The Hrothgar is a feline race from Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV, making their debut the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers expansion alongside the Viera. Though similar to the Miqo'te, their appearance is more animalistic and burly.
The Hrothgar are separated into two clans, the warm-colored Helion and the winter-furred Lost. In ages past, the Helions of southern Ilsabard served under a singular matriarchal rule, named as such because their lives revolve around their queen.
By contrast, the Lost are a nomadic clan known to undertake many trade professions, from peddlers to mercenaries. They're hesitant to take up occupations that restrict their traveling. Their cold fur is said to be a symbol of their independent nature, driving them away from the warm embrace of their queen.
Hailing from the distant shores of Ilsabard, the Hrothgar are a burly people of leonine appearance—or the males at least. Females are staggeringly few among their population and are rarely glimpsed by the other races.
The Hrothgar's imposing countenance, not mitigated by their sharp claws and their still sharper fangs, incited panic among Eorzeans upon their arrival. As they were unable to communicate, initial interactions among the commonfolk often escalated into conflict. After the Hrothgar gained mastery over the common tongue fears allayed and, in time, they were welcome in all corners of the realm.
Differences from the other races
Hrothgar are treated differently from the other races. They cannot choose hairstyles, as they are tied to the Face option, though the aspects can be customized more freely, such as locks and fringes. Their fur patterns can also show up on their tail and the length of their canines can be adjusted. Initially, headgear would be invisible on the Hrothgar's model due to their unique look, but after feedback, the development team made adjustments so that some would appear, such as glasses, visors, and circlets as well as a few helmets.
Creation and development
The Hrothgar were revealed as a second playable race alongside the Viera during the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival in Tokyo in March 2019 for the Shadowbringers expansion. Like the Viera, the Hrothgar would be genderlocked as a male-only race, though like the Viera, the opposite sex exists for lore reasons, but are rarely seen. The Hrothgar were added due to fan request to have the option to choose a more bestial race amidst the various humanoid options. While beastmen races were in the game since Legacy, they were mostly relegated to antagonistic NPC roles due to lore reasons. Because of resource and time constraints, the decision was made to made to genderlock both races so as to make room for two races as Naoki Yoshida had confirmed that the Viera and Hrothgar would be the last two races added to the game, taking into consideration the amount of work it takes to create a new playable race with their unique customization options and animations as well as having to modify hundreds of individual pieces of gear to fit their unique model. In spite of this, the decision overall was made with mixed reactions, though Yoshida did not entirely rule out the possibility of adding in the opposing genders later down the line.
The Hrothgar are primarily based on the Ronso from Final Fantasy X and are named as such in the First Shard and similarly. Due to limitations, the Hrothgar's fur is mostly short and relegated to tufts of fur covering their limbs and collarbone.
The name Hrothgar is derived from the Old German name Hrodger or Hrotger, composed of two elements hrōþiz (praise, fame, glory, renown, honor) and gaizaz (spear, pike, javelin). It can be translated as "glorious spearman" or "famous with the spear". Hrothgar was also the name of a Danish king.