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This page is for the Servant characters of Fate/Zero, the prequel to Fate/stay night.


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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Servants

    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 15-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.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: The role of a servant is to combat other masters and servants and defend their own masters from the same. Any master, being intrinsically magical to some degree, is inherently badass in their own right, but with at least four certifiable badasses in this war (a ruthless Mage Killer, the patriarch of an esteemed magus clan, an elite member of a magical society and a brilliant Kung-Fu Wizard) the masters alone could potentially fight a war without the aid of Heroic Spirits.
  • Character Alignment: They all have an in-universe alignment.
  • Fighting a Shadow: With the exception of Artoria, the Servants are copies of the true Heroic Spirit, the soul of the hero recorded in the Throne of Heroes. This means that a particular hero can be summoned as a Servant multiple times, but that the memories accumulated by the individual copy will be lost after its destruction.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Naturally, though as part of the system of the Holy Grail War servants are gifted with general knowledge of the era they're summoned to. Rider in particular takes to the 20th century quite well and is seen both watching television, marvels at the idea of a B-2 stealth bomber, and develops a love for video games.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Gilgamesh and Alexander the Great being prime examples. Even heroes who were normal humans in-life get some measure of superhuman abilities through being incarnated as Servants.
  • Historical Beauty Update: Most of them are very attractive, though Caster is an exception. This trope actually has fun poked at it when Waver asks Iskandar why a book about his life states that he was short, to which he gets a dumbfounded reply of "...It says I'm short?" He ultimately shrugs it off saying you can't trust books written by people you don't know.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Archernote , Rider, Assassin and Caster are based on real people, but with varying degrees of Artistic License applied to their backstories, while Saber's historicity is ambiguous and Berserker as well as Lancer are completely fictional characters.

    Saber 

Artoria Pendragon

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/saber_fate_zero_portrait_9719.jpg

"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.
  • Berserk Button: She, quite understandably, gets annoyed whenever she thinks that someone thinks lowly of her because of her gender. A much bigger Berserk Button for her though is dishonorable behavior, especially when the one committing it is her very own master.
  • 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.
  • Cool Sword: In life and as a Saber-class Servant, Artoria's main weapon is Excalibur — a divine sword created by Fairies and given to her by the Lady of the Lake. She keeps it cocooned in Invisible Air to avoid being recognized, and can use it to fire immensely destructive beams of divine light.
  • Combat Compliment: Exchanges a couple of these with Lancer during their first battle.
  • Combat Precognition: Her Instinct is so great that it affords her a mild form of precognition in battle, enabling her to sense “the best personal course of action”. This makes it all-but impossible to hit her with ranged attacks, though it's not infallible.
  • 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.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: When Caster summons an expy of Cthulhu to destroy Fuyuki, Saber vaporizes it with a single swing of Excalibur.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: With a master like Kiritsugu, Saber is an absolute monster of a Servant. Thus, early in the story she catches Lancer's Gae Buidhe in the shoulder — her arm in the anime, severing a tendon — which, while a shallow wound, neither she nor Irisviel can heal. As a result, she is unable to use Excalibur's full power until later in the story, when Lancer breaks Gae Buidhe.
  • Dude Magnet: Archer and Caster are obsessed with her, though in Caster's case it's because he thinks she's Jeanne d'Arc. Kiritsugu calls her lovely once. According to Einzbern Consultation Room, Lancer and Berserker were attracted to her too.
  • 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 shoulder plates 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. Furthermore, she struggles in every fight she ends up in, and often needs help with several of her foes, with the only exception being her racing duel with Rider. 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 utilizes 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 when Fate/stay night was released. 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.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Zero has a decent few for Fate/stay night, but Artoria's identity is probably the biggest and most immediate. In F/SN, it's treated like a big secret on all three routes and generally not revealed until late, but here, due to the nature of the narrative and how she's summoned, it has to be revealed right at the start.
  • Lawful Good: In-universe alignment, as she was a chivalrous, noble rigid 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 of love and friendship 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 much to her extreme annoyance.
  • 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 Owner 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.
  • Power Glows: Excalibur being charged causes her sword to be wreathed in golden light.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Keeps her hair tied up when in her armor.
  • Razor Wind: The offensive use of Invisible Air sends out gusts of wind capable of cutting people.
  • Red Baron: "King of Knights".
  • Samus Is a Girl: Kiritsugu's and Irisviel's in-universe reaction, due to having assumed she was a man from her role in history.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: She desires to use the Holy Grail to go back in time to avert her country's destruction.
  • She Is the King: She is King Arthur.
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: In her very first fight against Lancer, she abandons her magical armor for a speed boost, after realizing that Lancer's Noble Phantasm cuts right through it like butter. However, this was Lancer's plan all along, as by giving up on her armor, she became more vulnerable to his other Noble Phantasm that causes a Wound That Will Not Heal.
  • Skirt over Slacks: When wearing her Battle Ballgown, as shown here.
  • The Smurfette Principle: She's the only female Servant in the story, aside from some incarnations of Assassin.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Her true name アルトリア (Arutoria) is often fan-romanized as Arturia, but official translations use either Artoria or Altria. As of the release of Fate/Grand Order, Type-Moon has decreed "Altria" to be the official English translation of her name.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She hides behind an emotionless facade in order to make pragmatic decisions more easily. Rider claims that the way she is doing it now indicates that she is not a true king, but merely a little girl crying for her lost country.
  • Sword Beam: Excalibur, which is powerful enough to level a city block.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: In both the Drama CD and the anime, remixednote  versionsnote  of "The Sword of Promised Victory" start up as she prepares to Excaliblast Caster.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Irisviel's Girly Girl.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: In civilian clothes, she keeps her hair tied up in a ponytail, and resembles a man.
  • Triple Take: Her firing off Excalibur to defeat Caster gets this treatment in the anime.
  • 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.
  • Worthy Opponent: Lancer. They both share similar ideals while engaging in battle and Saber's desire specifically throughout the first season is to conclude her duel with him. She even gets pissed off when Rider interrupts their duel.

    Archer 

Gilgamesh

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/archer_fate_zero_portrait_8583.jpg

"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.
  • 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. Still, he's capable of being a truly great douchebag.
  • 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: 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, Gilgamesh will kill them for any perceived slight.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Charm Person: His Charisma rank is so high (A+) that it actually counts as supernatural compulsion upon those around him.
  • Chewing the Scenery: 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: He is in possession of a Vimana, one of the flying "chariots" that the Hindu gods used.
  • Cool Sword: Most of his projectiles consist of the prototype versions of almost every Noble Phantasm that's ever existed; and then there's Ea, which is the most powerful weapon seen to date in the Nasuverse, shaming even Excalibur.
  • The Corrupter: He's the one who urges Kirei Kotomine towards becoming evil, evidently because he found it amusing.
  • 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.
  • Entitled to Have You: Gilgamesh finds the tragic Saber beautiful to behold and believes only he is worthy of having her, so he arranges events to make this so. At the end when they are finally alone, he proposes to her but it's not so much as him asking for her hand in marriage as it is him informing her that they are getting married. When she refuses, he brushes this aside as "shyness" that will simply have to be beaten out of her until she submits to him.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Most of his projectiles are shot so that they spin in mid-air. Ea plays it straight by being a drill-like sword-staff that can reduce the world to "Genesis".
  • Evil Mentor: He has a great deal of fun showing Kotomine why he should embrace his inner sadist.
  • 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.
  • 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'.
  • 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 a tyrant in the beginning, but it's implied later on that he got better. As such, it's unlikely he would have approved of his Nasuverse counterpart. One of the more popular explanations for this dissonance is that Gilgamesh was a better person in his own day, but upon being summoned to the modern age, he's so disgusted with what humanity has become since his time that it's made him angry and bitter. Then there's the fact that the Holy Grail was actually corrupted by the time of ''Fate/Zero'', allowing even villains like Gilles de Rais to be summoned. Later works in the franchise like Fate/Grand Order imply that the Archer version of Gilgamesh's personality is patterned after the arrogant and self-entitled tyrant he was at the beginning of the Epic; while the game's Caster version of Gilgamish has the regal and serious personality of the responsible king he became at the end of the Epic.
  • 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.
  • 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 Aŋra Mainiiu's blackening.
  • It's All About Me: Need any help carrying that ego, Gil? It looks like it might squish you. Amusingly enough, this makes him the only one who could answer Aŋra Mainiiu'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.
  • 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.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Gil's pass at trying to cheer Saber up after Rider's "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Gil tells her that she should stand by her ideals. On it's own, this sounds like a Pet the Dog Moment, but the only reason Gil is saying this because he finds her ideals and regrets funny.
  • 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.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: When dogfighting Berserker, Gilgamesh fires an "Itano Circus" of magic weapons from the Gate of Babylon — confirmed by Gen Urobuchi to be a Shout-Out to the Macross series.
  • 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 one 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 and remarks that he finds her suffering amusing.
    • Subverted during his attempted wedding; at first, it looks as though he's wised up to Kiritsugu applying his Command Seal on Saber, and is indignant about this violation of her free will ("damn you to hell", to quote the man himself) but then, well, he reveals his anger stems from less pleasant reasons.
  • 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. When Shirou tries to scan Ea, it fills his vision with static due to it being a divine weapon beyond his ability to analyze and replicate.
  • Red Baron: "King of Heroes".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Gilgamesh has red irises with close-ups revealing small flecks of purple; and 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"?
  • 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.
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: When Aŋra Mainiiu 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.
  • 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. Of course, this ego is backed by the fact that he's arguably the single strongest Heroic Spirit that can possibly be summoned in a conventional Holy Grail War.
  • 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 Aŋra Mainiiu'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: He's a great swordsman compared to the average Joe, but it's pointed out that most Servants lived and died by the weapons they're summoned with or have legends of absolutely prodigal skill, so he'd actually be at a disadvantage in a melee against pretty much every combat-oriented Servant in the war (that is, everyone but Assassin and Caster). However, this weakness is easily overcome by the fact that, because he has Gate of Babylon, he doesn't need to be skilled to begin with.
  • 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.
  • Villain Respect: To Waver Velvet after he declares his Undying Loyalty to Iskander.
    Gilgamesh: Your loyalty is splendid! Never tarnish it.
  • 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.

    Lancer 

Diarmuid Ua Duibhne

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lancer_fate_zero_portrait_5998.jpg

"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 severs prana-connection, and Gae Buidhe, a cursed lance that creates a Wound That Will Not Heal so long as he is alive and his spear intact. While not a Noble Phantasm, he also has his infamous Love Spot in the form of a "Mystic Face" - true to legend, it infatuates females who look upon him and do not have the means to magically resist it.


  • Anti-Magic: Gae Dearg, the Crimson Rose of Exorcism, severs all prana connection on the object it touches, usually nullifying it. It is thus able to pierce Bounded Fields (like Saber's Invisible Air) and prana-generated armor, weapons Berserker enhances with his Knight of Owner, and Caster's monsters (since they are connected to Caster himself). However, it is not powerful enough to nullify magic contracts (like Master-Servant contract) or the magic source itself (when it grazes Caster's Spellbook, it is only wounded normally).
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He has the "Mind's Eye (True)" skill at the same rank as stay night's Archer, which allows him to come up with ploys that can turn the tide of battle. According to the guidebooks, Mind's Eye was the main reason he was able to misdirect Saber and sever her tendon with Gae Buidhe.
  • 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.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: His mark induces this in women, which contributed to how he met his end in his legend.
  • 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: Lancer's fixation on finishing his duel with Saber. He had the ability to kill Kiritsugu halfway through the first season but allows him to leave unscathed because Lancer and Saber promised to leave each other's masters out of their duel. Kiritsugu ends up not returning the favor.
  • The Fettered: Like Saber, he believes strongly in chivalrous conduct and honorable warfare.
  • Foil: To the fifth war's Lancer, Cu Chulainn. They are both Irish heroes that, though part of the Holy Grail War, don't really have a wish for the grail and weren't satisfied with how their respective wars ended. Their differences are based on their relationships with their respective masters and their own goals for the war. From a goals' perspective, Diarmuid wanted a chance to fulfill his ideals and prove his loyalty, while Chulainn wanted a good fight, and, in the end, neither was able to satisfy their wish - Diarmuid was betrayed by Kayneth and Chulainn wasn't able to go full out in his fights and usually had to end them early. Their relationships with their masters were majorly different: Diarmuid desperately tried to be loyal to Kayneth - who hated him - while Chulainn hated Kotomine for stopping him from fighting or making him Kick the Dog. Even how they died and the consequences are a contrast. While Cu was forced to kill himself by Kotomine in the Unlimited Blade Works route, he got the last laugh and killed Kotomine back. Diarmuid impaled himself and faded away without a fight.
  • 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.
  • 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, all he wanted to do was serve his liege the way he'd been unable to in life... but 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.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: In his first duel with Saber, he puts Gae Buidhe on the ground and lets her believe it is an ordinary weapon. Eventually, when she drops her guard, he kicks Gae Buidhe into his hand and stabs her.
  • 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. Ironically, either women fall for him because of his Love Spot or just because he is that amazingly pretty. Aside from his kind nature and the Lancer class's terrible luck, this is cited as the primary cause for all of Diarmuid's suffering in the Einzbern Consultation Room OV As.
  • Multi-Melee Master: The living Diarmuid was as good with the sword as he was with the spear, and can also fit into the Saber class bearing his swords Moralltach and Baegalltach. Funnily enough, neither of his loadouts as Lancer nor as Saber reflect how he actually fought in life; he would bring Gae Dearg and Moralltach into big battles, while he would bring Gae Buidhe and Baegalltach on adventures and skirmishes.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Even when that master is hurling insults at him. Lancer is aware of how unpleasant Kayneth is but he refuses to
  • 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.
  • Power Limiter: His spears have purple cloth wraps around their shafts, which suppress their abilities as Noble Phantasms and mask the mana signature that usually comes with such weapons. This allows him to disguise his identity as well as pass off one of his spears as an ordinary weapon to fool Saber into a sense of security, but after she deduces his true name in view of other Servants, Lancer stops using the cloths as they will no longer help him.
  • 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.
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    Rider 

Iskander (Alexander) the Great

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rider_fate_zero_portrait_7742.jpg

"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 controlling impact she had on his life, this is understandable.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: An interesting variation of this. In his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Saber, he tells her that a true King must be willing to see both the good and bad of their ideals through to the end. Probably because of this, Rider is one of the few characters in in Zero who makes it through the story without having his convictions trampled on.
  • Anti-Villain: Rider is very committed to conquering the world and actually spends most of the series plotting World War III. However he shows he can be polite when needed, has honor and displays nobility, and is incredibly charismatic, which means that almost everyone looks past this. He openly daydreams an invasion against the United States, but does so while genuinely praising President Clinton as a fine adversary. He isn't painted as a villain either, conquering was just what he did. 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, something which Waver actually notes while citing a random history book from a store.note 
  • 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 literally manifests his Reality Marble through The Power of Friendship - every soldier in his army takes a very tiny fragment of the magical burden, so even if they're muggles the fact there's tens of thousands of them means they can bear the burden of the Reality Marble without much trouble.
  • 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. In particular, Urobuchi claims that if Kayneth had summoned Iskander as planned, Iskander would have attempted to form relations with both him and Sola-Ui.
  • 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."
  • Car Fu: Chariot version. When Berserker shows up to threaten himself, Saber, and Lancer, Rider temporarily neutralizes him by the simple expedient of running Berserker over with the Gordius Wheel.
  • 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. Shortly after when Gilgamesh binds him at the very last second with Enkidu, Rider is barely phased and can only marvel that Gilgamesh just keeps pulling surprise after surprise.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Iskander wants to conquer and fight, but he still values honor, and wants people to be able to fight true to themselves. When Kayneth ordered (via command seal) Lancer to help Berserker fight Saber, Iskander intervened, threatening to fight alongside Saber against the two on the grounds that not only was it unfair to Saber, but that Kayneth was tarnishing Lancer's pride as a Heroic Spirit. He also showed disgust for the cruelty of Caster and his Master.
  • Fiery Redhead: Boisterous Bruiser meets Dark-Skinned Redhead.
  • Foil: To the fifth war's Rider, Medusa. They are both Greek heroes that have strong bonds with their masters but have the exact opposite personality and appearance. Iskander is loud, dramatic and incredibly manly while Medusa is quiet, calm and very feminine. Even their bonds to their masters are different, Iskander acted like Big Brother Mentor to Waver and in the end Waver pledged his loyalty to Iskander while Medusa is incredibly loyal to Sakura due to similar depressing pasts and will do anything to keep her safe.
  • 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 sharing drinks, 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 Lifenote ? 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.note 
  • 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. Rider's exploits also gloss over the incredible amounts of rape, murder, pillaging, and slavery required to expand and maintain his empire in actual history, instead focusing on his vision and the loyalty he commanded from his own soldiers. Given other diversions from historical fact, including the difference in physical size between he and the historical Alexander noted by Waver, this is probably a manifestation of his being based on the legend of Alexander rather than the reality.
  • 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 laugh louder, 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 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.
  • O.O.C. 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 at his side is suited to be his Master instead of Kayneth who he deems a coward for taunting from the shadows.
    • 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.
  • Screaming Warrior: Hollers, "Ulalalalalala!" while charging at his foes. This happens to be Truth in Television, as Roman soldiers encountered foreign troops who used such a Battlecry, which they called uluation.
  • 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.
  • Shipper on Deck: According to the drama CD "The Outsiders' Performance", he and Waver Velvet met and befriended a teenage Taiga Fujimura at some point. He encouraged Waver to ask her out, but he refused.
  • 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.
  • The Hedonist: Believes enjoying every moment whether it be in revelry, festivities, friendship, sex, passion, battle, conquering, and war are the essence of living and is never afraid to endorse that to others.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Subverted. On top of the fact that he's actually a lot smarter than he lets on, 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.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: In the anime, most of Rider's muscles are located in his arms and shoulders, making the rest of his body look relatively thin. This is especially apparent, when he puts his casual outfit on. Most other depictions of him in the franchise make the rest of his body equally buff with his arms.
  • 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.
  • Unusual Eyebrows: Uniquely weird eyebrows — they're oddly round, creating a bit of a big-cat impression, and trail off toward his hairline in a way that suggests a bit of a fiery effect.
  • 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.
  • Younger Than They Look: Later installments of the franchise reveal that his mature appearance is due to using one of his Noble Phantasms in life to accelerate his aging and muscle mass.

    Caster 

Gilles de Rais/Bluebeard

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/caster_fate_zero_portrait_2857.jpg

"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 called Horrors. 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Black Speech: The spells he uses to summon the Horrors are in R'lyehian, and directly quote the chant from The Call of Cthulhu.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Foil:
    • To the fifth war's Caster, Medea. Their goal in their respective war is to stay with their loved one, have a strong bond with their master, who doesn't have the skill to provide them with mana, manipulate the town's population during their war, and having an obsession with Artoria. Gilles spends the war thinking that Artoria is Jeanne and is obsessed with regaining her memories while Medea is desperate to win the war so she can stay with her master Kuzuki, who she fell in love with (and getting Artoria on her side for a powerful tool and potential sex slave). Medea does drain the population of Fuyuki of their life force, but she specifically avoids killing them (in the Unlimited Blade Works anime, Medea was against the mindless slaughter of children) and has an end goal, in comparison Gilles spends most of the war killing children for nothing but his and Ryuunosuke's amusement. Additionally, their standings among Caster Servants are very different; Medea is said to be one of the greatest spellcasters to have ever lived, while Gilles is an Inept Mage who is only a threat because of his spellbook.
    • To Berserker as well. Both Gilles and Lancelot were the prized knight of a powerful female leader associated with righteousness and what was good. While both of them fell into madness, the reasons were different. Gilles fell into madness as a result of Jeanne's death, turning him into the dark arts of magic and becoming a serial killer who wanted to get back at God for what he saw as unrighteous punishment on him; while Lancelot was driven mad by Artoria not punishing him for his betrayal by taking Guinevere, and blamed himself for the fall of Camelot and death of Artoria. Adding to it, Gilles comes around to accept his punishment and uses it to make God proud of him to a degree, while Lancelot is unable to let go of his anger and is consumed by it.
  • 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. Unfortunately, this was done without the aid of certified medievalists, nor were they consulted on the matter, so the true results of the trial are debatable at best. 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. Several historians believe that he was guilty of other crimes, but not of killing children or practicing occult magic. With how the Fate franchise works, it seems his Caster form is based on the perception historians had of him for years, much like how Vlad the third will always be associated with vampiric traits, even though he is not a vampire.
  • 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.
    • The reason why he's such a poor Caster and so dependent in the book is eventually revealed in Fate/strange fake: it isn't technically one of his own Noble Phantasms. It originally belonged, as the name implies, to François Prelati, who sealed a unique link to the Horrors' place of origin in the book and gave it to Caster for safekeeping. However, Caster himself isn't a mage at all. The book's literally all he's got going for him as a Caster.
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini: Discussed by him when Ryuunosuke brings up the possibility that the destruction of their base is a punishment from God. Caster vehemently rejects any such notions, since he had spent eight years committing the most evil acts he could think of, but never suffered any sort of divine punishment.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: That said he finally does get executed, but the reasons for his execution have nothing to do with the crimes he committed, but because greedy nobles wanted his land.
  • 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.
  • Nonindicative Name: Where's that blue beard?
  • Obviously Evil: Bulging eyes, bone-white skin, nails like talons... you 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.
  • Pieces of God: The Horrors he summons are offshoots of the Eldritch Abomination who rules over the Sunken Spiral Castle, which the Gigantic Horror is a manifestation of.
  • 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. The show/novel treats this as Blatant Lies, however, since it's obvious he has no qualms about viciously murdering and torturing children.note 
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: A really subdued version of this lies in the name "Bluebeard". It's a French horror story inspired by the deeds of Gilles de Rais. Caster himself is a walking homage to H. P. Lovecraft.
  • 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.
  • Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: Gilles believes that Artoria is an amnesiac Jeanne d'Arc, and nothing she says or does is able to convince him otherwise.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: His Noble Phantasm is Prelati's Spellbook: The Text of the Sunken Spiraled City, the latter part of which can alternately be called the R'lyeh Text. It was created by François Prelati,note  and is connected to the Sunken Spiral City, an extra-dimensional ocean ruled over by the Evil God of the Abyss - implied to be Cthulhu himself. As a Shout-Out to the 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 water-demons called Horrors or merge himself with a Lovecraftian sea-god called the Gigantic Horror.
  • 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. It all makes sense when you realize that Caster (as Gilles de Rais) was a notorious serial child abductor/killer/rapist in life.
  • 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.

    Berserker 

The Black Knight

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/berserker_fate_zero_portrait_283.jpg

"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 Owner", 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 Love Is Unrequited: The Einzbern Consultation Room heavily implies that part of his own self hatred was because he maybe, was infatuated with Artoria and not Guinevere. His relationship with Guinevere was more of an accident at first, and when things spiraled out of control, he took it upon himself to save her because he loved her by then, but still had some feelings for his king. Of course, this is all merely implied and the series keeps it vague on purpose.
  • 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 one of 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, which 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. Other materials also suggest that the long hair was, in general, a later addition to his life and that he wouldn't have it as, say, a Saber.
  • 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 by his rage, despair, and madness.
  • Boring, but Practical: His final Noble Phantasm, Arondight has no special abilities except doing more damage to dragons, but it does boost all of his already high stats and makes him an absolute monster. Fate/Grand Order reveals that it does possess a Sword Beam function, but that he refrains from using it properly and instead adapts it into a powerful slash.
  • Broken Ace: Berserker is one of the strongest Servants in the Nasuverse, capable of giving even Archer a hard time even while handicapped by a sickly Master, but he's insane, and so fixated on Saber that he tends to have tunnel vision and thus get blindsided whenever she's around. Also, again, he's handicapped by his Master's frail condition.
  • Combat Tentacles: The tassels extending from his back can act as tendrils and be used to spread his "Knight of Owner" 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. The only notable scenes where he's hand-drawn are the ones where he's shut off For Someone's Glory.
  • Cool Plane: He hijacks an F-15 and turns it into a Noble Phantasm with Knight of Owner. It's ultimately destroyed by Lancer, but not before he uses it to defeat Gilgamesh's Vimana in a dogfight.
  • Cool Sword: His third and final Noble Phantasm is a divine sword corrupted by his rage and madness into a demonic weapon, revealing his identity and sealing For Someone's Glory and Knight of Owner when it is drawn. Arondight is the counterpart to Artoria's Excalibur, boosts all of his parameters by one rank when drawn, is super-effective against draconic foes, and has a Sword Beam attack — though Lancelot deliberately refrains from using it properly.
  • The Corruption:
    • Being summoned as a Berserker places him under Mad Enhancement, which physically distorts his appearance into a monstrous black knight. The Einzbern Consultation Room indicates he may have been partially Blackened, as he mentions he came into contact with Aŋra Mainiiu while being summoned.
    • In the anime, the effects of Knight of Owner are shown as the weapon turning pitch black and gaining red Tron Lines.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: He hijacks an F-15 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.
  • Fangs Are Evil: When the helmet finally comes off, he is revealed to have shark-like teeth as a result of the Mad Enhancement.
  • Foil:
    • To the fifth war's Berserker, Heracles. Lancelot spends the war obsessed with killing Artoria to the point of killing his master Kariya due to his massive mana needs. Heracles is shown to be a major Papa Wolf for his master Illya to the point that he willingly sacrifices his life to protect her and returns one more time out of rage for her death.
    • To Archer. Gilgamesh wears shining golden armor and is constantly bathing in the light of the Gate of Babylon, while Berserker wears black armor and is shrouded by his foggy Noble Phantasm. Gilgamesh owns thousands of weapons, yet does not know how to use any of them, while Berserker turns anything he wields into a weapon, with deadly skill. Archer is a servant summoned from the prime of his life, while Berserker is from after his glory days as a Knight of the Round Table. And both are fixated on Saber, Archer because he sees her as an object he must own, Berserker because she is an old friend who he must die to.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Hopeless Suitor: His feelings towards Artoria weren't completely platonic, according to some OVAs. In fact, while Guinevere was the one he slept with, he actually fancied his best friend more.
  • 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 wields a broken street lamp as a stave.
  • Instant Expert: Due to his Rank A+ Eternal Arms Mastership skill and the Noble Phantasm Knight of Owner, 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?
  • Magic Enhancement: His Knight of Owner ability lets him convert any object he perceives as a weapon into a Noble Phantasm. His stand-out examples of this are using a cut-down street-lamp as an oversized quarterstaff, and taking over a fighter jet to dogfight and destroy Gilgamesh's Vimana.
  • The Man Makes the Weapon: Due to a combination of Eternal Arms Mastership and Knight of Owner, 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).
  • One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce: Normally, Berserkers have to trade their fighting skills for raw power due to the insanity that comes with Mad Enhancement. Eternal Arms Mastery allows him to keep his fighting skills.
  • 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.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Back when he was Lancelot, he was this with Artoria to the point of being a Secret Keeper when it comes to her true gender. Unfortunately, his guilt towards betraying his friend (by having an affair with Queen Guinevere) causes him to desire Suicide by Cop. According to the Einzbern Consultation Room OVAs, however, Lancelot apparently actually preferred Artoria to Guinevere.
  • 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. Moreover, later works like Fate/Grand Order recursively suggest that Lancelot's Berserker class (and possibly having Kariya as a Master) restricts him in ways even when Arondight is out, as he seems incapable of using Arondight's proper super attack, "Arondight Overload", as a Berserker.
  • Power Born of Madness: Berserkers trade sanity for power, which also makes them extremely difficult for their masters to control.
  • Power Echoes: 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 Owner" 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 for having betrayed her and failing to come to her rescue at the Battle of Camlann.
  • 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.
  • Undying Loyalty: As he's dying, he admits he was beyond proud to serve as a Knight of the Round Table and that he could never forgive himself for betraying Artoria, even when she chose to forgive him, which ultimately drove him to madness. He also claims that all the Knights of the Round Table believed as he did she was the perfect king. Unfortunately, all of his feelings were kept in a monologue, and Artoria believed that Lancelot hated so much that he turned into Berserker, thus she concluded that she was unworthy of being a king.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Subverted to HELL and back. The point of a Berserker is to return someone to their base instincts, robbing them of all their skills in exchange for pure power. Unlike others however, this Berserker was so skilled that his techniques were engraved into his instincts, meaning that while he can't do any special tactics, his body knows exactly what to do to make you hurt. Add that he can become an Instant Expert with literally anything he gets his hands on, and you have one broken Servant.
  • 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.

    Assassin 

The Hundred-Faced Hassan-i-Sabbah

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/assassin_fate_zero_portrait_9697.jpg

"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 constantly adjusts his mask 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 in a humiliating manner, but he's eaten by Aŋra Mainiiu 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 19 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.
  • With Catlike Tread: In the Irisviel Consultation Room shorts, this is stated to be the reason why Zayd, the personality sent to "infiltrate" Tokiyomi's manor, was killed in such a humiliating manner.
  • 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.

    Avenger 

Aŋra Mainiiu

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/iri_wicked_smiled.jpg
Irisviel possesed by Avenger
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/angra_mainyu_5.png
Avenger within the Grail
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/greater_grail.png
The Greater Grail
Aŋra Mainiiu 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 Aŋra Mainiiu, who they mistook him for. Avenger was slain due to his weakness, not even possessing a Noble Phantasm; 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, Aŋra Mainiiu 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 Aŋra Mainiiu. Thus, when the Einzberns went fishing for said deity in the Third Grail War, they got him instead.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Aŋra Mainiiu 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 ooze 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 [[spoiler: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.
    • In the anime's Einzbern Consultation Room's opening, Avenger's true form and Shades attack Taiga]], and it later attacks Zayd using the Shadow's/Dark Sakura's tentacles. In a nod to Sakura from the Heaven's Feel route, "Irisviel's" shadow extends outwards and tries to engulf Lancelot before being stopped by Zecchan, but she manages to blacken him back into his Berserker state.
  • Combat Tentacles: In the Einzbern Counseling Room specials, it manifests as the Shadow and snares Zayd with tentacles, dragging him off to be consumed.
  • 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 Aŋra Mainiiu produces contaminates the souls of anything it touches, giving Servants a physical body to remain in the world indefinitely 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:
    • Aŋra Mainiiu'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 Aŋra Mainiiu merges with the Greater Grail, the curse manifests as black ooze that consumes and corrupts everything it touches.
    • When Kiritsugu refuses to unleash it, Aŋra Mainiiu-as-Irisviel furiously curses him to suffer in despair until the day he dies.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Aŋra Mainiiu impersonates Kiritsugu's loved ones, particularly Irisviel, to interrogate him and convince him to unleash it. It also impersonates Irisviel during the Einzbern Consultation Episodes, as revealed when it forces Lancelot back into his Berserker self.
  • Demonic Possession: It slowly corrupts Irisviel over the course of the series.
  • Dying Curse: In the penultimate episode of the anime, as Kiritsugu strangles its Irisviel avatar, Avenger curses him to live the rest of his life in suffering and despair.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Aŋra Mainiiu 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 Aŋra Mainiiu's black ichor.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Aŋra Mainiiu 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 Aŋra Mainiiu's womb as it waits to accumulate the power necessary to be reborn as a god of destruction.
  • God of Evil: It bears the name Aŋra Mainiiu, 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.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The man who became Avenger was scapegoated by his people as the incarnation of all the world's evil. When Avenger was defeated, the Greater Grail recognized the wishes of those people and Avenger's own wish to destroy humanity, and opted to grant them, becoming corrupted in the process.
  • 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, Aŋra Mainiiu'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, Aŋra Mainiiu became an entity specifically suited for killing humans, coming behind Type Mercury and tied with Primate Murder.
  • Lady Macbeth: Its Irisviel incarnation openly encourages Kiritsugu to embrace his ruthlessness and cull off virtually all of humanity in order to get his family back. This contrasts with the real Irisviel, who never directly encouraged Kiritsugu's cruelty because he shielded her from it.
  • Made of Evil: The black ichor it manifests as is literally a manifestation of its hatred and bloodlust towards everything.
  • Mind Rape: Aŋra Mainiiu bluntly points the flaws of Kiritsugu's methodology with four Sadistic Choice questions, leaving him a broken man.
  • Muck Monster: Its primary manifestation is as a cursed black ooze that corrupts or destroys whatever it touches.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Espouses this when it converses with Kiritsugu.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Shows Kiritsugu a particularly horrific version of such a future after pointing out that it intends to fulfill his wish using his very method of killing a few to save the many. After showing Kiritsugu numerous scenarios that culminate in everyone but Illyasviel and Irisviel dead, he's "welcomed" back home by the two, with the Grail masquerading as Irisviel and promising to return his wife and daughter to him once he makes his wish and allows the Grail to be born. Kiritsugu responds by personally killing the "family" that has been presented before him.
  • 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 Aŋra Mainiiu, 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.
  • The Shadow Knows: In the Einzbern Consultation Room special featuring Lancelot, Irisviel's shadow turns into that of the Greater Grail and stretches out to consume Lancelot in a Call-Forward to the Shadow from Fate/stay night's Heaven's Feel route.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": While most material prior to 2017 spelled its name "Angra Mainyu", as of Fate/Grand Order Type-Moon has declared the official English spelling of its name to be "Aŋra Mainiiu" — the original Avestan spelling.
  • Super Empowering: Aŋra Mainiiu's black sludge gives Gilgamesh a physical body and Kirei an artificial heart.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: When Kiritsugu refuses to unleash it and kills its projections of Ilya and Irisviel, Aŋra Mainiiu furiously curses him, its last words being that it will never forgive him.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: All of the characters think that it is a holy artefact that can grant the wishes of the one who holds it. This is true... but it does so in a way that ensures mass destruction and chaos as a result of the wish it's already set to grant: turning Avenger into a God of Evil.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The Einzbern Consultation Room shorts reveal that it consumes the slain Heroic Spirits and absorbs their mana.
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