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|“||I am Harken, a knight of Pherae. I am at your service.||”|
— Harken to Vaida
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Starting stats and growth rates
Normal/Eliwood Hard Hector Hard
Harken has good base stats that can even be useful as late as the final chapter regardless of the mode one is playing. He can immediately contribute at a very high level, and while his growths are not as high as comparable early-game units, they are more than acceptable. The hero class offers fantastic utility which warrants using him in almost any play-through. He is worth the effort for recruitment due to his 1-2 range and preferable stat-spread (his only significant deficit is speed, which is already sufficient to double most enemies) that gives him far greater utility for almost any playthrough. While not of great significance, his Fire Affinity can increase the offense of both himself any of his support partners greatly. Overall, Harken is a useful character and starts out very strong, and will stay strong throughout the rest of the game.
Comparison to Karel
While Harken's class may make comparisons to Raven inevitable, a more practical comparison takes place between Harken and Karel; as only one can be recruited, there exists a decision that the player must make. Both come at level 8, and both come with some of the rarest weapons in the game: Harken has the only obtainable Brave Sword and Karel has one of only two Wo Daos. Statwise, Karel has superior skill, speed, luck, and resistance, as well as superior growths in skill, speed, and luck, leading to an ease in critically hitting enemies, but potential difficulty in surviving attacks and dealing high raw damage. Karel's constitution of 9 is also lower than Harken's constitution of 11, leading to Karel potentially taking speed reductions with heavier swords. Karel's Swordmaster class comes with an extra 15% boost to critical hits, whereas Harken's Hero class allows him to wield both swords and axes, allowing him to potentially negate or take advantage of the weapon triangle. Also, Harken can wield Hand Axes for a 1-2 range option, while Karel can only use the Light Brand, which—as implied earlier—is very rare, expensive and weak, or the Runesword, which is even rarer than the Light Brand (it is only obtainable in a Gaiden chapter extremely late in the game) and cannot be used to inflict critical hits.
Complicating the comparison further, however, is that Karel has potential of being outclassed by characters that can be recruited earlier (Guy and Raven); in this regard, Harken is considered the superior unit, as he has a better chance of being equal to Raven, wheras Karel will have difficulty matching Guy. Adding further to the rift between the two is the Hector Hard Mode boost; Harken gains additions in many of his stats in Hector Hard Mode due to starting off as an enemy, whereas Karel receives no such benefit due to appearing as an NPC.
Another factor to consider is the requirements for their appearance: whether to kill enough enemies or open enough doors for Karel to appear, or to kill few enough enemies or open few enough doors for Harken to appear. Players who make a habit of finishing chapters as quickly as possible will find that it requires a good deal of restraint to keep two of the three promoted enemies alive in Kenneth's chapter for Harken rather than to kill them for Karel; but even players who make a habit of finishing chapters as quickly as possible will find some difficulty in unlocking enough buildings quickly enough to spawn Karel in Jerme's chapter. In short, although either Karel or Harken may appear in either Kenneth's or Jerme's chapter, Karel is easier to recruit in Kenneth's chapter and Harken in Jerme's.
Overall, Harken is better than Karel stat-wise due to his 1-2 range and his better offensive stats, particularly on Hector Hard Mode.
Personality and character
Harken is a very troubled individual before joining the army, he already hides a seriously damaged self-esteem, and greatly fears that he'll be questioned or hated if it's known that he served a cruel lord, which also explains why he lost it so badly upon not being able to aid a master who treated him kindly without caring about his shady past. His suicidal tendencies are only matched by his self-worth troubles coming from his blurry background and his love for his fiancée, Isadora, who he promised to marry once the war was over and he returned.
- Main article: Harken/Supports
Harken, Troubled Warrior
Harken worked closely with Marcus to rebuild the knights of Pherae. They are slowly rebuilding their strength and prestige.
Harken and Isadora
They were married shortly after returning to Pherae. Their love grew during their years of service, and now it blossomed with the blessings of Eliwood and Eleanora. Many envied their good fortune.
Harken and Vaida
Though both desired to be together, they could not bring themselves to end their service to their lords, and so they parted ways. That was the last time Harken ever heard Vaida’s voice.
|“||I’m already dead... If I leave my body here, I do so without regret...||”|
Final Chapter: Light quote
|“||Lord Elbert... I will protect your son.||”|
Battle History quotes
|“||Excellent! Continue to serve Lord Eliwood well!||”|
— Harken, with S or A rank
|“||Eliwood was right to place his trust in you.||”|
— Harken, with B or C rank
|“||Make better use of me! You won’t regret it!||”|
— Harken, with D or E rank
|“||Are you our tactician, Mark? I am Harken. I beg your forbearance. Lord Eliwood has ordered me to follow your commands in combat. I care not where I meet death. Just guide me wisely.||”|
— Harken in Chapter 26E/28H: Battle before Dawn
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
Artwork of Harken from The Blazing Blade
|This article is part of Project Characters, a project focused in writing articles for every character present in the Fire Emblem series.|