Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the biggest exclusives in Nintendo Switch’s line-up. Whether you’re a long-time franchise fan or this is your first experience with the series, it offers hundreds of hours of gripping action. If you enjoy RPGs and/or turn-based tactical combat, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up.

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Byleth’s students and fellow Garreg Mach staff are a fascinating bunch, who gradually open up to you and reveal more about themselves as your relationship with them improves. It’s almost impossible to learn everything about everybody, so today we’re focusing on one specific character: Golden Deer student Leonie Pinelli. Here are some interesting details about this spirited young woman you may not have known. Watch out for minor ending spoilers regarding Byleth and Leonie's fates throughout, if you're not up to speed!

10 She Was Jeralt’s Apprentice

At first glance, Leonie doesn’t look like the most formidable warrior around. However, if you’ve spent any time with her, you’ll know that she’s a strong-willed and fearless person with an incredible drive to succeed as a mercenary.

Where did she get this unbreakable spirit? From none other than Byleth’s father, Jeralt. The two met as Jeralt was traveling through Leonie’s homeland in the Leicester Alliance, and he was so impressed with her potential that he took her on as his apprentice. On meeting Byleth, Leonie proudly boasts of being Jeralt’s “first and best apprentice.”

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9 Her Village Lent Her The Money She Needed To Attend The Academy

Unlike many of the students at the monastery, Leonie isn’t the privileged, wealthy offspring of a noble family. There are more Commoners in the Golden Deer house than any other, and she is one of them.

How did she manage to achieve her ambition and enroll at this prestigious Academy, then? The village where she was raised offered her the money to do so. This only served to increase her ambition to become the very best mercenary she could. Not only to honor Jeralt, but to excel enough to bring in good money.

8 She Joins The Black Eagle Strike Force (In One Ending)

The interesting thing about Three Houses is how well it encourages replaying the campaign. The results of decisions the player makes (however insignificant they may seem) can affect the overarching plot in ways you might never have foreseen. Major players can live, die or have entirely different life paths depending on all kinds of factors.

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Leonie’s destiny, as an example, can play out in various ways. If a player chooses the Black Eagles path and recruits Leonie to their cause, she will become a formidable mercenary for the Empire, fighting for Byleth’s cause as a member of the Black Eagle Strike Force (proving that the player opted to join Edelgard).

7 Or, She Can *Spoiler* In Chapter 13

Whichever way you look at it, Three Houses is quite a bleak game, story wise. Regardless of the route you follow, you’re going to have to take on former allies you might have forged close bonds with. It’s a title about a period of vicious warfare, after all, so this kind of harrowing experience is inevitable.

Leonie is just another ally and valued team member that you may have to eliminate later. If you’re playing the Crimson Flower route but don’t recruit Leonie, she’ll take up arms against you in Chapter 13 and can be killed.

6 She Wanted To Be An Artist

People can constantly surprise you, can’t they? Just when you think you know somebody, they’ll turn right around and hit you with a surprise.

Leonie seems like quite a straightforward young woman, dedicated to becoming a stronger, more efficient and experienced fighter. There’s so much more to her, though, and with a little time, she reveals a bit more of her sentimental side to the player. She once had an ambition to be an artist and loved to paint, before giving it up in favor of learning the art of fighting. Who knew this feisty warrior had such an artistic side?

5 She’s No Great Shakes At Magic

Another of the best aspects of Three Houses is the depth of customization it offers. As the player can train their units in individual stats, they’re free to give them just about any class they choose. Even so, some are naturally much better suited to some roles than others.

Leonie can be a mage is you want her to, but she definitely lacks potential in the role. With her low Resistance stat and meager growth in magical potency, she struggles both with and against magic. Let’s just say that Harry Potter doesn’t have anything to worry about from this plucky lady, who is much better suited (generally speaking) to the Bow Knight role in the endgame.

4 Her Name Has A Very Appropriate Meaning In French

In the Fire Emblem franchise, a lot of thought can go into naming characters. After all, we’re supposed to truly care about these characters (which is what makes the permadeath mechanic so devastating), so every aspect of them has to be important.

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Sure enough, the name Leonie means lioness in French. There couldn’t have been a more appropriate moniker for this fearless, fiery tomboy, who throws herself into battle despite the odds and can serve as an anchor for her team. With her all-round solid physical stats, she’s always a presence on the battlefield, as a lioness should be.

3 She Can Become Male Byleth’s Wife (And Won’t Change A Bit)

The Fire Emblem franchise is also rife with romance options, for those players who have favorite characters they’d like to become closer to. If you’re playing as male Byleth, Leonie is one of these options.

Several paths, such as Azure Moon and Crimson Flower, can see the pair marrying. Even as the wife of the Archbishop in the former, however, she cannot let go of her old ways. Always itching for battle and having no taste for airs and graces, Leonie always remains the same old Leonie. You’ve got to appreciate that.

2 She Comes To Be Known As The Next Blade Breaker

As we’ve seen, Leonie idolized Byleth’s father Jeralt, owing her combat prowess, ambition, and potential to him. She was incredibly proud of the high regard he held her in and strove to live up to it.

In another potential ending, she comes to be known as the next Blade Breaker (this being Jeralt’s reputation and the name of his personal ability, which reduces the attack and defense of any enemy he successfully hits). She was known to be very similar to the legendary warrior, right down to his reputation for drinking (and failing to pay for drinks).

1 She’s Among The Best Units In The Game

Of course, this one’s subjective. After all, depending on a player’s tactics and preferences, the best units for their particular favored strategies are going to be very different. In terms of general potential, however, Leonie is a great unit to have on your roster.

Yes, she’s very limited when it comes to magic, so she’ll need allies who are both capable healers and magical attackers. In a physical role, though, she’s hard to top, lacking the awkward weaknesses of comparable units in the Golden Deer house and elsewhere. The lioness will fit well on almost any roster and do herself justice on the battlefield.

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