This new user submitted theory is coming from Danny R.
This is a counteracting theory to my post about Rean not being the protagonist of Sen III. Danny wrote a lengthy and great submission to counteract this and state why Rean will be Sen III’s protagonist.
Floofy showed me this website and after scrolling through some theories for Cold Steel 3, I decided to throw my thoughts into the ring too. I don’t have a single, well-thought theory as to what the possible plot to Cold Steel 3 can be. Instead I have a variety of thoughts on certain subjects that will no doubt play a big role in Cold Steel 3.
Everything beyond the cut is the text of the submitted theory!
Let’s get the big one out of the way first. Due to Rean’s actions in Crossbell during Cold Steel 2’s Divertissement, some fans are unsure if Rean will be the protagonist in Cold Steel 3. For my money that I will use to buy Cold Steel 3, I think Rean will be the protagonist. My largest piece of evidence for this theory is the writing rule of Chekhov’s Gun.
The Trails games are written in a narratively satisfying way because it adheres to time-proven narrative rules: foreshadowing, red herrings, mood whiplash, and many more. One rule Trails undoubtedly follows is Chekhov’s Gun. In case you don’t know, Chekhov’s Gun is an unofficial rule in story-telling where if you mention a certain key detail, it must be used later on in the story, known as firing the gun. You can learn more here. I probably don’t need to list examples of this trope being used because you’re probably thinking of your own example that Trails has already used. Though if I must list an example–and I do because I purposely invoked Chekhov’s Gun on myself—Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is an excellent example.
So why would Chekhov’s Gun guarantee that Rean will be the protagonist in Cold Steel 3? Because there are several plot threads that Rean is directly tied to that have been set up and unresolved. I believe these plot threads to be so integral to Rean’s character and the lore of the series that the threads cannot be resolved without Rean as the main character. What I’m really trying to say is that I doubt Trails will handle these plot threads like the Bright’s storyline in Zero no Kiseki.
These plot threads are, in order of importance regarding Rean’s status as the protagonist of CS3: Rean’s conversation with his parents regarding his birth; the identity of the foreign entity that was ‘mixed’ into Rean; Valimar’s memory; revelations revealed during the scenes that unlock the Seeker of Truth trophy in Cold Steel 2, aka Thomas’ status as Second Dominion and Nord’s Guardian’s status as a Sept-Terrion; Principal Vandyck’s personal knowledge of Osborne; and how Zephyr plans to bring back their boss.
There are also a handful of unrelated Chekhov’s Guns that help explain why we’re staying in Erebonia instead of going into Calvard: the Steel Maiden’s identity; the identity of Rean’s mother (because we know a man like Osborne wouldn’t choose a woman to bear his child without multiple reasons); and the Erebonian folklore that we haven’t seen yet, mainly unicorns, fairies and vampires.
The number and importance of the mysteries I have listed are anything but minor. We can take the announcement of Cold Steel 3 and assume that these mysteries are in the prequels because Kondo wants to answer these questions right away. We just can’t answer these mysteries without Rean as the protagonist. So many not only are directly related to Rean himself but also Thors Military Academy and many important people in Erebonia.
I have no reason to doubt that Rean will be the protagonist in Cold Steel 3 due to the importance of these unresolved plot threads. I have many other theories for Cold Steel 3, including: the Steel Maiden’s identity; Ouroboros’s status as the series Big Bad; how Divine Knight battles can be improved; Osborne’s character; and the status of Class VII.