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The Cast of FFXIV: Who Are Your Favorite Characters?

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This post contains spoilers for all of FFXIV's expansions, including Endwalker. Proceed with caution.

For those who play through FFXIV and enjoy the story of the Main Scenario, you've come upon a massive roster of characters and faces. But who are your favorites?

Recently, Square Enix opened a poll to celebrate Final Fantasy XI's 20th anniversary, asking the community who their favorite characters were that they've met along the way! 20 years later and Final Fantasy XI, the eleventh installment of the mainline FF franchise and Square Enix's first foray into the MMO world, is still going strong. You can read more about the FFXI poll on Siliconera, right here! (Thanks Kazuma!)

But with such a big question, that got me to thinking... now that Endwalker has closed the proverbial "first book" of Final Fantasy XIV, we've encountered so many people in our journey that we may or may not see again. So to reflect back on our time, let's talk a little bit about favorite characters! Here are a few favorites from different categories from both Alhena and myself.

(AGAIN, SPOILER WARNING: We're going to be talking about a lot of characters throughout the entire MSQ for every expansion, so read at your own risk!)

      ALHENA'S FAVORITE SCION: Y'SHTOLA                     MARAUDER'S FAVORITE SCION: THANCRED  ffxiv-yshtola-2.jpg                          20211214-185885-header-696x392.thumb.jpg.56981a2a3f3559029a9654c533a7c104.jpg

ALHENA: Since I started in A Realm Reborn, I’ve always adored Y’shtola! She’s a strong, admirable female character, and I love when she stands up for what she believes in. I also find her sudden sassiness to be hilarious, and I love hearing her go back and forth with the other characters! I’d like to also give honorable mentions to both Leveilleur twins, who I’ve grown to like more and more over the expansions, specifically Endwalker.

MARAUDER: Thancred, in my opinion, is the Scion of the Seventh Dawn that has the most depth to him. He can't channel aether, which would make someone think that he'd also be the weakest... and yet he keeps up with the others through pure skill. Not only that, but he's been through quite a lot in our stories with him. His struggles with Lahabrea in ARR, his broody Batman phase in HW (and he punched Emmanellain, that was nice), protecting Ryne and fighting Ran'jit one-on-one, and all the while being hopeful and loyal to Minfilia. Thancred is the personification of the adage 'keep on keeping on.'


MARAUDER: The B-Team of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn boasts some entertaining and fun characters. And my favorite is the dynamic duo of Hoary Boulder and Coultenet! I have a friend that I've known since I was 6 years old, and growing up we were often called "Thunder and Lightning." Where one was, the other was surely to follow. (I still can't get him to play FFXIV though...) Coultenet and Hoary Boulder have the same energy, and have always reminded me of my pal. Just a good-natured bromance, and the classic pair of Fighter and Mage that you can't go wrong with.


ALHENA: I agree entirely with Marauder on this one. Emet-Selch is my favorite villain in FFXIV, and one of my favorites in the entire Final Fantasy series. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that Emet is my favorite due to how the writers portrayed his struggle and how he fought hard for what was dearest to him. I think his dialogue and personality is exceptional, and I loved any instance my character got to interact with him!

MARAUDER: In my personal opinion, the best-written villains are the ones who have relatable motives. Mustache-twirling villains who are evil for the sake of being evil can be fun and definitely have their place, but a villain is truly great when they make you ask the question: "Would I do the same thing in their position?" Emet-Selch's motivation is simply to bring back his loved ones. Clinging to the golden days gone by. And in the end, we realize that while what he's trying to do is heinous... he's motivated by the same things as the Warrior of Light: His love and compassion for others.


Final-Fantasy-XIV-Endwalker-Lord-Zenos.jpg                              tumblr_owlauwu4Cy1qmkww5o1_500.thumb.jpg.e0e824ae7a0b4abe07a4a6074dcf4b3f.jpg 

ALHENA: Although I really didn’t expect it to have such an emotional impact on me, I bawled like a baby during and after that last fight sequence with Zenos. "Was this life a gift... or a burden? Did you find... fulfillment? I..." What an incredible way to conclude Endwalker!

MARAUDER: Yotsuyu was a villain you loved to hate. She had very little power herself, but her power was in her hate and how she controlled others. Through our strife with her, we learned her backstory. We learned how tragic of a life she'd led, and we couldn't help but feel a little bad for her. Then, during her arc as Tsuyu with Gosetsu, we're left wondering if it's an act or if it's a genuine second chance... until the end. With Asahi forcing her hand, her actions essentially say "Alright. You want me to be the bad guy so badly? I'll be the bad guy." Yotsuyu was a character that I genuinely wanted to get a shot at redemption, and it was lost. Sometimes there aren't happy endings.


      c-YmCQ_n_400x400.jpg                      k08dUVz0_400x400.thumb.jpg.447600f18d5a3dc0c22d0f71aba7e9be.jpg

ALHENA: I loved G’raha Tia’s role in leading the Crystarium as the Crystal Exarch during Shadowbringers. I thought he was an incredible leader, and I grew to respect his character so much throughout the third expansion.

MARAUDER: I'm a sucker for underdog stories. I'm also a sucker for stories where the honorable, rightful leader of a group or nation fights against corruption so that they can take their place and serve their people. With both of those in mind, that's essentially the core of what Hien is. Mix that with his charm and wit, that luxurious mane, and the overcoming of his struggles in the Endwalker role quests, Hien wins my loyalty.

   ALHENA'S FAVORITE NPC: TATARU                                   MARAUDER'S FAVORITE NPC: LYNA

 42726e4683545aa2cd4b00801f247ae53b7e3416.jpg                          tumblr_43e949fc5cbbbce600b7452630e0cd94_3b78c9db_540.thumb.jpg.9c76794003c0505dfa4e152cbdbd1a64.jpg

ALHENA: I’m not sure if I have a complete favorite NPC, but I wanted to give some appreciation to Tataru and all she does for the Scions! I once felt pretty emotional when thinking about how Tataru typically has to sit back and worry/wait for the other Scions to complete their duties, but she is always there smiling upon their return. She’s a strong, wonderful character that deserves all the recognition!

MARAUDER: Lyna is, to put it plainly, a badass. She leads her soldiers from the front rather than the back, has unshakable discipline, and zealously defends the Crystarium and it's ideals that she believes in so fiercely. But what sold me on Lyna most of all was her voice actress, Salome R. Gunnarsdottir. Lyna's lines are delivered with such raw emotion and passion that one can't help but feel as if she's a friend you've known all your life. Her loyalty and devotion are second to none. And that's why, out of all the NPCs in the game, Lyna's my favorite.


What about you? We'd love to hear from you about your favorite FFXIV characters, and the memories you've created playing the game. Share with us the characters and moments that stuck with you and impacted you, and be sure to vote on the poll for FFXI if you've played that as well!

Here's to the friends we've made along the way, and for those we have yet to meet.

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The retainer for putting up with all our *filtered* and our whining that we want more retainer space every damn time after and before an expansion.



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