Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is days away. Having squeezed everything I could out of the spin-off’s demo, I am now left to wait, reflecting on these great characters. I truly do love these characters, and they love each other. Three Hopes‘ incoming release has me reflecting on its main title, wondering: What were the best side ships in Fire Emblem: Three Houses? What were the artisanal, small-batch side ships for connoisseurs and intellectuals? What about the ships that were popular for good reason? Here’s my list, broken up by house!
Spoilers for Fire Emblem: Three Houses to follow.
Dimitri x Felix
Childhood friends to enemies to allies to lovers? Sort of. Three Houses’ Dimitri is an overly apologetic, repressed, and miserable nerd who becomes a self-loathing, feral, and miserable shell of a man. He really vibes well with Felix’s frustrated tsundere energy. They have some of the best supports in the game and their main story dialogue is also fantastic. And their paired ending? Phew, don’t get me started. That’s what chivalry is all about, folks.
Their ship is even good when you have them on opposite sides of the war, with Felix wondering if he could have done anything to prevent Dimitri’s downfall. Angst! Tragedy! Delicious.
Dimitri x Felix x Sylvain
For even more flavor, throw Sylvain in there! He’s full of anger and resentment too, but in a completely different way than either Felix or Dimitri. He’s probably going to try to die for someone! These guys are a mess!
Ashe x Dedue
Brave? Check. Loyal? Check. Kind? Check. Sensitive? Check. Good at cooking? Check.
Like I said, the Blue Lions guys are pretty much a mess, and as much as Ashe and Dedue fit great into that mess, they’re also well suited to get the hell out of there and just be great guys together. Ashe and Dedue each need a sensitive partner who will understand their deep emotions and not take advantage of their kindness. Who better than one another?
Mercedes x Annette
Forget about enemies to lovers — it’s all about friends to best friends to best friends forever to married. Mercedes and Annette are joined at the hip from the start of the game, and while their supports aren’t the most interesting, it’s clear they absolutely adore one another. After what they’ve been through, they both deserve some stability, and their paired ending of following their own individual dreams before spending the rest of their lives together is genuinely beautiful.
Dimitri x Marianne
Is shared self-hatred over being uncontrollable monsters a good basis for a real relationship? Not really! Am I into it regardless? You bet I am! Their supports are actually really sweet in this regard. But unless you are an anime chess piece going to teen war school, please don’t form a relationship over shared trauma.
Honorable mentions: Annette x Ashe, Sylvain x Felix (no Dimitri), and Dedue x Dimitri.
This is from Fire Emblem Heroes, but look at them! They’re at the beach!
Hilda x Marianne
The idea of the normally very lazy, eternal little sister Hilda taking care of inept, quiet horse girl and literal monster Marianne is super endearing! They might be doomed to never actually get together though, as Marianne seems oblivious to Hilda’s intentions even in their paired ending. She’s sending you exquisite, hand-crafted presents, Marianne. Wake up!
Balthus x Claude
I think being into a mysterious leader’s mom is a really good reason to date him, and I’m not afraid to say so.
Raphael x Marianne
If I was Marianne and I caught someone trying to tell a bird to eat more protein to get those #Gains? I would not be able to resist falling in love because that’s the cutest thing anyone has ever done in the history of video games.
Honorable mentions: Judith, the character, just generally. I think she’s the best. I’m sorry this section wasn’t longer but like, what can I do with Ignatz, you know?
Dorothea x Edelgard
Dorothea needs someone who will respect her for the whole person that she is. Edelgard needs someone who will join her in a fight for a better world but can also let their hair down at the end of the day to give her a chance to be normal. Their supports are super romantic, and their shared ideals form an extremely strong basis for a long-lasting, healthy, mutually fulfilling relationship between a hot opera singer sorceress and a hot war criminal.
Petra x Bernadetta
Their supports only go up to B, but Petra telling Bernie that she reminds her of prey is enough to merit their inclusion. I mean, sheesh!
Caspar x Linhardt
Rowdy bf and sleepy bf. Nothing more needs to be said. They are perfect.
Hubert x Ferdinand
‘Opposites attract’ is kind of an obvious ship dynamic, but are Ferdinand and Hubert really opposites? They care about the same things, they support their emperor, and they have a lot of dramatic flair. Witnessing their interactions progress from initial disdain to eventual mutual fawning is such a fun element of any Crimson Flower playthrough. They are cringe and they are free. Good for them.
Manuela x Dorothea x Ferdinand
Hear me out. Ferdinand can be a stay-at-home dad for his two opera singer partners while they go out and are fabulous together. Manuela gets love, applause, and a clean house. Dorothea gets financial stability without compromising her authenticity or career. Ferdinand gets his worst snobby instincts kept in line and spends his life stanning two iconic queens. It’s perfect for everyone involved.
Honorable mentions: Nearly every ship in this house is good. Also, Kronya x Edelgard.
Catherine x Lady Rhea
There is simply nothing hotter than a really buff lady who only wants to kill and die for her thousand-year-old dragon demi-god pope. Catherine’s chivalric, religious devotion and Rhea’s waist-to-hip ratio are a perfect combination. It’s fine dining.
Ingrid x Leonie
I think that they will invent basketball.
Claude x Dimitri
Smooth guy x Awkward dork is one of the tastiest dynamics out there, as everyone knows. Claude and Dimitri both like chamomile tea and tell pretty major lies about who they are as people! I think they definitely have some challenges ahead of them when it comes to things like trust, honesty, and how much they want to keep to Fódlan’s traditions. That’s without getting into Dimitri being a feral, revenge-driven freak. But also, it’s really cute when Claude teases Dimitri for being uptight. So who can say whether the relationship would be bad or not?
Yuri x Balthus
Before you say anything, it’s more than just the size difference! Literally how dare you assume that just because one is a delicate but deadly schemer with eyeshadow and the other is a huge hunk who shows off his cool muscles at all times, that I, a journalist of great renown, would be so crass as to put a ship on this list for such base, beastly reasons?
They both live in the trash sewer house for little freaks, but Balthus is reckless and sincere whereas Yuri is careful and a liar. Balthus is willing to put his trust in Yuri, even while knowing that trust won’t be returned, which I think is really moving.
Also: Balthus is ten inches taller than Yuri… I’m only human.
Honorable mentions: Dorothea x Hilda, Balthus x any older woman, and Gatekeeper x Lady Rhea.