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23 April 2005 @ 06:33 pm
Some speculation on the military characters  
So, some random chatting with kaitou_marina very late last night turned into a session of speculating on and generally trying to figure out the backgrounds of some of the military characters in Fullmetal Alchemist. It started with Roy and generally wondering how old he was in Ishbal, then extended to Hawkeye as well and today talking to bard_linn Hughes was added to the mix. It was rather interesting, so I figured I'd post what we worked out.

So, here's what we figure, in a simple outline for a summary. Explanations given in paranthesis. There's not anything really major, but some of the references are a little spoilery. Oh, and more based on the events/timeline of the anime, though some generic canon facts may be taken from the manga.

Roy Mustang

-Joined the army by becoming a State Alchemist at 18 years old. (See following; also Roy's reactions at Ishbal imply that he did *not* receive much if any training as a soldier, therefore he must have started as a SA.)

-Sent to Ishbal as a State Alchemist at ~19 years old. (CANON. Roy is 15 years older than Ed according to the age given in the manga, Winry's parents were killed when she was 5, this was just a matter of math. This is also what we based much of the rest of our speculation on.)

-Knew Maes Hughes and possibly Riza Hawkeye prior to joining the military. (Hughes, when talking to Roy in one flashback scene, mentions getting a desk job in the military, implying they probably knew each other prior to joining. Explanation for Hawkeye below.)

Riza Hawkeye

-Attended a military academy as secondary school, entering around the end of the war with Ishbal. (She's clearly a few years younger than Roy, and it seems very unlikely that she would have started as an ordinary soldier and worked all the way up to officer.)

-Had only been under Roy's command a short time when the Elrics came to Central. (She didn't seem to understand Roy's manipulating events and other such things that were typical of him and his group at the time, while later she doesn't even blink.)

-Probably knew Roy prior to choosing a military career. (This theory is based on the dialogue from the scene where she talks with Winry, Hawkeye makes it clear she does not like shooting (and by implication, military ideals) but does so because she has someone she desires to protect. Considering that she would have been of age to enlist during the end of the war, there's no reason to believe she'd be so naive not to realize what position she was putting herself in, therefore speculating she knew Roy *before* she chose to go the military route.)

Maes Hughes

-Attended a military academy. (Hughes is definitely a few years older than Roy, but there's no way he could have been promoted from an ordinary soldier all the way to Major by the time the Elrics come to Central. So he probably went this route to become an officer, while Roy took advantage of the shortcut of becoming a State Alchemist.)

-Advanced in ranks faster than Roy. (Assuming that Hughes started as a Second Lieutenant, he must have been promoted no less than three times to reach the rank of Major by the time we see him in the anime. We're presuming he pulled this off by getting himself into a job in the military that basically handed that to him, similar to how State Alchemists are automatically given the rank of Major.)

-Knew Roy before enlisting. (Obviously Roy and Hughes knew each other from way back, and the way Hughes speaks of getting a desk job implies they knew each other before they both joined up.)

And that's about it, really. Seems short now that I write it up, but it really covers a lot of ground. Of course, there's still Havoc and all the others, but we never really get any sufficient background on them to work with. Personally I think this makes a *lot* of sense, so I figured hey, why not share?
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Melodyenjolras on April 23rd, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I like it! It all makes a lot of sense, like you said. Makes me ponder about so many things now. ^_^
Marikaitou_marina on April 23rd, 2005 06:04 pm (UTC)
Hehe, Roy and Ed have a 14 year age difference XD

This is also the one I typed out last night:

Roy is born in 1885.
Juliet Douglas died in 1898, two years before the war.
Ed is born in 1899, one year before the war.
Al is born in 1900, the Ishvar Conflict begins.
The State Alchemist are brought in in the last six months of the war. Winry's parents are killed during these six months by Roy. Winry is five. Winry's the same age as Ed, so Ed is five and Al is four. The year is 1904. Roy is 19. The war lasted four years.
Six years pass between the end of the war and when Ed and Al attempt the transmuation of their mother.
Ed and Al attempt the transmutation at the ages of 11 and 10. The year is 1910. Roy is 25 when he first meets them.
Ed becomes a State Alchemist at the age of 12. Roy is 26 (more or less).
Three years pass.
Ed is 15 when he brings down the priest at Lior. The year is 1914. Al is 14. Roy is 29.
DigiFaithdigifaith on April 23rd, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, that really does make sense. I guess where they don't give us canon, we have to fill in the gaps, and this seems pretty reasonable.
(Deleted comment)
Marikaitou_marina on April 23rd, 2005 10:46 pm (UTC)
Hughes is just a 1337 n1nj4, that's why XD
purplemewitpurplemewit on April 24th, 2005 09:18 pm (UTC)
One thing about that flashback that gets me, is that frame of Riza looking through the scope at Roy. Is she just watching him? Was she sent to kill him?

Wonder what that's all about... *hopes we'll find out*
Mabis: Roy1mabis on April 24th, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC)
In the anime, it's stated that the Ishbal war lasted 7 years. Also, Winry is about 8 when she finds out that her parents were killed.

I did my own thinking, and figured Roy was about 23 when he was in the Ishbal war. *shrug*

One other thing. Since Roy seemed very good at military battle tactics when he was battling Ed, I'd say Roy did recieve some military training.
Marikaitou_marina on April 24th, 2005 11:40 pm (UTC)
Holy hell, you're right. I had completely forgotten that there was that second age skip in episode 3. Now I feel like a complete moron. Thanks for pointing that out!
ACacdragonmaster on April 25th, 2005 08:31 am (UTC)
Ironically, most of the timeline still works, in my opinion, just with shifting the ages.

And when Roy fought Ed he was quoting things that anyone could learn just by reading books on military tactics, which there are probably plenty of. As for his actual tactics, it feels to me that's just his own practiced style more than anything.