Name: Bernadetta von Varley
Age: 17 (23 Post-Timeskip)
Birthday: December 12th
Fodlan Birthday: 12th of the Ethereal Moon, Imperial Year 1162
Height: 150cm (165cm Post-Timeskip)
House Allegiance: Black Eagles
Starting Class: Noble
Weapon of Choice: Bow & Arrows
Bernadetta is a skittish, timid, and reclusive girl, a result mostly because of the suffering she endured at the hands of her father for years. Her father, obsessed with money, only saw Bernadetta as Crest-bearing bait for a rich husband instead of his daughter. To that end, he subjected her to years of "training", which included tying her to a chair and leaving her there all day, challenging her to stay quiet. This sustained mental torture badly affected Bernadetta in many ways and developed her deep-seated fear of her father, other people, and basically everything in general.
Bernadetta suffers from a persecution complex: false beliefs or perceptions in which a person believes that they are treated with malicious intent, hostility, or harassment, hence the name of her personal skill, and she suffers from a compulsive need to run and hide whenever possible. She deeply fears other people and it is extremely difficult for her to trust them, even if they show her patience and kindness. It is common for her to fall into extreme panic and anxiety just by having someone approach her to talk, as she often thinks that people want to kill her. She can be so absorbed by her fears that she can freeze on the spot, lose all sense of her surroundings and, in extreme cases, faint, as shown with Hubert. She often jumps to delusional conclusions about what people think of her, and she can even be suspicious of honest compliments, such as when Linhardt complimented her lifestyle. As her outbursts usually only serve to annoy the other person, combined with her low self-esteem, it often results in her apologizing for things she did not do and insulting herself in the process.
As a result of her deep fear of people, Bernadetta spends nearly all of her time in her room, pursuing her hobbies and interests while protecting herself from the outside world. If something requires her attention, she will usually speak through her door rather than opening it as a measure of self-protection. She can even feign illness when she doesn't want to talk with other people. She is also noticeably defensive about her lifestyle and how no one else understands her motives, though she acknowledges that she does need to go outside every once in a while, as shown with Ferdinand.
Bernadetta suffers from a severe case of low self-esteem, a result of constant scorn from her father. She often insults and berates herself in third-person when she messes up something, and commonly calls herself useless, stupid, and unmarriageable. In addition, she has trouble accepting help from those who offer it to her, because of both her persecution complex and her being convinced that she is a lost cause and not worth it, as shown with Ingrid. Ironically, she's actually quite talented in various things such as drawing, playing an instrument and sewing, as shown with Linhardt, Raphael and Leonie. She also greatly admires her classmates, whom she views as fearless warriors compared to herself, as shown with Edelgard.
Despite her innate fears and paranoia, Bernadetta does truly want to make friends, though she often does so in very socially clumsy ways, a result of her constant shut-aways, as shown with Petra. Surprisingly however, Bernadetta has a playful side to her, especially around flowers, carnivorous plants and normally intimidating boys such as Felix. And when she isn't panicking, shutting herself away or wallowing in self-depreciation, she can actually be quite gentle, sweet, even confident, and extremely easy to get along with.
While on the battlefield, Bernadetta often acts on compulsion, running and hiding whenever she possibly can rather than fighting. If she does have to fight, she prefers to do so from the backline, and can be very surprised and shocked when she actually defeats an enemy.
Bernadetta is notably at ease around people that remind her of her uncle, the only adult in her life that treated her with genuine warmth. Alois is one such individual, and he was so surprised that she spoke to him without a hint of panic that he mistook her for someone else. In addition, she is also able to settle down around Byleth, although she doesn't know the reason why. She is also fond of flowers, and particularly of carnivorous plants, as they are able to live in one place and wait for their meals to come to them, which she describes as her dream life.
Bernadetta practices various arts and crafts, including writing, painting, and embroidery. In truth, she is an exceptional talent and her works are critically acclaimed, as shown with Sylvain, but her low self-esteem often makes her think of her creations as worthless, as shown with Leonie.
By the time the war has rolled around, Bernadetta has improved significantly, even if she hasn't completely gotten over her fear of strangers or her compulsive need to run and hide. On the battlefield, she no longer runs and cowers but instead accepts her duty to fight, even if she doesn't necessarily enjoy it. Socially, her panic attacks have subsided in quantity and severity, and she can commonly be seen outside of her room. In addition, her low self-esteem has also gradually faded, leaving her more confident in herself than before. She even goes to actively encourage herself to do better.
Bernadetta likes reading, drawing, music, embroidery, unusual creatures, stuffed animals, and solitude. She dislikes speaking to people, imposing figures, and overbearing fathers.