What's the Difference Between having Major and Minor Holy Blood/Crests?

I’ve always wondered about this playing Genealogy of the Holy War, but what made having Major Blood so special than having Minor Blood? While I get only Major Blooded characters can wield the Divine Weapons of their respective bloodlines, it still never made sense to me storywise. Were they meant to be the next incarnation of the Crusaders to stand against Loptyr? or were they simply meant to signify who was important and who wasn’t?

I do like that three Houses kind of abolished this kind of weird mechanic as it doesn’t matter if you have a Major or Minor Crest you can still wield your bloodline’s Hero Relic or Sacred Weapon. But why didn’t they just call them Crests then?

Because one of the games came out nearly thirty years ago?


In FE4 the firstborns are the ones with Major Blood and are supposed to be the direct descendant of the 12 Crusaders, meaning they carry the blood and power of their ancestors.
There’s no other deep meaning behind the blood status, because there wasn’t any prophecy or will the descendants must follow.

Mechanic-wise the Holy Blood bestow growth rate bonuses, and these are doubled if the unit has major blood, it also increases a weapon rank by 1 for minor (Caps at A) and to max for major.

In the lore, characters with major blood are innate warriors, you have Andrey, who has minor Ullr’s blood, but he is not as skilled as Brigid, who has major Ullr’s blood. There are so many examples of this. (Sigurd and Ethlyn, Altena and Leif, Ayra and Shanan, etc.)

As for crests, that’s the localized name, they’re originally called “Emblems” in Japanese (Yes, Byleth’s crest is literally the Fire Emblem I don’t understand why IS is avoiding to use the name Fire Emblem since Fates), and unlike the Holy Blood, the Crests can harm their weilders and they can be placed/removed.
And Crest apparently have a phisical manifestation:

Minor spoiler from Black Eagles Ending

Having a major or minor crest only changes the % of activating the skill.

Crests and Holy Blood are quite similar, but work differently.

Minor note that lorewise (although this doesn’t occur in-game afaik, beyond mixing two minor bloods to get a major) major blood doesn’t always go to the first born. This is why Mystletainn is in House Nordion instead of the Augustrian royal family; because at some point, major blood went to a younger royal daughter in a generation instead of the first born, so when she married into Nordion’s house, Mystletainn went with her. I guess you could headcanon it as something like holy blood having a will of its own for who “deserves” to wield the weapon in that generation, and granting them major blood instead of minor.

It becomes quite obvious when you look at how FE4 works.
Major blood characters are the full - blooded descendants of the original lineage. It’s winning a gene lottery. It seems the holy blood is a simple binary allele that is: everyone has two copies of the holy blood gene and it also seems holy blood is in fact not dominant. So you need two positives.
So, an example. We have person A, who has major holy blood (let’s mark it as HH) and a person B that’s a commoner and has no holy blood of this type (hh). Let’s make a table:

A/B || H || H
h || Hh || Hh
h || Hh || Hh

A descendant.of these two people won’t have major holy blood, they will have minor and it will not let them use the holy weapons.

But let’s take two people with minor holy blood…

A/B || H || h
H || HH || Hh
h || Hh || Hh

There’s a 1/4 chance of a pureblood offspring! And that’s exactly what happens when you pair two minor holy blood characters in FE4 (but the chance is set to 1 for gameplay reasons).

So that’s my working theory. Holy blood is an artificially created recessive gene mutation. Judging by what we learn in 3H, that is that FE dragons most likely are an extraterrestrial and very technically advanced civilisation it’s possible they could modify some humans that later become the crusaders or the humans themselves could experience such mutations by consuming a heavily mutagenic substance the dragons use as their blood / produce in any other way.


Ishtar is another example of that.
Ishtore is Bloom’s eldest son, but Ishtar is the one who inherited the major blood.

As written in the play, they are the descendants of some twelve or so heroes who drank the blood of the dragon tribe.
Their power is passed on to their children, but not necessarily to their eldest son.
If the power is inherited, the bonus and its Holy Weapon can be used to its fullest.

The priest Galle, who received his power from the Dark Dragon, created the Loputo Empire.
He made harsh policies because he had to offer sacrifices to the god Loputo.
There were people who rebelled against it, but the Lopto Empire, with the blessing of the dark god, was strong and cornered.
After a fierce battle, they were down to the last dozen or so, and just before their last stronghold fell, a miracle occurred.
When the dragon tribe learned that the Loputo dragons were tormenting the humans, they sent their power and weapons to their people.
They used their power to defeat the Loputo empire.

The continent where the dragon lives is considered to be the continent of Akaneia in FE1.
Priest Galle arrived at the continent of Akaneia after a journey and received blessings from the Loputo dragon.
Loputo took its name from Loki in Norse mythology.
The Loputo are considered to be the earthly dragon tribe to which Medius belonged.
Therefore, it is thought that it was the divine dragon tribe to which Tiki belonged that lent its power to humans.
Perhaps drinking the blood of Tiki and Cheney would make Mars and his people stronger.

It is expressed that they drank blood, but it is not clear whether they just drank it or whether they did something like a blood transfusion.
I thought it was an easy explanation to understand that it was an artificially created recessive gene.

This work contains a lot of Germanic style things in its name.
I suspect this is probably because Kaga was addicted to Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
This is because of the overlap in the time period in which it was developed.


That’s probably not quite how it works because, as twins, Brigid and Adean, are genetic copies of each other and only Brigid has major holy blood (unless they’re supposed to be fraternal twins, but the conversation where Adean gives Brigid Yewfelle starts with Brigid acknowledging that they look just like each other).

It would also mean that pretty much anyone who can use a major holy weapon is the result of at least a cousin marriage.

All of Erynis, Tiltyu, and Sylvia would have to be Forseti’s descendants.

Arvis and Cygyun would have to be descended from Heim.

Deirdre would have to be descended from Baldr.

Granye would have to be descended from Hezul.

I could go on, but I don’t think Jugdral is meant to be that inbred. Because there’s a villager who mentions it was considered a taboo to cross to minor holy blood holders to produce an individual with major holy blood.

Somewhat the same thing with crests

Rodrique has a minor crest while his son Felix has a major crest and daddy issues

Annette has a minor crest while her father Gustave has none at all and also daddy issues

Yeah it’s kinda convoluted how people are born with crest. Like someone who’s a descendent of the ten elites bears no crest at all but their offspring does. Fodlan is wack

Also I haven’t played three houses in a long while so my mind doesn’t remember every single factor of the game’s lore so don’t judge me two hard on how they work plz

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Minor correction

Three Houses Spoilers

That’s only for Byleth, that’s the crest stone that was implanted in him that lets him wield the Sword of the Creator. For most other crests, the stone is currently in the respective holy weapon.

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Well… This happens in real life with certain genetic conditions. Sometimes they skip a generation or two, but the gene is still there, but dormant. So Gustave, while having no crests, might still have something in him that makes his offspring bear a crest.

Though… this is fantasy lore. Not genetics.


They really expect us fire emblem fans to understand genetics? All we care about is just waifus smh /s

One of the new features adopted from FE4 is Sacred Flash.
This is a flash that is inserted into the screen when the Sacred Waapon is used.
This system was used in subsequent series.
It’s often set up as a top-of-the-line weapon in Hack rom.

In FE4, the Sacred Waapon has a Dragon Stone embedded in it, which is truly activated when touched by a person who has inherited the blood of a dragon.
At this time, Flash occurs.

It is not clear whether dragon blood is a gene or some sort of virus.
I can only describe it as a mysterious power that is occasionally passed on to its descendants.

It is a fantasy world with magic, so we do not know how far the laws of science and physics we know apply.
At the very least, magic defies the laws of thermodynamics.

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Logic doesn’t matter. Only the waifus

Jokes aside, do like when the sacred weapons are locked to certain characters (such as lords or important characters) has lore to it on why it’s locked to them rather than just because

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