While Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida has talked about the difficulties of implementing NPC dating, that doesn’t mean some fans aren’t still hopeful about the possibility. But even if the MMORPG never gets a romance system, it won’t discourage you from falling in love with its characters. If anything, with so many possessing so much depth and so many endearing quirks, it’s only encouraged. But surely one rises above the rest — in a world full of rich lore and fascinating personalities, one character speaks to you more than the many others. What does your love for them speak about you? Prithee, continue reading to find out our scientific analysis of what your favorite man in FFXIV says about you.
You love surprises. It was easier to expect Urianger to hide some incredibly dark, lore-altering secret than to not know how to swim. If you’re not fairly quirky and eccentric yourself, you are comfortable with people who are. Where some may see oddity and weirdness, you see beauty and things waiting to be discovered. You’ve plenty of patience, as you waited quite a while to fully realize your love for this nerd. Thankfully, FFXIV has rewarded your patience with some of the best character development among the Scions.
In the wealth of knowledge it offers, academia can leave little room for emotion and empathy. You adore that Urianger is an academic whose every action stems from his care for his loved ones. From the way he hones in on the specific things he really loves to the affection he displays for his friends through his words and deeds, it’s love that elevates Urianger above the rest for you — in addition to the way he talks, of course. You think memes of his speech pattern are the epitome of humor. And you’re right. The way he talks is both smart and silly, and it never fails to amuse you even on a bad day.
You love men who won’t shut up. This dude never shuts up; that’s not a problem for you. He’s wonderful with words and articulating his thoughts and feelings. His actions can leave a bit to be desired in comparison. We’ve all seen how he’s failed in the past — it’s a shadow that follows someone who cares about not just image, but also doing what’s right as much as he does. But those mistakes, and how he’s worked so hard to learn from them and become a better person, are why some see him as the main character of FFXIV among the Scions.
Alphinaud is the kind of person who makes you feel safe, and that’s what you value the most. He may not always do the right thing, but you know confronting him won’t end in your feelings being dismissed or your perspectives going ignored. Alphinaud will consider his words and actions and see your honesty for the kindness it is. And if he lets you down once, he won’t do it again. He’s gone from the kind of dude who types shitposts on Reddit, as Yoshida told Fanbyte, to a young man who’s busy trying to affect positive change in the real world.
Also, you cry a lot.
You’re simultaneously more complicated and simple than anyone else on this list: you love dads. You especially love that this one is particularly fond of women (though obviously, he’s bisexual), that he subverts expectations. To be a smooth-talker who loves women subverts his dad status; to be a flawed father figure who ultimately learns to do his best for the people in his life — the ones who are present, alive, and in need of his kindness now — subverts his slut status. It’s all about that subversion. After all, he is the subterfuge member among the Scions.
You’re just an absolute sucker for incredibly well-developed characters. Thancred doesn’t get as much screen time as many of the Scions; if anything, whew at how they moved him out of the way during that part in Endwalker. But, with the exception of Alphinaud, the development he gets throughout Shadowbringers is still unmatched. He has had to learn how to grieve, survive with the regrets that have festered on his journey as the oldest Scion, live with the cross-realm separation between him and the person he loves most, and even become a whole father.
As a Thancred stan, you don’t get fed all that much, but you know how to appreciate every piece of the meal you get. And, at the end of the day, it’s easy to appreciate a dude who’s just Really Cool and Really Hot.
You tend to hold onto the past. I mean, you’re still pining over a man who’s been dead for three expansions and counting!
It is both your weakness and strength. As your weakness, all the development team needs to do is nod in Haurchefant’s direction and you’re a mess. As your strength, it means one of the best people in the world of FFXIV lives on through your love for him. It’s others who feel like they come and go while he stays in your heart. You don’t need some overly complicated motivation that has spanned across the worlds and ages. You’re happy to just reserve a special place for the warm-hearted, loyal, and unproblematic Elezen who bid us farewell too soon. Before there was the Warrior of Light we know today, there was you — Haurchefant’s friend. Just like friendship, family is important to you, but it’s your found family that matters most of all.
You respect horny people if you are not already among them (like your man was). I see you, you powerful, perpetually-mournful lover of tall elves. Speaking of tall elves…
Aymeric de Borel
You love contrasts. You love that Aymeric looks so imposing and powerful, with a sword that big, but is so gentle and kind. That he is the one percent of Ishgardian society — and you swear you normally hate the one percent but he’s the exception — yet he dedicates his work to equity. He is a man who should want for nothing but who gives everything to make life better for those who have nothing. His heart is full of warmth despite the frosty environment (both literally and emotionally) in which he has been raised. He is practically royalty but he’s likely the most down-to-earth person you’ll find among his people. The list goes on.
As this article goes on to show, there is no shortage of men in FFXIV to fall in love with. So maybe you have moved on from the halcyon days of Heavensward and Aymeric being in the spotlight — you know FFXIV certainly has. But whenever Aymeric does show up, you become a mess all over again. Looking at a man this stunning just never gets old, does it? Finally, you’re probably a Miqo’te, Au Ra, or Hyur who loves the height difference between your Warrior of Light and Aymeric. I see you.
You love men with absolutely no brain cells. Men who are so anti-capitalist that they literally don’t know how money works. Estinien isn’t a man of flowery words; he’s a man of action, and you respect that even when the action is the most clueless thing anyone has ever done. ‘Surely, you must give my man more credit,’ you say as you read this. But part of why you love him is that he’s a himbo.
He’s not a traditional himbo, which only strengthens your adoration for him. When we think of himbos, we tend to think of big men with small brains and big hearts. Estinien is tall, but he’s not a man with muscles that will bulge when he hugs you with everything he’s got. If anything, trying to hug him sounds like the fastest way to getting impaled with the less pleasant of his two lances. He’s simply an outcast among the traditional line of himbos and in general — he’s aloof, averse to social gatherings and the idea of explicitly warm affection. Sometimes, he sees his value less through the kind of person he is and more of what he can provide (something you need to do less of as well).
But he’s genuine, always making his principles and where he stands known. He is, for better or worse, incapable of being anything other than honest about who he is and how he feels. In a world filled with illusions and masks, this only makes him more endearing. If the man not knowing a thing about basic currency didn’t scare you off, nothing will, anyway.
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Zenos yae Galvus
There’s no getting around how awful Zenos is — you’d be insulted if I tried. (Don’t worry, I won’t.)
So I’ll just say: You’re incredibly horny and you love unquestionably fucked up men. I’m sure you have plenty of complexities, but they boil down to these two truths.
You’re a simple person — not in the sense that you’re plain, but that you don’t take the small pleasures in life for granted. What’s better than a man with a big heart, equally big pecs, and even bigger arms? Yes, Hien showed up and did nothing compared to everyone else around him. And what about it?
You are not simple, but you do love simple men. Hien is as uncomplicated as it gets in FFXIV, and that’s perfect in your book. While everyone else is sobbing over a murderous rat man or a dude who died, like, three expansions ago, you’re happy in your little corner missing Hien. If you’re competitive, you’re great at not letting it affect you. You’re always just here for a good time. Maybe you’d have an even better time if FFXIV remembered Hien exists more often. Underdogs, though, am I right?
You’re a bit of a brat and that’s why you love this brat so much. “A bit of a brat” is slightly generous, but I’m trying to say it sensitively. After all, you’ve got a big heart with plenty of love for this sensitive man. Like him, you’re skilled at pretending to not be affected by things. You respect people who are witty since wit is your go-to when avoiding saying what you mean. You’re not the best at showing love — you’re strict with others, and even more so with yourself — but you love wholeheartedly. The people closest to you know you’ll eventually reward their patience in deciphering your occasionally odd love languages.
I say all this in good faith, for I am you. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how much I love this fictional man more than any other. Though the world has moved on, forgetting he and his people ever existed, we remember. I’d like to think that, despite having spent several millennia trying to make the world remember, he’s happy that if anyone remembers, it’s us. Did I mention you probably have a blast writing essays dedicated to analyzing your favorite characters?
You love wholesome things — and what’s more wholesome than the best catboy in the universe? No one person is entirely good or bad, but you love people who are warm and strive to do and be good every day. That’s the kind of person you are, too. Chances are you take the time to make sure everyone in a group feels welcomed. You know how awful it can feel when you’re excluded, and it’s a feeling you try to protect others from. You believe in the importance of surrounding yourself with people who make you better, who inspire you to do amazing things alongside them.
You’re also passionate about stories — telling them, listening to them, dissecting them, and weaving them on your own or with others. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you’ve learned perhaps life’s most valuable truth: that we can’t go through it alone. There are many things to love about a pure catboy hero with a small penchant for white lies and an undying desire to make the world a better place. But it’s G’raha Tia’s emotional vulnerability, especially in the face of a world which discourages wearing your heart on your sleeve, that might be your favorite.
You love a good hero story. To be a hero is both less and more complicated than we make it out to be. It’s to look at all the reasons why you shouldn’t press forward, or stand up for others, or do the right thing, and do it anyway. You love Ardbert’s courage and, much like him, you have more of it than you give yourself credit for. Ironically, when you think of Ardbert, one of your favorite things about him is that he’s one of the few people to treat you without any hero worship — you’re just two people who share a burden nobody else does.
You could be kinder to yourself when it comes to failure; it’s something you share with Ardbert. It breaks your heart that he did everything to guarantee success — he was kind, selfless, and brave, but the world remembers him as a villain who took away the comfort of the dark. There are people to whom this world is unkind, who don’t get what they deserve. Ardbert is one of them, and no matter how many expansions pass, you’ll remember him for being the hero we like to write songs about.
You have a childish side to you. I mean, isn’t it pretty childish of Hythlodaeus to walk around like that? ‘Oh, I’m so irresistibly gorgeous, so level-headed and perfect with words, so kind to my friends and those around me, so charming and full of wit and endless virtues.’ Childish behavior, bro. Have you thought about what it’s like for the rest of us? Grow up.
I’m glad you have that childish side to you, though; otherwise, you’re one of the most mature people in the room. After all, you really fell in love with Hythlodaeus when he confided in you about willingly giving up a seat on the Convocation. When he describes one of his traits as “abysmal,” it rings so differently from the self-deprecation such a statement would normally contain. From the kind you have struggled with. There isn’t just maturity in his confession — there’s an unparalleled self-awareness and self-acceptance you deeply respect and aspire to have. You’re the kind of person who prefers to show and not tell, which makes Hythlodaeus — someone who excels at both showing and telling — all the more attractive. Oh, and you’re not straight.
You love sad men. Men with a tragic present and perhaps an even more tragic future. That Hermes struggled with being so depressed and lonely breaks your heart — and heals it a little, too, since you can relate. You know what it’s like to be sensitive, and you unfortunately don’t see that for the virtue it is. The world has taught you that following your heart and emotions over logic and practicality is a difficult road to walk. Pessimism keeps you from getting your hopes up – and you secretly have many, as you’re probably an idealist at heart. Still, you’re curious and skeptical of the world around you. It’s why you appreciate characters like Hermes – characters who raise questions and provide lessons you deem crucial. Hermes is a lesson in never assuming you’re alone, so don’t be afraid to rely on others a little more.
You’ve also probably spent a good part of your life arguing with people on the Internet about the nuances of your favorite characters. Yes, Hermes’ actions led to millions of deaths and doomed the world or whatever, but he was depressed. It’s not an excuse, but who among us hasn’t been there? If you’re going to judge him, please make sure to also appreciate his incredible depth and the external factors that led to his inevitable downfall, thank you.