With the third year celebration of Kingdom Hearts X, a new piece of celebratory artwork was released to mark the occasion. Sure, this may have hinted at Riku and Kairi’s new outfits, but the more interesting thing to point out is Ventus (and yes, that’s Ventus and not Roxas judging by his wristband). Most people would dismiss his placement here as the featured character for Kingdom Hearts X’s anniversary, however, I firmly believe that Ventus being featured here has a deeper meaning. And that deeper meaning is the realisation that he’s the Dandelion that completes the trio with Ephemera and Skuld. “But wait!” you object, “Ventus is part of the Wayward Trio with Aqua and Terra right?” Of course, but at the same time, Sora is part of two trio’s with Riku and Kairi and Donald and Goofy. So get yourself comfortable as I break down why Ventus is a Dandelion…
Ventus is designated on the same side as the Kingdom Hearts X characters
This is the most immediate fact that caught my eye. Why is Ventus on the side of the Kingdom Hearts X characters? Better yet, why isn’t he with Aqua and Terra? Plus, he isn’t smiling in this picture, why is that? Sure, Ventus is important because his heart is resting in Sora and he is the physical appearance that Roxas was moulded off, however, this art is the celebration of Kingdom Hearts X and Kingdom Hearts III. Sure, Ventus is going to have a role in Kingdom Hearts III (as a potential Guardian of Light), but I don’t think that Ventus being here is his Kingdom Hearts III representation, rather, I believe it’s his representation for Kingdom Hearts X. Him being conveniently aligned with Ephemera and Skuld on one side just seems too intentional to be coincidence.
Every Station of Awakening depicts a person’s home
It’s a given fact, all of Sora’s Station of Awakenings have been depicting Destiny Islands, Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora’s Station of Awakening have all depicted their homes, so why does Ventus depict the Keyblade Graveyard as opposed to the Land of Departure? We could leave it at that and the picture itself and stop the conclusion there, but what fun is that? From the updates of Kingdom Hearts X as of typing this, Master Ava wants the Dandelions to head to the Unchained Realm in order to survive beyond the Keyblade War. Ephemera is the leader of the Dandelions on Master Ava’s behalf as Master Ava will be participating in the Keyblade War. But where does Ventus fit into this? well, Ephemera could have selected Ventus as a Dandelion only to find out that he’s the bad apple of the bunch. Now I’m not assuming that Ventus’ past life is outright evil, rather, he had Darkness growing inside of him, and once Ephemera found out about this, he could have been casted to the Realm of Darkness, or, escaped outside the Unchained Realm only to be in the apocalyptic Daybreak Town: The Keyblade Graveyard.
Ventus past before being trained by Eraqus is a complete mystery
This is another thing to consider when it comes to Ventus. We do not know his origins like we know Aqua and Terra. Aqua and Terra have been trained by Master Eraqus (as of writing this) but Ventus wasn’t. All we know of Ventus before he was in Master Eraqus’ care was that he was in Master Xehanort’s care. Master Xehanort found Ventus, tried to teach him the ways of darkness but failed so he split Ventus’ dark half into Vanitas. That’s not really enough to understand Ventus’ past. How long did they both train together? What was Ventus’ personality like before he was split from Vanitas? Well, if we assume that Ventus’ past was indeed that of a Dandelion, and was somehow found by Xehanort, it could expand upon his character, cause truth be told, Ventus’ needs to expand beyond the childlike wonders that Sora has and this sort of past life could really flesh him out, plus, it leads me onto my next point.
Why Master Xehanort linked Ventus with the X-Blade
Remember the retcon in which Xehanort said that the X-Blade would be formed when light and dark clash only for him to talk about the seven lights versus the thirteen darkness? Well, what if that initial knowledge was gained from Ventus? A witness that was around during the era? Through rapport building, Ventus could have told what he knew about the Keyblade War to Xehanort and Xehanort could have taken that witness knowledge to try and summon Kingdom Hearts. It would justify Xehanort wanting to train him under his wing despite being a difficult candidate as a vessel. Linking Ventus with the X-Blade may be simply because he was a Dandelion that originated during the era of the Keyblade War. It could also provide an understanding of Master Eraqus wanting to put an end to Ventus because he’s existing in an era that he was not supposed to. The Dandelions are supposed to be legend by the time Birth by Sleep happens, and hypothetically speaking, in Master Eraqus’ perspective, he wanted to end Ventus’ life because Master Xehanort has told Master Eraqus of who Ventus truly was. A dandelion that originated from the Fairy Tale era that had a growing darkness. Eraqus feared that Ventus would become his past life? What’s his past life you wonder? Here’s my thoughts…
In the Kingdom Hearts X update, shortly after you are introduced to Skuld, you see the internal conflicts of the Forteller’s become external: Master Aced and Master Invi are clashing Keyblades, Dark beings are demanding the Lux… and a Nightmare Chirithy appears contemplating on how good darkness feels. Now, every Chirithy has an owner. It would be easy to assume that Ephemera is the owner of that Dark Chirithy, however, Ephemera has disappeared because he’s tasked with forming the Dandelions on Master Ava’s behalf. It’s highly unlikely that Ephemera would delve into the Darkness whilst forming the Dandelions. Now we move onto Skuld. The Chirithy is unlikely to be Skuld’s, as if it was, Skuld wouldn’t have joined the Dandelions. The Dandelions were formed to avoid the conflicts of gathering Lux unlike the rest of the wielders who want to gather Lux despite the inevitable conflict, and because this post is about Ven, we move onto him. So, why do I think that Nightmare Chirithy is owned by Ventus? If we assume that he is a Dandelion, nightmare Chirithy says “My Master is close by…”. Now, what’s this got to do with Ven? Well, as a chosen Dandelion, he’s close by Skuld as a fellow Dandelion. Plus, we have to remember, if we’re talking about Ventus’ past, we have to consider the Vanitas side of him too. The Ventus of Kingdom Hearts X would have an equal balance of light and darkness, and because the legend of the Keyblade War mentions that the greed to collect the Lux caused darkness, Ventus could have easily been one of those wielders that eventually walked towards the path of darkness. Essentially, his past life is that of darkness.
To conclude, this isn’t canon (at least not yet). This is just me speculating and theorising in regards to the Kingdom Hearts X 3rd Anniversary Celebratory Artwork and Ventus’ intentional placement on it as a significant plot device.