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#winter schnee

Whilst Nicholas Schnee made a grievous error in handing over the SDC to Jacques, I like to think that Winter is the one closest to him in terms of her outlook on life. What I liked about the WoR segment on him was that it emphasised he set out to make Atlas independent and sustainable. Remembering that Mantle/Atlas was still recovering from the Great War, an economic depression might have sent them into a death-spiral straight toward another conflict. In other words, he did heroic deeds in pursuit of what he saw as his duty.

Why I like the writing of the Schnee sisters is how it splits Nicholas Schnee’s legacy between them. Weiss’ primary motivation in V1 was to restore the legitimacy of the Schnee family name, but in the end found that she had to chart her own course and make her own place in the world. In this aspect, she certainly represents Nicholas’ desire to better himself and carve his own path. Her lofty goals from V1 and 2 become smaller, more focused on standing by her team and following her team leader’s direction.

Winter’s goal on the other hand was to become independent of the Schnee name, and she did so by making a home for herself in the military, where her personal excellence made her a rising star. In the reverse of Weiss, she starts off with a personal goal but then sublimates that to the greater good, protecting Atlas itself. She represents Nicholas long term goal, to ensure safety and prosperity for the kingdom.

In V7 we see how these two aspects clash. Weiss stands with Ruby and the very laudable goal of standing their ground, defeating the villain and saving everyone. She does as a hero should do and takes strength from her ‘personal feelings’. Winter, on the other hand, sees the tactical and strategic picture because she can look beyond her first impulses. She can see that withdrawal still saves a sizeable chunk of Mantle’s population, preserves what’s left of the Atlas military and most importantly keeps two Relics, two of the keys to ending the world, out of Salem’s hands.

What you have then is a conflict between the hero and the tactician, the heart and the mind. Both have their reasons. Weiss’ course of action could doom everyone in Atlas and Mantle both. Winter’s will definitely leave half of Mantle to die. Neither is ideal. Both have pledged their loyalty to leaders who they believe in, but Ruby has made an increasingly poor series of decisions and Ironwood is breaking under the strain of his duty. Heart and mind are clearly not in alignment.

Perhaps it will take a third Schnee to unite them? Nicholas was a businessman after all, and there’s one Schnee just sitting on the sidelines…

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