Lords and Ladies usually take the spotlight as main characters for Fire Emblem games, with notable examples being the iconic Prince Marth and, more recently, the trio from Three Houses: Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude. Yet, let us not forget that some of Fire Emblem's most iconic characters are ones represented by the player themselves. Robin, Corrin, and Byleth are certainly the most notable after being Super Smash Bros. characters, but you can only learn so much about one's character from a platform fighter. With seven total player characters -- or Avatars -- in the Fire Emblem series and its spin-offs, here is a totally serious and definitive ranking of the Fire Emblem Avatars from worst to best.
You're probably thinking to yourself, "Who the heck is this?" Mark is no doubt the most inconspicuous of Fire Emblem avatars. It would not be farfetched to say most players of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (know as simply "Fire Emblem" in the West) forget Mark's existence. Remember the very beginning of Fire Emblem, during the prologue? You have to name your character, who is found unconscious and rescued by heroine Lyn. Like all other Avatar characters in Fire Emblem, they have a default name. This one so happens to be Mark.
Mark may as well be invisible and gets virtually no character development outside of your convenient rescue and small, inconsequential interactions with the main protagonists of Fire Emblem. Truly, if an Avatar is a representation of one's self, Mark is that. You're the one doling out commands to your army, but Mark may as well not exist. Mark suffers the unfortunate fate of being completely barebones and practically nonexistent, meaning they are undeniably the worst Avatar character in Fire Emblem's roster.
If Mark from Fire Emblem had a bit more characterization, they may have had a chance to surpass Fate's incredibly idiotic, utterly stupid Avatar that is Corrin. On paper, Corrin is pretty cool -- with the blood of dragons flowing through their veins and a complicated and fleshed-out backstory, Corrin has potential to be an interesting character. Fate's Corrin suffers from atrocious writing and botched characterization, leading them to be a bumbling and unrealistic Avatar with very few redeeming qualities.
Corrin's most unforgivable trait is their naive nature, which leads to problems that could easily be avoided in Fate's story. The Fate's fandom also likes to make fun of Corrin for not being able to recognize a companion of theirs -- Azura -- when she seeks to catch the nefarious villain Garon by surprise. She disguises herself within an opera house and performs a mesmerizing song, and with the same voice and a disguise nearly as identical as her original attire, Corrin is stupefied and doesn't know who this mystery singer is. One final example is Corrin's reluctance for violence. This is not an inherently bad thing, but their reticence towards violence directly puts companions in unnecessary danger. It is a war, after all.
5. Summoner (Kiran)
The Summoner from Fire Emblem Heroes -- by default named Kiran -- is an interesting case. Like Mark, Kiran is the silent tactician of your group; yet, unlike Mark, Kiran plays a much larger role in Heroes ' ever-expanding story. Kiran feels just as vital to the story as Heroes protagonists Alfonse and Sharena. Both constantly speak and look up to Kiran as a tactician. Kiran's powers are also vital to defending Alfonse and Sharena's kingdom of Askr. You see, Kiran is armed with a literal gun that summons heroes from other realms. Pretty badass, right?
Mark and Corrin set the bar very low, so Kiran is nothing special. However, the story for the cash cow that is Heroes isn't ending anytime, which means there will be plenty more opportunities for Kiran's story to evolve over time. With new customization options and the ability to take Kiran into battle, who knows what's next for our mobile hero? For some extra characterization, be sure to check out the free, official Fire Emblem Heroes web manga, which often features quirky interactions with Kiran and various characters across the Fire Emblem franchise.
Were it not for this character's inclusion in Fire Emblem Heroes as a usable unit, Kris may be the most obscure of all Avatars. Kris is the only character on this list to be exclusive to Japan, debuting in the Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem. Due to the poor performance in sales for Shadow Dragon, the Fire Emblem game prior to New Mystery of the Emblem, only players from Japan are able to experience Kris. That's not to say they aren't a good character; indeed, unlike Corrin, Kris is competent. Unlike Kiran and Mark, Kris has a personality.
Differing from other Fire Emblem Avatars is the ability to choose some of your own backstory and personality. In the beginning of New Mystery of the Emblem, you're asked various prompts such as "What kind of future trait do you strive to attain?" These choices have an impact on the story later on, adding a nice twist to character creation.
Byleth definitely seems like your typical blank, emotionless character -- and well, that's not incorrect. Captain Jeralt, Byleth's father, describes baby Byleth as emotionless, one who never cried, not even as an infant. There's a lot more to Byleth than meets the eye, with the Avatar's fate intertwined with that of the Goddess Sothis and Saint Seiros, and the destiny they were meant to fulfill with their birth. It's not something that should be spoiled, but with an interesting backstory, Byleth is a fascinating character.
But yes, Byleth is very humdrum. They are a silent Avatar, though you gain a lot from listening to other characters speak to Byleth. Byleth is admired for their exceptional teaching ability, and respected -- perhaps even feared -- by their students. With the recent release of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, Byleth's character is developed a bit more by actually having lines of dialogue.
There's no doubt about it, Awakening's Robin is the most recognizable and popular Fire Emblem Avatar. Featured in Super Smash Bros. and many fan's first introduction to Fire Emblem Avatars, Robin is at least very known among Nintendo fans by and large. Robin is, like all other Avatars, representative of you, the tactician. There's also a bit of meat behind Robin's story involving an evil dragon called Grima, there's time travel, and all sorts of pivotal plot points revolving around them. In many ways, Robin is also a protagonist of Awakening, as they are just as involved in the story as Chrom or Lucina.
Robin's character is once more fleshed out through the many support conversations throughout their game. Unlike Three Houses, Robin talks often and has emotions, thoughts, and feelings all conveyed through these talks with companions. Robin is also a possible father character to numerous characters in Awakening, depending on who you marry. You can't help but feel a strong attachment to Robin and their family, especially after all of the tumultuous events in Awakening.
The newest member of this list also happens to be the best. Surely, this is a culmination of Intelligent Systems' after creating six other Avatar characters throughout the 30-plus years of Fire Emblem history. The background story for Shez is vague at best and could use some more fleshing out -- we know they're an orphan that was adopted by an unnamed mother -- but we get a great feel of who they are throughout the three routes in Three Hopes. Shez is a mercenary first and foremost, and the writing makes sure of that. Three Hopes' story consistently calls back to Shez's mercenary roots, and these skills come into play as you serve one of three factions as a commander.
The most admirable quality of Shez is that they are competent and dependable. The support conversations in Three Hopes shows how much respect and comradery there is amongst both Shez and your companions. While this is not so unlike Byleth, Shez is voiced by two exceptional voice actors and bring the casual and headstrong Avatar's character to life. It's nearly impossible to find something to dislike about Shez, and we can only hope more Avatar characters are as capable and likable in future Fire Emblem titles.
The future of Fire Emblem is always uncertain until Nintendo gives us some juicy morsels of information, but if there's one thing for certain, we can expect more Avatars. From the inconspicuous Avatar Mark to the capable Shez, which of these Fire Emblem Avatars is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!