Disappeared Dad: The twins' father, King Fado, quite literally dies five minutes in. When his beloved dad (Emperor Vigarde) died, Prince Lyon tried to subvert this with his Dark Magic... and caused the whole disaster everyone is in
Dragon Rider: Cormag. Any Pegasus Knights can also become this. On the enemy side: Glen (Cormag's older brother) and Valter.
Genki Girl: Tana and L'Arachel; L'Arachel takes Genki-ness to a whole new level.
Gonk: Riev, Dozla, and Gilliam are drawn differently but aren't actually ugly. A certain Giant Mook named Gheb is also notable... notable for silly memetic reasons.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Kyle and Forde, in the tradition of the red and green knight pair. They're not only inseparable, but appear to have been friends (or at least rivals) since childhood.
Magikarp Power: All of the 'trainee class' characters — Ewan, Amelia, and Ross.
Mighty Glacier/Genius Bruiser: Gilliam, Duessel. Or for that sake, any Knight or Cavalier promoted into the slow, yet powerful Great Knight rather than the frailer, but more skilled and faster Paladin.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Many characters call Saleh "Master" despite his preference to the contrary, he believes that material wealth is unnecessary, and the fictional religion of Valega involves constant meditation to find enlightenment harmony between oneself and the world.
Also, Ewan complains to Tethys that she spends too much time "dancing" for the men in the regiment. The innuendo is quite obvious, but upon further scrutiny, it fails, mainly because of the normal male response to sex (i.e. sleep).
Think about that the next time an enemy Troubadour or Valkyrie tries to use a Sleep staff on you...
Failure Knight: Gerik tells Innes in their supports that he became a mercenary mostly to protect a friend who was in his way to become one, but said friend soon was killed off. By Saleh. It was an accident, but once he and Saleh realize who they've been teamed up with—in their A support, no less—it's revealed that Saleh never got over his guilt.
Syrene is a borderline example, as she joins you REALLY late and has only average growths. A Monster Campaign fills it more or less nicely, although being a squad captain, you'd think she'd be a bit more competent from the get-go.
Fan Nickname: Moulder the Boulder and Gilliam Bojangles. Who they're referring to is pretty obvious.
Hitman with a Heart: Most of the Jehannans killed for a living even before the war, but that simply couldn't be helped as Jehanna is mostly desert with very few other opportunities. They tend to be very friendly off the job with a high number of supports, and Marisa is seen as odd for being as unapproachable as she is.
Ill Girl: Lyon is a male version. Monica plays this straight. She died, and it drove her husband Orson crazy.
Kid-anova: Ewan, despite the age difference, can bang on Amelia via supports
Love Makes You Evil: Orson's Face-Heel Turn is motivated by Riev's offer to revive his dead wife Monica. Seth mentions that they were Happily Married and very in love, until she died of illness half a year ago. Also, Carlyle was in love with Ismaire, and it also drove him to betray his kingdom.
Missing Mom: Melina, Amelia's mother, was abducted by bandits when Amelia was a little girl. She's alive and in Grado, but has Laser-Guided Amnesia; if Amelia supports with Duessel, they can be reunited. Risa, Ross's mother and Garcia's wife, died when Ross was a small child and Garcia left the army to raise Ross. Neimi's mother died when she was small too, leaving a handmirror to her as an Orphan's Plot Trinket.
Orphan's Plot Trinket: The Lunar and Solar Braces. Neimi's handmirror and archery gauntlets. Franz's comb.
L'Arachel is an orphan raised by her uncle after her parents died while fighting off the evil when she was a little girl.
Tethys and Ewan were abandoned by their parents as children, so Tethys became a dancer to support both of them.
Lute was raised by her grandmother since her parents are always travelling.
Saleh is strongly implied to have been orphaned—his grandmother specifically tells you, "Please take care of Saleh. He's my only grandson."
Franz and Forde, whose mother died shortly after the younger of the duo was born, and whose father was killed in an attempt to hunt down an assassin in the Renais castle. Only Forde remembers either of them very clearly.
Neimi's mother died of illness early, and pretty much everyone but her and Colm died when their village was attacked.
Phenotype Stereotype: Played to a more realistic degree than usual. The outer countries have a higher percentage of people who have the same general traits (Jehannans tend to have red hair, Frelians blue, Grads are blonde). Renais has no particular stereotype of its own, which is justified as it shares a border with nearly all of the other countries.
Plucky Girl: All of the ladies, but specially the three princesses: Eirika, Tana and L'Arachel.
Stalker with a Crush: Carlyle, towards Ismaire. Valter, towards Eirika. Lute, towards Artur (she calls it "monk watching" when asked by others)
Star-Crossed Lovers: Pleasantly subverted with Tana and Cormag: he leaves without a word after Grado is rebuilt, she spends years searching for him, and then she does manage to find him and makes him a knight of Frelia.
Stay in the Kitchen: How Innes viewed Eirika and Tana (and L'Arachel, to a degree) at first. Curiously, he doesn't view Vanessa like this. This is most likely because Eirika, Tana and L'Arachel are all princesses whereas Vanessa is just a vassal, meaning it's her job to fight.
And she's got what the other three don't have: fighting experience. Tana had just finished her training (under Vanessa and her sister Syrene), Eirika's own training under Ephraim was pretty recent too, and L'Arachel is a White Mage instead of an Action Girl.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: Lyon. Also Cormag, towards his older brother Glen. Ross is this to his father, though for positive reasons (Garcia raised Ross on his own, so he wants to be just as strong), as is Ewan for his sister Tethys.
You Killed My Father: The starting point of lots of drama for the twins. Or in Joshua's case's, it's more exactly a "You killed my mother" directed towards his ex-leader Caellach. In Cormag's (only in Eirika's route), we have a "You killed my brother" towards Eirika, but she can convince him otherwise, at which point it gets redirected towards its proper target, Valter.
Zettai Ryouiki: Eirika, L'Arachel, Amelia, Tana, and Vanessa get the long boots plus skirt variant.
“It is... I just pray that this fighting will end as swiftly as possible. No one desires this war. So why must it continue?”
Class: Lord, either Bride (DLC) or Myrmidon (Spotpass) (Awakening)
Action Girl: Like any Lord character she's a dab hand with a sword.
All-Loving Hero: She genuinely thinks the best of most people, even her current enemies. This helps to attract new members of the army.
Badass Boast: Threatens to send General Glen home with his tail between his legs if he tries to stop her.
Badass Princess: She's only been learning swordplay for three years and has never been on a battlefield before, but given her regular disposition and nature, she bears with it surprisingly well.
Beware the Nice Ones: Oh, she's one of the kindest individuals out there, but if you dare screw with her, or Ephraim, she won't hesitate to cut you where you stand... Well, unless you're Lyon. But she'll still cut you after she's done hesitating.
Humble Heroine: She displays this pretty openly, given her normal disposition towards people.
Idiot Ball: She hands the stone of Renais over to the Demon King just because Lyon appears to be asking her to. Somewhat justified considering Eirika wasn't there to hear the whole, true story from Knoll about Lyon and the Dark Stone, and the Demon King appears to her in the guise of the Lyon she knows and loves.
Incest Subtext: Not stated outright, but the implications are there. Both Lyon and Innes seem to think she couldn't love them while Ephraim's around, although let's face it, they're not the most reliable source.
Lady of War: Other characters comment on her grace, and her sprite animations are rather elegant.
Locked Out of the Loop: With regards to her bracelet. She really can't be blamed for giving it away when nobody's told her it's anything other than royal jewelry, when it's really part of the seal on the Demon King.
Skilled, but Naïve: An accomplished swordswoman, but having been trained for diplomacy for most of her life and having just finished her swordmanship training, she has to be heavily advised on tactics and strategy.
The Wise Princess: Hardly an idiot by any measure of the imagination in spite of this. For instance, she might have been shocked with Novala'stactics in Chapter 6, but she quickly told him to shut his trap when he gloated too much and warned him she wouldn't stand for her citizens being abused.
The Crown Prince of Renais, who unlike his twin sister is more into combat and war strategies rather than politics. He wields a spear instead of the standard Fire Emblem hero's weapon, the sword. When Eirika escapes, Ephraim was already on the way to slow Grado's advances. He eventually joins up with Eirika and helped her in her quest, eventually learning that he will have to take responsibility to be a good king, not just fighting all the time.
Class: Lord, Great Knight (Awakening)
The Ace: Deconstructed. For the first part of the story, it seems Ephraim can get through anything. However, when he gets back to Renais, Seth tells him that the citizens are not cheering for his return. They're only happy because Orson's reign of terror is over. Ephraim takes this as the sign that his Leeroy Jenkins tendencies haven't been great for his people and begins to mature from then on.
Not only that, but his fame as The Ace is one of the biggest reasons why his friends Innes and Lyon, distanced themselves from and envied him, despite their own talents. In the first case Ephraim only sees it as normal Friendly Rivalry, but Innes takes it more seriously to the point of telling Eirika that he'll only propose to her after defeating Ephraim; in the latter, there is nothing funny about it, since Ephraim adores Lyon and never ever sees him as inferior, so he's struck hard (read: he's driven to tears) when he learns about Lyon's psychological troubles and how a part of them can be linked to seeing himself as inferior to Ephraim.
Big Brother InstinctMentor: Both siblings are of the same age, but he acts as one to her anyway. Also applies in his relationship with Myrrh - she specifically asks if she can call him "brother" in their C Support, and their deepening relationship is this as opposed to romantic.
Blade on a Stick: One of the few Lord characters who uses something other than a sword.
Blood Knight: Could probably give Ashnard a run for his money in this department. Ephraim is more or less addicted to fighting and seems to constantly be on the lookout for a Worthy Opponent. Deconstructed by the end, along with his Ace characteristics.
In a flashback, he also complains that books are too thick and have too many words.
Not to say he's actually stupid or can't read, he's just too bored and impatient with books. This is tied into his Character Development in accepting his duties.
Brilliant but Lazy: Ephraim hates scholarly study and spent his youth trying to get out of as many history and diplomacy lessons as possible—he leaves that to Eirika. As a result, he's a fantastic tactician and fighter, but not as good a diplomat as a royal heir ought to be. (Contrast with Eirika, who lacks in the strategic and tactics field but is pretty good at diplomacy).
Cutscene Incompetence: That said, Lyon manages to steal the Renais Sacred Stone from him a bit too easily.
Expy: He's a little more subdued, but his somewhat rebellious attitude, tendency to charge towards his problems headfirst, and Blue hair might remind one of Hector.
The chapter in which he reclaims Renais is also pretty similar to the chapter in which Marth reclaims Altea.
Gameplay wise, his promoted class is very similar to a lance-locked Eliwood, complete with the same stat caps, and similar animations,
Lightning Bruiser: Very good offensive growths, and decent defensive parameters to boot. Once he's trained up a bit, as he'll max out a few stats usually pre-promotion and a good chance of most after promoting.
Guile Hero: He was able to wage guerrilla warfare on the Grado forces with only three soldiers; and when Orson led them into a trap, he and his two remaining soldiers fought through Valter's forces by breaking east, thanks to his tactics. Obviously it doesn't shine through in gameplay (it's the player who's in charge), but between-chapter exposition frequently shows evidence of Ephraim's tactical and strategic genius.
The Hero: Come Chapter 8 and the end of the First Story Arc he joins up with Eirika, and from then on they share this role in-story.
Hero of Another Story: During the First Story Arc, you're hearing of his exploits against Grado as he and his men use guerilla tactics to weaken the army. The game's sole Gaiden Chapter even gives you control of him and his men instead of Eirika's.
Incest Subtext: Not stated outright, but the implications are there...
Leeroy Jenkins: If trying to take on an enemy castle, and then their capital city with only two soldiers doesn't qualify you for this, who knows what will. And somehow, Ephraim makes it work.
Lost Forever: Happens if you allow Orson to run off with Ephraim's signature lance, Reginleif. You can't get another one, even if you play Ephraim's route (whereas Eirika can find an extra Rapier on her route).
Nice Guy: Despite his love of battle, he's very much this. He reacts to the enemy recruit Amelia by advising her on how to fight better, overcoming the vile rumors she's heard about him and winning her to his side.
Oblivious to Love: He's particularly dense in his supports with Tana, constantly changing the subject from how nice she looked to his and Innes' rivalry.
Well, not so much oblivious as the fact that Innes didn't even give him a chance to interact with Tana at all during the event they're talking about (it's in the B support).
Rebel Prince: In the flashbacks to only a year or two ago, Ephraim commented that if it was up to him, he'd leave the kingdom in Eirika's hands and become a mercenary. Ephraim's journey forces him to confront the responsibility his father's death has placed upon him and grow into his duty as king.
Crutch Character: A softer example; Seth can crush any foe for the first dozen or so chapters, and even after that he never really slows down. His base stats are just about enough to carry him through the whole game and his Growth Rates are on par with (and in some cases BETTER than) his unpromoted counterparts. He's often considered one of the most uber units in the entire series.
A Seth-solo "challenge" is easier than actually playing the game normally.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Seth does this to the first half of the game with ease, and is capable of doing it for the entire game if one continues to use him.
Declaration of Protection: To Eirika first and foremost, due to how Fado himself entrusted him with her safety; however, his relationship with Natasha has subtle shades of this as he worries a lot for her lack of self-care.
Disc One Nuke: Seth has great growths and decent bases, but his greatest strength lies in his availability; He's the very first unit you get, and at that time, nothing can touch him. And unlike other pre-promotes, his growths ensure that any EXP he gets early on will not be wasted. By the time everyone's promoted, and the kiddy gloves are off, he's still on par with the rest of your army.
Foil: To Ephraim. Seth's more about careful planning, while Ephraim's more about decimating enemy ranks.
Infinity–1 Sword: The Silver Lance he starts off with. One of the best weapons only available very late in the game. Unfortunately only Seth can wield it early in the game due to it's high Weapon Rank A requirement.
In speed or efficiency runs, the Javelin's will serve as this to Seth, not only giving him a range weapon, but also to counterattack mages or archers.
Jack-of-All-Trades: He serves as the General for the elite forces of Renais, Eirika's bodguard, the party's scout and tactician, and if you use him, the party's strongest fighter.
Knight in Shining Armor: A very important part of his character is how he wants to protect the twins and his land, as well as those who need his help.
Also ties in to gameplay, as Paladins are the number 1 rescuers in battle; having one of the highest movement ranges allows them to rescue anyone in need very quickly.
The Lancer: In-game, he qualifies for both twins, even following the Route of whichever twin you choose to follow.
Mighty Glacier: A very effective one for keeping enemies away from more fragile units. Not to mention he has the 2nd highest growth rate in Defense, so he only gets better as he levels up.
No Kill Like Overkill: Seth has an extremely high Skill stat, which allows him to critical often. With the characteristically pitiful luck of an FE enemy, he has a high chance of dealing 3x damage to an enemy he can kill in one or two hits normally.
Not So Different: Condemns and pities Orson for having snapped and betrayed his country after his wife, who he had loved very much, died, but if he gets an A-support with Eirika, he'll be the same as Orson before Monica died. Of course, Seth did not betray his duty by running off with Eirika as he'd wanted, and he only marries her once peace returns to the country.
Secret Keeper: Seth knew about the Bracelets but kept his mouth shut per orders of King Fado, only spilling the beans out after the king's demise. In fact, he only informs Eirikaafter she uses it in a hostage exchange, since she thinks it's just an ordinary piece of jewelry.
The Stoic: Rarely shows emotion and is very calm, he is able to think straight even after seeing his lord get killed and is entrusted with the protection of his children (and the world for that matter, since he is the only one who knows the bracelet's secrets at the time).
The Knights Who Say Squee: He was a total Garcia fanboy as a young squire, and is rather delighted (though he doesn't show it that openly) when he joins the group. He later admits to Franz he was one of these to Franz's father when he was a squire.
“I may be young, but I'm every bit a Knight of Renais.”
A fresh knight in the Renais military, Franz joins Seth in escorting Eirika across the border. Franz is sent ahead initially and returns later with Gilliam. His older brother, Forde, is also a Cavalier, but he's under the direct service of Ephraim alongside Kyle and Orson.
Captain Ersatz: While not as blatant as his older brother's resemblance to Edward Elric, Franz does resemble Alphonse's human form.
Fragile Speedster: Franz is fast and decently strong, but he's not built of the sturdiest stuff.
Friendly Rival: He and Amelia try to help one another's growth by being friendly rivals in both their supports and Amelia's supports with Dussel. By the time he and Amelia reach A support (and implied in Amelia and Neimi's A support) their relationship has deepened considerably.
"To prepare myself for battle, I visualize the enemy in front of me."
A retired former soldier of Renais, Garcia left the military after his wife Risa died so he could raise his son Ross. When father and son are saved by Eirika's group early on, Ross manages to convince Garcia to rejoin the military and fight for the sake of Renais.
Retired Badass: Left the army after Risa's death so he could raise Ross. When their village was destroyed and they were saved by Eirika's crew, he returned to action when Ross decided to join the troupe.
In his solo ending, he becomes an instructor in the Renais military, helping out the newbies.
Mighty Glacier: Garcia is tied with Lute for the best attack growth in the game, has subpar defenses compensated by ridiculous HP, and he even has a decent skill growth...All topped with a horrible speed base and growth. He will only hit once a round, but it will be a good one.
Papa Wolf: He takes up his axe again to defend his son after the bandits come to destroy their village. If you don't recruit him until after the level, he'll rampage through the thugs all by himself.
“Yeah! Don't be fooled by my appearance. I'm actually pretty good.”
Garcia's son, one of the three new "trainee" classes. In this case, he's a Journeyman, a sort of Pre-Fighter/Pirate class. Ross is eager to become a great warrior like his father.
An Axe to Grind: Like his father, and he can pick up the same sub-weapons as his father, too.
Boisterous Weakling: Starts out as one; Ross is loud, and has plenty of confidence in his abilities, yet when he joins your party, he's a lot weaker than most of your team at that point. With a bit of training, however, this can be rectified.
Disc One Nuke: Ross is one of the three trainees in the game. Unlike Amelia or Ewan, however, he joins at a very early point, where he can somewhat hold his own. This and the ridiculous XP gain rate of trainees makes leveling Ross a snap.
Glass Cannon: Ross falls into the typical axefighter's trap of being extremely strong on offense but having low defenses. He's able to offset it well with his high HP, speed, and luck, however, so he can tank a hit and dodge the rest before he's in trouble.
He's also different from many Fighters in that he has a good skill growth, so he avoids the pratfall of an inability to crit that plagues many Fighters, including Garcia.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: Subverted. Ross wants to impress his dad more than anything, and the love and respect is reciprocated.
"Well, I might not be the best, but when something needs to be done...I do it."
A resident of Renais, and an Archer of reasonable skill. Neimi's village is sacked by Brigands, and Eirika agrees to help her find her childhood friend and the other survivor, Colm. She turns out to be the granddaughter and disciple of Sethla, a legendary archer.
Expy: Similarly to Eirika with Lyndis, Neimi's stats are almost identical to those of Rebecca. Unless you make her a Ranger, becoming more similar to Rath or a promoted Sue.
Fragile Flower: She's quite emotionally frail and given to getting upset a lot.
She actually has two MMG's. One is the aforementioned handmirror, the other is her archery gauntlet that she uses in battle.
Neimi: (to Garcia, about her gauntlet) My late grandfather gave it to me. It was too big for me, so I resized it to fit my hand. He was the one who taught me how to use a bow... This is a keepsake he gave me.
“You need anything stolen, I'm your man. 'Course, my blade's no joke either.”
Neimi's childhood friend, and a Thief. The group encounters him stealing from a group of Bandits to reclaim Neimi's Memento Macguffin... after he steals Eirika's Lunar Brace. Afterwards, he returns the bracelet and joins the group alongside Neimi.
Fragile Speedster: While he does take a lot of damage when hit, he often can dodge pretty well.
Lightning Bruiser: Potentially, if you promote him to Assassin and get him to A support with Neimi. Their support bonuses are explosive and add up to a ton of crits. And unlike most thieves, Colm has a respectable strength growth, so he should make a decent dent on the enemy, even he doesn't crit.
Gentleman Thief: What he becomes in his solo ending. If you pair him with Neimi, though, he will quit his thieving ways.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's very brusque with Neimi but he still goes out of his way to get her mirror back, and is concerned over Eirika.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Snarky, cool, and teases Neimi a lot with a straight face. But Heaven help whoever makes his Neimi suffer. In fact, he went to the bandits's hideout on his own solely to recover Neimi's Tragic Keepsake.
Blood Knight: Possibly. She really enjoys killing monsters with her magic. But she also does it "with love" in her own words.
Child Prodigy: She's very proud of this, and has the skills to back it up.
Cloudcuckoolander: Like L'Arachel, she's very much on her own wavelength, and her thought process is incomprehensible to others. If she and Artur marry, it's implied her son is just as odd as she is, as she starts studying the child's "baffling habits" with as much interest as her magic. (Curiously, her and Kyle's son is normal in behavior - likely because Kyle is the one mostly raising him).
Glass Cannon: Her magic growth is only second to Binding Blade's Lilina, in the GBA games, and her speed is usually good enough to double most enemies; all this topped with great luck, which ensures that she won't be hit by anything. She's still a mage however; when they do land, decent physical attacks leave her down for the count, unless there's a healer nearby.
Opposites Attract: Kyle is an extremely serious, straight-laced guy, while Lute is... not. This doesn't stop Kyle from falling for her if they support, finding Lute's peculiarities incredibly charming.
Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Most of the female units yearn for kind men, but Lute's relationship with Artur arguably has them all beat.
Stalker with a Crush: Her hobby is "monk watching". Says a lot. Granted, she and Artur were living together before they joined...
Sugar and Ice Personality: Her A support with Artur has her going into almost shock when he tells her that he loves her, then blushing and not knowing what to do or say until Artur tells her to just be herself.
Chivalrous Pervert: Not in the league of Sain, but he's still flirty with several of the women.
Heavy Sleeper: Sometimes dozes off in battle. Hilariously used in his and Vanessa's C support, where she and her pegasus almost crash on him and he doesn't even notice.
Forde likes his naps so much that his horse saddle is specially outfitted for his use. That way he can nap as much as he likes while in horseback witout risking to fall off.
In his supports with Eirika, he reveals that some of the dents in his armor are not collected in battle, but from falling asleep in his armor and rolling onto his weapons. Kind of a lot of them, actually.
Promotion to Parent: His and Franz's mom died when Forde was a teenager and Franz was a baby. Then, their dad died few years later.
Stepford Smiler: While Forde is a genuinely Nice Guy, Franz notices in their supports that sometimes he forces himself to keep acting like that when not in the mood to help his friends stay strong.
Warrior Poet: He is a very accomplished painter. In his solo ending, he retires from the military and becomes the court artist; in his and Eirika's shared one, he paints a beautiful portrait of her that becomes legendary.
He's also pretty good at map-making, if his supports witb Ephraim are a sign.
"You're an impressive knight, Seth. You would sacrifice your life for king and country. Not even a moment's pause."
A knight who serves Ephraim and is in his party starting and ending with Chapter 5x. In Chapter 8, he betrays the heroes and takes residence in Renais Castle. He spends the rest of his days with his Empty Shell of a revived wife, Monica, pretending that she is alive, uncaring of his surroundings. He is the boss of Chapter 16, where he (as well as said zombified wife) is killed by Ephraim and his group.
Climax Boss: Chapter 16 concludes the Second Story Arc in the game, given that it liberates Renais Castle and pretty much concludes the fight against the Grado Army.
Crutch Character: He does have solid growths, and he can solo the chapter he debuts in, but its a waste of XP when you realize that that's the only chapter where he's playable before he makes a Face-Heel Turn.
Despair Event HorizonandLove Makes You Evil: He and Monica were very Happily Married. Monica, however, was an Ill Girl and died some time before the game started. The loss threw Orson in such an emotional and moral turmoil that when Riev offered to revive her, he immediately betrayed his land to get a chance to have his beloved wife back.
Seth: His wife passed away some six months back. The loss may have been too much for his mind to bear. His love and devotion for his wife were well known among the knights.
Meaningful Name: His name means 'bear', and you know just how possessive and aggressive bears (both male and female) can be about what's theirs. This seems to be reflected in his defection — he just couldn't let his wife go, and becomes passive-aggressive towards those who he thinks will take her away from him.
Mighty Glacier: Because his growths are those of a Crutch Character while his three companions grow much more powerful, and to prevent the Wutai Theft of him taking his gear with him when he defects, canny players get a lot of use out of Orson by using him as unarmed but hard-to-hit bait to lure the large enemy force into traps.
Team Dad: For the Frelians, and to a smaller degree to the whole group.
Weak, but Skilled: As a Bishop. Moulder's fairly mediocre growths are outweighed by his ridiculous constitution, and effective damage against monsters. He won't be the fastest or the strongest, but he'll be able to heft the heavier light tomes without any penalties, and his low magic is compensated by triple damage against monsters; AKA. the only creatures you'll face, postgame.
“I hope our efforts end this war quickly. I don't want to see anyone else die.”
Princess of Frelia, and a fresh Pegasus Knight, Tana sneaks out to aid the Twins against her father and brother's will, with different results depending on which path you're following. Her Pegasus's name is Achaneus.
Class: Pegasus Knight
Action Girl: She readily joins the army early on, and proceeds to become a powerhouse.
"I've long been prepared for this day... too long..."
Expy: Bears a certain resemblance to Shiida/Caeda from the first Fire Emblem game, being a powerful Badass Princess pegasus knight with blue hair, a crush on the hero, and a happy talent for winning over more good-natured enemies to your side with pluck and kindness.
Lightning Bruiser: She's naturally prone to ending up this way most of the time, a rarity among Pegasus Knights.
Modest Royalty: Invoked in her and Cormag's supports, as she specifically asks him to not call her "Princess Tana".
Doubled when she manages to recruit Cormag (who even lampshades it) by basically sweet-talking him into a Heel-Face Turn on first sight, and when she snaps Ephraim out of an Heroic BSOD in his path, just like L'Arachel does to Eirika in hers.
Skilled, but Naïve: Tana has just finished her training under Vanessa and Syrene, so she still has work to do and Innes tries to tell her to go back home. It fails and she sticks around, which helps her take levels in badass and gain the experience she needs.
Tomboy Princess: She might not look it, but she's absolutely determined not to stay safe at home.
Took a Level in Badass: In Ephraim's route, she starts out with a big Distress Ball, but is actually a powerful unit who can surpass Vanessa and Syrene with ease if well trained. Additionally, in-story she gets two CMOA's by pulling Ephraim out of a short Heroic BSOD later, and an optional one as well by sweet-talking a very upset Cormag into a Heel-Face Turn.
“Surrender? I'm the prince of Frelia. I don't know the meaning of the word. The fate of the world rides on my shoulders, and I'll make it to Jehanna. Even if I have to crawl to do it.”
The Crown Prince of Frelia. Innes is dispatched to Jehanna after the twins reunite, and they end up encountering him along the way in her storyline... and right on time, since he has caught quite the Distress Ball: depending on the route, he'll be either under attack from Pablo's mercenary troops (alongside the mercenaries Gerik and Tethys) or trapped in Jehanna Hall as it burns down (alongside Eirika and Saleh).
Aloof Big Brother: He tries to be this to Tana. It overlaps with misguided Big Brother Instinct; he insults her abilities in an attempt to get her to leave the battlefield so she won't get hurt, but ends firing her up even more.
Archertype: He joins Seth as one of Eirika's main advisers on strategy and tactics, and is kind-hearted but notably haughty and can't have a proper conversation to save his life. His artwork also shows him as being very slender, and Eirika tells him that he needs to stay behind her in a support conversation.
Child Prodigy: As stated in Moulder and Vanessa's supports, he defeated a famous archer when he was as much 12 years old.
The Comically Serious: He takes himself really, really seriously. And yet he can be hilarious when he tries not to be. See his talk with Gerik and Tethys in Eirika's path and his supports with L'Arachel for good examples.
I won't give up... Not here... Not in this place... I'll keep going, even if I have to crawl...!
Distress Ball: In Eirika's path, he's trapped and surrounded alongside Gerik and Tethys in the mountains so Eirika and her group save them; later, he shares one with Eirika as the whole group is trapped in the burning Jehanna Hall.
He also puts on a Jerkass Façade to try and make Gerik and Tethys leave, rather than stand by him and be slaughtered by Carcino's troops (they don't) and to get Tana to go back home (she doesn't).
Not Good with People: His Fatal Flaw is that, despite being incredibly strong and smart, he lacks charisma and isn't necessarily receptive to other people's emotional needs. This is played for both laughs and drama, and him realizing this and trying to be more empathic becomes a strong theme in his Character Development.
Serious Business: Joshua is able to get quite a lot of gold off of him when Innes loses one coin toss after another but keeps betting more. When Joshua finally comes clean that he fixes coin tosses, Innes refuses to take his money back because he was unable to spot the trick, and in fact asks Joshua to keep going.
Also, when he reveals his feelings to Eirika, he also tells her that... he won't propose to her until he defeats Ephraim in a duel.
Stay in the Kitchen: Tells that to Tana, and to a degree Eirika and L'Arachel. They don't listen, and he later swallows his words.
Vanessa and Syrene, however, get spared since they're vassals and experienced fighters.
"To beat your enemy, know your allies. Without knowing the skills of your own men, you can never win a war."
A knight of Frelia, she's encountered very late in the game along the way to Rausten. She is also Vanessa's older sister and greatly admired by Tana, whom the sisters taught all they knew in regards to fighting.
Vanessa: I've always wanted to be like you. You've always been my role model. But, I feel like whenever I finally catch up to you, you're already gone. You've already moved on. I'll never catch up with you, no matter how hard I try.
Eleventh Hour Ranger: A subversion from the usual in the series; she is the last unit in the main story you recruit, but with 4 chapters still to go.
Faux Action Girl: Borderline example. Her starting stats are low, but a Creature Campaign can help remedy that. That said, you may expect a squad commander to be a little stronger from the get-go, but even so, she can still handle herself against Mooks until you recruit her.
Overshadowed by Awesome: A decent unit in her own right, in-game Syrene is sadly overshadowed by two pegasus knights that have much more room to grow. Not helping things is that she joins near the climax. Unless Vanessa and Tana have been neglected, there is no real reason to use her.
The Queen of Jehanna, known as "Ismaire of the White Dunes". Just, wise, calm and kind-hearted, she has been reigning alone ever since her husband perished and her son left the palace. Very well-loved by her people. Sadly murdered by Caellach about halfway through the game. Her son is actually Joshua the Myrmidon.
Stupid Sacrifice/Honor Before Reason: Gives her life in an attempt to stop Caellach from destroy Jehanna's sacred stone... except this doesn't stop Caellach from getting it anyway, nor does it even inconvenience him in any way. It could almost be a Senseless Sacrifice, except Caellach attempts to talk her out of it and basically Lampshades that it wouldn't stop him taking the stone either way.
Theme Naming: In the original Japanese version, at least, she and her son Joshua are both named after Biblical figures who were known for wandering in the desert.
Born Unlucky: A running gag is that Joshua will lose whatever coin toss or endeavor he attempts early on; even when he rigs it.
The Charmer: Hits on a nun within seconds of being introduced, but wouldn't kill her even if paid to. If their support level is raised to A, they get married. See also: Nice Guy.
Cool Sword: The Killing Edge he has when he joins. And the family heirloom Audhulma, which Ismaire gives to him before she dies.
Disc One Nuke: As expected from an early game myrmidon; the moment he joins you, Joshua will destroy anything with his killing edge. Even without it, he can still hold his own pretty well.
Failure Is the Only Option: No matter what story path you take, or how strong he is, or how quickly you go through the maps, he will never everget the chance to save his mum.
The Fatalist: He comments to Gerik in their supports that even the greatest warrior can't beat being unlucky, although Gerik tells him that luck is no excuse for success or failure.
The Gambling Addict: Decides his allegiance via coin flip, and manages to get L'Arachel addicted to it as well. Supports also reveal that he cheats on a pretty regular basis, so he may be disguising his decisions with the illusion of chance.
Handsome Lech: His attractiveness is never pointed out in-game, but his mother is repeatedly described as beautiful. Also, the personality of a gambling addicted mercenary who joins a team for a hot nun? Yeah... Attractive indeed...
Personality-wise, though, he's more of a Chivalrous Pervert since he does not force his affections on the women he can court and shows either quite the worry for her well-being (Natasha) or the admiration for her fighting skills (Marisa).
Lightning Bruiser: His defences are subpar, as is the case with all Myrmidons, but his HP is surprisingly high to compensate and thus partly negates the typical Myrmidon's issue of being a Glass Cannon.
Meaningful Name: Joshua (occasionally known as Jesus of Nun) is a warrior from the Bible, noted for being born in Egypt before the Exodus, one of the twelve spies sent to search out Canaan, Moses' apprentice and successor, and an extremely good leader in battle. Admittedly understated in English speaking countries as Joshua is a very common name, but it's not that common in Japan.
Nice Guy: He has the largest support pool besides Ephraim and Eirika, composed of the most standoffish, prickly, or otherwise unapproachable people — with Ice affinities, to boot. Marisa and Innes are the most obvious, but Artur and Natasha have three support candidates each. It appears that he actively seeks out withdrawn people to talk to.
Nice Hat: Never commented on in-game, but the fandom always love mentioning that he's easily got the most bitchin' hat in the series.
Obfuscating Stupidity: It's implied that he rigged the coin toss with Natasha so he would have an excuse not to kill her. Also, who expected a gambling addicted mercenary who shamelessly flirts with nuns to be the lost prince of Jehanna?
Paper-Thin Disguise: He wears a hat over one eye, and... that's pretty much it. Joshua is even his given name, seeing as Queen Ismaire called for him while dying. But justified since after ten years, it was quite likely that no one recognized him once he grew up, and assumed he was named after the prince, rather than actually being him.
Rebel Prince: He threw his old life away to go Walking the Earth so he could learn about the needs of the Jehannan people. Sadly, he came back home too late to save his mother.)
Refuge in Audacity: He is the third (possibly fourth) royal in disguise you meet throughout the game. Unlike everyone else, he remains undetected for years while his only disguise was the fact that red hair is very common in Jehanna, acting like a perpetually unlucky gambling addict, and wearing a hat. Also, Joshua strikes up friendships with Innes, a prince known for having flawless vision with a relentlessly sharp intellect, and L'Arachel, a princess who tried to disguise herself but failed.
Running Gag: All his supports have a recurring theme. Here's a clue; it rhymes with "rambling".
“If your desire to win is stronger than your opponent's, you've already won. Your mind is your most important weapon.”
A renowned mercenary leader, who encounters the viewpoint twin roughly halfway through the story. Tough-looking, but kind and very loyal to his employers.
All Girls Want Bad Boys <- -> Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Interestingly toyed with. He has the perfect Bad Boy looks and huge fighting skills... but what makes him attractive to Marisa and Tethys is how behind all of this there's a warm and compassionate heart, so he's actually a Good Man personality-wise.
Lightning Bruiser: While Gerik is extremely balanced at the outset, he rapidly grows to be downright godly.
Martial Pacifist: Surprisingly, he's not the biggest fan of violence, and his desire to protect the weak is what led him to becoming a mercenary aside of the Jehannian environment in itself.
Nice Guy: And it's him being kinder than the majority of the Jehanna mercenaries that draws Tethys and Marisa to him.
Number Two: To Joshua, if they have A support. Justified Trope: the King/Queen of Jehanna is supposed to be the highest Guildmaster of the many mercenary guilds there, and Gerik is the most famous and strong Jehannan mercenary.
Pride Before a Fall: According to his supports with Tethys, Gerik got his scar when he got a little too confident on his abilities and challenged a mighty hero, but got almost killed by him. When the other spared his life, he was knocked off his pedestal and reconsidered his Suicidal Overconfidence.
Private Military Contractors: Gerik's Mercenaries, of which Tethys and Marisa are members. Ewan, and his teacher Saleh, are generally considered part of the company, though mostly because Tethys is Ewan's sister.
Badass Pacifist: Has no direct offensive capabilitynote unless you exploit a glitch in the game that allows any unit to learn how to wield dark magic, but she can give those who do the ability to kick ass more than once. Also, Innes tells her and Gerik to flee at one point when certain death looks likely, and like Gerik, she stands her ground.
Fragile Speedster: Being a dancer and all, she can't fight back and usually dies at one hit. Good luck hitting her, though, since her speed and luck are absolutely ridiculous.
Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Mostly implied to be one. Her pre-recruitment appearance gives you the first major clue, and her little brother Ewan even lampshades this in one of his and Tethys' support conversations.
Plucky Girl: The lady has had a very harsh life, but she's still as sweet and gentle as she's emotionally strong.
Stripperiffic: Toyed with since she uses a midriff-baring top... with long pants, albeit semi-transparent. This means she's less stripperiffic than most other FE dancers. note Only Ninian, and the herons if you want to count them, are more modestly dressed.
"I've fought a thousand men and won each time. And still, I have seen only the barest glimpse of what I could achieve."
A mercenary working for Gerik, but circumstances in either route cause her to be led astray from him — either simply being deployed in the wrong region, or deployed on the opposite army he's fighting on.
Magikarp Power: If you train him well. He comes late in the game, and is as durable as wet paper. With 10 extra levels, and decent growths, however, he has the potential to be one of your best spell-casters.
Watch the Paint Job: When handing over Rausten's sacred twin weapons, he reminds the Lords that they're used in official ceremonies and to try and keep them in decent condition by the time they're brought back.
“I have no need of luck, you see, for I benefit from divine grace!”
The Crown Princess of Rausten, L'Arachel is on a self-appointed glorious quest to purge the monsters from the world, like her deceased parents did in the past. She'scertainlyaninterestingcharacter.
Class: Troubadour, Battle Cleric (Awakening)
Action Girl: Certainly acts the part, and truly becomes one after promotion.
Born Lucky: What happens when you pair her with Joshua? Why, she can beat a rigged coin toss, of course! This is reflected in her growth rates, as she'll almost always max out the Luck Stat on her own.
Chekhov's Gunman: Appears twice (alongside Dozla and Rennac) before you gain control of them in the second part of the game.
Fridge Logic: She induces this reaction in-universe many times, but some of the best examples are during her B supports with the siblings — Eirika, where she insists that she can protect herself by using her staff, which is explicitly designed in and out of the game mechanics as something meant to heal people, not to attack monsters. Eirika seems so baffled that the only thing she can do is quickly move the topic of conversation onto something else. In her support with Ephraim, she offers to heal his scars, so he naturally removes his armour so that she can get to work on them. Her immediate reaction is to freak out and run off while accusing him of being a pervert. Unlike his sister, Ephraim is left there flabbergasted, wondering what on Magvell just happened.
Hidden Depths: While she's portrayed as cheerful and spoiled, her supports with Eirika show the sadness she feels due to being orphaned at such an early age that she can't even remember her parents's faces.
L'Arachel: Everyone would tell me of my parents' bravery, of their honor... But I will never see them. I will never know them for myself. Oh, what I would give if I could have met them... just once.
Magikarp Power: L'arachel's a healer that joins in late in the game, so promoting her is a pain. One promoted, however, she becomes a magic cannon that won't be hit by jack squat, with her phenomenal speed and luck.
Spoiled Sweet: She's incredibly spoiled and rather egocentric, but she's also a very nice girl in spite of all that, especially towards Eirika. Rennac's endless woes stem more from L'Arachel's oblivious enthusiasm than any meanness on her part.
Tsundere: She can get paired up with the other Tsundere of the game, Innes.
Dozla: (when Myrrh cries for her dad): Ah! What do I do? Wait. Just think. I must have run across something like this before. When Princess L'Arachel was a babe, and she would begin to cry... She would tug on my beard! That would always make her happy. C'mon, lassie, grab a handful of my beard and give it a good, strong yank!
Go Out with a Smile: If he dies, he just laughs, and comments on how there couldn't have been a more awesome death for him. There isn't even any ellipsis in sight!
Gonk: Compounded by the fact that he fights in an army filled with inexplicably attractive characters, not to mention L'Arachel herself. He almost looks as if he stepped out of Shining Force.
"When I see an injured person, I must help. I seldom think of the consequences to myself."
A soft-spoken cleric of Grado, Natasha defects when she's told about the truth of Grado's goals by her dying mentor, and joins Eirika's troupe.
The Cassandra: Nobody believes her when she tries to explain that she's not a traitor. Even Seth and Eirika were a little distrustful when she told them, but ultimately took her in.
Chronic Hero Syndrome - Workaholic: She often works herself to the point of collapsing since she simply can't turn a blind eye to the necessities of others. Pointed out by the concerned Joshua and Seth in their supports.
Defector from Decadence: Her mentor was murdered because he knew too much, so Natasha ran away to try warning Frelia or Renais.
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She serves as one of the group's healers and is noted for her kindness, sorrow over the tragedy playing out with Grado, and being selfless to the point of occasional detriment.
Magikarp Power: She has horrible bases, and is a healer, so you better hope her growths kick in. Luckily, her growths (Especially in magic and speed) are very good, and, on average, the payoff would be worth the effort.
Silk Hiding Steel: While Natasha is the most graceful, serious, and compassionate of all the characters, she doesn't hesitate to speak against the government on fear of death.
Uptight Loves Wild: If you get her with Joshua, they follow this trope to the gender-flipped letter.
Woman in White: Wears a long-sleeved, floor-length white dress and matching knee-length veil, which would be extremely covered up even if everyone else wasn't wearing miniskirts.
"I'm not sure I can live up to your expectations... But I'll do my best."
A newly recruited soldier in the Grado army, coming from a small town named Silva. She starts as an enemy unit, but can be recruited into the group and can promote into either a Cavalier or Knight with some training.
Early-Bird Cameo: Appears during Chapter 5 in the house to the north, gearing up to leave (to work with Grado, not knowing the town she was residing in was casually being put under martial law by the same kingdom, not to mention there was a fight breaking out). She casually leaves a Torch behind for your usage in Chapter 6.
Meet Cute: Not only is there her Crash-Into Hello with Ross in their C support, her recruitment by Franz on Ephraim's route starts by her tripping over her lance when she lunges at him, and Franz helping her back up. Their supports do lead to a romantic ending, which is popular with a surprisingly large portion of the fans given the Ship-to-Ship Combat that pervades the fandom.
Naïve Newcomer: Her three possible recruiters (Eirika, Ephraim, Franz) comment on how she's just a newbie to fighting.
Parental Abandonment: Her unnamed father was killed when Silva was ransacked by bandits. Her mother, Melina, was abducted in another bandit raid. She`s actually alive and in another Grado place, thanks to Duessel.
Beware the Nice Ones: Toyed with. He comes off as a sweet and thoughtful Nice Guy in his supports; however, before getting them, we get to see him utterly pissed at the heroes (on Eirika's route, at least) because he has been tricked into thinking that Eirika killed Glen.
Country Mouse: He and Glen, in their backstory. They were from the countryside, working in their parents's fields and becoming very skilled in chasing animals away. They were taken in by the military after they threw stones at a bunch of stray dogs that were hounding Vigarde's crew.
Glass Cannon: His speed and strength is tremendous, but his resistance is piss poor, and though he has a great base, he won't advance his defenses far, with a 25% growth.
Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Finds an injured kitten in the battlefield and asks Natasha to heal him in their C support. Their B support mentions that he let the kitten go when he found out its mother was still alive.
Know When To Fold Them: After Seth challenges him to a duel, Cormag refuses, saying he would stand no chance against Seth.
Number Two: Duessel wants him to become his heir and companion since he has no children of his own.
Star-Crossed Lovers Pleasantly subverted if he gets an ending with Tana. He does leave after Grado's reconstruction, and Tana spends years searching for him... but they find each other and he becomes a knight of Frelia, presumably under Tana's direct orders, since she's the one who knights him instead of either Innes or Hayden.
To Be Lawful or Good: On Ephraim's route, Cormag has to struggle with this dilemma, opening him up for a Heel-Face Turn if you speak to him with either Tana or Duessel. In Eirika's route, however, Valter's manipulations lead to Cormag defecting when he realizes Eirika wasn't his brother's killer.
You Killed My Brother: At first, to Eirika. When that's cleared, he switches this towards the real culprit - Valter. Averted in Ephraim's route, since Cormag was on the opposite side of the continent and was already serving Ephraim when Glen was killed.
Duessel the Obsidian
“Your Majesty, you know that I will gladly lay down my life for an honorable cause! But these orders — and all of our recent actions — they are not just!"
Longtime general of Grado known by the title Obsidian, Duessel is one of the first to question Grado's motives, and defects early on in Ephraim's story.
But Now I Must Go: In his ending, he quietly leaves after the reconstruction of Grado, and is never seen or heard of again.
Dark Is Not Evil: According to his research, dark magic was not always called such and was branded it at one point or another in history. Even if it is dark, he also insists it's not evil.
Defector from Decadence: Was one of Lyon's sidekicks in his project to revive Vigarde. He questioned this and was thrown in jail.
Glass Cannon: Not only is Knoll Born Unlucky, but while his Magic growths go off the ceiling, his HP and speed ones are pretty low. Still, if raised well, he'll still be frail in regards to defense... and a magical attack powerhouse: he still dies quickly, but only if the others manage to reach him... which won't be easy as either Druid (Dark and Anima Magic) or Summoner (Dark magic and raising the dead).
He Knows Too Much: Was imprisoned and slated for execution because he knew that Vigarde was a "zombie".
Healing Hands: When promoted to either Druid or Summoner. Due to his very high Magic, training him up in staff use is a very good idea.
Nice Guy: Though he is reserved and elusive due to the troubling knowledge he holds, he does turn out be a kind and softspoken person.
Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: In his supports with Natasha, he states that dark magic stems from knowledge and understanding, in contrast to light magic, which stems from faith.
The Philosopher: In his supports with Natasha, he offers this: "There are as many truths out there as there are people to tell them. Perhaps it's best simply to choose the truth with which you are most comfortable."
Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: L'Arachel's adventures are not what Rennac signed up for, especially not since L'Arachel seems to genuinely believe Rennac is helping purely out of the goodness of his heart and doesn't need compensation. In spite of this, Rennac can't seem to bring himself to say "no" to L'Arachel's call to adventure, even though he'll demand nearly 10,000 gold off Ephraim when he thinks Ephraim will kill him.
Rennac (to Dozla): I may not look it now, but I'm the son of a wealthy Carcino merchant. I believed that you could move the world if you but had the gold. Money was everything, and with money, nothing was beyond my reach! I adored money! I loved money! You see?
Dude, Where's the Great Dragon's Respect?: Like most people of Caer Pelyn, Saleh is a bit annoyed that the outside world has forgotten Morva and his deeds. He attempts to compenstate by treating Morva and Myrrh with great respect, despite both being rather modest.
Expy: Gameplay-wise, he's almost a carbon copy of Pent. Great bases, but nigh atrocious growth rates.
Failure Knight: Saleh once accidentally killed a good person in the battlefield, and he could never forgive himself for that. Said guy turned out to be Gerik's old friend.
Glass Cannon: Minor case. Saleh's HP is only average and his Defense is quite lackluster, but he has such high Skill that he'll be able to whip out many critical attacks. Even if he doesn't, he has plenty of Magic and can damage the enemy nicely.
The legendary Great Dragon who led the original defeat of the Demon King (but was never known for it), the elder of the Manakete tribe and the adoptive father of Myrrh. He tries to stop the Demon King again when he returns to Darkling Woods. It ends very, very badly.
Weaksauce Weakness: Bows, which both Manaketes and Dracozombies are oddly weak to in this game. (It sort of makes sense for Myrrh, anyway.) In particular, Morva gets competely shut down by Longbows, which he can't retaliate against.
The Worf Effect: What better way to establish the power of the newly resurrected demon king than to kill and zombify the man that downed him all those years ago?
“... I've lived in Darkling Woods ever since I was a child. I think that I shall spend the rest of my life there.”
One of the Manakete, the adoptive daughter of tribe leader Morva. She is sensitive to the existence of the "great evil" emanating from Grado and was compelled to track it down. Along the way, she met Ephraim and started travelling with him.
Action Girl: Doesn't look at all like one, but oh, can she kick ass.
Achilles' Heel: Bows. Avoid them like the black death, as the effective bonus (2x damage) and Myrrh's low speed is enough for her to be doubled and killed by enemy archers. She also would do well to steer clear of Druids carrying Luna.
Mythology Gag: The Fire Dragon from Blazing Sword didn't last too long against Luna either.
Glass Cannon: One wouldn't think so, given her enormous Defense and Resistance, but she's slow, has poor Luck, and starts with very little HP. Give her a few levels and she'll nuke almost everything without trouble, but if you're not careful, her aforementioned Achilles Heels can still get her killed, even late in the game.
Superweapon Surprise: Myrrh is such a sweet, shy girl but, when she uses her Dragonstone, she becomes a fricking huge dragon that can kill most enemies in one shot.
Too Awesome to Use: She is an extremely powerful character, but she requires her dragonstone to attack. It has fifty uses and counterattacks against enemies also count. There is no way to repair it (outside of a Good Bad Bug) and there is only one of them, so once it's used fifty times, she becomes completely useless.
Badass Bookworm: An extremely skilled dark magic user, pretty much genius level. The dude is the most powerful magician in the whole of Magvel, period.
Beneath the Mask: Whether you're on Eirika's route, and he pretends to have more control than he really does, or you're on Ephraim's route, and he pretends to have less control than he really does. Either way, he left Grado's Sacred Twin weapons for Ephraim to find, and Knoll implied that Lyon wanted Ephraim to find them. He also scheduled Knoll to be executed the day after Ephraim laid siege to Grado Keep, implying that he may have wanted Ephraim to find Knoll too.
Big Bad: It's a half-and-half deal, as instead Fomortiis is the full-on Big Bad in Eirika's route.
Despair Event Horizon: First he had a vision of Grado being destroyed by earthquakes, and then his father died. He tried to revive him via forbidden magics, which just made things worse. And then he set out to attempt to free the Demon King, hoping to use his power to stop the earthquakes, which again made things even worse.
Green-Eyed Monster: In Ephraim's route, Lyon admits that he was always envious of Ephraim; strong while Lyon was weak, confident while Lyon was unsure of himself, and adored by Eirika, who Lyon was in love with. This isn't the reason that Lyon turned to evil, but it does influence Lyon's Superpowered Evil Side to want to fight Ephraim as a Worthy Opponent.
I Cannot Self-Terminate: "I cannot save myself. I'll become the Demon King of old and try to destroy all of mankind. Ephraim. If you want to stop this, you must come to Darkling Woods. I want you to come. I need you to stop me. You must promise."
Mighty Glacier: In his second appearance, he rather brazenly wields a tome that weighs a ton, with only a piddly 15 Speed and 7 Constitution before you factor in the weight penalty. In short, everybody hits him twice. 'Course, the payoff is that he's inflicting massive damage (more than the final boss, even) that kills everyone in two hits. He also possesses ludicrous HP and defenses for a mage. Beating him requires ganging up on him at full health.
The Silent Emperor of Grado. Once a ruler beloved by all for his kindness, his declaration of war on Renais was completely unexpected and out of character. Because by that point, he wasn't even himself.
Bad Boss: Played interestingly; he seems to work just fine with Tirado up until the latter's unexpected death, but his next "confidant" Hadon knows it's time to get the hell out of dodge when he's failed, hoping he can escape Valter's punishment.
Blood Knight: And. how. He not only relishes battle, but he has an especially sick glee for slaying strong opponents and toying with them just to savor the thrill of the hunt.
Riev: Ah, Valter... You're a beast. You're bound to no country. You care nothing for friend or foe. Kill a man, claim a woman... You live for nothing more, you wretched beast. That's your strength. That's what makes you stronger than any man alive. A beast acts without remorse. Man's morality cannot win. It's nature's way...
Cutscene Power to the Max: The game tries to do its best to make Valter look cool; in scripted events, he chumps Seth and Glen without any effort. He's no slouch when you reach him, but he's not exactly impossible either.
Flanderization: An in-universe example that is played very much for drama. He grabbed Duessel's cursed lance and it caused him to go from a simple savage and brutal Blood Knight into a ruthless monster.
Foil: Each of the three "evil" generals has a Foil among the "good" ones. Valter and Glen are both promoted Wyvern Riders, but are of different promotions. Both served under Grado and Duessel before. The three collectively are called "The Imperial Three".
For the Evulz: Valter extends the war to savor the pleasure of the hunt and the kill, but several of his more dickish actions, such as setting up Cormag to attack Eirika or convincing Selena to withdraw from executing Dussel only to be reprimanded and sent to her death, are done purely for his own amusement.
General Failure: He's a villainous example of The Millstone on Grado's side; everything he does either ends in failure or actively harms Grado's war efforts.
No Sell: Magic and bows won't two-shot him like the other Wyvren riders surrounding him due to his Fili Shield and surprisingly high Resistance. Luckily you can loot the Fili Shield once you defeat him.
You Monster!: Riev actually applauds and admires him for it, but the rest of his allies believe Valter is the worst human being alive; so much so that his underlings would rather be branded deserters than face his particular brand of punishment and Caellach of all people (who is, let it be known, a ruthlessly pragmatic and sociopathic douchebag who will murder anyone without hesitation) pulls Even Evil Has Standards on him.
Selena the Fluorspar (Celina)
“It looks like these villagers have some bandit problems. I would like to help, but I have orders...”
Big Bad Friend: He and Joshua were buddies back in their days as mercenaries, although their reunion on the battlefield varies depending on which route you took. In Ephraim's, he's a perfect Friendly Enemy, greeting Joshua as an old friend and asking him if he'll ditch "these losers" and work for him; Joshua replies he's not going to let Callaech use him and they tell each other it's Nothing Personal as they fight. In Eirika's, however, it's VERY different: Callaech tells Joshua he knows he's the prince, and admits to killing Joshua's mother; this time, the battle is intensely personal, with the two drawing their weapons on much less friendly terms and fighting to the death for Jehanna's throne.
Face Death with Dignity: Caellach takes his end a bit better than Valter, merely expressing his resentment over dying before he could become a king.
Foil: To Selena. Both are the least extreme of their own general triad (Selena had doubts about Grado but remained loyal, unlike Duessel and Glen; Caellach is a bastard but Valter and Riev are both monsters). Selena is extremely loyal to Vigarde, while Caellach is The Starscream and mocks him whenever he can get away with it.
Genre Savvy: Comes off as this in his final fight. In a country filled with myrmidons, Caellach carries a device which prevents critical hits from happening, making fighting him with Joshua much harder... unless you steal it.
Kick the Dog: Killing Ismaire. Also kills his subordinate Aias for failing him, even when said subordinate is genuinely loyal and devoted to him. Though Caellach himself doesn't seem exactly gleeful in either case... well, he still did it.
Last Words: Well, all named units have them, but he asks the last guard standing at the Tower of Valni if he asks any (and is a bit insulted that the guy used them to insult him).
No Sell: Hope you weren't planning on killing him with critical hits, that Hoplon Guard won't let you. At least you get it when you defeat him.
Nothing Personal: You're a stepping-stone... And I'm moving up. Don't take it personally.
“Heh heh heh... Humans will never conquer darkness. The guardian of light, Rausten, will drown in a never-ending night."
Best Served Cold: His motive is to take revenge upon Rausten, because Pontifex Mansel had him excommunicated from the order. For what, it's not known, but given Riev's delightful behavior it's no wonder.
His profile says that he was kicked out of the order for heresy. It doesn't specify what got him branded a heretic, but given his fanatical devotion to the Demon King, it probably had something to do with being a demon worshiper.
Bigger Bad: Erika's route only, but it's implied that he was the one behind Lyon becoming the Demon King's host.
Expy: He resembles Gharnef◊ physically. He also plays the role of the Gharnef in the game alongside Lyon.
Foil: To Duessel. Both are loyal to their lords (Vigarde and Lyon) as long as they agree with their Lord's ideals (Lyon simply hides his true nature in Ephraim's route, while Vigarde doesn't.), both abandon their homeland (Grado and Rausten) to fight for the opposite side against each other.
Face Death with Dignity: Unlike Valter and Caellach, Riev accepts his death gleefully, fully believing in his master's victory and his own eternal reward for his service. (He's wrong.)
Manipulative Bastard: Riev spends most of the early game using his subordinates or his monster servants to do his fighting for him. He doesn't actually begin to fight himself until there's nobody left to use.
Optional Boss: In chapter 19. Technically all bosses in a Hold the Line mission are optional, but since the computer is pouring in swarms of promoted units from where Riev is standing, he's particularly hard to reach. Defeating him in this mission rewards you with his spellbook, the very powerful Aura.
A general from Jehanna and the bodyguard for Queen Ismaire, who has been in love for her for years - this makes him easy to manipulate for Caellach and his group. Trained her Rebel Prince son, Joshua, in swordplay.
Unintentional Backup Plan: When capturing Ephraim fails, he cleverly spreads a rumour that Ephraim was captured and is to be executed in order to lure Eirika in. It works until Ephraim hurries back in time, meets up with Eirika, and they team up to defeat him.
Wake-Up Call Boss: If you don't have good axe units and/or Armorslayers, it'll be hard to kill him. The Lords are probably your best bet.
A member of Carcino's Council of Elders. He wanted to break off the traditional alliances and make a new one with Grado, and when Klimt refused to join him, he started to bribe everyone in the council. When he learns that Prince Innes is in his way, he sends out mercenaries after him.
Healing Hands: One of the few magical-type bosses who carries a staff and uses it.
Oh, Crap: If you have Innes face him in the chapter where both of them are introduced.
Innes: Trying to trap me is a mistake. Failing, an expensive one. I think it's time for you to learn how expensive.
Optional Boss: Shows up as a mini-boss a few chapters after he appeared first as a normal boss, in a chapter that already has another boss already (Two if you end up fighting Cormag instead of recruiting him).
Ascended Extra: There is a mod that exists with him as the main character.
Bad Boss: Tells a reluctant generic soldier that he'll burn him to the stake if he refuses to follow orders and that no one cares whether he or his comrades live or die. When Amelia (a fresh recruit who had not even finished her training) calls him out, Gheb sends her to the first combat lines. Then say this as the battle starts.
Gheb: Form up, you useless worms. Don't let those dogs near the throne. Grado cannot afford to lose a brilliant tactician of my stature! No one will blink if any of you worthless toads dies. But if I die— You should be happy to fight, kill, and die in my service!.
Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The chapter he's in establishes just how hard Ephraim's journey will be. Then you reach Gheb himself. Make no mistake, Gheb hits hard. See, thing is, he doesn't have a ranged attack, making him essentially target practice for your magic users and archer.