You almost always know when a villain first appears in the Final Fantasy series. Sometimes it’s glaringly obvious, as is the case with Exdeath in Final Fantasy V. Other times, the road to villainy may take some twists and turns (looking at you Sephiroth). Then there’s Seymour Guado. On the surface, he’s a bad guy. Then you get to know him better… and he’s still a bad guy, and a cringe-worthy one at that. But like the saying goes, a villain is the hero of his own story, and Final Fantasy X is all about the story.
When Seymour first steps off the boat in Luca, he does so with the reputation preceding him. He holds the title of Maester, a title reserved for the religious elite of the Yevon religion. As such, he commands respect from its followers, though not from everyone due to his heritage. As the offspring of a Guado and a human, Seymour endures discrimination, even exile, merely by existing. In fact, most of his early life was spent alongside his mother on the island of Baaj, banished by his own father because his presence in the Guado community fostered outrage. Of course, the biggest outrage in this early tale is that Seymour’s birth was originally meant to bring the Guado and humans together.
During this time of isolation, Seymour had only his mother for comfort. Knowing she was close to death, and seeing how distant the races of Spira had become, Seymour’s mother took him to Zanarkand where she became a fayth. Her intention was for Seymour to use her Aeon form, Anima, to defeat Sin and unite the people of Spira, however Seymour couldn’t go through with the summoning in his time of grief. He returned to Baaj alone.
Once Braska’s Calm brought peace to Spira, Seymour returned to the Guado and his father’s side. In the next few years, he formulated and put into motion a plan to free Spira from Sin, but also from suffering. Seymour is a man who has suffered greatly, to a point where he no longer sees or cares for life and the small joys one can cling to. You could say the people of Spira have even made him what he is. Their intolerance for racial unity and their blind acceptance to the traditions of Yevon have caused his suffering, and as a result, he cares nothing for the living. His only desire left is to “save” Spira from further pain, and he means to do so by becoming Sin and destroying everything.
Final Fantasy X is a game with a rich story, and Seymour’s tale is only a part of what’s going on, though one could argue Seymour presents the most pressing danger. Yu Yevon might be the big bad, and Sin is really just a symptom of Yu Yevon’s summoning , but Seymour stands against Yuna and her guardians at almost every turn, tempting them and fighting in an attempt to coerce the summoner into letting him become the next Sin. Even after the guardians fight and defeat Seymour on Mt. Gagazet, his pyreflies (his spirit) finds a way inside Sin where he struggles to control it.
After Seymour’s defeat, Yuna sends him, and his story comes to a close. In the world of Spira, there are bigger villains to fight and more stories to tell. Seymour’s tale is relegated to the past and seemingly forgotten, for racial divides and intolerant belief systems continue into Final Fantasy X’s sequel. Seymour Guado, a villain born from misery and unable to cope with his pain, gave Spira a lesson it learned nothing from. It wasn’t until Yuna saved Spira from the threat of the laughable piano-weapon Vegnagun that the people came together.
Maybe Seymour should’ve been allowed to turn into Sin after all.
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