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Elmyra Gainsborough is a minor supporting character in Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts and is also mentioned in On the Way to a Smile "Episode: Tifa". She is the adoptive mother of Aerith Gainsborough living in the Sector 5 slums of Midgar, the widow of Clay Gainsborough, and the owner of the Gainsborough house.


Before Final Fantasy VII[]

Ifalna's death from Final Fantasy VII Remake
Elmyra and a young Aerith from FFVII Remake
FFVIIR Elymra and young Aerith

With Ifalna's death, Elmyra adopted and raised Aerith as her own daughter.

Elmyra married into the Gainsborough family when she married Clay Gainsborough, making her part of Gabriel Gainsborough's business in the city. When Clay married Elmyra, an apprentice of Clay's, Carlo Kincaid, initially was resentful of Elmyra, before warming to her later.[1] Elmyra and Clay used to drag around the table in the Gainsborough house for picnics, dragging it in a quiet spot far away enough from the crowds but not too far so as not to be near monsters, to munch on ham and cheese sandwiches with a beer or two to wash down.[2]

Clay joined the Shinra Electric Power Company's army and fought in the Wutai War. During the war, he accumulated enough leave to return home, hoping to talk over the process of succeeding Gabriel after Gabriel passed away.[3] Clay was supposed to arrive back in Midgar in 1992 six days before Aerith's arrival at the station.[4] Elmyra visited the Sector 5 Undercity Station daily hoping to find Clay there. One such day was when Ifalna arrived at the station with her daughter, Aerith. After Ifalna collapsed at the station, Aerith ran around looking for help and ran into Elmyra, who regretfully informed her that she did not know any doctors before following Aerith to find Ifalna collapsed. Ifalna's final request was for Elmyra to take Aerith somewhere safe, before she passed.[5][6][7]

Elmyra took Aerith home with her and adopted her. She gave Aerith the bed that had belonged to Gabriel two months prior to Aerith's arrival.[8] Elmyra would still go out for work as part of the family business, and would introduce Aerith to others from the business who she invited over, beginning with Mr. Meguro, who advised that Elmyra claim Aerith was a daughter of a relative who she was adopting, and that Aerith go by a different name to hide her from Shinra.[9] The two ultimately stumbled on naming Aerith "Ronna", the same name as Mr. Meguro's daughter, in a meeting with another member of the business.[10]

Clay's helicopter had crashed in a heavy forest, and he passed away later, his body found far away from the crash site, having left trying to find Elmyra again.[11][note 1] The day after choosing Aerith's new name, Aerith told Elmyra that Clay had returned to the planet, something Elmyra rejected as at the time she did not believe in planetology.[12] Following this,[note 2] Elmyra received a letter from Shinra informing her that Clay had indeed passed.[6][7][11] It would be from this event that got Elmyra to notice that Aerith was not an ordinary child.

In 1993, after Aerith's cancelled eighth birthday party,[13] Aerith and Elmyra were visited by Tseng of the Turks, who declared Aerith was a Ancient, something Aerith denied.[14][6][7] Elmyra spoke to Tseng privately, as Tseng told her Shinra regretted their treatment of Ifalna and would leave Aerith be permanently if she told them the location of the promised land. Elmyra cut a deal that once Aerith knew, she would inform them, but until then, she would keep close watch on Aerith on condition that Shinra did not come near. Aerith then confessed to Elmyra that she was indeed an Ancient, but that she knew nothing about the promised land. Thereafter, with Shinra knowing their location, the two stopped hiding Aerith's name.[14]

When Mr. Meguro's health worsened, he considered moving onto the plate and running the business remotely, causing his son to run away. Around this time, Don Corneo and Mr. Manson looked to expand their turf to Sector 5, leading Carlo and Elmyra to initially plan to take Aerith to Kalm for safety.[15] When Marcellus was found, rumors spread that Elmyra was responsible for kidnapping Marcellus, causing Elmyra to go to Meguro to talk to him herself.[16] They had a productive conversation, Meguro saying he never suspected Elmyra was involved and no longer suspected his son was kidnapped. The two both left Carlo Kincaid to take over the Gainsborough business thereafter.[17]

Separate from the Gainsborough family business, Elmyra was busy around the slums, always having a job waiting for her as the Gainsborough heir, as even fully staffed shops were quick to refer her to someone in need. However, Elmyra was reluctant for Aerith to get a job herself, only allowing her to work for the Sector 5 House as an assistant.[18] Elmyra placed strict rules and hid things from Aerith, including purposefully not buying a television to keep her in the dark about current affairs, leading Aerith to eventually confront Elmyra about the restricted zone and harsh rules.[19] Aerith ran away in protest, only to be found by Elmyra at the Sector 5 slums church being chased by Faz Hicks, whom she fought off with a broom and aimed an unloaded pistol at to deter away, bringing Aerith home safely when Faz was shot by an unknown firer.[20]

Original continuity[]

In "Aeris's Secret", Aerith introduced Cloud to Elmyra as her bodyguard. She showed concern for Aerith, questioning if she was being followed, and thanked Cloud for his protection. Aerith was going to guide Cloud back to Sector 7, but Elmyra suggested they spend the night instead, sending Aerith to prepare a bed for Cloud. Elmyra then asked him to covertly leave during the night due to being a SOLDIER, not wanting her daughter's feelings hurt again.[6] Cloud did so, but Aerith followed him.

Later that night, Aerith brought Marlene to her house, leaving her in Elmyra's care in the aftermath of the Sector 7 plate collapse. Cloud, Barret, and Tifa traveled to Aerith's house sometime after and informed Elmyra that Shinra had kidnapped Aerith. She proceeded to tell the party of Aerith's heritage, her husband's death, as well as her adoption and raising of Aerith. She told Cloud to rescue, come back to Aerith, and not get killed. She continued to look after Marlene as Cloud's party pursued Sephiroth.[6]

Reeve Tuesti and Cait Sith captured Elmyra and Marlene and relocated them to Kalm. After Meteorfall, Reeve informed a saddened Elmyra of Aerith's death. She didn't blame Cloud, knowing Sephiroth was the culprit. She later became a client of Strife Delivery Service and requested Cloud to bring a bouquet to the City of the Ancients where Aerith died.

Remake continuity[]

In "Budding Bodyguard", Aerith introduced Elmyra to her bodyguard, Cloud. She asked if he took care of her and he confidently affirmed. Aerith said she'd guide Cloud back to Sector 7, but Elmyra insisted they spend the night.[21] The next day, Elmyra asked Cloud if Aerith was a handful and tough to look after, but retracted the question.[22]

After a day of helping the residents of the Sector 5 slums, Aerith and Cloud returned to her house and a worried Elmyra wondered where they'd been. Elmyra made dinner and told Aerith to prepare the guest room. While Aerith was upstairs, Elmyra addressed Cloud's status as a SOLDIER, asked him to leave that night, as SOLDIER "boys" had traded their normal lives for power and couldn't "have it both ways". Aerith returned downstairs and the three ate dinner. Cloud quietly walked downstairs after dark, being stopped by Elmyra before leaving. He asked for directions to Sector 7, and she told him to cut through Sector 6, warned him of the sector's dangers, was sure he'd be fine due to being a SOLDIER, and then apologetically requested Cloud to not talk to Aerith again.[23]

Elmyra tells how Shinra kidnapped Aerith from FFVII Remake

Elmyra informs the party of Aerith's past and that Shinra captured her.

Aerith rescued Marlene during the Sector 7 plate attack in "Fight for Survival" and brought her to Elmyra in exchange for turning herself to Shinra afterward. Cloud, Barret, and Tifa arrived at Elmyra's house in "A Broken World" to find Marlene was being kept safe. Barret demanded to know about Marlene's whereabouts to which Elmyra reassuringly responded that she was sleeping upstairs and to keep quiet. She revealed that Shinra had captured Aerith and told Cloud and Tifa about Aerith's Cetra heritage. Elmyra asked if Cloud was planning anything and insisted against it as she couldn't bear to lose her daughter.[7] She asked the party to take care as they prepared to leave for the Sector 7 ruins.[24]

Cloud's party returned to Elmyra with a wounded Wedge during "In Search of Hope" and she agreed to care for him. Cloud insisted they rescue Aerith after discovering a secret underground Shinra lab where inhuman experiments were conducted. She told Cloud she'd need time to think, and encouraged the party to get some rest. The next day, Barret thanked a content Elmyra for all the help. She lamented that she knew she'd have to say goodbye to her "baby girl" one day, but it wouldn't be yet, thus she requested the party to bring Aerith back to her. She would continue caring for a wounded Wedge and Marlene for the time being.[25][26]

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Elmyra is a middle-aged woman with an average build. She has fair skin, light brown hair (dirty blonde in Final Fantasy VII Remake) tied in a ponytail with a headband, and blue eyes. She wears a long buttoned green dress, an off-white apron, black pants, and brown boots. A younger Elmyra appears during a flashback in Final Fantasy VII Remake, wearing an open black buttoned shirt over a white shirt, dark green cargo pants, and brown shoes.

Her appearance in Remake draws similarities to the central character Edna Garrett played by the late actress Charlotte Rae, from the 1980s series Differ'nt Strokes and The Facts of Life.


Elmyra is a protective, strong-willed, and concerning mother unable. She is also very guarded, opening up slowly to Aerith[8] and Cloud[6][23] at first, as well as bringing bodyguards[14] or carrying a weapon[20] when far from the house. Elmyra has mixed thoughts on Shinra. She maintains a good relationship with them due to the Gainsborough business, allowing her to strike a deal with Tseng.[14] However, she harbors dislike for them, unhappy using their products (but does so believing swearing off Shinra products altogether makes it near impossible to get by),[27] and when meeting Cloud, expressing lowly thoughts SOLDIERs sacrificing a normal life for power, and blaming them for some of Aerith's sadness[6][7] (due to her heartbreak after losing Zack). Before raising Aerith, Elmyra did not believe in planetology[12], until Aerith's sensing of Clay's passing proved to be correct, learning she was a Cetra, and witnessing her able to grow flowers within even the depths of Midgar's slums was evidence enough to modestly get her to believe on a mutual level.

Elmyra is driven by compassion and a refusal to leave "a wounded man out on the street".[25] She has looked after Aerith since the latter was 7, and despite not being biologically related, lovingly treats her as her own daughter. She sympathizes with Aerith's heritage as a Cetra, feeling sad for all she's had to endure and struggling to understand it. This care for Aerith also makes Elmyra extremely protective, placing strict rules on Aerith while living with her,[19] sending Cloud away after their first meeting,[6][23] and warning against going after Aerith in the Shinra Building.[7] Elmyra's compassion may come from marrying into the Gainsborough family, as Gabriel Gainsborough was much the same way and took good care of his workers and the residents during his time.[18]

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Record Keeper[]

Elmyra appears as an NPC during the events of the Record Dungeon series. Like her original appearance in Final Fantasy VII, she meets Cloud, now accompanied by Tyro and Elarra, after he guides Aerith back to her home in the slums. After Tseng kidnaps Aerith, Elmyra explains to both Tyro and Cloud's party about Aerith's past.



  1. Final Fantasy VII Remake says that Clay was killed in action, possibly suggesting that the helicopter was used for battle and not to take him home for leave. However, since Trace of Two Pasts also retcons how long between Aerith telling Elmyra about Clay's passing and the letter being received, it is possible that this detail is also retconned.
  2. In Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake, Elmyra says that received a letter about her husband passing several days after Aerith had told her.[6][7] Trace of Two Pasts says that Elmyra received the letter the following day.[11]


  1. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 266-267
  2. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 236-237
  3. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 243-244
  4. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 237
  5. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 224-225
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Final Fantasy VII script § "Aeris's Secret"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Words of Hope"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 232-233
  9. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 240-243
  10. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 248-249
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 257
  12. 12.0 12.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 254-256
  13. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 277-278
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 279-282
  15. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 284-286
  16. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 291-293
  17. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 293-299
  18. 18.0 18.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 299-302
  19. 19.0 19.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 307-308
  20. 20.0 20.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 317-322
  21. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "To Aerith's House"
  22. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Leaf House Delivery"
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Price of Strength"
  24. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Checking on Friends"
  25. 25.0 25.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Resolve"
  26. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Turning Point"
  27. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 235-236