What Happened To Thancred in FFXIV?This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Thancred is one of XIV’s most recognizable characters, alongside favorites like Y’shtola. And just like Y’shtola, Thancred disappears and comes back somewhat different from his absence.
So what actually happened to Thancred?
Let’s find out.
Warning: significant spoilers for A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, AND Shadowbringers may follow!
Players are first introduced to Thancred Waters around level 17, upon accepting the quest “A Wild Rose By Any Other Name”. He’s every part the traditional dashing rogue at first. A little bit arrogant, has a way with the ladies.
Like all of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn though, Thancred goes through a huge array of trials and changes to become the almost emblematic Gunbreaker we see today.
Many players who skim through FFXIV’s massive story assume Thancred is some sort of redeemed traitor, but this isn’t the case.
The first event that really starts to change who he is as a character is his possession by the Ascian, Lahabrea.
Lahabrea’s use of Thancred’s body is shown at the conclusion of A Realm Reborn’s storyline, right at the end of The Praetorium.
This eight player dungeon, complete with several wordy unskippable cutscenes, sees the Scions purge Thancred of Lahabrea’s presence and undo the first of many big Ascian schemes.
Towards the end of A Realm Reborn’s patch content (or filler, depending on your outlook), things don’t look so good for the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.
The group (including the player character) gets framed for the attempted murder of the Sultana of Ul’dah.
Thancred plays a massive part in making sure we can escape to clear our names.
But he and Y’shtola get trapped with no way out.
Y’shtola casts an ancient forbidden spell to get them out of danger, which scatters her essence in the Lifestream and dumps Thancred out in The Dravanian Forelands.
As we can see in the above cutscene, Thancred was left at a bit of a disadvantage.
If not for his loyal nutkin companion (I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate further) he’d be pretty embarrassed. Thanks to Y’shtola’s spell, Thancred loses his ability to manipulate aether, essentially severing him from using any magical abilities.
As a result, the character we see throughout Heavensward seems much harder and world weary than usual.
Thancred made himself a pair of wicked obsidian blades and set about hunting, fashioning garments out of animal skins.
Eventually he began trading with the Gnath beast tribe for a shot at reuniting with the rest of the Scions. Unable to use magic, he couldn’t simply teleport to the nearest Aetheryte. XIV’s story does have an eye for detail, and it’s good to see them cover up potential plot holes like this!
An entire expansion later, we see Thancred take up the mantle of Gunbreaker, one of the signature new jobs released with the Shadowbringers expansion.
When the main characters are all pulled from their world and sent to The First, Thancred changes jobs.
How Does Thancred Become A Gunbreaker?
The practical answer is that it just looks cool, and Square Enix needed a main character to show off the new job to players.
The “lore answer” is that Thancred was actually trained in the delicate art of gunbreaking by a Hrothgar in the same clan as Radovan.
Radovan is the NPC that teaches you how to play as the game’s newest tank class, and his clanmate trained Thancred while he was behind enemy lines in Garlemald.
Thancred basically decides to use his Gunbreaker training to protect Minfilia/Ryne after rescuing her on the First.
He takes the reborn Oracle of Light on as an apprentice, and although his love for her previous incarnation complicates things at first, the two eventually become good friends again.
This technically explains the sudden shift – he doesn’t suddenly become a Gunbreaker, he’s conveniently already trained in it, and just swaps roles when the situation calls for it.
It might seem a bit too convenient. But remember that the player character can level up every single job in the game and swap between them on a moment’s notice!
As you can see, Thancred’s been on a bit of a complicated journey.
From evil possessions to magic-induced nudity, he transforms from a silver-tongued rogue into a fierce protector.
But he’s one of the Warrior of Light’s staunchest allies – and that’s one thing that will never change.