The Light Novel goes more in-depth about Raphtalia’s parents than the Anime does. The goal of this article is to give you this extra information, not to spoil info only given in the story the Anime has not reached yet.
The reason for their sacrifice
When watching the Anime, it always bothered me that Raphtalia’s parents didn’t just jump into the water with her. It reminds me of the Dragon Ball parody by Team Fourstar, where Piccolo dies saving Gohan:
Wait a second, why didn’t I just grab him? I could probably still do that now actually… Yeah, that’s it: I’ll grab him and throw him out of the way and… AAARGH!
It means that the only way for Raphtalia to get away, was to keep the monster busy. And that is exactly what they did. In fact, poor Raphtalia kept struggling to get back to her parents until the current took her away, and her parents kept the monster busy this whole time.
If you want to read this and more for yourself, I recommend you buy a physical or digital copy of the Light Novels on Amazon. You can do so by clicking the link below or the image on the right.
How strong were Raphtalia’s Parents?
A lot stronger than the Anime would make you expect. Their tribe is stated to be very powerful, only not being able to stand up to the Wave due to being overwhelmed.
Raphtalia’s Father uses Light Magic, Raphtalia’s Mother uses a hatchet. Both dispose of skeletons from the wave easily. From all the those present, only Raphtalia’s Parents were able to give the three-headed monster a fight. This monster, as you may remember, is stronger than the one that pierced Naofumi’s defense and posed a lot of issues in the mine.
Raphtalia’s Parents mainly lost out to the monster in speed, it dodging most of their attacks. Its attacks gave Raphtalia’s father twisted joints and a vicious shoulder wound even before the fighting reached the waterside. Regardless, they still managed to not only keep it away from Raphtalia until the currents took her away from danger but also actually weakened it.
Adventurers and Knights who eventually took out the monsters of the wave later even mention that they only won because the monster already took a beating.
After the death of Raphtalia’s Parents
Before pushing Raphtalia into the water, her parents told her to keep smiling, even if things get difficult. If she smiled, then everyone else would smile along with her.
Despite the horrifying experience of making her own parents’ graves, she takes this to heart and the rebuilding of the village starts. As we all know, things go downhill from there and the Raphtalia bought by Naofumi is no longer that person.
Soon after the villagers rallied to rebuild, corrupt knights from the castle came. Led by racism against demi-humans and greed, they killed the elderly and male villagers, while selling the women and children.
The Light Novel also mentions the reason Raphtalia was sick was that she caught the illness of the girl that died in the cell with Raphtalia, Rifana.
About Sadeena / Sadina (slight spoilers)
Attentive readers may have noticed that I said that Raphtalia’s Parents were the strongest from all those present. It is alluded to that there is another, Sadeena (sometimes written Sadina), who may actually be stronger. Unfortunately, she was not present when the Wave struck.
Although the hints given in the Light Novel are clearer (“If she were here, she would have rallied…”), Sadeena is also mentioned in the Anime. To be more precise, she is mentioned as having saved Keel when he nearly drowned. This is mentioned in Episode 15, between the 13:30 and 14:00 mark.
Going further into this matter would spoil a bit too much about future events in Season 2 and beyond.