Oerba Yun Fang

Of the original seven l’Cie that make up the core cast, the two with the least developed relationship is Serah and Fang.

Scratch that. It simply doesn’t exist. Serah only shares one line of dialogue with Fang throughout the entire saga, which is when she and Vanille release Serah from her heart’s desire. That’s it. That’s their first, and last, interaction - which is a shame, because the one who would most understand Serah’s convictions is probably Fang.

The most important thing to Fang is Vanille’s welfare, and this doesn’t change. Even in Lightning Returns where Fang has seemingly abandoned Vanille due to boredom with the Order she serves, Fang’s motivations are to sever Vanille’s ties to her fate, where she is doomed to die. This happens too with Ragnarok. Fang makes up her mind, and Vanille evades. In their combined personal world, out of the two of them, Vanille is effectively the protagonist - there is always a choice she has to make, with a forced destiny she doesn’t want, and Fang is her support.

Regardless of your stance on their relationship, it’s not hard to see where the comparisons between Lightning and Serah come in. Her function in life has always been Vanille, and Fang gets what Lightning is trying to do because she has done the same for someone she cares about, and they both keep persistently trying to protect that person. Fang just wants to chill with Vanille away from the narrative’s continued mess, but if she can’t, she’ll do whatever it takes and prioritise Vanille’s happiness over her own. If Vanille makes it out alive, and she doesn’t…

It’s the same for Serah.

In some ways, Fang is more alike to Serah than she is to Lightning. Lightning’s harshness is a defense mechanism; Serah can go from smiling angel to angry ogre in but a moment. They’re both inspired characters with a calling they accept and they will destroy you if you stand in their way - Serah has shouted at Hope across centuries, yelled at a group of miniflans, and crossed time relentlessly. She’s not a person to mess with, and Fang would get a kick out of it because she’s the same.

As Fang is the figure beside Vanille, Serah is the figure beside Lightning. What is often forgotten about Serah is that she mutually needs Lightning as much as Lightning needs her. But when Serah decides to save the world, she puts her own happiness aside. If Lightning survives, and she doesn’t, that’s okay, no matter how far she has to push herself to get there.

Serah doesn’t admit this aloud. Given she has no regrets, she must have thought about it. Saying it aloud would give those she loves, would give her family, a chance to talk her out of it, and sometimes, not everyone can make it through alive.

But Fang would understand.

It’s a shared conviction. They’re both individuals willing to isolate and sully themselves for the people - or particular person, in Fang’s case - that they’re trying to protect, over and over again.

Understanding indeed. A greatly missed opportunity, then.