Garnet Til Alexandros XVII, is the heroine of Final Fantasy IX. Garnet is the Princess of Alexandria -- one of three major nations located on Gaia's Mist Continent. She is the only heir to the royal throne. A beautiful young woman, Garnet is well spoken and highly educated, but also possessed of a strong will and a stubborn streak. However, due to her sheltered upbringing she is also shy and quite naive. In battle, she can cast white magic and summon eidolons.
Princess Garnet was born in Madain Sari, the "Village of the Summoners" located on Outer Continent. Madain Sari was attacked and destroyed by Garland with the Invincible before Garnet had reached her sixth birthday; the Invincible appeared to her as an "eyeball" in the sky. She and her mother fled from the village by a small boat and traveled to Mist Continent. Her mother did not survive and died at some unknown point before the boat wrecked in Alexandria Harbor where they were found by Doctor Tot. Coincidentally, the little girl looked almost identical to Alexandria's former Princess Garnet, who had died shortly beforehand due to illness. However, the child had a horn. As an alternative to publicly announcing the death of Alexandria's beloved Princess, the King of Alexandria ordered the child's horn be removed and the little girl assumed Princess Garnet's identity. Garnet has repressed her memories of her former life in Madain Sari; the only remaining memories she has of her former life are a recurring nightmare involving her escape from the village's destruction and " Melodiee of Life", a song that only she and Eiko know.
The King of Alexandria died some time before the beginning of the game, leaving Queen Brahne in complete control of Alexandria and Garnet as the sole heir to the throne. At her 15th birthday, a year before the beginning of the game, a suspicious man known as Kuja appeared in the Castle; ever since Kuja's initial arrival at Alexandria Castle, Queen Brahne's behavior had become more hostile. Upon hearing that the theater troupe Tantalus would be performing Garnet's favorite play (Lord Avon's "I Want to be Your Canary") in Alexandria on Garnet's sixteenth birthday, Garnet resolved to stowaway on board the Prima Vista, Tantalus' theater ship, as it returned to its home port in Lindblum where she could consult with her father's long time friend Regent Cid Fabool IX about her adoptive mother's radical behavior. After their escape, Garnet assumes the alias of Dagger to try and keep a low profile among the commoners, a name she continues to employ for the majority of the game. The robe that Garnet wears to conceal her identity during her escape is white trimmed with red triangles, which is the design of Final Fantasy's typical White Mage's robe. Despite this visual cue, Garnet's role in battle is more suited towards Summoning with White Magic as a supplement, which directly contrasts to Eiko whom is best suited towards White Magic with Summoning as a supplement.
After the forceful extraction of her eidolons by the twins Zorn and Thorn later in the game, Garnet admits that she had been afraid of her summoning powers. After hearing about what had happened in Cleyra with Odin and the orders to execute Garnet after the eidolons were extracted from her, Garnet resolves to utilize her special powers to help cure her mother of her endless greed. Soon after, the party encounters the thunder god Ramuh, who helps Garnet decide to release her true powers in order to summon her eidolons. After this point in the story, Garnet can learn to summon every eidolon extracted from her, and even some that she gains during the story, such as the water dragon god Leviathan.
After Queen Brahne's death, Garnet is crowned Queen. During her coronation, Kuja attacks with Bahamut, drawing out the legendary eidolon Alexander, who is summoned by the joint effort of Garnet and Eiko. Alexander destroys Bahamut, but Garland takes control of the Invincible and uses it to eliminate Alexander, destroying much of Alexandria with it. Succumbing to the recent traumatic stress, Garnet becomes mute in her depression until she can finally come to terms with her emotions late in the game. In this psychological state, she often has difficulty concentrating during battle, resulting in the occasional failure to perform actions such as White Magic and Summoning.
After the events in Kuja’s palace, the party returns to Lindblum only to find that Princess Garnet has gone missing. Zidane knows full well where she is, and rushes off to Alexandria Kingdom. There he finds Garnet at her mother’s grave, contemplating her path in life. After an impassioned speech to Zidane, Garnet snatches his dagger (the same one that helped her with her last great decision; when Zidane first met Princess Garnet and they traveled under the nose of Queene Brahne, Garnet assumed the name Dagger—a name that could be changed by the player—after Zidane explained to her that was the name of the weapon he used) and slices off most of her hair, symbolising the severing of ties to her former weak self.