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Barnabas Tharmr and Odin.

"The Riddle" is a boss theme in Final Fantasy XVI. It was composed by Masayoshi Soken and arranged by Ryo Furukawa, with lyrics written by Michael-Christopher Koji Fox. The tenor soloist is Takashi Baba.

The theme is associated with Barnabas Tharmr, the Dominant of Odin.

A variation of "Logos", the leitmotif of Ultima, appears as an ostinato throughout the piece, particularly in the introduction.

Odin and Zantetsuken have a gallant image in Soken's mind, and he has a strong image of that in the past Final Fantasy titles. As such, he put a bit of a masculine and powerful feeling into the music. Barnabas is also a strong character so he wanted to include that impression in the music. That is why Barnabas's melody is used in all the Odin-related tracks.[1]


The official lyrics were released on the Final Fantasy XVI Original Soundtrack.

The twain
On ten feet run
Three eyes and one
Trained upon victory
With steel, darkness comes

Game appearances[]

Final Fantasy XVI[]

Odin from FFXVI


Odin from FFXVI artwork


"The Riddle" is the theme that plays during the second half of the second boss battle against Barnabas/Odin. It is track 20 of disc 6 on the Final Fantasy XVI Original Soundtrack.

"The Battle of Belenus Tor" is an arrangement by TomoLow that combines Barnabas's leitmotif with "Ascension", the theme of Dion Lesage. It plays in a cutscene where Odin clashes with Bahamut during the Battle of Belenus Tor. It is track 21 of disc 2 on the original soundtrack.

"Furor" is an arrangement by Justin Frieden that plays in a few cutscenes with Barnabas. It is track 7 of disc 6 on the original soundtrack.

"Sever" is an arrangement by Masayoshi Soken that plays in a number of cutscenes with Barnabas and Odin. It also plays during the intermission of the second battle against Barnabas/Odin. According to Soken, "Sever" expresses that Barnabas has already pushed through and is "kind of crazy". It is track 19 of disc 6 on the original soundtrack.

"One with God" is an arrangement by Frieden that plays in the cutscene when Barnabas willingly gives his power to Clive Rosfield before dying. It is track 21 of disc 6 on the original soundtrack.

"Pathetic Creatures" is an arrangement by Frieden that plays in a cutscene when Barnabas slaughters the council of Kanver and some Dhalmekian ministers. It is track 5 of disc 8 on the Ultimate Edition soundtrack.

"For the Water Was a Wall" is an arrangement by Frieden that plays in a cutscene when Barnabas confronts Clive and Jill Warrick at the bottom of the Naldia Narrow. It is track 9 of disc 8 on the Ultimate Edition soundtrack.

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line[]

"The Riddle" appears as a Battle Music Stage in the Final Fantasy XVI DLC pack, released on November 1st, 2023.[2] It features a difficulty level of 3, 6, 10, and 14 for its Basic, Expert, Ultimate, and Supreme Scores, respectively.

The stage's visuals are modeled after the arena in which Clive Rosfield battles Barnabas Tharmr, Dominant of Odin.

Behind the scenes[]

The title of the track and the lyrics allude to a Scandinavian riddle (gátur) that is found in the legendary saga Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (The Saga of Hervör and Heidrek) from the 13th century combining matter from several older sagas in Germanic heroic legend. In Heiðreks saga, Gestumblindi, a disguised Odin, challenges King Heidrek to a riddle-contest and propounds riddles in poetic forms. The riddles are well integrated into the genre of Eddaic poetry, and provide insights into Norse mythology, medieval Scandinavian social norms, and rarely attested poetic forms.

The following is an excerpt of the saga which the lyrics of "The Riddle" are a reference to, in both Icelandic and English. It is taken from The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise, translated from Icelandic into English by Christopher Tolkien.[3]

Þá mælti Gestumblindi:
(72) Hverir eru þeir tveir,
er tíu hafa fœtr,
augu þrjú
ok einn hala?
Heiðrekr konungr,
hyggðu at gátu!
'Þat er þá, er Óðinn ríðr Sleipni.'[note 1]
Then said Gestumblindi:
(72) Who are those twain
that on ten feet run,
three their eyes are
but only one tail?
This riddle ponder,
O prince Heidrek!
'Thus it is,' said the king, 'when Ódin rides upon Sleipnir.'[note 1]

The riddle describes both Odin and Sleipnir. "Twain" refers to two individuals, "ten feet" refers to Odin's two legs and Sleipnir's traditional eight legs, "three eyes" refers to Odin's one eye and Sleipnir's two eyes, and "one tail" refers to Sleipnir's tail.

By this point, King Heidrek had already begun to suspect who Gestumblindi is and the riddle offers one of the final hints to the true identity of Gestumblindi. It is the second last riddle, before Heidrek draws his sword Tyrfing in anger and slashes at Odin.

The riddle-contest between the disguised Odin and King Heidrek has parallels with an encounter found in Vafþrúðnismál, the third poem in the Poetic Edda. In the poem, a disguised Odin asks the jötunn Vafþrúðnir questions of knowledge in a contest of intellect and the last question asked by Odin is the same as his last question to Heidrek, which is an unanswerable question. The poem influenced the riddle-game between Bilbo and Gollum in the chapter "Riddles in the Dark" from The Hobbit, written by J. R. R. Tolkien.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Ódin's horse Sleipnir had eight legs, and Ódin only one eye.