• Post New Message
You're browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free (or Log In if you already have an account) to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts.
  1. Boards
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  3. Random thought: Edelgard's multiple motivations often get confused/equated

User Info: Callanthe

Callanthe
4 days ago#1
I often see a common argument being tossed around that "The only way Edelgard could accomplish her goals is through war."

However, IMO one flaw of this argument is that it equates the morality of two very different motivations driving Edelgard: Edelgard's war on nobility/Crests vs. her war on Rhea/the Church.

I think we can agree that no one's complaining about Edelgard ousting the corrupt nobles and installing a meritocracy in the Empire. Pretty much everyone agrees the current Crest system has problems, even the relatively cautious/conservative Dimitri.

What is actually controversial is.... why this goal of ousting the nobility/Crests can only be accomplished through declaring war on the Church and conquest of the other nations.

(Yes, Edelgard invaded the Alliance despite them being effectively neutral in her war. This happens even in her own route where she's more reasonable. No matter what, she would not tolerate any territory of Fodlan being outside her control.)

Because of this, IMO Edelgard's use of the Church/Rhea as a scapegoat for all her problems does not sit easy on my conscience.
Oh everything bad that's ever happened in the past 1000 years because of Crests ever? Blame it all on Rhea! Then you can kill Rhea, and boom the route ends with fireworks and cheers, everything is fine and dandy forever~

-------------------------------

Look, I dislike Rhea. I find her mommy complex really annoying, and the plot points revolving around her and Byleth's origins are probably some of my least enjoyed aspects of FE Three Houses. She is quite clearly a figure from a bygone age who honestly belongs back in the past.

But she's not irredeemably evil--her greatest crime is probably apathy. No, she didn't hold a gun to nobles' heads and force them to do s***ty things to the common people.

Does Rhea retaliate against anyone who threatens her with full-throttle paranoid fury? Yes, I'd say we all agree she is not entirely sound of mind. But is she completely beyond being reasoned with? I'd argue no. Or at least, I'd argue that she deserves a chance to be reasoned with. Any living sentient being deserves that chance.

Even Rhea, for all she's done, does not deserve being scapegoated for everything bad that's ever happened in the history of Fodlan. Does she bear blame? Yes. Is that blame so big that one's first move should be to directly declare hostilities on her? IMO, no.

-------------------------------

If Edelgard kept her meritocracy reforms to her own domain first without being the first aggressor against the Church, she would be infinitely more sympathetic to players like me. Heck, if that happened Rhea might give the situation a suspicious side-eye, but the game does not guarantee she would immediately go into a raving frenzy or even intervene in the proceedings. And if Rhea did attack first, Edelgard would have a 100% legitimate claim to declaring war, as opposed to her current controversial stance.

So... imagine if in Crimson Flower, Edelgard tried to reform the Empire, and then the Church attacked her for doing so. Boom, now we can cheer her on without worry. Instead, we're left in this never-ending loop of "omg the church would have attacked her if she didn't attack first" "no they wouldn't" "yes they would have" ad infinitum. This kind of entirely subjective bickering is so pointless.

------------------------------

If y'all are wondering about how these 2 different motivations could be tied together....here's a cool scenario that has some extra tragedy and actual logic:

Imagine a situation where if Rhea and the rest of the dragons are killed, ALL the Crests disappear forever. This would be a perfect justification for why Edelgard would feel the ABSOLUTE NEED to declare war on the Church to enact her reforms to the utmost potential.
(edited 4 days ago)

User Info: Callanthe

Callanthe
4 days ago#2
(Extra thoughts here, with some spoilers for the FE Radiant games and other random rambling)

-------------------------------
For another Fire Emblem example that I find more reasonable, even more optimistic about the potential of "humanity" to change for the better and acknowledge their past mistakes...

Dheginsea and Lehran from Fire Emblem Tellius: they too made a huge mistake by choosing to keep the "peace" over revealing the truth about the Branded. This decision divided the Beorc and Laguz races, and condemned so many individuals to a life of stigma and discrimination. But the heroes of Tellius do not immediately declare war and hunt those ancient ones down for this crime. Dheginsea and Lehran even acknowledge they regret the decision when looking back. Hindsight is 20/20: at the time they made the choice, they sadly could not have anticipated the situation spiraling out of control to that extent.

In Tellius, those who inadvertently benefited off past atrocities are given the chance to apologize and make amends for those events (think Sanaki kneeling before the Herons). War was only declared when the perpetrators actively refused all attempts at peaceful negotiations (like the Senate executing Laguz messengers).
Even the Branded (with Stefan as their leader) work together to build a future for their own, as opposed to hunting down ancient scapegoats.

Perhaps this is an overly idealistic perspective on human history, but it's very solid morally. No one's going to argue that the heroes of Tellius did anything wrong by declaring this version of a revolutionary war. (So please don't hit me with the whole 'omg do u think all war is bad?? Do u think the American Revolutionary War is bad too???')

-------------------------------

Also somewhat subjective perspective here... I have some personal biases against imperialism.

Edelgard definitely buys into her own beliefs that she is conquering for the good of all of Fodlan. But this perspective is somewhat soured by her undeniably imperialistic zeal--"it's my duty to uplift these other inferior offshoot nations by reabsorbing them into my rightful domain."

For a somewhat exaggerated modern parallel, think current China (pls no censorship or too much arguing... maybe this is a mistake to bring up).
I'm sure the Chinese government thinks they're doing a good deed to the people of Hong Kong by "taking back" Hong Kong, which they believe rightfully belongs to them. And of course, the protesters of Hong Kong would vehemently disagree--they believe the people of Hong Kong deserve the autonomy to decide their own government.

Even the French Revolution is more sympathetic to me personally, because that was a movement truly led by the people for the people, that focused its hostility pretty much only on the nobility. (They did go after the Church during the French Revolution, but that move was not popular among the common people.) Even then, it's kinda agreed that the French Revolution could likely have accomplished their primary goals without being so guillotine-happy. Heck, if we bring Napoleon into this, even the French Revolution's move to foreign wars only truly started because the other countries declared their aggression first.

User Info: superxgaga

superxgaga
4 days ago#3
Ohhh new daily Edelgard topic, I r here to check in!
El, give me your blessing! Kingdom, Alliance, Church? I'll kill em all! When I do, you are no longer Kotei-sama, You will be known as Edelgard Megami-Sama!!

User Info: Shedinja500

Shedinja500
4 days ago#4
(Spoilers of course)

I disagree because I think this argument is missing the fact that Edelgard is intended to be controversial.

Dimitri, Rhea, and Edelgard are all deliberately written as controversial characters, so that when they're your enemy they come off as clearly "the bad guys, albeit with a few sympathetic traits" so you don't feel bad about killing them, but come off as "the good guys, just with some flaws" when you're on their own route. Well, mostly. Rhea ends up going berserk and trying to murder you in Silver Snow's ending, Dimitri spends like 4 chapters as a murder hobo even in his own route, and Edelgard is a boss in her own route, but I'm talking about their overall portrayal being positive and sympathetic in their own routes.

Claude does to an extent too, though less blatantly than murder Hobo!Dimitri in CF or Hegemon!Edelgard in AM or yandere!Rhea in CF. The narrative in CF just portrays him as a shady schemer without showing his more positive character traits unless you choose to spare him, in which case the narrative shows his more positive traits so the player feels rewarded for sparing him.

This controversy inevitably leads to some people (me) agreeing with Edelgard completely and believing Dimitri was a pitiable mass murdering King of Delusion who needed to be put out of his misery, and Rhea is a tyrannical monster who needs to be overthrown at all costs. While others believe DImitri was a heroic king defending his country from a foreign invader, Rhea is just a victim of trauma who's being unfairly blamed by Edelgard, and Edelgard is a horrible monster.

If the story was rewritten so Edelgard wasn't controversial and was unambiguously heroic for the entire playerbase and not just Edelgard stans like me, it would remove all moral ambiguity. We'd just have Birthright vs. Conquest all over again, where playing Conquest just feels like the "wrong" choice because of how blatantly good the Hoshidans are and how blatantly evil Garon is. And I personally hated Fates for doing that, playing Conquest sucked from a story perspective even if the maps were interesting.
(edited 4 days ago)
Callanthe posted...

Can agree with some of this. I think the biggest flaws comes from how Edelgard's revolution happens nearly instantaneously. It happens so suddenly without having Edelgard's main cause really being justified. The moment she becomes Emperor, she only really is shown to take away Ferdinand's dad's position and not much else is shown. Again, the conflict happens so fast and the 5 year time skip makes it hard to really see how Edelgard "helped" her empire. Biggest problem comes from the lack of show for Edelgard's rule and changing her imperial army especially when we see very little people in the empire rising up the ranks.

I think Edelgard still needs a proper build up to justify her cause or to remind us why it matters. I think it would help if she hammered in some of the early story elements that we saw like Sylvain's brother and Western Church. The later part of the Pre-Timeskip is too focused on TWSITD rather than the Church so most of the Church's issues can easily be glossed over and forgotten and ignored. I think it would be good to reinforce or emphasize on both wrongs in Edelgard's route

User Info: superxgaga

superxgaga
4 days ago#6
CorrinKamuiHype posted...
Can agree with some of this. I think the biggest flaws comes from how Edelgard's revolution happens nearly instantaneously. It happens so suddenly without having Edelgard's main cause really being justified. The moment she becomes Emperor, she only really is shown to take away Ferdinand's dad's position and not much else is shown. Again, the conflict happens so fast and the 5 year time skip makes it hard to really see how Edelgard "helped" her empire. Biggest problem comes from the lack of show for Edelgard's rule and changing her imperial army especially when we see very little people in the empire rising up the ranks.

I think Edelgard still needs a proper build up to justify her cause or to remind us why it matters. I think it would help if she hammered in some of the early story elements that we saw like Sylvain's brother and Western Church. The later part of the Pre-Timeskip is too focused on TWSITD rather than the Church so most of the Church's issues can easily be glossed over and forgotten and ignored. I think it would be good to reinforce or emphasize on both wrongs in Edelgard's route
We only see a couple examples like Ladislava and randy etc because it's hard to see how her system work in such short amount of time. Also do we really need more faced NPCs?
El, give me your blessing! Kingdom, Alliance, Church? I'll kill em all! When I do, you are no longer Kotei-sama, You will be known as Edelgard Megami-Sama!!

User Info: Silent_Noir

Silent_Noir
4 days ago#7
Callanthe posted...

For a somewhat exaggerated modern parallel, think current China (pls no censorship or too much arguing... maybe this is a mistake to bring up).
I'm sure the Chinese government thinks they're doing a good deed to the people of Hong Kong by "taking back" Hong Kong, which they believe rightfully belongs to them. And of course, the protesters of Hong Kong would vehemently disagree--they believe the people of Hong Kong deserve the autonomy to decide their own government.


Really? I see the exact opposite. Rhea has been rewriting and censoring history to glorify Sothis, crests and relics. She's been in power longer than anyone in Fodlan and executes anyone on the spot for crossing her. Even creating "divine laws" in her bible that gives her license to do whatever she wanted in the name of the goddess(which is herself). Edelgard may have started chaos but no revolution is without. And honestly, every big country more or less has done imperialism, Faerghus did it to Leicester just the same. In Edelgard x Hubert's ending however, revealed that they help ensure the people's independence. So while her means may come across as imperialism, her end goal was not.
FC: 3926-5772-3494
Silent_Noir posted...
Really? I see the exact opposite. Rhea has been rewriting and censoring history to glorify Sothis, crests and relics. She's been in power longer than anyone in Fodlan and executes anyone on the spot for crossing her. Even creating "divine laws" in her bible that gives her license to do whatever she wanted in the name of the goddess(which is herself). Edelgard may have started chaos but no revolution is without. And honestly, every big country more or less has done imperialism, Faerghus did it to Leicester just the same. In Edelgard x Hubert's ending however, revealed that they help ensure the people's independence. So while her means may come across as imperialism, her end goal was not.


Edeleth is love in its' purest form.
Rhea is love at its' hottest.
superxgaga posted...
CorrinKamuiHype posted...
Can agree with some of this. I think the biggest flaws comes from how Edelgard's revolution happens nearly instantaneously. It happens so suddenly without having Edelgard's main cause really being justified. The moment she becomes Emperor, she only really is shown to take away Ferdinand's dad's position and not much else is shown. Again, the conflict happens so fast and the 5 year time skip makes it hard to really see how Edelgard "helped" her empire. Biggest problem comes from the lack of show for Edelgard's rule and changing her imperial army especially when we see very little people in the empire rising up the ranks.

I think Edelgard still needs a proper build up to justify her cause or to remind us why it matters. I think it would help if she hammered in some of the early story elements that we saw like Sylvain's brother and Western Church. The later part of the Pre-Timeskip is too focused on TWSITD rather than the Church so most of the Church's issues can easily be glossed over and forgotten and ignored. I think it would be good to reinforce or emphasize on both wrongs in Edelgard's route
We only see a couple examples like Ladislava and randy etc because it's hard to see how her system work in such short amount of time. Also do we really need more faced NPCs?

I think maybe just a few lines of dialogue to show that some people or alot or a decent amount did better with the new system around even during war. I think they could've improved Randy or Ladislava to be stronger or more relevant. It kind of sucks because there aren't many characters who rise up the ranks in Edelgard's side except Dorothea and Caspar. Even then, if they get recruited, that leaves Edelgard with no talented ,hard working ,rising up the ranks characters that came from her rule.
(edited 4 days ago)

User Info: rukn

rukn
4 days ago#10
I wouldn’t regard Edelgard as an imperialist because she doesn’t use conquest as a tool to exploit the other nations for the primary benefit of the empire, she is conducting a revolutionary war and considers the people of Fodlan to be a single nation divided up by the church. That’s why she just stops at Fodlan, and grants Brigid independence. In my opinion she is a nationalist who believes that the people of Fodlan given their similar history, language ,ethnicity are a single people. Note how the emperor makes an oath for all of Fodlan rather than an oath about the empire. Also the empire has a history of defending Fodlan from invasion like in the case of the Almyran invasion where only the Empire had the alliance’s back.

You might of course disagree with whether she has a right to interfere in other nations. To me her actions are justified because:
1 She makes all the people in conquered territory into citizens and gives the common folk in each their rights, which btw they never had prior to the war
2 The Kingdom is not a force for good. It is a brutal genocidal overly traditional regime that massacred an entire nation of brown folks on the basis of trumped up charges. It also has a history of attempting to occupy Alliance territory and was overthrown quite recently.
3 The alliance is a decentralised playground for the nobility that is on the verge of a civil war between nobles that want to join the empire and nobles who want independence. So it makes sense imo for the empire to use its position to emancipate it’s common folk.
4 The church gives the nobility it’s divine right. It is armed and political conflicts in the church break out into violent battles. The southern church hugely destabilised the empire very recently. I don’t see why the empire should tolerate such a destabilising militarised order when it’s political agenda is at odds with Edelgard’s.

Okay as for the China parallel Edelgard would likely be pushed in two directions. At one end she would prefer a unified China and at the other she would want a population that has its political rights. Imo she would pick giving the people political rights since Honkong is part of China it just has autonomy.
(edited 4 days ago)
  1. Boards
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  3. Random thought: Edelgard's multiple motivations often get confused/equated
  • Post New Message