Fire Emblem: Three Houses launches next week, and right off the bat, you’re faced with a big decision: Which of the three houses will you choose? Much like Harry Potter’s house system, these schools are home to students of different backgrounds, motivations, and weapon preferences. Choosing a single house is a massive commitment, so we’re showing you everything we know about each house to help you make an informed decision.
If some aspects of another house catch your eye, don’t worry; there’s most likely a way to incorporate a few of them into your chosen house. If, for instance, there’s one or two characters from a different house you want on your team, you’ll be able to convert some characters to your side with some perseverance. Likewise, no house is entirely one-note: The Blue Lions will still have mages and archers, just as the Red Eagles and Golden Deer will have lance-users. No one side is entirely good or evil (or neutral), either. Everyone has their motivations, virtues, and flaws.
Suited for: Magic users, those who challenge the status quo
The vast and powerful Adrestrian Empire hails from the southern region of the continent Fódlan, whom the Black Eagles represent at the Officers Academy. They value justice and are willing to make sacrifices if it ultimately achieves that end. Members of the Black Eagles are mostly nobles, and have a fierce rivalry with the Blue Lions.
Combat style: The Black Eagles are primarily magic users, meaning that you’ll be using elemental attacks that vary in range, such as fire, thunder, wind, and also healing. This type of play might appeal more to those who like a wider variety of options when dealing with an enemy, and who like the added security of healing spells from characters other than dedicated healers.
Leader: The leader of the Black Eagles is Edelgard, the Adrestrian Empire’s future emperor. She takes pride in seeking out talented individuals, but isn’t always the most approachable. Most of the time, however, Edelgard puts off a cool-yet-focused demeanor.
Black Eagle’s Students
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- Among those enrolled in the Black Eagles is Hubert, a caffeine-addicted and sarcastic emo boy whose loyalty to Edelgard is unmatched. Hubert seems to be a cold-blooded individual, going beyond what others are willing to do in order to ensure victory.
- Petra is a foreigner from one of the Adrestrian Empire’s vassal states, and thus has difficulty grasping Fódlan’s language, which is demonstrated in humorous scenarios. Nonetheless, she studies hard and fights vehemently against discrimination.
- Possessing an exceedingly carefree personality, Linhardt has a habit of shirking off his responsibilities whenever he can, usually to take a nap. The exception to this is when he researches crests, where he can lose himself to his work.
- Bernadetta is debilitatingly shy and isolated, but other characters attempt to get her to step outside her shell, to varying success.
- Although a bit overzealous, Caspar has a strong sense of justice, loathing dishonesty and inequality.
- Dorothea is the only commoner from the Black Eagles, but tries to see all of her peers as equals. She came from an opera company, and thus has an affinity for singing.
- Coming from a high-ranking class of nobles, Ferdinand is very proud of his status. Not wanting anyone to surpass him in ability, he is frustrated with Edelgard for, well, doing just that. The two have a friendly rivalry, both inspiring and challenging each other on ideas.
Suited for: Lance users, those who “covet strength and chivalry”
The Blue Lions represent the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, to the north of Fódlan. They too have their set of values, but these values differ from those of the Black Eagles, leading the two house to butt heads. Also like the Black Eagles, the Blue Lions consist mostly of nobles.
Combat style: As lance-users, the Blue Lions are best suited for players who like to get up close and personal with the enemy, throwing themselves into the fray in order to deal serious damage. The Blue Lions favor this type of close-quarters combat, you’ll have to devise sound strategies to protect your lance-wielding units from becoming overwhelmed, as well as having an escape route in place if your plans go awry. They offer a nerve-wracking playstyle that is also rewarding.
Leader: Leader of the Blue Lions is Dimitri, who is next in line to Faerghus’ throne. He’s the embodiment of a knight, chivalrous and dedicated, but something far more sinister may lie beneath his (metaphorical) suit of armor.
Blue Lion’s Students
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- Dimitri’s right-hand man, Dedue acts as a bit of an inverse to Dimitri. He initially seems cold and harsh, but in actuality he’s a big softy. While he’s very protective of his king-to-be, he’ll share his love of gardening with those he trusts.
- Sylvain is a womanizer, through and through. While loyal to his friends, you’ve likely seen Sylvain’s archetype in anime and JRPGs before. Get to know him and find out why he’s like this and the effect of his noble upbringing on it.
- Fitting the Blue Lions’ ideal description of a knight, Ingrid is “principled” and “industrious,” according to Dimitri, one of her childhood friends.
- Having graduated from the academy early due to excellent grades, Annette has wisdom far beyond her years in terms of schoolwork, but often stumbles in other areas, such as cooking.
- Mercedes is driven to help others any way she can, living as a commoner to do so, even though she was born a noble. Her endless sweetness means she comes off a bit saccharine, however.
- Felix comes across as harsh and overly competitive, but… no, actually he is just that. There’s often more than meets the eye with these types of characters, but from everything published about the character, that may be it here.
- Although born as a commoner, Ashe was adopted and raised by a high-ranking noble. He works hard so he can stand among his noble peers as equals.
Suited for: Archers, those who dislike conflict
The Golden Deer represent the Leicester Alliance, which is governed by a council of nobles rather than any one king or emperor. In most cases, they prefer to avoid conflict whenever possible, only engaging in battle when necessary.
Combat style: Archers tend to play more conservatively than other units, typically having less defense and needing to be a safe distance apart from enemy units to effectively deal damage. Players with a more tepid approach to combat may feel safer with more archer units chipping away at enemy health, but even this option can have deadly consequences if you’re not paying attention.
Leader: As leader of the Golden Deer, Claude is next in line to become noble of the alliance’s leading house. His carefree manner and friendly — and occasionally flirty — disposition quickly wins him allies. Despite this, some note a more secretive side to the noble.
Golden Deer’s Students
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- Lorenz also comes from a noble house, though of lesser status, and is desperately searching for someone to marry. He seems a bit snobbish and needs to work on how he approaches women, but he isn’t always aware of the impression he makes.
- The sole daughter of a high-ranking noble house, Hilda prefers to have others to do the dirty work while she relaxes. She’s found effective ways to convince others to do just that. Her daintiness is just for show, however. If she’s forced to go onto the battlefield, she’ll wreck shop.
- Raphael is a “tough guy” with a “rough life.” His parents died when he was young, but he maintains a cheery attitude. Although academics aren’t his strong suit, (nor is finding a fitting shirt) Raphael dedicates himself endlessly to body-building and training, all with a smile on his face.
- The most relatable student here, Leonie is only able to attend the Officer’s Academy thanks to a large loan from her village, and works constantly to pay off her debt. We’ll see if she’s finally paid it off after the five-year time skip. If tuition is anything like it is here, we doubt it.
- Lysithea is a child prodigy, much like Annette, but her area of expertise lies in sorcery. Her family was severely punished for a revolt against the Adrestrian Empire, but she was too young to remember that event.
- Ignatz’s parents enrolled him at the Officer’s Academy to become a knight, but he has a far greater passion for nature and art. He’s quiet yet kind, and always keen to point out the academy’s beautiful architecture.
- Like Ignatz, Marianne shares a love for nature and a quiet demeanor, but her silence comes more from a lack of self-confidence. She spends a majority of her time praying to the goddess, whom she prefers to talk to over her fellow peers.
Ultimately, who you choose is up to you. We hope this helped make your decision a little easier, and check out our New Gameplay Today video where Kim Wallace shows off some of the game’s features, as well as Javy Gwaltney’s preview of the game from E3. Let us know which house you’ll be choosing in the comments, when the game launches on July 26 for Nintendo Switch.