Fire Emblem: Free Graces

*Spoilers contained in this post*

I hear it’s an INFJ thing to be intensely attuned to all emotion (yours and everyone else’s) and to just as intensely aspire to be the very best (“like no one ever waaaaas…”). This combo can lead to disasters in self-assessment; I can personally attest.

On a more varied scale, though, this is just human condition: to lift the mirror on ourselves and make a definite evaluation on who we must be. For many, the value tends to be low and critical – if not consistently, then at least in difficult times.

But hey, enough about that depressing topic. The new Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a real treat, am I right?

Image result for fire emblem three houses logo

And I can’t even begin to express how much I adore the characters. So many endearing personalities, like:

  • Sylvain, the incessant and careless womanizer
  • Marianne, who’s clinically depressed with low-self-esteem and hopeless outlook
  • Dimitri, the carefully-groomed prince hiding a wrathful streak of hate and vengeance
  • Bernadetta, the fearful, abused, anti-social shut-in
  • Lorenz, the status-minded egotist looking to maintain his class

Honestly and unironically, I love these people. I’m sure you’ve noticed, however, that I labeled them unpleasantly. Meanly, even. (Maybe some fans are raising hackles as they read how I’ve dared to smear their favorite.) But somehow I could still say I love them.

You may already see where I’m going with this (plot twist! I’m not avoiding the opening topic at all), especially if your self-assessments sound much the same as these character descriptions. Depressed, angry, anxious, careless… Do you think others, looking at your flaws, could love you, too?

Let’s have a closer study of Sylvain to help answer that question. (I was Blue Lions on my first run, and I can’t help being partial.) At the start, he’s a roll-your-eyes stereotyped skirt-chaser. He never stays true to one woman yet claims to operate on the values of chivalry. If you select to play as a female and choose a House other than the Blue Lions, Sylvain will ask to join your class right away simply on the basis that you’re an attractive woman. On first impression, my husband was quick to label him a jerk. I didn’t care much for him, either.

But then he started getting sweet, sweet stat increases…

No, no, I kid. Actually, you might say it gets worse before it gets better. You find out through multiple supports that Sylvain chases women because he hates them. He sees them as freeloaders of his noble status and seems to want to watch their hearts break. A real hero, no?

Then, in a final support conversation, his colleague Mercedes gently reveals the wounds that have shaped Sylvain’s current actions. She addresses his faults, yet still honors him as a whole and precious person. And in a profile image I’d never seen in any interaction before, Sylvain is shown to be crying. This young man who is almost always depicted with a coy grin, charming side-eye, and devil-may-care shrug is brought to tears when someone addresses his difficult past. I was surprised at how suddenly and strongly my heart broke for him.

Things are about to come full circle. Are you ready?

Here’s the thing: someone’s heart breaks for you, too. You may not know it, and maybe no one’s told you directly, but I can promise you it’s true. Even if you’ve assessed yourself and concluded the worst, even if others have kicked you to the ground and you believe you deserved it—you aren’t beyond the bounds of love.

We’re dopey sheep who don’t know our way to the pen; we’re old, dusty coins dropped on the ground. The Creator of all things still hunts and stoops to find us and value us. (Luke 15:1-10) He will still reveal the wounds and sins, but He won’t hate us for them. He has already worked out our redemption. (Ephesians 1:3-10)

The funny thing about the Three Houses characters: you’re introduced to many of them by their flaws. The prideful, the damaged, the cowardly, the lazy. (How do the Black Eagles even function as a unit?) But I’m sure you still recruited a few you didn’t initially have, right? Imagine going to God, and you say, “God, I am this sin. I am that sin. I’m really messed up in this area in particular.” What do you think He would say?

I think He’d say, “I still want you to join My House.” Crazy, right? I know; it’s hard for me to believe, too.

Amanda Bizeau-Nicol

Amanda’s love for video games started way back when she used to watch her brother play the NES; one day, she decided to pick up the controller herself, and the rest is history! She's currently working to upload her longtime fanfic work - The Fluffy Tadpole - to Archive of Our Own. In her spare time, she writes fiction, cross-stitches, whips her husband at puzzle games, and creates Myers-Briggs profiles for fictional characters. (Shh… It’s all perfectly normal…)

Leave a Comment