Eliwood/Ninian

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Pairing
Pairing: Eliwood/Ninian
Alternative name(s): EliNini
Gender category: het
Fandom: Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
Canonical?: yes [1]
Prevalence: popular
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Elinini.jpg

Eliwood/Ninian is a pairing in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

Canon

Eliwood is one of three main lords in the 7th Fire Emblem game. Ninian is a quiet and mysterious girl traveling with her younger brother; on first glance, the two appear to be a dancer and a bard traveling the world, but the story later reveals that the main villain Nergal has been chasing them for the past few years.

Eliwood first meets Ninian when he rescues her from bandits during Lyn's story. Ninian is unconscious at the time and does not properly interact with him (which is revisited in their C rank support in the main story), and Ninian's role is alongside her brother Nils aiding Lyn and her party on their journey to Caelin.

The two meet again when Ninian is discovered in a small boat on the journey to Valor; Ninian has lost her memory and Nils is nowhere to be found. She travels with the group, only for them to unwittingly deliver her into the hands of her captors. Ninian is then brainwashed by Nergal into calling a dragon through the Dragon's Gate, only to be snapped out of it when Nils appears and calls to her. It is then revealed that Ninian and Nils had been taken prisoner alongside Elbert, Eliwood's father, and he had set them free. Ninian felt extremely grateful to Elbert, leading to her crippling guilt after she accidentally kills him while under Nergal's control. After talking to Eliwood, Ninian properly joins the party and gets closer to him, both through support conversations and cutscenes.

The two are clearly attracted to one another, with Eliwood going out of his way to look after her and Ninian slowly falling in love with him. However, Ninian is harboring a secret that makes her feel unworthy of Eliwood; she tells him as much, but Eliwood confesses his love to her and tells her he doesn't care what her secret is.

Her secret unfortunately comes out in the worst way: When Eliwood obtains the legendary Durandal, the blade takes control of him and he slays a dragon...who happens to be Ninian. The dialogue changes depending on how far the player has built the support level between Eliwood and Ninian, but Eliwood is grief-stricken and horrified either way. Thankfully, Ninian is brought back to life by Brammimond, one of the surviving Eight Legends. If the player has pursued their support chain all the way to A level, she will stay on Elibe and marry Eliwood. If not, she will go home with Nils.

Fandom

Eliwood/Ninian was a reasonably popular het ship in the heyday of the FE7 fandom. While not a full-on juggernaut ship, it had a huge and devoted following among fans drawn in by the sad, sweet romance between the characters threaded throughout the main plot. Some fans pointed out that even if you didn't touch the supports, the pairing is quite obvious due to Ninian's canon feelings for Eliwood and Eliwood's attention and care towards her. The supports themselves are beloved among fans of the game, seen as highly romantic, and fans say the supports between Marcus and Lilina in FE6 strongly hint that Ninian is Roy's mother.

The majority of fanfiction written for the couple in the old days was angst, detailing Ninian's feelings or Eliwood's guilt and regret after accidentally killing her. Some stories explored a sadder ending in which Ninian did go home with Nils, but neither she nor Eliwood were able to let go of their feelings for one another. Romantic drama and love confessions were also popular, as was fluff. Also common were post-game stories dealing with the bittersweet ending this couple would eventually have; due to the air of Elibe being different from her own world, Ninian would not live more than ten years tops should she stay behind with Eliwood.[2]

Due to the absence of Roy's mother or any mention of her being alive in The Binding Blade, it was commonly assumed that Ninian died in childbirth due to both her fragile appearance and the canon detail that her life would be shortened if she stayed on Elibe. Others assumed she survived the birth, but died while Roy was still a toddler.

Its major rivals were Eliwood/Lyn and Hector/Eliwood, causing a few shipping wars. Later in the Fire Emblem fandom's life, however, it would gain a new rival in the lesser-appreciated Eliwood/Fiora, whom some players shipped out of spite, feeling the game was "forcing" Eliwood/Ninian on them. Ninian herself was the subject of heavy controversy, some fans finding her problematic and antifeminst due to being shy, quiet, and needing of rescue more than once. It was even once argued that the game "rewarded" her for her weaknesses by implying her canon with Eliwood, as opposed to action girls Lyn and Fiora.[3]

Some Eliwood/Ninian fans could get defensive of their OTP, or even militant in their insistence that the pairing is canon. However, compared to other shippers, they were tame and civil, preferring to celebrate the love of their pairing rather than be angry at other shippers.

Fan works

Fanfiction

Fanart

Videos/AMVs

References

  1. While the game allows the player to pair Eliwood with other women, the story hints strongly at Eliwood/Ninian and the pair is canon in the novelization
  2. “Ninian… The air of this world, it’s changed so much from what we knew. No matter how much time passes, our strength will never return. If we stay here, we will not survive long.” - Nils to Ninian, during the final chapter of the game if Eliwood and Ninian have A-rank support
  3. Thoughts on Ninian