Today we are going to look at the Final Fantasy X Aeon Lore, Mythology, Etymology and Symbolism. I am going to be giving you a little bit of a back story about the actual mythology surrounding the Final Fantasy 10 Aeons. Taking a look at where Square Enix got their ideas from, implemented their own changes to make it unique to the Final Fantasy series.
According to The Lesser Key of Solomon, a spell book on Demonolgy. Valefor or Valefar is a Duke of Hell. Known also as “The Duke of Thieves”, Valefor tempts others to steal and can endow them with the speed and dexterity to become successful at it. Those whom he gives power to are said to become considerably sharper with their hands, eyes, and minds – all necessary tools for a proper thief. This is portrayed in the game slightly as Valefor has high accuracy and rarely misses. It is said that one can summon him as a familiar as well, meaning that he will stay with the summoner and assist them in – you guessed it – thievery.
Most demons will only come to a summoner temporarily while the summoner remains in the protective magic summoning circle. Valefor will do this, or upon request go beyond the usual limits and join the summoner in their actions. Be warned, though, that this is not necessarily a good idea. Exiting the summoning circle without closing the portal to the demon world is always a bad idea, and this particular demon has been known to trick some summoners into heisting goods only to bail on them at the last minute. As the saying goes, never trust a thief.
Ifrit which translates as Jinn in Islam, are supernatural creatures found in Islamic and Arabic writings, particularly the Quran. The Quran says that the jinn were created from a “smokeless and scorching fire,” separately from humans or angels. However, they can appear in human or animal form to interact with people. Ifrits are believed to inhabit the layers of the underworld or desolate places on the surface, such as in ruins or caves.
From the word jinn we get our English word genie, defined as a spirit in human form who grants wishes. Ifrit are convincing schemers at heart and enjoy scamming humans for amusement but They have also have been known to work with humans and help them fulfill tasks. This is depicted in his summoning in many Final Fantasy titles with their strong attacks such as hellfire.
In the story of Ixion, found in Greek mythology, Ixion was brought to the table of the gods. And rather than be grateful, he immediately tried to seduce Zeus’s wife, Hera. Unfortunately for Ixion, Zeus found out about his intentions and made a cloud nymph in the shape of Hera, and tricked Ixion into coupling with it. From the union of Ixion and the false-Hera cloud came Centauros, who mated with the Magnesian engendering the race of Centaurs, who are called the Ixion from their descent. This explains why Ixion is in horse form in Final Fantasy X and emerges from a cloud.
Shiva in Final Fantasy is the Queen of Ice, the bearer of blizzards. With a snap of her fingers, hell freezes over. But Shiva the Hindu god is.. well.. a man. Not only that but he doesn’t represent the ice element.
So how do Square Enix get their representation of Shiva? Well there are a couple of comparisons to go off but whether or not there much to go off, I’ll leave that decision up to,you. One, the Hindu Shiva’s skin turned blue after he consumed poison that threatened the world. This is why he is depicted with blue skin.
Another possible comparison and more notable is that Shiva could often be found at the peak of the hymalayan mountains. It is said Shiva felt at home on the Himalayan Ridge which is quiet and peaceful. Shiva can meditate in The Himalayas without being disturbed by human needs and desires.
And finally there is a slight reference to why Square Enix chose a female Shiva. He can merge with his lover Parvati to become Ardhanari, an androgynous Hindu god of duality. Yeah, I said it was vague.
According to Arabic mythology, Bahamut was a enormous fish. Yeah I said fish, not dragon. To large for any human to comprehend, Bahamut lies deep beneath the sea underpinning the support structure that holds up the earth.
In this conception of the world, the earth is shouldered by an angel, who stands on a slab of gemstone, which is supported by the cosmic bull sometimes called Kuyuta. Which you’ll recognise as a summon in Final Fantasy 7. Bahamut carries this bull on its back, and is suspended in water for its own stability..
Square Enix clearly gets its vision from a more modern version though. the game Dungeons & Dragons is responsible for re-imagining Bahamut as the king of dragons, a benevolent Platinum Dragon; the opposite of the malevolent Tiamat, the five-headed Chromatic Queen of Dragons. Which again, you can be found in various Final Fantasy titles.
Yojimbo means bodyguard in Japanese. There really isn’t much more I could find on this. Basically they are private bodyguards, who are hired. I guess this would by why Yuna has to pay him. The Yakuza also used yojimbo bodyguards and trained them as assassins, this could relate to the Zanmato attack. Assassins can kill with one strike, as can Yojimbo.
Also known as the Anima Sola or Lonely Soul is a Catholic depiction of a suffering woman who breaks free from her chains in a dungeon setting surrounded by flames, representing purgatory. The place where sinners go while awaiting final judgement.
Because the Anima Sola chains are broken, the image sends an ambiguous message of a release from suffering. This is depicted in Final Fantasy X when you summon her.
Another worthy mention is the psychology meaning of the words anima and animus. In layman’s terms every man has an anima, a feminine archetype in the unconscious mind. Meaning they have an feminine image of what makes them complete. It can be translated as a soulmate to me and you. and every female has an animus which is a male version.
The reason it’s worth a mention is because the Aeon itself, although represented as a female, it is depicted as two identities. This could be seen as unleashing the inner demon i.e. the unconscious mind.
The Magus Sisters.
Was the hardest one to research in the list, hence why it’s last! But I’ve had a go never the less. So after researching magus sisters lore or mythology I came up with a few far fetched theories including a gardening technique.. after thinking outside the box I started thinking.
Magus as we known means magician or sorcery. So I started searching Magic sisters and up popped some Ancient Greek mythology called The Fates. The Fates were three sister dieties who determined human destinies. Including how long they lived, how they lived and how they died.
Although not a perfect match it seems there has been a few variations on the original over the years. Three Witches in Macbeth also known as the Wayward Sisters which you can also see a modern twist on TV show Supernatural. and it just seems this is Square Enix’s own spin on things.
Well that’s it for today, I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be bringing some more Final Fantasy related content in the near future. Please feel free to drop by my social media channel below if you’d like to discuss the article with me. Also don’t forget to join the thousands in our Final Fantasy HQ Facebook group.