Furina is the latest Archon we meet in the Genshin Impact game and she might be the most interesting one we’ve come across so far. I’m not here going to dive into her gameplay because, at the time of writing this article, her kit and overall mechanics aren’t out yet. Also to preface, I won’t be spilling any leaks and the theories to be discussed here aren’t just my own.
Fontaine’s Archon Quest is nearing its conclusion with one more act to go and so far it’s already the most impressive quest the game has told. Act I “Prelude of Blancheur and Noirceur” and Act II “As Light Rain Falls Without Reason” had us feeling like we were on a trial. Act III “To the Stars Shining in the Depths” made us feel like the inmates in a high-security prison, with its slow-burn pacing and the whole captive atmosphere. Then, Act IV “Cataclysm’s Quickening” dropped some revelations, leaving us all shaken. But, here’s the thing – while we’re getting closer to unraveling the stories behind the three siblings, Navia, Neuvillette, and Wriothesly, we’re still left scratching our heads about the ruler of this watery nation, Furina. She’s been keeping her cards close to her chest, and it’s time we figure out what she’s all about and what she is capable of.
What Is Furina Anyways?
Before we start scaling Furina’s power level as an Archon, let’s establish first who or what this enigmatic character is within the game. So far, she’s been painted as this over-the-top drama queen, who’s got a flair for self-importance but turns into a total scaredy-cat when push comes to shove. She’s your typical privileged theater kid who craves for spotlight and stardom. Now, you might be wondering, what’s behind all that theatrics? Well, it might have something to do with her being linked to the Oceanids, or maybe she is one.
You see, Archons aren’t humans – they’re magical beings that are common, or at least can be found, and they define their respective regions. Venti’s a wind spirit, Zhongli’s an Adeptus, and Nahida’s got her roots in a tree (Irminsul). And while we’re in the dark about what exactly Makoto and Ei are, we can bet our visions they’re not humans. Aside from their long lifespan, their impressive feats, like Ei taking down a god, winning multiple wars, and creating puppets that are alive, are things regular humans can’t even dream of, even with their visions.
Similarly, we don’t actually have clear proof that Furina is an Oceanid, but since they’re magical beings that originated from Fontaine, then it’s safe to assume that Furina is one. And no, Melusines don’t count as natives to Fontaine, since they came from a dragon from Khaenri’ah, who met its end after the cataclysm. This means that Furina doesn’t quite fit into the Melusine category as Egeria, the previous Hydro Archon, would’ve been long gone before Melusines became a thing. Assuming Furina is an Oceanid, we can gather from the ones we’ve crossed paths with in-game that Oceanids are sensitive creatures.
Legend has it that Oceanids originated from the tears of Egeria. In the first act of Fontaine’s Archon quest, Lynette mentioned that tears hold the most intense emotions. Considering that Furina might have been born from Egeria’s tears, it offers a potential explanation for her being an emotional rollercoaster. Plus, the Oceanid in Liyue can be quite the drama queen herself from time to time. But let’s not get carried away thinking we can gauge Furina’s power level based on her feel for melodrama. May she be Egeria’s best tear ever shed in her lifetime, making her the most sensitive Oceanid to exist, it doesn’t reveal a whole lot about her actual strength.
All these theatrics aside, did Furina ever showcase her combat prowess in the story? The girl seems quite hesitant to throw down with the Traveler and Childe, and she’s downright terrified to face off against Arlecchino solo. All we’ve seen her do is munch on cake, make questionable judgments, and yearn for applause. Yet, Archons are supposed to be more than this. They have to be the most powerful or most knowledgeable entities in their nation. But, Furina doesn’t exactly exude strength or knowledge despite her unwavering confidence. So, before we declare her the weakest Archon, let’s take a step back and ponder – was she even one to begin with?
Is Furina Even an Archon?
I know there’s been quite a buzz in the Genshin Impact community about whether Neuvillette might be the real Hydro Archon instead of Furina but let’s put those theories to rest. Act 4 confirms that the Iudex of Fontaine is none other than the Hydro Dragon, one of the Seven Sovereigns. These Sovereigns were the original rulers of Teyvat, predating the Primordial One. They’re like the original Archons, but the Primordial One snatched their authority away and passed it on to the Archons we know today. Act 4 also tells us that part of the gnosis’ power originated from the Seven Sovereigns. So by this logic, Neuvillette will never be an Archon because it’s like trying to give a man his own stolen wallet back. It just doesn’t add up. Plus, Celestia, the one in charge of choosing an Archon, wouldn’t be too thrilled to promote someone they once demoted, right?
Going back to Furina, Arlecchino said she doesn’t quite give off that Archon vibe. The Fatui, who’ve been snatching up gnosis left and right, have at least some idea of what an Archon’s aura feels like. Furina and Neuvillette, according to the 4th Fatui Harbinger, don’t seem to have that special aura. Arlecchino also hinted at Furina being under some sort of curse, although she couldn’t quite pinpoint the specifics. So, if Furina isn’t the Hydro Archon, and Neuvillette doesn’t quite fit the bill either, who is? And can we trust Arlecchino’s words?
The Knave and Her Plans
Before we dive deeper into the Hydro Archon’s identity, let’s take a quick detour into the intriguing character that is Arlecchino. She’s a member of the Fatui Harbingers, and right now, we don’t know much about her. So trusting every word that comes out of her mouth? Well, that’s a gamble. In Commedia dell’arte, the Italian theater that serves as the inspiration for the Fatui Harbingers, Arlecchino seems to be inspired by “Harlequin.” This character is known for being a clever servant who often thwarts their master’s plans to pursue their agenda. In the community, there’s this ongoing discussion about whether Arlecchino might pull a fast one on the Fatui to save Fontaine or vice versa, where she betrays Fontaine for her own gains. In reality, we can’t identify her true intentions, which amps up her mysterious factor.
What do I think Arlecchino will do? Arlecchino might just toss a curveball at both Fontaine and the Fatui. Her efforts to “save” Fontaine are just a cover to nab the hydro gnosis but she won’t be handing it over to Tsaritsa. Instead, she has her own plans with the gnosis and who knows, she might have more secret schemes up her sleeve too, ready to unfold in due time. Speaking of the hydro gnosis, where is it?
The Oratrice Mecanique d’Analyse Cardinale
Arlecchino’s words about the gnosis not being with Furina and the absence of it in Neuvillette’s possession have led us to speculate where it is. If Neuvillette had it, he’d have probably taken back his authority and dealt with that cataclysmic prophecy by now. However, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to at least guess where it is since it’s most likely inside the Oratrice Mecanique d’Analyse Cardinale (we’ll just call it the Oratrice from here on since it’s a bit of a mouthful).
Supposedly crafted by Furina herself, the Oratrice is one fascinating contraption as it’s like a belief-to-power converter, using people’s faith in justice to create Indemnitium, a power source found in Fontaine. What’s more, it’s got its own consciousness and delivers judgment with accuracy. Nahida mentioned that Focalors has the authority to influence the final verdict and here’s the twist: what if Nahida wasn’t talking about Furina, but rather the Oratrice? If Furina was the archon then she could’ve just easily made Childe’s verdict from guilty to innocent on that trial since she had the authority to do so, but what did we see instead? Furina panicked and quickly dashed out of the room, completely clueless about the situation. Nahida also stated that Focalors show up at pretty much every trial, and guess where the Oratrice is located? On the stage of the Opera Epiclese, the place where all the court trials are held. So, could it be that the Oratrice is the true Archon of Fontaine and the keeper of the hydro gnosis? It could be. However, before we jump to any conclusions, it’s worth considering other reasons why Nahida might have phrased things that way. We’ll keep that thought in the back of our minds as we delve deeper into understanding Furina and her power.
Pneuma and Ousia
With limited information about Furina, this is where the lore theory crafting begins. First off, we’ll dig into the newly added mechanics in Fontaine, the Arkhe system. From a gameplay perspective, Arkhe has two forms: Pneuma and Ousia. These are primarily for world exploration and puzzle-solving in Fontaine, and they also add an extra layer to combat by weakening or disabling certain enemies in the region. Fontaine’s characters are aligned with one of these two elements. Lyney, Neuvillette, and Freminet have Pneuma alignment, while Lynette and Wriothesly are linked with Ousia alignment. When they use specific skills, a corresponding sword emerges to deal extra damage or trigger unique mechanics.
In terms of lore, there are no pieces of information about the exact nature of Pneuma and Ousia. However, their names might provide a hint. Ousia is derived from the ancient Greek word “οὐσία,” meaning “being” or “ontic” (related to physical reality). Pneuma, on the other hand, comes from the Greek word “πνεῦμα,” which means “spirit” or “breath” (associated with air in motion).
Looking closer at Furina’s water droplet-shaped pendant, it becomes apparent that its design combines the Ousia and Pneuma symbols seen on the sword handles when these two elements are unleashed in combat. This strongly suggests that Furina possesses mastery over both alignments. So, here’s a wild theory: What if Oratrice and Furina are actually one and the same, being and spirit separated? The Furina we see strutting around is just her physical form, her “being,” while the consciousness residing inside the Oratrice is her true spirit. This spirit is the one pulling the strings behind the scenes, making the final judgments in the court trials, and gathering all that Indemnitium. It’s a plausible theory and it could be the key to unraveling the mysteries surrounding Furina and the true nature of Fontaine.
If Furina and the Oratrice are indeed one and the same, it strongly supports the notion that Furina is the Hydro Archon and Nahida would still be technically correct about her statement. The division of her being and spirit, with most of her wisdom residing within the Oratrice, might explain the absence of that distinctive Archon aura that Arlecchino mentioned and why she doesn’t know what happened during Childe’s case. As for whether having mastery over both Ousia and Pneuma makes Furina powerful, that remains a matter of speculation. We can’t definitively say without additional context since we can’t tell how powerful the Arkhe system actually is. Nonetheless, it certainly makes her a unique figure among the Archons, as she has two extra elements at her disposal. Should we receive more lore on the potential influence of the Arkhe system and its powers in the future, it could play a significant role in determining Furina’s true power level.
Considering the scarcity of reliable information about Furina, it’s most likely impossible to tell what she’s truly capable of. And for that, we can regard her as the weakest Archon for now until the next patch comes out. However, if you’d like, there are a couple of theories I’d like to discuss more that I’ve seen from the community that could potentially be or is part of Furina’s origins and these scenarios might shed light on her abilities and power, providing fresh perspectives on this enigmatic character. So if you’re still up, let’s embark on this journey through these mind-blowing (sometimes copium) theories and plunge into the uncharted depths of Genshin Impact lore.
Even She Knows Not to Make an Enemy of the Divine
The initial info we get about the Hydro archon is from the “Teyvat Chapter Storyline Preview: Travail” video, wherein Dainsleif said this about her: “The God of Justice lives for the spectacle of the courtroom, seeking to judge all other gods.” This line does indeed raise some intriguing questions. How does this even work when Furina is at the same level of authority as other archons or gods for that matter? It seems paradoxical for a deity on the same level of authority as other gods to be the judge, and this makes us wonder about the true dynamics of power in Teyvat. However, what if that’s not the case? What if Furina is actually above all gods in Teyvat and for that to happen her origins must be from Celestia?
According to the lore of Focalor from Ars Goetia, where all the archon’s names are based and their stories are inspired, Focalor came from heaven and was banished to hell for aiding the wicked and with the hopes of coming to heaven, he was deceived. Drawing inspiration from this, the tale of Focalor might share some parallels with the potential journey of Furina.
Furina might have come from Celestia and descended to Teyvat to partake in the Archon War. As a consequence of this decision, Celestia imposed punishment upon her. The rising of the primordial waters will inevitably dissolve “her people,” is the result of her crime. This punishment also might come in the form of a curse which could have severed her ties to Celestia, preventing her from returning to the heavenly realm. So how does Furina combat this punishment?
The theory proposes that Furina is amassing a substantial amount of Indemnitium, a term rooted in indemnity, which means compensation or protection against losses, damages, or liabilities. This vast collection of Indemnitium might serve as a means for Furina to pay for her past transgressions and ultimately ascend back to Celestia, where she might be able to save Fontaine, the nation she holds so dear. But then, the question arises as to whether Furina, once back in Celestia, would retain her title as Archon. It’s conceivable that she could continue governing Fontaine from her celestial position and with her elevated status within Celestia, she might gain the authority to judge other gods.
One key thing supporting this theory is the absence of a vision or elemental emblem on Furina’s character card. Unlike almost everyone, including Aloy, who typically features the emblem or element on their character cards, Furina’s card lacks such. It’s also noteworthy that both the Traveler cards don’t have it either and they might be linked to Celestia as well. As mentioned earlier, there’s the possibility that Furina can wield both pneuma and ousia alignments, a power not achievable even by Neuvillette, the Hydro Dragon but a power only someone from Celestia can wield.
Another thing is that the line “But even she knows not to make an enemy of the divine,” also raises some thought-provoking questions about Furina’s knowledge and experiences. How does Furina know why she would not make an enemy of the divine? Who told her? Is this forbidden knowledge or did she just see the destruction of Khaenri’ah and is now scared of Celestia? Or perhaps, Furina’s awareness of not making an enemy of the divine could be rooted in her possible origins in Celestia.
With this theory, we can say that Furina’s power could surpass that of the archons we are familiar with. Now before all of you Zhongli and Ei mains grab your vortex vanquishers and engulfing lightnings to rally upon me, this is all just a theory. While acknowledging that this theory may not be the most watertight explanation and there are clearly a lot of holes in it, it still offers a unique twist for an Archon. However, the two other theories may shed more light on her true origins, adding to the anticipation and speculation surrounding her character.
The final summer event leading up to the release of a new region often provides a compact plot summary and serves as a teaser for the upcoming region’s Archon quest. The first Golden Apple Archipelago event was all about the history of a pirate group involved in a rebellion against Inazuma’s Shogunate. And what did we do during Inazuma’s archon quest? We became part of a rebellion against the Shogun.
In the second Golden Apple Archipelago event, we encountered a diverse group of characters who, at first glance, seemed to lack chemistry. However, it became evident that they foreshadowed key themes in the upcoming Sumeru region: Kazuha’s story provided subtle hints about Scaramouche’s involvement in Sumeru with both characters sharing an Anemo element and having undergone significant losses in their journeys. Xinyan’s focus on flowers and music resonates with the goddess of flowers, a significant figure in Sumeru’s lore. Mona’s pursuit of knowledge related to the stars mirrors King Deshret’s thirst for knowledge on how to create a utopian society in Sumeru. Lastly, Fischl’s story parallels Nahida’s narrative — a child confined within a prison of their own making, who must conquer their insecurities to gain freedom.
In the latest summer event leading up to the arrival of Fontaine, Klee was entrusted by Alice to visit a magical acquaintance in the desert. This magical friend turned out to be an Oceanid named Idyia, who had willingly confined herself within a magic bottle, creating her own private world. Our task was to assist Idyia in repairing various attractions within this enchanting realm known as Bottle Land. During our time in Bottle Land, we encountered different individuals from all corners of Teyvat. What we eventually came to realize was that each person we met within the bottle was, in fact, a Hydro Eidolon, adopting the form and personality of Idyia’s previous visitors. These eidolons were created by Idyia to enable these individuals to fulfill their desires and wishes within the confines of Bottle Land. Although it’s not explicitly stated that these Hydro Eidolons are a part of Idyia, there is a strong connection between her and their abilities. Kokomi notes that eidolons have the capacity to assume various forms, including a human shape, especially when referencing Idyia’s current human form. Additionally, Idyia herself mentions that it’s her memories that empower the eidolons to take on the appearances of the humans who have visited her realm.
Idyia exhibits extreme insecurity to the extent that she abandons endeavors before even attempting them. Coincidentally, there is another character who shares these traits – Furina. If we consider the parallel between summer event stories and the teasers for upcoming regions, it becomes increasingly likely that Fontaine is akin to Furina’s Bottle Land, and its inhabitants are Hydro Eidolons in disguise. This perspective helps clarify why individuals from Fontaine dissolve in water, as seen in the first two acts of the Archon quest. This phenomenon occurs because the residents of Fontaine are not actually human beings; rather, they are Hydro Eidolons assuming human forms. As for Furina, her solitude and inability to dissolve are attributed to her status as the Oceanid, much like Idyia. Her cries at the Fountain of Lucine, expressing her loneliness, stem from the revelation that everyone in Fontaine is, in fact, only a manifestation of her own memories. Essentially, it’s as if she is playing house all by herself. This unique ability to create life and sustain an entire nation independently gives us a glimpse of Furina’s power. Given that she has been exercising this ability for approximately 500 years, it is conceivable that she possesses an extraordinary amount of power. And given that she might have created these “people” that can behave as typical humans do, then it just goes to show how absurd her power is. However, something doesn’t add up. If Furina is the one responsible for the Hydro Eidolons becoming humans, why would Egeria warn her about the prophecy? Did she just blatantly ignore the warnings and is now facing this impending catastrophe? Or perhaps, she’s not the who created the Eidolons but rather her predecessor Egeria?
The Original Sin is the Fairest
“The original sin is the fairest: Everyone sinks… Make the most of the final feast, because for the sinners, the curtain call has come.” If you’ve watched the initial teaser for Fontaine’s “The Final Feast,” you might recognize these words as the words of Egeria. This raises a series of intriguing questions: What is the original sin? Why are all Fontanians born burdened with this sin, destined to gradually dissolve into the waters? And how is Furina connected to all of this?
The key to understanding this lies in the fact that all the original inhabitants of Fontaine, have already submerged beneath the waters. Consequently, Egeria was compelled to create Hydro Eidolons to imitate humans because what’s a ruler without her people? As a result, this feat challenges the Primordial One’s exclusive status as the sole god known to create life. This act of creating life is what constitutes the original sin.
In the “A Secret Born From Ashes” limited quest event, Albedo poses a question: “Is creation an arrogant act? If not, why are the beings who created and controlled them referred to as “gods”? However, if creation is indeed an arrogant act, what entitles them to call themselves creators?” This line helps us understand the limitations of someone in creating life before it becomes an arrogant act. This is why Ei, didn’t commit a sin despite technically creating two lives namely, Scaramouche and the Raiden Shogun.
Egeria, having created thousands or millions of living creatures is now deemed a creator and directly competes for the title held by the Primordial One. Her actions constitute a sin that no one had ever dared to commit, which is why she refers to it as the fairest sin, thus, every individual born in Fontaine carries the weight of this sin because they are the result of a sinful creation.
As divine punishment for this audacious act of creation, Celestia has initiated the rise of the primordial waters to cleanse the land of Fontaine completely. So, where does Furina fit into this grand narrative, and what role does she play in the upcoming events?
Furina – Fontaine’s Idol
In the early stages of Fontaine’s Archon Quest’s first act, an NPC referred to Furina as the mascot of Fontaine, a role she embodies quite well. However, what if this seemingly innocent figurehead status was part of Egeria’s grand plan to foil the prophecy? Egeria warned Furina about the prophecy, emphasizing the dire consequences that could unfold if they were to fail.
It’s plausible that Egeria devised a rather cunning scheme, dividing Furina into two distinct parts. One part, containing all her divinity, would reside within the Oratrice, holding the gnosis, while the other would take on the role of a Hydro Eidolon concealed within the guise of an archon to keep up the illusion that everything’s fine and nothing is wrong with Fontaine like how the Varunada Lazurite Gemstone describes it. This may be the curse of Furina, an idol who’s forced to wear fake smiles and keep everyone entertained.
While Furina continues to masquerade as an archon, she collects significant amounts of Indemnitium from the trials to amass sufficient energy and power, which, in conjunction with Neuvillette, could potentially counteract the rising primordial waters, ultimately freeing her people.
Furina’s presence in this elaborate ruse is vital. She must maintain the facade of a thriving legal system in Fontaine to generate interest and excitement, all for the express purpose of harvesting the energy needed for this plan to ultimately come to fruition. If she were to fail in this plan, she would end up alone with no people to govern. If she were to succeed, maybe it’s about time for her to retire from the role as Archon because as far as it looks, she doesn’t want to be in the position she’s in, ultimately meaning that she is the weakest archon we’ll ever encounter.
The Final Verdict
Is Furina the weakest Archon we’ve encountered or will ever encounter? With the current in-game evidence, she does appear to be among the less powerful when it comes to practically everything. However, her strength lies not in martial prowess or extensive knowledge but in her skill for entertainment, and the ability to captivate and engage a crowd.
When we consider the three theories, the first one proposes that Furina hails from Celestia. If this were true, she might actually be the most potent archon we’ve encountered, given her higher authority over other gods.
The second theory suggests that Furina is, in reality, the Oceanid, and Fontaine is her own personal realm of amusement. While this might be sad to think about, the ability to singlehandedly build and give an entire region signifies a remarkable level of strength.
The last theory proposes that Furina is merely a Hydro Eidolon assuming the role of an archon. In this scenario, she may not possess any significant magical capabilities, which would categorize her as the weakest archon who ever lived.
What do I think about all of this? Well I don’t really care about the archon’s power level, I’m all here for the personality, the character design, and the overall impact they have on the game’s lore. From what I’ve seen, Furina has impacted the community a lot too. I know a lot of people dislike her personality, how people are doubting her as the hydro archon and all but can we all agree for once that she’s not a bland archon? One that adds charm to Genshin Impact with their whole personality and story rather than someone who gets everyone crazy just because they can pull a sword out of their chest despite being the worst-written archon in the game.
Anyway, that’s just my take on all of this. Furina is basically the character I’ve been waiting for the most and I’m really excited for her to become a playable character (I’ve saved over 100k primos for her). Hoyoverse has thus far done an impressive job with Furina and the Fontaine region, and I’m hopeful they’ll maintain the quality in the final act. But what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you consider Furina the weakest archon, or do you believe she still harbors untold secrets that could reveal her true power?
If you’ve read this far enough then I would like to say thank you for and I really appreciate you for that. Reading a lot of theories about Furina gathering information from the community then trying to connect them together was very fun. I might write more opinion articles about Genshin Impact soon too but for now, I’m busy praising Furina’s beauty, magnificence, and purity.