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Nor is it the antagonist route either. Any route you're playing is the protagonist route by default. The church is an antagonist in one route. The Kingdom and Alliance are antagonists in two routes. The Empire is an antagonist in one route and TWSITD are antagonists in all the routes.
Crimson Flower is the route of the aggressor. For some people, starting a war is an unconscionable thing. For others letting a terrible status quo continue on unchallenged is unconscionable.
"All hail the almighty Yuber, God of the Underworld!" - AmandaKimmel
Close enough, but not evil, because Edelgard extremely flawed as she is, is more on the corrupt side than the evil side.
I thought CF made it clear that what was happening was that, without Byleth's support, she descends into madness and insanity. With it she remains sane and clear-headed thusly preventing her slide into madness.
I am the gentle hand who heals, the happy smile who shields, and the foot that will kick your ***! - White Mage