Sir Auron, Reluctant Legend of Final Fantasy X
A gruff, mysterious, formidable warrior, Sir Auron of Final Fantasy X keeps his secrets.
By combining hints dropped in FFX game dialog with details from the Japanese-only Final Fantasy X Ultimania Guides by Square-Enix,* we can learn more about Auron than ever before.
*Huge thanks to pmog for her translation of Auron's backstory, which aided my research.
Unless otherwise noted, images are from Final Fantasy X © Square-Enix.
FFX Trivia: What Does Auron Drink?
Auron's Backstory: The Legend Begins
Warrior Monk of Bevelle
Some aspects of the man remain a mystery. We know nothing of Auron's parents, his home, or his childhood. All we know is that he shot up the ranks of the warrior monks quickly, and was slated for promotion to second-in-command by the age of twenty-five. Then disaster struck.
Auron refused a politically astute marriage to "the priest's daughter." Which priest, we don't know, but likely he was the high priest of Bevelle Temple whose defense is the main duty of the Warrior Monks. Afterwards, as Braska says, Auron was "doomed to obscurity." It seems that Auron was not officially kicked out of the warrior monks, but lost all chance of advancement. His old friend Kinoc received the promotion instead.
Ironically, Auron's religious convictions were his undoing. He had rejected the marriage because "it had no relation whatsoever to Yevon's teachings" [Ultimania Guide - trans. pmog]. Either warrior monks were supposed to be celibate, or Auron thought they should be.
Who Are the Warrior Monks?
Military Arm of St. Bevelle
On the Warrior
The Yevon Temples have the "Warrior Monk Corps" as its personal military force. The principal duties of the warrior monks are the defense of the temple of St Bevelle and the protection of high ranking priests, as typified by the maesters. They don't play a fundamental role in security around the world, although they are deployed throughout Spira in times of emergency.
Monks of Bevelle
Officially, the Warrior Monk Corps are considered to be a moderate organisation. But behind the scenes, they have a duty to crack down on traitors to the Temples, and have oppressed and caused harm to those like the Al Bhed for a long time. However, most people are unaware of this fact.
~ Ultimania Omega Guide, pmog's translation
Auron's Backstory: Jecht's Spheres - Glimpses of a younger, less mature Sir Auron
Lord Braska's Pilgrimage
A Legend Is Born...and Dies
With such conservative religious beliefs, Auron seems an unlikely man to befriend a heretic priest, let alone one who had lost his reputation by marrying a heathen. However, Auron knew what it was to be misjudged by Yevon. Betrayed by the church he served, the young monk was drawn to Braska's noble character and unshakable desire to defeat Sin the destroyer and end Spira's suffering.
Braska's unorthodox style would take some getting used to. When he picked up a drunken madman from the dungeon to guide them to Zanarkand, Auron was scandalized. As if overcompensating for their loutish companion, Auron remained stiff, formal, almost tongue-tied in Braska's presence, always addressing him as Lord Braska (Braska-sama in the Japanese version).
In contrast to the Auron we know best, Jecht's sphere recordings show young Auron as a testy, hot-tempered, passionate twentysomething, far less patient than his older companions (Braska was 35, Jecht in his early 30s). Thankfully, over the course of the pilgrimage, Auron began to show a glimmer of a sense of humor and finally came to respect Jecht as a friend.
In the end, friendship trumped the teachings of Yevon, but proved equally futile. Outside the Hall of the Final Summoning, Auron begged Braska and Jecht to turn back. It was the one time Auron ever dropped -sama and addressed Braska to his face as a friend. But they brushed their young comrade's counsel aside.
Jecht sacrificed himself to become the Final Aeon. With his aid, Braska defeated Sin, whereupon Auron learned the heart of Yevon's lies. There on the battlefield where his lord had just died, Auron must have witnessed Jecht's transformation into the new Sin. The grieving young warrior returned to Zanarkand, attacked Yunalesca and lost his own life trying to avenge his comrades.
Auron the Unsent: Rebel With a Cause
Anything But a Legend
And yet Auron's story did not end. So great was his anger and grief over what had happened, so great was his self-loathing for failing to stop Braska and Jecht from throwing their lives away, that Auron became a wandering spirit, an unsent.
Gone was Auron's faith in Yevon's teachings. In its place was an indomitable resolve to break Sin's cycle and end the pilgrimage's futility.
Until that happened, Auron's life and death were meaningless, and he accounted himself a failure. The title of "Legendary Guardian" utterly infuriated him.
Where Did Auron Die? - From Ruined Zanarkand to Dream-Zanarkand
Auron: When Braska and Jecht died defeating Sin...I just couldn't accept it. I came back here [to Zanarkand]...tried to avenge them. But she struck me down. Somehow I made my way, crawling, down Mount Gagazet. But my strength left me just outside Bevelle. That's where Kimahri found me. I told him about Yuna...just before I died. I've been wandering ever since, never going to the Farplane.
Auron: Don't make that face. Being dead has its advantages. I was able to ride Sin and go to your Zanarkand.
Auron in Zanarkand - Evidently someone gave him shades...
The circumstances of Auron's death are confusing. How did Auron manage to escape Yunalesca's lair in old Zanarkand, climb over Mt. Gagazet and cross the Calm Lands on foot before expiring?
Somewhere during the crossing of the Calm Lands, Auron bumped into Rin. It seems that the Al Bhed merchant brought him back to his Travel Agency to tend him: "I could not leave a wounded man to die." To Rin's surprise, Auron was gone the next morning.
I have seen at least one fanfiction story -- I wish I could remember where -- which almost makes sense of Auron's impossible cross-country trek. In that story, Rin stumbles across Auron at the foot of Gagazet and ferries him back to the Agency with his hover. That still leaves an awful lot of ground to cover for someone at death's door.
We can take this episode as a testament to Auron's butt-headedness, or, possibly, a minor plot hole. While the game doesn't say it, I'm going to assume that Jecht picked up Auron outside Bevelle and carried him back to Mt. Gagazet to spare him yet another long hike.
An Unsent in a City of Dreams
Learning to be dead...and a father
In the world of Spira, magical particles called pyreflies can make dreams manifest in physical form: the aeons. They can even maintain the body of a dead man if his will is strong enough. And on the peak of Mt. Gagazet, where the souls of an entire dead city are preserved in stone, pyreflies maintain a simulated memory of their lost home.
Unlike aeons, Sin and the unsent, the dream-copy of Zanarkand does not manifest in the living world of Spira. It exists suspended in a pyrefly soup, halfway between Spira and the Farplane. It seems only fitting that Auron spent ten years there, suspended himself like a fly in amber.
It must have been Aurons greatest challenge. Newly dead, he was thrust into a strange dream-world filled with alien technology -- blasphemy according to the teachings in which he was raised -- and into the equally alien role of foster-parent.
Auron's first unhappy task was to break the news of Jecht's "death" to his wife. She passed away from grief soon after. So Auron raised Tidus alone, giving the boy freedom to make a life for himself, as much as one could in a world that did not truly exist. Auron had not originally intended to bring Tidus to Spira, but when the opportunity arose, Auron seized it.
“Ten years ago...I honored Jecht's last words, and travelled to Zanarkand. I planned to stay there, watching over you. But when Sin attacked Zanarkand that day, I changed my mind. Outside the dream world, life can be harsh---even cruel. But it is life. He wanted you to have a shot at life. I saw it in Sin's eyes. That's why I brought you here, to Spira.”
Auron Takes Tidus to Spira - This is It. It All Begins Here.
Yuna's Pilgrimage: Breaking the Cycle
Guardian, Guide, Troublemaker
From the moment Auron dragged Tidus to Spira, he was playing it by ear.
Auron had three serious dilemmas. First, he did not know how to break the cycle. Raised in Yevon's teachings, he knew the answer lay beyond them and was hoping Tidus would find the answer.
The other problem was Yuna. She was too much her father's daughter, and Auron had an uneasy feeling that nothing he could say could divert her from following in Braska's footsteps, even if she knew the truth of the Final Summoning.
Most of all, however, Auron wanted Spira's future to be dictated by the living, not the dead. He would guide, nudge, and push, but he would not lead. He cleared a space for Yuna and Tidus, hacked through obstacles in their path, then stood back and let free will find a way.
He told Tidus to have faith in his friends. Auron was telling himself the same thing. His gamble worked. Tidus and Yuna found the answer that had eluded him, defeated Sin and Yevon, and released Jecht from his chains. At last, Auron could rest.
Final Fantasy X - Auron's Farewell - It should have been in high-resolution, Square!
Poll: Saying Goodbye to Auron - Was it just me, or...
Auron gets stuck in Kingdom Hearts 2, stripped of his jug and shades and forced to wear goofy Disney shoes. Despite this indignity, there are a few good moments, as when he tells Hades to piss off.
Auron also puts in a few cameos in Final Fantasy X-2. (1) One of the rewards for the Mi'ihen Highroad sidequest is Gippal's Sphere, showing a new flashback from FFX (below). (2) After Episode Complete in Zanarkand, Yuna catches a brief pyrefly-glimpse of Braska, Jecht and Auron on the last night of their pilgrimage. (3) During the final battle, Auron speaks into Yuna's mind twice, encouraging her: "This relic's getting rusty," and, "He's panicking. Yuna, end it now."
Legendary guardian? I was just boy, actually. I tried to change the world. But I changed nothing. That is my story.
— Sir Auron
Auron, Stop Yanking Tidus' Chain Already!
Auron: Symbolism in Final Fantasy X
Let's Take a Mythology Break
Square-Enix always draws on world mythology to add texture to Final Fantasy games, even more so in FFX than the others. For one thing, it draws on Shinto, Buddhism, and the imagery of medieval Japan. Here's some symbolism to notice:
Arm in coat: I have read many places, but not absolutely had confirmed, that Auron's pose with one arm in his coat is shorthand for a samurai who has lost his master: a ronin. His katana (medieval broad-bladed style) and jug of alcohol are also reminiscent of the samurai.
One eye: The gruff one-eyed warrior is a stereotype in Final Fantasy -- Beatrix, Fuijin, even Lulu to some extent (does she have a left eye?) However, with Auron, I can't help thinking of the Norse god Odin, who sacrificed himself for nine days on the Tree of Knowledge, gave up one eye, and was reborn older and wiser. Final Fantasy's developers know that myth; Odin appears in several games as a summons.
Mars Crest: To aquire their Celestial Weapons, you must collect an astrological Crest and Sigil for each character. Auron's is the Mars Crest. Mars is the god of war. I couldn't help noticing that Lulu picked up Venus. However, the symmetry breaks down in Japanese: I believe in the original game the crests and sigils were eastern elements (Wood, Fire) and probably did not fall into pairs. I would like to know which element went with which character!
Final Fantasy X - Auron Fanvids (AMVS) - In order of awesomeness (watch the last if you only watch one)
Please leave a note... and/or share with fellow Fantasy Fans!
© 2010 auronlu
Auron Fans Guestbook - This is your story...
Jenn on April 17, 2017:
On the whole celibacy and Auron refusing to marry because it "has no place in Yevon's teachings". I don't believe he refused the marriage due to a belief that Warrior Monks should be celibate, rather he refused the marriage because his promotion shouldn't be based on it. He believed his promotion should be based on his skill and knowledge, hence the first betrayal of Yevon.
Matt on December 20, 2015:
Amazing article, thanks a lot for writing it. I know it's late, but regarding the Japanese version's sigils, they are the same as in English. That's to say that Auron still has a Mars Sigil, Lulu has a Venus Sigil, etc.
It can be slightly confusing however as the kanji used are indeed the elements. This is because in Japanese, the planets are named after elements. For example, the literal translation of the word Mars is 'fire star' (kasei / 火星), and Venus is 'gold star' (kinsei / 金星).
Hope this comment reaches you!
auronlu (author) from Spira on November 02, 2012:
@anonymous: Very sad!
We actually know pretty much what happened to Auron after he died, since he tells Tidus:
Auron: Somehow I made my way, crawling, down Mount Gagazet. But my strength left me just outside Bevelle. That's where Kimahri found me. I told him about Yuna...just before I died. I've been wandering ever since, never going to the Farplane.
Auron: Don't make that face. Being dead has its advantages. I was able to ride Sin and go to your Zanarkand.
That "being dead has its advantages" bit is what makes me think that being unsent is why Auron was able to get into Dream Zanarkand by riding Sin. After all, that's how Auron got OUT of Dream Zanarkand with Tidus, by hitching a ride with Jecht as Sin.
There's a lot of hints in the story that Sin is a bridge between Spira and the Farplane, the living and the dead.
Grand Maester Mika describes Yu Yevon as, "He who crafts the souls of the dead into unholy armor. An armor called Sin."
Inside Sin, there's a "Tower of the Dead."
Also, there's the "Nucleus" part of Sin. This is the crystalline area we enter at the very end of the game, where one has to play an annoying game of tag trying to grab crystals and avoid spikes shooting out of the ground. But that actually isn't the first time we enter that landscape. After Tidus is knocked unconscious during Operation Mi'ihen and goes chasing after Sin, that's where he ends up. He sees Bahamut's fayth in there. He also sees the ghosts of ALL the dead Crusaders, hurrying back and forth, including the ghost of Luzzu or Gatta (whichever one died) walking across the field, hanging his head, and walking on. It appears that Sin is gathering the spirits of the dead from Operation Mi'ihen Which fits, because Sinscales --the carapace of Sin -- are fiends, and we know that fiends come from the spirits of the dead.
Basically, Sin is an aeon of death the way Shiva is ice and Ifrit is fire. At least, I think so. Which means, if you're dead... but still have some willpower, some autonomy -- you might be able to hitch a ride and step off.
Sorry, I get all geeky about every bit of FFX!
But yeah, the image of Auron dying just outside of Bevelle -- probably with fireworks going off to celebrate the new Calm, forgetting about poor old Auron whom Bevelle had basically betrayed -- what a place to die. I hope, from Auron's words, that Kimahri was with him, but a Ronso isn't exactly comforting.
anonymous on October 31, 2012:
By the time Auron went to confront Yunalesca, Jecht had already become the Final Aeon, and the Final Aeon had already been possessed by Yevon. I don't think Jecht COULD have picked Auron up. Which means he might have simply died right there, outside Bevelle, after extracting that promise from Kimahri. Or, at best, Kimahri might have buried him.
Either way, Auron probably died alone. Thinking of how he had failed Braska and Jecht. Within sight of his home and knowing he'd never reach it. Isn't that sad? :( After that, he didn't need pickup -- he was a spirit borne on pyreflies and could go anywhere he wanted. Jecht was connected to Yevon (being Sin and all), and Yevon was connected to Dream Zanarkand. I reason he used that connection to get into Dream Zanarkand to see to Tidus.
At least... this is my opinion. :)
anonymous on November 30, 2011:
The character design of Auron is inspired from Mifune Toshiro's role in Sanjuro, His long sword is inspired by Mifune's sword in Seven Samurai.
greenreviews on April 18, 2011:
Auron is by far my favorite Final Fantasy character