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“The Identity of the Black Knight”

There’s no doubt about it, Path of Radiance leaves a few intriguing loose ends hanging around. These loose ends quite easily hint at a sequel, but whether or not that is the case, fans of all ages can’t help but speculate on just what Intelligent Systems is thinking. Most, if not all of these, will be addressed when/if Fire Emblem 10 is finally released, of course, but Nintendo has yet to announce the game (as of the time this article was written), let alone told us whether or not it will be related to Path of Radiance.

In any case, one of the most intriguing and debated loose ends is that of the identity of the enigmatic Black Knight. Who or what is underneath all that armor is never revealed in the course of the game. However, by taking a look at what the game decisively tells us about him, as well as attempting to interpret the hints that the game gives (or perhaps, seems to give), we can come up with a great many hypotheses which we can then document and consider.

There is, of course, no way to be sure which — if any — of these is the truth. Only Intelligent Systems knows for sure, and the only way we can find out with absolute certainty is if they decide to tell us in the next Fire Emblem game. But for now, reading and evaluating other people’s ideas about the Black Knight can be a great source of fun. It may prove even more so when the next game comes out and we have a chance to look back.

What We Know About the Black Knight

Let’s begin with what the game tells for sure:

  • The Black Knight learned how to fight from Ike’s father, Greil. (Source: Greil’s Fall)
  • The Black Knight was one of Daein’s “Four Riders.”
  • His armor is blessed by the Godess, making him invincible to all damage, except that dealt by Sacred Weapons also blessed, Laguz royalty, and dragon laguz. (Source: Chapter 24, Endgame Chapter)
  • He can travel at will using a special, magical power. He avoids using this unless necessary because it drains his strength.
  • The Black Knight kills Ike’s father, Greil. (Source: Greil’s Fall)

There is no reason to doubt what the game tells us, unless it told, or heavily implied otherwise. If one doubts any of these, then the entire story could just as easily be up for debate, and is therefor outside the realm of this article.