Final Fantasy Debate: Vaan as a Unnoticed Hero or a Frivolous Protagonist

In the realm of Final Fantasy, the character Vaan stirs debate: Is he a pivotal character or mere plot redundancy?

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Portal Staff

The Final Fantasy franchise has always been driven by vibrant, complex characters. Among them, Vaan from Final Fantasy XII has been causing quite a stir among fans. Is Vaan just an unwarranted addition to an already elaborate story, or does he serve a greater purpose in the grand narrative?


  • Many fans consider Vaan as an essential conduit for character growth.
  • Others argue he effectively represents the common people in the world of FFXII.
  • Despite a shared feeling that Vaan sometimes appears “out of his depth”, a general agreement is that he serves an important – albeit indirect – narrative role.

A Catalyst for Development

Efforting the sentiments of Baithin, Vaan is a character who incites change in others around him. As the archetype who would rather be the observer, advisor, and friend, he indirectly influences the other characters’ decisions and growth. Baithin attributes Ashe’s arc from vengeance to peace largely to Vaan’s influence. His forgiveness enables Basch to let go of his guilt, and his curiosity drives Balthier to face his past.

The Voice of the Commoners

Baberaham_lincolonel views Vaan as the embodiment of the common people, swept up in the grand schemes of the powerful. His mere presence serves to ground the narrative. Sharing this sentiment, Jaysiim sees Vaan as the audiences’ surrogate, making him relatable and human amidst the magic and politics.

Simplified Complexity

wknight8111 notes that despite Vaan’s simplicity and naivety, he plays an essential role in exposition in the grand narrative of Final Fantasy XII. His lack of background knowledge forces others to explain the world’s complexities, thereby subtly educating the players about Ivalice.

Vital Coincidence

Interestingly, despite admitting that he often seems out of his depth, the role of Vaan is seen as crucial by wknight8111. Vaan’s interactions provide narrative convenience, circumventing the need for more contrived plot devices to impel the characters to communicate necessary information.

In the hustle and bustle of Ivalice, Vaan stands as the subtle pillar. His significance in the narrative isn’t grand or ostentatious; rather, it’s woven carefully into the shared stories of others, painting a delicate picture of a protagonist whose importance goes unnoticed, yet remains profound.