Squall Leonhart is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII. A young and aloof SeeD mercenary, others view him as cold and focused until he begins to question the way he has chosen to live his life.
Squall starts an introverted, cold and taciturn teenager who pushes away those who would otherwise be considered his friends. Though withdrawn, Squall does not shirk from what he considers his duty. As much as he resents assuming leadership, he is the first to ensure that what is necessary gets done. Squall's pragmatism and sense of responsibility lead others to trust and follow him. Even though everyone agrees Squall can be difficult, staff and students alike admire him, and he is eventually appointed Commander of Balamb Garden much to his dismay. Squall becomes the de facto leader of the party, though at first, he dislikes his comrades looking to him for orders and advice.
During the game, Squall narrates his thoughts and feelings in silent voice-overs, during which he reveals he acts the way he does for fear of getting close to people. Squall cannot remember his parents, and his sister was taken away when he was young, making him afraid of losing the feelings of comfort loved-ones provide. Squall does not believe in relying on others, as friends and family are inevitably lost, and in the end, he will be alone. Squall comes to rethink his choices in life when he falls in love with Rinoa Heartilly and comes to accept the support and friendship of his comrades, becoming more social.