Opinion - Is Queen Fyora an effective ruler?
In the wake of the many issues that have impacted Faerieland, some in the kingdom have openly questioned whether Queen Fyora is an effective ruler anymore. While many still admire Queen Fyora's ability to rule with a gentle hand and her perseverance through all the difficulties, there are voices of doubt that have gotten much louder lately. Most Faerielanders and much of Neopia still stands by their beloved Faerie Queen, but there are competing perspectives on the future of Faerieland. Given the relative rarity of succession among Faerie rulers, the discussion sure is an interesting one. We bring you two longtime Faerieland correspondents for the Neopian Times with differing opinions on this issue.
With us we have Dr. Lucia Walker, an Air Faerie, and Professor of Faerieland History and Politics at the Faerieland Academy. She has served in this capacity for almost 15 years. She has taken the position that Fyora, although an accomplished and successful ruler, should consider choosing a successor. Also with us, is Dr. Anna Lynne, a water faerie and a Faerieland lawyer. She appears to be more cautious about calling for any major changes to the current leadership.
Welcome to the Neopian Times, both of you.
Dr. Lynne: Thank you for having us.
Dr. Walker: Yes, it's good to be here.
NT: So, let us get started. Both of you have lived all your lives while Queen Fyora has ruled Faerieland. You have both served in her administration as well.
Dr. Walker: When I joined her administration as an adviser, I felt that it was a great honor. That feeling hasn't ever quite left me. Although being all powerful, she always made sure she had time to listen to everybody. She often would walk us through her decision-making process so that everyone understood why she arrived at the decision she made. I thought this made her effective because it wasn't the sort of iron-fisted rule that Faerieland had to endure in much of its past.
Dr. Lynne: I had the same impression initially as well and I thought what everyone thought at the time, that Queen Fyora was nearly the perfect ruler that was able to ensure everything was done well and right. I think that image of Fyora did start to take a dent when she didn't seem to have a good handle on the situation with the Darkest Faerie at first. If it wasn't for Tormund and Roberta, she'd still be stuck in a faerie bottle. I think I saw her vulnerabilities at that moment. Of course, she still trusted individuals like Xandra afterwards. I just think she should have consulted others before leaving Faerieland vulnerable like that.
NT: But isn't it rather unfair to judge Fyora like that? All rulers have vulnerabilities. All rulers will eventually get tested, right?
Dr. Lynne: Sure, but I think she could have done more.
Dr. Walker: While Fyora could have done more, I don't think showing Neopia her dangerous side would have served her well at the time. Besides, behind the scenes, she was working to ensure that Tormund and Roberta would meet up and work together.
Dr. Lynne: What about Xandra? Don't you think she should have done things to prevent all the faeries from being turned to stone?
Dr. Walker: Yes, but nobody could have predicted what Xandra ended up doing.
NT: Alright, while we are on about Xandra, you guys did serve while Xandra was a new student under Fyora at the Faerieland Academy. Did you ever get a chance to interact with her? Did you notice anything that you think could have contributed to her beliefs?
Dr. Walker: I myself did not interact with Xandra much. Fyora takes on students all the time though. It didn't seem like such a big deal.
Dr. Lynne: Neither did I. I did hear that Xandra was bullied by some dark faeries but they bullied everyone. Casandia and Kaia also endured their antics. I guess Fyora could have stepped in and stopped them or maybe expelled them from the academy.
NT: Are you suggesting that Fyora gets involved in academy discipline?
Dr. Lynne: Well I guess that would be outside of her responsibilities. Still, Xandra was her student and she maybe should have been privier to the details of what was going on in her life.
Dr. Walker: You know she's a busy faerie and her time is scarce. But yeah, as her teacher, maybe she could have made a bigger difference. I still don't think such an oversight is grounds to declare her ineffective as a ruler.
NT: Didn't Fyora talk to Xandra a lot though?
Dr. Lynne: From what I've heard, Fyora had a few spare rooms in her chambers and she lived in one of those rooms, the other occupant being Celandra. They probably talked. There was a moment where they had a falling out though. I remember seeing and hearing about Xandra storming out one day and then not returning home.
NT: Did Fyora ever talk about what happened then?
Dr. Walker: No, I think Xandra made up her mind and nobody was going to change it. Fyora didn't want to talk about.
NT: Don't you think she should have mentioned something so there might have been someone that could have kept an eye on her?
Dr. Walker: Well, maybe Fyora meant to do so at some point, but every time she thought about Xandra, it broke her heart.
Dr. Lynne: We were all there for her. She should have told one of us instead of holding all that in and keeping it to herself. That's why I question whether Fyora can handle the pressures of the job anymore. She's been through a lot and I'm concerned for her well-being. She still hasn't quite let go of Xandra. Xandra's statue is still in her former bedroom. I worry that Fyora might consider reviving her.
NT: You don't think Xandra can be rehabilitated?
Dr. Lynne: I don't.
Dr. Walker: But isn't that a bit of a rush to judgment?
Dr. Lynne: I guess. I'm just worried that the rest of the faeries will rush to the same judgment. It would be chaos if Fyora allowed Xandra to come back into society.
NT: Moving on, how do you think Fyora's handled the most recent incident with the Wraith Resurgence?
Dr. Walker: I think she handled it well and was able to quickly form a team that could organize a resistance against the wraiths. She showed her leadership there quite well and I'm confident she will see us to the end of this.
Dr. Lynne: Yeah but it took her over a month to form the actual resistance. Meanwhile Faerieland was in panic and chaos at the time. What took her so long?
Dr. Walker: It's not that easy to gather an army of volunteers. Faerieland doesn't have a huge standing army waiting to pounce on anything that moves. I don't think Queen Fyora wants that. Even Aethia doesn't want that.
Dr. Lynne: All I'm saying is we should have built a more well-equipped army that could have defended us against the Darkest Faerie and Wraiths.
Dr. Walker: Faerieland has other problems to take care of and keeping around an army would take away from all we do to make sure everyone in Faerieland can have the same opportunities. We also still have a few things to rebuild around here.
Dr. Lynne: Oh, don't get me started on how long the reconstruction took.
Dr. Walker: Buildings don't get constructed overnight, even with magic.
NT: Alright everyone, let's move on. It's getting a little chippy here. Do you think Fyora can improve things on her own without having to resort to stepping down?
Dr. Walker: Queen Fyora stepping down would probably send shockwaves throughout Neopia. She's ruled for a long time and many in Neopia have forged a strong relationship with her. Transitioning to a new leader without careful planning would be a very unwise decision and one that I think is rather unnecessary right now. The steady and gentle hands of the Faerie Queen have guided Faerieland well. She has overcome many trials and has gained the trust of Neopians everywhere. Do not dismiss her simply because she made a few mistakes.
Dr. Lynne: That all sounds good if it was completely true. But I don't think Fyora has handled disasters particularly well. The Darkest Faerie ended up easily sealing her in a bottle. Xandra's problems happened under her watch as she was her student.
Dr. Walker: Again, I don't think she could have foreseen everything. Fyora is not a fortune teller.
Dr. Lynne: Isn't she supposed to be wise though?
Dr. Walker: She's not a fortune teller. Wisdom doesn't mean she can see or predict the future!
NT: Alright! Settle down. Time to move on. Whether Fyora stays or goes, what do you think are the next challenges for Faerieland?
Dr. Lynne: If Siyana vacates her seat for the Faerieland throne, Altador might move to bring in either Tormund or Roberta, knowing their services to his city. Without them, Altador might be lost. Doing so would then either require approval from King Skarl or King Hagan. I think King Altador has a closer relationship to Hagan though so he may try that route. Funny to think that all this could be set off by one Faerie Queen stepping down. Now if King Altador asks for Roberta, King Hagan may counter with asking Fyora to send Brynn back which naturally means Brynn will be heading to Brightvale again. But Hagan doesn't like Hanso so that means that deal will fall apart. Better try Skarl for Tormund, just throw a big feast. Besides, he already has Jeran.
Dr. Walker: Do you really think those kingdoms would give up anything? King Hagan and King Altador have a very good and strong relationship with Fyora. I do not think they would like to see her go so quickly. King Hagan would likely not think it wise for us to make such a hasty judgement. Should there be a decision, it ought to be Fyora's to make. She knows more faeries than we do. Psellia and Siyana are fully committed to King Altador and it's not our place to just pluck them from their roles.
Dr. Lynne: That sounds reasonable. Although such a pick should be too close to Fyora. Continuing Fyora's policies may not the best for Faerieland.
NT: I am afraid that we are out of time. We are going to have to leave it there. Thank you both for being here and having this spirited discussion.