Everyone, this game has exceeded all expectations of mine. Fire Emblem: Three Houses has, at this point, consumed 250+ hours of my life since receiving the game a few days after release. Notice how my blog’s been pretty quiet since late July? Yeah. You all have no idea how much I held back, too. For the sake of not oversaturating the marketplace, I refrained from making a hundred posts on this game—I certainly could have (and still can). A “totally 100% final thoughts on three houses” post has been in the planning stages for The Visualist’s Veranda for weeks, but never came to fruition because, well, my thoughts on the game keep changing!
But this? This is
relatively concrete. I wanted to share a little more about this cute little title by highlighting its characters.
For preventative measures, some clarity details shall be assigned prior to the actual posting of my tier list. By “tier list,” I simply mean how much I like each character. It has little to do with how they do in battle or any practical matters. My list is only based off how much I adore a character and the effectiveness of their supports. I did not include characters that did not play a substantial role in the story or, if they did, were not featured for more than two chapters or so. Rodrigue, Judith, Death Knight, etc., are not on this list. Basically, if they had support conversations, they made it. And Jeralt.
Without further ado, apply appropriate eye protection and gaze upon my tier list:
With the image up, note that these placings are roughly in the exact order of how much I like them, reading left to right. Right around Sothis it starts to muddy somewhat, as I don’t give a lot of thought to how much more “indifferent” I am to characters that aren’t all that established. I’ll admit now that I think ranking Byleth, Sothis, and other characters that didn’t even make the list is weird because so little is known about them and so little is shown. Byleth is just a blank protagonist swallowed by circumstances beyond their control, Sothis is there, and others serve their purpose. I guess people can rank them by their coolness? I don’t know. I’m not into that.
I’ve also seen people rank male and female Byleth differently for some reason? I… I don’t understand. They’re 100% the same. Except gender. Okay.
SPOILERS AHEAD. THERE’S YOUR WARNING.
The rest of the article will detail short snippets about each character (because I’m insanely organized) and why they are where they are, along with some other miscellaneous thoughts. And to self-advertise, I also made a Top 10 list that goes into more detail for KeenGamer.
Hilda: I still don’t quite understand why she’s my favorite. Her romantic conversations are pathetically distant and her constant spiels about how hard everything is irritates me. Yet, she’s my favorite. It’s almost akin to a parent being critical of their child, but they love them all the same. She just has that de facto quality that makes me adore her. Tough when it counts and her sweetness towards her classmates is absolutely adorable. My specific tier for her is appropriately titled in all its extremism.
Petra: To be upfront about it, seeing Petra for the first time, I immediately wanted to be in whatever class she was in. Such a unique and almost wild exterior is almost guaranteed to win me over. (My waifu in Awakening was Panne.) While I didn’t choose Black eagles first, she helped me pick them second. As noted in the above link to the Top 10, she’s almost so grounded that she comes off as bland, yet her sense of justice and kindness makes her an easy choice for #2. Her supports with Ignatz are also super charming.
Marianne: Marianne makes it this far up the list simply for her transformation post time skip. In Part One, she’s a meek, pessimistic girl who just wants to die, seeing as her crest is supposedly cursed and brings misfortune to others. Afterwards, her entire persona is uplifted and she takes on a completely refreshed outlook. Seeing that development happen is immensely satisfying, and is what makes seeing these supports worth it. Her chemistry with Hilda, Raphael, and Ignatz specifically boost her likability towards the moon. Her S-support cutscene is also pretty cute and further establishes her growth.
Dedue: This guy. Shunned by an entire country for his origins. The Duscur people, due to their involvement in the murder of the former king of Faerghus, have become the target of substantial hostility. Dedue is from Duscur, and is completely aware of his position in society. He doesn’t let it get to him. He’s a peace-loving soul—dependable, loyal, quiet, and kind. He even acknowledges and accepts the reality of his situation, despite how garbage it is. He’s just a cool fucking guy. He’s Dedue, and I would dedie for him.
Leonie: Haha, she wants to fuck your dad! Her only personality trait is that she loves your dad more than anything! I hear them. They cry. Jokes fly. Yet I stay. Leonie is great for a number of reasons, particularly for qualities that are similar to that of Petra. Her independence and rough attitude is ultra admirable and while her adoration for Jeralt can be excessive, she shows more than enough to stand for herself. Understanding and dependable, Leonie impressed me so much that I now desire to name my unborn daughter after her. I’m not kidding.
Claude: My favorite House leader by far. Initially in the running for favorite character of them all, some support conversations kind of shy me away from him, particularly with Marianne and a few others. Despite early bitchiness, he’s a great character particularly post time skip. With wicked sideburns in tow, his future for Fódlan is a prosperous one, even if he doesn’t intend to lead it himself. His entire rhetoric is essentially “Anti-racism,” which is almost funny considering his aloof attitude near the beginning. I’ll follow my friend anywhere, he just needs to say the word.
Dorothea: Flirty, fashionable, dramatic. At first glance, Dorothea seems like a rather shallow character. Beneath the surface reveals a desire for true companionship, and a deep-rooted inclination of pacifism. She’s survived a number of traumatic incidents in her youth working for an opera company, giving her strength, but she still clings to the historically “feminine” ideals of dependency. Her words, flirtatious as they may be, have a stronger effect than others. When about to depart on a certain mission, she asks if the professor “will keep her safe,” and I felt that. Basically, she’s a much better Manuela.
Ignatz: Okay, very small rant, but where is the god damn love for my guy, Ignatz?! Most tier lists I see have him chilling in the “D” rank or below. I get it, alright? He’s not suave, he’s not particularly attractive, and he’s fidgety beyond comprehension. A good soul is what he is! The appreciation for true empathy often incites fear of upsetting others and constant apologies. I empathize with his overempathizing. Ignatz deserves better. Let him paint you a picture!
Annette: Annette is just really cute. Her entire appeal is just the fact that she’s super bubbly and sweet. I can understand if people think it’s a little much, but it works for me. I also just tend to like redheads. It’s a curse. Admittedly, her clumsiness makes for a lot of forced, unfunny humor in support conversations. Although, her dynamic of being self-conscious of her singing makes for some humorous conversations. I just kind of wish her supports with Claude (pretty sure it’s Claude) and Felix weren’t the exact same joke. Basically, she’s just powerfully cute.
Shamir: It’s kind of funny. Shamir is basically a female Dedue but more standoffish. Their support conversations show this tremendously well. Really, Shamir just radiates dominatrix energy. Her penchant for silence and being curt makes her a formidable social partner. Nevertheless, she has some measure of showcasing kindness through her loyalty and strength in battle. I was a little hesitant on her at first, assuming she’d be more kuudere-ish, but the writing is pretty strong with her. I grew to adore her.
Lysithea: Ooooooooookay, Lysithea is in an interesting place. Besides accidentally labeling her “Lysindrea” in my first Three Houses post (no one saw that, right?), her impact on me did not take hold until pretty late into my second run. She actually died in my first playthrough, and I forgot she existed until a few chapters after the fact. She received poor treatment from me. After actually giving her a chance, her bitchiness, while justified, was hard to handle. Not until post time skip did I come to appreciate her dedication and somewhat silly demeanor. Her supports with Cyril are pretty cute, and she’s actually more attached to the professor than I noticed early on. Lysindrea’s quite caring!
Felix: When composing this tier list, I let my gut do a lot of talking. Who did I like? Images just flashed to mind, and I rolled with it. With Felix, it was unexpected. He is unbelievably edgy and is as close to Sasuke Uchiha as you can get without it being an actual clone. And for some reason I think he’s great. Internal turmoil follows him, particularly with his past and his relationships with people. He has some baggage, and in turn it made him hostile. Am I actually secretly edgy and empathize with how edgy he is?! I do think Shadow is cooler than Sonic… Oh, my God.
Raphael: Here is the one reason I was hesitant to choose the Golden Deer route first. Raphael, on the surface, is a doofus who loves food and muscles. That is all he talks about. And, speaking honestly, he’s not the best-looking guy around. (Post time skip improves.) Like with others, however, his internal motivations are much more commendable, particularly his protectiveness for his sister and his familial duties. His paralogue battle with Ignatz also shows a very admirable side of him, wishing people would let the present speak and have the past be just that. He grew on me, even if he’s more of a silly comic-relief character when compared to the whole.
Mercedes: Is it “Mer-say-dees” or “Mer-ceh-des”? Three Houses can’t seem to make up its mind and it annoys me. Regardless, where Annette is super cute, Mercedes is super sweet. Very motherly, with an embrace as warm as the oven she enjoys baking her sweets in. She’s almost too pure for Fódlan, if not for Ignatz or Ashe… the three of them combined could make Jesus shield his eyes. Again, if it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work, but it worked (relatively well) for me.
Flayn: Like Ignatz, I don’t see a lot of people giving Flayn too much love. Perhaps it is her giant U-shaped green hair or how stilted her dialogue is. Whatever the reason, I disagree. I think she’s adorable. Her dedication to trying to understand the changing world is humorous and her support conversations with others (especially Raphael) are among the most lovable in the entire game. To break my own rules for this list, too, her “Rescue” ability is so much fucking fun to use in battle. She’s just absurdly cute… almost Saint-like.
Ferdinand: Repeated playthroughs have been very good for Ferdinand. Originally, I thought he was incredibly bland and looked kind of dumb. He was pretty low on my tier list. Playing through the Black Eagles route and looking through his supports, his ego is beyond belief, but he seems to mean well. There’s an odd naivety to him that makes his character appealing. Inexperienced ideals and blind optimism outweigh his somewhat dick-ish behavior in the early stages. I don’t even care that he spouts his name off like a running faucet!
Dimitri: When I gazed upon his post time skip appearance, I almost burst out laughing. I thought Felix was edgy, goodness gracious. Dimitri is the final boss. Let me say now that I think his “darkness underneath” shtick is cartoonish and stupid, and his edgelord phase is equally so. What makes me like Dimitri is his actual foundation of justice, with some regret sprinkled in. In stories, I think a person’s mental deterioration should be handled with more care and balance, but here, it’s just like a festering tumor that comes out when the plot feels it necessary. I like what he becomes near the end of his route, and I liked him before the time skip. His edgelord phase hurts his stock, however.
Catherine: Looking at my tier list, I realize that I don’t “like” a whole lot of non-student entities. Shamir is obviously pretty high, but other than Catherine here, they’re all fairly low. Wonder why that is? Anyway, Catherine’s constant babbling about Rhea is kind of annoying, but I like her rough and tough attitude. She’s pretty carefree and reminds me somewhat of the “cool uncle” moniker, only she’d be a cool aunt. Her more tensile moments in her supports feel justified and the experiences she’s hiding away also make sense—I only wish they were more elaborative. Thunderbrand is too OP.
Edelgard: Honest admission: Edelgard’s popularity made me more inclined to not like her. It’s a problem I’ve had since I was younger where if anything is popular, I tend to shy away from it. Edelgard is, from what I can surmise, the most popular, if not one of the most popular characters in Three Houses. Going through her route for the first time, all I could think was, “Why?” With the hype dying down and the fire inside withering, I thought on it more and found that I am pretty fond of her. Edelgard has a lot of intricacy to her character that
could’ve been paced better makes her route more interesting. Not to mention, siding with her includes some of the more heartbreaking decisions the game has to offer. I’ve never wanted to kill her in any run, and after my BE route, it only doubled afterwards.
Jeralt: Does anyone else have a weird suspicion that he’s not Byleth’s father? They look absolutely nothing alike and there are hints at his activities that make it seem weird. Back on topic, Jeralt is just underdeveloped enough to not quite make the “Like” tier on my list, but that shouldn’t encourage one to assume I’m not fond of him. He’s pretty hands-off, he apparently drinks too much, and he’s a gruff fellow. Still, he seemed like a caring father. A lot of it is hearsay, which is unfortunate, as I wanted to see more intimate conversations between the two. And hey, maybe it’d make Byleth more interesting than dirt. Jeralt deserves love.
Seteth: No, I will not mention anything about McDonald’s. Exit right, meme addict. Seteth is somewhat interesting as I used to like him more earlier on in my playtime. When it came time to choose my main team (or even my second team), I almost never included him, which may have distanced me. Even still, I think he’s a decent character and his behavior is understandable enough, though his watchful gaze of Flayn seems very excessive. He’s just kind of a perfect teacher: strict and expectant, but understands people.
Hubert: Someone I follow compared Hubert to Snape and while I think the comparison is warranted, I wouldn’t totally agree with it. Hubert’s more of a lapdog, and he can be quite playful when he wishes to be. That’s what makes him a better character (was that controversial?). Hubert’s claim to fame here is with his supports, many of which are very charming in a “threatening guy is generally not threatening to people who find him threatening” sort of way. What makes him a tad low is just an indifference to his standard personality. Yeah, he’s loyal and he’s scary. Cool. Also, his character portrait post time skip is absolutely putrid-looking and it kind of hurts.
Lorenz: The only member of the Golden Deer I am not fond of, Lorenz is lowered on the premise of his early misogyny. His support conversations with Byleth are literally him being chastised for harassing women with dinner invitations… that’s just… c’mon. His supports with Marianne also give me bad vibes. Obviously he improves, or else he’d be near the bottom of this list, but that shit’s hard to ignore. He also just looks very snooty, which is likely the point. Some good supports with others (again, post time skip) are enough to make him an okay character, even if it did not look good at the forefront.
Hanneman: Yeah, okay, we get it, you like crests. Seriously, no, that’s okay. You don’t need to talk about how my crest affects my behavior anymore. I just… no, that’s fine. It’s not your fault you have a passion. It’s understandable. You’re a decent guy. It’s just the stuff with the crests… you have to tone it down. You’re worse than Leonie with Jeralt. Okay? Yeah, you’re fine. Okay. Talk to you later. Bye.
Manuela: Yeah, okay, we get it, your love life is a mess. Seriously, no, that’s okay. You don’t need to talk about how your love life sucks anymore. I just… no, that’s fine. It’s not your fault you have needs. It’s understandable. You’re an attractive woman. It’s just the stuff with the drinking… you have to tone it down. You’re worse than Leonie with Jeralt. Okay? Yeah, you’re fine. Okay. Talk to you later. Bye.
Ingrid: There’s a lot of talk about how Ingrid is racist, and there’s definitely key evidence to support this. Her husband-to-be was killed in the Tragedy of Duscur by Duscur people. As a result, she’s untrusting of those from Duscur, evidenced by her supports with Dedue. Obviously it’s wrong, and she learns from this and begins to accept Dedue for who he is and to not generalize and discriminate. That’s kind of a major point to her character, and many overlook the redemption to point out that the problem existed in the first place, which I think is unfair. No, my problem with Ingrid is that she’s a “Karen.”
Bernadetta: That thing I said with Edelgard about how her popularity pushed me away? Similar vibes ebb from Bernadetta. People love the fuck out of Bernadetta. Why? Uhh…? To be frank, her scaredy-cat nature and reclusive nature, to me, is very annoying and not charming. Even so, some of her supports are cute and she improves post time skip, which helps her place tremendously. I also think her voice actor did a good job at selling the personality, even if it did have me roll my eyes into my brain. After my first two routes, she was in the “Don’t Care For” tier. Now, she just squeaked into “Okay.” That’s a win.
Ashe: Petra and Leonie are almost so grounded that they could come off as bland. Ashe is actually so grounded that he is incredibly bland. He is the perfect encapsulation of a male Harem protagonist with a little extra spice in the cooking and gardening departments. He is a very, very pure boy who doesn’t seem to have any major flaws except that he is just way too pure. His appearance is bland, his voice is bland, his personality is bland; Ashe is basically the color white personified. I don’t hate him at all, but he’s… just so, so bland.
Alois: One look told me everything: I wouldn’t really care for Alois. This big lug is sweet and brotherly, but that’s kind of it. His corny jokes, while fine on their own, are ruined by his “haha get it?” routine. It’s the execution of Alois that I don’t care for, rather than his actual personality. He’s just too… I don’t know, big? Too much? He gets tiring pretty quickly and his supports with Byleth are only interesting because it explains more about Jeralt’s past, not his. He’s whatever.
Caspar: Did you know that Caspar’s voice actor was also Eric Sparrow from Tony Hawk’s Underground? That’s why I call him Caspar Sparrow at every opportunity. Unfortunately for him, Caspar’s stock actually trended downward the more I played through the game. I made the comparison that Ashe was the quintessential male Harem lead; Caspar is the quintessential Shounen lead, complete with fighting spirit, penchant for stuffing his face, and obliviousness to matters of the heart. I liked him more upon discovering his voice actor’s history, though once that high wore off, I was just left with Caspar as Caspar. It didn’t bode well for him.
Sylvain: This cutie-patootie is also pretty popular—though, surprisingly, his popularity didn’t shy me away quite as much as Bernadetta or Edelgard’s did. His base personality did the trick for me! I could copy-paste the excerpt from Hanneman’s or Manuela’s write-ups and apply it here and it’d still make sense, because Sylvain’s two major shticks are his love life and his crest. He fucks around with women because he doesn’t want to be exploited for his crest, and goofs around to thwart expectations placed on him, again, because of his crest. Yeah, uh-huh. That aloof attitude just rubs me the wrong way, compared to Claude’s aloof attitude rubbing me the right way. At least he’s not totally worthless.
Gilbert: This is the point in the tier list where things begin to just fall apart. Why do I find Gilbert so uneventful and blah? Uhh… because he lacks the qualities to make him otherwise? Gilbert is so… blah. His entire personality is just that he grieves the weakness of his past so he denies himself the opportunity to be happy in the present. Blah. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever, do what you want. You’re only slightly important in the BL route.
Cyril: Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. Lady Rhea. I find this more annoying than “Ferdinand von Aegir” or “Jeralt.” His only redemption is that his C-support with Manuela is amazing and his chemistry with Lysithea is cute.
Sothis: I see these people out there, ranking Sothis really high on their tier lists. It confounds me, it really does. Byleth? Death Knight? Fine. But Sothis? Sothis? Is she even really a character? She’s more like a Navi or a Fi. But I guess people rank those two as characters, too, huh? It’s not that I think it’s unwarranted, but it’s just weird to me that a spirit of a Goddess that only persists through general dialogue—while spouting exposition and berating the protagonist—for 40% of a story’s campaign is somehow “better” than other characters with far more attention brought to them and more complex temperaments. It’s a matter of comparing importance, like comparing a rock to a cello in terms of musical capabilities. It’s a personal thing. So, Sothis… yeah, she exists.
Byleth: I don’t even want to put anything here. Silent protagonist that slowly grows more compassionate as the series goes on. Very little is done by them to showcase anything they could be feeling, other than facial movements. I don’t even see Byleth as “Byleth.” Byleth is me. I am Byleth. They’re Link with less of a personality. They exist.
Linhardt: Linhardt is listed first, but my disdain for him and Rhea are basically equal, so one shouldn’t read into it that Rhea is my least favorite character. I don’t care for either equally. Linhardt is all the bad things about Sylvain and Claude with an added uncharming characteristic of taking naps. He’s kind of a dick, a secret genius, and comes off as uncaring in almost every circumstance. I don’t care for him. Everything I hope to never become.
Rhea: She’s using you. Rhea planted the soul of her mother into your heart in the hopes that she would be reborn within your body (I think?). Yeah, her compassion might be genuine, but you’re nothing if you get in the way of her main goal. She looks at you the way a farmer might look at a big cow that would sell for a nice load at the market. It all feels so disingenuous, the sole reason I don’t care for her. She’s, in a way, two-faced. And there’s no denying that she used you for her own gain. Fuck her.
And that’s that. I’m tired of typing. Have your say if you enjoyed the game or do whatever. Spewing that bile on Rhea really made me boil.
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.