Cornelia Arnim (pronounced /kɔɹˈniliə ˈɑɹnɪm/[key]; Japanese: コルネリア＝アルニム Cornelia Arnim) is a non-playable character appearing Fire Emblem: Three Houses. She is a court mage in service of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus.
Cornelia Arnim is a scholar from the Adrestian Empire who was an old acquaintance of Anselma von Arundel. In Imperial Year 1165, she left the Empire to the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, where she cured a plague that was devastating the Kingdom's populace. For her deeds, King Lambert appointed the adrestian scholar the position of Court mage. In 1168, Cornelia found a young Hapi who had run away from her village, and provided her shelter and food while also subjecting Hapi to many painful experiments. During the Insurrection of the Seven in 1171, Cornelia helped Anselma escape to the Kingdom in secret and provided her shelter as well. When Volkhard von Arundel and Edelgard, Anselma's brother and daughter respectively, arrived to Faerghus concealed from the public, Cornelia informed Anselma of the news while claiming Lambert was deliberately keeping her away from Edelgard. In 1176, Cornelia freed Hapi and eventually persuaded Anselma into taking part on the Tragedy of Duscur, promising her she would be able to see her daughter again who had left the Kingdom territories along with her uncle 2 years prior.
In 1181 of the Silver Snow, Azure Moon and Verdant Wind routes, Cornelia murders Rufus, the Kingdom's regent, frames Dimitri for the deed and publicly announces his execution, when in reality the crown prince had managed to escape from his predicament thanks to his vassal's support. With him gone, Cornelia pledges loyalty to the Empire and turns the Kingdom territories loyal to her into the Faerghus Dukedom, as she supports Adrestia's goal of unifying Fódlan. On Azure Moon, Dimitri and Kingdom Army eventually make their way towards Fhirdiad, which causes the oppressed citizens in Cornelia's rule to revolt against her. Unable to divert forces to suppress the rebellion, Cornelia grumbles about how he and Edelgard should have just killed each other and deploys Titanus as well some Viskams to face the enemy. Once Cornelia is defeated and mortally wounded, Dimitri asks her if she has any last words, giving her the opportunity to reveal Anselma's -Dimitri's stepmother- involvement with the tragedy before drawing her last breath. Meanwhile, On the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind routes, it is mentioned Cornelia suddenly vanished from the Faerghus Dukedom right after Edelgard's death, leaving her whereabouts after the war unknown.
On the Crimson Flower route, Cornelia is unable to pull her scheme from other routes and, along with Rodrigue, Gwendal and non-recruited Felix and Ingrid, guards Fort Arianrhod during the war. When Cornelia get the news Edelgard and the adrestian army are about to besiege them, she's at first shocked as she had not been given any prior intel of the Empire's sudden change of plans, but later calmly accepts this situation and chooses to prepare for the upcoming fight by unleashing her Titanus on the upcoming enemy army, secretly hoping some of the Kingdom forces would end up killed in the ensuing chaos as well. Once she is finally defeated, Cornelia takes her death with grace and simply laughs as she murmurs everything had gone exactly as planned, calling it a "delightful dance". After her demise, Lord Arundel reveals to the Adrestian Emperor that Cornelia had served him and was planning to sabotage Faerghus before her attempts were cut short due to Edelgard's sudden change of plans.
It is mentioned in-game Cornelia had a sudden shift in personality sometime after being granted her new position in the Kingdom, which is consistent with other characters killed and replaced by agarthan infiltrators. Taking into account her access to Those who slither in the dark's resources and her loyalty to Lord Arundel, it's implied she was murdered sometime after solving the Kingdom's epidemic sometime between Imperial Year 1165 and 1168, and that the woman the player has known as Cornelia is actually a high-ranking Agarthan impersonating her.
Enemy - Azure Moon Chapter 18
Normal Hard Maddening
Enemy - Crimson Flower Chapter 16
Normal Hard Maddening
Personality and character
While presenting a front of an affable servant of the Kingdom, Cornelia is in reality a cruel and sadistic woman who is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure her dominance of the Kingdom should the situation present itself, and views the Dukedom forces as nothing but pawns and has no care for the people living in it. In contrast, it is mentioned by multiple NPCs as well by Dimitri she used to be more kind in the past, and that she even had different likes and dislikes compared to the woman seen in the story. Unlike all on-screen Agarthans impersonators, the current Cornelia doesn't seem to share her group's low opinion of surface-dwelling humans beyond her general lack of empathy.
|“||Oh my, what a charming guest. Let me take care of you...||”|
— Cornelia as an enemy in Azure Moon Chapter 18 and Crimson Flower Chapter 16.
|“||Hm. I can't quite say that I'm pleased to meet you. Though I do know quite a lot about you. It would be nice if we could catch up a little... But I'm afraid it's time for you to die.||”|
— Cornelia fighting Byleth in Azure Moon Chapter 18.
|“||Cornelia: My, it's been a long time hasn't it, Your Highness? You've grown awfully strong.
Dimitri: How shameless. I bet it was you who killed my uncle and set me up. Am I right?
Cornelia: Hah! Too true! I'd already forgotten about all that loveliness.
Dimitri: I'll kill you, you monster! You will pay for all that you have done!
— Cornelia fighting Dimitri in Azure Moon Chapter 18.
|“||Cornelia: Ah, your face brings back memories... Still alive, are we, Gustave?
Gilbert: Prattle on, Cornelia. Faerghus will not be cowed by the likes of you.
Cornelia: How very dull...
— Cornelia fighting Gilbert in Azure Moon Chapter 18.
|“||Ah. Such a shame... I always thought we'd end up being good friends. But you're here as an enemy... The only thing left to do is to kill you. Right?||”|
— Cornelia fighting Byleth in Crimson Flower Chapter 16.
|“||I'll take good care of you!||”|
|“||Don't look at me like that!||”|
|“||Gah! So this is as far as I could get...||”|
— Cornelia's defeat quote in Crimson Flower Chapter 16 and Azure Moon Chapter 18.
- Unlike Thales, Solon and Kronya, the appearance and name of the high-ranking agarthan impersonating Cornelia are never revealed or hinted in-game. Likewise, she's the only member of "those who slither in the dark" who keeps the Agarthan Technology ability under her fake guise.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|English||Cornelia Arnim||Full name, known by just Cornelia in most menus. Cornelia is a given name and the feminine form of "Cornelius". Arnim is a German surname.|
|Spanish||Cornelia Arnim||As above.|
|French||Cornelia Arnim||As above.|
|German||Cornelia Arnim||As above.|
|Italian||Cornelia Arnim||As above.|
|Korean||코넬리아 아르님||Cornelia Arnim|
|Simplified Chinese||科尔娜莉亚·阿尔尼姆||Cornelia Arnim|
|Traditional Chinese||科爾娜莉亞‧阿爾尼姆||Cornelia Arnim|
Concept art of Cornelia from Three Houses.
- "Cornelia Arnim... That's a familiar name, yes. She once studied in the Empire." — Hanneman, in Azure Moon Chapter 19, Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- "Cornelia of the Faerghus Dukedom seems to have disappeared from the palace...and rather swiftly. They (Cornelia and Count Bergliez) must have realized that the revival of the old Kingdom was a real threat." — A merchant in Garreg Mach Monastery during Verdant Wind's Chapter 21, Fire Emblem: Three Houses
|This article is part of Project Characters, a project focused in writing articles for every character present in the Fire Emblem series.|