Fire Emblem: Three Houses Plot, Characters and routes discussion thread (Open Spoilers)

Padparadscha

Member
Nov 26, 2018
20
I meant more in the sense that at the beginning of the game Edelgard is a powerless imperial princess about to ascend to an equally powerless throne. Yet when she finally ascends later that year, she starts by deposing the prime minister, starting a purge of corrupt nobles, oficially starting a war with the church and leading the imperial armies into battle.

In the BE-E route right after taking Derdriu Hubert reveals that there were already "previous arrangements" made so that Count Bergleiz would be handling all the Alliance lands for the Empire. I imagine a similar "arrangement" was made for the Kingdom lands for Count Hevring, since the two of them are the most powerful men in the empire, and the only ones who could have given Edelgard the power to do any of the things she did at the end of part one. Before the attack on the monastery both Lin and Caspar actually can't believe that she managed to get the support of both of their dads, since they're always butting heads with each other in an act of showmanship.

Sometime during the school year Ferdinand mentions that there are many high ranking imperial nobles who still dream of restoring the old Empire, and after the mock battle of the Eagle and Lion Caspar mentions that his father came to watch the battle but didn't even speak with him, just had a private conversation with Edelgard and left immediately, and that as far he knew this was the first time they had spoken with each other.

It seems to me like in order to garner their support to restore power and authority to the emperor so she could actually do any of the things she set out to do, she promised them she would give them their dream of a reunified Fodlan under the Imperial banner. And thus any attempt for diplomacy with Dimitri or Claude would be a waste of everyone's time, since the best offer she could give them under her circumstances would be their unconditional surrender, annexation of their lands and their eternal exile from Fodlan (note that that is exactly what Claude's fate is if you spare his life).
Yes, this is a good point. A repeated point in the game is the difference between being the nominal ruler and being the actual ruler. Even if Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude came to an agreement, it could all be for naught if any of the powers behind them rebel(and seeing as Edelgard's ultimate plan is to permanently depose the nobility, church, AND slitherers, rebel they would). In the end it takes the intervention of a literal god in order to enact change in Fodlan's governments.
 

SliceSabre

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,717
I think one of the things I find very compelling in Edelgard's route is how many games, but in particular Fire Emblem games with their focus on "permadeath" making it clear you're not simply "knocking down" your enemies but are actually killing them, is how this route acknowledges the horrors of war and the responsibility of your actions.

In most game plots, it's all laid out so that, yes, you may be a mass murderer, but "the bad guys left you no choice", which serves as a "feel good" justification for the player to engage in mass slaughter of enemy soldiers.

Here the game doesn't try to hide that you're doing this for selfish reasons (even if the reasoning behind it is motivated by selflessness, i.e. "making the world a better place"). In the end you're making it for your very own views of how the world should be (assuming you actually agree with the protagonist and aren't just playing the route for "gotta catch'em all" reasons). (*)

There's no mental gymnastics about how the player is "in the right", 100% a good guy for killing numerous other human beings. War is ugly and the game doesn't try to pretend you have the right to have fun killing other soldiers because "you have nothing to feel wrong about, no reason to blame yourself".

I guess in the end I'm just getting old and tired of games telling you "it's cool if you kill people because you're the good guys, and good guys have all the rights in the world".

Anyway, if that post ever makes sense.

Edit: (*) This also mirrors how the player plays the game for his/her selfish entertainment reasons.
I mean Dimitri's route does this better than Edelgard's route.

Despite the fact they're at war against an evil empire, they very much disagree about Dimitri's methods, ruthlessness and how callous he is towards human life.

Edelgard's route honestly doesn't hold a candle to that because it doesn't make killing such a central focus nor go nearly as deeply on how it affects people.

Not to mention Dimitri suffers consequences because of his actions and learns things, Edelgard never really suffers any negative consequences besides feeling a little bad for killing friends. Heck she almost enjoyed killing Dimitri. Whereas Dimitri did what he could to avoid having to kill her because of what he has learned.
 
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HBK

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,476
I mean Dimitri's route does this better than Edelgard's route.

Despite the fact they're at war against an evil empire, they very much disagree about Dimitri's methods, ruthlessness and how callous he is towards human life.

Edelgard's route honestly doesn't hold a candle to that because it doesn't make killing such a central focus nor go nearly as deeply on how it affects people.

Not to mention Dimitri suffers consequences because of his actions and learns things, Edelgard never really suffers any negative consequences besides feeling a little bad for killing friends. Heck she almost enjoyed killing Dimitri. Whereas Dimitri did what he could to avoid having to kill her because of what he has learned.
But that's the point, Dimitri's arc is a redemption arc. In the end you had a rough time but came around it and ended up being the usual "good guy" with its "oh noes, killing, blood, *barfs*, war is bad" stance.

Edelgard's arc is about acceptance of loss due to one own actions, not that of redemption for wrongdoings.
 

NSESN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,731
The problem I have of Edelgard route is that it rarely shows the bad side of what she is doing, even Arianrhod is conveniently made by TWS and you can't even call her out for lying for her teammates. He route is a villain route but there are very few moments the game calls Edelgard out.
Sure Edelgard kills people, but you only really see her teammates being impacted by it, for Edelgard it is business as always. Like even when Edelgard opens up to you she talks more about how she wants to have free time but you dont get much of her remorseful side.

All of that makes Edelgard look selfcentered and selfrighteous, and you arent even able to say anything against it like in the Church route that you can talk about how you don't want to kill Edelgard and etc
Edelgard's arc is about acceptance of loss due to one own actions, not that of redemption for wrongdoings.
The problem is that we never see she accepting any loss in her route
Sincerely I think Edelgard's arc is pretty much over after Byleth comes back.
 
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HBK

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,476
I won't dispute that there are writing issues, but Edelgard's arc isn't a redemption arc. She does display some remorse, but that's not who she is.

The "feels bad" vibes come from support convos and just the whole game really (special mention to the final Dimitri moments, pure tragedy).

That's the whole point, she's well meaning but arguably isn't a "good person". You're not playing (well, following) the usual hero in disguise, the good hearted gruffy hero. She's an actual anti-hero. She does real bad things in order to achieve her goals. And while she's conscious of what she did, she did it anyway. And would do it again if the circumstances were the same (she does wish the circumstances were different, but alas, that's not the case).

Most game plots are written so that the player always have the moral high-ground, even if they may commit questionable acts. That's not the case here. She's the aggressor. She's the one who wants to burn the old shitty system to try to replace it with a less shitty one. While she does technically react to the world of Fodlan (*), she does not react in storytelling terms. She acts. So by siding with her, you're not playing the "restore order hero" (which is way too common for my taste), you're playing the "revolutionary hero", with all that entails in terms of aggression.

(*) She wouldn't wage war if the Dubsteppers didn't experiment on her and/or if the church wasn't so oppressive and/or if the crests weren't the source of so much suffering.
 

NSESN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,731
I won't dispute that there are writing issues, but Edelgard's arc isn't a redemption arc. She does display some remorse, but that's not who she is.

The "feels bad" vibes come from support convos and just the whole game really (special mention to the final Dimitri moments, pure tragedy).

That's the whole point, she's well meaning but arguably isn't a "good person". You're not playing (well, following) the usual hero in disguise, the good hearted gruffy hero. She's an actual anti-hero. She does real bad things in order to achieve her goals. And while she's conscious of what she did, she did it anyway. And would do it again if the circumstances were the same (she does wish the circumstances were different, but alas, that's not the case).

Most game plots are written so that the player always have the moral high-ground, even if they may commit questionable acts. That's not the case here. She's the aggressor. She's the one who wants to burn the old shitty system to try to replace it with a less shitty one. While she does technically react to the world of Fodlan (*), she does not react in storytelling terms. She acts. So by siding with her, you're not playing the "restore order hero" (which is way too common for my taste), you're playing the "revolutionary hero", with all that entails in terms of aggression.

(*) She wouldn't wage war if the Dubsteppers didn't experiment on her and/or if the church wasn't so oppressive and/or if the crests weren't the source of so much suffering.
Then you can see why it felt so weird to play her route for me. I was expecting it to dive into the morality of her actions but it didn't
That is why I prefer her much more as antagonist than the protagonist. It sells the tragedy of the character much better for me.
 

Morlas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
32,084
I need an all three houses route if only to see a bunch of support conversations that you can't get in any of the normal routes

Seteth and Edelgard support yes please

Hubert and Hilda support

of course supports between the three lords

Claude would totally be the type to make fun of how short Edelgard is lol
 

HBK

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,476
Then you can see why it felt so weird to play her route for me. I was expecting it to dive into the morality of her actions but it didn't
That is why I prefer her much more as antagonist than the protagonist. It sells the tragedy of the character much better for me.
Of course. Not disputing that. Just expressing why I liked that route and the character, even though she's, well, not super likeable, in large part due to questionable relations.

I feel recent games have a unhealthy tendency to make us play the cops, to put it simply. Some bad guy wants to do bad things. And you'll be there to stop them. Because you're the good guy. And they're doing bad things. That's way too much Manichean for my taste these days. Games may try to add complexity here and there, but in the end you always have the moral high-ground.

Here it's all about taking a step back in terms of deontology ethics, and viewing the scene more in terms of consequentialism. "What if siding with disgusting bastards and waging war allows us to make the world a better place in the end?"
 
Oct 31, 2017
287
Of course. Not disputing that. Just expressing why I liked that route and the character, even though she's, well, not super likeable, in large part due to questionable relations.
Aside from Hubert, whom i really hate. i didn't find anything particularly unlikeable about edelgard. I'd love if people could go more in-depth as to what is so unlikeable.

She's focused and has a clear mission from step-1. In the end she actually follows through and abdicates the throne to the public trust. I mean, i can get behind that.
 

NSESN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,731
Edelgard isnt unlikeable, it is just I enjoy her much more as the antagonist than a protagonist like I said. Think about Arvis and BK
I need an all three houses route if only to see a bunch of support conversations that you can't get in any of the normal routes

Seteth and Edelgard support yes please

Hubert and Hilda support

of course supports between the three lords

Claude would totally be the type to make fun of how short Edelgard is lol
I would love a Claude and Edelgard support where they find a way to implement both of their dreams.
 

Tekku

Member
Jan 10, 2018
2,394
Umeå, Sweden
So in Dimitris route Edelgard is pretty much portrayed as a ruthless psycopath. I feel like her points didn't come across that well. She just seemed like a self-righteous maniac with some grand ideas of forcing her own preferred future on everyone. It made me think of Thanos a bit... and nazi Germany.

Dimitri kept saying that the weak of the world needed religion to give them hope, and he kind of argued that Edelgard wanted to get rid of the weak in order to sever their ties to the church, thus giving the chuch less power. Was this really the case or was this only Dimitris interpretation?

I understand that Edelgard came frome a troubled background where religion brought her immense suffering, but why prey on the people that just go on about their business not harming anynone, just trying to survive? Must they be dominated or erased from existance? I don't know if I got this at all, but some of the things that were said seemed counter-productive and inconsistent.

And I also don't really understand how Sothis is viewed by every house. There seems to be evidence that the goddess indeed exists, but some believe that she has walked away from humanity and that it's futile to reach for her help? I have no idea what her aim was really as there was no revelation, no second coming of the goddess or what not. I first thought that Sothis was going to transform the world anew and rid it of all the chaos, but no such thing happened during the ending. She just became one with Byleth and took power over the church once again.

Man, I have so many questions...
 

HBK

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,476
Aside from Hubert, whom i really hate. i didn't find anything particularly unlikeable about edelgard. I'd love if people could go more in-depth as to what is so unlikeable.

She's focused and has a clear mission from step-1. In the end she actually follows through and abdicates the throne to the public trust. I mean, i can get behind that.
I don't find her unlikeable per say. She's actually surprisingly relatable. But while her untrustfulness is understandable, it does make any relationship with her kind of ... wonky.

The whole Flame Emperor reveal is basically "well I worked with evil dudes all these years, but I still meant what I said about making the world a better place".

I can get behind her ideals but her methods are ... like ... well ... I mean, I did help her. But the circumstances were ugly.

Which is again why I liked this route 🤷‍♀️

Edit:
There seems to be evidence that the goddess indeed exists, but some believe that she has walked away from humanity and that it's futile to reach for her help?
Sothis most likely gives little fuck about the world, as long as it's not a barren wasteland.
 

snikdasnek

Member
Jan 1, 2019
807
So in Dimitris route Edelgard is pretty much portrayed as a ruthless psycopath. I feel like her points didn't come across that well. She just seemed like a self-righteous maniac with some grand ideas of forcing her own preferred future on everyone. It made me think of Thanos a bit... and nazi Germany.

Dimitri kept saying that the weak of the world needed religion to give them hope, and he kind of argued that Edelgard wanted to get rid of the weak in order to sever their ties to the church, thus giving the chuch less power. Was this really the case or was this only Dimitris interpretation?

I understand that Edelgard came frome a troubled background where religion brought her immense suffering, but why prey on the people that just go on about their business not harming anynone, just trying to survive? Must they be dominated or erased from existance? I don't know if I got this at all, but some of the things that were said seemed counter-productive and inconsistent.

And I also don't really understand how Sothis is viewed by every house. There seems to be evidence that the goddess indeed exists, but some believe that she has walked away from humanity and that it's futile to reach for her help? I have no idea what her aim was really as there was no revelation, no second coming of the goddess or what not. I first thought that Sothis was going to transform the world anew and rid it of all the chaos, but no such thing happened during the ending. She just became one with Byleth and took power over the church once again.

Man, I have so many questions...
I mean, while she does come off as worse in BL, since she is ideologically challenged on a fundamental level, and is losing the war. Even in her own route, Edelgard is pretty self righteous and wants to force her ideal future on the world, that doesn't change, its just the way that action is framed changes. She gets called out on her self righteousness and flippancy towards the sacrifices of her war and her lack of faith in the common people to enact change in BL during the parley with Dimitri. In BE-E its determined that her war is sad but ultimately necessary in order to create Edelgard's new world, I do wish that BE-E criticized her more, obviously not to the level of BL, since it rarely gives her any negative consequences for starting a war across the whole continent.
 

PK Gaming

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,777
The problem I have of Edelgard route is that it rarely shows the bad side of what she is doing, even Arianrhod is conveniently made by TWS and you can't even call her out for lying for her teammates. He route is a villain route but there are very few moments the game calls Edelgard out.
Sure Edelgard kills people, but you only really see her teammates being impacted by it, for Edelgard it is business as always. Like even when Edelgard opens up to you she talks more about how she wants to have free time but you dont get much of her remorseful side.

All of that makes Edelgard look selfcentered and selfrighteous, and you arent even able to say anything against it like in the Church route that you can talk about how you don't want to kill Edelgard and etc

The problem is that we never see she accepting any loss in her route
Sincerely I think Edelgard's arc is pretty much over after Byleth comes back.
No point in subjecting us to Edelgard waxing poetic about how awful the war makes her feel when she's already resolved herself to do what needs to be done after getting the Crest of Flames. You already get the "bad side" of what she's doing by sheer virtue of invading countries, the game doesn't need to further exposit to the player by having a character say it out loud. Hell, you still get that with some of the characters on your side and NPC dialogue.

The church route is different because you spend the first half of the game being on the same side, hence the tension between fighting her and wanting her to back down. If you've stuck with her well into the Crimson Flower route, there's little point im having Byleth say "you did a bad..." via dialog.

She's a static character in her route, but it works. Her character follows up on the one setup in part 1, with her newly gained experience, cunning and power to actually achieve her goal. She doesn't need to find herself like Dimitri so most scenes show off her competence and ability to start the plot (instead of following it). It's an interesting contrast.
Not having an equivalent to her scene with Dimitri in the Blue Lions route where she talks about her motivations is a bit of a bummer though.


Also... I don't really understand why her lying to everyone is a point of contention. Lying to your friends to get morale up instead of telling them that there's another group with nuking powers waiting in the shadows... Doesn't seem particularly smart. I know we're used to the power of friendship, but still.
 
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SliceSabre

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,717
And I also don't really understand how Sothis is viewed by every house. There seems to be evidence that the goddess indeed exists, but some believe that she has walked away from humanity and that it's futile to reach for her help? I have no idea what her aim was really as there was no revelation, no second coming of the goddess or what not. I first thought that Sothis was going to transform the world anew and rid it of all the chaos, but no such thing happened during the ending. She just became one with Byleth and took power over the church once again.

Man, I have so many questions...
I wish we got Sothis' opinion on things because she her just disappearing in the 2nd act sucks even when you S rank with her.

Though I imagine she doesn't appreciate getting murdered in her sleep.
 

NSESN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,731
No point in subjecting us to Edelgard waxing poetic about how awful the war makes her feel when she's already resolved herself to do what needs to be done after getting the Crest of Flames. You already get the "bad side" of what she's doing by sheer virtue of invading countries, the game doesn't need to further exposit to the player by having a character say it out loud. Hell, you still get that with some of the characters on your side.

The church route is different because you spend the first half of the game being on the same side, hence the tension between fighting her and wanting her to back down. If you've stuck with her well into the Crimson Flower route, there's little point im having Byleth say "you did a bad..." via dialog.

She's a static character in her route, but it works. Her character follows up on the one setup in part 1, with her newly gained experience, cunning and power to actually achieve her goal. She doesn't need to find herself like Dimitri so most scenes show off her competence and ability to start the plot (instead of following it). It's an interesting contrast.

Also... I don't really understand why her lying to everyone is a point of contention. Lying to your friends to get morale up instead of telling them that there's another group with nuking powers waiting in the shadows... Doesn't seem particularly smart. I know we're used to the power of friendship, but still.
Well it doesnt really work for me. A static character can work yes, but it generally works because the character around them arent static so you see how this static character impact on the other character arcs. With Edelgard I dont get this impression. After the professor comes back the story is basically an exposition of how she reachers her goals but not much is said about it impacts her or how she impacts others.

About the lying it arrives at the whole problem with how her route deals with TWS. Also those arent just her friends, but her closest generals, they need to know about the whole picture, she just tells her that the church nuked the fortress and it stays like that. It doesnt feel like a smart thing to do when she will need those same allies when she eventually needs to take down TWS.
But well her route never shows how she deals with them so I guess the problem are just solved in a way they will never tell us.
 
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