Genshin Impact: Tsaritsa, the Cryo Archon; Who is She?

Genshin Impact - Traveler Witnesses Cataclysm

Although Genshin Impact has been out for almost a year now, it’s not halfway through revealing the mysteries behind Teyvat. One of the mysteries that’s being talked about since Genshin Impact first came out is someone called the Tsaritsa. If we base on the game’s lore, we know she’s the Cryo Archon. However, Travelers are still asking the question, “Who is she?”

Who is Tsaritsa, the Cryo Archon in Genshin Impact?

From what we know so far, the Tsaritsa is the Cryo Archon presiding over Snezhnaya. If you’re not familiar with Snezhnaya, it’s the land where Fatui come from. One of the most notable Fatui personalities you may be familiar with is Tartaglia A.K.A. Childe. Other Fatui Harbingers are Signora and Scaramouche.

Genshin Impact - Scaramouche
Image Courtesy of HoYoverse

Early in the game, it’s already established that the main antagonist in Genshin Impact are the Fatui which is led by the Tsaritsa herself. By taking advantage of the Fatui’s undying loyalty to her, she uses them to carry out her mission for her: retrieve all the Gnoses from the other Archons.

Genshin Impact - La Signora
Image Courtesy of HoYoverse

If we go back to when we first introduced to Venti, we can recall that La Signora violently stripped Venti of his Gnosis. Further into the story, we find out that Tartaglia is actually plotting something in Liyue. Under the Tsaritsa’s orders, he plans on reviving Osial to ultimately destroy Liyue. Moreover, Signora makes an appearance in this chapter as Zhongli hands her his Gnosis.

What does Tsaritsa mean in Genshin Impact?

If you’re wondering whether the Cryo Archon’s name is actually Tsaritsa, we’re here to tell you that it’s not. It’s only a title to address her and since Snezhnaya is based on Russia, the title Tsaritsa is actually a Russian word. In Russian, it means “Queen” or “Empress” which is only fitting for someone as powerful as her.

Genshin Impact - Pulcinella
Image Courtesy of HoYoverse

Raiden Shogun is another Archon we address by their title instead of their name (although the Shogun is technically a puppet). Before meeting Ei, we encounter the Shogun presiding over Inazuma. Much like the title ‘Tsaritsa’, the word ‘Shogun’ means someone who is a military leader or a dictator.

The Tsaritsa is not the original Cryo Archon

The story quests in Genshin Impact slowly elaborate on what really occurred during the Archon War. However, not much is revealed yet as to why the Archon War took place or how it even began. During the Archon War, there was actually a different Cryo Archon. It was only after the historic event that the Tsaritsa assumed the role of Snezhnaya’s Archon. Additionally, the former Cryo Archon actually emerged victorious during the Archon War.

Some theories propose that the Cryo Archon is not the ‘bad guy’ in Genshin Impact

When Dainsleif mentioned a brief description of the Archons, he mentioned “love” when talking about the Tsaritsa. The other Archons are known for being the “god of contracts” (Zhongli), the “god of freedom” (Venti), and the “god of eternity” (Ei). With that being said, the Cryo Archon doesn’t seem like the bad guy if she is indeed the “god of love” in Genshin Impact.

However, Dainsleif proceeds to explain that she has “no love left for her people” and that her followers only stick by her out of loyalty. He also adds that the Tsaritsa is preparing for “the day of her rebellion against the divine,” which means she may be going against Celestia.

Additionally, Tartaglia (or Childe) describes the Tsaritsa as a gentle soul. However, the events of the Cataclysm drove her to “harden herself” and declare war against the whole world. To justify the Tsaritsa’s declaration of war, Tartaglia explains it’s “because she dreams of peace.”

If she is the god of love, why is she taking the Gnoses for herself?

Tartaglia mentioned something about the Tsaritsa hardening herself (her heart, maybe) while declaring war against the world. This is supported by Tsaritsa’s description found in the Shivada Jade Gemstone.

“Sorry… to also have you shoulder the grievances of the world. Since you could endure my bitter cold, you must have the desire to burn? Then, burn away the old world for me.”

The official lore in Genshin Impact explained that the Cryo Archon only became this way after the events of the cataclysm. In simpler terms, the cataclysm refers to the fall of Khaenri’ah which took place 500 years ago. Moreover, it’s believed that Celestia caused the fall of Khaenri’ah.

Genshin Impact - Unknown God
Image Courtesy of HoYoverse

Going back, Dainsleif mentioned something about the Tsaritsa and her day of rebellion against the divine. If there’s one thing Travelers know, it’s that “the divine” usually refers to Celestia. So it’s possible that the Tsaritsa is gathering all these Gnoses so she can fight back against Celestia.

From what we know so far, even the most powerful Archons cannot face Celestia head-on. Take Makoto, for example. Before Ei became the Electro Archon in Inazuma, it was Makoto presiding over the region. But during the cataclysm, Makoto met her demise and passed away in Khaenri’ah.

Who is the true villain in Genshin Impact?

It’s still pretty early to tell who the Traveler is fighting in Genshin Impact. The beauty of this game is that not every good guy is perfect and not every bad guy is the worst. Take Venti and Zhongli, for example. They ruled over their respective regions yet failed to completely look after them. As for Ei and Tartaglia, they were presented as villains at first but along the way, we got to know them and understood their stories.

Genshin Impact - Three Archons
Screengrab Courtesy of Reimein via YouTube

So, it’s really not a matter of who’s good or bad in Genshin Impact. Every single character here is flawed. We’re sure the Tsaritsa has her reasons for what she’s doing but we’re not negating the fact that some of her actions are unforgivable.

Genshin Impact - Fatui
Image Courtesy of HoYoverse

However, other theories suggest that the Tsaritsa may not be the one ruling over the Fatui. But all we can do for now is speculate and wait until we get to Snezhnaya’s chapter in Genshin Impact.

What are your thoughts so far on Genshin Impact’s Cryo Archon, Tsaritsa? We’d love to hear from you in the comments down below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.  

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