Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Fire Emblem: Three Houses Claude

Go To

Main Index | Byleth | Edelgard | Dimitri | Claude | Rhea | Other Main Characters | The Black Eagles | The Blue Lions | The Golden Deer | The Ashen Wolves | The Church of Seiros | Officers Academy Instructors and Staff | The Adrestian Empire | The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus | The Leicester Alliance | Historical Figures | The Flame Emperor Army | Those who slither in the dark | Other Characters

Claude von Riegan


Nationality: Leicester Alliance

House: Golden Deer

Class: Noble → Lord → Wyvern Rider/Sniper → Wyvern Master → Barbarossa (Three Houses), Fighter → Wyvern Master → Barbarossa (Three Hopes)

Age: 17 (7/24)

Crest: Riegan (Minor)

Height: 175 cm

Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese), Joe Zieja (English)
Click here to see Claude in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes 
Click here to see Claude in Fire Emblem Heroes 
Click here to see Post-Timeskip Claude in Fire Emblem Heroes 

"Yet we have the strength to scale the walls between us... To reach out our hands in friendship so we can open our true hearts to one another! THAT'S HOW WE WIN!!!"

Claude von Riegan is the future leader of the Leicester Alliance and house leader of the Golden Deer. A young man who’s sociable and often smiles. Claude has the look of a person who carefully considers things and possesses keen insight. His weapons of choice are bows.


His personal ability, Leicester Lineage, grants him twenty percent more Experience. Post-timeskip it is upgraded to Leicester Lineage+, allowing him to pass through spaces occupied by foes. He bears the Minor Crest of Riegan, which will sometimes restore his health based on the damage he deals using Combat Arts.

    open/close all folders 

    # — E 
  • Abdicate the Throne: At the end of his route, he always steps down from several of his inherited or earned positions.
    • Claude will always leave the Riegan House and his position as Duke Riegan if he lives.
    • He will also always step down from his position as leader of the Leicester the Alliance in both all of his personal endings on his route and on most of the other routes. The sole exception to this is if the player opted to execute him on the Crimson Flower route.
    • He will also never rule over a united Fódlan, including on the Verdant Wind route, instead returning to Almyra to stake his claim to the throne over there.
    • Some of his paired endings in Verdant Wind explicitly state that he also abdicates from the Almyran throne. In his paired ending with Shamir it happens a number of years later after he achieves his goals, and in his paired ending with Lysithea he eventually leaves with her to help find a solution to removing her Crests.
  • The Ace: It would be a much shorter list to say what qualities you can't find in Claude. He is a master archer, able to shoot down an arrow in mid-air with one of his own, and demonstrates skillful bladework in cutscenes. He is a genius-level tactician and a case of The Chessmaster, to the point of being very smart and resourceful. He has a natural animal empathy, inspires strong loyalty in his followers through personal charisma, and he's a hit with the ladies to boot.
  • Action Politician: After the timeskip, he's the leader of the Alliance and spends a lot of time negotiating with the other Alliance lords at roundtable conferences. He still fights alongside the rest of your army, and several of his battle strategies are designed to benefit him politically, such as his decision to have the Almyrans assist him at Fort Merceus.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Played with. In Three Hopes, various factors (such as him killing Shahid solidifying his resolve to do what he has to in order to achieve his goals, Byleth not being there to act as a bridge between the Church and the Alliance and Rhea not being taken prisoner at the start of the war like she was back in Houses) fuel Claude's more ruthless side. In Chapter 9 of Golden Wildfire, he sacrifices Randolph to take out Catherine and the Knights of Seiros while minimalizing casualties on his side and his main goal in the War Phase is the destruction of the Central Church and Rhea's death; a far cry from Claude's willingness to work with them in Three Houses. These are attributed to not developing the desire to discover the continent's secrets due to the Officer's Academy closing down early and Byleth's absence and influence in his life. That said, he knows when to reign himself in when others give him an earful, and partway into Part II, he starts learning to trust in his friends and comrades more, especially in the alternate story route.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Calls Byleth "Teach" throughout the game. Judith and Nardel/Nader both just (affectionately) call Claude "Boy" or "Kiddo."
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: If you fulfil the requirements to spare him on Crimson Flower, he attempts to negotiate with Edelgard, stating that he'd be worth more alive than dead due to all of the nobles indebted to him. Whether he lives or dies is up to the player's decision.
  • All-Loving Hero: He is fairly idealistic and tries to see the best in everyone. Even when other people are rude to him, he usually stays friendly. He sympathizes with both Dimitri and Edelgard after they die in Verdant Wind even though they fought against the Alliance, and after he receives Hubert's letter, he realizes that Hubert was a better person than he thought. He also sympathizes with Rhea after learning the truth about the Heroes Relics. Despite being treated badly in the past because of his race, he believes that people from different countries can get along if they are given a chance. Not so much in Three Hopes where he becomes more cynical after his brother's death, causing him to use more ruthless methods to protect his friends and achieve his goals.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Due to being half-Almyran/Fódlanese, Claude has always been the outsider having to look in and discriminated against due to his origins. Rather than let this get him down, he became more open-minded to others and sees things from the perspective of those who don't have power.
  • All There in the Manual: According to a Nintendo Dream interview with the developers, "Claude" is an alias, and his real name is Khalid. There were plans to have this revealed in-game, but it didn't end up panning out. The same interview reveals that the lead director Kusakihara thinks Claude likely has half-siblings in Almyra. Claude prioritizes survival over dying for a cause due to both his childhood and something of a case of differing cultural values, seeing as he doesn't really take to Fódlan's stance on chivalry. These traits do appear in Three Hopes, though, with Chapter 3's boss Shahid referring to Khalid by name and remarking that Claude reminds him of his younger brother.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Some of his endings result in improved relations between Fódlan and Almyra due to his marriage. If he ends up with Petra, a connection is forged between Brigid and Almyra.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • He will get Ship Tease with Byleth if he's the player's chosen Lord. Though his relationship with Byleth is not particularly romantic (outside the Female Byleth-exclusive S support), he does at one point tell Byleth of either gender that their hearts are connected. Over the course of the game, he comes to deeply trust them, saying he hopes they will always walk in step with him, and he wants to build a new world together with them. In addition, he will always dance with a Byleth of either gender during the Founding Day Ball on every route. However, unlike the other two Lords, some of his dialogue is different depending on which Byleth is chosen, and he will not comment on male Byleth's attractiveness like he does female Byleth's. His endings with male characters don't hint at any romance, especially his ending with Balthus where Balthus marries Nader's daughter.
    • In the drama CD, he stares at Dimitri in the sauna, remarking that he looks bigger without his regular uniform on.
  • Ambiguous Situation: On the Silver Snow route, after the Battle of Gronder Field, he is unaccounted for. Considering that Almyra is where he usually goes on routes if he survives, he's more likely to have retreated there. Word of God confirms that he survives.
  • Ancestral Weapon: He gains use of the House Riegan Hero Relic, the bow Failnaught, after the timeskip, and his Crest of Riegan allows him to wield it safely. On the Azure Moon route, after the Kingdom army repels the Empire's attack on Derdriu, he gives it to Byleth and Dimitri before departing the continent for parts unknown.note 
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: In his A-support with Marianne, he tells her a story about a little boy who was born to the wrong circumstance, which made him a bullied outcast and assassination target almost his entire life, but chose not to let it define him, in an effort to encourage Marianne to shed her belief that she brings misfortune to everyone around her. He never explicitly says so, but the child he's talking about is clearly himself.
  • Animal Motifs: He has a deer motif. He's the leader of the Golden Deer house, he often compares himself and the rest of his class to deer, and he has a tendency to avoid or flee from danger rather than confronting it. His wyvern also has antlers that resemble a deer's.
  • Anti-Hero: While not as morally ambiguous as Edelgard or post-Freak Out Dimitri, Claude has no qualms about using underhanded tactics, manipulation and schemes to achieve his goals. However, unlike Edelgard, there are several lines he will not cross for any reason. This is averted in Three Hopes when Claude becomes an Unscrupulous Hero as he's far willing more willing to dirty his hand with war in order to end the Central Church
  • Anti-Magic: He can learn the white magic spell Silence once he reaches an A rank in Faith, allowing him to shut down enemy mages. He probably won't learn the spell in a typical playthrough however, due to his weakness in Faith.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Claude expresses great frustration with having to face his former classmates in battle. He also apologizes to those he kills in combat.
  • Apologizes a Lot:
    • He ends up having to apologize for his nosiness quite a few times. He apologizes to Marianne for asking about her family and to Cyril for asking about Almyra and for his ignorance of Cyril's situation. They both assure him that he hasn't done anything to offend them and doesn't need to apologize. In his Cyril support, he continues apologizing until Cyril finally thanks him, despite not understanding what he's apologizing for.
    • In Golden Wildfire, after Lorenz learns of Claude and Count Gloucester's scheme to stop the Empire's invasion of the Alliance, Claude apologizes for keeping it a secret from him even though he only did so because Count Gloucester asked him to. In Claude and Lorenz's C support, Claude apologizes again for his scheme, and Lorenz reminds him that he has already apologized for that to both him and his father.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Done for comedic effect. Exhausted after the trip and battle in Sreng, he goes full "nope, not dealing with this today" at the possibility that the Wind Caller is actually Macuil, despite seeing the crest on the Wind Caller's forehead and Macuil's last known location being where Claude finds the Wind Caller, and puts off thinking about it for later. Outside this, he believes Byleth when they tell him the Goddess was living inside their mind and when they tell him that they were asleep during the five years timeskip.
  • Archer Archetype: Despite his outwardly friendly demeanor, he is actually very distrustful, keeps everyone at arm's length, and has an analytical and calculating nature. He has a slender build, and his animations in battle show him to have a graceful fighting style, sometimes dodging attacks with a backflip. He also shows gratitude to nature rather than the goddess for giving life, which other characters find unusual.
  • Arc Villain: For a very loose value of "villain", anyway. On the Crimson Flower route, he is the primary antagonist for the two Leicester chapters of Part II, and taking him out of the war is a critical precursor to an invasion of the Kingdom.
  • The Artifact: Assorted materials play up Claude as being underhanded, shrewd, and manipulative. While there is truth to some of these traits, namely in how he manipulates Byleth and the divine image that was forced upon them, his underhandedness and schemes either extend primarily towards semi-harmless pranks or are done only for the benefit of those who serve him, such as bringing Almyran troops to bolster Alliance forces on the Crimson Flower route. While Claude is willing to uproot a belief system to bring about the change he wants and absolutely refuses to divulge his heritage or the source of his resources, he also refuses to resort to violence as a default, stays morally uncompromising from beginning to end, and on the routes where the player doesn't pick him, he completely bows out of the war when it's clear that he's completely lost. Three Hopes subverts this, as it shows a decidedly more unsavory and ruthless side of him, willing to do anything to minimize casualties on his own side. He is also much more willing to resort to killing to achieve his goals. While Edelgard largely just wants Rhea out of power, alive or dead, in Hopes, Claude very much leans towards "dead".
  • Assassin Outclassin':
    • He tells Byleth there have been attempts on his life in his B support with them, though it's not explained how he survived. On the Azure Moon and Crimson Flower routes, there's an assassin in the Abyss who laments that he missed his chance after Claude leaves Fódlan but says he'll have another opportunity in the future.
    • In Chapter 10 of Golden Wildfire, Fleche hires Byleth to assassinate him. Claude baits Byleth into following him to draw them away from Fleche. If the player is successful in protecting Claude, he escapes Byleth without having to fight them. Otherwise, Byleth is defeated and driven back by the Federation army. While Byleth is pursuing Claude, Myson appears from nowhere to try to kill him, but he is also defeated by the Federation. Finally, Fleche tries to kill him after Byleth fails, but she gets nowhere close before she is killed, meaning Claude survives three people's attempts to kill him in a single chapter.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • With Hilda. They spend a lot of time insulting each other for their flaws. However, on the Crimson Flower route, should Hilda be killed in battle, Claude gets visibly upset over her death, showing that he did care for her.
    • With Ingrid. After she's left wondering what she can do differently to make it so they can go without bickering for once, he's quick to assure her that she shouldn't change anything and that he appreciates her for what she is, prickliness and all.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • He manages to correctly conclude that Flayn and Seteth are father and daughter, not siblings, just from observing their interactions. His A+-support with Flayn also implies that he correctly deduces their true identities.
    • On the Silver Snow route, the rebel forces keep their plans to fight the Flame Emperor under wraps. Claude, whom they haven't contacted, figures out what they're planning anyway. When Judith says that Claude asked her to provide aid, Seteth expresses surprise and then remarks that he is called the Master Tactician for a reason.
    • On the Azure Moon route, by the time Dimitri rescues him, Claude seems to have some idea of the reason for his past behavior, since, like Rodrigue, he tells him to live for what he believes in.
      Claude: And remember...both the living and the dead cling to us without any regard for our own lives. It's up to us to break free of that weight and follow the path that we believe in.
    • After seeing a picture of the Immaculate One and recognizing the Crest Stone on its forehead, he realizes that there's a connection between the Heroes Relics and creatures like the Immaculate One.
    • This gets parodied in his support with Annette. After overhearing Annette sing a song while watering plants, he assumes the lyrics she is singing must have some deeper dark meaning. Annette gets embarrassed because it really was just a silly song she made up on the spot about gardening.
    • In Golden Wildfire, just by observing Dimitri in battle, he can tell that Dimitri plans to cut ties with the Central Church and will no longer try to protect them, leaving Claude free to pursue them into Faerghus so he can kill Rhea.
  • Babies Ever After: In his ending with Ingrid, the only one who explicitly has children with him.
  • Badass Adorable: Arguably even moreso than Edelgard, Claude is a handsome and endearingly cheerful young man, with incredible prowess in both combat and tactics, and this carries over into the timeskip.
  • Badass Bookworm: In Three Houses he's one of the best examples of this in the whole setting, considering his incredible thirst for knowledge and information that is prominent all throughout the Verdant Wind route, and White Clouds when the Golden Deer are chosen. Outside that, he easily comes off as being the most voracious reader out of the three main lords (he spends a great deal of time in the Garreg Mach Monastery library researching for the sake of learning, and his own room in the Monastery is filled with books all over his bed, shelves and floor), is apparently quite the Master Poisoner who has no difficulty creating new ones (as seen in his and Byleth support conversation), is deeply erudite, observant and analytical in several conversations and shows to have a love of tactics and "schemes". This of course, evolves into transforming him into someone who is considered The Ace in terms of war strategies, to the point that almost everyone who mentions him after the Time-Skip show great admiration towards his intellect, even if he's standing in their way. And of course, like all the main lords Claude is pretty much a One-Man Army in the battlefield every time he enters the fray.
  • Badass Longcoat: His variation of the Officers Academy uniform includes a much longer coat with unique gold detailing.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: One of his unlockable accessories for his War outfit is a yellow bandanna wrapped around his head.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: In his C support with Raphael, he offers to help Raphael carry some stuff. When Raphael asks if he's strong enough to carry it, he acts offended before admitting he isn't.
    Raphael: All of this stuff is pretty heavy. Are you sure you can handle it?
    Claude: You insult me! And no, I can't. I'll only carry the books and offer my support as you handle the rest.
  • Bash Brothers: Of the three lords, Claude probably most pronouncely develops this type of dynamic with Byleth. The final battle of Verdant Wind even sees the duo tag teaming Nemesis.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In his B-Support with Hilda, Claude quips that he looks forward to the day where something inspires her to try her absolute hardest. This prophecy comes to pass in both the Azure Moon and Crimson Flower routes as it turns out what inspires her is protecting Claude, even against his wishes. She absolutely will die protecting him in the Crimson Flower route, unless the player goes out of their way to avoid her in battle.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: After Byleth in Three Houses shows Claude that they trust him by letting him read Jeralt's diary and later revealing to him that they merged with Sothis, his faith in Byleth grows until he would accept anything they tell him, no matter how outlandish it is. He is the only lord to believe that Byleth would return to the monastery on the day of the Millennium Festival.
  • Becoming the Mask: In his S-Rank support conversation scene with Female Byleth, he admits about wanting to use Byleth to fulfill his dream, but eventually, as time passed by, he started thinking about wanting to see that dream fulfilled together with her.
  • Beneath the Mask: Claude's persona at the beginning of the game is a facade. As he starts to trust Byleth and his friends, he slowly lets down his guard to allow glimpses at his real self.
    • For someone who acts very friendly and open, Claude keeps his personal secrets under lock and key. His fear of rejection gets in the way of his desire to be accepted.
    • Claude's easygoing attitude hides a keen mind with a talent for politics, as proven when he tries to convince Byleth to use their position to influence believers of the faith.
    • Claude always speaks of his dream with an air of confidence, absolutely certain that he can achieve "Fódlan's New Dawn." However, his A support with Byleth reveals that even he sometimes doubts if he can actually pull it off.
  • Best Friend:
    • He and Byleth have this kind of relationship by the end of White Clouds. He tells Byleth their bond is deeper than family, and he will always be on their side.
      Claude: We may not be connected by blood, but I believe our bond goes deeper than that. Now that we know each other, our hearts are connected. . . . No matter who or what you really are, I'll always be on your side. You can't count on much in this world, but you can count on that.
    • To a lesser degree Claude develops this type of bond with Hilda. His supports with her sees him surprisingly open to telling her about his past, which is notable as is rather secretive with everyone else with letting them know details about him. He also doesn't take offense at her Innocently Insensitive remarks about Almyrans.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Claude is quite laid back and easygoing, but he is also a powerful archer and a competent leader in his own right, and the few occasions where he genuinely gets pissed off are quite intimidating, especially when he furiously yells at Rhea to stop keeping secrets regarding those who slither in the dark, because they need to take action immediately in order to save all of Fódlan.
    Claude: (furious) This is the critical moment that will determine whether or not Fódlan falls! Can't you see that the time for secrets has passed?!
  • Big Brother Mentor: Claude attempts to play one to Cyril throughout their supports because he is under the misconception that Cyril is being taken advantage of by Rhea and the Church. Cyril ends up flipping the conversations on Claude revealing that for how much he may talk up the Almyran nation, they have a number of major flaws. It ends up being Claude who comes out of the support with a new perspective.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the S-rank postgame support blurb, he returns as King of Almyra leading the entire Almyran army against a resurgence of Empire remnants, saving Fódlan from destruction and apparently marrying Byleth afterwards, uniting the two kingdoms as one.
  • Big Eater: Apparently, Claude ate so much in his post-victory feast after the school battle of Eagle and Lion that he passed out. He somehow was able to recover afterwards.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Quite a few of Claude's supports include him bonding with people considered outsiders.
      • His C-Support with Byleth and a tea-time conversation has him mention that he and Byleth are alike in that they are both considered outsiders by people around them (Byleth for being removed of the church's teachings and Claude for being an Almyran in Fódlan). They were both also unaware that they had a crest until much later in their life.
      • He bonds with Leonie but especially Petra over how people in Fódlan are so blinded by reliance on the Goddess they forget to appreciate nature itself.
      • He bonds with Shamir discussing what it means to belong and its transience.
    • During the "Cindered Shadows" DLC, Claude and Yuri probe each other about the other's secretive nature.
  • Bishōnen: He could pretty easily pass for a short-haired, brown-skinned woman. It's less so after the timeskip, as he picks up some cool-looking sideburns.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Invoked and played with. He describes himself as this in his Cipher card. In the same card, one of his abilities is named "Scheme Behind a Smile." Then again, he's not exactly hiding the fact he is a schemer, and post-timeskip he's actually the least morally ambiguous lord. In Three Hopes, this is played straight. Though he is still known to be a schemer, some of his tactics are far more underhanded than his allies are expecting.
    Claude: Oh, how innocent - how naive - these two seem next to me, shiftiness incarnate!
  • Blasphemous Boast: In his A support with Marianne in Three Hopes, when he finds her fretting about something, he tells her he makes a great stand-in for the goddess if she needs someone to talk to.
  • Blithe Spirit: He did not grow up in Fódlan, and openly questions the Church's teachings and wants to open the border between Fódlan and Almyra, which people believe is forbidden by the Church. In the end, he exposes the false history of the Church and opens the border between the two countries, allowing people to travel freely between them. This reduces the prejudices people of both countries have against each other.
  • Blow You Away:
    • Most of the magic he learns if his Reason skill is leveled is wind-based.
    • In Three Hopes, his Wyvern Master class can produce blades of wind on enemies attacked repeatedly that can damage nearby mooks upon contact.
  • Blue Blood: Unlike Dimitri and Edelgard, royals of their respective countries, Claude is only nobility; namely, he's the heir of the Riegan noble family. He's fond of throwing the occasional "Your Royalness" at the other house leaders in jest. However, it's revealed on the Verdant Wind route that his father is Almyra's current king, a fact he carefully hides due to the mutual dislike the people of Fódlan and Almyra have for each other.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: He is primarily associated with bows, but he has a skill proficiency in swords and switches to one for melee range in cutscenes. His Crest is also one of several that's tied to a Sacred Weapon in addition to a Relic Weapon, and his is the Sword of Begalta.
  • Breaking Old Trends: Claude is a very unique protagonist of a mainline Fire Emblem title in many ways, being the first to:
    • Have a dark complexion compared to others. This is because he is from Almyra, whom all the people shown from there have dark skin as well.
    • Have his attire color be predominately yellow.
    • Start with and primarily wield bows.
    • Have his personal class be a flying one, and being a Dragon Rider one at that.
    • Become a king of a different country separate from the main setting in his endings.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: He imitates Hanneman at one point during the main story and again with Marianne in his support with her (though it's just a silly high-pitched girly voice).
  • Broken Ace: In Three Hopes. He's handsome, charming, a skilled archer, and a brilliant strategist, whose tactics manage to keep both the Empire and Almyra at bay despite the Alliance's much smaller army. However, the pressure of protecting the Alliance with his strategies alone puts him under immense stress, and when he confesses his anxieties to his friends, they are unable to help him. This combined with the pain of being forced to kill his brother causes him to resort to increasingly more desperate and underhanded tactics resulting in him sacrificing Randolph and his forces to minimize Leicester's casualties. His friends are horrified and convince him to rely on them more and open up about his plans.
  • Broken Pedestal: Downplayed. Tomas, the monastery's librarian, gives Claude forbidden information about the Church and the 10 Elites. After Tomas is revealed to be Solon and conducts horrific experiments on innocent villagers, Claude begins to doubt if exposing the Church's secrets is a good idea.
  • Buffy Speak: He calls the Titanus constructs in Shambhala "those big...things".
  • But Now I Must Go:
    • He leaves his potential love interests in a majority of their paired endings due to his obligations to Almyra. This also delves into I Will Wait for You, as in some endings, it is years before he reunites with his partner and can actually start a life together.
    • Specifically if a female Byleth chooses him as her love interest, he will announce that he must leave just as Byleth intended to propose to him, but leaves her a ring of his own with a promise that he will return for her. And return he does after a few months, leading Almyra's army in a Big Damn Heroes moment that saves Fódlan and Byleth from an Empire remnant resurgence led by those that slither in the dark, and it is implied that the two married shortly after.
    • In his ending with Petra, he travels to Brigid to marry her before pursuing the Almyran throne. She wasn't kidding when she said in her A-support that she'd tie him up and drag him home with her.
  • Butt-Monkey: Downplayed, but he never had the respect the Black Eagles have for Edelgard nor the loyalty the Blue Lions have for Dimitri, so the Golden Deer don't hold back on him, though he seems to prefer them being honest with him over blind adoration. Post-timeskip on the Verdant Wind route, Judith and Nader often embarrass him on multiple occasions like a second set of parents.
  • The Cameo:
    • Appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the DLC stage Garreg Mach Monastery, watching battles on the Bridge portion of the stage with Hilda and Lorenz.
    • He appears in the background along with Edelgard and Dimitri in the Tetris 99 theme of this game.
    • A Fire Emblem themed microgame in WarioWare: Get it Together reenacts the tea party mechanic featuring Claude.
  • Card-Carrying Jerkass: Downplayed. While not deliberately obnoxious, he wears his scheming and untrustworthy nature on his sleeve.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: A lot of his dialogue when fighting other characters falls under this. For example, he flirts with Edelgard when they fight each other in Derdriu or Gronder Field. His dialogue with Hubert is also amusing.
    Hubert: For every step you take along that path, our thorns will cut into your heels.
    Claude: Ooh, that sounds painful. I'll have to wear thicker soles for the march.
    Hubert: If your boots are too heavy, you won't be able to lift your feet. But enough prattle.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject:
    • In his A support with Lorenz, he hints that he's not really a Fódlan noble. When Lorenz asks him to clarify, he instead changes the subject to asking if Lorenz would like to be the leader of the Leicester Alliance and says he wouldn't mind giving up his position, which completely distracts Lorenz.
    • After he accidentally blurts out Nader's real name, the other characters question how he knows an Almyran general. He changes the subject to his goal to open the border between Fódlan and Almyra and avoids having to admit he's Almyran.
  • Character Death:
    • Averted in Three Houses. Unlike Edelgard (who believes she shouldn't be spared) and Dimitri (who would rather die than give up), Claude is extremely difficult to kill on routes other than his own. The only route where he can be unquestionably killed is Crimson Flower, and even then you can spare him if you defeat him with Byleth or Edelgard. And even then, the Nintendo Dream interview confirms that killing him isn't canon, as he survives all routes, so sparing him is the intended option.
    • In the normal ending of Three Hopes' Scarlet Blaze route, Claude can potentially be slain in the Empire and Kingdom battle in Ailell after backstabbing Edelgard and trying to use the ensuing chaos of the three factions fighting to his advantage, making him the only lord who can die in this game.
  • Character Development:
    • Not as obvious as the Character Development Dimitri and Edelgard have, but it's there if you choose the Golden Deer. Claude initially starts out as distrustful and guarded in many of his interactions with others due to his past as being half-Almyran and relies on schemes to get by for the best interest of his house. Over time, he gradually grows to be less secretive about his own self and trust his allies more by the time Part II of the game is running. This is best shown in his A-rank supports in Part II (where he is much more open about himself though still guarded about his past and being part of the Almyran royal line) and in his interactions with Byleth over the course of the story (which culminates in Claude believing and trusting Byleth so much he is certain that they will come back even after 5 years).
    • At the beginning of the game, he can be quite close minded and often does not consider that things might not be the way he thinks they are. When Byleth gets the Sword of the Creator, he doesn't believe them when they tell him they aren't descended from Nemesis, insisting they must be hiding something from him even though they're actually telling the truth. However, later in the game, he believes Byleth when they tell him the goddess has been living in their head their whole life even though he previously did not believe in the goddess. Over the course of the game, he learns to accept increasingly stranger things, culminating in him learning the truth about Fódlan's past. This also extends to his support with Cyril, in which he admits that he hadn't considered that there were people in Cyril's situation in Almyra, and he also becomes more open minded towards Rhea, realizing that he might not need to make an enemy of her.
    • Some comments from Claude in Verdant Wind and even Crimson Flower suggest he initially intended to claim all of Fodlan for himself, use his authority to reform it as he saw fit, and eventually bring peace to it. In his own route, given the contents of the speech he delivers in the final cutscene, plus his fate on his multiple endings, it becomes clear he eventually grew up from this mindset upon realizing he didn't need to do so as long Fodlan ended up in the hands of those he trusted the most.
    • In Three Hopes he shows off his scheming a lot more clearly when the Alliance is cornered at the start of the war. It's also shown that a lack of somebody they can relate to as well as the stress of pushing a nation constantly tripping over itself during emergencies though rough waters causes his scheming, ruthless nature to spiral out of control. He does try to reign in a bit afterwards following Fleche's attempt for revenge.
  • Character Tics: Arrow-twirling. When attacking with a bow, he twirls one before nocking and firing it, and he also twirls an arrow in his hand if he's idle and has a bow equipped.
  • The Charmer: He definitely relies more heavily on diplomacy and people-skills than the other two house leaders. He enjoys teasing and flirting with girls, though as Ingrid notes in their supports, he is still nice to them, unlike Sylvain.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Claude is noteworthy compared to Edelgard and Dimitri for being his own strategist and coming up with all the plans for his army during Verdant Wind. What drives this even further is that one way to interpret Claude's character is that he was plotting for a while to position Byleth into becoming the leader of the United Fódlan, even convincing them to fully embrace their status as Seiros' chosen to rally the Knights of Seiros and the Alliance leaders behind them.
    • Even in defeat on the Crimson Flower route Claude still manipulates events in such a way to minimize the amount of lost lives while still ensuring that the Alliance lords will be able to neatly fall in line under the Empire without any conflict. This manages to impress both Edelgard and Hubert.
    • All of the moves he makes immediately following the time skip are designed to give him the upper hand in negotiating with the Alliance lords at the Roundtable. He rallies the resistance around Byleth instead of himself and uses the monastery as their base of operations, which gets the Church on his side and makes his cause a moral one, making it easier to rally support. He has them fight under the Crest of Flames banner instead of the Alliance banner to avoid angering the lords that have sided with the Empire. He then reclaims the Bridge of Myrddin, which removes the threat of the Empire for Count Gloucester and then asks Lorenz to return home and talk to his father. He also brings Byleth with him to represent Rhea and back him up at the Roundtable. All of this ensures that he goes into the negotiation in a very strong position with little reason for anyone to oppose him.
    • In Three Hopes, Claude's strategies often involve manipulating his enemy into an unfavorable position, so he can capitalize on it. When he is forced to give up the Bridge of Myrddin, his retreat to Derdriu, along with Count Gloucester's false surrender, draws the Empire army deeper into Alliance territory, so they can be trapped between Riegan and Gloucester's forces. When he fights the Church at Ailell, he uses Randolph as bait while he surrounds the Church's forces. Once Catherine defeats Randolph, she is unable to deal with the Federation army, and the Church forces are completely routed. At the end of Golden Wildfire, by working together with Edelgard, he forces Dimitri to cut ties with the Church of Seiros, leaving Rhea with no allies when she fights the Federation army.
  • Child of Two Worlds: As a result of being the child of Tiana von Riegan and the King of Almyra, Claude has both Fódlan and Almyran heritage. This is why he experienced discrimination as a kid, since his peers never really saw him as if he was Almyran just like them. Interestingly, Claude himself always ends up leaving Fódlan in all routes (assuming he survived in the Crimson Flower and Silver Snow routes), and his S-Rank support with Byleth indicates he feels more in tune with his Almyran heritage.
    Claude: The Fódlan blood that flows in my veins... I’ve made use of it as best I could. Now I’ve got to use my other bloodline to change my homeland for the better.
  • Classy Cravat: He wears one after the time skip. He's the highest ranking noble in the Alliance, though he doesn't act like a typical noble.
  • Climax Boss:
    • On the Azure Moon route, he is fought in Chapter 17 during the second battle at Gronder Field.
    • On the Crimson Flower route, he must be defeated in Derdriu in order for the Alliance to be annexed into the Adrestian Empire.
  • Combat Parkour: He can do backflips to dodge attacks if he has a bow equipped. He also shoots at the enemy mid flip while he is upside down. Once he gains his post time skip class, he can do backflips off of his wyvern.
  • Combat Stilettos: His academy uniform boots have a visible heel on them. There's Truth in Television in that ancient cavalry often wore boots with a prominent heel in order to remain in a horse's stirrups, yet he'll only be wearing the boots in his infantry-based Noble class. Stranger still, his Wyvern Master and Barbarossa promotions lack the heels, despite them both being mounted classes that would benefit from them.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: If he fights Acheron at the Great Bridge of Myrddin, Claude tells Acheron that he had his castle burned down and shows it to him, causing Acheron to panic. This is Played for Laughs.
  • Compliment Backfire:
    • He compliments Annette in his A support with her, but she can't tell if he's actually trying to be nice or not. After he confirms that he is complimenting her, he calls her "boisterous", but she doesn't take it as a compliment.
    • In his B support with Hilda, he says that even though she normally hates effort, she'd work hard for something she cares about. Hilda gets offended, claiming she does put in effort. He tells her what he said was supposed to be a compliment.
  • The Confidant: Byleth lets Claude borrow their father's diary where he learns Byleth doesn't have a heartbeat, and Rhea did something to them when they were a baby. After Byleth merges with Sothis, they tell Claude the goddess has been living inside them since they were a baby. They never share this information with any other character in the game.
  • Conflict Ball:
    • The second battle at Gronder Field is this trope in the Azure Moon route. Claude will order his men to attack Kingdom and Empire soldiers alike. This is all despite Claude just previously telling them all to hold back to see how the battle would actually play out before acting, and the fact that Edelgard is a mutual enemy of both Claude and Dimitri. The fact that Dimitri and Claude end up forming something of an alliance after the battle further drives home how gameplay-driven his out of character actions were.
    • Grabs it again in Three Hopes on Scarlet Blaze: if you don't recruit Byleth, they convince Claude to betray his alliance with Edelgard during the battle at Ailell. Edelgard and any recruited Deer question why he would do this, and what little sense it makes. Notably, this can lead to Claude's death in battle and makes him the only house leader capable of dying in the game's story on any route.
  • Constantly Curious: If he hears of a secret, he will try to find the truth no matter what. His supports with people that do have secrets will have him badger the person until they give it up. This trait is why his route reveals almost every bit of the backstory, and through this knowledge Claude helps undo the historical fallacies Fódlan has been under for over 1000 years, although this also occurs on the Silver Snow route to a lesser extent.
  • Cool Loser: He's very charming, funny, smart, and good-looking, but at Garreg Mach he's considered an outsider and complains in an advice box note that many people find him strange.
  • Copycat Mockery: Tends to do this from time to time both in and out of his Supports, it serves as an indication of his bullheaded curiosity and immaturity. He does it to Byleth regarding their lack of knowledge surrounding their Crest, and he also does it one of his Supports with Marianne, someone who is inherently self-depreciative and has low self-esteem.
  • Cosmic Motifs:
    • Stars, particularly their scale, are a large motif surrounding his character. His A-Support with Byleth has him mentioning that he believes in the stars - and subsequently, fate, a classical power often associated with stars - instead of the gods. The Combat Art he can use with the Failnaught bow is named "Fallen Star", and the music track that plays for the Final Boss on his route is named "God-Shattering Star," bringing his dreams and Character Development full circle.
    • He also has moon motifs to a lesser extent, with the most obvious being that his Crest of Riegan is clearly crescent-moon shapedInterestingly... , and even aligned with the same arcana. His personal theme is titled "Golden Deer and Crescent Moon," and Claude himself possesses some of the same mystery and calm often associated with the moon.
    • He has a bit of a sun motif. He wears yellow and the pauldron on his post time skip outfit looks like the sun with rays extending out from it. In Verdant Wind's cutscenes, he is often shown standing under the sun's light, such as when Byleth reunites with him after the time skip. He has a bright and cheerful personality, and he often tries to lighten the mood and lift up the army's morale.
  • Cryptic Conversation: He'll do either this or Change the Uncomfortable Subject when it comes to his paternal heritage and background. When visited by Edelgard in the library one night on his route, he does answer truthfully regarding where he grew up and what he aims to achieve, but his cryptic answer frustrates her. Certain Supports, like with Cyril's C-Support or Lorenz's A-Support, involve him diverting the topic back towards the person he's speaking with if they grow too curious regarding his beliefs or history - Indeed, the fact that Balthus is able to discern his mother's identity and, later on, correctly deduce that his father is Almyran is enough to raise Claude's heckles and become snappish.
  • Culture Clash: Fodlan society puts heavy emphasis on piety to the Goddess and the Church of Seiros by proxy, nobility, crests, and chivalry or dying for your lord. Though he is usually very smart and perceptive, due to a childhood of alienation and the cultural differences between Fódlan and Almyra, Claude fails to predict the loyalty he inspires in other people. In Crimson Flower, he is completely blindsided when Hilda sacrifices herself for him since he was expecting her to run away. At the end of Verdant Wind, he asks the others if they will fight Nemesis together with him and Byleth. Ignatz tells him that he shouldn't even need to ask them since he should know they're with him. A developer's interview[1] reveals that due to his Almyran heritage he views survival as the ultimate victory, which is why he will readily plea and bargain with his opponents when defeated.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was mistreated and ostracized for being biracial and had multiple assassination attempts against him as a child. His parents didn't do much to protect him since they wanted him to fight his own battles. As a result, he has severe trust issues and feels he can only rely on himself. A Nintendo Dream interview revealed that he has many half-brothers who violently mistreated him.
  • Dark Secret: From a certain point of view, the fact that he's an Almyran prince is one primarily because of how cagey Fódlan is regarding foreigners, especially Almyra. Exposure of this fact would likely oust him from the Leicester Roundtable or worse. He will never admit the full truth to anybody; The closest he gets to is admitting that he wasn't born in Fódlan to Byleth. If S-Supported, he will also tell Byleth that he's a part of his homeland's Royal Family, but he doesn't explicitly refer to Almyra itself.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's the snarkiest of the three Lords, and you can see some of it when he introduces his classmates:
    Claude: [about Hilda] If you look up 'lazy' in the dictionary...her picture won't be there because she never got around to submitting it.
  • Defensive Feint Trap:
    • On Azure Moon, he lures the Empire deep into Derdriu by having the Alliance forces retreat deeper into city so the Kingdom can ambush them from behind, trapping them in a pincer attack.
    • On Crimson Flower, he has his forces at the Bridge of Myrddin retreat towards Derdriu, so he and his Almyran forces can ambush the Empire when they arrive. His plan successfully takes Edelgard by surprise, but he is still unable to overcome the Empire's strength, and the Alliance is forced to surrender.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: In the fight against Nemesis, he deliberately allows Nemesis to hit him to distract him from the arrow he had just shot into the air. The arrow comes down on Nemesis's arm, which gives Byleth the opening they need to kill him.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: According to a Nintendo Dream interview with the developers, this is the reason he can survive in every route. In Almyra, survival is considered a victory, so his plans prioritize the lives of the people under him, and he would rather surrender than continue fighting once he knows he's lost.
  • Demoted to Extra: He makes no visual appearance at all on the Silver Snow route. His only action of note on that route is sending Byleth and Seteth a letter in which he says he'll distract Gloucester's forces in order to let the Resistance Army secure the Great Bridge of Myrddin. Once the Gronder battle passes, he vanishes and is never heard from again.
  • Despair Speech: He gives one if he dies in Crimson Flower.
    Claude: All my hopes have fallen to ash...It's all up to you now, Edelgard... I hope you really do make the world...better...
  • Developers' Desired Date: Like with the other lords, he fits this role for Byleth on the Verdant Wind route, but it's far more downplayed compared to the other two - While Claude will lament not having Byleth by his side off of Verdant Wind, his more intact psyche and preference for surrendering in the face of losing odds makes him less distraught when they're not at his side. He even goes further in that not only does he only S-Support a female Byleth, but there are several Supports and points in the story where he comments on how attractive she is, whereas a male Byleth yields no equivalent dialogue from him.
  • Didn't See That Coming: On the Crimson Flower route, if you choose to execute him at Derdriu, he laments that he read the whole thing terribly wrong.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: He calls Nemesis a "crusty old bastard". After Nemesis calls him "a foolish child", he retorts that Nemesis has "lived too long".
  • Do a Barrel Roll: One of his crit animations has him doing this on his wyvern, shooting an arrow while he and the wyvern are flying upside down.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: On the Verdant Wind route, during the battle in the imperial palace, if you reduce Edelgard below a certain health level before finishing her off, Claude will plead with Edelgard to surrender, stating he doesn't want to kill her. She's too stubborn to listen.
  • Double Entendre: In his C support with Hilda.
    Hilda: You're a hard guy to grasp, you know that, Claude?
    Claude: Oh, I disagree. I'd let you grasp me any day. My hand, my heart, even my neck. But if you want to know all of my secrets... you'll have to bare yours as well.
  • Double Meaning: At the beginning of the game he calls himself "the embodiment of distrust." Many players assume it means that he's untrustworthy, but it can also be interpreted to mean that he doesn't trust other people.
  • Dragon Rider: His personal Class promotion line is a variation of the Wyvern Rider class, with his versions focusing on Dexterity and Speed and specializing in bows. On a meta level, Claude is also the first Lord in the franchise to primarily fight on a flying mount; the majority are infantry while some others ride on horses upon promotion.
  • Draw Aggro: On the Silver Snow and Azure Moon routes, Claude draws Count Gloucester's troops away from the Great Bridge of Myrddin, so your army can sneak through Gloucester's territory to take the bridge back from the Empire. This allows him to unify the Alliance since Gloucester is now cut off from the Empire. In Verdant Wind this role falls to Judith instead while he takes advantage of the Drawn Aggro to seize the Great Bridge of Myrddin.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: He disguises his troops as the Flame Emperor's soldiers as part of his plan to sneak them into enemy territory. Hilda also suggests that he dresses as Edelgard, though he doesn't actually end up doing that.
  • Elemental Motifs: He has a wind motif. His route is called Verdant Wind, and Marianne directly compares him to the wind. Most of the spells he learns if you level his Reason skill are wind spells. He also gains a flying class after the timeskip, and the unique combat art he unlocks upon mastering his final personal class is called "Wind God". In Heroes, the unique version of the Parthia his Brave variant wields is called the Wind Parthia. In Warriors: Three Hopes, his attacks are infused with wind.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: He doesn't like being called "boy" or "Leader Man". On the Verdant Wind route, he also bristles at the moniker "Master Tactician", asking who came up with that.
  • Enemy Mine: He works together with the Church of Seiros to fight the Flame Emperor even though he dislikes the Church for its role in encouraging Fódlan's isolationism. The partnership ends up being extremely beneficial to him; he not only gains additional forces, but he also uses Byleth's and the Church's support to present his cause as a moral one, making it easier to gain the support of the other Alliance lords.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Claude is very gung-ho about exposing the church's secrets regardless of consequences, and is willing to skirt the lines of morality to get what he wants. However, there are many lines he won't cross, in particular starting a war even if it's for the sake of a cause he believes in. Even when it comes to exposing the church's secrets, after Tomas is revealed to have manipulated him against the church, he decides to reassess things until he understands the situation better, and thus doesn't move forward with that plan until he has heard what Rhea knows.
  • Excellent Judge of Character: He has difficulty trusting others, but when he does manage to put his faith in someone else, it usually pays off for him. In Azure Moon, he trusts that Byleth will help Dimitri improve his mental health, and Dimitri will come help him fight off the Empire and save the Alliance. In Verdant Wind, he has faith that Byleth will return to Garreg Mach after having gone missing for five years because of the promise they made to meet there for the Millennium Festival. In Crimson Flower, he banks his gambit around Byleth being a positive enough influence on Edelgard to allow him to live. This will likely backfire horribly unless the player takes specific actions, but Edelgard makes it clear that she'd rather have Claude survive.
  • Experience Booster: His personal skill, Leicester Lineage, grants him an additional 20% experience gained after combat.
  • Eyes Never Lie: If Byleth asks him if he hopes Rhea is dead, he looks to the side and eventually answers that he has questions he wants to ask her, so he hopes she's alive. However, his support points increase, implying that at least some part of him does actually hope she's dead.

    F — H 
  • Face Death with Dignity: If he is killed on the Crimson Flower route, he gives his sincere hope that Edelgard can create a better world than the one Fódlan currently finds itself in, though his voice is shaking to some degree as he realizes that he won't be able to make his dream come true.
  • False Friend: In his S support, he confesses that at first, he just wanted to use Byleth's power to make his dream of a new world come true, but he eventually fell in love with her and now wants to see that new world with her at his side.
  • Famous Ancestor: When the Wind Caller asks him who he is, he tells him he's a descendant of Riegan.
    Wind Caller: I smell those detestable 10 Elites... Who are you?
    Claude: I'm the grandson of the grandson of the grandson of the elite Riegan. Now tell me who you are!
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: All of his outfits are asymmetrical with a cape over one shoulder. This is especially apparent with his Barbarossa outfit in which he wears a cape over one shoulder and a spiky pauldron over the other along with an asymmetrical collar and sash.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • In regards to his openly known love of scheming, which causes nearly every other person in the game to not trust him even though Claude is overall a good person. On the Azure Moon route, he attempts to work with the Kingdom's forces, but when one of the Kingdom scouts is killed in a way that makes it seem like the Alliance is responsible, most of the Kingdom's leadership decide to treat them as enemies because they don't fully trust Claude. Not only that, but in any route where he fights at Gronder Field and is not on his own route, he goes to Gronder Field to try and take advantage of the chaos to strike at the Empire, but he completely underestimates the Kingdom and Empire forces, and winds up being so badly beaten that the Alliance is effectively taken out entirely. On the Crimson Flower route, his known habit of planning and scheming is one of the main reasons Edelgard focuses the armies attention onto the Alliance. His last scheme even leads to his death if Byleth ends up being more ruthless than he believes them to be.
    • His Heroic Neutral approach in all routes but his own. Claude would rather avoid conflict if possible, and prefers to move politically in such a way that allows him to avoid causing unwanted attention. Most of this is to keep his schemes under wraps, and he usually ends up making military moves using neutrality as a basis to trick his enemies. However, these tend to backfire in all non-Verdant Wind routes: his desire to stay neutral fractures the Alliance, which generally prevents him from potentially gaining any aid from the Kingdom and leaving them susceptible to the Empire once they invade in earnest. Said neutrality means that, on three of the four routes, the Alliance falls apart with almost no effort, and even on his own route the only way he can effectively form a united front and gain more allies is to use Byleth and the Church's image and values as leverage while using the various friends he has within the Alliance to manipulate things to let him have a chance at securing the allies he needs.
    • His Heroic Neutral stance also ties to his deep-rooted trust issues, as the lack of loyalty and inspiration from his classmates and a number of his countrymen is another factor preventing him from gaining extra leverage once he gains the title of Duke. In game, it is very uncommon to find all of the former Golden Deer fighting alongside Claude come Part II; a number of them will fight beside Claude at Gronder FieldNote , but they fight more for their own survival as opposed to the more driven causes that the Empire and Kingdom have. And while he also has Almyran forces to call upon in a pinch, Almyra and Fódlan's mutually tepid relationship and the possible consequences that entail Claude revealing his status as Almyran royalty are too vast for him to effectively utilize them without what would likely be major fallout, thus closing him off further.
    • Claude's reliance on predicting everyone's "true natures" tends to pay in dividends across the Azure Moon, Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes. Claude will hinge his otherwise reckless gambits on the hopes that his would-be ally will react the way he expected them to. However, this can backfire on him hard on the Crimson Flower route; while Claude did account for the Alliance losing the battle, he was absolutely certain that Byleth would be a positive enough influence on Edelgard to convince her to spare him, and so is shocked if the player chooses to kill him by finishing the battle with anyone other than Edelgard or Byleth, or if the player finishes the battle with Byleth or Edelgard themselves and the player elects to kill him. Word of God states that he canonically survives this encounter, however.
    • Three Hopes puts his more scheming nature on the forefront, which can result in him developing a Chronic Backstabbing Disorder depending on the route and player choices. The Alliance's constant infighting and the dual threat of both an Imperial invasion in the South and an Almyran invasion in the East end up putting him under a lot of stress and he starts to make morally questionable actions like engineering a fake betrayal to corner the Empire or backstabbing his own allies, the latter in particular having fatal consequences on the Scarlet Blaze route. Even his own Phantom will prod him into betraying the other leaders to secure his victory. On his own route he actually dials down his tendencies to do this after getting a What the Hell, Hero? from the rest of the Golden Deer.
  • A Father to His Men: He always tells his soldiers not to die and to retreat if they're in trouble. He asks Byleth to do whatever it takes to win except sacrificing the lives of their allies for victory. He never takes credit for the accomplishments of the others, crediting Byleth for most of the army's achievements and his success in negotiating with the Alliance lords, though he also gives Lorenz credit for getting Count Gloucester to cooperate with him and praises Hilda for coming up with the plan to use disguises to infiltrate Fort Merceus. He shows care and concern for everyone (for instance, asking if Raphael would like to visit his sister while he has the chance) and acts as an emotional pillar of support by always smiling and projecting confidence to improve morale.
  • Filching Food for Fun: After the Golden Deer win the mock battle, he says they should all celebrate their victory, and he stole finely aged cheese from the dining hall for the occasion.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Exploits this during the Verdant Wind route. He deliberately calls in the Almyran army to assist the Alliance Army in its battles with the Empire in an effort to try and get the Alliance and Almyra to become friendly to each other. It at least works in getting the bitter enemies Holst and Nader to respect each other and bond over a round of drinks.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • In the Japanese version of the game, while not outright spoken, Claude refers to Byleth by their names in several occasions throughout the Verdant Wind route regardless of which name is inputted.
    • Even after he becomes the Leader of the Leicester Alliance, absolutely no one calls him by any kind of official title. Even random Alliance soldiers simply call him Claude. Hilda and Judith sometimes jokingly call him "Leader Man", which he dislikes, but he has no problem with everyone calling him by his first name.
  • Foil:
    • He's one to Edelgard in quite a few ways:
      • Just like her, at the start of the game, he harbors a goal to unite Fódlan under his rule in order to see his ideals and dreams realized, he is very keen to use/manipulate Byleth to achieve that goal, and he views the Church of Seiros' teachings as an obstacle to that dream. Both Edelgard and Claude had a negative experience in their pasts and use it as motivation to ensure that no one else ever has to go through what they had to, and both view Fódlan's problems as systematic ones. Unlike Edelgard, however, Claude is not particularly keen on using violence or brute force to get his way if he doesn’t have to, (probably the worst aggression he had thought is trying to get the Sword of the Creator to have a better position to negotiate); he is perfectly fine with reforming or working together with the Church instead of destroying it completely, and, even without Byleth to guide him, he can eventually accept the fact that other people may be better-suited to accomplishing his dreams than he is.
      • The context behind why they make Fódlan a single nation contrast one another: While Edelgard often looks to the future, often to the detriment of the present, she ironically heavily evokes the past in that she wishes to make the Adrestian Empire the continent-spanning power it once was centuries prior, with all power centered on herself, and her scope of Fódlan's future barely breaches beyond the continent itself, save for rewarding Brigid for its loyalty by giving its independence back. Claude's vision of Fódlan is almost entirely outward-facing, extending to all countries of the world, especially that of his motherland of Almyra; Cultural exchange and less rigid barriers are his wishes, although ironically, part of his vision involves doing away with three countries that, while sharing similar values, do have different cultural mores.
      • The story-based reasons for their Faith magic bane: Claude is spiritual, but not highly religious, and his personal idea of faith simply doesn't align with that of any strictly-adhering religion, let alone the Church of Seiros. Edelgard not only dislikes the Church and especially the presence of Sothis, but dislikes the notion of faith in general, believing that the faithful are inherently weak.
      • In both their interactions with each other and their methods, Claude is lighthearted and indirect, while Edelgard is direct, serious and no-nonsense. This even extends to how their respective Supports with Byleth play out: In the beginning Edelgard almost immediately spills the more painful and intimate details of her past to Byleth, whereas Claude tactfully avoids the particulars of his to the point that his heritage is only brought to light during the credits. On the other hand, Claude's A-Support can immediately be unlocked once Part II begins, whereas Edelgard's B is locked to the end of Part I, and it can take a long time for the player to get both it and A, especially if they happened to trigger the not-small portion of Support-lowering flags Edelgard has.
      • Edelgard would rather directly destroy what she sees as the problem (the Church) and bear the consequences of her actions (war), while Claude would rather try to avoid those negative consequences even if that path is longer and more convoluted and has a higher risk of failure. On the flipside, Claude is much more flexible in attaining his means than Edelgard. Edelgard tends to stick with premade plans and double down on them, even in the face of doubt, and will do so with or without Byleth's presence, while Claude is constantly adapting to ever-changing situations (Byleth's reappearance, the fallout from Gronder Field on the Azure Moon route, the final battle with Nemesis). The caveat to his adapting, however, is that his plans tend to be unreliable, and said unreliability more often than not ends with him leaving Fódlan empty-handed.
      • When Byleth loses Jeralt, both Edelgard and Claude discuss it in terms of grief holding you in place while the rest of the world keeps spinning. Edelgard sees it in terms of the world will not wait for you, so get up and start walking forward, I'll help you. While Claude finds it comforting to see that grief and personal loss are not some sort of insurmoutable obstable but instead something very small in the grand scheme of the world, the world will not end because of this, this pain is not forever. Both urge Byleth to look deeper into events as there is more going on beneath the surface.
      • Interestingly, in Three Hopes, Claude and Edelgard flip places a bit in a certain regard. Both come to believe that Rhea and the Church of Seiros are a problem for Fódlan, but Claude ends up having the harder line against them. He believes that the best path forward for Fódlan is the death of Rhea and the complete destruction of the church while Edelgard simply wants Rhea and her allies deposed but not necessarily dead, believing that the Church itself can still have use to the people of Fódlan. Also while both would like to see the Church's power over Fódlan destroyed, Edelgard would see Fódlan united under one banner while Claude would rather that it remain split into 3 countries able to act independently of each other.
    • Claude and Lorenz are also foils. While Lorenz behaves like a traditional Fódlan noble, Claude completely disregards these rules, which often results in arguments between the two of them. Lorenz comes across as stuck up and snobbish whereas Claude seems friendly and approachable, though they are both different from how they seem on the surface. Lorenz is upfront about his goals and motivations while Claude is very secretive.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Two examples in the conversation after the prologue battle.
      • Dimitri says he thought Claude was acting as a decoy to protect the others, so he ran after Claude to help him. In reality, Claude was just running away to protect himself and didn't want the others to follow him. However, in chapter 19 of Azure Moon, he does use himself as a decoy to lure the Empire army into the city after evacuating it and requests aid from Dimitri to set up a pincer attack.
      • Edelgard calls Dimitri a poor ruler for failing to see the truth in Claude's plan to run away, and Dimitri chastises her in return by stating that being unable to trust allies will be a downfall she could face if she keeps doubting people. This reflects how in Dimitri and Edelgard's respective routes, Dimitri comes to Claude's aid in chapter 19 of the Azure Moon route while Edelgard decides to take Claude out of the picture because it's more advantageous to the army strategically.
    • If you pick the Leicester Alliance as your preferred nation in the Prologue, Claude will casually say "that's a win for the Alliance", instead of going to the lore/history like the other two. That's because Claude's only lived in the Alliance for roughly a year, he wouldn't know much about it since he wasn't born there.
    • One of his favorite teas is the Almyran pine needle blend. The only other characters who favor it are Cyril and Felix, although the latter is noted to have odd eating habits.
    • He has special dialogue in Alois and Shamir's Paralogue, which revolves around fighting a band of pirates posing as members of the Almyran navy. While the other Lords have no response to their presence, Claude is clearly upset with what they're doing, noting early on that they're not Almyran, and will even rant at the enemy commander about fueling Fódlan's prejudices if you pit them against each other. The biggest hint is his snide comment about the pirates "not fighting like true Almyrans," which is spoken at the very end of the battle.
    • His C-Support with Cyril is one of the earliest indicators of just how important he actually is in the grander scheme. He tries to throw his clout as a prince with Cyril (who having grown up at the border and lived in Fódlan for quite some time doesn't recognize him). When Claude quizzically asks Cyril that he doesn't know who he is, Cyril claims that he does - that is, he recognizes him only as the future sovereign duke of the Alliance. Claude's response makes it clear that his status as future duke isn't what he was hoping Cyril recognize him for. His response to Cyril's status as an orphan is also far more placating and sympathetic compared to his more typical responses to the traumas that his Fódlan-born classmates have gone through. His response to Cyril saying things might have been better if Claude was king (jokingly saying if he ever meets the king he'll give him a lecture), is one of the few scarce hints in the game of his parentage.
    • If the player completed the Cindered Shadows DLC and recruited Balthus, their Supports more openly allude to the mystery behind Claude's mother's disappearance. Claude will even cut the conversation short when it becomes clear that Balthus realizes Claude's more important than he lets on, to the point that he's more or less figured out that he's from Almyra outright in their B-Support.
    • In the "Cindered Shadows" DLC, when Balthus identifies him, Claude tries to cover it by claiming that "Claude" is a common name in Fódlan, and later suggests his name isn't his actual name. He's not lying, and Khalid does sound quite a lot like Claude.
    • Several characters note that he doesn't act like a Fódlan noble. He also has an advice box note where he says he overhears many people commenting how strange he is.
    • In his support with Leonie its revealed that Claude doesn't know how to do his own dishes which rules out a background as a commoner.
  • For Want of a Nail: Warriors: Three Hopes shows that whether the events of Three Houses' White Clouds — the Academy Arc — get to take place or not determines if Claude will gain interest in uncovering the secrets of Fódlan or not. This change is crucial as it influences his view of the Church of Seiros and by extension, whether Rhea can become Claude's greatest ally or biggest enemy.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine. Claude is fairly carefree, sociable, and (more often than not) idealistic, in addition to being something of The Gadfly. While he has his demons, he's outwardly the least affected by them.
  • Fragile Speedster: He has very high Dexterity and Speed, but his Strength is only average, and his Defense and Resistance are both pretty low.
  • Friendless Background: At the beginning of the game, he is not close with anyone and is not very familiar with the other members of his house when Byleth asks him about them. This is because he has only been living in Fódlan for one year and hasn't met any of the other members of his house before the start of the school year.
  • Friendly Sniper: He's an archer, and he generally has an affable demeanor.
  • Friend to All Living Things: It's more subtle compared to some of the other characters, but Claude shows an appreciation for horses and wyverns, and he also takes care of the cats that roam the monastery (not that he likes to admit it). Gameplay-wise, he's one of the few characters that has a Boon in both riding and flying, and one of his most liked gifted items is the pair of Riding Boots, whose description notes that they're favored by animal lovers. One of his victory poses also has him petting his wyvern.
  • Fun Personified: He often smiles and acts cheerful to improve morale and looks at the bright side of things to reassure the other Golden Deer. After battling Lord Lonato, he admits to Byleth that he found the mission unpleasant, but quickly changes the subject to Relics instead of dwelling on his negative feelings. He also reassures Ignatz and the other Golden Deer that they did the right thing. Overall, his route has a more light and cheerful tone than the others. However, this isn't the case in Three Hopes where Claude has more chances to showcase his more ruthless side than he did in Three Houses, and his own route, Golden Wildfire, has one of the potentially bleaker ends.
  • The Gadfly:
    • When asked about Lysithea, he warns you she gets angry when people treat her like a child (she’s the youngest student in the monastery), then admits that he does it on purpose to entertain himself.
    • He has fun with teasing Annette when he catches her singing in their supports - Annette herself even lampshades that Claude's not going to let it go now he's heard it.
  • Gambit Roulette: On the Azure Moon route, his entire plan to save the Alliance from Imperial forces led by Lord Arundel hinges on A) Dimitri successfully liberating Fhirdiad, B) Dimitri deciding to save Claude's hide, and C) Dimitri actually making it back to Derdriu in time to save anyone. After the battle, he even admits it was a dangerous gamble, but he felt he didn't have any other choice.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Like Edelgard, he has a weakness in faith. Though unlike her very complicated reasons for it, Claude's is just due to his own spirituality not aligning very well with the Church's.
    • He is shown to be very good at sneaking around undetected. After the time skip, he gains a personal variation of the Pass skill, which allows him to move through spaces occupied by enemy units.
    • He has difficulty opening up to others due to his trust issues. His C, B, and B+ supports with Byleth can all be missed and have to be completed before certain points in the story. He is the only playable character whose B support must be completed before the timeskip. Conversely, because he comes to trust Byleth so immensely during the end of Part I, he's the only Lord whose A-Support can be unlocked right away come Part II, providing Byleth has enough Support points carried over; In contrast, Edelgard takes a very long time to attain A-Support, while Dimitri's is unavailable to be accessed until the player reaches Chapter 18.
    • On the flipside, Claude, unlike Edelgard and Dimitri, supports with characters from all three houses (Annette and Ingrid from the Blue Lions; Petra from the Black Eagles), and he subsequently also supports with every non-native of Fódlan except for Dedue. His seeking out different kinds of people are for both pragmatic purposes (seeking people with multiple talents, as well as another Almyran ally in Cyril's case, although the latter shuts him down on that front due to having no love of his homeland) as well as a more hopeful purpose of bringing different kinds of people together.
    • In cutscenes, Claude is shown to be an incredibly accurate archer, able to shoot another arrow out of midair. He also shoots Nemesis by firing up into the air and having his arrow come down on him while he's fighting Byleth. He's tied with Lysithea for the highest Dexterity growth (which affects hit rate) in the game at 60% and has the highest Dexterity cap at 89.
  • Genius Slob: Claude is a brilliant tactician with an incredible thirst for knowledge, but his room is a complete mess. There are books and tools for weapons maintenance strewn all over his floor and bed.
  • Goal in Life: His dream is to connect the world and by fostering understanding between people all around the world move beyond repressive traditions and together build a better world. His first step is to open the border between Fódlan and Almyra, allowing people and goods to travel freely between them and eliminate the prejudices their people have against each other.
  • God Is Evil: Discussed. He says that if the goddess was truly responsible for burning away the forest at Ailell, turning it into a volcanic wasteland, then she must be a monster.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Discussed in his A-Support with Balthus regarding his plan to remove Fódlan's barriers and make a world without discrimination, as the latter points out his plan could easily work as intended just as it could backfire on his face due to the people's primal fear of the unknown.
  • Good Fortune from God:
    • If you talk to him during the prologue battle, he says he didn't know there were mercenaries in the village, and the gods of fortune must be smiling on him. It's unlikely that he's being serious, though, since he admits in his A support with Byleth that he never believed in gods.
    • In his B+ support with Byleth, he points out that Byleth seems sort of impossible and says it's hard to imagine making his dreams come true without them. He wonders if their meeting was the result of some god empathizing with him and his dreams.
  • Good Is Not Soft: While he is a genuinely nice and good person and has a number of lines he won't cross, he is also very much a realist and pragmatic in how he does things. Notably, unlike Edelgard (who identifies with Lonato) and especially Dimitri (who is very opposed to the idea of justified killing) Claude has little to no issue with violently putting down Lonato and his militia rebellion on the Verdant Wind route. As he puts it, if they hadn't then Lonato and his people would have continued to march to the monastery and attack every church-aligned village they encountered along the way. In the face of such potential for innocent deaths Claude doesn't see the point in having much pity on the offenders. That said, he has a substantial ability to compromise and does later admit he wishes Edelgard could have been stopped without having to kill her, and wishes Hubert had simply told them the truth about their enemies instead of fighting to the death first.
  • Graceful Loser:
    • If spared on the Crimson Flower route, he appears to take his defeat surprisingly well, surrendering governance of his country to Edelgard without any further resistance and willingly going into self-exile from Fódlan. However this speaks more to Claude's extremely high composure than anything else as he has just staked everything on a victory and has failed not only to win the war but this chance at his dreams, not to mention the potential deaths of people dear to him.
    • Whether his class wins or loses the Battle of the Eagle and Lion, he proposes a feast to break down the walls between the houses, which Edelgard and Dimitri readily agree to.
  • Grass Is Greener: He ran away from Almyra due to being bullied for being mixed race, hoping that he would be treated better in Fódlan. However, people in Fódlan also look down on foreigners, seeing them as beasts, so he is forced to hide his identity.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He is jealous of Byleth because they are able to wield the Sword of the Creator, which he wanted to use himself. He gets very annoyed when they are unable to tell him why they're able to use it and once he realizes he can't use it himself, he switch tracks to manipulating Byleth to achieve his goals.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • He is controllable during the tutorial, but if you choose the Black Eagles or Blue Lions, he permanently leaves your party. The only other scenario he's playable in is the Cindered Shadows sidestory.
    • In Warriors: Three Hopes, he is controllable in Chapter 1, but departs if you don't pick the Golden Deer. He rejoins you for Chapter 16 as a temporary companion for the battle against Epimenides, but leaves again for good at the end of the chapter.
  • Guile Hero: He always has a trick up his sleeve and is outright called "The Schemer" in Heroes, but he's one of the good guys. People, including himself, frequently comment on his scheming, and some interactions reveal that he prefers trickery to take down enemies over killing them. On the Verdant Wind route, Claude uses his guile to avoid needless fighting and bloodshed and, in times when a battle is inevitable, to bolster the relatively small Alliance forces to give them a chance in the fight.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Gender inverted with Hilda, as his main weapon is a bow and hers is an axe. Claude will also share this dynamic with the sword-wielding Byleth and Shez if the female version was chosen by the player.
  • Had to Be Sharp: As a child he was mistreated for being biracial and there were even multiple assassination attempts against him. His parents wanted him to be self-reliant, with the end result being Claude's shrewd, scheming nature. In addition to being an avid reader and researcher, concocting poisons is a result of him protecting himself.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Supports with Byleth, Hilda, and Marianne reveal that he suffered through this from the union of his mother of House Riegan and his father, the King of Almyra. Both sides of the border treat him with contempt despite him not doing anything wrong. Because of this, he has decided to eliminate the borders between Fódlan and Almyra when he gets older.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: His parents are okay with him leaving Almyra by himself to go live in another country for several years as long as he doesn't tell anyone where his mother went after she disappeared.
  • Heel Realization: After having spent much of his route in Three Hopes slipping into behavior that goes past pragmatism to downright ruthlessness, he starts making a conscious effort to reign himself in after Fleche's attempt at revenge in response to his actions.
  • The Heretic: In his B support with Leonie, he says it's the endless bounty of the land that gives life rather than the goddess. He asks Leonie not to tell anyone about their conversation since it could be considered heresy. He is actually a non-believer rather than a heretic since he never followed the Seiros religion, growing up in Almyra as he did.
  • Hero Antagonist: Post-timeskip on all routes but his own, he's only an antagonist because he refuses to let himself stand by and let his country be invaded and annexed. Of the three leaders, he's the noblest in motives and is the only one that is not automatically killed in the story. Unlike the other two, he's merely doing what he thinks is right for his home.
  • Hero of Another Story: On the Azure Moon route, he dissolves the Alliance and hands its leadership over to Dimitri after the Blue Lions come to his aid, before going off to unknown regions, presumably Almyra.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: He is regarded with suspicion due to being suddenly declared Duke Riegan's heir and for being an outsider to the Leicester nobility. Because people don't trust him, he has to rely on Byleth to help him get the Alliance's support in the war against the Flame Emperor.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: His weapon is a bow, but swords are his second-best weapon, and he can use the series' signature Lord class if he has a decent sword rank. The final cutscene of Part I shows him using a sword as his default melee weapon.
  • Heroic Neutral:
    • Post-timeskip, though he and his forces do inevitably get involved in the fighting, he manages to stay a fairly neutral figure in the war. It's because of this that his life can be potentially saved on both the Azure Moon and Crimson Flower routes should the player decide to, though he won't be recruitable.
    • On the Verdant Wind route, the most noticeable change in Claude's personality is that, with Byleth's encouragement, he starts to take a more direct and proactive role in solving Fódlan's problems and stopping the fighting, rather than merely staying on the sidelines for as long as possible. Even then, Claude's stated goals have less to do with stopping Edelgard and Dimitri's plans and more to do with just stopping the fighting and exposing the secrets of the Church of Seiros and "those who slither in the dark." Unfortunately, the one person who knows all the secrets (Rhea) is being held captive in the Empire's capital, necessitating a confrontation with the Empire and Edelgard.
  • Hidden Agenda Hero: On all routes other than his own. He's clearly a well-intentioned man and either your ally in the fight against the Flame Emperor and those who slither in the dark or a Hero Antagonist trying to protect his home from an invading Empire, but it's repeatedly noted that nobody has any clue what his long-term goals are and he never really clarifies the matter. Claude is a decent person, but keeps his cards very close to his chest.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: Not a prince, (at least, not in the Leicester Alliance) but his grandfather names him as his heir after his son, Godfrey von Riegan, was killed. Many people are suspicious of Claude because he came out of seemingly nowhere to become the heir to the leader of the Alliance. This trope is further played with with in that Claude wasn't intentionally raised as a backup heir - He just happened to arrive to Fódlan from Almyra when his grandfather needed an heir. He alludes to having learned about his Fódlanese heritage by himself early in the game, and in his A-Supports with Marianne and Byleth, he mentions running away from home. As his mother has no interest in returning to Fódlan and she made Claude promise not to tell anyone that she's living in Almyra, it's highly likely that Claude concocted a plan to make it to Fódlan on his own.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • A bit surprising given Claude has quite a bit of depth that's overt, but the fact that he's willing to consider a future in which Rhea doesn't have to be removed (despite disliking her authority) after a conversation with Cyril speaks to his ability to compromise with others. You see more of his character slowly revealed in his route, but outside of it one of the only hints you get is his monastery dialogue after Jeralt's death where is shares how he found comfort in remembering that the world is vast and even though Byleth's pain might now seem endlessly deep and eternal, it isn't and there is still so much joy out there.
    • On the surface he's friendly, laid back, light-hearted, and a little mischievous. Underneath that he is calculating, very observant, manipulative, and a little callous in getting what he wants. Underneath that he judges people based on their level of threat to him, is insecure, and struggles to trust anyone. Underneath that is a deep love for the world, and hope in humanity. And throughout all of that he has an insatiable curiosity.
    • He's probably the most philosophical of the cast, he thinks broadly and deeply, and he's always got something he's turning around in his head.
      Claude: If there were three villages with no watering holes, and one well was dug along the border between the villages, what do you think would become of the people there?
    • What Claude truly wants is a home to belong to and people who love him for who he is and who will stay by his side. In his supports with Shamir, they wonder at what it means to belong somewhere and Claude questions if he'll ever belong somewhere. All the way through to the second half of the game Claude has been alienated and seen as an outsider no matter where he went. He grew up being hated for superficial qualities with no one seeing who he really was as a person. The people of Fódlan were cowardly and wouldn't fight head on and in some sense Claude embraced that and did whatever he had to to survive. In his A support with Byleth he tells of how he held on to the naive hope, the childish narrative that Fódlan would be magically different and that as long as escapsed to Fódlan everything would be alright. But of course people are people no matter the location and Claude soon encountered Fódlan's rampant xenophobia. All the mysteriousness, the image he fosters of a manipulator always one step ahead of everyone else, its a defense mechanism to protect himself from being hurt. As long as no one knows who he truly is, he can't be hated for who he is as a person, and he is so afraid of that because if someone looks past all the superficial aspects and still hates him? What is he to do then? After a childhood of being alienated and hated Claude is deeply cynical about what humans are capable of, and yet he is also idealistic and believes that people coming together have the power to move the world.
    • He's also quite capable of being petty such as lighting Acheron's castle on fire and showing it to him before killing him.
  • Hiding Your Heritage: Due to how the Alliance views Almyrans (and how most of the continent views outsiders in general), Claude is very tight-lipped about both his Almyran heritage and his childhood, not revealing to anyone that his real name is Prince Khalid. There's plenty of evidence that makes several characters realize that he might not have been born in Fódlan (his skintone, manner of dress, his authority over some Almyran military troops on the Crimson Flower and Verdant Wind routes, and some of his beliefs and hobbies), but no one really confirms it to his face. Only Byleth, Petra, and Balthus learn in full that he's not from Fódlan, and even then he keeps completely mum about his royal lineage and intent until the very end, even when a female Byleth romances him. Shez manages to find out in Three Hopes, but only because they inadvertently happen to be there when Claude kills his brother Prince Shahid and breaks his normal composure, and keeps quiet about it for the rest of the game.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: In his B-support with Hilda, Claude complains about how when he wasn't being obedient, he would be tied to a horse and dragged around until he learned his lesson while his mother found this act amusing. Hilda is rather horrified at this revelation, but Claude doesn't seem too shaken up thinking about it.
  • History Repeats: Claude is born from a union of the king of Almyra and the daughter of Duke Riegan, who left Fódlan for her love of the Almyran king, making his mother the first queen of Almyra to come from Fódlan. Claude can potentially fall in love with a woman from Fódlan (Byleth included) and make her his queen. The exceptions to this are his paired endings with Lysithea, Petra, Shamir, Lorenz, and Balthus, although the latter does go with Claude and becomes his retainer in their shared ending.
  • Horse Archer: In Heroes, his Part I version is a mounted bowman. He can also make a decent Bow Knight in Three Houses thanks to his proficiencies in bows and riding, but his lance ability isn't as reliable.
  • Humble Hero: Played with. Although he often brags about his own abilities (sometimes as a joke), he admires humility in others. He calls Byleth a model professor if they praise their students for their victory in the mock battle, and he also likes that Yuri humbles himself while promoting his friends. After the time skip, he rallies the resistance around Byleth and gives them the credit for the army's achievements, though this may very well be because he wants to make them the ruler of Fódlan after the war, rather than out of humility.
  • Hypocrite:
    • When it comes to insistently digging into people's backgrounds, whether it be to seek out truths or to evaluate possible allies and enemies, Claude cannot take what he dishes out. This is the crux of the conflict of his Supports with Balthus; despite Claude probing the former about his history (which he freely does during his B-Support), he gets angry and indignant when Balthus not only tries to do the same, but is able to put two and two together and realize that Tiana fled to Almyra years prior. This can also be seen in his reaction to Rhea being defensive about revealing the truth of her past and the history of the continent being to call her out, even though Claude spent almost the entirety of his route hiding his past from his allies until he was pushed to call upon help from outside the Alliance.
    • He tends to put on an air of superiority when it comes to his Almyran heritage and knowledge of the land, often showing some well-hidden disdain for his Fódlanese classmates' ignorance and closed-off knowledge of both it and the outside world, which is the very same attitude that he claims he wants to destroy. Furthermore, he takes absolutely no stock in how the Alliance's cagey attitude towards Almyra heavily stems from their often impromptu border raids (something that any country would react poorly against), nor does he realize that there are civilians like Cyril who have been suffering under Almyra's own rule, as the impetus of Cyril vowing to never return there was how he was conscripted into service as a child. His Supports with Fódlan's non-natives also generally involve him singing their praises simply for not being natives of the land, but when they themselves take note of or inquire of his own heritage, he clams up with the same aplomb that he does with his other Fódlanese supports.
    • He has a fairly dim view of the Seiros Faith, and one of his goals in opening the borders between Fódlan and Almyra is to find a way to loosen its grip on Fódlan's culture at large, with the caveat of removing Rhea from both her position of power and possibly the public eye. If he S-Supports a female Byleth, he banks on Fódlan's people worshiping Byleth - who has long merged with the soul of Sothis herself at this point - and putting her on a pedestal the way they once did with Rhea, never mind this being something he initially wanted to avoid.
    • He teases Lysithea because she gets angry when he treats her like a child, but he also gets angry when Judith or Nardel/Nader treats him like a child.
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: He gets into an argument with Thales about whether Byleth or Nemesis is stronger.

    I — Q 
  • I Can Still Fight!:
    • On the Azure Moon route, when he is preparing to defend Derdriu from the forces of the Flame Emperor, he insists on fighting even though Judith warns him that his wounds from Gronder haven't fully healed.
    • He says something similar to this after the time skip if you select him on the map when his health is below 50%.
      Claude: I'm hurt...but I'm with you.
  • I Gave My Word:
    • Early in the game, he tells Hilda that he made a promise to his parents not to tell anyone where his mother is currently living. This is one of the reasons he is so secretive about his past, and why he promises to reveal more only after it's safe for him to do so.
    • On Verdant Wind, he promises to find Rhea and help Byleth learn what she did to them as a baby, and he does keep his word (though he also has his own reasons for finding Rhea).
    • On Silver Snow and Azure Moon, even though some characters are wary of trusting him, he distracts Count Gloucester as promised.
    • On Crimson Flower, when his life is spared, he promises to repay the kindness. He does not do so in the game proper, but he is taken at his word and is allowed to leave without further incident.
    • On Azure Gleam, Dimitri has faith that the Alliance will assist the Kingdom and Church at Garreg Mach because Claude promised he would see Dimitri again. Though Dimitri's friends express their doubts that the Alliance will come, Claude does come through for them in the end, just as Dimitri predicted.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: On the Azure Moon route, if he dies in Derdriu, he admits his plan failed and tells Byleth and Dimitri to leave him and retreat, though you can't actually do this because Claude dying on this map results in a game over.
  • I Will Wait for You: Once Part II starts, he holds to his promise to reunite with his classmates without incident, which is notable because Edelgard, who did the same thing, gets into a skirmish with you in Silver Snow, while Dimitri slumps in the Goddess Tower and has been killing Imperial mooks there.
  • Identity Denial: In the Cindered Shadows DLC, Balthus recognizes him as the new heir of House Riegan. He denies it, claiming Claude is a common name, but accidentally gives himself away when Balthus says there's only one Claude enrolled at the academy.
  • If Only You Knew:
    • In his C support with Hilda, when he says the Almyrans are wary of Hilda's brother, she says he sounds like he's spoken to the Almyrans himself. Claude actually is from Almyra, so of course he's spoken to them himself.
    • There are several characters who say that Claude would be a good king, not realizing that he is actually a prince of Almyra, potentially in line for the throne. In his B support with Petra, she says she thinks he will be a good king, and in his C support with Cyril, Cyril wonders if things would have been better in Almyra if the king was like Claude. On Crimson Flower, Byleth has an option to say to Edelgard that Claude would be a good king.
  • I'll Take That as a Compliment: Petra calls him an "abnormality" because his views about nobility are unusual in Fódlan. He says he'll take it as a compliment.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Claude's specialty is archery, so good aim is to be expected. On the Verdant Wind route, he demonstrates his skill in a scene at Fort Merceus, where he and an Almyran army general meet in a mutual test of skill. They shoot at each other, and the arrows collide in mid-air. Later on, as he and Byleth fight Nemesis two-on-one, he fires upward, seemingly aiming at nothing. Seconds later, as Byleth and Nemesis clash blades, Claude smirks as the arrow comes down and pierces Nemesis's left arm, allowing Byleth the opportunity to deal the killing blow.
  • Improperly Paranoid: He expects his friends to abandon him when they're faced with danger. A large part of his Character Development in Verdant Wind is him realizing he can rely on his friends because they'll stick with him no matter what. He asks them several times if they want to turn back because of the danger of the upcoming battles, but he's grateful when they choose to continue fighting alongside him. On other routes, his fear that his friends will abandon him can lead to their deaths, since his plans don't account for them standing their ground and fighting to the end to protect him.
  • Ineffectual Loner: On routes other than his own. He's more sociable than most examples, but he doesn't trust his allies and doesn't tell them his plans. Because he always keeps everyone at arm's length, he doesn't know his friends well enough to be able to predict their actions. In Silver Snow, after working together with the Church to take back the Bridge of Myrddin from the Empire, he leads the Alliance into battle at Gronder Field without any further attempts to work with the Church. This results in his army taking heavy losses, and he goes missing, likely forced to flee back to Almyra. In Crimson Flower, this results in Judith's and Hilda's deaths since they don't retreat when they're in danger like he expects. Judith is only willing to retreat after reinforcements arrive when it's too late for her to escape, and Hilda refuses to back down, fighting to the death to defend Claude. On all routes other than Verdant Wind, he is either killed by the player or has to return to Almyra having completely lost his ability to protect the Alliance.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: While he normally has a pretty healthy amount of self-confidence, he tries to cover up his rare moments of insecurity by pretending to be more confident than he actually is. If he is chosen for the White Heron Cup, he believes that he won't win, but if he actually does, he acts like he knew all along that he would win.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • "Leaving things to chance" is stated as one of his dislikes in his bio, as is the notion of blind faith. Not only do many of his plans during the war rely on risky, often impractical bets with a high risk of failure, but he becomes highly wishful towards the notion of Byleth coming back to him if he was their chosen House leader. His dislike for leaving things to chance is shown more in Three Hopes where he sacrifices Randolph and his forces to minimize the risk to his own army.
    • He is presented within the promotional materials for the game and early on within the game as a rather underhanded and less than moral guy, especially compared to the noble Dimitri and stoic Edelgard. But aside from suggesting to Byleth that he could give the other houses food poisoning before the big 3 way battle at Gondor Field, he never does anything particularly shifty. And post-timeskip, regardless of route, he is the only one of the three lords who is consistently well-adjusted; compare Edelgard, who is attempting to conquer the entire continent, and Dimitri, who has gone completely Ax-Crazy on three out of four routes. In Three Hopes, however, he relies far more on underhanded schemes to the point that his own friends are sometimes shocked at how far he is willing to go.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • If you have him fight Edelgard in Chapter 7, he gets a rise out of her by claiming there's a rat near her feet. Unbeknownst to him, rats are a PTSD trigger for her, reminding her of her imprisonment and the Crest experiments performed on her and her siblings.
    • His Supports with Cyril have him reevaluate the pride he has for his nation, and he never truly becomes aware that certain things which he finds endearing (namely, elaborate post-battle feasts) are painful for Cyril. Even in light of the abuse and hardships he endured in Almyra, Claude's still a Prince/Duke with clout and financial stability, and he's genuinely shocked to learn that the King and the rest of the country tend to leave war orphans like Cyril to rot, with many even becoming Child Soldiers to survive. He also doesn't put much stock in the nigh-meaningless skirmishes Almyra tends to start at Fódlan's Locket either - never mind that the fallout of those tend to be either more orphans or having the likes of House Goneril capture them and turn them into slaves.
    • Claude will persist that he truly does not find the gap between nobility and commoners to be that extreme, not realizing that, as it is, the gap exists on multiple levels, even when they come together for a common cause. This takes on borderline levels of hypocrisy when it's revealed that Claude indeed isn't like other nobles - he's Almyran royalty. After talking to Cyril and learning how difficult life can be for commoners, he promises to change the world so people without status are no longer oppressed.
    • Claude's insistence that Byleth is deliberately hiding the more magical and bizarre elements of their otherwise mundane past is one of the few things that distresses the latter, as it's quite clear that they're as in the dark about said elements as he is.
  • In-Series Nickname: Hilda teasingly calls him Leader Man, and he's called "boy" by Judith. In the mission at Derdriu, he asks her to stop referring to him as such, and she opts to call him "Leader Man." "Nardel"/Nader likes to call him "kiddo". Even "Master Tactician" is used by some characters to tease him.
  • Instant Expert: From the player's perspective at least, as he can completely shirk training his flying skill because he automatically promotes into a flying class, meaning he can focus on other skills (or better yet, give his teammates more opportunities for instruction).
  • Interface Spoiler: Whereas the game is fairly subtle in hinting at Claude's Almyran heritage to the point that the player might not pick up on it right away, the class description for Claude's personal Master Class, Barbarossa, is much less so, plainly stating that the class's fighting style (archery on a flying mount) is derived from Almyran battle traditions.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: After using the Fallen Star combat art with his Relic, Failnaught, he can dodge all attacks for one round of combat.
  • Irony: Invoked in the Crimson Flower route. Claude has the Almyrans, who have been attacking the Alliance for centuries, defend it from invasion.
    Claude: Those fangs and claws the Alliance fears so much will now be their salvation!
    • Claude embracing others' claims of not being akin to a typical Fódlanese noble takes on an almost twisted meaning when it's revealed to the player that he's actually royalty from another country.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: While he primarily specializes in bows, flying, and authority, with the exception of brawling, he knows a little something about everything as an NPC/antagonist.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's never flagrantly cruel, and will go out of his way to protect those he cares about, but he is nevertheless a shameless schemer and secretive manipulator. Given the he survived multiple assassination attempts in his childhood, he kind of has to be, and his pragmatic tactics are made with the survival of his troops and friends in mind. Notably, this lasts, seeing that escaping with both his own life and the lives of others are often at the forefront of Claude's mind during the war.
    • In his C support with Lysithea, he teases her relentlessly, treating her like a child and eventually scaring her out of the library by claiming it's haunted. Though he does enjoy getting a rise out of her, he's also worried that she's working too hard, which is why he tricks her into going to bed.
    • In his search for information, he can sometimes be extremely pushy and invasive, though he does ultimately mean well. After Jeralt dies, Claude asks Byleth to lend him Jeralt's diary, even threatening to steal it if Byleth doesn't comply. He does truly want to help Byleth learn more about their past, even if he doesn't go about it in the best way. He also offers his help in avenging Jeralt as thanks for lending him the diary.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: If he fights Edelgard during the Battle of the Eagle and Lion, he tells her there's a rat by her feet. This ends up scaring her more than he expects, so he tells her it was just a joke.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: The drama CD confirms that Claude enjoys taking care of the cats around the monestary and feeding them constantly. However, if you bring it up during tea time, you lose points with him. It's one of the few things he denies liking.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: A childhood of being mistreated because of his race, even including attempts on his life, left him unable to put his trust in other people. Despite this, he still hopes to create a world without discrimination, though it takes meeting Byleth for him to actually believe he can do it.
  • Know When to Fold Them: While Edelgard and Dimitri will gladly fight to the death if they are the antagonists, Claude will gladly surrender if he sees no chance of winning. If he's spared on the Crimson Flower route, he'll even go into self-exile to avoid any potential threats to Edelgard's rule.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: While his origins are kept secret throughout Three Houses, his brave variant in Heroes directly refers to him by the epithet Almyra's King.
  • Laxative Prank: He proposes poisoning the other houses with something that will upset their stomachs to win the mock battle at the beginning of the game, though he doesn't actually go through with it.
  • Lazy Alias: His alias is extremely similar to the name of a distant relative of his, Claudia von Riegan. It's also somewhat similar to his real name, Khalid.
  • The Leader: Leads the Golden Deer house, which is comprised of members of the Leicester Alliance, which he will one day take charge of. He and his subordinate classmates will still follow orders issued by Byleth, however.
  • Leader Wannabe:
    • While praised for being an expert tactician, Claude stuggles with getting the full support out of the Alliance that he needs in non-Verdant Wind routes. Claude puts on a public facade that the Alliance are a unified front but in reality they are anything but; leadership is firmly split down the middle on whether to fight for their independence or pledge themselves to the Empire. In all routes except for Verdant Wind, Claude fails to unify them and most of the soldiers who are loyal to his cause get decimated at the Battle at Gronder.
    • This is the reason why Claude is never able to form an official alliance with the Kingdom on Azure Moon or the Church on Silver Snow, despite sharing complementary goals with both.
    • This is subverted in Three Hopes. In Golden Wildfire, he eventually forces the Alliance to come together to form the Leicester Federation as its first king. This also has the side effect of allying with the Empire and the Kingdom on their respective routes as Leicester sways towards one of the other nations to ensure the Alliance's safety.
  • Leitmotif: "Golden Deer and Crescent Moon," which plays during some of his scenes post-timeskip, notably after being rescued in Azure Moon and if he was spared in Crimson Flower.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: In his A support with Marianne, he tells her a story about a boy who was hated by everyone around him and ran away from home only to end up in the same situation after escaping to the outside world. After seeing this, he resolved to destroy the boundaries between the inside and outside worlds. Claude tells Marianne this story to convince her that she doesn't need to continue to carry her burdens, and she shouldn't let her previous misfortune define her.
  • Life Drain: His crest, the Crest of Riegan, sometimes heals him by 30% of damage dealt when using combat arts. In Heroes, Brave Claude's weapon, Wind Parthia, has a healing effect, allowing him to heal up to 50% of his max HP if he activates his Special and he either has an ally near him or if he initiated combat.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Develops into this after the timeskip. The Wyvern Master and his plot-unique Barbarossa class give him a hefty boost to his Attack growths. Coupled with his high natural speed and terrific movement, Claude ends up being one of the most offensively devastating units in the game.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: He and Ingrid are constantly bickering in their supports. When Ingrid tries to act nicer so they won't argue so much, Claude tells her he likes her normal prickly self. Their paired ending in the Verdant Wind route even highlights that this does not change even after they get married.
  • Like Parent, Unlike Child: It's heavily implied that Claude's mother, Tiana, is quite violent and confrontational, even gaining an epithet of the "Demon Queen" for her demeanor during her time in Almyra. Unlike his mother, Claude usually avoids confrontation and prefers to rely on diplomacy instead.
  • Living Lie-Detector: He can easily tell when people are hiding something such as Marianne and Flayn in his supports with them. He also knows Edelgard is hiding something when she tries to find out his secrets and says she's "the least likely to share secrets out of everyone at the academy." He sees though Hilda's attempts to get him to do her chores for her, even though other people often fall for her tactics. He also knows Byleth's "lying face" and can call them out for lying depending on what answers the player chooses. For example, if Byleth says they don't mind that Claude used them to get the support of the Alliance lords at the Roundtable, he says he appreciates that but tells them to be honest.
  • Lonely Among People: He is very sociable and outgoing, but he is unable to to form real connections with people because of his secretive nature.
  • Lonely Together: The crux of his B-Support with Byleth, although whether or not Byleth agrees with this sentiment depends on the player.
  • Looking Busy: In his supports with Balthus, he pretends to be busy to avoid talking with Balthus about his background. It works in the C support, but not in the B support.
  • Lovable Rogue: Pre-timeskip, he’s charming, easygoing, though somewhat mischievous and manipulative. After the time-skip, he matures into a more serious leader (though he still keeps his love of schemes and sarcasm).
  • Mage Marksman: In Three Hopes, he defaults as a bow-wielding class and his personal skill, Dustcloud, imbues his attacks with wind.
  • Magically Inept Fighter: Claude boasts an identical Reason spell list to Annette, who herself is a solid offensive spellcaster (albeit Claude learning Sagittae earlier than Cutting Gale); Claude even has the possibility to cast Silence. However, his own magic growth is at a low 25%, meaning he's much more proficient in physical classes.
  • Makes Us Even: After Dimitri saves Claude and the Alliance from the Empire in Azure Moon, Claude gives him Failnaught and tells him Rhea is being held captive in the Imperial capital. Dimitri thanks Claude, but Claude tells him not to thank him because they're even now.
    • If Edelgard spares Claude's life upon defeating him at Derdriu in Crimson Flower, Claude promises to repay her kindness someday. He doesn't in the game itself, but given their shared openess to positive foreign relations, it could happen after the game's timeline.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • While Claude is by no means an evil person like a typical Manipulative Bastard, he isn't afraid of manipulating others such as when he admits in his S-Support with Byleth that he used her as a tool for his goals.
    • In Azure Moon, he counts on Dimitri's extreme selflessness to save the Alliance from Imperial invasion. He asks Dimitri to rush to Derdriu immediately after Dimitri reclaims Fhirdiad. Once Dimitri arrives and saves him, Claude suddenly foists the Alliance off on Dimitri, informing him that he has already gotten the approval of the other Alliance lords at the roundtable conference, which leaves Dimitri with little room for argument. He does try to make up for it by giving Dimitri Failnaught for helping him as well as information about Rhea's whereabouts, though he still seems to feel guilty, since he asks Dimitri not to be too hard on him when they meet again.
      Claude: I knew you wouldn't hesitate to put yourself second and come running to our aid.
  • Master Archer: Shamir, an experienced sniper, compliments him on his skill in their support. He is shown to be extremely skilled as an archer in cutscenes. In a test of strength against Nader, he shoots Nader's arrow out of the air and manages to hit Nemesis by aiming up into the sky and letting the arrow come down on his arm. He somehow manages this even though Nemesis is moving around fighting Byleth. He also has the highest Dexterity cap of any character in the game at 89.
  • Master Poisoner: He is very skilled at creating poisons, though they are not fatal and just cause stomach problems for a few days. He can even make poisons that take a couple of days to take effect.
  • Maybe Ever After: With female Byleth. While he confesses his love to her at the end of the game, he leaves to go and fix Almyra’s problems and to assume command of that country. Though he does come back with a Big Damn Heroes at the blurb of their S-Rank support ending, with the aftermath revealing that it brought a new age of unity, implying that they do get married.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Claude is a French derivation of Claudius, the name of the famous historical Roman emperor, fitting a nobleman who leads his men into battle. His last name, Riegan, can mean "little king" or "the king's child".
    • His true name, Khalid, means "eternal" in Arabic, fitting for the only one of the three house leaders capable of surviving in all routes and the one with the dream of greatest scope. His name then also ties into the name of his personal battalion, the Immortal Corps (primarily named after the Persian Immortals, an elite force of the Achaemenid Empire).
  • Mellow Fellow: The charming and easy-going lord that tries to lay back and take it easy, and hides his calculating nature.
  • Metaphorgotten: He says Byleth is a bit absent-minded and compares their mind to a giant bowl with a tiny crack in it. He then gets sidetracked when Hilda says his own mind bowl is tiny. He insists that his is much bigger, but the entire bottom is missing. Lysithea points out that means he's the absent-minded one rather than Byleth.
  • Metaphorically True: In the Cindered Shadows DLC, Balthus asks him if he's Claude, the brand new heir of House Riegan, which he denies. "Claude" is a fake name, and his real name is Khalid, so this is technically true, though very misleading.
  • Mirror Character: Though he dislikes Rhea, he actually shares a few similarities with her. Like Rhea, he hides his true identity to protect himself, uses half-truths to manipulate people and uses Byleth and the Church for his own ends. Both Claude's and Rhea's secretive natures cause people to become suspicious of them, but they both want to be accepted by others. However, while Rhea wants to resurrect Sothis and return to an idealized past when the Children of the Goddess didn't have to hide what they were, Claude wants to create a new future by opening the borders between countries so people of different races and nationalities will accept each other. In their support chain, Cyril points out that he sees a lot of what he admires in Rhea in Claude as well, which leads to Claude admitting/realizing that he need not necessarily have to make an enemy of Rhea for the sake of his dreams.
  • Mistaken for Profound: In his support with Annette, he overhears her singing in the greenhouse and assumes the lyrics must have some deep meaning. He researches some old rituals from Faerghus and learns of a belief that people who die with regret end up in an underworld from where they try to escape by digging their way to the surface. He assumes Annette's song is about a person who died this way, but she tells him it's just about seedlings sprouting. He isn't at all bothered by this revelation and thinks it's a nice song.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Many people are suspicious of him due to his love of scheming and his sudden appearance as heir to the leader of the Leicester Alliance, and he's seen as an outsider. He turns out to be a pretty decent person who does his best to protect the Alliance when it's invaded and always prioritizes the safety of its people. His schemes are mostly used to protect the Alliance or fight back against the Empire.
  • Must Make Her Laugh: In his supports with Byleth, he often comments on it if he's able to get some emotion from his stoic teacher and is delighted when Byleth smiles for real the first time. He also tend to respond positively when Byleth laughs in their teatimes.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members:
    • In Three Houses, he obviously cannot be poached from the Golden Deer, and will never fight directly alongside Hubert or Jeritza (under any circumstances), Dedue (outside of Chapter 20), Gilbert (outside of Chapter 5), or Edelgard and Dimitri (outside of the tutorial battle or "Cindered Shadows").
    • In Three Hopes, he only fights alongside Edelgard and Dimitri in Chapter 1 and the optional chapter; he can never fight alongside Hubert, Monica, Ferdinand, Caspar, Manuela, Dedue, Felix, Ingrid, Sylvain, Annette, Mercedes, Rodrigue, Seteth, Flayn, or Catherine. However, Mercedes and Jeritza can fight alongside him in the final chapter as NPCs, and the latter also does so in Chapter 2.
  • Mysterious Past: Very little detail about his past is revealed in the game. What little information he does share is vague. His ending cards reveal he is an Almyran prince and a Nintendo Dream interview with the developers revealed that his birth name is Khalid, and he has many half-brothers who bullied him as a child for being half Fódlanese. In Three Hopes, one such half-sibling, his elder brother Shahid is introduced in a particularly antagonistic role.
  • Naïve Animal Lover: In his C support with Shamir, he feels sorry for a spider Shamir killed until she tells him it was a venomous spider that was about to bite him.
  • Natural Spotlight: In Verdant Wind, when Byleth returns to the monastery after the time skip, they find Claude standing in the sunlight while the rest of the building around him is dark.
  • Naturalized Name: An interview revealed Claude is a fake name; his real name is the much more Almyran Khalid, which sounds vaguely similar to Claude. This was hinted during Cindered Shadows when he offhandedly notes that Claude is common enough to make a good fake name. Three Hopes mentions it in game.
  • Nay-Theist:
    • He has very little faith in the gods, preferring to rely on the strength of men. That said, he isn't an outright atheist, though he doesn't believe in Fódlan's goddess (at least not until Byleth fuses with her powers, at which point he admits he can't deny there is something to the goddess). His supports with a few characters like Petra do show he is spiritual, but not religious, and has an appreciation for nature spirits.
    • His main driving ambition is rooted in his main conflict with the Church's teachings. Namely, his overarching goal is to open up Fódlan to the outside world to expand its horizons and expose its people to other cultures and ways of life, in the hope that this will help stop all the petty squabbling and power games that the leaders of Fódlan have engaged in. On the Verdant Wind route, it is stated by Lorenz that Church tenets advocate against open relations with nations outside Fódlan, albeit these tenets are never named or detailed and in the same scene Claude argues that he doesn't think the Church necessarily teaches such things.
  • Nerves of Steel:
    • If you fulfil the requirements to spare him on the Crimson Flower route, after being defeated and cornered, he calmly makes a reasonable argument for why he should be spared. In general, he almost never loses his cool even when he is in danger or suffers setbacks.
    • In Three Hopes, while the events of the story cause him a great deal of stress, during battle he remains calm and carries out his strategies without losing focus, which allows Leicester to hold off invasions from both the Empire and Almyra despite their much larger armies.
  • Neutral No Longer: During the time skip, he keeps the Alliance neutral in the conflict, but after Byleth returns, he always sides against the Flame Emperor. In Verdant Wind, Azure Moon, and Silver Snow, Byleth's return gives him an opportunity to unify the Alliance, but in Crimson Flower, he is forced into the conflict because the Empire invades the Alliance.
  • Never Found the Body: On Silver Snow, the Battle of Gronder Field takes place off-screen, leaving Dimitri dead, Edelgard wounded, and Claude missing. No one knows what happens to Claude after the battle, though it's possible that he retreated and returned to Almyra. A Nintendo Dream interview clarified that, canonically, Claude does survive every route as he prioritizes survival over fighting a battle he can't win, in turn confirming he did indeed live through Gronder Field. In the game itself some characters in the monastery will themselves express skepticism that he died, though in turn that makes them wonder just where he went.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Even if you don't side with him, he goes out of his way to protect innocent civilians. In Crimson Flower, his plan ensures that most of the Alliance is spared from the fighting and in Derdriu, he barricades the civilians away from the port where the fighting is taking place. In Azure Moon, he evacuates Derdriu before making his last stand. However, this is not the case in Three Hopes where some of his schemes do cause risk to civilians, which is something Count Gloucester criticizes him for.
  • The Nicknamer: He calls Byleth "Teach" and calls Edelgard "Princess" before the timeskip. He also calls Dimitri by silly titles like "Your Princeliness" or "Your Royalness", but he does use his actual name sometimes.
  • Nom de Mom: His surname while in Fódlan is this, with his mother, Tiana being Duke Riegan's daughter.
  • Non-Answer: This is how he often answers questions about his background or motivations.
    Claude: Piqued your interest, have I? As luck would have it, I'm pretty curious about you as well. But what's life without a bit of mystery? Let's just spend the next year or so learning about each other, little by little.
  • Noodle Incident: On the Azure Moon route, a soldier at the monastery is wary of trusting Claude because she was taken in by his tricks five years ago and given a long lecture by her unit leader. She never explains what he did.
  • Not a Game: In his supports with Lorenz, Lorenz criticizes him for not taking his position as the future leader of the Leicester Alliance seriously. In the C support, he asks Claude if he realizes the significance of the responsibility he bears, and in the B support, he accuses him of having a "lackadaisical attitude". Claude ends up proving to him that he does take his position seriously and is actually pretty knowledgeable about Alliance politics.
  • Not Hyperbole: In his C support with Cyril, after learning what Cyril's life was like in Almyra, Claude tells him he'll talk to the King of Almyra on his behalf. Cyril just brushes his comment off, but it's quite likely that Claude is being serious since the King of Almyra is his father.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He doesn't pretend to be stupid, but he does pretend not to take things seriously, so other characters are often surprised by how knowledgeable he is. In his support with Hilda, she remarks that he acts so nonchalant about his studies, but he knows so much about politics and history. In his support with Lorenz, Claude shows that he knows more about Alliance politics than even Lorenz does, much to his surprise.
  • Oblivious to Love: In his A+ support with Flayn, he thinks she's joking when she says he should ask her father, Seteth for her hand in marriage even though she keeps asking him about it and refuses to let him change the subject.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: He is frequently found sleeping outside on the ground despite being a noble.
  • Offing the Annoyance: When Acheron appears to reinforce the Empire at the Great Bridge of Myrddin, Claude encourages you to kill him, saying he's nothing but a nuisance.
  • Oh, My Gods!: He uses "gods" as an exclamation sometimes. He's the only character who does this. He is actually from Almyra, but it's never mentioned if Almyra is polytheistic or not. He doesn't believe in gods himself, at the time at least, though.
  • Only Sane Man: In comparison to Edelgard and Dimitri, Claude is rather stable. Post-timeskip, he's the only one of the major faction leaders who doesn't need Byleth to rein in his worst impulses or have lingering trauma that leads him to making morally extreme choices, as outside of the Verdant Wind route, he fights mainly to defend his people. He's also the only one willing to swallow his pride and cut his losses if faced with defeat.
  • ...Or So I Heard: He says this during tea time after describing the symptoms of eating a newly discovered type of poisonous mushroom.
    Claude: By the way, they've discovered a new kind of poison mushroom. When you eat it, your body exudes a mysterious steam! Um, or so I hear...
  • Out-of-Character Moment: During the Battle of Gronder Field on the Azure Moon route, the highly intelligent, perceptive, and least-aggressive of the main lords Claude orders a blind charge onto the foggy battlefield, yelling at his troops to attack anything that's not an Alliance soldier, despite the fact that the Kingdom army is afield as well; this can even result in the deaths of Raphael, Leonie, Ignatz, and Lysithea if they were not recruited into the Blue Lionsnote . If he attacks Dimitri, he even mentions they shouldn't be fighting each other due to to being mutual enemies of Edelgard and the Adrestian Empire. The most likely explanation is that Edelgard had just ordered a vicious attack on his soldiers. Claude winces after looking at the corpses of his fallen soldiers and decides to retaliate, unwilling to allow such an attack to go unanswered. He even mentions in his route that he'll kill if he must to protect the people he cares about. The fact that he attacks Dimitri can be attributed to the fact that in-universe, Dimitri is crazed and his army will die for him, making him a huge threat.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His parents outlive him unless you manage to spare him in Crimson Flower.
  • Parental Favoritism: It's implied by Nader in Three Hopes that Claude's father favors him more than his brother Shahid. Nader notes that the King of Almyra only gave Shahid the green light to invade Fódlan due to the political shakeups in Adrestia and Faerghus and that the king hasn't been himself since Khalid left.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat:
    • While he's friendly toward Lorenz, he noticeably disses him every so often.
    • In his interactions with the other house leaders, Claude is lighthearted and indirect, but notably critical in his teasing of them.
  • Playing Sick: He pretends to be sick several times in his supports with Ingrid to escape her lectures. Ingrid calls him out every time, but doesn't do anything to stop him from leaving.
  • Plea of Personal Necessity: If he is defeated by Byleth or Edelgard in Crimson Flower, he will ask them to let him go, saying they must know why he was able to summon Almyran reinforcements, and it would be better to have him in their debt. The player can choose to spare or kill him.
  • The Pollyanna: He was bullied for being biracial and had multiple assassination attempts against him as a child and eventually ran away from home to Fódlan. Despite this, he remains cheerful and outwardly seems unaffected by his problems. After the time skip, he becomes more serious and subdued, though, overall, he is still fairly positive and upbeat.
  • The Power of Friendship: At the end of Verdant Wind, Nemesis accuses Claude and Byleth of lacking the courage to face him in lone combat. Claude gives him a friendship speech and continues working together with Byleth to defeat him.
    Claude: Yet we have the strength to scale the walls between us... To reach out our hands in friendship so we can open our true hearts to one another! THAT'S HOW WE WIN!!!
  • Power of Trust:
    • On the Azure Moon route, his plan hinges on his prediction that Dimitri and the Kingdom army will come and save him from the Adrestian Empire's invasion of Derdriu after the Battle of Gronder Field. It's an insane and unreasonable gamble to make, but Claude bets it all on him accurately reading Dimitri's true nature and it pays off. Though Claude plays it off by saying it was a gamble and that he had no other options, his decision to entrust Dimitri with Failnaught (his metaphorical and arguably literal "hope") speaks to how much genuine trust he has in his old schoolmate.
      Claude: It was riskier than usual, I'll give you that. But it was the only card I had to play, so I took the gamble.
    • The theme of his Character Development and relationship with Byleth is Claude learning how to trust and be genuine with people. He starts out distrustful and guarded around others, yet also Constantly Curious, and eventually comes to trust Byleth wholeheartedly and believes that Byleth will return no matter what come Part II of the game.
    • It should be noted that Claude trusts in multiple ways. First is trust on a personal level, this is rarest for Claude as it is incredibly difficult for him to let people in (having been backstabbed too many times) and it is pretty much not seen outside of his character development in Verdant Wind where he learns it's okay to let people in. Second is trust in the capability and abilities of other people and trust in his own judgement of others. This is the type of trust Claude has in Dimitri in Azure Moon and the type of trust Claude has in Byleth until towards the end of White Clouds if you choose the Golden Deer, he trusts neither of them (or anyone else) on a personal level, only trusts that he can predict their actions and manipulate them thusly.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: Claude can obtain the Diamond Axe combat art as a budding talent from Axe. It lets him deal 14 additional damage at the cost of 20 less accuracy.
  • Pragmatic Hero:
    • He hates to lose his comrades on the battlefield, so he isn't afraid to resort to dirty tactics like poisoning the enemy before a battle. Notably, in the final battle of his route, Nemesis tries to call him and Byleth weaklings for refusing to face him in a duel, but Claude simply scoffs and works together with his teacher to finish him off.
    • He manipulates others to achieve his goals, though he still cares about them and doesn't want anyone to die. In Verdant Wind, he uses the Knights of Seiros and the fact that Rhea gifted Byleth the Sword of the Creator to rally the people of Fódlan to his cause, despite not believing in the Seiros religion himself.
      Claude: If the professor Rhea entrusted with the Sword of the Creator fights at our side... Well now. That's a just cause anyone could get behind. What's more, here we are, working alongside the legendary Knights of Seiros. It smacks of divine providence, doesn't it? Can you feel it?
    • He is perfectly willing to take advantage of things he doesn't like to further his goals. Though he thinks crests shouldn't determine status, he uses his own crest to gain power in the Leicester Alliance. Even though he thinks the Flame Emperor's war is wrong, he still uses it to gain support for his goal to open up Fódlan to the outside world. Claude is an opportunist, always ready to turn things in his favor.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    "Ready and willing." (Pre-timeskip)
    "At the ready." (Post-timeskip)
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • Academy Phase:
      "My moment has arrived!" (Also used Post-timeskip)
      "Don't hold this against me, okay?"
      "Shall we dance!?"
      "Enough is enough!"
    • War Phase:
      "Hold a grudge if you must!"
      "Strategy in motion!"
      "Leave, now!"
  • Pretender Diss: When a bunch of pirates were disguising themselves as Almyrans, he tells them if they're trying to pose as Almryan, at least act like them.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • He is extremely reluctant to share any information about himself, and in the Cindered Shadows DLC, it's revealed that Count Gloucester is sending people after Claude to get some dirt on him.
    • He occasionally acts very startled when someone approaches him from behind and starts talking to him, such as when Tomas suddenly appears to tell him about the Heroes' Relics in the library, Lorenz interrupts him while he's reciting a poem in their A support, or when Byleth accidentally sneaks up on him while he's researching Macuil in his paralogue. In his B support with Byleth, he reveals that there have been assassination attempts against him in the past. On some routes, there's also an assassin in Abyss who hints that he was after Claude, but missed his chance.
  • Protagonist Powerup Privileges: Only Claude can access the Wyvern Master and Barbarossa classes.
  • Psychological Projection: On the Azure Moon and Crimson Flower routes, he projects his willingness to abandon a cause to save his own life if the tide of battle turns against him onto his subordinates. He is shocked and horrified if (Hilda and Azure Moon Judith)/when (Crimson Flower Judith) his allies lay down their lives in his name.

    R — Z 
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives two brief ones while facing Acheron in battle: One in the "Land of the Golden Deer" paralogue and the other in Chapter 16 of Verdant Wind. In the former, he refers to Acheron as a "good-for-nothing" and is amused that Acheron doesn't recognize him, and in the latter, taunts Acheron about how the Alliance that Acheron had derided as weak was able to burn down his castle.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Though not an overly masculine character, most of Claude's favourite dishes in the Mess Hall are either meat or cheese based.
  • Rebellious Spirit: He doesn't act like a Fódlan noble is expected to and doesn't make any real effort to correct his behavior when this is pointed out to him. He sarcastically asks Lorenz to instruct him in the "art of snobbery" when he criticizes Claude's general demeanor. In his supports with Petra and Leonie, he also says that nobles should be willing to do menial chores. At least some of this is due to how different the expectations of nobility culture is in Almyra, but much of it is his own personality.
  • Recognition Failure: Acheron somehow fails to recognize Claude when they fight each other in Lorenz's paralogue even though he is the future leader of the Alliance.
  • Recurring Boss: In Three Houses, outside his own route he’s fought in Chapters 1 and 7; he’s also a boss in Chapter 14 of Crimson Flower and Chapter 17 of Azure Moon, making for up to three battles against him.
  • Recurring Element:
    • On his own route, he's a peaceful lord archetype in the vein of Marth.
    • On the Crimson Flower route, he is a more heroic take on the Michalis archetype, as his goal is the peace and survival of his country and he's willing to fight dirty. He is even a Dragon Rider like the original, as well as having his own ambitions for the Leicester Alliance that run contrary to Edelgard.
    • In Three Hopes, he becomes a more traditional Michalis as a playable lord on his own route. His ambitions and scheming nature are played up more, and he even aligns himself with the Adrestian Empire to fulfill his goal of dismantling the Central Church, mirroring Michalis's own alliance with Dohlr, and comes into conflict with Dimitri and the Kingdom of Faerghus over it.
  • Red Baron: He's known as the "Master Tactician" post-timeskip. While people feel the title is suitable for someone so sharp and resourceful, Claude regards it as an Embarrassing Nickname.
  • Red Herring:
    • The Golden Deer route goes out of its way to imply that Claude may be the Flame Emperor (as the other routes do with their respective lords); he is nowhere to be found the first two times the Flame Emperor confronts you in person, he's openly critical of the Church, he shows interest in the Sword of the Creator at the same time as the Flame Emperor, and he is seen chatting with a man who's later revealed to be working with said Flame Emperor. Unlike with Dimitri, who gets exonerated not too long into the story, Claude is presented as suspicious for a while. Then he and Byleth are ambushed by the Flame Emperor during the Holy Tomb ceremony, shooting down that theory right before revealing that it was Edelgard all along.
    • Claude's claim of being shiftiness incarnate on top of his reluctance to reveal anything about himself come off as suspicious, but his actual ambitions are anything but malevolent.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Claude often avoids fights he can't win and goes for the least violent method in subduing his enemy. It's the main reason why he declares neutrality in all routes when the war begins as a way to stay out of the fighting and reduce the amount of casualties in the Alliance.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: In the Battle at Gronder on the Azure Moon route, as well in the Battle of Derdriu in Crimson Flower, he has the Flying Effect Null skill, which removes the weakness his Wyvern Master and Barbarossa classes normally have against bows. Meanwhile, in his second appearance in the Azure Moon route he has an Aurora Shield equipped, which serves the same purpose.
  • Reunion Vow: In his S support, he tells Byleth he needs to return to Almyra, but nothing will stop him from coming back, and he won't let Byleth go. He does end up returning and helps Byleth fight off those who slither in the dark and the Imperial remnants.
  • Route Boss: In Three Houses, he’s fought in White Clouds (outside his own path), Crimson Flower, and Azure Moon. In Three Hopes, he’s fought on the Scarlet Blaze route in Chapter 14, if the player made an enemy of Byleth in Chapter 10.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: His status as Leicester Alliance nobility and as the son of the king of Almyra doesn't stop him from fighting alongside an army and investigating the many historical mysteries of Fódlan.
  • Royalty Super Power: As the future leader of House Riegan, he possesses the Minor Crest of Riegan, which sometimes heals him for 30% of the damage he deals while using combat arts and grants him the right to wield Failnaught.
  • The Runaway: He ran away from Almyra because he was treated poorly for being biracial. Fódlan isn't any better, but he still stays there for seven years before finally returning to Almyra unless he is killed in Crimson Flower. Unlike most examples, he did tell his mother where he was going.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: While he's very skilled in areas like archery, tactics, and poison making, he is completely incompetent at washing dishes and breaks all of them when he tries.
  • Sad Clown: He's constantly making jokes and lightening the mood, but in his supports, he admits he's an outsider who's never really fit in in either Fódlan or Almyra.
  • Safety in Indifference: He can come across as cold and uncaring because he is afraid of opening up to others. In his support with Marianne, at first it seems like he just wants to know her secrets, but in the A support, he tells her a bit about his past (which he is normally very secretive about) to help her move past her burdens.
  • Sarcastic Confession: In the Cindered Shadows DLC, he claims that Claude is a popular choice for fake names. Because he is in the process of trying to convince Balthus that he is actually not Claude von Riegan, everyone ignores this and assumes he is just messing around. It turns out that Claude is a fake name, and his real name is Khalid.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • On the Azure Moon route, after rescuing him from Lord Arundel, he leaves the Alliance and Failnaught in Dimitri's capable hands and departs Fódlan.
    • Should he be allowed to live on the Crimson Flower route, he'll run back to say his goodbyes before declaring that he'll be leaving Fódlan forever, which would cause the alliances built under House Riegan to collapse.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: He has the General/Commander skill as an enemy and as an NPC on the Azure Moon and Crimson Flower routes, which he cannot obtain under your command.
  • Secret Art:
    • Fallen Star is Failnaught's combat art, which is exclusive to Claude. It deals 10 extra damage, increases hit by 30 and critical by 10, has 2 to 3 range, and has the effect of allowing him to dodge one attack and is effective against dragons.
    • He can acquire Wind God upon mastering the Barbarossa class. It deals 5 extra damage and increases hit by 20 while having 2 to 5 range. It is exclusive to the Barbarossa.
  • Secret Chaser: He's suspicious of the Church and wants to expose their secrets. He's constantly researching in the library, sneaking into places that are off limits to students, and eavesdropping to try to learn the truth. In the end, Rhea reveals the truth to him, and he does expose it to the people of Fódlan.
  • Secret Identity: He is actually Prince Khalid of Almyra. He never reveals this to anyone, and the player only finds out from his ending cards, though his name was only revealed in an interview with the developers.
  • Secret Test of Character: Claude asks to read Jeralt's diary following his death but follows up by saying he'd sneak into their room to read it anyways and if refused the game repeats the choice essentially railroading the Player into allowing Claude to read the diary. Claude is not after the information in the diary, as he could get that without Byleth's permission. In asking to see their recently decreased father's diary, Claude is testing Byleth's trust in him. And because Verdant Wind hinges upon the trust between Claude and Byleth, the game will only continue if Byleth chooses to trust in Claude.
  • Seeker Archetype: One of his main goals is to uncover the truth about the Church of Seiros and the Hero's Relics. He is often found researching in the library pre-timeskip. After the timeskip, the main reason he agrees to look for Rhea is so he can ask her for answers to the many questions he has.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: On the Crimson Flower route, Claude is pretty sure Edelgard is going to attack the Alliance, and so he decides to scheme with Almyran forces through Nader to have them surprise her forces when they reach him. However, his schemes and his openly known love of them actually make Edelgard target him first, meaning his attempts to be ahead of her in case she attacks, gives her a reason to target him first.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Given his open love for scheming and his self-description as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, it's easy to think he may be hiding his own dark side under a facade of optimism, especially considering Edelgard and Dimitri's turn towards murkier territory after the Time Skip. It ultimately turns out he's the most squeaky clean of the three Lords, and the skeletons in his closet are pretty normal insecurities.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: While his own life was by no means easy, he starts off a bit naive about the hardships commoners face. If he fights Kostas in Chapter 2, he says being noble has nothing to do with how hard your life is. In his C support with Cyril, he is surprised to learn how difficult Cyril's life was in Almyra and apologizes for his ignorance. In the B support, he admits that even though he'd sworn to change the world so those without status are no longer oppressed, he never realized there were people in Almyra in Cyril's situation and thanks Cyril for helping him see that. And as shown by his C support with Leonie, he doesn't even know how to wash dishes.
  • Short Range Guy, Long Range Guy: Forms this dynamic with Byleth near the end of the Verdant Wind route. The final cutscene has Claude teaming up with Byleth to defeat a revived Nemesis.
  • Silly Prayer: When he prays to the goddess during his Goddess Tower event, he speaks in a very exaggerated, sarcastic tone because he doesn't actually believe in the goddess.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: The somewhat more ruthless version of Claude in Three Hopes expresses a downplayed version of this, namely in his rationale for sacrificing the Central Church instead of even thinking of reforming it, and treating Dimitri's desire to try to save everyone as a major point of contention between the two kings. He doesn't hate Dimitri for it, but considers his ideals impossible to mesh with his own, at least in the current conditions the continent finds itself in, and seems quite willing to accept the various consequences that Dimitri warns him will harm himself and his people if the Central Church is discarded.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: While he does encourage Byleth to take more of a leadership role to prepare them to rule Fódlan after he leaves for Almyra, he still leaves them with little preparation. He takes them with him to negotiate with the Alliance lords, and after their successful negotiations, he tells Byleth to have more confidence and use their position to the fullest. In Byleth's A support with Raphael, it's mentioned that Claude had asked Byleth to give a speech to the troops. Even before the time skip, he tells Byleth that part of a leader's job is to keep smiling, so the others in the Golden Deer house can move forward too. However, in Claude's S support, Byleth still feels unprepared to rule Fódlan, though Claude does return to assist them when those who slither in the dark attack Derdriu.
  • Skeptic No Longer: At the beginning of the game he doesn't believe Fódlan's goddess actually exists. After Byleth merges with Sothis and cuts through the sky to escape the realm of darkness Solon sent them to, they tell Claude what happened, and he believes them, accepting that the goddess does exist.
  • The Smart Guy: He is very knowledgeable in many areas and is always trying to learn as much as possible.
    • Despite having only recently arrived in Fódlan from Almyra, he is well versed in Alliance politics and wins an argument with Lorenz because of his greater knowledge. As the leader of the Alliance, he uses his political skills to unify the Alliance using Byleth as a figurehead for the resistance.
    • In addition to his political knowledge, he also spends a lot of time researching the Church's history and the Heroes' Relics and is able see a connection between the Relics and the Immaculate One.
    • He's also the main strategist for the army in Verdant Wind and uses tactics such as drawing Gloucester's troops away to launch a sneak attack on the Bridge of Myrddin. He also uses Hilda's suggestion to use disguises to infiltrate Fort Merceus and expands on it by having Ignatz deliver a letter to the Fort to expect reinforcements and has a separate group of Alliance soldiers pretend to attack the disguised troops, so the Empire soldiers panic and let them in without examining them closely.
  • Smart People Play Chess: One of his liked gifts is a board game that's appreciated by people who enjoy tactical thinking, and one of his lost items is a board game piece.
  • The Social Expert:
    • In Three Houses, he manages to stay out of the war and avoids antagonizing either the Empire or the Kingdom for five years. Even when facing him at Gronder Field, both Edelgard and Dimitri are reluctant to fight him: Edelgard merely asks him to leave, and Dimitri, despite earlier calling for his men to kill everyone present, only tells him to move out of the way. In Three Hopes, he gets involved in the war a lot sooner, but he can side with either the Empire or the Kingdom depending on the circumstances.
    • During the time skip, he keeps the Alliance from splitting apart by acting as an intermediary between both the pro- and anti-Empire factions, giving the Alliance an outward appearance of unity. On Verdant Wind, after seeing how much Byleth wants to find Rhea, he gets them to agree to help him by telling them they'll have an easier time finding her with the Alliance's resources. He then takes advantage of their position in the Church to manipulate the Alliance lords and the people of the Alliance into supporting his fight against the Empire, even though neither he nor Byleth truly believes in the Seiros faith. On Crimson Flower, he can convince Byleth and Edelgard to spare him by telling Edelgard that he'll be more useful to her alive and in her debt than dead and hints at his true identity. On Azure Moon, he simply asks Dimitri for his help to repel the enemy from Derdriu since he knows Dimitri is very selfless and doesn't need much persuasion.
    • On Verdant Wind, he easily gets the Knights of Seiros to clean up the monastery by telling them Rhea would feel unsafe returning there while it's in ruins. Hilda also joins in, scolding the Knights for leaving it in such a state. Upon hearing this, everyone immediately agrees to help clean up, allowing Claude to use the monastery as a base.
    • On Golden Wildfire, he keeps the people of the Federation calm after he enters into a pact with the Empire and declares war on the Central Church by having Judith work with the Eastern Church's bishop to continue services like normal as if nothing is happening. Because there is no disruption to their daily lives, there is no unrest among the people after the declaration of war.
  • So Crazy, It Must Be True: He believes Byleth when they tell him the goddess has been living in their mind their whole life and they were sleeping for five years after falling off a cliff. Both times, he says Byleth's story is hard to believe, but he can tell from the look on their face that they're not lying.
  • Sole Survivor
    • Despite the overall positive tone of his own route, he's the only faction leader who will survive to the end, as Edelgard is fought as a Climax Boss, while Dimitri dies offscreen.
    • While the other faction leaders are either the sole survivors or close to it among their families, this is played with for Claude: When the war begins, his grandfather passes away, leaving him as the only member of House Riegan left, but only in writing. His mother, Tiana, is alive, but threw away her claims to the title well before he was born. Not only does Claude have both parents and half-siblings (according to an interview, in regards to the latter) alive, but it's possible for Claude's parents to outlive him if you opt to kill him on the Crimson Flower route.
  • Spanner in the Works: Him showing up out of nowhere and being named the heir to the leader of the Alliance screws up the plans those who slither in the dark had for the Alliance after conspiring to kill Godfrey von Riegan.
  • Stealth Expert: He is very good at getting into places where students aren't allowed such as the Sealed Forest or the Holy Mausoleum and doesn't ever seem to get caught. He sometimes even casually mentions things he saw while snooping around those areas.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: If he is spared in the Crimson Flower route, he suddenly appears behind Edelgard and Byleth to tell them he's leaving Fódlan. Edelgard points out that he somehow managed to evade detection by her soldiers.
  • Stepford Smiler: Byleth notes in their first impressions that Claude always has a smile on, but that smile doesn't always reach his eyes.
  • The Strategist: While Byleth takes command during battle, Claude is responsible for the overall war strategy in Verdant Wind. Despite the Alliance's internal division and lack of troops compared to the Flame Emperor, he still manages to lead it to victory.
  • Street Smart: He can often see through other people's deceptions and is quite good at deceiving others himself. Only Balthus ever manages to figure out that he's Almyran and no one ever figures out that he's a prince. However, Claude can immediately tell when someone is hiding something. He is also very good at improvising and taking advantage of the current situation and uses Byleth's return after the time skip to his advantage in multiple routes.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Though he has a fairly slender build and normally favors archery over melee combat, he is shown knocking out two soldiers at once with a single swing of his sword when defending Garreg Mach from the Flame Emperor's assault.
  • Suddenly Shouting: After rescuing Rhea, he tries asking her several times for anything she might know about those who slither in the dark. When she doesn't answer, he finally yells at her, telling her that the time for secrets has passed.
  • Superboss: He is one of the three bosses of the second New Game Plus-exclusive paralogue "Eagles, Lions, and Deer" in Warriors: Three Hopes, fighting you alongside fellow house leaders Edelgard and Dimitri. He is one and a half times the player's level cap on Maddening and gets more and more fired up as the fight progresses.
  • Supporting Leader: On the Azure Gleam route in Warriors: Three Hopes, he leads the Alliance forces who aid Dimitri against the increasingly corrupt Empire during the back half of the game.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When he gives you the quest to find out more about Abyss, he randomly says he wasn't eavesdropping when he heard about it.
    Claude: Hey, have you heard of Abyss? I was absolutely not eavesdropping on someone else when I heard the name, and I have to believe there's an interesting story there!
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • He says he believes Edelgard is hoping to achieve something very similar to what he is, but her methods require too much bloodshed. When they fight each other in Enbarr, he tells her he'll finish the job for her. Notably he also offers her mercy if she is knocked to low health, saying he doesn't want to kill her and basically pleading with her to surrender, only for her to reply that she believes she must kill him.
    • Even though he previously implied Fódlan would be better off if Rhea were dead, he sympathizes with her after learning that the Relics were made from the bones of her brethren, and they were used to slaughter her people. In his supports with Cyril he even reconsiders if he really needs to make an enemy of Rhea after learning more about her from Cyril.
  • Take Over the World: Discussed and downplayed on the Crimson Flower route if spared, as Claude mentions to to Edelgard his initial plan was to claim Fódlan for himself in the case he had successfully defeated the Empire in Derdriu.
  • Talking Your Way Out: On the Crimson Flower route, if he is defeated by Byleth or Edelgard, he can convince them to spare him and let him return to Almyra, though the choice is ultimately up to the player.
  • Talks like a Simile: He has a tendency to use metaphors, especially animal metaphors. He frequently compares himself and his classmates to deer, compares Ignatz to a "kitten without any yarn" and says Edelgard looks "pleased as a dog with a stick" after she declares war against the Church and attacks the monastery. He also uses quite a few animal metaphors in his A support with Lorenz. In addition, he uses many other metaphors like comparing Byleth's mind to a giant bowl with a tiny crack in the bottom or comparing Fódlan's Locket to a lid on a bottle. In his battle dialogue with Hubert in Enbarr, they try to one up each other with ridiculous metaphors until Hubert eventually gets fed up and ends the conversation.
  • Tareme Eyes: The outside corners of his eyes have a noticable downturn, which is especially obvious in his in-game portraits. He is more laid back and easygoing compared to the other two lords.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Moon Arcana represented by the crest of Riegan. Claude carries the same mysterious air that is commonly associated with the Moon Arcana and it can represent deception and hidden things, as well as intuition. Fittingly, Claude carefully hides the fact that he is the prince of Almyra throughout the majority of the game, while he uses his intuition to guess at what others are doing and hinges his chances on those possibilities. The reverse meaning of the Moon Arcana includes letting go of fears and subsiding anxiety, while obtaining the truth as lies are exposed. This is reflected positively through Claude's journey on Verdant Wind, where he lets go of his past anxieties and fears that subconsciously influenced him as he finds a life long friend in Byleth, gaining new confidence, while unveiling the truths that were hidden about the continent's history. On non-Verdant Wind routes, he reflects blocked intuition that is also associated with the reverse position, he bets on the Almyran army being enough to repel Edelgard, that Byleth will moderate Edelgard on Crimson Flower and not kill him, and in the Battle at Gronder on Silver Snow and Azure Moon that he will win. But he misjudges and can lose his friends and allies who could have helped him exert influence in Fódlan later, decimate his forces, lose Derdriu and the Alliance, and even lose his life.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In Fire Emblem Heroes, on his status page, Legendary Claude will sometimes say he wants to know more about you...only to hurriedly clarify that he did not mean it in a creepy way.
  • Thought They Knew Already: He almost reveals that he's an Almyran prince to Cyril because he thinks he knows already. He doesn't actually seem to realize Cyril doesn't recognize him because he thanks him for turning a blind eye to him.
  • Too Clever by Half: On the Crimson Flower route Claude banks his survival during the Alliance Army's final stand on the possibility that Byleth will be enough of a positive influence on Edelgard that she/they won't kill him. Since this decision is a player's choice, not Edelgard's, it comes back to bite him in the ass if the player decides he's far too dangerous to risk allowing to live, or ignorantly sends someone other than the two of them to defeat him, without knowing sparing him was an option.
  • Took a Level in Badass: At the beginning of the game, he abandons Edelgard and Dimitri and runs away when the group is attacked by bandits. At the end of Verdant Wind, however, he charges straight at Nemesis, putting himself at great risk to give Byleth the opening they need to defeat him.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: During the first half of the game, he can be quite inconsiderate, asking nosy questions that make others uncomfortable. He also acts a bit bratty when he doesn't get his way such as when he questions Byleth about the Crest of Flames and the Sword of the Creator. After the time skip, he is far more considerate, even giving people the chance to leave his army if they no longer want to fight (though no one actually takes him up on this). Though he is still curious, he is far more patient in his questioning. After rescuing Rhea, he gives her time to rest and patiently hears her out in complete contrast to the way he questioned Byleth about their crest.
  • Tough Love: His parents raised him this way. They believed he wouldn't grow stronger unless he fought his own battles. Though this apparently included surviving multiple assassination attempts... Unfortunately, this leads to him having severe trust issues since he feels he can't rely on anyone but himself.
  • Tragic Keepsake: He has a pendant that once belonged to his uncle, who was assassinated. When Marianne returns it to him after he misplaces it, he's very relieved, since it's extremely important to his grandfather, and he would be extremely upset if Claude actually lost it.
  • Tranquil Fury: During the post-timeskip Battle at Gronder, Claude is furious at his solders being killed before him. Instead of smiling when ordering his army to attack pre-timeskip, he sounds the signal with a grim look on his face.
  • The Trickster: He questions the Church's authority and seeks to disrupt the status quo by reducing the influence of the Church's teachings in Fódlan. He expresses rather unconventional views, encouraging others to think differently from what they're used to. He relies on manipulation to make up for a lack of military strength, using the Church's support of him to gain the support of the other Alliance lords, despite not actually believing in the Church's religion himself. In his search for the truth, he uncovers the true history of Fódlan, which has been hidden for 1000 years, and reveals it to the people of Fódlan.
  • Tritagonist: In Part I if Byleth chose to instruct the Golden Deer, he's the ostensible leader of the students you're teaching, but Byleth has more screentime and Byleth and Sothis have more character development. He takes over as the protagonist in Part II as his ambitions rise to prominence.
  • Try Not to Die: He absolutely does not want anyone under his command to die for him or his cause and often tells them to retreat if they're in trouble. When Judith says she won't let the Empire pass over the Bridge of Myrddin even if it costs her her life, he tells her she's not allowed to die. If she dies defending Derdriu in Azure Moon, he becomes upset and says he had told her not to die. In Crimson Flower, he reveals he had instructed Lysithea and Hilda to retreat if they are outmatched, and surrender and join the Empire if he is defeated. Lysithea can indeed do this, but unless Hilda is avoided, she chooses not to, and he's heartbroken by her defeat.
  • Uncertain Doom: On the Silver Snow route, he goes missing in action after the Battle at Gronder and his final fate is left ambiguous. His general personality and an interview with the developers both strongly suggest he survived and fled back to Almyra.
  • Underequipped Charge: In Three Houses, when fighting Nemesis, he charges directly at him with only a bow. This is actually a ploy to distract Nemesis from the arrow he had just fired into the air. The arrow comes down on Nemesis's arm, giving Byleth the chance to finish him off.
  • Underhanded Hero: After the timeskip, the Alliance is divided due to infighting, so Claude has to rely on trickery and manipulation to defeat the Flame Emperor. To take back the Bridge of Myrddin and unify the Alliance, he has his retainer Nardel lure Count Gloucester's troops away, so he can launch a sneak attack on the bridge. He also takes advantage of Byleth's status as Rhea's successor to bolster his army with the Church's forces and persuade the Alliance lords to provide him with troops and supplies. He acknowledges that he's using Byleth to deceive followers of the Seiros faith but justifies it by claiming it's what Rhea would have wanted.
    Claude: I realize that you might feel guilty about deceiving the believers for our cause... But this is just what the archbishop wanted, and she's the highest authority in the church.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In Three Hopes if you pick the Golden Deer, Arval expresses this view of Claude after he comes to ask Shez for help in the upcoming war, as despite his promise to help them out at the end of the prologue as fellow outsiders, the last two years were a bit hard for Shez due to the Alliance's relative peace meaning a lack of merc jobs. Claude maintains his offer to give Shez a commanding position in the army is him keeping his promise.
    Arval: Oh, he "had a feeling", did he? Where were those feelings while we were left high and dry these last two years?
  • Unscrupulous Hero: He becomes this in Three Hopes. While still considerably more ruthless and willing to bloody his hands than he was in Three Houses, he doesn't discard his morals entirely and still has lines he refuses to cross.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Has the proclivity to do this when he's your chosen House leader, and especially if he wins the White Heron Cup.
    Claude: Ah, what a burden to be great at everything.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one ever comments on his unusual pre timeskip hairstyle. His post timeskip outfit also seems like it could give away his origins, but nobody ever comments on it either.
  • The Upper Crass: He is more casual and less polite than most other nobles, which Lorenz and Ingrid criticize him for. In his support with Ingrid, he does try to act more like a Fódlan noble before deciding it just isn't him and reverting back to his usual self.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Inverted, unlike the other two Lords, as according to Claude he was "quite a little brat" when he was a little boy. However, he grew up to be the most moral and emotionally stable house leader.
  • The Voice: Downplayed on the Silver Snow route. While Claude's post-timeskip appearance is shown at the start of Part II, he never makes a physical appearance in the route proper, communicating instead with the party via letters narrated with his voice.
  • The Von Trope Family: Von Riegan.
  • Warrior Prince: He is a prince of Almyra, a country which values martial prowess, and he takes part in battle just like the rest of the characters.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Among the Lords, Claude has the lowest Strength growth, and his overall bulk is lower than the others, making him less powerful by comparison. However, he has one of the best Dexterity growths in the game, with a good Speed and Luck growth to go along that. Combined with his focus on bows, Claude isn't as strong as the others, but he makes up with it with his high chance of hitting and doubling the enemy. His unique classes also help out by bumping his Strength growth too, so he'll still hit hard.
  • Weapon Twirling: A variation; his idle animation shows him twirling an arrow.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Out of all the routes, his is probably the craziest. In it, he encounters Byleth and all their weirdness, tungsten rods stamped with a modified UN logo launched from orbit, a secret futuristic cyberpunk underground city full of Tron Lines defended by giant mechs, a 1000 year long conspiracy of mole people plotting to take over the surface and manipulating events from the shadows, three separate giant talking beasts (Indech, Macuil, and Maurice) if you do all of the paralogues, and an army of zombies recently released from their cryostasis pods in the form of Nemesis and the 10 Elites, who have been dead for 1000 years. He also finds out that the Church has been ruled by the same few individuals since its founding 1000 years ago, and watches Rhea turn into a dragon and learns that she is actually Saint Seiros and that the Relics and creststones are made from the bones and hearts of her family. And as Seteth and Flayn auto recruit in Verdant Wind, he's the only lord to potentially meet all the Saints.
  • What a Drag: In his B support with Hilda, he says his father used to tie him to a horse and drag him around. He reassures Hilda that it's not as bad as it sounds because there's a trick to it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the Silver Snow route, after the Battle of Gronder Field, he is stated to have gone missing and no further elaboration is given on his whereabouts or status for the rest of the story, unlike Dimitri, who gets a Dead Person Conversation with Byleth. Word of God confirms he survived.
  • What the Hell, Player?: After the Remire Village mission, he tries to ask Flayn some questions, but she manages to escape. If you choose to say "we can't go easy on her", you lose support points with Claude, and he tells Byleth to settle down.
  • When He Smiles: Discussed in his A-rank support with Hilda. Hilda notes that Claude's smiles are never genuine, and the handful of times that they are, it's mostly around Byleth.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Discussed. He wonders why those who slither in the dark haven't just dropped the javelins of light on the monastery. Rhea explains that the Sothis's tomb's shielding covers the area.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: When he first came to Fódlan, he was hoping to find a new perspective, but he was shocked to discover that the people there were just as racist as in Almyra. After seeing this, he decided he needed to bring the two countries together by breaking the walls between them. In Three Hopes, however, Claude sheds off much of his idealism in order to make his ambitions real.
  • Wild Card: In Three Hopes, he can side with either the Empire or the Kingdom depending on the circumstances, but he really only cares about protecting Leicester and achieving his ambition. He is entirely willing to betray his allies if he believes it will benefit Leicester.
  • The Wise Prince: Becomes an example of this after the timeskip. It is apparent the war has taken its toll on him, and he takes things more seriously than he used to. He is reluctant to fight and tries to keep the Alliance out of the war as long as possible. On the Azure Moon and Crimson Flower routes, he always prioritizes the safety of his people over his ambition to open the border between Fódlan and Almyra. It also turns out that he is actually a prince of Almyra.
  • Withholding Their Name: The Cindered Shadows DLC sidestory suggests that Claude might not be his real name. Word of God confirms that this is the case and that his name is Khalid.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: During the Battle at Gronder in Part II, he remarks that this has got to be the worst Class Reunion in history. And considering said battle is no longer mock battle and a real, kill-or-be-killed situation, fighting against your former classmates...
  • Worthy Opponent: In the Crimson Flower route, after his defeat in Derdriu Hubert has nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for Claude's brilliant Xanatos Gambit and his skills as The Strategist. Even before, both he and Edelgard only speak of Claude's accomplishments with notable if grudging respect and treat him as a VERY dangerous and capable opponent. All in all, Claude is treated as one of Edelgard's most capable opponents and the fact that his defeat boosts the morale of The Empire's troops like it does speaks volumes of how powerful Claude is considered.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: He sneaks his soldiers into Fort Merceus by disguising them as Imperial troops and having a separate group of Alliance soldiers pretend to attack them. The troops in the fort panic and let the disguised troops in before the Death Knight can stop them.
  • Xanatos Gambit: On the Crimson Flower route. He lures the Imperial army with Edelgard at its head to the Alliance capital of Derdriu with the intention of facing her in a climactic winner-takes-all battle. Either he kills Edelgard and neutralizes the Empire as a threat in one move, or he brings an end to the conflict with the minimum amount of damage done to the Alliance and puts the Alliance under the governance of a woman whose intentions he basically trusts.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He is a skilled opportunist who takes advantage of other people's plans as well as adjusting his own plans when things go wrong. When he is unable to receive reinforcements from the Alliance in time to capture Fort Merceus, he instead gets the Almyrans to help him, which also has the benefit of improving Fódlan's opinion of Almyra. On other routes, even when he is defeated, he can still adjust his plans to escape with his life, allowing him to continue pursuing his goals in the future.
  • You Can Talk?: He is shocked when the Wind Caller starts talking since he assumed it was just a beast.
    Claude: Agh! It speaks! What is it?!
  • You Can Turn Back:
    • After the Battle of Gronder Field, he tells everyone that the journey into enemy territory will be difficult, and he can't guarantee they'll make it out alive. He offers everyone a chance to back out. The Golden Deer and the Knights of Seiros all say they will keep on fighting to which Claude says it's an honor to fight alongside them.
    • Before the final battle in Verdant Wind, he asks the rest of the Golden Deer if they'll be joining him and Byleth, warning them that there's no proof they'll win. Everyone confirms they'll continue fighting. Ignatz even tells Claude he shouldn't need to ask them anymore since he knows they're with him.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!:
    • On his route, his reaction to finding out Edelgard is the Flame Emperor is to ask if it's some kind of sick joke, though in a much less dramatic way than Dimitri does.
    • This is also his reaction when Rhea spills the beans about the true history of Fódlan, especially about how she's Saint Seiros herself, in the flesh.
  • You Just Told Me: In his A+ support with Flayn, he guesses that Seteth is Flayn's father rather than her brother. Her reaction all but confirms it since she doesn't deny it and instead asks how he can be so sure.
  • You Monster!: He says this exact phrase to Solon if he kills all the villagers in Remire.
    Claude: You monster! We could have saved them!
  • You Remind Me of X: Claude gets told this almost verbatim in his support with Ingrid. She explains that the reason she has a tendency to act hostile towards him is because of how much she reminds her of a certain other classmate she grew up with. She doesn't drop the name, but she's pretty blatantly referring to Sylvain. Just the same, she apologizes to Claude knowing this doesn't justify her hostility towards him.
  • You're Insane!: If he fights the Death Knight in his version of Chapter 18, he snidely calls him antisocial and unhinged.
  • Young and in Charge: During the timeskip, his grandfather passes away, and he becomes the leader of the Alliance. He is the youngest of the five lords of the Alliance Roundtable.