Final Fantasy Character Assessments
*Potential spoilers for everything involving the topic character and their game.
CW: Discussions of depression and suicide.
Name: Celes Chere
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Job: Imperial General
Major Arcana: The Hanged Man – Picking Celes’ card was so much harder than I originally thought it would be. I’d pegged her as either The High Priestess or The Empress since those are the typical female defaults, but Celes isn’t a “typical female” (whatever that means anyway). She’s a woman general, a typically masculine job, and she’s young, really young. Everything about her seems to exist as a unity of opposites to Terra, the other main female character. She’s heavenly (Celes as in “celestial”) to Terra’s “earth;” ice to Terra’s fire; and she’s a high ranking military officer to Terra’s bondage. Of course Celes is bound herself even before her arrest, which is proven by her very imprisonment . She acted on her conscious after disillusionment with the Empire and wound up sentenced to death. Her entire existence, occupation, and powers were entirely predicated on the Empire’s whims, but it isn’t until she defies Imperial orders that she understands that…and realizes that even someone completely raised and indoctrinated into a regime can still be themselves. There’s an ineffable quality to a person that can override even the deepest programming if pushed to the limit.
<–XI Justice XIII Death–>
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!
XII The Hanged Man
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.
We have two winners this week! Both Mr. Panda and Hungrygoriya guessed Kain, making me reconsider him from alternate to legitimate. So congratulations to them both 🙂
The next card is called simply and starkly Death who often shows up with a pale horse.
<–XI Justice XIII Death–>