Three Houses: Studying the thanibomb Leak

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and–now that things are a bit more quiet–I’d like to finally take a deep look at the leaked details for Three Houses shared by Reddit user thanibomb.

Normally we don’t cover rumours or “leaks”, because very often they turn out to be false. However, as the days went by, thanibomb‘s information only grew in credibility. Then with the advent of the latest E3 trailer, it entered “all but confirmed” territory. As such, I think it’s fine for discussion.

Personally, I was skeptical of the leak at first. For one, there was a lot of information and much of it was very detailed. For Nintendo games especially, it’s immensely rare for there to be such a big and detailed leak. Not to mention, this would also be the first major leak for the Fire Emblem series.

Now, there had been leaks in the past, but mainly because of people obtaining the game earlier than planned (either because of broken street dates or by downloading the games from the server). However these only occurred less than a month before release, while thanibomb had somehow gotten this info over two months in advance.

Still, I kept an open mind, particularly because none of the details seemed unreasonable or over the top, like the vampire or pirate “leaks” before the game was properly showcased. Anyway, that’s enough chitchat. Let’s jump straight into the leaks!

Warning: Spoilers ahoy!

If you’re not aware of the leak’s history, back in mid May, thanibomb created an AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread on Reddit, claiming she knew “quite a bit about Three Houses” thanks to her informants. You can find the original thread here.

At the time of writing, there are nearly 2000 comments, so it’s a bit of a monster to navigate. Thankfully, another user, NutOfDeath, created a compilation post with most of thanibomb‘s claims.

There’s a lot to go through, so I’ll point out some of the more interesting claims that were made ahead of time. But feel free to check out the posts at your own leisure!

High Tea Hi-jinks

Using the compilation post as a reference, the first thing of note is that thanibomb mentioned that the game features a more socially acceptable form of skinship–the face-petting feature from Fates (which was heavily edited for the Western release). This later turned out to be the tea party mini-game revealed in the Famitsu article for 20th June.

Indeed, thanibomb even mentions that it’s like “high tea” and there may be “intense staring”. During a tea party, if you can keep the conversation going, you can enter a free time session where you can view your partner from different camera angles. There are also button prompts to tease and try and make your partner laugh.

Status: Confirmed

Poaching Students

Many people were curious if you could recruit students from other houses. Which thanibomb responded by saying you recruit one student but not a house leader or retainer. This is somewhat true, as we now know you can scout other students, but house leaders and certain characters (who we don’t yet know) are exempt.

However, it appears you can recruit at least two (as the Treehouse Live team had both Raphael and Ignatz in their Black Eagles playthrough) and maybe more. That said, it’s possible things changed or she remembered wrong?

Status: Mostly correct

Dancer/Singer Unit

I’ll jump ahead a little bit. Apparently anyone can become a dancer/sincer unit (with the ability to give allies another turn) via Manuela. But you can only have one at a time (presumably for balance reasons). Also, Dorothea is the canon singer.

Currently, this piece of information is still up in the air, but we do know Manuela and Dorothea both come from an opera company, so it’s fairly plausible.

Status: Unconfirmed

Dimitri’s Upgrade

Next is something incredibly hard to guess. thanibomb mentioned that Dimitri would gain Sword, Authority, an eyepatch and better hair on promotion. I think this info is actually slightly mixed up, but nonetheless true.

Obviously, the eyepatch and better hair is from his grown up version 5 years ago (which thanibomb also predicted). But the promotion seems to be referring to the house leaders’ shared Lord intermediate class, as Lords are proficient in Sword, Lance (which he’s already good at) and Authority.

I spoke to thanibomb and it seems Dimitri’s final class will be infantry-based. That said, things could have changed during development. If true, Dimitri would be really similar to Ephraim, the first Lance-maining Lord. On the other hand, we do know Dimitri is good at Riding and in the E3 demo, they made him a Cavalier.

Status: Partially confirmed

Dimitri’s Background

On the same subject, apparently Dimitri faced trauma in his past and during the story; a lot of his development comes from him battling mental health. After seeing older Dimitri’s appearance and actions in the E3 trailer, I can totally believe this. I mean, we already knew Dimitri had a “shadow”, suggesting a dark past. But I don’t think many people could have guessed how bad things were for him…

Part of this trauma may be because Dimitri lost his parents to a bandit attack. Dedue was one of the bandits and the reason he owes a great debt to Dimitri is related to this. Also, as part of his mental health battle, Dimitri can see the ghosts of his dead parents. Poor guy… Furthermore, Dimitri and Edelgard are step-siblings; Edelgard’s mother married into the Faerghus royal family.

Status: Unconfirmed

Claude’s Upgrade

Meanwhile, Claude gains a unique-looking wyvern (with a beard!) for his canon promotion and he gains facial hair (including sideburns). The last bits about his appearance were confirmed as being from his older appearance. Meanwhile we’ve yet to see his wyvern promotion, but it seems reasonable especially if Dimitri is on foot or horseback and Edelgard is armoured (which is another thanibomb prediction).

Status: Partially confirmed

Claude’s Background

Speaking of Claude, his father is said to be from the country east of Leicester, so Almyra. Besides Claude, you can recruit at least two other characters from here. Later, thanibomb clarified that Claude’s mother is a von Riegan. Also Claude’s grandfather may have an important role. One of the Almyran recruits may be Cyril, the young boy seen near Claude, although thanibomb had gotten his name mixed up with Alois.

Status: Unconfirmed

Edelgard’s Upgrade

As for Edelgard, she’s said to be a bit more ruthless than previous female protagonists. She’s the “end justifies the means” kind of person. I can believe that. In her older appearance, she was said to sport hair buns, which was confirmed.

Later, she can promote to a class that’s good with Axe, Authority and Heavy Armor, possibly called the “Kaiser”. By the way “Kaiser” was one of the readings for Sanaki’s class name in the Japanese version of Radiant Dawn.

Status: Partially confirmed

Same-gender Romances

This is the bit that’s probably gotten a lot of people talking. At least during the early development, female Byleth had a number of same-gender romance options including Edelgard, Dorothea and Mercedes. Meanwhile, male Byleth only had Linhardt. So far, we’ve yet to confirm this info, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Status: Unconfirmed

Catherine’s Identity

More details that would’ve been nigh impossible to guess. Ahead of their reveals, thanibomb stated that the swordswoman seen flying through the air in the February trailer was called “Catherine”–and also that she has a cool nickname. We later learned that her name was indeed Catherine and it appears her title may be “Heavy Thunder” or something to that effect.

Status: Confirmed

Other Characters

Similarly, she claimed that Rhea’s advisor was a Wyvern Rider called Setes and there are characters called Cyril and Alois. She said that Cyril was the knight walking with Jeralt, while Alois was from Almyra. All of this turned out to be true (Setes is actually spelled Seteth), but Cyril and Alois’s names were mixed up. Given the huge amount of info, it’s not unreasonable that she remembered wrong.

Status: Confirmed

5 Years Later…

Now for an incredibly bold prediction–and the one I was keeping my eye on at the time. thanibomb clearly stated that there would be a timeskip that’s exactly 5 years. After the timeskip, pretty much everyone has different appearances (logical) and the three houses would become antagonistic towards each other. Thanks to the E3 2019 trailer, we can add this to the growing “confirmed” pile.

Status: Confirmed

Game Structure

Related, she mentioned that the first part of the game would have 12 or so chapters and that the academy would be more important in the first part. That said, the teaching elements would carry over in the second part. In Treehouse Live, we were told that the first part lasts a year or so and each chapter is 1 month, so that equals 12 chapters. The teaching element still being important was just confirmed by Famitsu.

Status: Confirmed

Multiple Paths

Apparently, there are four paths in the game. Edelgard gets two of them (so the other leaders get one each). One of Edelgard’s paths is a “neutral” path, while the other is not a “happily ever after” one. We know, via Nintendo Japan, that the game will branch out into three paths during the war phase. That said, they didn’t say it wouldn’t branch out more. So I think this prediction is worth remembering.

Status: Partially confirmed

Legendary Weapons

When asked, thanibomb mentioned that the game’s legendary weapons are linked to the crests. Also that each noble house has access to certain crests and weapons. These weapons can be wielded without a crest, but there are “very dire consequences”.

Later, we learned that these weapons are called “hero relics”. Furthermore, in later E3 previews, we can find a mission where a son of Gautier without a crest steals his family’s hero relic. It’s possible his actions cause him to degenerate into a Black Beast…

Status: Partially confirmed

Byleth’s Sword

Related to the hero relics, thanibomb correctly guessed that Byleth’s golden blade is called the “Sword of the Creator”, although her exact words were the “Sword of Creation”. Close enough though, especially assuming she got her information from Japanese sources.

Status: Confirmed

Lysithea’s Background

One of thanibomb‘s favourite characters, other than the house leaders, is Lysithea. She mentioned that Lysithea has a tragic past, involving crest experimentation. She also said that she’s fated to die fairly early on, during or sometime after the time skip. We do know Lysithea survives the time skip, so if this detail is true, she’s probably not long for the world. Nooo…

Status: Unconfirmed

Marianne’s Background

Marianne apparently has a similarly tragic background, although it sounds like she’s better off. Her family has a cursed bloodline, so she distances herself from others. We do know she’s the shy type and rarely interacts with other people. Plus she has a completely unknown crest, which resembles the crest in Edelgard’s relic axe. Hmm, very suspicious.

I chatted with thanibomb about this a little more. Apparently Marianne is descended from one of the Elites–the legendary heroes who fought alongside Seiros in the distant past. He was called Maurice, but his name was erased from history because he became a Black Beast, massacring many. thanibomb wasn’t sure if Maurice was the 11th Elite or replaced afterwards.

Status: Unconfirmed

Playable Rhea and Sothis

Finally, Rhea and Sothis can apparently both be recruited. But this wasn’t always the case early on. It seems the team were going to have NPCs as possible romance options. However, they may have later decided to elevate Rhea and Sothis to playable status. Perhaps some of the characters we’ve only briefly seen, like Flayn, Cyril and Tomas, may simply be NPCs?

By the way, I’m aware that Sothis is one of the featured units for one of the paralogues in the Treehouse Live footage. That said, she may be featured in dialogue only (like the students from other houses not under your wing). We know that she resides in the protagonist’s room, yet when the player views the monastery map, Sothis is not listed as a character you can interact with.

Status: Unconfirmed

A big thanks to thanibomb for sharing these details to us and for responding to my queries!

About the Author: VincentASM
Fire Emblem fan since 2002 and webmaster of Serenes Forest. Occasionally an online content editor or brand ambassador. Is a sucker for mage girls and has an unhealthy stash of Sylveon plushies.
Author Website: http://serenesforest.net