Who is Tsaritsa in Genshin Impact?

Genshin Impact the Tsaritsa
Credit: HoYoverse

Genshin Impact the Tsaritsa
Credit: HoYoverse

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The Tsaritsa is the current Cryo Archon of Snezhnaya and the de facto leader of Genshin Impact’s main antagonist group. As seasoned Genshin Impact players navigate their way through dense rainforests, engage in battles with vagrant samurais turned bandits, and clash with both Gods and Adeptis alike, they become acutely aware of an eerie presence that is constant throughout their journey - The Fatui of Snezhnaya. Even Paimon remarks that the Fatui seem to appear at every turn, often at the epicentre of all misfortune.

Behind the scenes, the nefarious operations of the Fatui are carefully orchestrated and monitored by the powerful group of villains known as the Eleven Fatui Harbingers. The individual who oversees the Harbingers is Royal Highness the Tsaritsa herself.

In July 2022, HoYoverse released a chilling trailer that introduced players to the eight remaining Fatui Harbingers of Snezhnaya. Since then, anticipation has been mounting regarding the Tsartisa’s motives. In this article, we will delve into fan theories that surround Tsaritsa's elusive character, including the meaning of her name, lore, potential release date, and more!

Who is Tsaritsa?

The Tsaritsa is the Cryo Archon and one of The Seven who currently presides over the nation of Snezhnaya.

She is the leader of the Eleven Fatui Harbingers, who serve as the executive heads of the Fatui and act as the Tsaritsa's lieutenants. The Harbingers embody the pinnacle of power, wealth, and political influence within Snezhnayan society, commanding absolute authority. Their primary duties centre around furthering the Tsaritsa's goal of overthrowing the Gods of Celestia and destabilising the nations under their purview.

A screenshot of Genshin Impact Eleven Fatui Harbingers from "A Winter Night's Lazzo"
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Genshin Impact Eleven Fatui Harbingers

In an act to accrue strength that rivals Celestia, the Tsaritsa developed artificial Visions called Delusions and gifts them to her most noble soldiers. These Delusions bestow immense power upon their wielders, but they come at the cost of draining their vitality.

At this point in the story, the exact reason why she formed the Fatui to challenge Celestia, the "foundational principles of the world" and rebel against "the divine" remains unknown. However, there are theories suggesting that the omnipotent body of Celestial beings that permeates the storyline of Genshin Impact plays a big part in her quest for vengeance.

The ancient kingdom of Khaenri'ah was destroyed by the gods for reasons related to "destiny" and the "Heavenly Principles" in the catastrophic Cataclysm 500 years ago. After the kingdom fell, its people were cursed, and many became monsters.

A screenshot of The Traveller's Sibling (depicted: Lumine) witnessing the destruction of Khaenri'ah during the Cataclysm 500 years ago
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Credit: HoYoverse
The Cataclysm

It is important to note that Pierro, the leader of the Harbingers, was recruited by Tsaritsa as the first member of the organisation. He was originally a royal mage of Khaenri’ah, where he lived with the Traveler’s twin for a while. Apparently, he failed to gain the favour of Khaenri’ah’s ruler and thus could not stop the chain of events that led to the complete and utter annihilation of the region. He was later cursed with immortality. For this reason, he became embittered with the ‘foundational principles of this world’ and joined the Tsaritsa's cause.

A screenshot of the "Unknown God" who made an appearance at the beginning of Genshin Impact's storyline
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Credit: HoYoverse
"Unknown God" of Genshin Impact

Judging by how the Traveler was brutally separated from their twin during their battle with the Unknown God (the "Sustainer of Heavenly Principles") at the beginning of the narrative and how Celestia brought about the collapse of a once-flourishing and glorious civilisation, it is possible that the true antagonist of the story is not the Tsaritsa after all. Perhaps her motivations, which seem to be to "burn away the old world", are truly for the sake of peace.

Dainsleif describes the Tsaritsa as having lost love for her people, while Tartaglia describes her as a gentle soul with a cold but pure gaze, whose dreams of "peace" have led her to declare war on the entire world. Her quote from the Shivada Jade Gemstone, "Sorry... To also have you shoulder the grievances of the world. Since you could endure my bitter cold, you must have the desire to burn? Then, burn away the old world for me." suggests that she believes that the “old word”, Celestia, is corrupt and needs to be destroyed.

A screenshot of Genshin Impact First Fatui Harbinger, Pierro, in "A Winter Night's Lazzo"
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Credit: HoYoverse
Genshin Impact First Fatui Harbinger, Pierro

The name "Tsaritsa" is Russian for "Empress" and is another term for "Tsar." In both the Chinese and Japanese versions of the game, her title is "Empress of Ice," and in Korean, it translates to "Queen of Ice."

Is the Tsaritsa based on Bronya?

Bronya Zaychik, a character with a Russian background from another popular game in the HoYoverse, Honkai Impact 3rd, is believed by fans to have similarities with the Tsaritsa. Both characters possess an affinity for the element of ice and underwent a transformation from kind individuals to having colder personalities after experiencing a traumatic life-altering event.

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Interestingly, they were also once friends with a god of "Wind". Barbatos in the case of the Tsaritsa and Wendy in Bronya's case.

A screenshot of Honkai Impact 3rd Bronya Zaychik
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Credit: HoYoverse
Honkai Impact 3rd Bronya Zaychik

It is highly possible that the Tsaritsa is based on Bronya. Both HoYoverse games share overlapping lore, and their characters often exhibit similarities in their designs and storylines. For example, the Unknown Goddess in Genshin Impact bears a resemblance to Qiyana from Honkai Impact 3rd. Similarly, Venti shares similarities with Wendy, while Raiden Shogun can be compared to Raiden Mei.

What age is Tsaritsa?

The exact age of the Tsaritsa, similar to many other characters in Genshin Impact, remains elusive. However, it is clear that she does not belong to the original seven Archons, such as Venti and Zhongli.

Instead, she ascended to power after the Archon War, which occurred 2000 years ago, but prior to the Cataclysm that devastated Teyvat 500 years ago, which left her deeply changed. According to the timeline, she is estimated to be over 2000 years old.

Tsaritsa release date

According to developer HoYoverse, their objective for Genshin Impact is to release all seven regions over the next few years. This suggests a planned release of one new region per year, with Fontaine in 2023, Natlan in 2024, and Snezhnaya in 2025.

Based on this projection, it is anticipated that Tsaitsa will make her initial appearance around August 2025.

That’s all we have on the Tsaritsa for now! Interested in learning more about the Fatui Harbingers of Snezhnaya? We’ve got you covered, check out our "All Eleven Fatui Harbingers' names, ranks, and playability explained" guide here!

A prominent member of the Tsaritsa's villainous Fatui Harbingers, Arlecchino, is set to take centre stage in the upcoming Genshin Impact Version 4.0 update. Learn all about Fontaine in our guide on the 18 new Fontaine characters and deep dive into Fontaine!

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