Ike/Soren

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Pairing
Pairing: Ike/Soren
Alternative name(s): IkeSoren, Sike
Gender category: yaoi
Fandom: Fire Emblem
Canonical?: almost [1]
Prevalence: common
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Ike/Soren is a juggernaut ship in the Fire Emblem fandom.

Canon

Ike is the main hero of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and one of the main heroes in the sequel Radiant Dawn, and Soren is his best friend and tactician. The two met as children when Ike offered a starving, lonely Soren a sandwich and his friendship. This gesture meant the world to Soren, who had spent his entire life until then alone and outcast; their support conversations later reveal Soren is a "branded," the product of an affair between a beorc (human) and a Laguz (beast creature). Such unions are frowned upon and Soren was treated like an abomination by everyone except Ike, and as a result, Ike is the only person Soren trusts. He is strongly implied to be in love with Ike, especially in the Japanese script, and the two have a special event talk in Radiant Dawn if they obtain A-rank support in Path of Radiance.

Ike himself has no romantic interest in anyone, but he shows a special fondness for Soren, becoming worried when Soren grows withdrawn and moody during the middle of Path of Radiance and seeking his help and advice on many things. If the two have A-support at the end of Radiant Dawn, Ike takes Soren with him when he decides to go on a journey after the game's events.

Fandom

Ike/Soren is one of the most popular pairings in the entire fandom to the point of being a flagship couple and considered canon by most fans. Fans who favor pairings of the "traditional canon" variety include this one on their list, and at one point the pairing dominated the yaoi faction of Fanfiction.net. Even with Tellius's heyday somewhat waning due to Awakening and Fates, the pairing has a large and devoted following who still consider them their ultimate OTP.

Fire Emblem fandom: Tellius fandom is still alive and the same people are still shipping Ike/Soren. -Fail Fandom Anon Post #272 - The Fungus Amongus,

The appeal of the ship is a combination of Hurt/Comfort and Loyalty Kink, the latter being especially big in Fire Emblem fandom on the whole. Soren's almost gentle devotion to Ike contrasts his sharp and caustic behavior towards the majority of the cast, while Ike is shown to be unusually tender when talking to Soren about his issues. Some even point out that staying close to Ike helps Soren mellow out quite a bit in Radiant Dawn; this can either be taken as Soren feeling less angry now that he's confided in Ike or some of Ike's nature rubbing off on him.

Controversies

The popularity caused quite a bit of controversy and wank, however.[2] Some fans felt personally slighted that a yaoi pairing got more attention than their preferred ships; many of these were fanboys who refused to believe their buff and tough hero Ike could be gay[3], leading to accusations of homophobia. The most vocal of this group were the Ike/Elincia shippers, who not only thought Ike had to be straight for the princess but bashed Elincia's canon love interest Geoffrey[4]. The other faction of detractors were shippers of other yaoi pairings like Edward/Leonardo or Ranulf/Kyza, who felt their ships weren't getting enough love. The constant complaining from these fans caused Ike/Soren fans to become defensive. [5] [6]

When it was revealed that Radiant Dawn had a special ending for Ike/Soren, some fans accused the game of pandering to yaoi fangirls[7] and some tried to deny even the possibility that it could be canon. [8] When Fire Emblem Awakening revealed Priam[9], a character claiming to be a descendant of Ike's family, Ike/Soren detractors pounced on the character as "evidence" that Ike was straight, smugly rubbing the fans' noses in it.[10] [11] This didn't do anything to stop the shippers, though, as they quickly pointed out that Ike's sister Mist can canonically marry Ike's friend Boyd in Radiant Dawn, meaning Priam could easily be descended from her part of the family's lineage.

Fic for the pairing has also attracted criticism and derision for being cliché due to the heavy use of certain tropes and canon points as its backbone, to the point where one particular fan made a mocking "bingo"[12] despite reportedly being a shipper themselves. Some of the pairing's fans could be very elitist in the way they shipped, taking a cold and sterile approach to prove they were "above" using the well-worn tropes common to the majority of fic.

Fan works

Fanfiction

Fanart

Groups

References

  1. Soren is one of Ike's only two paired endings, but they are not explicitly treated as a couple in the way other possible paired endings are.
  2. emblanon: Man, I'm kind of astounded at the wank on Ike/Soren.
  3. GameFAQs: Ike, straight or not?
  4. Serenes Forest forums: Who could Ike's wife be?
  5. GameFAQsBe honest, you wouldn't deny Ike X Soren if Soren was female...
  6. emblanon: Okay. Ike/Soren love time.
  7. Fandom Wank: Itty-bitty Fire Emblem wank
  8. GameFAQs: Is ike x soren canon?
  9. On Priam and Canonicity
  10. So why did the HIJMS Ike/Soren cross the strait?
  11. Suck it up, yout ship got sank.
  12. Ike/Soren fic bingo