One of the reasons I'm so fascinated (obsessed?) with the goddess and Lehran is the way both characters embody the themes of the story. Since Ike and the Greil Mercenaries are the mouthpiece, of course you get all of this "believe in yourself!" and "believe in your friends! / I fight for my friends!" nonsense from them, but what you don't get there - and what you do see in my favorites - is what happens when you don't believe in those things. I just think that, as subjects for fic, the characters who screw up the worst are the most interesting and flawed. Say all the nice things you want about Ike - he isn't terribly flawed or deep. I think Soren and Shinon have the corner on that topic among the mercenaries, and everyone else is kind of shallow.
I was thinking about the Ashera--Yune dichotomy because it's blatant about saying neither of them is sufficient on their own, besides the message that you need both order and change, and that it's wrong to deny your emotions. It's also pretty clearly making a parallel between 'uncontrolled,' 'emotion,' and 'children,' by giving Yune/chaos the form of a child. Not only that - they also give her the vessel (Micaiah) you might consider purest, or most innocent; it recalls something Lehran says in a flashback about the Apostle Misaha being killed by her own innocence.
Ashera and Yune are actually a way more subtle message about how unfortunate it is to give up on yourself. The prevailing message is one of balance, but underneath that is also a hint that you are never truly complete or adult until you accept yourself as a whole - not just certain components. Ashunera's fear of repeating her fit of rage led her to deny that she was capable of it at all, and pretend that she could lead her children without learning how to control it - instead, that just led to another disaster.
Also, Yune isn't just "emotion" or chaos - she's change and evolution. (And I would argue neither one was completely expunged of the other - they're not mutually exclusive parts of a whole - but that's a totally different entry.) The moment Ashera expelled her, the world stopped changing, and the goddesses became mired in their own extremes. Then we have Tellius polarizing and stagnating for almost eight hundred years while the two of them sleep, because neither their agents or the subjects (laguz, beorc) were willing to act free of the standards of these goddesses. I think this is strongly implied in the situation with the Branded; word has it Ashera called inter-racial unions an abomination, and for centuries after that such families are shunned and murdered on the word of the goddess. A potential evolution, or change in the natural order - the uniting of the two races - was slowed considerably because of intolerance. I'd argue the original goddess, and even what she is when she's split in two, would be in favor of this evolution, because she supported the jump from Zunanma to Laguz and Beorc.
Lehran is a reflection of his goddess this way. He says himself that he couldn't bear the way the world was changing, so he turned away from it; he's the other half of this coin, the lesson that you have to accept the world for what it is as well, instead of wishing for it to conform to your standards, be perfect, etc. He stopped changing. He was unable to accept his own mistakes, never mind the mistakes of others.
Since that's a big part of "growing up" and Tellius is basically about gaining the maturity to stand on your own feet (as an individual, as a culture), I found these parts of Lehran and Ashunera extremely interesting. The implication to me is that, until that veeeeery last scene, neither has really matured, and the world has moved past them. Here, they finally admit to their shortcomings and resolve to be stronger.
So, even though I feel like an idiot for it, I find that scene very... emotional? Though Ashunera is more forthcoming about it than Lehran. I suppose he said his due during the last battle.
So, on the topic of the Lehran--Ashunera scene:
Lehran says it has been 1200 years since he last saw Ashunera. This can mean four things:
1. The last time he saw her was three hundred years before the Flood;
2. That scene in which he says this takes place three hundred years after Ashera's defeat;
3. Middle ground: the scene takes place maybe a hundred years after Ashera's defeat, and they weren't in contact during the Flood
4. The scene takes place twelve hundred years after Ashera's defeat.
Three and four are pretty unlikely. Canon tells us Lehran and Dheginsea were the ones who suggested the goddess separate herself from her emotions, which led to the split into Yune and Ashera. At least, it's strongly implied in the flashbacks. I suppose they don't come out and say it.
In any of these four cases, though, Lehran is clearly "special" for living longer than bird laguz are supposed to, and he shows no apparent age. In one of my fics (not yet posted) I kind of joke that herons don't visibly age and die beautiful, but I doubt that's really the case. :P
I just can't let this go. Which is it? Even Yune doesn't know how long it'll be before she'll come back. And then, Lehran is talking about an oncoming conflict. WHEN WHERE WHY WHYYYYY. I just want to know. ;_;