The Sorceress’ Knight is the Best Romance Trope Ever and Yes, I Will Die on This Hill

Today, we have a guest post by write and lore historian Dani Carr! Thanks for losing your mind about Seifer, Dani.

The Sorceress’ Knight is a gift to humanity. It is the pinnacle of bodyguard fiction, the zenith of courtly love. It is love and devotion and care wrapped up into one role and it is delicious.

A Sorceress’ Knight is the protector of the sorceress, a companion who acts as her shield. Within the game, we see three genuine Sorceress’ Knights – Cid, both knight and husband to Edea; Seifer, knight to Ultimecia; and Squall, both knight and boyfriend to Rinoa. Through these three knights, we get examples of how knights protect their sorceresses. 

Cid ran SeeD in Edea’s stead, ensuring that the future Squall she met will come to pass. He protects her wishes, her dreams, even when she has been overtaken by Ultimecia – all in the hope that one day, she will return to him. 

Romantic as fuck, y’all. This man was parted from his lady for years and still worked diligently to potentially take her ass down, all because Edea told him that she saw one of their orphans time travel and tell her what to do? This man said ‘absolutely yes ma’am zero questions’ and I HAVE NO NOTES. And it worked!!! 

As a child, Seifer saw a movie about a Sorceress’ Knight (hilariously starring Laguna, Squall’s father) and decided that was what he wanted to do with his life. He even holds his gunblade the same way Laguna does in the movie. So when Ultimecia comes to him, looking exactly like his former Matron and mother figure, Seifer accepts her offer without hesitation. 

Seifer acts as Ultimecia’s true bodyguard, aiming to take down Squall and the SeeDs before they can get to her. He also commands the Galbadian military, aka Ultimecia’s forces. Classic knight behavior, which is perfect for Seifer, who claimed that being a sorceress’ knight was his “romantic dream” – romantic, in this sense, meaning ‘idyllic’. Seifer wants to protect Ultimecia, likely in part because she reminds him of his maternal figure, but also due to his desire to be a hero. He believes he is truly in the right – a sorceress’ knight is a heroic figure and he is a champion. It’s not like the media can be wrong.

Oh Seifer. You perfect foil to Squall. The third point in our beautiful little love triangle. Seifer is not a classic villain that is vanquished by our heroes. Seifer is saved via the love of his two friends, his own personal knights Raijin and Fujin. It is only their words that show him the error of his ways. 

AND ISN’T THAT JUST THE BEST?! So far we have romantic love, we have filial love, we have friend love, we have love of self, we have idealism. ALL VIA THIS ONE, BEAUTIFUL, GLORIOUS ROLE. HAIL!!! HAIL THE SORCERESS KNIGHT!!!!

Seifer raising his gunblade and making a crazed face to the camera.

Finally, there is Squall Leonhart, the protagonist and the last to accept the role of Sorceress’ Knight. Over the course of the game’s events, Squall falls in love with Rinoa Heartilly, learning to open himself up to care, friendship, and romance. Squall is the true epitome of the Sorceress’ Knight. His relationship with Rinoa grows, changes, evolves. Though they start off on uneven footing (as incredibly outlined in this article by anneladyem), they find their way to each other. 

When Rinoa struggles, Squall picks her up, refusing to give up on her once his feelings are finally known to himself. He chooses to love, to open up and put his feelings on the line rather than lose her again. While Cid originally chose to part from Edea in order to save her and Seifer focuses more on the heroism of the role, Squall embodies the knight by staying with Rinoa and devoting himself to her care.

Instead of standing in front of her, Squall fights alongside Rinoa, trusting her power and her capabilities. Squall knows that, even with everything Rinoa can do as a sorceress, she still needs someone to protect her soul. Her spirit, as Edea says. Even the strongest of us need someone to love us. 

Their love is so great, in fact, that Rinoa even returns the protection that she was granted. Standing sentinel for Squall in the flower garden, using her power to return her knight to her side. For no true partnership can exist without equal care and love from both sides. We all need someone who will wait for us, even when time and space try to pull us apart. A guiding light – or feather – home.

Now sit the fuck down and tell me that’s not the most romantic shit you’ve ever heard in your life. Holy shit holy fuck that’s so GREAT that’s the SHIT that’s the GOOD SHIT, that’s SO ROMANTIC!! Squall quietly, inwardly promising to be her knight! To always be there for her! To wait for her in the garden, to find her no matter what!! For it to be Rinoa who must find him, who must bring him back to her!! That their love is so STRONG that it can be a throughline through the fabric of time itself! 

No other bodyguard trope can stand up to the beauty of the sorceress knight, particularly Squall and Rinoa’s, and that is not only fact, but immutable truth. Put that in your hot dog and eat it.