Pokémon Trainers of Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Part 1: Black Eagles)

I’m dramatically late to the party for doing anything related to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but I’m going to write something anyway because I loved this game and its characters and story.  Because I’m a Pokémon person, I think the best way for me to talk about it is through the medium of creating Pokémon teams for all the characters!

If you haven’t played this game, the setup is that you are a mercenary (your character can be either male or female, and their default name is Byleth) in a continent loosely inspired by late mediaeval/renaissance Europe, divided between three major nations that are historically rivals but share a common language, culture and religion, and have united against external threats in the past.  Shortly after the beginning of the game, you visit a sword-and-sorcery academy, located in neutral ground at the centre of the continent, where nobles of all three nations send their kids to learn how to be JRPG badasses.  The academy is part of a monastery where the Fantasy Pope, Archbishop Rhea, lives.  She decides, unexpectedly and despite your total lack of relevant qualifications, to appoint you to a teaching position; thus the plot begins in earnest.  The students are organised into “houses” according to which nation they come from (so the “Three Houses” of the title are, like, school “houses,” but also noble “houses;” the word “house” is beginning to lose all meaning for me), and this year just happens to be the year the future rulers of all three nations are starting their training, so they get to be class president of each house.  You’re asked to pick a house to be in charge of, and mainly interact with the eight students of that house, but can become friends with others and get them to transfer to your class as well.  You then guide them through the plot, gaining their confidence and affection, teaching them to be fantasy RPG protagonists, fighting bad guys, traumatising them and yourself through exposure to the horrors of war, and so on and so forth.  As a real-life educator this premise scratches a very specific “I am so proud of all of you” itch that I have.  I’ve played through the entire game at the head of all three houses, but in case you haven’t played it and think you might, I’m going to avoid revealing details of the plot or any character development past roughly the first third of the story.

So, without further ado, here’s the first instalment: the students of the Black Eagle House, who come from Adrestia, which is the Fantasy Holy Roman Empire (used to rule the entire continent but has since lost a lot of its power; founded with the blessing of the church but has fallen out with them over time; looks to the past and tradition for its authority and strength).

Edelgard von Hresvelg

  • Future Emperor of the Fantasy Holy Roman Empire
  • Natural leader; charismatic, decisive, supportive
  • Progressive socio-economic agenda
    • I mean, she still plans to rule as an absolute monarch and everything, but they’re a mediaeval empire whose hierarchy appears to have been largely unaltered for about 1000 years; baby steps
  • Has a Dark and Tragic BackstoryTM but channels it into determination to save the world
  • Extremely scary if she gets her hands on a battle-axe; capable of wearing five times her own body weight in plate armour
  • She is perfect and I love her

Favoured types: Fire, Steel, Dark
Fire for spoilery reasons; Steel because she wears about a ton of it; Dark because she can use dark magic and isn’t afraid to achieve her goals by… questionable means.

Disfavoured types: Dragon, Water, Ice
Dragon for spoilery reasons; Water because she can’t swim and is afraid of the ocean; Ice as an opposite element to Fire.

Partner: Heatran
As one of the house leaders, Edelgard deserves a legendary Pokémon as her partner, and Heatran’s Fire/Steel typing, heavy armour plating and willingness to either rule the world, or watch it burn, make it a perfect fit.

Other Pokémon: Emboar, Umbreon, Corviknight, Coalossal, Drapion

Edelgard favours bulky Pokémon with powerful physical defences that aren’t afraid to wade into the middle of a brutal melee.  Emboar, Coalossal and Drapion share her imposing physical presence and ability to dominate in close combat.  Corviknight gives her a “black eagle,” the insignia of her house and the empire she is heir to.  Umbreon is just as tough as her other Pokémon, but fits in better at court.

Hubert von Vestra

  • Future minister of the imperial household and Edelgard’s right hand man, basically indentured to her by a centuries-old compact between their families
  • Fanatically devoted to her, which is good because he is a sinister dark wizard and could probably kill us all
  • Actual vampire?  Must find mirror/garlic to test
    • To be clear, I have no idea whether vampires are even a thing in this setting, but Hubert’s very existence is a compelling piece of evidence
  • Kind of a dick to everyone, including Byleth, but you can usually see where he’s coming from
  • He is terrifying and I have no choice but to stan

Favoured types: Ghost, Poison, Dark
Ghost and Dark for his heavy reliance on dark magic; Poison for his expertise with poisons and fondness for underhanded tactics.

Disfavoured types: Dragon, Fairy, Flying
Dragon for spoilery reasons; Fairy for his distaste for idealism; Flying because he dislikes heights.

Partner: Spiritomb
I don’t know that Hubert gets his powers from a contract with the dark spirits of 108 unrepentant murderers sealed into a magical keystone… but I also don’t really know for sure that he doesn’t.

Other Pokémon: Gengar, Venomoth, Malamar, Persian (Alolan), Vileplume

Hubert’s Pokémon are manipulative, capable of disabling enemies with fear (Gengar, Persian), poison (Venomoth, Vileplume) and outright mind-control (Malamar) before finishing them with a powerful magical assault.

Ferdinand von Aegir

  • Future prime minister of the Fantasy Holy Roman Empire
  • Obsessed with being better than Edelgard
    • He’s not
    • Should really stop comparing himself to her because he’s fine
    • do you hear me, Ferdinand
    • you are enough
  • Deeply full of himself, but slowly getting better and at least tries to be nice
  • Extremely noblesse oblige
    • Very judgey towards other nobles who aren’t “noble” enough
  • Loves tea and horseback riding, hopefully not at the same time but honestly he’s such a caricature that I can imagine it
  • He is perfect and I love him

Favoured types: Steel, Bug, Fire
Steel because he’s a knightly type; Bug because he’s “like a bee” (ask Dorothea, it’s a whole thing).  Fire is a bit more tenuous, but he’s certainly passionate about his beliefs and it makes sense for his rivalry with Edelgard.

Disfavoured types: Normal, Poison, Dark
Normal because he thinks he’s better than commoners; Poison and Dark because he values honour and hates deception and underhanded methods

Partner: Escavalier
Ferdinand’s “default” class progression makes him into a heavily armoured knight who fights with a lance, just like Escavalier.  Escavalier also shares his fearlessness and thirst for glory.

Other Pokémon: Gallade, Arcanine, Vespiquen, Empoleon, Talonflame

Ferdinand likes Pokémon that are “noble” (like Gallade and Arcanine) or “royal” (like Vespiquen and Empoleon).  Talonflame is here because falconry is a traditional noble pursuit.

Petra MacNeary

  • Princess of Fantasy Ireland
  • Near-fluent in the continental language (which I assume is Fantasy German), but still struggles with idiomatic expressions and some grammar
  • Big “Celtic warrior princess” vibes
  • Kind of a political pawn because she was originally a hostage to keep Fantasy Ireland from breaking a peace treaty with the Fantasy Holy Roman Empire
    • She’s cool with it though, seems to be pretty tight with Edelgard
  • The only remotely sane person here
  • She is perfect and I love her

Favoured types: Water, Grass, Bug
Petra comes from an island kingdom and is pretty at home in the water; she’s also an expert hunter and guerrilla fighter who’s at her most deadly in the forest.

Disfavoured types: Psychic, Fire, Ice
Ice because she hates the cold; Psychic because she struggles with traditionally academic subjects; Fire mostly just in opposition to her favoured elements.

Partner: Sceptile
Petra’s partner needs to be a Pokémon that can keep up with her in the woods, close the distance with enemies quickly and make devastating blade attacks: that’s Sceptile in a nutshell.

Other Pokémon: Greninja, Ledian, Golduck, Accelgor, Tropius

Petra likes Pokémon that are agile and cunning, especially ones that are at home in water or forests.  Tropius is here because she can do pretty well by advancing to an aerial class, so it’s nice for her to have the option of a flying mount.

Caspar von Bergliez

  • Second son of an important noble family
  • No inheritance, therefore obsessed with proving himself on the battlefield
  • Short king
  • Has no inside voice and no “off” switch
  • Spends a lot of time getting into fights, but also spends a lot of time breaking up fights so I guess it balances out?
  • Is definitely a lot, all of the time, but actually very sweet once you get to know him
  • He is perfect and I love him

Favoured types: Fighting, Rock, Fire
Like a Fighting Pokémon, Caspar lives for battle.  He also likes the strength and directness of Rock-types and the passion of Fire-types.

Disfavoured types: Dark, Water, Electric
Caspar is very straightforward and forthright, and hates deception.  He also dislikes rain and stormy weather, and – fun fact – is afraid of lightning.

Partner: Infernape
Infernape is short, loud and angry, just like Caspar, and will murder you in six different ways simultaneously if it ever gets close to you, just like Caspar.

Other Pokémon: Rampardos, Turtonator, Tyrantrum, Crabominable, Tauros


All of Caspar’s Pokémon are heavy hitters with explosive personalities.  Caspar likes to rush into a busy melee and break things with an axe or his fists, favouring raw power over a balanced defence, and his Pokémon are mostly the same.

Bernadetta von Varley

  • Probably daughter of someone important but honestly I forget
  • Smol
  • Phobias include: loud noises, social interaction, Hubert, her own shadow, pretty much everyone and everything else
  • Accordingly, hides in her room all day
  • Has literally been beaten up by a rabbit
  • Ongoing development into an incredibly lethal sniper assassin has yet to alleviate her perpetual state of terror
  • She is perfect and I love her

Favoured types: Grass, Poison, Bug
Despite being very easily terrified by even the cutest and fluffiest of animals, Bernadetta has a lot of affection for stereotypically “creepy” things like bugs.  She also really likes carnivorous plants for some reason.

Disfavoured types: Ghost, Electric, Flying
Among Bernadetta’s many phobias are ghosts and heights, and the highly active and excitable personalities of Electric Pokémon make her nervous.

Partner: Victreebel

  • Bernadetta is particularly fond of pitcher plants, which the player can grow in the monastery’s greenhouse.  Victreebel’s also good at lying in wait and defending a hiding-place – whether that’s Bernadetta’s room or a sniper nest.

Other Pokémon: Carnivine, Beedrill, Leavanny, Araquanid, Mawile

Araquanid provides protective bubbles for Bernadetta to feel safe, Leavanny shares her hobby of sewing, and Mawile shares her reclusiveness, while Carnivine and Beedrill play to her fondness for bugs and carnivorous plants.

Dorothea Arnault

  • Street urchin turned teenage pop idol turned wizard
    • Teenage pop idols are a thing in this fantasy version of mediaeval Europe
    • I am extremely okay with this
  • No land, titles or inheritance, so wants to marry rich
  • Therefore sleeps around a lot
  • Extremely flirty, even with Byleth which is clearly inappropriate
  • Kind and supportive to everyone else on the team
    • Except Ferdinand, who is insufferable and probably in love with her
  • She is perfect and I love her

Favoured types: Fairy, Normal, Electric
Fairy and Electric for her glamorous past in the opera (as well as her preference for lightning spells), Normal for her humble origins as a penniless commoner.

Disfavoured types: Ground, Dragon, Grass
Dorothea doesn’t like getting her hands dirty, and has a lot of issues with religion and faith (which I’m associating with Dragon-types for story reasons).

Partner: Wigglytuff
The perfect Pokémon for a prima donna of the imperial opera house.  Dorothea’s singing moves and inspires people on the stage and on the battlefield, and Wigglytuff is always ready for a duet.

Other Pokémon: Ampharos, Hatterene, Delcatty, Oricorio, Raichu (Kantonian)

Dorothea likes both cute Pokémon and ones with powerful magical attacks.  Oricorio’s dance skills, Delcatty’s elegance, Ampharos’ brilliant glow, Hatterene’s mastery of the arcane and Raichu’s mascot charisma give them all places on her team.

Linhardt von Hevring

  • Future civil affairs minister of the Fantasy Holy Roman Empire
  • Ivory tower academic
  • Always asleep for some reason, is completely checked out
  • Studies whatever random thing interests him from day to day for the sheer joy of it, no clear research agenda
  • Often distant or unreliable, even when he’s awake, but he’s relaxed, kind and a really good White Mage, so what can ya do?
  • I feel both seen and judged by how much he is a parody of me
  • He is perfect and I love him

Favoured types: Psychic, Water, Dragon
Psychic because everyone, like him or not, acknowledges that he’s a genius.  Dragon because dragons are holy in this setting and Linhardt is a White Mage.  Water just because he likes fishing and Water-types are often placid and peaceful.

Disfavoured types: Ghost, Fighting, Steel
Linhardt hates fighting and violence, and is basically a pacifist, which is awkward because he goes to a school where murder is a big part of the curriculum.

Partner: Slowking
An all-wise and all-knowing sage who takes life as it comes, slow and easy – and even knows how to fish.  Slowking was practically made for Linhardt.

Other Pokémon: Wobbuffet, Komala, Musharna, Exeggutor (Alolan), Goodra

Linhardt uses calm, placid Pokémon who rarely strike the first blow.  Wobbuffet can’t even attack at all; Goodra just prefers not to (and is almost a Water-type by way of rain synergies).  Komala and Musharna sleep almost as much as Linhardt does.  Alolan Exeggutor is just a nice tree to sleep under.

Stay tuned for the second instalment, the Blue Lion House, coming… I don’t know, probably next week I guess?

14 thoughts on “Pokémon Trainers of Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Part 1: Black Eagles)

  1. Last I checked of Fire Emblem lore in general, being a dragon is bad for your mental health in a compulsion-to-burninate-all-the-peasants sort of way, which is why the non-evil ones spend most of their time as Manakete and only turn into dragons for their attack animations while wielding special “Dragonstones” that let them do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait, I also barely know anything about fire emblem, but wasn’t there a fancy name for those dragon shapeshifters? Like, humans are “beorcs”. I think dragon people and dragons are different things? There’s bird people and real birds? And also there’s animal wyverns?

      Like

      1. The fancy name you’re talking about is “Manakete”, but it’s my understanding that the dragons as a race voluntarily transitioned to being them in the name of not getting extincted over the whole burninating thing. Oh, and they actually come in more elements than just fire, (Corrin is a water Manakete, for example) but the joke is too perfect not to use.

        Like

      2. Sounds like your encounter was with the Radiance games for Gamecube. In those games the counterpart to Beorc is Laguz – the Laguz are different from most of the rest of fire emblem lore because they can naturally take their Cat/Bird/Dragon form without needing a stone.

        Like

  2. I love this. You also started with my favorite (i.e. first) house. They’re all perfect and I love them. Though Hubert I partly am required to or else he might kill me.

    Also I married Dorothea so she’s extra perfect and I extra love her.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Gen 5 reviews: ok, I’m gonna divide all of these in “deserve to exist” and “doesn’t deserve to exist.” Some genuinely good designs that don’t pay off in the meta may be lost in this, but it’s a price we must pay.

    Fire Emblem 3 houses post: ok, here’s my top eight characters of this eight character group. We’ll count down from bottom to top. Tying at first place, we’ve got all eight characters.

    (The sentence “they are perfect and I love them” has lost all meaning, congratulations, I hope the other houses have some people you cancel. Don’t know them and am looking forward to doing so.)

    Like

    1. I mean… the Unova reviews were literally nine years ago, and I’ve talked quite a lot about how much my style and outlook have changed in that time, and how the format of those reviews was kind of intended as a comic exaggeration even when I was writing them, so… yeah, I guess you got me?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I didn’t mean this as much of a “gotcha”, that would indeed not make much sense. I’m just very amused that these characters are apparently all perfect in your eyes, especially when you’ve maintained quite a bit of your caustic critic persona, even if Unova was a long time ago. (It really doesn’t feel like borderline a decade, yeesh…)

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It sorta comes with the territory of 3 Houses. The game is set up in a way that most players feel proud of the students they taught and helped grow, and none of them are really “bad”. There’s also only a couple dozen characters instead of hundreds like Pokémon, so each one can be a bit more fleshed out. It doesn’t surprise me in e slightest that he loves them all – most of the fanbase does and I honestly can only think of one student I didn’t like much by the end… and even then, I couldn’t hate him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hubert’s team looks really cool. The colors work well together! Like it would be a very satisfying team for an Elite Four member or maybe a villain. (An Elite Four member that prioritizes aesthetics over type adherence, like in the good old days.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s no “prioritizing” going on there; it only happens when there aren’t enough available Pokemon of the correct type. For instance, Flint’s original team had every Fire-type in Sinnoh’s regional Pokedex, and then some other stuff because they didn’t want to repeat Pokemon like they did with Lance back in the day.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s