I was engaged in a little offhand discussion about Lord intelligence here
and I think it kind of clarified one of my main issues in warming up to the cast of FE4.
Where are the nerds? Where are the true bookish types, driven by a love of learning, powered by sheer curiosity? We have an abundance of mages, the usual "type" to fill this role, but overwhelmingly, the issues driving them are personal
. Their problems, too, are deeply personal and rooted in family and bloodline. There's not really anyone who strikes me as an analogue to Pent or to Canas, or even to Lute the self-proclaimed prodigy, or to Knoll, or to Merric, Linde, or Ellerean. Or Ryuto, who got that essential "mage vibe" across despite coming from a more primitive era.
We have an "adorkable" mage in Azel, but he's not quite the same thing. With Azel-- as with Tiltyu and Levin, and with all the magical kidlets, so much of it all boils down to family. Maybe that's the problem. They're not like a class-conscious Ellerean striving to be top dog, or a Lute who defines herself by her encyclopedic mind. The FE4 gang were all born into their gifts. The bloodline chose them... or didn't choose them. There's no need to be a nerd
when you're a conduit for god-power.
But man, if you gravitate towards magey-mages, the lack of a sympathetic nerd character hurts
. Small wonder so many fans admire Alvis, who hits on more points of the intellectually gifted than any of the playable cast. FE4's Gen 1 mostly come across as anti-intellectual rough-housers by comparison... and well, I've already complained at length about Gen 2. There's Sety, I guess, but he's still mostly defined by his mission... and his rage against his father.
[FE5, OTOH, rectifies this by giving us Asvel, who is basically Merric II (now with even more subtext)... plus some others fitting the "type" that became expected]
Now, there are a few bright spots if you know where to look. The house intellectual for Gen 1 would be Father Claude, keeper of esoteric lore that he can't share with us because Tiltyu's a ninny. Sylvia's son Corple is a thoughtful, serious boy who takes his role seriously... and has almost no screen time and no1 leik him anyway. And of course we have our two tacticians... Oifey the child prodigy (still the most boring tact ever, for my money) who grows into an astute and competent man, and the older version of Levin... who is cheating
and hereby disqualified from this tier list. And there are a few more characters who, while not bookish in the Canas sense, at least have something
going on upstairs, though it seems to be more intuitive skill (Jamka) or maybe just the ability to put words together into articulate sentences (Leaf) in a land where several characters sound like they hail from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures
But I do think this was something I found unpleasant about FE4, and it wasn't until last night that I really got that clear in my own head. I like my nerd characters-- not to fetish level or anything, but I do-- and I'm not really finding them in FE4.