Amber Michelle (myaru) wrote,
Amber Michelle

Archanea and chivalry: when the universe delivers trick questions.

Well, we can't write essays every day. And I'm using the word "essay" very generously.

Speaking of generosity (or lack of), Archanea as I know it through FE11 and the FE3 script isn't very kind to notions of knighthood and chivalry. The courtly romance between Camus and Nyna is a disaster. Camus is a disaster all by himself.

It just occurred to me as I was looking at my speculation on Horace's potential role in FE12 that he and Lorenz are the proof that the knightly ideal is not The Answer in Archanea's universe. They're the realists; they understand that their role is to protect the people of their respective countries, and the matter of their own honor is secondary to that duty. Minerva belongs in this category too. She puts Maria's safety first, but once her sister is safe, she defects to Marth's side to save her country, more or less.

Camus puts his own ideals and honor before the welfare of his people, and he pays for it with his life (in a sense). Even when he helps Nyna escape, he's helping himself, trying to maintain his place in the universe while also saving the princess from the dragon. He presumably looked the other way when the twins were given over as hostages (something Minerva refused to do when her sister was sent away), and he refuses to surrender even when it's clear Grust is suffering - and losing. But he doesn't seem to get it:

Were my heart my master, I would do exactly as you say. But what sort of knight abandons his kingdom- his king!- now, when they need him the most? Would you have me toss away the life I have built as if it meant nothing at all?

No, Camus, I.... I don't know...

I have lived as a knight, and I intend to die as one. There are no other roads left for me to walk. ...

The answer is yes, Nyna. Yes, you DO expect him to put the subjects under his protection before his own life. That's supposed to be the meaning of his existence according to his own words just now.

So I wonder if Camus simply lost sight of that - which would be kind of understandable when he's out there doing so much dirty work for Dolhr - or if he never realized it at all, which is looking more likely? It seems Camus values the myth of knighthood rather than the gritty reality. And compared with this:

Hmm...What you say makes sense enough, but I serve Grust. I cannot simply betray my country.

Ah, but what makes a country?


Is it one man- your king? Or is it the countless innocent people who make their home here?

Well, that's- Hmm...

My father has a saying: "A kingless country is a country still; but a king without subjects rules naught but hills." If you disobey your king to ensure his subjects' safety, how is that a betrayal? You are protecting his reign.

Protecting his reign? ...Aha ha ha, ha ha! Ahh, that mad logic! I feel as though I've shed twenty years and I'm talking to your father again. You win, Princess. I yield! I will join you, in the interests of king and country. Har!

They should've let Shiida talk to Camus instead, but I think he's too stubborn to fall for it. Camus seems swayed less by logic and loyalty than his own desire. Desire for what is the question. It's almost like he's semi-consciously playing out a tragic court romance.

With all of this in mind, the way FE12 handles Horace is of interest to me, because it'd be easy to say he's reluctant to defect from Archanea yet again when his honor is at stake, and yet betraying Hardin would be the correct thing to do. But Hardin could pull the same card and threaten Horace's peasants, and that's a tough decision.

Well, I'm repeating things people have said before, but I'm in dire need of an interpretation of Camus. At all. I'm stuck on this because he's not completely incorrect - he has a duty to his king, too. The problem is, he's presented with a trick question - serve country, or king? You can only have one! - and kinda sorta fails miserably.

Or does he? :/


Unrelated: if Gharnef needed a princess for the Aum staff, wouldn't it have been smarter for him to nab Maria or Yumina instead? Keeping Elice alive is risky, because she's a descendant of Anri's line. In the worst-case scenario (Marth's defeat), couldn't she theoretically escape, have some babies, and continue the line, which would in turn endanger Medeus?

Or is he just using Elice because it's fun to torment her brother?
Tags: public: fireemblem
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