The summoners are practitioners of a sacred art, sworn to protect the people of Yevon. Only a chosen few become summoners, who call forth entities of greater power: the aeons. The aeons hear our prayers and come down to us. They are the blessing of Yevon.
- —Monk in Besaid Temple.
- See also: Summoner (Job)
In the world of Spira in Final Fantasy X, the title of summoner (召喚士, Shōkanshi?), is given to skilled magic users who have trained in the process of summoning powerful beings known as aeons. Summoners do this in order to defeat Sin, a powerful monster who periodically returns to devastate the world. Summoners also perform the sending, a dance ritual that sends the spirits of the dead to the Farplane, lest they become fiends.
Unlike in many other Final Fantasy games, summoners in Final Fantasy X do not have horns or wear horn-shaped headwear, since they are not of a separate tribe. However, the Ronso promise to build a statue of Yuna with a horn on her head; a reference to the older games.
List of SummonersEdit
- Note: The summoners are presented in the order as they are introduced in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2.
After completing their initial trial, each summoner undertakes a pilgrimage to the temples of Spira to gather aeons and develop their strength in body and mind. Acquiring an aeon from a fayth is a fatiguing process for the summoner. Indeed, Yuna remained inside the Chamber of the Fayth for almost a whole day (possibly unconscious) after she acquired her first aeon in Besaid due to underestimating this effect.
Afterwards, she emerged from the Chamber of the Fayth having difficulty to stand in every other temple visited. The Summoner who defeats Sin invariably sacrifices his or her life in the process, and is posthumously granted the title of high summoner. High summoners are worshiped by the followers of the religion of Yevon.
The practice of summoning goes back to at least 1,000 years to the days of Zanarkand, although it is unknown how summoning was practiced during those days; the only thing that is known is that summoners were used in the Machina War between Zanarkand and Bevelle. Since Yu Yevon is able to manifest Sin and Dream Zanarkand (which are not technically Aeons) by summoning pyreflies, it can be assumed that the process of summoning relies on the control of them (since Aeons themselves are manifested by pyreflies, and Seymour's monstrous forms are also manifested via this method) and therefore, summoners may have been used to conjure magical weapons or creatures to aid battles.
Before Yuna's pilgrimage only five summoners in the past 1,000 years have defeated Sin: Lady Yunalesca, Lord Gandof, Lord Ohalland, Lady Yocun, and Yuna's father, Lord Braska. Other summoners appearing in the game include Maester Seymour, Isaaru, Lady Dona, Lady Belgemine, Father Zuke, and Lady Ginnem.
When Sin is destroyed, the fayth disappear from Spira and summoners become obsolete as much of the population looks toward a new, and different, future.
Summoners in Final Fantasy X bear many conceptual similarities to the traditional Japanese miko. Traditionally, miko are female shrine maidens who offered numerous services in the past, including divination, prayers, and herbal medicine which was, in that time period, considered magical. In extremely desperate times when the shrines and temples were short of funds they would occasionally provide funding through prostitution.
Most importantly, mikos were called upon to perform ceremonial dances, some of which were meant to drive away evil spirits and protect the shrine. The idea of dancing to ward off evil spirits in particular could roughly be used to describe the sending.
- All summoners seen in Final Fantasy X have bows made of ribbons in their attire.
- When meeting Seymour and Isaaru, both summoners, Yuna kneels in front of them in a manner similar to the prayer. However, she does not kneel to Dona.
- In Final Fantasy X-2, the Ronso may construct a statue of Yuna with a horn on her forehead depending on the choices the player made regarding the Ronso. While not only referencing Final Fantasy X where the Ronso show willingness of constructing such a statue, it also alludes to the summoners of Final Fantasy IX who had horns at their foreheads.