This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana. If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation. Now onto the next card!
It was a bit of a toss up this week, as I’ve said for a few other weeks. I was so close to picking Seifer from FFVIII. He was even my original choice, but as I’ve said before your guesses actually cause me to look more closely at what character best fits the card, and in this case I had to give The Hanged Man to Kain for a variety of reasons.
The Hanged Man represents another point of view, and Kain is the suitor who could’ve been. While Final Fantasy IV presents the age old lovelorn best friend paradigm, it serves the particular purpose of subtext in the narrative for why Kain was able to fall under Golbez’s (and therefore Zemus’s) sway. Even prior to this manipulation, his jealousy towards Cecil and Rosa forces and skews his point of view, and as The Hanged Man is also known as The Traitor (possibly due to criminals being hung for punishment), this solidifies the dragoon’s position even more. His very name is telling, being a homophone of the biblical Cain who betrayed his brother Abel as Kain betrays his. FFIV has a multilayered “brother” paradigm, as well, but I’ll talk about that much more in my review of it.
Alternates: Sephiroth (FFVII), Jecht (FFX), Golbez (FFIV), Celes (FFVI), Seifer (FFVIII)
All of these characters can be seen as traitors, and with the exception of Celes, they all switch to a darker, madder side. Sephiroth and Jecht almost literally become monsters; Golbez could be considered more conflicted than a traitor (being of both the Red Moon and the Blue Planet…I could make a similar argument for Sephiroth); and Seifer is just a misguided and confused teenager. The latter threw his lot in with the sorceress in order to fulfill his “romantic dream,” but Kain was much more of a traitor than him since Seifer and Squall were rivals from the get go.
The next card is called simply and starkly Death who often shows up with a pale horse.