Fiancée to Ardyn and ancestor to House Fleuret, Aera was chosen by Bahamut to serve as the first Oracle. Blessed with the power to commune with the divine, she traveled the world with her trident in hand, sharing the grace of the gods with mankind wherever she went.Archives entry for Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn
Aera Mirus Fleuret was the first Oracle and is Lunafreya Nox Fleuret's ancestor. She was the only woman who ever loved Ardyn Izunia. Her hobbies are similar to Lunafreya's as both liked to grow flowers. Aera appears in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn – Prologue, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn and Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-.
Aera has short blonde hair held to the side with a hair clip. She wears a diamond-shape headband across her forehead. She has blue eyes and wears a long white dress and white gloves, and when traveling incognito, she wears a red floor-length cape fastened with a golden clip. She wears a golden necklace with three circular ornaments.
Even if others forget your name... I will always remember.Aera to Ardyn
Aera is a benevolent young woman who wants to protect her fiancé and ensure the will of the Astrals is fulfilled in Eos. She seems to believe in the grace of the gods unquestioningly, and in her free time enjoys flowers and archaeology. While in Episode Ardyn, the Aera that Bahamut summons shows no sympathy towards Ardyn for his defiance of the will of the gods, Ardyn believes it to be a mere illusion, and indeed in the Dawn of the Future, Aera sides with the humanity over the divine and continues to hold onto hope her beloved could be saved.
As the Oracle, a vessel for the voice of the gods, I patiently awaited their decision.Aera
Two millennia ago the world was in ruin due to the emergence of daemons, nocturnal monsters born out of regular humanfolk infected by a mysterious parasite. The Astral Bahamut chose Aera as the first Oracle, and she became the progenitor of what would become House Fleuret and the royal family of Tenebrae, her powers being passed down in her bloodline to her female descendants. The Oracles can commune with the gods and relay their messages to the rest of mankind. Though Aera does not display this ability in her appearances, the Oracles will come to be known as protectors of Eos as great healers able to heal those infected with the Starscourge, the plague that turns men into daemons, and aid the kings of Lucis in sealing ferocious daemons away underground. According to the Cosmogony, the Oracles' ceremonial weapon, the Trident of the Oracle, was given to the first Oracle by Bahamut when he chose her and her bloodline for a greater purpose in the world, and Aera's Archives entry for Episode Ardyn states she traveled Eos evangelizing about the gods' will with "her trident in hand."
The nobles of House Caelum had gained influence and the masses' trust due to using their god-given powers to fight them. When the gods thus sought a leader among men, a man from the Caelum line was the obvious choice, but they had two options: the young and charismatic war hero and leader of armies against daemons, Somnus Lucis Caelum, or the righteous older brother who dedicates his life to the people, Ardyn Lucis Caelum. As the gods' mouthpiece among men, the Oracle is to deliver their decision, and awaits in the tower where the Crystal, the chrysalis for the soul of Eos, is kept. She is betrothed to Ardyn, who though stays in hiding as his relationship with his brother has deteriorated due to their different views on how to manage the daemon outbreak.
While Somnus is out exterminating everyone suspected of being in danger of transforming into a daemon, Ardyn travels the countryside in secret to heal people by absorbing the malady into his own body. Aera sneaks out of the castle to meet him and the two explore ancient ruins whose history is shrouded in mystery. Aera assures Ardyn that even if everyone forgot about him due to the passage of time, she would always remember. Aera returns to the tower and goes to see the Crystal, which begins to shine as Bahamut delivers his message. Somnus seeks Aera to hear the gods' decision, but she is reluctant to tell him. He asks if the Crystal made its choice, but Aera says the stone has no will of its own. She relents and tells Somnus what she learned.
People come to Ardyn, telling him the gods have chosen him as the king of people. He goes to the Crystal where Somnus declares himself as the gods' chosen king. Aera is shocked, but is stopped from interfering by Gilgamesh, Somnus's sworn shield. Somnus explains declaring Ardyn as king was a ruse to get him to reveal himself, and the two duel. Ardyn seems to be winning but Somnus warp-strikes him with a spear and impales him. Aera runs in-between the brothers and is accidentally cut down by Somnus. She smiles at Ardyn as she dies in his arms and he transforms into a monster due to the daemon infection he had absorbed to help others.
In the names of the gods above...fulfill your calling, Ardyn, and punish me for my sins!Aera
Her death still haunts Ardyn as the years and millennia pass as his brief interaction with the Crystal has made him immortal. Though she passed young, Aera's bloodline has continued to thrive and gain influence in Eos, continuing on her legacy in protecting Eos and seeking to fulfill the fate the gods have spelled out. Statues of past Oracles are erected in numerous temples, Aera's included. After Ardyn is released from his two-millennia long captivity his brother had sentenced him for to contain him, he ends up daemonifying the deity Ifrit. This allows him to experience the god's memories, and in doing so learns of Aera's vision of himself as the Crystal's chosen.
Ardyn enters a hallucination that includes his memories of Aera and Somnus, but colored by his perception of them. The Aera of Ardyn's hallucination tells him on her deathbed that she had told Somnus about the Crystal's initial decision to crown Ardyn despite being sworn to secrecy, which had led to Somnus usurping the throne and thus to her death. She begs to be punished, but Ardyn can't bring himself to harm her. An evil vision of Somnus appears who forces Ardyn to kill Aera with a dagger. Experiencing this exacerbates Ardyn's descent into madness and he becomes driven by hatred and vengeance toward Somnus's bloodline that now rules the kingdom of Lucis.
Should Ardyn choose to defy Bahamut's ruling to be the a vessel for the Starscourge to serve the True King's purpose, Bahamut summons Aera who helps shackle and subdue Ardyn. Once Bahamut binds him with his swords, Aera repeatedly stabs him with the Trident of the Oracle. Aera declares that Ardyn's defiance of the gods is futile, as all on Eos is preordained and no human can survive without the blessing of the divine. In the Dawn of the Future, Ardyn recognizes the Aera that Bahamut summons as being an illusion. In the other ending, after Ardyn reluctantly accepts Bahamut's task for him, he demands to know if Aera knew about this. She does not answer, leaving him to scream in sadness, feeling betrayed by the one person he still loved. Upon returning to the mortal plane, Ardyn imagines himself back on the same field that he and Aera used to visit with Aera and Somnus working together. He lashes out and kills them, cackling madly.
Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future- puts forth a different ending to the saga where Ardyn accumulates power too great for the Ring of the Lucii to purge and Bahamut revives Lunafreya to act as his tool to destroy all life on Eos. Lunafreya decides to defy this fate, and while on a personal mission to ancient ruins, interacts with a statue of Aera that shows various memories to her. Lunafreya learns of Ardyn's true past and how Bahamut had used him like he was now using her. Aera asks Lunafreya to save Ardyn.
When Lunafreya meets Ardyn at the Citadel she asks for an alliance, but he is uninterested. She tries to persuade him by telling him Aera's final request, but this only sends Ardyn into a rage. After losing to Noctis in the battle of kings however, Ardyn comes around and sacrifices himself to enter the beyond to fell Bahamut's spiritual self while Noctis and the other Astrals fight Bahamut in the physical plane. Ardyn and the Lucii destroy Bahamut with the Ring of the Lucii, and as Ardyn begins to fade away, he laments everyone will forget about him. He hears Aera's voice telling him she will always remember. He asks to be with her and hears her answer before fading.
Creation and development
In the main game, during the battle against Leviathan, Ardyn displays hatred against Lunafreya. Takefumi Terada, the director of Episode Ardyn, felt by making Aera resemble Lunafreya would made Ardyn's character stand out more. Though she is said to be Lunafreya's ancestor and the first Oracle, she doesn't have further backstory on how she attained the position. The way Ardyn murders Noctis's fiancée in Final Fantasy XV is paralleled in Episode Ardyn Prologue with the way Somnus kills Ardyn's fiancée, Lunafreya's ancestor and the first Oracle.
Etymology and symbolism
Aera is Latin for era or epoch from which time is measured. It is where the English word "era" derives from. It could also relate to the Greek word, Aero is a Greek prefix relating to air and flight. Common usages in modern times include the words "aeroplane" and "aerospace".
Her name in Japanese is also a transliteration of the female given name "Eira", which relates to the Norse deity Eir, a goddess or Valkyrie associated with medical skill. A goddess of medical skill is apt for the role of the Oracle in Final Fantasy XV.
Mirus is Latin for "wonderful".
Ardyn's character embodies various allusions to Jesus. Bahamut's illusion of Aera impaling Ardyn's chest with the Trident of the Oracle when he is suspended by Bahamut's swords, may thus be allusion to Longinus, the name given to the unnamed Roman soldier who pierced Jesus in his side with a lance said to have created the last of the Five Holy Wounds of Christ.