JENOVA: the True Enemy
It's a miracle of nature...

The following will contain spoilers, especially regarding the events of Final Fantasy Seven, and eventually, Final Fantasy: Advent Children.

Sephiroth is often depicted as the Final Fantasy Seven's ENEMY, the man who killed Aeris, and who tried to bring about the extinction of the human race, all because he was so delusional that he actually believed reports that he was a Cetra, and Jenova's son, without looking at the more factual evidence. This seems to prove that Sephiroth was easily unhinged from the start, easily believing in what he sees without demanding further proof. In a sense, his mind was weak, and therefore so was he.

But FF7 is known for its subtleties, that there is something more to the game than what the players see at first glance. Virtually nothing in the game that you initially see, is actually what it truly is. With that in mind, Sephiroth is easily seen as a power-mad, greedy silverhaired bastard off to kill the planet on his quest to become the ultimate God. But few people take the time to go beneath the surface and see the driving force inside Sephiroth's madness and his seemingly suggestible mind.

Sephiroth's Conception

As stated so many times already, Sephiroth was actually the child of Hojo and Lucretia. However, he was taken from his parents almost from birth and brought up to believe that his mother was named Jenova. He seems to have had no other friend in his life prior to joining SOLDIER and meeting Zack. The only person that he had ever seemed to respect was Professor Gast, whom he seemed to have known as a child and was told everything he knew about his parents, which wasn't very much.

Again, what Sephiroth and most people don't know was that JENOVA in a sense, has actually become Sephiroth's surrogate mother, if not his actual mother. JENOVA as we know, was not a Cetra, but rather the malevolent entity that visited worlds only to detroy them and take their life force. She battled with the Cetra two thousand years before the FFVIII series, infecting them with a virus that caused most to die out, though she was successfully imprisoned and contained in the geological stratum by the survivors.

But one thousand and thirty years later, JENOVA was discovered by Professor Gast of Shinra, who believes that JENOVA is an Ancient / Cetra. Almost immediately after her discovery, several things took place. The first Mako reactor was set up almost the following year. Professor Hojo suddenly had his brilliant idea to impregnate his assistant Lucretia and inject JENOVA cells into her womb, Lucretia eventually giving birth to Sephiroth and becoming irreparably damaged by the JENOVA cells. Shinra's elite fighting force, SOLDIER, were now also injected with JENOVA cells to become super strong fighters. Isn't it odd that there was a sudden flurry of activity occuring within Shinra, especially in relation to the JENOVA project? JENOVA was Sephiroth's mother far more than Lucretia had ever been.

JENOVA: The Mastermind

Simply put, being discovered by Gast also woke JENOVA from her thousands-year sleep. Though she seemed to be in hibernation / suspended state of animation, she was actually very aware of her new surroundings, and was already manipulating the minds of those around her.

JENOVA is a powerful illusionist. She was able to fool the Cetras into thinking she was one of them shortly before unleashing her virus and almost successfully wiping their race out. Through Sephiroth, she was able to successfully control the Sephiroth clones wandering about the land through the JENOVA cells injected to them. This was why JENOVA, through Sephiroth, was also able to control Cloud and force him to attack Aeris, and then deliver the Black Materia to him.

There is a major difference between Sephiroth possessing a weak mind and Sephiroth having been 'manipulated' (a very loose term, because JENOVA never suggested anything to Sephiroth that he himself did not want) by JENOVA since his birth. Even before he was born, JENOVA had already set things into motion, implanting the suggestion to Hojo to inject his own child with her cells. She manipulated the Shinra into placing importance on the JENOVA project, allowing her to reach out and eventually find her "puppet" - Sephiroth. JENOVA spent thirty plus years planning her assault on the planet, and Sephiroth, JENOVA cells a natural part of him, was no longer her puppet, but her co-conspirator; it simply needed thirty-odd years for him to realize that fact. JENOVA created Sephiroth through manipulating Shinra into conceiving him, and is in a sense his creator.

In conclusion, there are now two reasons why Sephiroth was so easily led to believe that JENOVA was his mother:

  1. JENOVA had been 'manipulating' with his mind and casting illusions as she had easily succeeded in doing the same to many of the Shinra scientists (ie, giving the impression she was an Ancient, spearheading the JENOVA project, creating clones of Sephiroth to expand her power, etc.). Actually, JENOVA didn't lie to Sephiroth in the true sense of the word; Shinra lied to Sephiroth. JENOVA simply exposed to him certain facts that he had not previously been aware of, then allowed him to form his own conclusions.
  2. JENOVA, in that most profound sense, was not actually Sephiroth's biological mother, but she was in a sense his true mother, since he was her own special creation to be used to destroy the world. Sephiroth could not have been JENOVA's puppet, because JENOVA IS Sephiroth. The dormant cells Sephiroth had within himself were activated once he discovered these certain 'truths' about himself; he would not have done things any differently.

Sephiroth then, is not the true enemy. Sephiroth was simply following the nature of his ancestry, of which JENOVA was responsible for. Ergo, the sickness comes entirely from JENOVA.