Amber Michelle (myaru) wrote,
Amber Michelle

FE: I love Minerva too much to leave her alone.

Some time ago I had a conversation about FE11's Minerva, and what kind of a country Macedon might be. At the time I hadn't read the FE3 script, which gives a pretty compelling description of the country's history:

At one time, the Macedonia region was ruled by the Durhua Empire. 100 years ago the whole continent was controlled by the dragon tribe, who sent numerous slaves to these undeveloped forests. The slaves were forced to excavate ruins and construct the country. Many people could not find food, were forced to work, and died from abuse. Amongst such tragic conditions, finally one youth stood up. His name was Iote. He and his companions escaped from the forests and fought, riding dragons, to continue the battle of liberation.

After Durhua’s fall, the slaves established their own country at these rich and newly developed lands. And the heroic Iote was encouraged to become its first king. Afterwards the Kingdom of Macedonia was feared as the land of dragon knights, and that was how it was born. However, this strong country not only lost its Prince Misheil, said to be the second coming of Iote. But now, even the “Red Dragon Knight”, Princess Minerva, has been lost.

[FE3: Chapter 3]

The conversation was mostly about my depiction of Macedon's court, which was more genteel (or wannabe-genteel) than one would expect from a country founded by slaves. My opinion is that they'd try to imitate high society in Archanea, which is the most influential nation on the continent, and also the rule to which Macedon's rulers looked when troubled with Dolhr. However, given the short amount of time between Iote's ascension and the present day, it's clear Macedon's focus would be on strength and military for its own protection.

On the other hand... they have a formalized government structure. Not just a king and aristocracy, but some kind of established system, because Minerva's approach to fixing her country sounds to me like the kind of thing you'd do with a body of troops, not your nobles, and that's pretty clearly the problem. "Princess Minerva worked hard to create a country where everybody can live and work in peace. That was the reason why she removed those worthless generals and soldiers," according to Catria in chapter two, which sounds right - you remove subordinates that are fucking with your citizens - but if the generals are the ruling class, that's a serious error in judgment. Not only will that upset people, but it'll also destabilize your governing apparatus, and it looks bad. She's removing her brother's subordinates and replacing them (we assume) with people she thinks are appropriate - but she killed her brother. For a just cause, yes, but when you boil it all down, she killed the old king to take his place.

In that sense, Minerva got what she was asking for. If she'd handled the matter more delicately, she might have pissed off fewer people, which would have left Ryuke with less of a force with which to oppose her.

This criticism seems quite unfair to Minerva, though, as she wasn't brought up to rule, and it looks like she tried to take logical actions. If anything, her mistake was allowing the generals and subordinates she dismissed to live. She wasn't ruthless enough. Perhaps she wasn't perceptive enough, or she'd have taken note of men and women she thought might be dangerous to her personally and offed them. The narrative says Minerva was completely unprepared, though, and that's inexcusable for a ruler, unfortunately. The king/queen is just as important as the nation itself, in the sense that letting oneself die will cause serious unrest if there isn't a clear line of succession, and she didn't take that into account.

So... it's ironic that Minerva's merciful nature is her greatest flaw in this situation. The game seems to be claiming that isn't a quality a ruler should have; we see the same in Nyna's decision to marry Hardin rather than being ruthless and stealing Marth - she made that decision because she's soft-hearted and inexperienced, and it fucked her over. I wonder if this theme would show up in other situations in the game? For instance, it seems to show in Marth's seemingly innocent handling of the Grustian royal children.

Also-- FE3 takes place what, one year after FE1/11? Two? I take it Minerva did not formally claim the throne, as people still refer to her as "princess." Maybe there's nothing to that - she was known to the audience as "Princess Minerva," so it might just be a consistency issue. If one takes it literally however, it begs the question of why she was never formally crowned. Was she kidnapped much earlier than the game leads us to believe? Is this some sign of reluctance on her part?

I still don't think it's in Minerva's character to just drop everything after the game and go to a convent. That's a craptastic, OOC ending in my opinion. However, in realizing her mishandling of the situation from the beginning, I can see her giving the power to someone who can handle it better. The problem is, we see absolutely no hint that happened.

I don't know, am I off here? It seems reasonable from my perspective. I don't know these scripts as well as Tellius, though. Discussing FE1/3/11 feels a little like jumping off the deep end of, uh, of something.
Tags: public: fireemblem
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