If you take a look at all of the lords in the Fire Emblem series, one could make the observation that they tend to be of higher status than most of the other characters. For reference, here’s a list of all the lords throughout the series (by lord, I’m referring to a major character in the story).
- FE1/3/11/12 - Marth is the prince of Altea, so he’s a royal. And in FE12, if they count, Kris is a soldier who was trained by a former knight before arriving in Altea.
- FE2/15 - Alm was brought up as a commoner, despite him being the crown prince of Rigel, because he was never made aware of it, probably because Mycen worries about his friend’s son a bit much. Celica was brought up as a priestess, but those close to her, as well as herself, knew about her claim to the Zofian throne.
- FE4 - Sigurd is a noble of Grannvale’s House Chalphy, and Seliph is his heir.
- FE5 - Leif is the supposed sole survivor of House Leonster, and is the heir to its throne.
- FE6 - Roy is a Lycian noble from House Pherae.
- FE7 - Eliwood is a noble of House Pherae, Hector is the heir to House Ostia, the biggest in Lycia, and Lyn was the Lorca chieftan’s daughter as well as the heir to House Caelin. (I don’t remember a lot of FE7, nor do I care to, but I remember reading that Lyn’s dad was quite important.)
- FE8 - Ephraim and Eirika are the prince and princess of Renais respectively.
- FE9 - Ike was a common born mercenary, although his father earned quite the reputation in Daein. While he does become Crimean nobility, he resignes and bugs off after the events of the game.
- FE10 - Despite being the true heir of the Begnion, Micaiah lived her life as a commoner. Ike is also here.
- FE13 - Chrom is the prince of the Haildom of Ylisse, and becomes the countries exalt after his older sister dies. Robin was pretty important to the Grimleal as well.
- FE14 - Corrin is Vallite royalty and lived in Hoshido before adoptive dad King Sumeragi got killed by King Garon of Nohr, who then took Corrin in as his own.
- FE16 - Edelgard is next in line for the Adrestian throne, Dimitri is the crown prince of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and Claude is poised to be the senior duke of the Leicester Alliance. Some call Seteth to be the lord of Silver Snow due to his importance to the story, and he is very high up in the Church’s hierarchy. Byleth was raised as a mercenary, despite kinda being the grandchild of the Archbishop.
Now that I got that out of the way, we can now get to the meat and potatoes of why lords tend to be high up in the social ladder. For those that saw Clive and Python’s support in FE15, Python says something along the lines of (I’m obviously paraphrasing here) “commoners don’t care who’s butt is on the throne, all they care about is having food on the table and not freezing.” In short, commoners don’t tend to have vested interests in politics, hell, it’s why Ike backs off from being a noble in between PoR and RD. As such, commoners only care about their 9-5 life and not much more. To further add onto this, the lords that ARE commoners tended to be mercenaries (I guess Alm is an exception, but Alm and Micaiah are weird cases), because they care about fighting due to that being their job. Heck, villages you visit tend to tell you mostly about what’s going on and what the place is like. Nobles and royals don’t have to worry about starving or freezing thanks to their wealth and status, but because they have to worry about the country’s management, they have a more vested interest when it comes to the political issues involving alliances and wars. Some nobles would prefer certain treaties over others and every noble/royal has a different opinion. From a writing perspective, for such a plot about a war to happen, the noble/royal in question would be a better vantage point because the noble/royal has a vested interest to make the conflict end, as well as showing the reader that these nobles and royals are human, despite what other thoughts may pop up. Commoners would rather things end quickly, as that would cause a drop in prices, but would likely live as they normally do for the most part. Nobles and royals, however, need to try to find solutions to the conflict, because funding an army costs money and high taxes along with steeper prices for too long could cause revolts, which is the last thing a country needs when it’s at war. One could argue that the soldiers would have a vested interest in ending the conflict, but often they’re “just following orders” because there isn’t much else to do for soldiers outside of war aside maintaining border security and similar jobs.
Nowadays, you could argue that commoners care more about foreign relations than they did before, but remember that it is mostly thanks to improvements in delivering the news, and that the quality of life has shot up in the last thousand years which means far more people have what to eat and keep themselves warm with, so the commoners of today are more like the nobles of yestermillenia.
tl;dr the lords being higher on the social ladder is because it’s easier for writers to work with because the worries of the commoners back in the day were much simpler, but for more dire reasons.