so watching the theme songs to fma last night I came across this narration from Father (you know how he always does the previews and then WOW THE VILLAIN HAS BEEN OUR NARRATOR MINDBLOWING HOW COULD YOU BETRAY US NARRATOR???) (and every time he’s like “YEAH IF YOU’RE A DUMB HUMANS HUMANS ARE DUMB YOU’RE ALL DUMB I’M ABOVE THAT”)
and I’m glad that he ALSO noticed that Ed goes into crying fits a lot. It’s totally crying even if it isn’t shedding tears, the villian is calling you on that Ed. Ed just doesn’t think is COUNTS because he doesn’t shed tears but it is. He’ll curl up into a ball of Ed and moan and shudder and scream and sob and breath really hard and EVEN THROW UP FROM SHEER TRAUMA and do everything but ACTUALLY LET TEARS HAPPEN until the very end of the series. But that doesn’t mean he’s not crying. He’s just making it harder on himself by like, suppressing the tears part of the breakdown, as Winry and Al have pointed out. Both of them seem to agree it’s not a matter that Ed doesn’t cry, just that he doesn’t really let himself.
I think it’s because he’s genuinely afraid he’ll be unable to stop if he does let himself really cry- also that HE doesn’t like to see other people crying so he goes out of his way not to do it himself. He doesn’t really feel he deserves to. Like, he sees it as a burden rather than a release. And I gotta wonder if he allowed himself to sob while digging up his Mom’s grave would he have thrown up quite so much? Stuff like that. I really do think the fact that Winry can cry without restraint, but can also easily control her tears if she decides to, is a sign of her being emotionally stronger than Ed in that area.
I think it’s important that Ed did let himself cry with tears, even if it was just once, before he reached his triumphant conclusion. I think that was really the final step in his character development right there- he needed that moment of release. He needed to not supress anything to truly see the answer. Not only did he let himself shed tears, he did it in front of a crowd and in that moment he was able to say a lot of stuff he’d never actually said honestly before: “I resent dad for not being there for me, but he is my dad and I still care about him- I’m lost and panicked and I don’t want to lose anyone else and I don’t know what to do.”