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Characters / Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Claude

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Claude von Riegan/Khalid von Riegan

Nationality: Leicester Alliance

House: Golden Deer

Class: Noble → Lord → Wyvern Rider/Sniper → Wyvern Master → Barbarossa

Age: 17 (7/24)

Crest: Riegan (Minor)

Height: 175 cm

Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese), Joe Zieja (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/feth_claude_1.png
Post-Timeskip 
Click here to see Claude in Fire Emblem Heroes 
King of Unification/The Schemer
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"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.


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    # — E 
  • Abdicate the Throne: In all of his endings, and other routes in which he is spared, he steps down from leadership of the Leicester Alliance.
  • The Ace: Claude is charming, fiercely powerful in combat, resourceful, and a brilliant tactician (to the point where people have taken to calling him a "Master Tactician" after the time skip).
  • 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: When cornered by Edelgard on the Crimson Flower route, he attempts to negotiate with her, 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 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.
  • Ambiguous Situation: On the Silver Snow route, he is not counted among the dead after the Battle of Gronder Field, but is MIA. Given that he knows how to bail when shit hits the fan, he's more likely to have retreated to Alymra after the battle on Gronder Field, considering that Almyra is where he usually goes on routes if 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 bails him out during 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 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.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Claude expresses great frustration with having to face his former classmates in battle. He also apologizes to those he kills in combat.
  • The Archer: He starts out wielding bows and has a high proficiency for them, and even after he promotes into wyvern-riding classes, keeps using them as his main weapon.
  • 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 Empire 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.
  • Babies Ever After: In his ending with Ingrid.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: One of his unlockable accessories for his War outfit is a yellow bandanna wrapped around his head.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
    Claude: Oh, how innocent - how naive - these two seem next to me, shiftiness incarnate!
  • 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.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • 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.
    • During the "Cindered Shadows" DLC, he hits it off with Yuri due to their shared secretive natures.
  • Blow You Away: Most of the magic he learns if his Reason skill is leveled is wind-based.
  • 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 he carefully hides the fact from all but his closest friends that he's heir to the throne of Almyra on his father's side, due to the mutual dislike the people of Fódlan and Almyra seem to have for each other.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Switches to a sword for melee range in cutscenes. His crest is also the only one tied to two weapons, being Failnaught and the Sword of Begalta.
  • 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, 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, uniting the two kingdoms as one.
    • 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 surprisingly becomes one post-timeskip on the Verdant Wind route. Judith and Nader often embarrass him on multiple occasions.
  • 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.
  • Character Death: Unlike Edelgard and Dimitri, Claude is extremely difficult to kill; 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.
  • The Charmer: He definitely relies more heavily on diplomacy and people-skills than the other two house leaders.
  • Character Development: Not as big as the Character Development Dimitri and Edelgard has, 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 blood relation of Almyra) 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).
  • 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.
  • Child of Two Worlds: As a result of being the child of Tiana Von Reigan 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 does survive in the Crimson Flower and Silver Snow routes) in order to claim the Almyra throne, and his S-Rank support with Byleth could indicate 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.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: He enjoys teasing and flirting with girls, though as Ingrid notes in their supports, he is still nice to them, unlike Sylvain.
  • Climax Boss:
    • On the Crimson Flower route, he must be defeated in Derdriu in order for the Alliance to be annexed into the Adrestian Empire.
    • On the Azure Moon route, he is fought in Chapter 17 during the second battle at Gronder Field.
  • 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 (though this is implied to happen on the Silver Snow route to some extent as well).
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's easily the snarkiest of the 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.
  • Deuteragonist: 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 character development. The two switch off in Part II as his ambitions rise to prominence.
  • 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.
  • Dragon Rider: His special class promotions enable him to ride on the back of a wyvern while still allowing him to specialize in archery.
  • 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.
  • Experience Booster: His personal skill, Leicester Lineage, grants him an additional 20% experience gained after combat.

    F — O 
  • Face Death with Dignity: If the player chooses to kill him 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.
  • 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 tries to play it cool and out gambit the other armies, but he ends up underestimating the Kingdom and Empire, and winds up badly losing. The Crimson Flower route plays with this, with Edelgard specifically going after him and the Alliance first, while giving a logical justification that makes it sound like it was Claude's schemes that resulted in it, two of her supports make clear unifying the continent under her rule was always the goal, and thus he was justified to be preparing for her. 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 for his schemes of course and he usually ends up making military moves using neutrality as a basis to trick his enemies. This backfires in the routes that aren't his own however, because his attempts to stay neutral fracture the Alliance, leaving it unable to fully unite against the Empire when they inevitably do invade. In all the routes but his own, the lack of unity and his attempts to keep it relatively neutral mean that it falls without much trouble.
  • 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.
  • Foil: To Edelgard. 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. Unlike her, however, he is not particularly keen on using violence or brute force to get his way if he doesn’t have to; 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. In their interactions with each other, Claude is lighthearted and indirect, while Edelgard is direct, serious and no-nonsense.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Early in the prologue, 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 chapter while Edelgard decides to take Claude out of the picture because it's more advantageous to the army strategically.
    • 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 Fodlan'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 lived in Fodlan 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 Fodlan-born classmates have gone through.
    • 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.
  • Fragile Speedster: He has very high Dexterity and Speed, but his Strength is only average, and his Defense and Resistance are both pretty low.
  • 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 also 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Good Parents: Both of Claude's parents are alive and supportive of him despite having some questionable parenting moments.
  • Graceful Loser: If spared on the Crimson Flower route, he takes his defeat surprisingly well, surrendering governance of his country to Edelgard without any further resistance and willingly going into self-exile from Fódlan.
  • 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.
  • 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 also share this dynamic with Female Byleth whose main weapon is a sword.
  • Halfbreed 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 Alymra. 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 Alymra when he gets older.
  • Hero Antagonist: Post-timeskip on all routes but his own, he's only an antagonist because his loyalty to his home has him refuse to let himself stand by and let it be attacked. 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 Alymra.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: His Weapon of Choice 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 Crimson Flower and Azure Moon 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 Empire or a Hero Antagonist trying to protect his home from said Empire, but it's repeatedly noted that nobody has any clue what his long-term goals are and he never really clarifies the matter.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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 Cyril (who is himself Almyran), Petra (the Princess of Brigid), and Byleth 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.
  • 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, and Lorenz.
  • Horse Archer: In Heroes, he 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.
  • Hypocrite: Claude loves to dig up peoples pasts and find the truth, but he is very hesitant to allow people to do the same about his own past. In his supports with Balthus, when Balthus begins probing him and starts to get Claude to reveal more about himself by accident, Claude gets annoyed despite the fact he was doing it to Balthus at first. 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.
  • Implied Love Interest: As is with the other lords, he's this for female Byleth in Verdant Wind. But this is downplayed compared to Dimitri and Edelgard. As Claude's a bit more well-adjusted compared to the other two Byleth doesn't become a Morality Pet to him. That said, like the other two lords he does have more than a few scenes outside of supports highlighting their friendship.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Instant Expert: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 a shameless schemer and manipulator, but given the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder common in his homeland, 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. Even on routes other than Verdant Wind, where he lacks Byleth as a Morality Pet, he is still the most open to compromise and is the only lord who can surrender peacefully, let alone survive every route. And compared to what Edelgard and Dimitri end up becoming, Claude seems perfectly lovable.
  • The Kirk: Of the main three lords, he shares the level-headedness of Edelgard and holds the belief of strong camaraderie like Dimitri, using pragmatism and tricks to protect his comrades and avoid unnecessary casualties in battle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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, also means "little king."
    • His true name, Khalid, means "eternal" in arabic, fitting for the only one of the three house leaders capable of surviving in all routes. Incidentally, this also means that his personal battallion, Immortal Corps, is named after him.
  • Mellow Fellow: The charming and easy-going lord that tries to lay back and take it easy, and hides his scheming nature.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Why he's noticeably darker-skinned than most of the other characters in the cast. He's the son of an Almyran father and a Fódlanese mother, the latter being the sister of the now-deceased Godfrey von Riegan, who was expected to lead the Leicester Alliance before his untimely death.
  • 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.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: 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").
  • Naturalized Name: An interview revealed Claude is a fake name, his real name is the much more Almyran Khalid, which Claude is close too. This was hinted during Cindered Shadows when he offhandedly noted that Claude is common enough to make a good fake name.
  • 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, or rather that closer relations with other nations don't have to go against Church teachings. Overall Claude blames Fódlan culture for their isolation more than he blames the Church.
  • Never Found the Body: On the Silver Snow route, the Battle of Gronder Field takes place off-screen, leaving Dimitri dead, Edelgard wounded, and Claude MIA. No one knows what happens to Claude after the battle, though it's possible that he retreated and returned to Almyra.
  • Nom de Mom: His naturalized surname is this, with his mother, Tiana being Duke Riegan's daughter.
  • Only Sane Man: In comparison to Edelgard and Dimitri, Claude is rather stable. Post-timeskip, he's the only one of the four 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's only interested in protecting his people. He's also the only one willing to swallow his pride and cut his losses if faced with defeat.
  • 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. 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 is extremely loyal to him, making him a huge threat.

    P — Z 
  • 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.
  • Power of Trust:
    • On the Azure Moon route, his plan hinges on his belief 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    "Ready and willing." (Pre-timeskip)
    "At the ready." (Post-timeskip)
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    "My moment has arrived!"
    "Don't hold this against me, okay?" (Pre-timeskip)
    "Shall we dance!?" (Pre-timeskip)
    "Enough is enough!" (Pre-timeskip)
    "Hold a grudge if you must!" (Post-timeskip)
    "Strategy in motion!" (Post-timeskip)
    "Leave, now!" (Post-timeskip)
  • Precision F-Strike: He calls the final boss of his route "a crusty old bastard".
  • 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.
  • Protagonist Powerup Privileges: Only Claude can access the Wyvern Master and Barbarossa classes.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight:
    • Downplayed in Part I. Claude, who has usually expressed mild curiosity about Byleth's past and abilities, gives an annoyed rant to his teacher after they respond with genuine uncertainty about why they have the Crest of Flames, before leaving in a huff. He's calmed down by their next meeting, but it's clear that Claude is frustrated by Byleth's obliviousness or dishonesty.
    • Played straight in Verdant Wind. Rhea's continued hesitance to reveal everything she knows tests Claude past the point of mincing words and he straight-up demands she tells him and Byleth everything.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Apart from being a member of House Riegan and heir to leadership of the Leicester Alliance, he is also the son of the king of Almyra, and thus in the line of succession to its throne as well.
  • "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.
  • 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. Even in non-Crimson Flower routes, his ambition to align his home country of Almyra with Fódlan mirrors Michalis's goal to align Macedon with Dolhr.
  • 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: On his route there are a few warning signs he might be the Flame Emperor; he is conspicuously nowhere to be found the first two times the Flame Emperor confronts you in person, he shows interest in the Sword of the Creator right when the Flame Emperor states they require more information about it, and he is seen having a friendly conversation with a man who's revealed later to be working with said Flame Emperor. Then Byleth and he are ambushed by the Flame Emperor during the Holy Tomb ceremony, and that quickly shoots down that idea.
  • 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 Edelgard starts the war as a way to stay out of the fighting and reduce the amount of casualties in the Alliance.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: On the Second Battle at Gronder Field in the Azure Moon route, as well in the imperial invasion of Derdriu on the Crimson Flower route, 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.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: His status as Leicester Alliance nobility and the heir 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.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: He has the General/Commander skill as an enemy and as an NPC on the Azure Moon route, which he cannot obtain under your command.
  • 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 aren't nearly as disturbing as those of his fellow leaders.
  • Sole Survivor: If Rhea actually did die at at the end of Verdant Wind, then Claude is the only faction leader to make it out alive. Claude can pretty much live in every route.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Flame Emperor's plan was to get the lords (really just Claude and Dimitri) killed in the bandit attack at the beginning of the game. Claude ruins it simply by running away; Dimitri and Edelgard follow him, and all three bump into Jeralt and Byleth.
  • Stepford Smiler: Byleth notes in their first impressions that Claude always has a smile on, but that smile doesn't always reach his eyes.
  • Take Over the World:
    • He has this as his aspirations. Well, sort of. His main goal is to open up Fódlan’s borders to other cultures and other ways of thinking. He tells Edelgard after she reveals her true plans that his initial plan was to unite Fódlan himself under his own rule, but in every route, he is satisfied even if others achieve his dream of a united Fódlan.
    • On the Verdant Wind route, he succeeds at uniting the continent, but he leaves Fódlan in Byleth’s care while he goes to take over the Almyran throne. He is thus the only lord that doesn't end up ruling a united Fódlan in the end, unless he is S-ranked with a female Byleth, where it is revealed he returned to Fódlan as the King of Almyra, arriving just in time to defeat an army of Imperial remnants and "those that slither in the dark" that was besieging Fódlan's capital, and is implied to have married Byleth afterwards, uniting the two kingdoms as one.
  • 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 long time 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, and the bets he makes on the Almyran army aiding Leicester and the chance of being killed afterwards by Edelgard/Byleth on Crimson Flower, and the Battle at Gronder between the three nations on Azure Moon and Silver Snow have him fail at properly using his sixth sense.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of the three lord characters, he's far and away the most moral from beginning to end.
  • 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 an enraged look instead.
  • Uncertain Doom: On the Silver Snow route, he vanishes after the Battle of Gronder Field, leaving his status unknown.
  • 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 Von Trope Family: Von Riegan.
  • The Voice: Donwplayed on the Silver Snow route. While Claude's post-timeskip appereance is shown at the start of Part II, he never makes a physical appereance in the route proper, communicating instead with the party via letters narrated with his voice.
  • Weapon of Choice: He's the first Fire Emblem main character to use bows as his main weapon type, if you don't count Takumi as a main character. (Alm and Lyn gain bows as a secondary weapon type after promotion.) His House also has a lot of archers.
  • Weapon Twirling: A variation; his idle animation shows him twirling an arrow.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, especially about how she's Saint Seiros herself, in the flesh.
  • You're Insane!: If he fights the Death Knight in his version of Chapter 18, he snidely calls him antisocial and unhinged.

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