|Gender category:||yuri / het (player determinate)|
|Fandom:||Fire Emblem: Three Houses|
|Canonical?:||Yes (player determinate)|
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Edelgard is the leader of the Black Eagle house, one of three which the player character Byleth can choose to teach in the beginning of the game. Though Edelgard initially seems to be evaluating Byleth's performance, she quickly comes to like and trust them.
If the player chooses the Black Eagles, however, they must build up their support level with her to at least a C+ rank in order to unlock a certain event near the end of Part 1. They can choose whether or not to attend Edelgard's coronation as Emperor of Adrestia; after this, they can choose to side with her against the Church of Seiros and embark on the Crimson Flower path. If this option is chosen, Edelgard will be extremely grateful to Byleth, though she will also express her unfounded fears that Byleth might have sided with the Church instead.
In Crimson Flower, the normally composed and standoffish Edelgard will become more easily flustered at times, especially where Byleth is concerned. This begins as early as their C support, where Edelgard confides in Byleth about her troubled past; this support and the following C+ rank are vital to unlocking the Crimson Flower route as they allow Edelgard to open her heart and trust in the player.
One lighthearted but important scene during the war phase features Edelgard hiding in embarrassment after painting a picture of Byleth, which she finds distasteful due to her perceived lack of artistic skills. Byleth will try to reassure her that it's okay and they find it flattering. After the defeat of the Immaculate One in the final chapter, Edelgard breaks down in tears when she believes Byleth dead; her cries become those of relief when Byleth's heart begins to beat for the first time.
Should the player side with the Church or pick a different class, Edelgard will become their enemy. During the final showdown in Verdant Wind and Silver Snow, Edelgard tearfully begs Byleth to kill her and end the war, her last words expressing the long-held desire to walk with them. Byleth kills her as requested, but visibly regrets doing so after the chapter's end.
In Azure Moon, more emphasis is placed on Edelgard's ties to Dimitri than to Byleth. However, if she engages in combat with the player in the final chapter, she states that facing her former professor makes her feel weak. Byleth will also show regret for Edelgard's fate after Dimitri kills her.
While Edelgard can have a romantic S-support with either a male or female Byleth, the ship is far more popular when paired with female Byleth. When paired with female Byleth, Edeleth is the most popular femslash ship in the Three Houses fandom, and Fire Emblem as a whole, however this is also due to femslash pairings having never been quite as popular as het or slash within the FE fandom until more recent game releases. Fans began to speculate from the beginning that Edelgard had to be either gay or bisexual; while this was initially due to the fandom's strong hopes for any LGBT representation in the games, many femslash fans were overjoyed when it turned out they were correct.
As Edelgard is one of the main Lords and has an S-support with Byleth they have a lot of dialogue together. After the final battle with The Immaculate One, Byleth regains their heartbeat and their hair returns to its original blue. Fans of the pair often interoperate this as Byleth regaining their humanity and draw parallels to Edelgard needing Byleth with her in Crimson Flower to prevent her from taking more desperate measures, as seen in other routes. Crimson Flower also showcases Edelgard's quirks, such as her love of sweets and how easily flustered she can get. The latter coupled with the level of trust Edelgard has in Byleth has many writers and artists portraying her as the bottom in the relationship, though this is not an ironclad rule.
Due to her dying wish to have walked alongside Byleth in the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes and her reluctance to attack Byleth as the final boss in Azure Moon, players surmise that Edelgard may have had feelings for Byleth all along. This is further supported in Crimson Flower, when she says she hopes she has a special place in Byleth's heart regardless of whether or not the player chooses to marry her, and by the animated cutscene in which she hugs Byleth and cries upon discovering they're alive.
Tropes and Fanon
- Nightmares - The first time Edelgard truly opens up to Byleth is after suffering a nightmare about her past.
- Hurt/Comfort - Both characters have suffered great losses. Despite her resolve to go forward and belief that Byleth should do the same, many fans like to write about them taking time to mourn once the war is over
- Adopting cats - Byleth can feed every cat in the game if the player purchases the DLC pack, and Edelgard has a secret soft spot for cute things and animals
- Happily married post-game
- Ruling Couple
- Battle Couple
- Fempreg - Kidfic is common, but many pregnancy fics focus on the impregnation aspect or pregnant sex
- To Weather the Dark by AdraCat
- Luck Of The Draw by Oricalle
- Heretics by grayimperia
- Inaction by SaraJaye
- Heart by wolfraven80
Fannish Links and Archives
- Edelgard/Byleth tag on AO3
- Edelgard/Byleth stories on fanfiction.net
- Edeleth Tumblr tag
- Edelgard x Byleth Tumblr tag