salinea: Subaru is confused (*???*)
[personal profile] salinea
I thought it would be interesting to look at characters’ affinities and see what it tells us about them and about the writers’ intention about them. While Affinities have a direct effect on gameplay via the support bonus and some of them are probably picked based on game balance (see the amount of Earth Affinity people in the Dawn’s Brigade), nevertheless the concept of Elements conveys a rich imagery which often seems at least partially relevant.

Note: In case of contradiction between FE 9 and 10, I go by Radiant Dawn canon.


Fire characters tend to be fierce and courageous (Reyson, Geoffrey, Skrimir), outgoing and expressive, and often fairly cheerful (Tormod, Heather, Aimee, Marcia) even exuberant (Oliver). They typically like competition and challenges (Mia, Ashnard, Boyd).
Some outlaiers that don’t work as well with those associations: Nealuchi, Danved, Rhys, Shiharam, Numida.


Water characters tend to be very emotional and invested in their relationships with other characters. They can be wonderfully supportive and caring (Mist, Leanne, Sigrun, Brom), can also be prone to melancholy (Pelleas, Leonardo). They can be fairly reserved or quiet while still being helpful to others (Mordecai, Ulki). They may follow their strong relationships onto foolish choices (Levail, Kurthnaga, Hetzel).
No outliers.

(The Woobieness is strong in the Water Affinity!)

(Note: Fire seems to be the opposite of Thunder, rather than Water, in term of support bonuses at least)


Wind characters are often clever and witty (Ranulf, Bastian), and often good at thinking critically, especially regarding politics (Haar, Nephenee, Sothe) and are fairly independent minded (Volk). They very often have a taste for wandering (Nailah). They follow their own ideas, wherever that might lead them (Astrid, Rolf).
Outliers: Kieran, Largo (both being axe users, I wonder if it isn’t largely for the sake of the accuracy boost) Vika, Laura (I can’t really remember them having personality enough to assess how well they work).


Thunder is much more difficult to define!

A lot of Thunder characters have, shall we say, a complicated relationship to loyalty. Not because they’re disloyal, necessarily, but many of them end up being the ones shifting sides often or in remarkably dramatic situations (Jill, Shinon, Tauroneo, Aran) but others really just are that shifty and disloyal (Izuka). A large amount of Thunder characters are fairly ambitious (Jarod, Petrine, Ludveck). I think motivations – or in some weird cases lack thereof (Makalov) – are very important to Thunder characters.
Some outliers: Lyre, Muarim, Gareth, Janaff.


I want to describe Earth characters as “people with a healthy sense of priorities”. They are not quick to resort to violence, but will go there if necessary (Cainaghis, Fiona), they are relatively practical minded about their sense of ethics and they often move first to prevent unnecessary loss of life (Ziharc, Nolan) – or if devoid of morals they just look out for n°1 (Lekain, Valtome) – but when they have engaged their loyalty to something they will lay down their life for it (Lucia, Renning, Ena, Bryce). They often have a fairly wry sense of humor (Volug, Oscar). And they can be quite abrupt and blunt in demeanor (Ike, Tanith).
No real outliers


I find Heaven to be one of the most difficult Affinities to find a commonality in to be honest.

A fair amount of Heaven characters are remarkably high minded and idealist (Elincia, Tibarn), perhaps visionary (Stefan) and attached to a code of honor (Lethe, Greil). And, err, then there’s Rafiel and Meg (I guess Rafiel does have his own code of honor).

Heaven really is difficult to define!


Darkness characters are all about their secrets (Dheginsea). Many of them go as far as a whole constructed persona (Zelgius, Calill). They are capable of being ruthless (Micaiah, Soren) and they’re good at working in the shadows (Giffca, Naesala).
No outliers. Dark is a very consistent Affinity.


Along with Heaven, I find Light the most difficult Affinity to pinpoint.

Quite a few Light characters have a position of mentorship (Titania, Nasir) or associated with wisdom of a kind (Sanaki, Sephiran). Others seem to have a sort of happy-go-lucky thing going on (lllyana, Edward) or in other ways be at the whims of fate (Gatri). Also there’s Kyza? Maybe I should frame it as Light characters having sort of Wise or Fool dichotomy to them.

Besides what each affinity tends to say about each character; there are also some interesting interplays between some pairs of characters.

- Sanaki and Sephiran having the same Affinity.
- Micaiah and Soren having the same Affinity underlines some of the way they play foils for one another.
- Micaiah and Naesala’s similar Affinity and the way they relate to the Blood Pact.
- Titania and Soren as Ike’s advisers (especially in Path of Radiance) being of opposite Affinities
- Sephiran and Zelgius being of opposite Affinities as partners in crime
- Sanaki and Micaiah being of opposite Affinities as sisters
- Tibarn and Elincia having the same Affinity colors in an interesting ways how impressed he is by her during her pacifist play.
- Rhys’s probably not Mia’s fated rival, but them having the same Affinity makes it more interesting.
- Marcia and Makalov being of opposite Affinities as siblings
- Valtome as the senator who takes on Elincia being of her opposite Affinity
- Almedhea’s father and son are both Dark Affinity.
- Two of the characters Bastian cares for the most are Earth Affinity (Renning and Lucia)


Also, the only other Fire Emblem game I’ve played was FE4 which did not have any elemental affinity, so if you want to comment or further this with examples from other games, please do although be careful not to put in spoilers (I’ll want to play those games eventually ^^)

Date: 25 January 2015 04:48 am (UTC)
amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Default)
From: [personal profile] amielleon
Interesting read! I started a skeptic but I was amazed at how well many of these work.

Re: Heaven, I think you have a point about them being so fixated on an ideal, or one particular idea of how the world works, that they hazard losing sight of what's practical or real. Elincia's character development in Part 2 of RD might be viewed in this light, where her confrontation with Ludveck is her coming to terms with the ugly things that might be required of a ruler -- although it doesn't snuff out her Heaven willfulness to make her ideals reality by means other people would deem crazy, cough 3-10. This view also makes some more sense of Meg and her irrational journey to go find her dad's old army friend to marry.

I would love to see analyses of the affinities from other games!

Date: 25 January 2015 03:14 pm (UTC)
amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Default)
From: [personal profile] amielleon

I think Elibe and Magvel are the only other worlds with the affinity system. Though SH should know Elibe... :p

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