Aeris: “Cloud, can you hear me?
Cloud: “Yeah, I hear you. Sorry for what happened.”
Aeris: “Don’t worry about it.”
Cloud: “…I can’t help it…”
Aeris: “Oh…Then, why don’t you REALLY worry about it? And let me handle Sephiroth. And Cloud, you take care of yourself. So you don’t have a breakdown, okay?: “
Cloud: “What is this place?”
Aeris: “This forest leads to the City of the Ancients… and is called the Sleeping Forest. It’s only a matter of time before Sephiroth uses Meteor. That’s why I’m going to protect it. Only a survivor of the Cetra, like me, can do it. The secret is just up here. At least it should be. …I feel it. It feels like I’m being led by something. Then, I’ll be going now. I’ll come back when it’s all over.”
We’re all aware of the most famous death scene in Final Fantasy history. Leading up to her death, Aerith runs to the Forgotten Capital, the primary capital of the ancient Cetra civilization. In a dream…
Only she can stop Sephiroth. She’s correct, but stopped in the Forgetten Capital. While she prays at an alter, Sephiroth tries to manipulate Cloud into killing her. When this fails, Sephiorth finishes the job himself.
But how likely is it that she not see this coming? Of course, we don’t see it coming, not unless someone spoiled the game for us. But Aerith is fully aware that Sephiroth is after her due to her powers. Jenova and Sephiroth appear as apparitions following the party, who in turn chase Sephiroth. Didn’t she think that splitting from the group would be dangerous?
Probably. Then again, consider why she ran. She had to escape Cloud. She realizes something’s not right about his psyche, and intuitively gasps that he may be under Sephiroth’s control. In this sense, it’s safer to get away from Cloud and take her chances that Sephiroth will not find her. Unfortunately, Aerith exposes her location, as Sephiroth intercepts the dream of Aerith Cloud has.
But her demeanor suggest she knew her fate. She conveniently prays in the executioner’s position. It’s possible she knew Sephiroth was above her the entire time, waiting to kill her at the right moment. But Aerith knew she had to die. How else was she able to enter the Lifestream? She performed the ultimate sacrifice to save the world, making her a messiah.