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Literature / The Heroic Legend of Arslan

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The 1991-1996 adaptation by Movic and JC Staff
The 2015 adaptation by Hiromu Arakawa

The Heroic Legend of Arslan (a.k.a. The Heroic Legend of Arislan a.k.a. Arslan Senki) is a series of fantasy novels written by author Yoshiki Tanaka with illustration by Yoshitaka Amano (Kadokawa) and Shinobu Tanno (Kobunsha) and published by Kadokawa Shoten then later Kobunsha.

The story of all incarnations is very loosely based on the Persian epic Amir Arsalan. It takes place in a fantasy setting reminiscent of the ancient Middle East and feature the warring states of Pars and Lusitania (Pars is roughly the same as Persia/modern Iran). The king of Pars—Andragoras—demotes one of his most loyal generals—Daryun—on the word of a man who proves to be a traitor. During a battle between the Lusitanians and Parsians the Lusitanians achieve victory and Daryun escapes with the crown prince of Pars—Arslan. The story details the ventures of Daryun and Arslan as they attempt to reclaim Pars and gain revenge against the Lusitanians while facing innumerable obstacles between them and their goals.


The series was on hiatus at 13 volumes but three more volumes were published, with the 16th concluding the story; the first having been published in 1986 and the last in 2017.

A Manga adaptation of the novels was crafted by Chisato Nakamura and published by Kadokawa Shoten in the magazine Asuka Fantasy DX. Originally running between November 1991 and September 1996 the Manga also stands at 13 volumes.

An Anime OVA adaptation was also created, animated by studios Movic and JC Staffnote  under the direction of Mamoru Hamatsu (episodes: I & II and V & VI) Tetsurō Amino (episodes: III & IV). Released August 17th 1991 to 1996 the Anime OVA consists of six episodes and is notable for its beautiful animation for its age (at least the in first two episodes), its music, its voice acting talent, and for being unfinished due to funding issues.


There's also an Audio Adaptation series (10 volumes plus a special one) that roughly covers the first 10 volumes of the novel and shares the anime voice cast (mostly), and a Strategy RPG for the Sega CD produced by Sega at the same time as the anime.

A new Manga adaptation of the novels was created by Hiromu Arakawa of Fullmetal Alchemist and Silver Spoon fame in 2013. Said adaptation has received a TV anime, airing in Spring 2015, and a video game adaptation, Koei Tecmo Games' Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, which uses their signature Dynasty Warriors play style.


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  • Accidental Hand Hold: In the Arakawa manga/TV anime only: Arslan and Etoile notice they are holding hands after Arslan saves Etoile from falling off a giraffe, Etoile pushes Arslan's hand off him that's strong enough to push Arslan down, making Etoile angry and tells Arslan not to touch him. This entire story doesn't happen in the novel or the first anime.
  • Action Girl: Farangis, Etoile/Ester, sometimes Arfrid.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The themes and cultural trappings exhibited in adaptations of Arslan Senki (both the OVA and the 2015 TV anime) borrow less from the original Persian epic Amir Arsalan (امیر ارسلان نامدار) and more from the longer epic poem by Firdusi, the Shahnameh (شاهنامه‎ , "The Book of Kings"). One of the main characters of Shahnameh, Kai Khosrow (کیخسرو), was acknowledged In-Universe to be the founder of Pars. His story arc of losing his kingdom and then rightfully regaining it is also basically Arslan's current plotline. Many supporting and side characters borrow their names from some characters inside Shanameh (such as Gieve, Farangis and Queen Tahamine) with varying similarity from the originals.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: The Xandes in the anime and the manga have a few differences. Manga!Xandes has more personality, such as being dejected and awkward when he accidentally called Silvermask "Your Highness" and showing intelligence of how to best deploy his men.
  • Adults Are Useless: Entirely averted. Arslan would be dead dozens of times over if not for the competent adults who care for him.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Gieve fell head over heels for Farangis who consistently brushed off his advances. Arfid has a one-sided crush on Narsus since he helped save her life. King Innocentius is doing everything he can, including ignoring his subjects' advice, to marry Queen Tahamine who refuses to speak to him.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Lustania captured and claimed the capital city of Pars.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Arslan is cornered by Hilmes while walking alone on top of the Peshawar's walls. It's made clear that Hilmes was toying with Arslan when the former could have easily killed him.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The ending of both seasons of the 2015 anime has Arslan ordering his newly assembled army to start the march to liberate Ecbatana. The reason he has to do it twice is because another foreign nation tries to make a land grab on Pars between seasons, forcing him to cancel the original campaign in order to drive them back.
  • Anyone Can Die: In the novel series, several characters die much later in the story after Arslan's coronation, including: Narsus, Arfrid, and Etoile.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: Much of Pars is based on the Middle East and ancient Persia.
  • Arc Words: "And thus, the boy would become king" — also serving as an On The Next Episode Of Catchphrase.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: A variation occurs where Etoile/Ester upon being captured by Parsian soliders, demands that they torture them, despite Arslan offering to release them. When no one complies, they threw themselves on the ground and continue to yell at the Parsian soldiers to whip them, stab them or throw boiling water on them. This makes the Parsian soldiers think Etoile/Ester is crazy.
  • Armor Is Useless: Swords, spears and arrows pierce chain, scale and plate armor so regularly that one has to wonder why anyone bothers wearing armor at all.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Hodir attempted to slander and get Arslan to abandon Daryun, Narsus and the others because they were "going to use Arslan to further their own ends", Arslan's response was:
    Arslan: If I were to discard Daryun and Narsus and choose you instead, how can you guarantee there shall not come a day when I will be forced to discard you in turn?
  • Arrows on Fire: Used to light a deep trench spanning an entire plain covered in oil—which served as the opening of the Battle of Atropatene where a bulk of the Parsian army were killed in the flames.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Subverted. While Arslan is a decent fighter, those in his group like Daryun, Farangis and Gieve are better fighters.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Elam while disguised as a girl got flirted on by a soldier.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The second 2015 anime opening displays two instances of this: Arfrid with Narsus and Arslan with Elam.
  • Bad Ass Army: The Parsian army, especially their cavalry. There is a good reason why they were well known and widely feared. Even when they were badly injured, abandoned by the main armies and know they cannot win, they continued to charge at their enemies.
  • Batman Gambit: Daryun pulled one on Narsus early on. He deliberately took the road near Kharlan's base so the soldiers searching for him and Arslan would investigate Narsus's house and Narsus would have no choice but to help Arslan.
  • Battle Cry: In various moments, Parsian commanders (particularly King Andragoras, Daryun and finally Arslan himself) have employed the fittingly-laconic Yashasuiin!
  • The Beastmaster: Jaswant, apparently. He travels around on a tiger.
  • Beast of Battle: Shindrans use elephants in battle.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The Shindran agent Jaswant (who is loyal to Grand Vizier Mahendra, serving Crown Prince Gadevi) was sent to infiltrate Prince Rajendra's ranks and sabotage his alliance with Arslan. Being exposed to the strategic excellence of Pars's leadership (particularly Narsus) cemented his respect for them, but still remained loyal to Mahendra. Arslan's mercy towards him after being outed as The Mole, however, led him to save Arslan's entourage (when the sacred duel between Gadevi and Rajendra's proxies went downhill). Gadevi losing it and killing Mahendra was just the icing on the cake.
  • Belly Dancer: With it being set in the Middle East during its Golden Age, it's hard to imagine that we'll see an exotic dancer more often. Heck, we even saw one of them in episode 20 and some of them in episode 2 of the 2016 OVA.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Daryun doesn't like it when anyone disrespects his uncle Vahriz, especially after his death. He also really doesn't like it when anyone tries to do harm towards his charge, Arslan.
    • Arslan's button is a bit harder to press but endangering his friends is one way to bring out his anger.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Kharlan.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Arslan is normally gentle, soft-spoken, patient and doesn't like violence. However, when Rajendra cynically puts Daryun's life in danger, he snaps, draws his sword and tells Rajendra that if Daryun doesn't survive the fight, he, Arslan, will personally have Rajendra's head. This comes as a surprise not only to Rajendra but also to Arslan's own followers.
    • In the novel he says "I swear by the gods of Pars that if that monster kills Daryun its head will decorate the city gate - along with yours!" The novel also informs us that this was the first time Arslan ever threatened anyone.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Early on, Daryun comes to Arslan's rescue when he was attacked by Kharlan.
  • Bishie Sparkle:
    • Gieve often has these when trying to woo Farangis. It doesn't work.
    • Hilarity Ensues in the 2015 anime OVA when Gieve teaches Arslan to do it. It effectively works on Daryun, Elam and Narsus.
  • Bishounen: Every single male under 30, especially Arslan.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Hilmes and Daryun suffer this at the end of the duel in episode 24. The former also suffers a Broken Faceplate simultaneous to it, despite their slashes explicitly only hitting each other at the torso.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Of the arrow variation. While it happens most of the time in many of the sieges and open-field battles, one notable instance was Gieve doing this as a Mercy Kill to Shapur.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Narsus is a formidable strategist and statesman (think Oberstein) who nevertheless regards himself an artist first and foremost. In the second part of the story he says he's a "Royal Court Artist who happens to be First Minister as well." Daryun's utter and vocal distaste for Narsus's artwork is a running gag throughout the story, but while the first anime adaptation would have the viewers believe that Daryun is too boneheaded to appreciate true art, the novel series and the Arakawa adaptation imply that Narsus's art does actually suck.
  • Cain and Abel: Gadevi and Rajendra, the two Shindran princes. Also Hirmes and Arslan, although they're cousins. As it turns out, not even that.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Farangis makes a well-crafted observation about kingship in the Season 1 finale:
    "The throne itself does not have a will of its own. This is how I think of it. Depending upon who sits in it, it can be a seat of justice or it can be the seat of inhuman cruelty. As long as it is a man, and not a god, doing the governing, he can never be perfect. But should he neglect to make efforts to reach for perfection, a king will surely tumble down the slippery slope towards evil with no one around to stop him."
  • The Champion: Daryun to Arslan. At one point he makes it clear that he doesn't care whether or not Arslan is the rightful heir or even of royal blood, he's loyal to him as a person.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Near the start of the duel between Daryun and Bahadur, Daryun's long cape is burnt at the end by the fire surrounding the ring. He later deliberately catches a good portion of the cape on fire to hurl it into Bahadur's face, blinding him.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Arakawa manga/anime only: back in chapter/episode 1, Daryun makes a mention of his friend as someone he would like Arslan to promote. Said character Narsus doesn't appear until a few chapters later (and chronologically three years later).
    • When he first joins Arslan, Narsus originally wanted to send Elam to his friend to Port Gilan to safety. Much later on, we meet Shagad at Port Gilan after Andragoras ordered Arslan to go there.
    • Alfarid mentions she has an older brother when she first joins Narsus, that he will lead the Zot clan after their father died. Much later, we meet Merlain who is looking for Alfarid because their father's will indicated she is to be the chieftain, not him.
  • Civil War / Succession Crisis: The straggler Parsian officers in exile are beginning to sense that 1) with Arslan finally making his bid to free Pars from Lusitania and 2) Prince Hilmes/Silvermask finally setting his plan to undermine Lusitania from within in motion, liberating Pars will not actually lead to peace but this, which bodes ill for the people of Pars. Former Marzban Kubard, despite remaining a loyal Parsian subject, seems to find the possibility distasteful, and sits out of it—at least until a contingent sent by Hilmes tried to kill him, which pretty much drove him to side with Arslan's army.
  • Combat by Champion / Duel to the Death: Shindra's King Karikala issued one where his two sons would settle their dispute for the throne. However, a proxy for the duel is allowed and Rajendra chose Daryun and Gadevi chose Bahadur.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Daryun. Which goes to show that even Knights In Shining Armor need not avoid it.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For Arslan, at any rate.
  • Commonality Connection: Arslan felt a connection with Jaswant as both respect and want to please their adoptive parents and are uncertain with their place in the world.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: After Karikala passed away, Rajendra hosted a banquet in honor for his disgraced brother Gadevi. Narsus commented that in Shindra, in light of a royal execution, they would ply the condemned with food and wine as a final feast. Gadevi, who knew this tradition, is naturally frightened and jumpy.
  • Cool Helmet: Arslan's helmet has large horns in the original artwork and the first anime. The 2015 Arakawa anime chose to give him, Daryun, King Andragoras and the other Parsian officers helmets with either leonine or equestrian motifs, which would not be out of place amongst the Rohirrim.
  • Cool Mask: Hirmes/Silvermask's mask has large bull horns (one wonders how strong his neck must be). The mask is toned down in Arakawa's adaptation, which looks like an amalgam of a mask a Char Clone would wear (as befits Silvermask's status as The Ace and The Rival) and that of Kurei's initial mask (intending to hide facial burns, as befits being the "Cain" to Arslan's "Abel").
  • Crucified Hero Shot: In the Arakawa manga/TV series Andragonas is forced into this position after being captured and chained up by Hilmes, his nephew.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The confrontation between Arslan and Silvermask in chapter 39 had Silvermask dominating the entire fight, easily breaking Arslan's sword and almost cutting off Arslan's hand.

  • Darker and Edgier: Arakawa's version compared to the previous anime and manga adaptations (not the novel, though).
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Daryun dresses in all black, and in the novel he's known in-universe as the Black Knight.
  • Death of a Child: In one panel Bodin tosses a young child into the fire and later on, a Lusitanian soldier mentions that three million heretics, including children, have been killed.
  • Decoy Getaway: How Queen Tahamine tried to escape from Ecbatana. (It didn't work.)
  • Defector from Decadence: In a story quite morally-ambiguous as this, the defection of men such as Kharlan, Xandes and Sam to serving Lusitania under Silvermask's command is treated as such. Their justification is that Silvermask is Hilmes, the original heir to the throne of King Osroes V (up until his brother Andragoras III seized kingship after killing him). To them, their aiding Lusitania to destroy Andragoras's rule is less being The Quisling and more engineering Rightful King Returns. Of course, Arslan and his faction has other ideas.
    • Jaswant's departure from the Shindran court to serve under Arslan himself can also qualify as such, considering Gadevi's and Rajendra's appalling track record on keeping their word—at least as long as Pars and Shindra are not at war.
  • Distressed Dude: Arslan occasionally finds himself in trouble and needs someone, usually Daryun, to come to the rescue. Justified in that he is young and inexperienced and while he can hold his own in a fight, he is frequently targeted because he is the prince with a price on his head.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • When arriving at Peshwar, majority of Arslan's group suspect or know that former prince Hilmes is still alive. All except Arslan himself.
    • Narsus and Daryun are pondering why the Lusitanian army have been slow to act when Arslan's army was forced to turn back to Peshwar and did not take the chance to attack their rearguard. The audience knows at this point Andragoras had escaped from his confinement and is causing trouble within Ecbatana's walls.
  • The Dreaded: The mere mention of Daryun is enough to send soldiers quivering and running away in fear.
  • The Drifter: Gieve. A Wandering Minstrel with a Gray-and-Grey Morality who hates nobility and initially only joins Arslan's group because of Farangis and his own hatred against Lusitanians.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Lusitanian women and Barcacion commit suicide as a sign of their faith when they see that the fortress of Saint Emmanuel was overrun by the Parsian soldiers.
  • Dual Wielding: Kishward uses two swords.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Arslan has a rather effeminate face in Hiromu Arakawa's rendition of the story.
  • Due to the Dead: Whenever time permits, Arslan makes a point of holding funeral rites for all those who fall in battle, friend and enemy alike, according to their own respective religions.
  • Easily Forgiven: Played with. Arslan forgave Jaswant and Rajendra after several betrayals from both and spared their lives repeatedly. Jaswant would return the favour and would later join Arslan's group. For Rajendra, however, certain restrictions after the latest betrayal were put in place.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Played straight with Rajendra's battle elephants.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Arslan is first introduced as someone who dislikes fighting, ponders what it means to be a good king and is a Friend to All Living Things.
    • Gieve performs a Mercy Kill on a captured general who begged to be killed by an ally, firing an arrow from a near impossible distance.
    • Daryun deliberately misses his shot to kill Etoile at Arslan's pleading.
    • Farangis calmly walks right through a group of Lusitanians, before serenely ending them.
    • Andragoras furiously demotes Daryun at his suggestion that the army could be walking into a trap. He then harshly calls out his own son Arslan for arriving on the scene without being summoned.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Kharlan's betrayal stunned his comrades and when confronting him, Arslan asked why he as an honoured knight of Pars would choose to betray his own country. Kharlan would die refusing to explain his actions, though it was implied he did so because he found out Andragoras attempted to murder his nephew sixteen years ago and Hilmes had returned to reclaim the throne.
    • Later in the series, one of the Marzban waylaid by Kharlan's betrayal, Sam, already having done his own Face–Heel Turn out of respect to Hilmes, exposes himself publicly in order to destabilize the morale of Arslan's army. Arslan's army holds nevertheless—sincee he holds more of the remaining Marzban in his ranks, and all of them profess Undying Loyalty to him right now.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The high-ranking Lusitanian officer Montferrat is seen disgusted by Bodin's extreme murders of innocent Parsians and disapproves of senseless killing. Other Lusitanian soldiers also voice their objection about Bodin's torture of Shapur.
    • Even Guiscard expresses disdain for Bodin's fanaticism, while Innocentis — as barely evil as he is — is visibly distressed when Bodin burns a bunch of Parsian texts.
  • Eye Scream: Azrael's main method of attacking anyone who means harm to Arslan. Gadevi experiences this when he tries to kill Arslan.
  • Expy: The Lusitanian commander Guiscard, being a relatively more martial and competent commander than his brother (King Innocentius VII), coupled with his revealed desire to depose his brother and become King himself, is textbook Richard III. His being a more ruthless commander with a very pragmatic (sometimes even disdainful) approach to the political uses of his faith also makes him similar to Cesare Borgia, the man who inspired Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince.
  • Extremely Protective Child: Selima adores her father and he returns the same affection. So when her husband Gadhevi killed her father, she was the one to capture and turn in Gadhevi to be executed.

  • Famous Last Words:
    • "I'd rather die on the arrow of a friend than be made sport of by these Lusitanian barbarians!" — Shapur
    • "I can't follow your orders." — Kharlan
    • "Please become a fine king." — Bahman
    • "Jaswant...don't choose the wrong path." — Mahendra
    • "O kindhearted heathen prince... be that as it may, itnote  is something that cannot be stopped. Such is the nature of faith. What is within my power to do is to be with everyone and to be with God." — Count Barcacion
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Pars is Persia (especially under the Achaemenid Empire, further supported by the emblem of Pars looking very similar to a relief of the Achaemenid king Darius I, who ruled it at its peak), Lusitania is a mix of Macedonia and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Maryam is the Byzantine Empire, and Shindra is India.
    • As for religion, Pars and Shindra are polytheist while Lusitania and Maryam worship one god, Yaldabord. Lusitania is a lot more militant about it: they torture "heathens" and destroy art and scriptures that depict and mention other gods. To drive the point home, the current king of Lusitania is called Innocentius VII, an obvious reference to Pope Innocent III. Lusitania, for all intents and purposes, is pretty much a mishmash of most stereotypes regarding medieval Catholicism.
  • Fatal Flaw: King Andragoras's overconfidence. He believed that his powerful army could overcome any enemy with little regard for tactics or planning, despite warnings from one of his generals. That pride would cost him the battle of Atropatene where he not only lost a huge portion of his soldiers, the rest of his followers scattered, the capital city becoming overrun and he himself would be imprisoned.
  • A Father to His Men:
    • A budding one despite his youth, but Arslan cares deeply for his friends and the men who fight for him. This drives him to work hard to become a leader worthy of their respect.
    • Surprisingly, Rajendra shows some signs of this. He's shown to care about his troops and blames himself when they're led into defeat, and wants to earn glory for them as well as himself.
  • Father Neptune: The mercantile ship captain Graze who serves as Arslan's major ally during his stay in Gilan hits most of the tropes—despite being mostly on the young side and his beard really more like mutton chops.
  • Faux Symbolism: In-universe. After being captured by Parsian soldiers, Jaswant sees a dead rat that the hawk Azrael dropped for him and sees it as symbolic of himself being a rat, slinking around in the shadows and will die without knowing who he is. In reality, Azrael likes Jaswant and was simply bringing him food.
  • Fiery Redhead: Alfarid
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The inevitable result of Daryun fighting, unless Silver Mask or Zandeh gets in his way, then the fight will be a tad more even.
  • Foil:
    • Arslan and Hilmes. Both are royalty and are seeking to reclaim their throne but where Arslan genuinely cares for all civilians and even those from other countries, Hilmes would fight and sacrifice anyone who went against his ideals. Narsus points out the difference between Arslan and Hilmes to the latter in their encounter. Hilmes quickly ordered Narsus to serve him when Arslan asked Narsus to help him as a favor.
    • Arslan and Gadhevi. Highlighted especially in chapter 47 where it is seen how they treat their subordinates. While Arslan kindly offered warm food and wine to the soldiers, Gadhevi harshly ordered his soldiers to feed drugs to their elephants to provoke them into a frenzy for the upcoming battle, even killing one when they protested.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Arslan becomes king. His journey to the throne, however, is an epic worthy to be told.
  • Foreshadowing: Early on, Daryun's uncle Vahriz asked Daryun to swear loyalty to Arslan, not the royal family. It's later revealed that he knew or at least suspected Hilmes was alive, seeking to claim the throne, and Arslan isn't of royal blood.
  • Frame-Up: The second season sees Guiscard trying to remove his brother King Innocentius VII from the picture (having been nothing but a hindrance so far)—first by imprisoning him, then trying to assassinate him. He manipulates events in order to frame both Etoile and the Maryami princess Irina for the assassination (which failed anyway)—leading to Hilmes breaking ranks with Guiscard and Etoile choosing to appeal to Arslan to dislodge Guiscard and Lusitania once and for all.
  • Framing Device: The anime is narrated by someone, most likely a historian, noting important dates in the history of Arslan's attempts to retake his kingdom.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Hawks Azrael and Surush are very fond of Arslan, as well as horses and a giraffe. Kishward lampshades this and comments how the hawks know the goodness of Arslan's heart.
  • The Fundamentalist: Jon Bodin, High Priest of Lusitania.
  • General Ripper: Just to highlight the show's Grey-and-Gray Morality, it shows that despite Lusitania having a bunch of fundamentalist nutjobs among its officers, it also shows that even the Marzban of Pars have elitist and We Have Reserves tendencies. One tragic example is the hot-headed Garshaph, who killed slaves planning on bringing in Lusitania after the latter promised freeing them. His high-handedness eventually drove more slaves to revolt against Pars—and when Ecbatana fell, we get a good lingering shot of him becoming a Human Pincushion after Lusitanian soldiers were done with him.
  • Genre Savvy: In chapter 39, after Silvermask is knocked over the castle wall and into the moat, despite not seeing the body, Daryun was quick to assume he had escaped.
  • Glory Hound: Zaravant and Esfan were this immediately after joining Arslan, and undertaking a foolhardy attack gets their armies suckered into an enemy trap (taking Tus and his men down with them). Fortunately, Arslan and Narsus were able to devise a strategy to rescue them immediately. Thankfully, Zaravant and Esfan learn their lesson and never stray from their orders hereon.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Hirmes's mask hides a rather nasty burn scar.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Don't mistaken Arslan's All-Loving Hero status as weak.

  • Happily Adopted:
    • Averted with Arslan who adores their parents but said parents don't reciprocate.
    • Played straight with Jaswant and the Shindran Grand Vizier.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Played with. Arslan and Daryun would wear helmets during battle/combat and it has saved their lives a few times. Others like Narsus, Gieve or Farangis don't.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: Averted. During Daryun and Zande's fight, Farangis stepped in, firing arrows at him and his horse, as well as using her dagger. Daryun did not mind. After all, they were surrounded by the enemy and their priority was to regroup with Arslan and the others quickly.
  • Heroic Bastard: Arslan. Only alluded to in the anime, expanded upon in the novels and the manga. In fact, he's not even of royal blood, he's the son of a cavalry soldier and a serving girl, whom he thought to be his nanny. He quickly proves that he is charismatic, kind, and intelligent enough to deserve his followers' loyalty and grow up into a great ruler regardless.
  • Heroic BSoD: Arslan goes into numbed shock in the 2015 anime/manga when he witnesses firsthand the bloody destruction and carnage of the Battle of Atropatene, weakly calling out for a familiar face. It gets From Bad to Worse when he sees Kharlan and his men arriving, only for him to realize they are going to kill him.
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Arslan and his supporters who wander around Pars looking for supporters and allies. It starts out with only Daryun, then gains Narsus (and Elam), Farangis and Gieve who make up the core of Arslan's growing group of allies. Originally none of them were very enthusiastic about it and supported Arslan only because they opposed the Lusitanian invasion, but eventually Arslan's personality won them over.
    • At first Daryun was only following his uncle Vahriz's orders, Narsus joined because he found Arslan interesting, Farangis because she hated Lustianian religious fanaticism and Gieve because Farangis joined, and because he hated oppression of all kind.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Gieve to Farangis, Arfrid to Narsus. Subverted a little in that both Farangis and Narsus are very much aware of their respective suitors' feelings, and they find the situation annoying.
  • Hypocrite: A good part of the justification for Lusitania's invasion of Pars is that their religion holds all men equal, which makes the Parsian institution of slavery anathema to them. But once they have control of Pars, they make no effort to free the slaves or improve their lot in life, nor do they extend their notion of equality to the Parsians, claiming that heathens don't count. Most of them don't even make an effort to extend equal treatment to Parsians who convert.
  • I Die Free: Early in the Arakawa manga, Etoile's fellow captured Lusitanian friends went berserk and fought to the death against their captors rather than become slaves.
  • Ice Queen: Arslan's mother Queen Tahamine is very cold towards her husband, who dotes on her, and her son, who only wants to make her proud.
  • Inter Service Rivalry: The Lusitanian military and the clergymen/Temple Knights do not get along, since the military does all the fighting but the clergymen take all the credit while not being on the front lines. The rivalry is fueled by the mutual dislike between their leaders, Lord Guiscarl and Archbishop Bodin.
  • Joke and Receive: When Narsus and Daryun are wondering why the Lusitanian army hasn't attacked them yet, Daryun jokes it's because Andragoras freed himself from his prison and lopped off the head of the Lusitanian king. The first part is in fact true.
  • Kick the Dog: Bodin strikes one Lusitanian soldier who openly questions the burning of the historical books and scrolls of Pars and hits him hard enough to push him into the bonfire.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: A metaphorical one. Andragoras has just exiled Arslan and even refused Arslan's request to see his mother one last time before he leaves. The final "kick" so to speak is taking away all of Arslan's close companions from him. Andragoras even takes Jaswant as his retainer despite insulting Jaswant a minute earlier.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Farangis is assigned the noble task of guarding Arslan, so that her fellow sisters at the convent who were jealous of her could find a convenient excuse to kick her out.
  • King Bob the Nth: Innocentius VII. Before him, side materials indicate Andragoras's regnal number as "III", while his brother Osroes is "V".
  • Kneel Before Zod: In the TV series, Silvermask and his men surrounded Narsus and would let Narsus live if he kneel before him and serve him.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Invoked by Etoile, who dresses as a boy so she can fight in the army.
  • Lady of War: Farangis is this trope personified. Incidentally, she's very much aware of her own skills and beauty. She can also drink her Hopeless Suitor Gieve under the table without losing her poise and dignity.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Gieve, the smooth talker, falls head over heels for Farangis the moment he meets her.
  • The Last DJ: The series has some instances where the idea actually becomes a plot point:
    • Narsus had this reputation at Andragoras's court, being the first (and so far, only) Parsian noble to free all his slaveswhose labor serves as the economic backbone of Pars. Thus, he is a source of unease to the traditional Parsian nobles who flocked to Arslan's standard. Hence, despite having served for almost the entire season as Arslan's de facto chancellor/satruyp, he eventually chose to hand over the position of satruyp (for now) to the newcomer-but-most senior Lord Lucian. (After all, his "official commission" from Arslan is "Court Painter".)
    • This is also arguably the cause of Gieve's "exile" With Arslan's army slowly becoming more "formalized" and staffed with the traditional Parsian nobility, the loose nature of his in-exile inner circle, despite having proven themselves as True Companions, needed to be integrated in this formal command.note  Gieve, as it is, is too much of a loose cannon which does not fit into the chain of command. Of course, it eventually appeared that Gieve was sent on a secret mission to secure the sword Rukhnabad, which will legitimize Arslan's claim to a throne—which is virtually intelligence work.
  • Laughing Mad: Since being captured, Andragoras has a habit of doing this.
  • The Legend of X
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Happens during the journey to Peshawar due to the efforts of the Lusitanian soldiers and the fire and smoke set by Hodir's men. Daryun stayed behind to give the group more time to escape. Gieve ran into Arslan and Elam while trying to find Farangis. Farangis managed to find Daryun. Meanwhile, Narsus alone confronts Silvermask and meets Arfrid.
  • Licked by the Dog: Or in this case, by a hawk. One indication to Arslan that Jaswant is not as bad as he appears to be is that Asrael liked him, having offered Jaswant food twice.
  • Living MacGuffin: Arslan is targeted due to the price on his head and his status as the prince of Pars.
  • Living Shadow: The mysterious horde of warlocks aiding Hirmes (who claim to have been on familiar terms with the late Parsian king Gotarzes II) fight like this most of the time.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Narsus, Gieve
  • Love at First Sight: Men have a way of falling for Queen Tahamine at first sight. It happened with Andragoras, Osroes and Innocentius, and at least one other man before she married Andragoras.
    • Love Ruins the Realm: A large part of the problems Pars goes through can be traced back to Andragoras and Osroes falling in love with the same woman.
  • Lured into a Trap: Narsus' favorite strategy.
  • Magnetic Hero: One of Arslan's main traits is his compassion and empathy, able to win over even the most unlikely people to his side. Even his enemies treat him with respect and courtesy. The Arakawa manga and the 2015 anime emphasize these traits to the detriment to his other traits such as his natural insight and being a very good judge of character which are his prevalent in the original story.
  • The Magnificent: It is claimed that Arslan is about to gain the historical epithet Arslan the Liberator: after re-establishing his power base and command, he finally set forth public declarations for his bid to 1) recapturing Ecbatana, driving away Lusitania and freeing Pars, as well as 2) making good on his claim in finally setting the slaves of Pars free.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In episode 24 of the 2015 anime, arrows strangely miss Farangis despite her standing out in the open. Whether it's her claim that the Djinn were protecting her or just good luck, it's left ambiguous.
  • Mercy Kill: Shapur, captured and facing Cold-Blooded Torture, asks to be shot by his allies. However, none of the Parsian soldiers are capable of covering such a distance. He is shot instead by a soon-to-be introduced new character, Gieve.
  • Mistaken for Betrayal: Due to Narsus's plots and planning, this happens often to the unfortunate enemy.
    • Gadhevi wanted to behead Jaswant for seemingly selling out his country to the Parsian forces when in reality, Narsus had planted false information to him. It was only by Mahendra's intervention that Jaswant was spared.
    • Jimsa was likewise fed incorrect military strategies when he escaped from being captured at Peshwar, leading the Turan forces into a trap. The Turan king would have killed him right then for his "betrayal" but Jimsa refused to die when he knows he would never willingly betray his country and was forced to flee.
  • The Mole: Jaswant is sent by Grand Vizier Mahendra to infiltrate Rajendra's forces.
  • Mood Whiplash: Arslan and Daryun finally hear of Vahriz's death. Narsus then chucks a plate at a soldier attempting to escape Narsus's pit and Elam quickly scolds him for wasting dishware.
  • Mook Horror Show: This occurs whenever Daryun enters in battle where he easily kills anyone in his way, most notably to the invading Lusitanians and Shindrians.
  • Moral Myopia: Etoile tells Arslan that his god Yaldabord teaches that all people are equal but if you identify with another religion, then you are a pagan and must be marked off and killed. Arslan naturally lampshades this.
    • She also fails to see the hypocrisy of her doctrine when the army doesn't want women in their ranks and has to disguise herself as a man to even join.
  • Morality Pet: Arguably, Arslan for Etoile and Gieve. He is the only Parsian that Etoile respects and he is able to bring out a softer side of the latter. Gieve initially only cared for himself but Arslan's compassion wins him over and Gieve eventually would proceed to do unselfish acts for Arslan's sake.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: This comes up quite often, as there are decent people serving those in power who do not deserve their loyalty.
    • Mahendra does not hide the fact that he knows Gadhevi is an unworthy successor to the Sindhurian throne but continues to serve him. His daughter Selima being married to Gadhevi adds further pressure to obey Gadhevi.
    • Similarly, Jaswant does not wish to serve Gadhevi or Rajendra as he knows neither are good people but continues to stay because he is devoted to Mahendra.
    • Kishward genuinely likes Arslan as a person and commander but when Andragoras returns and kicks Arslan out, Kishward has to obey the king's command to not follow Arslan and stop anyone else from doing so, forcing him to fight Daryun.

  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In chapter 39, in a moment of panic, Bahman stopped Kishward and the others from killing Hermes by declaring if they did, they would extinguish the rightful line of Pars while in front of Arslan, shattering the poor boy's world. This also allowed Silvermask to escape in the confusion. Narsus was rightfully furious, thinking to himself that he should have cut Bahman down.
  • Ninja: Oddly, Tus's design in the 2015 Arakawa adaptation gives him a mesh undershirt, a forehead protector and kunai amongst his kit—making him look like more an exile from the Naruto universe than anything.
  • No Escape but Down: In chapter 26 where Arslan, Gieve and Elam were trapped between a cliff and the pursuing Lusitanian soldiers. Gieve grabbed the two and jumped down, causing the soldiers to believe that No One Could Survive That!. Subverted in that they actually didn't jump off the cliff but held onto the edge to deceive the soldiers.
  • No One Gets Left Behind:
    • Arslan refuses to leave Elam whose horse was shot when surrounded by Lusitatian soldiers. The fact that Arslan risks his life for not an important subordinate but for a servant cements Gieve's respect for Arslan.
    • Arslan also takes this option when Zaravant, Esfan and Tus were entrapped (as mentioned above). This subsequently cements the three's absolute respect for his orders.
  • Not So Above It All: When Arslan's group first arrived in Port Gilan, Farangis spotted Elam and Arfrid shopping and lectured them about forgetting the reason they were there ... while buying something herself.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • The normally reserved and kind Arslan threatened someone for the first time in his life when that person caused Daryun to be in danger.
    • Queen Tahamine breaks her stoic visage for the first time when pleading with Andragoras to return her child to her, on the brink of tears. Whoever the child is, it's strongly implied that it's not Arslan.
  • Off with His Head!: Happens to Daryun's uncle Vahriz and other Marzban whose heads are on display, used as an intimidation tactic against the garrison of Pars's capital.note  Considering Ecbatana is sieged on all sides at this point, it unsurprisingly works. It was also done to Gadevi after he attempts to kill Arslan.
  • One-Man Army: Daryun
  • Parental Favoritism: Alfarid and Merlain. Merlain stated their father hated him, despite him being the older one and wrote in his will that Alfarid is to become chieftain and if their father got drunk and knocked both of them around, their father would only apologize to Alfarid after.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Hirmes's romance with Princess Irina.
    • He is also willing to compensate Kharlan's family after the latter's death.
    • He saved a blind village girl from being raped by a Lusitanian soldier as she reminded him of Irina.
  • The Queen's Latin: The first four episodes of the OVA were dubbed by Manga Entertainment's UK branch. The voice actors didn't fake American accents like in other Manga UK dubs.
  • Please Wake Up: A variation with Kishward's young son whose grandfather was one of the Marzban travelling with the king. Despite Gieve reporting to the boy and his mother that his head was on display during the Ecbatana siege, the boy kept asking where his grandfather was and that he wouldn't lose in a fight.
  • Port Town: Gilan serves this purpose to Pars, as the source of most of its maritime and international trade. The growing isolation and corruption of the city was an issue Arslan's party had to settle to build up the 50,000 men army ordered by Andragoras.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Mostly in the Arakawa version, it comes as a surprise to many characters that Arslan is very kind and humble for someone who is the king's son. In the novels he's still kind, but not particularly sweet, and there's a lot more emphasis on his empathy, people skills and observant nature which are a large part of his charisma that draws people to him.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Andragoras orders Arslan to go to the coastal regions in the south to gather 50,000 men and not to return until he has that number. Many characters realize Andragoras is exiling and banishing Arslan in all but name.
  • Red Baron: Daryun is called Sher Senani (Great Tiger General) by the awestruck Shindran soldiers at the end of the duel before the gods. Even prior to this, he also enjoyed the title of Mardān fu Mardān even amongst the Marzban of Pars.
  • Rescue Romance:
    • Subverted. Gieve, finding Farangis surrounded by assailants, intends to sweep in, rescue her, and bask in her gratitude... but by the time he reaches her, she's handled the situation herself, leaving him stunned with admiration.
    • Played more straight in Arfrid's introduction scene, though also with a twist. She's trying to avenge his father on Hirmes but he easily disarms her. When Narsus shows up, she demands he give her his sword so she can continue fighting. Narsus rescues her instead, and eventually she decides she's in love with him.
  • The Reveal:
    • Silvermask does this to Andragoras revealing to him that he is Hilmes, his nephew, and by extension, Arslan's cousin.
    • It's much later revealed that Arslan isn't related to Andragoras and Tahamine at all. In reality, he was instead adopted into their family; so he has no blood relation to the royal family, or Hilmes.
  • Reused Character Design: In Hiromu Arakawa's manga, the characters bear strong resemblances to characters of her other work Fullmetal Alchemist; Arslan looks like Edward with Alphonse's expressions and white hair, Daryun resembles Kimblee, Etoile has Alphonse's appearance and Edward's expressions and his personality and after the time skip, she looks more like Hawkeye, Farangis' looks and demeanor resembles Lust and her facial structure resembles Lan Fan, etc.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Silvermask wants to torture and kill Arslan so Andragoras would see his son's severed head because Andragoras is actually Silvermask/Hilmes' uncle, who killed Hilmes' father and tried to assassinate Hilmes sixteen years ago.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: A major factor for the Lusitanian victory during the siege of Ectabana was that they were able to persuade the slaves to turn against their masters and let them inside the castle walls with the promise of freeing them. But once the deed was done, the Lusitanian soldiers had no intent to keep their promise and the slaves were treated even worse than their previous masters.
  • Right in Front of Me: In episode 9, Etoile told the "spoiled rich boy" he reunited with from three years ago that he heard King Andragoras and Prince Arslan have two twisted horns, abnormally wide mouths and black tails. Said rich boy looked nervous/appalled because he is Arslan.
  • Rightful King Returns: Once again, played more realistically than most. What happens when there are two arguably-rightful claimants to the throne? As it is, Arslan and Hilmes are on a race to make the stronger claim to their "righteousness", set in the backdrop of liberating Pars from the Lusitanian foreign invasion.
  • Royally Screwed Up: Seems to happen a lot here.
    • Much of Pars' internal problems started because brothers Osroes and Andragoras fell in love with the same woman. It's strongly implied that Andragoras poisoned his own brother to get the throne and her as his wife.
    • Hilmes was once a nice and cheerful boy but after his uncle Andragoras killed his father and left him to be burned alive, all form of sweetness died and currently, he is an unhinged and violent man.
    • Sindhuran princes Rajendra and Gadhevi are both scheming and backstabbing snakes whose desire to become king and kill the other brother are only causing chaos to the country.
    • Averted with Arslan who is so far the only decent person of royal blood, and he isn't even Andragoras or Tahamine's son.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Parsian royalty is expected to be war heroes. The King serves as the main commander and is on the front lines, while the prince is expected to go to battle at a young age. Prince Arslan had his first campaign at age 14 and basically, he is trying to reclaim his throne at age 14.
    • Andragoras III, every inch the Warrior King, himself supposedly was performing feats of arms and enjoyed a Memetic Badass reputation amongst his subjects even as a young boy.
    • Similarly, his nephew Hilmes/Silvermask has not spent his years of exile idly, having prepared for years to retake the throne of Pars through any scheme and means necessary. Interestingly, he was actually shown as doing a better job in his studies as a Crown Prince in his youth than Arslan was at the same age.

  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Arslan's original groupnote  blatantly disobey Andragoras's royal mandate not to follow Arslan in his banishment because they are loyal to Arslan first, not the king.
  • Secret Test of Character: Narsus did one to Arslan. He told Arslan that if he was Kharlan attempting to find Arslan, he would set a village on fire and continue to kill innocent villagers to provoke Arslan out in the open, which Arslan immediately said they had to stop Kharlan before that happened. Daryun later commented that if Arslan didn't responded as such, Narsus would have seen him unfit as king and abandoned him.
  • Shirtless Scene: Gieve in episode 2, though technically he's full naked (as he's swimming in a pool).
  • Shrouded in Myth: Apparently Daryun has begun gaining a reputation for this by Season 2 (probably due to his growing list of Red Baron titles above). It's come to a point that it's possible to intimidate or defuse a fight just by announcing that Daryun is in front of you.
  • Sidequest Sidestory: The arc of Hirmes's faction for Season 2 was securing the treasured sword Rukhnabad (owned by the Parsian founder Kai Khosrow) in order to symbolically assert Hirmes's rightful lineage. At best, it does not advance the plot any further other than a) digging into the circumstances leading to Hirmes's current vengeful nature, and b) causing further problems for Lusitania through allowing Hirmes to dismantle the Temple Knights and achieve homebase in Maryam through rescuing Princess Irina.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • A mild one when Hodir gave Arslan two conditions to gain his support (marry his daughter and refrain from any revolutionary reforms such as abolishing slavery), Arslan was more upset that he hasn't even met Hodir's daughter yet.
    • Narsus is more indignant that Silvermask called him a "third rate painter" than the fact Silvermask escaped.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: In many scenes, Daryun gets to show off his well-toned arms.
  • Soft Water: In the Arakawa manga/TV anime: Arslan and Etoile fell from the castle wall into the moat. Both were perfectly fine and Etoile managed to steal a horse afterwards.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Silvermask is fond of doing this. And some of Kharlan's men mocked Vahriz after his death.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": And how. To start with, originally the names of characters and places either came from Persian legends (Arslan, Farangis, Giv, etc.) or are native to various languages like Farsi, Hindi, Urdu (Daryun, Elam, Etwar, etc. Many places mentioned in the story, such as Ecbatana or Atropatene, actually exist or existed in real life). The person who translated the anime to English treated the names as if they were random fantasy names, hence Arislan, Pharangese, Daryoon, Gieve and so on. The most jarring decision was turning Etwar/Ester into Etoile/Estelle, despite the very obvious ancient Middle-Eastern type setting. And then for the last two episodes of the OVA Executive Meddling happened on the Japanese side, and the spelling and pronunciation of the names were changed for all major characters, turning Arislan, Daryoon, Narsus, Pharangese, and Gieve into Arslan, Daryun, Narcasse, Farangis, and Guibu.
  • Spoiler Opening: The 2nd Opening of the 2015 anime spoils the fact that Jaswant joins the party.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Andragoras believed his mighty army could overpower any other army with little thought to tactics or strategy. This would cost him dearly as he faced off against an enemy who skillfully utilized the environment (as well as a traitor within the ranks) to trap and kill a significant portion of his soldiers.
    • Arslan freed Hodir's slaves after his group killed him, believing the slaves would be delighted at their new freedom but was shocked when the slaves immediately attacked him instead. Narsus believes that Hodir must have treated his slaves kindly and them killing their benevolent master was seen as an act of evil in their eyes.
    • Similarly, Narsus had previously freed slaves under him, only for the slaves to return back to him as they did not have the necessary skills and direction to live independently and used up the money given to them quickly since they did not know to save their finances.
    • While on the road to Peshwar, both Elam and Gieve run out of arrows and Arslan's weapons are badly notched, not having a chance to replenish their supplies while on the run. And due to being chased constantly by enemies, their horses are exhausted, being pushed to their limit, leaving them easy target for archers. They are only able to gather more arrows and change horses after they kill some Lusitanians.
    • The Lusitanians destroyed the closest bridge to Peshwar, forcing Arslan's group to find another route to safely cross the river. But the Lusitanians was counting on that and laid an ambush for them downstream of the river where there were shallow waters.
    • Silvermask/ Hilmes is a formidable opponent but even he could not win against Daryun, Narsus, Kishward, Gieve and Farangis all at the same time. If he hadn't fallen into the moat, it was very unlikely he would have lasted any longer in that fight.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Guiscarl of Lusitania, who actually runs the kingdom in place of his utterly incompetent brother.
  • The Strategist: Narsus
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Daryun
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: In chapter 28, Arslan tells Gieve and Elam that his nurse and her husband died of drinking too much nabeed (wine) when he was younger. However since they both died at the same time in a suspicious manner, Gieve quietly suspects that they were poisoned instead.
  • Tempting Fate: Early on, there had been many mentions how Pars' armies were undefeatable and that no country could hope to challenge them. Cue the Battle of Atropatene.
  • They Just Don't Get It: Ever since Arfrid joined up with Narsus, she always introduces herself as Narsus's "wife"—and even if Narsus continues to deny it, nobody really buy it. Season 2 sees Narsus virtually giving up after even the Zot Clan (who sees Arfrid as their de facto absentee chief) insists on acknowledging him as their boss too. He then finally weaponizes it by commandeering the Zot Clan (who follow him as Arfrid's "husband") in dismantling Shagad's operations and clearing Gilan once and for all.
  • Time Skip: After Arslan's coronation the novel jumps four years ahead.
  • To the Pain: Silvermask/Hilmes tells Arslan when he corners Arslan alone in episode 13 that he will cut off Arslan's right hand now. Then when they meet next time, he will take the left hand. And after that, if Arslan is still alive, he will take his right foot.
  • Undying Loyalty: Daryun to Arslan. And eventually, Arslan wins the respect and admiration of the rest of his followers. Farangis sums up best to Ester why they all have been won over:
    • This is actually becoming a plot point: due to Arslan's growing popularity and affinity amongst the remaining Parsian generals and officials, King Andragoras is beginning to be (understandably) paranoid that they probably are becoming more loyal to Arslan than him. Indeed, most of the generals are dissatisfied when Arslan is sent out to rebuild the army away from the central court.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Both the Shindran princes have this to a certain extent:
  • Unknown Rival: Zaravant apparently resents Jaswant's position of proximity to Arslan, and tried as much as he can to provoke and undermine him. Jaswant, being The Stoic and the better man, treats Zaravant with indifference. Their relationship eventually graduates to Vitriolic Best Buds after saving each other on the battlefield.
  • The Un-Reveal: Sam finally confronts Andragoras to find out some truths, such as if Andragoras really did kill his own brother, but Andragoras did not reveal much and instead brought more questions. He strongly implies that Hilmes is not of royal blood and he and Tahamine had a child to prevent the end of the Pars royal line, but that child is implied to not be Arslan. Andragoras also flat out tells Sam that he could be lying or being deceived himself.
  • Villain Respect:
    • Some Lusitanian soldiers openly admired the captured Shapur for being Defiant to the End even if he was a "heretic" in their eyes.
    • Silvermask has some admiration for Narsus and wanted Narsus to serve him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Gadevi goes through this when his proxy Bahadur lost the duel and consequently, he lost the throne to his younger brother. He furiously tried to attack his own father and ordered his men to attack Arslan's group as well. And later, he tried to assassinate Arslan when he was in no position to do so. This would eventually result in his own execution.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Daryun and Narsus, especially when it comes to Narsus's artwork.
    Daryun: (to a prisoner) Start talking or I'll have [Narsus] paint your portrait. And nobody wants that.
  • Wandering Minstrel: Gieve, though he's more of a wandering warrior and thief who also happens to be a bard.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Graze is almost always seen topless while at sea and at work—although he does wear shirts and robes in formal occassions.
  • We Used to Be Friends: One of the major conflicts of Season 2 was Narsus discovering that the Gilanese magnate Shagad, a former Academy classmate who he hoped to tap in building up Arslan's army, has not only a) discarded their youthful ideal of dismantling slavery, but b) also engaged in corruption and piracy to enrich himself. The fallout between them near the season finale was inevitable, but he still feels melancholic about it.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Arslan wants to become a good king worthy of his father's expectations and works hard to please his parents who both act rather harsh and cold towards him.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • When the group was separated and chased by Lusitanians, Gieve spotted Arslan and Elam being attacked. At that point in the manga, Gieve was Not in This for Your Revolution and could have pretended he didn't see them. Instead, he chose to come to their rescue and repeatedly protected them throughout the rest of the journey.
    • The manga expands on Bahman's death compared to the anime. Seeing a spear pointed at Arslan's back, Bahman ponders that if Arslan was dead, Pars will be united under Hilmes and there will be no need for a civil war. In the end, he chooses to get between Arslan and the spear.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser:
    • Etoile/Ester dresses as a boy and goes by a male name so she can fight with the other knights.
    • Elam disguised himself to sneak into the captured city of Ecbatana to get information.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: During the duel between Daryun and Bahadur, Daryun pretended that his only weapon had broken and he was helpless against Bahadur. Once Bahadur let his guard down, Daryun revealed he had a hidden dagger on him the whole time and used it to kill Bahadur.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Hirmes is deathly afraid of fire, as a result of having survived Andragoras' attempt to burn him alive.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Etoile thinks all Parsians are heathens that need to be killed off but once she gets to know Arslan, his kindness and desire to improve the kingdom makes Etoile acknowledge that Pars has at least one decent person.
  • You Are in Command Now: Narsus advises Arslan to invoke this regarding Graze's invaluable service—after dismissing the corrupt governor of Gilan, they think he should become acting governor after Arslan leaves.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Subverted in that it's the villains who tend to do this. Hirmes when he reveals himself to Andragoras, while Zande, Kahran's son does the whole My Name Is Inigo Montoya You Killed My Father Prepare to Die routine with Daryun. Arfrid, however, also has a moment of this with Hirmes after the latter kills her father.
    • A variation where Shapur's younger brother Isfan initially wants Gieve dead, who had shot and killed his brother, though for a good reason.
  • Young Future Famous People: Arslan is noted to become known as "Arslan the Liberator" in the 19th episode. In fact, it can be argued that Arslan's group will be this, as they make their mark in history.

Alternative Title(s): The Heroic Legend Of Arslan


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