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Artwork: 66Screenshots: 77
“Keep your eyes front, I’ll watch the rear.”
— Lightning.

HopuRai is the het ship between Hope Estheim and Lightning Farron from the Final Fantasy fandom.

Canon

Final Fantasy XIII

When they initially team up, Lightning sees Hope as a burden and makes several attempts to shoo him away. When her Eidolon appears and attempts to kill him, Lightning blocks the blow with her saber and promises to “toughen him up”.

After they reach the Gapra Whitewood, both Hope and Lightning reveal things about their pasts and realize they are very similar in pasts and motivations. Lightning lends Hope her survival knife, a gift from Serah on her birthday, as both a means of completing "Operation Nora" and a promise. They create a partnership and Lightning allows Hope to take point throughout most of the chapter.

They continue on to Palumpolum, briefly being separated due to Lightning wanting Hope to talk to Snow, before being reunited where Hope revokes his plan to kill Snow after a failed attempt. Lightning is relieved and the two make a mutual vow of protection. Afterward, the l’cie(minus Vanille and Sazh) meet up at Hope’s home.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

While Lightning is left in Valhalla for the entirety of the game, she is mentioned in almost every conversation with Hope. In 10AF Hope shows Serah and Noel an Oracle Drive with Lightning as its focus. In 4XXAF Hope says that while he was asleep in the time capsule, Lightning visited his consciousness and told him he was on the right path. Before the final fight, Hope attempts to join with Sarah and Noel in hopes of rescuing Lightning to which he is told to worry about the others.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Hope and Lightning reunite 13 days before the end of the world, both remade into servants for the god Bhunivelze. While talking, both of them discover they are missing their emotions. Hope explains Lightning's role as the savior and his as her guardian, watching over her from the Ark. The Ark serves as a home base for the pair, where Lightning must return every day.

On day eight, Lumina and Lightning have a conversation in Lightning's mind where they discuss her possible plans to betray God. Lightning claims she is prepared to kill God to which Lumina asks if she is prepared to kill Hope, as the two are interconnected. Lightning reflects the question back and Lumina calls her out on being evasive before leaving.

On the final day, Hope visits Lightning in her mind as his true self. After a lengthy talk, Hope confesses that he was glad to have met Lightning and trusts she’ll make the right decision for the new world. During the boss fight against Bhunivelze, he will make lewd comments towards her. Since Bhunivelze is a god and cannot create feelings of his own, these feelings come from the portion of Hope’s soul that he combined with his own.

After the fight, Lightning uses her survival knife and Hope’s ultimate ability, Last Resort, to free the remaining part of his soul. Lightning then offers him a new life with his parents, something Hope has wanted since the day his mother died, yet when she pleads for help, Hope is the one to save Lightning and guide her to the new world, giving up the life with his parents. When the group of eight reunite, everyone journeys to the new world with a partner; Lightning and Hope go together with an encouraging shove from Snow.

Reminiscence: Tracer of Memories

A reporter on the new world, Aoede, is gathering stories of people that remember their old lives and Hope, still being an influential member of society, is her first story. In the new world, Hope has returned to his 27-year-old body and is continuing his work as a researcher. Hope retells his memories beginning from the Thirteen Days before FFXIII and how Lightning had been a key figure in making him who he was. He briefly talks about how she had protected him during that time and how he wanted to return the favor but ultimately couldn’t since Lightning had been taken to Valhalla. Hope mentions that everyone except him and Serah, Lightning’s sister, believed she was in the pillar supporting Cocoon with Fang and Vanille. Ultimately, Hope grew up determined to bring back Lightning, along with Fang and Vanille, to the world of the living. Hope is about to mention Lightning’s role as the savior, but backs off and tells Aoede that she should hear the story from the savior herself.

Later Aoede returns for a second interview with Hope, having had no luck in finding Lightning. Hope then presents her with new information dubbed “The Chaotic Era”, which correlates with the aftermath of FFXIII-2. While the rest of humanity moved back down to the remains of Pulse, Hope and a small team of researchers stayed on Bhunivelze, the planet they had created. Ultimately, the research team disappeared, and upon investigating the disappearances, Hope became depressed and began hallucinating a “rose-haired phantom” that he identified as Lightning. This led to him reliving past dreams until he could no longer tell illusion from reality, and he reveals that the phantom had been a ploy from Bhunivelze, the god of light, to lead him to the Ark. Led by the phantom, Hope disappeared, leaving behind a message to “beware the fake Lightning”, although the phantom wasn’t used on anyone else. Hope meanwhile, spent 169 years being tortured and remade into God’s servant, leaving him emotionless and regressed into his 14-year-old body.

Aoede, having no new leads, gives up on finding Lightning. Several months later, Aeode spots her getting off of a train and asks for an interview. Lightning, however, denies as she doesn’t have time to fully divulge in her time as savior. Aeode decides against following her, and wishes her luck, particularly in finding Hope, as Lightning finally has a life that is hers to live - without the gods interfering.

Quotes

“You and I are partners, Hope.”
— Lightning, FFXIII Chapter 5
Lightning“You’ll be okay. I’ll keep you safe.”
Hope“Lightning. I-me too. I mean, at least I’ll try. I’ll try to watch out for you, too.”
— FFXIII Chapter 7
“Even if the world hates you, I’ll always be by your side, Light.”
— Hope, LR: FFXIII
“As long as you were with me Light, I didn’t have to fear anything. I’m not scared, not even now, because you’re here.”
— Hope’s goodbye to Lightning, LR: FFXIII
Lightning“ Please, don’t- don’t leave me alone. I need you … help me.”
Hope“It’s okay. We could hear you, Light. Let’s go, we’ll be together.”
— LR: FFXIII
“The moment I realized this(Lightning was suffering), I knew that I didn’t want to only be protected by her. I wanted to protect her too.”
— Hope, Reminiscence: Tracer of Memories
“May this woman, who was once a brilliant beacon of light in “that other world”, chance upon Hope - this was my wish, and it was like a prayer, a promise.”
— Aoede, Reminiscence: Tracer of Memories

Fanon

On AO3, HopuRai is the most written ship for Hope and the second most written ship for Lightning.

HopuRai is the second most written ship in the Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XIII Series tags and the most written ship in the Final Fantasy XIII-2 and LR: Final Fantasy XIII tags.

Fandom

FAN FICTION

Hope/Lightning tag on AO3
Hope/Lightning tag on FanFiction.net

TUMBLR

HopuRai posts on Tumblr

Trivia

  • HopuRai is derived from their Japanese names, ライトニング (lit, Raitoningu) and ホープ (lit, Hōpu).
  • Hope is the only person that Lightning allows to call her “Light.”
  • Hope and Lightning are the only ones to show concern for the other when their health reaches critical (by screaming the injured person's name), other than Fang and Vanille.
  • Before Lumina’s identity was revealed, the most popular theory was that she was Hope and Lightning’s daughter.

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Final Fantasy - Logo1.png
SHIPS het ClerithCloLightClotiHighspecsHopuRaiLightisNoctlunaNoerahRaireSquaerithSquinoaSnerahSnowRaiTidunaZerith
slash ClackNocloudSefikuraStrifehartStrifentine
femslash AertiFLightLightifaVanLight
poly Angenesiroth
CHARACTERS m/f Cloud StrifeLightning Farron
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