Saving Eorzia is no picnic. The land, split between 3 city states and various indigenous tribes, is host to all sorts of magically destructive and politically manipulative beings. Whether it’s fighting gods that indoctrinate its worshippers, trying to stay ahead of ancient order of eternal beings, or just attempting to get out of a city alive, you are kept constantly on your toes saving the world from the brink of destruction. It can be helpful when dealing with horrific situations to sit down and talk things through with a trusted confidant. Otherwise you could end up bottling emotions and acting out in ways you couldn’t have predicted. All that’s to say is that my fellow Scion Thancred is really going through some shit and I’m here to talk if he wants to.
Spoilers for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn & Heavensward
Things break bad at the end of A Realm Reborn (ARR); like really really bad. After fighting godlike beings for countless hours, you find yourself on the receiving end of a political scheme. Teledji Adeledji goes full mask off (and dies for it), Raubahn loses an arm, and the Scions all appear to die trying to escape the city. All of this was caused because Alphinaud’s personal Blackwater turned on him (how could accruing a private military possibly go bad!). You spend the main game of Heavensward with a new group of friends from Ishgard and it isn’t until the patches that some of the Scions start to reappear. Turns out many of the Scions were able to escape thanks to Y’shtola’s magic which dissolved them all into the Lifestream (living current of matter that moves throughout all living things). Thancred found himself miles away, naked and without the use of magic (something he doesn’t divulge). He finds himself stuck without being able to use teleportation magic so he instead works closely with the Vath (native creatures) to trade for food and shelter. Eventually you find him and his style is much different than before:
His choice of clothing is very evident of expressing his inner turmoil. He along with the rest of the group was betrayed and he’s feeling helpless without being able to use magic. Also he spent the end of ARR being possessed by Ascians. Thancred being the proud individual he is, tries to play these off as if it’s nothing. While he may think he’s being clever, it’s painfully clear that he’s not alright. Nobody wears a blindfold if they’re feeling great. It reminds me of another conflicted individual (although he actually has an amazing backstory as to why he wears a blindfold):
I want to make it clear; I get it. We all adapt to tragedy in different ways; Thancred happens to cope by making outward changes (new clothes) so he doesn’t have to express his inner turmoil. You know what’s hard? Expressing all your fears and hurt. You know what feels good? Dressing well and kicking ass! It may not be healthy in the long run, but so far this hasn’t really slowed him down. By the end of Heavensward, he’s made important discoveries on his own and even pushed comrades to make tough decisions of their own (we’ll never forget you Papalymo). Everything still remains unresolved around Minfilia’s new role as the crystal soothsayer, and that has to come back around, but for now we’re in an ok place.
I say all this as someone who similarly has trouble with expressing themselves. I’ve had to work to be able to recognize when I’m bottling and need to let out my emotions. Last year was a lot (even with my relative stability compared to the rest of the world) and I had to work on dealing with my anxiety in a healthy, sustainable way. Of course I had my coping mechanisms, escaping into all sorts of video games, books, movies, anime and others when my brain needed a rest. I did all that but I did it in sweatpants. I’m not regretting my choice of clothing per say but when compared to Thancred styling up it seems like a missed opportunity. I had the chance completely removed from the usual day-to-day to remodel a look suitable to the times. My hair is even the longest it’s ever been! And now I’m staring down the barrel of a country that’s potentially reopening worrying that my sweatpants won’t carry outside the house. So what I’m really trying to say is thank you Thancred for showing me there’s another way. Also if you need to talk, I’m here.