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AF ([personal profile] hotandcoldaf) wrote2013-01-28 02:31 am
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FE7 Meta- Hector and Politics

Original Post on Tumblr

Words on the topic of Hector and Politics, namely, that the evidence shows that he actually takes said topic rather seriously.

From 29xE/31xH: Battle Preparations, before the map starts:

Hector: For generations, our ancestors dedicated themselves to a sort of frugal militarism. Nobles and commoners alike shunned extravagance. "Corrupt neither the body nor the mind," they cried! Since the time of Roland, this has been the dominant ideology of Ostia.
Marcus: I heard that when Lord Uther first participated in the Lycian Council as Marquess Ostia, he gave a scathing indictment of the peer system. Now I understand, his philosophy had its roots in the history of Ostia itself.
Hector: That's right. Yet this thinking... it threatens the lifestyles of many of our aristocrats. So some groups view my brother with enmity. I must grow wiser so that I can sit at my brother's side and aid him. Of course, my fighting skills are not yet what they should be…
Lyn: ......
Eliwood: ......
Hector: But this isn't the place for that kind of talk.

Something that's struck me as interesting, going through FE7, is that, despite Hector's reputation, it's made repeatedly clear that he actually takes his responsibilities as Marquess Ostia's brother very seriously and maintains an active interest in politics.

(If you're raising an eyebrow skeptically about this, let me lay down a few [relatively] quick examples of what I'm talking about. Here's an easy one, sending Matthew to visit the house Hector's hanging out in during Lyn's Story. When Matthew explains that he's looking into the succession issue, Hector's aware enough of the details to identify it as "the long-lost granddaughter thing" [Eliwood, by contrast, needs to have the situation explained to him when you meet him at the end of the map], and then goes on to ask Matthew what Uther's opinion on the matter is, voicing his agreement after Matthew gives his assessment. More telling than Hector's knowledge and interest alone is the fact that Matthew shows no sign of this being at all unusual. And there's the conversation Hector and Eliwood have at the start of Noble Lady of Caelin, where Hector's like, "You would not believe the horseshit my brother's dealing with. If anything looked weird, we would be up to our eyeballs in Bern's military," and Eliwood's like, "Oh, I didn't realize. But then... why are you here? Doesn't you being gone look weird?" And Hector's like "Are you kidding? With my reputation, if I wasn't gone, now that would look weird." And then there's the conversation Hector has with Oswin at the end of his version of Cog of Destiny, where he outright states, "I've been irresponsible and foolish in the past, but... As the marquess's brother, I will do anything required of me." And, of course, there's also the conversation I've got transcribed above. I could get more examples, but I think my point is sufficiently made here.)

So, now, how does this politically aware Hector who is prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of his station mesh with the Hector who skips his classes to go fight in the arena and has no patience or skill for courtly manners? It's actually less contradictory than it first seems, so long as you keep this simple fact in mind: Hector never expected or wanted to become Marquess. After all, Uther's death was, relatively speaking, sudden and unexpected. Prior to the start of the game, I think it's pretty easy to imagine what Hector pictured when he thought of Ostia's future: Uther on the throne, with himself at his brother's side, working as an aide and a general. Hence why he highlights wisdom and fighting skill as the areas he needs to improve upon here, because those are the skills a good general needs. Courtly manners, ehhhh, not so much, just the good sense to shut the fuck up and let someone more suited to it do the talking--sense that Hector demonstrates when the group meets with Queen Hellene. In Eliwood's and Hector's Stories both, it's Eliwood who does almost all of the talking, with one brief line from Lyn, while Hector is so silent, his sprite doesn't even appear during the conversation, only popping up after Eliwood's blown it to go "Well, that went well. Now what?" I think it's pretty interesting that Eliwood and Lyn express some strong feelings about Zephiel's situation, but Hector doesn't have a single word to say about it. Because, well, I don't think he's at all surprised by it. Either he was already aware of what the situation in Bern was like, or he's familiar with similar circumstances through his dealings with Ostia's court. "And," actually, might be more likely.

Of course, there's also that Hector's much more, er. Inured to assassination attempts than Eliwood or Lyn are. Seriously, check the first chapter of Hector's Story, Hector's reaction to like 8 dudes coming out of the woodwork in his own castle trying to kill him is not surprise. OK, no, I'm lying, he's a little surprised. That they're not sent by Marquess Laus. Which he can tell, because they're too competent for that. Add in his comment here about Uther's unpopularity with the nobles, and, man, assassination attempts in Castle Ostia are probably pretty damn common. ...Going both ways, possibly, taking into account how Matthew mentions Uther's "skill for treachery" in his A support with Oswin. (Can I just say that I find it really interesting that it's the spy and not the knight who delivers this criticism in this conversation? Uther, what on Earth have you been getting up to?)

[DW Addition: When I originally wrote this, I'd completely forgotten about the brief conversation at the end of Pirate Ship, where Hector tells Eliwood about the Black Fang attacking him on the way out of the castle and says that he didn't mention it before because he didn't figure they were related, because "many people hold a grudge against Ostia." So scratch that "probably" about assassination attempts being common, this shit is practically Typical Thursday material for Hector.]

Segueing off Matthew real quick, I actually wanna go back to the conversation he has with Hector in Lyn's for a minute. I really like that neither of them at any point bring up the question of whether or not Lyn's claim is legitimate. It matches nicely with what's said here about Uther's disdain for peerage. Who cares whether or not Lyn is actually the Marquess's granddaughter or just Jane Doe from Sacae, she probably won't start a dumbass war like Lundgren probably would, so by all means, let her have the throne. Not that I'm implying that there's doubts about Lyn's heritage, just that it's not really the primary factor. And I like that, for its consistency if nothing else.

And then Hector's daughter turns Lycia into a monarchy ahahaha but no I'm not going to get into FE6's politics until I actually play it.