Characters / Fate/Zero

The characters of Fate/Zero, the novel prequel to the Visual Novel Fate/stay night. The prequel details the events of Heaven's Feel IV - the 4th Holy Grail War.

Characters may overlap with those from Fate/stay night and Fate/hollow ataraxia. Go to the Fate/stay night and Fate/hollow ataraxia characters pages for their role in the Fifth Holy Grail War and its aftermath.

WARNING: This character sheet will assume that you have read Fate/stay night. Major spoilers will be found ahead for both Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero.

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    Kiritsugu Emiya 

(Master of Saber)

Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (adult), Miyu Irino (child) (Japanese), Matthew Mercer (adult), Marianne Miller (child) (English)

"Even if I am to carry 'all the evils of this world', it won't matter. If that can save the world, then I'd gladly accept it."

Kiritsugu is the protagonist of Fate Zero and an infamous mercenary known as the Magus Killer. Despite his brutal methods, he actually has the best intentions of mankind as a whole at heart and enters into conflicts with the intention of ending them as quickly as possible before they can escalate. He stands far on the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism due to his belief that it is impossible for everyone in the world to be happy; in order to be a true hero, one must eliminate the destructive factors which would in turn threaten the survival of humanity as a whole. Killing one to save a hundred, dozens to save thousands.

Because he finds his normal methods insufficient due to the matter of scale, he chose to work for the Einzbern family, who allowed him to marry into the family. Ten years later, the Fourth Grail War begins and he and his wife Irisviel leave their daughter Ilya behind in order to hopefully use the omnipotent wish granting abilities of the Grail to bring true peace. He is the Master of Saber, but the pair are so incompatible that they never speak to each other, leaving Saber to work with Irisviel instead while Kiritsugu operates behind the scenes.
  • Anti-Antichrist: Downplayed, though his failure to realize his wish makes him, by readings of results, a minor Antichrist. See below for specifics.
  • The Antichrist: Downplayed and implied for the purpose of a Mind Screw. The clues are:
    • The number of rib-powdered Origin Rounds: 66 (one 6 short of the Number of the Beast). It isn't six-hundred-and-sixty-six because such a large number tarnishes Kiritsugu's reputed skill, the significance of each bullet, and the Willing Suspension of Disbelief on account of their creation from two of his ribs.
    • The removal of two of his ribs: historically, post-mortem, Jesus Christ was stabbed between the ribs to certify his death; mythologically, the blood and water that poured from the subsequent wound was caught by the Holy Grail. Those two ribs are likely the two removed from Kiritsugu via Natalia. This means it is completely impossible for such a ritual as the aforementioned one to be performed on Kiritsugu, specifically disqualifying him as a candidate for The Messiah while simultaneously distinguishing him as a unique individual on the planet.
    • A Self-Made Orphan, on account of his murdering his father. This act seemingly violates the First Commandment. Secondarily yet more importantly, the murdering of the parent has been the most prominent and distinguishing desire of the characters portrayed as the Antichrist in cinema.
    • His Arch-Enemy: the most pragmatic Catholic Priest alive during the Fourth Grail War is his most dangerous, personal opponent. The Catholic Church, like the noted trait mentioned above, is the typical nemesis of the Antichrist.
    • His Command Seal symbol: while it is meant to look like a sword, it can also be viewed as an upside-down cross. This would seem to be coincidental until Kirei confronts Emiya: literally a moment before their climactic fight, Kotomine kisses his necklace-bound crucifix; immediately following that shot is a view of Kiritsugu's Command seals as an upside-down cross, as the hand beneath them grips his Thompson Contender.
    • The error of his wish: Kiritsugu needs the Grail simply because he knows, better than anyone, the impossibility of the realization of his desire by practical means. Simply, he absolutely cannot produce a miracle, and this understanding is the singular reason for his pursuit of the Grail, including every decision made since murdering his father. Yet, it is the necessity of an understanding of the method by which to produce a miracle that Kiritsugu needs to make his initial, six-year-old-boy's wish a reality. This specific lack of understanding - particularly because it is what ultimately denies him his desire - is the polar opposite trait of the purported Messiah that Jesus Christ claimed to be.
  • Anti-Hero: Kiritsugu is The Unfettered and always willing to kill the few to save the many. Innocent victims or unwilling opponents are not exempt. If, at the crux, he must look a single person in the eyes and murder them in cold blood to save another ten, he will do so, and has done so many times.
  • Badass Longcoat: Combined with Badass in a Nice Suit.
  • Break the Badass: He experiences a number of fairly major breakdowns over the course of the story, even though he's already a hardened killer:
    • He briefly breaks down in front of Irisviel and proposes that the both of them just take Ilya and run away from it all.
    • He broke down after he was forced to blow up the plane on which Natalia was trapped.
    • Finally, his biggest breakdown was in the aftermath of his battle with Kotomine. The only reason he clung to life was because he found a young Shirou, still alive amidst all the death and destruction.
  • Batman Gambit: He defeats Kayneth by utilizing a strategy that hinges on predicting the ways Kayneth would try to counter his attacks, and changing up said attacks accordingly.
  • Boring but Practical: Kiritsugu doesn't use fancy magic attacks or familiars to win fights. Instead he uses very mundane tactics such as traps, conventional weapons and explosives. Most mages consider these means improper and beneath their dignity to use themselves, so they rarely plan to counter them. And that's why those methods are the most effective on mages.
  • Break the Cutie: His backstory, revealed in Volume 4, involves watching his childhood friend turn his entire village into zombies after she drank a potion which turned her into a failed Dead Apostle after he did not Mercy Kill her. To prevent future damages, he killed his own father for making the potion in the first place so that he could not do it again. Later, he took down a plane with his mentor and mother-figure on it after they attempt to stop an outbreak of vampirism on said plane.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Brooding Boy to Irisviel's Gentle Girl.
  • Bullet Time: Through an extension of the Emiya magecraft called 'Innate Time Control', he can internally affect time. He once uses it to avoid Kayneth's autonomous search-and-destroy weapon by slowing down his own bodily functions.
  • Byronic Hero: Kiritsugu has strong ideals, but pursues them at a very steep emotional cost. In the end, he finds proof that he would never achieve the dream he did so many terrible things for, and that he sacrificed his family for nothing, causing him to break down and abandon the Grail Wars for good.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: His skill at orthodox magecraft is immense and it's reasonable to think he has passive strengthening, which is why he can perform feats like throwing knives with pinpoint accuracy in the midst of triple-backflips.
  • Chekhov's Skill: During Kiritsugu's first scene after coming to Fuyuki City, he practices reloading his Thompson Contender, noting that the process takes about two seconds. This speed is put to the test during his final battle with Kirei, where on two occasions he needs to reload the gun before his opponent can get back into melee range.
  • Cold Sniper: Realistic and frightening, in that Kiritsugu temporarily shuts off his emotions to achieve this state.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kiritsugu despises war so he ends all conflicts as quickly as possible. Brutally, if necessary.
    • An example is his fight with Kayneth. Kayneth mistakes his use of conventional weapons as a sign that he has no magic or abilities. In truth, it leads him into a trap Kiritsugu sets by using his Origin Bullets.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The protagonist of Fate/Stay Night, Shirou Emiya, is a Wide-Eyed Idealist who is dragged into the 5th Holy Grail War with no knowledge of how it works and very little talent as a magus. In Fate/Zero, his adoptive father Kiritsugu Emiya is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who willingly enters the 4th Holy Grail War and prepares himself as thoroughly as possible, and he already has a reputation as the "Magus Killer".
  • Coup de Grâce: His Origin Bullets, made from his ribs. This actualizes his dual Origins of Severing and Binding, turning a magus' own magic circuits against them.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: His inability to Shoot the Dog when he was a child haunts him. His failure to put down Shirley while he still could forced him into the conclusion that the most lives are saved with brutal pragmatism and not soft feelings.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Use of Time Alter causes significant damage to Kiritsugu's body, especially when speeding him up, thus he is unable to go beyond a twofold speed boost. However, with Avalon and its passive regeneration factor he was able to go three, and then four times faster, in his fight with Kotomine.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: See Break the Cutie.
  • Dark Messiah: Kiritsugu in his Magus-killing prime was described as appearing at battles around the world only at their most critical stages. Combined with Necessary Evil and I Did What I Had to Do, his modus operandi is exactly how Counter Guardians (the 'verse's resident Dark Messiahs) protect humanity from itself.
  • Death by Origin Story: By Shirou's origin story, and so he's Plot Armored through this story.
  • Despair Event Horizon: At the end of the novel his hopes for using the Grail to bring about a better world fall through when it turns out to be corrupted and he is forced to kill an illusion of Irisviel and Ilya with his own hands and then destroy the Grail he sacrificed the real versions of them for. When he's finally done that, he saves Shirou and becomes a broken man who can no longer believe in his childhood dream until his dying moments with Shirou.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Kiritsugu kills off his emotions, leaving his eyes almost perpetually flat and blank as a visual cue.
  • Dungeon Bypass: In order to get to Kayneth through his multi-layered magic fortress, Kiritsugu has Maiya rig the building with explosives, thus rendering all of Kayneth's careful preparations useless.
  • Emotion Suppression: He actually invokes this one on himself. He can feel the full range of normal emotions, but he shuts them away so that he can do what he believes needs to be done. He might feel sorry or haunted afterwards, but in the moment, he simply acts.
  • Fatal Flaw: Kiritsugu is idealistic, but he can't imagine a practical way to achieve his ideals without some sort of "miracle". The means he does resort to wear away at his soul, and when he learns that the miracle he counted on will never come in spite of everything he did to reach it, he breaks.
  • Fights Like a Normal: His primary fighting abilities tend to revolve around the use of normal human technology like high powered weaponry in place of offensive magecraft, cameras in place of easily tricked familiars and exploiting the mental blindspots of his opponents. The largest one, of course, is that most of his opponents do not expect to have to deal with human weaponry. He does perform some magecraft such as Innate Time Control, using the Origin Bullet, or giving himself Innate Night Vision.
  • Firing One-Handed: Uses his Calico M950 and Thompson Contender thus, despite the latter being modified to fire rifle bullets.
  • Flash Step: His Time Alter magic allows him to move at faster-than-the-eye speeds for short bursts.
  • Freudian Excuse: He watched his childhood crush become a Dead Apostle because of mis-handling information she stole from his father, denied her request to be killed, allowed her to duplicate herself through everyone in town, murdered his father in response to the latter's insistence that they save themselves without taking any accountability for the current state of the island and with intent to allow the mistake to repeat through his planned action, and ensured the incineration of civilization on the island before he leaves. He did all this at the age of six and within a day.
  • Geas: He uses a self-geis scroll to bind himself from attacking Kayneth as part of a contract to remove both Kayneth and Sola-Ui from the war. Of course, it doesn't say anything about someone else attacking Kayneth on Kiritsugu's orders.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Kiritsugu's actions can be considered entirely pragmatic in nature.
  • The Gunslinger: Kiritsugu prefers to use simple, direct methods like guns to anything as flashy as magecraft. He in fact defines himself as a magecraft user because he does not follow the practices of a magus.
  • Hand Cannon: His Thompson Contender is an handgun chambered to fire rifle rounds. Full powered rifle rounds.
  • Happily Married: To Irisviel.
  • Healing Factor: Takes back Avalon from Irisviel, which allows him to use Time Alter: Triple and Square Accel without wrecking his body from the inside out.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Given his Freudian Excuse, he definitely qualifies.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kiri's signature Origin Bullets. They sever a magus' circuits and then "repair" them - messily and badly, like a broken bone set the wrong way. They do more damage the more power is running through them when they're broken, the more heavily a magus is using them. So he first shoots a normal bullet so that will make them pump up their defenses, and then he shoots the Origin Bullet.
    • He suffers from this himself. After a lifetime of killing mages via crippling their magic circuits, his own are crippled by the Holy Grail's curse. This leaves him too weak to bypass the Einzbern barriers and get his daughter back and ultimately kills him.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His justification for blowing up buildings, taking hostages, sniping in public, etc.
  • I Have Your Wife: He takes Sola-Ui hostage and uses her as blackmail to make Kayneth withdraw from the War. Both are then killed by Maiya.
  • In-Series Nickname: During his time living in Arimago Island as a child, his friends called him "Kerry" since they couldn't pronounce his full name.
  • Irony: Kiritsugu's wish for the Grail is to save the world, but he instead ends up inadvertently destroying a section of the city.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: As a kid, he wanted to become an "hero". Then shit happened, and now he believes that being and hero means being ready to Shoot the Dog without hesitation whenever necessary, no matter how much you may love that particular dog.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Uses "boku", a pronoun used to denote an innocent and non-threatening young boy. This indicates that he is immature in some ways, like how he relentlessly pursues his dream of saving people that he first had as a child and never outgrew.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: He is capable of convincing a bellboy that he is Kayneth and that "he" and "his wife" Sola-Ui have evacuated said bellboy's building.
  • Jerkass Façade: On the outside he's a cold and stoic hitman, on the inside he's a loving father and husband with a childlike dream of world peace.
  • Kick the Dog: The tactics used by Kiritsugu to destroy his enemies are so ruthless that his wish to be granted by the Grail is the only token on the idealistic side to qualify him as an Anti-Hero. For example, he wounds Kayneth severely enough with his Origin Round to ensure that he never practices Magic again, then maims his wife - Lancer's default Master by mutual agreement in the wake of Kayneth's permanent crippling - to remove her Command Seals and the potential for her to receive any more. By plot logic, this is clean and necessary to guarantee victory. Subsequently, he kidnaps Kayneth's wife and guarantees her safe return to him and Kayneth's safety from him on the condition that he force Lancer to kill himself. Kayneth concedes: Lancer dies and Sola-Ui is returned to him; accordingly, Kiritsugu cannot harm either he or his wife. So, acting on an order issued before Kayneth agreed to Kiritsugu's terms, Maiya kills both of them. Kayneth, dying and bleeding out, begs Kiritsugu to end his suffering faster. He refuses: his contract forbids him, and to order either of his colleagues to do so at this point would be tantamount to his violation of the contract, as they work for him. However, he may at this point, suggest that Saber kill him, though he needn't do so, because she does end his suffering. The only move that isn't necessary for a clean victory here is his refusal to suggest to Saber to kill him, and this refusal is validated by her eventual compliance; that lack of suggestion is his kicking the dog.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The impact of his crueller actions is often diminished by his targets being assholes (of which he may or may not be aware - he doesn't care).
  • Kill the Ones You Love: He was forced to kill his mentor and mother figure to stop her from unleashing zombies into a major city.
  • Knight Templar: He is made aware of this by the Grail: so, taking the Grail completely by surprise, he continues templaring to the extent of sincerely and psychologically murdering his wife and daughter, agreeable to his method of realizing his ideal. This sets up an unprecedented opportunity for Kiritsugu to save the world and destroy the Grail, as Angra Mainyu was impersonating his wife at the time, leaving the Grail apparently soulless and vulnerable. He both fails to destroy it and allows the city-destroying fire to ensue.
  • Leitmotif: Magus Killer.
  • Mage Killer: His title, and he demonstrates the skills throughout the story.
  • Mage Marksman: Magecraft is just another way to get him close enough to blow up or shoot his targets.
  • Meaningful Name: "Kiritsugu" means "cut, connect". His parents named him based on his Origin, so this is directly tied to his powers.
  • Missing Mom: His father plays an important role in his backstory, but his mother is never mentioned.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-universe example: Saber thinks he crossed it and calls him out on it when he forces Kayneth to have his own Servant commit suicide. Kiritsugu justifies it by invoking Necessarily Evil and War Is Hell. Played Straight later: he crosses it along with the Despair Event Horizon simultaneously when he fails both to realize his wish and to destroy the Grail. His awareness of his hypocrisy ensures that he will never harm another human again.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kiritsugu blames himself for the Great Fuyuki fire that destroys a section of the city after ordering Saber to destroy the Grail.
  • Necessarily Evil: Kiritsugu's most basic rule is "The needs of the many outweigh those of the few." One dies to save ten. Five die to save twenty. Six hundred die to save a million. A handful of hundreds die to save billions. He will commit the deed himself and live with the burden on his own conscience, because he seeks a way to ensure no one else will ever need to choose his way again. Viciously deconstructed in the end when the Grail points out the inherent contradiction in this logic by forcing him to choose between two hypothetical groups of differing quantities, knowing he will always spare the greater number, over and over and over until there are only two people left of the whole of humanity, at which point he realizes that the Grail is hopelessly corrupt and cannot grant the wish he wants it to, which leads to him following through on his ideal one last time, destroying the grail and sacrificing his wife and his last chance to see Ilya ever again for the good of the world. However, that simply allows the grail's mud to leak out, killing hundreds in the great Fuyuki fire. In the end, Kiritsugu is left a broken shell of a man, wandering the ashes searching for even a single survivor until he finds and saves Shirou. And with that one act of kindness, he manages to accomplish more good than he was able to with all of the guns, knives and bombs in the world..
  • The Needs of the Many: His main principle in saving people — "kill one to save tens", "kill ten to save hundreds". Part of what breaks him is the realization that if he kills the few to save the many often enough, he'll still end up killing more people than he saves.
  • Oh Crap!: When Kirei jumps across an entire room in a single step to hit him.
  • Perma Stubble: Somewhat reasonably. At one point he mentions it's been 40 hours since he last slept, which would make it odd if he found time to shave instead.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: His most lethal bullets are made out of powdered ribs. His own powdered ribs, which force his Origin on his target, which severs their Magic Circuits and crudely reconnects them, hopelessly mangling them in the process. The reason they qualify for this trope is that he made them while he was still a child.
  • Pragmatic Hero: An extreme example. Originally, he wanted to be "a hero of justice" who would help the weak and desperate, but this led him to become an assassin capable of committing many atrocities in his belief that choosing the smaller sacrifice to avoid the greater is always the best outcome.
  • Precocious Crush: He had a crush on his older friend Shirley back when he was a boy and was unhappy that she only saw him as a little brother.
  • Pre Mortem Oneliner: "For me, anyway." Changed to Bond One-Liner in the anime.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Saber calls him out on his absolutely ruthless behavior, he retorts that the legends of heroic spirits like her are what have beguiled mankind into glorifying war and suffering for thousands of years.
  • Red Baron: "The Magus Killer".
    • "Mage of the Einzberns" by Kayneth.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Kiritsugu killed his father to keep him from continuing his experiments and later his mother figure to stop her from unleashing zombies into a major city.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!
    • He absolutely despises Saber's form of idealism and chivalry because he believes it only leads to more conflict.
    • Near the end of his life, he adopted this attitude towards his own childish ideals, though Shirou helped to come to peace with it.
      Kiritsugu: When I was young, I wanted to become a Hero of Justice very much.
      Shirou: What? You're saying you had wanted to, then have you given up now?
      Kiritsugu: Hmm, it is rather regrettable. Heroes have a time limit too, and it's hard to keep being one once you become an adult. It would have been better if I realized that earlier.
  • Smoking Is Cool: He starts smoking to emulate Natalia. She doesn't stop him, but warns it's an unhealthy habit.
  • The Stoic: He kills his emotions in order to do his job more efficiently. However, he's not always entirely successful.
  • Theme Music Powerup: In the Drama CD, a remixed version of EMIYA plays during his fight with Kirei near the end. This is consciously averted in the anime adaptation; according to Word of God the moment was too tragic, and a Theme Music Powerup would imply that something heroic and uplifting was taking place.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: As the 2014-2015 Unlimited Blade Works anime shows, and the ending of Fate/Zero anime implies, Shirou surviving is a massive one for him, especially after all the crap he's gone through.
  • Totalitarian Utilitarian: His brand of utilitarianism deliberately skirts the line between heroism and villainy, with the story being unclear on whether it sides with his ideas, Saber's, or how different they are in the end.
  • Tragic Hero: The story begins by asserting that it is about how Kiritsugu destroyed himself.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Even as a boy, he barely blinked when called upon to Shoot the Dog. Natalia says it takes most people years to learn how to shut off sentimentality that way.
  • The Unfettered: Anything is permissible so long as the net lives saved is greater than those lost.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Unfortunately. His sweetness left him unable to Shoot the Dog, a lot of his actions later in life are driven by his resolution to avoid making that mistake again.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: His general mindset. He sees the Holy Grail as a concrete means to fulfill his ideals, and thus believes any sacrifices made to obtain it are justified. This is precisely why discovering that the Grail has been corrupted since the Third Grail War (by the actions of the family that hired him, no less) completely breaks him.
  • War Is Hell: Here's a game. Pick a few quotes from Kiritsugu and a few from William Tecumseh Sherman, mix them up, and then see if you can tell who said what.
  • Weak, but Skilled: His knowledge of magecraft is not really that impressive due to him specializing purely in killing other people. However, his killing skills are on the same level of an Executor and it's his usage of conventional skills that makes him such a threat.
  • Weapon of Choice: His Mystic Code, the Contender Custom.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The village he lived in as a child was destroyed partially due to his own failure to act. He decided from that moments to end conflict swiftly without his emotions clouding his decisions. He hopes ultimately to remove such conflicts from the world.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Kiritsugu was one as a kid, only wanting to become a hero of justice. This ironically led to him becoming an assassin, albeit one who focuses on killing those who are a danger to others. From a Certain Point of View Kiritsugu is a Wide-Eyed Idealist as an adult as well, since he does his best to believe that his utilitarian philosophy actually can fix many people's problems and has faith that the Holy Grail will allow him to end all suffering, cruelty and death. By the end of the story, he's lost those ideals, though some return in his final moments when Shirou vows to become a hero.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: Kiritsugu's willingness to sacrifice innocent lives to achieve his goals, even if it means taking all the evils in the world onto himself, piques the interest of a certain malevolent entity.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Angra Mainyu identifies with him after seeing his willingness to kill people. Kiritsugu is visibly disturbed.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: The Grail's corruption slowly burns away his life, health and magus abilities, leaving him frantic in his attempts to get back to Ilya. Unfortunately, he fails.

    Tokiomi Tohsaka 

(Master of Archer)

Voiced by: Show Hayami (Japanese), Marc Diraison (English)

"From the moment a magus is born, he is someone that has 'power'. And some day, he will achieve a 'greater power'. This responsibility was already flowing in his 'blood' before he realized this destiny. That is what it means to be born into this world as the child of a magus."

Tokiomi Tohsaka is the father of Rin and Sakura, the husband of Aoi and the head of the Tohsaka family. Of the three families that founded the Grail War system, he is the only one that is still pursuing the original goal of reaching the Origin. To give himself an advantage, he conspires with his close friend and Grail Overseer Risei to give himself an advantage of the war.

Though he loves his daughters, he allowed his younger daughter Sakura to be adopted by the Matou family because he felt it would give her a better life, earning the hatred of Kariya Matou, who feels that Tokiomi has sold his own daughter to a monster. Tokiomi also works with Risei's son Kirei, who he has taken as his apprentice. Kirei is the Master of Assassin and uses them as an information network while Tokiomi uses the immensely powerful Archer class Servant Gilgamesh. The arrogant Gilgamesh is highly independent, making him very difficult for Tokiomi to control, but he does seem to accept Tokiomi as a subordinate that will occasionally be listened to.
  • Anti-Villain: Tokiomi is actually decent enough for a mage - but magus values are strict, conservative, elitist and can lead to unpleasant outcomes, and his judge of character is deeply flawed. Pet the Dog below shows some good examples of how.
  • Arch-Enemy: Kariya utterly hates him because he believes that Tokiomi values his daughters being important more than them being happy. Tokiomi thinks that they are equivalent and in turn despises Kariya for quitting being a magus. They are incapable of understanding each other.
  • Badass Beard: He's a powerful mage with a damn sweet goatee.
  • Badass Bookworm: Mediocre in terms of talent, but very hardworking. In one of the few actual Master to Master conflicts in the War, he utterly dominates his opponent.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Apparently one of Tokiomi's parents was a foreigner, possibly one of the Edelfelt sisters in the 3rd Holy Grail War (as the Tohsaka somehow acquired the Edelfelt's magic crest).
  • Charm Point: According to supplementary materials, his goatee, which he spends a long time daily carefully grooming.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Kariya brings out a massive swarm of giant insects. Tokiomi simply roasts them all as well as Kariya himself.
  • Death by Irony: One of his first actions in the War is ordering Kirei to stage an assassination attempt on him. Later on, he entrusts him with an Azoth Dagger. Kirei kills him with that same dagger shortly afterwards.
  • Didn't See That Coming: He is killed by his own apprentice, Kotomine, because he made the false assumption that his pupil was as loyal as he appeared. Otherwise, he would quite likely have won the war, though drawing Kiritsugu out into the open would have been difficult.
  • Doomed by Canon: It's mentioned early on in the prologue of Fate/stay night that he died while taking part in the 4th Holy Grail War, so it's only a matter of finding out how he dies. Visual Novel readers also knew from the beginning that it was Kirei who ambushed and killed Tokiomi, as Kirei joyfully confesses to Rin in Unlimited Blade Works right before he tries to kill her.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He appears very shocked when Kotomine stabs him In the Back. In the novel it was over before he knew what was going on.
  • Fatal Flaw: Although he is in many ways the perfect magus, his downfall is that he has too much faith in the institutions of the magi and is a Horrible Judge of Character.
  • Gentleman Wizard: Very much so. In the anime, he discusses the importance of fusing power and elegance.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Totally averted. He became such an outstanding magus through sheer determination and hard work.
  • Horrible Judge of Character
    • Tokiomi handed off his daughter to a wrinkled old man who was known to be several centuries old without the slightest concern over whether he could be trusted, just because their families were allied.
    • Kotomine is an aversion, however, because despite what the audience knows, Kotomine has an uncanny ability to gain the trust of others.
  • Magic Staff: His ruby-topped cane is one.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He acts servile to Gilgamesh in an attempt to manipulate him. It works occasionally. Gilgamesh thinks he's pathetic and boring, but since he knows his place he will occasionally deign to do as asked. However, since Gilgamesh has no true respect for Tohsaka, he is quite likely to do whatever he pleases. It turns out that Tokiomi was planning to betray Gilgamesh, who had absolutely no idea. Had Kotomine not clued him in, it likely would have succeeded.
  • '90s Hair: Wears his hair with middle-parted bangs and a soul patch-esque goatee, like a member of a 1990s boy band.
  • Pet the Dog: The story likes to show us that he is well meaning, but misguided and rather stuck in the traditional magus ways. His last meeting with Rin shows his true concern for her. He's also visibly upset when innocents are caught in magical accidents and along with Waver he is one of the only Masters disturbed by the actions of Caster and Ryuunosuke.
  • Playing with Fire: Tokiomi's elemental attribute.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He makes a point of being "elegant" even in difficult situations.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He summoned Gilgamesh into the modern world, which led Kirei to embrace his inner malevolence, and gave Sakura over to Zouken. These two events are the source of pretty much every bad thing that's happened in Fate/stay night, save for the corruption of the Grail itself.
  • Wine Is Classy: Like Servant, like Master.
  • Weapon of Choice: His Mystic Code is a staff with a ruby embedded in the top.

    Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald 

(Master of Lancer)

Voiced by: Takumi Yamazaki (Japanese), Doug Erholtz (English)

"In the world of mages, bloodline is everything. The secrets of magic cannot be discovered in a single generation."

Kayneth is a renowned magus and lecturer at the Department of Euryphis in the Magi Association. Apart from this, Kayneth is the head of the noble El-Melloi family and engaged to the department head's daughter, Sola-Ui, though she is less than thrilled about the idea. He is Waver Velvet's teacher and tore his whole controversial thesis to pieces without examining the ideas it contained. In retaliation, Waver stole the catalyst that Kayneth intended to use in the war and entered himself. Upon discovering what Waver had done, an enraged Kayneth uses a second artifact to enter the War, summoning the Lancer class Diarmuid.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Or at least they're jerks.
  • Arranged Marriage: He's engaged to Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri as a result of her family pressuring her to marry Lord El-Melloi. Kayneth makes it clear he does have feelings for her, but she couldn't care less about him and soon becomes obsessed with his Servant Lancer.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Able to decipher Kiritsugu's Time Alter after seeing it just once.
  • Badass Bookworm: In sheer magical talent, Kayneth is far and away the single most powerful human magus in the Grail War. Sadly, his first opponent happens to have an extremely powerful countermeasure to such a trait.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: In contrast to blond hair normally symbolizing purity in the Nasuverse, Kayneth is an arrogant Jerkass.
  • Break the Haughty: The most blatant case in Fate/Zero, going from someone who has everything but the love of his fiancée to a powerless victim who gets summarily dispatched. After a Hope Spot, no less.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He mocks Lancer despite being wheelchair bound. The only thing that saved him is Lancer's sense of honor.
  • Crazy-Prepared: There's no discernible reason he should have brought a gun all the way from Britain, yet he was shown in possession of a customized Webley .38 Mk IV, a gun that he could have not procured anywhere else.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Kayneth is too selfish and/or paranoid, albeit not without reason, to believe that Lancer really does just want to serve with honor.
  • Evil Counterpart: His negative relation to Lancer, and the friction due to their beliefs, is much like a more antagonistic reflection of Shirou and Saber's relationship.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Acts polite, but is a selfish and egotistical man.
  • Gentleman Wizard: Presents himself as such, with the pedigree to match.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Part of the friction between him and Lancer is that Sola-Ui doesn't even bother hiding her attraction to Lancer.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kayneth sneers at modern muggle weaponry, but Kiritsugu's Mystic Code is a gun that shoots an anti-magus bullet that destroys the target by shorting out their magic circuits and blowing out their bodies with their own overloaded prana. When Kayneth, a powerful mage, pours all his power into his already-powerful Mystic Code, Kiritsugu's bullet nearly tears Kayneth apart from the backlash.
  • Hypocrite: Kayneth is a firm believer in the superiority of magecraft over modern weapons. He also carries a Webley .38 Mk IV, an extremely improbable gun to find in Japan. That said, his primary objection to modern weaponry seems to be their use in what he had expected to be a test of magical firepower.
    • He also rages at Kiritsugu for using cheap tricks in a prestigious battle like the Grail Wars, but himself used a loophole in the summoning contract to have his fiancee supply Lancer's prana, allowing Kayneth his full magical might in battle. Once again, the distinction seems to be that Kayneth's loophole is an example of magical finesse, while Kiritsugu's "cheap tricks" are mundane things like explosives.
    • He clearly derides Lancer's code of honor and Chivalry and knightly honor in general as foolish, yet at the same time he clearly enjoys the proposition of honorably dueling another magus and is extremely disdainful of Kiritsugu for his "Dishonorable" un-magus-like tactics.
  • Immune to Bullets: His Mystic Code automatically shields him from damage, even explosions.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Volumen Hydragyrum, his Mystic Code, is 140 kg of weaponized mercury. He can shape it according to his will, creating anything from Combat Tentacles to Razor Floss. He can even use it to scout out his environment, locating enemies through their heat signatures and vibration.
  • Insufferable Genius: He really is talented, but Kayneth's arrogant nature makes him rather unsympathetic for the majority of the war.
  • Jerkass: Kayneth is a massive asshole.
  • Kick the Dog: He murders Risei Kotomine (in his own church, no less) to ensure none of the other Masters can get extra Command Spells. Very unfortunately, by doing so he unwittingly cleared the way for Kirei to do just that.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: He is praised by Tokiomi for how well he abides by the rules of the Holy Grail War... though his challenge to Kiritsugu for a proper duel doesn't end well for him.
  • Loophole Abuse: Kayneth modifies and exploits the contract system so that while he carries the Command Seals, Sola-Ui is the one supplying Lancer with the prana he needs. This allows Kayneth to fight at full strength without needing to worry about sharing his prana with his Servant.
  • Love Hurts: He really does love Sola-Ui, but she isn't too happy about the Arranged Marriage.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Waver, calling him weak and inexperienced. Iskander responds that Kayneth is far too cowardly to ever be his master.
  • Smug Snake: He's utterly convinced of his own invulnerability, and believes that his victory is nearly a foregone conclusion. If the War was actually a test of magic, he may well have been right. Of course, it's not.
  • Tragic Villain: Over the course of the War, Kayneth goes from a mostly unsympathetic Jerkass who lacks only the love of Sola-Ui to have everything he could imagine, to a crippled, saddened wreck torn apart by trust issues with his fiancee and Servant before he is offed without mercy. By the time he finally bites the bullet, it's almost impossible to not feel at least some sympathy on his regard.
  • Villainous Breakdown: His composure quickly deteriorates once Kiritsugu manages to hit him during their battle, complete with disappearance of his usual Gentleman Wizard façade.
  • Weapon of Choice: His Mystic Code, Volumen Hydragyrum, is a mass of weaponized mercury.
  • The Worf Effect: He's the most skilled Magus of all the Masters in the Holy Grail War and the most stiff-necked and haughty about their methods and traditions, so he's the one that Kiritsugu beats several times by using his pragmatic and destructive methods, cementing his title as the Magus Killer.

    Waver Velvet 

(Master of Rider)

Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese), Lucien Dodge (English)
Click here to see Waver's apearance post-canon 

"What I wish for is only to be judged equitably. To renew the impression of my colleagues at the Clock Tower, who never acknowledged my talent..."

Waver Velvet is a non-traditional student at the Clock Tower of the Magi Association. He put forward the notion of increasing magical potential with methods that go against the ancient tradition of bloodline inheritance, which not-coincidentally sneers at the potential of his own unremarkable bloodline. His teacher, Kayneth, openly mocked his work and humiliated him in front of his class for questioning tradition and "basic rules". In retaliation, Waver steals Kayneth's summoning artifact and enters the War, intending to win the Grail to prove his worthiness.

While Waver is young and neither particularly strong nor talented, he tends to favor simple but effective methods that his enemies in the war frequently overlook. This along with his humility leads to Waver having the closest Master and Servant bond in the war with the mighty Iskhander of the Rider class.
  • Badass Bookworm: He found Uryuu's lair using what amounts to magic-based Forensic Science. Also, after he becomes Lord El-Melloi II, he starts playing video games in memory of Iskandar (though it's only as a way of remembering Iskandar, he actually hates them along with most of Japan in general).
  • Boring but Practical: His method to find Caster's hideout was practically something you'd see in a chemist's lab and is the basic of basics. Rider is pleased to see the spell actually work, while Waver is gloomy that he couldn't think of anything flashier.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: At first.
  • Butt Monkey: Waver gets to be the butt of a lot of jokes involving himself and Rider, due to his teenaged ego and small stature contrasting with Rider's boisterous confidence and enormous build but this just leads to his growth as a character, making him the only good character to end up better off at the end of the war than before it. The All Around TYPE-MOON Drama CD really plays it up as well.
  • The Cameo: Appears briefly in the 2015 Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] anime (as Lord El-Melloi II) to have a short conversation with Shirou. Despite not managing to exchange names, Shirou and Waver seems to mutually understand and respect how their experiences of participating in the Holy Grail War made them realize their ideals—and what they should do to attain them.
  • Character Development: Goes from a self-centered, obnoxious, arrogant brat to a true man, dignified and loyal follower of the great King of Conquerors that even Gilgamesh somehow considers worthy of living.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: He's the only Master in the war who doesn't cheat at some point, and while he doesn't win, he makes it through the war alive, and is the only one of the surviving Masters who is better off at the end of the war than he was at the start.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Fate/Zero is one for him.
  • Cowardly Lion: As scared as he is about the war, he's willing to stand and fight alongside Rider.
  • Future Badass: Besides becoming Lord El-Melloi II, one of the Heroic Spirits in Iskander's army is a dead-ringer for an adult Waver.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Following the 4th Grail War, Waver hits a major growth spurt that turns him from a short, mousy nerd into the Tall, Dark and Handsome lust object of many a female student.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: An avid videogame player later in life. It was a pastime he took up in memory of his servant Iskander; see his own entry below.
  • Hero-Worshipper: In the end, facing Gilgamesh alone, Iskander asks if Waver would serve him. Without hesitating, he replies that he would. When Gilgamesh confronts him after defeating Iskander, he proudly replies that he's not Rider's Master, but his follower.
  • Hot Teacher: According to his profile as Lord El-Melloi II, "Professor Charisma" is apparently very popular with his female students: they even voted him the number one man they'd have sex with.
  • Humble Pie: Kayneth utterly humiliates him in public at the very start of the story. This prompts him to impulsively enter the Grail War to prove his worth and rebuild his shattered ego.
  • Humble Hero: He quickly grows less arrogant and bratty. Supplemental materials mention that he's outright annoyed with the prestige and popularity he's gained as Lord El-Melloi II after the War.
  • I Have Many Names: Waver acquires a large swath of titles and nicknames upon becoming a Clock Tower professor. Examples include Master V, Great Big Ben ★ Londonstar, Professor Charisma, and — most notably and amusingly — Lord El-Melloi II.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: While Waver begins the series as quite arrogant and self-assured, Rider's forceful presence quickly strips away that confidence, revealing his insecurities about his less-than-stellar talent at magecraft.
  • Lovable Coward: Frequently panics and worries about the dangers of the War. Despite this, Iskander is quick to point out that Waver rides with him into battle, making him more courageous than several other masters.
  • Manly Tears: After Iskander dies, Waver weeps, but he maintains his dignity.
  • Memento Macguffin: Iskander's videogames. Character materials also show him wearing the shirt emblazoned with "The Admiral's Great Tactics" that Iskander previously wore. And as Lord Melloi II, he wears Iskander's colors.
  • Naïve Newcomer: The only contender in the Grail Wars that wasn't already accustomed to high stakes mage battles. Kayneth briefly mocks him over his inexperience.
  • The Napoleon: Iskander's even joked that he should use the Holy Grail to make himself taller.
  • Non-Action Guy: Waver is merely a student and lacks any real combat ability.
  • Occidental Otaku: Later in life, he has a well known preoccupation with Japanese video games. He was quite excited to learn that one of the students he was sponsoring was actually Japanese... until he discovered that she knew absolutely nothing about Akihabara or otaku culture. Said student was Rin Tohsaka.
  • Odd Friendship: With Iskander.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Subverted. After Gilgamesh kills Iskander he mentions that as Iskander's retainer, it is Waver's duty to avenge his king. Waver refuses, as that would be suicide and Iskander had ordered him to live. Gilgamesh considers this a sign of true loyalty and allows him to live.
  • Running Gag: His Servant can literally knock him down with one flick of the finger, which is an efficient means of silencing his many complaints.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Iskander's Manly Man.
  • Sidekick: Ironically, to his own Servant. And he knows it. And he's bitter about it - at least at first.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: His unwavering stare and loyalty to Iskandar actually causes Gilgamesh to back down from otherwise killing him, and even compliments him on his great courage while leaving.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Post series as Lord El-Melloi II.
  • They Called Me Mad!: His reasons for joining the Holy Grail War are an attempt to prove his beliefs that Kayneth sneered at and the other students laughed at.
  • Tsundere: In great Nasuverse tradition, Waver is exasperated and frustrated by Iskander's boisterous nature, but develops a strong respect for him.
  • Undying Loyalty: Eventually has this to Iskander, swearing to serve and follow the King of Conquerors' ideals for the rest of his life. In the anime it's also implied that he joined Iskander's Ionian Hetairoi after death. Compare him as Lord El-Melloi II with this one.
  • Wizarding School: He is formally studying to be a mage, and later goes on to teach future mages.

    Ryuunosuke Uryuu 

(Master of Caster)

Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Johnny Yong Bosch (English)

"Nah, it's fine. I'm kind of a demon. But if there were real demons beside me, I'd like to try to talk a little with them. Now that'd be nice."

Unlike the rest of the participants in the Grail War, Ryuunosuke is not a magus nor is he even aware of the Grail War (or even what a grail is) when the story begins. Rather, he's a bog-standard serial killer with latent magus potential who simply stumbles across a grimoire, performs the rituals inside using the blood of his victims out of curiosity, and summons a Servant where he vaguely expected a demon. Because of his own twisted nature and insanity, he summons an equally insane Servant in the form of Gilles de Rais, a Caster class Servant that shares his love of murder. Neither of the two has any actual interest in winning the Grail War (nor any idea how to actually do so) and Ryuunosuke simply amuses himself by killing civilians with his Servant in extremely gruesome ways that are, oddly enough, played for a measure of dark comedy. A brutal, heartless, Hidan-level sadist, and all-around not very nice man, he delights in causing pain and suffering, especially in children.

Despite being the least in touch with reality or the Grail War, Caster and Ryuunosuke have a cheerfully deranged, friendly relationship matched only by that of Waver and Rider.
  • Animal Motifs: Ever since he saw an animal program about leopards, he became obsessed with them, and made their way of life a model for his own. This is depicted by him always wearing something with leopard print on it (his shoes in the anime).
  • Ax-Crazy: He starts out the story as a serial killer and exits the story as a serial killer. To illustrate just how fucked up Ryuunosuke's brain is, his Servant has a skill called "Mental Pollution" based on his insanity which prevents Caster from getting along with anyone whose mind is not equally twisted. Ryuunosuke and Caster understand each other perfectly.
  • Badass Boast: Delivers a truly epic speech after Rider and Waver destroy their "art studio" on the subject of how God appreciates both benevolent and evil actions.
  • Beauty Is Bad: He is very attractive, but is also probably one of the most evilest of the characters in the Fate series.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Thinks that blood and guts are really pretty and if God made them such, he must be fine with brutally murdering people to pull their guts out. He also thinks that things like courage and honor are what God likes too, since they make people look good. In the words of Caster, Ryuunosuke thinks that both blasphemy and worship show devotion to God. When Ryuunosuke was sniped by Kiritsugu, he was ecstatic at the sight of his own blood and disappointed he hadn't thought to spill it earlier.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: His introduction to Caster includes his name, his employment - odd jobs and errands, mostly - and his hobby. Which is murder.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He really delights in being evil.
  • Catch Phrase: "Cool!" Caster picks it up later on thanks to him.
  • Churchgoing Villain: The curious thing is that he actually seems more devout in his affection for God than even the characters who are actually priests. Granted, his worship comes out as mass-murdering and macabre "works of art"...
  • Death Seeker: His happiest moments in probably his whole entire life was watching his own blood gushing out after getting shot in the stomach by Kiritsugu, and after lamenting that he wished he had thought of spilling his own blood/dying sooner, he died with a smile upon his face after getting the top of his head blown off by the second shot.
  • Establishing Character Moment: After believing he has summoned a demon
    "Hey, wanna eat this kid?"
  • Evil Duo: He and Bluebeard spend most of their time slaughtering children together.
  • Evil Is Not Well Lit: Seems to enjoy hanging out in dimly lit areas. His sewer base had only a few flood lamps and the lights are kept off when he is in normal rooms. This serves to hide the mutilated corpses of the children that comprise his "art."
  • Evil Redhead: What with the child murder and all.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Like his Servant, he's friendly and cheerful a lot of the time, right down to asking one of his victims politely if he'd be okay with getting killed by a demon. There are fleeting moments when the cheery façade cracks and reveals the vicious murderer beneath.
  • For the Evulz: He thinks murdering women and children is fascinating and "cool".
  • Freaky Is Cool: Ryuunosuke is incredibly happy to be friends with someone who shares his hobby.
  • Freudian Excuse: Averted, according to the fate/zero material encyclopedia entry on him, his proclivity for murder was not caused by a childhood trauma that warped his personality, or anything like that, he was simply born evil.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In Volume 3, when Kiritsugu snipes him. It's visible in the anime, too.
    Even though his entire head above the nose had been blown away without a trace, his lips still traced a smile of total bliss.
  • Hypocrite: In an almost funny way after Rider burns up their lair.
    Ryuunosuke: How could someone do that and call themselves a human?! (sob)
  • In Love with Your Carnage: He's fascinated by how inventive his Servant can be when it comes to murder. People contain all sorts of cool stuff and pretty colors.
  • Irony: In spite of being the Master/Servant duo who expected each other the least (the rest had specifically selected their Servants), they get along far better than all the other servants, especially the ones with higher moral standards.
    • Justified in-universe since he was one of the few Masters not to use a catalyst in order to retrieve a specific Servant, meaning the Grail assigned one that matched his personality.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite having killed families and many children, almost nothing ever happens to him, the only "justice" he ever receives for his actions is getting shot to death by kiritsugu, and that actually just made him the happiest he had ever felt in his entire life.
  • Laughably Evil: Despite his being a terrifically creepy sadist, his gushing over evil is too Played for Laughs to be taken seriously compared to the heinous acts of his partner. He draw the summoning circle in blood with his big toe, the grimoire in one hand and the other being used for goofy gestures, and stumbles through the ritual, going off on bizarre tangents and holding a conversation his one surviving victim by interpreting his muffled screams.
  • Luminescent Blush: In the anime, Bluebeard's sadistic shenanigans often make Ryuunosuke's face turn pink in excitement.
  • Malevolent Mutilation: Although for censor reasons it wasn't depicted in the anime, in the visual novel and manga, Ryuunosuke would often mutilate the bodies of children into things such as furniture and musical instruments. And if that wasn't bad enough, thanks to caster's magic, the children were still alive throughout the process and could not pass out from the torture. They could do nothing, but wallow in pain.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: It's clearly obvious based on his personality and his "hobby" that he has absolutely no love nor care for other humans, not even his own family.Also according to an entry on him in the Fate/zero material encyclopedia; He is fond of animals, and loves going to safari parks and watching nature documentaries on TV. However, it seems he can only appreciate violence when the target is a human. While he may admire sharks and other predators, he has never once desired to be one himself, because as far as he's concerned the most skillful hunter of humans is another human.
  • Pastimes Prove Personality: He works odd jobs but murder is his hobby.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Ryuuonsuke's actions and mental state are equivalent to those of a six year old burning ants with a magnifying glass. Just...scaled up.
  • Rousing Speech: Delivers a long and coherent speech on his thoughts on the role of evil and God in the universe after Rider burns down the duo's art studio, which succeeds at getting Caster out of his slump and accept his role as a villain in God's great narrative.
  • Sadist: He enjoys torturing and killing people, and his first response after summoning Bluebeard is telling him to find new and more brutal ways to torture and kill.
  • Slasher Smile: A more amiable one than usual, but it fits.
  • The Sociopath: He casually talks about the artistic value of his torture to the people he's torturing.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: As explained under Ax-Crazy, Caster is a Servant with insanity leagues beyond human standards, and Ryuunosuke is equally messed up, meaning the two are perfect partners.
  • Villainous Friendship: He and his Servant seem to be genuinely fond of each other, making them ironically best Master/Servant relationship in the entire series including Fate/stay night. Most of the other servants and their masters have ideals that clash too much to have a functioning bond that doesn't require bantering.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Something he and his Servant have in common.
  • You Monster!: He is called a demon by the news. He doesn't mind. His introduction has him giving a little speech casually contemplating whether he likes that title, or if actual demons would think it was impolite. Which is one of the reasons he tried summoning one - so he could ask.
    Uryuu 'Sup! I'm Uryuu Ryuunosuke, and I'm a demon! I don't know if that's how I should be introducing myself...
  • Your Head Asplode: Kiritsugu's second bullet takes off the top of his head, though the anime downgrades the violence somewhat and obscures the damage.

    Kariya Matou 

(Master of Berserker)

Voiced by: Tarusuke Shingaki (Japanese), Liam O'Brien (English)

"Say, Sakura-chan, shall we play together again when uncle's work is finished? Together with your mother and big sister."

Kariya is the White Sheep of the Matou family and the first in many generations to have any real talent for magecraft. However, due to his disgust with his family he severed ties with them ten years prior, earning him the ire of family head Matou Zouken. Kariya has loved Aoi since they were childhood friends, so upon seeing Tokiomi Tohsaka apparently abandoning one of the girls he views almost as his own daughters he vows to protect her. While Kariya has no interest in the Grail, he made a deal with Zouken that should he win the Grail for him, Sakura will be taken from the horrible abuse Zouken intends for her and released back to the Tohsaka family.

However, despite his noble intentions, Kariya simply lacks the training to participate as an equal and is inflicted with parasitic worms that will boost his abilities in exchange for rapidly degrading his health. Making matters worse, Zouken forces him to summon a Berserker class Servant, all previously summoned examples of which have killed their Masters either directly or through the staggering power they consume in battle. Berserker and Kariya cannot interact directly due to Berserker's madness, but Kariya can issue orders, and sometimes glimpses Berserker's thoughts while sleeping, though these only disturb him. He has no interest in his Servant's identity.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The anime adaptation toned his Two-Faced face down a bit, making it look like the consequences of a bad stroke in comparison to his appearance in the light novels.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He destroys one of Caster's familiars right before it can kill Rin.
  • Body Horror: He is filled with Crest worms that are eating him alive. The damage is so extensive that he's half-blind, half-paralysed and exhibits all the signs and symptoms of a stroke victim. Trying to use magic makes his capillaries explode. And those worms? He lets them turn into giant beetles and expels them from his body. He's got it as bad as poor Sakura.
  • Byronic Hero: Kariya starts off entirely well intentioned, but his resentment and envy of Tokiomi merely grows with time and is partially to blame for the two failing to understand the full situation when they confront each other. In the end, he fails to save Sakura, nearly kills Aoi himself and dies a lonely, ugly death.
  • Butt Monkey: Even though he doesn't physically appear in the Einzbern Consulation Room specials, Berserker and Iri both view him as hopeless.
  • Cain and Abel: With Byakuya. He is the Abel, while depressed alcoholic Byakuya is the Cain.
  • Cast from Hit Points: He lacks training as a magus despite his talent and thus Zouken infests him with worms to boost his abilities at the expense of them slowly devouring him.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: He has loved Aoi since he was young, but due to his abandoning the Matou family she married Tokiomi.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Contrary to what his sinister appearance might suggest, he's a pretty decent guy whose reason for entering the Holy Grail War is the nicest of all the Masters excepting perhaps Kiritsugu, who just wants to fix the world.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Aoi, never realizing Kariya's love for her, accuses him of never having loved someone, he snaps.
  • Determinator: He begins the War infested with carnivorous worms that slowly rob his bodily functions. It only goes down from there, but he does not give up.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: So dogged, he still hangs around Aoi despite her being married for several years to and having two children with Tokiomi. And he fails to realize that Aoi actually loves Tokiomi.
  • Doomed by Canon: He enters the war on the condition that Zouken will release Sakura if he manages to win. Needless to say, he's destined to fail.
  • Driven by Envy: Though he genuinely wishes to save Sakura and help Aoi, jealousy is definitely also one of his motivations.
  • Dying Dream: His last vision before his death is of Sakura, Rin, Aoi and himself safely escaped together.
  • Face of a Thug: He looks horrifying after being infested by the Crest Worms, but he's still a good guy.
  • Family Theme Naming: Kariya and his older brother Byakuya have names referring to birds (goose and crane, respectively).
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: He dies dreaming of escaping with Aoi, Sakura, and Rin, bringing them together as a family.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Kariya dies with a satisfied smile, comforted by dreams of escaping with Aoi, Sakura, and Rin and starting a family together.
  • Handicapped Badass: By virtue of controlling Berserker and being a Determinator.
  • Hero Antagonist: Besides Kiritsugu, Kariya is one of few Masters with a noble goal.
  • Honorary Uncle: Rin and Sakura refer to Kariya as 'Uncle Kariya'.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Aoi is not only unaware of how he feels, she's already happily married.
  • I Ate WHAT?: In order to bolster Kariya's mana levels, Zouken feeds him a special Crest Worm. Said Crest Worm is implied to be the one that stole Sakura's virginity.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: All he ever wanted was to be a Parental Substitute for Sakura and Rin. Sadly, he gets repeatedly screwed over by the world and his own flaws.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Before the Crest Worms had their way with screwing up his body, Kariya actually looks quite nice, even if unremarkable.
  • In the Hood: Kariya wears a hood to help him more low key due to the obvious damage the worms have done to his body.
  • Irony
    • It is ultimately Kariya's own fault that Sakura was given to the Matou; had Kariya not ran away, become a magus, and gotten over Aoi, he could have extended the Matou line and Zouken would have no need for Sakura.
    • Given how desperate Kariya is to save Sakura, Zouken feeds him the Crest Worm that stole Sakura's purity and mocks him over it.
      Zouken: "That piece of prana you swallowed just now came from a Lust Worm. The one that first absorbed Sakura's innocence. How about that, Kariya? The vitality of a young girl, absorbed continuously over the course of this past year - it is the best magecraft energy of all, yes?"
    • Finally, Kariya dies in his attempt to save Sakura, succumbing to the worms and being devoured by them right in front of her eyes. His death demoralizes Sakura and convinces her that she should not attempt to fight against Zouken.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The Zero material states that while he has always loved Aoi, and Zouken in fact did intend to set her up with Kariya due to fertility and ability to bring out the best magical traits, he knew what Zouken intended to do with any heirs they might have. This is a large factor in why he abandoned the Matou clan. In the present, however, he can't or won't admit that Aoi is happy with Tokiomi and supports his decision to have Sakura adopted.
  • Laughing Mad: When he starts laughing his ass off, it's not a sign his mental health is particularly robust.
  • Leitmotif: "The Kariya's Theme".
  • Locked into Strangeness: His hair has turned white as a result of the worms implanted in his body.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Not realizing that Aoi never wanted Kariya to fight Tokiomi, when she raged at him for apparently causing Tokiomi's death, he strangles her, leaving her with brain damage for the rest of her life.
  • Love Martyr: He endures so much pain and attempts to sacrifice his life in order to save Sakura and earn Aoi's gratitude, but she only loves Tokiomi and is totally oblivious of his love for her.
  • Madness Mantra: "Endured, endured, endured, endured..." Right before he strangles Aoi.
  • Make an Example of Them: Sakura sees Kariya's death as an example of what happens to those who oppose Zouken.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Kotomine tricks Kariya and makes him look like Tokiomi's murderer in front of Aoi. Kariya doesn't react well to Aoi's grief-stricken rage.
  • Nice Guy: As shown in the prologue, he is the nicest of all the Masters. Sadly, his desperation to save Sakura before the Crest Worms kill him as well as his hatred for Tokiomi causes him to degrade in this regard when he's not interacting with Sakura.
  • Not Quite Dead: Kotomine heals him after Tokiomi roasts him because he wants to see Kariya suffer even more.
  • Oh Crap!: In the final episode. Kiritsugu thinks he's destroyed the Grail, only to notice a dark portal open up in the sky overhead and vomit out All the World's Evil.
  • Papa Wolf: For Sakura and Rin, even though he's not even related to them.
  • Parental Substitute: He wants to be this for Rin and Sakura.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Angrish version. He's a little too busy screaming at Tokiomi how he's such a bastard to actually explain why. Given what Zouken was doing to Sakura and Tokiomi's apparently genuine desire for his daughter to have a good life, there's a decent chance Tokiomi would have helped Kariya do something about it.
    • Later, Kariya is too mentally worn down to explain to Aoi that he didn't kill Tokiomi, and after Aoi accuses him of never loving anything he basically suffers a psychotic break and only realizes what he's doing when Aoi's already near death.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: His eye bleeds during the servant summoning.
  • The Resenter: He despises Tokiomi for having everything he always wanted and seeming to not value it in the slightest. And repressed as it is, he also resents Aoi to some degree for not resisting Tokiomi's idea to give Sakura over to Zouken when Kariya himself basically agreed to let Zouken torture him to death for more than a year to return Sakura to Aoi and Rin. He only admits this consciously when Aoi accuses him of never having loved another and having been entirely responsible for Sakura being taken.
  • Revenge: His secondary motivation, which grows more important with time, is his hatred of Tokiomi.
  • Sanity Slippage: As his body and mind are consumed by the worms - and possibly due to his link with Berserker - Kariya's stability degrades with every battle until he barely resembles the person he used to be.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Byakuya, being the black sheep of the Matou Family.
  • This Cannot Be!: His word-for-word reaction to the Great Fuyuki Fire. The result of Angra Mainyu's imperfect incursion into the world at the behest of Kirei Kotomine.
  • Tragic Dream: His deepest wish is to win Aoi's heart, and to be called 'Daddy' by Sakura and Rin.
  • Tragic Hero: His Fatal Flaw is his envy of Tokiomi. He wasn't doing well before it rose to the fore of his thinking, but once it does, it begins a cascade of events that destroy him.
  • Two-Faced: He has a hideously disfigured left side of his face as a result of the crest worms in his body. The anime adaptation toned it down a bit, but did take the opportunity to portray them wriggling visibly beneath his skin.
  • Unknown Rival: To Tokiomi, who barely acknowledges his existence. He got a confrontation with Tokiomi... which went nowhere, because they couldn't understand each other.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Kirei's moral decay gets going when Gilgamesh prompts him to realize that he really enjoys watching Kariya's suffering and just generally crappy life.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Kotomine saves his life and then promises to bring him to Tokiomi in exchange for Kariya's assistance in another matter... except Tokiomi is already dead and Kotomine brings in Aoi to see Kariya standing next to Tokiomi's body. She jumped to conclusions, and he was in no state to argue his innocence. The strain on his body and mind reaches the breaking point.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Averted. He is actually a pretty good guy.
  • White Sheep: Of the Matous, rejecting Zouken's rule and twisted way of maintaining magical power.
  • The Worm That Walks: Not as extreme an example as Zouken, but Kariya's body is infested with the Matou family's crest worms. He can actually vomit these worms out and transform them into much more dangerous bugs to use as weapons.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: With the Crest worms in his body, Zouken estimates he has maybe a month after the beginning of the Grail War before he dies. Of course, exertion will hasten his death... In the end he only lasts two weeks before the worms overcome him due to Berserker's intense drain on his body and mind. And also getting set on fire.

    Kirei Kotomine 

(Master of Assassin)

Voiced by: Joji Nakata (Japanese), Crispin Freeman (English)

"Why would the Holy Grail choose me? Someone without any ideals to accomplish; someone without any cravings to fulfil... Why am I chosen?"

Kirei Kotomine is an Executor for the Church and the magecraft apprentice of Tohsaka Tokiomi. Prior to the story, his wife died after a long illness, plunging him into despair. He received the Command Spells in the same week, but unlike the other Masters he had no wish or desire for the Grail whatsoever. Due to his passive nature and lack of desire, Tokiomi and Risei inform him that he is to support Tokiomi in his bid for the Grail, to which he complies. He summons Servant Assassin and uses his unique abilities to both trick the other Masters and work as an information gathering force.

Though he has no interest in the Grail and no apparent desires, he terrifies Kiritsugu. Kirei, however, thinks he may have found a being similar to himself in Kiritsugu and attempts to research him and the other Masters. While he does not speak much with his own Servant, Gilgamesh finds Kirei to be of great interest to him.
  • The Ace: Pointed out by Kiritsugu that Kotomine is basically able to be good at anything he tries, he's a skilled fighter, and even though magic may not be his forte, he's skilled enough to be Kiritsugu's most dangerous foe. He's easily the most dangerous Master in the grail war.
  • Arch-Enemy: Kiritsugu fears Kotomine because while Kotomine is not that interesting on paper, he can see how much he is truly capable of. Kotomine, on the other hand, believes that he has found someone like himself and wants to meet Kiritsugu.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Kirei expresses awe towards the Grail, and cannot comprehend why Kiritsugu would go to such lengths to obtain it, only to stop at the last second. Kirei even goes so far as to demand that if Kiritsugu does not want to unleash Angra Mainyu, then he should let him do it. After Angra Mainyu grants his dying wish by immolating most of Fuyuki, he vows to fully unleash it upon the world.
  • Back from the Dead: Kiritsugu kills him at the end, but the Grail revives him.
  • Badass Baritone: Kotomine's voice is very deep.
  • Badass Longcoat: They're technically robes, but the general appearance is of this.
  • Badass Preacher: A trained killer serving the Church who possesses genuine faith in God.
  • Batman Gambit: After killing Tokiomi, he places the latter's corpse together with an unconscious Kariya in order to set Aoi against him, then manipulates Kariya into kidnapping Irisviel with Berserker disguised as Rider using the former's Noble Phantasm For Someone's Glory. This provokes Saber to attack Iskander, whose chariot is destroyed in the process. Gilgamesh then moves to finish off Iskander while Berserker duels Saber, ensuring that Kirei faces Kiritsugu alone.
  • Battle Butler: To Tokiomi, in whose service he is obedient, dutiful, and effective. Until he decides he does not wish to quit the war.
  • Berserk Button: To have capability to love and have normal happiness, and still throw it all away. Kiritsugu hits too Close to Home, and this is the ultimate reason why Kirei wants to destroy him. It's more obvious in the light novel where Irisviel and Kirei's conversation is longer than in the anime. After Kirei learns Kiritsugu's true nature (an idealistic man who turns off his emotions for greater good), he feels that Kiritsugu's way of life is a cruel mockery of his inner emptiness and lifelong struggle to be a good man. It's a mixture of jealousy, disappointment and incredulity that makes him hate Kiritsugu.
  • Big Bad: While it was foretold by canon, as of Zero, he doesn't know it yet.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tokiomi, Aoi, and his father all consider him a upstanding young man. It's helped by the fact that even he himself doesn't know that he's a bitch at heart.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: He stabs Tokiomi because he refuses to quit the Grail War.
  • Bullet Proof Vest: His robes are reinforced with Kevlar and magic.
  • Broken Ace: As good as he is at what he does, he finds no solace in his talents, he doesn't feel happy about anything.
  • Byronic Hero: Kotomine starts out a moral man greatly troubled over his inability to find happiness without the suffering of others. Due to Gilgamesh, he eventually descends into full blown villainy for its own sake.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Of the Destruction sphere. His only finds pleasure in the suffering of others, which is ironic because his profession directly contradicts his "passion". He is, however, a slightly unusual spin on this trope as he spends most of his life trying to repress it, which puts him into Tragic Villain territory.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Master of the Baji Quan martial art, and capable of keeping up with Kiritsugu's attacks when Kiritsugu is using time manipulation to speed himself up to three times past the human limit. He can literally dodge bullets at a range of 20 meters or shatter trees that he is tied to.
  • Confusion Fu: With magic no less. Kirei baffles Kiritsugu by using Magecraft to counter Kiritsugu's origin bullets, which are designed to kill magi with their own prana, by utilizing his command seals in place of his own magic circuits.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Bulletproof priest's robes, anyone?
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Kirei's motivation for literally everything he does. With a little help from Gilgamesh, he eventually finds it.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In the novel, his murder of Tokiomi is accompanied by a cheerful laugh and a bright smile.
  • Doomed by Canon: Given that he dies in all three routes in Fate/Stay Night, his whole desire for the grail is this.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: It's easy to tell he doesn't care about almost anything.
  • The Dragon: While technically supposed to be withdraw from combat after Assassin is formally declared defeated and as the Church's Overseer, he is (initially) allied with Tohsaka Tokiomi and uses his expertise as a Mage Killer to illicitly do away with the competition.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: As sadistic as Kirei is, Zouken Matou disgusts him.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: A rare villanous example. Obtaining both the accumulated Command Spells and Gilgamesh as his Servant considerably boost his power just in time for the finale.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He demands that Irisviel tells him who's ordering her to get involved in the Holy Grail War, unable to realize she's doing it because she loves Kiritsugu. This is because Kirei believed the 'Magus Killer who threw away his pride' was like him, and Kiritsugu being sufficiently understood to be loved so deeply would invalidate that belief.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kiritsugu. The two contrast in all aspects of their lives, from reputation, motivation, family life, and fighting technique.
  • Evil Feels Good: He's particularly aware of this because evil is the only thing that feels good to him, despite a lifetime in service to God.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Comes with being voiced by Joji Nakata and Crispin Freeman.
  • Evil Virtues: Primarily Resourcefulness, Determination and Diligence. Kirei actually lacks a lot of the resources the other Masters boast and does not initially have a particularly strong Servant.
  • Extreme Doormat: Early on. Even goes through a villainous version of the "growing a spine" and "finding your own reasons for living" stages, thanks to Gilgamesh.
  • False Reassurance: Not at the beginning, but after the series' midway point when Character Development makes him close to the Kotomine from Fate/stay night, he starts to give his Exact Words as if it was his new personal dogma. Oh wait... Examples include his conversation with Tokiomi right before he stabs him with his "parting gift" and his promise to Kariya that he'll find Tokiomi in the church.
  • Genius Bruiser: What does he do when Irisviel has him tied against a tree with a few dozen meters of magical wire? Snap the fucking tree in half.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Double subverted. Kirei has a wine collection that surpasses even Tokiomi's wines quality wise, but he has never touched them. Later on, he is seen drinking wine (after a horrific Kick the Dog scene) and describing it delicious.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Uses healing magic to prolong Kariya's suffering and to be able to manipulate him.
  • Healing Hands: Kirei finds it ironic, given his disposition, that his natural talent — and the only area of magic in which he's naturally above-average — is healing.
  • Heel Realization: Gilgamesh reveals Kirei's true nature as a sadistic sociopath to him, leading to him committing an act of betrayal, but it isn't until he causes a massive amount of destruction that he fully realizes and accepts how evil he is.
  • Immune to Bullets: Even if he doesn't parry or dodge them, his priest robes are bulletproof (as in they can take a salvo of about 50 rounds during his fight with Kiritsugu and not even get scratched). He does have his limits though, as he is unable to block or dodge bullets from a high-powered gun like Kiritsugu's Thompson Contender, or block a bullet from hitting his head when he's dropped his guard.
  • In the Back: Stabs Tokiomi in the back with the Azoth dagger that Tokiomi himself gave him.
  • Irony: Invokes it, killing Tokiomi with the Azoth dagger he gave to Kirei as a parting gift, and then gives it to Rin as a gift. This comes up again in Fate/stay night.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Invoked. Kotomine easily would be a Master of All, but he chose not to master any of the skill's he was good at due to finding himself not happy with the results. Thus he's the most balanced mage in the war, which is why he's arguable the deadliest.
  • Karma Houdini: Avoids the consequences for his various evil deeds until Fate/stay night.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: You can't get any more literal. Word of God says his "Super Bai Ji Quan" is actually augmented with Magecraft, to the point it's more like a magical martial art than anything resembling the traditional school.
  • Laughing Mad: In the final episode, he looks over the devastation the Grail War has wrought and laughs his head off. This is because Angra Mainyu realized his dying wish, setting half of Fuyuki ablaze, and then resurrected him. It is this that finally causes Kirei to realize how evil he truly is, and he vows to fully unleash Angra Mainyu upon the world.
  • Love Makes You Evil: It was the death of his wife Claudia that caused Kirei to become depressed and lose faith in the teachings of God, because not only was he not saddened by her death, he wanted to be the one to kill her himself, which horrifies him.
  • Made of Iron: His final confrontation with Kiritsugu just goes to show how ridiculously tough he actually is. Among other things he takes a massive rifle-caliber bullet through his hand without even keeling over, suffers a massive blow on the same hand with the butt of Kiritsugu's Thompson Contender and a knife through the thigh without as much as a flinch.
  • Mage Killer: Executors are trained to combat mages among other things. He happens to be a very skilled one.
  • Manly Tears: In the novel, he cries upon finding his father's body, even though he feels the same as he did when his wife Claudia died. He would've rather killed him himself.
  • Not So Different: Believes that he and Kiritsugu are very similar. He's wrong.
  • Not Worth Killing: At the end of the novel, a triumphant Kotomine is gloating with Gilgamesh when he spots Kiritsugu going through the rubble. While initially excited at the chance to fight the man again, Kotomine is obviously angered by Kiritsugu's broken state, and just lets him go.
  • Professional Killer: He's officially an Executor in service of the Church.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Kirei starts as a Stoic with some Perpetual Frowner mixed in, but he relaxes gradually and smiles and laughs more and more until he has his final Not So Stoic moment when the light novel specifically states that a constant smile becomes his default expression.
    Narrator: Perhaps from today on, he would always keep this expression.
  • Red Herring: It's part of the Foregone Conclusion that Kirei will kill Tokiomi and early on Kirei dispatches Assassin to do just that. Assassin is promptly killed by Gilgamesh and it's revealed that this was all a plot by Tokiomi to let Kirei fake a defeat and use the rest of the Assassins to observe their enemies from the shadows.
  • Saved by Canon: Fate/Zero was written after Fate/Stay Night so his survival is guaranteed.
  • The Sociopath: He has this realization about himself thanks to Gilgamesh, although he's a different flavor from Ryuunosuke.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Kotomine is fascinated by Kiritsugu because he thinks he has found someone as empty as himself. Thus, he goes out of his way to track Kiritsugu's movements and attempt to meet him.
  • Start of Darkness: Fate/Zero is as much about how Kotomine turned to evil as it is about how Kiritsugu destroyed himself.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: While the anime makes it ambiguous due to omitting Gilgamesh's and Kirei's encounters with Angra Mainyu, as he was dying he wished the world world burn. Angra Mainyu granted that wish in the form of the Great Fuyuki Fire, and then resurrected him.
  • Super Speed: Zig-zagged. He is actually not so fast that he can dodge or parry bullets by sheer speed, but he has mastered the technique of "hearing an attack" so that he can, by feeling the air difference and hearing the movement of the gunman's arm, position himself in such a way that he can either avoid the bullets, block them with his bulletproof vestments or parry them with his Black Keys.
  • Super Strength: Motherfucker rips a tree out of the ground with his bare hands.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Gilgamesh suggests that Kirei could wish for happiness from the Grail, Kirei exclaims that he wouldn't wish for anything so sinful. Gilgamesh immediately notices Kirei's choice of words, which is his first clue that Kirei might be more interesting than he initially believed. And thus Gilgamesh starts a series of Breaking Speeches For the Evulz.
  • Teen Genius: Graduating valedictorian from the Theological College of St. Ignatius at Manresa, where he was Student Council President, after skipping two levels at the age of fourteen. He began his Executor career at the age of ten.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The standard equipment of The Church's Militants are Black Keys, literal throwing swords held between the knuckles in a Wolverine-esque manner.
  • The Stoic: With Not So Stoic moments, such as learning the truth about Kiritsugu, the aftermath of his fight with Kiritsugu, and his hysterical breakdown during the fire.
  • Tragic Villain: He really just wants to find out why he enjoys evil so much and finds joy in nothing else, yet was still born with a human conscience and a strong moral compass.
  • You Are What You Hate: Initially, Kirei tries to convince himself he despises violence, suffering and killing. Just look at his early conversations with Gilgamesh, where he states that he sees Gilgamesh as immoral and a sinner for enjoying others' suffering. Then compare to what he does later, when he accepts the only things that make him happy is other peoples' suffering and death.


    The Servants in General 
  • Artistic License: Abused so hard that it's almost a meme in its own right. Gilgamesh is a blonde, fair-skinned, red-eyed Bishōnen, King Arthur looks like a 14-year-old girl, and Alexander the Great is about 2 feet taller than he was known to be.
  • Back from the Dead: Most servants are the spirits of deceased heroes.


Artoria Pendragon

Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Kari Wahlgren (English)

"I only joined this war to avoid spilling rivers of blood. Fight for the Holy Grail, no meaningless bloodshed, minimize sacrifices, one person taking up the mission of fate instead of armies of men and competing here - this is what we Servants should do."

Saber is the Servant of Kiritsugu and normally goes around accompanied by Irisviel, who acts as a decoy. Furthermore, she and Kiritsugu are unable to work together directly. Her true identity is Arthur, the King of Knights, who in the Nasuverse turns out to have been female. She was summoned using the sheath Avalon as a catalyst after it was excavated by the Einzberns. Because she is not satisfied with the job she did in life, she has agreed to participate in the Grail War in the hopes that it will grant her wish to allow her to redo her rule.

Saber is a strong believer in honorable forms of combat and leadership, which allows her to get along well with Diarmuid and earn some measure of recognition from Rider, though both he and Gilgamesh also look down on her. She and Kiritsugu are entirely opposed and do not even speak to each other. Finally, both Caster and Berserker have strange fixations on her.

Her Noble Phantasms are Excalibur, her signature weapon which she can use to launch a Sword Beam, disguising it with the windy barrier "Invisible Air", and Avalon, Excalibur's sheath, which grants the holder Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • Action Girl: A prerequisite for being a female Heroic Spirit.
  • Anti-Magic: An innate ability of the Saber class is a boost to magic resistance. Since Saber's natural resistance is already quite high, this makes her nearly immune.
  • Armor Is Useless: Played with and used against her by Lancer. Since Saber's armor is generated by her prana, Gáe Dearg goes right through it. Once Saber realizes this, she invokes this trope and sheds her armor, only to learn the hard way that it would have been able to protect her from Lancer's other spear.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: She fights with Lancer against Caster's summoned creatures after he comes to her aid.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Her civilian attire is a black suit.
  • Battle Ballgown: You have to wonder how she hid her gender when she's wearing a dress for armor.
  • Bifauxnen: Saber spends most of her unarmored time dressed in men's clothes at Irisviel's suggestion, and she looks quite good in them.
  • Blade on a Stick: In the past she had a number of powerful Noble Phantasms aside from Excalibur, one of which was a spear called Rhongomyniad, which was the weapon she used to kill Mordred. Because of this Artoria could have been summoned as a Lancer-class Servant, but Rhongomyniad is currently in the possession of her distant descendant Gray and thus only appears in flashback.
  • Broken Ace: She's beautiful, graceful, powerful and one of the most well-known mythological figures in the story. She also has deep feelings of guilt over the destruction of her realm and inadequacy as a King who never understood the hearts of her people. She wishes to obtain the Grail to change her past and save her country from its destruction.
  • Break the Badass: Rider,note  Archer,note  Berserker,note  and Kiritsugunote  drive her to despair by the series' end, which is why in Fate/stay night she is initially cold and determined to get the Grail at all costs.
  • Broken Bird: Her behavior in the Fourth Grail War is not actually what King Arthur was like in-universe. Rather, at the point of her death, her long suppressed normal personality wished to save her country, while the perfect King Arthur was satisfied with the job done. Thus, Artoria is sort of flailing about trying to fix things that even she believed were not broken, her dying wish and re-emerging youthful ideals tormenting her spirit. In this way, she is not unlike Kiritsugu.
    From F/SN: That is her heart that holds her country dear. It is the mind of a girl before she became a king. But it is not the heart of the king.
  • Call Forward: Just like in the 5th Grail War, she also fights a Lancer for her first fight and is wounded.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The class ability of Riding was mentioned but went unused in Fate/Stay Night but was first used to allow her to flawlessly drive a car. Later, Kiritsugu gives her a motorcycle that he has had overtuned to the point of being impossible to control, and she rides it superbly to catch up to Rider and destroy his chariot.
  • Cleavage Window: Her dress has opening in the chest area when she doesn't have her armor on, though it doesn't actually show any cleavage.
  • Combat Compliment: Exchanges a couple of these with Lancer during their first battle.
  • Cool Bike: Saber obtains a Yamaha V-Max motorcycle with extensive modifications, courtesy of Kiritsugu. With her superb rank in Riding - to the point where supplementary materials reveal she could have alternatively been summoned as a Rider-class Servant - she drives it with stuntman-like skill.
  • Despair Event Horizon: By the final episode, Saber's beliefs and ideals are challenged, trampled, and shaken to the point where she changes her wish from using the Grail to redo her rule to wishing someone better suited became king instead. Kiritsugu forcing her to destroy the Grail is the last straw, leaving her utterly determined to attain the Grail at all costs the next time she's summoned.
  • The Fettered: At the very least, she believes her strong code of honor in battle gives her strength.
  • Field of Blades: After being defeated, Saber is sent back to the Battle of Camlann.
  • Foil: She and Kiritsugu are very deeply idealistic people who threw away all their humanity and any semblance of a normal, proper human life to fulfil their dreams, and share a lot of their ideals at the core and endure a lot of trauma from being betrayed to their devotion to them. They also contrast in their methods: Saber wants to make war as clean and honorable as possible while Kiritsugu wants for wars not to be fought it in the first place. This leads to them being utterly incompatible.
  • Friendly Enemy: To Diarmuid, as they are both knights from approximately the same geographical region and time period.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Lancer manages to sever the tendon of her left thumb in their first battle, leaving her fighting skills greatly weakened since the wound can't be healed unless he's defeated.
  • Gender Flip: Of the "historical" King Arthur, both in-universe and out.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: They're actually just her armor's shoulderplates hidden under her dress, as shown when she takes her armor off - the sleeves stop being poofy.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Beautiful, graceful, kind and her image is reminiscent of traditional blonde-haired proper ladies.
  • Handicapped Badass: Courtesy of Lancer, she spends a decent amount of time with a damaged left arm.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The Saber class is largely populated by honorable knights and leaders. Saber is no exception and is called the King of Knights.
  • Heroic BSOD
    • Narrowly-averted after seeing Rider's Badass Army and having her beliefs on kingship shaken to the very core. A talk with Irisviel renews her confidence and her wish - something she would carry until the climaxes of both Fate and UBW routes. However, being talked out of it is actually not really to her benefit.
    • She goes through a genuine one upon seeing Berserker revealed before her eyes as Lancelot, and nearly gets killed as a result. Her encounter with Lancelot is also the reason her wish goes from "I want to have been a better King" at the start of Fate/Zero to "I wish I had never been King at all" at the start of Fate/stay night.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Her wish is full of this. She basically wants to ensure that the legend she comes from never existed in the first place because she believes she did an inadequate job at it, which leads to Rider's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Honor Before Reason: Saber is much more knightly and chivalrous than in the Fifth War. While she retained her knightly attitude in the fifth war, she was nonetheless a little more ruthless and more intent on winning rather than proving a point. So you could say that in the fourth war, the "knight" aspect of her personality took precedence to the "king" aspect, while it became the inverse in Fate/stay night. Considering the crap she goes through here, especially the disappointment in Kiritsugu, it's likely that she became a bit more cynical, whether she likes it or not. A case could also be made for Kiritsugu's own ruthlessness and pragmatism rubbing off on her.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Her own justification to herself for declaring war on Lancelot and starting a civil war. She personally wanted nothing more but for Guinevere and Lancelot to be happy, but as a king, had to declare war and bring them to justice.
  • Identical Stranger: Because she looks very similar to Jeanne d'Arc, Caster thought she was Jeanne.
  • Idiot Hair: Her appearance, although she's certainly not an idiot.
  • Informed Ability: Saber is held to be the strongest of her class and her class is believed to be the most powerful, but she is far inferior to Gilgamesh, and was dangerously close to losing her first fight with Lancer. She's never actually incompetent, but she just can't catch a break and live up to her reputation, especially given her incompatibility with Kiritsugu, who says himself that the Saber class is not the one he'd have chosen and utilises her in ways she chafes against. She is the go-to for "nuke it from orbit" attacks, at least.
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: In fact, Joan of Arc was one of the first guesses as to her identity both in-story and by audiences. Caster mistakes her for Jeanne d'Arc herself and never loses his initial certainty despite her attempts to convince him otherwise.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Her combat outfit is essentially a gown with a cuirass overtop.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: A recurring theme is the question of exactly how shining she truly is and what her honor is really worth in the end.
  • Lady and Knight: She is the knight, Irisviel is the lady.
  • Lady of War: Her usual attire is a dress with armor segments integrated into it.
  • Lawful Good: In-universe alignment, as she was a chivalrous, noble king in life.
  • Let Them Die Happy: To Lancelot as he's dying in her arms. She wanted so badly to reassure him that he's always been a loyal and just knight, and that he has nothing to atone for. However, she chose not to say anything, because she knew that by doing so, it would torment him even more.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Always tries to ask her opponent of a fair and honorable fight.
  • Lonely at the Top: She believes a king has no choice but to be alone and throw away all human bonds in order to rule. Rider disagrees and shows that it does not have to be like that.
  • Mercy Kill: To El-Melloi after the confrontation with Lancer ends and the former is mortally wounded but Kiritsugu is forbidden from finishing him off.
  • Mistaken Identity: Caster refuses to believe that she is not Jeanne d'Arc.
  • My Horse Is a Motorbike: Kiritsugu gifts her with a supercharged Yamaha V-Max motorcycle, which she can augment into a pseudo-Noble Phantasm using her magic.
  • Not So Stoic: When Rider gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how she essentially became a slave to her own selflessness, martyring herself for her people and ignoring her own needs and desires in a meaningless sacrifice for a kingdom that fell apart without her anyway, she is visibly disturbed, heartbroken and comes very close to crying outright. Afterwords, Gilgamesh of all people reassures her that her path is every bit as worthy of the title of "King" as Rider's is.
    • Returns with a heartbreaking vengeance once she discovers Beserker's true identity and speculates on his reasons for becoming an insane monster, she is so shaken up that she can't bring herself to fight back while Beserker attempts to kill her
  • Oh Crap!: When Berserker catches Excalibur while it's shrouded in Invisible Air, she realizes she must have known him. Another moment follows immediately afterwards when his Knight of Honor starts corrupting it, and she immediately kicks him away. After provoking Berserker into revealing his true identity, her instincts cause her to react like this. They are absolutely right, as the revealed Lancelot proceeds to completely overwhelm her.
    "The words that would have summoned to her the worst possible curse had long since been spoken through her own lips."
  • Older Than She Looks: Saber was around 25 when she died, but due to the fact that she stopped aging once she obtained Avalon, she looks around 14/15.
  • Walk on Water: Thanks to the blessings of the Lady of the Lake.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Kiritsugu callously tramples on Lancer's honor and then kills his defeated opponents through a loophole Saber states that she refuses to believe he can be anything but the basest of villains. Kiritsugu angrily snaps back (though not directly) that she is the true villain because heroes like her have glorified war and made it more acceptable for humans to keep killing each other.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: During her life, she hid behind a mask of pragmatic perfection.



Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese), David Vincent (credited as David Earnest) (English)

"You are not worthy to gaze upon me. A filthy worm like you should face the ground, crawl on your stomach, and die."

Archer's true identity is Gilgamesh, the famous Babylonian king and he has the title of King of Heroes. He is the oldest and most venerable Heroic Spirit. He was summoned using the fossil of "the first snake to shed its skin" as a catalyst, relating to Gilgamesh's quest for immortality. Gilgamesh has no true wish but merely believes that the Grail should be returned to him because everything belongs to him.

He accepts his Master Tokiomi as a subordinate and will occasionally listen to his requests, but overall he finds his kowtowing to be boring and occasionally insulting. He is much more interested in Tokiomi's assistant, Kirei Kotomine, and he similarly finds Saber to be intriguing.

His main Noble Phantasm is the Gate of Babylon, a portal leading to a storage of all the Noble Phantasms he acquired during his reign, not to mention an ancient spaceship from Indian Mythology and his wine cellar. Lacking the proficiency to use most of the Noble Phantasms, he mainly just shoots them at people. His most powerful is the demonic sword Ea, an Anti-World Noble Phantasm that is only used on the few he deems worthy.
  • Above Good and Evil: How he defines himself. He is absolute. As the true king, justice is unnecessary to him, because he defines it. Interestingly, it's not necessarily considered an immoral point of view so much as one that is old and alien, though it does disgust Saber.
  • The Ace: In a world where age = power, Gilgamesh has the obvious advantage of being the first hero. On top of that he has the prototype of every Noble Phantasm ever as well as anything that can be said to come from "The origin of human wisdom", the most powerful weapon in the Nasuverse bar none, enough knowledge of magic to see spells people are constructing in their heads and a very functional grasp of human psychology.
  • Armor of Invincibility: His golden armor is all but unbreakable, and even Berserker blowing his Vimana out of the sky with him still on it did not even scratch it. He casually references that it might be giving out during Fate/Stay Night when Saber wails on it for a good minute, but there is no evidence that this isn't just him trying to make her waste more of her time.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The first and greatest king, and also the most powerful Heroic Spirit.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: For Tokiomi, his Master. He certainly delivers as the oldest hero in an Older Is Better system, but his imperious attitude means that he won't fight seriously (if he even wishes to fight, that is), and his high Independent Action skill makes him nearly impossible to control. Furthermore, his conspiring with Kirei behind Tokiomi's back results in Tokiomi's death.
  • Back from the Dead: Gilgamesh is granted a new physical body by the Holy Grail.
  • Badass Boast: He has several over the course of the story but most notably when he drops an epic speech against Rider when he's about blast him 8 ways to Sunday with Ea:
    To unite dreams under a banner of conquest. For that, I praise your efforts. But did you not understand, warriors? (Gilgamesh unsheathes a key-shaped sword) That all dreams must disappear when the dreamer awakens. Every last one of them. (a giant wall of magical energy unfolds and returns to Gilgamesh's sword, which becomes the Gate of Babylon, from which he draws Ea) Therefore, it was inevitable that I would stand in your way. King of Conquerors, I will show you the end of your endless dream. I shall show you harsh reality! NOW, AWAKEN EA. A WORTHY STAGE HAS BEEN SET FOR YOU. LOOK UP AND BEHOLD, ENUMA ELISH!
  • Badass Bystander: Tokiomi forces him to stay out of the action for the most part, despite his completely overwhelming power.
  • Badass Cape: His armor incorporates a fabulous red half-cape.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The best way to describe the conclusion of the war is that Gil wins and everyone else loses. Everyone involved except Waver and Kirei are either horribly broken or dead as can be, and while the former goes on to become a highly respected tutor at the Clock Tower, Kirei ultimately loses his chance to use the Grail and would have to wait another 10 years for a chance to consult it again.
  • Berserk Button: When Berserker uses his weapons against him, he is pissed. He's prone to raging when anything or anyone treats him in a way he perceives as disrespectful, which can be different for different people. For instance, he'll take all sorts of insults from Saber, grudgingly bears Tokiomi's "praise", chats pretty amicably with the affable Iskander, but tries to kill Berserker just for looking at him.
    • It mostly seems to boil down to how much Gilgamesh respects the other person- if it's a lot, he laughs off their behavior and is friendly to them, but if he doesn't respect someone, Gilgamesh will kill them for any reason.
  • Be Yourself: His general philosophy, which he's happy to share with all who pass by. Particularly and especially those for whom 'being themselves' and following their convictions would be deeply unhealthy.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He's the powerful Servant that backs up the Big Bad Master.
  • Bishōnen: You judge. By male Servant standards he's relatively short, slim and lightweight.
  • Bling of War: Wears a full plate armor made of gold with ornate blue details.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: And a jerk, at that.
  • Born Winner: He's born with a "perfect, golden-proportionate body", has access to every item or Noble Phantasm ever held, made or comprehended by mankind, has the most powerful Noble Phantasm which may even predate the planet itself and is practically unstoppable even if he's not trying. When he does, which happens only once in the entire story, he is straight up impossible to defeat.
  • The Caligula: The will of his subordinates did not matter to him in the slightest, and though he brought them great fortune in life, he is unconcerned that his empire collapsed after his death.
  • Camp: Bar none the most fabulous douchebag in the entire Nasuverse.
  • Chaotic Good: In-universe alignment as a holdover from Fate/Prototype, where he was the The Rival and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. In practise, however, he comes across as Neutral Evil due to his tendencies and actions.
  • Charm Person: His Charisma rank is so high (A+) that it actually counts as supernatural compulsion upon those around him.
  • Chewing the Scenery/Large Ham: When he finally deploys Ea, he is yelling at the top of his lungs as he prepares it to literally chew the scenery apart.
  • Cool Ship/Cool Plane: He is in possession of a Vimana, one of the flying "chariots" that the Hindu gods used.
  • Cool Sword: Most of his projectiles, and then there's Ea.
  • The Corrupter: He's the one who urges Kirei Kotomine towards becoming evil, evidently because he found it amusing.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: It's implied Ea is this. To actually draw it, Gil must first summon a sort of key and "unlock" Ea's position in the Gate of Babylon. He does draw it far more freely in Stay Night, but Gil is a tad more unhinged by that point.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Subverted in the sense that Ea cannot actually blow up the Earth, but it is capable of reducing it to the state of "Genesis", effectively leaving it a barren wasteland. This also works against things like Reality Marbles.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Most of his projectiles are shot so that they spin in mid-air. Ea plays it straight by being able to spin so much that it destroys the Earth's Grand Reality Marble, and can at full power leave as nothing more than a scorched rock.
  • Evil Mentor: He has a great deal of fun showing Kotomine why he should embrace his inner sadist.
  • Faux Affably Evil: During Episode 11 and his talks with Kirei and Rider he is actually quite reasonable and understanding, to the point where he's even nice or polite for a few moments. At that point, everyone had already seen how much of a douchenozzle he can be.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Refuses to truly assist against Caster's monster because he finds it too disgusting to use his abilities on. When he makes a token attack on it, he even refuses to retrieve the weapons he used.
  • For the Evulz: Whilst this is not the core motive of his behaviour, he's notable for finding it a perfectly valid way to live if that is what truly grants you the most pleasure.
  • Fountain of Youth: Word of God is that the reason his appearance in Fate/stay night is the same as in Fate Zero despite him being given a flesh-and-blood body is because he drank the immortality-inducing potion central to his myth-of-origin in order to de-age himself ten years, the same potion he later uses in Fate/hollow ataraxia.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Just about everything about him from his hair to his armor is golden and sparkly.
  • The Hedonist: A rather dark take on it, as he promotes doing whatever makes one feel good, including betrayal and murder.
  • Hellish Pupils: His pupils are vertical slits, just in case we needed any further clues that Gilgamesh is not a safe person to be around.
  • Heroic Build: Shown off in the scene described under Shameless Fanservice Guy. Underneath all that armor, Gilgamesh has the physique of a bronzed god.
  • Hidden Depths: Both his dialogues with Kirei and his battle with Iskander manage to imply quite a lot about his character with few words, especially if one is familiar with the original epic. He also seems knowledgeable on the matter of human psychology (probably something he picked up on while ruling 1/4th of the world for 125 years) and actually comes off as a very intelligent man when his galaxy-sized ego doesn't need to be polished.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Gilgamesh from the myths was kind of a jerk at times, but it's unlikely he would have approved of his Nasuverse counterpart.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: The Gate of Babylon is actually a key-shaped sword that Gilgamesh uses to open a path to his vault, which contains all he possessed in life: an effectively infinite amount of stuff. It mostly consists of insanely powerful weapons, that we see.
    • Hammerspace: Supplemental materials indicate that the Gate of Babylon contains the actualized dreams of humanity itself, meaning it has magical versions of any technological device humans have conceived of. The key example, of course, being the Vimana which he uses to out-fly a modern jet fighter. It also contains the original bases of all intellectual properties, making it the greatest of all libraries in addition to containing better versions of everything that exists. Of course, rare are the times in the Holy Grail War when 'Deploy Really Good Library' or 'Manifest The Most Glorious Couch' will get better results than 'Fling All Of The Swords'.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: His Noble Phantasm, Ea, is the most powerful weapon seen to date in the Nasuverse, shaming even Excalibur.
  • Informed Ability: According to Word of God, Gil is "Equally, if not slightly weaker" physically than Saber and Berserker, but as he has what amounts to a gatling gun with infinite, overpowered ammunition, he has no need to exploit this trait and as such his physical abilities go unused.
  • I Have the High Ground: One way his obsession with properly expressing just how much better he is than everyone else involves perching in high places. When Berserker cuts down the light pole Gilgamesh was standing on, the guy flips out at having to stand on the same ground with a "rabid mongrel."
  • Insanity Immunity: Gilgamesh's arrogance and egotism somehow make him immune to the psychological effects of Angra Mainyu's blackening.
  • It's All About Me: Need any help carrying that ego, Gil? It looks like it might squish you. (Are you questioning his strength, cur? He needs no aid, and should he demand it you shall surrender it!) Amusingly enough, this makes him the only one who could answer Angra Mainyu's question, "Who will bear the responsibility for all evils of the world?" His response amounts to, "Me, because I'm actually that awesome."
    The King will acknowledge it; the King will permit it. The King will bear the burden of the entire world.
  • Japanese Pronouns
    • He uses the archaic ware (pronounced as ''ore'') when referring to himself, which symbolizes how he's from a time far, far in the past even compared to other servants, who use modern pronouns like ore or watashi.
    • He refers to everyone else using kisama, or less frequently, omae, in keeping with his character. The only exception, both in this and the 5th war, being shortly after defeating Iskander and telling him that he's welcome for a rematch anytime, when he uses the more formal and relatively-more respectful form sonata.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: His actual stats are surprisingly high for an Archer, but not quite as high as, say, Berserker or Saber. His skills are all very highly ranked (A Independent Action, A+ Charisma, B(A+) Divinity and A Golden Rule), but his true power comes from his absurdly overpowered Noble Phantasms.
  • Jerkass: Arrogant, haughty and insulting to everyone save a handful of people, Gilgamesh isn't exactly the nicest person to be around. At times it's so overbearing it becomes outright comical.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He claims that "an omnipotent wish-granting device" like the Grail is completely implausible. As it turns out, he's right on a number of levels.
  • Kick the Dog: While he is portrayed much less antagonistically than in Fate/Stay Night, some of his actions such as helping to orchestrate the situation that led to Kariya's strangling of Aoi, only to complain that he found the end result "underwhelming", serve as a chilling reminder that he's still far from noble.
  • Laughably Evil: He's so ridiculously arrogant and condescending that one can almost look past it and laugh at how amazing he is for keeping a straight face.
  • Leitmotif: Two of them: "The Gilgamesh" and "King of Babylon".
  • Light Is Not Good: He's the golden king, but is basically without morals or ethics as a normal person would understand them.
  • Lonely at the Top: How Iskander describes him in the last novel of Fate/Zero. However, it turns out to be untrue, though he does miss Enkidu.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He is responsible for leading Kirei into realizing that he can only be happy by killing people and messing with their minds. He did so very slowly and with much glee. He also was the one who had Berserker fight Saber simply because he thought it would be amusing to have that "mad dog", as he puts it, fight her after he learns Berserker's true identity.
  • Mundane Utility: In addition to all the weapons and cool tools that he keeps in the Gate of Babylon, Gilgamesh also apparently has a first rate wine cellar.
  • My God, You Are Serious: His reaction on learning Saber's wish during the Feast of Kings. In the Drama CD his laughter spans a minute and a half, even while Rider and Saber are arguing.
  • Older Is Better: Gilgamesh's Hyperspace Arsenal is filled with Noble Phantasms 1 rank more powerful than their later versions. He is also a great example himself, being the hero of the first fictional story and by far the most powerful Heroic Spirit that can be summoned.
  • Only Friend: Gilgamesh turns down Iskander's offer of ruling together because of this trope. Anyone who's familiar with the epic can probably guess who he's talking about.
    Gilgamesh: It is unfortunate, but I do not require a second friend. Past and future, my companion will only be one — and there need not be two kings.
  • One-Man Army: Gilgamesh vs. Rider and his tens of thousands of Heroic Spirit soldiers. Guess who wins?.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: The wine from the Gate of Babylon was brewed by the gods and transcends any wine in history. Rider is outright howling after first tasting it.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Gilgamesh makes the levels of destruction that Saber's Noble Phantasm can cause look like child's play. Indeed, Kotomine notes that the best way to deal with him is to treat him as a natural disaster — by planning around his actions, rather than trying to control him.
  • Pet the Dog: Although he's for the most part a massive douchebag, Gil is suspiciously nice when conversing with Kirei, has what can best be described as a Vitriolic Best Buds friendship with Rider and occasionally does something helpful but claims it was for his own reasons. He honors Iskander's last command to Waver to live on by sparing the latter's life, despite personally killing Iskander.
    • Earlier he knocks Berserker out of the sky when he was about to go ham with a gatling gun so Saber could go on and blast Caster's monster.
    • He also soothes Saber somewhat after she receives a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Rider, telling her that her nobility and selflessness are worthy traits of a king. Coming from him, though, Saber takes it more as Your Approval Fills Me with Shame, especially because he takes the opportunity to make another unwanted pass at her.
  • Pride: Gilgamesh's pride is his only exploitable weakness. Tokiomi keeps the truth of the Grail War from him by appealing to it.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Both of his Noble Phantasms are considered EX-ranked, meaning they are simply too powerful to be given an accurate rating.
  • Red Baron: "King of Heroes".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Gilgamesh's red eyes are Nasuverse shorthand for being Semi-Divine or at least superhuman.
  • Saved by Canon: He's a major antagonist in Fate/Stay Night so his survival is guaranteed.
  • Self-Deprecation: In All There in the Manual where the Servants are given their likes, dislikes and talents, you can pretty much guess that himself is in his "likes". But for the same thing to be listed in his "dislikes"?
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: When Angra Mainyu gives him a flesh-and-blood body, it also leaves him naked. Gilgamesh takes absolutely no issue with staying that way and spends the rest of the scene shamelessly walking around in the nude. In the midst of a huge fire, at that.
  • Semi-Divine: Divinity Rank B; being two-thirds god should make him Rank A+, but since he dislikes the gods, his divinity is reduced by one rank.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: For all his power, Gilgamesh doesn't have much in the way of fame, being rather obscure compared to other Heroic Spirits. He doesn't believe this to be the case, and is thus irritated when the other Servants aren't able to recognize his true name on sight.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Gilgamesh is arrogant, but he is not stupid. He might boast loudly, but he also observes keenly. He is able to discern the true horror of the Grail at a glance and is able to turn Kirei into embracing evil after only a couple of talks with him.
  • Smug Snake: He really is powerful and intelligent, but his arrogance often keeps him from performing at his peak because he just can't be bothered.
  • Smug Super: He will never miss an occasion to tell you how much better than you he is.
  • Spotting the Thread: He asks Kirei (who had expressed his lack of desires from the Grail) why he doesn't simply wish for worldy pleasures. Kirei replies that he'd never wish for something so "sinful and corrupt". The realization that the notions of "pleasure" and "sin" overlap in Kirei's mind is Gil's first hint that something is off about the man.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Near the end, Gilgamesh is left as a formless spirit in Angra Mainyu's vortex of All Evils in the World. Ultimately, Gilgamesh's willpower and ego allow him to shoulder the blame for all of mankind's sins while retaining his sense of self, thus overcoming the vortex.
  • The Starscream: When Gligamesh learns that Tokiomi is planning to force him to commit suicide, he persuades Kirei to kill Tokiomi and become his new master.
  • Storm of Blades: He uses Gate of Babylon to rain weaponry upon his opponent rather than actually using them properly.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Gilgamesh is so unstoppably powerful that, should he ever pull out all the stops, the rest of the combatants in the war combined would stand about the same chance as cardboard cut-outs of themselves. Fortunately his pride prevents him from abusing this.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: To Iskander, who he grudgingly respects, leading to a Worthy Opponent situation.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: How does he defeat Rider's Badass Army? Well he just blows up the fucking universe. Granted it was Rider's Reality Marble, which is just a Mental World, but that Mental World is still infinite in size, so it gives the same effect.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: Gilgamesh's Above Good and Evil claims turn out to be true when the Grail's all but all-powerful curse cannot break his ego, even when he is submerged in it.
  • Übermensch: Though mixed in with a dose of For the Evulz, Gilgamesh in his core appears to have elements of this idea. He is an entity so far beyond good and evil that it becomes a form of greatness in itself, hence it could not be corrupted by the Grail. Also, in his conversations with Kirei, he essentially tells him to stop letting society define morals for him and to find his own goals instead. These just so happen to be a desire for pain and tragedy, but still.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: While Gilgamesh is still a good swordsman, the only weapon he used when he was alive was Ea. He is not used to the rest of the weapons in his possession, and instead just bombards people with them at Mach speeds, which is usually more than enough.
  • Wave Motion Sword: Ea is basically a planet-wasting-level of this, although it can also be used as a very deadly normal sword, as Rider learned the hard way.
  • Warrior Therapist: When he's not out fighting, he's goading Kirei towards what he truly desires: evil, the only thing he can take pleasure in.
  • Wine Is Classy: He loves high-quality wine, which highlights his status as the King of Heroes, and fittingly has an infinite supply of wine described as being too good to have been made by human hands. He winds up encountering Kirei because Kirei's wine is apparently better than Tokiomi's.
  • Worthy Opponent: With Rider. Iskandar is the only other person Gilgamesh accepts as a king and the only person in the war worthy of using Ea against, the only instance of him respecting someone enough to try from the start of a fight in the entire Nasuverse. And this is after the two have become what amounts to Kingly Drinking Buddies.
  • Yandere: He starts showing tendencies towards Saber, noting that she's most beautiful when she is distraught. It gets to the point that he outright declares her to be his wife during their final clash, brushing aside her vehement refusal and trying to torture her into accepting.


Diarmuid Ua Duibhne

Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese), Grant George (English)

"It wouldn't suit my reputation to murder a woman weakened by my face alone. I am glad my first opponent has such backbone."

The servant summoned by Kayneth El-Melloi, Lancer's true identity is Diarmuid of the Love Spot, a hero from the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. Originally, Kayneth had wanted to summon the powerful Iskander, but the catalyst was stolen by Waver Velvet and he had to make do with Diarmuid. Diarmuid agreed to serve him because he wished to faithfully serve a lord once more rather than because he had a wish to make on the Grail.

Due to his mastery of arms and his nobility, he is respected by both Iskander and Artoria. His loyalty to his Master is a source of great pride for him, but Kayneth is uneasy at Diarmuid's apparent lack of motive for assisting him. This matter is not helped by the clear infatuation Kayneth's fiancee holds for the chivalrous Servant.

His Noble Phantasms are Gae Dearg, a spear that neutralizes mana, and Gae Buidhe, a cursed lance that creates a Wound That Will Not Heal so long as he is alive and his spear intact.

  • Anti-Magic: Gae Dearg, the Crimson Rose of Exorcism, renders prana-infused weapons and armor ineffective.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Saber during the confrontation with Caster's monsters.
  • Beauty Mark: He has a small mole below his right eye. It is cursed and causes women to fall in love with him, which led to his death as a mortal.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He comes to Saber's aid against some of Caster's monsters.
  • Bishōnen: His good looks are amplified by his Mystic Face.
  • Blessed with Suck: At first, his cursed Mystic Face doesn't sound so bad, but it turns out he originally died because his lord's wife fell in love with him, ending up in him being betrayed. Then his Master's fiancee also falls in love with him, causing strife and hardships with said Master.
  • Call Forward: Like Cu Chulainn in the 5th Grail War, Diarmuid is also forced to kill himself.
  • Chick Magnet: His "Mystic Face" causes women without magical resistance to fall in love with him.
  • Combat Compliment: Exchanges a couple of these with Saber during their first battle.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He doesn't actually display this, but according to Word of God it would have been possible to convince him to act in this way (most important would have been to keep him away from a Saber class). If he was willing to fight dirty he would have instead gone for hit-and-run attacks with Gae Buidhe to slowly cripple his enemies over time, or manipulate Berserker to do his dirty work for him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's an understated example, but he still has his moments. For instance, when Berserker appeared in Episode 5, Lancer asks Iskandar, "So, King of Conquerors, are you planning to ask him to join too?"
  • Divided We Fall: Word of God claims that Lancer and Kayneth failed largely because they were unable to work together. The guide says Lancer's two natural enemies are Kayneth and Sola-Ui
  • Dual Wielding: He wields two lances, but since he lacks the stamina to wield both for a long time he usually drops one eventually.
  • Dying Curse: He dies cursing his luck, Kiritsugu, Saber, the Grail, and everything else in the world, cursing that their wishes become disasters. Turns out that he's right with regards to the Grail.
  • Extreme Doormat: His pledged service to Kayneth makes him meekly accept the insults and abuse Kayneth hurls at him.
  • Failure Knight: Lancer's only ambition (apart from finishing his duel with Saber) is to faithfully serve his Master as he was unable to in the past.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: His outfit differs at his shoulders, forearms, and legs.
  • The Fettered: Like Saber, he believes strongly in chivalrous conduct and honorable warfare.
  • Friendly Enemy: To Artoria, as they are both knights.
  • Geas: He was put under a geas by his lord's fiancée to run away with her. While he didn't break it, it eventually led to his death anyway.
  • Genre Savvy: He realizes that history is repeating itself in regards to his master's wife falling for him, but is powerless to stop it.
  • History Repeats: He first died due to his master's wife falling in love with him thanks to his supernatural affliction. When he becomes a Servant, he's screwed over again when his new master's fiancée falls madly in love with him.
  • Honor Before Reason: He would rather be honorable than win, even if it is not what his lord wants.
  • Imagine Spot: In the Einzbern Consultation Room specials he has one of him and Saber holding hands as they run through a field of flowers.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Fits the archetype to a T, if you exclude the actual armor.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Forgot everything concerning his death and Sola at the beginning of Einzbern Consulation Room specials. He also has Fake Memories and believes things happened differently. Probably better off that way...
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Parodied in the Einzbern Consultation Room. Iri claims the reason his life was so terrible was that he had too much 'good guy karma' and that if he hadn't been so darn perfect he would have been more fortunate.
  • Lawful Neutral: In-universe alignment.
  • Leitmotif: "The Lancer". Nice.
  • Mana Burn: His Gae Dearg as a special in Unlimited Codes.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A plot point. He keeps getting into trouble due to women falling for him.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Even when that master is hurling insults at him.
  • Nice Guy: Outside of his last few moments, he's probably the straightest example of this in the war, disliking unfair fights and sparing Kiritsugu's life despite the fact that he just blew out his Master's magic circuits because he doesn't want to defeat Saber outside honourable combat.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: He's Celtic, after all. In-series, it's pronounced something like "Deer-mood" or "Dee-are-mood" O'Deena", but the correct pronunciation is "Diarmid O'Dyna".
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: As he wounded Saber in their first battle, weakening her and rendering her left thumb worthless so that she cannot effectively wield Excalibur, his honor dictates that he's the only one who should properly fight her. His Master is not amused.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: In the middle of his duel with Saber, Kiritsugu forces his master to use a Command Spell to make Lancer kill himself.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His sclera turn red during his Despair Event Horizon.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: He has an actual curse that seduces women. This is not responsible for Sola-Ui, however, meaning it's actually twice as bad as normal.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Deflects Kiritsugu's gunfire with but a twirl of his lances.
  • Spirited Competitor: At least with Saber, as he sees as a Worthy Opponent to fight against and test his skills for his master
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: When he's crying Tears of Blood, his light hazel eyes become tinted a more baleful shade of gold that makes him look downright demonic.
  • Tareme Eyes: The Character Material mentions them as a Charm Point of his.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: According Iri in the Einzbern Consulation Room specials the reason bad things keep happening to him is his "good guy karma". His personality, looks, charm, and being voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa means that he's destined to get screwed over.
  • Tragic Dream: All he wanted was to serve his lord faithfully and to live — and die, if necessary — with honor. He ends up hated by that lord and is forced to kill himself without having a chance to fulfil his dream.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He has less-than-impressive stats (other than his Agility which is A-rank), but he makes up for this with his "Eye of the Mind (True)" skill which allows him to exploit all possible openings in battle, which also compensates for his terrible luck.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Gae Buidhe, the Golden Rose of Mortality, causes a wound to act as though it does not even exist, making it immune to even healing magic. Represented as Maximum HP Reduction in Unlimited Codes when he uses the corresponding special.


Iskander (Alexander) the Great

Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (Japanese), Jamieson Price (English)

"The King - lives to the fullest! He needs to live more fully than anyone else! He is a figure of admiration to his people!"

Rider is the third of the kings of Fate Zero, the King of Conquerors, Iskander. He was summoned using the catalyst stolen by Waver Velvet, which is his ancient mantle. He has little direct interest in the Grail and merely wants a more permanent body so that he can conquer the world again. However, he does not use violence as his primary method; "victory without elimination, ruling without humiliation, that is true conquest". An impulsive and overbearing man who lives according to his emotions and lets history take its own course. To this end, he attempts to enlist the other Heroic Spirits into his army with a We Can Rule Together speech.

He has a level of respect for Saber's honor and chivalry and definitely her ability, but disapproves of her motivation. He is also able to get along with the notoriously arrogant Gilgamesh.

He possesses the Gordius Wheel, a chariot led by two divine bulls, which he uses for his trampling attack "Via Expugnatio". He also has the Reality Marble "Ionioi Hetairoi/Aionion Hetairoi", which summons the Badass Army that he controlled in his life. He also has a sword called "Sparda" which he uses to summon the Gordius Wheel.

  • Almighty Mom: Every Heroic Spirit has a Natural Enemy, the person most suited to defeating them — for example, Medusa's would be Perseus, and Gilgamesh's is Archer. All There in the Manual gives Rider's as his mother.
    • Given who his mother was (Olympias) and how much of an impact she had on his life, this is understandable.
  • Anti-Villain: Rider is very committed to conquering the world and actually spends most of the series plotting World War III. However he's so polite, noble, and charismatic that almost everyone looks past this. Only Saber seems to realize just how dangerous Rider actually is.
  • Artistic License – History: Other than being a respected warleader Iskander is nothing like the historical figure of Alexander the Great. His ideal is "victory without humiliation" but his real conquests involved plenty of slavery, rape, and murder. In the Nasuverse his arrival in Babylon is treated more like a party than a conquest, with parades filling the streets, confetti shooting around, and crowds of people cheering. He's also a good two feet taller than he is in real life.
  • Back from the Dead: His purpose for seeking the Holy Grail. While as a Servant he already qualifies in a sense, Rider wants a flesh and blood body with which he can experience the joys of world conquest.
  • Badass Baritone: Has a deep and rousing voice.
  • Badass Beard: Despite the real Alexander being famously clean-shaven.
  • Badass Bisexual: He is one of the biggest Badasses around and he is bisexual like his historical counterpart.
  • Badass Boast
    Iskander: With a body not even the size of a dot, I will someday surpass the world.
  • Badass Cape: He wears a red mantle that billows heroically as he rides.
  • Beyond the Impossible: His ethos. "Glory lies beyond the horizon." To him, the best way to live is to find an impossible goal and devote your entire life to accomplishing it.
    • Not to mention Ionioi Hetairoi which actually should be impossible. Normally, only a True Demon or a mage with enormous power and/or skill can create a Reality Marble. Iskander manifests one essentially out of pure willpower and charisma.
  • Big Brother Mentor: After initially appearing to take Waver very lightly, he begins to advise and encourage him, ultimately inspiring Waver and changing him for the better.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saves a wounded Saber from being overwhelmed by Diarmuid and Berserker.
  • Bishōnen: Not in this series, but side materials reveal that he was quite pretty in his adolescent years, but his Noble Phantasm, Zeus Thunder, gave him the body of a manly demigod like Heracles as he got older.
  • Bi the Way: Should be obvious, considering the historical counterpart, but Urobuchi still clarifies.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Rider is loud, proud, and can definitely kick butt in a fight.
    Iskander: First, we will go half way around the world. West, straight west and conquer all the countries we pass. And thus upon my victorious return to Macedonia, I will make the people of my land celebrate my rebirth!
  • Blood Knight: Revels in the chance to fight the Servants whom he sees as a Worthy Opponent. The only thing better would be fighting all the servants at once.
  • Buffy Speak: How does he describe the Gate of Babylon to his Master? "Showing off with a lot of shiny-goldy things." He also calls stealth bombers "big black B2 thingies."
  • Cultured Warrior: He likes to read The Iliad, and spends a lot of his free time watching war documentaries. He's apparently been like this since his youth, as an "innocent child who loved The Illiad from the bottom of his heart."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Easily defeats the remaining Assassins, but later he stands no chance against Gilgamesh, even when using his Game Breaker Noble Phantasm, and dies after getting impaled on Ea.
  • Curtains Match the Window: His hair and eyes are the same color.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Dark skin makes sense, he lived in Greece and waged wars in the desert. The red hair is more from Rule of Cool.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: His entire ideology, based around conquering without humiliation. Waver occasionally catches glimpses of Iskander's life whilst sleeping and marvels at how those he conquered became swept up in his dream to conquer the world.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Kind of. He forgets that everyone in the modern world wears pants.
  • Determinator: In Volume 4, after losing his army to Gilgamesh, Iskander simply charges forward, right through all the Noble Phantasms fired from the Gate of Babylon, keeps going even after his horse has been shot out from under him and has been skewered multiple times and came within inches of actually landing a blow on Gilgamesh, who finally had to resort to Enkidu to restrain him before finally being finished off.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Unknown Unknowns example. In his fight with Gilgamesh, Rider was expecting himself and his army to be pit against the Gate of Babylon, but certainly didn't (or rather couldn't) account for Gilgamesh being able to pull out a sword that can literally destroy the world in a single blow.
  • Expy: He physically resembles Ganondorf, specifically the one from Twilight Princess. Thankfully, he only has a physical resemblance.
  • Fiery Redhead: Boisterous Bruiser meets Dark-Skinned Redhead.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Iskander will never be able to convince Saber to give up her wish and regrets, seeing that it is what underlies the conflict of viewpoints between her and Shirou in the Fate route.
  • Friendly Enemy: He casually suggests that he and Saber have a drinking game and invited Gilgamesh to join them when he happened to run across the guy. Until Kirei's Assassins show up, the three of them are sitting around a table, talking about their dreams, kingship and even comparing the quality of wine.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's much smarter that his personality would suggest. How else would he have won all those battles in Real Life? After interrupting Saber and Lancer's battle, he's the first to realize other servants were watching too, to name one example. He even has a skill called "Military Tactics."
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: He holds Gilgamesh to his promise of the two of them finishing off the remaining wine before facing off in a deathmatch. The two were quite cordial and even clicked their goblets before draining them. Waver was surprised that the two got along quite well.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Iskander smiles when he's killed by Gilgamesh.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: He spends his free time, among other things, watching military documentaries, planning world conquest, buying videogames, and walking around the house not wearing pants.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Rider is the King of Conquerors because the people he conquered would join him willingly, forging a bond between his army so strong that not even death could break it.
  • Honor Before Reason: While Rider doesn't have the chivalry disease nearly as bad as Saber or Lancer, there are certain values he will stick to even if they put him at a disadvantage. For example, breaking into a fight to introduce himself by name in a war where that's supposed to be a closely guarded secret or choosing to fight Saber at a disadvantage because he believes it is his duty as a heroic spirit to make her realize the folly of her ideals before they crush her. This costs him his chariot, his only easily used powerful weapon.
  • Incoming Ham: Makes his first public appearance in the war by riding a magical, lightning-sprouting chariot into the middle of a battle, loudly announcing his name and inviting the two combatants to join him in world domination.
  • Ironic Echo: Early on, he asks Waver what his reason for seeking the Grail is, noting that if it is also world conquest they would be enemies since the world cannot be ruled by two lords. Near the end of the War, Gilgamesh rejects his offer of We Can Rule Together with the same sentiment.
  • Large and in Charge: Much to Waver's surprise, Rider is a giant. He says that Rider was recorded in history as being too short to fit Darius' throne, but this turns out to be because Darius was even bigger.
  • Large Ham:
    • His original plan to gather all the Servants in one spot, offer them the chance to rule alongside him, and if they refused, duke it out with all of them at once.
    • He later explains that he invokes this trope. A king must be a larger than life presence as an example to his subjects. He must laugher, fight harder, and dream bigger than all of them.
  • Leitmotif: The anime gives us a few:
    • First is "The Legend", which plays during the times he's with Waver and showing off the genius part of his Genius Bruiser personality.
    • Second is "Babylonia" for whenever he's being a Large Ham, despite its name suggesting it's for Gilgamesh.
    • Finally, there's the track which plays when he unveils Ionian Hetairoi for the first time.
  • Mental World: His 'shared' Reality Marble, which both creates a new landscape and summons his entire army, all of whom are Heroic Spirits themselves, including his horse Bucephalus.
  • Mentor Archetype: Surprisingly, ends up as one for Waver. He tries to be one for Saber, with no success.
  • Neutral Good: In-universe alignment. Interestingly, this just adds to the contrast he already has with the other two kings, as Artoria, who is Lawful Good, only tries to selflessly save people, while Gilgamesh, who is supposedly Chaotic Good, is only interested in control and selfish amusement. Iskander's way, meanwhile, appears to be a pragmatic "save people from themselves, then have them share in your glory" attitude.
  • Nice Guy: Is the only Servant who considers resolving the Grail Wars without violence, first by offering the others place in his army and later suggesting they merely discuss the issue until they can agree on who is most worthy. He spends most of the War nurturing Waver's growth and considers him a worthy friend even after Waver uses up his command seals. Even his only Kick the Dog moment, his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Saber, is ultimately well intentioned.
  • Odd Friendship: While initially Waver is first annoyed with his Servant and then feels unworthy, eventually he decides to take pride in himself as Rider's subordinate.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: To Saber. After witnessing her use Excalibur on Caster, he believes he's the only one who can save her from her ideals.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Seeing Rider, who once said the easiest way to win the Grail War was to fight all the other Servants at once, say that he thinks Gilgamesh will be the last person he ever sees gets Waver very worried.
  • Pet the Dog: When Kayneth sees Waver for the first time after Waver stole his summoning component, he smugly mocks the boy's weakness and promises to kill him personally, leaving Waver terror-stricken. Seeing this, Rider promptly declares Kayneth must be a weakling and a coward, and that Waver is obviously a much worthier Master.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: As befits a king.
  • The Power of Friendship: The reason his Reality Marble, Ionian Hetairoi, exists is the bond between him and his men, who are so devoted to him that even death cannot keep them from following him. At the same time, Iskander considers them to be his greatest treasure. All of this is why even though Iskander himself is not a magus, he, along with all of his men, are able to bring out the Reality Marble that recreates the land that they once marched over. The name itself is intended to be Greek for 'Eternal Companions.'
    Iskander: BEHOLD MY PEERLESS ARMY! Their bodies may return to ash, but their spirits still hear my call! These men are my legendary heroes — my loyal followers! They're my true friends -- breaking the rules of space and time to fight once more at my side! They are my treasure within treasures; they're my right to rule! They make up Iskander's mightiest Noble Phantasm - Ionian Hetairoi!
  • Rated M for Manly: His size, his passion, his goals; everything about him oozes masculinity.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A conqueror, true, but he makes it clear that true conquest doesn't involve humiliation or subjugation. Considering many of his Ionian Hetairoi were once his enemies in life, it worked. He's also driven to break Saber out of her self-destructive beliefs out of what he considers his duty as an epic spirit.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech
    • During the first battle of the war, he sneers at Kayneth for taunting Waver by stating that only someone who would ride into battle with him is suited to be his Master.
    • He gives a fairly well-meaning one to Saber where he refuses to acknowledge her views on kingship as being the true path of a king. Namely, he respects her chivalry and honor, but believes she err'd when she chose to become a martyr and sacrifice herself for the good of her people instead of sticking around and leading them by example. He believes a king's subjects give themselves to the king, not the other way around, and calls her out on becoming a slave to 'what's right' and forgetting to live for herself as well. It had an effect too, as the normally resolute and proud Saber was damn near reduced to a crying wreck when she realized he had a point, especially since she knows that her nation was plunged into chaos and anarchy in spite of all she sacrificed.
  • Red Baron: "King of Conquerors".
  • Rousseau Was Right: Implied. He claims that a ruler should embody all the best and worst aspects of humanity to their fullest extent. It's pretty clear that he assumes this means the ruler will come out on the side of good, meaning that he thinks humans are good by default.
  • Self-Destructive Charge: Rider charges headlong into Saber's Sword Beam and loses his chariot as a result. Later, he rushes at Archer's Gate of Babylon and is stabbed several times before finally being impaled through the heart on Ea.
  • Semi-Divine: Just like Gilgamesh, Rider has red eyes that are Nasuverse shorthand for being Semi-Divine or at least superhuman. He has divinity Rank C, being a proclaimed descendant of Zeus. Gilgamesh uses Enkidu, chains designed to bind divine beings, to stop his charge during their final battle.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Waver's Sensitive Guy. This is most obvious when they enter Caster's lair. Waver bursts into horrified tears at the sight. Rider, though warning him gently not to look, remains stone-faced and destroys the lair. They even have a brief exchange about their differing reactions.
  • Shock and Awe: As a descedent of Zeus, Iskander's mounts and Reality Marble have a connection to lightning.
  • Take Over the World: His goal is to personally conquer the world. Due to his methods, this is not presented as being a necessarily bad thing, though his values are clearly outdated.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Subverted. It is explicitly pointed out that even though a lot of his decisions might seem to be foolish, he doesn't mind at all if he doesn't succeed - he's happy just to do what he loves and spend his life in joy with his comrades.
    Those who mocked the King of Conquerors' wish as a boring wish are the foolish ones who merely dragged their bodies along from day to day, and spend their lives away on nothing.
  • To Win Without Fighting: Though he never gets to do any of it, his conversations make it clear that he respects this sort of victory greatly as well. He would much prefer having the other Servants join him and go off to do his own thing rather than stick to the 'thou musts' of the Grail War and kill everyone else.
  • Tragic Dream: Subverted. Iskander wished to reach Oceanus and only thought he'd succeeded, but in the end he does not truly regret it. He wishes for more people to seek out similarly impossible dreams.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Although he crushed Saber's own ideals at the banquet, he himself is one of these as he dreamed of seeing the Pacific Ocean by conquering and uniting all of the countries that stood in his way. This was even more prevalent in his youth, to the point of being described as "somewhat lacking in a sense of reality".
  • We Can Rule Together: Iskander suggests this to Gilgamesh before their last battle when he tells him that if his Ionion Hetairoi was equipped with Gate of Babylon that they would be pretty much be unstoppable.
  • Worthy Opponent: Rider has a way of viewing everyone strong as one of these by default, though he reconsiders after seeing Caster and Assassin. He offers to basically work as equals with Gilgamesh and is extremely determined to recruit Saber into his army, not just because she's so powerful. He believes that only himself deserves the honor of striking down Saber but he doesn't respect her for being unsatisfied with how well 'King Arthur' did.


Gilles de Rais/Bluebeard

Voiced by: Satoshi Tsuruoka (Japanese), Dan Woren (English)

"My only wish was that the holy maiden Jeanne d'Arc would be resurrected, and now this wish had already been fulfilled! Without even the need to compete with anyone, my wish had already become reality!"

Caster is the Servant of Ryuunosuke Uryuu and, just like his Master, a serial killer. His true identity is Gilles de Rais, also known as Bluebeard. He was one of the commanders led by Jeanne d'Arc. Though he is of the Caster class, he is not really a magus. Rather, he has a spellbook that was given to him by Francesco Prelati that allows him to summon Eldritch Abominations. He is fond of using these and more mundane methods to kill victims with a particular fondness for granting the victim a Hope Spot before butchering them or using them for 'artistic' purposes.

Originally, he intended to use the Grail to revive Jeanne, but upon seeing Saber he decided that she had already been revived by the Grail and instead revised his motivation to making her accept her 'true' identity.

His Noble Phantasm is Prelati's Spellbook, a living grimoire with a cover made of human skin that generates its own prana and allows him to summon Eldritch Abominations.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In his last moments he imagines seeing Jeanne before realizing just how far he's fallen.
  • Ax-Crazy: Caster delights in his own insanity and expresses it by brutally killing children and using them artistically. As a "personal skill," he has Mental Pollution at A-Rank: Due to his mind being so horribly twisted, he receives strong protection from mental interference abilities (which never comes up), but cannot come to an understanding with people who do not have an equal level of Mental Pollution. However, he and his Master Ryuunosuke understand each other perfectly.
  • Bigger Stick: Compensates for his overall low stats by having an A+ Anti-Army Noble Phantasm. It doesn't even cost much to use.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He defines himself as evil in opposition to God.
  • Chaotic Evil: His in-universe alignment.
  • Combat Pragmatist: His stats are very poor, so he relies on a combination of summoned monsters, trickery, ambushes and a complete disregard for human life to get by. His other options are fairly limited though Saber opines otherwise and explicitly referred to him as a 'coward' in the aftermath of their first battle.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Caster's official profile in Fate Zero Material states that he likes tomboyish girls like Jeanne and feminine boys such as possibly Ryuunosuke. The 'depraved' part requires no explanation.
  • Dark Is Evil: Especially if you summon Eldritch Abomination monsters to eat children.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Caster is the main threat for the first half of the war, until Kirei takes over.
  • Establishing Character Moment: After spotting the child that Ryuunosuke has offered as a sacrifice to him, Caster unties the child, tells him he's free to go, and then uses his familiars to brutally murder him as soon as he thinks he's going to escape, then lectures Ryuunosuke about how much more satisfying it is to give someone a Hope Spot before you kill them.
  • Evil Duo: With Ryuunosuke: both are serial killers with a preference for debauchery and little kids.
  • Evil Is Hammy: As evidenced by his interactions with the other characters and Ryuunosuke.
  • Evil Is Not Well Lit: The lair he and Ryuunosuke use as their base of operations is all but shrouded in complete darkness.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: He was quite a handsome man before his descent into madness. During the Einzbern Consulation Specials, he's still ugly despite having seen the light until Iri convinces him that Jeanne is a idol (and gives him a two-fingered jab to the eyes like Jeanne used to), which has his face becomes much less ugly. Even his eyes become normal.
  • Eye Poke: Jeanne used to do this to him according to the Einzbern Consulation Room specials.
  • Fallen Hero: He used to be an ally of Jeanne d'Arc. Upon seeing the light of Excalibur he realizes how far he has fallen.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's friendly in a good mood and just adores Ryuunosuke, but he's also completely insane and has no value for human life.
  • Fish Eyes: Appropriately enough, for a character with so many references to H.P. Lovecraft. An obvious reference to the "Innsmouth Look", something that is constantly lampshaded during his appearance in the Einzbern Consulation Room specials. He loses the look after Iri jabs him in the eyes, much in the same way his beloved Jeanne used to.
  • Gibbering Genius: Emphasis on the 'gibbering'.
  • Gonk: Has Fish Eyes, a shout-out to The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
  • Heel Realization: He realizes how far he has fallen when Saber blasts him with Excalibur.
  • Historical Beauty Update: An inversion. The historical Gilles de Montmorency-Laval was quite a handsome man, if you can get past the slightly goofy hairstyle. Here? Fish Eyes, Lean and Mean, bone-white skin, and absolutely Ax-Crazy. Evil Makes You Ugly indeed! Played with in the Einzbern Consultation Room, where when Irisviel jabs him in the eyes his appearance becomes more similar to his historical self.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In 1992 the evidence presented at Gilles' trial was re-examined by a court of French ministers, parliament members and UNESCO experts and it was concluded that in all likelihood Gilles had been falsely accused and set up by rival nobles eager to seize his lands. Also in 1992, Gilles was posthumously retried by a team of lawyers, writers, historians and politicians, and was exonerated and found innocent of the crimes he had been executed for. This is referenced when Caster claims the charges of child-murder were falsified and trumped-up by nobles who wanted his lands, the same conclusion the real-life retrial came to.
  • Homage: Another name for his Noble Phantasm is the Text of the Sunken Spiraled City — also known as the R'lyeh Text. Caster's appearance itself evokes the "Innsmouth look".
  • Hope Spot: He likes to purposefully create them, to give his victims hope which he can then destroy.
  • Inept Mage: In life, he was not much of a mage, he just had a powerful spellbook. He was assigned to this class because all the others were already taken. That said, he's far from inept when he can summon a seemingly endless horde of Eldritch Abominations.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The reason he and Ryuunosuke get along so well is that they mutually appreciate each other's capacity for sadistic torture and murder.
  • Large Ham: Caster is always very enthusiastic, and prone to shouting and shrieking.
  • Lean and Mean: He's really just skin and bones under those bulky robes of his. Especially apparent in the ED.
  • Love Makes You Evil: He was once a heroic knight: valiant, handsome, basking in the glory to fight alongside Joan of Arc. He turned against God after she was burned at the stake. And from there it got worse.
  • Luminescent Blush: Displays a very luminescent blush, complete with a sparkly pink background, while thinking about Ryuunosuke in an episode of Please! Einzbern Consultation Room.
  • Mad Artist: Oh, the Squick. Also comes into play with his skill "Eye for Art", which allows him a chance to identify Noble Phantasms that are artistic in quality.
  • The Minion Master: Caster summons real, proper, Lovecraftian affronts to all sanity and nature that regenerate their flesh and always keep coming.
  • Mook Maker: His main use of Prelati's Spellbook is to summon abominations.
  • Motor Mouth: When he's getting worked up, he talks a mile-a-minute.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His final line is him realizing how far he has strayed from the noble man he was long, long ago. And then he gets hit by Excalibur.
  • Obviously Evil: Bulging eyes, bone-white skin, nails like know this guy is evil from the get-go.
  • One-Winged Angel: The most powerful spell Caster uses with Prelati's Spellbook summons a massive Eldritch Abomination, but because he lacks the ability to control such a monster, he merely forms its core while it rampages around devouring souls. It heals instantly from any wound, requiring a massive blast of instantaneous power like Excalibur to defeat it.
  • Power Born of Madness: Both directly and indirectly. Caster has the Mental Pollution skill which prevents mental interference thanks to his madness. However, this is never actually used and the skill's side effect is far more prominent, that he cannot understand anyone who is not equally insane. That is why he gets along so well with Ryuunosuke and Saber cannot convince him she is not Jeanne. Indirectly, his madness gives him power by his only magic being his demon summonings which he only ever started because Love Makes You Crazy.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Due to it being a central part of Bluebeard's legend and Ryuunosuke summoning him as the Caster class, this was a foregone conclusion. By the time he's finished though its more like a forsaken pre-school. In fact, the reason he wound up summoned (rather than some other murderously insane Spirit) may well have been because Ryuunosuke happened to have a live young boy captured at the sight of the ritual when he performed it, which he promptly offered to Caster.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: His core motivation: most of the atrocities he committed were actually to spite God (whom he blamed for Jeanne's death) and to refute the idea of divine punishment. However, he comes to change from this after Ryuunosuke convinces him that God is both the good and evil of the world, and therefore blasphemy is akin to worship for him. Caster's biggest act then comes from trying to make an atrocity so great God will actually admire it.
  • Self-Serving Memory: The way he tells the story of his death, you'd think it was entirely due to political rivals wanting to plunder his estates and had nothing to do with his murdering children as part of his demonology studies. According to history, he didn't have much of an estate for said rivals to plunder at the time of his death - between commissioning a massive theatrical tribute to Joan of Arc, his occult research, and his love of high living, he was pretty much bankrupt. The only reason he still had lands at the time of his death was because the King of France refused to let him sell any more of them to fend off his creditors.
  • Serial Killer: He spends most of the war murdering children for shits and giggles, which backfires when the war is put on hold specifically to terminate him and Ryuunosuke.
  • The Sociopath: Even worse than his master Ryuunosuke because he savors psychological pain from despair rather than torture.
  • Squishy Wizard: An odd case in that, because he was in life a knight, his physical attributes are greater than a human (he can crush skulls with his bare hands). Because he hasn't memorized any spells, he has to keep consulting his book whenever he wants to use one. However, compared to other Servants he's still physically weak and his spellbook gives him a separate, unlimited source of power for spells, meaning while he doesn't quite fit the archetype, he functions as if he did. Negate his defenses to land a single blow on him, and he goes down like a bag of dead squid.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He's convinced that Saber is Jeanne d'Arc and follows her around trying to make her realize it.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: His Mental Pollution skill is based on his mind being so twisted that (in addition to protecting him from mental interference techniques, though that doesn't come up) he cannot come to an understanding with people who don't have an equal level of Mental Pollution. He utterly fails to accept Saber's truth that she is not Joan of Arc for this reason, but can get along perfectly well with his Master because Ryuunosuke's brain is messed up just as much.
  • Summon Magic: He summons eldritch monsters to do his fighting for him rather than fight directly.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Prelati's Spellbook: The Text of the Sunken Spiraled City, the latter part of which can alternately be called R'lyeh Text. As a Shout-Out to Necronomicon from the Evil Dead series, its cover is made of human skin with a face on it. It generates its own prana and regenerates damage using its own power, and Caster can command it to summon an army of extradimensional demons or merge himself with a Lovecraftian sea monster.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Magic-wise, he's an Inept Mage at best. He relies on the bottomless mana and automatic monster-summoning of his spellbook (see above), which does most of the work for him. All he really does is cart the book around.
  • Villainous Friendship: The most insane and accidental pair of Master and Servant winds up totally compatible, even friendly, probably because they're both nuts. He is also genuinely saddened by Ryuunosuke's death.
  • Would Hurt a Child: At first it seems as though he is going to rescue the boy Ryuunosuke has captured, but then it turns out he was merely giving him a Hope Spot, at the moment of which he kills the boy viciously. It only gets worse from there.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Thinks Saber is Jeanne D'Arc and it's his duty to rescue her from God. Except that she's King Artoria and he's the very farthest thing from a savior.
  • Zerg Rush: A favourite tactic with his various summoned beasties.


The Black Knight Sir Lancelot

Voiced by: Ryotaro Okiayu (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)

"I am the shunned. The scorned. The despised. My name is unworthy of praise. My body unworthy of envy. I am the shadow cast by the Heroic Spirit's light. The darkness born in the shadow of shining legend."

Berserker is the only Servant whose identity is not given outright very early in the story. He is the Servant of Kariya and underwent Mad Enhancement of his own free will, rendering himself feral and disobedient. However, due to some special abilities, unlike most Berserkers he keeps his skill with weaponry and a level of tactical ability. In fact, he is able to adapt objects into his own pseudo Noble Phantasms, turning them into effective anti Servant weaponry. With these advantages, he appears to be unmatched in close range combat.

Berserker has next to no interest in anything other than seeking out Saber and fighting her for reasons she is unable to understand. Without a Command Spell enforcing an order, he is all but impossible to control.

The Black Knight has three Noble Phantasms: First, he is able to disguise himself using the black fog called "For Someone's Glory", which obscures most of his combat data; second is "Knight of Honor", which turns anything he can construe as a weapon into his own D-Rank Noble Phantasm the moment he touches it - including the Noble Phantasms of other Servants, should they be foolish enough to let him grab them. His final Noble Phantasm is not seen until very late in the war and reveals his true identity.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: His true sword can cut through massive concrete pillars without any trouble.
  • All There in the Manual: Einzbern Consultation Room Episode 6 greatly expands upon his character and backstory, revealing information not shown in either the novel nor the anime.
  • The Ace: His stats are god-like despite his Master being the weakest of the seven, he auto-masters anything that is conceptually recognized as a weapon that he picks up, any weapon he picks up becomes a Noble Phantasm and is capable of killing a Servant and this is all before he uses his real Noble Phantasm and gains a significant power boost. He's pretty much custom-tailored to annihilate Servants in single combat. Berserker was also The Ace in life and contributes to his skills For Someone's Glory and Eternal Arms Mastery.
  • Armor of Invincibility: He wears an armor "of quality beyond compare", which allows him to survive getting stomped by Iskandar's chariot. Later, Saber punches through it with a single stab, although this occurred after Kariya had died and robbed Berserker of prana.
  • The Atoner: As Lancelot, he was driven to madness by the fact that his king, Arthur, never blamed him or demanded penance from him because she wanted him to be happy with Guinevere, leaving him feeling that redemption was impossible. He now seeks to die by Saber's hand in order to repent for his sins.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Berserker is the most effective hand to hand fighter in the Fourth War by a fairly wide margin and has the ability to stand up to Gilgamesh, but his prana consumption rate is through the roof and eventually contributes heavily to Kariya's death and his own loss.
  • Ax-Crazy: The whole point of the Berserker Class' Mad Enhancement is to take full advantage of Power Born of Madness.
  • Badass Boast: Gives one to Kariya during a nightmare that the latter is having.
    Berserker: I am the alienated, the ridiculed, the despised. No need to praise my name. No need to envy my body. I am the shadow under the radiance of heroic spirits. Birthed of the darkness of glorious legend. And so, I hate, I resent. Nourished by the sighs of the people precipitated within the darkness, people that curse the light. This is my disgrace. Because of her unsullied glory, I must forever be belittled.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: In the Einzbern Consultation Room he wears a black suit similar to Saber's civilian attire.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Under his helmet he has long, messy hair, accentuating his feral appearance. As shown in flashbacks and in Einzbern Consultation Room, he's more of a Long-Haired Pretty Boy when he isn't insane.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: He grabs Excalibur, despite it still being sheathed in Invisible Air. This convinces Saber that he had to be someone who knew her in life, to know Excalibur's shape so well. Naturally, she's right.
  • Battle Aura: His "For Someone's Glory" Noble Phantasm should allow him to glamour himself as anyone he wishes, but due to it being inhibited by his Mad Enhancement it manifests as a smoky black aura that obscures his body and prevents others from gauging his abilities.
  • The Berserker: It's the class he was summoned into, amplifying his physical abilities at the cost of his sanity.
  • Birds of a Feather: To Saber. Heroic Self-Deprecation? Check. Easily turned into a Superpowered Evil Side by something relatively minor? Check. Holy Sword? Check. Too righteous a person for their own good? Check. Got summoned to an inadequate master? Check. Won the Superpower Lottery? Check.
  • Black Knight: Not only is his armor completely black, but its very appearance seems to warp and twist due to his For Someone's Glory Noble Phantasm.
  • Black Swords Are Better: His sword is black to match his madness. It was once a holy weapon akin to Excalibur, but has been corrupted into a demonic weapon.
  • Boring but Practical: His final Noble Phantasm, Arondight has no special abilities except doing more damaging to dragons, but it does boost all of his already high stats and makes him an absolute monster.
  • Combat Tentacles: The tassels extending from his back can be used to spread his "Knight of Honor" Noble Phantasm.
  • Conspicuous CG: In the anime, CG is used to render a lot of scenes with him in them to get across the unearthly feel that his armor radiates.
  • Cool Plane: He hijacks an F15 and turns it into a Noble Phantasm with Knight of Honor. It's ultimately destroyed by Lancer, but not before he uses it to defeat Gilgamesh's Vimana in a dogfight.
  • Cool Sword: His third Noble Phantasm, Arondight, which reveals his identity and seals For Someone's Glory and Knight of Honor.
  • The Corruption: In the anime, the effects of Knight of Honor are shown as the weapon turning pitch black and gaining red Tron Lines.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: He hijacks a fighter jet and uses it against Gilgamesh's Vimana.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He has two fights over the series with Saber. He was milliseconds from killing her the first time and only lost the second time because he ran of out prana at the last second.
  • Cursed with Awesome: A Berserker class Servant is supposed to trade away their skill, sanity and Noble Phantasms for a boost to power. However, Berserker's Eternal Arms Mastery counteracts the skill and sanity loss and only one of his Noble Phantasms requires him to be capable of thinking properly and can be circumvented with Command Seals.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Eventually achieves this after deliberately seeking it out, right down to the person he wanted to be killed by.
  • Death Seeker: Just as he dies, his Mad Enhancement wears off and he tells Arturia that he "wanted to die by her sword" to atone for his sins.
  • Dual Wielding: When Gil is shooting Noble Phantasms at him, he grabs some out of the air and begins dual wielding them, occasionally tossing one aside to grab another if he sees something more powerful.
  • Dying as Yourself: He regains his sanity as he dies.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's referred to as the "Black Knight" for the majority of the War because unlike the other Servants, his true identity is only revealed towards the end of the series.
  • Evil Laugh: In both Japanese and English, when Saber orders him to reveal his true identity he lets out a sinister chuckle before obliging.
  • The Faceless:
    • His helmet hides his face until the final day of the 4th Grail War.
    • It's shown in the Einzbern Consultation Room that putting anything that covers his entire head, such as a pot, turns his Mad Enhancement back on.
  • Fallen Hero: Berserker went mad near the end of his life, but before that was a heroic man.
  • Foreshadowing: The anime's first ending is a series of stills depicting the Servants in scenes based on paintings or sculptures based on their historical or mythological counterparts. His image shows a knight standing in a lake since he's Lancelot du Lac, "The Knight of the Lake".
  • Fangs Are Evil: When the helmet finally comes off, he is revealed to have a mouth full of pointed teeth as a result of the Mad Enhancement.
  • Guns Akimbo: During his final fight, he briefly fights with a pair of submachine guns that he has turned into his Noble Phantasms.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: His entire wish is to die at Saber's hands, because she never punished him for his love affair with Guinevere, which he saw as treason. He was then unable to reach the Battle of Camlann and therefore unable to aid his king in the battle where she died.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: He's powerful enough already, but when he takes out his true sword all of his already extremely high stats go up yet another rank.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: The very first thing we see him do in battle is catching a rocketing sword flying straight at him and swinging it immediately to deflect a second rocketing polearm that was coming right behind it. It happened so fast that only the Servants themselves could actually make out what happened. He continues to survive the barrage in this manner for another sixteen projectiles or so, and actually switches out the weapons he uses when a stronger one comes along. He even throws Gilgamesh's own weapons back at him. Everyone watching is understandably shocked, since he's supposed to not be sane enough to even think of such complicated manoeuvres, let alone perform them.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Due to his ability to turn anything he touches into a Noble Phantasm, he can end up here on occasion. During his first fight, he even wield street lamps effectively as staves.
  • Instant Expert: Due to his Rank A+ Eternal Arms Mastership skill and the Noble Phantasm Knight of Honor, he can use any weapon as though he had trained with it his entire life, even if it's totally alien to the person he was in life. Because he recognizes a fighter jet as a weapon, he can first turn it into his Noble Phantasm and then fly it far better than any human pilot.
  • The Juggernaut: Nothing anyone hits him with slows him down, save for being run over by Rider's chariot. Not even Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Back when he was still alive and before his downfall, Berserker was considered to be the "Perfect Knight", and was a role model for all knights in his era. His true identity is in fact Sir Lancelot, the archetypal Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Leitmotif
  • Lightning Bruiser: Strength? A. Agility? A+. Endurance? A. Using Arondight and getting a stat boost on top of all that? Come on, man, quit hogging all the badass!
  • The Man Makes the Weapon: Due to a combination of Eternal Arms Mastership and Knight of Honor, even something as mundane as a street lamp becomes capable of dealing out serious pain to a Servant.
  • Master of All: Swords, spears, axes, sub-machine guns, gatling guns, fighter jets, lampposts... it doesn't matter. If it's an object he's got his hands on and can be considered a weapon, he's a master at using it.
  • Master of Illusion: For Someone's Glory lets him distort and alter his appearance. The full extent of this power is revealed in Volume 4 when he convincingly disguises himself as Iskander. If not for Mad Enhancement, he could have spent the entire War pretending to be other Servants sowing chaos among the other Masters.
  • Master Swordsman: Eternal Arms Mastership allows him to fight with all the skill he had in life and he has the ability to utilize any form of combat. Not surprisingly, Saber considers him to be the strongest sword-wielding Heroic Spirit.
  • Nice Guy: In the Einzbern Consulation Room OVAs, we see him without his armor or Mad Enhancement, and he's probably one of the nicest and most polite characters in the entire franchise, as befits his characterisation in life as the purest knight of Arthur's company.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Delivers one to Saber as she was in the throes of a Heroic BSOD. Not only is he even stronger than normal, she also can't wholly muster her will to fight against Lancelot.
  • Oh Crap!: He gets this reaction from Saber and Lancer, who are visibly sweating after seeing him deflect two shots from the Gate of Babylon (actually using one projectile to knock away the other).
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Berserker was hellbent on dying by Artoria's blade to redeem himself, but his guilt and insanity twisted this into a desire to kill her himself if she failed to defeat him. Word of God is that if he were to meet any of the Saberfaces, like Joan of Arc, he would mistake them for Artoria and attack them.
  • Power Limiter: Being a Berserker limits the Black Knight's access to one of his Noble Phantasms, For Someone's Glory. While his mind is scrambled, it merely obscures his identity and abilities, shrouding him in black haze. With full rationality, it could make him appear to be other people entirely. Kariya's declining physical health also limits his ability to fight for long due to the heavy power draw.
  • Power Born of Madness: Berserkers trade sanity for power, which also makes them extremely difficult for their masters to control.
  • Power Echoes: In the English dub his voice is distorted to emphasize the corrupting effect of his Mad Enhancement.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His armour and Battle Aura are both jet black, and his visor is glowing red. When he spots Saber for the first time, the grooves in his armor glow red, and his "Knight of Honor" Noble Phantasm turns any weapon he touches black with red vein-like Tron Lines.
  • Red Baron: "The Black Knight". Back when he was alive, he was also known as "The Knight of the Lake".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A variation of the usual. His helmet visor is constantly glowing red.
  • Say My Name: His helmet-muffled vocalizations are revealed to be this. "AAAAAARTHUUUUUURRRRR!"
  • Screaming Warrior: He can't speak, but he can certainly scream.
  • Secret Keeper: When he was alive, Lancelot was a very close friend of Artoria and was one of the few who knew of the King's true gender. Even during the civil war, he never considered revealing the truth to the people.
  • The Speechless: Mad Enhancement removed his ability to speak or have complex thoughts. His consciousness is somewhat connected to his Master's, though, allowing them to "communicate".
  • Suicide by Cop: He wants to die at Saber's hands as penance.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: During his brief fight with Gilgamesh he begins throwing the swords back at Gilgamesh when he isn't deflecting them.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: His sword is an anti-dragon weapon thanks to a legend where Lancelot used it to slay a dragon. Because of this, the sword can deal additional damage to those with a "dragon" status, making Saber vulnerable to attacks from it since she has dragon's blood in her body.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: His weapon, Arondight, is supposed to be a holy sword, but Lancelot killing several of his former allies turned it black and demonic.



Voiced by: Sachie Abe, Takuo Kawamura, and Eiichiro Tokumoto (Japanese), Patrick Seitz, Karen Strassman, and Vic Mignogna (English)

"We are all acting as one Servant, and each individual is only a shadow of the whole."

Assassin is the Servant summoned by Kirei Kotomine and unlike the other Servants is not a true Heroic Spirit. Rather, he is a similar but lesser type of being that lacks a true identity. In life, he had dozens of unique personalities that each had their own skillsets, making him a master spy and assassin. As a Servant, each one is granted its own body. One body is sacrificed early on without its knowledge to give the impression that Assassin has been defeated, after which the remaining ones are free to move about without suspicion as a scouting team.

Assassin's multiple bodies are in fact his Noble Phantasm, Zabinaya. In life, Assassin could merely alter his body to suit his skill set and personality, but now he possesses the ability to manifest them all separately. Each one has to be killed in order to kill him for real.
  • Adjusting Your Glasses: Zayd in the Einzbern Consulation Room Specials.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Kotomine orders him to assassinate Tokiomi, but the attempt is abruptly cut short by Gilgamesh. Actually a subversion, the whole thing was staged in order to fool other Masters into thinking Assassin had already been eliminated.
  • Butt Monkey: The first assassin killed, called Zayd in the Einzbern Consultation Room Specials. Not only does he die, but he's eaten by Angra Mainyu almost immediately after Irisviel cheers him up. Also, Assassins in general in the specials like when they show off Lancer's Noble Phantasms by having him stab multiple assassins.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Invoked by his Noble Phantasm, as every time Assassin splits off into a separate body, his already unimpressive stats are redistributed accordingly. This makes him an exceedingly weak Servant in pure combat, especially since the Assassin class is pretty physically weak to start out with, but makes him a first rate Servant for gathering intelligence.
  • Death Is Cheap: His Noble Phantasm allows his soul to be split into eighty separate entities, all of which have to be killed before Assassin is counted as Killed Off for Real. One fragment of Assassin is sacrificed without its knowledge to fool the other Masters into thinking Assassin has been defeated. Later, he ended up fighting the guy who has a giant army as a special ability. Should have kept a body at home.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When faced with Iskander's army of Heroic Spirits, some of the Assassins try to flee, while others try to fight back. The female Assassin takes one look at the army, gives up, and stands there until she's mowed down.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The female assassin, who when faced with the sheer overwhelming numbers of the Ionian Hetaori merely dropped her knife and waited for death. Averted by the rest of them, who vainly tried to flee and were cut down as they ran.
  • Faking the Dead: The whole purpose of the staged assassination attempt on Tokiomi.
  • Large Ham: Zayd in the Einzbern Consulation Room specials.
  • Lawful Evil: In-universe alignment.
  • Legacy Character: There were 18 different Hassan-i-Sabbahs. Needless to say, this one is very different from Fate/stay night's True Assassin.
  • Literal Split Personality: While in life the different personalities were more like different skill sets, as a Servant this allows him to split each personality into its own body.
  • Rapunzel Hair: The female body has hair past her waist.
  • The Smurfette Principle: A weird case - "Assassin" is a single Servant with many bodies, most of which are not shown in distinctive detail. Of the ones that do receive attention, only one is recognizably female.
  • Split Personality: In life, he could take on any conceivable role perfectly due to this, which manifested as his Noble Phantasm as a Servant.
  • The Stoic: As you'd expect from a professional killer, Assassin's dialogue is cool and task-oriented. He is perhaps the most obedient Heroic Spirit, comfortable with following the orders of his Master whatever they happen to be and offering mild suggestions in accordance with his skills.
  • Zerg Rush: How his Noble Phantasm is ultimately put to use by Kirei. Kirei uses his Command Spell to order all of Assassin's bodies to attack Waver from every direction. The objective being to put Rider in a situation where Waver would absolutely be killed unless Rider possessed a Noble Phantasm greater than he had already demonstrated. He did.

Supporting Characters

    Irisviel von Einzbern 

Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (Japanese), Bridget Hoffman (English)

"You don't need to grieve over me. I am already part of you. Enduring only the pain of your own sundering is enough."

Irisviel is a homunculus created by the Einzbern family as a vessel to activate the Great Grail. She is Kiritsugu's wife and the mother of Ilya. Having lived her whole life inside the Einzbern castle in Europe, she is bright and cheerful, and follows Kiritsugu on pure faith and trust. During the War, she is partnered with Artoria as a decoy so the other Masters will assume that Irisviel is a Master.

She has absolute loyalty and faith in Kiritsugu's goals, though she doesn't appear to entirely understand them.
  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: She's Ilya's mom and her chronological age is about nine.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Yes and no. Einzbern alchemy is responsible for her life, but other mages clearly consider it a step down from real magic.
  • Badass Adorable: Healing isn't her only skill. She only fails to take out Kirei because he can punch trees in half.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Shows signs of this in the Einzbern Consulation Room special omakes. A result of the holy grail influencing her.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Gentle Girl to Kiritsugu's Brooding Boy. They fit in this trope so well that they're the page's image.
  • The Chick: While there are two other girls on team Kiritsugu, it's generally up to Irisviel to keep everyone from killing each other.
  • Clone Degeneration: By the latter half of the series, Iri's body deteriorates until she can stand only with the help of Avalon and Saber's presence. In her Dying Dream, she even sees all the previous homonculus bodies like her, piled in a heap and staring lifelessly.
  • The Cutie: The most idealistic and upbeat member of Team Einzbern.
  • Demonic Possession: Towards the end of the Grail War, she is killed by Kotomine. A corrupt copy of Irisviel is created by Angra Mainyu and operated like the Grail's puppet, bearing her personality and appearance but not truly being her.
  • Doting Parent: For Ilya. Tragically, this is because she knows she'll never see her again.
  • Drives Like Crazy: She's actually a pretty great driver, except that she has absolutely no idea about traffic restrictions and treats the car like it's a toy. She managed to make Saber sweat...
    Irisviel: (nailing sharp turns at high speed on a cliff-top road) See? See? I told you so! This car takes the turns really fast!
    Saber: (sweating) Well... that's because you're a... surprisingly good driver.
    Irisviel: (grinning like a maniac as the car jumps over a speed-bump) I know! You may not believe it, but I practice all the time. Of all the toys Kiritsugu has brought me over the years, this is my absolute favourite!
    Saber: Th-this is... a toy?
    Irisviel: At the castle, I was only allowed to drive around the courtyard, so this is great!
    Saber: Shouldn't we have hired a professional driver?
    Irisviel: No, that would be boring! I mean, that would be really dangerous! What if the enemy were to suddenly launch an attack against us?
  • Dying Curse: Already possessed by Angra Mainyu, "Irisviel" dies cursing Kiritsugu after he rejects the Holy Grail.
  • Evil Makeover: As her personality is finally overcome by the evil of the Grail, she appears one last time in black vestments.
  • The Glomp: Cuddly in canon, this gets turned up to eleven in the Einzbern Consultation Room Specials.
  • Happily Married: To Kiritsugu. The first episode alone shows her devotion to him and she sneaks in a "I love you" during their pre-war strategy session.
  • Healing Factor: Carries the healing artifact Avalon, though it only works when Saber is near. It saves her life when Kirei stabs her through the stomach, but she eventually gives it to Kiritsugu when it's clear she's going to die of health problems anyway.
  • Healing Hands: Her natural abilities tend towards healing.
  • Heh Heh, You Said X: This conversation she had with Saber concerning the nature of her "Riding" ability:
    Saber: If required, I could even pilot this aircraft.
    Irisviel: You could pilot it?
    Saber: My Riding ability allows me to command any beast or vehicle. Excepting only divine or fantastical beasts. Once I put it {The Saddle/Seat} between my legs and take the reins, intuition does the rest.
    Irisviel: You take it between your legs... (starts giggling)
  • Heroic Albino: Homunculi descended from Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern, the Einzberns' original homunculus, have white hair and red eyes by default.
  • Lady and Knight: She is the Lady, Saber is the Knight.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: She's the only girly girl on Team Kiritsugu and the only one with long hair.
  • Loving a Shadow: Non-romantic version. She admits she's far too sheltered to truly understand Kiritsugu's ideals or the necessity of him getting his wish, but supports that wholeheartedly since it sounds like a noble aspiration.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: Being a homunculus, she is the vessel for the Holy Grail.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: She and Kiritsugu are married, but she keeps the von Einzbern last name because it is the name of an old mage family.
  • The Medic: She has some effective healing abilities, though thanks to Lancer's cursed spear she doesn't get much of an opportunity to use them.
  • Mystical White Hair: Standard for a homunculus.
  • Nice Girl: Irisviel is the only openly friendly female member of the cast.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: A homunculus is a being created in the shape of a human with the internal structure of the phantasmal races, allowing them to freely use magic just as naturally as a normal human breaths. However, they generally do not have souls, though a naturally conceived homunculus like her daughter may be an exception.
  • Plucky Girl: Even when outmatched, Irisviel is pretty determined.
  • Pretty in Mink: She wears a fur-lined jacket and hat.
  • Proper Lady: As Lady Einzbern, though she has her moments of childish wonder.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Her casual outfit.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Goes down to her hips.
  • Rescue Romance: Her relationship with Kiritsugu began to develop after he rescued her when Jubstacheit decided to cast her into the wastes of the Einzbern forests to prove her durability.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: She dies for nothing as the Grail was already corrupted.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: She lived her whole life inside Einzbern grounds and this is her first time in the outside world. She has also admitted she doesn't understand the hardships of the world Kiritsugu wants to fix. She fits the plucky-type with child-like innocence and kindness.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Fits the bill in several ways despite being a Woman Child.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She loves Kiritsugu because of his gentler side and good desires.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Saber's tomboy. When comparing Kiritsugu's love interests, it's still girly girl to Maiya's no nonsense combatant attitude.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Her health breaks down as the Grail War continues and she dies convinced that she is making the world a better place, though she doesn't understand how.
  • The Von Trope Family: Von Einzbern
  • White Magician Girl: She mainly casts healing spells.
  • Winter Royal Lady: The Einzberns live in northern Europe.
  • Woman Child: Played with. Her childish attitude is not only because she was raised in seclusion, but also because she's younger than she appears.
  • Woman in White: To match her hair.
  • Younger than She Looks: Appears to be an adult woman in her early twenties, while her chronological age is about nine.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: She wears white thigh-high boots.

    Maiya Hisau 

Voiced by: Ayumi Tsunematsu (Japanese), Carrie Keranen (English)

"Even if I were to give up this life of mine, I would protect you till the end. Therefore, for Emiya Kiritsugu, please don't die. For the fulfilment of that man's dream."

Maiya is Kiritsugu's gunslinging partner and "other woman" of sorts, though she and Irisviel get along well. She was found as an orphan on the battlefield and saved by Kiritsugu and dedicated her life to assisting him. She is most satisfied when Kiritsugu is most businesslike and willing to Shoot the Dog. She either assists Kiritsugu move about behind the scenes, acquires and assembles the components for his plans, or helps guard Irisviel.

  • Action Girl: She can certainly handle herself well enough.
  • Almost Dead Guy: After being attacked by Berserker, she lives long enough to talk with both Artoria — who arrives almost instantly — and Kiritsugu unspecified tens of minutes later.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's tall, dark-haired, attractive, and aloof.
  • Badass Normal: No magic and no special Church-ninja training, yet still proves to be very competent, even if her only real win in a one-to-one fight is against Sola-Ui.
  • Child Soldier: Part of her backstory, as revealed near the end.
  • Dead Sidekick: Is killed by Berserker in the back half of the story.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: She dies in Kiritsugu's arms after being attacked by Berserker, but she kept telling Kiritsugu to focus on his objective instead of grieving for her.
  • Foil: To Irisviel. Both love Kiritsugu and both are mothers, but while Irisviel is a puppet who acquired human emotions, Maiya is a human who willingly shut down her emotions and became a puppet. She is also the woman in Kiritsugu's life who knows his Magus Killer personality, unlike Iri who only knows Kiritsugu's human loving side.
  • Friends with Benefits: With Kiritsugu before he met Irisviel.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In an attempt to keep Kiritsugu from mourning her.
  • It Meant Something to Me: It's explicitly stated that there's no real emotion involved on Kiritsugu's part in their Friends with Benefits relationship. Kiritsugu does it as a form of masochistic self-punishment, and as a "rehearsal" for how he'll eventually have to betray Irisviel, though Maiya still treasures it.
  • The Mistress: For Kiritsugu. On his end it's only so he can prepare himself for having to betray Irisviel.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Maiya Hisau" was the name on the first passport Kiritsugu made for her. She no longer remembers her real name.
  • Rape as Backstory: She was raped by soldiers in a war-torn battlefield before she was found by Kiritsugu.
  • Sidekick: To Kiritsugu, helping him in his Magus-assassination missions.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: As revealed by her conversations with both Kiritsugu and Irisviel.
  • The Stoic: Describes herself as emotionally dead inside.

    Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri 

Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese), Karen Strassman (English)

Sola-Ui is Kayneth's very reluctant fiancee through an Arranged Marriage and the daughter of the head of the Department of Euryphis at the Clock Tower. Kayneth bent the rules of the War by removing the burden of Prana supply to her, allowing him to keep the rights of the Master and still be an effective combatant. Sola-Ui views herself as a mere pawn in magus politics, thus she has buried her emotions completely - and for worse, when they do arise, it's because she has fallen for her fiancé's Servant Lancer, and doesn't hide her feelings for him.
  • An Arm and a Leg: She has her right arm cut off by Maiya in order to remove the Command Spells.
  • Arranged Marriage: She is engaged to Kayneth as a result of a strategic marriage arrangement and the decision of her family to entrust their crest to her older brother, Bram Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri instead. Because her brother did not succeed as a mage, there is increasing pressure from her family to marry Lord El-Melloi. Although Kayneth does have feelings for her, Sola doesn't bother to hide the fact she's unhappy with Kayneth and attracted to his Servant.
  • Bodyguard Crush: To Diarmuid, and incredibly so, though he's technically not her bodyguard to start with.
  • Irony: Threatened to cut Kayneth's arm off if he didn't surrender his Command Seals to her after his defeat. Guess what happened to her in the end?
  • Lady and Knight: She wants this with Diarmuid. Badly.
  • Longing Look: In Episode 9, as shown here
  • Love Makes You Crazy: She seems like a typical high-class Ice Queen until she falls for Lancer, after which she begins torturing Kayneth for the rights to the Command Seals.
  • Mad Love: Lancer makes it obvious that all he wants to do is serve his lord faithfully and that he isn't romantically interested in her. However, this just makes her even more infatuated. She breaks one of Kayneth's fingers as he lies paralyzed and threatens to continue unless he hands over the Command Seals to control Lancer.
  • More Than Mind Control: A magus of Sola-Ui's caliber would be able to resist Lancer's C-Rank "Mystic Face," meaning she willingly gave in to the power of the Love Spot. That, or she did resist and in the end couldn't hack it. Or she just fell for the guy and the spot had nothing to do with it.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: "Sola-Oo Nwatha-Raynote  Sophia-Ri".
  • Overly Long Name: Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri. Yeah.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Disenchanted and already aware that she was little more than a pawn in magus politics, Sola is usually indifferent and cold, especially towards Kayneth. Lancer's chivalry and bravery bring out Sola's affectionate and clingy side with incredible speed. She doesn't bother hiding it from Kayneth.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Diarmuid has to force her to stay away out of combat after she takes over, pointing out that she doesn't have Kayneth's training; Sola only gives in because she doesn't want Lancer to think she lacks confidence in him, not out of any concession to her own safety.
  • The Starscream: After falling for Lancer, she blackmails her crippled fiancé into giving her the command seals, calmly breaking one of his fingers, then threatening to amputate his arm.
  • Yandere: She calmly tortures her crippled fiancé into giving her Lancer's command seals. In her panic after her arm with the Command Spells is cut off, Sola-Ui seems less distressed by the loss of her dominant hand than she is by her connection with Diarmuid being severed. Priorities, lady.

    Aoi Tohsaka 

Voiced by: Hasumi Ito (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)

"I was prepared for something like that when I decided to marry into the Tohsaka family, when I decided to become the wife of a magus. When you enter the bloodline of a magus, it is a mistake to seek for the normal happiness of a family."

Aoi is Tokiomi's wife, the mother of his daughters and the childhood friend of Kariya Matou, who has always loved her. Despite knowing exactly what was meant by marrying a magus (ie. being used to produce a capable heir) she accepted and was happy with her life. Devoted and unquestioning, she supports all of her husband's decisions and makes no objections; the ideal 'traditional wife'.
  • Extreme Doormat: Extremely submissive, never challenges the decision to marry Tokiomi and once married never questions him, following him devotedly and obediently no matter what, even when he decides to give her youngest daughter to the Matou family. It's even more evident in the bonus Drama CDs.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Aoi was rendered brain-damaged by Kirei's machinations.
  • Hime Cut: Classical and traditional; it's a good look for her.
  • House Wife: This is basically her assigned role; homemaking and heir-producing.
  • Oblivious to Love: Has no idea of Kariya's feelings for her. This goes rather badly after she tells him he never loved anyone in her grief over Tokiomi's death. Kariya snaps and strangles her.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She calls Kariya out when she wrongly believes he killed her husband, and even blames him for Sakura being taken away, since Kariya leaving the Matous is why Sakura was adopted into them.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Wants to and tries to be this but lacks the "iron core", leaving her as more of a doormat.

    Risei Kotomine 

Voiced by: Masashi Hirose (Japanese), Michael Donovan (English)

"I am obliged. My debt toward the Holy Church and both generations of the Kotomine family will be carved as a family precept."

Risei is the Church appointed overseer for the Grail War and the the father of one of the participants, Kirei. He secretly supports the Tohsaka family due to a close friendship with Tokiomi and faith in his goals. While he is proud of his son, he does not understand what torments him, seeing only a talented and tortured young man.
  • Badass Grandpa: Kirei didn't learn his martial arts as an Executor, Risei taught him. His badassery is gone as of the time of the story, or at least we do not see it.
  • Badass Pacifist: Unlike his son, he uses Baji Quan as a meditation method and for pacifying opponents, whereas his son uses it to kill.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Before dying, Risei leaves the letters "jn424" transcribed in blood, so he can transfer the Command Spells to Kirei.
  • Dies Wide Open: Kirei waves them shut.
  • Doting Parent: He thinks that he knows what makes his son tick. Unfortunately...
  • Eyes Always Shut: His eyes never seem to open.
  • Grandpa, What Massive Hotness You Have: Under the Church robes, Risei is supremely ripped.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Risei trusts Kirei unconditionally, although this is kind of justified - Kirei is Risei's son.
  • Older Than They Look: Considering Risei apparently supervised the 3rd Holy Grail War as well, which happened 60 years prior to the story, he has to at least 79-ish, but he only looks maybe 55.

    Zouken Matou 

Voiced by: Masane Tsukayama (Japanese), Michael Donovan (English)

"There were terrible cries for the first three days, but by the fourth day, she was silent. Today, she was thrown at dawn in the worm storage to test how well she would last, but, ho ho, she endured it for half a day and is still breathing. What do you know, the Tōsaka material isn't defective."

Zouken is the head of the Matou/Makiri family, grandfather to Shinji Matou and uncle to Kariya Matou. Before the beginning of the story, Tokiomi decides that the Matou family would make a good home for his younger daughter as mage families are not supposed to have multiple children. Thus, Zouken becomes her adoptive grandfather. Unfortunately for Sakura, Tokiomi is a terrible judge of character and Zouken is, in fact, extremely cruel and manipulative. He has no plans of giving Sakura real training and instead introduces her to the Matou parasitic worm pit. Upon learning what has happened, a horrified Kariya makes a deal with Zouken that if he obtains the Grail for him, Sakura will be returned to her true family.

Zouken desires to use the Grail to become immortal. While he is already two hundred years old thanks to his use of the worms, his body is starting to fail him. Because he doubts Kariya's ability to win the Grail by his own merit, he infests him with worms that temporarily boost his abilities in exchange for causing him agony and a death sentence.
  • Bald of Evil: He is bald and very evil. How evil? He has his Crest Worms rape a child in order to turn her into a replacement body for himself.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: His sclera are black, although he has white pupils.
  • Dirty Old Man: Has the worms that comprise his body violate Sakura on a daily basis.
  • Evil Old Folks: An old man and an abhorrent scumbag.
  • For the Evulz: He sends Kariya into the 4th War, although he considers Kariya's victory improbable from the very start, just because he wants to torture Kariya for betraying his expectations and leaving from the Matou clan. In fact, he does much to ensure Kariya will fail and endure horrible pain in the meantime.
  • Genre Savvy: When the demonic Caster was summoned, he immediately deduced that the Holy Grail system had erred, which caused the Grail's corruption and dismisses any chance of winning it, something Tokiomi and the Einzberns never realize through the whole war. He also discerns Kirei's true nature upon meeting him, and is very much aware of the stealth activities Kirei has been engaging in without Tokiomi's knowledge.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Though he is a Big Bad in one of the routes of Fate/stay night, his presence is relegated to the background in Fate/Zero.
  • Immortality Seeker: He wants the Grail to live forever.
  • Jerkass: Just look at what this evil bastard did to both Kariya and Sakura.
  • Karma Houdini: His survival is a foregone conclusion due to his presence in the Fifth Grail War.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He is over two centuries old. In fact, he's one of the mages who established the Grail War to begin with.
  • The Sadist: Zouken has no faith whatsoever in Kariya winning the Grail War, and gets a kick out of seeing his futile struggling and suffering.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He mentally and physically violates Sakura using his Crest Worms, turning her into a Broken Bird.
  • The Worm That Walks: His body is made of the worms he uses to attack people with.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Whether Kariya wins the 4th Grail war or not, he's happy. If he wins, then it is a Matou victory. If he loses, then he gets to watch Kariya suffer, which is something he never tires of.

    Byakuya Matou 

Voiced by: Katsumi Toriumi (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English)

"Kariya? I don't know where that fool is!"

Byakuya Matou is the father of Shinji, brother of Kariya and eldest nephew of Zouken Matou. He was passed over as heir to the family due to holding almost no magical potential.

He died three years prior to Fate/stay night and he only is mentioned in flashbacks.
  • Ascended Extra: Went from a deceased minor character in Fate/stay night to a whole scene in the prequel...where Kiritsugu subjects him to a beating trying to get Kariya's location out of him. Lucky him!
  • Bystander Syndrome: The novel clearly states that Byakuya doesn't care about what happens to Sakura, Kariya or the family and simply follows Zouken orders out of resignation.
  • Cain and Abel: Byakuya hates Kariya and believes that because of Kariya leaving he had to endure the cursed destiny of the family much in the same way Shinji hates Sakura in the original. When Kariya returns, Byakuya believes it's for a selfish reason.
  • Dirty Coward: It's Shinji's dad we're talking about.
  • Does Not Like Magic: According to the Fate/Zero' Material he despises magic and wants nothing to do with it. And according to Fate/stay night, he also wanted his son not to get involved as well.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: More obvious in the novel, in which he starts cursing Kariya and blaming him for his misery.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Despite the horrible way he treated Sakura and the distant way he treated Shinji in his later years, he truly cared about his son enough to try hiding the background of the family from him, as shown in the backstory in Fate/stay night.
  • Family Theme Naming: Byakuya and his younger brother Kariya have names referring to birds (crane and goose, respectively).
  • Freudian Excuse: Due to being considered as a disgrace by Zouken because of his few magic circuits, he is an Alcoholic Jerkass who hates everything related to magic.
  • Jerkass: In both the novel and Drama CD.
  • Like Father, Like Son: They even share several tropes.
  • Never My Fault: In the novel he even justifies his drinking habits.
  • Parental Neglect: The Drama CD reveals that Zouken ignored him because of his lack of Magic Circuits.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Byakuya is selfish and cowardly while Kariya was brave enough to abandon his family and potential happiness with Aoi for her own sake.
  • The Resenter: Towards Kariya.
  • The Unfavorite: Kariya was supposed to be the Matou successor while nothing was ever expected of Byakuya. However, Kariya ran away, meaning Zouken holds both in contempt now.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair


    Rin Tohsaka 

Voiced by: Kana Ueda (Japanese), Mela Lee (English)

Rin is the elder daughter of Tokiomi and Aoi. She is energetic, outspoken and shows great promise as a magus. Her father Tokiomi is responsible for training her.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the anime, she manages to stand against Ryunosuke Uryu and free a bunch of children he had captured. And keep in mind she was only 8 years old at the time. There was no such segment in the light novel, however, where she was attacked by a monster and saved by Kariya before she could enter the enemy's lair. note 
  • Badass Adorable:
    • In the anime, using a magical trinket and her own barely-controlled powers to thwart Ryuunosuke.
    • Standing up to school bullies and making them back down with words alone.
  • Daddy's Girl: She adores Tokomi, treasures the time he spends teaching her gem sorcery and really wanted to help him win the Holy Grail War. All of this is consistent with how she's characterized in Fate/stay night.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Gets a short chapter from her POV in the book and it is expanded into a full-fledged episode, fittingly titled Rin's Adventure, in the anime adaptation.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Her appearance, emphasizing her cheerful youthfulness.
  • Kid Hero: Takes a shot at this during her spotlight chapter/episode. In the novel it ends in complete failure. In the anime her attempt is more successful.
  • Saved by Canon: Since she's a major character in Fate/stay night, it's unlikely the Caster-Uryu duo would be able to cause her any harm.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Being a beginner, she's not all that good at controlling her magical ability but she's strong enough to destroy the hypnosis bracelet Caster gave Uryu.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Even back when she was a child she sported this look.

    Sakura Matou 

Voiced by: Noriko Shitaya (Japanese), Cristina Valenzuela (English)

Sakura is the younger daughter of Tokiomi and Aoi. She was given away to the Matou family because the laws of the magus world prevented Tokiomi from training more than one of his daughters to carry on his family's tradition, and Tokiomi didn't want Sakura's potential to go to waste. However, Zouken is not really training her as a magus but instead putting her through hell. Kariya made a deal with Zouken to win the Holy Grail in exchange for Sakura's freedom to return to the Tohsaka family.

    Ilyasviel von Einzbern 

Voiced by: Mai Kadowaki (Japanese), Stephanie Sheh (English)

Ilya is the daughter of Kiritsugu and Irisviel. She is perhaps the only person that Kiritsugu is shown acting entirely comfortable and happy with, which surprises Saber somewhat.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Half Japanese, half German (since her mother is a German-made homunculus).
  • Cheerful Child: Surprisingly, given how she acts during the fifth War.
  • The Cutie: Bright and cheerful, in stark contrast to her Fate/stay night self.
  • Daddy's Girl: Eagerly awaits Kiritsugu's return. That he never comes back is a big reason for her rage towards Shirou.
  • Heroic Albino: Red eyes and white hair are shorthand for Einzbern homunculi. At this point she doesn't show Evil Albino tendencies like she does in Fate/stay night, since she's still a genuine Cheerful Child.
  • I Will Wait for You: She promises Kiritsugu to wait for him until he returns from his "business trip" during their last moment together.
  • Mystical White Hair: Like all the Einzbern homunculi, she has pure white hair.
  • Nom de Mom: Given the Von Einzbern's are essentially mage royalty, this is to be expected.
  • Older Than She Looks: As opposed to her mother. Due to being a homunculus that was born instead of created, she doesn't have a 'set' age from the beginning nor does she grow like a normal human would. Kiritsugu guesses (correctly) that she'll never have secondary sexual characteristics.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: Ilya is a naturally-conceived homunculus. This has warped her growth patterns so that despite being around eight years old she is absolutely tiny, only weighing about twenty pounds.
  • The Von Trope Family: The Von Einzbern is from Germany.

    Shirou Emiya 

Voiced by: Junko Noda (Japanese), Mona Marshall (English)

Shirou is a boy Kiritsugu finds while wandering through the destroyed city after the War. Finding a survivor gives Kiritsugu some measure of hope that his own life is still worth something. Ten years down the line, Shirou becomes the protagonist of Fate/stay night.
  • Empty Shell: Partial. Pretty much everything about this child was lost in the flames. He is later able to build a new identity for himself, but who he was before the fire is gone completely.
  • Future Badass: He is the future protagonist of Fate/Stay Night.
  • Happily Adopted: He was taken in and raised by Kiritsugu.
  • Heroic Resolve: It's eventually revealed in "Unlimited Blade Works" that this is a trait that survived with him.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Discovering him alive in the rubble is all that kept Kiritsugu from succumbing completely to despair.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Not a hero in this story, but he becomes one later on.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: He vows to take on Kiritsugu's ideals with blind faith when his adoptive father is dying.

Past Characters


Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki (Japanese), Carrie Savage (EN)

"Kerry, what kind of adult do you want to be when you grow up?"

Shirley is a young Filipino woman whom Kiritsugu was friends with in his childhood. She admired the work of Kiritsugu's father and acted as his assistant. Unfortunately, her curiosity got the better of her and without Norikata's approval she tested a potion he was making on herself, causing her to undergo a vampiric transformation.

    Norikata Emiya 

Voiced by: Isshin Chiba (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English)

Norikata was Kiritsugu's father and a magus researching manipulation of time who took up residence in the rustic, out-of-the-way Alimango island. While his experiments proved successful for plants, they were not suitable for use on humans.
  • Destroy the Evidence: He attempts to destroy the evidence of the disaster that took out the island's population, waving it all off as the results of a failed experiment.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Just like Kiritsugu, possibly due to his failures towards finding immortality.
  • Immortality Seeker: While working out a way to bring immortality to humans through time control, he stumbled across the problem most magi do: it means you become a Dead Apostle.
  • Karmic Death: Out of concern for Kiritsugu, who had just got out from the house and saw the Zombie Apocalypse in the village caused by Shirley and his own potion, he waits for him so they could escape together. His son stabs him and then shoots him three times.
  • Megane: Wears glasses around, fitting for a professor.
  • Perma Stubble: Like his adult son.
  • Posthumous Character: He died not long after Shirley when his son stabbed him and then shot him three times in cold blood.
  • The Stoic: Consistently even toned in all circumstances. He burns his research notes without hesitation and reacts to the news of Shirley's death as if it were a prediction of bad weather.

    Natalia Kaminski 

Voiced by: Akeno Watanabe (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)

Natalia was a freelance mercenary who sold information concerning Noritaka and his research on vampires. She rescued a young Kiritsugu from Arimago Island and took him as her apprentice. Over time, she became a mother figure to him.
  • Action Girl: A requirement for her line of work is killing efficiently.
  • Badass: Trained Kiritsugu, specializes in killing mages.
  • Badass Longcoat: Like her protege.
  • Cold Sniper: Pleasant when she wants to be, but on the job she's all business.
  • Cynical Mentor: To Kiritsugu for the tactics and outlook.
  • Expy: Basically a gun-toting version of Aozaki Touko. Her design in the anime even resembles the original, novel-only design of Touko.
  • Parental Substitute: Her last speech was about how she found herself thinking of Kiritsugu as a son, much to her own surprise. Kiritsugu clearly agrees.
  • Posthumous Character: She died when the plane she was on was destroyed by Kiritsugu.

    Claudia Ortensia

Claudia Ortensia was Kirei Kotomine's wife, who died three years prior to the 4th Grail War. She was nearing death and wanted to prove to her husband that he truly had compassion in his heart, so she committed suicide to remind him of this. However, her actions only brought him into deeper despair when she failed.
  • Driven to Suicide: Due to being married to a man who was unable to love her in a conventional way. Her suicide was also an attempt to make Kirei actually care about her (or at least her death), but it didn't work.
  • Go Out with a Smile: After committing suicide. She thought her plan had worked and Kirei crying proved he loved her, but in reality he was crying because he wouldn't get to kill her.
  • Ill Girl: Part of the reason that Kotomine tried to love her is because she was ill.
  • Love Martyr: She was devoted to a man who was literally incapable of loving her in a way she would understand, but like everyone else, including Kotomine himself, she was not aware of his true nature.
  • Posthumous Character: She died several years before the Fourth Grail War began.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: She ended up committing suicide in hopes that Kirei would find compassion within himself again. Not only did it fail, it drove him further into despair.


    Angra Mainyu
Irisviel possesed by Avenger
The Greater Grail
Angra Mainyu was once a man living in the 6th century Middle East, chosen to be persecuted and tortured by his people as the incarnation of "All the World's Evil". His peoples' veneration of him as such enabled his soul to become a corrupt Heroic Spirit upon death, and during the Third Holy Grail War, the Einzberns summoned him as the Servant called Avenger while trying to summon the Zoroastrian God of Evil Angra Mainyu, who they mistook him for. Avenger was slain due to his weakness, but when his soul was taken into the Greater Grail, it granted the wish of the people who had sacrificed the man and transformed his soul into the incarnation of All the World's Evil. Contained within and corrupting the Greater Grail, Angra Mainyu waits to be reborn so that it can fulfill its own desires: the destruction of humanity.

As a result of it corrupting the Greater Grail, anti-heroes and villains like Berserker and Caster were able to be summoned during the Fourth Grail War.
  • Answers to the Name of God: The reason Avenger got involved in the Grail War in the first place. He's not actually the evil god of Zoroastrianism, but the mortal man whose tortured existence as a scapegoat for all the evils in the world formed the basis of the mythological Angra Mainyu. Thus, when the Einzberns went fishing for said deity in the Third Grail War, they got him instead.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Angra Mainyu can be seen as embodying this. The ancient Zoroastrians wished for him to become the embodiment of All The World's Evil, and with the help of the Greater Grail that wish came true.
  • Blob Monster: Contained within the Grail, it manifests as a cursed black ichor that corrupts and destroys everything it touches.
  • Burn Baby Burn: It grants Kirei's and Gilgamesh's wish to watch the world burn by starting the Great Fuyuki Fire.
  • Breaking Speech: Gives one to Kiritsugu when it interrogates him, appearing in the form of his wife, daughter, and other loved ones while bluntly deconstructing his ideology.
  • Call Forward: The black sludge that turns Saber into Saber Alter in Fate/stay night's "Heaven's Feel" route is what gives Gilgamesh a physical body and causes the Great Fuyuki Fire. In the light novel, it appears before Gilgamesh in Avenger's form from Fate/hollow ataraxia, and in the anime's Einzbern Consultation Room's opening, Avenger's true form and Shades attack Taiga.
  • The Corruption: Following Avenger's defeat in the Third Grail War, he corrupted the Greater Grail into a vessel to contain his essence in preparation for his rebirth - which is revealed for the first time in-universe in Fate/Zero. The black sludge Angra Mainyu produces contaminates the souls of anything it touches, giving Servants a physical body and limitless prana but turning them evil, a process referred to as blackening. It's how Saber is transformed into Saber Alter in "Heaven's Feel". Gilgamesh partially resists being blackened, attaining a physical body but not being driven mad due to his ego.
  • Curse:
    • Angra Mainyu's hatred manifests as a curse called All The World's Evil, which causes Heroic Spirits exposed to it to have their alignment twisted into evil. After Angra Mainyu merges with the Greater Grail, the curse manifests as black ichor that consumes and corrupts everything it touches.
    • When Kiritsugu refuses to unleash it, Angra Mainyu furiously curses him to suffer in despair until the day he dies.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Angra Mainyu impersonates Irisviel to interrogate Kiritsugu.
  • Demonic Possession: It slowly corrupts Irisviel over the course of the series.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Angra Mainyu was once a human-turned-Heroic Spirit, but after merging with the Greater Grail it became the incarnation of All the World's Evil. In the 2014 Unlimited Blade Works anime it imperfectly manifests as a massive humanoid torso with two glowing red slit-shaped openings, one in its chest and one in its head; and in the Heaven's Feel route it partially manifests as the Shadow using Sakura as a host.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: When partially manifested, the Greater Grail appears as an organic black tower with jagged prongs at the top and the Gate to Akasha floating overhead in the form of a black hole, sucking up the wishes and curses of mankind and vomiting out Angra Mainyu's black ichor.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Angra Mainyu is calm, polite, even cheerful, when explaining its plans to wipe out humanity. This is because it assumed Irisviel's form and personality to speak to Kiritsugu.
  • Fetus Terrible: The Greater Grail serves as Angra Mainyu's womb as it waits to accumulate the power necessary to be reborn.
  • God of Evil: It bears the name Angra Mainyu, and while it was not a god the Grail's wish-granting power has transformed it into something arguably much worse. According to Fate/complete material III, were it to be reborn via the Grail, it would be as an abomination with power befitting its moniker.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Of the Fate series as a whole, being the entity responsible for the Greater Grail's corruption.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: While the Greater Grail itself technically had no will of its own, Angra Mainyu's cursed soul took over and corrupted it. When asked if it is the will of the Grail, it ambiguously states that said interpretation is not incorrect.
  • I Know Your True Name: Kiritsugu unwittingly invokes it during his argument with Saber, causing it to become interested in him, deeming him worthy of being the one to unleash it.
  • Jackass Genie: The Greater Grail is more-than willing to grant the wishes of those who attain the Holy Grail... in a method that ensures mass destruction and death.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Talks to Kiritsugu, Kirei, and Gilgamesh in a mental world after engulfing them in its black sludge.
  • Kill All Humans: After merging with the Greater Grail, Angra Mainyu became an entity specifically suited for killing humans, coming behind Type Mercury and tied with Primate Murder.
  • Made of Evil: The black ichor it manifests as is literally a manifestation of its hatred and bloodlust towards everything.
  • Mind Rape: Angra Mainyu bluntly points the flaws of Kiritsugu's methodology with three Sadistic Choice questions, leaving him a broken man.
  • Muck Monster: Its primary manifestation is as a cursed black ichor that corrupts or destroys whatever it touches.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Espouses this when it converses with Kiritsugu.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: It wants to destroy all of humanity.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Its curse manifests as black ooze with pulsing, glowing red patches.
  • Red Baron: It is referred to as Angra Mainyu, All the World's Evil, or All the Evils of the World, but has no true name. Those who don't know what it truly is refer to it as the object which it has taken over and corrupted: the Greater Grail.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A lifetime of torture drove the man who became Avenger insane with hatred towards humanity, and it is sealed inside the Holy Grail.
  • Super Empowering: Angra Mainyu's black sludge gives Gilgamesh a physical body and Kirei an artificial heart.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The Einzbern Consultation Room shorts reveal that it consumes the slain Heroic Spirits and absorbs their mana.