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Arriving on the shores of Ash as a landless and titleless wanderer, it was Barnabas's skill with a blade that won him a kingdom. And though the local beastmen were to rise in revolt against his rule, Barnabas called on the power of his Eikon, Odin, to quell their rebellions nigh single-handedly, bringing the entirety of the eastern continent under the Waloeder banner. Now he has an army and navy that rival any in Valisthea at his disposal, yet still the king is drawn to where the fighting is thickest—riding into battle atop his spectral steed and sundering foes with his fabled black blade, or merely observing the unfolding chaos from the sidelines, a grisly gleam of fascination ever in his eyes.

Online description

Barnabas Tharmr is the secondary antagonist of Final Fantasy XVI. The king of Waloed and the Dominant of Odin, Barnabas brings chaos to Valisthea and seeks to bring Clive Rosfield in contact with other Dominants of the realm for a nefarious purpose that threatens all of mankind.

History[]

Background[]

While much of Barnabas's early life remains a mystery, he was apparently raised in the lands beyond the Southern Seas of Valisthea by his mother who was a follower of the "Circle of Malius", an ancient religion that worshipped Ultima. Due to their beliefs being viewed as heresy, she ended up being killed by members of a rival religion.[2] This event seems to have instilled a great hatred toward humanity within Barnabas and forced him to flee to Valisthea to avoid similar persecution, setting the trajectory of his life.

As a descendant of the "Motes of Darkness", a people whose lineage was bound to Odin, Barnabas eventually awakened as the Dominant of the Eikon. Sometime after his arrival on the continent of Ash, he quelled the beast tribe rebellions and established the Kingdom of Waloed with its capital, Stonhyrr, built upon the nation he conquered: Veldermarke.[3] In the year 850, Ultima confronted Barnabas, the very being whom his people worshipped. Aligning himself with his god's belief that all of humanity's evils stem from free will, Barnabas devoted himself to Ultima and in return was made Akashic while being allowed to maintain sanity and human appearance.[4] Retaining his youth, Barnabas continued ruling his nation for forty years after his conquest of Ash. During his reign, he spread the beliefs and rituals of the savior cult among his people, extolling the virtues of abandoning free will exchange of becoming a "pure" mindless thrall free of mortal suffering.[5]

Five years after the founding of his country, Barnabas would take Cidolfus Telamon in, recruiting him after he had awakened as a Dominant. Once Cidolfus had earned his trust, he rose to Lord Commander of the Royal Knights. A decade later, Cid would save Benedikta Harman and Barnabas would take her into his service, where she would eventually become head of special operations. The former had a falling out with him and defected from Waloed. While the details of their falling out remain ambiguous, it is possible that Cid learned of Barnabas's dedication to Ultima. To fill the void left by Cid, Barnabas had his Egi, Sleipnir Harbard, resume his previous position as lord commander.

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Characteristics[]

Appearance[]

Despite being an Akashic, and his old age, Barnabas retains an ordinary, relatively-youthful appearance. He is a tall man with a lean but muscular build, with a scar on his chest. He has black hair with bangs that hang over his forehead, as well as blue eyes and a black stubble beard. His general attire consists of a royal blue, high-collar shirt with a gold trim, underneath a black doublet, pants and boots. He wears a black belt with gold adornments that wraps around his waist twice, as well as two pairs of smaller belts on his thighs, and another at the top of each boot.

FF16 Barnabas SemiPrime

Barnabas semi-primed.

In battle, Barnabas wears dark gray plate armor with small, blue trimmings and silver scrollwork decorating the breastplate. When he enters his semi-primed form, he grows at least third his height taller and dons a helmet with a metal crest and small, vertical slits on its visor, as well as a midnight blue sash draped over his shoulder and hanging from his back. The armor on his right arm changes to more closely resemble Odin's, with a more heavily-plated gauntlet and a pauldron with a large crest like the one on his helmet. After enacting his 'Quieting' ability in his final fight, his left arm changes to mirror his right and his helmet gains a pair of slim, spiked horns, reminiscent of the ones present on Odin's own helmet. The edges and patterns on his armor, as well as his sash, begin to glow bright blue.

After passing on his Eikon's power to Clive, Barnabas's skin turns pale blue, and his hair gray, as his corruption reveals itself.

Personality[]

Though regarded as one of the greatest warriors in Valisthea, Barnabas is apathetic, depressed, and even bored with his position as the King of Waloed. While he has many loyal followers, they mean nothing to him, seeing them as a means to an end and even going as far as to defile their corpses should it serve his goals. Barnabas does not appear to cause any unnecessary suffering however, only tormenting others to advance his agenda and even treating important prisoners humanely.

Barnabas's desensitization to the world around him seems to originate from a lifetime of exposure to humanity's worst traits: seeing the people squander magic as a "crutch" and the death of his mother due to religious differences. After having his childhood faith validated upon meeting Ultima, he came to the nihilistic conclusion that "free will" is the source of the world's woes and that humanity will only be granted salvation by surrendering it, turning his whole kingdom into Akashic as a form of "mercy", having seemingly given up hope for anything better. Clive later points out Barnabas's hypocrisy: despite believing free will to be evil, he himself chose to serve Ultima. Clive also notes that, misguided as he might have been, Barnabas truly sought to save humanity, even being willing to sacrifice himself for Ultima's promise of a paradise to come true.

A warrior at heart, deep down, Barnabas longs for a challenge, having long since grown tired of "lesser rivals" and encouraging him to often take to the battlefield in person. Toward the end of his final battle with Clive, he grows ecstatic at having finally found a worthy opponent.

Abilities[]

As the Warden of Darkness, Barnbas can use darkness magicks and prime to become the Eikon Odin. He is also an adept swordsman.

Gameplay[]

Barnabas is fought three times throughout the game's third act. The first battle is during a cutscene in the mission "Cloak and Dagger". The second battle in the mission "A Song of Hope" is impossible to win as he will end the battle with a powerful attack called Iron Flash; Clive is unable to deal enough damage to Barnabas to stop the attack. Even if the player is able to deal enough damage, Barnabas will still perform the attack. The final battle is during the mission "The Last King", in both his human and Odin forms.

Behind the scenes[]

CGBarnabas&Odin

Key art of Barnabas and Odin.

Barnabas "was conceptualized in the image of a king cloaked entirely in mystery". He is the embodiment of the Dark Knight archetype from previous installments.[6] Dark Knights in Final Fantasy often have magic-based sword skills that expend their own health to damage adversaries. Out of universe, in European history, dark knights, were a minority group of knights who refused to serve lords or kings.

Loss shaped both Barnabas and Clive's worldviews and they both had mentors who solidified their paths in life: Cid for Clive and Ultima for Barnabas. Barnabas is something of an antithesis to Clive: what Clive would have been without the bonds he had built with his friends and allies that kept him striving for a better future, whereas Barnabas only had Ultima, having lost his mother, and his closest ally (Sleipnir) being but another part of of Odin. When Clive asks Barnabas if giving himself over to serve could even be called living, Barnabas does not answer. At the end of their fight at Reverie, Clive posits that Barnabas had not given up his will even if he was Akashic, and that Ultima had been using Barnabas's earnest desire for a better world. Barnabas deemed the realm and the people in it unworthy of salvation, while Clive always believed otherwise. A tear slips down Barnabas's face in his final moments when he talks about going home to his mother, showing Barnabas's human side in seeking to reunite with his family in Ultima's paradise, a fantasy he chose to believe in until the end.

Voice[]

Barnabas shares his English voice actor with Magnus in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers.

Etymology and origin[]

Barnabas was one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem. He and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together, defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers and participated in the Council of Jerusalem.

Citations[]

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