts at parley either and right after taking Arianrhod by subterfuge and blaming Arundel's attack on it on the Kingdom... not exactly playing cleanly, either.



First off, there were twelve subjects, not countless. That's a needless use of hyperbole. From how I read it, it sounds like they were artificial humans that Rhea created, and when it became clear that they did not bear Sothis, she moved on. I some kind of tests were run to determine that, but I never got the impression they were “experimented” on in the same manner as Edelgard or Lysithea. Byleth's mother seemed to have lived a relatively normal life. Correct me on that if I’m wrong. Just looking at the timeline, it lines up well for Rhea to create a homunculi, let them live their full lives, collect the crest stone after their death, and try again about twelve times since Tailtean.
Not to say Rhea is pure, of course. Creating artificial life is still debatable, and I wasn't fond of her trying to turn me into her momma. It was obvious that Byleth had developed his own personality/conscious by that point, and surely she was aware that person probably be lost if her plan went through.



Calling it a political move is frankly biased conjecture. It was a good deed. Maybe it had ulterior motives, maybe not. There's not really any evidence either way, so I wouldn't pass off your interpretation as fact.



This implies that the Church has the resources to completely solve the orphan crisis, particularly in the empire where the church’s influence is at its the lowest. The Church is trying to help (Cyril, the orphans mentioned in Dimitri's C Support, the Remire orphans, even Mercedes and her mother), but to blame them for not having created a utopia is kind of ridiculous. We've got a lot of governments and charity organizations trying to fix our world's problems, and I'm not going to accuse them of being behind a conspiracy to keep people weak just because there are many still suffering. Well, unless you actually do believe in a conspiracy like that.



Yeah, we don't get much context for just how many of the Fhirdiad citizens perish here (I'd like to think Catherine would tell them to flee first), but Rhea has clearly lost it at this point. She's desperate and absolutely pissed that she was so close to bringing back the progenitor god, just for Byleth to join Edelgard. I would say her wrath here doesn't mean she was always hateful towards humans, though, if that implication is being made.



Rhea is secretive, probably because she is indeed engaging in dubious efforts, but she makes her plan to use Byleth as a vessel for Sothis clear to Seteth after the fight in the Holy Tomb. What more to the plan was there? And the discussion before Chapter 15 make it quite clear that Seteth went to battle willingly and that Flayn insisted to come as well. It was a bloody fight that apparently came down to the wire, not a suicide mission. Blaming commanders for casualties is an argument could be made against any military leader, including Edelgard. I'm not sure what Rhea's reaction is to Seteth and Flayn's deaths since I spared them on my play through, but she just seemed resigned when hearing they left, not angry or entitled.



Hmm, the church probably isn't doing enough to help, though their literature states the nobles are abusing their power, and Seteth speaks poorly of crest worship in his Ingrid support. The historical revision is a compromise with the Elites and an effort to keep people from seeking out more Nabatean blood. Again, it's questionable, but human lust for power is as much to blame as Rhea's decision to lie to protect her kind.



Umm, the church literally gives the Lance of Ruin back to Margrave Gautier. Sylvain gets it back from him in his paralogue. If you keep it, Rhea's understandably annoyed at you disobeying her for no obvious reason until Sylvain explains he has permission to keep it, at which point she relents. This is a non-issue. How many relics are actually controlled by the church other than Thunderbrand, which belongs to Catherine?



This is propaganda by Edelgard, somewhat supported by Manuela when she mentions the centrality of Garreg Mach's location. But all we really know is that the church mediated Fearghus's independence. Loog and the northern lords persumably had their own reasons for rebelling. This resembles Edelgard and Hubert's bitterness at the Insurrection at the Seven, when it is suggested elsewhere that it was provoked by Ionius himself when he tried centralizing power. El seems to have a habit of not facing up to her own family's potential mistakes.
Personal opinion, but I would have preferred seeing the three lands remain separate and learn to cooperate with each other. Frankly, they seem to be getting along mostly fine (no major conflict, plenty of friendships between the academy students) until El and TWSITD start a war.



This happens after Duscur, when the kingdom's government was in shambles, and when threats are made directly at the Central Church (ex. Lonato, the Western Church). Is there evidence they can go about sentencing anyone on a regular basis? I doubt Rhea calling for Edelgard's head was fully legal, just her being pissed off at the moment upon seeing her student and heir to the empire set up by her family trying to steal her family's remains to make monsters.



Well, that much is clear. Her goal was always to step aside after bringing back the progenitor god.



Above, you accuse the church of having too much authority to execute criminals out of its jurisdiction, but here they're blamed for not acting enough? I don't think the church ought to have gotten involved with the Insurrection at face value, and I don't have any reason to think they knew of the child experimentation going on under the scenes. Which is honestly a question of mine. How did no one notice all of the Ionius's children suddenly vanish? TWSITD had a lot of power in the empire to control the stories getting out, but I don't know how you explain all of them away. Are we to presume everyone thought El's siblings just died of disease or something?
And I don't buy the implication that the church is covering for Arundel because he donates to the church considering he cut that off, presumably once real Arundel got replaced with Thales. I'm pretty sure that scene is just to tip us off as to his change of persona and show how TWISTD operate by taking on the identity of popular, well-to-do people, much like that of Cornelia the kind mage who saved Faerghus who should be old by this point suddenly turning into what we see in game.
Not rooting out the Agarthans is a failure of Rhea's, but it's not like they're easy to find. Considering she insists accompanying you to Shambhala to defeat them, it's not like she doesn't care.



Agreed. It's a bit unfortunate, though, that it seems Rhea would have given up her authority to Byleth willingly after eventually accepting them as the true heir to Sothis (which is what happens on all routes but CF). Seteth is up for reforming the church as well, and Hanneman is already researching how to make crest inheritance redundant. Of the future leaders of Fódlan represented at the academy, literally no one loves the role of crests in society, and only a few (Lorenz, Ferdinand) are even hung up on the placement of nobility. If the war was just averted for a few years, things would have looked very different. Not that I necessarily blame Edelgard since she's also being pressured by TWSITD, but I'm not personally convinced the war was necessary.

To briefly end things on a positive note, I'd welcome any form of future Three Houses content in Smash, which most of us can agree on. :)
I can answer one thing here.

If you kill Seteth and Flayn (I didn't know sparing them was an option), Rhea is very much upset, going so far as to accuse Byleth of "taking everything away from her". Unfortunately, I don't know the full extent of their relationship, so I can't comment further.
 

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Weirdly enough, there's also evidence pointing toward the fact that Verdant Wind may have been rushed, too.
In short; Blue Lions is the only true route.

I'm not serious but it does seem that IS preferred the way the story goes in Blue Lions, probably because it's most traditional to Fire Emblem standards ; crown prince of smaller kingdom overcomes oppression of bigger nation, fight to liberate country and people, except with a dark twist.
 
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Given that she's an imperialist taking down a church, maybe I'm inherently inclined to do so as someone who is religious and citizen of a tribe decimated by American imperialism.
Some others have already talked about this some (winners get to write the history as to which war was ethical), but I'd also point out that generally speaking, people are more sympathetic to wars of independence than wars of conquest. I know I am. One usually means a group of people has more say in their governance, while the other means the opposite. That's a generalization, of course, but I think we can agree that's the case more often than not.
I think this is where the disconnect is.
Edelgard doesn't conquer for the sake of conquering. There's no nationalistic basis to her ideology. Hell, it's the exact opposite, she believes in a meritocracy.

She takes over the other territories not for the glory of Adrestia or what have you, but to unite Fódlan against the church. You said yourself that people are more accepting of wars of Independence...that's exactly what this is. Edelgard is fighting to free Fódlan from the rule of the church. It's a revolutionary war. The church has an iron grip on the entire continent and she's rising against it. Taking control of the Alliance and Kingdom was done purely to corner the Knights of Seiros and dispose of Rhea.

Edelgard doesn't believe in needless bloodshed, only bloodshed that is necessary to see her goals through to the end. It's very telling, for example, that Crimson Flower doesn't have a single rout map. All of them are either Defeat the Commander(s) or, in the case of the final chapter, Defeat the Boss (Rhea). Literally only six named characters have to die by Edelgard's hand, those being Judith, Rodrigue, Gwendal, Dedue, Dimitri, and Rhea. Literally everyone else can be recruited, avoided, or spared, making it the route with the lowest mandatory death count.

And she only strikes in strategic locations. She makes it a point to let civilians escape ahead of time when she takes over Garreg Mach. Then we have her timeskip battles. The Second Battle of Garreg Mach was a defense mission. The Great Bridge of Myrddin and Arianrhod were military strongholds meaning no civilians were at risk of harm. The Tailtean Plains were naturally free of civilians too.

There are only two battles in Crimson Flower wherein Edelgard's war could potentially harm civilians. Those are Derdriu and Fhirdiad, the two capital cities. For the former, they're told Claude placed the city on lockdown, which would likely secure the citizens' safety, and much of the battle is fought by sea, with Almyran ships coming from the East and Claude being stationed at the harbor, not the city. For the latter, Edelgard literally gave Rhea the option of allowing Fhirdiad's civilians to evacuate, only for Rhea to literally make Catherine set them on fire and kill them.

So she doesn't care about nationalism (and is in fact outright against it), she makes sure civilians aren't put into unnecessary harm, and she's fighting for Fódlan's independence from the Church of Seiros. I don't think it's at all fair to generalize her entire campaign as imperialist conquest.
 
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