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Anabella Rosfield is a character and antagonist in Final Fantasy XVI. Anabella is the duchess of Rosaria, the wife of Elwin and the mother of Clive and Joshua.

History[]

Anabella was born into a high noble family that often married into the ruling House Rosfield, leading her family to be credited in breeding many Dominants for the duchy. As part of an arranged marriage, Anabella married Elwin Rosfield, becoming duchess and birthed two sons with him, Clive and Joshua.

Anabella treated her two sons quite differently. After the Phoenix "rejected" Clive and chose Joshua as its Dominant, she began to view Clive as a failure, treating him coldly and with borderline disdain, all the while coddling Joshua. Anabella worried when Joshua left the safety of Rosalith Castle, actively retrieving and scolding him after he attended one of Clive's training sessions. She displayed the same contempt towards the family ward, Jill Warrick, whom she derided as a "savage" after Elwin took her in after subduing the Northern Territories. Elwin did not approve of her behavior towards their children, showing support and faith towards Clive whenever she was not present, though Elwin is never shown attempting to stop her.

Frustrated and unsatisfied with her current state of affairs, Anabella ultimately decided to defect from Rosaria to the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, under the condition that she and Joshua be spared and be granted a high place in the world Sylvestre Lesage intended to create. With turncoats infiltrating the garrison of the Phoenix Gate, imperial soldiers gained access to the castle but things went wrong from there. Elwin was killed, Joshua lost control and primed the Phoenix, engaging in a brutal battle with the newly-emerged second Eikon of Fire, Ifrit. Unbeknownst to all, Clive summoned Ifrit but had no way of controlling him. The battle reduced the castle to smoldering rubble and afterward Joshua was nowhere to be found, being considered dead.

Anabella was despondent upon the news of Joshua's apparent death, and was disappointed to know that Clive survived. She initially ordered the imperial soldiers to kill him but decided to instead have the empire enslave him as a frontline soldier for their army, leading him to be branded. To further cement her control over the duchy and deny Clive any hope of rescue, Anabella announced that Clive had died along with his father and brother during the sacking of Phoenix Gate.

Anabella gained the favor of Sylvestre and married him, becoming his empress. She continued to rule over Rosaria as an imperial province. Under her rule, the people's lives became bleak and the Bearers' even more so, for it was no secret that she despised them. Her personal sect of imperial soldiers, called the Black Shields, conducted purges throughout Rosaria, targeting not just those who objected to her rule over their land, but also Bearers and those who sheltered them or even showed sympathies toward the Bearers. The Black Shields, who went around conducting numerous cullings of the Bearers, were likely purposefully made in the mocking image of the original Shields of Rosaria. Her growing atrocities in Rosaria led a rebellion movement to form, the Guardians of the Flame, made up of former Shields and others who once served under Elwin.

Within Sanbreque, despite the role she played in aiding the empire, the higher echelons viewed Anabella with cold yet restrained disdain for her arrogance, how she so readily betrayed her homeland, and for her blatant attempts to subvert their beloved crown prince, Dion, her stepson, who was also the Dominant of Bahamut. However, since she had Sylvestre's support, Anabella was able to do as she pleased. Anabella soon began to develop a feud with her stepson, as she saw him as a obstacle for the son she bore with the emperor, Olivier. Anabella would twist Sylvestre to her elitist line of thinking, turning him into a tyrant that only cared about claiming more lands for the empire. This prompted him to invade the Crystalline Dominion as the Blight crept into Sanbreque's lands, and the loss of the Drake's Head Mothercrystal, claiming the capital of Twinside for their own. This sparked an international incident and the empire entered war against the WaloedianDhalmekian coalition. To gain favor for Olivier, Anabella orchestrated a secret meeting with Hugo Kupka, the Dominant with great influence over Dhalmekian politics: in exchange for telling Kupka "Cid the Outlaw's" true identity (Clive Rosfield, who had defected from Sanbreque and removed his brand, becoming the leader of a Bearer emancipation movement called the Cursebreakers under the moniker "Cid the Outlaw"), he helped an armistice to pass that was credited to Olivier.

Dion ultimately could only handle so much before Anabella sought to have Olivier be named the emperor's heir over him as a result of his prodigious "negotiation" for peace with Dhalmekia. Dion was convinced by an in-hiding Joshua to rebel against the emperor and purge the empire of Anabella's influence under Joshua's belief that a hidden deity was meddling with imperial politics. Due to Dion's popularity with the Holy Order of the Knights Dragoon, the majority of the empire's legions sided with the prince. Dion confronted his father in the throne room with Anabella and Olivier present. Dion attempted to reason with his father to get him to realize that Anabella was poisoning their family. Things deteriorated after Olivier revealed his true nature as a vessel of Ultima's, enraging Dion to accidentally kill his father, leaving Anabella shocked and cowering as Dion lost control over his Dominant powers, becoming Bahamut and rampaging across the capital.

As Bahamut battled the Phoenix, Anabella retreated to her quarters with Olivier. She would soon reunite with her eldest son, Clive, and former ward, Jill. After the two demanded answers, Anabella admitted that her reasons for betraying her family and all of Rosaria were out of her entitled belief that she deserved more, as well as her inability to accept Elwin's type of rule of Rosaria, wanting to ensure her own bloodline by joining with the Lesage's and giving birth to a son that would eventually rule over the world with bloodlines inherited from both Bahamut and the Phoenix.

Disgusted at her selfish motives, Clive denounced her, leading Anabella to vent her frustration over how both of her sons did not turn out the way she wanted: Clive, though daring, bold, and skilled, did not become the Dominant of the Phoenix and Joshua, being sickly and bookish, was chosen instead, condemning him to shoulder a great burden, admitting she believed Clive was the better option. This led people in the duchy to believe Clive was not Anabella's son, but the product of a prostitute, which had incensed Anabella to think that she would be mocked by those she considered "inferiors". Clive further denounced his mother for this, pointing out that he became First Shield to relieve the burden upon Joshua while she did nothing but add to it.

Upon Clive mentioning Joshua, Anabella questioned why Clive survived and not him, which led Clive to reveal that Joshua was indeed still alive, pointing out the Phoenix who was battling Bahamut. Their reunion would be interrupted as the two Eikons crashed into the castle, forcing Clive to enter the fray as Ifrit, joining forces with the Phoenix's, allowing them to subdue Bahamut, save Dion, and destroy the Drake's Tail Mothercrystal. Returning from the battle, Clive, Joshua, and Dion crashed into the castle, with the latter gathering enough of his strength to fling his lance at Olivier, causing him to dissipate in a haze of aether, similar to an Akashic. The confirmation that Olivier was likely always just a vessel of Ultima's rendered all of Anabella's ambitions and her past betrayals for nothing, leaving her in hysterics.

FF16 Anabella's Last Moments

With the crystal about to collapse upon the city, Joshua attempted to convince Anabella to accompany him to safety. However, the overall events that transpired drove Anabella into a panic, lashing out with a dagger, thinking him to be shadow that had come to punish her. Believing herself to be in a bad dream, Anabella refused to accept all that had happened. Overcome with her delusion, Anabella slit her throat with her dagger, killing herself, with Joshua and to a lesser extent Clive and Jill expressing pity for how she died.

Ultima later alluded to Anabella when confronting Clive and Joshua when attempting to convince Clive to embrace his role as Mythos, stating that he raised and nurtured Clive "as [Clive's] mother should have."

Characteristics[]

Appearance[]

FF16 Anabella Rosfield

Artwork.

Anabella's beauty with her blonde hair, clear skin, and brown eyes belies her cold and arrogant nature. Reflecting her obsession with status and elitism, Anabella always wears high quality clothes. As Duchess of Rosaria, Anabella typically wore purple and white dresses that showcased her royal position. After becoming the Empress of Sanbreque, Anabella began to wear more regal blue and white dresses that reflected her new "loyalties" and reflected her high station within it.

Personality[]

Due to her upbringing, and taking her teachings to the extreme, Anabella is an arrogant and close-minded woman who believes bloodline to be sacred and that one's worth is determined by lineage, looking down on anyone of low birth, even Dominants. She is so steadfast in her elitism that when her husband, Elwin, refused to abide by it, she opted to betray him, her family, and her country to Sanbreque before going on to remarry Sylvestre and influencing him into adopting her philosophy, proving herself treacherous, manipulative, and an amoral social climber. Her mental state worsened over the years, having seemingly developed paranoia, extorting and terrorizing her people while reigning as sovereign of Rosaria and ordering the culling of everyone whom she considered a threat, no matter who they were. Anabella is especially noted for her strong prejudice towards Bearers that borders on the irrational, completely ignoring their necessity within society.

Anabella is a narcissistic parent, viewing her children as extensions of herself rather than individuals, denying any of their merits and being resentful when they fail to meet her standards; she despised Clive for being "rejected" by the Phoenix, was overly controlling of Joshua due to his fragility, and neglected the family ward, Jill. Anabella still hypocritically desired her children's love, however, being jealous of Elwin because they preferred being with him, seemingly oblivious as to why. After betraying her family, she had no remorse for causing Elwin's death, enslaving Clive out of spite, seemed hardly saddened by Joshua's supposed demise despite claiming otherwise, and later sold out Jill to the Iron Kingdom. She refuses to accept accountability, ordering Sanbreque soldiers to execute her handmaidens after the Night of Flames as punishment for "failing" to keep Joshua alive, even though his "death" was beyond their control. She continued her toxic parenting with Olivier, deluding herself and others into believing he was a messiah even though he was (seemingly) just an ordinary child, even refusing to let him out of her sight. During her final confrontation with Clive, she lamented how she had wanted him to inherit the power of the Phoenix and felt ridiculed when the sickly Joshua was chosen instead, proving that she only ever cared for her own reputation and how her children's status "reflected" upon herself. After Clive condemned her for only adding to Joshua's burdens, she showed some regret regarding her treatment of her second son, but still had no such sorrow toward the rest of her family. Her Inner Voice section also revealed that, even after accumulating significant amount of power within Sanbreque, she still mourned for Joshua, indicating she did have some degree of genuine care for him beyond his role as the Phoenix.

In the end, Anabella's refusal to face reality became her downfall. She did not understand, or refused to understand, that sovereignty is worthless without a people and country, believing one can simply found a new nation; hence she could not accept Elwin's style of ruling and was blind to how he was so beloved by the people. In Anabella's mind, a sovereign's foremost duty wasn't to their land and people but to their sovereignty itself. As a result, she severely underestimated the power of the people, was caught off guard when Dion, whom she disregarded as a mistress's child, used his popularity to launch a coup d'état and had no contingency plans when her schemes began to fail. Toward the end of her life, Anabella was reduced to a cowering mess who desperately clung to her defunct beliefs. Olivier's death and the revelation, or at least confirmation, that he was nothing but a vessel for Ultima shattered her remaining sanity and she committed suicide rather than accept reality.

Citations[]

  1. Final Fantasy XVI Ultimania
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