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Celebrating Fire Emblem Awakening’s Best First-Generation Characters



Fire Emblem Awakening is not only filled with tactical battles and intense strategizing, but also colorful characters who sometimes fit into this medieval world and sometimes seem better suited to a slice-of-life anime. But somehow, all these characters bring a certain charm to the game. From a candy-loving thief to an obsessive dark mage, each character brings a new, fun gimmick to the table.

All of these gimmicks are what makes Awakening’s first- generation cast truly stand out compared to the casts of other Fire Emblem games, especially since they are not only wonderful on their own, but also create a second-generation just as fascinating. This ensemble was likely a huge reason why Awakening brought the franchise back from the brink. If not for these ten amazing characters, Fire Emblem may not exist today.

Artwork of Cordelia from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

10. Cordelia

Cordelia is a perfectionist; everything she does must be absolutely flawless, or else it is not good enough. She works herself hard to ensure that everything is done properly, for she is the one preserving the legacy of her Pegasus Knight squad. But while she is a capable and effective individual, her refusal to settle for anything less than perfect makes her overexert herself at times.

But for all her perfectionist tendencies, there is one aspect of her life that is not perfect. Her unrequited love for Chrom is another huge part of her character, despite the fact that she rarely gets to interact with him. Several support chains revolve around her crush on him, including her supports with her own daughter. This crush is so extreme that Cordelia can hardly handle being near Chrom without becoming nervous, contrary to her usual calm personality. Unfortunately, she is unable to support him, meaning that she has to settle for any other man she marries. It is almost sad how she is never able to be with the man she loves, especially after he was the one to save her from both her biggest strength and flaw.

Artwork of Frederick from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

9. Frederick

Frederick is best known for carrying the player through the early game of Fire Emblem Awakening, but if enough attention is paid to him afterwards, he is actually quite fun to watch. He portrays himself as a serious and stoic man who is extremely loyal to his lieges. He feels that it is his duty to protect Chrom and Lissa, to the point of being distrustful of any unknown people. Overall, his entire life is dedicated to the two of them, to the point that he does not know how to stop serving them, even for a short time. His dedication is admirable, but sometimes borders on overbearing.

He regularly takes his duties beyond simply serving his lieges. He clears roads to ensure they do not trip, going so far as to move small rocks and twigs out of their way. Frederick almost behaves like an overprotective father in these situations, which makes it surprising that he even allows his lieges to participate in battle. On other occasions, he functions as less of a guardian and more of a butler, even though these services are not in his job description. For such a serious character, Frederick’s antics are quite amusing.

Artwork of Tiki's Awakening form from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

8. Tiki

Back when Tiki was a child in the previous Archanea games, she was already beloved. But once her adult form was revealed in Awakening, her popularity only escalated. She has matured considerably, becoming a calm and wise woman who knows the pain of losing her beloved friends. Though she misses her old friends and knows that she will outlive the Shepherds too, she still wishes for friends so badly that she is willing to accept the future sorrow. The fact that she can handle the loss and is willing to experience again proves her maturity.

But the Tiki players know, and love still resides under the surface. She still carries bits of that childish personality from long ago, especially when reminded of her Mar-Mar. Even though she has lost the people she loved the most, Awakening shows that Tiki is capable of moving on and finding more friends to love. Above all characters in Fire Emblem Awakening, first or second generation, Tiki is the one that deserves a happy ending the most. Unfortunately, in a tragic twist, she does not receive one.

Artwork of Olivia from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

7. Olivia

Dancers have always been quite popular in Fire Emblem, and Olivia is no exception. But contrary to her job, she is bashful and anxious, only feeling comfortable performing on stage. The irony of a shy, awkward woman being a dancer makes her incredibly memorable. Her dancer class also makes her very useful in battle, regardless of whether she is a good fighter or not. She can easily become the most used support unit, meaning that there is even more time for the player to bond with her.

Not only is her combination of job and personality intriguing, but she is also a genuinely sweet person. Her love of dancing comes from her desire to make people smile, a trait that she passes on to her son and even her granddaughter in Fire Emblem Fates. She truly wants to be a positive influence on people and uses her dancing prowess to do that, since she struggles to interact with them in other situations. Her kindness is endearing, and her shy nature only enhances her charm.

Artwork of Gaius from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

6. Gaius

Out of all the quirky characters in Fire Emblem Awakening, Gaius is the only one who wears his gimmick on his sleeve. He absolutely adores sweets, to the point of breaking his usual calm demeanor in favor of childlike excitement. But this love is not without reason. His need for sweets is actually because he has hypoglycemia, which is surprisingly realistic for a Fire Emblem game and helps bring him down to earth.

Besides his most notable trait, he is a talented thief who is capable of stealing plenty of things, but only if it does not compromise his morals. His refusal to assassinate Emmeryn is what makes him join the Shepherds, where he is able to fight for what feels right to him. For a thief, he is quite friendly and has a knack for making up nicknames for allies. But while loyal to the Shepherds, he is still a thief at heart and willing to do most jobs as long as they pay enough money or candy.

Artwork of Lissa from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

5. Lissa

Many Fire Emblem games in the past gave the main lord a younger sister that is skilled in healing. Lissa falls into this archetype, but unlike past sisters who were mostly timid and peaceful, Lissa is headstrong and mischievous. Contrary to what many would expect of a princess, she plays pranks, behaves immaturely, and even speaks like a commoner. Her overwhelming positivity and friendliness allows her to get along well with the ordinary members of the Shepherds as well as the nobles like Maribelle.

But she is also insecure about how unladylike she is, compared to her role model Emmeryn. It is an unexpected flaw for someone as cheerful as her, yet it gives her wonderful depth. Compared to some of the characters whose personalities are solely based on quirks, Lissa is three-dimensional with a fairly realistic personality. She is a realistic subversion of the little sister type, proving that Fire Emblem’s recurring roles need not always fit one mold.

Artwork of Tharja from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

4. Tharja

Tharja is distinct among Awakening’s many characters thanks to her overall melancholy demeanor, except when she is focusing on her crush. Befitting of a dark mage, she is reserved and mysterious, yet absolutely obsessed with Robin regardless of their gender. Though this is the highlight of her personality, she has many other interesting interactions with allies, some of which involve her wanting to use a hex on them. She is quite cold to all of them, but is able to warm up to some and become a decent yet intimidating friend.

Tharja is an interesting example of one of Awakening’s best characters because of her many flaws. She is obsessive, sometimes rude, and not a great mother. Still, there is something intriguing about her. Her creepy demeanor that occasionally turns awkward can be quite endearing. For example, her attempts at being a normal girl show how she truly does not understand how to appear normal. She may not have the best social skills, whether she is with Robin or others, but is so dedicated to her love that she will try anything to win them over.

Artwork of Henry from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

3. Henry

Henry is easily the most eccentric in the cast, despite Fire Emblem Awakening being filled to the brim with wacky characters. Unlike the other dark mage, Henry is overly cheerful and finds something to laugh about in almost every situation. His supports are full of this childish yet violent demeanor, making his supports some of the most entertaining to read. He may not be a main player in the story, but he is certainly memorable thanks to his comical and sometimes even sweet conversations with others.

Beyond his usual enthusiastically morbid personality is a kinder person than the Shepherds expect. For example, in his support with Ricken, he swears to avenge him if he were to fall in battle, and wants to help Nowi make manakete friends in another support. He even turns out to be a good father, against all odds, and has a decent relationship with all of his potential children. The juxtaposition of his normal personality and his kinder side make a strange but somehow charming character.

Cipher artwork of Robin from Fire Emblem Awakening.
Source: Nintendo

2. Robin

For a player avatar, Robin has a lot of personality and characterization. They are not merely a vessel meant to represent the player; they are crucial to the overall plot, with a backstory that places them directly in the center of the conflict. But even though the plot hinges on them being the vessel for the Fell Dragon Grima, they are surprisingly lighthearted and friendly to their allies. They show this side of themselves even in battle, with their carefully planned strategies sometimes involving the ridiculous.

Robin has the most supports out of everyone in the game, meaning that they get plenty of opportunities to show new sides of their personality to friends and potential spouses. Notable is their friendship with Chrom, another driving point of the story. The two of them share an extremely close bond and are completely loyal to each other. Whether they remain friends or female Robin chooses to marry him, their relationship is one of the greatest parts of the game.

Artwork of Chrom from Fire Emblem Cipher.
Source: Nintendo

1. Chrom

Chrom, similar to Lissa, is not what many would expect of a prince. He is awkward, prone to breaking things, and reckless at times. Yet he grows into a kind and just ruler, following in Emmeryn’s footsteps but acknowledging that he will have to fight for his kingdom. Chrom’s growth makes him the most dynamic character in Fire Emblem Awakening, and therefore the most interesting to follow. He does not end the game as the same naive, idealistic prince; he matures considerably in such a short time, becoming the leader the Shepherds and Ylisse need.

His growth is entertaining to watch, but even when he grows into a good ruler, he still has some of his old, informal traits. Chrom is not perfect, but tries his best to do good by his men and his country. He is a great example of a flawed character who overcomes his worst flaws while also keeping some of the flaws that make him who he is. He ends the game as an Exalt that lives up to Emmeryn’s standards, while also standing as a compelling character on his own.

Ranking the Second Generation of Fire Emblem Awakening

As an aspiring creative writer and artist, I dedicate most of my free time to drawing or creating ideas for video games. When I am not working on my creative pursuits, I am usually playing Fire Emblem, The Legend of Zelda, or Genshin Impact.