Sekai kawarazu. Watashi kawarazu.

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[meta month] days two, three, and four
Portrait of a Soldier
sailorvfan10 wrote in kirakiraunmei
Oh, it turns out I have some Fire Emblem things I can meta about after all.

Inspired by Nico's post on FE OAVs and Cornelius and Marth. And it might not be that in-depth with all sorts of quotes and examples, because I need to reacquaint myself with the game script for FE11. But I've been meaning to write meta on Marth's relationship with his father vs. his relationship with his mother and his sister. How, though he uses the respectful honorific of -ue for all three of them (chichiue, hahaue, and aneue, respectively), there is incredible distance between him and his father and opposed to the rest of his family. And you get a sense of this when Marth hears the news about Cornelius via Cain, how Marth responds. He's a little on the distant side.

In fact, I kind of want to compare his reaction to that of Lilina's from FE6, and they're actually in the same boat. Their fathers are both warriors, and I am sure both of them have been given the run down on all those "what ifs"--what if your father doesn't come home, what to do--and such. And for Marth, it's especially important since his father has a Special Sword and if shit happens to Cornelius, well, he's the only one who can wield it. And if someone is taking down the king, then Marth has to be careful because they're going to try and rout out the rest of Anri's kinsmen.

They say that, no matter how prepared you are for someone's eventual and inevitable death, it still hits you, and it tends to punch you in the gut. But the feeling I get is that, perhaps Cornelius wasn't exactly distant from Marth, he wasn't there all the time, as duty kind of makes that hard, you know? So he thinks of him more in the terms of "my father the king is dead" more than "my father is dead". And by thinking of him less as a close family member and more like one's liege, it doesn't have that impact.

Also as I have meta'd about before (many times), Marth has the habit of internalising things, so he could just be emotionally distancing himself because, well, his life is very, very important now, and he needs a level head at a time like this. But I feel it is easier for him to internalise it, or create distance, because his warrior-father has prepared him for something like this. There is a little bit of denial, but then he comes to accept it and he pushes it to the side. And it's not like he doesn't know what happened to his father, because Cain tells him that Gra slaughtered everyone like pigs and left a few alive because they, well, either missed or got away. The ones who got away were like Cain and severely wounded but Cain is too awesome to die and so he doesn't. That's not a very nice image to tell a fourteen year old boy who woke up to siege machines and hellfire raining down on his castle and, you know, people trying to kill him, and he takes it in stride because he's, well, Marth.

Right after he learns of his father's death and he's pretty much out of Altea and halfway onto the boat to Talys, all he can think of are his sister and his mother, but especially his sister. So either Marth is just internalising all of his pain (which is very likely) because, you know, he's Marth and that's what he does, or he doesn't want the same thing to happen to his sister and mother (or worse), or...both. It could very well be both, and I will bet you it is because that is just a terrible way to go, being killed by your own damn allies and these allies are even distantly related to him and I'm sure Cornelius was cursing Anri's goddamn unnamed brother for creating Gra in the first place.

Compare Marth's reaction to Cornelius's death to Liza's, and we have an entirely different kettle of fish. Because they go into detail about Marth's reaction to Liza's death, whereas with Cornelius it's more of a, "Well, that's a shame, but it happens and there's nothing we can do," to the fact that Morzas says to Marth, "Your mother, Liza, is dead; I killed her myself," which comes after he tells Marth he's come home to the slaughter. Which implies his mother was brutally murdered. How nice. (I seemed to remember Morzas saying he killed her with his bare hands, but the original script from FE3 Book 1 just has him say, "I killed her with my own hands.") So not only was his father slaughtered by distantly-related-allies, but his mother was brutally murdered and the bastard who did the deed is sitting on his father's throne strutting around like he owns the place. And then he throws in the bit about how Elice is only alive because Gharnef likes her (read: she can use the Aum staff).

At first Marth internalises this because, you know, he's trying to save face and impress Nyna with his internalising skills (which she probably realises is Not Healthy because she even remarks on how he should grieve before being all happy with his people), and we get the awesome line that I have memorised and I think I've used in every Marth meta I've ever written: I am a prince before I am a son or a brother. DUTY COMES FIRST.

I like to imagine that Marth stuck his rapier into Morzas and made sure he bled out nice and slow and that it hurt going in and hurt being pulled out and that maybe, just maybe, he wanted to stab him a few more times for good measure. But of course he could save the stabbing stuff for Jiol.

But anyway, Marth's reaction to Liza's death: The great commander's last victory of the day was commanding his tears not to flow.

Yes, ladies and gents, Marth is trying to not cry because his mother died. We aren't told anything about him holding back tears or anything when Cornelius died.

(As an aside, Marth was, in all likely, a mama's boy, and not only that, he was probably spoiled rotten by his sister. As a result of spending a lot of time with them, he became, you know, really, really close to them.)

Now Marth isn't "distant" from Cornelius because he got slapped for not killing a deer whilst on the royal hunting trip. In fact, I don't give a damn what the hell the anime OAVs tell you, because as far as I am concerned, they don't exist. Their only saving grace is the seiyuu anyway. (Do not get me started on what they did to Caeda do not get me started on what they did to Caeda...) Cornelius is not abusive to his son, or to his daughter, for that matter. Or to his wife. Or to anyone. Granted Cornelius is likely not a saint because why else would the gods have deemed him "unworthy" of wielding Falchion? He was probably involved in some hokey shit at some point in his reign. That doesn't make him a shitty father, but that doesn't make him a saint. (It probably makes him better than Anri's Unnamed Brother, though, who was probably on everyone's shit list.) He taught Marth all he needed to know in order to run the country in the event something happened to him, and eventually it would because, you know, everyone dies. That doesn't mean Marth got slapped around if he did something wrong, or that Cornelius took him to bed every night, because Cornelius is not once portrayed in that light, and I'm sure if there was weird shit going on, someone would have mentioned it.

To me, Cornelius was, in all likely hood, a stern, but loving father who was just trying to do good by his son, and he got struck down because the gods are cruel and, in all likeness, they like to torture Marth. (Seriously.)

~*~

Meta #3 because I am in the mood and I have to catch up.

This is meta focused mostly on Gharnef and how he's not just your cliche video game villain, but someone with actual goals and ambitions.

Okay and Marth is mentioned in this too, because he was apart of Gharnef's plan. Because the gods are cruel. No, really, in Fire Emblem, the gods hate everyone, and that is why the main's parents die or are dead already. The ones in FE11 are particularly cruel because they make you kill people off. In short, they're sadists and Marth is their favourite voodoo doll to shove pins into.

Gharnef, for those who aren't really familiar with him, is a rather interesting character. He studied with Wendell in Khadein and was, you know, just like any other magic user learning magic. He had ambitions and goals and all that stuff, and what mage doesn't? He wanted to be powerful. And epic. And possibly have a shiny cape.

In Fire Emblem, and this seems to be a recurring thing in FE, dark magic is a type of magic that slowly corrupts the user if they're not careful. And this theme is big in Archanea, because it corrupts pretty much everyone. Dark magic works off of darker forces and is fed by negative emotions, like all demons and Mazoku and all that stuff. Humans are more likely to react to negative emotions than they are to positive ones, and some negative emotions are stronger than others. Jiol is corrupted by jealousy over Cornelius. Gharnef got corrupted by dark magic. Hardin got corrupted by his own damn emotions that were magnified by the dark orb. Marth was half-way corrupted by revenge for his parents' deaths and his kingdom. Lorenz is overtaken by his guilt in FE12 and falls on his sword. There is so much corrupting shit in Archanea that you need to watch where you step.

So Gharnef was this awesome magic student and he discovered the dark arts and it all went downhill from there. He was corrupted, I do believe, by Imhullu, for it is a really dark thing and Gharnef's desire for world domination and becoming the very best like no one ever was corrupted him and it was made worse by the very thing he was studying. So had Gharnef not, you know, studied evil dark magic and became a bishop of light, we wouldn't've had Archanea be so damn fucked up. Maybe.

So yes, he has the cliche ambition for, you know, world domination and all that crap, but you can't do that alone so Gharnef uses more corruption and playing on negative emotions and bad memories and decides to resurrect Medeus. Medeus is a bitter mofo because, you know, being killed does that to you, and also his tribe of dragons were essentially driven to extinction. (After, you know, he nearly killed off humanity.) But I imagine Medeus is mostly bitter at Anri and he probably swore revenge and curses all up and down Anri's bloodline and anyone he ever came in contact with. Because Medeus is a douche. A bitter one.

So Gharnef uses Medeus's want for revenge against stupid Anri and for the world to go back to dragons for his own goals. He's going to get what he wants and Medeus is going to do it and think he's getting something out of it. First, let's cause some strife. Let's make this like Romeo and Juliet and have families hate each other for no reason whatsoever. Jiol is jealous of Cornelius because Cornelius has a better name and he's the descendant of King Anri the Great's awesome brother Marcellus, whereas he got Anri's shitty Unnamed Brother; also Jiol is a suck icky name and Cornelius is a more refined sounding thing. Also he gets Falchion and Jiol doesn't. What an asshole.

So now Cornelius is dead and Altea is being razed to the ground and Gharnef has Falchion in his possession and the princess of Altea. He's got a guillotine over Medeus's head with this, because A) Falchion can pwn Medeus real good and B) Elice is a descendant of Anri and, while she can't wield the sword herself, she can have a son who, you know, can. In the event that her brother, who is also a descendant of epic Anri the Great, can't. And he kills everything dear to Marth so he will go running around to all these different places and pick up all these different things and do this and do that and IT'S A TRAP, MARTH.

Gharnef basically just led Marth on a wild goose chase--he even tells him: "For you to dance around the continent, collecting powerful weapons and killing off my competition." Camus and Michalis are competition because they have, you know, awesome weapons--and into his hands so he could be squashed like a bug and a flyswatter. Gharnef knew Marth would come running because he has his precious sister. And Falchion. Which is needed to kill Medeus, who is the perceived threat. Gharnef didn't account on getting pwned, because no one ever has a Plan B in the event their Plan A doesn't work out, because he didn't account on Marth getting help from Gotoh.

So what the hell did I tell you all this for? Because it had to do with corruption, and it was leading to Medeus and what he tells Marth when you kill him:

That light which surrounds you is only a temporary respite. So long as the darkness in your hearts continues to sustain me...I cannot be...destroyed.....

Which is also how Gharnef can come back, because he is pretty much one with the darkness and can't be destroyed so long as he has a reason to exist. Which is how he tempts Hardin. Gharnef spent a lot of time coming up with a Plan B and he is basically using what Medeus tells Marth to do it.

~*~

WHICH BRINGS ME TO MARTH and meta #4, which relates to the quote I just italicised for you.

That light which surrounds you is only a temporary respite. So long as the darkness in your hearts continues to sustain me...I cannot be...destroyed.

As I highlighted above somewhere, Marth is half-corrupted by revenge due to what happened to his family: his father is murdered by an ally, his mother is murdered by some douchebag who works for Gharnef, and his sister was kidnapped by Gharnef and Falchion was stolen.

Perhaps 'corrupted' is too strong a word to use in Marth's case, or perhaps it fits just right. Certainly, Marth isn't going around killing innocent people with a look of bloodlust in his eyes. But he hunts down Jiol and (presumably) takes great pleasure in killing him because it sates his revenge on behalf of his father; he (presumably) gives Morzas a horrendous death because how dare you kill an innocent woman, you bastard?! on behalf of his mother, who had no one left to defend her, and basically, if you were involved in his parents' deaths he wanted you dead and he wanted you dead two years ago. This stops with Camus, because Nyna tells him not to harm him because she loves him or wants to save him or something and Camus is insulted because he is a knight and he does what he must for his country.

Though Medeus is probably talking just in general, that as long as there is negativity in the world, he will come back, which is a reference to Ying and Yang and Good and Evil--one cannot exist without the other. You cannot get rid of evil entirely, it's necessary. So Medeus will continue to come back. However, it's interesting because it's said directly to Marth, and he is the so-called Prince of Light, a title he receives because he was chosen by the very sadistic gods to be the light and savior of the world and kick Medeus's arse. He's basically saying that Marth's title is bullshit. He might be the Prince of Light today, but tomorrow he might be the Prince of Darkness and rule Hell itself and get corrupted by his own damn negativity.

And it's entirely possible (as I've written in "My Sins Won't Leave Me") for Marth to corrupt himself, because he internalises everything. Marth is not a happy person. He never talks about anything happy--except at the end of FE11 so long as you kept that blue haired pegasus knight alive.

No, not Catria. I meant Caeda.

And what we are shown there is that Marth is not used to sharing his feelings, which he tells Nyna, and this reiterates his I am a prince before I am a son or a brother line: I don't see what my feelings have to do with anything. Basically, "What does my love for Caeda have to do with anything? I'm supposed to be marrying you. For the greater good and all that."

Not only that, but Marth has some bitterness and resentment--towards Nyna. Nyna, who has her own problems by not, you know, being realistic about things. (In short, she does not know the world in which she lives.) Oh, Marth is just this wonderful guy who will save us all like Anri did 100 years ago! So wonderful! He has the whole world on his shoulders, I hope he's okay. Are you okay, Marth? I don't want humanity's hopes dashed due to said heavy burden on your shoulders.

To which Marth replies, "What are you more concerned about: humanity's hopes or my shoulders?" Do you care more about what I'm doing, or about me? (And yes, Marth was being snarky and sarcastic.)

Bitterness, resentment, need for revenge, grief, pain, loneliness. These are horrible emotions, and they would just feed Gharnef and Medeus. And, were the conditions right (and they can be, as I've written before), Marth could easily go the same way Hardin did.

In fact, Hardin is basically a parallel of Marth. He and Marth are one in the same--Hardin is what he could become. Which is, you know, not a happy picture.

Medeus is coming for your soul, Marth.

His people tout Marth as a hero and this awesome person and if you believed half of the shit they write in history books, there would be lots of wonderful people. History books are biased. Everyone looks good on paper if you focus on the positives. Marth looks great on paper, in fact. He saved the world--ends up saving it twice. He's there for his people. He saved his sister--twice. He married a badass and not to mention sexy pegasus knight. His pedigree is great (except for that rat bastard Nameless Brother of Anri's). He has Falchion! He's nice and kind and he's a great king! HE KICKED MEDEUS'S ASS I MEAN WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT HE IS CHOSEN BY THE GODS and Gotoh, the guy who swore off humanity, saw Marth's greatness and rescinded his hatred!

Hell I am pretty sure MyUnit ended up writing the history books about Marth because they basically say KING MARTH IS FUCKING AWESOME AND BADASS.

This same person could also end up exactly like Hardin.

Medeus's line also has another meaning, in "that light which surrounds you is only a temporary respite." Since this is at the end of FE11, Medeus could also very well be telling him, "There will come a calm before the storm, and then I will be back again, mark my words."

He's basically telling Marth he will be back, and when he is, he will be fucked.

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I am pretty much in agreement re: Cornelius and Marth’s relationship. I think that Marth was probably a very “sensitive” child who probably enjoyed things that weren’t ‘uber-manly’ and his father may have had an issue that many real life parents have with their kids: They just don’t know how to make a connection.

There is no doubt to me that Marth and Corny loved one another, but they dealt with it in their own ways. Also, major props and agreement on Marth distancing himself from his father in a “the king has died” as opposed to “my father has died.”

I also get the feeling Marth was coddled by his mother, and sister. Especially Elice. The two are so close, and when we see in her-game she is often very mothering of him.

and becoming the very best like no one ever was

I lol’ed forever.

I enjoyed the talk about Gharnef who is vastly underrated.

I agree on Marth/Hardin parallel, and I’d love to see a meta go even more indepth in it. Both are prince who garner a lot of respect and loyalty, both are strong and handsome, both lead their men with courage. Both men love a beautiful princess, both men marry said princess, both men take the throne and try to do their best for their people.

But then Hardin loses his ‘rock’ and becomes influenced by Gharnef. Had Caeda died, things could have gone the opposite direction, and it could be Hardin recruiting men to battle the Mad King Marth.

Chilling!

This was a great read.

I think that Marth was probably a very “sensitive” child who probably enjoyed things that weren’t ‘uber-manly’ and his father may have had an issue that many real life parents have with their kids: They just don’t know how to make a connection.

I'd like to see a treatment of that, as it seemed to me that FE11 backpedaled pretty far from the "sensitive Marth" seen in earlier adaptations, so I've pretty much not looked at that angle except as a potential AU. In FE11, he just seems more... programmed, to me. Similar to what you see in gifted kids who are put through the lessons mill.

Also, major props and agreement on Marth distancing himself from his father in a “the king has died” as opposed to “my father has died.”

Yeah, totally. Agreed.

Had Caeda died, things could have gone the opposite direction, and it could be Hardin recruiting men to battle the Mad King Marth.

Heh. I've been toying with that as a one-shot. Maybe I'll take a more dedicated stab at it.

Re: "Prince of Darkness"

IMO, when Gharnef says "I'll be waiting for you in hell," that's a 100% literal threat on Gharnef's part.

Medeus might be a douche, but I see him as really a twisted avenger figure, kind of like Zephiel. He suffered for the sake of humanity, and they betrayed him, and dammit they're going to pay. As alien as he is, I do find him more sympathetic than Gharnef.

Agreed that FE11/12 Marth seems set up to be a Hardin parallel; IMO, FE3!Marth is painted as pretty much incorruptible (holy innocent).

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