Full spoilers for route!
Edelgard’s character interested me which is why I chose The Black Eagles route in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. was a strong leader of her house and getting closer with her revealed things she kept hidden from the others. She was kind, but also had been through a lot when she was younger.
Edelgard’s route is basically where you side against Rhea and the Church of Seiros. You join up with Edelgard as the Flame Emperor to fight against Rhea to end her rule so Fodlan can be more equal instead of a class system based on nobility and Crests.
I got this route by getting Edelgard’s Support up to a C+ and talking to her on 2/8.
Why did I pick this route?
Getting closer to Edelgard and The Black Eagle’s story both influenced me to pick this route.
Talking with Edelgard, I found that she had been experimented on along with her other siblings. The experiment was to see if someone could have two Crests. All of her siblings died except her. She got The Crest of Flames from the experiments. That’s when I thought she might be The Flame Emperor and it turned out I was right.
Rhea was not seen is a positive light in this story. I did not spend time with her so that did not help things. Jeralt appeared to be suspicious of get so I became suspicious. Then, it seemed like she thought whoever went against the Church should be killed. After I found out she did something to Byleth during her birth, I really didn’t trust her.
The Black Eagles also shows the bad side nobility and the class system, blaming Rhea and The Church for causing the class differences. Bernadette has been abused, Dorothea was a Commoner who was treated like dirt until she started singing. Petra was forced to attend the Monastery and her father was killed by Caspar’s father.
All Edelgard wants is for Rhea and the church to no longer rule Fodlan so the emphasis on nobility and Crests can be changed to equality for everyone. She blames Rhea and The Church for everything that happened to her family.
What happens in this route?
It starts when Byleth goes to the throne after becoming one with the goddess. Edelgard interrupts to steal the Crests and you can choose to spare her even though Rhea wants her dead. Sparing her enrages Rhea and you see her true form as The Immaculate One. After that you fight to take down Rhea, but you die in the process.
5 years later, you come back to life and help Edelgard. First comes taking down The Alliance. You fight Claude and then can spare or kill him. Sparing him results in him leaving and The Yellow Deer join you.
Next, you must fight The Blue Lions. You cannot save Dimitri. He has become ruthless in his attempt to kill Edelgard and protect Rhea.
Finally, you take down Rhea. She wants to be called Seiros, her true name, and she changes to her dragon form. Rhea is enraged and grieving. She has lost her mother, the goddess, because Byleth left. She hates Byleth and Edelgard and wants them dead. Her anger leads to her setting her safe house, The Blue Lions castle, aflame which puts all citizens in danger.
Thoughts on the route
My thoughts changed throughout.
First, I felt regret pretty quickly. At first, I wanted to help Edelgard build a new land that would be equal. But, I had to hurt old allies.
I really liked Claude so I felt bad attacking him, but I was glad I could spare him. That made me feel better that he would help me.
Then, Rhea had a cutscene. In it, she was mourning her lost mother because I had deserted her. I felt really bad for her because she was visibly distraught. That was the first time the route had painted her sympathetically, but it was already too late.
Next, The Black Eagles. Mercedes was so sweet to me and Dimitri was always kind. But, I had no choice. That and I couldn’t save Dimitri. I felt so bad that I had to attack them because of the route I chose.
Getting up to the fight with Rhea was worse. I had to go through Manuela and Flayn. Flayn was my student. I again had no choice due to the route I had chosen, but I was crying.
Having to fight Cyril at the final fight was also terrible since he was really nice as well. I was also sad that Rhea had to die too. She did have a choice to surrender, but she was enraged and wanting to fight back.
But, the ending did make it worth it. Edelgard was able to bring peace to Fodlan. She dismantled the class system and the reliance in Crests for power. Her rule was truly more equal according to the ending.
Class and Power in Edelgard’s Route
At the start of the game, characters have classes of Noble or Commoner. Nobles have power. They look over government, have their future planned for them.
Commoners are the lower class. Dorothea has been mistreated by nobles. She talks about bring talked down to or getting nasty stares because she was living on the street. The nobles only paid attention to her when she became famous for her voice.
The Church of Seiros also wields considerable power. They lead Fodlan and everyone must obey them. They also emphasize Crests which are another form of power. Those who wield Crests are generally nobles and they use these Crests in battle to gain the upper hand.
Students start to learn about the problems with having a class system when they interact with students from different classes.
Dorothea and Ferdinand are an example of that. Dorothea states that she does not like Ferdinand. She calls him a bee. He tries to figure out why but it also really kind to her. He bakes her treats and listens to her. Finally, at the end of their Support, she tells him why. She was just starting to sing and she was bathing in a public fountain and caught a young Ferdinand who saw her, glared at her, and then ran off. Ferdinand states that he was actually marveled by her beauty but became scared. Ferdinand never really saw her as being different due to his higher class while she knew they were different because she had been mistreated as a Commoner.
Also being in a higher class system isn’t always seen as positive. Bernadette was abused by her dad. She panics and is afraid of people because she became friends with a Commoner and her dad had him beaten almost to death. That’s why she hides from people. She’s afraid of them getting hurt. She also was originally just going to be married off, but then she was dragged to the Monastery.
Edelgard destroys the concept of nobility and Crests so that no one can have power over someone else. She tries to make everyone’s power equal so they cannot use it against others. Hopefully in her rule, people can be equal and Commoners , Nobles, and Crests can no longer be used as a class divide.
What do you think of Edelgard’s route? What are your thoughts on the themes of the game