Cecil Harvey

These are intended to be brief analysis of characters from some of my favorite narratives, but as you all should know by know I can be quite long-winded or rather long-worded so I cannot guarantee a short read.  They will more than likely spoil whatever story/series they come from so be wary of that if you have not read, seen, or played whatever that might be.

Name: Cecil Harvey
Work(s): Final Fantasy IV, The Interlude, The After Years, Dissidia, Dissidia 012
Work Author/Creator: Hironobu Sakaguchi (Squaresoft/Square Enix)
Genre: Fantasy
Medium: Video Game


KluYa and Cecilia

Cecil Harvey is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy IV, the fourth installation of the epic video game series.  His father KluYa was of alien origin from a lost world that dwelled between Mars and Jupiter.  KluYa, with the rest of his people, escaped their civilization’s collapse to create a second (and false) satellite of the Blue Planet.

During early forays there, KluYa met and fell in love with an earth woman Cecilia with whom he also fathered Cecil’s elder brother Theodore.  Tragically, both Cecil’s parents met untimely deaths.  His father was killed by the very villagers to whom he was attempted to teach the technology and magic of his home world, and Cecilia died in childbirth with Cecil.  KluYa’s demise was more than likely a factor in the Lunarians’ decision to put themselves into stasis until the people of the Blue Planet were more advanced and ready to accept them.

cecil-and-rosa-opening-sceneNot long after he was born, a grief-stricken Theodore abandoned his baby brother in the Kingdom of Baron where the infant was taken in and raised as the king’s own.  He excelled in swordsmanship and became the youngest captain of Baron’s elite airship fleet the Red Wings.  The king encouraged Cecil to take up the dark sword and

"We shall slay ourselves..."

become a Dark Knight.  This gave Cecil a bit of a melancholy, but not brooding, nature, as later in his journey, it’s revealed he was ever destined for the paladin’s path.  Defeating his dark side revealed both his true colors and physical appearance.  Cecil is a stunningly beautiful young man with shoulder length silvery-white hair, violet eyes, and a bluish tinge to his lips.  rosa-3He’s mutually enamored of the equally gorgeous Rosa, a white mage of endless devotion and grace who is also the unrequited love of Kain Highwind, the dragoon knight who’s Cecil’s adopted brother and brother-in-arms.

Raised together by the king of Baron, Kain trained to become a dragoon like his birth father as Cecil eventually took up the mantle of paladin like his own.  Unfortunately, like his blood brother, Cecil’s adopted

brother Kain betrays him under the latter’s influence as Theodore’s identity is hidden under the persona of Golbez who himself is being manipulated by Zemus, a Lunarian in the core of the moon who refused the others’ self-imposed stasis. Kidnapping Rosa is among one of their many crimes.

Cecil doesn’t discover the full truth of his origins until far later in his story when he journeys to the false moon and meets up with his uncle FuSoYa, the keeper of the Lunarians’ slumber and possibly the oldest character in the Final Fantasy franchise.

Brothers by blood

Brothers by blood

In this place of his (half) origin, the young knight discovers his antagonist is actually his blood brother and is forced to face the truth of that as he was forced to face his other brother’s betrayal.

Cecil rises to the occasion though despite misgivings.  Throughout the entire story, he is a loyal friend and companion even to those he’s just met, forgiving Kain before the dragon knight can even ask for it, against the mistrust of other party members.  The only time you see him hesitate is when the last battle is won and Golbez/Theodore and FuSoYa are preparing to depart presumably forever.  The paladin struggles to think of the man who was his enemy for so long as his brother, but he eventually does gift Golbez with that blessed name, turning him back to Theodore once again.

Cecil questioning motifs is nothing new.  The game begins with him doubting the mission he’s just returned from where he was ordered by Baron’s king to take the Mysidian’s Water Crystal.  He challenged the highest authority in the land and was punished for it, but it immediately showed the player that this was a character who wasn’t afraid to speak up when something wasn’t right.

After the engineered disaster in Mist, Cecil takes in and cares for Rydia

even though she rightfully abhors him at first for not only killing her mother, but destroying her village.

When later events lead him to wash up in Mysidia, the locale of his first war crime, the (currently still) dark knight undertakes the hitherto impossible task of becoming a paladin at the summit of Mt. Ordeals.  Despite the obstacles and enemies thrown in his way he succeeds, proving himself worthy of the mages’ trust in addition to fulfilling a destiny laid long ago that leads him from the center of his mother’s world to the center of his father’s and back again to take up his adopted father’s role of king.

Cecil’s story is one of origin and responsibility.  He takes up the mantles he must, but even in his dark beginning, he neither strays nor corrupts the light path of his destiny.  Narratives often give covered faces to both inconsequential enemies and Big Bads alike, so it is an interesting turn of trope that the main protagonist of Final Fantasy IV begins in such a way.  His face isn’t revealed until a third of the way through the game, but his nature is plain from the start.  Cecil may be forced to hide behind his armor, but he refuses to accept the role of faceless monster.  The atoner’s path leads to the paladin’s light and eventual truth of his origins as a reward.






The State of the Writer: 12/3/16

<–The State of the Writer: 11/26/16          The State of the Writer: 12/10/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 278,222
Prior Word Count: 278,815
Word Difference: -593
Status: Editing
Progress: Second edit of Chapter 7

Original artwork: Sephiroth by Torimorris (Deactivated Deviant Art account)

Original artwork: Sephiroth by Torimorris (Deactivated Deviant Art account)

This is one of the potential covers for Chapter 7.  I’m waiting to hear back on my first choice as the original image was found on an art website.  I contacted the artist, but there’s been no word as of yet.  It’s a gorgeous photo of a black lily on a black background with just enough contrast to make out the flower’s shape.  The above picture isn’t a terrible choice and captures the essence of the chapter’s beginning, but I really love the lily.

This is the other non-lily option.


The first edit of this chapter was fairly simple.  I didn’t make any drastic changes, and it only took a week.  I’m hoping the second edit is the same.

Quote: White winter roses that grew as far north as flowers would dare to bear bloom.  Then marigolds hardy and hale.  Asters of purple deeper than night plucked from the fields around Kalm.  Before the Mythril Mine of old he discovered poppies so red with black hearts.  While deep in a crag of the great red canyon, the general found rouge peonies.  Far in the south in what once was Mideel, he’d gathered huge dahlia blooms. Finally, yellow crocus huge with smooth petals that grew in the rich mountain earth.  Guilt had rained down like fire from heaven, but he had gone there for her…

Project: Character Analysis
Title: Cecil Harvey
Source: Final Fantasy IV
Current Word Count: 855
Status: Drafting
Progress: Wrapping up


I just can’t seem to get enough of Cecil and IV.  I’m still playing it on the DS/GBA, and I’m still talking about him.  About a year ago, I had a dream that I would do a character analysis every other week or so.  Thus far (besides this WIP) I have two. Since I just finished the monster review of FFIV, the game and its main character are still fresh in my mind.  I figured it was as good a time as any to write the long ago planned analysis.

I’m  in the process of wrapping up and should have this finished before the week is out.  Since not all character analyses are for Final Fantasy (in fact this one about Cecil is the first for the series I’ve done), this won’t count as a Final Fantasy Friday post (not that I need one for that day with the Tarot series still going on).  I’ll just put it up whenever I finish.

Now that I’m thinking about it…maybe I’ll plan analyses for Golbez and Kain.  Hm, it looks like I already have Kain on my itinerary, but I did add Golbez.  The list mostly consists of characters from Final Fantasy and A Song of Ice and Fire, which should come as no surprise to anyone.

Project: Essay
Title: Half a Tragedy Is Worse Than Whole
Subject: FFVII Comparative and Meta
Status: On hold
Progress: Outline Completed

I didn’t do any work whatsoever on “Half a Tragedy.”  I’d planned to start it last Monday, but when I sat down to write, I wasn’t feeling it, and if I don’t have passion for a project, there’s no point in forcing it.  All I want to work on is The Broken Rose.  I’m hoping I can dredge up some enthusiasm for Threads of Sorrow next year.

I usually post this on Saturday, but I spent most of that day sleeping.  I’d brought my car in for inspection and found out that it wouldn’t pass due to an exhaust leak.  When I bought it, I also purchased a bumper to bumper warranty.  Apparently, that doesn’t cover the exhaust system, which makes no goddamn sense to me seeing as it’s between the two bumpers, but whatever.  The estimated cost was between $1300-$1400.  I just paid off all my credit cards by taking a loan from my 401k.  Now I only have around $200 on my one card and a paycheck reduced by around $200 every payday (it’s an automatic deduction).  The dealership didn’t have the part, and the mechanic suggested I look for a place that could weld in order to fix the leak.  My more local mechanic noticed the exhaust leak when I brought the car in for an oil change a few months ago, but I figured that it would be covered under warranty so I didn’t bother to get it repaired.  They’d estimated it around $700, which is half, but still money I need to put back on my credit card that I just paid off.

When I’m in a depressive state all I can really do is sleep, so that’s what I did.  Now it’s morning, and I have even more things to check and do, which does wonders for my anxiety (I have both.  It’s hell) so I’m trying to play catch up.  Anyway, that’s why this is being posted today instead of yesterday.

What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 11/26/16          The State of the Writer: 12/10/16–>




Tyrion Lannister

These are intended to be brief analysis of characters from some of my favorite narratives, but as you all should know by know I can be quite long-winded or rather long-worded so I cannot guarantee a short read.  They will more than likely spoil whatever story/series they come from so be wary of that if you have not read, seen, or played whatever that might be.

Updated:  Additional notes on Tyrion’s book vs. show appearance and added discussion about the nature of his marriage to Sansa Stark.

Warning: Discussions of rape.

Name: Tyrion Lannister
Work: The ASOIAF SeriesA Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows (mentioned), A Dance With Dragons, Game of Thrones (TV Series)
Work Author/Creator: George R R Martin
Genre: High/Epic Fantasy
Medium: Book, TV

Tyrion Lannister is the youngest son of the (currently late) Lord Tywin Lannister and the deceased Lady Johanna Lannister.  He is brother to Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer and Cersei Lannister, current Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, the widow of King Robert Baratheon who died in A Game of Thrones.  Tyrion also has two nephews, Joffrey Baratheon who was king of the Seven Kingdoms until his death at his own wedding and Tommen Baratheon, current king of the Seven Kingdoms in Joffrey’s stead.  Myrcella Baratheon is Tyrion’s niece.  All three of these children are the result of Jaime and Cersei’s incestuous relationship.

Tyrion is a dwarf and despite the picture to the right is not nearly as “book” handsome as the actor who plays him, Peter Dinklage.  He looks more like the above picture prior to the Battle of the Blackwater after which he appears more like the below.  He has a misshapen face, mismatched green and black eyes and lank hair so blond it almost looks white.  However, despite his physical deformities, Tyrion is brilliant, shrewd, and savvy, facts, which along with his propensity to wear his heart on his sleeve, ironically help in his downfall and exile..

Tyrion (along with the Hound) also “breaks” the idea that ugly characters are evil.  The dwarf, while not a “good” character, because there are no entirely good characters in ASOIAF, is still seen as someone who could be redemptive and not entirely evil.  His Moral Event Horizon (killing his father), while obviously kinslaying and murder, did not come out of nowhere.  The miseries and injustices of his life (in addition to Varys) pushed him in that direction, nor can Tywin be cleansed of culpability, but that’s a discussion for another blog post.

Tyrion knows he is more intelligent than most people, but forgets he’s not more intelligent than all.  Unfortunately due to his deformities along with his mother Johanna dying at his birth, both his father and sister abhor him, which leads to them discounting his remarkable mental abilities.  He is known as the Imp or the Halfman and the unfair analysis of his character is widespread throughout the realm.  Even though he was (partly) responsible for staving off Stannis’s advance on the Blackwater, his lord father Tywin is solely lauded for winning the battle.  Tyrion is awarded little to no credit and the only member of his family whom he shares mutual love and respect is his brother Jaime.  This causes their schism at the end of A Clash of Kings to be even more heart-wrenching when Tyrion exchanges lies for lies with his older brother before they part on bad terms (an angle that was not utilized in the show).  The dwarf falsely admits to murdering Joffrey in addition to mixing this falsehood with the truth of Cersei’s infidelity in order to hurt Jaime as he feels his brother hurt him.

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These are intended to be brief analysis of characters from some of my favorite narratives, but as you all should know by know I can be quite long-winded or rather long-worded so I cannot guarantee a short read.  They will more than likely spoil whatever story/series they come from so be wary of that if you have not read, seen, or played whatever that might be.

Name: Javert
Les Misérable
Work Author/Creator:
Victor Hugo
Book, Film, Musical

Javert is the main antagonist of Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Misérable.  Born in a  prison, it is very likely this mean beginning that shapes his life’s perspective.  He becomes a police inspector and has an absolute and unshakable belief in the law.  It is firm, resolute, and cannot be bent or mocked, a rock to cling to in the turbulent sea of a chaotic world.  This is his fervor and his zeal, and it is the reason he becomes Jean Valjean’s adversary.

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