|Relationships:||Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca (friend), Vaan (love interest), Basch Von Ronsenburg (friend), Balthier (friend), Fran (friend), Migelo (makeshift guardian), Larsa Solidor (friend/political ally)|
|Fandom:||Final Fantasy XII|
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Calming and rational, Penelo is the appeal to sanity that counteracts Vaan’s recklessness and Ashe’s desire for vengeance, and inspires Larsa’s sympathies during the events of Final Fantasy XII. Working hard to repay Migelo’s kindness, she is often seen as a character who is ‘taken along for the ride’ rather than one who controls any of the events, however it is her unlikely friendship with Larsa that makes their political foothold possible. Despite her lesser presence when compared to other main characters in the series, Penelo’s desire for piece and ability to balance out their personalities makes her a valuable character.
Penelo’s influence on Ashe and especially Vaan makes her a popular supporting character in fic. While rarely the main character, she is popular in shipping nonetheless.
As Final Fantasy XII’s obligatory teenage girl, she is possibly the most viable character in shipping, with almost every combination not only possible, but likely. Ships with Vaan and Larsa are most common, despite the latter’s age difference, but pairings with Balthier, Basch, Ashe or even Fran all very possible.
Tropes and Themes
As mentioned above, Penelo is commonly seen as a foil to keep other characters grounded rather than a main character in her own right. Her cameo role in the Kingdom Hearts fanfic Strings Attached exemplifies this feature, where she stars as a waitress who playfully chastises supporting character Axel’s alcoholism rather than doing anything impactful.