Thanks to TBAAAGamer1 for the inspiration!
These are long, thought-provoking posts exploring the themes of Sephiroth and Jenova. But in the comment section, TBAAAGamer1 made an interesting quote:
yep, the body you see at the north crater encased in crystal is the real sephiroth, the one you’re following around, the one that can phase through floors and stuff? that’s actually jenova imitating sephiroth and possibly being piloted by him.
did you ever wonder why, after being chased all the way to the north crater, sephiroth’s suddenly trapped in a crystal and his lower half is gone? that’s specifically because that’s his true body and the one you were chasing was just jenova. that’s also why the sephiroth you chase drops “materia” that turn out to be versions of jenova, jenova is dropping bits of herself as she flees to buy time.
the ambiguous part is determining just who is who in this relationship, is sephiroth even present? is jenova just using his image for her own ends? is sephiroth controlling jenova’s body to further his delusion? the true nature of jenova isn’t really expanded on that much.
One answer is that Sephiroth acquired enough willpower to manipulate Jenova Cells. Sephiroth’s true body hibernated in the Northern Cave, and he can control Jenova from afar. But what about Jenova?
The traditional answer is that Jenova took over Sephiroth’s body. According to the Final Fantasy Wikia:
Jenova’s genetic structure is a two-way conduit: it can both take in the traits of its prey, and insert its own genes to turn other organisms into violent monsters. Once Jenova lands upon a planet it will destroy every form of life it finds. Jenova can absorb its prey’s memories and form, hiding as their loved ones to destroy them.
This suggests that Jenova invades an organism. Then again, Sephiroth contains Jenova cells. And then there’s the curious ending, in which Cloud’s mental defenses have grown. He defeats Sephiroth – much to the latter’s surprise.
Was Sephiroth in control of Jenova, or did Jenova move on and leave Sephiroth behind?
What do you think?