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Characters / Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Black Eagles

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The Black Eagles are the houses of students from the Adrestian Empire; their house leader is Princess Edelgard von Hresvelg. The Empire is known for its magic, which is reflected in the Black Eagles having three designated spellcasters instead of the standard two. They are also the most elite house, having only two students with the Commoner class instead of three, and of those, one is actually a foreign princess.

In both Three Houses and Three Hopes, all members of the house join Byleth/Shez's party should they choose the Black Eagles at the start of the game. Do note this is the only way in which Edelgard and Hubert (plus Ferdinand and Caspar in Three Hopes) can be recruited.

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In General
Black Eagles' Banner
"The Empire needs you."

    Tropes Associated with the Black Eagles 
  • Archnemesis Dad: Between Three Houses and Three Hopes, only Petra (whose father is deceased) completely averts this trope. Bernadetta is the only student with a historically abusive parent, but story events can put the other students at odds with their fathers:
    • Caspar and his father have an entirely positive relationship depicted, but he expresses fear of having to fight his father on routes in Three Houses where Caspar opposes Edelgard, though this does not come to pass. In the Azure Gleam route of Three Hopes only, Count Bergliez subtly implies that Caspar would not be faulted for defecting.
    • In both games, Hubert has his father killed, see his section for more. Ferdinand has to come to terms with his father's corruption, but moreso in Three Hopes, where he reveals he knew some of his father's financial corruption, and has to be the one to kill his father after Duke Aegir's last scheme on Scarlet Blaze. On Azure Gleam, Duke Aegir's successful insurrection leads to Ferdinand going missing.
    • In Three Hopes on Azure Gleam, Linhardt and Bernadetta can fight their fathers, though Linhardt and his father are amicable, and Count Hevring retreats. Bernadetta can actually kill her father.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The native Black Eagle battalions tend to have assaulting gambits instead of defensive ones. note 
  • Big Brother Instinct: Or rather, Elder Sibling Instinct. While only Petra, Caspar, and Hubert are confirmed to have siblings, all of them take on this role in one of their supports with Bernadetta or Lysithea, attempting to protect or build them up. Humorously, Lysithea is only two years younger than most of them, and Bernadetta is two years older than Petra, who is Lysithea's age.
  • Bling of War: The general motif of their Part II outfits, albeit downplayed - with the exception of Caspar, who wears fairly unadorned and practical brown-hued armor, and Petra, who wears clothing from her homeland, most of them utilize gold brocades and gold paneling on their clothing. Hubert, Ferdinand and Linhardt all wear very sharply tailored coats, and Bernadetta and Dorothea wear fairly short skirts that border on impractical. Fitting, as Adrestia is the invading force of the war and the most powerful of the three countries.
  • Blue Blood: Hubert, Ferdinand, Linhardt, Caspar, and Bernadetta hail from nobility within the Adrestian Empire. Petra is the granddaughter of the king of the Empire’s vassal state Brigid, but she has the status of a commoner within the Empire.
  • Broken Pedestal: If the recruitable Black Eagles are in Byleth's party by Part II, they will feel this way towards Edelgard and the Empire. This is particularly notable with Ferdinand and Petra, who both saw Edelgard as a Worthy Opponent, but will be completely disgusted with her choice of actions should they not remain loyal to her side.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Well, technically bisexual. All but two of the playable characters with whom Byleth can get a same-sex marriage come with the Black Eagles.
  • Childhood Friends: Not quite as much as four of the Blue Lions, but this trope is present among the six Adrestian nobles, as their fathers all worked together. Edelgard and Hubert, and Caspar and Linhardt, have been friends since childhood. Edelgard and Hubert were also acquaintances with Ferdinand. Edelgard and Ferdinand would have gotten to know Bernadetta, if not for her father's shutting her away. They're all capable of becoming Fire-Forged Friends by the end of the game.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each character wears a specific color in different classes:
    • Hubert: Black
    • Petra: Dusty Rose
    • Linhardt: Dark Forest Green
    • Dorothea: Burgundy
    • Caspar: Dark Brown
    • Ferdinand: Maroon
    • Bernadetta: Gray
  • Defector from Decadence: Most of the students will break with their families and spend the five-year time skip battling the Empire if they're on Byleth's side in Silver Snow, Azure Moon and Verdant Wind.
  • Demoted to Extra: On the Silver Snow route, where they have to share their screen-time with the Church units, most notably Seteth and Flayn, and have a smaller role than on the Crimson Flower route.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Black Eagles used to have a reputation for being the weakest house early on due to their strengths not being as evident as those of the Blue Lions or Golden Deer. Better understanding of the game's mechanics have turned the Eagles around to something more akin to this trope. Knowing how to exploit Edelgard's early access to Weight -3 and C-rank battalions, Bernadetta's Persecution Complex, Dorothea's Rally Charm, Hubert's Mire, Petra's speed and easy access to bows, and Ferdinand's Confidence is key to clearing some of the early chapters, but knowing how to use them well will make those early maps no more difficult than they are for the other two houses. The Black Eagles all grow into considerably powerful units well-suited to clearing maps and reacting to a wide variety of battlefield scenarios.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Despite the majority of them being of noble birth, as a group in the pre-timeskip phase they are very much this. They have the serious Edelgard as their leader with the enigmatic and Jerkass Hubert, pompous Ferdinand, Brilliant, but Lazy Linhardt, Blood Knight Caspar, serial flirt Dorothea, the well-meaning but out of her cultural depth Petra, and the neurotic Bernadetta. And Edelgard, despite being the most outwardly-grounded one of the bunch, is also plotting a major war that will upend the status quo of the continent. A majority of their early Supports have them all getting on each other's nerves for their perceived flaws, and a majority of them can trace their issues back to events in their youth that scarred them or feeling that they have something to prove to themselves and others. Despite it all, they do rally together over the course of their House's story, albeit in in varying ways, and come out stronger for it.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Zigzagged. While in the Silver Snow route the remaining Black Eagles defiantly oppose Edelgard due to her actions and methods, if Byleth previously chose to side with Edelgard instead or didn't recruit the available members on the Azure Moon and Verdant Wind routes, they will all end up siding with her by the time Part II begins. This suggests Byleth's influence ultimately plays a huge factor on where most of the Black Eagles end up drawing the line once the war takes center stage.
  • Fatal Flaw: The lack of communication and honesty amongst them and their leader:
    • In Three Houses, the main clincher of The Reveal of who the Flame Emperor is leads to the entire house having several questions for Edelgard regarding their choice of actions. The house heavily suffers from being kept into the dark to the point of almost all the students siding with whichever side Byleth picks due to loyalty to them being stronger than with Edelgard.
    • In Three Hopes, Edelgard is more communicative, especially on her route, and as a result only Dorothea, Petra, Bernadetta, and Linhardt can be persuaded to join another faction, noting they do not wish to die for her war.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Mage. Their nation is known for having strong affinities for Magic over weapons, they have the most starting magic units of any house, and their house leader is the only Lord with a magical talent of any kind. Even a few of their non-magic focused units like Bernadetta have a solid spell list.
  • For Want Of A Nail: The player's decisions can determine the stance most of the Black Eagles (barring Hubert) will take about the war after the timeskip. If Byleth sides with Edelgard on the Black Eagles route or if they aren't recruited on the Blue Lions and Golden Deer routes, they will side with the Empire. Otherwise, they'll invoke Defector from Decadence as they defect to the Resistance Army/Kingdom/Alliance.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Comprised of four boys (Hubert, Caspar, Linhardt, Ferdinand) and four girls (Edelgard, Dorothea, Bernadetta, Petra).
  • Hazy-Feel Turn: With the exception of Hubert, having any of the Black Eagles on the Silver Snow, Azure Moon or Verdant Wind routes causes this, due to the Grey-and-Gray Morality of the game. When it comes up, most of them will express concern but acknowledge that not stopping Edelgard will likely not bode well for their families.
  • Irony:
    • Despite most of the class having noble status, two of the nobles (Hubert and Caspar) don't have a Crest of their own and they are the only house that has this distinction.
    • Linhardt, Ferdinand, and Bernadetta all have Saint Crests instead of Elite Crests. The Crimson Flower route is also the only one where the church is an enemy, allowing the former three to fight and possibly kill their ancestors' benefactors; Rhea/Seiros for Edelgard, Flayn for Linhardt, and Seteth for Ferdinand. Additionally, The Immovable/Indech's paralogue can become unavailable if you kill Flayn and Seteth.
    • Per the history the player can parse from the regular and Shadow libraries, the Empire's establishment was made heavily possible because of Saint Seiros' alliance with Wilheim I, the Empire's founder. On top of relations between church and Empire having long cooled in the modern day for a multitude of reasons, half of the students in the class have Faith growth banes. While Petra's is due to following Brigid's belief systems, the other three are due to their misotheism, with one only possibly "overcoming" it due to latching onto Byleth instead.
    • The house being the closest to a full-on Aristocrat Teamnote  also has the leader that is most strongly opposed to the current social order, including the nobility.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Downplayed overall. While more revelations take place during the Black Eagles' story more than Blue Lions, there will be always an empty gap of information left by the end. On one hand, both Silver Snow and Crimson Flower show different glimpses of the Agarthans' and the Heroes' Relics' history and make clear Rhea is Sothis' daughter, but nowhere to the complete extent of Verdant Wind. On the other hand, only Silver Snow can reveal Seteth and Flayn's true identities (though they're also revealed in their A-Support) as well of Byleth's mother, while Crimson Flower makes unambiguously clear Rhea and Seiros are the same person, and that she had other motives than revenge during her war with Nemesis.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite being the Black Eagles, their house color is red. Ferdinand explains that "Black" was chosen for the house name because it's the traditional color of Adrestia's armor.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Downplayed in the Crimson Flower route. Sans Hubert, the rest of the Black Eagles willingly rejoin Edelgard and support her war for more reasons than just sympathizing with her goals once she gets to explain herself, though Edelgard's goals regarding societal reform are still a significant reason for all of them.note 
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: While most of the Black Eagles are from prominent aristocratic families, only Ferdinand and perhaps Edelgard are ideal nobles: Caspar is an enthusiastically Hot-Blooded pugilist, Bernie is a neurotic shut-in despised by her father, Linhardt is a lazy pacifist with no interest in his aristocratic obligations, and Hubert is almost comically sinister. Throw in a foreign hostage princess still coming to grips with the language and a flirtatious opera singer, and the Black Eagles don't exactly look like anyone's ideal elite fighting force.
  • La Résistance: Assuming no Black Eagle fell in battle pre-timeskip (which is only possible on Classic Mode), in Silver Snow, the remaining members form the core of the Resistance Army opposing the Empire.
  • Riches to Rags: In default routes where their students remain in Byleth's party, Ferdinand, Caspar, Linhardt and Bernadetta all lose their noble status, Ferdinand because his corrupt father was personally stripped of its lands and power by Edelgard and the other three because they willingly sever ties with their respective houses. However, the character endings at the end of the routes also note that they were at least able to take back their status after the long fight, since Ferdinand is stated to have become the new Duke Aegir and Bernadetta, in some endings, becomes the heiress to the Varley household.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: While the noble families of Adrestia are all proactive for better or worse, Ferdinand prides himself on being an exemplary noble, offering his aid to anyone in need and aiming to excel.
  • Route Boss: In Three Houses outside of the Black Eagles routes, each of them will appear as enemies at least once if they weren’t recruited before the Time Skip. In Three Hopes's Azure Gleam route, they all appear as enemy commanders at various points, although this time some can be recruited in lieu of killing them.
  • Squishy Wizard: Many Adrestians have more affinity with magic than weapons.
  • Theme Naming: Most of the nobles in the Black Eagles have surnames based in Norse Mythology, or are otherwise Germanic.
  • True Companions: Each of the houses can become this. For the Black Eagles, of the 56 possible in-house supports, 49 reach A or A+ level and a paired ending. The only exceptions are Edelgard with Petra, Hubert and Ferdinand with Linhardt and Caspar, and Bernadetta with Dorothea and Petra. Several of those still announce an intent to form lasting friendships, especially the Edelgard and Petra one.
  • Undying Loyalty: With the exception of Hubert, who is loyal to Edelgard and will follow her regardless, the rest of the house can display this towards Byleth as long they have been recruited in Part I. Otherwise, they're the only house to stay together for the entire five years of war, despite Edelgard offering them the ability to walk away from the war if you choose to side with her.
  • The Von Trope Family: As a naming scheme among Adrestian nobles, almost every member of the Black Eagles has "Von" in their name. The two that don't are a foreigner (Petra) and a commoner (Dorothea).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • If not recruited on the Azure Moon route, there's no word about Caspar and Linhardt's fates should they survive the Kingdom's siege of Fort Merceus.
    • If left unrecruited but they survive the invasion of Enbarr and the Imperial Palace in the Azure Moon and Verdant Wind routes, what happens to Dorothea and Petra is left unknown.
    • Averted in the sense that they are the only house who will not have any members disappear when playing the other two houses' routes.
  • We Used to Be Friends: All of their friendships with Edelgard and Hubert are permanently destroyed when Edelgard is revealed to be the Flame Emperor, and they spend Part II trying to kill each other should Byleth remain on the Silver Snow route.