Q. Why does Sora get to wield two keyblades?
A. Sora is some kind of bizarre heart hotel, and literally has been since birth.
Remember how I mentioned that in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Ventus gets tortured by Xehanort until he splits into Ventus and Vanitas? Well turns out that splitting one heart into two kind of messes a boy up, and Ventus was nearly a comatose vegetable that Xehanort was going to just dump on a random palm tree. BUT! Sora was just born, and apparently hearts are all-knowing at birth, so Sora’s heart was all like, “Hey, Ventus, looks like you’re going through a tough time, here, borrow some of my heart while you recover.” And Ventus got better! Vanitas had his own problems, and he supplemented them with the Unversed, but that’s an entirely different can of brain-damaged worms.
A few years later, Ventus, in an effort to foil Xehanort’s nefarious plan to make a keyblade that is, like, a double keyblade, kind of tore his own heart to shreds. This left Vanitas pretty much dead, and Ventus, once again, comatose. BUT! What was left of Ventus’s heart (which is akin to saying “what’s left of the Titanic”) decided to squirrel away in Sora’s heart. This will be important later, but this means Sora, at five years old, has 1.3 hearts.
Oh, and Ventus’s body got ditched in some crazy castle by his best friend. Err… his best friend that didn’t become an unspeakable evil.
About a decade or so later, in Kingdom Hearts I, Sora is super best friends with Riku and Kairi. Kairi is secretly (even to her) a “Princess of Heart” from Radiant Garden (aka Hollow Bastion) (aka Square World), and Riku was once chosen by Terra to be a keyblade wielder, though everyone involved in that event seems to have forgotten. At this point, Ventus’s heart has probably recovered a little, so Sora has 1.5 hearts.
Everything is idyllic and grand on the Destiny Islands, until it isn’t, and THE DARKNESS invades. A lot of things happen at once here: First, Riku awakens to his keyblade. The physicality of this is kind of confusing, but just imagine if one day a sword was sticking out of your heart, and it wasn’t because you pissed off the wrong Spaniard. But Riku is kind of a jackass, so he momentarily looks away from the light and toward the darkness, and Sora is all, “yoink!” And, thus, Sora gets a keyblade, even though it was really the possession of his best friend. Kairi, meanwhile, as a Princess of Heart, has a heart that is completely incompatible with being consumed by darkness. As a result, Kairi’s heart takes a page from The Book of Ventus and jumps ship over to Sora’s heart. As a result, for the majority of Kingdom Hearts I, Sora has 2.5 hearts.
Sora The Cardio King stomps around various Disney Worlds until arriving at Hollow Bastion. There, he encounters a Riku that has mostly been possessed by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness (the dark half of a guy who already has a name that is one letter away from spelling “No Heart”), and Kairi, who is just a limp body. Riku plays the bad guy card way too hard until Sora just has enough of it and turns the keyblade on himself.
Here’s where the magic happens.
- Sora’s consciousness becomes a heartless. Given Sora is just about as evil as Mother Theresa, he transforms into the weakest heartless available.
- Sora’s… main heart? Prime heart? The part of Sora that was always Sora goes and hangs out with Kairi. Also: Kairi’s heart. So, for a few shining moments, Kairi has her own heart AND the heart of Sora. D’aww.
- Sora’s discarded body zaps over to Twilight Town, along with the Ventus heart. This whole jumble becomes the nobody named Roxas, who inherits the general body of Sora, and the hair color and voice actor of Ventus.
Shortly thereafter, Heartless Sora gets a magic hug from Kairi, Sora’s heart is like, “Oh, this is my stop, smell ya later.” And Sora is back to being one human boy with one heart.
Somewhere in this process is where Kairi’s nobody, Naminé is created. Given Kairi never actually loses her body (she appears to just be comatose for most of Kingdom Hearts I), Naminé raises a number of questions. Canonically, DiZ (Diligently Imbibing Zombie), who is supposed to know everything about everybody, basically just throws up his hands at her existence in KH2. Presumably, the universe just wanted a blonde, magical version of Kairi, and called it a day.
I should follow the chronological through-line on Sora’s many hearts, so… Roxas.
Roxas has the worst life. At birth, Roxas is discovered by head evil nobody Xemnas, who gives him a stupid name and an even stupider hoodie, and then sends him off on increasingly stupid missions. Roxas is basically 358/2 days a slave. Then, Roxas makes a friend! Xion is a keyblade wielder/Xemnas slave, and looks suspiciously like a brunette version of Kairi. Roxas makes another friend in the form of Axel, who God, just Axel, ya know? Anyway Xion turns out to be a magical clone of Sora, because of course she is, and she’s having a bad time because her magic DNA is degrading or something. Xion breaks down so completely she is erased from existence, but not before Roxas absorbs her. Also, Roxas has been such a good little nobody, he’s started to grow his own heart. So Roxas has his own kinda-heart, Xion’s kinda-heart, and Ventus’s recovering heart. That’s probably like… 1.7 hearts there.
Roxas is then kidnapped by DiZ (Deliberately Irritating Zebra), who erases his memories and sticks the poor kid into the Matrix. Roxas has a whole six days of being a happy teenager playing with his (completely manufactured) friends, and is then informed it’s time for Kingdom Hearts 2 to actually get going, so he has to be reabsorbed by Sora. And thus ends the sad existence of Roxas. This means that Sora has his own heart, Roxas’s heart (which let’s go ahead and call that one full heart now, having had such a happy time in the Matrix), Xion’s kinda-heart which Roxas absorbed, and still Ventus’s recovering heart. As of Kingdom Hearts 2 and onward, Sora has, by my calculations, 3.4 hearts. As a result, Sora is entitled to two (2) keyblades at one time. Whoopdeedoo.
Q. Sora has saved the universe on multiple occasions, why isn’t he a “keyblade master”?
A. Imagine you designed a laptop that was indestructible, had unlimited battery life, and could pull an internet connection anywhere on Earth. Then, you discovered a group of people cut off from society, and stuck in a time period approximately equivalent to the European Dark Ages. You observed these “backwards” people, and detected a king that you believed governed justly and, in this place of war and death, could rule the whole area and bring prosperity to his people. You decide to give your amazing, invincible laptop to this king, explain the basics of how it works, and then decide that you will return in a year to see how everything is going.
In your absence, you imagine what this king may be doing with this laptop: discovering cures for diseases, researching efficient ways to end wars quickly, or even initiating governmental reform based on the millennia of experience now available at his fingertips. As the year grows to a close, you envision returning to a reformed utopia ruled by a philosopher emperor.
You return to find that, while the king you chose has apparently conquered the land, there is no change in quality of life for his subjects: they are all still wallowing, diseased in a feudal, filthy society. You approach the king, and inquire as to what he has actually done with the laptop.
He stuck the laptop on a stick, and, exploiting its “invincible” properties, used to it to clobber all of his rivals.
Would you call that king a computer genius?