The massive fire/death/destruction was not Kirei's wish; it was Gilgamesh's.
Earlier in the novel, Gilgamesh informs Kirei that he should get a wish ready even if he doesn't have one because the Grail grants whatever wish is closest when it manifests; usually that's the winner of the tournament, but it doesn't have
Kiritsugu shot Kirei after their fight, and since the 'mud' of the corrupted Grail had to build him a new heart to get him on his feet we can assume that he was functionally if temporarily dead. With Kirei dead, Kiritsugu having rejected the Grail, and Saber's failure to get her
wish a Foregone Conclusion
, the only being left around - and who was actually inside
the Grail, not to mention managing to metaphysically overcome it and escape - was Gilgamesh. Though his later wish is to rule over the remnants of humanity, his over-arching interest throughout Fate/Zero is alleviating his boredom; by the halfway point he's clearly settled on Kirei as the most likely prospect to achieve that goal.
Having prodded him in the direction of The Unfettered
over the past several chapters, Gilgamesh knows that all Kirei needs is some kind of validation to prove his 'inversed soul' should be satisfied: Conjuring a scene of such devastation, which he knows will appeal to Kirei's 'joy,' is more than enough to get the priest to accept his distortion and proceed along such a path. Which of course, for Gilgamesh, is Just as Planned
: Now he has someone to keep him supplied with prana and
entertainment until the next Grail War comes along and makes him King.
The long-haired man (or the cowled one) seen inside Ionioi Hetairoi in episode 11 is the future Waver.
Let's think it like this: Ionioi Hetairoi is, in Iskander's own words, generated by the feelings treasured by him and his warriors; so strong those bonds are, that the power of the bond coalesced and formed a Reality Marble. Now, we have little proof if present!Waver will indeed go on and die a Heroic Spirit, but Iskander and Waver have undoubtedly forged a treasured bond between them. By that merit alone, I think Waver had more than earned his place to walk beside Iskander in Ionioi Hetairoi.
Also, the Throne of Heroes is situated outside the passage of time. Even future heroes (EMIYA) can be summoned from it, as FSN!Rin has demonstrated. Now if Ionioi Hetairoi somehow summoned the spirits bonded with Iskey from the Throne of Heroes, it surely can summon future!Waver too.
- It even says as much in the novel—that Waver and Rider's bond is beyond time, that is. To quote: "There was no need for words. From this day until the end of time, the servant would be guided by the figure of the King, and the servant would remain loyal to that memory. In the face of the oath, even separation was meaningless; under the command of Alexander, the bond formed between King and servant was eternal and beyond time."
- It doesn't specifically mention Ionian Hetairoi, but it certainly suggests that Rider and Waver are eternally connected to one another, well beyond death. Anyway, as to the idea that Waver can't join Ionian Hetairoi because it's implausible that he could become a Heroic Spirit, this troper thinks that the bulk of Alexander's army is made up of spirits on the level of lower-class Servants, not necessarily Heroic Spirits in and of themselves—unless we're really expected to believe that every single one of that huge body of soldiers that doesn't have a unique character design are remembered and venerated in legend. Alexander remembers them and honors their bond, and they are loyal to him, and that's what counts, not whether or not the world remembers all of their names. In that light, the only possible reason left that Waver would not become part of Ionian Hetairoi is that he and Alexander shared a different dream than that vast desert—but that just leaves open a window for Waver to become a lesser Servant Alexander can call to his side individually, and somehow this troper doesn't think that's an alternative anyone is going to mind.
- Because Alexander is a Caster now, and thus capable of summoning Heroic Spirits, even lesser ones, who are not related to his actual legend. There's also the point that was made about Alexander being able to remember every one of their names, and the fact that only Alexander's copy met Waver: The original, the real Alexander who knew his army while he and they lived, did not meet Waver, and when that copy died and was deleted his experiences/memories were not transferred to the original within the Throne of Heroes. It's mentioned that even if Waver summoned Alexander into the Fifth Holy Grail War the new Rider wouldn't remember anything that had happened because each Servant is a copy that's deleted upon completion a given War, save for those with explicitly-stated exceptions: Archer EMIYA is a Counter-Guardian, Saber Arturia isn't actually dead so there are no copies of her, only the actual original Arturia being summoned, and Gilgamesh got a physical body and hung around between the Fourth and Fifth Wars so the deletion didn't apply. Alexander, as far as we know, lived and died and became a standard Heroic Spirit, so the rules as laid out would apply. There is such a thing as metaphor, and the way that Waver changes after his experiences with Alexander - even to taking up Alexander's colors - is just as likely if not more so to be what's meant by 'Alexander's figure guiding Waver.' In such a case, mentioning that it's beyond time and space simply illustrates that despite the circumstances surrounding the relationship, including Waver being the only one left who remembered it, Waver still retains his feelings about it as well as the lessons he learned.
- Out of curiosity, where exactly is it stated that a newly-summoned Alexander wouldn't remember Waver? I don't recall coming across that anywhere, whereas I have come across statements like these, from the wikia: "It is possible for this main body to become aware to some extent of what happened by accessing the records of Akasha." "As is it known that Servants are eventually returned to the Throne after being defeated, it is possible that the summoned Heroic Spirits are able to retain the memories of when they were Servants."
- In addition, the LN hints that Gilgamesh is an example of one-he's stated to be aware of other times he's beens summoned (no idea who by or what for, likely Alaya or something)to the world, 'to farces that were battles in name only' or words to that effect. In addition, the Throne of Heroes is outside time, so I wouldn't be surprised if guys from the future made it into Ionioi Hetairoi, especially since there's what looks like Roman armour in there-Rome rose after Alexander, and many of its generals were inspired by him. In the end, who's to say?
- Firstly, I wouldn't recommend taking the wikia at face-value; among other things, it calls Rider's mode of dress "romanian" when it should be Roman and is often uncited. That said, and I'm avoiding a quote-war here, it's made plain in the Fate/Stay Visual Novel (talking about Saber's unique condition as a Heroic Spirit/Servant), the Fate/Zero novel (particularly Kirei's comment about Tokiomi not caring about sacrificing Gilgamesh since he's only a copy), and the supplementary materials (primarily artbooks and interviews) translated as part of the now-defunct Fuyuki wiki that unless it's made plain within a given installment that a particular Servant is "special" all Servants are deleted after a war since they're just copies of a Heroic Spirit. The Throne of Heroes has been established as something like an archive, "saving" those it considers "heroic" in their peak form; the reason copies are created and summoned rather than the real thing is that the Throne considers the spirits in its database to be perfect, so it removes that particular soul from the 'wheel of fate' to preserve its perfection. Changing that data - including adding new data, i.e. memories of Waver - would alter the original spirit's save-state so that it would no longer be the perfect spirit the Throne chose, and thus it would be erased. While it is theoretically possible for a Heroic Spirit within the Throne to access its database, they would likely face the above fate - deletion - unless they're already specified to be exempt from the standard rules. EMIYA, Arturia, and Gilgamesh are three who, as explained, are exempt due to special status or circumstances: Alexander was summoned normally (as a copy) and dispersed normally, so the Rider we and Waver knew during the Fourth War was deleted in order to preserve the Real Alexander saved within the Throne of Heroes. Regarding the above quotes, it would be more accurate to say that the data gathered by the copies, their experiences and memories, do return to the Throne because the Throne is effectively omniscient, at the same time that the power sustaining the Servant in question is dissipated and returns to the Grail/Throne: However, that does not automatically give the original Spirit the memories of their copies, and the Spirits themselves are in a kind of stasis as part of being 'frozen'/preserved in their perfect state so the chances of a Heroic Spirit rummaging through the Throne's database is unlikely, again unless they're stated to be an exception.
- Personnally, I'd like to believe that this is indeed waver. Alexander is a man who managed to screw the rules of time and space by being simply too awesome for the world to handle. It wouldn't really be weird for him to do it once again to remember waver and welcome him in his personnal guard.
- There's definitely no reason one couldn't believe it was Waver, and this is Wild Mass Guessing: Combine it with There Is No Such Thing as Notability and MST3K Mantra and you're good. But in the sense of "Alexander less 'screwed the rules' and more 'put up a really good fight while supported by all three Command Seals,'" there's a distinct divide between what we're given in the actual series vs. what would allow such a theory to be true. Again, that's absolutely no reason not to believe it; there's just evidence to say that yes, it would be really weird, Broskander or not.
- We know what Waver looks like as an adult◊ and we also know he never became a particularly epic magus, mostly just a fine tutor/teacher with a bit of a crabby attitude. On the other hand our Servant while similar is perhaps less so in his original illustration◊ and notably appears about the same age but wears a different outfit. Now the Nasuverse timeline doesn't go far enough, but why the switch-up in a short period of time? Now this IS the Nasuverse where rules are only written to explain how rare and strange the exceptions (that make up the cast) are, so could Waver get himself added by breaking all the rules... sure. There's nothing to say he did though. Its left more likely this is just a resemblance and its an ancient Servant like all the rest, like the other Ionians that look kinda like Gil.
- My take is that Iskander's Reality Marble contains a personal Throne of Heroes that stores his comrades (or rather their soul/memory) as Heroic Spirits. This personal Throne is also transcendent of space and time. Given the lofty goals that Rider dreams of and how he often remarks about the size of the World and how small he really is compared to it, his Reality Marble would emulate the thing that stands both with and against the World.
- Could it not be possible that the Throne of Heroes found Alexander to be more perfect after participating in the war? Which is to say that the "save file" was intentionally overwritten?
Kotomine killed Tokiomi, in part, out of affection.
The turning point in Kotomine's development comes from acknowledging his regrets over being unable to have killed his wife and father. However, Kotomine is shown to be capable of some
emotion, and while he can't feel happiness or love like a normal human, he nonetheless assigns importance to his father and his wife. As his master and teacher, and as someone who is explicitly compared to Kotomine's wife and father (who loved Kotomine, but didn't understand him), Tokiomi was probably also someone Kotomine cared for in the same twisted way. After all, Kotomine sincerely defends Tokiomi against Gilgamesh's earlier criticisms, and the novel notes that even Kotomine is surprised that he's angry on Tokiomi's behalf. Having realized that his regrets stem from being unable to kill his loved ones, Kotomine murders Tokiomi, partly out of the necessity of taking Gilgamesh as his Servant, and partially to finally achieve the satisfaction of killing someone important to him with his own hands.
A miraculous birth (his father mentions thathe hadn't expected a child at his age) of a male child, who grows up to have surpassing talent and skill, and whose soul is confirmed 'evil' despite his attempts to deny it
? Since we don't know anything about Kirei's mother, and his father was a good, normal man, I propose that Kirei's absent mother was The Devil
in mortal form, as pious clergy are favorite and dramatically-appropriate targets for fictional demons. The man of the church would sire a son who was the inverse of church doctrine, and being raised in the Church would prevent Kirei's true nature from being detected before he was ready to fulfill his destiny. This explains his seemingly-arbitrary evil - unlike Shirou, who becomes void as a result of the fire, Kirei was "just born that way" - as well as his drive to seek answers through the Corrupted Grail, fulfilling his as-yet-unknown purpose of destroying the world. Given his role as an outwardly respectable priest and spiritual healer, Kirei might also qualify as a villainous Dark Messiah
. Of course, given Nasuverse cosmology, as well as vague Word of God
on whether or not the Judeo-Christian God
exists in it, some modifications are necessary... but this is the gist.
And to make this a Fate/stay night
WMG as well, this would cast Emiya Shirou as the Messianic Archetype
. Of humble beginnings, both human and not quite human thanks to his 'empty' soul, and with a foil in Kirei, Shirou's determination to sacrifice himself for others ultimately proves to be Kirei's undoing.
- Alternately, the roles are reversed. Given that Mankind is canonically "evil" in the Nasuverse, Kotomine Kirei was actually intended to end the world as the "good" option, purifying it of the modern, corrupted strain of humanity. Those who try to preserve the present world are "heroes," whose roles as saviors of the mostly-evil human race justifies their suffering: They're trying to save what would be better destroyed, at least in the impartial view.
Had Waver participated to the Fifth War, he would have summoned Iskandar again, and the Einzberns would have summoned Caesar
to counter him
Because if there's a Servant who could summon an army like Iskandar's it would be him. And their battle would be legendary
- Why settle for Caesar when you can have Gilgamesh, who ruled the entire world before the continents split. He has an army much greater than any others, and he cared for his men once Enkidu helped him become a non-asshole.
- Why would the Einzberns summon Gilgamesh if they had any idea at all about how the Fourth War played out? Gilgamesh is hardly a reliable Servant, as proven by his treatment of Tokiomi, and the Einzberns would have had enough of their "trump card" turning against them with Kiritsugu. Granted, the Einzberns aren't necessarily known for making the smartest choices when it comes to the Holy Grail...
- Why would they not summon him? The only reason he betrayed Tokiomi was because he found Tokiomi a boring, restricted man. As long as his master isnīt, heīs easily the most valuable servant you could ever have.
- Sure, if you don't mind a Servant who will treat you like he's the Master, who will disrupt or disobey your strategy as far as he's able to if the whim strikes, and who regularly loses because his ego won't let him take opponents seriously. Gilgamesh is theoretically valuable, but in practice, it would be better to summon a less-overpowered but more reliable Servant. Of course, this assumes that the Einzberns had some way of knowing about Gilgamesh's proclivities after the Fourth War.
- Worth noting that Gilgamesh only betrayed Tokiomi after he learned that Tokiomi intended to betray him (by intending to sacrifice him to the Holy Grail). Up until that point, he seemed content to just go along with Tokiomi's plan, albeit with occasional modifications to suit his whims. If the only thing a Master wants is to win the war (as opposed to powering up the Grail with seven Servants to reach Akasha), Gilgamesh is the best Servant as long as you let him do what he wants. However, to the topic itself: Gilgamesh's army isn't a Noble Phantasm and it's not even certain that the Nasuverse's Gilgamesh had an army in the first place - from the way he talks, he was literally the one maintaining order throughout his entire kingdom by himself. (Which is not that unbelievable given his ridiculous Charisma stat.)
- The Einzberns are trying to reclaim the Third Magic, which is on the same level of achieving Akasha, which means they would still need all seven Servants to die. Gilgamesh would be effective if A) He doesn't learn about his intended fate until it occurs, and B) the Einzbern rep doesn't care how Gilgamesh does it, so long as the other Servants die first. Putting the hidebound, Grail-obsessed Einzberns with Gilgamesh's I-do-what-I-want attitude still seems ripe for dissent, especially if the Einzbern Master isn't willing to kowtow to Gilgamesh's ego.
- They would settle for Caesar for the following reasons: being a Roman noble he'd be more reliable than Gilgamesh (at least in theory); the Roman army was quite adept at dismantling the phalanx (they faced it in many battles, and always massacred it. Even Hannibal got his phalanx massacred the one time the Romans managed to force him in a head on battle), and Caesar being the great general he was he would be able to compensate for Alexander being smart enough to cover the flanks (how the Romans massacred the phalanx: they used their superior mobility to reach the flanks and started chopping) and use combined arms, so he could very well win; the smartass got everything he wanted from life (possibly including becoming a martyr when he was still loved), so he would be uninterested into the Grail. Of course summoning Caesar could still bite them back in the ass for five different reasons: Caesar being a very successful womanizer (and not limited to women) there's the chance he would learn they would betray him in the end by an homunculus he seduced, and, given how Kiritsugu was able to accidentally subvert Irysviel, the much more charismatic Caesar would simply subvert all the homunculi to his service and have them slain the entire family in their sleep (easy and granting him success, while simply attacking them could end with him killed by combat homunculi); if they summon him too early he could take exception at the unnecessary pain they caused Illya (and Caesar would subvert the homunculi and have the family slain even faster); if he finds out Illya will be sacrificed to become the Grail Vessel, Caesar could take exception; Caesar being smart and not having a Mad Enhanchement keeping him dumb he would realize that Illya has been brainwashed into hating her father and adopted brother; maybe Caesar has an unfulfilled wish that nobody knew of, and would get rid of the Einzberns so they couldn't stop him as he subverts Ilya into his service.
- Crassus would make an even better anti-Alexander Servant: early in his military career he was charismatic enough to get his own army with himself, and given he was the linchpin of the First Triumvirate killing him has the chance of summoning Pompey the Great and/or Caesar with their legions to finish the now weakened enemy.
- Or just pop out of nowhere during the battle: Crassus greatest military triumph was the annihilation of Spartacus' slave rebellion, but he didn't get as much credit as he deserved due Pompey showing up in time for the mopping up and stealing the glory for himself (he was returning from winning the Sertorian War, and the people listened him when he claimed having finished Spartacus' army).
Ea is at least partially sentient
It doesn't seem like too much of a stretch, considering that the wiki describes her as basically the weapon equivalent of an Eldritch Abomination
and how Gilgamesh speaks to her before using her in his battle with Iskandar.
Rider could have defeated Gilgamesh easily had he played it safe
The army created by Philip II and used by Alexander the Great included not only the Macedonian phalanx (actually just the most showy part of his army), but other troops too, including light and heavy cavalry (Alexander would usually fight with the elite of the heavy cavalry, the ones actually called hetairoi), the Hypaspistai elite infantry (those who actually massacred the Assassins in the series, judging from the relatively short pikes), hoplite phalanxes provided by the Greeks, skirmishers, and Cretan archers
. After Alexander conquered Persia he started to employ archers from the conquered people, among which the Persian and Bactrian ones were the best and better equipped of his entire army by a long shot.
Now, imagine Rider playing it safe and starting it with the archers... Can you say with me "Pincushion Gil"?
- I'd assume someone as powerful as Gilgamesh with such a huge, undefined arsenal of toys would have an anti-projectile defensive NP somewhere in his strange bag of tricks if he needed it.
- Even if we ignore the Gate of Babylon, his armor can take several dozen blows from Saber (who has Strength B and Mana Burst) and Ea doesnīt take that long to charge, as we saw. It took him about 8 seconds to charge it to a level where he could destroy a city-sized Reality Marble once he stopped talking about how Iskander would lose.
- The assumption that the archers in Ionoi Hetairoi could defeat Gilgamesh relies on two things. One, Gilgamesh wouldn't see it coming (the one time he saw Ionoi Hetairoi in action the archers didn't use their arrows but produced swords and charged like the rest of the army). Two, Gilgamesh' armour lacks an helmet. If he's lucky, Gilgamesh would at least get a few head wounds before producing an anti-arrow Noble Phantasm, and in the meantime the light cavalry would be able to cross the distance into melee range, forcing him to defend until the arrival of Alexander with the hetairoi or chariots (not sure if Alexander used them, given how easily he defeated Persian chariots, but Hellenistic kingdoms used them until the Romans started deploying caltrops), whichever is faster, at which point Gil would be trampled. If he isn't, he'll get a pincushion head and dissolve as Alexander cries "Psych!" and Waver gapes at the sight.
- That plan is flawed for...a lot of reasons. To begin with, Ea's roar when it charges up is powerful enough to toss Gilgamesh's own Noble Phantasms aside - arrows aren't getting to him. The battle was decided the moment Gilgamesh decided he'd take it seriously - nobody in Fate/ can beat him when he's serious.
- Apart that Herakles, if summoned as anything but Berserker, would have a fair chance of winning (he'd have the brain to make the most use of his skills, speed and weapons to arrive in meelee range, where Gil would be paste), this plan relies on Gilgamesh not seeing it coming, and the arrows keeping him too busy defending to actually grab Ea.
- It is literally impossible by Word of God for a Servant to win against a serious Gilgamesh. As for arrows, he could simply take out any number of defensive Noble Phantasms while he prepares Ea. (If he doesn't just go straight for Ea, since taking it out doesn't take him any longer than it takes for any other Noble Phantasms. The whole unlocking process was something made up in the anime.) And how could arrows possibly take him by surprise when he can see the archers readying them?
- Aside the fact Word of God stated that Gilgamesh' firepower is the greatest among the Servants (thus a battle between Herakles and him could see him defeated even if he's serious), he could be caught by surprise because Ionoi Hetairoi apparently summon Alexander's army in parade formation. First the Companion cavalry, then the Hypaspist elite infantry (that was the actual unit we saw exterminating the Assassins), then the other elite forces, then the Tessalian cavalry, then the Foot Companions (the Macedonian Phalanx), then line units provided by allies and mercenaries (Greek cavalry and hoplite phalanxes), and then the skirmishers. The Sogdianan horse archers and best Persian and Cretan foot archers, as elite forces, would be placed right behind the Companions (mostly the Sogdianans, being the elite of the elite of Alexander's army after the Companions and the Hypaspists. The best Persians and Cretans would be placed among the rest of the elite), with lesser Persian and Cretan units further behind (with the exception of the Cretans, no Greek population had decent archers). Between that and the dust from the charging Companions, Gilgamesh wouldn't see the arrows until too late to search and grab a defensive NP.
The Assassins attacked a meeting at which they had just been invited, and Rider went for massive overkill (I mean, sicking an entire Badass Army
on them when even Gilgamesh was looking pissed and willing to do the deed?). I can't think another reason for him to sick his army on them...
- Well, the other reason would be a demonstration of power. He does that every now and then to assert his status. And he wanted to show Saber what his kingship looked like. But yeah, otherwise, using IH against the Assassins was quite a waste of mana.
- It could be because the assassins attacked in enough numbers to endanger Waver. With them attacking from all sides, and his master being unable to defend himself, Rider needed to get them away from Waver so he put an army between them.
Kiritsugu's reputation was already akin a legendary boogeyman before the Grail War, and there he became the Master who refused the Grail
, before stopping Angra Mainyu from exterminating all of mankind. Three facts that qualify him as a Unique Existence, the main part of being an Heroic Spirit. Also, his extermination of a crapload of people to save even more made him akin to the Nasuverse definition of Anti-Hero.
I expect Kiritsugu to laugh histerically in the Throne of Heroes due the sheer Irony
- Confirmed partially with Fate/EXTRA as both Kiritsugu and Shirou are combined into a meta version of Archer.
The massive fire was not the result of Kirei's wish, but of a Counter Guardian stopping it.
We know from Fate/Apocrypha
that the power of one Counter Guardian, Jeanne d'Arc (of all people), is exactly that: causing a massive fire. What if Kirei's wish would have been a threat to Humanity's survival, to the point it was better to just burn the entire area to the ground?
According to the 4koma Fate/School Life
, Ayaka Sajyou is a classmate of Shirou. Wouldn't it be an amazing coincidence?
Tokiomi summoning Gilgamesh is responsible for Kariya summoning Lancelot
Kariya was fixated on making Tokiomi pay, but knew that his Servant would have made short work of him. Kariya also summoned the one Servant who can ridicule and retort against him
Gilgamesh' greatest strength. How likely is that it happened by chance?
Gilgamesh could not blackened by the Grail because he already was corrupted to begin with.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, right?
He has all the symptoms to boot!
- Huge ego
- Was an absolute king when he was alive
- The guy came from the pre-Diluvian history, so he spoke the Unified Language... And this, in Nasuverse terms, means that if he gives an order in his native tongue any human who doesn't speak Unified Language will have to obey him. Given that only one modern human speak Unified Language and neither him nor a sufficiently old or knowleadgeable Servant took part in the Grail War, he automatically had complete control over all his enemies, allies and even his Master and the Moderator. Kinda hard topping that...
Aoi didn't die after being strangled because Kirei healed her.
She looked pretty much dead when Kariya was done with her, but Kirei was on the premises. I'm no doctor, but perhaps her later brain damage came from being (intentionally?) improperly healed.