Hello everyone, I am ChrisX and… well, this is something new.
As you might have mentioned in my old countdowns, Fire Emblem pops up quite a lot of time in my countdowns. What can I say, I love the series. It houses a lot of memorable and interesting characters, though some of them may be a miss. It was enough that back in the old days of the old Chaos Theatre forums, I made a list of favorite characters from the game… that are not Lords. For the sake of variety and making sure the Lords did not oversaturate the spotlight.
One of the creeds of the series is ‘Together We Ride’. Which means that you can’t fight your battles alone. Sometimes, a one-man army can be produced, but without a strong support from other capable fighters, the whole army will crumble. And amongst these armies are colorful individuals that I think can be REALLY interesting to look into.
So here we are. Time to talk about characters from Fire Emblem, what they’re like in the game, be it personality or performance… and my opinion on them. Yeah, regardless of the title, this is just a writing based on my opinion. But I hope my opinion can be enlightening.
And for our first subject of talking… Let’s take a look of one of the characters that just made it to Fire Emblem Heroes, the Thunder Noble, Tailtiu.
This is Tailtiu, who debuted in the fourth game, Genealogy of the Holy War. That game really look obscure by the manner of not being released in the West officially, so not a lot will recognize her right off bat. But back to this young girl with long ponytail and cheery face.
Really, even at the first look, when all we had was just old style pictures, you’ll know she’s the token cute, bubbly girl. Indeed, she’s rather fidgety and can’t stand still for very long. She’s part of the Friege House of Granvalle, descending from the crusader Thrud. The blood of Thrud in her veins were minor ones, so even if she excels in Thunder Magic like the rest of her house, she couldn’t access the mightiest thunder spell, Mjolnir. But regardless, she’s still a very competent magician.
Tailtiu spends her childhood without much care about adult stuffs and only acted like any happy-go-lucky girl around. She formed a trio of friends from other houses, Azelle of Velthomer and Lex of Dozel, hanging around, studying and playing together. And kind of like Azelle who had a crush on a priestly woman, Edain, Tailtiu has a crush on a priestly man, Claude. While her relations with her father Reptor was not that clear in terms of clear picture, what’s known is that Tailtiu looked up to him and wanted to make him proud. Even if she washed her hands from Reptor’s plot to gain more power for his house. Because it’s too complicated.
When chaos erupted throughout Granvalle due to the campaign towards Isaach, Claude decided that he should pray at the Tower of Blaggi to uncover the truth behind it. Tailtiu, against her father’s wishes, decided to tag along with Claude under the pretense that he needed a bodyguard… which turned out to be true because that area was swarming with pirates, and then it got more chaotic as Granvalle defeated Agustria and the Orgahill Pirates came swarming to threaten it. But regardless, Tailtiu escorted Claude to safety, but the vision he got wasn’t exactly happy news either: Reptor, alongside Lombard of Dozel (Lex’s father) were the ones who assassinated Prince Kurth and then put the blame of Lord Byron, father of Sigurd (our main character). And just like that, once the Orgahill Pirates were subdued, Sigurd was branded as a traitor and had to fled to Silesse.
Tailtiu somehow followed Sigurd, and at that point, her happy-go-lucky cheerful facade began to show some cracks. She felt completely insecure, thinking that everyone for Sigurd’s army would look at her as nothing but Reptor’s daughter and might be conspiring for his sake. True, she didn’t want to disappoint her father, but she’s also confliccted, she could’ve gone back to her father, but she didn’t, deep down she thought that her father was wrong and she couldn’t abide with declaring Sigurd a traitor.
The only one she could share her problems with were just Azelle, but at that point the situation was way different than back in their younger days. I mean, back in those days, we can pretty much assume that the happy-go-lucky Tailtiu might be the teasing friendly girl to the bully-magnet shy bastard child Azelle, so either she teased him, or she stood up for him. But this time… she’s the one who’s distraught. Good thing Azelle is a good boy, so he gave her some advice to just taking it with a stride like usual, and people would probably treat her like normally. This cheered up Tailtiu and it stayed that way as she assisted Sigurd and Lewyn in handling the Silesse civil war.
But of course, they had to go home back to Granvalle and clear their names, because everyone there thought that by being under Sigurd means that you’re a traitor to the Kingdom. Reptor himself was amongst the final guardians to Granvalle, and Tailtiu still had the heart to either apologize and maybe change his mind. I mean, he’s still a father to her, right? Yeah, for awhile, Reptor was visibly crushed that his daughter would stand against him he even thought Claude was influencing her to oppose him, so at first he blamed Claude for this… Maybe he did love Tailtiu as a father that he felt so crushed and conflicted…
Until he decided that the honor of House Friege came first and for that, Tailtiu will have to die by his own hands. And there’s another crush in Tailtiu’s psyche, now her beloved father wanted her DEAD for disobeying him and following her heart. This is not like Lex who has made up his mind that his own dad, Lombard, was an asshole that deserved to die for his avarice, and they just killed him before. Despite doing the right thing, Tailtiu still loved her father and preferred that it didn’t end up like Lombard and Lex. But it happened anyway. And Reptor perished in battle, with a little help of backstab by Arvis of Velthomer.
And then Arvis trapped Sigurd’s army, personally killed Sigurd and many many of his compatriots. Needless to say, the whole war sucked balls for Tailtiu.
At the very least, Tailtiu didn’t die. She managed to flee to Silesse and went into hiding with her son Arthur, and eventually gave birth to her daughter Tine. She tried her best raising her children, but memories of the war still lingered in her. And just so you know, Tailtiu has that since around late teens or sorts, so she got a PTSD thanks to that.
And one day… army of Friege under her brother Bloom came to Silesse and captured both her and Tine, Arthur got left behind because he was away. Tailtiu and Tine got imprisoned within Friege and they were considered traitors by the people due to the newly-formed Granvalle Empire’s propaganda, so they weren’t treated that well. But regardless, Bloom was a family member and he cold-bloodedly captured her, separated her from her son for an indefinite amount of time all while saying that she’s a traitor that caused her father to die and her family name in shambles. And deep down, looks like Tailtiu acknowledged that a bit, she ruined her family name. But again, she just knew she was doing what she thought was right…
And you know, that wasn’t even the end of her suffering. The worst has yet to come.
See, Bloom is married with a certain woman named Hilda. Who is extremely nasty and feels more like a devil in human skin. She delighted in making people suffer, and because Tailtiu was considered a traitor, abusing her was considered a fair game. So she started torturing Tailtiu, subjecting her to domestic abuses, etc, while excusing it as ‘punishing traitors’… but deep down, she enjoyed every bits of it. That was already painful for the PTSD-suffering Tailtiu… but then Hilda planned to expand those abuse and tortures on the young Tine. Driven with her motherly instinct and believing that her daughter didn’t deserve such bad treatments since she did nothing wrong, Tailtiu covered her from further abuses as best she could. Even so, she still blamed herself for putting her own flesh and blood in this situation. All that said, after arriving at Friege, there hasn’t been a single day that Tailtiu didn’t cry at all, either from her PTSD or from apologizing to Tine for the miseries she brought to her.
In other words, the happy-go-lucky mask was completely destroyed, and in place of her, a depressed and sad woman… who eventually died due to illness.
But had she not put up with such protection to Tine… well, Tine wouldn’t survive to reunite with Arthur. After that, they went on to properly restore their family honor and avenge Tailtiu in addition of clearing her name. So even if in her life she died with sorrow… she may be able to smile again in the afterlife… but we’ll never know.
Even if we know just how shit her life ended and how she degenerated… let’s just say that Tailtiu’s base personality is very beamingly cheerful and very spunky. She acts pretty much like a high school girl that just can’t stand still and preferred to live her life without thinking too hard. She might pester her friends to do things she finds innocently interesting, but she still considers them her treasured friend.Her plucky attitude quite contrasts with her sister Ethnia (you probably wouldn’t hear about her unless Tailtiu’s childless into the next generation, where Ethnia became the next Hilda punching bag and mothering Arthur and Tine’s substitutes, Amid and Linda) that she’s less reserved and looks less responsible.
She does have a lot of sense of compassion and justice, and if we trust what at least Heroes portrayed her as… well she has good instincts about whether that person is good or not, and she feels compelled to help them out. I guess this is why she decided to stick with Sigurd instead of, you know, go back to her dad and go along with the surest way to uphold family name.
Which brings us to her insecurity. Turns out she was pretty sensitive despite her happy-go-lucky outlook. Hell, right after she joined Sigurd, she felt incredibly uneasy that people has been giving her funny looks when it comes about speaking about her father. In addition, she was deeply troubled that her father would do to such extent in accusing an innocent man or pinning the blame of his own crime into said man. But regardless, her instincts prevailed, it keeps telling her to do what she thinks is right.
And yet, despite all those disapprovals deep down about her father, Tailtiu still loved her father. She kind of wished that they would come to a middle ground and then make everything go back to the way it was. But Reptor has been consumed with his own ambitions about raising the status of his house Friege, so… well, Tailtiu is ‘disowned’, further branded a traitor for sticking with Sigurd and was about to be personally eliminated. Yeah, any wonders how Tailtiu is starting to crack from that point on?
But even then, Tailtiu still tried to be a loving mother for her children, Arthur and Tine. In spite of her sadness, she still raised them alone and even gave them identical necklaces, which would be the key to their reunion.
Then the torture by Hilda happened. All those affected Tailtiu that she mostly considered herself to blame for her house’s decline. But she still has enough maternal instinct and the previous instinct she had, just now directed to her daughter. Tine is a good, innocent girl, clearly she didn’t deserve punishments of a traitor just because she was born from a ‘traitor’. That’s why as much as it continued to break her heart, Tailtiu still protected Tine from further abuses. That was when her personality took another nose dive. She couldn’t keep up with the brave and cheery attitude, she cried at least once per day, until sickness claimed her and she died depressed that she brought misfortune to her children.
So yeah, if you want to say that Tailtiu got a personality development, she does have that… It’s just that it’s NOT a happy development. It’s tragic and makes you want to give her a hug, but in the same time, because of this, she also ends up as one of the more colorful characters in the Jugdral saga.
Unfortunately, to some, this is where Tailtiu suffers, for the most part. See, she joined late at Level 3 unpromoted at Chapter 3: Lionheart Eldigan. While she could be optimized to not be a dead-weight in the next chapter, which requires some trick in said chapter, there’s a lot of Hard Mode players that would dismiss her as useless. While most people didn’t consider her as such, I think Tailtiu would fit into the first generation’s Est archetype. She IS decent when trained, and training her and giving her a good pair will yield a good Arthur and Tine, but a lot said it’s more troubling to train her and just stick with the substitutes, Amid and Linda.
I won’t go too much into details, but Tailtiu started out as a Thunder Mage with Minor Thrud blood, which grants her access to the more powerful Thoron spellbook. It’s not Mjolnnir but it was better than nothing. In addition of this, she has pretty good stat spread on joining, but her growth was just decent that she would avoid being a dead weight. She has pretty good Skill though to ensure good hit rates. While she doesn’t naturally have Pursuit, she also possesses Wrath, where she ensured a critical hit whenever she attacks on low HP. A bit risky, but can also tremendously help her in Arena battles.
However, the odds are still against her in the original game that she’s not on a horse in a game with huge maps, and Wind tome is so broken that Thunder gets beat out as an element most of the time. So I think I can understand why in grade-runs, people like to ignore Tailtiu.
Heroes is another story, though. Being a Blarblade user and the fact that availability becomes a non-issue, and the overwhelming advantage of horse units are more… downplayed, Tailtiu can be a more powerful unit as long as you got some units that can buff her around. Add in some skill inheritance to optimize and… yes, she’s ready to shock. Or rain down blades.
Personally, I was never bothered with game performances. If I like a character, I will use them regardless. And honestly, Tailtiu when trained can be decent. Sure, she might not be good for ranked runs, but she certainly can hold on her own, not to the extent of being a one-man army, but a servicably strong unit. And character-wise… Tailtiu hands down is one of my favorite characters throughout the whole franchise. From her interesting character development (though not a positive one), her life story and both sides of her personalities… All of them intrigue me greatly. And it also helps that she’s… very cute and adorable. All in all, it makes me just want to give her a much-needed hug.
Oh, and whether she’ll appear in some of my countdowns…? Hmmm… well, I’ll have to take another look for that…
But bottom line, I like her, will use her constantly, ranks be damned and… Yeah, I like her a lot. She deserves a lot of love, including how much she’s nearly unknown in the West until Heroes introduced her. Regardless, this has been a session of Know Your Hero.
Fanarts used in this post came from…
And this is ChrisX signing out…