Hump Day Husbandos: Claude von Riegan (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)

Hump Day Husbandos

Having written up my initial thoughts on the Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes demo, it’s time to put the spotlight on the series — and the wonderful Claude — once again ahead of the new game’s release on June 24, 2022.

Despite how much I have already talked about many of its characters when I covered the top 10 best pairings in the game, I feel I have not given a certain beloved character his time in the sun. So I’m rectifying this and giving him his well-deserved moment here and now!

Claude is the only character who influenced my decision as to which house to pick on my first run through Three Houses. He made me commit to the Golden Deer, and he stayed as my favourite character in the game ever since its release. I’m forever indebted to Claude for making so many of us happier by the sheer virtue of his existence. Sure, those are heavy words — so let’s get to some good old-fashioned gushing as I attempt to keep my praise short but sweet!

Who is Claude?

Claude from Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Claude is a major character in the sixteenth mainline title in the long-running Nintendo strategy RPG franchise, Fire Emblem. First seen in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and returning in its upcoming sequel Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (plus mobile spin-off title Fire Emblem Heroes, which delivered us the holy service of Summer themed Claude just recently), Claude is one of the three young Lords first introduced in Three Houses, who each become major players in the shaping and future of their world.

Claude makes for the best first impression, as he is friendly, easy to talk to and undeniably charming. For all the fake smiles, scheming and hidden agendas he has going on behind such a pretty face and unassuming demeanour, he’s the most mysterious Lord compared to both Edelgard and Dimitri, who wear their hearts on their sleeves.

In all routes, Claude becomes leader of the Leicester Alliance, seeks to discover secrets and answer questions about the world and its history, and has the best of intentions in uniting the continents in the hope that discrimination does not affect others like it did him. Here’s to Claude for being such a cool and well-intentioned character.

Why we love Claude

Claude from Fire Emblem

Put simply, Claude is a very entertaining character who appears extremely casual and laid-back but hides his more multifaceted aspects until his subtle development kicks in. He’s a much more grounded character compared to both Dimitri and Edelgard, whose experience of facing and overcoming prejudice makes him want to change Fódlan for the better, for the sake of future generations.

The game makes a point of highlighting his character’s intentions on a smaller scale through his own house, the Golden Deer. This house is made up mostly of strangers rather than longstanding friends as in the case of the Black Eagles and the Blue Lions, and unlike the very personal stories of Dimitri and Edelgard — and the events we witness in their routes — Claude and the Golden Deer class as a whole are all about unity. This is perhaps best seen through Lorenz’s character development and his relationship with Claude himself.

His subtle character growth makes for a more refreshing and nuanced journey compared to the traumatic and bloodshed-heavy tales of the other two, since despite his outward demeanour, he hides his inability to trust others — at least initially.

This can be seen by how he uses Byleth to obtain the Sword of the Creator, only to later end up seeing them as an equal — seen by how he addresses them as “My Friend” after using “Teach” all the time up until that point — and also holding out hope to see them again after the five-year time skip, due to blind faith in their bond.

Ultimately, Claude learns to make true connections with others, believes in the friendships that he has formed, and begins to communicate with more sincerity and honesty in support conversations compared to pre-time skip events.

Why you will love Claude

Claude from Fire Emblem

Claude’s route prioritises the world events, historical information and environmental factors of Fódlan over Claude as a character, but he still has his own worth — plus it’s a prime route with which to finish your overall time with Three Houses.

Claude prizes himself for being a mysterious and tactical character whose initial appeal is simply this – he’s a cunning schemer after all, but he hides his intentions even until the very end of Verdant Winds, making for an already intriguing character, but with even more substance to him that is often glossed over or that goes unnoticed.

He’s equipped with an appealing backstory with a surprising number of events and character-building moments to flesh his character out with. He proves his worth in becoming the Alliance’s heir, experiences discrimination due to being biracial — something which ultimately leads to his life-fulfilling wish of bettering the world for the sake of others — and is one of the few regals who does not use their status as their only personality trait. He’s quite relatable due to this latter aspect in particular, and is one of the few characters who knows what it means to feel like an outsider, which draws parallels to a handful of other characters such as Byleth and Petra.

He remains just as important as the biggest players in Three Houses’ warfare and events for all these reasons. All in all, Claude is a fantastic character given all the above points — plus he provided plenty of enjoyable memes that are thankfully yet to die out, and his English voice actor Joe Zieja is just as cool and entertaining as Claude is.

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Lilia Hellal
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