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Clerith is the het ship between Cloud Strife and Aerith Gainsborough from the Final Fantasy fandom.

Canon

Both Cloud and Aerith are two of the main characters in the Final Fantasy VII trilogy, along with both of them having their own kind of links to Shinra and Zack Fair. Even after her death Aerith still has a huge impact and role in the game through Cloud, as she helps him and the others within the Lifestream, where she watches over him from.

Final Fantasy VII

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Cloud first met Aerith shortly after he arrives in Shinra, where he had bout some flowers from her. Their paths later crossed with each other again when Cloud falls into the Sector 5 Church and wakes up to find Aerith standing over him, after she wakes him up. After they both told each other's names Aerith asks Cloud to be Her Bodyguard, Cloud agrees for a date as a reward, to which both agree to, as they have it at the Golden saucer (one of the options in the game). Aerith opens up to Cloud a lot before she asks him if he enjoys her company and says that she hopes that they can do it again. Cloud also has a dream of his Mother, where she tells Cloud to find a older woman that would take care of him (referring to Aerith as she is one year older than him), Cloud says he’s not interested in a relationship at the moment and the dream ends.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Years later, Aerith's death still haunts Cloud as he feels guilty for not doing anything to prevent her death from happening as she was killed in front of him, along with Aerith being the second friend that he was powerless to save. When Cloud had found the orphan boy Denzel by his motorbike, Fenrir, he felt that Aerith was the one who had led Denzel to it so he'll be able to help the boy; by taking him in instead of leaving Denzel at a hospital. Along with searching for a cure for Denzel's and possibly his own Geostigma illness. As a spiritual avatar of the Lifestream, Aerith's possible presence in the Sector 5 Church could have been what healed both Cloud and Tifa as they lay in its flowers. Aerith later visits Cloud in a vision as he rides to the Forgotten City to rescue Denzel and the rest of the children. He tells her of his refusal to move on from her death along with his failed attempt to cure Denzel, as well as how he felt about failing to save her life when he tells Aerith that he wants to be forgiven, to which had gotten Aerith to ask him, "By who?", but when Cloud turns to see her, the vision ends. Aerith did, however, leave a reassuring message to him on his phone that says that she never blamed him for her death, as the phone shank into a pool of water. During the battle against Bahamut SIN, Cloud is consumed in its attack, and amid the fireball where he has another vision of Aerith, who takes his outstretched hand and transfers enough energy to him to cut through Bahamut's attack and destroy it. While Aerith's spiritual connection within the Lifestream itself has her using her Limit Break ability, Great Gospel, to infuse parts of the Lifestream with water so she could cure Cloud's Geostigma illness, along with the other victims of it.

After Cloud defeated Kadaj and had ended up in a white void where he hears Aerith's voice, but mistakes it for his mother's voice, to which she and Zack joke about it before sending Cloud's spirit back to the living world, since it wasn't his time to die yet. As Cloud uses the church's floated water, that was left by the rain that Aerith created from within the Lifestream, to cure Denzel and the rest of the reused children of the Geostigma, along with the other victims that weren't present at the short healing drizzle, he sees Aerith's spirit as she spoke with one of the children next to the entrance before walking to the light-filled doorway where Zack's spirit waits for her, but not before she turns to give Cloud a warm smile before she leaves; to which brought Cloud peace. Aerith's spirit continues to watch over Cloud, as she stands in among the fields of flowers while he got on his motorcycle as he rides through the countryside.

Moments

Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

  • Cloud knew that the Geostigma cure was from Aerith.
  • Aerith's spirit touch Cloud's forehead in the white void.

Kingdom Hearts (series)

Kingdom Hearts

  • Aerith greats Cloud, when he joins her and the others in Hollow Bastion's library.

Fanon

Cloud/Aerith has been extremely popular since 1997. It is a popular Final Fantasy VII ship and one of the most popular ships in the entire series. It is considered a "rival ship" to Cloud/Tifa. Both ships have had evidence and materials to support them, although the fandom ship wars are ongoing.

On AO3, the ship has over 252 fanfics.

Fandom

FAN FICTION

Cloud/Aerith tag on AO3
Cloud/Aerith (FFVII) tag on FanFiction.net
Cloud/Aerith (KH) tag on FanFiction.net
Cloud/Aerith (Dissidia) tag on FanFiction.net

DEVIANTART

cloudxaerisfans fanclub on Deviant Art
AnAngelKiss fanclub on Deviant Art

TUMBLR

Cloud x Aerith posts on Tumblr
Aerith x Cloud posts on Tumblr
Clerith posts on Tumblr

WIKIS

Cloud/Aerith on Fanlore

Trivia

  • A few Clerith-like moments were seen in the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • Aerith's death, including Cloud holding Aerith in his arms before he lays her to rest in the water, is considered to be one of the most memorable moments in Final Fantasy history.
  • Cloud's crystal in the Dissidia Final Fantasy series takes the form of the Light/Holy Materia that Aerith created to help Cloud and their friends in their task, before her death causes it to fall into the water.
  • Some of Yoshitaka Amano's sketches for Final Fantasy VII are of Cloud and Aerith together.

Gallery

Promotional

Screenshots

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Final Fantasy VII (remake)

Kingdom Hearts (series)

Opera Omnia

Itadaki Street

FanArt

Variations

Clerifa refers to the ship between Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart and Aerith Gainsborough
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