A neutral power based in the middle of Fódlan and the country's religious authority. They maintain peace around the continent by keeping the other three nations in check. They operate out of Garreg Mach Monastery where the Officers Academy is located and send out the Knights of Seiros to suppress bandit attacks & uprisings.
- The Alliance: In the Azure Moon and Verdant Wind routes, the Knights of Seiros form one with the Kingdom and Alliance respectively as in each route the Knights find that allying themselves with these forces are their best chance at rescuing Rhea and defeating the Empire. In the Crimson Flower route, Rhea evades being captured all together but still throws her full support behind Dimitri and the Kingdom.
- Broken Pedestal: Played with on the Crimson Flower route. While Rhea's status as the Archbishop and the Church's credibility takes a hit, the faithful still keep believing the Seiros' faith (namely, the existence of the Goddess Sothis) is real to some extent.
- The Church: They are the greatest religious power of Fódlan.
- Church Militant: Effectively the role of the Knights of Seiros, the church's private militia. They are usually tasked with suppressing bandits and providing military support to other territories.
- Color-Coded Characters: Each character wears a specific color in different classes:
- Seteth: Red
- Flayn: Pink
- Shamir: Green
- Catherine/Alois: Light Grey
- Corrupt Church:
- The Western Church instigates a civil war and plots to usurp the Central Church under the belief they are the ones who properly worship the Goddess, suspicion and dislike of Rhea and Central Church, and manipulate others like Lonato to act as their pawns resulting in several deaths of innocent people. It's also stated that the Western Church was bribed by Mercedes's adopted father to allow adoption in the first place, and that certain people in the Western Church and even Central Church dislike how Garreg Mach Monastery accepts people from Brigid and Duscur.
- Downplayed but present with the Central Church. Though well intentioned, the Church rewrote history in the wake of the War of Heroes to establish a false faith among the people and instituted or supported repressive social practices as a means of maintaining control and stability throughout Fódlan. In particular, Church doctrine advocating isolationism and glorifying Crests and the nobles who have them, respectively, are the reasons why Claude and Edelgard identify the Church as an obstacle in their efforts to change Fódlans society for the better. Building on this, in every route the Church undergoes a reformation after the war, with the extent of the changes depending on the route.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus:
- The church borrows many Christian terms like "saints", "archbishop", "cardinal" and "cathedral". The cathedral itself resembles a Christian cathedral. The religion is founded by the half-divine offspring of their deity. Said Deity is rarely referred by name, and it is a sin to say their name in vain. The Church also has commandments and one of them is specifically about respecting and obeying one's parents, and several characters remark that the Goddess once used to send wicked people to burn in a place equivalent to the Christian Hell.
- The Immaculate One, said to be a herald of the Goddess, is a reference to the Virgin Mary, who is known for her immaculate conception. The Chalice of Beginnings has similarities to the Holy Grail, being an artifact of the Goddess that can revive the dead so long as their soul can return to their body. The Rite of Rising even has similarities to the idea of Jesus second coming/rebirth.
- Defector from Decadence: On the Crimson Flower route, several Church soldiers, including any Knights you recruited before the Time Skip defect from the Church and join the Empire out of horror of how far Rhea/Seiros has fallen into bloodthirsty insanity.
- Dragons Are Divine: Their symbol is a white dragon, The Immaculate One, and this dragon is generally purported to be an agent of the Goddess' will. The Immaculate One aka Rhea is divine, being a literal child of the Goddess, but she goes demonic on the Crimson Flower and Silver Snow routes, albeit for different reasons.
- Geodesic Cast: Similar to how the three main houses are organized with a general similarity, the church characters that are playable in Silver Snow, being the "fourth route" of the game, are also arranged accordingly, although there are a few outliers and role overlaps.
- Seteth acts as both the leader and retainer, mirroring Edelgard/Dimitri/Claude and Hubert/Dedue/Hilda respectively. In the Silver Snow route, Seteth accompanies you in rooting out the bandits out of Garreg Mach, mirroring Dimitri and Claude in their respective routes, as well as giving you quests that are normally given by the retainer characters in other routes. Though, unlike the house leaders, Seteth is never a compulsory unit in any chapters of the game and his defeat will not result in a game over.
- Flayn acts as a healer, mirroring Linhardt, Mercedes, and Marianne. Flayn is really Saint Cethleann herself.
- Catherine and Alois act as the brawlers/warriors with excellent offensive capabilities but poor magic and defense, mirroring Caspar, Felix, and Raphael. Similar to those three, both of them also have an affinity to Brawl.
- Shamir is the archer, mirroring Bernadetta, Ashe, and Ignatz.
- Holier Than Thou: The Southern and Western Church have both believed themselves to be this to the Central Church, deluding themselves that they are the ones who properly worship the Goddess and the Saints. This got the Southern Church disbanded by the empire and the Western Church reorganized and the fanatics purged. The Saints the Western Church worship even condemn their actions when executing them in their current identities.
- Hufflepuff House: The Eastern Church. Due to being the weakest branch, it doesn't do much and never intervenes in the plot outside of a few mentions that they exist.
- Light Is Good: On all routes other than Crimson Flower. The Church of Seiros is an institution associated with divinity and the color white, and dedicates itself to protecting peace in Fódlan. Rhea's personal flaws aside, she has a tendency to take in impoverished individuals like Shamir, Catherine, and Cyril and give them shelter and purpose. When the Empire declares war on everyone, the Church is the only faction guaranteed to be on Byleth's side through thick and thin.
- Light Is Not Good: On Crimson Flower, the Church degenerates into a twisted mockery of itself after Byleth turns on them. By the time they wake up from their coma, all Rhea preaches about is bloodshed and vengeance, and the Church has become willing to bully Brigid into taking their side through force of arms and burn Fhirdiad to the ground to kill Edelgard.
- N.G.O. Superpower: Despite not being a nation in and of themselves, they are still politically powerful enough to sway nations and execute war criminals.
- The Resistance: On the Silver Snow route they form this under the Crest of Flames Emblem. On Crimson Flower, they are instead The Theocracy, and on Azure Moon and Verdant Wind, they simply are part of those groups, though the Verdant Wind route also uses the Crest of Flames Emblem since Claude can't act so openly while the Alliance is fractured.
- The Reveal: Downplayed on the Silver Snow path. Outside of revealing Byleth's origins, many of the reveals that happen in this route, such as the truth about Nemesis and "those who slither in the dark", lack the full context the Verdant Wind route provides.
- Right Hand vs. Left Hand: The Church is split into various branches throughout Fódlan, but not all of them necessarily agree with what is "proper" doctrine:
- The Central Church is the major power, overseen by the archbishop. Several times it has been forced to forcibly act out against the other branches to bring them in line with the "correct" worship.
- The Eastern Church operates within the Alliance. It's the weakest branch and doesn't even hold much in the way of an official military force, relying on the Central Church in such matters.
- The Western Church operates out of the Holy Kingdom. It possesses a sizable military force of its own and in the present day starts a small-scale civil war with the Central Church over proper worship of the goddess, among other things.
- The Southern Church formerly operated out of the Empire in the capital of Enbarr. However, about 120 years before the present-day, they had a massive insurrection that resulted in the bishop being exiled by the emperor and the whole branch was disbanded. While the Empire reconciled with the Central Church, the fallout of this bred quite a bit of anti-church resentment within the empire and relations haven't been the same since.
- Saintly Church: The Church by and large preaches showing compassion and benevolence to others and is a positive force in the lives of most people. The Church does things like operate orphanages and the primary duties of the Knights are to defend the people by eliminating bandits and pirates. Most of the criticisms leveled at the Church are aimed strictly at its leadership and many of those are the result of unforeseen consequences of well-intended policies. That said, the Church does have its problems and in every route undergoes dramatic changes meant to address these issues.
- Secret Character: Played with. The fact that they have an entire route dedicated to them (Silver Snow) is one of the game's larger secrets, considering that it was never stated or even hinted at in any of the pre-release information. However, their route also happens to be the default version of the story when choosing the Black Eagles at the beginning and will always remain an option during the moment of fate, while in the case of Edelgard's route (Crimson Flower) you have to jump through several extra hoops to unlock the option to defect to her side.
- The Theocracy: While ostensibly a neutral power meant to watch over three nations of Fódlan, the Church holds considerable political power over the continent and has its own standing military branches that can act independently of any of the nations' wills if the archbishop decides so, effectively making it a fourth power in Fódlan. There's also the fact Rhea is Seiros herself and has been watching over Fódlan for over a thousand years while propping up the narrative of Nemesis and the Ten Elites, arguably making her the shadow ruler of Fódlan.
- Unwitting Pawn: The Western Church loves convincing people to fight and die in the name of their cause. They are likewise pawns of the empire and "those who slither in the dark", but are too arrogant to realize it.
- Written by the Winners: When the fledgling Church and the Adrestian Empire were victorious in the War of Heroes, they became the dominant power in Fódlan. As a result, multiple characters state that this trope is in effect and that the Church proceeded to record events in agreement with their doctrine. In a nod to realism, a Nintendo Power interview has stated that the Church wasn't able to truly rewrite history as they wished, as openly demonizing their former enemies would have only reignited the war, and even then, that didn't stop the Hresvelg family line from creating and passing their own preferred version of the story to future Adrestian Emperors.
Church of Seiros Members
Class: Archbishop → Saint → The Immaculate One
Age: ?? (Over 1000) (1/11)
Crest: Seiros (Major)
Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (Japanese), Cherami Leigh (English)
The current archbishop of the Church of Seiros, who has been serving since Jeralt's days in the knighthood. She connects with people like a calm, affectionate mother, but dispenses strict judgement upon enemies of the Church.
- Abdicate the Throne: At the end of the Azure Moon route, Rhea, weakened from five years in captivity in the Imperial capital Enbarr, resigns from being archbishop and formally gives leadership of the Church of Seiros to Byleth. This also happens if she survives the Silver Snow route but isn't S supported by Byleth.
- Alien Blood: In the routes where she's visibly damaged in her Immaculate One form, it's possible to see green blood coming out from her wounds.
- Ancestral Weapon: The Sword and Shield of Seiros are hers, having been passed down between Archbishops for generations and both perfectly synergizing with her Major Crest of Seiros. Considering that she is Seiros, it naturally makes sense that she keeps these on her person. On all routes that aren't Crimson Flower, Edelgard will steal the Sword of Seiros for personal use,note and is otherwise not obtainable to the player; however, the Seiros Shield will be free for Byleth and company to take if they do Rhea's Paralogue. On the Crimson Flower route, Rhea will use both weapons during the siege of Garreg Mach on Chapter 12, and during the battle at Tailtean where you also fight Dimitri on Chapter 17.
- Anti-Hero: In most routes, while Rhea is a major case of Good Is Not Nice due to her tendency towards deceit and merciless actions, she will always be on your side unless you protect Edelgard during the moment of fate if you picked the Black Eagles.
- Anti-Villain: Despite her good intentions, she is still partly responsible for a significant amount of problems in the story. By propagating a false history, encouraging the Crest system by rewriting Crests and Relics as divine weapons and promoting isolationism through Church tenets, she has played a part in the unequal society that is Fódlan, and motivates the actions of Dimitri, Edelgard, and Claude to change the system. In the first half of the story, her primary reason for hiring Byleth is to test and prepare them as a vessel to revive Sothis, possibly at the cost of their individuality (though she does not seem to believe this is a risk). Additionally, she had every intention of keeping her secrets until the return of Sothis, and thus has been letting these lies fester for over a millennium. No matter if people view her as a hero or a villain, one constant in all routes is that the church is reformed to help repair the problems caused for the last millennium.
- Arch-Enemy: Ironically enough despite Edelgard being the instigator of the conflict, Rhea has a personal level of rage and hatred towards Byleth should you play the Crimson Flower route and side with Edelgard. All the underlying resentment and hatred Rhea carried over the millennia towards Nemesis for killing her mother and family gets projected over onto Byleth to the extent that, amidst her Sanity Slippage, Rhea outright convinces herself Byleth is Nemesis reborn.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Not only is she the Archbishop of the Church of Seiros, she's also easily their strongest fighter, to the point Dimitri on the Blue Lions route believes she must have an extensive military background judging by her movements alone. Since she's Saint Seiros under a different alias, this makes sense.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Her dragon form, the Immaculate One, gives her incredible power, and makes her one of the most powerful beings on the continent without question. However, on the Crimson Flower route, it's speculated that she cannot use her powers often due to some manner of limitation, which is confirmed on the Silver Snow route, as overusing it causes her to lose control of her power and go into a berserk rampage. It's also implied that her own health is a contributing factor in using it, as she is unable to use it when captured on the non-Crimson Flower routes due to being nearly starved to death, and when she uses it on the Verdant Wind route to save the group from the Javelins of Light, she is gravely wounded and weakened and later dies (possibly), albeit she survives the events on the Silver Snow route (if Byleth S supports her).
- On the Crimson Flower route, should you side with Edelgard in the Holy Tomb, by the end of the game she's degenerated into a violent maniac who is perfectly willing to burn Fhirdiad to the ground in order to exact her revenge and gleefully screams about how she wants to rip your heart out.
- On the Silver Snow route, overuse of her powers combined with possibly other factors causes her to lose control and enter a rather different state of degeneration, wherein she becomes completely feral and achieves a transformation that even Seteth hasn't seen her use before.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: This kindly old church head is one of only two Faculty Training options to teach Brawling.
- Becoming the Mask: If you S-support her, she admits that her interest in you has extended beyond your potential as a vessel for her mother, and she's genuinely fallen in love with Byleth themself. Along with this S support on the Silver Snow route, she becomes a genuinely virtuous archbishop, no longer bound by hidden and selfish agendas.
- Benevolent Boss: All flaws aside, Rhea is pretty chill and kind to those who are on her side, gathering a lot of admiration and loyal followers at the monastery. On the Crimson Flower route, should Byleth spare Seteth and Flayn, the former will send Rhea a letter explaining how theyre no longer in any state to keep fighting against the Empire and that they'll go into hiding. She handles the news pretty well, all things considered.
- Berserk Button: Desecrating Rhea's loved ones is, to put it simply, not a good idea. This becomes obvious once the Imperial Army ransacked the Holy Tomb, which is retroactively revealed in the Golden Deer route to contain the corpses of Nabateans. Unlike with the Western Church's attack some chapters prior in which she ordered their execution while conserving her composure, Rhea during this episode is very clearly besides herself and absolutely livid.
- Big Bad: On the Crimson Flower route, she takes this role. Removing her influence on Fódlan is Edelgard's primary goal, and the conflict quickly turns personal when Byleth refuses to execute Edelgard, driving Rhea insane from this perceived betrayal.
- Big Good: Although an Anti-Hero and major source of Good Is Not Nice that can become the Big Bad under specific conditions, she is still the largely benevolent leader of the Church, and has opposed "those who slither in the dark" since ancient times, who by the time of the game, are behind several problems that plague the Monastery and Fódlan.
- Black and White Insanity: One of her darker aspects is that she refuses to acknowledge any sympathetic aspect of her enemies. She paints Lonato as a dangerous rebel and unreasonable, when many others testify that he was a good man and a victim of the Church, and Rhea knows his son was executed for attempted assassination and covered it up herself. She considers Miklan to be wholly evil and deserving of his horrific transformation into a black beast, despite being disinherited by his family for something outside of his control. And if Byleth sides with Edelgard in Crimson Flower, Rhea goes totally off the deep end from the idea that the host of her mother's soul would turn against her.
- Blow You Away: She has this power by virtue of being a Sky Dragon. Unlike her relative Macuil, who's a Wind Dragon, her power is more strongly associated with cold wind, as her Staggering Blow attacks in the Crimson Flower and Silver Snow routes are themed after snow and auroras (and are thus fittingly called Hoarfrost and Aurora Beam, respectively).
- Body Horror: On the Silver Snow route, Rheas dragon form slowly starts to deteriorate the more power it gathers, to the point her entire body ends up looking like its rotting, burning from the insides, and starting to get engulfed in what appears to be brambles coming out from within her body.
- Boobs of Steel: It's hard to tell because of her outfit as archbishop and her impressive height making them look smaller in relation to her body size, but Rhea has one of the largest chests in the game (probably most obvious in her lap pillow scene with Byleth, though it's also made apparent in her concept art, and her Heroes swimsuit art shows she's absolutely stacked). She's also the physically strongest woman in Fódlan.
- Book-Ends: As far as the cinematic scenes go, Rhea's story from the start of the game to the end of Silver Snow features this. The game's opening cinematic ends with Rhea cradling the Sword of the Creator (what is left of her mother's body) in her arms, blood smeared across her cheek as she says in a daze "he's gone now mother". The game's ending cinematic has her cradled in Byleth's (i.e. the vessel for her mother's heart) arms, blood smeared across her cheek as she looks up in a daze and says "mother, you're here." Narratively, the opening cinematic depicts the start of Rhea's obsession with bringing her mother back, while the ending cinematic is her at last finding some kind of peace regarding her mother as she dies (or, if A or S-ranked, finds the closure and peace to finally move on). This peace is elaborated on in her S-rank where she reveals the reason she thought her mother was there when she looked at Byleth in a daze was because she had been speaking with Sothis during what was essentially a near-death experience.
- Breath Weapon: In her Immaculate One form, she has this. Rather than fire breath, she is able to shoot a blast of hot, destructive energy from her jaws that can outright disintegrate a human in full armor with ease.
- Broken Pedestal:
- She became this to Jeralt as a result of him doubting her explanation of the circumstances of Sitri's death, and questioning why Byleth did not cry or laugh after being born, and also lacked a heartbeat (he found out the latter in secret and did not ask Rhea about it).
- On the Crimson Flower route, she becomes this to the more religious students as well to some of the populace, as the revelation that the Immaculate One and the Archbishop are the same person effectively contradicts Seiros' teachings and leads many of them to believe she's been abusing her power for her own agenda. Mercedes, for example, believes that Sothis would be very disappointed with Rhea if she knew what she had done with the Church of Seiros, while Marianne finds herself disgusted with the lengths she goes to.
- Character Death: She will always die at the end of the Crimson Flower path by being your faction's main antagonist and choosing to go down fighting in one last attempt to destroy her enemies. In the Silver Snow path, she will die due to the events of the final chapter unless Byleth obtained her A support before Part II of the game. Verdant Wind implies she dies of her wounds off-screen.
- Character Development: On non-Crimson Flower routes, after being rescued from the Imperial Palace in Enbarr where she was imprisoned for 5 years after the fall of Garreg Mach, she comes to accept not just that Byleth is not and never will be Sothis, but also that even so, they are still worthy of leading the Church, or even Fódlan as a whole (depending on route), and willingly steps aside to allow major reforms to take place. On Verdant Wind and Silver Snow, she becomes willing to trust humans with Fódlan's true history, and comes to regret her manipulation of said history (expressed most explicitly in her S rank on Silver Snow). If S-ranked, she at last is able to move past her grief, letting go of the past and her self-imposed solitude, recognizes her actions might have contributed to the war having taken place, and becomes a reformist in her own right, working with Byleth in changing Fódlan for the better in ways that people describe as miraculous. On the Azure Moon route (and, potentially in Silver Snow as well), she steps down and quietly lives her life in Zanado Canyon, implying she finally found peace after years of grief over the massacre.Rhea: Somehow I feel as though your acceptance alone is my salvation.
- Climax Boss:
- Consummate Liar: Rhea seems to have an impulsive need to hide the truth from people that prevents her from handling her feelings. Instead of talking to anyone she piles lie after lie on top of each other for 995 years It's so bad that the one time Claude loses his temper in the entire game is when she keeps hiding things when everything she lied about is falling down on their heads. If she had just been able to open up to someone about her pain and loneliness, many issues might have been avoided.
- Her explanations to Byleth on their status as Sothis's vessel may be viewed in this light, via lies of omission that is. Her story changes depending on who listens, with Byleth, Rhea repeatedly implies that they are in some sense an amnesiac Sothis who will regain their memories. When they leave and Seteth presses Rhea for answers, Rhea then explains further that she believes Byleth is "in a sense" Sothis, but more specifically Byleth is a vessel who will become one with Sothis's power eventually, i.e. Byleth's personality will merge with Sothis. It's only on VW and SS that she admits she knew the entire time that Sothis's consciousness was awake in Byleth and that she wanted them to become Sothis, supporting this interpretation.
- Given that, by her own admission in the Verdant Wind route, Rhea fostered the Empire's foundation just to build an army strong enough to defeat the man who genocided her race and killed her mother, the fact that Wilhelm I's account of the War of Heroes Adrestia's first emperor and Rhea's greatest ally around that time completely neglects to mention Seiros's personal vendetta and assumes the war happened due to Seiros clashing ideologically with Nemesis over which species deserved to rule mankind, heavily implies she never disclosed him her true intentions. What Wilhelm knew of the Nabateans at the very least involved the knowledge she could transform into a dragon to come to such conclusion, as it is recorded that the Immaculate One was a huge asset to Seiros against her enemies back in the War of Heroes.
- Control Freak:
- Her need to control knowledge of Fódlan's past and influence the people to accept Sothis as their goddess (preparing for her hoped-for return to power) is part of what drove her to contribute to the absolute mess that became Fódlan's society and lie to everyone about the history of Sothis. Her obsessive need for control is what she has most in common with Edelgard. Their actions born from this trait are likewise part of what brings them into conflict with each other to begin with.
- Her interactions with Byleth can be seen in this light. Rhea has very exact expectations for how Byleth as the vessel of her Mother should act, and she disapproves if Byleth isn't willing to return the Lance of Ruin once it has been recovered from Miklan or if they're unaware of details that Sothis would definitely know, such as the name of the goddess, the significance of Zanado, and the appearance of her throne in the Holy Tomb. On the Crimson Flower route, she is furious when Byleth defies her orders in the Holy Tomb and refuses to execute Edelgard for her crimes, and immediately labels them a failure for it.
- Cool Crown: Rhea says that while it is elaborate, it has been passed down through generations of archbishops.
- Creating Life: On the Silver Snow route, Rhea reveals that during her long life, she created multiple human vessels and implanted them her mother Sothis Crest Stone in an attempt to resurrect her, all of which turned up to be failures as none manifested her consciousness. The last vessel she created was Sitri, Byleths mother.
- Curtains Match the Window: Her eyes are the same shade of mint green as her hair.
- Damsel in Distress: On the Azure Moon, Verdant Wind, and Silver Snow routes, she is captured by the empire after the battle at Garreg Mach and imprisoned in the Empire's capital, Enbarr. Rescuing her is part of the reason to go to Enbarr on those routes (the other part being, naturally, defeating Edelgard).
- Death Glare: Performs an utterly terrifying one to Byleth should they choose to protect Edelgard instead of executing her on the spot during the moment of fate on the Black Eagles route.
- Death of Personality: The real reason Rhea hired Byleth as a professor for the Officers Academy was to observe and test them to see if they would prove her belief that they are a successful vessel to revive Sothis, her mother. How exactly Rhea views Byleth is ambiguous. In some parts, Rhea acts like Byleth is their own person and explicitly states she views them as the child of the man who saved her life. In others, especially after Sothis merges with Byleth, she acts like Byleth is an amnesiac Sothis. Considering Rhea may not know fully what the process entails, it's unclear as to what her exact opinion on Byleth's identity is at this point in the game.
- Demoted to Extra: On the Azure Moon route, the last time we see Rhea onscreen is after she turns into a dragon right before Byleth falls off the cliff and into a coma. Post timeskip, we learn Rhea has been taken captive by the Empire and spends the rest of the game in captivity. We don't even see her after Edelgard's army has been put down, the ending narration just states that Rhea steps down from being archbishop of the church to allow Byleth to take her place.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Rhea's penchant for dealing with major problems in Fódlan, that being with excessive force against enemies and stacking secrets upon secrets, is a major reason why Edelgard is hellbent on opposing the Church. Even knowing that "those who slither in the dark" are abusing her vendetta against Rhea for their own purposes, Edelgard has a hard time seeing Rhea as anything other than a tyrannical Control Freak, and despite Rhea's care for Fódlan being genuine, her doubling down on her methods in recent days does a spectacularly poor job at proving Edelgard wrong. The ultimate example of the trope comes if you side with Edelgard in Crimson Flower, which causes Rhea to snap and become exactly what Edelgard believed she was.
- Dirty Coward: On the Crimson Flower route, after Dimitri falls in battle, Edelgard paints her as this for seeking asylum in Faerghus and then manipulating him and his army to fight to the death to protect her. On the other hand, the fact that she shows some concern for Dimitri in the opening of Chapter 17 and questions having the King directly intercept Edelgard's army makes it plausible that she didn't intend to do this and simply fled a losing battle.
- Disc-One Final Boss: On the Crimson Flower route, she is the final enemy you fight before the timeskip, and must be defeated to win the level. Defeating her causes her to transform into her dragon form in a rage before attacking Byleth and causing them to fall into a coma for five years, beginning the last half of the game.
- Dissonant Serenity: She retains her calm and gentle manner of speaking even as she sentences the surviving dissidents from the Western Church to death for encouraging Lonato's rebellion, invading the monastery, attacking students, and desecrating Seiros' tomb, which prompts some of the students to note just how terrifying she can be. However, siding with Edelgard on the Crimson Flower route causes her to drop this serenity completely, to an incredibly terrifying degree.
- Dying as Yourself: On the Silver Snow route, if Byleth didn't get her A rank support before the Time Skip, after defeating her berserk Immaculate One form, she turns back into her human self and gets to see Byleth one last time before calling them "mother" and passing away.
- Establishing Character Moment: The intro cutscene retroactively serves as one. She initially fights Nemesis with grace and courage, but the mood changes after she pins him, at which point she brutally kills him by stabbing him repeatably into a bloody pulp while cursing him for destroying everything she loved. The scene showcases both her heroism and her murderous rage and grief hiding under the surface.
- Et Tu, Brute?:
- On all routes, she is disgusted that Edelgard would spit on the legacy of her ancestors and declare war on the Church. She's generally fairly composed about her betrayal, however, and her tone of voice when fighting her in Crimson Flower Chapter 17 is more mournful than anything else.
- On the Crimson Flower route, she handles Byleth's defection to the Empire very, very badly. The idea of the person who carries the soul and spine of her mother turning their blade against her drives her completely insane, and she becomes obsessed with ripping their heart out.
- Everyone Has Standards: She might be willing to do questionable things, but if something proves on a fundamental level that it does not work, she will back down and cut her losses. The first Rite of Rising went so poorly that she refused to use the Chalice of Beginnings ever again, not only sealing it away with the intent that no one would ever claim it, but even had the Apostles vow to never pass on their Crests to prevent such a dangerous artifact from being used.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Not evil per se, but she has trouble understanding why her mother merely gave Byleth her power and vanished, as if implying she expected Sothis to overtake Byleth in the process without any reservations.
- Exhausted Eye Bags: Her portrait sports these when she reappears in the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind paths; five years of captivity weren't exactly kind to her.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In the Cindered Shadows DLC, she informs a priest that there is no need to worry about the Chalice of Beginnings since it requires the blood of the Four Apostles in order to be used. Upon saying that, something troublesome dawns on her and she immediately orders the priest to look into the Ashen Wolves enlistment papers to search for any forgeries in them. This leads her to realize that the Ashen Wolves are descendants of the Four Apostles, and she immediately tries to stop Aelfric from using the Chalice.
- Expy: In an interview, Rhea's English voice actress Cherami Leigh stated that Rhea's character was heavily influenced by Albus Dumbledore, and before she began speaking her lines, her director told her to "Channel your inner Dumbledore" in regards to Rhea's characterization. Leigh thought this was really cool and recalled driving home repeating to herself "I'm Dumbledore!".
- FaceMonster Turn: On the Silver Snow route, the injuries sustained in Shambhala drive her into a berserk rampage as the Immaculate One, forcing you to either beat her up (if you A-supported her) or put her down (if you didn't) as the Final Boss.
- Fallen Hero: On the Crimson Flower route, Byleth's betrayal in the Holy Tomb triggers a psychotic breakdown. By the end of the game, she's degenerated from a Big Good who takes in orphans and tries her best to maintain peace in Fódlan to a deranged and vengeful psychopath who would rather let innocent people die when pushed into a corner, just because she's that desperate to kill Byleth and Edelgard.
- False Prophet: Downplayed. Rhea does not act in accordance with Sothis's will, the latter is nowhere near as omniscient and far-reaching as her Seiros faith claims her to be, and her goals, while benevolent in their intentions, are ultimately based on selfishness and self-preservation. At the end of the Verdant Wind route however, she admits to have once played this trope straight given she gathered followers through her church and "miracles" with the sole intention of raising an army that could let her avenge the Nabateans and kill Nemesis.
- Fantastic Racism: While her personal opinion is ambiguous given her care for Cyril and tendency to treat all students equally, the Church doctrine Rhea has written preaches against interacting with foreign nations and causes social inequality by stating the Crests are gifts from the Goddess and thus putting Crest Bearers above non-crest bearers. She at one point refers to Miklan as unworthy to wield the Lance of Ruin, referring to him as being crestless and a bandit. As a Nabatean survivor of Zanado Canyon, Rhea does harbor resentment towards humanity as she states in her final boss lines in Crimson Flower, despite only Nemesis and his allies committing the genocide, not humanity as a whole. Additionally, Rhea fervently believes that humanity cannot lead itself to peace and prosperity without the influence of the Church and the rule of Sothis, which fuels her goal to use Byleth as a vessel for Sothis. She softens this view on most routes, acknowledging that Byleth does not need to become Sothis and that it is who they are and their accomplishments that make them fit to rule, blessing them as sole ruler, or co-ruler with Dimitri in Azure Moon (Dimitri governing the continent, Byleth governing the church).
- Fatal Flaw:
- Her tendency for ruthless retribution on people who attempt violent action against her or support those who do, making even people who would be devoted wary of her as she does it all with an unhealthy level of Dissonant Serenity. According to her voice actress, this is because Rhea has a Hair-Trigger Temper, and even if she seems calm on the surface, she will not be satisfied until whatever angered her is completely destroyed. Defying her in this state, as Byleth learns, will only make her angrier.
- Always giving some form of Half-Truth when others ask for information. As a result, even people personally close like Seteth or loyal like Jeralt have questioned or defied her actions. Consequently, she comes across as shady to those who have reason to distrust the Church, and thus keeps people like Edelgard from getting know her and possibly the other side of the story better. Her unwillingness to trust and open up to others about her inner torments, keeping even her few remaining family at a certain distance, leads to some of her questionable decisions.
- Rhea, through the Church, encouraging Fódlan to remain isolationist comes back to to bite her in a big way in the Crimson Flower route. Rhea flees and fully throws her support behind Dimitri in the war, and the Kingdom never makes any effort to ally with Claude and the Alliance. With Edelgard and the Empire fighting with more humane tactics compared to every other route where she's the antagonist, the united forces would have likely been able to squash Edelgard's rebellion. Indeed, the Crimson Flower route is where Rhea is at her most dogmatic.
- The Fatalist: In her A-Support, Rhea confides Byleth that she believes both were destined to establish a bond of sorts with the other eventually. She suspects this is because both of their souls share a common link with the progenitor god.Rhea: As souls blessed by a connection to the progenitor god, the bonds between us are truly unbreakable. Just as the goddess blessed you with her own power... I, too, received her divine protection. Long, long ago. Though different, our fates are entwined.
- Final Boss: She is the final boss of the Crimson Flower and Silver Snow routes, fought as the Immaculate One, her Sky Dragon form.
- Her faculty training skills include Swords, Reason, Faith and, oddly enough, Brawling. The latter doesn't make much sense with her as a character, until it's revealed she is Seiros herself. The opening cutscene of Seiros fighting Nemesis and using her fists shows she ended up not giving that ability up.
- Her birthday happens to fall onto Saint Seiros day.
- Her Leitmotif "Staring at Sirius" is a One-Woman Wail version of "Song of the Nabateans". This hints at her real identity as Seiros.
- Her body type large bust, wide hips, small waist is exclusive to her and female Byleth; Sothis shares the hips and waist in her current form. Unfortunately, this falls flat when playing as male Byleth.
- Her spell list is Reason-focused, her only Faith spell outside of the two that everyone gets is Recovernote , while her Reason list carries Agnea's Arrow, the most powerful Reason spell in the game. This is because the Goddesss is her mother, and while she worships her she also knew her personally, making her relationship to Sothis fundamentally different from that of other members of the church.
- She and Seteth contrast with each other: Rhea is the serene, friendly and motherly head of the church who has a brutal and merciless side if crossed, while Seteth is a stern, cold, and distrusting bureaucrat who has a warmer side once an individual gains his trust. They both are survivors of a horrific near-genocide of their species, but both deal with their grief differently, Rhea cannot escape her past, and longs to revive her mother, while Seteth is able to move on and find peace by raising his daughter. This continues into Crimson Flower, where Rhea is blinded by rage and passion and will kill anyone to get her revenge, but Seteth sees the bloodshed around him and, if given the chance, chooses to flee.
- Rhea also serves as a contrast and parallel to Edelgard in many ways. Both of them were traumatized by events in their past that involved the deaths of most of their family and both are willing to engage in morally questionable acts to prevent such things from ever happening again. The key difference between the two, and why they are opposed to one another, is that Rhea looks back and wants to restore what she has lost and return Fódlan to the golden age of the rule of Sothis, while Edelgard looks forward and wants to shed outdated traditions, like the nobility system, to create a brighter future.
- Freak Out: If you pick the Black Eagles house and choose to side with Edelgard, betraying her in the Holy Tomb causes her to completely and utterly snap, and she spends the next five years degenerating into a violent maniac obsessed with killing Byleth.
- Freudian Excuse: Much of Rhea's character is rooted in her inability to move past her mother's death. Anything that is viewed as coming between her and Sothis immediately provokes strong emotions, typically furious rage.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Rhea has issues opening up to others due to her past trauma and position as archbishop, yet she shows a great deal of trust in Byleth with areas Seteth openly questions initially. Fittingly, the only person she can support with is Byleth.
- Gay Option: She can be married by a Byleth of either gender, but only on the Silver Snow route.
- Gold and White Are Divine: As the archbishop of the Church of Seiros, she's the premiere religious figure on the continent and wears a long white robe, has gold accents in her cloak, and her headdress is primarily gold. And as she's Seiros, she's the Semi-Divine creation and daughter of the goddess Sothis herself.
- Good Counterpart: Outside of the Crimson Flower route, she's this towards previous games' Medeus and Gharnef archetypes.
- Like the original Medeus, she and her race suffered a grave injustice by humanity, but instead of lashing out like Medeus, Rhea still sought to guide Fódlan despite the flaws in her methods and still accomplishes quite a lot of good with the Church, in particular raising Cyril and saving the life of Catherine, and in the Verdant Wind/Silver Snow routes, risks her life to save Byleth by Taking the Bullet.
- In the case of the Gharnef archetypes, like Lyon, she practices forbidden magics to attempt to resurrect her dead parent, as she feels her mother was more suited to lead Fódlan, to morally dubious results, and like Sephiran, she's a long-lived religious figure who has watched over humanity for centuries and believes a goddess's divine intervention is needed to save humanity. However, unlike most Gharnef archetypes, the deity she seeks to resurrect is actually benevolent, she never sinks to the depths of other Gharnefs (for example, triggering a war), and if S-supported on Silver Snow, she directly acknowledges that she went a little too far in trying to restore her.
- Good Is Not Soft: She's a major figure in the church, and while she acts like a mother hen, she shows no mercy to the church's enemies. Ultimately, this is deconstructed when her lack of mercy makes her come off as an uncompromising zealot, feeding into Edelgard's desire to remove her from power by any means necessary.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: According to her voice actress, Rhea's anger can be provoked by even the slightest things, and once she IS angry, she is almost impossible to stop or calm down until whatever upset her is completely annihilated. The actress jokingly said that she would not want to meet Rhea in road rage. That said, in the actual story, her temper seems rather specific in what triggers it, as she quite patiently deals with questions and criticism even from her servants, provided that they heed her when she states the discussion is over. On the other hand, any hint of violent defiance against her or intent to harm her followers or support those who do is another matter.
- Half-Truth: She has a habit of giving information in this form by leaving out the major details or not giving the full answer.
- Hartman Hips: She has quite noticeable hips, and if you recall the opening, it's a clue to her true identity as Seiros, considering she has just as prominent hips. It's also a feature exclusive to her, Sothis, and female Byleth to hint at the connection between the three of them.
- Has a Type: In her A-Support conversation, she practically swoons upon seeing that Byleth has the same type of eyes and hair that she does. Played with, however, because in her eyes, it's a sign that Byleth is progressing towards becoming Sothis. That cannot be the only reason for her reaction, though, because her interest is explicitly shown to be sexual attraction.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- In non-Crimson Flower versions of chapter 12, she will attempt one against the Empire's forces, fully intending to die holding them off in her dragon form. However, they seek to capture her alive (since Edelgard wants her in reserve as insurance against those who slither in the dark) and do so using a horde of Demonic Beasts to restrain her.
- On the Verdant Wind route, she is mortally injured stopping Thales' javelins of light from turning Byleth and the Alliance forces into a smoking pile of ash, dying some time later. On Silver Snow, the injuries themselves don't kill her, but do cause her to lose control of her powers and thus force Byleth and company to kill her (unless Byleth reaches at least A rank support with her).
- Hidden Buxom: Her figure is curvy, but well covered by her outfit. Then Heroes puts her in a bikini, and it shows she's got a chest to rival Byleth.
- Hidden Depths:
- Assuming the story is true, Rhea has substantial engineering knowledge.note
- One of her lost items added in version 1.2.0 (the Faded Star Chart) suggests Rhea has an interest in astrology.
- Hide Your Otherness: Rhea by all appearances is just an exceptionally beautiful human woman with a rare hair and eye color. In reality, she is a Nabatean, a species of Weredragons who can almost fully pass for human aside from their green hair, shining green eyes, and Pointy Ears which are hidden in her hair. She (and others like her) are arguably correct to hide their true nature, as shown when Edelgard uses The Reveal to state that the Church is run by "monsters". In her S-Support, Rhea asks Byleth if they can still accept her after seeing her other form, and when the answer is yes, Rhea proposes to Byleth shortly thereafter.
- Hoist by Her Own Petard: The Crimson Flower route is basically all about Rhea's lies and plots coming back to crash everything she's built. First, Byleth, the one she spent most of the first half preparing to become Sothis's vessel, turns against her in part due to her lying to Jeralt about the full truth of Sitri's death, and partly because they became attached to the students, namely Edelgard, she encouraged them to get connected to. Byleth's prowess and weaponry are thanks to Rhea giving them the sword and crest stone, and now they've turned it against her in this route. The students she indirectly trained for a year? Turned against her. The book of Seiros that states murder and thievery are wrong unless done in the name of the goddess? Whoops, not so hot when Byleth (who has the goddess with them) is on the side of your enemies.
- Hypocrite: Despite representing the Church of Seiros, she doesn't actually follow all of the teachings of the Church. Unlike the majority of the characters in the game, Rhea doesn't even believe in quite the same goddess that is taught by the Church of Seiros, because she knows that the Sothis described is a fictionalized version of the original Sothis. note
- I Have Many Names: While she is currently known as Rhea, she is also Saint Seiros and The Immaculate One, as well as presumably many others due to her being implied to serve as all the previous archbishops. It is unclear which, if any of these, is her original name (though it is known that "Seiros" at least was not).
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Her counselor box notes and some of her dialog show that she wishes she could form normal friendships and relationships with the people around her, and that she is deeply lonely in general for a number of reasons, most of all her trust and anger issues. Byleth (the only person who can support with her) can fulfill these hopes by becoming her friend, lover, and full confidant if they S-support with her.
- Immortality Bisexuality: Though not really immortal, shes over a thousand years old, and she can be S-Ranked by Byleth of either gender.
- Immortal Ruler: As a thousand-plus-year-old Long-Lived dragon, she has led the church ever since she founded it under the identity of Seiros centuries ago, and continues to lead it through various identities. Through the church, she also directly and indirectly influences the entire continent and its culture. Whether she is a benevolent example or not depends on one's perspective of her actions. Downplayed in the sense that she doesn't want to be a Immortal Ruler, seeing herself as merely being a proxy until Sothis can be restored and return to power.
- Implied Love Interest: Much like the three lords in their respective routes, Rhea can be considered this to Byleth in Silver Snow. Rhea is unique in that she is the only character capable of achieving an A-Rank support with Byleth prior to the timeskip, implying that their bond with Rhea can be considered the strongest of any bond. And despite Byleth being a Heroic Mime player avatar, most of their dialogue choices during the Silver Snow route leans more towards their desire to specifically rescue Rhea.
- Inadequate Inheritor: How she sees herself compared to the goddess of the Church of Seiros, Sothis. Rhea admits at one point that while she has tried to guide Fódlan as Sothis would have, ultimately she is only a proxy; she believes only Sothis can do the job properly, and she would be happy to give up her position to them. This is one reason she is so desperate to believe that Byleth is transforming into Sothis. She also remarks that Fódlan is a "wayward land," which suggests that Rhea is aware of the myriad of issues facing Fódlan, despite the influence of the church and sees the divine guidance of Sothis as the solution. Ironically, it's this inferiority complex and grief over Sothis' death that led her to make such terrible leadership decisions in the first place.
- In a Single Bound: On the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes, during one cutscene, she shows she can leap superhuman distances, rebounding off one rock wall to another to reach a much higher position before transforming.
- Irony: According to the Church, Nemesis was granted power by the Goddess to fend off evil invaders, but then was corrupted by his power and had to be defeated by Seiros. Rhea is actually Seiros, the Goddess's own daughter, complete with the power to transform into the Immaculate One, and she played a key role in saving Fódlan from Nemesis. Afterwards, Rhea used her authority as Archbishop to cover up the truth about Nemesis, the Crests, and even the true nature of the Goddess. On the Crimson Flower route, she goes mad and is ultimately killed by Byleth and Edelgard, two people who bear the same Crest as Nemesis.
- It's Personal: While it would have enraged her regardless, she notably takes Edelgard's reveal as the Flame Emperor and her actions in the Holy Tomb very personally, due to having been close to Edelgard's ancestor Wilhelm (noting he saved her and supported her) and taking her actions as an insult to him. Even moreso if Byleth, the one carrying her mother's heart and who she had placed all her hopes for the future on, betrays her as well.
- Judge, Jury, and Executioner:
- At the end of Chapter 4, Rhea orders the Western Church soldiers to be immediately executed and refuses to hear any of their attempts to defend themselves, Shamir and Seteth explaining that enough is already known about their crimes for their punishment to be unchanged regardless of their reasons. In Ashe and Catherine's paralogue, she even personally travels to the Western Church's headquarters along with Catherine to execute their Bishop.
- If you're a Black Eagle or Golden Deer, after the Empire's Holy Tomb raid in Chapter 11 is thwarted, Rhea orders Byleth to execute Edelgard on the spot for leading it in the first place. Unfortunately for Rhea, Edelgard always gets to escape before anything can happen, and if you've met the prerequisites, Byleth can outright turn coat instead.
- Kubrick Stare: She gives an reversed one if Byleth sides with Edelgard in the Holy Tomb, by lifting her head up and staring down at them with her eyes.
- Lady of War: Rhea is about as strong as Seiros was in the War of Heroes, as shown in her stats and how she's proficient in all of Seiros' weapons. All of this is, of course, because she is Seiros. It gets more blatant on the Crimson Flower route, where her endgame battle garments make her the spitting image of Seiros' attire in the prologue.
- Lap Pillow: After Chapter 10, Rhea holds Byleth gently in her lap and sings to them.
- Large Ham: On the Crimson Flower route, after Byleth's betrayal triggers her psychotic breakdown, she becomes fond of screaming at the top of her lungs about how she's going to kill them.
- Leitmotif: "Staring at Sirius" is hers when she shows up in cutscenes. It hints at her true identity as Seiros, as it's a One-Woman Wail version of "Song of the Nabateans".
- Life Drain: Her trademark Weapon of Choice, the Sword of Seiros, drains half of the damage it deals back into her health. She also has Nosferatu in her spell pool, although she rarely uses it.
- Like a Son to Me: Played With.
- Within the upper ranks of the Church of Seiros, Rhea is implied to have built a sort of pseudo-family of sorts for herself by giving people pieces of her Crest Stone and her blood. This grants them her Crest and in at least some cases quite long lives. In Cindered Shadows, she explains that she considers people like Aelfric to be among her "many" children (we see just how many at the end of Silver Snow), likely referring to everyone she has done the Crest Stone ritual with (as Aelfric has a Crest of Seiros). She is quite protective of them; however, she is still emotionally distant even from them, and they in turn may not really understand her, nor know many of her secrets. In effect, she is more of a spiritual mother to them than a familial one, and their existence seems to do little to help Rhea's loneliness, as they still treat her mostly as a superior rather than a loved one, and in cases like Aelfric, may even come to lose faith in and reject her.
- In Cindered Shadows, Rhea states that Sitri looked at her as if Rhea were her mother. However, Rhea never states she returned this sentiment, beyond stating that she saw Sitri just as she did the rest of her spiritual children and that she wanted her to have a bright future. Given Sitri's special origins and the fact that Rhea didn't want to bury and never see her again, it can be argued their relationship was more intimate than what she had with the likes of Aelfric, but the game doesn't actually delve deeper into the matter more than what Rhea tells Byleth.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: Byleth, as the only potential partner for Rhea, can fit this to a rather literal degree. Subverted in her S-Support dialogue, however, as she says that she has given up on her hope that Byleth will become the progenitor god and actually loves them for themselves.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Downplayed. While Rhea is fully aware there's a mysterious group of enemies who have conspired against the Church of Seiros for over a thousand years, she's not aware that said enemy happens to be the remnants of the Agarthan civilization from an even earlier era. On the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes, she realizes who they are only after she travels to Shambhala with Byleth and co. and sees their technology and the city's architecture.
- Lonely at the Top:
- Despite her position and devoted followers, Rhea is incredibly lonely, with several of her advice box questions having her admit she wants to interact and eat meals with the students, enjoy tea parties with people despite her distaste for hot beverages, and finds she has little to no time to relax in peace. Her loneliness and longing for the past connections she once had plays a major part in her desire to revive her mother, as even amongst her fellow Nabataens she feels isolated from Seteth and Flayn, believing that she can finally find the inner peace she desires by regaining what she lost in the past.
- Much like Edelgard, Rhea's interactions with Byleth are all about this trope. She repeatedly insists to Byleth throughout their supports to not think of her as Rhea the Archbishop, but just Rhea.
- Love Redeems: Reaching S-Support with Byleth and marrying them is the only way for Rhea to actively play a part in reforming the church and Fódlan on the Silver Snow route, where she also goes on to become the benevolent archbishop. As getting to S-Support is only available on that route, all the other options end with her either dying or abdicating her position.
- Madden Into Misanthropy: On the Crimson Flower route, Byleth's betrayal and the repeated victories of the Empire in the war against the Church drive her insane, and by the end of the game she's ranting about how humans always betray her and her mother.
- Made of Iron: The woman is absurdly tough when she is fighting seriously. Repeated direct hits from magitech ballistic missiles after five years of imprisonment and possible experimentation/starvation may be enough to fatally wound her, but only maybe and even then, it takes a long time for it to be fatal. Manuela outright marvels at how she can still be alive after the injuries she sees her with in human form. On Crimson Flower, it takes the combined strike of two Relic Weapons to her brain to kill her.
- Magic Knight: In the instances where she's seen on the battlefield, Rhea's Strength and Magic are almost at the same level, with the latter edging out the former slightly. She is able to wield swords, reason magic, and faith magic in equal measure, with brawling one rank below despite her not having any gauntlets in her inventory.
- Manipulative Bastard: Rhea is often selective with the truth and keeps most of the people around her in the dark regarding her true intentions. The main and most obvious example is her recruiting Byleth as a professor due to them being the fledgling vessel of Sothis to keep them within sight. In what is approximately a year between then and the Time Skip, Rhea never explains this to them, and if her plan for the 'revelation' in the Holy Tomb had gone as expected, never would have at all (as in her view, the successful return of Sothis via merging or otherwise would have explained everything to Byleth).
- Medieval Stasis: As revealed in the Abyss Library and developer interviews, she and her allies enforced a version of this on Fódlan after Nemesis was defeated. The records state she has banned autopsies, binoculars, metal block printing, and the use of oil.
- Morality Chain: Downplayed on the Crimson Flower route. Her presence in Faerghus prevents Dimitri from being overthrown in a coup; as a result, while she doesn't rein in his hatred of Edelgard, her influence does ensure that he doesn't fall into the depths of insanity like he does on Azure Moon and Verdant Wind.
- Moral Myopia: Her Black and White Insanity causes her to slip into this at times. She wrote the commandments of the Church to forbid lying, killing, and stealing, unless it is the will of the Goddess, which, as Archbishop, Rhea ultimately gets to dictate. In Crimson Flower, Rhea will rant about how humans always betray her and her mother as she burns down Fhirdiad, the human city that had sheltered her for five years.
- Ms. Fanservice: In Heroes, she's walking around in a skimpy bikini that shows a voluptuous figure that rivals Byleth's. She's much more conservatively dressed in Three Houses, though, and even that dress she's wearing showcases her very curvaceous figure quite nicely.
- My God, What Have I Done?: If she's S-ranked on the Silver Snow route, she looks back on all she's done lying to and manipulating the people, causing Byleth so many problems, and possibly being a cause for the war and realizes just how wrong she was. It's only Byleth's love and approval that lets her believe in a second chance.Rhea: I am not qualified to continue leading the people... Though my intention was to keep the peace in Fódlan, I still propagated a false history and deceived my faithful followers. I also took advantage of my position as archbishop to further my own selfish goal of seeing my mother again. If my foolish actions had anything to do with the war, I-
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: She and her allies may have had good intentions for distorting history, and rewriting the Crests and Relics as gifts from the goddess, but this eventually backfires when some of the results (i.e. a culture which prioritizes Crests and seeks their power to the detriment of other people) inadvertently provide opportunities for "those who slither in the dark" to infiltrate several parts of Fódlan society, and gives Edelgard motivation to declare war against the church. Additionally, covering up facts on several occasions alienates people who are otherwise aligned with and care for her: for instance, while she did save Byleth as a baby by implanting the heart of Sothis, the fact that she didn't tell Jeralt anything about the circumstances leads him taking Byleth away from the monastery, and Byleth discovering the journal potentially gives them reason to side against her on the Crimson Flower route.
- Given that Wilhelm's account of the war leaves out Seiros's motive for revenge against Nemesis, Rhea's own secretive nature even among her allies, and that even Nemesis had no idea that she was a Red Canyon survivor, that much like Nemesis not informing his allies of the origins of the Crests and Relics, Seiros never told Wilhelm the truth about Red Canyon. This means that Rhea's secretive nature is responsible for Edelgard's version of history that is one of the reasons why Rhea and Edelgard come into conflict.
- No Hero to His Valet: While the figure of the archbishop is respected, loved and idealized among the believers of the Church's faith, a downplayed example can be found with both Seteth and Flayn. As her right hand man, Seteth questions Rhea's choices frequently during the game (in no small part due to Rhea's insistence in keeping her motives secret). In Flayn's case meanwhile, one of her potential comments during hers and Byleth's B support heavily suggest she's aware of some of the experiments Rhea has performed over the years.
- Not Helping Your Case: On the Crimson Flower route, Rhea's downward spiral results in the portions of the faithful (including Mercedes, should you recruit her) defecting to the Empire as Rhea's sermons to the masses focus more on bloodshed and vengeance against Byleth & Edelgard, abandoning the kindness and compassion that the church was known for, with a former Knight of Seiros NPC mentioning that he fled because she had more or less snapped during the timeskip "laughing as if she were possessed and spouting complete gibberish". By the end of the route, with Fhirdiad burned to the ground and no one allowed to evacuate in a selfish attempt to kill Byleth, not only does it look like Edelgard was right all along about what Rhea truly was, but even Edelgard herself is convinced that Rhea/the Immaculate One never cared for humanity in the first place.Edelgard: So it's true. You don't value human life at all. Isn't that right, Immaculate One?
Rhea/The Immaculate One: Nonsense! Fools who do not accept their own sins are undeserving of salvation! You humans are the ones who betrayed! You betrayed me, and you betrayed my mother!
- Not So Stoic: Rhea's voice actress was directly told not to emote too much with Rhea because Rhea was so powerful and so experienced that "Rhea doesn't have to try...Rhea simply is". That is... until she gets even marginally upset. Then, Rhea becomes absolutely terrifying.
- No Sense of Personal Space: She's very prone to touching and holding Byleth, to the point where you're given the option to be offended by it in her A support, after their hair and eyes and eyes turn green. It's because she thinks they're her mother.
- Omniscient Morality License: Deconstructed. Rhea herself means well and her actions only seek to keep Fódlan in harmony, but her tendency towards lies, lack of mercy against her enemies, and her general zealotry only causes her students, allies, and even her right hand man to suspect the worst out of her. This plays a huge factor in Edelgard's declaration of war against the Church of Seiros, as she believes that Rhea abuses the institution for the sake of power and control, and assumes she's more vile and inhumane than she actually is. This isn't helped by the fact that in some cases, Edelgard is completely right about some of Rhea's worst actions.
- One True Love: In her centuries of life, Rhea has been completely alone. The only person she is known to have fallen in love with is Byleth (if her S-Support is completed), and she sees them as her fated partner whom she will spend the rest of her life with.
- One-Winged Angel: On the Crimson Flower route, she transforms into her dragon form, the Immaculate One, for the final boss battle.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: On the Crimson Flower route, she develops an obsession with killing Byleth, and in a discussion with Dimitri, who has a similar obsession with Edelgard, Rhea tells him to leave Byleth to her. Then there's this lovely quote in the finale:Rhea: I have no patience for foolish questions. I shall sacrifice as many lives as it takes! That apostate who insists on taking everything from me WILL BE CRUSHED BY MY OWN HANDS!!!
- Only One Name: Shes only known as Rhea, when most characters in the cast have at least a last name revealed. Seteth and Flayn also lack last names, a clue to how the three are all related.
- OOC Is Serious Business: The only time in regular monastery exploration where you can find Rhea, outside of the upper floors that mark her chambers, is during the month when Flayn is missing and she has personally joined the search.
- Our Dragons Are Different: She transforms into a massive white dragon to fight off Edelgard's army during their invasion of the Garreg Mach Monastery at the halfway point of the game. She does it again at the end of the Crimson Flower and Silver Snow routes, as well as in the month before the end of Silver Snow and Verdant Wind.
- Out of Focus: On the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes, due to being captured after the Adrestian Invasion of Garreg Mach, shes absent for most of the story and doesnt return until near the end of each route.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
- As with the other Children of the Goddess, evidently the only thing keeping people from realizing she is not human is the way she wears her hair. Judging by a remark from Thales, all Children of the Goddess share the same ear shape, eye and hair color (as well as magical blood), making them easy to recognize. Of course, pretty much no one in Fódlan knows this, so the paper thin disguise works fairly well.
- Rhea strongly resembles Seiros as seen in the opening, sharing the same hair and eye color and using flowers as hair decs, with the main difference being that, unlike Seiros, Rhea wears a long white robe and headdress rather than armor. Luckily for her, no humans in the present day were alive to see exactly what Seiros looked like, and thus Rhea's Secret Identity as Seiros is unknown to them despite the flimsiness of the disguise.
- Passing the Torch:
- After Chapter 12 in non-Crimson Flower routes, once the Imperial Army summons their reserve troops and can be seen marching straight towards Garreg Mach, Rhea leaves Byleth in charge of the Church as she attempts to stop the upcoming army by transforming into her dragon form, the Immaculate One. Sadly for Rhea, Byleth's Chronic Hero Syndrome leads them to try to help her, causing them to vanish for five years and the Church to fracture without a leader.
- At the end of the Azure Moon route, she declares Byleth her successor as Archbishop of the Church before peacefully retiring to Zanado.
- Pet the Dog: As shown in Cindered Shadows, she's revealed to feel genuine sympathy for the Ashen Wolves, and the entire plot is kicked off by her getting disturbed by rumors of them in danger.
- Playing with Fire: Her spell list consists of all Fire spells. Though oddly, despite Ragnarok being listed among her spell list, it doesn't appear in-game.
- Pointy Ears: Concept art and a CG artwork in Silver Snow and Verdant Wind reveals she has these. Her hair usually hides them well, if not her headdress. Fitting, given she can transform into a dragon.
- Poor Communication Kills: The tragedy of Rhea is centered around her refusal to open up to anyone or tell anyone the complete truth. Throughout the plot, the wall of lies she has built her entire religion around comes crashing down and (depending on the route) can cause everyone, including Byleth, to turn against her.
- Power Echoes: Her voice gains a noticeable distortion effect when she assumes the form of the Immaculate One.
- The Power of Love: The only thing that prevents Rhea from dying in the Silver Snow route is her Support level with Byleth. After being fought in the final battle, she will either die or somehow survive her wounds thanks to the bond between her and Byleth.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Rhea has a quote for being selected on the map, but it is not able to be heard in normal gameplay due to her being either an NPC or enemy."As you wish."
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:"This is the end!"
"Know your place!"
"You have been judged!"
"In the name of the goddess!"
- Promoted to Playable: Downplayed in Heroes, where she is the secondary unit to Summer Female Byleth in a Duo Unit pairing. Played straight under her Seiros identity in Heroes, where she also can transform into the Immaculate One to attack her foes.
- Put on a Bus: On the Azure Moon route, she makes no physical appearances after the timeskip and is simply mentioned to have been rescued offscreen, retiring in the aftermath of the war.
- Pygmalion Plot: Technically applies if Byleth S-ranks her on the Silver Snow route. Before the final chapter, Rhea tells Byleth that she considers them her creation by proxy of one of her failed attempts at bringing Sothis back to life (Sitri) falling in love with Jeralt and consequently bearing a child soon after.
- Rage Breaking Point: If Byleth sides with Edelgard against her, Rhea goes completely off the deep end and only gets worse through the course of the route.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Perhaps surprising given some of the extremes she can be pushed to. When she does mete out punishments, they are often harsh; however, provided they don't oppose her with violence, she is quite accommodating and tolerant regardless of someone's race, social status, nation of origin, or whether they have a Crest or not. She even accepts it if they don't actually believe in the Church of Seiros. As such, she employs quite a diverse assortment of people.
- Recurring Element:
- Rhea is the Nyna Archetype in all routes, being the Big Good whose kingdom, in this case the church, is constantly under attack and needs to be defended by the protagonists. Unlike most of the Nyna Archetypes, she can be Demoted to Extra on the Azure Moon route or become the Big Bad and the Medeus Archetype as the inhuman tyrannical dragon type on the Crimson Flower route. Like the original Medeus, Rhea is embittered by injustices inflicted on dragons by humankind, loss of most of their race, but performed heroic actions in spite of that. Medeus was one of the few earth dragons to turn into a Manakete despite most his tribe pridefully refusing to take human form, thus sparing him degeneration and was trusted by Naga to watch the seal over the Earth dragons, while Rhea takes human form to watch over Fódlan and manipulate its politics and beliefs in order to facilitate Sothis's return to power; which creates a socially unequal Fódlan. Both turn malevolent over crimes done by humanity in the present day, the persecution of manaketes by humanity spurs Medeus to create the Dolhr empire, while Edelgard raiding the Holy Tomb and Byleth's refusal to kill her drives Rhea insane and turns her into a bloodthirsty psychopath.
- She has some elements of the Gharnef archetype. Her ultimate goal is explicitly the revival of her dragon mother, she spends the entire game setting up significant parts of the plot in motion to achieve this goal, is a bishop like some characters of the archetype such as Gharnef, Jedah, Manfroy, and Validar, and like the latter two, she has a hand in the birth of the vessel of the dragon and is the leader of the religious organization who worships the dragon she seeks to revive, and like Jedah, she fervently believes that the ability and teachings of their deity is the only way to a better future, and misinterprets the actual desires of said deity. She is more in line with the more modern and sympathetic members of this archetype such as Lyon and Sephiran with the benevolent intent of both. Like Lyon, she is broken by the death of her parent and seeks to revive them, but is potentially driven insane in her attempts. Like Sephiran, she is a long-lived religious figure with multiple names who attempts to maintain peace for the benefit of a divine deity. While Thales and Solon are the dark mages with the malicious intent, Rhea has the motivation, position, and methods of the Gharnef.
- Redemption Earns Life: If Byleth S-supports Rhea, the Silver Snow route ending will have her survive, free of her insanity and grief and allowed to start her proper atonement for the questionable things she's done over the years with the person she now sees as their own individual instead of an extension of/host for her mother. If A-ranked, she will still survive, but instead retire to live quietly in Zanado after giving Byleth authority over the church.
- Revenge Before Reason: Once Rhea has been pushed far enough, she'll do everything in her power to ensure those who have wronged her receive their punishment, regardless of the potential ramifications her actions may cause.
- In Chapter 11 on the Black Eagle and Golden Deer routes, her intention in executing Edelgard becomes this in hindsight. Though she does have Edelgard's various crimes as the Flame Emperor as justification, given the Church's relations with the Empire have been fairly weak as of late, that a portion of the imperial nobility desires to unify Fódlan, and the Empire's regent happens to be none other than the leader of a group who desires to crush the Church, purge Rhea's surviving kin and take over Fódlan, Rhea's potential execution of Adrestia's imperial princess could potentially cause more harm than good for the continent as a whole. Special mention goes to the Blue Lions route, in which Rhea is not seen to try to stop a very unstable Dimitri almost kill Edelgard by himself, which would've caused even more disastrous ramifications given he's set to become the next king of Faerghus (albeit no one else tries to stop him either, beyond a halfhearted attempt by Byleth).
- In the Crimson Flower route, after being defeated in the Tailtean Plains and having lost Dimitri, Rhea's wrath consumes her and orders to set the city of Fhirdiad on fire just so the Imperial Army may end up wiped out in the process should they seize it. Not only this compromises the people of Faerghus trapped on the city as well, this also happens right after Edelgard previously offered Rhea the chance to surrender and Catherine suggested her to abandon Fódlan for the time being in order to prepare a future counterattack.
- Sanity Slippage: On the Crimson Flower route, the strain of multiple attacks against the church, her family and their remains, combined with Byleth siding with Edelgard (who was involved in several of those things), causes her to snap and then sends her into a downward spiral to the point that five years later, Seteth can't deny that she has irrevocably changed. While she continues to show a composed face at times, she lives in constant mental torment, a former Knight of Seiros NPC relating that they left her ranks because of how out of it she had become, "laughing as if she were possessed and spouting complete gibberish". It gets even worse when Flayn and Seteth die or go into hiding, Rhea becoming convinced that Byleth is the second coming of Nemesis. This culminates in her ordering that Fhirdiad be burned in an ill-conceived attempt to kill Edelgard and Byleth, not caring who else gets killed in the process, as she is too consumed in her rage and madness to value life anymore.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Downplayed, but this is Rhea's fate for Part II of non-Crimson Flower routes, as she ends up jailed in a secret chamber somewhere in Enbarr's Imperial Palace after the fall of Garreg Mach.
- Secret Identity:
- Rhea, as archbishop of the Church, is actually a front for Seiros herself. She faked her death to make it easier for her to continue her plans to revive her mother. Ironically, Seiros herself was only a identity she made when she took on the mission of working with humans to stop Nemesis and found the Church of Seiros. Its unclear what her original name was.
- In Fódlan's mythology, there is a being known as the Immaculate One, a great white sky dragon of incredible power. It was said to have aided Seiros and her army with the power of the winds its wings produced. It turns out that the Immaculate One is indeed real, but is the same being as Rhea/Seiros, just transformed.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Every fear that has motivated her in her life and has served as a motivation to keep the existence of the Nabateans secret, alter the history of the Church, Adrestia Empire, and Nemesis, and twist/add to the Sothis worshiping religion for what are to maintain her power and protecting her kin, ends up creating problems and enemies for her during her reign. Namely, her shady actions convince the Western Church that she is a liar and a witch and give fuel for their own corrupt elements to try to seize power; and to Edelgard, her actions in trying to keep the continent peaceful ends up making her look like a tyrant in Edelgard's eyes and motivates her war.
- Self-Serving Memory: On the Crimson Flower route, she accuses Byleth of stealing her mother away from her, calling them a thief and a second Nemesis, conveniently forgetting that she was the one who implanted the heart of Sothis into them as a baby and spent the entire first half preparing them as a vessel so Sothis may be revived.
- Shadow Archetype:
- Of Naga. Both Rhea and Naga are ancient and extremely powerful dragons, having watched over humanity for millennia. Naga protects humanity and serves as the unambiguous Big Good in both the backstory and main story of several titles in the series by virtue of granting the human protagonists powers to battle evil, and is a Greater-Scope Paragon who incites wisdom. Rhea is morally ambiguous, regarded as a Broken Pedestal by Jeralt and sees herself as an Inadequate Inheritor to her mother's leadership of the continent. Emphasized on the Crimson Flower route, where she becomes the major antagonist in the vein of the malevolent, antagonistic Medeus archetype.
- She's one to Tiki, as both are daughters of an immensely powerful dragon who is worshiped as a Goddess, but where Tiki spent centuries asleep to avoid going mad and wreaking havoc upon humanity, Rhea undergoes Sanity Slippage on the Crimson Flower route, where Byleth betrays her.
- Shipper on Deck: In Catherine's paired endings with Lorenz and Ashe where she also retires to Zanado with Rhea, it's noted that Rhea encourages and persuades her to accept their respective marriage proposals.
- Statuesque Stunner: Although her height is not revealed in-game, datamining reveals her to be 172 cm tall, and in fact ties with Manuela for the second-tallest female character with a recorded height. It doesn't detract from her attractiveness in the slightest.
- Super Empowering:
- On the Crimson Flower route during the final battle, Rhea as the Immaculate One is able to empower the Golem enemies with her roars.
- Her blood can be used to grant the Crest of Seiros to humans. The finale of the Silver Snow route shows that when she loses control of her powers, said power influences her followers who received the blood (along with pieces of her Crest Stone as part of a ritual), turning them into monsters who instinctively protect her.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Sephiran. Both are 1000 year old individuals who hid their real identities under a pseudonym (Rhea called herself Seiros 1000 years ago, her original name unclear, and in truth is the daughter of Sothis the Progenitor God; Sephiran is Lehran, husband to Altina, the First Apostle and founder of Begnion), are devoted to their respective divinities (Sothis and Ashera/Ashunera, respectively), and led a band of heroes to fight their adversaries (the Ten Elites and the Four Saints, and the Three Heroes, respectively). They also tend to be doting towards their issues (Rhea tends to be protective of Sitri and Byleth, while Sephiran took a position in the Senate to be his descendant Apostle Sanaki's personal aide). From them also sprung forth their respective region's system of Branding, though Rhea's Crest System is a mark of prestige and nobility, Lehran's Branded heritage is a cause of division among Beorc and Laguz, and as a result of him losing his powers for birthing the first Branded, these mix-breed offspring are often shunned. They also had similar methods to achieve their goals, although Sephiran at first aimed for peace due to the pact with Goddess Ashera, he started to resort to subtly causing the Beorc-Laguz war to cleanse the world of its sins after his Despair Event Horizon that happened when his homeland Serenes Forest was razed, taking much of the heron clan with it, much like how Rhea engaged in a war as a means of revenge against Nemesis for killing her mother and causing the near-genocide of the Nabateans. While Rhea remains a benevolent figure throughout the game on all but one path (she becomes the Big Bad on Crimson Flower), Sephiran instead was at first benevolent, then had a FaceHeel Turn when Yune, and thus Ashera, was awakened, and became good again after realizing his methods were wrong, if certain conditions are met. The last part is required for the Golden Ending.
- Talking Animal: In her dragon form, Rhea is still able to communicate with others via telepathy. Her voice is distorted in this state.
- Tarot Motifs: The reversed High Priestess, represented by the crest of Seiros. The Reversed High Priestess represents secrets and lack of personal harmony. Despite her good intentions, Rhea distorting history to hide the truth of the origin of the Heroes' Relics and Nemesis gradually backfired on her when it gave Edelgard a reason to start a war against the church and how the crest system ended up causing more harm to the society of Fódlan than good. And telling Jeralt the half-truth regarding Sitri's death and the truth about Byleth's oddities as a baby leads to Jeralt himself losing what trust and admiration he once had for her and left the monastery, taking his child with him along the way to protect them. Additionally, her inability to trust anyone in the aftermath of the Red Canyon massacre or let go of her past made her feel even more isolated from people around her, and telling people half-truths also ended up causing people who once trusted her to lose faith in her like Jeralt and make her seem far more shady to those who had a reason to distrust the church and her authority, hence the lack of personal harmony.
- Theory Tunnelvision:
- Her opinion of Byleth is noticeable tampered by this, in particular during Part I. At the end of the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes, Rhea admits she knew Byleth held within them the conscience of Sothis, yet some of her dialogue and actions during the first half of the game suggests she initially believed they were closer to an amnesiac reincarnation of sorts.
- One of the reasons that drove her to attempt to revive her mother to almost an entire millenia is the belief only she and she alone can fix Fódlan in its current state, which she states to Seteth and Flayn at the start of Chapter 12 in non-Crimson Flower routes. Similarly, it's heavily implied her attempts at restricting Fódlan's technological progress comes from her knowledge of what became of the ancient civilization of Agartha after her mother shared her wisdom with them.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: The Crimson Flower route is caused by Rhea's anger and disgust at Edelgard's betrayal. She tries to order Byleth to kill their own student and, if Byleth refuses and allies with Edelgard instead, Rhea reaches her Rage Breaking Point and completely loses her mind.
- Tragic Hero: She genuinely means well and wants to maintain peace in Fódlan, but her inability to let go of the past, her inability to trust in people, her tendency to get carried away by her emotions and her borderline zealotry leads, both directly and indirectly, to the destruction of everything she's built up and her own probable death.
- Trauma Button: As the Holy Tomb contains whatever Crest Stones and bones remained from other Nabateans, Edelgard and the Empire's raiding and stealing of them either comes dangerously close to smashing itnote or actually does smash itnote . A Byleth who sides with Edelgard becomes one by proxy, feeling that they and Edelgard evoke Nemesis in their actions and power-grabbing behavior.
- Turns Red: As an enemy, Rhea can have access to the abilities Defiant Strength, Vantage, and Wrath.
- Tragic Monster: On the Silver Snow route, she has a draconic degeneration-induced breakdown and becomes the Final Boss, and you have to put her down. If you A- or S-supported her, though, she survives and makes a full recovery.
- Ungrateful Bastard: On the Crimson Flower route, Faerghus gives her shelter for five years when she flees from Edelgard, and she and Dimitri appear to sympathize with each other over their desire for revenge. Dimitri dies in the penultimate battle, causing the populace to throw their support behind her instead. As a result, their capital is being invaded because of her. Rhea's response to their loyalty? Setting Fhirdiad on fire and trapping the citizens inside.
- Uncertain Doom: On the Verdant Wind route, she takes a bunch of missiles head-on and collapses from her wounds. Her status by the end of the story is never confirmed, but since she is bedridden, it's possible that she might survive. Supporting this is the fact that even having her bedridden at all indicates that she had to have survived. On the other hand, she also states that she doesn't have much time left, implying that she at least believes that she may/will die soon, and in Catherine's Verdant Wind endings, she seeks a future unrelated to Rhea or Zanado, which can only also happen on the Silver Snow route should Rhea perish after the final battle.
- Unreliable Narrator: A possible in-universe example happens at the beginning of chapter 12 in non-Crimson Flower paths. Rhea tells Byleth she believes them to be Sothis's amnesiac reincarnation, that they will soon recover all their memories, and that's why they should take over the Church in case anything would happen to her in the upcoming fight. Meanwhile, once they leave and Seteth questions her on the matter, Rhea explains to him instead her belief that while Byleth is in a sense Sothis, at the same time, they're also a vessel hosting her consciousness, and that by helping them, Sothis will eventually awaken and lead Fódlan to salvation. It's unclear just how Rhea views Byleth's own consciousness at the time, as either an extension of Sothis or some kind of false identity. Not helping matters is that her whole "experiment" to revive Sothis (which included making Byleth sit on her throne in an attempt to achieve something) relies overall on a great deal of speculation on her part to begin with.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Or NPC equipment, in her case. During Chapter 12 and Crimson Flower Chapter 17, she wields Seiros' Sword, which normally cannot be obtained nor wielded by any playable character. Likewise, in the Crimson Flower route, there's no way to obtain her Seiros' Shield.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the Cindered Shadows storyline, her act of keeping Sitri's corpse hidden in the Abyss and faking her burial ended up causing Aelfric's discovery of it later, which made way for his plan of sacrificing the Ashen Wolves in an attempt to bring her back to life with the Chalice of Beginnings.
- Villainous Breakdown: On the Crimson Flower route, the death or desertion of Seteth and Flayn, the Kingdom and Churchs defeat at the Tailtean Plains, Dimitris death, and getting surrounded by the Imperial Army in Fhirdriad eventually catches up to her and shreds away what little sanity Rhea has left, to the point where she refuses to strategically evacuate for the time being, sets the kingdom capital on fire, and demands the remaining forces to fight to the death and obliterate the Black Eagle Strike Force.
- Walking Spoiler: If you couldn't tell from the amount of spoilered entries, details about her are crucial to the plot.
- Watching Troy Burn: At the end of the Crimson Flower route, having walled herself up inside Fhirdiad, the capital of Faerghus, and gone completely deranged, she orders Catherine and Cyril to torch the city, intending to invoke this trope as the Black Eagle Strike Force prepare to storm it.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: All her shady actions — including manipulations and secretiveness, half-truths and open lies, supporting (half-heartedly) the Crest-based inequality and enforcing Medieval Stasis upon Fódlan, ruthless retributions towards enemies and clinging to power — were not borne for the sake of power in its own. Rather, Rhea was driven by the desires to protect herself and her kin from attacks by hostile humans, to maintain peace and harmony (in her understanding) in the land she reigned over, and to keep it for the eventual return of her mother, Sothis. However, it takes over five years of imprisonment for her to fully realize the extent to which she misguided herself and Fódlan. Moreover, if Byleth sides with Edelgard, Rhea will start to gradually lose the 'well-intentioned' part, will see them as the next Nemesis and will fight them to death — theirs or her own.
- Weredragon: As a Nabatean, Rhea is capable of transforming into the Immaculate One, an extremely powerful dragon.
- You Are in Command Now: On the Crimson Flower route, once Dimitri bites it in battle against Edelgard and co., Rhea becomes the de facto head of state in Faerghus and the remaining Kingdom soldiers follow her lead in the final battle.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair has a mint green color, very similar to the color of Seiros' hair in the opening cinematic. This turns out to be even less of a coincidence than it first seems.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Rhea is normally calm and detached, but when her imperious veneer breaks, Rhea becomes an absolute terror. She will not hesitate to order anyone who threatens her or the Church to death, and in the Crimson Flower route, does not react to Byleth betraying her to side with Edelgard well immediately turning into her Immaculate One form to kill them personally. As she only grows angrier and desperate over the years on this route, her actions only grow more monstrous. And while she maintains her sanity and never gives into rage to such an extent on the other routes, she always gives an epically rage-filled The Reason You Suck speech directed at Edelgard after she reveals she is the Flame Emperor and raids the Holy Tomb.Rhea: To flee is futile, wicked girl! The Church of Seiros will raise its entire army against you until you have been captured and punished! You have defiled the Holy Tomb, dishonored the goddess, and humiliated your brethren. That crime will never be erased, even if you burn in the eternal flames and spill all of your blood into the goddess's soil.
Class: Wyvern Rider → Wyvern Lord
Crest: Cichol (Major)
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese), Mark Whitten (English)
The aide to the archbishop of the Church of Seiros. He values order and discipline. He respects archbishop Rhea's judgment of the protagonist, who was invited to the Officers Academy as an exception, though he doesn't let his guard down around them either. He dotes on his little sister Flayn, thinking about her often, but can be a bit overprotective.
His personal ability, Guardian, boosts the damage of adjacent female allies during combat. He bears the Major Crest of Cichol, which has a chance to prevent enemy counterattacks while performing Combat Arts.
- Action Dad: Hes the father of Flayn, or rather Cethleann, and a skilled fighter on the battlefield from atop his wyvern.
- Action Initiative: He learns Swift Strikes at A Lances, which allows him two consecutive attacks with any lance weapon for the cost of some weapon durability, even if he was unable to double before.
- Actually, I Am Him: Claims to be a descendant of Saint Cichol, but it turns out he actually is Cichol.
- Adult Fear: In chapter 6, Seteth panics when Flayn goes missing. He knows she hasn't left the academy, but his status prevents him from searching for her. Thus, he needs Byleth and the students to investigate while he spends the month waiting and hoping for a resolution.
- Ambiguously Related: While he is unquestionably family to Rhea due to being a Nabatean, the exact nature of how close they are is kept vague. Seteth never talks of her like a sibling, nor does he refer to Sothis as his mother like Rhea does. Furthermore, both Indech and Macuil are referred to by Flayn as uncle, but neither seem to really express any concern for Seiros if they were siblings, and on Crimson Flower if both Seteth and Flayn survive, Rhea speaks of them as if they were not truly Sothis' children like her. The implication of this seems to be that Seteth is the child of another Nabatean, hence why Seiros is framed as the last living child of Sothis.
- Ancestral Weapon: Both the Spear of Assal and the Ochain Shield are his, being Sacred items tied to his Crest. While the Ochain Shield is in the hands of House Aegir (as that family has carried Minor variants of the same Crest he has for generations), both the Spear of Assal and Cethleann's Sacred Caduecus Staff are located at a monument dedicated to Saint Cichol on the Rhodos Coast. Said monument is also his wife's grave. While both spear and shield are free for the player to obtain on most routes, Seteth will always have the Ochain Shield on him on the Crimson Flower route.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Mostly deals with the administrative tasks regarding Church of Seiros, Knights of Seiros and the monastery. However, he is fully capable of fighting on his own.
- Big Brother Instinct: He's very protective of Flayn. Though he later reveals during a paralogue, when he, Flayn, Byleth, and their class visit his wife's grave, that they are father and daughter, making it Papa Wolf.
- Blow You Away: He learns an arrangement of wind magic like Wind, Cutting Gale, and Excalibur. Somewhat ironic, considering he's an Earth Dragon.
- Brought Down to Badass: Seteth is one of the most powerful units in the game, thanks to his late acquisition and the scaling mechanic guaranteeing him excellent stats everywhere he cares about but Resistance. He used to be much more powerful before his injuries at the end of the War of Heroes, he had a dragon transformation like Seiros and presumably generally comparable abilities.
- Conflicting Loyalty: He is frustrated by this on the Crimson Flower route. Having seen Rhea change and that the Church is effectively doomed even if they win has left him unhappy with supporting her, despite being someone he cares about. Combined with his debt to Byleth for saving Flayn, and he's stuck in a situation he'd prefer leaving entirely. It is entirely possible for him to abandon the fight altogether as a result with his daughter if spared by Byleth when they attempt to retake Garreg Mach.
- Convenient Replacement Character: On the Silver Snow route, Seteth assumes the deployment slot Dimitri and Claude usually take in the chapter "Reunion at Dawn" on their respective routes, which Edelgard can't use as she deserted the character roster and became your faction's enemy two chapters prior.
- Curtains Match the Window: Both his hair and his eyes are dark green.
- Defrosting Ice King: He initially treats Byleth a bit coldly, but mellows out throughout their support and through the events of the game, especially after Byleth rescues Flayn from the Death Knight, which proves to Seteth that Byleth can be trusted and is why Seteth allows Flayn to join Byleth's class. He comes to deeply trust and care for them, even pledging his unwavering loyalty to them.
- Deuteragonist: He's the secondary main character on the Silver Snow route, as he has as much as equal importance as Byleth. That being said, he's not required to join every mission with you, but he can talk to you and appears in cutscenes.
- Dishing Out Dirt: The New Game Plus item that bestows the Crest of Cichol on a unit states that Cichol is 'The Earth Dragon,' implying that, at at some point before losing access to his dragon transformation ability, he had power over the Earth in some form, akin to his brothers Macuil and Indech being associated with Wind and Water. (This also makes Seteth/Cichol the first unambiguous Earth Dragon in the series since Medeus.)
- Dislikes the New Guy: He's initially suspicious of Byleth, since they're a mercenary from parts unknown, and is critical of Rhea's decision to take them on as a professor.
- The Dragon: Even as an enemy on the Crimson Flower route, he's Rhea's most trusted advisor, her ardent supporter, and effective second-in-command of the Church of Seiros, though even he is Locked Out of the Loop on certain things.
- Dragon Rider: His starting class is a Wyvern Rider, which, considering he is a dragon himself, is kind of funny.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- He is Byleth's harshest critic, but when he begins to suspect that Rhea did something questionable during Byleth's birth, he confronts Rhea on the matter and makes it clear that he does not like the implications of his suspicions. Rhea herself is uncharacteristically subdued in the face of this criticism and doesn't try to defend herself beyond asking him to drop the subject.
- Though he is a loyal follower of Rhea, his supports with Cyril have him trying to convince the younger man that his single-minded devotion to Rhea is unhealthy and he should find personal goals to live for, and suggests that even Rhea would approve.
- Fictional Disability: It doesn't interfere with his day-to-day life, but at some point, Seteth lost the ability to use his draconic form that all Nabateans have.
- Foil: He and Rhea contrast with each other:
- Rhea is the serene, friendly and motherly head of the church who has a brutal and merciless side if crossed, while Seteth is a stern, cold, and distrusting bureaucrat who has a warmer side once an individual gains his trust.
- They both are survivors of a horrific near-genocide of their species, but both deal with their grief differently, Rhea cannot escape her past, and longs to revive her mother, while Seteth is able to move on and find peace by raising his daughter.
- Rhea cannot connect with others in the monastery, is approached with caution due to her position as archbishop despite her warm demeanor and is quite lonely as a result, while Seteth writes and reads books for children, is able to connect with students, and is generally liked despite being seen as a strict bureaucrat.
- Rhea shows no mercy towards her enemies and paints them as wholly evil for opposing her, while Seteth, despite initially seeing Edelgard as a power-hungry dictator, is able to at least concede that she isn't a wicked emperor on the Silver Snow route (while still acknowledging that she needs to be stopped).
- Rhea instantly favors Byleth and trusts them because she knows the full truth of them being the vessel for Sothis and the key to her revival, while Seteth is not in the know and is wary and distrustful of them due to how little information can be verified about their background, frequently protesting the amount of trust and favor Rhea extends to them.
- On the Crimson Flower route, Rhea is consumed by her hatred of Byleth and sees them as wholly evil despite them having helped the church before, and ultimately loses control of her anger to become the monster Edelgard considers her to be, while Seteth, despite having a similar hatred towards Byleth for turning their back on the Church, still feels a debt to them for saving Flayn and offers to flee and go into hiding if Byleth spares Flayn.
- Mentions having a particular fondness for Saint Cethleann. This is because he is truly Saint Cichol, making him Saint Cethleann's father.
- The entirety of his and Bernadetta's support revolves around a fable regarding Saint Indech, who was close friends with Saint Cichol. Bernadetta reveals that she used Seteth as a model for Saint Cichol, much to his surprise. Furthermore, the last drawing she shows him has her standing next to Saint Cichol. They also become close friends by their A support. Also, Indech is not just Cichol's friend, but his brother.
- His birthday happens to fall on Saint Cichol's Celebration Day.
- His protectiveness of Flayn is a bit unusual for a older brother, especially given how Flayn seems to be significantly younger than him. He's actually her father, which is why there is such a gap and he is so protective of her.
- Seteth throws out some early hints of the true nature of Nemesis and the 10 Elites in his B Support with Ingrid. Ingrid assumes he's simply referring to the fact that they fought amongst themselves for land, but Seteth responded how they used their sacred weapons on anyone they chose, strong or weak alike.
- Friend to All Children: He loves kids, and in a few of his endings, he will even write picture books for children to enjoy.
- Furry Confusion: Played With. He's a dragon riding a dragon, essentially, as his base class is Wyvern Rider and, as a Child of the Goddess, can (well, could) turn into a dragon himself. Then again, wyverns and dragons like Seteth are generally treated as separate species altogether in the franchise.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: When Flayn ends up missing in Chapter 6, he's very distraught and unable to focus. Sure enough, he's unable to provide Faculty Training, have Tea Time, or do a lecture during the chapter.
- The Good Chancellor: Serves as this to Rhea as her adviser, and in his paired endings with Female Byleth he stays as her adviser in Azure Moon or becomes Prime Minister in Verdant Wind/Silver Snow before they marry.
- Has a Type: In his supports with Manuela, he notes that his preferred woman is kind, quiet, proper, straightforward, and honest.
- Hero Antagonist: On the Crimson Flower route, he opposes Edelgard and the empire, since they kidnapped Flayn to steal her blood, stole his family's remains from their tomb, and drove Rhea mad. Seteth is even a reformist in the Church and had little if anything to do with Rhea's policies, and his supports with Ingrid show he's quite a reasonable fellow when it comes to Crests. He can be persuaded to abandon the conflict altogether once Rhea's mental state starts to deteriorate.
- Hidden Depths:
- He enjoys fishing in his spare time. His first wife taught him how to fish, and he often fishes in her memory.
- His C support with Ingrid reveals that even he's aware that peoples' troubles were caused by Crests, something that she is surprised to hear him say despite being a devout member of the church. He even tells her that her Crest should not define her as a person.
- He is also fond of making stories and fables of other saints, as shown with his supports with Bernadetta and Hilda.
- Interspecies Romance: Seteth is a Nabatean who no longer has the ability to transform, while his first wife is implied to be human, since according to Flayn, he met her in a church in Enbarr. All of his potential suitors are human, including female Byleth, though her status as human is ambiguous.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Downplayed compared to characters like Ferdinand, Ingrid, and Leoine, but Seteth has five proficiencies, those being Swords, Lances, Axes, Authority, and Flying, and a single weakness in Riding. As a result, as long as he's kept a physical unit, he can pretty much be anything thanks to his amazing growths in physical-based classes. He even makes a decent Cavalier despite his weakness thanks to how good his growths are.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He's initially very cold to Byleth, but he's not wrong when he points out how insane it is to trust some random-if-skilled mercenary to influence the minds of the next generation or wield the most powerful sword on the continent. He'll even point out in his C support with Byleth that, while he would like to believe they're on Rhea's side, it's hard for him to not be suspicious of someone who can't remember basic details about themselves, like their own age. Unfortunately he tends to take out his frustrations on Byleth instead of Rhea.
- Jerkass to One: He's not the friendliest individual, but he isn't quite as cold or untrustworthy to people besides Byleth (initially). This is due to how Byleth was given such an important position without Rhea consulting him and without the background checks he normally does.
- "Just Joking" Justification: When Flayn tattles that he said Byleth would be better off patrolling a coffin, he quickly claims that that was stated "in jest, and in confidence".
- Lightning Bruiser: Has all-around high physical stats, with his great personal growths combining well with his class lines growths. Since he starts off as a Wyvern Rider, his overall offensive power is on par with your units when you get him, or even more, and he has room post-timeskip to become one of the best units in the game.
- Locked Out of the Loop:
- He doesn't know certain things about Rhea. Specifically, how tormented she still is by the events of the Red Canyon and the loss of Sothis.
- He is in the dark on why Byleth was made a teacher, as Rhea refuses to answer. He will on his own realize that they have Sothis within them.
- The Lost Lenore: His first wife is long dead when the story begins. However, it's implied by Seteth that she was a casualty of war against Nemesis, not old age. Her death influences Seteths intense overprotective attitude toward Flayn.
- MayflyDecember Romance: Given his actual age, his suitors are far younger than him. It's implied that his first wife was human.
- Mentor Archetype: Many of Seteth's supports with those younger than him involve him giving them advice, offering his availability should they need to talk about something bothering them, and reassuring them when they are uncertain about something. He encourages Felix to interact more with those that care about him, and reminds Ingrid to consider herself an individual before thinking of herself as a Crest bearer.
- Moral Guardians: Despite being a Reasonable Authority Figure, he is responsible for approving all new library books, and tends to not approve less-than-wholesome ones like romance novels, much to Flayn's disappointment. The Cindered Shadow DLC reveals a number of documents that Seteth had banned, in addition to the aforementioned romance novels, Seteth helped suppress information that would lead to anyone learning the truth of the war between Seiros and Nemesis, along with the truth about Crests and Relics.
- Mr. Fanservice: In Heroes, Seteth looks noticeably ripped and his shirt is absolutely shredded in his damaged artwork just to showcase his muscles.
- Multi-Melee Master: He is proficient in all three melee weapons in the game, and can even tutor Byleth in their usage.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Will join Byleth's party automatically at the start of Chapter 12 unless they choose to side with Edelgard and the Adrestian Empire instead of the church. This means he can never fight alongside Edelgard or Hubert outside of his paralogue with Flayn where he is a Guest-Star Party Member, and never alongside Jeritza.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: There is a conversation in which Seteth hears rumors of boys flirting with Flayn. He is... displeased. Becomes subverted when it's later revealed that he's actually Saint Cichol, Saint Cethleann's (Flayn's) father, turning this trope into Overprotective Dad instead.
- Never Gets Drunk: Seteth states in one of his supports that alcohol doesn't have much of an effect on him. Most likely a result of him not being human.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Not that "Seteth" is a particularly difficult name, but many players are surprised to find out that his true name is pronounced "keyhole".
- Number Two: Serves as Rheas right-hand man and handles most of the administrative tasks of running the church. On the Silver Snow route, he serves as this to Byleth for the majority of the post-skip route, since none of the three lords are with you.
- Oblivious to His Own Description: Flayn complains to Seteth about someone determined to get in the way of her making friends with her classmates. Even after she tells Seteth that it is him who she's talking about, he's simply confused, or rather he appears to block out the memory of her saying it. When she later reiterates the point, he maintains he isn't getting in the way but simply making sure everything goes properly.
- Oh, Crap!: After Flayn shares his "patrolling a coffin" remark with Byleth, you can see him break out in a panicked sweat. His claim that it was a joke may have been after the fact, but he clearly wasn't expecting Flayn to spill the beans.
- Older Than He Looks: Datamining reveals that he claims to be 26, but can easily pass for his early to mid-thirties, and he admits to being older and faking his age to better sell that he and Flayn are siblings. As Saint Cichol, he's actually much older than you might think.
- Only One Name: Hes one of the few characters to never have a surname revealed. Considering that hes Cichol of the Four Saints, he doesnt really need one.
- Passive-Aggressive Kombat: His entire support with Hilda consists of him slyly criticizing her laziness and tendency to push off work onto others with friendly words of concern. He follows this up by writing a fairy tale about a lazy fox who nearly starved because she refused to prepare for winter, in contrast to the industrious squirrel.
- Playing with Fire: He can learn Bolganone upon reaching B in Reason.
- Pointy Ears: Has these in concept art; his hair covers them completely in the game.
- Powerful, but Inaccurate: Seteth can learn the Diamond Axe combat art upon reaching A rank in axes. It let him deal 14 additional damage at the cost of 20 accuracy.
- Practically Different Generations: He looks like he's old enough to be Flayn's father, rather than her older brother. He actually is her father.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:"Guide me well."
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:"You shall not survive!"
"Do not try to resist!"
"Just a hinderance!"
"Judgement is passed!"
- Promotion to Parent: Despite being her brother, he acts in a very fatherly manner to Flayn because he is actually just that.
- Properly Paranoid: His repeated questioning of Byleth's swift rise through the ranks of the Church proves very justified on the Crimson Flower route, where they turn traitor.
- Putting the "Pal" in Principal: Technically he is the aide to the archbishop, but as he runs the monastery day-to-day, he can be seen as school's principal or vice-principal variety as some of his supports with students show his Reasonable Authority Figure side, but doesn't hesitate to be a Psychologist Teacher for those that need it, or a Stern Teacher towards students, such as Hilda, that are slacking...or Manuela for having to be carried back to her room drunk by students.
- Quest Giver: He's one of the main people to go to for sidequests, not to mention the main person who requests supplies on the Silver Snow route.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite his stern attitude and high position, his more liberal views can take others by surprise. Ingrid in particular is surprised when he states the obsession with Crests is not a good thing, and that the quality of the individual's character is more important. It helps show just how separated him and the other saints are from the church founded by Seiros.
- Red Herring: He's opposed to the protagonist becoming a professor and is cold to them, so a person playing the game for the first time might assume that Seteth is going to become an obstacle in Byleth's journey. Not only does he never become an obstacle (unless you're on Crimson Flower, where you're fighting the church, and even then, he's among the few enemies you can explicitly spare), if you're on any route other than Crimson Flower, he gradually becomes one of Byleth's staunchest allies (though partially because Byleth saved Flayn from the Death Knight and thus proved trustworthy).
- Required Party Member: Unless Byleth sides against the church, Seteth will automatically join the party in Chapter 12.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If Flayn is spared on the Crimson Flower route, he will go into hiding with his daughter, prioritizing her survival over Rhea's goals.
- Second Love: He lost his wife ages before the story begins, but Female Byleth, Catherine, Bernadetta, Ingrid, Leonie, or Manuela can potentially marry him, effectively becoming a Good Stepmother to Flayn.
- Secret Identity: In his support with Hanneman, Seteth claims to be from an unremarkable commoner background. Hes actually Cichol, one of the Four Saints who fought Nemesis in the distant past.
- Start My Own: In his solo ending during the Verdant Wind route, Seteth creates a new Church of Seiros. Having been softened by his experiences and Claude's ideals, he makes the new church into a more accepting and tolerant religion than the original was, even accepting people with different religious views.
- Stern Teacher: Seteth generally acts like one despite his role as Rhea's aide, punishing students and Manuela for their less-than-stellar behavior but being an ear for others.
- Stunned Silence: After Flayn irritably scolds him for getting in the way of her making friends he just stands in slack-jawed silence for a text box. Then he rights himself, seemingly wiping what Flayn said from his mind.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Seteth's default attitude towards anyone who isn't Flayn or Rhea is very stern, bordering on cold. However, given time and a bit of effort, he shows himself quite capable of warming up (though he never quite loses his professional edge). As Bernadetta puts it in her supports with him when she's explaining why she used him as a reference model for Saint Cichol:Bernadetta: I got the feeling he was a very serious man, but also really kind. You know, like you.
- Tarot Motifs: Through his Crest of Cichol, he represents Strength, which when upright, represents strength of character. Seteth is very stern and authoritative.
- Team Dad: Played with. He generally comes across as the stern disciplinarian type of man in contrast to Rhea's warmer exterior, but when the chips are down he's far more approachable than her and takes a more direct hand in helping people through their issues.
- Turns Red: As an NPC unit on his and Flayn's paralogue as well on the Crimson Flower route, Seteth will have the Defiant Strength ability, which boosts his attack stat considerably once he's low on health.
- Unreliable Expositor: At the end of most versions of Chapter 11, he explains that Edelgard forced her father to step down and took power in what he makes out to be a bloodless coup. Anyone who viewed an optional scene at the beginning of the chapter if Byleth is instructing the Black Eagles will know that he is either misinformed or lying and that Edelgard politely asked an infirm old man on death's door to retire, and he immediately agreed.
- Uptight Loves Wild: Seteth is restrained, professional, and a highly disciplined person, but he can potentially have romantic paired endings with Catherine, Manuela, and Leonie.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: On the Crimson Flower route, his Ochain Shield cannot be obtained nor wielded by any playable character.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: While not exactly villainous, if you chose to side with Edelgard in the Black Eagles route, he retreats from battle when he's defeated in Chapter 12.
- Was Too Hard on Him: Implied during his and Flayn's A support when the former talks about the death of his wife and Flayn's mother. Her death made Seteth/Cichol re-evaluate his parenting strategies and became overprotective of Flayn/Cethleann.Flayn: When I think of it, it is my own fault that you have become so overprotective. I cannot blame you.
Seteth: No. The fault is entirely mine. You were still so young. I placed far too much strain on you, and our lack of resources was no excuse. Worse, I failed to watch you during the battle. Your mother too. We... lost her because of me. Afterward, it broke my heart to see how much you would need to rest just to survive.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Before the Time Skip, he confronts Rhea when he realizes that she implanted the crest stone of Sothis on Byleth as a baby to make them a vessel for Sothis, from reading Jeralt's diary. He outright calls the experiment questionable when he tries to get Rhea to explain in more detail. His reaction to this depends on whether he has supported with Byleth or not, either he accepts it and agrees to aid Byleth (if he has supported with Byleth) or he doesn't accept at the time due to uncertainty on if the plan is just (if he hasn't supported with them).
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His hair is green, right down to his beard. If taken to tea time, Seteth remarks that his hair color is considered unusual. It's a hint that he's got a deeper connection to Rhea, as green hair is most associated with Sothis and Seiros.
Class: Priest → Bishop
Crest: Cethleann (Major)
Voiced by: Yuuko Oono (Japanese), Deva Marie Gregory (English)
The younger sister of Seteth. She resides at the Garreg Mach Monastery, but doesn't attend the Officers Academy. Flayn is usually a pretty calm person, but her inquisitive nature sometimes gets the better of her.
Her personal ability, Lily's Poise, reduces the damage taken by adjacent allies during combat. She bears the Major Crest of Cethleann, which has a chance to raise her Might while casting recovery magic.
- Actually, I Am Him: It turns out she actually is Cethleann.
- Altar Diplomacy: Though she marries Dimitri for love, their ending states that the public at large initially believed that the union was politically motivated.
- Ancestral Weapon: A staff, in this case, with hers being the Caduceus Staff. It is located at a shrine dedicated to Saint Cichol on the Rhodos Coast along with his own Sacred Weapon, the Spear of Assal. If the player didn't do his and Flayn's Paralogue before Chapter 11 on the Crimson Flower route, she'll have the staff on her in battle.
- Babies Ever After: In her paired endings with Byleth and Linhardt.
- Bad Liar: She doesn't do a great job of hiding that she is secretly Saint Cethleann. She will openly tell Byleth that she was born a very long time ago, and when they request specifics, uses obvious attempts to dodge the question. Likely the only reason she hasn't been caught yet is that no one would think to ever connect the two.
- Blasphemous Boast: Her A Support with Ignatz has her agreeing to be Ignatz' model for a painting of Saint Cethleann, on the condition that he depicts her to be 'more illustrious' than the Saint's statue. While elevating herself to be more beautiful than a revered Saint might sound blasphemous, it's subverted when you realize that Flayn is Cethleann.
- Born Unlucky: Tied with Gilbert and Lysithea for the worst Luck growth in the game. Ironic considering that her personal rally is Rally Luck.
- Blow You Away: She has the same arrangement of wind magic Seteth does: Wind, Cutting Gale, and Excalibur.
- ...But He Sounds Handsome: Since she is Saint Cethleann, in many of her supports she likes to hear praise about Saint Cethleann and often enjoys expounding details about the Saint's history.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Played for Laughs. Flayn becomes frustrated by Seteth's overprotective tendencies and tells him a problem she was having was a certain someone is getting in the way of her friendship with other people. And then flat-out tells him it's really him, to which Seteth stands there agape while she walks off in frustration. Why is it this trope? Seteth is really her father.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: Flayn is awful at keeping her identity as Cethleann secret. She claims she's not descended from Cethleann, which means that she has no way to explain her having Cethleann's major Crest. She refuses to pick a fake age and stick with it, which makes her always be evasive when the issue comes up. Lastly she all but blurts out during her paralogue that her mother and Seteth's wife are the same person, revealing the true nature of their relationship. Generally whenever a student confronts her about her background, she'll be evasive rather than tell a lie that'd rapidly assuage their suspicions. She seems to have gotten better with this, as paralogues fighting Indech and Macuil have her telling them to keep quiet with her real name.
- Combat Medic: She starts off as a Priest, but her stats are good enough for her to be offensive thanks to having a Hidden Talent in Reason magic, and her proficiency in Faith magic means she works well in any class with Magic usage. Taken even further with the Caduceus Staff, which boosts her magic attack range and provides her HP recovery every turn. Dancer is often recommended for her to help her utility as a result.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She has her moments. Her interpretation of Seteth telling her to stay away from Sylvain is to literally force him to stand several feet away from her when talking. Having a fishing tournament based around her, only to forget which fish she actually wants, also has to count.
- Covert Pervert: In her C Support with Claude, she tries to find books on regular people and includes romance in her request, blushing as she does so, and Claude immediately gets her meaning.
- Curtains Match the Window: Her hair and eyes are the same shade of light green.
- Distressed Damsel: She gets kidnapped in chapter 6, forcing the entire monastery to search for her whereabouts.
- Exact Words: She tells Linhardt that she's not a descendant of Saint Cethleann with complete confidence and honesty. Because she IS Cethleann.
- Flayn is the only student character whose portrait doesn't change post-timeskip. Given her actual age, what's another 5 years?
- Her birthday is Saint Cethleann's Day.
- She's very fond of fish, and it's traditional to eat fish on Saint Cethleann's Day.
- Flayn can form supports with Claude and Dimitri, but cannot form any supports with Edelgard, meaning that Flayn and Edelgard can never fight together beyond being temporary teammates, and one or the other will leave depending on the route for the Black Eagles.
- A few times during the game, characters will comment how they didn't know Seteth had a little sister. While Tomas's comment on it is initially meant to be written off after it's revealed he's Solon, Jeralt comments on not knowing much about him and him having a sister, and if you have the Cindered Shadows DLC and recruit Balthus prior to Chapter 6, he mentions being surprised to know Seteth has a sister. This hints at her actually being his daughter.
- Freudian Slip:
- She sometimes lets slip in conversations with people hints that she is Saint Cethleann, despite her best attempts to keep it a secret. She notes that Saint Cethleann isn't married er, wasn't married in her B support with Linhardt. Likewise, when Ignatz is doing research on Saint Cethleann, she ecstatically tells a different version of the legend than Ignatz knows. While talking about Enbarr to her allies, she remarks that it brings back memories from a long time ago, and while praising Dedue's cooking, she says it's the best food she's had in all her years.
- She always neglects to mention her brother, and she offhandedly mentions that her parents met in Enbarr and soon after had her despite Seteth supposedly being her older brother. All in all, she does not seem to regard Seteth as her brother, since he is her father, Cichol.
- Guest-Star Party Member: If Byleth is a member of the Black Eagles and deserts the Church to join Edelgard, Flayn abandons them.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Implied. She reveals that her parents met in a church in Enbarr, and she was conceived through this union. Her father, Seteth (or Cichol), is a Nabatean who has lost the ability to transform into his dragon form, and her mother seems to have been human based on what little information is given about her. This is likely why her enemies are literally after her blood, as a Nabatean's blood can develop Crests, and if she's half-human, she could produce a powerful Crest her enemies can use.
- Hazy Feel Turn: If you choose the Black Eagles and follow Edelgard in betraying the Church of Seiros, she deserts you.
- Hero Antagonist: On the Crimson Flower route, Flayn opposes the Empire, both due to the war they started and the personal pain they caused her. She will defer to Seteth if he's convinced to abandon the conflict.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Her supports with Seteth deal with her frustration over not being able to act normal and be open about who she really is and what exactly their relationship really is. In their final support, they agree to talk more openly to each other to help try and smooth things out.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Seteth's overprotectiveness has forced Flayn to live in isolation for long stretches of her life, and she eagerly welcomes the opportunity to join Byleth's class and make friends, while getting pissed off at her brother (actually dad) for interfering in her social life.
- Immortal Immaturity: Despite being Saint Cethleann herself, making her very old, Flayn is ignorant to many basic things and acts like a child a lot. For example, she seems mystified as to why a fish would float sideways on the surface of the pond, and wonders if it means it just gave up and decided to be caught and eaten. It's later revealed that in order to heal herself, she has been sleeping for ages since the ancient battle with Nemesis left her badly wounded, leaving her largely ignorant of the current era.
- Kiai: Her Supports with Raphael all revolve around her learning a properly intimidating shout while exerting herself to become stronger, as he does.
- Kill the Cutie: It's possible for her to die on the Crimson Flower route when the Knights of Seiros attempt to retake the monastery after the fall of the Leicester Alliance. In front of her own father Seteth to boot, just to twist the knife even further.
- Lethal Chef:
- She notes that people tend to flee the dining hall when it's her turn to cook. In her support with Dimitri, he eats it without issue and calls it delicious, but later reveals that he couldn't actually taste it.
- If she reaches an A-Support with Dedue, their ending states that she eventually upgrades into a Supreme Chef.
- Light 'em Up: A New Game Plus item that allows one to bestow the Crest of Cethleann onto a unit states that Cethleann was the 'Light Dragon,' indicating that before losing access to her dragon form, Cethleann had some sort of command over Light.
- When told by Seteth to stay away from Sylvain, Flayn interprets this to mean that he must stand several feet away from her when speaking to her.
- In her B-support with Sylvain, she reacts with genuine concern to him claiming to have a "sickness" that forces him to flirt with pretty girls, and insists that her healing magic can make him better. He awkwardly changes the subject to treating her to a meal to celebrate their friendship.
- Locked Out of the Loop: She knows Seteth has figured out the source of Byleth's oddities, but he refuses to tell her more.
- Mage Killer: Flayn has the highest Resistance growth in the game and learns Seal Magic, meaning she can effectively tank magic attacks and weaken the offence of any surviving mage.
- Metaphorgotten: In her supports with Byleth, she compares them to the ocean, only to get sidetracked thinking about fish.
- Morality Pet:
- She is Seteth's, as it's saving Flayn's life that finally causes Seteth to trust Byleth completely.
- She's one of the very few students that Felix isn't rude and hostile to in their support chain, instead humouring her request to chop things she throws at him.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: A weird example. She will join Byleth no matter what house they are a part of in Chapter 7, should you accept her help at the end of the previous chapter. However, she will abandon a Byleth who is allied with Edelgard and the Adrestian Empire at the end of Chapter 11, and cannot be re-recruited for the rest of the game; this means that she will never fight alongside Jeritza under any circumstances, since they join after she deserts.
- Nice Girl: Flayn is a gentle, kind and sweet soul who abhors violence and the pain of others, and in her supports seeks to make friends and bond with people.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Her uniform is a dress rather than the skirt and blazer worn by the other girls. It also has bows instead of the fringing below the shoulders, and knotted lacework in place of the golden panels on the front.
- Older Than They Look: Datamined files reveal she is 17 physically but is much much older. Due to her immaturity she can come across as easily two-three years younger than she really is as she slept for nearly a thousand years to survive her injuries.
- Only One Name: Shes one of the few characters to never have a surname revealed. Considering shes Cethleann of the Four Saints, she really wouldnt need one.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Linhardt is able to find several similiarities in personality and mannerisms between her and Cethleann simply by reading old historical records, though he assumes it's because she is a descendant of Cethleann rather than the woman herself.
- Playing with Fire: She learns Fire, instead of Bolganone like Seteth, upon reaching D+ in Reason.
- Pointy Ears: Concept art reveals she has these. They're kept hidden by her hair.
- Practically Different Generations: Despite being siblings, she and Seteth look like they're far enough in age for him to be her father, rather than her older brother. It's because he is her father.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:"Let us away." (Pre-timeskip)
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:"Prepare yourself!"
"I'm sorry, it must be done!"
"If I must!"
- Recurring Element: Flayn fits several character archetypes used in many Fire Emblem games. At first glance, she looks like the 'noble little sister healer' archetype started by Maria, but she is also the Really 700 Years Old dragon in the form of a young girl, in the same vein as Tiki, Myrrh, and Nowi, although Flayn is somewhat older than the series' typical examples. Flayn is also unusual in that she lacks a class based on shapeshifting.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: Flayn is the only character who still wears her academy uniform post-timeskip.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When spared on the Crimson Flower route she will go into hiding with Seteth, choosing to survive with the chance they've been given.Flayn: Farewell, Professor. We shall most likely never meet again.
- Secret Identity: Seteth tells Byleth that there are people who would wish to harm Flayn, and thus he keeps her isolated in the monastery. Shes actually Cethleann, one of the Four Saints who fought Nemesis in the distant past.
- Secret Relationship:
- Played for laughs if she marries Claude. She becomes the queen of Almyra, but they somehow manage to keep their relationship hidden from Seteth.
- Also occurs in Linhardt's ending, where the two disappear from the public eye shortly after the war ends, the only hint to their relationship being when several children bearing the Major Crest of Cethleann join the Officers Academy.
- Sixth Ranger: Flayn joins your house after chapter 6, but turns out to be a Guest-Star Party Member on the Crimson Flower route.
- Spock Speak: Flayn has a very precise way of speaking and (almost) never uses contractions, and she herself is unaware of her Antiquated Linguistics until Claude points it out to her.
- Squishy Wizard: She has a good magic growth and her high resistance lets her shrug off magical attacks, but with her low physical defense, she's hit hard by non-magical enemies.
- Super Gullible: Flayn is naive for her age, something various characters remark on and find mysterious due to how she also seems very mature. In her C-support with Sylvain, she's immediately taken to believing rumors of Sylvain flirting with horses and chickens, and after scolding Sylvain for philandering, he later tells her he has an illness where he can't stop himself from sweet-talking a pretty girl, and she readily believes it. However, she's also Too Dumb to Fool: his attempt to flirt with her goes over her head, and she takes the comments as compliments.
- Tarot Motifs: Through her Crest of Cethleann, she represents the Lovers. When upright it represents communication and relationships (romantic or otherwise), something Flayn wants to experience in spite of all of the circumstances surrounding her. Reversed, it represents separation and relationship issues. Flayn has a strained relationship with her brother (actually her father) Seteth due to him keeping her sheltered and losing her mother.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Flayn loves eating fish. As she explains, her late mother was fond of fishing, and thus fishing and fish hold sentimental value for her.
- Tritagonist: She's the third main character on the Silver Snow route next to Byleth and Seteth. Like the latter, she's not required to join you in every mission, but she appears in most cutscenes and tells you mission objectives.
- Vague Age: Flayn is one of the few characters with an unknown age in the game. Adding to the mystery, Flayn has a habit of acting both older and younger than she appears. Byleth even gets several moments where they can ask her directly how old she is and she always deflects. One time she even simply says "I'm the same age as the other youths." In reality, due to her Nabatean blood she's actually Really Over 700 Years Old.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: While not exactly villainous, if you chose to side with Edelgard in the Black Eagles route, she retreats from battle when she's defeated in Chapter 12.
- Vocal Dissonance:
- In the dubbed version, Flayn sounds a bit older than how one might expect a teenage girl to sound. However, there's a reason for this: Flayn sounds older than she appears because she's not a descendant of Saint Cethleann; she is Saint Cethleann!
- Additionally, her manner of speech sounds refined, often lacking contractions. It certainly helps sell the fact that shes been sleeping for centuries and is a bit out of touch with modern Fódlan.
- War Is Hell: If Byleth talks to Flayn when exploring the monastery in chapter 18 of the Azure Moon route, after the Second Battle of Gronder Field, Flayn reveals how deeply traumatic having to fight her former classmates is for her, and hopes that the war will put an end to such "foolish" behavior.Flayn: How inhuman war is—how horrifying. My heart feels shattered.
- White Magician Girl: She starts out as as a Priest with high proficiency in the Faith skill. Shes one of two characters who learn the Fortify spell, which heals multiple units in an area.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is a lighter shade of green from Seteth's shade, matching Rhea's mint green. As green hair is most associated with Seiros and Sothis, it's a sign of her true identity.
Class: Monk → Verrat → Umbral Beast
Crest: Seiros (Minor)
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa (Japanese), Michael Sinterniklaas (English)
A man who oversees the Abyss under orders from the Church of Seiros. Saddened by the ruined state of the Abyss, full of hunger and crime, he managed to guide the people to some semblance of order that can be seen now. He is calm and forgiving, and despite their distaste for the Church, the people of Abyss tend to trust him. The creation of the Ashen Wolves was also his suggestion.
- Affably Evil: Even after he betrays you, he never drops his polite, affable demeanor. Indeed he maintains he has no desire to hurt anyone, but obsessively believes he must for the sake of Sitri.
- All for Nothing: In the end, everything Aelfric did to resurrect Sitri, even at the cost his own life, was for naught. Indeed, it was impossible from the start, as Rhea tried to tell him. The chalice inherently cannot return a departed soul.
- Alternate Self: His Cindered Shadows version is a completely different individual from the one who appears in the main story. He appears under the name "Monk" asking for flowers to place upon Sitri's grave, and idle dialogue in Abyss explains that like his Cindered Shadows self this version of Aelfric was the one behind the Abyss becoming a civilized place, but he was forced out of the Church later on due to some undefined scandal. Clearly in the main game's continuity, while he is still focused on Sitri, he never became a villain, either never finding where Sitri's body is in Abyss or Sitri having been truly buried where her marked grave is.
- Anti-Villain: Aelfric aimed to resurrect Sitri, resulting in him draining the blood from the Ashen Wolves to complete this goal. Even so, Yuri mentions that Aefric is bad at acting like an out-and-out villain.Yuri: You're no villain, with that sticky conscience you call a heart tripping you up. Not like me.
- Bad Boss: The Rite of Rising will kill everyone in the Holy Mausoleum except him. He begins performing it while his minions are fighting Byleth and the students, damaging everyone in the room in the process. Aelfric is completely unconcerned. Oddly, his soldiers (all apostates) don't seem bothered either.
- Becoming the Mask: He came to really care about the Ashen Wolves to some degree. Didn't stop him from trying to sacrifice them, though.
- Big Bad: While the story initially misleads the player to believe that Rhea and the Empire are the enemies of the Abyssians and the Ashen Wolves, its revealed in chapter 4 to all be red herrings as he is the true villain whom Rhea enlisted Yuri to investigate.
- Big Good: Aelfric is first presented as a beacon of hope in Abyss, and had made it a more livable place out of the kindness of his heart. He's even responsible for the creation of the Ashen Wolves. However, the end of Chapter 5 reveals him to be anything but.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Aelfric is seen as the beacon of hope to many within the Abyss, as he did everything in his power to make their lives comfortable. It was also at his suggestion that the Ashen Wolves were formed to provide a semblance of leadership and normalcy to the students who left the Officer's Academy. In actuality, he's been after the fabled chalice that the Four Apostles once used and gathered their descendants in order to obtain it. How much he ever really cared about the Ashen Wolves is ambiguous, since he was fully willing to sacrifice them in order to reenact the Ritual of Rising and bring Sitri back to life.
- Broken Pedestal: Goes both ways:
- The Ashen Wolves, as well as all of Abyss, looked up to and respected him as the only one from the church they could trust. His betrayal shakes the students who looked up to him.
- Rhea is this in his eyes. He rightfully assumed she had something to do with Sitri's death and why her body is still pristine years after her death. Even after Rhea tells him the circumstances of her death, he's not willing to believe it.Aelfric: Rhea, I am finished with you. The only thing that remains to be done is to complete the ritual.
- The Cameo: In the main story, he pops up in Chapter 7 and gives you a sidequest to collect some flowers for your mother's grave.
- The Chessmaster: He's surprisingly crafty for being a man of the cloth. He's the reason why the descendants of the Four Apostles came to Garreg Mach by falsifying their enrollment papers and was even the man responsible behind the ill-fated mission where Yuri was forced to murder the knights tasked with killing his friends. He made sure they all ended up in the Ashen Wolves so that they could seek out the chalice for him, later taking advantage of Byleth's presence and overall skills to sweeten the deal. That being said, even he admits that Yuri is a better strategist than him, and it turns out that Rhea had been onto him too.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Like many antagonist characters, he has the Commander skill, conferring immunity to Standard Status Effects. Unlike other antagonists, he actually gets to keep this skill during his brief tenure in your party.
- Contrived Coincidence: Not really. It seems like it's an awful amount of luck that the Ashen Wolf House he formed has the descendants of the Four Apostles, whose bloodlines are required to remove the seal hiding the chalice away. Rhea's investigation about the students' backgrounds and enrollment papers, however, reveals he's the one who made sure they ended up in his lap, purposely inviting them to Garreg Mach before falsifying their enrollment papers, and in at least one case arranging for the circumstances that led to one of them being put in Abyss (Yuri).
- Did Not Get the Girl: He was in love with Byleth's mother, but lost her to Jeralt. Interestingly, that was never what bothered him but instead the fact that she's dead is what bothered him.
- Dogged Nice Guy: In the past, despite his attempts to get Sitri to notice him, he wasn't able to make her smile as Jeralt managed to. His status as one is not his motivation for his actions however, he's more concerned with reviving her because of the sheer unnatural nature of her death than anything.
- Doppelgänger Attack: As the Umbral Beast, he can summon Phantoms that take the form of his human self during his turn. Not only can they attack with fire magic, but any Phantoms that are alive by his next turn will have their health siphoned off to regenerate his own health. However, they don't have any sentience for themselves outside of mindlessly attacking others.
- Dub Name Change: He's called Alphard in the Japanese version.
- Evil All Along: Despite the people of the Abyss high praise of him, it is revealed that he was the true Big Bad of the Cindered Shadows story, using the students of the abyss to enact his plot to revive Sitri, even if it meant sacrificing them to achieve this goal. Played With when Yuri notes that he was placed in charge of the Abyss, formed the Ashen Wolves, and worked tirelessly to improve Abyss and remake it into a shelter for oppressed people years before he found Sitri's body, leading to Yuri speculating that at first he may have had genuinely good intentions.
- Faked Kidnapping: He worked with Metodey to stage his abduction as part of his plan.
- Fallen Hero: He was once a genuinely devout follower of the Church of Seiros, but ten years before Cindered Shadows, he discovered Sitri's body, deciding then to revive her at any cost. It's also speculated by Yuri that he truly cared for the people of Abyss, as the Ashen Wolves were established 15 years before the start of the game.
- False Friend: He acts like a Good Shepherd to the Wolves, but in reality, he's planning to kill them all to bring back Sitri.
- Final Boss: He is the main antagonist and final enemy fought in the Cindered Shadows campaign.
- To Rhea. Both of them conspired and manipulated those around them in order to resurrect a loved one back from the dead, and were both involved with the creation of the Ashen Wolves. They also cared for a lost loved one above most else. However, while Rhea (outside of Crimson Flower) eventually accepted the fact that her mother Sothis could never come back, Aelfric never stopped believing he could bring back Sitri, paying for it with his life. Further, while Rhea did once attempt to revive Sothis using the Chalice of Beginnings, it failed due to not having enough blood drained for it (or at least this is theorized to be the reason). Whereas Rhea was thus implicitly not willing to sacrifice the lives of the Apostles to revive Sothis, Aelfric is prepared to drain their modern day equivalents to death to revive Sitri. Not to mention that while Rhea acted Ax-Crazy in the only route she was an antagonist in (a.k.a. Crimson Flower), Aelfric was much more Affably Evil in Cindered Shadows. Lastly, when Aelfric is transformed into the Umbral Beast by the Chalice of Beginnings, he takes on an appearance that looks eerily like a zombified version of Rheas Immaculate One form.
- He and Jeralt were once devoted to the Church of Seiros, and both had fallen in love with the same nun. They both also had the Crest of Seiros, and became greatly disillusioned with Rhea at different points of their lives. To contrast, while Aelfric Did Not Get the Girl, Jeralt was Happily Married with Sitri. While Jeralt was able to move on from Sitri's death, Aelfric's entire motivation hinges on bringing her back. After seeing what being a teacher at the Officers Academy does for Byleth, Jeralt admits that they probably would have been alright if they stayed at the monastery, while Aelfric holds onto his resentment for Rhea to the bitter end. The way they both talk about Sitri after her death also contrasts. Aelfric talks about her like she was a goddess herself (perhaps not helped by the fact that her body is still in pristine condition) and after meeting Byleth talks about her quite often, indicating his inability to move on from her death, Jeralt on the other hand, while glowing, speaks about Sitri like she was just a person and rarely talks about her, showing he was able to some degree move on from her death. Additionally, Aelfric narrates the Cindered Shadows story, much like how Jeralt narrates the main game.
- For Alois. Both men have a history with one of Byleth's parents whom they hold in high regard, and as a result both hold Byleth in high regard simply for being their child. Both provide backstory for Jeralt and Sitri respectively. However, in most cases, especially when he's recruited, Alois considers protecting Byleth as much his duty as anything else he does for the Knights of Seiros, especially after Jeralt's death. Aelfric on the other hand will not hesitate to strike Byleth down for getting in his way despite knowing how lovingly Sitri nurtured them while pregnant.
- Fusion Dance: At the end of "Cindered Shadows", the Chalice of Beginnings absorbs and fuses both him and Sitri's corpse, warping Aelfric into a horrific abomination known as an Umbral Beast.
- Good Shepherd: He brought relative order to Abyss, which was originally just a den of thieves, is so kind and respected that many residents who hate the Church still trust him greatly, and he outright refers to the Wolves as his "flock" on multiple occasions. Its revealed in Chapter 5 that this is all a front, though Yuri speculates that at one point he was genuine in his attempts to guide the people of Abyss.
- Gratuitous German: His unique class, Verrat, is German for betrayal, appropriately enough.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Averted. He wasn't angry or jealous of Jeralt when Sitri fell for the man, and if his conversations with Byleth mean anything, he was on good terms with him. His reasons for reviving Sitri seem more because he's horrified by the nature of her death, and because he hopes to see her again.
- Guest-Star Party Member: You temporarily control him in Chapter 5, and must protect him from bandits looking to steal the Chalice of Beginnings.
- Hidden Disdain Reveal: If he fights Balthus in Chapter 6, he declares him to be "ever the brutish thug", strongly implying he's always held him in contempt.
- I Have Your Wife: Pulled a variation on Yuri, kidnapping his loved ones to make him comply with his plans. Unfortunately for Aelfric, Yuri had other plans.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He was in love with Sitri, but willingly stepped aside and was content just seeing her be happy with Jeralt.
- Love Makes You Evil: Aelfric's actions were to bring Sitri back from the dead above all else.
- Love Triangle: He and Jeralt vied for Sitri. Eventually, Aelfric gave up his initial pursuits after seeing Jeralt make Sitri smile.
- Magic Knight: During his brief time in your party, he has a couple of steel weapons, and his Strength isn't too shabby for a man of the cloth.
- Meaningful Name:
- "Aelfric" is the name of several churchmen of different religions in real-life history. Fittingly, he is one of the Cardinals within the Church of Seiros, whose identities are kept secret to the point where very few actually know about them.
- His Japanese name, Alphard, is Arabic for the solitary one, and indeed he is ultimately motivated by a desire to no longer be alone.
- Necromantic: He is obsessively in love with Sitri, and is willing to do anything to bring her back from the dead.
- No Name Given: In his cameo in the main story, he is simply referred to as "Monk" (though his name is mentioned by an NPC at an earlier point in the main story, said NPC giving you enough info to know that the "Monk" you meet later is Aelfric).
- Not So Different: Ironically, to Rhea. Both had planned to revive a lost loved one back to life, and manipulated those around them to do so.
- One-Winged Angel: In the final battle, with nothing else to lose, Aelfric adds his blood to the Rite of Rising in a last-ditch effort to revive Sitri. This results in him, along with Sitri, being absorbed by the Chalice of Beginnings, transforming him into the mindless Umbral Beast.
- Parental Substitute: Acted as one to the Ashen Wolves, making his betrayal all the most shocking for them.
- Playing with Fire: He heavily favors fire magic as his weapon of choice. He has Fire and Bolganone as a playable character, and gets Ragnarok and Meteor as a boss. Even his Phantom clones favor fire magic.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Played with, Three Houses being the game it is. Aelfric wears a black robe with red trimmings and plotted to sacrifice the Ashen Wolves for his plans. However, his motivation was ultimately to bring back the love of his life, which is more than one can say for the likes of Solon.
- Say My Name: As Aelfric turns into the Umbral Beast, all he can say in a distorted voice is Sitri's name.
- Seeks Another's Resurrection: This is his motive behind the events of the game. He discovered Sitri's corpse, completely unaffected of the elements and devoid of rot, and later learned of the Ritual of Rising and set the events of "Cindered Shadows" into motion by gathering the descendants of the Four Apostles.
- Single-Target Sexuality: He only has eyes on Sitri. He never found love again and remains single after Sitri's death.
- Unbalanced by Rival's Kid: Averted. Aelfric is actually more than happy to meet Byleth, and, although he still inevitably betrays Sitri's child, he does not take any pleasure from it. He tries to justify his actions to Byleth by insisting that they deserve to see their mother revived. When they impede his plans, Aelfric is more shocked that they would stop the return of their mother than anything else, and doesn't understand why they would see his actions as wrong.
- Unique Enemy:
- As the boss of Chapter 6, he is a member of the unique Verrat class.
- As the Final Boss of "Cindered Shadows", he becomes a unique Demonic Beast called an Umbral Beast.
- Villain Has a Point: Aelfric calls Rhea out on lying about the circumstances of Sitri's death.
- Villain Protagonist: Is briefly playable in Chapter 5, just before his true colors are revealed.
- Villain Respect: When Yuri reveals that he Out-Gambitted him, Aelfric can do nothing but concede that Yuri was the better Chessmaster.
- Walking Spoiler: Being Evil All Along will do that to you.
Age: Around 19/20
Crest: Goddess/Flames (Major)
A former resident of Garreg Mach Monastery, Sitri is the mother of Byleth and wife of Jeralt who died 21 years before the start of Three Houses.
- Ambiguous Situation: The exact circumstances of her giving birth to Byleth and subsequently dying are shrouded in mystery. The only firsthand account the player hears is from Rhea and both Jeralt and Aelfric call her story into question. However, her status as an Ill Girl lends some credibility to both her death and Byleth's stillbirth.
- Artificial Human: She was created by Rhea as a possible vessel for Sothis, though this ultimately failed. She's still implied to be more Nabatean than human, as her body is revealed to not rot, much like the bones and muscles used for the Heroes' Relics do not. To drive the matter further, like Rhea, Seteth, and Flayn, Sitri's hair always covers her ears.
- Bookworm: According to Aelfric, she was always reading in the library.
- Came Back Wrong: In the final battle of Cindered Shadows, Aelfric initiates the Rite of Rising by using his blood in addition to the Four Apostles...but the results are not pretty. Instead of bringing back Sitri from the dead, The Chalice of Beginnings instead absorbs her corpse along with Aelfric. This turns Aelfric into an Umbral Beast, a large, draconic monster with veins strewn about its flesh.
- Death by Childbirth: A strange version. While she survived the birth itself, when Byleth was stillborn she demanded Rhea take the Sword of the Creator's crest stone, which acted as her heart and place it in her child to save them, which ultimately saved Byleth at the cost of her life. That being said, Rhea implies in Silver Snow and Cindered Shadows that she wasn't going to survive for much longer either due to her frailty.
- Emotionless Girl: According to Aelfric, Sitri struggled to express her emotions just like Byleth. However, he claims that this trope disappeared when Jeralt was around.
- Gender-Blender Name: Sitri is the name given to a Great Prince of Hell in the Ars Goetia.
- Happily Married: Allegedly with Jeralt. From what he saw of her, she was only able to express herself around him, and Jeralt was clearly in love with her.
- Ill Girl: It's mentioned that Sitri is physically frail and is unable to leave the monastery at all.
- Like Father, Like Son: Well, more "Like Mother, Like Child". According to Aelfric, she was very stoic and had trouble expressing her emotions except around Jeralt. Byleth ends up being almost the exact same only with their students. Given how Sitri has a Crest Stone in her and was an Artificial Human, it seems Byleth's stillborn birth and Rhea implanting said Crest Stone in them caused it.
- The Lost Lenore: For Jeralt and Aelfric.
- Mama Bear: When it became clear that either she or her child (or indeed both of them) would die when she gave birth, she instructed Rhea to make sure the baby lived over her by giving Byleth her Crest Stone.
- MayflyDecember Romance: Considering Jeralt was over 100 years old when they met, this was likely the case. However, considering she had the Sword of the Creator's crest stone in place of her heart, this may have instead resulted in Eternal Love if not for Sitri's untimely death.
- Meaningful Name: The demon that Sitri gets her name from is associated with love. Fitting, considering how lovestruck she made Jeralt and Aelfric.
- No Name Given: In the main game. It isn't until the Abyss DLC that her name is revealed, with her name then being added to her gravestone in the main game.
- Poor Communication Kills: Jeralt was left completely out of the loop considering the Crest Stone transplant between Sitri and Byleth, leading him to blame Rhea for both Sitri's death and Byleth's Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, making him resent and fear her and ultimately faking Byleth's death and fleeing from Garreg Mach, not realizing it was Sitri that had chosen for these actions to happen. To be fair, Rhea did plan on taking advantage of the situation, so his fears weren't completely unfounded.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Her death not only prompts Jeralt to leave with Byleth on tow shortly after their birth, subsequently setting up the events that will lead to Byleth's involvement in the main story, but is also the main motivation for Aelfric's actions throughout the Cindered Shadows DLC.
- Posthumous Character: Sitri is dead by the start of Three Houses, with her backstory expanded on in the Cindered Shadows DLC.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Byleth obviously gets their looks from her.
- Supreme Chef: According to Jeralt, she was apparently a wonderful cook.
- Theme Naming: Both she and her child are named after the demons Sitri and Beleth.
- Walking Spoiler: As the number of spoiler tags indicate, she's this to the main story and, to a lesser extent, the Cindered Shadows storyline.
- When She Smiles: As previously mentioned, Sitri struggled with expressing her emotions just as Byleth does, with the sole exception being when she was looking at Jeralt. However, according to Jeralt, she smiled the most when she was pregnant with Byleth.Aelfric: It was only when she was gazing at Jeralt that I ever saw her smile... a smile that rivaled the very sun.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has green hair, due to her Nabetean origins. Byleth clearly got their hair color from her, though still images of her preserved corpse in Cindered Shadows shows her with teal hair.
Knights of Seiros
Jeralt Reus Eisner
Age: Over 120
Crest: Unknown (Seiros (Major))
Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (Japanese), David Lodge (English)
A legendary figure who was considered the strongest knight in all of history. He was invited to the monastery alongside his child Byleth and was asked to rejoin the Knights of Seiros. He is Byleth's father and is the captain of a mercenary company.
- The Ace: Considered the strongest knight in history. Jeralt's child is also so capable as a mercenary that they are trusted to teach the art of warfare to the continent's most elite at the Officers Academy. Since Jeralt is the actual leader of the mercenary group, it can be presumed that his skill surpasses even Byleth's and perhaps that of the Academy's other instructors.
- Action Dad: One of the most reliable green units in the game demonstrating why he's considered the strongest knight.
- Affectionate Nickname: Often calls Byleth "kid", even though it's implied that they're in their adult years.
- The Alcoholic: An early quest requires you to find his lost drinking flask. Many conversations about him reference his love of bars, and Alois reveals to Leonie that he has unpaid tabs all across Fódlan.
- Back in the Saddle: He has been retired from the Knights of Seiros for about 20 years, but at the start of the game he is called back into service.
- Badass Baritone: A Living Legend and powerful warrior with a deep voice to match in both Japanese and English.
- Blue Blood: The fact that he has a middle name implies he might have originally come from nobility, though the only thing confirmed about his past before becoming a Knight of Seiros is that he was a soldier from Faerghus, though at least important enough to be tasked with guarding Rhea.
- Broken Pedestal: Towards Rhea after he becomes suspicious that shes somehow responsible for his childs oddities (being unnaturally quiet for a baby, having a pulse with no heartbeat) and that she wasnt being fully truthful about Sitris death."I used to think the world of Lady Rhea. Now she terrifies me."
- Child Hater: Downplayed. While he's never overtly hostile to the students, he invariably refers to them as "brats" in conversation with Byleth.
- Deadly Deferred Conversation: He seals his fate when he tells you he has something important to tell you after the month's mission.
- The Drag-Along: After spending years avoiding the Knights of Seiros, he is rejoins when requested by Rhea. He doesn't actually put up much resistance, believing he is incapable of declining a personal request from the archbishop herself, but his private musings with Byleth imply he's none too happy about being pulled out of his retired life as a mercenary.
- Emergency Transformation: Rhea gave him her blood — something ordinarily exclusively reserved for her top underlings — in order to save his life after he Took The Bullet for her a century ago. This both gave him her Major Crest of Seiros and extended his lifespan to superhuman levels, essentially making him an equal of the 10 Elites (sans a Relic).
- Famed in Story: Pretty much everyone in the story already knows who Jeralt is. In fact, the first thing Edelgard talks to Byleth about after the prologue is how he's often regarded as the strongest knight who ever lived.
- Go Out with a Smile: He's both sad and happy as he dies, because him dying is the first time Byleth has cried, assuring them that Byleth's growing as a person.
- Happily Married: Jeralt fondly remembers the times he spent with Sitri until her death. When you look at his diary after his death, Sothis brings up how most of the diary entries before Sitri's death are of a love-struck man.
- Hidden Depths: When reading his diary after his death, Sothis notes that he has rather pretty handwriting.
- Improbable Power Discrepancy: For all his accolades, Jeralt stays only a few levels ahead of the player for missions where he provides NPC support. Most egregious during the prologue, where the infamous Blade Breaker, former captain of the Knights of Seiros, is a measly level 3.
- In the Back: Kronya kills him via a literal stab in the back due to Jeralt letting his guard down around her disguise as Monica.
- In Vino Veritas: Alois recalls how Jeralt only really shared things about himself when drunk, including strange tales such as how Jeralt supposedly received a transfusion of Crest-bearing blood that has allowed him to live over a hundred years. Alois plays off these tales like a joke.
- Interface Spoiler:
- Checking his status screen in the prologue of the game reveals his Major Crest of Seiros.
- The fact that Jeralt doesn't appear on the support list at all despite being Byleth's father probably isn't a good sign for the players that notice.
- I Owe You My Life: Implied he felt this way towards Rhea when they first met. Many years before the start of the game, he was protecting Rhea on a mission as a mercenary and was nearly killed if not for her giving him her blood, causing him to join the knights after. Come present day he repeatedly warns Byleth to be wary of her.
- The Leader: Leads the mercenary group that Byleth is a part of prior to becoming a teacher. Before that, he was actually a member of the Knights of Seiros. His leadership is apparently so good that his child, Byleth, has as much skill in combat and tactics as the other elite professors at the Officers Academy, despite Jeralt presumably lacking the formal education that they received and have been trained to teach.
- Locked Out of the Loop: He had no idea what Rhea's plans were, what his wife was supposed to be in those plans, and what his child has become in those plans. Furthermore, he's never told that Byleth was stillborn.
- MayDecember Romance: Given that his wife died at 19-20 years old according to her tombstone and the fact that Jeralt has Crest-infused blood extending his lifespan, their marriage comes off as this, pushing a MayflyDecember Romance.
- Meaningful Name: His name is possibly a corruption or deviation of Gerald, a German name meaning "rule of the spear." Fittingly, he uses lances as his Weapon of Choice.
- Mentor Archetype: To Byleth, having taught them everything they know, and he also served this in the past for Alois, another unknown squire, and Leonie.
- Noodle Incident:
- Jeralt apparently vanished and was missing for 21 years before the bandit attack forces him back to Rhea, and the reasons why aren't revealed until after his death.
- Byleth and Leonie's B Support makes it clear that Byleth wasn't with Jeralt when she became his apprentice. They never learn since Jeralt is dead by then.
- Not So Above It All: He's a stoic no-nonsense mercenary captain and knight, but Alois reveals that Jeralt is funny in ways, especially when he's drunk.
- Older Than They Look: He looks middle-aged, if rather grizzled, but various characters at the monastery note that he looks the same as when they last saw him some 21 years ago. He's not lying when he tells Leonie he doesn't know how old he is, however, what he leaves out is he stopped counting after he reached 100 years. This is because Rhea gave him her blood to save his life many years ago after he got mortally wounded protecting her, and as a result he gained her Crest of Seiros. As noted elsewhere in the game, first generation Crest bearers gain lifespans that last for centuries with no visible aging. In an interesting note, datamined files reveal he is physically 45 years old.
- Overprotective Dad: Not as extreme as many examples but he often tells Byleth to watch their back. He doesn't trust Rhea and therefore tried to keep Byleth in the dark about the church or how before becoming a mercenary, he was a knight.
- Papa Wolf: When Jeralt lost faith in Rhea, he made the bold decision to start a fire and fake his child's death before grabbing the child and leaving to raise them on his own. This also extends to how much he taught Byleth about the world, or rather the lack thereof.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Jeralt has one of these, but it is unable to be heard in normal gameplay, as he is only available as an NPC ally who cannot be controlled."What's the plan?"
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:"No escape!"
"Your guard's down!"
"I will break you!"
- Private Military Contractors: Became a wandering mercenary with his own company after leaving the Knights of Seiros.
- Properly Paranoid: He noticed his child's oddities, namely how quiet and emotionless they were, even for a baby, then took them to a doctor to find that they had a pulse but no heartbeat. Now afraid of Rhea, after thinking the world of her, he used a fire that conveniently broke out to fake Byleths death and get them away from her. Given Rheas plans for them, Jeralt had every reason to be concerned. That said, after seeing how much good being in the monastery has done Byleth, his stance against Rhea softens to the point that he considers he may have never really needed to leave in the first place. Unfortunately he is killed before the potential effects of this new optimism can play out.
- Really 700 Years Old: Jeralt is over a hundred years old at the time the game starts due to Rhea saving him once upon a time by infusing him with some of her Crest-bearing blood. How old he is in truth is unknown but he has to be at least 120 years old by the time of the game, possibly somewhere around 150 in total.
- Recurring Element: He's the father figure of the main character in the vein of Cornelius, Greil, and Emmeryn. Unsurprisingly he dies, though he lasts longer than the typical examples of the archetype.
- Red Baron: He's known as "Blade Breaker" for his prowess in battle.
- Red Herring: He looks nothing like a Byleth of either gender, and both of their pasts are shrouded in mystery. Several characters even wonder aloud whether he and Byleth are actually related, and the most definite statement Byleth can make on the matter is "that's what I've been told". Furthermore, early in the game Arundel upon learning Byleth has the Crest of Flames comments on how odd it is since Nemesis never passed down his Crest due to dying at the hands of Seiros, which combined with Jeralt having similar physical characteristics as Nemesis, seems to being setting up something about Jeralt. Turns out he actually is Byleth's biological father, though Jeralt definitely has his reasons for keeping things deliberately vague, and the Crest of Flames comes from something else entirely.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death marks the tonal shift where everything goes south, and it gets worse from there all the way to Part II.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Downplayed. He's not stuck in the past over the loss of his wife, but he's also clearly not looking to play the field again twenty years after her death. Heck, when he describes his love for her at the cemetery with Byleth, he uses the present tense.
- Sorry That I'm Dying: He apologizes to Byleth while lying on the ground, mortally wounded from Kronya's attack.
- Spanner in the Works: He and Byleth blunder into the Flame Emperor's attempted assassination of the three lords (actually two lords), save their skins, and kickstart Byleth's involvement in the plot at large.
- The Stoic: Alois mentions that Jeralt can be a little difficult to read and wasnt one to show emotion easily. Like father, like child.
- Tarot Motifs: Through his Divine Crest of Seiros, Jeralt represents the High Priestess, which when upright, represents mystery and spiritual insight, but when reversed, represents secrets. Jeralt is very enigmatic and insightful, but is also willing to keep his own child in the dark about their past.
- Tempting Fate: Time and time again, Jeralt tells Byleth he's not going to fall over and die. He finally meets his end when stabbed in the back.
- Tragic Keepsake: His late wife's ring, which he gives to Byleth.
- Undignified Death: He doesnt die in battle, or even something worthy of his reputation. Kronya does him in with a cheap shot and he dies with little fanfare.
- World's Strongest Man: He's lauded as the strongest knight who ever lived.
Catherine/Cassandra Rubens Charon
Age: 27 (9/15)
Crest: Charon (Major)
Voiced by: Chie Matsuura (Japanese), Laura Post (English)
An alumnus of the Garreg Mach Officers Academy, and a member of the Knights of Seiros. She is a fearsome swordswoman armed with the Thunderbrand, one of the Hero's Relics, and is loyal to archbishop Rhea.
Her personal ability, Fighting Spirit, reduces damage she takes if she doesn't have an equipped battalion. She bears the Major Crest of Charon, which has a chance to increase her Might when using Combat Arts.
- Alliterative Name: Her real name is Cassandra, making her Cassandra Charon.
- Ambiguously Bi:
- She is intensely loyal to Rhea, but it's made clear that it has little to do with Rhea's authority or religion, but because Rhea saved her life on two separate occasions. Catherine herself admits to revering Rhea, and that has stated verbatim that she will always love her. She also expresses jealously towards Byleth for getting close to Rhea during their supports, then regretfully admits during the war phase that she can't be the one to save Rhea and entrusts it to Byleth. Should Rhea survive (Azure Moon/Silver Snow Route), she won't get married to anyone without Rhea's approval. The exceptions to this are her ending with Shamir, which involves the two setting out to explore the world together, and her endings with Dimitri, Linhardt and Caspar, as Rhea's involvement or lack of it in her deciding to marry them goes unmentioned.
- Catherine has a considerable amount of ship teasing with Shamir as well, almost entirely present in her A+ rank with Shamir. Not only is it intimate, but it's bookended by Shamir jokingly suggesting they get married so they can always be together, which causes Catherine to blush furiously in response.
- Ancestral Weapon: Due to her ancestry she's one of two units who can wield the blade Thunderbrand, the Relic of House Charon, safely.note
- Battle Couple: With Caspar should she marry him, the two's fighting exploits making them famous for generations to come.
- Best Her to Bed Her: In her paired ending with Dimitri, it's implied that Catherine marries him after a duel between the two. Likewise in her paired ending with Caspar, their A+ support has her stop him from explaining his desire to never leave her side, happily stating that she wants him to beat her in a spar first to prove himself.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's easy-going, friendly, and a nice lady all-around. But crossing her is a bad idea, especially when she has Thunderbrand in hand. In particular she is very protective of Lady Rhea.
- Bifauxnen and Lad-ette: The Lad-ette to Shamir's bifauxnen, who while not truly bifauxnen or masculine, is a calm, stoic mercenary type to Catherine's Boisterous Bruiser antics.
- Boisterous Bruiser: She loves battle and her job as a knight, and is an otherwise cheerful, energetic, and tough woman. On the other hand, she's actually quite shy when it comes to romance, telling Leonie she wishes she knew how to flirt with handsome men.
- Bond One-Liner:"All for Lady Rhea."
"Fighting is what I do."
"I'll never back down."
"I won't hold back."
- Born Lucky: She's one of only two non-DLC characters to have a Major Crest that wasn't forced on them or literally being the originator of it.
- Brutal Honesty:
- In her support with Byleth, she tells them without flinching that she doesn't understand why Rhea favors someone as unremarkable as them, and that she wouldn't hesitate to cut them down should she find out that they're working against Rhea. Byleth is stunned into uncomfortable silence.
- In her support with Shamir, Shamir claims that she doesn't "get" the Church of Seiros or Rhea. Catherine says without hesitation that if she was anyone else saying that, she'd cut her down.
- The Brute: While Seteth is The Dragon, Catherine serves as the main enforcer to Rhea on the Crimson Flower campaign.
- Chainmail Bikini: Her armor possesses boob plates, unlike her fellow knights.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: As an enemy on the Crimson Flower route, Catherine has access to Avoid +10, Sword Avoid +20 and Immune Status skills, which she can't normally learn nor use as a Swordmaster.
- Conflicting Loyalty: When she found out Christophe was involved with and going ahead in a plot to assassinate Rhea, she sided with Rhea, and had him turned in to the Church. She admits that the decision still haunts her in the present.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: As an enemy in the Crimson Flower version of Foreign Land and Sky, she packs the Immune Status skill, making her immune to status effects such as Rattled and Poisoned.
- Contralto of Danger: A strong and famous female knight, and one of the best playable units with a deep voice to match, courtesy of Laura Post.
- Cool Big Sis: If recruited to the same house, Ingrid, Leonie, and Lysithea all start to consider Catherine this, with Lysithea outright calling Catherine the big sister she never had.
- Cool Sword: Due to possessing a Major Crest of Charon, she's able to wield Thunderbrand, one of the legendary Heroes' Relics.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Downplayed as she's an incredibly powerful unit despite having a overall limited area of expertise, but Catherine is proficient in only two skills; Swords and Brawling. This means she's going to be really damn good at sword focused classes, but can't really fight well outside of them unless you dedicate time to leveling her other skills. Her growths also push this as well; she has good Strength and Speed, decent Dexterity, but otherwise her growths are all very low. All this means she is better off staying as a Swordmaster or (if one has the DLC) becoming a War Cleric to take advantage of her Brawling proficiency and Nimble Combo combat art.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Her skin is a bit darker than some of the other characters, and she has blonde hair.
- Disc-One Nuke: She can be recruited by the 6th month of Part I as an advanced classed unit with a Relic weapon if Byleth chose the Blue Lions or Golden Deer houses. Notably, she can defeat the Death Knight single-handedly when many strategies have the entire playable side gang up on him.
- The Dragon: On the Crimson Flower route, after Seteth bites it or books it in Chapter 15, she becomes Rhea's most prominent commander and remains loyal to her even as she orders Fhirdiad burned to the ground.
- The Dreaded: When she shows up in Petra/Bernadetta's Paralogue, the latter starts freaking out. For a very good reason, as she brings reinforcements and is one of the hardest to fight units in the entire game.
- Easily Forgiven: Discussed and subverted. In her supports with Ashe, he's torn over trusting her as an ally and a knight, but also his grudge against her for turning in his adoptive brother Cristophe for execution. She tells him that he's perfectly justified in hating her and she'd smack him if he let it go without a fight.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- She'll tell Shamir that she'll do anything Rhea ordered her to, but would refuse to commit suicide for her.
- Subverted in the final chapter of the Crimson Flower route, she's reluctant when Rhea (or rather, Seiros) orders her to set the city of Fhirdiad aflame, but when Rhea insists she obeys and continues to fight for Rhea while denouncing Byleth as the true villain.
- Famed in Story: She's legendary across Fódlan as "Thunder Catherine," one of the mightiest knights in the land. According to Caspar, kids used to fight each other over who could pretend to be wielding Thunderbrand.
- Fallen Princess: Catherine was born into House Charon in Faerghus. After being falsely implicated in a plot to kill the king, she was forced to flee, and found herself at the monastery. Her name was later redeemed and Dimitri points out she can return home, but she'd rather serve Lady Rhea.
- Gameplay and Story Integration:
- Despite being one of the Knights of Seiros she has no proficiency in Faith, never seen in the monestary and doesn't profess any prayers to the goddess. She is with the knights solely for her loyalty to Rhea.
- Catherine gave up everything in her former life to serve as Rhea's sword. Her personal skill works best when she is alone and of all the characters in the game she has no battalion designed to capitalize on her abilities.
- Her strength is frequently touted and she has the stats to back it up. She is easily one of the most difficult enemy units to defeat in the game.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Downplayed. While Catherine is aware of the special attention Byleth receives from Rhea, she is somewhat jealous but isn't outright hostile and instead wants to see why they earned Rhea's attention and hopes to emulate it to gain Rhea's favor as she admits in her supports with them. That being said she tends to be quite passive-aggresive in their interactions, even making threats and then laughing it off, saying that's how she usually behaves which, considering she never actually does behave like this unless angered, implies a lot more hostility than what she's willing to admit.
- Hate at First Sight: If confronted by Byleth in the final chapter of the Crimson Flower route, she admits she always distrusted them ever since the first time she laid eyes on them, and regrets not striking them down when she had the chance. Interestingly, when confronted after the initial betrayal she will rage at them that she did trust them, so it may be a case of Self-Serving Memory. This is foreshadowed in their supports where she warns that should Byleth betray Rhea's trust, she will cut them down with relish.
- He's All Grown Up: Her relationship with Dimitri focuses on this in their A+ rank support, with her realizing he's not a boy anymore and accepts his Love Confession. She does admit that they'll have to wait until after the war to see if it will work out. Whether they ultimately get together or not is dependent on the player's actions.
- Herd-Hitting Attack: She comes stocked with Foudroyant Strike, which lets her hits targets adjacent to her original one.
- Hidden Buxom: In her default outfit, it's unclear if her breastplate indicates her actual chest size, or is just a pronounced piece or armor similar to past knights like Cordelia. Changing her to certain classes with the sternum uncovered makes it obvious her breasts are actually that large, due to the sizable cleavage she ends up showing off.
- Hidden Depths: Catherine is more perceptive than she typically lets on, and she has a knack for realizing when other people have a painful past they're ashamed of, given her own experiences. Catherine regularly surprises people by revealing that she knew all along and didn't say anything. In particular, she realizes that Lysithea has two Crests artificially implanted in her at serious cost to her health all on her own.
- Hit Me, Dammit!: In her B Support with Ashe, she invites him to take a swing at her to help him vent his possible hatred of her for condemning his brother to death, even goading him into throwing the punch.
- I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: She says she's not a hero, as she fights only for the goddess. She wouldn't hesitate to turn her sword against children if ordered by Rhea.Catherine: I'm not a hero. I fight only for Lady Rhea and the goddess.
- "Instant Death" Radius: When fought as an enemy, assuming you're at equivalent power levels. She's a Swordmaster, so she gets bonus damage to swords and good speed to double you. But her Thunderbrand allows her to attack twice, so... 4 hits. Attack her at range or die.
- I Owe You My Life: The main reason why she serves Rhea so faithfully. While she was still a student at the Officers Academy, she and her class were on a mission to kill some monsters, but they were ambushed. She was nearly killed in the event, but Rhea personally nursed her back to health. After that, Rhea became her inspiration in life.
- Just Following Orders:
- She justified turning in Cristophe, a close friend and a former housemate, in by telling herself that it was for the good of the goddess. Despite this, the memory continues to haunt her to this day, as she simply stared while he was being taken away. She also states that if she could have found another way she would have, but Christophe was convinced he had to go through with the assassination plot and so she had to turn him in.
- This gets deconstructed at the end of the Crimson Flower route as Rhea, who has now fully undergone Sanity Slippage, and orders Catherine to torch Fhirdiad in attempt to wipe out the Black Eagle Strike Force. Catherine is clearly disturbed by this order, as it would mean she's intentionally killing innocents in the crossfire, but goes through with it anyway.
- Knight Errant: In her solo ending, if Rhea is deceased at the end of the game, she goes traveling through Fódlan protecting the innocent and fighting the wicked.
- The Lad-ette: Shes tough, boisterous, loves a good fight, and struggles with stereotypically feminine activities. She herself says she prefers the soldiers life to that of a noble lady.
- Lightning Bruiser: No pun intended; Catherine is an incredibly fast and hard hitting unit, and one that slaughters anyone who gets in her way. Thanks to the Thunderbrand's brave weapon effect, she also will hit everyone but the fastest units four times on her turn, and with her good crit chance, will typically kill everyone she fights. Her high speed also makes it hard for units to hit her too, so she'll blitz most enemies with ease while leaving the survivors helpless to retaliate. This makes her one of the hardest foes to fight in the Crimson Flower route, and save the final boss, she's the hardest to fight unit.
- Magically Inept Fighter: She has great stats and growths in everything but magic and resistance, which is almost as low as an armor knight's, meaning that a powerful mage can destroy her easily, especially provided said mage uses long-ranged spells like Meteor or Thoron to avoid being counterattacked and has skill high enough to land the hit on her. She also has a weakness in reason, though leveling the Saint Statue of Macuil migates this.
- Master Swordsman: She's renowned as a mighty swordswoman who is nearly unstoppable thanks to possessing Thunderbrand.
- Meaningful Rename: Her original name is Cassandra, but she changed it as one of the devout.
- Mundane Utility: When paired with Shamir in weeding the monastery's gardens, Catherine considers using Thunderbrand to get rid of the weeds faster, but Shamir talks her out of it.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Can't be recruited to the Black Eagles until and unless Edelgard and Hubert desert you, will never fight alongside them outside of her shared paralogue with Ashe (where she is a Guest-Star Party Member), and can never fight alongside Jeritza under any circumstances.
- My Master, Right or Wrong:
- Deconstructed in her supports with Ashe and Caspar. While Catherine has chosen to follow Rhea's will as if it was her own, it becomes clear she does still have doubts. With Ashe, she makes no secret that she is still haunted by her decision to turn Cristophe in (though she won't go so far as to say she regrets it),, even if it was the right thing to do. With Caspar, Catherine tells him she doesn't consider herself to be the hero he believes her to be, as she has a lot of blood on her hands and serves the goddess rather than a generalized ideal of justice. Indeed, Catherine argues that it is her faith in Sothis that justifies her unwavering faith in Rhea and her sense of justice. She reasons that no human's idea of justice can be perfect, so she chooses to trust in the goddess, and in turn in Rhea as she believes she knows the goddess better than anyone else. That said, she acknowledges this way of living isn't for everyone, for her the important thing is she knows what she stands for.
- On the Crimson Flower route, after Rhea commands her to burn Fhirdiad, despite having some doubts, and Rhea even demanding to be called Seiros at that point, Catherine still obediently sets the capital of the kingdom on fire, presumably killing countless innocent citizens. Even after that she still is so obsessed with Rhea that she considers Byleth the evil one, and tries to kill them during the battle.
- Number Two: In her platonic paired ending with Alois, she becomes his second-in-command when he becomes Captain, and is the iron to his joviality to keep the Knights from playing pranks on him.
- Odd Friendship: She has quite the friendship with Shamir despite the two girls being complete opposites. If the two meet each other in battle they'll note that they don't really have anything in common.
- Only One Name: She introduces herself with only one name. While this hardly makes her unusual for a Fire Emblem character, it is somewhat out of the ordinary for a Three Houses character, where even many of the commoner characters have last names. During the battle with Lonato it is revealed Catherine isn't her real name, but the one she's chosen to go by as a devout of the Church. Subverted with her full name, Cassandra Rubens Charon, but she's long since discarded it.
- Playing with Fire: She learns fire magic: Fire, Bolganone, and Ragnarok, when specializing in Reason.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:"I'll crush them all."
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:"Stay down!"
"Out of my sight!"
"Where do I start?"
"Repent from the grave!"
- Recurring Element:
- She is the requisite powerful, female, swordswoman pioneered by Ayra. Her Relic weapon, personal skill and advanced class makes her one of the best foot soldiers in the game.
- On the Crimson Flower route, Catherine is the game's Ishtar, being the sympathetic female general with Undying Loyalty, though she's a Boisterous Bruiser instead of the usual stoic.
- Red Baron: Was once famed as Thunderstrike Cassandra, and is now equally famed (if not more so) as Thunder Catherine.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The friendly, outgoing red to Shamir's stoic, calm blue.
- Reformed Criminal: Admits she became a bandit after becoming a Fallen Princess, only to be redeemed and saved by Lady Rhea.
- Required Party Member: On the Black Eagles route, Catherine will join the party automatically in Chapter 12 as long as Byleth sides with the church.
- Secret Art: Outside of New Game+, she can use Foudroyant Strike, Thunderbrand's combat art. It deals 6 extra damage, increases hit and critical by 30, and is effective against armored and dragon enemies.
- Shock and Awe: Subverted. She has the Red Baron nicknames of "Thunderstrike Cassandra" and "Thunder Catherine", her Heroes Relic is called "Thunderbrand", and the Crest of Charon is known as the Lightning Dragon's Sign. However, Catherine herself can't actually learn any Thunder-based spells even if trained in Reason.
- Stealth Pun: She bears the Crest of Charon, Charon being the real-world name for the ancient Greek ferryman of the dead. Fitting for a Disc-One Nuke- She's quite adept at bringing people to the afterlife.
- Tarot Motifs: Through her Crest of Charon, she represents the Tower, which represents unforeseen change. Catherine's life took a sudden turn when she was falsely implicated in an assassination attempt against the king, which resulted in her fleeing to Garreg Mach. After Rhea saved her life, she completely devoted herself to the Church and shed the Charon name.
- That Man Is Dead: In her support with Dimitri, Catherine reveals that she's entirely happy with her new identity and new life working for the Church, regardless of her status as a fugitive in Faerghus, and that the life of a knight fits her far better than life as a lady of the Kingdom.
- Undying Loyalty:
- To the Church and to Rhea especially. As a result, she will never join you if you chose the Black Eagles house and sided with Edelgard instead of the church.
- Deconstructed in her supports, as she tells Ashe and Caspar that she wouldn't hesitate to kill children if Rhea ordered her to. That said, the one order she will not follow is to die, as she wants to continue serving Rhea for as long as possible.
- Even when facing the rampaging Rhea at the end of the Silver Snow route, her priority is ending Rhea's suffering.
- In her support with Shamir, Catherine in no uncertain terms claims not only to to be loyal to Rhea, but to respect her, admire her, and even revere her.Catherine: I've devoted my heart to Lady Rhea. She's the reason I wield my sword.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: While not exactly villainous, if you chose to side with Edelgard in the Black Eagles route, she retreats from battle when she's defeated in Chapter 12.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Shamir. The two often argue, and one quest has you forced to choose which of them will get the Two-Toned Whetstone, but they have a strong partnership and trust each other.
- Would Hurt a Child: She declares that she will cut down anyone, even a child, if her mission requires it. She even proposes a few scenarios to Caspar in which doing so may be necessary, such as if the enemy is using Child Soldiers.
Age: 44 (12/1)
Voiced by: Manabu Sakamaki (Japanese), Dave B. Mitchell (credited as Raymond K. Essel) (English)
A member of the Knights of Seiros. He was once a subordinate of Jeralt when he was the leader of the knights, and thus respects him greatly. He recommended the protagonist as a teacher after they saved students from bandits, something he rarely does. He is a cheerful and amiable person. He likes telling jokes, but they're not that funny.
His personal ability, Compassion, allows him to Rally an ally's Luck.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Downplayed. In his support with Hanneman, Alois begs Hanneman to teach him magic because other knights look down on him due to his lack of a Crest and nonexistent magical skill.
- An Axe to Grind: As a warrior, he specializes in handling axes.
- Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Alois can reach an S-Rank Support with a male Byleth, making him look like a Gay Option. Instead, Alois is one of only two platonic S Supports in the game (as he's canonically already Happily Married), and Byleth even marries an unidentified woman off-screen if he goes this route.
- Boring, but Practical: He has better bulk than Caspar while being faster than Dedue and Raphael, and even comes with a C in Authority to already use stronger battalions. He's overshadowed by Catherine as a pure damage-dealer, but on the Crimson Flower route (where Catherine can't be recruited), Alois can easily become the player's Warrior/War Master, due to his better defensive stats and ease in recruiting compared to Raphael.
- Call to Agriculture: With the Knights of Seiros dismantled in his Crimson Flower ending, he takes up a life of farming with his family.
- The Captain: He becomes the new Captain of the Knights of Seiros in his non-Crimson Flower endings. He is also made Captain on the Crimson Flower route if he is not recruited, but has to be killed in that route.
- The Cavalry Arrives Late: In the prologue, he shows up to rescue the lords just as you finish putting the bandits attacking them to rout.
- Character Death: If not recruited on the Crimson Flower path, he is one of the commanders fought during the Church's surprise assault on Garreg Mach, forcing him to be killed off in order to progress.
- Comically Missing the Point: Alois is well-meaning, but he can be dense about certain things; for example, his inability to realize that his shouting most things he says scares fish away when he tries to fish. Even when the truth is pointed out to him, he's often confused or doesn't believe it outright.
- Cool Uncle: He acts a bit like one to Byleth, being a friendly, approachable and caring mentor due to seeing Jeralt like a brother, and Bernadetta comments that he reminds her of her own Cool Uncle.
- Declaration of Protection: Tries to give one to Byleth after Jeralts death in his usual bravado, but realizes the situation really doesnt call for it. He still means it, though.
- Defector from Decadence: On the Crimson Flower route, if you recruit him before Chapter 11, he abandons the Church and joins the Empire after Rhea has her Freak Out and begins her descent into true fanaticism.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Normally, Alois would tell a joke, and whether anyone laughs or not, he will move on without dwelling upon it. Because Petra doesn't understand the nuances of Fódlan's language, Alois has to explain what every idiom and piece of wordplay means in the jokes he tells her. He says to himself that he feels a "strange shame" in explaining them.
- Endearingly Dorky: He's optimistic and loves making puns. They don't impress the other knights, and The Comically Serious Dimitri only laughs at the jokes because he finds they're so unfunny that they go full circle to hilarity. Nevertheless, many characters like Alois for his positivity and good humor and don't try to dissuade him from telling jokes.
- Fatal Flaw: His Support storyline with Catherine focuses on how Alois is overly trusting. He believes that to earn trust, you have to be willing to trust as well, but he takes it too far and ends up gullible because of it. Catherine has to save him from being cheated out of his money multiple times, first from a Snake Oil Salesman then from a Wounded Gazelle Gambit.
- Friendly Enemy: If he and Shamir are on opposite sides during Rhea's attempt to retake Garreg Mach in Crimson Flower and engage each other, they'll playfully banter even as they prepare to fight to the death.
- Gift-Giving Gaffe: For the past several years, Alois has been giving his young daughter ancient, historical coins for her birthday, and he doesn't understand why she isn't excited to get them. In his support with Manuela, he successfully enlists her help in picking out something his daughter will like more. His daughter writes back, thanking the person who bought the gift instead of her father. Alois isn't bothered, and asks Manuela if she'll help pick out a birthday gift for his wife.
- Happily Married: Has an unseen wife who he gushes about, and a daughter.
- The Heart:
- Shamir credits him as the most virtuous of the knights, and a positive influence on her. She also notes that unlike her, Alois' positive, cheerful nature strengthens those around him.
- He remarks (and Bernadetta confirms) that he's basically the only person in the monastery whom Bernadetta isn't initially terrified of. She feels he reminds her of her uncle, who is the only person she ever felt outright comfortable to talk to. She notes that he's always bright and cheerful and naturally makes people at ease.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Played for Laughs in his support chain with Mercedes, when an exasperated, anxious Alois calls himself pathetic for being terrified by Mercedes' ghost story, and that as a knight, he should be ready to battle even in graveyards.
- Honorary Uncle: Although only Bernadetta accidentally calls him Uncle, Alois can be seen as one to Byleth, and can see him as a second father/uncle in their support after Jeralt's death.
- Jerkass Ball: Alois is an all around nice and pleasant character, which makes his A-Support with Leonie, where he passes off Jeralt's debt onto her, all the more out of character.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The most standout example in the story. He's clad in shining silver armor, is a constant do-gooder who never asks for recompense, and maintains an endlessly cheerful and optimistic outlook on life.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Alois loves telling puns, and they usually elicit silence from his audience. Dimitri tells him that his jokes are so unfunny that they go full circle to hilarity.
- Lightning Bruiser: Not as much as Catherine, but Alois has a solid Speed growth, and his Speed and Defense bases are both the same. He has high starting Strength as well, and a solid growth in it too, so he tends to be a strong fighter who can tank as well.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Despite being fairly close with Jeralt, he never knew Jeralt came to fear and distrust Rhea after what they did to Byleth as a baby. Due to this, if not recruited on the Crimson Flower route, his rage at Byleth and the Black Eagles make him a victim of the deceit surrounding these events.
- Large Ham: Almost all of his dialogue is shouted. This is aknowledged in-universe and Byleth can theorize that he can't catch anything while fishing because his yelling scares the fish away.
- Magically Inept Fighter: His stats and growths give him very little chances to use Magic, plus he has a weakness in Reason magic. Despite this, he is interested in magic and tries to learn it from Hanneman to make up for not having a Crest, though by his B Support he hasn't made any progress.
- Nice Guy:
- Hes a very friendly, courteous and upbeat guy, though a bit over-exuberant and excitable. Unfortunately for him, this makes him easy pickings for scammers and other ilk that seek to take advantage of his kindness, forcing Catherine to step in.
- He has no qualms about paying Catherine's considerable drinking tab, and does so with no expectations of being paid back, because she's a colleague.
- Shamir mentions that Alois is almost pathologically incapable of not giving away any reward he receives for the work the knights do. She also reluctantly credits him as the influence that gave her a more noble side to her nature.
- No Indoor Voice: He is constantly shouting, which is something of a problem when your hobby is fishing. He unsurprisingly does not catch much, but refuses to believe that his voice is what's scaring them off.
- Older Than They Look: Post Time Skip, he'll be fifty years old while still looking like he could be in his thirties.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He's a really good unit, but he has to compete with Catherine, who is able to use her powerful Thunderbrand and joins at least four chapters earlier except on the Silver Snow route, Cyril, who's already proficient in axes and can become a Wyvern Lord much easier due to his join time except on the Silver Snow route, and Seteth, who's a Wyvern Rider that joins a chapter later, on top of all the students in the game. That being said, Catherine and Cyril aren't recruitable if the Black Eagles were chosen pre-timeskip, nor is Seteth recruitable on the Crimson Flower route, so he has a lot easier time finding a niche there.
- Parental Abandonment: In his support with Byleth, Alois reveals that his parents died when he was a child and he was taken in to live at Garreg Mach Monastery.
- Parental Substitute:
- He lets Byleth know that they can come to him if they need to if he approaches them in Jeralt's room after his death as well as in his support chain with Byleth. All of Alois paired endings with Byleth also note that their bond ended up developing into something similar to parent and child. This has the potential to end horribly depending on the player's choice.
- On the flip side, he all but admits that Jeralt was this for him.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Due to Alois being Happily Married, his paired endings with Mercedes, Leonie, and Catherine all end on this note.
- Playing with Fire: He only learns Fire and Bolganone when learning Reason.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:"Ready and able!"
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:"Now you'll learn!"
"Here I go!"
"You earned this!"
- Pungeon Master: Is fond of puns. His fellow knights are less than impressed with his jokes. Dimitri, however, finds them absolutely hilarious because they're so unfunny.
- Replacement Goldfish: Jeralt only took on Alois because he had a strong physical resemblance to Jeralt's recently deceased apprentice. Alois is surprisingly okay with this, finding it a funny example of Jeralt's quirks.
- Sad Clown: Alois uses humor as a coping mechanism of sorts. While he's not above a joke outside of it, Alois reveals to Shamir in her B support that he thinks about those he's had to kill and laments that it comes to violence constantly.
- So Unfunny, It's Funny: In his support with Dimitri, Dimitri laughs at Alois' awful puns, after a long silence. He explains he doesn't find them funny, but thinks they're unfunny enough to go full circle to being funny. Alois isn't sure how to feel at first, but settles on being happy for making the prince laugh genuinely for the first time in a long while.
- Spanner in the Works: The sole reason that Byleth gets involved with the plot, which ends up affecting every single character and faction in the game.
- The Squire: He was previously one to Jeralt, although he's long since been knighted, earning it before Jeralt's disappearance before the story.
- Surpassed the Teacher: If you get Alois' solo ending on routes other than Crimson Flower, he becomes the new Captain of the Knights of Seiros (Jeralt's old position), and the knights are even more unified and competent under Alois than they were under Jeralt; Alois the former squire becomes an even better captain than his former teacher Jeralt was.
- This Is Unforgivable!: If not recruited on the Crimson Flower route, he is infuriated by Byleth supporting Edelgard's rebellion against the Church, seeing it as a betrayal of everything Jeralt stood for. He does however regret he cannot keep his promise to Jeralt to protect Byleth, and resolves to bury Byleth with his own hands after it's over.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite being a Knight of Seiros, he places more of his loyalty in Jeralt. It's why he sticks with Byleth if he's recruited despite going against the Church on the Crimson Flower route, to the point where he willingly leaves the Knights during the timeskip to try and find Byleth.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Very sadly, he's the ultimate reason why Jeralt ends up dying. If he hadn't insisted that Jeralt visit Garreg Mach, the man wouldn't have been brought back into the Knights, and therefore wouldn't have been there for Kronya to murder.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If he isn't recruited before the timeskip, once the player reaches it, Alois vanishes and doesn't reappear in the game at all. The only route where he appears post-timeskip if not recruited is Crimson Flower. No reason is given for why, but its likely that with the war and the Church being almost ruined, he returned to his family rather than continue the conflict.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Discussed in his support with Shamir. A strangely morose Alois asks Shamir if she ever thinks about the people she kills; Shamir responds with a blunt "never," and Alois agrees, saying there's little point in thinking about it after they've fought for so long. In their B-support, however, it's revealed that Alois is haunted by the lives he's taken, and he believes that the ghosts of those he's killed will return one day to seek revenge on him.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Alois is terrified of ghosts, which he supposes is because he thinks a lot about the people he kills in battle. When Mercedes tells him a ghost story, he has to steel himself and still blacks out from fear partway through her story.
- William Telling: When he was Jeralt's apprentice, he once was the target with the apple on his head while a drunk Jeralt boasted that he could hit the apple with a hatchet (apparently, a dagger was too easy). If Alois had not moved, he would've died at that pub. As Alois reminisces about that experience, he wonders if Jeralt actually was trying to kill him after trying to assure Leonie that he wasn't.
- Work Off the Debt: His and Leonie's A-Rank Support reveals that he's taken it upon himself to gradually pay off Jeralt's myriad of drinking tabs all across Fódlan, admitting that he's unable to step foot in any tavern without being badgered for payment. He then gives her an "inheritance": all of said bar tabs.
Gilbert Pronislav/Gustave Eddie Dominic
Class: Fortress Knight
Age: 55 (1/26)
Voiced by: Hiromichi Kogami (Japanese), Doug Stone (English)
A member of the Knights of Seiros hailing from the Holy Kingdom. He is deeply faithful, serious and polite. His expression doesn't change much, nor does he talk much about himself. Because of that, it's hard to get to know him, though he does seem to love fishing and cooking.
His personal ability, Veteran Knight, reduces damage he takes if he has a battalion deployed.
- Action Dad: A skilled knight and the father of Annette.
- The Atoner: Deconstructed, he left his family to become a Knight of Seiros to atone for failing to be at the Tragedy of Duscur to protect his king. Many supports note that his atonement is torturing himself to try to make up for it and everyone feels that he is going about it in the worst way possible.
- Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Gilbert can reach an S-Rank Support with a male Byleth, making him look like a Gay Option. Instead, Gilbert is one of only two platonic S Supports in the game. This is because he is already married, and is Annette's father.
- Bond One-Liner:"On my honor as a knight!"
"You were outmatched."
- Broken Pedestal: His C-support with Dedue reveals he is this for the younger knight, who modeled himself off the great knight Dimitri remembered from before the Tragedy of Duscur. Dedue calls Gilbert out from running away from his problems and wallowing when people, especially Dimitri, needed him.
- Cain and Abel: Hes the Abel to his brother, the Baron Dominic, as the Cain, when Baron Dominics forces attack the Kingdom army after the baron declares that he cant allow the Kingdom army to leave when Gilbert and Annette come to ask for the Dominic Relic Crusher. Downplayed in that his brother was strong-armed by Cornelia to side with the Empire. After his brother is defeated, he gives Annette the Crusher while promising to protect Gilberts wife.
- Convenient Replacement Character: As Dedue is absent and presumed deadnote or actually deadnote during the first part of Part 2 of the Azure Moon route, he comes in to serve as your tank.
- Cool Old Guy: Hes the oldest recruitable character in the cast (Seteth and Flayn notwithstanding), and an experienced, armored and axe-wielding knight.
- Crutch Character: Acts as one during Chapter 13 of the Azure Moon route, as your main tank, Dedue, is unavailable and he comes in after 3 turns, allowing him to soak up the damage that isn't a magic user. After that, his usage greatly diminishes as you regain access to all your out-of-house recruits in the next chapter, not being helped by the fact that Dedue, who has superior stats across the board, can return in Chapter 16 if his Paralogue was completed.
- Death Glare: He is capable of a particularly menacing one, most notably when you fight him as an enemy on the Crimson Flower route.
- Disappeared Dad: Gilbert left his wife and daughter to focus on his duty as a knight. There's still a lot of tension between him and his daughter, Annette, over this.
- Failure Knight: He firmly believes that he failed in his duties as a knight when he was unable to protect Lambert during the Tragedy of Duscur, and hes prone to self-flagellation as a result.
- Fatal Flaw: His massive Heroic Self-Deprecation tendencies puts a strain on his relationships with people, including Annette who not only doesn't want to forgive him for being a Failure Knight, but that she only wants her father back, to the point that she thinks he doesn't care about his own family. Even Dedue calls him out of this behavior after being told the kind of man he used to be by Dimitri. Dedue also remarks him leaving the Kingdom when he did certainly allowed Dimitri's mental health to further decline.
- Humble Hero: In his support with Ashe, Gilbert refutes Ashe's wide-eyed admiration of his long tenure as a knight, claiming that he deserves no praise for simply doing his job.
- Innocently Insensitive: In his support with Annette, Gilbert gives her a doll he's carved, claiming to have been thinking of her. Annette sadly recounts that Gilbert had carved and given dolls to her when she was young, and after he left the family, all she could do was look at them and weep in her loneliness. Gilbert regrets not thinking through his actions before turning away and leaving, claiming that she can discard the doll if she likes. Annette murmurs that he is cruel, but she can't bring herself to throw the doll away.
- Killed Offscreen: On the Silver Snow route, he is counted among the dead at the Battle of Gronder.
- Mentor Archetype: As Gustave years before the story begins, he served as a strict, but caring mentor to Dimitri, instructing him in the ways of combat. After the Tragedy of Duscur, he disappeared from service of the Blaiddyd house to join with the Church of Seiros. Post-timeskip, on the Azure Moon route, he returns to protect and advise a broken, embittered Dimitri during the war with the Adrestian Empire.
- Mighty Glacier: As an armor knight, hes slow, but highly resistant to physical damage and hits fairly hard.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: He is only recruitable on the Azure Moon route and can never fight alongside Edelgard, Hubert, Jeritza or Claude.
- My Greatest Failure: He admits to Byleth that he wasn't there when the Tragedy of Duscur happened and by the time he arrived, it was too late. He feels especially responsible for why Dimitri ended up snapping from the trauma of the incident.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Given that he's a Convenient Replacement Character to Dedue, this tends to happen:
- With Ferdinand, Gilbert is much slower. Additionally, while they can also become a Fortress Knight or Great Knight without much effort, they can also be trained to be the slightly less bulky but much faster and harder-hitting Paladin or Wyvern Lord.
- With Raphael, he can easily train up to become a War Master, which is overall a stronger class than Fortress Knight. Gilbert has no training in Brawling.
- With Hilda, Gilbert faces most of the same issues as he does against Ferdinand, just replacing "Paladin" with "Warrior."
- Even compared to Dedue, he has lower Defense and much less time to train his skills. His only real advantage here is his proficiency in riding, which gives him a much easier time reaching Great Knight than Dedue due to the latter's flaw in riding.
- Plot Armor: As Gilbert serves a vital role in the second half of the Azure Moon route, he will simply retreat when defeated, even in Classic Mode.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:"My orders?"
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:"It's over!"
"I see right through you!"
"Make your peace!"
"So many openings..."
- The Quiet One: Gilbert is a straightforward, professional man of few words who is averse to talking about himself and his past, to the point where he can be somewhat standoffish to those trying to engage him in friendly conversation.
- Quest Giver: Hands out the supply run sidequests on the Azure Moon route, at least once the war starts.
- Recurring Element:
- As an ally, his below average growths but solid base strength and defense (though not so much his other stats) and loyalty to Dimitri make him come across as this game's closest thing to a Jagen. While he isn't playable at all for the actual early game pre-timeskip, he does show up as an NPC in one of the earlier maps where he can be a crutch of sorts, plus he is the first to join besides Dimitri and Byleth themselves post-timeskip, and without Dedue around, he can be a crutch character if you need a tank, making him an odd example of a mid-game Jagen. From a storyline perspective, he also acts as an adviser and mentor towards the lord character.
- As an enemy, especially on the Crimson Flower route, he becomes much more like a Murdock, a normally affable older general that knows that there's something really wrong with his liege, but has already set his loyalty to said liege and is not willing to turn back. Being decked with armor and wielding axes by default helps too.
- Religious Bruiser: Hes highly devout, and as a Knight of Seiros is no stranger to battle.
- Ronin: OK, he's not technically a samurai, but ideas about knighthood in this game are much more akin to those of samurai than of actual knights. Sure enough, when his liege lord perished, he abandoned his position and family in atonement and fought alone.
- Required Party Member: On the Blue Lions route, Gilbert joins the party automatically in Chapter 13, taking the slot Dedue would've used in said chapter under normal circumstances.
- Shock and Awe: He only learns Thunder and Thoron when learning Reason.
- Sixth Ranger: On the Azure Moon route, he joins you in Chapter 13. He's the last character to join the party (unless you count a re-recruited Lorenz), and he's one of only two characters who must be recruited post-timeskip (the other being Crimson Flower Jeritza).
- Spiritual Antithesis: As the game takes notes from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Gilbert could be considered an antithesis of Reptor, a distant father of a young sorceress (Annette and Tailtiu respectively) decked with armor and if they're to meet their demise, it would be in the midst of flames after being betrayed by their ally (Rhea and Arvis). As opposed to Reptor who's avaricious and only thought of himself and eventually condemned Tailtiu as a disgrace to their house, Gilbert is a good, humble father even if he has issues showing it to Annette and would never betray or condemn her, unless you make Annette do so by recruiting her in Crimson Flower route and pit them against each other. And even then, they both just sadly lament their different paths rather than accuse each other of betrayal. Furthering the antithesis is how the archetypes they fulfill are antitheses to each other as far as 'armored old man' goes: Gilbert is of the more sympathetic Murdock archetype, the decent general, whereas Reptor is of the more unsympathetic Jiol archetype, the scheming politician.
- The Stoic: Hes usually wearing a neutral, stern expression, and doesnt tend to emote much at all. Byleth remarks how unusual it is to see Gilbert smile when he does so in their support, while Hanneman also comments on Gilbert's "stiff" expression in his support with Gilbert.
- That Man Is Dead: His true name is Gustave, but after failing to protect Dimitri's father, he forsook his old identity and sought repentance as a Knight of Seiros. In his paired ending with Annette, he abandons the name Gilbert and returns to being Gustave.
- Tritagonist: He's the third main character on the Azure Moon route next to Dimitri and Byleth. Like Seteth on the Silver Snow route, he's not required to join you in every mission, but he appears in cutscenes and tells you mission objectives.
- Undying Loyalty: When the chips are down, his true loyalty is to the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. After Part I ends, he resigns from his post as a Knight of Seiros to return to the Kingdom and does not join your party unless you yourself are Kingdom-aligned.
- Unstoppable Rage: Should one kill Annette before him in the finale of the Crimson Flower route, he will declare that he shall avenge her and immediately begin charging towards the player's party, leaving his position. This is despite the fact he moves very slowly, and will inevitably take massive amounts of damage from the burning city's tiles while doing so.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: While not exactly villainous, if you chose to side with Edelgard in the Black Eagles route, he retreats from battle when he's defeated in Chapter 12.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: On the Verdant Wind route, he vanishes after the start of the timeskip and is only mentioned once if his daughter is recruited, where she says that Gilbert was seen carrying Dimitri's body after the battle at Gronder Field, leaving it unknown what happened to him after that.
- When He Smiles:
- In Gilbert's support with Byleth, he subconsciously cracks a smile at seeing two children playing; Byleth, smiling themselves, remarks that it's unusual, and questions Gilbert's assertion that he "doesn't have the right" to do so.
- Hanneman is happy to get not one, but two laughs out of Gilbert in their support conversation, taking it to mean that they're friends after all.
- Manuela manages to get a smile out of him in their B support with one of her songs, proving to herself that she's "still got it".
- Alois also manages to make him smirk with some of his signature dad jokes.
- The Worf Effect: Almost no enemies can damage him in his introduction chapter. However, once Miklan turns into a Beast, Gilbert, being the closest, will usually get easily killed by him because of his low Speed allowing the Beast to double him. This serves to show how deadly Beast enemies are, and how charging ahead like usual will get your units killed, though thankfully Gilbert does not permanently die.
Age: 25 (3/27)
Voiced by: Yurina Watanabe (Japanese), Allegra Clark (English)
A master of the bow serving as a Knight of Seiros. She was once a mercenary from the land of Dagda, but joined the Knights to repay Rhea for past debts. She is not a believer of the Church of Seiros despite being a knight, which is a rarity, and she only pledges her loyalty to Rhea for now.
Her personal ability, Survival Instinct, grants her a temporary boost to Strength, Magic, Dexterity and Speed after attacking and killing an enemy.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's always cool, calm and collected, and doesn't enjoy unnecessary socialization.
- Archer Archetype: One of a small number of archers in this series to fit the personality type.
- Babies Ever After: In her paired ending with Byleth.
- Boobs of Steel: A skilled former mercenary turned Knight of Seiros, and has a sizable bust to boot.
- Born Lucky: Ties with Ignatz for the highest Luck growth and cap of the playable cast. (55% and 76, respectively)
- Blow You Away: She learns Wind upon reaching D+ in Reason.
- Blunt "Yes": Gives one when Catherine asks if Shamir really thought Catherine's first impression of her was "all talk, but useless in battle."
- Brutal Honesty: Shamir doesn't mince word or hesitate to tell people what she thinks of them.
- Character Death: If not recruited on the Crimson Flower path, she is one of the commanders fought during the Church's surprise assault on Garreg Mach, forcing her to be killed off in order to progress.
- Cold Sniper: A powerful sniper, and has quite the aloof personality to match.
- Combat Stilettos: She wears high heels in her default sniper uniform.
- Consummate Professional: As a former mercenary, Shamir has a "get the job done" mentality that's unusual for a Knight of Seiros.
- Contralto of Danger: A low voice to go with her aloof personality and combat prowess.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: As an enemy on the Crimson Flower route, she not only has the usual Bowrange+1 from being a Sniper, but has Bowrange+2 on top of it, which is locked to the Bow Knight class and as such, doesn't stack with Bowrange+1, giving her an effective Bowrange+3, a skill not seen outside of Echoes's Oliphantier DLC class.
- Dead Partner: She used to have a partner whom she had romantic feelings for in the Dagda military but he was killed in battle with the Empire. It was this loss that led Shamir to leave Dagda and become an independent mercenary in Fódlan.
- Defector from Decadence: On the Crimson Flower route, if you recruit her before Chapter 11, she abandons the Church and joins the Empire after Rhea has her Freak Out and begins her descent into true fanaticism.
- Disappointed in You: Tells Leonie she's disppointed in their B support after learning that Leonie pointed her bow at fellow students.
- Disc-One Nuke: Not to the same degree as Catherine but thanks to her high base strength, built in bowfaire and heavy draw combat art she can reliably kill most enemies and deal heavy damage to tough bosses which most of your other archers struggle with until they can become snipers like her.
- Everyone Has Standards: During the war phase, Shamir maintains her Cold Sniper mentality even if she has to face former colleagues like Catherine and Alois. The one exception is if she faces off against Petra, because she views Petra as a war hostage who's getting forced to fight against her will.
- Foreign Fanservice: While not quite as fanservicey as Petra, Shamir is still quite curvy.
- Friendly Sniper: Downplayed as she's emotionally distant, but she's still quite affable if spoken to. Even against enemies that she knows like Catherine and Alois, she holds no grudges at all.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Smacks Alois in their B-support after he cries out about how the spirits of the dead he's killed are coming back to seek revenge on him. Alois calms down and thanks her, claiming he needed it.
- Glass Cannon: Shamir sports impressive growths in Strength and Dexterity, but her speed and defenses aren't the best.
- Gone Horribly Right: Played for Laughs in her support chain with Raphael, where she teaches him how to be stealthy. He ends up being able to startle her.
- Good Feels Good: If shes recruited before the Time Skip on any route, one of her victory quotes is that it feels good to fight for a cause.
- Has a Type: The only paired endings that Shamir has that actually explicitly end with her falling in love and settling down are with Byleth, Dedue, and Hubert. Each three are The Stoic who tends to match Shamir in temperament. Every other ending leaves it ambiguous what type of relationship she has with her partner.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: If she achieves A+-support with Catherine, the two end up declaring how much the other means to them and that they're the closest out of all of their comrades, confessing that they would be devastated should they lose the other. In their paired ending, the two end up resigning from the Knights of Seiros and going on a lifelong journey together, eventually ending up in Shamir's homeland Dagda.
- Hidden Depths: Despite frequently displaying a Cold Sniper mercenary mentality when it comes to war, Shamir is actually quite shaken and reluctant to engage Petra in combat should they remain an enemy unit in the Crimson Flower route because Shamir believes that Petra is a hostage of the Empire forced to fight against her will.
- An Ice Person: She learns ice magic when learning in Reason.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: She's skilled enough that she can throw a dagger at a centipede on a far-off pillar and split it clean in half, to Leonie's utter amazement.
- Irony: She believes in not letting personal feelings get in the way of the life of a mercenary. On the Crimson Flower route when killed as an enemy, she laments how she let her personal feelings towards Rhea cloud her judgement.
- Just Like Robin Hood: Several of her endings, including her single ending, have her disappearing into obscurity, but rumors go around that she is working quietly as a vigilante eliminating those who prey on the weak and downtrodden. The fact that her default class is archer just adds to this.
- Kill Streak: Her personal skill grants her +4 to Strength, Magic, Dexterity, and Speed for 1 turn after she scores a kill, not unlike Peri from Fire Emblem Fates.
- Maybe Ever After: Many of her endings have her cut ties and live outside of well recorded history. Her romantic supports often end with the other person joining her in ambiguity both in public and in private life.
- The Mentor: Shamir serves as one to Cyril, being his reluctant archery teacher. Shamir's supports with Leonie and Raphael also involves her taking the two under her wing to improve their archery and stealth skills respectively.
- Nay-Theist: During part one, she reveals she doesn't really believe in the Church of Seiros (much like Cyril), but serves it anyway out of respect for Rhea. Which explains why she doesn't leave you on the Crimson Flower route, where Rhea and the Church are the main antagonists.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Shamir doesn't fight for the Knights of Seiros out of faith, she does so out of gratitude to Rhea. If recruited to the Crimson Flower route, where Rhea and the Church are the antagonists, because she is from Dagda, Shamir admits she has no interest in the future of Fódlan. Instead, she initially claims as a mercenary, she simply fights for whoever pays her, but later admits she's fighting because she wants to protect the friends she's made alongside Byleth.
- Not So Stoic: When she sees Leonie's drawing of a spider, she reacts in confusion before letting out a very noticeable laugh.
- Odd Friendship: The person she's closest to is the boistrous Catherine, despite the two having essentially nothing in common at all. Meeting in battle cements the differences between the two, though neither seems to hold the other in contempt.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Part of her design, complete with a nice amount of cleavage.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:"To work." (Pre-timeskip)
"Let's clean up." (Post-timeskip)
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:"Hate me all you want!"
"Going for the kill!"
- Private Military Contractors: Formerly a mercenary before joining the Knights of Seiros. Many of her endings have her return to being a merc after the war in Fódlan is over. In her ending with Caspar, they even found their own mercenary company and accept missions that take them all over the world. In her ending with Leonie, Shamir joins her mercenary company instead.
- The Quiet One: Downplayed. Shamir prefers to speak only when it's necessary.
- Rain of Arrows: Bow aside, she learns Sagittae when learning in Reason.
- Recurring Element: Shamir is a prepromoted, mid game sniper following in the vein of Jeorge and Innes. She also acts as a mentor figure for Cyril, much like Jeorge does to Gordin in the Archanea duology.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The stoic, calm blue to Catherine's friendly, outgoing red.
- Required Party Member: If she wasn't recruited beforehand on the Black Eagles route, Shamir will join the party automatically in Chapter 12 as long Byleth sides with the church.
- Second Love: In her support with Byleth, Shamir reveals that her late partner from Dagda was her first love, and though she hasn't forgotten him, doesn't like to dwell on the memory. In her S-support with male Byleth, she admits to trying to pretend her attraction to him was her yearning for the past, but finally declares she loves him outright.
- Significant Birth Date: Shamir's birth date is in March, which on the Fódlan calendar is called the "Lone Moon." Fittingly, she's generally a lone wolf, independent mercenary type, though she opens up to others in some of her supports.
- The Spymaster: She fulfills this role for the Knights of Seiros and will also play this role for your party later on in the game if you recruit her.
- Stealth Expert: As a sniper and spymaster for the knights, and her supports with Raphael even have her teach him.
- Terse Talker: She is very blunt and is not one for small talk. She and Dedue actually bond over this.
- Turn the Other Cheek: When Caspar confronts Shamir about his father's involvement with the Empire's past war against Dagda (where Shamir's past partner died), he assumes that Shamir holds a grudge towards the former as a result. Shamir refuses to hold him accountable, however.Shamir: Yesterday's enemy is today's ally. You have to abandon old feuds. Only then can you face me as a friend.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Catherine. The two often argue, and one quest has you forced to choose which of them will get the Two-Toned Whetstone, but they have a strong partnership and trust each other.
- Walking the Earth: She spent a good chunk of her life before coming to Fódlan doing exactly this as a mercenary, and the majority of her endings show she returns to this lifestyle. Her paired endings with Byleth, Hubert and Dedue has her permanently settling down.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Despite her hardened demeanor, Shamir admits she's deathly afraid of bugs like spiders and centipedes. She claims she has gotten better about it, however, by drawing pictures of bugs and repeatedly using them for target practice.
- Wild Card: Due to her status as a mercenary, Shamir's allegiances can be difficult to predict and understandably, Hubert closely monitors her if she should join the Adrestian Empire's forces on the Crimson Flower route. Shamir admits in the past there were times she sided with the enemy if her allies didn't pay her, though she doesn't like the idea of fighting an actual friend, she tries her best not to brood over it. She also says she joined the Knights of Seiros only to repay a debt she owed Rhea, which is fulfilled by the time Part II takes place as far she's concerned. That said, if she joins Byleth she will become truly loyal to whichever side Byleth has chosen and the friends she potentially makes along the way (though not necessarily loyal to the point of staying once the war is over).