Ranking Fire Emblem: Three Houses Paired Endings (Golden Deer)

Welcome to one of the blog posts I wrote during our shelter in place time. Most of the posts I wrote during this period are not particularly high thought level posts. If anything, the entire point to them is to be able to not think heavily for a little while. As such, I’m immersing myself in things I like (read: video games, mostly). apologies for anyone that finds this boring. This is how I’m coping.

A while back, I wrote a post talking about my headcanon relationships for all of Fire Emblem: Awakening characters. I spent a good bit of time thinking about how I’d write such a post for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, only to come to the following conclusions.

  1. Even people who read my blog AND care about Fire Emblem would not read such a post, as it’d be insanely long.
  2. There are so many characters who can end the game with so many others that it’d be impossible to do a true headcanon post for most characters1The exceptions to this rule are Hilda X Caspar, Flayn X eating fish, and Dorothea X my friend Stephanie..
  3. The age gaps in certain cases (Hanneman, Manuela, and Seteth, in particular) makes that a much weirder exercise than it was in Awakening.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to provide a ranking of the best paired endings for each character in the game. These posts will be divided by the character’s starting house. My hope is to do all five of these posts over the course of a week, though we’ll see how quickly I can get them done. When they’re all completed, you can click below to access each list.


Black Eagles | Blue Lions | Golden Deer | Church of Serios | Ashen Wolves/DLC


For this list, I’m only including endings where a character pairing has a support of A or higher to end the game. Additionally, because Byleth could hypothetically end up being paired with any character in the game depending on various circumstances, they are included in each list. That said, I’ll only be considering their paired endings with characters of the house I’m focusing on within that post. You’ll see how I handle their potential same-sex endings in each post.

To be clear, these lists will focus on the endings these characters can have with another character, rather than strictly on supports. Supports are a topic better saved for another time with a less cabin-fevery mind. Also, spoilers ahead. Clearly.

Pairings that are directly stated or at least heavily implied to be romantic in nature are in bold. Pairings that vary whether or not they are romantic depending on what story path you’re playing on, or are ambiguously romantic, are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Claude

  1. Byleth (F)
  2. Annette
  3. Petra
  4. Shamir
  5. Lorenz
  6. Hilda
  7. Ingrid
  8. Balthus
  9. Marianne
  10. Leonie
  11. Lysithea
  12. Flayn

Claude has a lot of really good endings. Nearly all of his endings are either romantic ones where the partners are equal or non-romantic ones were both partners go on to do great things. Which kind of makes sense, what with his whole equality storyline and everything. The only two I really can’t get behind are Lysithea’s2Her living doesn’t make a ton of sense in this ending. and Flayn’s3You mean to tell me that Seteth NEVER finds out about her marriage to Claude? Ever?. That said, pretty much everything 8th place and above on this list is a great ending for Claude. I’m partial to his endings with Byleth, Annette, and Petra, but there are a ton of possible favorites here.

Hilda

  1. Claude
  2. Caspar
  3. Ignatz
  4. Raphael*
  5. Marianne
  6. Cyril
  7. Ferdinand
  8. Lorenz
  9. Byleth (M)
  10. Seteth
  11. Balthus*

Much like I mentioned with Caspar, I hate that the Hilda/Caspar pairing doesn’t top this list, as I adore their supports. That said, Hilda’s ending with Claude is the lone ending that allows her to be an equal to her partner, use her cunning nature, and allow her inner artisan to flourish all at once. I also weirdly like how many non-romantic endings Hilda has, even if not all of them are good. For as much of a flirt as Hilda is, it still makes sense that she doesn’t need to settle down with someone. Though if the internet is any indication, they’d love if her pairing with Marianne was more romantic.

Lorenz

  1. Claude
  2. Manuela
  3. Lysithea
  4. Byleth (F)
  5. Marianne
  6. Hilda
  7. Catherine
  8. Mercedes
  9. Leonie
  10. Dorothea

I don’t like Lorenz all that much. That said, he grows up A LOT in his endings. So much so that it’s somewhat at odds with his character in much of the story. I do want to particularly call out the fact that in Lorenz’s ending with Byleth, we get a direct mention of the fact that Byleth transfers control of whatever they’re leading to their son — the lone instance talking about power transfer post-war that I recall seeing in any of the endings. It’s also notable that for a character whose focus in his supports is often on finding the right person to marry, his best paired ending of all is actually one where he remains unmarried. That said, I really like his paired ending with Manuela, in part because their supports make two characters I dislike very likeable.

Lysithea

  1. Linhardt
  2. Hanneman
  3. Byleth (M)
  4. Edelgard
  5. Claude
  6. Cyril
  7. Raphael*
  8. Lorenz
  9. Balthus
  10. Felix (Other Routes)
  11. Felix (Azure Moon)
  12. Ignatz

Lysithea’s endings can be divided pretty cleanly into two groups — ones where she lives (1-5 on this list) and ones where she dies quite young (6-12). I’m particularly a fan of her endings with Linhardt and Hanneman, which are extremely similar in nature. That said, Linhardt’s gets the edge, as part of what Lysithea wants in a full life is love (per her supports), regardless of that life’s length. Her ending with Cyril is also particularly touching, though still lower on this list because of her untimely death. Congratulations to Lysithea on being the one character that has endings with both Hanneman and Cyril without either of them being creepy.

Ignatz

  1. Raphael
  2. Petra
  3. Hilda
  4. Marianne
  5. Shamir
  6. Leonie
  7. Flayn
  8. Ingrid
  9. Byleth (F)
  10. Mercedes
  11. Lysithea

Ignatz’s bottom five paired endings on this list are nearly identical. There are similarities within all of the character endings, but Ignatz specifically has a ton of copy/paste endings. His best ending is a romantic one, though it’s not with the person he has a paired ending with, as he marries Raphael’s little sister, who had a crush on him since they were children. Ignatz’s entire gimmick is that he’s an artist, so I like the endings where he’s able to do that well in varied ways, as is shown in his endings with Petra, Hilda, and (to a lesser extent) Marianne.

Marianne

  1. Dimitri
  2. Ferdinand von Aegir
  3. Claude
  4. Hilda
  5. Lorenz
  6. Linhardt
  7. Raphael
  8. Ignatz
  9. Hanneman
  10. Ashe
  11. Byleth (M)

I still hate the Ashe/Marianne ending. That said, congratulations on the Byleth ending on being the only ending for Marianne that downplays how important and smart she is. Even the Hanneman and Ashe endings give her credit for that directly, even if she is reduced to being a sugar mama. For that matter — Marianne has quite the number of sugar mama endings. It’s kind of weird considering how reserved she is. That said, her ending with Dimitri is still one of my favorites.

Raphael

  1. Ingrid*
  2. Shamir
  3. Marianne
  4. Flayn
  5. Hilda*
  6. Byleth (F)
  7. Leonie*
  8. Bernadetta
  9. Lysithea
  10. Ignatz

I love that Raphael only has two directly romantic endings in all of his possible options. What I don’t like, however, is that nearly all of his options focus more on whoever his paired ending partner is more so than Raphael. This is particularly true in the case of Ignatz, whose paired ending with Raphael focuses almost totally on the marriage between Ignatz and Raphael’s sister, Maya. Raphael’s endings with Ingrid and Shamir are by far his best. Even if the endings aren’t romantic — which they don’t need to be to work — I wish he had more of a focus in them.

Leonie

  1. Seteth
  2. Byleth (M)
  3. Raphael*
  4. Shamir
  5. Claude
  6. Lorenz
  7. Ignatz
  8. Alois (Crimson Flower)
  9. Felix
  10. Alois (Other Routes)

Despite most of the Golden Deer having a lot of really good endings, Leonie has one great ending, three good endings, and a whole lot of downer or what the hell endings. She even becomes an alcoholic who goes severely into debt in her non-Crimson Flower route endings with Alois. Leonie was one of the characters I was most excited about before the game released, only to be disappointed in her once I played the game. Most of her endings are the same. At least her ending (and supports) with Seteth is amazing and wholesome.

Byleth

  1. Claude (F)
  2. Leonie (M)
  3. Lysithea (M)
  4. Raphael (F)
  5. Lorenz (F)
  6. Marianne (M)
  7. Hilda (M)
  8. Ignatz (F)

The Golden Deer endings for Byleth are a bit of a mixed bag, as you have Claude’s awesome ending with Byleth, some good endings courtesy Lysithea, Leonie, Raphael, and Lorenz, and then some bleh endings otherwise. In most cases, Byleth’s endings are generally the same, so you have to take into consideration the ending for their partner more so than other paired endings. And with that in mind, the Golden Deer endings for Byleth are much like the quality of endings for the Golden Deer house as a whole — either incredibly balanced and wholesome or extremely one-sided.


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