Will Young Xehanort Betray Master Xehanort?

Will Young Xehanort Betray Master Xehanort?

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s 2018, the year Kingdom Hearts III will be released! Here at KH Theories, we’re going to kick off 2018 with one of my favorite Kingdom Hearts III theories: Young Xehanort betraying his future self.

At first, this doesn’t seem likely at all. How can Xehanort betray Xehanort? How can you betray the person you’ll grow up to be?

However, there are a few clues that point toward Young Xehanort potentially switching sides.

According to an interview with Ben Diskin, when he was recording his lines as Young Xehanort in Dream Drop Distance, he sounded “too evil” at first and was told to tone it down.

Make him a lot more flat and ambiguous because even though he is the younger version of the game’s ultimate villain, we don’t actually know if he’s actually a ‘bad guy.’ You know, people are different when they’re younger than when they are older so, is he really actually on the bad guy’s side? Is he actually, maybe he’s considering he doesn’t actually like who he becomes? So we don’t want him to just sound like evil right off the bat.”

This could have been intended just as misdirection for Dream Drop Distance itself, with the intention being that the player would wonder about his motives until the end of the game. Nevertheless, the idea that maybe Young Xehanort doesn’t like who he becomes is an interesting one.

Next, let’s take another look at one of our favorite scenes, the conversation between Young Xehanort and Braig at the end of Re:coded.

Not only does this conversation indicate that Master Xehanort hasn’t let his younger self in on all of his plans, it also gives us a glimpse of Young Xehanort’s current motivations:

“I will be led… wherever it is I am destined to go.”

“That is my destiny.”

Even the scene is titled “Destiny.”

Does Young Xehanort really care about summoning Kingdom Hearts? The only motive we’ve seen for him helping Master Xehanort is that he’s destined to, since they’re the same person.

But when Young Xehanort returns to his own time, he’ll lose all of his memories of what happened in the future. This means he could do anything in Kingdom Hearts III and still grow up to be Master Xehanort. Betraying his older self would cause no conflict with his destiny.

All right, so it’s possible, but we’ve seen no sign that Young Xehanort is conflicted over the plan. He seems completely on board with everything Master Xehanort did in Dream Drop Distance, so what could possibly make him change sides?

My personal favorite theory for Kingdom Hearts III is that Young Xehanort will change sides because of Eraqus.

Xehanort and Eraqus trained as Keyblade wielders together. Eraqus considered him a true friend, and at some point, Xehanort genuinely felt the same way. (Unless we think he’s lying in his own personal reports, where he says he found “another I would later call my brother” when he left home.) The E3 2015 trailer even begins with them playing chess together, emphasizing their shared past.

Of course, two characters on opposing sides playing chess is a common enough motif… but there’s also this unusual exchange at the end:

Young Xehanort: “The future, it’s already been written.”

Young Eraqus: “Who’s to say I can’t change it? And maybe light will prevail. There’s more to light than meets the eye. You might be surprised.”

Young Xehanort: “Oh I hope so.”

Why does Xehanort hope Eraqus is right? Does he just want to be surprised? Or does he actually want the light to prevail?

Young Xehanort as we see him in Dream Drop Distance hasn’t met Eraqus yet. He hasn’t started training with a Keyblade at all; when he fights with a Keyblade at the end of the game, he’s actually been temporarily possessed by Master Xehanort.

Friendship is such an important theme in Kingdom Hearts that it feels unlikely Kingdom Hearts III would remind us of the former friendship between Xehanort and Eraqus without it being important.

What if Kingdom Hearts III’s Young Xehanort travels to the future from a slightly later point in time, one where he has his own Keyblade and has already befriended Eraqus? What if he learns that Master Xehanort killed Eraqus? In a series so focused on friendship, couldn’t learning that his future self killed his closest friend be enough to make Young Xehanort change sides?

This is my favorite Kingdom Hearts theory. I think Young Xehanort will betray Master Xehanort, and I think Eraqus will be the cause.

What do you think? Will Young Xehanort change sides in Kingdom Hearts III, and if so, why?

Tags: eraqus, master xehanort, xehanort, young xehanort
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