Balthier and Fran

Are Balthier and Fran a romantic couple? Many people think so, but my favourite thing about this pair is that it doesn't matter. The obvious devotion that these partners share goes beyond romance. They have an implicit trust in one another that sees them through the most dangerous places in Ivalice, allowing both to risk everything in order to save the world from a disastrous war.

It's easy for the shy, mysterious Fran to hide in the background as her garrulous, charming partner takes center stage, but as Final Fantasy XII's story progresses it becomes obvious that Balthier relies on his partner's quiet strength. Similarly, Balthier's companionship and life of adventure sets Fran's otherwise lonely existence apart from her sister Viera.

The game's final scene between Balthier and Fran perfectly encapsulates their relationship, as they sacrifice themselves to save Rabanastre from destruction by a collapsing sky fortress. Balthier may be the one who glibly reminds Ashe that he's the leading man, and the leading man never dies, but it's Fran who gets the final word. As Balthier carries her, wounded, out of harm's way, the usually serious Fran quips, "I'd say you're in more of a supporting role." Perfect. — Becky Cunningham

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