I already took a look at Vivi and why I adore him so much, but this week I wanted to look at my second favorite character from Final Fantasy IX, Freya. I love Freya for a lot of the same reasons I love Vivi, she has to overcome so much and is still able to fight for what she believes in. She is truly an inspiration.
Freya The Burmecian
Freya is a Burmecian which is a race of rat-like people. They reside in two cities, Burmecia and Cleyra and Freya is from Burmecia. At the age of 16, Freya became a dragon knight and a year after that she set out to find her missing love, Sir Fratley. When we first meet Freya in Final Fantasy IX, it is apparent that Zidane has met Freya previously, during her long quest to find Sir Fratley, and they seem to know each other fairly well.
She is a determined and smart individual who has been on her quest for years now, with no luck in finding her loved one. She had heard of rumors of his death and locations he may have visited, but she still hadn’t found him yet.
Sir Fratley left Burmecia hoping to keep peace around the world as other kingdoms began to gain power and influence. He promised Freya he would return after his journey was complete, but after two years she set out to find him herself, worried he might be in danger.
Burdened But Not Beaten
Despite her constant worry for Fratley, Freya never gives up hope. Not only does she contribute to the party in multiple ways, but she rarely ever complains or loses her patience. She provides advice and guidance to the younger party members like Vivi and Eiko on a regular basis and does so in a calm and reassuring way. She also teases Zidane throughout the story, mostly about him flirting with women.
Much like Lulu from Final Fantasy X or other strong female leads from the franchise, Freya is often depicted as strong and capable. She is a caring individual who, despite her own hardships, never fails to come through for those who need her.
She never loses sight of what she feels is morally right either. Freya even fights along side her enemy Beatrix, because she understands that in that moment, they were both fighting for the same cause.
For me, this is why Freya stood out, even though she only has a handful of scenes that really help progress her character arc. She is easily, in my eyes, the most underrated character from this game and possibly Final Fantasy as a whole.
The Truth Can Hurt
When she finally finds Sir Fratley, I remember feeling so excited and relieved for her. Her years of searching for him were finally over and they could be together again, at last. Except that feeling of excitement quickly turned to dread as he informed her of his amnesia and his inability to recall who she, or even who he was.
Given that this title was released on the PlayStation 1, there wasn’t much that could be done to convey facial expressions. However, in this scene, I knew immediately how Freya felt as she fell to the ground and said, “No…”
In this moment, she is devastated and rightfully so. The fact that he was still alive was a relief, but this was still an awful outcome to be met with. That scene on its own was enough to move me, but shortly after something else happens that just really drives it home.
Many party members enter the room after this news is revealed, but Vivi is the only one to ask Freya directly if she is okay. “What’s the matter, Freya? Are you crying?”
She then voices her assessment of the situation, saying it was ironic to spend so long searching for some one who can no longer remember her. Then, she stands up and tells Zidane, “Come, Zidane! The enemy’s hand has not been stilled.”
Even after what she just went though, she was able to set it aside, stand up, and do what was right for her friends. It is here where her and Vivi remind me so much of each other. Vivi overcame his struggle with existence, and Freya overcame the love of her life forgetting about her.
I Want More Of Freya
If there’s one character from Final Fantasy IX that I want more of, it is Freya. Yes Vivi was my favorite, but the game did a fantastic job giving his character arc a lot of attention, especially since it tied so well into the mains story of the game.
Freya, however, is another story. I think they certainly told her story well, but I would’ve loved to have gotten a bit more of a fleshed out story. If they ever decide to do what they’re doing with Final Fantasy VII for Final Fantasy IX, my biggest hope would be for them to expand Freya’s character.
There is a lot of background within her character and her race’s history that I would love to see expanded as well. We get to see a few flashbacks, but I would absolutely adore a deep dive into her character that sees her fully fleshed out.
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