After waiting for twelve years the Kingdom Hearts franchise has finally given the release date for Kingdom Heart 3. This has left Aqua fans being spurred into action. Aqua has been in the realm of darkness for 12 years now. Doesn’t it seem weird that she, a super powerful keyblade master, hasn’t found a way out yet? Riku and Mickey found a way out after Kingdom Hearts 1. Even Ansem the wise found a way out before long. Then finally in Kingdom Hearts 2, Sora and Riku are there for only a short time before a way out appeared.
Why the flying flip-flop has Aqua been stuck down there for so long without finding a way out? If we ignore the fact that this is probably due to lazy writing (and sexism); more than anything else there could be a really interesting reason why she hasn’t found a way out.
My theory is that to find or make a pathway to the light you need either: A sense of resolve or purpose. Or you need people on the other side thinking about you. If you were to have both of these then it would be even easier to get out.
The reason I think these are the two main factors for finding a path out is because of how fast Riku and Sora’s door appeared at the end of Kingdom Hearts 2. They had just had there friendship talk and even though they had just resigned to stay in the dark together. Then they got Kairi’s letter and were reminded to have hope for the people on the outside. And then boom! Door to the light.
The other characters we’ve seen escape have been stuck there for varying amounts of time. But they seem to have been down there for quite a bit longer. Ansem the Wise was down there for several years at least. I think this had to do with the fact that he was stuck there right after being betrayed. So he had to work through his feelings first before he had the resolve to find a way out. Even if his resolve was to get revenge. Then when Mickey and Riku were stuck in the darkness they had both resolve people who wished for their return.
Long story short I think the mental state of anyone who enters the realm of dark heavily dictates how soon they will find a way out again and maybe even what they see but that’s another topic.
Okay now finally to Aqua. By the time she entered the darkness most of her friends and family were dead. Mickey would have been the strongest link to the outside but he didn’t know what had happened to her before the events of 2.8. However I think Aqua could have managed to find her way out much sooner. Despite this if she had a strong enough resolve she’s directing it the wrong way.
I think consciously or subconsciously Aqua still feels too guilty about everything that happened. She loves her friends more than anything but that is exactly way she is still stuck. Aqua probably regrets most of her decisions. On top of this guilt, I don’t think she ever properly grieved for Eraqus. She hasn’t figured out how she feels about Terra. I think that Aqua actually has a lot of mixed up feelings about her friends right now. Deep down Aqua is probably hiding some negative feelings since her so called friends were awful to her. The whole game they hurt her and blamed her for things. They ignored her and her advice that could have prevented some of the bad stuff. So Aqua is stuck directing all that anger and frustration at herself. Which you can see in the whole fighting with her own reflection thing in 2.8.
Now at the end of 2.8 Mickey found out about her, and Aqua did seem to have reinvigorated her will and faith in herself however her last quote is:
“The battle for the realm of light…is not won. Thanks to Terra and Mickey, I know what’s at stake. I’m not afraid. I will face the long darkness. The next time someone wanders into the realm of darkness, I’ll be here. A light to cut through all the shadows. I will be their wayfinder. And one day, I’ll return to Terra and Ven. I am Master Aqua. And that’s a promise.”
She doesn’t pledge to find a way out of the dark herself. Instead, she resigns herself that “one day” she will return. On top of this she takes on the duty of helping anyone else who falls into the dark. This way of thinking makes me believe that she actually doesn’t have a lot of faith in finding a way out. Aqua is incredibly selfless and she would probably stay in the dark forever if it meant saving someone else. This level of selflessness is destructive. While it may come from a good place, Aqua uses it to make up for what she thinks she can’t do herself.
In summary Aqua is too emotionally junked up to find her own path out of the dark. Being in the darkness for so long has not helped her mental state. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think Aqua is weak. In my opinion she is one of the strongest (if not the strongest) characters in Kingdom Hearts. Both physically and mentally. However after all the events of BBS she feels far too much guilt to break free of the darkness. I don’t think she will ever submit to the dark. Aqua believes it is her fate to stay in the dark to atone for her mistakes in BBS. Therefore subconsciously doesn’t want to leave the realm. I mean she immediately offers to stay behind when Mickey gives her a way out at the end of 2.8.
So as it is of now, Aqua does need help from the outside to escape from the realm of darkness. Hopefully when she does she will get the support she needs. I really hope Ven and Terra actually apologize to her eventually.
Anyway thanks for reading this theory! If you agree or disagree feel free to comment, or add to this post or just PM me I enjoy brainstorming this stuff and would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.
And as always,
have a geek filled day!
(this article is from the writings of the-madness-mind tumblr account posted with their permission. It has been edited to fit the format of templeofgeek.com. To view the original article visit the-madness-mind tumblr page at http://the-madness-mind.tumblr.com/post/162660720045/okay-but-can-we-talk-about-aqua)