cold sun

There is an interesting complement in the names of Celes and Terra, at least in the English versions: Celes from celestial, which is from the Latin word caelum meaning "of the sky." Celes is often accused of being frigid, a term we can easily associate with the celestial sphere.

 

mother earth

Meanwhile, the name "Terra" literally means "earth" in Latin. And it's in Terra's nature: upon waking up from the Slave Crown, Terra's personal journey is one of self-discovery but most importantly, the discovery of love---not neccessarily romantic love, but love of life, love of friend, love of family. She grows deeply attached to a village of orphaned children, and in her need to understand herself loses her will to fight alongside her companions. By this point in the game, she has begun to grow into herself: a nurturing, caring, open-hearted woman. Overcoming her fear by end game, she has come to find her understanding of self and love: she has come to understand the beauty of life.

 

stand together

Both fit hand in hand. Earth and sky -- they are two elements often talked about together. This association also describes the relationship between Celes and Terra, as well: they complement each other but are nothing like one another. Celes and Terra have had similar pasts despite their different personalities: both were used as tools by the Empire, but they later manage to escape. They have neither homes nor families to go to; they really have no any purpose in life other than running from / destroying the Empire.

 

sort of, but...

This complementary naming, while neat to analyze, only really applies to the English translation. Terra's name in the original Japanese is Tina. Celes' remains the same (pronounced Serisu), so maybe we can assume some correlation between the name and the personality in this case, but in comparing the origin of the two names it wasn't intentional on Square's part from a design perspective. (:

 

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