Catarina is the same as it has always been. It is a country characterized by its jolly disposition, the yang to Carim’s yin. The people’s big, wide-eyed smiles are matched by a hearty laugh cheering as they down a tankard of alcohol. They are straightforward and honest, never hiding their anger. After all, the honorable knights resent the ridicule of their concave armor so expertly designed to deflect blows for its onion-esque shape. So, what do they do? Vent it in battle. They take their blows and retaliate just as hard, their Pierce Shields featuring a large spike perfect to skewer their attackers. Any who sully a knight of Catarina’s honor will know their wrath. It is this frankness which directed the development of their miracles like Emit Force, taking Wrath of the Gods and instead of simply simplifying the art, directing it forward. This was all thanks to their relative isolation in the Old World’s north with Lordran, free from the Way of White during Lloyd’s era in the original Dark Souls. (DS1) And it is for that same reason that they are such flagrant sun worshipers.
Cheerful Face of Catarina
Characteristically large eyes and mouth, a truly cheerful face. The image of Catarina, country of alcohol and rejoicing.
Miracle known as the style of Catarina. Shoots a shock wave in front.
The people of the country of alcohol and rejoicing are candid. For even if it is a kind of wrath, they don’t wait, they vent it.
Compared to his DS1 counterpart Siegmeyer, Siegward is a fanatic. The knight of Catarina invokes the sun at almost every opportunity, and he is equipped with the Sunlight Talisman. Since we can acquire this one-of-a-kind talisman for ourselves elsewhere, this must either be Solaire’s previously unknown spare or representative of a similar knotted cloth painted with the sun by Siegward’s own hand — he certainly has the zeal to imbue it with the powers of a miracle catalyst. Indeed, one of the miracles known to Siegward is Sacred Oath, whose description associates it with select members of the Warriors of Sunlight; the covenant only rewards it to us after offering many sunlight medals to the firstborn’s altar. But Siegward never offers his summon sign to cooperate, the one duty of any true Warrior of the Sun. Even when provoked to violence, he only invokes the name of his order. Catarina worships the sun gods of Anor Londo without prejudice, and if they could inherit Wrath of the Gods from the neighboring land, they could inherit one of the firstborn’s miracles prior to his exile.
Suffice to say, Catarina is an old and storied nation honoring its traditions regardless of events outside its borders. Not even the displacement of Anor Londo farther north has shaken its trajectory — the country will continue to defend its sovereignty, worship its gods, and celebrate its victories as it always has: on their own terms. If anything, the nation might launch its own crusade to change renegade powers, like the Profaned Capital. So long as the sun shines each day shall Catarina smile just as brilliantly. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise then to see Siegward act the stereotypical Catarinan.
Besides the sun, the man loves his drink and the celebration along with it. He invented Siegbräu precisely because he wanted to drink as an Undead. Although Undead prove perfectly capable of eating or drinking a number of substances, they typically don’t enjoy alcohol. All they guzzle down is the Estus filling their treasured flasks, hoping to stave off hollowing one more day with that warmth empowering the soul. But “Sieg’s Alcohol” (ジークの酒) manages to ferment the bonfire’s heat, letting its creator down a tankard after a successful long day’s journey. This isn’t entirely unprecedented, since there is also the Estus soup which Siegward will cook for us at Irithyll — admittedly, it is present even should he already be dead or detained, so it may be one of the local slaves working the kitchen in those scenarios. If Undead are experimenting with Estus for recipes, why not something alcoholic? The knight wants to celebrate like only men of Catarina can, happy to share his brew and a toast.
Alcohol that Siegward of Catarina made with reverence. Travel item filling a cask tankard.
Recovers HP and temporarily boosts chill resistance.
An Undead shouldn’t be able to enjoy alcohol in itself. Siegward probably devised some sort of ingenious solution. For the duration of undeath is too long, and alcohol and rejoicing are wanted.
That isn’t to say that Siegward is the perfect Catarinan knight. He does show some of the same bumbling nature as Siegmeyer. When we first encounter him in the Undead Settlement, he is struggling to understand the lift for reaching the giant atop the church tower, unknowingly demonstrating for us how taking the lift down to the basement brings another lift down from the tower. Even after puzzling this out, he somehow gets off only halfway up and is stuck on the rooftop pondering how to deal with the chaos demon ravaging the town ahead. When he finally moves on, he heads down the Road of Sacrifices to the Cathedral of the Deep where he gets trapped down a well without his armor. Once out of his latest predicament, he heads to the Boreal Valley and ultimately gets locked up in Irithyll Dungeon. This is a man not without his faults, unbefitting the proud order he comes from.
But unlike Siemgeyer, Siegward isn’t crippled by overcautious self-deliberations. When we get noticed by the hostile demon, the knight foregoes a plan to jump in and save us, caring only about the risk to our life and not his own. When he gets trapped in the well, it is because Patches deceived him, no doubt saying that someone or something needed rescue at the bottom. And when he gets captured in Irithyll Dungeon, it is with the single-minded resolve to fulfill his promise to Yhorm beneath it. Siegward possesses that straightforward simplicity of Catarina’s honorable knights, always trying to act good, honest, and pious in any situation even as a profane Undead. His faults are because of his culture, not in spite of it. Nowhere is this clearer than after he has finished fulfilling his promise to Yhorm.
Once the Lord of Cinder is dead by both our hands, Siegward will offer up a “final” toast to his old friend as well as our bravery and unkindled mission. He then says that he will take one of his many naps throughout our journey together in obvious reference to Biorr, a similarly hearty warrior in Demon’s Souls. But after sending us off wishing the safe fulfillment of our mission, Siegward’s little nap turns out to be an eternal rest, committing suicide. This is odd since he too is an unkindled who could go on to accomplish the mission. However, he likely feels unworthy of the task. His mission has been to fulfill his promise to Yhorm, who himself had forsaken duty against all expectations. And yet, recall that it was Siegward who seems to have introduced Yhorm to his Lord’s throne. The knight of Catarina knows more than anyone why Yhorm became a Lord and why he now absconds royal prerogative to loiter in his ruined nation. Is it any wonder then that Siegward might feel responsible?
Indeed, if he falls during the battle with Yhorm, the Catarinan apologizes to his friend for being incompetent “until the end” with his dying breath. As an unkindled, he similarly tried to link the fire only to fail. For a man of such piety, this would be a huge blow to even his exuberant ego. His one contribution to the gods of flame is pointing another to succeed as fire’s kindling, and now even that has gone awry. Siegward couldn’t save his friend just as Yhorm couldn’t save his country. What else in his life has gone wrong because of his own incompetence? Plenty if his various mishaps during our journey are any indication. Looking back, Siegward is liable to see anything he has touched as irrevocably tainted. Beneath that jolly front is a deeply troubled man on a solemn mission to his demise. The best he can do is fulfill that one promise and thereby help another unkindled complete their duty. Even still, Siegward faces his plight proudly extolling the sun to the last. Catarina knows; all celebrations must come to an end.
Forgive me, old friend… I was incompetent until the end…