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Is Ike becoming Greil Mercenaries leader too outlandish?

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An oft repeated criticism of the story of Path of Radiance is that Ike ends up gaining control of the Greil Mercenaries right after the death of his father despite his lack of experience which to some makes it bad writing. Perhaps letting Titania lead would be the more logical course of action but I don't find Ike being made the leader to be problematic at all. 

Every single FE lord ends up inheriting position of authority due to heritage except maybe Micaiah and some others I might be unfamiliar with but that is still debatable and not really the topic to be discussed. Inheriting leadership over a bunch of people, who can and some do leave, is much better than inheriting rulership over a population and an entire army so I think Ike's case is more compelling and reasonable. 

People in the old days used to mature a lot quicker and die a lot faster, hence the age of marriage and military service was a lot lower so a 16 year old teenager can be considered an adult. Ike does get a few chapters of experience before becoming the leader and he has Soren and Titania to back him up. Furthermore, leading a tight knit group isn't as hard as commanding an army of strangers. Also, Soren will be more inclined to strategize to the best of his ability if Ike is leading the group than anyone else especially since he didn't believe in supporting the defeated Crimea over Daein. 

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It certainly isn't outlandish. One could argue its not a good decision on Greil's part and several characters clearly do say so. Ike being named the leader is given the weight it deserves. Gatria and even Shinon aren't exactly wrong but neither or Soren, Titania or the Greil brothers.

And Ike gets all the help he needs. Titania is there to give advice and Soren's there to do plenty of heavy lifting as well. 

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Another thing to consider is that Greil's word is final, so if he wanted Ike to be leader, then Ike will be leader no questions asked.

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No, there was no problem at all. Ike was starting to get trained to be leader anyway since Greil was putting him in charge of tasks. It's not bad writing in the least bit. Also, Ike needed a reason to grow as a leader since he was the lord and main character of the game. He wouldn't feel like the main character if Titania took over instead. I don't think he would've had as much character development either.

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2 minutes ago, Anacybele said:

No, there was no problem at all. Ike was starting to get trained to be leader anyway since Greil was putting him in charge of tasks. It's not bad writing in the least bit. Also, Ike needed a reason to grow as a leader since he was the lord and main character of the game. He wouldn't feel like the main character if Titania took over instead. I don't think he would've had as much character development either.

Huh, almost feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity. Titania is certainly someone that I feel would have made for an excellent lord.

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I mean I may not be the greatest authority on the subject matter due to me not playing (and not having the money) the tellius games, but it does seem natural from the stuff I've read 

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Ike becoming the leader of the Greil mercenaries isn't outlandish at all. Compared to Alm becoming the leader of the Deliverance, it's more reasonable. With Alm, he was granted leadership because he was supposedly Mycen's grandson, which was enough for Clive to say, "Here you go." It's not that it's a bad scene, but I think Alm's sudden transition to a leadership role could have been done better, but there's only so much you can do with a plot from the 90s.

But hey, plot convenience, am I right? 

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I certainly wouldn't agree with the decision if I were part of the group, but it was Greil's wish and the boy has both advisors supporting him, so the group probably won't collapse even with the war going on. I'd be more concerned with getting out of beast territory in that situation. You know the creatures I'm talking about. They're a hairy bunch. Ugly as sin, beasts through and through. Savages, every one.

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Ike becoming the leader is fine, though he does have Titania to help him out and back him up.  I think the main reason why people were OK with Ike being leader was because he listened to Titania and they felt that she would step in if Ike screwed up.  I always liked it that at the end of RD Titania ends up being the leader of GMs.  Ike is honestly a more realistic leader because he listens to advice from Titania, Sigrun, Tanith and Soren which is what a really good leader does, listen to those who know what is going on and take their advice.  

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I don't think that it is outlandish or that there's bad writing involved in the decision of making Ike the leader of the Greil Mercenaries. It is within Greil's character to desire that Ike group up strong and to push him to become a leader by putting him in that role because while it may seem illogical as you have other people suitable for the task, it IS the fastest way to grow into that leadership role.

Greil also intended for him to stay in Gallia and live a peaceful life, if Ike were made leader and stuck to living peacefully in Gallia, would being the leader of the mercenaries be that demanding under those circumstances?

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I look at it as inheriting a family business - that's pretty normal in our world, and in a setting where lineage is everything (except for the various Laguz tribes with meritocracy) it makes sense. Ike had good advice and grew as a leader, but what sold it for me was having two members leave for a time. Most of the time in FE everybody falls over themselves to follow the lordling in question, so having a few seasoned warriors decide that being employed by a teenager wasn't in their best interest was refreshingly realistic.

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While I haven't played PoR or RD, I can say it sounds no more strange than a random villager suddenly being given the authority to spearhead an entire revolutionary militia (*glares at Clive and everything he stands for*).

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What were the alternatives? Titania was the only one. Nobody else was suited for the task, they were either inexperienced in leadership or lacking in the personality that befits a leader (Soren, Shinon). 

Titania could have taken command, in fact, she in the old, scrapped version of Tellius was the GMs leader before handing control to Ike. Greil in this scenario was never a mercenary, he was a lord who was killed and declared a traitor, hence Titania having to found the mercenaries to keep her liege's children afloat. 

Getting back to actual Tellius, Shinon admits later on:

Spoiler

Shinon vs Titania

Titania: Shinon! You… You’re with Daein of all things?

Shinon: Long time, no see, Captain. You know, we didn’t always see eye to eye, but… I never once minded taking orders from you.

Titania: To tell the truth, I really didn’t mind having to listen to your endless complaints and insults, either. Hold nothing back. Let’s pay each other…the proper respect.

Shinon: Yes, I think that’s best. So in the end, we finally agree on something, eh?

The only issue is that Titania is loyal to Greil and his last will. She thus ceded control to Ike, causing Shinon, who hates Ike, partly irrationally he confesses, and Soren even more, to storm out, taking his pal Gatrie with him (but Gatrie seems to have no real issues rejoining later, unlike Shinon). Titania, had she chosen to take the leadership post and groom Ike as her heir, might have been able to keep Sandpaper Shinon in the fold, thus keeping Gatrie as well. But she didn't, she followed Greil's words to the "T".

Ike was handed the GMs and he was inexperienced, but this is just 11 people at the time, not a thousands strong-liberation force where candidates are much more plentiful. Ike doesn't command an actual army until after C17, something nobody could have predicted at the time. By that point, Ike has gotten significantly more experience in many things.

The plans to go to Begnion aren't decided until two chapters later, and there were more pressing concerns- how to keep the GMs together after the sudden death of its leader and the mourning of them than deciding what to do once safely with Elincia in Gallia.

It helps Ike is a rational individual willing to listen to his chief advisors Soren and Titania, not on every matter (he ignores Soren's Laguz bigotry-biased desires to side with Daein), but Ike knows he is militarily inexperienced and relies heavily on them, and they just so happen to be brilliant overall. Had Ike been arrogant in his personal abilities as a commander, or had Soren the brain of an iguana or Titania's burdened by her long braided hair, then things would have been bad. And a lucky break or two helps.

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The group consists of way too many child soldiers and a female being the second in command is questionable as well. It's the old trope of having a teenage protagonist being the leader.

Titania or Shinon or Oscar would be in charge until Ike is experienced enough.

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Well in any sensible chain-of-command, Titania should have become leader after Greil died.

...but if Ike had Titania's backing to take command...
...and she was openly supporting his leadership + serving as his advisor...
...and if upon taking command, he actually proved himself to be exceptionally competent at leading his men to victory...

Then no. Its not outlandish at all.

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