Arete (シェンメイ, Shen Mei in the Japanese version) is an enemy character in the Revelation route in Fire Emblem Fates.


Arete is Azura's biological mother and the second wife of King Garon of Nohr, the stepmother of Xander, Camilla, Leo and Elise, and the maternal grandmother of Shigure. Arete is the second queen consort of Nohr; therefore, none of the royal siblings are her actual children with the exception of Azura. Arete was once the queen of Valla and had Azura with her first husband. Arete has deep connections to the Kingdom of Valla.


She was once Valla's queen before being forced to flee alongside her younger sister Mikoto after the insane half of Mikoto's lover, Anankos usurped the previous ruler, whom was Arete's husband. Arete and little Azura then arrived in Nohr, where she eventually became King Garon's second wife and his second queen consort after he fell in love with her singing voice. She later gave her life to save Nohr and her daughter, who says she died by openly speaking about Valla despite the Kingdom's curse that kills anyone who talks about it outside its limits.

Years later, Arete is revived by Anankos without her memories as one of his minions. She encounters Azura and the Avatar the first time they go to Valla, forcing them to leave, but does not reveal her identity to them. Much later, after Azura and the Avatar combine the Hoshidan and Nohrian army, Arete serves as the front commander of the Vallite army upon their return to Valla. Azura eventually sees that the mysterious woman they met earlier was her deceased mother.

Arete confronts their army three times, though each time she fights her daughter, memories of her past begins to surface. After Arete is defeated for a third and final time, she remembers her daughter. As her soul is slowly released from Anankos' control, she calls out for her daughter. Arete expresses with pride of Azura's growth since the last time she saw her as a little girl. However, her brief time with her daughter ends when she dissolves away, leaving the army to harden their resolve to take down Anankos.


Arete's personality prior to her death and subsequent resurrection is given some insight by both Azura and Cassita. According to Azura's supports with Laslow, Arete was a gifted singer and dancer, with Azura inheriting and being taught by Arete in both these areas. Cassita reminisces about Arete's singing filling the halls of the castle in the past, and Azura mentions that she always smiled while she sang. She also taught Azura several songs during their time in Nohr, including Lost in Thoughts All Alone and a song about the bonds between people. Additionally, Azura inherited her pendant and its power from Arete. According to Cassita, Arete's singing would help pull Garon out of his grief following the death of his first wife, and it would eventually lead to their marriage. Garon loved Arete greatly, and it is commonly assumed that her death led to his change in disposition seen during the events of Fates.

Arete was also shown to be wise and knowledgable about her homeland, being the main source of Azura's knowledge of Valla and Anankos. In doing so she also demonstrates a self-sacrificial nature, as she gave her daughter this information with the awareness that speaking of Valla outside its borders would kill her. According to Azura, Arete did this to protect both her and Nohr, and in this respect she is similar to her other family members, whom all display a willingness to sacrifice themselves for those they love.

By the time Fates occurs, Arete's personality has been altered to better suit Anankos's purposes. Unlike Mikoto and Sumeragi, Arete completely lacks her memories following her resurrection, having no recollection of her daughter or her prior life in Valla and Nohr. Instead, Arete shows complete and utter loyalty to Anankos, believing him to be the rightful ruler of Valla and revering him as being "great" and "almighty". She is obsessed with enforcing Anankos's will and keeping outsiders out of Valla, but she seems content with merely making them leave rather than killing them. Though Arete is oblivious to her relationship with her daughter and grandson, she feels a splitting pain in her skull whenever she sets her eyes on them, showing that her prior memories are repressed to some extent. Following her defeat at the hands of the Avatar's army, she regains her memories and expresses pride in how Azura has grown since her death before she fades away.

In GameEdit

Boss StatsEdit

Revelation Chapter 18 - Veiled KingdomEdit

Revelation Chapter 22 - MemoriesEdit

Revelation Chapter 23 - Arete UndoneEdit

Xenologue 8 - Hidden Truths 2Edit

Xenologue 19 - V: Endless DawnEdit


Help DescriptionEdit

Azura's mother. Once married to King Garon. Also has strong ties to Valla.

Chapter 18 (Revelation)Edit


“On behalf of my king, I welcome you to our hidden kingdom.”
—Pre-Battle quote as ???.


“ are capable of more than I thought...”
—Defeat quote as ???.

Chapter 22 (Revelation)Edit

Pre-Battle QuoteEdit

“Everything that I do, I do in the name of the great Anankos.”
—Arete's pre-battle quote.

Vs. AzuraEdit

  • Arete: King Anankos will see you destroyed.
  • Azura: ...


“You seem...stronger than before. I should have accounted for that...”
—Arete's defeat quote.

Chapter 23 (Revelation)Edit

Pre-Battle QuoteEdit

“I will not allow you to go any farther. If you try, I will kill you.”
—Arete's pre-battle quote.

Vs. AzuraEdit

  • Arete: Why is it that looking at you gives me such an incredible headache?
  • Azura: I... Could it be...
  • Arete: No matter—killing you will make the pain go away. Prepare yourself for the next world.
  • Azura: After our last encounter, I readied myself for this moment. I knew that, if we met again, I might have to be the one to take you down.

Critical/Skill QuoteEdit

  • "I'm sorry."


—Arete's defeat quote.

Hidden Truths 2Edit

Pre-Battle QuoteEdit

“Lady Lilith has ordered me to annihilate you...”
—Arete's pre-battle quote.


“To think that outsiders could be so powerful...”
—Arete's defeat quote.

V: Endless DawnEdit

Pre-Battle QuoteEdit

“You will die before ever sullying the almighty King Anankos's presence.”
—Arete's pre-battle quote.

Vs. ShigureEdit

  • Arete: It was good of you to come and meet your death firsthand. You've been quite the thorn in our side. You and your mother both. Not to mention a pain in my skull. Every time I lay eyes on you... Every time...
  • Shigure: If you don't understand why that is, then you are truly lost to me. I had hopes...daydreams...about what might happen if you could be saved. What joy we might have shared. What songs we might have sung.
  • Arete: You flatter yourself. I would I deign to do these things with you?
  • Shigure: Do you feel nothing when you look at me? At this pendant? It doesn't stir anything at all within you?
  • Arete: What does the great King Anankos's loyal servant care for such things? Perhaps this pain will stop when I silence you once and for all. But first, let me hear your voice. Sing once more before fading into nothing.
  • Shigure: If I sing, it will be your funeral dirge. For I see there can be no mercy for you. Farewell, Grandmother...


“Ah... finally... I remember at last...”
—Arete's defeat quote.

“I'm so proud of you.”
—Arete's defeat voice clip quote.

“Thank you, Shigure... Go... There may still be time... I'm sorry, Azura... I was...a poor mother to you...”
—Arete teleports to the inner map as an ally unit and activates Dragon Vein

Non-Canon AppearancesEdit

Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher)Edit

Arete is illustrated in the trading card game Fire Emblem Cipher with the following cards:


"Arete", in Greek, means either "excellence" or "moral virtue". In its earliest appearance in Greek, this notion of excellence was ultimately bound up with the notion of the fulfillment of purpose or function: the act of living up to one's full potential. This name may be an allusion to Queen Arete's knowledge about Valla, which she passed to Azura. It is also similar in meaning to Mikoto.

In Greek mythology Arete was the much-loved wife and queen of King Alcinous of Scheria. Both were descendants of the sea god, Poseidon, which may be a possible allusion to Azura, Shigure, and Anankos's water motif.

Her Japanese name, Shen Mei, may come from the Chinese 審美, meaning appreciating the arts or aesthetic appreciation.


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