I know it’s been a while and yes, Raiya is coming along nicely. I’m hoping to get back to once-a-week pieces for now and become far more prolific again once Raiya is complete.
So this will be the first piece…
Tharja vs. Rhajat…
Let’s take a look at these two, shall we?
Hey WTF!!!??? They’re just recycled characters! Same voices, same personalities, everything!
Okay… a little background; Tharja was a big fan favorite from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Most people said that she was likely the most lore-friendly person for the Avatar to marry because… Because insane darkness and a rather alarming obsession equals marriage material? To everyone who condemned their avatar to a life with her, don’t believe the suicide note when he’s found carved up in the ice box!
Okay, look honestly she’s an entertaining character in her own right. She’s dark, gloomy, and pretty much what you would expect from someone who dabbles in the dark arts. So I can understand why she is so popular.
Then Fire Emblem Fates comes out… I highly recommend reading my review of the game. It was definitely one of the more interesting offerings from the Fire Emblem series.
As the game progresses, we start noticing some characters showing up that look suspiciously like characters from Awakening. Some are the guardians of the Noble Families while others are children born of the party. One character suspiciously stands out from the rest; Hayato’s daughter, Rhajat. I usually pair Hayato with Orochi one because its lore-friendly, and two because Rhajat gets a nice MAG modifier without taking much in the way of hits to her stats.
So let’ s address the elephant in the room… Yes, Rhajat is a recycled Tharja almost entirely. Heck, the name ‘Rhajat’ is simply Tharja with the ‘T’ and ‘r’ moved. She has the same voice actress, same overly obsessed personality with the avatar, same dark abilities and ideas, same love of curses… etc.
Understandably the reaction to this has ranged from ‘meh’ to ‘Rhajat sucks! She’s nowhere near as good as Tharja.’ It honestly does seem a little lazy, even if it is an homage to the previous game.
The being said, does Rhajat deserve all the scorn she’s been getting? Let’s look at the two characters.
Tharja joins you in the ‘Mad King’ questline because… apparently she’s got nothing better to do and doesn’t like who she’s fighting for. There’s no real reason to it other than the fact that the Shepherds are willing to blindly trust her. After she joins the party, she quickly becomes obsessed with the avatar and proceeds to begin stalking him. She even refers to him as ‘my love’. Much to the annoyance and discomfort of the avatar, who proceeds to fake an illness to get away from her.
There are at least two more dialogues with Tharja, both of which are extremely uncomfortable. They include the avatar trying to get Tharja to stop acting weird and it completely backfiring on him. She begins trying to act ‘proper’ and ‘like a normal girl.’ She does eventually save him from a fever where he collapses… though I’m not convinced it wasn’t the result of a curse.
If you do go all the way to S class, she threatens to murder you in your sleep if you back out. Needless to say, I usually marry her off to Libra. It’s far more entertaining.
She doesn’t really treat her daughter better either. The girl seems extremely timid most of the time, and schizophrenic the rest. She was apparently too wrapped up in her work to teach her daughter anything and only used her for experiments. Not exactly the most likable person. So why is she so popular?
Okay, no! No no no no no no! We’re not going down that road again! It made a helluva lot more sense with Camillia. Tharja maybe be skimpily dressed, but this is not the main reason she’s popular. Give geeks a little more credit.
The truth is that she’s actually very powerful, and her dark persona is something that many geeks can honestly relate to. A lot of people find the way she talks and character reactions entertaining, which is why she’s gained a following.
So what about Rhajat?
Oh God, she’s pretty much the same character, but a cheap imitation? Christ… this is going to be bad… let’s go through her character, shall we?
Rhajat joins your party in Birthright and Revelations if you pair her father, Hayato with someone. Her hair color follows the mother. So for me, it’s usually purple. Following rescuing her in her paralogue, she joins the avatar’s army… and yes, you guessed it, she’s inexplicably obsessed with him. Inexplicably… at least at first.
She reveals that she’s watching over the avatar and, in a sense, protecting him because he saved her. The avatar replies that she would have done the same for him, assuming that her rescue in the paralogue is what she’s referring to. To this, she seems oddly disappointed. She hints towards their fates being intertwined and then leaves.
In her next dialogue, she reveals the real reason why she’s so obsessed with the avatar… Apparently the paralogue wasn’t the first time he saved her. They’d met before in the deeprealms when she was a little girl and the avatar caught her when she almost ran off a cliff… wait… we actually get a VALID explanation??? What the hell is this? It’s not just random obsession or anything like that. Rhajat actually has a decent and… almost justified reasoning for her creepy behavior.
In fact, when the avatar realizes how much of an impact he’s had on her life, he apologizes!
So if you go all the way to S class… Rhajat offers to cease her stalking and leave the avatar alone. She doesn’t want to be a nuisance and though it upsets her, she’s willing to make a break. At that point, she reveals that the avatar has been her hero the entire time for everything he’s done for her.
The avatar is taken aback… and reveals that he actually enjoys her attention to the point where he actually stalked her every now and then. They agree that they have a connection and that they love each other.
It’s not… a perfect match, but it’s as fluid a romance as you can get in Fire Emblem.
Okay… so after putting the two characters together… clearly they are not identical personality-wise. Rhajat’s reasoning is far more fleshed out, and she’s definitely the most dynamic character.
So why then is she the more hated of the two?
Well… in the current trend of story telling, people seem to gravitate more towards antiheroes and complex villains. Tharja can really fit either role. Her psychotic personality and devil may care attitude is definitely something that a lot of fantasy fans can get into.
Rhajat honestly comes off as more of an obsessed fangirl than anything evil that is simply part of an alliance of convenience. The big issue though is more likely the fact that she’s a recycled character, which many people object to because it’s lazy. (Especially when you typically shell out $40 for each title.)
So with all this in mind, which is the superior character?
Well bust out the pitchforks because honestly, it’s Rhajat. She’s more dynamic, less awkward, and honestly her story has a lot more charm to it than Tharja’s. Oh and in case your wondering, yes I do have her marry the Avatar. In fact, she is one of my top choices;
- Scarlet (Birthright only)
- Elise (See her actions in Birthright to understand why.)
Anyway, let me know in the comments what you think. Tharja or Rhajat?
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
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Catch you on the flip side!