Winter is upon us poor souls in the northern hemisphere. Or, as it’s also called, cuffing season. People talk about staying in and cuddling with their partners, as well as bringing them home to meet their families. If you’re single, you might have decided that a fictional boyfriend is much less work. But who are the best fictional winter boyfriends? The story-rich MMO Final Fantasy XIV offers many options. Here are a few characters I think would be good (or bad) to celebrate the holidays with, and why.
Zenos yae Galvus
Although I love Zenos yae Galvus and nothing delights me more than an awful fictional man with perfect hair, he’s not exactly boyfriend material. However, given the amount of single-minded obsession he dedicates to confronting the player character, who he calls his “only friend” and encourages to “bite down on (his) jugular,” it’s likely that he would put that same intensity towards celebrating the holidays. Once he deems someone worthy of his affections, he’s literally willing to burn down the world for them.
Are you interested in this season’s hottest gift? Zenos will camp outside the mall for days to test his wits against the elements, then fight through the crowd to score bargains for you and your loved ones. Literally fight through the crowd. He loves the thrill of battle, whether he’s mowing down enemy soldiers with his three katanas (the Storm, the Swell, and Ame-no-Habakiri) or Karens with shopping carts. His love of anything that can challenge him means that you would catch him scaling a building to hang string lights or pulling down trees with his bare hands. He’s also over seven feet tall, which I feel makes him excellent big spoon material.
The main problem with Zenos as a holiday boyfriend is that he is 100% incapable of being normal. For example, if a relative insults you over the dinner table, Zenos would knock the table over and rip that person’s throat out with his teeth. If you’re into that, that’s valid. (Just don’t assume you’ll be invited back.)
Additionally, as a white boy from a colonizer dynasty, I think it’s obvious that he would have no idea how to cook. The Encyclopaedia Eorzea describes the food of Garlemald, Zenos’s home country, as “simple and hearty” which includes “stews of dried salted meat and fish.” I feel that this may be a euphemism for “unseasoned.”
Another character who is canonically interested in the player character, and who could be a good choice to bring home for the holidays, is G’raha Tia. From the fur-trimmed winter coat he wears in Endwalker, to his adorable cardigan and scarf from the post-Shadowbringers patches, it’s clear he knows how to accessorize for any weather. Having guided a city in a post-apocalyptic world for over a century, he can take charge of anything. With him as your boyfriend, you won’t have to stress about planning parties or organizing your own gift exchange. He’s also very positive and encouraging. Even if your pie burns to a crisp or your snowman looks more like a slug, you can count on him to give a joyous ear wiggle and deem your efforts heroic.
However, I think he would be extremely difficult to shop for. What do you even buy a man who has been alive for over a century and is the heir to all the secrets of an ancient technologically advanced civilization? Socks?
Ultimately, I believe that Haurchefant is the perfect Final Fantasy XIV winter boyfriend for holiday season. First off, having grown up in Ishgard, a land of blizzards and ice sprites, his cold tolerance means that if you ask him to lend you his jacket, he’ll say yes. Your parents will love him. As evidenced by the fact that he managed to gain acceptance into the Fortemps family even though he was born out of wedlock, he’s excellent with people. In canon, he is amazing at giving gifts, as shown when he presents the main character with a beautiful black bird they can ride on, which he raised himself.
Finally, he is the perfect winter boyfriend because he knows how to make the perfect hot chocolate. They don’t have instant hot chocolate mix in Final Fantasy XIV. It’s an item requiring many levels of skill in cooking. Therefore, it’s reasonable to surmise that Haurchefant would be willing to help prepare for your holiday party. There’s no weaponized incompetence here, only regular weapons. Spending the holidays with him would probably involve parties at his family’s luxurious estate, as well as cuddling in front of the roaring fireplace that almost every building in Ishgard has. (Also, if you get into any snowball fights while you’re with him, he’ll leap in front of you to protect you!)
Who is your ideal Final Fantasy XIV boyfriend or girlfriend for the holiday season? What would you get them? Let me know in the comments—I would love to hear your thoughts!
Ennis Rook Bashe is a nonbinary romance novelist, social worker, and cat dad. If you want to read books with badass queer and disabled characters who take care of each other, you can check out their Amazon author page or sign up for their newsletter. For more information about their series following disabled trans people with magical powers, you can follow them on TikTok at @RookTheBird.