As the story has advanced beyond the point of hiding plot twists for Heavensward, there are unmarked spoilers below, you have been warned.
Ishgard is a theocratic city-state on Eorzea located to the northwest of the Black Shroud. For much of Ishgard's known history the country has been at a Forever War with the dragons of Dravania due to reasons mostly lost to history. As a result of this long war and the Dravanian Horde's practice of Transhuman Treachery, Ishgard has a long and well-deserved reputation for violent religious zeal and xenophobia, as well as a country that prides itself in glorious combat, valorous deaths, and an active caste-system where highborn discriminate against their lowborn neighbors.
Dravania meanwhile is a loosely defined "Nation" of dragons fathered by Nidhogg and Hraesvelgr, two of the seven children of Midgarsormr and the strongest dragons in the world as such. According to Ishgardian lore a thousand years ago Nidhogg attacked the first Ishgardian settlers and in the ensuing fight King Thordan the First and his Knights Twelve fought Nidhogg off and stole his eye who then began the Dragonsong war in his vengeance against mankind. While Nidhogg's Dravanian Horde actively despises humanity, the brood of Hraesvelgr who has no grudge against humanity is more affable and willing to entreat with mortals who can prove themselves worthy of their damaged trust.
By the end of the original main scenario of Heavensward, the structure of Ishgard's government was radically changed, replacing the theocracy with a representative republic where policy is determined by highborn and lowborn alike, their interests represented by the House of Lords and the House of Commons, respectively. In time, they also finally achieve peace with Dravania, bringing a definitive end to the Dragonsong War.
Tropes for the "Free" nation of Idyllshire in the Dravanian Hinterlands can be found on the Beast Tribes page as it's technically owned and run by the Goblins who live there.
- 100% Heroism Rating: After the Dragonsong War reaches it's conclusion the majority of Ishgardians regard the Warrior of Light as a true hero who they completely respect and trust. During the Scholasticate questline a certain npc is blamed for the theft of a statue's head and is found innocent due to the authorities believing the Warrior of Light for their word alone, with no need to go on a quest to prove said innocence. In Stormblood they join the fray to liberate Ala Mhigo as a member of the Eorzean Alliance, but they rally behind the Warrior of Light and their battle cries consist of statements like "Ishgard Remembers, Warrior of Light!"
- Berserk Button: Lord Drillemont absolutely despises the idea of allowing outsiders to aide in House Durendaire affairs, seeing it as a sign of weakness. He already had little patience for you after you (in his eyes) "wasted his time" by requesting access to a sacred Ishgardian ruin based on a "baseless" rumor, and claiming that one of your companions was Cid without any proof, but when you present him with a letter from another House requesting permission to send some of their forces to aid House Drillemont, he absolutely explodes in rage and goes on an infuriated rant.
- Corrupt Church: Played with, while the Archbishop, his personal guards, and a good chunk of the upper class members of the clergy certainly fit the bill, the Saint Endalim's Scholasticate questline shows that a good majority of the clergy is still devoted to actually helping the poor and needy. Said questline partially revolved around helping the clerics in training overcome the negative perception of the church after Thordon's actions were made public, as well as rooting out some of the corruption.
- Crippling Overspecialization: The Ishgardians have dedicated their entire culture to their war against the dragons, leaving them stunted in all other fields because of it. One example would be astrology. Sharlayan astrology uses several constellations and can be used for healing magic. Ishgardian astrology only focuses on a single star, the Dragonstar, to plot the dragons' movements. Part of what eventually forces them to open their doors to outsiders is the Heretics gaining ground as an organized movement capable of planning thanks to Iceheart, as the Ishgardians have no idea how to fend off an organized threat that thinks and fights like people instead of raging dragons, and this further shows itself with all the resistance Aymeric ends up facing in his attempts to bring a peaceful end to the war.
- Expy: Of the Final Fantasy XI City-State of San d'Oria. Home to primarily an Elven-like race? Check. Very devout to religion and home to said religion's Archbishop? Checknote . Military primarily of Knights and their orders? Check, even possessing one order that shares a name, and performs somewhat similar role. Namely, the Temple Knights. Castle like city, with the commoners area being on the outside, and the nobles closer to the inner city? Check. Home to the Dragoon Job? Check. The two city-states remain fundamentally different on several points though: Ishgard is Darker and Edgier, due to its social issues, where it is nearly impossible to rise above commoner unless one becomes a knight or member of the clergy. And even in those, there are high-born who look down upon low-born joining the ranks. As well as the fact that Ishgard has an Inquisition where proving one's innocence is extremely hard, and often ignored unless absolutely irrefutable proof is given, making invoking the right of Trial by Combat often the better bet. By comparison, San d'Oria is pretty idealistic, led by a fair and just king. Crafters, business owners, and farmers are respected for the importance of their work to the city-state and rewarded fairly. Really about biggest issue on the minds of San d'Oria's citizens, is how the two sons of the king, are constantly trying to one-up each other through their deeds and their bickering. And they certainly are not isolationists.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Begins with the help of the Scions and Crystal Braves in 2.4, and becomes full fledged to all of Eorzea in 2.5. Unfortunately, twenty years of shunning the rest of Eorzea hasn't exactly endeared them to any of its leaders. Limsa Lominsa is focused currently internally, what with dealing with rogue pirates, the Sahagin, and Kobolds; Gridania, though having the closest ties with the Holy See, is busy repairing the damage of the Calamity, and Ixal. And Ul'dah, is in the middle of a Monetarist faction of the Syndicate, and traitorous Crystal Braves, led coup d'état to seize power while also framing the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. In response, Ishgard is left no other choice but to open its gates to the Free Companies, sell swords, and other adventurers.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Shadowbringers reveals that this was ultimately the lynchpin behind Thordan's betrayal and murder of Ratatoskr. It turns out that, despite the peace and unity between Ishgard and Dravania, Thordan secretly deeply resented the Dravanians for both their power and how he believed they looked down on him and other mortals. During a banquet, Ratatoskr offhandedly confirmed that Nidhogg, at least, did consider the Dravanians superior to the Ishgardians, and this perceived slight caused Thordan to snap and formulate his and the Knights' betrayal.
- Hidden Elf Village: Much larger than a village, and not hidden, but it fits the trope otherwise. It takes a lot for them to open their gates to outsiders.
- Honor Before Reason:
- With said honor often measured in "How pious and devoted to Halone, the Fury, are you? And how many dragons have you fought today?" So much so, that Ishgardian knights posted in Cloudtop consider it a dead end to their career as a knight, as dragons are hardly an issue there.
- It was bad enough to the point that it's often used by upper-class nobility as a means to prevent the lower classes of Ishgard from advancing, or treat them with contempt. Even the simple act of gifting a common worker for their hard efforts, or helping out those in need, is considered something of a social taboo in some cases. This is what gave rise to the St. Nicholas Expy as part of Eorzea's version of Christmas, the Starlight Celebration. It was a particular noble and his fellow knights, who let orphans stay in their barracks during a particularly cold winter, by dressing them up in red, Santa Claus like coats, which was their official uniform, because it was considered improper to allow civilians to stay in military barracks.
- Jannequinard has tried for years to introduce Sharlayan astrology to Ishgard. Despite its myriad uses, including healing magic, the reading and manipulation of fate, the use of gravity as a weapon, and the creation of protective forcefields, it's shunned by all Ishgardian Astrologians. Why? Because it's from outside Ishgard and isn't effective at tracking the movements of dragons. Therefore it's heretical and something to be mocked at best and persecuted at worst. It's not until Leveva shows up and the Warrior of Light starts showing its practical uses does Ishgard start to come around to it. But even then it's considered an enormous affront to Ishgard's best Astrologians who help the Sharlayans attempt to have Jannequinard and Leveva assassinated for trying to spread knowledge of it.
- The fighting style of Ishgard's knights are restricted to heavy cannons, swords, spears, and bows. Heavy steel armor is also the knights' go to for protection. The idea of using a gun to attack dragons at virtually any distance with ease and using leather armor to stay warm are scoffed by the knights because they don't see those things as honorable and point out that their ancestors have always used the same methods that are used today, thus there's no need to change what has always worked for them. The Machinist and Leatherworker quests involve getting some of the knights to abandon that way of thinking.
- Knight Templar: Being a theocracy, this has been actively encouraged by the church of Halone by the Heavens' Ward, Temple Knights, and Inquisition.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Of the highest caliber. The Enterprise portion of the main A Realm Reborn storyline sees you climbing through a labyrinth of red tape and mistrust just to find the damnable airship.
- The Republic: Following a dramatic series of sweeping reforms by Ser Aymeric, Ishgard is transformed from The Theocracy to a constitutional republic similar to real life Great Britain, with a House of Lords and a House of Commons elected by the people. Aymeric admits that while it's far fairer and more just the previous system, there's now a mountain of red tape he has to climb through compared to the singular authority the archbishop possessed.
- The Theocracy: The Holy See of Ishgard is ruled by the Ishgard Orthodox Church, with Archbishop Thordan being the supreme authority in matters of both church and state. This is reflected by the nation's fervent devotion to Halone, the goddess of ice and war, as well as its dogmatic hatred of outsiders and dragons.
- Witch Hunt: A very common occurrence due to dragons being able to disguise themselves as a normal person. The moment anyone is accused of being a heretic, they are held to a trial that involves throwing them off a cliff. If they're innocent, they'll die. If they're guilty, the accused will transform into a dragon to escape and will be shot down by nearby waiting archers.
Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki (JP), Blake Ritson (EN), Sylvain Agaesse (FR), Tino Kießling (DE)
Epithet: Aymeric the Blue
Discipline: Gladiator, Archer
The Lord Commander of the Temple Knights of Ishgard, he is amongst the reformists seeking to open up trade, and possibly one day, the gates. He is trying to balance the desire to reform Ishgard to reunite with Eorzea, while also not trying to bring changes too quickly to avoid panic amongst Ishgard.
- 100% Adoration Rating: While he's not quite 100% due to the sect of nobles who consider him a threat to the status quo which they flourished comfortably under, Aymeric is universally beloved by pretty much every other citizen in Ishgard. Even people who otherwise despise the Temple Knights he commands, like Fray or the Mongrel, show nothing but respect for him and consider his only real fault to be naivety due to his idealism. It helps that he was born as a bastard by a highborn and then abandoned, only to rise to his position through determination and effort, making him popular to highborn and lowborn alike. After Ishgard's massive restructuring, it's noted that his election to the head of the House of Lords was nearly unanimous.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Subverted and discussed. Early on in his appearances, Alphinaud comments on Aymeric's cool reason and logical approach go dealing with the heretics, tactfully invoking his trope when discussing stereotypes about the Holy See. Aymeric says that while it may be befitting for a soldier on the battlefield to have zeal, it's not befitting for their leader to do so.
- Big Good: Similar to the above leaders, he is this for Ishgard.
- Bishōnen: Aymeric is famously handsome in-story, and has a unique face that's far prettier than any male Elezen you can create in the character builder.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Once he finds out the truth that his father, Archbishop Thordan VII, was trying to suppress information on what really started the Dragonsong War 1000 years ago, he confronts him alone in the hopes of getting him to come clean and turn things around. Thordan throws him in jail to keep the truth hidden, fearing that Ishgard's society would collapse if the truth were to come to light.
- The Chains of Commanding: He's all for Ishgard rejoining the Eorzean Alliance, but he admits that the decision isn't his to make, as it is the archbishop's. He also can't devote the Temple Knights to defending Eorzea from the Garlean Empire as Ishgard is still under siege from the Dravanian horde, no matter how much he'd like to help. It's not until the Dragonsong War is brought to an end that he can finally cut through some of the bureaucracy and aid his allies as he'd like to.
- Dented Iron: To show how much of a leap of stakes there are after the conclusion of 3.0, 3.1 starts off with Aymeric suffering a near-fatal stabbing from a supporter of the True Brothers of Ishgard, which leaves him injured for a good while. Doesn't stop him from jumping into the fray and temporarily holding his own against multiple foes while you rescue hostages, but he's also likely to die quickly if you don't hurry, and the wound haunts him for a while after.
- Dragon Rider: In the lead-up to the final battle with Nidhogg, he is pitted against Hraesvelgr's son Vedrfolnir in a test to earn the Great Wyrm's aid, and subsequently rides him into battle. Later, when Nidhogg is slain and Ishgard at peace, Aymeric is again seen riding Vedrfolnir above the city's towers; dubbed "An Azure Dragoon for a New Age" in Count Fortemps' memoirs.
- A Father to His Men: He's immensely popular among the Temple Knights under his command for his just and compassionate leadership as well as his ability to take decisive action in a crisis. Lucia swears complete loyalty to him alone, while the majority of the knights gladly follow him into battle against the Horde. That said, there are numerous knights dissastisfied with him due to their own religious fervor and his origins as a Heroic Bastard, as shown with the antagonistic Temple Knights who abuse their power in the Dark Knight storyline.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Once upon a time, he and Estinien were in the same regiment of Temple Knights, and the lone survivors of an attempt to slay a dragon. While Aymeric planned to head to Ishgard, Estinien insisted upon finishing the job. It would have cost him his life, had Aymeric not changed his mind, saving his life with a well-timed arrow to the dragon's head. While ever the lone wolf, Estinien all the same came to respect the Knight Commander to-be.
- Happily Adopted: Supplementary material reveals Thordan gave him to the Borel family, to be raised properly and hidden.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: His main weapon, but he also sometimes wields a bow.
- Heroic Bastard: He's the son of Ishgard's archbishop, even though said archbishop isn't allowed to marry or sire children as stated by the laws and traditions of the church.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: In 3.1, because of the circumstances of Thordan's disappearance and the fact that it was immediately followed by Aymeric assuming control and telling everyone the whole truth about the Dragonsong War, the upper echelons of nobility see him as a patricidal heretic, and easily convince some of the smallfolk to attack him and start riots if he doesn't immediately hold council to select a new archbishop. This however noticeably died down in 3.2's climax with only small pockets of resistance to him taking over, and in 3.3 he's back to being adored by commoner and noble alike, to the point where even though he abdicates any rule over the newly-created senate, the senate just re-votes him as their head anyway.
- Innocently Insensitive: Offers a drink to the Warrior of Light when they're seemingly coming closer to mending Ishgard and Dravanian relations, totally oblivious to just what they had witnessed in 2.55's Wham Episode. He notably seems concerned when the Warrior's face contorts into one of extreme discomfort at the thought, before they accept to be kind. And shortly after, the Warrior ends up drinking a drugged ale while waiting for Aymeric's conference. Thankfully he does finally get it after Nidhogg's defeat, if cut short.
- Jumped at the Call: He adores the idea of joining the Warrior of Light on their journey as one of their regular traveling companions, but ultimately averted as his obligations to Ishgard are monumental and leaves him stuck there. Even before he becomes especially close with the Warrior of Light he has no qualms with the idea of leaping head first into danger with them. Lucia usually has to stop him.
- Named Weapons: Naegling, a Borel heirloom and a blue sword used to slay dragons.
- My Greatest Failure: He'll never let himself live down telling the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud to toss Nidhogg's eyes into the chasm beneath the Steps of Faith after prying them off Estinien... when it ultimately led to Shinryu's birth and the war of liberation for Ala Mhigo. Most of his dialogue before the final battle in the Lochs is self-deprecating towards himself for that decision. In his defense, by this point the swift corrupting power of the eyes was evident to all involved and his wanting the WoL and Alphinaud to be rid of them as soon as possible was well-founded — he just never expected the eyes to be recovered.
- Patricide: When pleading to Hraesvelgr for aid, he admits to him that even though it was the Warrior of Light that killed Thordan, Aymeric holds responsibility for the outcome since he tasked the Warrior of Light with the deed of stopping Thordan before it was too late.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Aymeric is very objective-minded and manages to keep from falling into becoming a Knight Templar like the temple knights seem prone to do. This is best exemplified by his Establishing Character Moment after Snowcloak, when he tells his men to stop pursuing a fleeing heretic so they can find where Iceheart intends to summon Shiva.
- His actions are noble enough that even those who hold low opinions of the Temple Knights, Inquisition, and Heavens' Ward for their abuses of power — such as Fray, Sidurgu, and Hilda — all remark that he's one of the few they respect, and actually believe that he's the one who could actually bring about much needed reforms to Ishgard. Estinien even noted that he continues to hold Aymeric in the highest regards after Aymeric himself confirmed that he was in fact the bastard son of the archbishop (which until that point Estinien believed was just lies from the upper class to slander him).
- At the end of Heavensward's Main Story, he immediately calls off the archers from attacking Midgardsormr and the Warrior of Light, having just returned from Azys Lla triumphantly. He warmly greets them, jokingly mentioning that the Warrior of Light is the first person to have ever arrived in Ishgard while riding a dragon in over a thousand years. When realizing the dragon they rode in on is the Father of all dragonkind himself, he immediately leads all soldiers and citizens present in kneeling in respect, pledging to do everything they can to begin knitting the wounds, and atoning for Ishgard's past crimes, hoping to one day bring about the restoration of peace between the spoken races and dragonkind. Midgardsormr agrees to with the idea and pledges to assist Ishgard so long as they remain true to their word.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
- He's willing to overlook certain acts that would be declared heretical or treasonous, if it means it would benefit Ishgard.
- Upon Lucia revealing herself as an Imperial spy before the events of the game, despite having every right to have her jailed and executed for treason, he instead spared her, knowing that if she was willing to out herself as a spy to him, she had no loyalties remaining to the Garlean Empire, and let her remain as his second in command.
- Despite the fact that Estinien having technically stolen the Dragon's Eye, if for noble reasons, and having turned against Ishgard and be mind controlled by the influence of Nidhogg through the eye once, he welcomes Estinien back when he comes back to his senses. Aside from their friendship, part of the reason he does so is due to the information Estinien has thanks to being linked to Nidhogg's mind, which proves valuable to the defense of Ishgard.
- When confronted with the information about the true beginnings of the Dragonsong War, and the news that not only did Estinien and the Warrior of Light work with the heretic leader Lady Iceheart, and had peaceful dealings with dragonkind to bring about a turn of events in the war, he decides not to have them declared heretics. Instead, he immediately puts everything on the line to confront his father, Archbishop Thordan VII, and demand an answer for a millennium of lies and falsehoods. Ones not only used to cover up the fact that it was King Thordan I and his Knights Twelve which started the war with their lust for power, but that the false faith which sprung from it has also been used to oppress the lower classes while protecting the noble houses. It ends up getting him arrested by the Heavens' Ward, and implied to have been beaten or tortured during his short stay in jail. But the fact that he does make the attempt and in light of what happened to him, helps rally more to his and the Warrior of Light's cause.
- Ship Tease: With the Warrior of Light, who he seems to have romantic feelings for, especially following Haurchefant's death, and during patch 3.2. He also has a lot with his right hand woman Lucia.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Over the course of the 3.x patches (as of 3.4), his titles and roles include Lord Commander of the Temple Knights of Ishgard, (former) acting head of state in absentia of the Archbishop, elected Lord Speaker of the House of Lords of the new Parliamentary Republic of Ishgard, Azure Dragoon (succeeding Estinien), and viscount of House Borel
- Worf Had the Flu: The still injured Aymeric was no match for now one armed Raubahn. Granted Raubahn has his own history of being a badass.
Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (JP), Tara Platt (EN, Los Angeles cast), Lydia Leonard (EN, London cast), Celine Melloul (FR), Kim Pfeiffer (DE)
Epithet: Lucia the Radiant
Aymeric's second in command, Lucia serves as the middle man between the Warrior of Light and Aymeric's when his duties and heavy involvement with Ishgard's defense renders him unable to see them in person. She is also the commander during the defense of the Steps of Faith.
- Action Girl: First Commander of Ishgard's Temple Knights, and she can prove it. She leads the defense at the Steps of the Faith; instructing the players on when and how to use the various cannons and dragonslayers against Vishap. As a last ditch effort if the player fails to kill Vishap before the last ward (the final area before game over) is destroyed; she plans a crude trap of explosive barrels as a final effort at stopping him.
- All Love Is Unrequited: She has feelings for Aymeric, who doesn't return them. She's perfectly fine with staying by his side as his second in command though.
- Becoming the Mask: She was originally a Garlean spy sent to Ishgard to see if the Vault contained Allagan artifacts like the Garleans suspected it did. She eventually met Ser Aymeric whom she discovered to be quite similar to herself. While they both had nothing to start with, instead of resenting his lot in life Aymeric rose above it and eventually she came to truly admire him and gave her loyalties to him. Even when she admitted to him that she was a Garlean spy he accepted her anyway.
- Big Damn Heroes: After the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud get captured by a Garlean squad led by Regula and the Garlean Emperor himself, who were about to execute the Gundu tribe, she kills the Garlean soldiers about to commit the act with a surprise attack.
- Foreshadowing: She never takes off her headband until late in Heavensward - the headband that hides her Garlean third eye. Also, where most Ishgardian officers' armor are trimmed in gold or silver, her armor is trimmed in black and red, the colors most often associated with the Garleans. She's also far taller than is possible for a seemingly hyuran woman.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: When she has the above Big Damn Heroes moment, she does it in a white Magitek armor. The very next mission, she reveals that she is not only Garlean, but Livia's sister.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Definitely this, with a splendid suit of silver armor.
- Lady of War: A tall, graceful, and elegant knight.
- Mini-Mecha: Comes to save the party from the Garleans riding in a White Devil model of Magitek Armor, just like her sister's.
- Number Two: She's Ser Aymeric's right hand, commanding the Temple Knights in the field whenever he's unable to be present and follows his orders with unshakable faith.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Over one eye, though she isn't shy by any means.
- Statuesque Stunner: Lucia is taller than is possible for player created Hyurs, an early hint that she is not Hyuran but Garlean.
- Third Eye: As a pureblooded Garlean by birth, Lucia posseses a third eye on her forehead, which is covered by her headband.
- Undying Loyalty: Again, to Aymeric. More details in Becoming the Mask, above.
- White Sheep: Not only is she a Garlean, she is Livia sas Junius's sister. Livia was fully committed to the Garlean Empire and Gaius. Lucia was a spy for Garlemald, but defected to Ishgard after she came to respect and befriend Aymeric. She seems to consider Ishgard her home now, and has no wish to return to the Empire.
Voiced by: Masakazu Nishida (JP), Jason La Shea (EN), Clovis Guerrin (FR), Daniel Montoya (DE)
Epithet: Haurchefant of the Silver Fuller
A knight of House Fortemps, and bastard son to Count Edmont de Fortemps, Lord Haurchefant commands Camp Dragonhead, a place once little more than a simple campsite before the Calamity, but now a fortified position in response to the increased aggression of the Dravanian Horde.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Well, translation. Haurchefant in the Japanese version is much more flamboyant and intense, openly fantasizing about the Warrior of Light's chiseled body and the sweat glistening on their forehead during battle all while gesturing excitedly, to the point he freaks them out a bit. The English version portrays him as much, much more reserved, instead playing up his extreme kindness and gentlemanly nature.
- A Father to His Men: One NPC says that Haurchefant is, or rather, was, beloved by every man, woman, and child in Camp Dragonhead.
- A Friend in Need:
- Knows Francel needs help, and calls upon the resourcefulness of an adventurer to help clear their name of disgrace and dishonor.
- When said adventurer, who is or becomes the Warrior of Light, and their Scion allies need refuge, he recognizes they are in need of help and gladly opens up his House's door to them. Especially telling of just how good of a guy he is, when you consider that one of the Warrior of Light's allies is an Au Ra, who appears to be a half-dragon, when Ishgard is at war with dragons. He even brings hot beverages to the Warrior, and their allies and gives them all a pep talk to help snap them all out of their sadness of recent events. He even tells them to freely make themselves at home, offering them to build a base there in Dragonhead, suggesting it be called "The Falling Snows" as true to the Scions' naming fashions.
- Always with You: The cutscene taking place after the final battle with Nidhogg, reveals that Haurchefant's spirit has been following the Warrior of Light ever since the very moment he died, still being by their side. The last Heavensward short story implies this is the case even now.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Haurchefant is an absolute sweetheart of a man, but a line of dialogue from Aymeric indicates that when he finds out you're in danger at one point, it takes six men to restrain him from chasing after you, and in Francel's side story on the official website, we learn that he earned his knighthood by rescuing Francel from kidnappers all by himself, killing three men with nothing but a hunting knife, at age seventeen. Not someone you want to mess with when the chips are down.
- Bookends: When players first visit him, it's soon after the Waking Sands base is attacked by Livia and the the Garleans, that you first seek his aid, in allowing Alphinaud, Cid, and themselves to request info, and permission to search for Cid's Airship. The 2.55 story line ends with Cid dropping you off at Dragonhead via airship, seeking aid and refuge again from Haurchefant.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Implied in most versions, but in the Japanese dialogue it's the general opinion of Dragonhead's residents Even with their Lord's flights of fancy and lack of discretion about it (something that the higher-ups stationed in Coerthas look down on him and the camp for), they are staunchly loyal to him because he's still a good knight and kind man.
- Covert Pervert: Far less covert in the Japanese dialogue, where he's downright leering at and even propositioning the Warrior of Light, to the point where the English localization team felt they had to deliberately tone him down. But he still shows shades of being the 'lovable debauchee' that he originally is, especially in the 2014 Heavensturn event, where he loudly proclaims that he wants you for his personal steed. This quote can even be seen on his Triple Triad card.
- Heroic Bastard: He's the child of Count Edmont's affair with a family servant, and the surname "Greystone" is given to illegitimate children within Ishgard's high houses. Edmont respects him and his words about the Scions and Warrior of Light, but his late wife never forgave Edmont for it and refused to accept him as part of their family. Haurchefant never complains, and has rose up enough to be commander of an entire camp and stalwart ally and friend to the WoL. According to the final Heavensward short story, Haurchefant never doubted that Edmont cared about him as much as he did, even if they never said it to eachother.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Uses his shield to block an attack that was coming after him and the Warrior of Light. The shield breaks and the attack kills him as the Warrior of Light looks on in disbelief. Even with his dying breath, he tells the Warrior of Light to keep smiling since it suits him/her as a hero. After the patch 3.0 main story quests, he is buried on a cliff overlooking Ishgard near the Steel Vigil in Coerthas Central Highlands, so he may watch over it forever.
- Heroic Vow: "A Knight lives to serve, to aid those in need." In the patch 3.1 main story quests, the Warrior of Light is given a chance to give this as a Call-Back to Lord Artoiriel de Fortemps, to help restore his resolve after he questions what right he has to help lead Ishgard when all four major noble houses are tarnished by their legacy for their parts in the origin of the Dragonsong War.
- Irony: Despite being a bastard, he's the one who's almost the spitting image of his ancestor, the founder of House Fortemps.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Naturally.
- The Lost Lenore: Regardless of whether or not they returned his implied affections, the aftershocks of his death continue to haunt the Warrior of Light thereafter, making them occasionally come across as weary and just simply tired of everything they've had to suffer through.
- Up to Eleven in Stormblood, as the whole quest line for Dark Knight is triggered by the Warrior of Light's sorrow and pain over his death. Judging by some of his words said at the end, aside from taking a part of his appearance, a part of Myste might actually identify as Haurchefant.
- The trope continues in Shadowbringers, as Haurchefant is shown to be prominent in the Warrior of Light's fragments of memories, appearing when they travel to the first. There's also a dialogue option that the Warrior can chose to tell Ryne, towards the end of 5.0, which are the exact same words that Haurchefant said before dying. There is also a side quest involving a soldier of the Crystarium who looks identical to him, and the storyline involve the Warrior of Light helping him, no doubt out of a desire to see him again even if not the same person.
- Meaningful Echo: Haurchefant had a huge impact on the Warrior of Light's worldview, which can be seen when the Warrior gets the opportunity to echo some of his quotes in some of their later conversationsnamely the page quote and his last words to reassure Artoirel and Ryne, respectively.
- Nice Guy:
- One of the few Ishgardians who initially are more open to adventurers, compared to a fair amount of Ishgardians preferring their isolation and distrust of outsiders. Throughout the post-2.0 story line, whenever quests brings players back to Coerthas, he's always lamenting that due to the pressing nature of the quests, that he doesn't have time, or ability to treat the player with proper hospitality for all they've done for Ishgard.
- Haurchefant finally has his chance to pay the Warrior of Light and their allies frequent aid back in a big way at the end of 2.55's Before the Fall Part 2, and is said to be petitioning greatly for the Warrior of Light's and Scions' access to Ishgard in the interim to Heavensward. In the final moments of the story he proves himself to be one of the greatest allies the Warrior of Light could ever hope to have.Haurchefant: Do not hesitate to call upon me, regardless of hour. My home is your home, and I would see you afforded all comforts and courtesies. Rest and regain your strength, <name>. You shall have your redemption and your reckoning in due time—and when that day comes, I shall stand at your side.
- The Paragon: His Chivalrous Pervert antics aside, Haurchefant is admired by all for his boundless generosity, kindness, and bravery. A true Knight in Shining Armor, he's always ready to help a friend in need or even a complete stranger so long as their intentions are just. His sheer heroic disposition serves as an inspiration to even the Warrior of Light, the two becoming extremely close over the course of A Realm Reborn and Heavensward. His death is universally mourned by the knights of Ishgard and the Warrior of Light; and his memory continues to motivate the people who knew him to live up to his legacy.
- Really Gets Around: In the original Japanese script (and localizations that followed it more closely, such as the French version), those stationed at Camp Dragonhead can be rather exasperated at their lord's antics with the adventurers he fancies, even saying that his advances scare some away. Characters from the other noble houses such as Lord Drillemont do not think highly of him for it either.
- Red Baron: The Silver Fuller. After his Heroic Sacrifice, the Warrior of Light inherits the title.
- Ship Tease: Haurchefant has romantic feelings for the player character. Whether they reciprocate it or not is up to the player's mind.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Heavily implied towards the Warrior of Light.
- Suddenly Voiced: In patch 2.3, when the player returns to him during the main story quest, he conspicuously has voice acting after previously not having a dedicated voice. As most minor NPCs aren't given vocals for their dialogue, this foreshadows his increasingly prominent role in the patches leading up to the Heavensward expansion, as well as the expansion itself.
- Taking the Bullet: He dies trying to block a magic attack from Ser Zephirin meant for the Warrior of Light. It breaks his shield and pierces his heart.
Voiced by: Ikuya Sawaki (JP), Stephen Critchlow (EN), Pierre Dourlens (FR), Andreas Sparberg (DE)
-House Fortemps Maxim
The overall head of House Fortemps, Edmont is the one who secures your actual entrance into Ishgard following your victory against Vishap, and is your main point of contact early in Heavensward's story. He also serves as the overall narrator, as Heavensward is actually posited as being his memoirs.
- Advertised Extra: He gets his own title card like the major characters for the Heavensward Hildebrand questline, despite only showing up for one scene in it.
- Blue Blood: Head of House Fortemps, one of the four High Houses and descended from King Thordan I's knights.
- Catchphrase: Whenever introducing the player to a new region as part of the Heavensward story, he explains a little bit about the area, and signs off with "...He/She/They came" depending on the player character's gender, and NPC party make up.
- Classy Cane: Carries a cane wherever he goes. It's merely an accessory, as he walks just fine and holds it in both hands when he does.
- The Comically Serious: While Hildibrand and Nashu are arguing over the gender of Gigi, Cyr explains to the lord that he's on official duty to bring the mammet in for inspection. Upon hearing of the gender debate, Count Edmont notes that Gigi must be a "strapping young lad", much to Cyr's suffering.
- Direct Line to the Author: Heavensward is presented as being drawn primarily from Edmont's memoirs and recollections, suitably titled "Heavensward" in-universe.
- Expy: He's shares a few similarities to Final Fantasy XII's Marquis Halim Ondore. They both have a cane they walk around with, are writers of the events of their game's respective stories and Reasonable Authority Figures.
- Heroic BSoD: The death of his son, Haurchefant, at the hands of the Heavens' Ward. He tries invoking the knight's oath his son had sworn to him right before he last saw him alive as a way to try and find a meaning to his son's death. He instructs the Warrior of Light and his allies to go and pursue the Archbishop and the Heavens' Ward and bring them to justice, asking them to leave him to his grief, but Alphinaud can't help but say something respectful about Haurchefant, causing Edmont to fall to his knees sobbing.
- Like a Son to Me: By the time 3.2 happens, it's been wholly acknowledged that the Warrior of Light has become a member of the Fortemps family, and that the count sees both them and Aymeric as this.
- My Greatest Failure: He considers his affair that caused Haurchefant to be this. But he loves Haurchefant as much as his other sons. In fact, according to Artoirel, his guilt makes it difficult for him to say no to Haurchefant, including the matter of giving the Warrior of Light political asylum.
- Only Sane Man: In a nation filled with nobles and knights of stubborn prides, he's one the few willing to petition to allow the Scions access, and to admonish those who question the WoL intentions unfairly. Both of his true heir sons get put in their place for causing trouble to the WoL or showing disrespect to their accomplishments. note
- Outliving One's Offspring: He outlives his son Haurchefant, who dies defending the Warrior of Light from the Heavens Ward. This loss devastates Edmont and leaves him worried for the safety of his other sons.
- Parents as People: Edmont is a strict, but reasonable and caring father to Artoirel and Emanellain. Due to Haurchefant's illegitimate status however (and his late wife never forgiving him for the affair), Edmont had to maintain his damaged reputation by not regarding Haurchefant as his son under most circumstances. He can see him as a respected knight under his household however, and he truly does love him; Artoirel mentions how his father has trouble saying no to Haurchefant's wishes when he had them. This ends up being played tragically, as Edmont's attempts to maintain composure at Haurchefant's sacrifice falls apart as he collapses in grief. He can't see it as a noble death of a knight as much as he tries, but as the loss of a son he dearly loved.
- Passing the Torch: Names his firstborn son the new head of House Fortemps in 3.1. Afterward, people still reflexively refer to him as Count Fortemp. He has to remind them that he's no longer the head of house.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Although he does find the Warrior of Light's political asylum and surrounding circumstances potentially problematic, he still listens firmly to Haurchefant's glowing recommendations and takes them in. Once the Warrior proves themselves loyal and heroic, the Count gives his undivided support in all of their endeavors no matter how blasphemous it may seem, despite the potential problems to his status. Even completely willing to give up his position as Count and one of the four noble houses once the Awful Truth of Ishgard's part in starting the Dragonsong War come to light.
Epithet: Artoirel Ironbone
The firstborn son of Count Edmont de Fortemps. He is the serious, dutiful son.
- Defrosting Ice King: He's initially as distrustful of foreigners as the average Ishgardian, even hoping that the Warrior of Light would die chasing heretics because of how he believed the Warrior's reputation was inflated. He's humbled by their success and constant acts of valor in service to Ishgard, showing a far warmer and more compassionate side.
- The Dutiful Son: Especially when compared to his philandering brother, Artoirel is extremely dutiful, honorable, and mindful of tradition, making him a natural heir to his father. Edmont later names him head of House Fortemps.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Is very much the Responsible Sibling to Emmanellain's Foolish, and is the one who demands that Emmanellain take responsibility for his actions in 3.2.
- Hidden Depths: While he's stern and aloof on the surface, it's clear that he cares deeply for friends and family. After the Warrior of Light proves they are the real deal, Artoirel holds them in the highest esteem. He's also one of the foremost collectors of orchestrion scrolls in Ishgard as well as dabbles in musical composition in his free time. He's delighted to compose an original piece as a present for Lord Francel, with Emmanelain even saying that Artoirel was prancing about with a spring in his step when he got the news.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is rather hostile towards the WoL at first, mostly out of pride. After you single handedly take over a Heretic stronghold, he realizes that he was wrong to dislike and distrust the WoL and guiltily admits that though sending you in alone was necessary (he had to take a wounded soldier back to camp and was afraid that the snowfall would erase the heretics tracks back to their base), he also hoped that you would fail in the attempt. After this, he gains a lot of respect for the Warrior of Light and eventually comes to regard them as a brother/sister, dropping the "Jerk" part entirely.
- My Greatest Failure: After Haurchefant's death, he expresses deep regret for not being closer to him as a brother or seeing him as true family, and even considering their father's soft spot for his illegitimate son as a weakness. To make up for this, he treats the Warrior of Light like a dear sibling, something he believes that Haurchefant would have wanted.
- The Uriah Gambit: Confesses that he was hoping, shamefully, that the Warrior of Light would die in their infiltration of the heretics' nest. He thought their reputation inflated, and was also jealous of the regard that his half-brother and father held them in.
Epithet: Emmanellain the Lofty
The second son of Count Edmont, who is a womanizer and doesn't take his status or jobs seriously.
- Adrenaline Makeover: After the events of 3.2 and undergoing Character Development, he no longer sports a youthful blush to his face, looking more serious and mature.
- Big Brother Worship: Not so much towards Artoiriel, but he adores his half-brother Haurchefant and respects him greatly. In an optional sidequest post-Heavensward, he oversees Camp Dragonhead and takes the role completely seriously, even admitting he has big shoes to fill while looking on wistfully at Haurchefant's portrait.
- The Cameo: He makes an appearance in the Level 60 Weaver Quest, "When East Meets West," giving the visiting Hingan dignitaries a taste of Ishgardian fashion.
- Exact Words: When Emmanellain says he didn't give the order to shoot the protester he's technically correct, he gave an order to stop her. The problem was that he gave the order to a high-strung, nervous archer instead of anyone else, making miscommunication inevitable and, from the perspective of others, intentional.
- The Fool: Everyone sees him as this.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Thancred pulls this on him when he orders one of his men to shoot a protester at the peace conference.
- Heroic BSoD: After the incident at the peace conference. There's also a little bit after his half-brother Haurchefant's death.
- Hidden Depths: The lorebook reveals he met his assistant, Honoroit, when the latter approached him in the Jeweled Crozier and offered to carry his purchases for a handful of coin. On a whim, Emmanellain decided to teach the boy letters and sums, so 'that he might have the means to rise above his humble station.' This goes a long way towards explaining Honoroit's Undying Loyalty towards Emmanellain.
- Manchild: He is very immature to say the least. For the most part it's played for laughs, but then suddenly its not when he has a soldier shoot a woman who was leading a protest against the peace treaty with the dragons, which jeopardizes said treaty as many common folk become disillusioned with the nobles supporting the treaty. And then he refuses to take responsibility, asking why everything just has to fall apart. Notably, it's one of the few times the Warrior of Light looks truly angry, Thancred even has to stop them from presumably hitting Emmanellain (and quickly decides to throw a punch himself when Emmanellain keeps talking).
- Oh, Crap!: Very noticeably flinches at the sight of the Warrior of Light pissed off at him, particularly the second time he refuses to take responsibility for his actions. Considering this is the Warrior of Light we're talking about here, his reaction is immensely justified.
- The Resenter: In 3.2, he heavily resents Thancred because he thinks that Thancred has it easy being a hero and always knows what to do while Emmanellain himself struggles trying to do the right thing and screws up big time. He eventually learns to stand on his own feet and look on his own merits and to keep doing what is right instead of seeing how others can do things with ease.
- Scars Are Forever: Honoroit sports one on his forehead after being beaten by angry Ishgardians as retaliation for Emanellain's actions during the failed peace talk.
- The Social Expert: During the Ishgardian Restoration questline, it's revealed that Emanellain has stepped away from military service and found a way to serve his house and country through his own merits. Acting as an unofficial ambassador, he's begun visiting Ishgard's newfound allies and started forging positive relationships with various merchants and members of the upper classes to help ease the transition away from its former isolationism.
- Took a Level in Badass: He eventually learns to stand up for himself and willingly signs up for the Grand Melee in an attempt to reclaim his honor.
Emmanelain's young manservant and attendant. He follows is liege everywhere he goes, keeping his ego and flirtations in check all the while.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: He's everything Emmanelain is not: attentive, studious, and diligent. He constantly has to remind Emmanelain of his responsibilities and picks up the slack for his liege. Laniaitte is extremely impressed by his reports on the Vanu Vanu's movements and the Vundu clan's crystal gathering in preparation for a summoning ritual, even offering him a place with the Rose Knights.
- Revenge by Proxy: He's the victim of this following Emmanelain's disastrous management of the vengeful protest at the Ishgard-Dravania peace conference. After Emmanelain retreats into a building out of horror for what he caused, Honoroit implored the crowd to stay instead of leave. The mob, already at an emotional high, proceed to beat Honoroit until he's scarcely conscious.
- Servile Snarker: He relentlessly prods his master's philandering, lazy, and egotistic nature.
- Undying Loyalty: He's extremely overqualified for his position as Emmanelain's manservant, to the point that Lainatte instantly offers Honoroit a chance to join the Rose Knights after reading his extremely well-detailed report on the Vundu's movements. But he gently turns her down, as he's already sworn to Emmanelain.
- Yes-Man: Honoroit, his young assistant. When he's not being a Servile Snarker, at least;Honoroit: If my lord's irrepressible optimism were ever to fix upon something about which he had cause to be optimistic, I dare not think what he might achieve.
Voiced by: Kenji Hamada (JP), Robert Vernon (EN), Emmanuel Bonami (FR), Michael Pink (DE)
Epithet: The Azure Dragoon
An Azure Dragoon of Ishgard, who apparently has gone rogue, and stolen a treasure from the Kingdom. It's soon revealed however that Estinien is actually doing this to protect Ishgard, as the treasure in question, the Dragon's Eye, having been pried from the ancient dragon Nidhogg is still spiritually linked to the dragon. He plans on using this link to draw Nidhogg away from any populated areas.
In 2.5 part 2, Estinien reappears in the main scenario after having apparently won the mental battle with Nidhogg, leaving him sane and on Ishgard's side, but with a direct link to the elder wyrm's mind, allowing him to counter the dragon's plans.
Heavensward significantly fleshes Estinien out, as he is one of the major characters in the story, and winds up traveling alongside the Warrior of Light for a good portion of the story. His travels to parley with the dragons forces him to have to seriously rethink the history that he has learned as an Ishgardian citizen. He also plays a supporting role in Stromblood and Shadowbringers, before being promoted to a major character in Endwalker, becoming a Trust companion for the Warrior of Light alongside the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.
- And I Must Scream: Was subjected to this when Nidhogg took over his body. Towards the end of 3.3 after Nidhogg is severely weakened by the Warrior of Light, Estinien wrestles control from the wyrm long enough to beg for his comrades to kill him in order to slay the dragon once and for all. Luckily, another plan was used to expel Nidhogg without harming Estinien.
- Artifact of Doom: The Dragon's Eye. Pried from an evil dragon's own skull? Check. Possesses immense power and grants it to those it deems worthy? Check. Attracts its original owner back to you? Check. Provides a direct link for said evil dragon to influence who ever possesses it, and possibly corrupt those who lack the will to resist, thus enthralling them to his service? Check.
- Ascended Extra: Goes from being a minor sidequest character in A Realm Reborn to a major participant in Heavensward, and retaining a recurring role through Stormblood and Shadowbringers. This reaches its logical conclusion in Endwalker, where he becomes a full-fledged Trust companion for the Warrior of Light, alongside the major Scions of the Seventh Dawn.
- Badass Baritone: Given a voice actor in Heavensward and thus a deep commanding voice.
- Baleful Polymorph: Transforms into Nidhogg during Heavensward thanks to a combination of still wearing his damaged armor splattered with Nidhogg's blood, holding both of Nidhogg's eyes, and letting his guard down. This despite having been warned multiple times by various Non Player Characters about it.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- In Stormblood, he disables the massive cannon mounted on Castrum Abania with a single strike, buying the Resistance valuable time to invade the fortress and disable the cannon for good.
- Just as Elidibus readied to strike down the Warrior of Light while they were incapacitated, Estinien dove in and fought off the Ascian in Garlean form so that the Warrior could be taken to safety.
- Blade on a Stick: Uses a copy of the Gae Bolg lance/halberd. After he is possessed by Nidhogg's spirit, it's appearance is altered, with parts of it becoming blood red and the formerly straight-pointed spearhead morphed into a jagged blade, reminiscent of a claw.
- Blood Knight: On top of being revenge-driven, he seems to thoroughly enjoy killing dragons. This is made especially apparent during his fight against Nidhogg, in which he is seen smiling while gouging the wyrm's eye.
- Blood-Splattered Warrior: Promises to stain his armor crimson in Nidhogg's blood as they continue on in the adventure. He makes good on this promise after delivering the killing blow to the wyrm. Unfortunately he never changed his armor, leaving him vulnerable to Blood Magic. He gives it up after Nidhogg is defeated for good, wearing simple clothes in the end of 3.3, and later a copy of the level 70 artifact set in Stormblood.
- Bootstrapped Leitmotif: "Stone and Steel" was the theme for general heroic moments in Heavensward. While largely supplanted in that use by other tracks, it consistently plays in cutscenes with Estinien in Stormblood onwards.
- Dark Is Not Evil: His Drachen armor is notably a lot more black then the one player gets. But is shown to be actually a fairly decent guy. Zigzags however in the level 50 job quest, when he's been corrupted by the power of Nidhogg's eye, turning his lance against the player and Alberic, then returns to being an ally in the main story of 2.4 through Heavensward.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has a very dry sense of humor, often with a biting remark towards someone in the group.
- Doomed Home Town: Ferndale.
- Dragon Rider: He becomes this in 5.5 by riding Tiamat, consort of the original Bahamut, into battle in Pagl'than.
- Expy: Of Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV. Becomes more apparent in 2.55's Before the Fall Part 2, when he makes an appearance, and to those who have completed the level 50 Dragoon quest, stating he has managed to regain control of his senses from Nidhogg. His English voice actor even sounds similar to Kain's.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: The end of 3.2 reveals him to have both of Nidhogg's eyes in both of his arms as they pulsate and twitch about.
- Fire-Forged Friends:
- Once upon a time, he and Aymeric were in the same regiment of Temple Knights, and the lone survivors of an attempt to slay a dragon. While Aymeric planned to return to Ishgard, Estinien insisted upon finishing the job. It would have cost him his life, had Aymeric not changed his mind, saving his life with a well-timed arrow to the dragon's head. While ever the lone wolf, Estinien all the same came to respect the Knight Commander to-be.
- In addition, should the player have completed the dragoon class to level 50, Estinien will refer to them in the Japanese audio as Kyoudai which literally translates to "Brother".
- He comes to share the same sentiment for Alphinaud over the course of Heavensward though he only expresses it when alone and overlooking Omega's landing site in Stormblood.
- Four-Philosophy Ensemble:
- Forms one with the player (Apathetic), Alphinaud (Realist), and Ysayle (Optimist) when they travel through Dravania in Heavensward. Estinien is the Cynic, unable to see the good in many of the dragons and not very hopeful for peace between his people and theirs.
- Later, he becomes a self-professed Realist. The Warrior of Light remains the Apathetic, but Alphinaud becomes the Optimist and Fordola the Cynic. Estinien admires Alphinaud for his idealistic tendencies and tells Fordola that the world needs people like him, because they're driven to change things.
- Guttural Growler: He speaks in a low growl most of the time, owing to his barely controlled rage and vengeful hatred for the dragons. Once he's rescued from being Nidhogg's host and realized how similar they are, he finally speaks with a more relaxed, casual tone, representing how he's finally been released from his hatred.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averts this in A Realm Reborn and most of Heavensward, wearing a full set of drachen armor with helmet, but plays it straight from the end of 3.3 through to his appearances in Stormblood and beyond.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted at the end of 3.3. He asks the Warrior of Light to slay him so that Nidhogg would die with him, but the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud choose to rip Nidhogg's eyes out instead, which expels the dragon from Estinien's body and saves the dragoon in the process.
- Hero of Another Story:
- After Heavensward's closure, Estinien travels the world on adventures of his own, including pilgramages to Azys Lla and Sohr Khai, where he encounters Hraesvelgr and shares kind words with the Elder Wyrm before being gifted his Trueblood armor set in the From Azure Ashes short story, then wandering around helping where he's needed behind the scenes in the fight with Garlemald. The player's own story intersects with him in the Dragoon storyline and when he saves them from Elidibus at the end of A Requiem for Heroess, but he's off on his way immediately afterwards.
- Continues into Shadowbringers where he's one of people the remaining Scions hire to fill in for the Archons and the Warrior of Light while they're on The First. He ends up teaming with Gaius as both are attempting to curb the production and distribution of Black Rose. This culminates in the two infiltrating the Garlean capital, staging a daring raid on the palace to confront the Emperor... just in time to see Varis be struck down by his son, the newly reborn Zenos.
- I Call It "Vera": Refers to his transformed Gae Bolg as "Nidhogg" during the events of Stormblood. In the chapter From Azure Ashes in the Tales from the Storm side story, he names his new armor "Iceheart" in honor of Ysayle.
- In a Single Bound: The power of a Dragoon's jump shouldn't be a surprise to anyone but when he destroys the Garlean cannon posted at Castrum Abania in Stormblood the power of the jump he uses can only be described as "Dragonfire Dive on crack". It appears that he might be channeling the lingering power of Nidhogg to achieve such power.
- Irony: He transforms into Nidhogg during Heavensward, doing the same thing his ancestors did that started the war (obtaining a dragon's eye).
- Jumped at the Call: In Stormblood when he tracks down Omega's landing site in Gyr Abania he muses to himself that even now, despite having left his life as the Azure Dragoon behind, he still feels obligated to see to it that Shinryu, the final lingering phantom of Nidhogg, is destroyed.
- Just a Kid: He is one of the few characters who actually acknowledges Alphinaud's age. Perhaps it is due to him not seeing all of Alphinaud's successes, but he is able to see his shortcomings that are born of his youth and he refuses to let Alphinaud come along to the assault on Nidhogg's hideout. As he makes clear shortly after that he isn't blind to Alphinaud's talent and potential, he just feels he is too young and inexperienced, but with time will be a master commander.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Evolves into one of these over the course of the story, to the point where he accepts Krile's offer to become a member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. He originally saw the others as flawed idealists, but the fact that the Scions continually stuck to their ideals and produced results ultimately convinced him that they are the best hope for the world.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: After he is freed from Nidhogg's possession, he is shown to have hair down past his shoulders and having quite a handsome face to boot.
- Meaningful Name: His last name Wyrmblood becomes very meaningful once it's revealed that he (and by extension most of Ishgard) have dragon's blood in their veins.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Even when presented with evidence that Ishgard isn't as righteous and holy as it may think it is, and truths of the past, he is still willing to fight on its behalf. As he puts it, what ever crime Ishgard committed in the past to Dragonkind, doesn't excuse the dragons for wantonly attacking and killing innocents of today.
- Mystical White Hair: An included screenshot from the side story Tales from the Dragonsong War: Through Fire and Blood and in-game in 3.3 show that he has this.
- "Not So Different" Remark: After slaying Nidhogg, he realizes that the two of them were more similar than he imagined. Seeking vengeance for the crimes committed against their loved ones. In 3.3, while he is recovering from his injuries and having Nidhogg's presence pulled from every fiber of his being, he further elaborates that he bore witness and constantly felt Nidhogg's vast grief and anger at Ishgard's betrayal a thousand years ago. He even states the only difference between him and Nidhogg in the end, is that Estinien had friends and mentors to help him realize that going down the path of unrelenting vengeance would be a mistake.
- Pet the Dog: He is kinder to Alphinaud than he generally is to anyone else, good naturedly ribbing him about his generally sheltered life and being worried about him when he goes out alone to get firewood. He's also one of the few that acknowledges that despite everything Alphinaud has done, he's still just a boy and worries about that. It's implied that he sees Alphinaud as something of a younger brother (His own brother long dead).
- Promoted to Playable: He becomes briefly playable at the end of 5.1, following his and Gaius' escape from the Garlean Imperial Castle.
- Retirony: His relief at his lifelong quest for vengeance being nearly over, the only task left being to seal Nidhogg's eyes away somewhere far from reach, was just the moment of weakness the dark wyrm needed to revive himself; using Estinien's own body.
- Split-Personality Merge: Implied. Even though Nidhogg's conscious soul has long since passed from the world, Estinien seems to believe that some part of Nidhogg's personality still remains alive and active within him, and thus he'll frequently make mention of Nidhogg - both as his spear and as part of himself - as if they're two separate entities even though Estinien is the only "person". Note how when he's chewing out Tiamat in 5.5, Estinien's voice falls to the gutteral growl he had as Nidhogg's host and he makes mention of Nidhogg wishing to be the one to talk to her - That wasn't Estinien the Dragoon twisting Tiamat's arm with harsh words to make her act, that was Nidhogg chewing out his sister for sitting there feeling sorry for herself when the world is about to end.
- Took a Level in Badass: The man was already the strongest dragoon in the world, aside the Warrior of Light if they are one, however the ability to harness Nidhogg's dragon aether has made him a force to be reckoned with on the level of the Warrior of Light themselves. His dragonfire dive on Castrum Abania's cannon has enough force behind it to look like someone dropped a missile on it, and in 4.5 he saves the Warrior of Light by fending off the Elidibus-possessed Zenos, a combatant that easily ran roughshod over Lyse, Hien and Yugiri, and the Warrior of Light had to put everything into only temporarily putting down. In 5.1, he fends off Zenos with Gaius' help and only runs when reenforcements arrive, and manages to solo a Garlean knockoff of the Ultima Weapon with just as much dangerous power to it, and come out of it without a scratch. All told, he's become one of the most dangerous combatants on the planet.
- Took a Level in Kindness: For most of ARR and Heavensward he had a tendency to come across as a grumpy, brooding, and single-minded prick. After being possessed by Nidhoog, freed from his influence, and his decision to leave Ishgard and find himself again he's mellowed out considerably by the time of the final Dragoon quest in Stormblood and is show to be, for lack of a better word, finally happy with his life.
- Touched by Vorlons: While his power is not terribly unusual when compared to the player character, his time transformed into Nidhogg seems to have affected him in such a way that it allows him to channel the power of the wyrm. When he powers up it takes the form of black and red fire like Nidhogg's aura. It's never explained in the main story, but during the final Dragoon job quest of Stormblood he explains that his possession and subsequent freedom from Nidhogg has taught him to safely harness the power of the dragon within him.
- Trademark Favorite Food: during his stay in Kugane, Estinien grows font of a local delicacy called surume, squid either sun-dried or seared by Orn Khai.
- What the Hell, Hero?: During the final Job quest in A Realm Reborn, before Alberic gets a chance to talk to Estinien about the truth over what happened the day Nidhogg destroyed Ferndale, Nidhogg does so via the Dragon's Eye, painting Alberic's actions as cowardice. It sadly causes Estinien to hit the Despair Event Horizon at top speed. This in turn causes him to have a FaceHeel Turn for real this time, and join Nidhogg, to punish his adoptive father figure, and seals his decision when the player steps forward to defend Alberic.
- Worthy Opponent:
- A bit all over the place. At first, he regards the player as merely a sell sword, questioning if Ishgard's has lost it's independent pride. However, when the Dragon's Eye power stirs in the presence of the player, he's forced to reconsider, and meets Alberic and the player to explain his plan, and that if the Eye is awakening to the player, this means there will be more than one Azure Dragoon, and pushes to train the player to become one. When he falls to grief and despair at the truth of Ferndale's destruction and Nidhogg starts taking over his mind, he notes he's disappointed that the player stands against him
- In 2.55 part Two, after he makes his reappearance in the main story line, he tells any player who has completed the Level 50 Dragoon quest to stay their hand, as he's not appeared there as an enemy, but an ally. He even corrects Aymeric's claim that he's the finest Azure Dragoon, by noting that there is instead two Azure Dragoons in the room that everyone is meeting to discuss the defense of Ishgard, flat out calling the Player/Warrior of Light his equal.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: He realizes after slaying Nidhogg that vengeance did not satisfy him like he thought it would. He fully realizes this in the end of 3.3 after being saved and wishes to retire from his duty, craving rest instead of vengeance.
- Walking the Earth:
- What he decides to do after the Dragonsong War ends, giving up his title of Azure Dragoon. He quietly leaves his infirmary bed without informing anyone. His first stop is a visit to the Helix in Azys Lla to lay a bouquet of Nymeia lilies in remembrance of Ysayle. In Tales from the Storm, he also lays down a bouquet of flowers in Sohr Khai in honor of Ratatoskr as a way of apologizing for his and his ancestor's involvement in the Dragonsong War.
- He seemingly ends his wandering in Stormblood to hunt down Shinryu, destroy it, and the last lingering ghost of Nidhogg with it. To do so he discreetly helps the Scions, the Resistance, and the Eorzean Alliance from behind the scenes, never revealing himself.
- He also comes back for the conclusion of Stormblood's Dragoon story and show to be very content with his life wandering from place to place helping people.
- Patch 5.5 has him finally end his wandering when he caves in to Krile's request and officially join the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.
Voiced by: Yuki Keicho (JP), Jaye Jacobs (EN), Olivia Nicosia (FR), Katja Hirsch (DE)
Epithet: The Mongrel
A half Hyur, half Elezen woman living in the slums of Ishgard. She leads a small gang of rebels that causes trouble for the wealthy and the church in the city during the Heavensward scenario, and takes a no-nonsense approach to situations. She allies herself with the Warrior of Light after being convinced of their noble causes for Ishgard as a whole.
In Stormblood, she has been assigned to act as part of the newly formed city watch militia that helps protect Ishgard, leading and training her squad, "Hilda's Hounds". She requests additional aid from the Skysteel Manufactory in Machinist training and protecting an upcoming knighting ceremony for new Temple Knights from sabotage by any remnants of anti-reformist elements within Ishgard. However, the events of Stormblood means the most elite members of House Haillenarte's Machinists are unavailable, including Joye, leading Stephanivien to send Rostnstahl and the Warrior of Light instead to assist.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: At the end of the Stormblood machinist questline, Hilda reveals that the gun she uses was gifted to her before the events of Heavensward by Stephanivien on a suspicion that doing so would convince her that not all nobles despised those beneath them. She happily informs him that it did, changing her opinions enough to give the likes of Stephanivien, House Fortemps and Aymeric a chance, instead of leading a violent revolution.
- Deadpan Snarker: She is one of the more serious characters, but not above being sarcastic. Sometimes overlaps with Straight Man, such as during the Level 80 quest where she watches Joye switch personalities, fully with the hair undoing. She just stares before asking how and why the hair comes loose during the switch each time.
- Do Not Call Me Sir: While scouting with the Eorzean Alliance, Pippin addresses her as "Lady Hilda" as they set to their task. Hilda jokes that she doesn't know any "Lady" Hilda before continuing the job.
- Half-Human Hybrid: She's the child of an Elezen and a Hyur.
- The Gunslinger: She's a machinist, thus she is quite skilled with her shooting.
- The Lad-ette: She's not your average lady and is willing to remind you of that fact. Hilda is crass, rude, trigger happy, and she'll shoot you in the blink of an eye if you so much as rub her the wrong way.
- Long-Lost Relative: In the conclusion of the Stormblood machinist questline, the Warrior of Light learns that the Temple Knight Muscadain is Hilda's noble half-brother, re-contextuallizing their exchanges throughout the storyline.
- Mythology Gag: To a character of the same name and causes in Final Fantasy II
- Pointy Ears: The mark of her Elezen blood. Her ears are much smaller than an Elezen's, closer to a Hyur save for the points.
- Trigger Happy: Very much so. When a member of the Holy Knights barges into the tavern in which she is having a discussion with the Warrior of Light, obviously looking to arrest her, she doesn't think twice before firing at him. Too bad he was protected by a magic shield.
Voiced by: Shinpachi Tsuji (JP), Brian Protheroe (EN), Jean-Claude Sachot (FR), Bernd Volbrecht (DE)
The current ruler of Ishgard. Archbishop Thordan VII is named after the famous King Thordan who had led his twelve knights into battle against the dragon horde when the Dragonsong War began one thousand years ago and had ripped out Nidhogg's eye. Thordan declares Ishgard to be open to all adventurers after the Warrior of Light helped defend the nation from the dragon horde on the Steps of Faith. The Archbishop wants his people protected from the horde and wants to find a way to end the war once and for all by enlisting the help of the Warrior of Light.
- Affably Evil: Thordan isn't exactly a bad person per se, but he still does very questionable things that paint him a different light, such as having one of his knights try to kill the Warrior of Light when they tried to approach the Archbishop, an attack that was taken by Haurchefant instead. He also throws Aymeric, his son, into jail after said son questioned him about Ishgard's true history with the dragon horde. For his better side, he personally apologizes to the Warrior of Light when Tataru and Alphinaud were tried with heresy. He also acknowledges that Niddhog's rage is completely justified, but that it is unfair that one thousand years later, the descendants of the old King Thordan must pay for his sins. He believes what he is doing is truly the right thing for Ishgard.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Aymeric tells him to reveal the truth to the people on how the Dragonsong War and the nature of Ishgard was built on lies, Thordan counters with this:Thordan: And what would you say to them? What would you tell the wives who have lost their husbands, the mothers who have lost their sons? ...That their loved ones died for naught?
- Batman Gambit: He knew that the Warrior of Light opposed the Ascians and would try to follow them to Azys Lla, so he lets the two sides fight it out and then steps in to backstab Lahabrea by becoming a primal and absorbing the Ascian's soul.
- Black-and-White Insanity: Believes the path to peace, is a world of absolute order. All at the cost of all freedoms, and anyone who dares oppose him, and the Ishgardian faith. Which leads to some truly hypocritical thinking, such as opening the gates to the heretics to launch an assault on Foundation to sow chaos and fear into the populace, so that they turn to prayer of King Thordan and his knights Twelve. And thinks nothing of the costs to the world by becoming a primal (though he does try to offset the aether drain by using Nidhogg's eye and the Warring Triad as power sources).
- Character Death: Was defeated by the Warrior of Light after becoming a primal.
- Corrupt Church: He and his twelve knights closely guard the truth behind the Dragonsong War and are willing to do anything to keep it that way, even if it means murdering one of their own.
- Deal with the Devil: Had consorted with Lahabrea in order to gain more power so that Ishgard could end the Dragonsong War once and for all. Unlike everyone else who did so however, he is quite aware of the Ascians' intentions and ultimately turns against them.
- Disappears into Light: How he and his knights die following their defeat at the Warrior of Light's hands.
- High Priest: He is the highest-ranked priest in the Holy See and uses this to his advantage when becoming a primal, using the prayers of his church to create his primal form.
- He Knows Too Much: Had Aymeric tossed in jail after he learned the truth behind the Dragonsong War.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Once he becomes a Primal, he utterly destroys Lahabrea by absorbing his aether.
- Knight Templar: Was willing to do anything to end the Dragonsong War, even if it meant becoming a primal and silencing those who opposed him.
- Order Versus Chaos: Seeks to bring order to the Dragonsong War and beyond by using his powers as a primal to oppose any form of chaos that would disrupt the peace.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He uses the Ascians to gain information on how to summon and become a primal. He also uses heretics and dragon attacks to his advantage, letting them wreck havoc before launching a counter attack to cause the populace of Ishgard to turn ever more to praying to the Ishgardian faith for protection, so as to strengthen himself and the Heavens' Ward in their primal forms.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: He accuses Aymeric of being too naive on how to change Ishgard for the better; Aymeric wants the truth of the Dragonsong War to be revealed so the nation can start anew. Thordan prefers to keep the status quo since he believes that the dragons would rather kill everyone instead of forgiving them and that revealing the truth could cause Ishgard's society to collapse.
- Staff of Authority: He carries one with him everywhere and brandishes it when becoming a primal.
- This Cannot Be!: He becomes absolutely flabbergasted at his defeat against the Warrior of Light, wondering how he could have lost against them after becoming a primal, using Nidhogg's eye as a source of aether, and using a millennium's worth of prayers.
- Villainous Breakdown: When the Warrior of Light's party survives his Ultimate End attack the battle with him is essentially over. In utter disbelief that they have survived, the final phase of the fight has him swinging wildly as opposed to the composed sword strikes used before. Completely exhausted, he becomes permanently debuffed causing him to deal less damage. He also no longer obeys aggro tables, desperately flailing as he advances on random party members. The entire time he's talking to himself, trying to convince himself in horror that this can't be happening to him after all his planning and all the power he's gained.
- Villain Has a Point: Thordan believes that admitting the truth behind the Dragonsong War would be pointless and futile, a vain attempt to placate an implacable enemy, and could threaten to bring about societal collapse in Ishgard; he also tells his son that their people needn't and shouldn't be made to answer for the sins of their long-dead ancestors. Even Aymeric has some difficulty arguing with him, despite firmly believing that the truth needs to come out to bring an end to the Cycle of Revenge.
- Walking Spoiler: It's impossible to list anything for Thordan that's not a spoiler.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Wanted to bring peace to Ishgard by any means necessary after the nation had suffered the effects of the Dragonsong War for a thousand years, though his methods are very questionable at best.
- What Are You: Says this word for word in absolute terror after the Warrior of Light defeats him, even after Thordan became a primal and powered himself up with Nidhogg's eye and a millennium's worth of prayers.
- Willing Channeler: Summons the first King Thordan unto himself as a primal, similar to how Iceheart used Shiva.
- With Us or Against Us: Fights the Warrior of Light on the knowledge that they would fight him simply because he was a primal, even though both sides wanted to end the Dragonsong War.
A conspiracy of Ishgardian priests and knights formed shortly after the fall of Archbishop Thordan. Outraged that the Warrior of Light and Aymeric have exposed the truth about the Dragonsong War, and believing Aymeric himself directly responsible for his father's death, they are determined to keep Ishgard's fanatical status quo in check no matter the cost.
- Arc Villain: Of the 3.1 main questline.
- Attack of the Political Ad: As a result of their rumour-mongering, much of Ishgard comes to believe Aymeric had the Warrior of Light assassinate his father in a bloody coup so he could take power. They also attempt to discredit rumours of Archbishop Thordan's own fall from grace and dismiss the truth of the Dragonsong War.
- Dying Curse: As Ser Sennigough dies, he vows that one day the Warrior of Light and Aymeric will answer for their "crimes" against Ishgard.
- Insane Troll Logic: Takes the Insane Troll Logic that Ishgard was infamous for before the beginning of its reformation, and turns it Up to Eleven. You are either with them, or against them. Of course, they are also the ones who decide who is "with" or "against" them, and the "with" just so happens to be the nobles and clergy that enjoyed the status quo and ability to look down upon all "Low-born" and keep them there and the "against" being everyone else. They have no qualms with hurting the innocent because in their insane view, that's considered "righteous". After all, its the Reformists "fault" for pushing them into having to remind others their "place".
- Knight Templar: If nothing else, they are certainly dedicated to what they believe to be Ishgard's cause.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The leader's attempted murder of an Ishgardian girl to punish Aymeric for attempting to put an end to the nation's fanaticism and its war with the dragons. The girl ends up saved by a dragon, in full view of all of Ishgard — serving as one of the first major events to cause the Ishgardians to realize that maybe not all the dragons are the bad guys.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Let's see. Open assassination attempts, arson, taking hostages in an attempt to have their demands be met? Yeah, they fit the bill.
- Slasher Smile: Their leader makes one right before trying to throw a hostage to her death.
- Would Hurt a Child: Their leader actually throws a little girl off the highest point of the Vault as punishment for Aymeric trying to change the status quo. Luckily, Vidofnir manages to come by and save the girl in the nick of time.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: In-Universe and taken to the extreme. They are absolutely livid that Aymeric had Thordan's secrets exposed (which had also caused the general populace to look upon the church differently) and was trying to change how Ishgard should progress. In response, the group starts fires, commits murders, attempts to kill Aymeric, and even attempts to kill a child just so that the status quo returns and thus, they get to return to the power they once had.
- Villainous Breakdown: After the 3.1 main questline is completed, Hilde reveals that their leader has undergone this, the Slasher Smile he put on before attempting to murder a hostage seemingly permanently plastered on his face, and he's completely unresponsive to the Inquisition's attempts to make him tell them if there are any more conspirators.
- Villainous Legacy: Despite being soundly defeated and dismantled by the end of 3.1, their ideals and beliefs continue to cause the Warrior of Light and Aymeric problems throughout 3.2.
The youngest child of Count Haillenarte. He's accused of heresy when a Dravanian rosary is found among supplies being shipped to his house. After Lord Haurchefant and the Warrior of Light clear his name, Francel becomes a staunch ally of theirs, pledging support to House Fortemps in all its endeavors.
- 100% Adoration Rating: After the Warrior helps clear his family's good name, Francel's compassion and crusade to help the less fortunate wins him widespread popularity among both highborn and lowborn Ishgardians alike. Francel is constantly approached by passerby with words of thanks once the Firmament's restoration is completed. It isn't long before his friends and the people he helped see fit to throw him a concert in his honor because of all he's done to help others.
- Frame-Up: He's accused of heresy after a Dravanian rosary is found among his belongings being shipped to his door. Not only that, but many members of his house were also accused of heresy and subsequently executed on the same charges prior to this.
- Honor Before Reason: When he's accused of heresy, he leads a contingent of men into dragon-infested territory in hopes of restoring his house's good name rather than dispute the charges. As Haurchefant puts it, Francel is far too devout for his own good even when he knows he's innocent.
- Nice Guy: Francel is a relentlessly kind and caring person whose heart aches for the misfortunate. As the overseer of the restoration of the Firmament, he works tirelessly to help those who lost their homes in the Dragonsong War move into the slowly restored section of the city.
- Older Than They Look: Despite clearly having hit the growth spurt that takes adult Elezen from below five feet to almost seven, Francel's face still looks like it belongs on a teenager.
- Overly Long Name: There's a reason why he's mainly referred to as "Lord Francel".
- Put on a Bus: While he pledges support to House Fortemps, Francel vanishes from the story until after the events of 3.3, upon which he's appointed the overseer of the Firmament's restoration efforts. It's even lampshaded, as Francel asks if you remember him after all the adventures you've had since their last meeting.
- Skilled, but Naïve: As the scion of one of the Four High Houses, Francel is well-spoken, has a vast array of connections, and a skilled administrator. But his youth shows with his sometimes scatterbrained and thoughtless actions that cause more harm than good, like trying to restore his good name with a reckless attack on a dragon-infested area rather than dispute charges he knows he's innocent of. He also leaves his post as restoration overseer to personally deliver letters to the High Houses even though he has numerous other appointments planned, forcing the Warrior of Light to step up as overseer for a day and handle them in his stead.
The count of House Durendaire, the highest of the four High Houses of Ishgard. A proud leader who is ever-confident in the political arena, he nevertheless grieves for his missing son.
- Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Despite his blustering and his inflated sense of self-worth from his family's name, Charlemend is at-heart a deeply compassionate man who wants to do right by his fellow Ishgardians as well as his family's name. After getting a slice of Humble Pie by venturing outside of Ishgard, he realizes how negligent he's been and strives to improve himself to be a role model for those to follow. He also continues to grieve the loss of his son, who was lost at sea fourteen ears ago.
- Humble Pie: Journeying outside of Ishgard with Francel is a sobering experience for Charlemend, who realizes just how much of his self-worth and accomplishments are built on his family's name rather than his own skills. By the events of Shadowbringers, he goes from smugly swaggering about the Eorzea city-states to quietly volunteering at the newly built hospital in the Firmament, knowing full-well that he may get harangued by the patients for the way he's treated them in the past.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: He wears a neon blue and leopard-print bilaud and hat in comparison to his normal alpine coat while trying to discreetly find work at Ser Vandrieau's Grace. He does nothing to disguise his face, however, and people are instantly able to recognize him as Count Durendaire.
- Parents as People: He continues to mourn the loss of his firstborn son after he's lot at sea. But due to his grief and the nature of noble inheritance, he neglected his other son, Jannequinard, who tried to learn Sharlayan astrology to impress him. Charlemend's continued neglect led Jannequinard to become a Rich Idiot With No Day Job as it became clear that nothing would earn his father's respect. He also tries to be a good Parental Substitute to his nephew, Ronontain, who lost his father in the Dragonsong War, though he also teaches Ronontain the mannerisms of an Upper-Class Twit, which shames Charlemend after he gets some Humble Pie.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Zigzagged. The name of House Durendaire commands immense respect in Ishgard, granting Charlemend great authority as he's worked to uphold his house's standing. But when he and Francel journey outside of Ishgard's walls to strike a trade agreement with the members of the Eorzean Alliance, Charlemend is quickly blindsided by the Culture Clash and how little his family's name means to non-Ishgardians. If not for Francel's and the Warrior of Light's help, Charlemend would have likely gotten scammed in Ul'dah or mugged in Limsa Lominsa.
- Upper-Class Twit: As the count of the highest of the four High Houses, Charlemend sneered at lowborn individuals and was frequently negligent in his duties to his knights and the people of Ishgard. Following the restructuring of the nation and the end of the Dragonsong War, Charlemend gets a much-needed dose of humility and tries to atone for his past actions. However, his family members continue to try and follow his previous example to his shame.
- Didn't Think This Through: His strong desire to see his family again after having transformed into a dragon nearly causes a whole mess of problems. By showing up at Ishgard's front gate and asking to see his wife, the inquisitor was nearly ready to have him and his wife and daughter executed on the spot since he is both a dragon and a heretic and a heretic's kin would also have to be punished. Only the intervention of the Warrior of Light and Francel averts a tragedy. Marcelloix's wife also points this out.
- Must Make Amends: Due to him running off and changing into a dragon, his wife isn't ready to forgive him for abandoning her and some of the citizens won't accept his dragon form since it reminds them of the dragons that nearly killed them. To prove that he can still help people, Marcelloix crafts dining utensils and an ungunet for a pair of citizens that need them and then clothing for his wife and daughter that is fashioned in the style that they used to wear before losing them in the war. While everyone isn't ready to forgive him right away, they are willing to give him a chance.
- Parental Abandonment: He had left his wife and child behind to join the war on Ysayle's side, leaving the two of them to fend for themselves. When he does return, his daughter is just glad to have him back while his wife is pissed that he had the nerve to leave when they needed him most.
- Painful Transformation: According to him, his transformation into a dragon was not only painful, it was so long that by the time he fully transformed, the war was already over.
- Was Once a Man: He was a normal Elezen until he drank dragon blood, transforming him into a dragon. He is unable to revert to his normal form.
Discipline: Black Mage
- Dead All Along: We never saw the real Guillaime except as a frozen corpse hidden beneath a snow pile.
- Glamour Failure: Once sufficiently damaged enough, he outright mentions his glamours are failing as he takes the form of a Dravanian to step it up a notch.
- Jerkass: Though he never laughs nor shows any strong emotion for it, it's all too easy to feel that he takes his inquisitor status a bit too extremely as he seems to be nonplussed by the executions. Never mind once he begins harassing the Scion remnants with a smug attitude to try to make sure everyone distrusts and despises them. Considering he's a murderer, it's very clear upon the reveal that he was indulging in his self-wrought justice for his own gain.
- Kill and Replace: The real Guillaime had been killed on his day of arrival some time prior, as a heretic replacement pretended to be him the entire rest of the time under everyone's noses.
- Revealing Cover Up: In an attempt to prevent the Scions from inevitably fighting his heretic allies at the Stone Vigil, it's his moves to undermine them at every turn just to be a petty bastard that ends up causing them to investigate him- and find out he was a traitorous and mass-murdering heretic himself when they follow the chain of evidence to the one person that knows the truth.
- Serial Killer: He's using inside help from fellow heretics and the false identity of a Holy Inquisitor to frame anyone, innocent or noble, as a traitor to the Ishgardian cause so that he can cast them to their deaths. Judging by the story implications, this has been happening for long enough to send the whole of Coerthas into a mass paranoia and to far too many victims.
- Spotting the Thread: What gives him away was a conflict of directions for which entrypoint a guard got attacked at the day Guillaime was to arrive, as the reports didn't quite indicate what should've logically occurred; another guard that had known the truth of the situation was forced into silence least she die, but it resulted in a Revealing Cover Up eventually.
- Walking Spoiler: Knowing what the spoilers are effectively reveals the entire point of story conflict in the 2.0 Coerthas arc.
Note that, due to the nature of at least one of these characters and the fact that their entries would otherwise be totally blocked out, there are open spoilers in this folder.
- The Ageless: Dragons are functionally immortal and will only die if sufficient violence is done to their bodies or they have their eyes removed.
- Ancient Astronauts: Dragons originate from Midgardsomr, who came from space carrying the seven eggs that are the progenitors of the entire species.
- Baleful Polymorph: Part of Nidhogg's forever war with Ishgard. Because of the dragon blood in every Ishgardian, partaking in this blood has the chance of turning the people into a dragon themselves.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Played with. Dragons possess similar senses of morality to the other races, but because they are so long-lived, their memories of transgressions from a thousand years ago remain fresh in their minds long after: an event in history that barely any living Ishgardian can recall is remembered as vividly by dragons as if it had happened only days prior, hence many dragons' centuries-long grudges against Ishgard.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Dragons are effectively mana elementals in a tough scaly shell, and most of their biology seems to subvert or defy the known rules of how aether on Hydaelyn functions. The majority of their power is in their eyes, which seem to grow and self-sustain and just create aether instead of pulling it from anything (which given how everything ties back to aether, should be metaphysically impossible). They also start as hatchlings small enough to fit in a human's hand, but many times over their lives will find a taste for a certain element, linger near crystals, and metamorphose into any of the different kinds and shapes of dragon, eventually in theory becoming as gigantic as Midgardsormr himself. Given that they're actual aliens who came to Hydaelyn from a different Star, the rules of their world and how aether works may have been entirely different, hence their strange relation to the Mothercrystal and the planet.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Touched on slightly in expanded lore fluffs. While dragons can mate the traditional way to create an offspring of both parents, they can also to no ill-effect reproduce asexually, meaning both males and females are capable of laying eggs with no second parent, that hatches into a perfectly normal hatchling. This also has the benefit/consequence of making falling in love and claiming a mate matters of true, deep, and nearly impossible-for-mortals-to-fathom spiritual love instead of carrying on the species. Bonus points for them literally being aliens, as revealed in 4.2.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": When addressing the spoken races, they generally call them "child/children of man" as reference to them being the children of their ancestors (which said ancestors was the first time dragons came into contact with man).
- Compelling Voice: If the leader of a brood "sings" a command to those who follow him, they have to listen. This is why every dragon of Nidhogg's comes across as Always Chaotic Evil, they're more or less controlled into it. The Stormblood Dragoon quest chain delves into what happens when a dragon refuses their leader's call; They struggle internally before eventually going completely insane, and after that settles, they become little more than a feral beast surviving off instinct. Indeed, this song is so powerful that while some of them are still so far gone they need to be put down, Tiamat's song is strong enough to call tempered dragons back to sanity during the raid on Paglth'an.
- Fantastic Racism:
- The dragons not with Nidhogg's brood are on the light version of this. At worst, they look at man with contempt and at best, they see them as flawed and/or inferior, but some do warm up to the player after they prove themselves to the dragons.
- Compared to the non-evil dragons, the dragons in Nidhogg's brood hold absolute hatred against man as they see them as either selfish beings that will never learn from their mistakes while their future children are doomed to repeat the same mistakes, or nothing more than food to hunt in the wild.
- Healing Factor: Regeneration. Combined with a dragon's very high durability, a wounded dragon can easily recover (though it takes some time) from its injuries by simply sleeping it off.
- Leitmotif: "Misconception" is often used as the theme for dragons during cutscenes with them throughout the game.
- Magical Eye: A dragon's power and lifeforce is located in their eyes. If both eyes are removed the dragon will eventually die. The eyes of more powerful dragons can also become Artifacts of Doom, as they are massive wellsprings of aether that can be used to power all sorts of nefarious plots, and the dragon who lost it can exhibit a measure of control over its wieldereven if the dragon is dead. They can also bequeath their eyes to other beings for various purposes.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Unlike Nidhogg's brood and the transformed Ishgardians that actively take part in the Dragonsong war. Other dragons just want to live in peace and have quests that can be done in Heavensward. In fact, due to their distorted sense of time, many elder dragons you meet on good terms remember the time when human and dragon lived together fondly, and hope that those days will eventually return.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Dravanians form a large and varied list of dragon types, from small dragonflies to giant turtles.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Midgardsormr and his children, the First Brood, naturally has this, but the ones involved directly in the Dragonsong War (Nidhogg, Ratatoskr, Hraesvelgr and Midgardsormr himself) are named after Norse creatures.
- Stronger with Age: It's implied that dragons get stronger and tougher as they get older and the really old dragons are massive in size.
- Word of God has it that a dragon never stops growing stronger, and though there aren't many that hit that point before being slain somehow, any dragon that lived sufficiently long could be as strong as the 7 great wyrms.
- Telepathy: All dragons seem to have the mental speaking version of this trope as an inherit ability, even newborn hatchlings. Nearly every dragon still vocally speaks Draconic, yet the words translate perfectly to the Spoken language in their heads. Alphinaud notes this rather jarring phenomenon when he meets Vedofnir for the first time, confirming that it's not just the player's echo translating Draconic for them.
- Transhuman Treachery: Among Nidhogg's horde are human followers known collectively as Heretics, though interchangeably referred to as the Harriers as well. These people betrayed home and country and happily kill their kinsmen until eventually they get to drink the blood of the dragons they worship. This transformation will either destroy their mind, effectively turning them into a clone of the dragon they drank the blood of, or they resist the mental break and become a new dragon. They normally only become one of the three types (Wyvern-like Aevis, top-heavy humanoid Syricta, or beefy tanky, dangerous Diresaurs), but if they survive long enough will metamorphose until they're indistinguishable from a dragon that hatched from an egg.
- The Unseen: After Heavensward, two of the seven great wyrms are still not accounted for, Vrtra and Azdaja, the Encyclopedia Eorzea gave us their names and appearances, but no guesses about where they could currently be calling home, or if they're even paired off together or living alone with their broods.
- Vrtra is now confirmed to appear in Endwalker.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: According to Ishgardians, transformed heretics of adequate age and power can return to their original forms, which is why Witchdrop was considered an effective execution ground. However, it's left ambiguous if they can actually do this or if every circumstance we see of a heretic turning back to normal is illusion magic (which they tend to be skilled in), as most circumstances of a heretic that transforms then and there ends with their death (and they remain a dragon as corpses, no This Was His True Form here).
- With Us or Against Us: The Horde has recently started attacking other dragons during the Warrior of Light's time traversing Ishgard for standing idle during the Dragonsong War. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! This is most likely your fault as you had recently killed Nidhogg's prime consort.
- You Can't Go Home Again: During a conversation with Omega, Midgardsormr reveals that the planet where all dragons originated from was destroyed by Omega. Once Midgardsormr brought his 7 eggs to Hydaelyn, he had to agree to make a pact with the mothercrystal in order to be allowed to stay.
Voiced by: Taketora (JP), Allan Corduner (EN), Emmanuel Bonami (FR), Tino Kiessling (DE)
Epithets: The King of Kings,
the Father of Dragons,
the Keeper of the Lake,
the Bane of the Fourteenth
This dragon, ancient beyond all memory and reckoning, has been many things... but today, he is dead. Eorzean myth says that Midgardsormr was charged with the protection of Silvertear Lake and its abundant aether by the heads of the Eorzean pantheon, Althyk and Nymeia, at the dawn of time itself. Whether or not that is true, Midgardsormr has been around as long as anyone can remember or find record of, and always protected Silvertear... which is why he called down a massive host of Dravanians to confront the Garlean Empire when they tried to take Silvertear for themselves, ten years prior to the beginning of Legacy. The ensuing battle destroyed a huge portion of the Garlean Air Force, including their super-dreadnought, the Agrius... and with it seemingly died the ageless dragon himself.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Midgardsormr seems remarkably unconcerned with the state of his physical body at any given time, and will change form to suit his needs. He first reappears in a spectral version of his old body to battle the Warrior of Light, then when he accompanies the Warrior he takes on the unassuming form of a dragonling, later turns into a larger but still reasonably sized form to give the Warrior a ride into and out of the Aetherochemical Research Facility, and later still returns to his dragonling form during the investigation into Omega's activities. He is also fully capable of hiding his presence from anyone, and will appear and disappear without warning.
- Against the Setting Sun: Seemingly invokes this imagery when still inhabiting his "old" body and conversing with the Warrior of Light.
- The Ageless: Nobody can remember a time when he wasn't there, even in records going back millenia, which has led to common wisdom being that he's as old as the world and knows the very gods. He hasn't commented on this directly, but in person he sure does seem familiar with Hydaelyn-the-entity and speaks as if he sired and remembers the first dragons besides himself to even come into the world. It comes to light during the Omega raid series that he is even older than that, having flown through space for thousands of years to escape Omega who was out to kill him.
- Ancient Astronauts: It is implied from his child, Tiamat, that she, her father, and the rest of the brood had come to Hydaelyn from another planet thousands of years ago, which may also imply that all dragons are not native. It is confirmed during the Interdimensional Rift raid, where one of Omega's memories reveals a bizarre world called Dragonstar, where everything is covered in green fog, with pillars of light reaching up into the sky, and black snow are ash raining below.
- Arch-Enemy: Omega. Some millennia ago, Omega launched an alpha strike on the dragon's homeworld, Dragonstar, wiping out all but the seven eggs that he could flee with, then destroying the world itself to leave them without a home, forcing him to seek refuge on Hydaelyn, which came at the cost of sacrificing his near-infinite might to become the mothercrystal's servant so his children could thrive and repopulate. When Omega resurfaces, Midgardsormr is... apparently furious at the mere sensing of his aether, and decides to aid the player directly in a combat role for the first time.
- Badass Boast: When first encountered, and first revealed to still be alive, atop the Keeper of the Lake."Thou hast forgotten the face of thy lord. Remember, mortal, and fear me."
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Being a deathless dragon, his take on events is rather different than all of the mortals around him. This comes to particular light with the death of Moenbryda; while everyone else is deep in mourning:"Life for death. A fair exchange. [to the player] Other bargains will be struck."
- Brought Down to Badass: Downplayed. While he is pretty damn powerful in the present, Omega's representation of him at his prime eons ago show that the dragon was a lot more powerful in his youth and had a flaming mane. The battle against Omega and the very long trip through outer space to reach Hydaelyn weakened him considerably as well as causing his mane to disappear. In a way, Midgardsormr was brought down from "totally badass" to "weakened, but still badass enough to not be taken lightly."
- Brought Down to Normal: Does this to the player, when he strips away Hydaelyn's protection, and the power of the Elemental Crystals. Of course, compared to the vast majority of Eorzea, and the fact that the player can still fight extremely deadly foes with their own combat abilities, this is more Brought Down to Badass.
- The Bus Came Back: Midgardsormr is absent from 3.5 until after Stormblood. He decided to sleep after the Dragonsong War, but sensing Omega woke him from his slumber.
- Big Damn Heroes: At the of the Sigmascape storyline, Omega traps the Warrior of Light in a crystal and warns that he will kill them if they can't break free in three minutes. Midgardsormr uses his energy to transform into his old self, as in the huge city sized dragon body he used to inhabit and chews on the barrier until it shatters, freeing the Warrior of Light.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Seems to take this attitude toward the Battle of Silvertear Skies. For mortal Eorzea and beyond? One of the most important events in modern history, one which shaped the entire world and the course of the whole plot and entire lives. For 'Sormr? Apparently an excuse for a twenty-year nap and a mild inconvenience concerning his old body.
- Dare to Be Badass: Seems to be one of his goals by forming a covenant with the Warrior of Light. He wants to see if anything you accomplish is of your own skills, and not while safely protected by Hydaelyn.
- Composite Character: His name comes from the recurring Midgardsormr enemy (mistranslated as "Midgar Zolom" in VII), but his role as an extremely powerful interworld-traveling dragon and especially his history with Omega call to mind how Shinryu is normally portrayed in the series.
- Dead All Along: Midgardrsormr has technically been dead since he first arrived on the Source, having offered up his life to Hydaelyn to serve her as a spectre in exchange for her allowing his children to remain. While he admits to Omega that he is not as powerful in this form as in life, it is what allows him to be functionally eternal, simply needing to rest and recover his aether when he is "killed" or otherwise expends it.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's got some moments. Especially aimed at the Warrior of Light."Hmph. Trickery is thy shield. This frail, ignoble creature is not gifted, but merely chosen."
- Everyone Has Standards: Nidhogg's obsession with vengeance eventually reaches the point where even Sormr realizes that his son is out of control and must be stopped, leading him to warn Ishgard that Nidhogg is about to return.
- Faking the Dead: Maybe? Sort of? It's more that everyone assumed 'Sormr was dead and gone forever without actually understanding what he was (and/or he just didn't bother stirring anyway until the Warrior of Light showed up). It's also played with a bit further in that his old, famous body does seem to be beaten and burned to the point that it can't biologically function any longer, which is why he needs to construct the dragonling body to tag along with the WoL.
- Forgiveness: Midgardsormr who would be justified as any of the other dragons to destroy Ishgard in anger for killing his daughter Ratatoskr, was one of the first dragons to accept Ishgard's apology and vow for peace. Not only that but by seeing how much the Warrior of Light fought for peace, and the sacrifices that were made in pursuit of it he advocates forgiving Ishgard to his other son Hraesvelgr.
- The final Tales from the Shadows story shows that, after having observed that Omega has finally gained a soul after having come to truly understand and appreciate life, Midgardsormer is even willing to bury the hatchet with his oldest and greatest enemy in order to help protect the survivors of the Eighth Umbral Calamity. Though not without having a bit of a chuckle at Omega's current toy-sized state.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: By the end of the Heavensward questline, you are given a mount and a minion of Sormr. Both are created from his aether and are basically fully sentient copies of himself and can appear and disappear in cutscenes whenever he wants. During Stormblood Sormr uses all his available aether to save the Warrior of Light from Omega's trap, which would put him back to sleep for an indefinite amount of time. He notes that after doing so the minion and mount you have can still be used but would no longer have his consciousness making them effectively just a regular toy and mount respectively.
- Godzilla Threshold: For most of the story post-1.0, Midgardsormr is content to sit back and watch the Warrior of Light's struggles and occasionally lend some words of wisdom. When the WoL gets involved with Omega however, he makes an exception, becoming a lot more vocal and even helping in the solo instance preceding the raid tier.
- Guest-Star Party Member: He appears in the solo instance that leads into the Omega raid in Stormblood, although he doesn't do anything other than cast Cure on you.
- Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of Omega: Sigmascape, Omega comes to conclusion that the best way to speed up the process of finding out the Warrior of Light's source of power is to simply take its previous threats to the "logical" conclusion; trap the Warrior of Light in the same style of electric field it used to imprison Shinryu and give a final ultimatum that if they do not escape within less than three minutes, they will die. After watching Alpha's defiant and heroic attempt to rescue the Warrior of Light, Midgardsormr declares that he is satisfied with what he has witnessed and taught everything he possibly can to the Warrior of Light, then expends all of his available aether to partially reconstruct his original body and proceeds to crushes Omega's field apart with his jaws. All while delivering to Omega "The Reason You Suck" Speech before fading away to slumber for an indefinite amount of time.
- Hidden Agenda Villain:
- Assuming he is a proper "villain", of course; but either way, his motives are unclear and he seems to like keeping it that way. He definitely did command the Horde to defend Silvertear when the Empire came... but was it due to a covenant with Althyk & Nymeia, as Eorzean scripture teaches? Was it maybe a pact with Hydaelyn-the-entity Herself, as Minfilia speculates later? Something else entirely? And what exactly did he show or do with Iceheart, who said we'd understand everything if we paid 'Sormr a visit? He is, currently, silent on all of this, and we sure didn't get the answers Iceheart seems to have implied we would.
- He's also really vague about just why he stripped the Blessing of Light from you (aside from some obvious distaste that you were "chosen", rather than earning your gifts), and what exactly this "covenant" is that binds the two of you together now. At one point he's talking to Hydaelyn, not you. That alone is a big deal considering that you or Minfilia hadn't heard from her since you defeated Lahabrea. That's five patches worth of story where she's been eerily quiet.
- The Japanese version of the cutscene is significantly less vague, and though the meaning behind the words are the same, the added clarity changes the impact of the dialogue entirely:
- 'Sormr is significantly more polite and interested in you once he's unable to temper you, realizing it as the Echo. It also confirms he doesn't entirely "destroy" the blessing of light, but seals it away, and said the darkness would do it anyway. He also explicitly states that he let you keep the Echo. And indeed, this was at Hydaelyn's request. At the end, he mentions breaking away from his claw, implying that he will give you the blessing of light back eventually, but you'll have to earn it.
- Apparently Ishgard committed some terrible sin in the past, and Dravania is moving to attack them because they sense they haven't learned from it. There's also an implication he knows the Ascians are controlling the Holy See.
- He forms his bond with you because he wants to know What You Are in the Dark; are you truly a hero, or are you as foolish and capable of sins as Ishgard was?
- He talks of your legacy, and more or less encourages you to involve yourself in the war, saying that there's a chance that you can change the course of it entirely.
- It's Personal: Is very invested in the Omega storyline due to the machine destroying the dragon's home planet prior.
- Kneel Before Frodo: Midgardsormr and the Warrior of Light return to Ishgard together at the end of Heavensward after Thordan was slain. The people witnessing the dragon landing in their city react with fear and hostility as one would expect. When Midgardsormr introduces himself as the father to all dragons and aided the Warrior of Light, everyone begins to kneel before him out of respect and the start of mending the broken relationship between man and dragon.
- Large and in Charge: Literally as long as a city. Also the dragon all others will pay heed to, although actual "command" of Dravania seems to have been left to his son, Nidhogg.
- Leitmotif: "Primogenitor", which plays both during the boss battle with him and during the conversation with him afterward, and which also shares notable similarities with the song used in the Heavensward teaser. This song is also used when fighting both Nidhogg and Hraesvelgr, his sons, and when you fight the virtual copy of his younger self in the Alphascape.
- Lucky Seven: He came to this world from space and carried with him seven eggs, which became the first blood and the progenitors of the dragon race.
- Magical Eyes: As with all dragons. Midgardsormr is first shown to still be alive when the eyes on his otherwise lifeless body flare up.
- Meta Guy: Not blatant, but there in a way. Really, what Midgardsormr seems annoyed at with regard to Hydaelyn's blessing, your Chosen One status and whatnot is the fact that you're the protagonist in a Final Fantasy/RPG story, and he doesn't really think you've done anything to earn all the special powers or adoration you've been on the receiving end of, having been led by the nose to your victories to date, and seems to be nudging the character to make their own choices and really deserve to be The Hero. Your actions throughout the 3.0 main story serves as proof to his eyes of your worthiness of Hydaelyn's blessing.
- Mr. Exposition: Midgardsormr has a long history with Omega and so he feels obligated to offer information about his old foe to the Warrior of Light and the Ironworks.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Although the Warrior of Light seems to have told Alphinaud and Minfilia about him, he makes a point of appearing (at least in 2.5) when only you can possibly see him, and it's inferred that only you can hear him. In Stormblood during the Omega side story, he appears in front of Biggs, Wedge, Nero, and Cid and they can all see him.
- Not So Stoic: While it is very subtle, you can hear the sadness in the dragon's voice when he sees his child, Tiamat, is bound by chains and had chosen to stay that way until the end of the world because she's punishing herself for consorting with the Ascians, whom had given her the power to bring her brother, Bahamut, back as a primal. Midgarsormr also displays a hint of sadness when he sees Nidhogg comes back from the dead and wonders what had happened to his child that caused him to still be full of hatred.
- Only Mostly Dead: Thanks to the Agrius exploding, his original, millenia-old body is basically done for. Thanks to him having an ability like the Echo wherein his essence isn't necessarily tied to his body, however, he's able to make a new body for himself with some unwitting help from the Warrior of Light. (This new body is, of course, about the size of a housecat, but hey, one step at a time.)
- Falls into this again after his Heroic Sacrifice. After using up too much aether to save the Warrior of Light from Omega, his spirit is forced into a state of hibernation until he can recover, which could take a very, very long time. His minion and mount forms remain available to the Warrior, but he explicitly states that these will merely be empty shells until he revives.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Midgardsormr is cold if not indifferent towards humanity and barely recognizes the Warrior of Light as worthy; however when it comes to his own children he is notably more open when it comes to his emotions. Showing concern and sorrow towards Nidhogg and Tiamat both of whom are suffering in completely different ways; and when it comes to Hraesvelgr even Midgardsormr is moved by how less of damn Hraesvelgr gives about ending the Dragonsong War. It really says something when Midgardsormr tells Hraesvelgr that if he keeps being indifferent then he would just be causing more suffering.
- When Hraesvelgr comes to the rescue of the Warrior of Light and company after Omega's death he said that he only agreed to it after Midgardsormr himself asked him to. Hraesvelgr notes that in his entire lifetime Midgardsormr never once asked for anything, and that his doing so meant that whatever he asked for was important enough for him to even ask for help. Sure enough it's to save the Warrior of Light from certain death in the rift.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Quite. Most dragons aren't effectively wholly immortal, for one. Physically he's very much a "serpentine dragon", as befits the name, though in temperament he is very much like the classic taciturn "Western" dragon.
- Put on a Bus: After the end of the Dragonsong War, Midgardsormr doesn't show himself for some time. He claims that he decided to sleep for a while.
- The Bus Came Back: Returns following the conclusion of the war between Ala Mhigo and the Garleans when the Warrior of Light begins to investigate Omega. Knowing what the construct is capable of he joins the party as part advisor and part exposition device.
- And then goes back on the bus after preforming his Heroic Sacrifice, taxing his body's aether more than he should have been, which results in his conscious mind falling back into slumber for an indeterminate amount of time, in the final few cutscenes Hraesvelgr mentions that it could be a few months, or it could be well after the Warrior of Light dies a death of old age, effectively shelving him unless he's needed for the plot.
- ...Until the final Tales of the Shadows reveals that he eventually regained his strength and commandeered his original body 200 years after the Eighth Umbral Calamity. Having watched Garlond Ironworks' tireless devotion to saving a world they'd never see, he vowed to protect the Ironworks as they now rebuilt civilization toward a new Astral Era in the Bad Future timeline.
- Red Baron: The King of Kings, the Father of Dragons, the Keeper of the Lake, the Guardian of Silvertear, The Bane Of The XIV Legion...
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Norse Mythology, and like his children that had names from that same mythos, he is a key figure in the events of Heavensward.
- Required Party Member: Of a sort. You do not have an option about getting him as a minion - every single other minion pet in the game is ultimately acquired by using an item, even quest-centric ones like the 2015 Heavensturn sheep. Dragonling-Midgardsormr forces his way into your minion list without any item required at all, the instant you beat the (main-quest-required) Keeper of the Lake dungeon the first time and there's no way to remove him. And he will show up in further cutscenes, whether you like it or not.
- Happens again in Heavensward when he allows the Warrior of Light to use him as a mount out of respect for their accomplishments; he is automatically added to the player's mount list without requiring any item to be used, and the player is already riding him after the cutscene where his mount form is gained (conviently, this is also the point when flying is unlocked for that area).
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He's a king amongst kings who commands the unquestioning loyalty of an entire race of beings and is the greatest dragon who ever lived or shall live; he's also perfectly willing to throw down with the largest airship on modern Hydaelyn and make it look as effective as an oversized blimp, and only "die" in retaliation because he underestimated how big the explosion would be when it crashed. He also tags along with you without much hesitation, once he decides to invoke whatever this "covenant" is.
- Serial Escalation: Done in an interesting way. Primals are presented as potentially-murderous gods who can kill the land just by existing, can create armies of zealous thralls by breathing on them, and come back again and again when beaten. The Ascians are immortal wizards who seek to unmake the world and command weird, spooky voodoo you barely understand. And then 'Sormr comes along and, despite being ostensibly a "living" being, does stuff the primals and Ascians only dream of doing. He, while mostly dead, resurrects fallen kin, fights you on equal terms, strips you of your Hydaelyn-given blessing and drains the crystals of light, and reconstitutes himself using the aether from this while holding a conversation.
- Secret Test of Character: His purpose in joining the Warrior of Light and stripping them of their blessing is to see if they can accomplish their goals without constantly relying on a power that they were blessed with and also seeing if they are willing to endure many hardships and trials to accomplish said goals. He eventually sees that the Warrior of Light is worthy of taking Hydaelyn's essence and he becomes an adult sized dragon (though not to his former size) for the Warrior of Light to ride on through the skies.
- Shoulder-Sized Dragon: He turns into one to tag along with the player.
- The Stoic: A major character trait of his. He doesn't really seem surprised by anything, he maintains a very even, calm vocal tone in all languages and what unexpected things do come up are more disappointments than anything.
- He's so stoic, the names of his attacks in his boss battle are all feelings of annoyance and disapproval. He's basically sighing at your attempts at fighting.
- He also doesn't seem to be all that broken up about "dying"; see But for Me, It Was Tuesday above. Once the player shows up, he gets back to business with a little help from your aetherial blessing.
- In his minion form, he is capable of perching on your shoulder (or head, if you're a Lalafell). Other minions with this ability will do so on command, with a /beckon emote. Midgardsormr will do it when and only when it pleases him to, and will get off when it also pleases him. Slash commands have no effect at all.
- He'll even hop a ride when you're in the middle of combat, seemingly without caring, and will remain calmly perched on your shoulder even if you fight world raid bosses or S-rank hunt targets (and survive).
- Telepathy/Psychic Link: Apparently communicates in this manner (the only time we see him open his mount in any of his form is to attack, not speak) and seems to have formed something like the latter with the Warrior of Light, given how nobody else can hear his otherwise-seemingly-loud voice.
- Vocal Dissonance: Played with. At first his deep, booming voice makes perfect sense for a dragon the size of a city, but then he makes his little, about-as-big-as-a-Hyruan-head dragonling body for himself and his voice doesn't change at all. It might sound almost comedic, if he wasn't so deadly serious all the time.
- Walking Spoiler: It is essentially impossible to create an entry for this character without discussing his meeting with the player/Warrior of Light and his subsequent joining of your "party". As a result, this entire entry has no spoiler tags, because basically everything past "the WoL went to check the wreck" would have to be blanked out. In particular, we only get to see a lot of his character traits once we get to talk to him, and a lot happens all at once. His only previous appearance was in Legacy's opening movie, and the subsequent repeat of the scene during Gaius's speech early in ARR.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: After reaching the size needed for the WoL to ride him, Midgardsormr can freely take that form or his broodling form depending on whether he is summoned as a mount or a minion.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Hraesvelgr digs his heels in on not helping mortals fend off Nidhogg's attacks in 3.3, Midgardsormr finally has enough of his son's indifference and angrily lambasts him for sitting there refusing to help out of a misguided belief that the Nidhogg that's about to destroy Ishgard is his reincarnation, instead of a shadow of his hate, and for acting so lofty and superior when the Warrior of Light and his allies have busted their asses trying to make amends with dragonkind. This is probably the most frustrated we see him, and one of the only time his opinion falls in with the player character over another dragon.
- Who Needs Their Whole Body?: 'Sormr sure doesn't.
- Wowing Cthulhu: Midgardsormr isn't convinced that the Warrior of Light earned the right to be Hydaelyn's champion and he strips them of their blessing to test their ability and determination to pursue their goals in defending Eorzea with their own merits. After the Warrior of Light proves that they can kick as much ass as they did before and influence others to change their stances on the Dragonsong War, Midgardsormr is impressed and he gains a new adult body to allow them to ride on his back into the final battle.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: He speaketh in this form in the English script, if the quotes didn't make it obvious. It seems to be intended to make him sound much older and more archaic than the other characters, which is saying something when most Eorzeans already get a little baroque in the English script.
Voiced by: Steven Hartley (all languages)
The other member of the "First Brood" currently active in Eorzea, Hraesvelgr doesn't seem to take as active a part in the war with Ishgard as his brother. He plays a large role in Heavensward.
- Adaptational Villainy: Due to a miscommunication between the cinematics and modelling team, Hraesvelgr appears in the original Heavensward trailer attacking the Warrior of Light on the Steps of Faith before being driven back (it was originally meant to be Nidhogg). He never attacks the heroes at all in the proper game, save as the final boss of Sohr Khai, which is a challenge he posed to see if you have the skill to fight Nidhogg.
- The Aloner: He spends his life in isolation from others rather than take part in the Dragonsong War or end it. Awaiting the day oblivion comes for him. Even his brood rarely sees him, with Vidofnir - a firstborn daughter - being the only one to speak to him semi-frequently and enacts his will with matters concerning his children.
- An Ice Person: Uses powerful ice magic in combat, most notably, his primary area attack is a stronger version of Shiva's Diamond Dust called Diamond Storm.
- Awful Truth: He reveals the truth behind the Dragonsong War and Primals to the Warrior, Iceheart, Estinien, and Alphinaud. Namely, that it was Ishgard's King Thordan I and his Knight's Twelve that committed the betrayal of peace, by slaying Ratatoskr, and consuming her eyes for greater power. Then when Nidhogg fell upon them for revenge, he slew Thordan and about half the Knights Twelve, before losing his eye to the remaining knights. He also reveals to Iceheart, that the "Shiva" she calls forth, is but simply a phantom of her beliefs manifesting itself.
- Berserk Button:
- Do not presume you know anything about his beloved, or make yourself out as some reincarnation of her.
- When Nidhogg and him first meet in the final battle of the Steps of Faith, Hraesvelgr attempts to talk him down at first. But when Nidhogg insults Shiva, the look of sheer, unbridled hatred on Hraesvelgr's face is clear despite his dragon features making emoting in the same fashion as humans impossible, and marks the point where the words stop and the fighting begins.
- Big Damn Heroes: Along with Wedge and Biggs, he saves Cid, Alpha, and the Warrior of Light as Omega's pocket dimension begins to collapse. He says that his father, Midgardsormr, asked him to.
- Big Fancy Castle: His home is apparently that enormous, airy, wing-styled castle in the Churning Mists. Its main spire appears to be as tall as all of Ishgard combined.
- Bystander Syndrome: He initially refuses to help out the Warrior of Light and the rest of the party because he feels that the war is not his problem and he doesn't care about man anymore.
- Cat-like Dragons: Hraesveglr has a mane of either feathers or fur that extends from his head down his back to his tail and a carnivoran face, evoking this, especially in comparison to the more reptilian appearance of his brother Nidhogg.
- Cynicism Catalyst: It was bad enough that he had to endure the fact that his love, Shiva, had a limited lifespan, but seeing man commit sin once again by killing his sister, Ratatoskr, left him completely devastated. Since Shiva's soul is keeping his rage in check, Hraesvelgr resorts to being completely cynical and apathetic by not caring what happens between dragon and man. It isn't until the Warrior of Light, Aymeric, and Alphinaud pass their trials that the dragon is willing to give man one more chance at redemption.
- Feathered Dragons: He has feathery wings, unlike his father and siblings.
- Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: After completing his trial Hraesvelgr explicitly warns Aymeric and the Warrior of Light that he will allow himself to believe in mortals once more, and if that they should ever fall again then his trust would be forever extinguished.
- Heartbroken Badass: He was the dragon that the original Shiva fell in love with and he loved her in return, and he's never truly moved past her sacrificing herself for peace, much less the fact that he devoured her (at her request) to do so. This is reflected a lot in his face, at their most open his eyes are still half-closed like he's just finished crying, only opening fully in moments of intense emotion like when he got angry at Iceheart for making herself out to be Shiva's reincarnation or when Nidhogg insults Shiva's memory. Though at the end of the Ishgard storyline when the Warrior of Light flies next to the recovered Hraesvelgr, his eyes are more open than usual, suggesting he's finally found hope in the repaired relationship between man and dragon.
- Holy Hand Grenade: A number of Hraesvelgr's powers are holy in nature, such as holy pillars of light or Holy Sprites appearing to attack on his command.
- Hypocrite: He does not involve himself in the Dragonsong War out of respect of his beloved Shiva, but when Nidhogg first arrived at his doorstep missing both of his eyes he guilt tripped Hraesvelgr saying that everything that had happened was his fault, demanding one of his eyes as recompense. Hraesvelgr folded and gave Nidhogg an eye knowing full well he would start the Dragonsong War, betraying the wish for peace that he and Shiva tried to create together. Once the Warrior of Light's group learns the truth his hypocrisy infuriates even Ysayle.
- Just a Flesh Wound: He doesn't seem to react much to Nidhogg tearing off one of his wings after the battle is over and even flies off with only a little bit of lack of balance. Given that he has seraphim-like wings, just losing a singular one out of the multiples he has doesn't seem to affect him all that much, as he can be seen flying in the closing of 3.3 having learned to balance himself without much difficulty.
- Meaningful Name: His name means corpse eater in old Norse. Alluding to the original Shiva being swallowed by him at her request.
- Morality Chain: Hraesvelgr makes it very clear that where it not for Shiva's calming influence on his soul, he would be just as wrathful and vengeful as Nidhogg.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Subverted. Everyone takes Hraesvelgr's lack of involvement in the dragonsong war to be a sign of either distaste or disinterest and believe he can be made to help the war stop. In actuality, while he has no care for the war, he's most decidedly not on humanity's side because he's every bit as angry at humanity as Nidhogg for their transgressions and, were it not for Shiva's love and spirit keeping him soothed, more than likely would have joined his revenge-crazed brother. In fact, pre-storyline he gave Nidhogg one of his eyes and thus half of his power, knowing exactly what Nidhogg would do with it.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name means corpse eater in old Norse and he's named for the giant eagle whose wings cause the winds to blow. Ironically, however, most of the promotional material he features in shows him being quite civil.note
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Norse Mythology and as mentioned in the Names to Run Away from Really Fast Entry above, he has a part to play in the Dragonsong War. It's also an Ironic Name; Nidhogg and Hraesvelgr were Arch Enemies in the Norse myths, but this Hraesvelgr granted Nidhogg one of his eyes so that he could live and start his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Ishgard. He also notes that were it not for his love for Saint Shiva, he would have likely joined Nidhogg in said rampage.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In the short story From Azure Ashes, Hraesvelgr shows how the renewed hope in post-war humanity has affected him when he cordially holds a conversation with Estinien and urges him that though his dragonslaying days are over, it doesn't mean his days helping people also have to end. He then escorts him to ruined barracks where he expressly gifts Estinien a suit of Trueblood Dragoon armor from the days when Dragoons were those who fought with dragons, not against them. When Estinien names it Iceheart in memory of Ysale, Hraesvelgr is visibly pleased at the memorial to his fallen friend.
- Neutral No Longer:
- He aids Iceheart by letting her ride upon his back as she goes to Azys Lla to aid the Warrior of Light. He makes this clear in 3.1, where he sends a message to Vidofnir of how they will walk alongside man once again after seeing Iceheart's noble intentions and sacrifice.
- After hearing Aymeric's heartfelt plea for aid, Hraesvelgr tests you, him, and Alphinaud. You come out victorious and he puts faith in humanity and fights Nidhogg for their side. While he doesn't defeat Nidhogg himself, him gifting the Warrior of Light with one of his eyes is ultimately the reason he was beatable.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Nidhogg. Not only are they literally black and white, Nidhogg is usually shown being violent or threatening in most promotional materials, while Hraesvelgr is quite a bit more civil.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Hraesvelgr's eyes are gold in color, and the source of his power like all dragons.
- When He Smiles: Seeing his vengeful brother finally defeated and seeing that there's hope in mankind yet has him give a small smile at the end of the war.
- Your Soul is Mine!: Possibly. Given the dragons' nature as beings of aether and the fact that spoken souls are also made of aether, it's entirely possible that him devouring Shiva so their souls would be entwined is meant literally, and she still exists inside of his mind and body in some form. If this is the case, it makes it a rare willing version of the trope, and an even rarer benevolent version. However, this is left vague enough to go either direction, as we have only his own archaically phrased words (and the fact he uses ice magic, including an improved Diamond Dust) to support this.
Nidhogg's and Hraesvelgr's sister (And the other known female member of the First Brood besides Tiamat). She was killed by the original King Thordan and his Knights Twelve, starting the Dragonsong War.
- Eye Scream: She had her eyes gouged out and consumed by the Ishgardians. This had the effect of placing her power in the blood of all their descendants, and being the reason the Heretics can become dragons.
- Magical Eye: Like all dragons, her eyes were the source of her powers. Because of this, she became the target of Ishgard's Envy, and after the Ishgardians ate her eyes, they gained the ability to become dragons.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: According to the Encyclopaedia Eorzea, Ratatoskr shared a lot of information with the Elezen in the spirit of understanding, including the fact that the eyes of a dragon are the source of their power. Thordan I made her his first target to claim draconic power for himself.
- More than that, in the level 80 dragoon quest you learn the specific reason why she died. Thordan asked for the brood leaders' opinions on humanity and she spoke plain about the opinion of Nidhogg - the de-facto leader to suceed Midgardsormr - that he didn't believe humanity had the will or strength to protect Hydaelyn. Thordan and his knights saw this as a declaration that Nidhogg would attempt to steal the world away from humanity and in a panicked frenzy over the thought of dragons turning against them slew her then and there.
- Posthumous Character: She's dead long before the beginning of the game, but her murder at Thordan I's hands cast a large shadow over Ishgard and Dravania, and is Nidhogg's Cynicism Catalyst.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Norse Mythology, and her death marks the beginning of Ishgard's checkered history. It's also worth nothing that her namesake is the squirrel that acts as a messenger between Hraesvelgr and Nidhogg, both being the names of the wyrms hurt by her death the most.
- Encyclopaedia Eorzea extends her messenger role, noting she was a keeper of songs and often travelled between all her siblings bringing news, and that many of her own brood shared her wanderlust.
- Walking Spoiler: What is known about her is tied to plot twists throughout the expansion, with the biggest being the revelation that Ishgard, not Nidhogg, attacked first.
Voiced by: Yu Sugimoto (JP), Gemma Whelan (EN), Marie Zidi (FR), Kim Pfeiffer (DE)
A child of Hraesvelgr tasked with keeping the Gnath and their primal Ravana under control and serves as the guardian of Anyx Trine. Due to Hraesvelgr's distance from the world due to his lingering hearbreak, Vidofnir seems to serve as the unofficial leader of Hraesvelgr's brood below Sohm Al, dealing with any issues that don't outright require Hraesvelgr's input on, and being a direct bridge to him when it is. Vidofnir serves as a representative of the dragons in 3.1 to the people of Ishgard.
- Affectionate Nickname: Fondly refers to Ysayle as "Little One".
- Berserk Button: Vidofnir was furious upon seeing Estinien since he has a dragon's eye on him.
- Big Damn Heroes: Rescued a child hostage taken by the clergy in 3.1.
- Friend to All Children: Her fondness when she refers to Ysale as Little One and "child" when she meets, plus defending Anyx Trine where most brooding dragons and their hatchlings are paint her as this. This is also more or less confirmed in 3.1 when she rescues the child hostage the clergy took, she mentioned that she had been circling Ishgard for some time scared of being killed if she approached to land, but put all those fears away when she saw the girl falling from the vault to save her as fast as she possibly could.
- Make an Example of Them: Nidhogg!Estinien brutally attacks her in the middle of a peace conference between Ishgard and Dravania, spraying her blood all over the symbol of harmony the Ishgardians had just unveiled. Through this act Nidhogg makes it clear that no one, whether they be man or dragon, shall be spared from his wrath. Thankfully she survives the attack, but talking to her at Anyx Trine has her tell you that her heart hurts much more than her body because of the derailment of the peace talks.
- Number Two: She seems to be the highest ranking dragon in Hraesvelgr's brood next to her father, and due to his grief keeping him isolated from the world and even his kin is the one who often handles matters of protection and politics, while being one of the few who can directly seek him out if counsel is required.
Another child of Hraesvelgr, Vedrfolnir stands out among his kin for both his power and nobility, being among the strongest of Hraesvelgr's brood besides his father himself and more than willing to stand against Nidhogg's servants in the Churning Mists. Though originally a part of a protracted FATE chain in the Churning Mists, he later gets a small role in the main story quest as the one who tests Aymeric during Hraesvelgr's trial, and appearing to have formed a friendship with the Lord Commander after the war's end.
- Ascended Extra: Originally a FATE boss, he was low-key promoted to one of the three leaders of Hraesvelgr's brood in 3.3 and challenged Aymeric as part of Sohr Kai's trials, after which he bore him into the final battle against Nidhogg. And given the epilogue after the war's end, he and Aymeric have apparently formed a kinship, enough so that they often fly around the city and other parts of Ishgard. He also shows up at the finale of the Stormblood Dragoon quest chain, being Orn Khai's father and the one who requested you track down and bring back Faunehm.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the level 70 Dragoon quest, Orn Khai's song fails to bring the insane Faunehm back to her senses and Estinien is starting to fear she may be beyond salvation, when Vedrfolnir slams down from above and restores her sanity with his much stronger call.
- Blow You Away: Tornado is one of his most powerful abilities, if a player stumbles over the vortex, the explosion of wind causes enough damage to one-shot every player in range.
- Bonus Boss: One of the hardest FATE bosses in the game to spawn, getting Vedrfolnir to challenge you requires players to complete three different FATEs around the Churning Mists, one being possible to fail, before drawing out the high-ranking Horde dragon Darkscale. Darkscale himself is a long, 3-part chain that if Vedrfolnir at any point dies or is forced to flee fails, restarting the timer over. Fittingly, despite being a world FATE boss Vedrfolnir is arguably one of the hardest enemies in the game and is more than capable of wiping masses of players.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: From head to toe his body is a blindingly beautiful shade of snow white, even more vibrant than his father and sister's more muted colors, representing his more active stance against Nidhogg's brood compared to his father's apathy and his sister's defense-first approach.
- Papa Wolf: One of the FATE chains he's involved has him show up to protect a hatchling from being attacked by one of Darkscale's lieutenants.
- Star Crossed Lover: With the dragon Faunehm, it was at his request that the Dragoon player character and his son Orn Khai go to seek her out. Their love was genuine, but when Nidhogg started the Dragonsong war he pleaded that she not join the fight and possibly die for her father's vengeance, and instead flee as far as she could. She listened, but went insane in the process due to resisting Nidhogg's Compelling Voice, and a thousand years of isolation from her kindred.
- Worthy Opponent: Sees the players as one which leads him to challenge them to a non-fatal duel as a boss fight. He also considers Aymeric one, which leads to a lasting friendship.
Voiced by: Maaya Uchida (JP), Salli Saffioti (EN, Los Angeles cast), Siobhan Hewlett (EN, London cast), Laurence Crouzet (FR), Sonja Firker (DE)
Epithet: Lady Iceheart
An Elezen woman who leads the Harriers, a heretical group of defectors that left the Holy See of Ishgard in favor of their sworn enemies the Dravanian Horde.
- Always with You: Like Haurchefaunt, Ysayle appears to help you and Alphinaud remove Nidhogg's eye from Estinien's body, freeing him from his rage. Afterward, she and Haurchefaunt Go into the Light.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: A woman named Iceheart that is icily pale with white hair and blue lipstick.
- An Ice Suit: She doesn't dress in a manner appropriate for the icy climate she inhabits. Unlike Alphinaud though, she's likely better acclimated to it.
- The Atoner: Her attack on the Steps of Faith was particularly sobering for her at just how out of control and beyond reason an enraged dragon is. The civilians killed in the attack weigh heavily on her and becomes one of the reasons she begins to work with the Warrior of Light. According to the Tales from the Dragonsong War, she seeks to atone towards Hraesvelgr for using dragons and Saint Shiva in her selfish cause by wanting to aid the Warrior of Light in Azys Lla.
- Category Traitor: Iceheart, tired of the blind obedience her people have for the Dragonsong War (and apparently clued in to more of the history than her kinsmen thanks to the Echo), defects to the side of their sworn enemies, the Dravanian Horde.
- Characterization Marches On: In A Realm Reborn, she's portrayed as being devoted to the cause of destroying Ishgard for the dragons, even busting out an Evil Laugh as the dragons lay siege to the Steps of Faith. In Heavensward, her personality is softened considerably, and she's horrified when she learns of the civilian casualties of the dragons' rampage, as wanton murder was never her intention.
- Cult of Personality: She has formed one around herself to unite the scattered heretics of Ishgard under one banner.
- The Chosen One: Like the Warrior of Light, she too possesses the Echo as one of Hydaelyn's Chosen Many.
- Cuteness Proximity: Her initial reaction to seeing moogles for the first time, almost to the degree of Terra. She hides it well enough when her friends are watching, but when she thinks it's just her and the moogles she remarks in disbelief that they make her heart feel so "fluffy." Just as the Warrior of Light walks up.Ysayle: What sorcery is this...? That my heart should stir at mere... fluffiness...
- Defensive "What?": When looking for a moogle they spotted in the Churning Mists, Ysayle remarks how she finds them adorable, to the Warrior of Light's apparent shock. Ysayle gets defensive that she apparently can't find something adorable, remarking that her heart isn't literally made of ice.
- Evil Laugh: Lets out an absolutely psychotic one after dispelling the wards around Ishgard and yelling to the dragons that they can now invade.
- For The Greater Good: She continually justifies her actions by stating that they're for the greater cause of ending the Dragonsong War. This viewpoint of hers is continually challenged throughout the story before her ideals come crashing down upon her when Hraesvelgr reveals to her that her "Shiva" is nothing more than her own fantasy and idealization of the real Saint Shiva manifest as well as how he lent his eye to Nidhogg to cause 1,000 years of suffering upon the Ishgardians.
- Ghost Memory: She is blessed with the Echo, much like the player characters and Minfilia.
- HeelFace Turn: She joins the Warrior of Light during the Heavensward scenario, but as a person with a common goal rather than truly being on the Warrior of Light's side. After her faith and beliefs get shaken up by Hraesvelgr, she eventually regains her composure and fully join's the Warrior of Light's side of the fight.
- The Heretic: Leads the heretical faction known as the Harriers.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Assists the Warrior of Light and their companions in Azys Lla by summoning Shiva and using her power to distract the Garlean warship so that the Warrior of Light can get away safely. She's shot down and then explodes into a cluster of aether.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Forms one with the player (Apathetic), Estinien (Cynic), and Alphinaud (Realist). She's the Optimist, intent on ending the war between Dravania and Ishgard, and has the most faith and determination that they can do it.
- I Did What I Had to Do: She channels Shiva knowing full well that she drains the land's aether by doing so, which she views as a necessary evil to bring about peace between human and dragon. She thus draws a line between herself and the likes of the Gnath, who summoned Ravana out of a selfish lust for conquest, ignorant to the consequences of their actions.
- Lady of Black Magic: A regal and skilled thaumaturge who can even summon Shiva into her own body.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Early into Heavensward, she's found for the first time since the attack on the Steps of Faith by the WoL. She mentions that the Echo has shown her fragments of the truth to a time when dragon and humanity were not at war with each other and that her goal is towards restoring that peace. you question her how killing innocent civilians who died during the assault on the Foundation section of Ishgard is going to accomplish that. Her voice trembles as she expresses her guilt, and how she never meant for that to happen.
- Red Baron: Her real name is Ysayle, though everyone refers to her as Iceheart. Curiously, though, the Heavensward site insists on calling her Ysayle, which may have to do with the fact that she is a key character in the expansion.
- Taking You with Me:
- A sightseeing log of the massive Garlean airship she died fighting, the Gration, (equal to the one Midgardsormr "died" fighting against) reveals her aethetic ice has sealed its ceruleum engines, effectively grounding it. As it is located too far away from a dock in a severely dangerous area, it is unfeasiable for the Garleans to repair it especially after the escalating events of following expansions which making it increasingly unlkely it will ever fly again.
- Ontop of which, a primal's aetheric ice is permanent unless you have the right expertise in aetheric manipulation and Garlean's cannot manipulate aether (and anyone who has that level of expertise is not going to cooperate with them).
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Iceheart wants to end the Dragonsong War due to the sorrow it's inflicted on her, and she doesn't care what cost to herself or anyone else it comes at, even if it means becoming a primal.
- Willing Channeler:
- Ysayle summons Shiva by using her own body as a vessel. Remarkably she remains in complete control, even after Shiva is defeated. This is because like the player and Minfilia, she's blessed with the Echo and thus immune to tempering. She quotes both the opening theme and "Hear. Feel. Think." to clue you in. The whole affair is quite horrifying in its implications.
- She summons Shiva again to take on Ravana in single combat. There weren't enough crystals to bring out Shiva's full power however and Ravana was able to break free before she could use Diamond Dust.
- Villainous BSoD: While she had softened up in 3.0, Ysayle was still on the side of dragons until a huge reveal shook up her beliefs. After she finally meets with Hraesvelgr, the dragon reveals that Ysayle's summoning of Shiva was just her using her beliefs to give the primal an image and that she never actually summoned or had bonded with the real Shiva at all. Hraesvelgr also reveals that he actually hates mankind and the only reason he isn't joining Nidhogg in the slaughter is due to Hraesvelgr's bond with Shiva, thus he doesn't want to help Ysayle end the Dragonsong War. After the Warrior of Light and Estinien kill Nidhogg, Estinien figures out that the mismatched eye he yanked out of the dragon had belonged to Hraesvelgr, who had given Nidhogg said eye to restore some of his power after he was nearly killed by the knights of Ishgard, which also explains why the vengeful dragon was able to keep up his crusade for a thousand years. Ysayle completely shuts down after learning about Nidhogg's second wind on top of everything else she learned previously. She eventually gets over it and seeks to aid the Warrior of Light and Estinien in ending the war for good so that the bloodshed on both sides can end.
Voiced by: Simon Greenall (all languages)
The current "king" of the Dravanian Horde, at least as near as the Ishgardians can figure it. Also one of the "First Brood", the seven children of Midgardsormr.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Despite everything's that happened and all the suffering he's caused, Estinien comes to the conclusion that most of Nidhogg's grief and rage stemmed from the fact that Nidhogg had no one to set him on the right path, and if Estinien were in the same situation, they would have likely turned out not so different. Even talking to Vidofnir once Nidhogg is defeated, after he had stabbed her to send a message, hopes Nidhogg's soul finds peace.
- Artifact of Doom: His eye, which each successive Azure Dragoon has possessed. It grants them the power to be the strongest Dragoon in existence, but also slowly and subtly works its way into the Dragoon's mind by making them feel admiration towards the dragons and sympathy to their cause.
- Badass Boast: "I am of the first brood... I am vengeance incarnate... I am Nidhogg! Thou shall die by my hand!"
- Big Bad: Becomes this in Heavensward after 3.0.
- Bishōnen Line: zigzagged. While he does assume Estinien's human form during a conversation and his final battle's second phase, which is harder than the first, ultimately he spends most of the fight, the ending of it included, in his original dragon body.
- Body Horror: His eyes fuse to Estinien's right forearm and left shoulder when he takes over Estinian's body. The trailer for patch 3.3 also shows that he can also take a form that merges his own features with Estinien's.
- Defiant to the End: Even after being defeated to the point where he can barely stand and Estinien is capable of combating his influence, Nidhogg utterly refuses to give up, continuing to struggle and fight Estinien for control right up until the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud tear his eyes from Estinien's body and kill him for good.
- Dying as Yourself: Zigzagged. His dragon form dissipates after his final battle with the WoL and he resumes the form of his mortal body. Estnien's consciousness then resurfaces, struggles for control of his body, and poises it to receive a fatal blow while Nidhogg is defenseless. However, when Nidhogg's eyes are prised from his host and the wyrm is killed for good, his spirit rises from the body in its natural dragon form.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
- Loved his sister Ratatoskr and her murder helped transform him into the vengeance fueled monster he is today.
- Dragons don't take reproductive mates, so a dragon's mate is someone they're intrinsically, spiritually bound with. This makes the players distracting Nidhogg from the Dragonsong War by killing Tioman take on a different meaning.
- Late in Shadowbringers, Estinian comments how even in his darkest moments of madness, Nidhogg still felt very protective of his other sister Tiamat and apparantly would try to keep an eye on her during her self-imposed exile.
- Evil Takes a Nap: Nidhogg's campaign against Ishgard are only broken up if Nidhogg's injured enough to enter the dragon's sleep to heal. Because dragons are The Ageless, they can take decades or even centuries to sleep off their wounds. Nidhogg had been asleep for twenty years before renewing his assault just before Heavensward.
- Eye Scream: A thousand years ago, his eye was pulled out of his skull by the early settlers of Ishgard. Twenty years ago, the Azure Dragoon rammed his lance into Nidhogg's empty eye socket. The dragon's got reason to be so furious.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Always disliked mortals even before his sister's death, believing them to be shortsighted and greedy due to their short lifespans and that they pass off responsibility for the actions of their ancestors while eventuallly repeating their mistakes at some point. When he and Hraesvelgr finally meet face to face again, Nidhogg calls his brother a fool for suggesting that they ever treat spoken as equals instead of prey, implying that even before peace was made, they were just above-averagely intelligent food to him.
- The level 80 dragoon quest gives this a bit more context: Nidhogg wasn't hostile to humanity, but as the one who would inherit Midgardsormr's pact of protecting Hydaelyn from various threats, he was less than impressed about humanity's capabilities to be the planet's saviors. Ultimately his dismissiveness of humanity was what lead to Ratatoskr's death when she shared his opinion to Thordan verbatim - which caused him to kill her in fear of the dragons deciding humanity wasn't worth existing, leading to the beginning of the Dragonsong War.
- Fate Worse than Death: He doesn't seek to kill all Ishgardians like most people thought, rather he wishes to make them suffer as their punishment for their crimes and the dragon's blood that runs through their veins due to their treachery. Killing them, causing them to defect and become dragons themselves, or simply by letting vengeance consume them to continue the eternal punishment against Ishgard.
- Freudian Excuse: Losing his eye only enraged him further. It was the unprovoked death of his sister at Thordan I and his knights' hands that started his desire for vengeance.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Nidhogg's face is covered in deep scars from where the Twelve Knights attacked trying to gouge out his eyes. They are no longer present on Nidhogg's face after he takes Estinien's body for his own.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Nidhogg's wings are black and leathery compared to the feathered wings of his brother.
- Grand Theft Me: When Estinien took both of Nidhogg's eyes while still covered in the wyrm's blood, Nidhogg was able to possess Estinien, and convert his body into a new body for himself.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: It is one of Hraesvelgr's eyes that allows him to begin the Dragonsong War in the first place, and ultimately proves to be his downfall after Hraesvelgr bestows it to the Warrior of Light.
- Irony: The level 80 Dragoon quest reveals that the reason the original king Thordan killed Ratatoskr was because of Nidhogg's own distrust of man led his sister to say Nidhogg did not think men worthy inheritors of the world. Thordan took this to mean the dragons of Dravania judged man unworthy and meant to cull them and so slew her right there out of panic, his own misgivings leading to his sister's death.
- In an even bigger irony, while Thordan misjudged the intent behind Ratatoskr's words, that exact sentiment Thordan presumed the dragons to have is the reason revealed in Shadowbringers to be why Ascians mean to kill everyone for the Rejoining, seeing the current fractured Spoken races as wholly unworthy of carrying on the world's future. In the sense of the Ascian boogeyen feared throughout history, Thordan's immediate panic to the idea makes a bit more sense.
- Final Boss: While King Thordan is effectively the Final Boss of the Heavensward main scenario, the final fight with Nidhogg is what brings an end to the Dragonsong War.
- Jerkass: Far from a pleasant fellow, filled with anger and hate with a desire to spread suffering. He even blamed Hraesvelgr for Ratatoskr's death because he had sought peace with man and guilt trips him into giving him one of his eyes.
- Killed Off for Real: He "dies" at the Arey and comes back when Estinen hold's both of the wyrm's eyes at the end of Heavensward. Later on, the dragon "dies" again when Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light remove the eyes from Estinien's armor, destroying the dragon's link to his host, but the eyes are later recovered and used by Illberd to create Shinryu. At the end of Stormblood, Nidhogg's eyes are almost completely dried up of their aether due to being used to summon and maintain Shinyru's form. Estinien stabs both eyes and they disappear in a small red mist, permanently killing off whatever remained of the once great wyrm.
- Living on Borrowed Time: Phase 3 of his boss fight at the Final Steps of Faith opens with him admitting that he's now doomed thanks to his brother's actions. He then powers himself up for one last hurrah, because if he's going to die, he's going to take you and all of Ishgard with him.
- Meaningful Name: Old Norse for "Malice Striker".
- More Than Mind Control: Seems capable of this; he can enthrall minds into serving the Horde and cause of dragonkind in a way not unlike a primal, although he isn't a primal himself.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: His attack on Vidofnir at the end of the 3.2 questline was meant to sabotage the peace talks between Ishgard and the neutral Dragons. Instead, it ended up uniting both parties in an attempt to stop him once and for all.
- Him using Estinian's body as a vessel ultimately taught the Dragoon to tap into the power of the dragon blood that runs through his veins more completely than any other Ishgardian while retaining full control of his body and senses effectively making him one of the most powerful beings on the planet.
- Not Quite Dead: While the Warrior of Light and Estinien slay him during Heavensward, his rancor lives on through his eyes and towards the end of the main story where Estinien holds both eyes and is still covered in Nidhogg's blood, he lets down his guard for just a moment, which was enough for Nidhogg's hatred to consume him and allowed the dragon to be reborn.
- Oh, Crap!: When he finally fights and defeats Hraesvelgr near the end of the 3.3 story, he's reasonably shocked when he realizes his brother is missing one of his eyes. And then has cause for serious worry that it's in the hands of the Warrior of Light, the same person who defeated him the last time they had a dragon's eye at their disposal.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The eye of Nidhogg is blood red, befitting an incarnation of rage like Nidhogg. Red eyes are his natural color.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Norse Mythology and the one leading the Horde in the Dragonsong War.
- Revenge Before Reason: This is Nidhogg's entire shtick. He refuses to listen to reason and only wants to cause as much pain and suffering to man as possible ever since he lost an eye to them a thousand years ago. While Nidhogg could have destroyed Ishgard many times over, he chooses to prolong the war as long as possible so that all of Ishgard and its future generations can suffer his wrath. By the end of the main story even Midgardsormr, having seen just how deep Nidhogg's rage and hatred runs first hand, seems to realize that he's completely out of control and does indeed need to be dealt with, going so far as to warn the Ishgardians of his resurrection at the end of the story and telling them to be ready for him.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Nidhogg is a black reptilian nightmare of a dragon who loathes the Ishgardians and made it his life's mission to destroy them. Hraesvelgr is white and more mammalian in appearance, who would rather distance himself from it all in grief.
- Signature Move: Massacre. A searing breath of flame that will consume everything.
- In the form of Estinien, he has Final Chorus, a diving strike from above, empowered by his broodlings, that bathes the battlefield in darkness.
- He shares the very powerful Akh Morne with Midgardsomr and the rest of his first brood.
- Spikes of Villainy: He's covered in the goddamn things. They go down his neck and back, ring his wings, frame his limbs..
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Nidhogg's remaining left eye is a striking yellow and a source of strength. It's actually one of his brother's.
- Taking You with Me: When pushed into his final phase he admits that the actions of his brother have doomed him. But if he's going down he's taking the Warrior of Light and all of Ishgard with him.
- Turns Red: He quite literally does this in the final battle with him as you wear him down, giving the impression that he's on fire.
- Unstoppable Rage: Nidhogg has been enraged and hostile over the loss of his eye and murder of his sister for over a thousand years. To quote Midgardsormr, "No mortal mind could comprehend the depths of his rancor". After stopping the Knights of the Round, Midgardsormr realized that even he underestimated how deep Nidhogg's rage burned. He even shifts from defending it as a justified response to viewing it as his child going way too far off the deep end.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: After taking over Estinien's body Nidhogg can freely transform between his great wyrm form, a twisted version of Estinien's, and a third form shown in patch 3.3 which resembles Estinien with Nidhogg's wings and horns. Of course, this shapeshifting is voluntary for Nidhogg only. Not so much for Estinien.
- Villainous Legacy: The Ascians recovering his eyes and gifting them to Ilberd, who used them to birth Shinryu, has guaranteed that even though Nidhogg's spirit has been forcibly passed on to the next life, his legacy of Revenge Before Reason will continue, and worse, has widened to the entire world instead of a single country of humanity. Nidhogg's legacy is finally put to an end when, after Shinryu's defeat, Estinien finds the depleted eyes and destroys them for good.
- With Us or Against Us: This seems to be his opinion on Hrasevelgr's brood, as many of the FATEs and sidequests in the Churning Mists has you preventing his brood from attacking Zenith, the moogles that look after it, or the friendly dragons that inhabit the area. It's implied that this is a recent development, and might be because you killed his mate Tioman during the ascent up Sohm Al.
- This is made more blatant in 3.2. Nidhogg, in Estinien's form, impales Vidofnir for working towards peace with the Ishgardians. He leaves her alive as a message to all Dravanians who would ally with Thordan's lineage.
- Worf Had the Flu: When he's fought as the final boss of The Aery, he's severely weakened as he only has one eye (the source of dragons' aether) and that eye wasn't even his. And an eye that was his was used against him by Estinien.
- You Are What You Hate: Downplayed, but for a being that detests mortals, he takes quite well to Estinien's mortal body, using it to its full potential and coming to consider it his own.
A greater dragon within the Dravanian Horde, Vishap leads the assault on the Steps of Faith with the intent to break Daniffen's Collar, the protective ward that guards Ishgard proper. His assault is what eventually leads to the Holy See to make the decision to open Ishgard to adventurers to shore up the city-state's now weakened defenses.
- Acrofatic: Don't let his gargantuan size fool you: although he may fall for the first dragonkiller he'll wise up and dodge the second and third ones without even blinking (causing ''your party'' to take the hit instead) if you don't chain him down first.
- Advancing Boss of Doom: He doesn't stop. He'll keep marching on the Steps of Faith until he destroys them.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Vishap was by far the largest boss the player could face at the time of his release, and remains among the largest.
- Final Boss: Vishap is the last major boss that the player faces before the storyline for A Realm Reborn is brought to its tragic close. Befitting his status when he was first released he regularly made quick work of randomly assembled groups of players and was later toned down.
- Use Your Head: Vishap will sweep his long neck across the field to knock out your cannon defences.
Nidhogg's broodmate and the boss of Sohm Al.
- Lean and Mean: She's very thin to the point of being skeletal compared to other dragons and has a nasty temper.
- Star Power: Can call down meteors with her power.
- Unholy Matrimony: Nidhogg's broodmate, which is about as close to "wife" as dragons get.
- Unstoppable Rage: Is highly offended that mortals are walking their sacred land and is out to kill you for the offense.
Discipline: Weaver, Culinarian
A curious dragonet who found her way into Ishgards Firmament after leading Marcelloix back home. A descendant of Ratatoskr and daughter of Gullinbursti, she desires to learn everything there is to know on being a crafter.
- Like Father Like Daughter: Much like her father, Ehll Tou has an interest in crafting that makes her stand out to the rest of her fellow dragonet friends.
- Little Miss Snarker: Shes rather blunt, especially when dealing with Marcelloixs angst or Hautdilongs timid nature.
- Nice Girl: Despite her self-important personality, Ehll Tou is remarkably open when it comes to developing friendships with non-dragons, and her interactions with Marcelloix had clearly had his best interests in mind.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: The end of her Custom Delivery series sees her grow into a considerably large dragon, albeit one with much more dexterous hands than before.