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Recap / Fairy Tail Grand Magic Games Arc

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Eight guilds enter, but who will be The One?
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Chapters: 258-340, Episodes: 151-203

Short Summary

Wanting to the regain their status which has dropped over the years, Fairy Tail enters the yearly Grand Magic Games in hopes of doing so, but face stiff competition against other competing guilds including rival guild, Raven Tail and the current number one guild, Sabertooth. All the while, a dark conspiracy lurks in the background.

Main Summary


Grand Magic Games Arc has the following tropes:

  • Amazon Brigade: The all women guild, Mermaid Heel.
  • And This Is for...: Laxus names off all of the Fairy Tail members who suffered due to Raven Tail's cheating as he beats them down.
  • Apathetic Citizens: All the civilians in the kingdom completely brush off the dragon attack and go back to their everyday lives. Though, it's implied that some of the people were completely oblivious to the dragon attack entirely.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy:
    • Almost all of Sabertooth.
    • Ivan counts as well due to his braggart characteristics.
  • The Atoner: Jellal, Ultear, and Meredy who form a secret crime fighting guild, Crime Sorcière. As of chapter 298 possibly Flare
  • Bad Boss: Ziemma is a dreadful master leading Sabretooth.
  • Bad Future: There's two!! We get a glimpse of it as Levy is writing a letter to Lucy.
    • To be specific, Future Lucy says that Fiore will be completely decimated by 10,000 dragons. The anime even gives us glimpse of it with Natsu and Lucy the only survivors after the dragons are unleashed on the world and Natsu fighting a hopeless battle against them.
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    • Future Rogue says in his timeline, Acnologia will Take Over the World.
  • Beach Episode: A training chapter takes place on a beach.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Future Rogue tries to justify killing Lucy with this trope, saying that time already establishes everyone's fate.
  • The Bet: All of the battles on the second day:
    • Toby vs. Kurohebi: If Toby wins, Kurohebi has to reveal his real name. If Kurohebi wins, Toby has to reveal his "super secret". Kurohebi wins, and the secret is that Toby has spent 3 months looking for a missing sock that's on his necklace, which Kurohebi rips right after showing it to him.
    • Bacchus vs. Elfman: If Bacchus wins, he gets Mirajane and Lisanna for one night. If Elfman wins, Quatro Cerebus is renamed Quatro Puppy. Elfman wins.
    • Mirajane vs. Jenny: The loser has to pose naked for Sorcerer Magazine. Mirajane wins.
    • Yukino vs. Kagura: The two bet their lives. Kagura wins, only to simply tell Yukino that she now owns her life.
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  • Big Bad: Future!Rogue is ultimately revealed to be the real villain near the end.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: You'd be surprised at how many times the focus on the main villain switches to reveal that there is actually an eviler antagonist yet to come.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Raven Tail and Sabretooth are nothing compared to Future Rogue.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The disaster that would have wiped out Fiore has been averted, Raven Tail is no more, and Fairy Tail wins the games and once more recognized as the strongest guild. What's more, history in the future is altered: everyone in Fairy Tail is still alive. But the alternative timeline Lucy is killed, Ultear sacrifices her youth to help the heroes and cannot see her friends anymore, and the final battle with the dragons leaves a sour taste in everyone mouth as none of the Dragon Slayers were able to defeat one, and these ones aren't even as strong as Acnologia, who according to Future Rogue will take over the world in time. So it might not bode too well at least for the next year.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Gray suffers one from a dragon. However, thanks to Ultear reversing time he's dodges it.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Lucy receives a humiliating defeat from Flare, due to her guild's interference and the audience goes so far as to boo her to the point of tears.
    • Lucy gets broken again when Minerva beats her half to death in the naval battle.
    • Millianna suffers Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of Minerva.
    • Natsu, Lucy, Happy, Wendy, Carla, Pantherlily, and Loke all break down in tears after witnessing Future Rogue coldly murdering Future Lucy.
  • Break the Haughty: Sabretooth ends up having all its guild members get their egos seriously deflated throughout the competition.
  • Brick Joke: When trapped in the Kingdom's Underground Dungeon, Natsu's plan to escape is to simply beat up guards and force them to tell them the way out. The others shoot down this idea as being silly. This is what ends up happening.
  • Call-Back: Natsu using his flames to spell "Come On" to taunt the Twin Dragons calls back to him doing the same for the Vanish Brother in Chapter 7.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: Fairy Tail learns from Lucy's alternative counterpart that there are two possible timelines leading up to their current time. She attempts to make sure that the "better" one occurs, but is killed by Rogue's alternative counterpart in the process. In the end, Natsu and his team help save everyone in Fiore and destroy Eclipse for good.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: All of the battles between different wizards could qualify.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Many of the minor battles but the most notable: Rufus to everyone during the Hidden game, Mirajane vs. Jenny, Kagura vs. Yukino, and Laxus against the entirety of Raven Tail.
    • And don't forget, the climax of the Battle of the Dragon Slayers. Natsu defeats Sting and Rogue, both using Dragon Force, without using Dragon Force himself. He even overpowers their Unison Raid.
    • Erza vs. all one hundred of the monsters set up for the third day's challenge. This is special because the proctors set up the challenge with the thought that all eight participants would have a shot with at least some of the monsters, but Erza, having drawn first dibs, took on all one hundred monsters at once and won in an Offscreen Moment of Awesome. The proctors were shocked she would choose to challenge all of them at once and even more so when she won. Of course for the FT members, it's par for the course.
  • Dark Messiah: Future Rogue returns to the past as an alleged hero trying to save the world, but it's revealed that he truly desires its destruction.
  • Defeat by Modesty: A dragon dispatches an entire army and Lucy by making their clothes vanish.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Sabertooth accepts Fairy Tail after losing badly to them.
  • Designated Girl Fight:
    • Lucy vs. Flare and Wendy vs. Chelia. More humorously, Mirajane vs. Jenny. Later Juvia vs. Chelia and Erza vs. Kagura vs. Minerva.
    • This arc is a particular offender of this trope. In fact, the only official opposite-sex match ups in the entire game were the incredibly minor Millianna vs Semmes and Lyon & Yuka vs Kagura and Millianna, both of which got expanded in the anime. Could be justified since the king picks most of the match-ups, but later on when the battles become real there is another aversion in the Lucy & Yukino vs. Uosuke fight.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Future Lucy does in the arms of her present self.
  • Disc-One Final Boss:
    • Ivan is taken down almost effortlessly after being built up as a serious villain.
    • Ziemma is dispatched by Sting halfway through the arc.
  • Disney Death:
    • Lector when it seemed Jimena had disintegrated him. Minerva, however, revealed she saved him at the last second.
    • Gray when he's actually killed Taking the Bullet for Juvia against the smaller dragon spawn. Thankfully Ultear's Reset Button fixes that so they can avoid the attack in time.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Sting takes over Sabretooth after rebelling against Ziemma.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: After Elfman wins against Bacchus, as per the conditions of their bet, Quatro Cerberus changed their name to Quatro Puppy for the duration of the games.
  • Engrish: In its original Japanese, anime-Yukino pronounces Pisces as "piss-kiss".
  • The Extremist Was Right: Despite how wrong his actions were, Rogue's future self was proven right about Lucy closing Eclipse.
  • Evil Counterpart: Many of the guild members of Sabretooth serve as darker versions to Fairy Tail members during the Tournament Arc.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Raven Tail and Sabertooth enjoy making others suffer.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Future Rogue pulled one a long time ago and grew from the Token Good Teammate into the arc's Big Bad.
  • Fanservice: Some of the Beach / Training chapter, Mirajane and Jenny's battle, and the Naval Battle. As well as all of Chapter 298. The first two gets expanded in the anime. Also when Zirconis strips Lucy during the climax with the dragons to show his perverted side.
  • Faux Action Girl:
    • A rare male example. Ichiya's exceed counterpart from Edolas is built up to be a great badass warrior for Blue Pegasus, only for him to suffer a One-Hit KO.
    • Future Lucy travelled back in time to save the world from an impending disaster by herself, but the only amazing thing she accomplishes in her mission is pulling a Heroic Sacrifice. Justified in that she doesn't seem to have any of her keys, is missing an arm, and her plan seemed to just be to warn people about what would happen rather than do any dramatic heroics.
  • Five-Man Band: Numerous guilds form teams of five combating other guild, some of which are villainous.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Every so often we get quips from Levy taking about the current events as if looking into the past. Not to mention Carla's vision of Mercurius Castle, the King of Fiore's castle, falling to the ground. Guess what happens when the seven dragons go through Eclipse in the present timeline?
    • The hooded woman, aka Future Lucy, makes several of them as she predict she know what will happen on a certain day.
    • When Future Rogue confronts Lucy and her friends, he notes that Lucy will be the one who will close Eclipse. Guess what Lucy does with the gate towards the end of the arc?
    • Cobra vowing to free the rest of Oracien Seis from prison.
    • Hades mentions that Last Ages would take a severe toll on the user's body. Later, Ultear doing so to help stop the dragon invasion results in her becoming an old woman.
    • Future Rogue warns Natsu that something will happen in a year, resulting in Frosch's death.
  • From Bad to Worse: Towards the end of the Grand Magic Games, Hisui plans to launch Eclipse 2 based on advice she was given from the alternate timeline Rogue. Lucy's future self meets up with her friends from the past and warns them of the impending dragon invasion, but the alternate Rogue turns up and kills her. Worse, the Eclipse Gate is actually connected 400 years into the past where dragons were once alive. Yukino and Lucy's attempt to remedy this ends up making things worse when some of the dragons arrive in the main timeline to cause the catastrophe in Fiore. Even worse, the dragons end up killing quite a few wizards, including Gray. If it wasn't for Ultear using her Last Ages spell, everyone would have been all but wiped out and the alternate Rogue would have won.
  • Future Badass: Future Rogue is lot more intimidating compared to his younger self.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Throughout the whole arc, it's Fairy Tail as the good, Sabertooth as the bad, and Raven Tail as the evil. After Raven Tail is disqualified, Sabertooth, particularly Minerva, shifts toward being more evil. A smaller example exists in the Mêlée à Trois fight between Erza as the Good, Kagura as the Bad, and Minerva as the Evil.
  • Good vs. Good: The heroic guilds also combat each other in the tournament.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Several characters are gruesomely murdered by dragons, slightly out of view. Thankfully, Ultear reverses time so none of these deaths occur.
  • Government Conspiracy: There's one going on with the staff of the Fiore Kingdom.
  • Graceful Loser: Sting comes to grips with the fact that he's not fighting for the right reasons and admits defeat to Fairy Tail.
  • Great Offscreen War: 400 years ago, a war erupted between the dragons who wanted to try coexisting with humans and the dragons who only saw humanity as food. The former group was eventually able to turn the tide in their favor by enlisting the help of humans, creating the first Dragon Slayers. However, some of the Dragon Slayers abused their power and began killing Dragons regardless of their attitude toward humanity, with one in particular exposing himself in so much Dragon blood that he gradually turned into a Dragon himself: the Dragon King, Acnologia.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Future Rogue warns Natsu that there was someone so horrible that he caused him to become the villain that he is.
  • Hate Sink: Raven Tail is actually so horrible that they make Sabretooth look like saints in comparison.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The entire guild of Sabretooth changes for the better after losing the tournament.
  • The Hero Dies: The alternate timeline Lucy dies after rescuing her present self, who is one of the main protagonists of Fairy Tail, from Rogue's powerful attack.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • This is Played for Laughs with Natsu and his team. They suffer one along with Levy and Juvia after it's revealed that one day in the Celestial Spirit World is equal to three months in Earth-land, which they should have spent training for the Great Magic Games.
    • Lucy goes through a brief one after losing to Flare from Raven Tail.
    • Yukino gets two in quick succession. First, she has a major one when she gets expelled from Saber Tooth for disappointing Ziemma, finally letting her emotions come out when Natsu simply shows her plain human decency. Then, she ends up falling into another depression after she learns of what happened to Fiore in the future. It only takes a Cooldown Hug from Mirajane to snap her out of it.
    • Natsu, Lucy, Happy, Wendy, Carla, Pantherlily, and Loke all experience a major one when they see the alternate Rogue murdering the alternate Lucy.
  • Heroic RRoD: Ultear uses everything she has to use the "Last Ages" spell. Once the spell finishes, Ultear keels over before rapidly aging to an elderly woman by the end of the arc.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Future!Lucy ends up taking Future!Rogue's attack to save her younger self.
    • In using her ultimate magic to save everyone, Ultear undergoes Rapid Aging as the price for doing so.
  • Hope Crusher: Raven Tail wants to be this towards Fairy Tail, but ultimately fail thanks to Laxus.
  • Humiliation Conga: Quatro Cerberus really goes downhill during the tournament.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kagura and Future Lucy. The latter suffering a fatal one.
  • Irony: None of the Dragon Slayers can slay a dragon.
  • It's Personal:
    • Fairy Tail to Raven Tail for attacking Wendy before the games even start. It only gets more personal as the games go on.
    • Fairy Tail to Sabertooth for Minerva's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Lucy.
    • Natsu to Future Rogue when he (unintentionally) kills Future Lucy while trying to take out the present one.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Raven Tail attacking Wendy before the games officially even begin.
    • Flare taking Asca hostage.
    • The audience in the coliseum mock and belittle Fairy Tail despite the fact that Raven Tail cheated against them the first day.
    • Ziemma excommunicating Yukino for losing her match.
    • Kurohebi destroying Toby's sock.
    • Minerva beating down Lucy and Sabertooth's general reaction to it.
    • Ziemma beating up Sting and Rogue for losing and then killing Lector.
    • Minerva again in the final event of tournament by kidnapping Millianna to get Erza and Kagura to fight each other. Then once they've weaken themselves doing so and start to reconcile, she stabs Kagura from behind to gain a point and then throws Millianna, who has wounds on her back from Minerva torturing her to pass the time, to Erza.
    • Future Rogue tries to kill Present Lucy but kills her future self.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Ivan brutally beating Flare for nearly costing their team the match.
    • Sting possibly killing Ziemma for seemingly killing Lector.
    • Laxus epically crushing Raven tail.
  • Kill the Cutie: Future!Lucy ends up horrifically murdered by Future!Rogue.
  • Manly Tears: All the males in Fairy Tail break down crying upon hearing that their guild has won the tournament.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • The audience witnessing the tournament has many of these while watching the wizards duke it out.
    • Everyone in the kingdom of Fiore when the army of dragons are unleashed.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Erza, Kagura, and Minerva engage in one in the final round of the Grand Magic Games.
  • Mirror Match: Wendy against Chelia as both use sky magic.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Even without Future Rogue's involvement, the Eclipse Plan would have brought the dragons to the present anyway. In Future Lucy's timeline, she failed to close Eclipse in time before 10,000 dragons got through, resulting in the catastrophic annihilation of Fiore. At least Hisui realizes how badly she screwed up.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Minerva gives one to Lucy in the Naval Battle. She even prevents her from being knocked out of the ring early just to prolong it. As you can imagine, Fairy Tail isn't amused.
  • No-Sell: Nothing the guilds throw at the dragons has any effect on them and even when the Dragon Slayers take them on, they barely even put a dent on them let alone cause any major damage. Everyone's only saved due to Ultear's rewinding time for a few minutes and the Eclipse Gate being destroyed which sends the dragons back to the past. But the Dragon Slayers are dejected with the results due to not even managing to defeat even one of them. Making them realize if they can't beat any of the "minor" ones, then there's no chance they'll be able to take Acnologia.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hisui has a moment of terror when she realizes too late that she's responsible for causing the catastrophe of her kingdom in the first place.
  • One Woman Army: Erza challenging all 100 monsters during the Pandemonium game.
  • Percussive Shutdown: Even with Eclipse gate closed, dragons have still come through and will inevitably destroy the continent. The only solution seems to be: break the gate in the present, erasing it's existence in the future, preventing Future Rogue from coming to the present and opening it to the past, so the dragons are never brought to the present from the past in the first place.
  • Put on a Bus: Ultear at the end due to her magic causing her to rapidly age.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Overworking can cause serious health problems that can eventually lead to death, as was the case when Jude, who tragically died not long before Lucy returned home.
    • Losing a battle against a powerful opponent won't always earn you some leniency. Ziemma expels Yukino the moment she loses the match, even calling her a disgrace to Saber Tooth.
    • Raven Tail gets expelled and eventually dissolved for cheating in the Grand Magic Games.
    • Since Ziemma has used harsh tactics to keep Saber Tooth in line, he gets removed from the guild the moment Sting blasts him.
  • Red Herring:
    • The latter part of the arc goes out of it's way to tease the idea that Yukino would become a member of Fairy Tail after getting kicked out of Sabertooth. She specifically bonds with Lucy, Natsu, and Mirajane. She ultimately ends up rejoining Sabertooth.
    • At first it seems that the captain of the royal guard is being built up as a doomsday villain planning to destroy the world with project eclipse, only for him to be revealed as Good All Along.
    • Then, it seems as if Ivan and his guild are going to be the main villains of the Tournament Arc, only for Laxus to effortlessly defeat them all.
    • Ziemma is also made out as a possible candidate for the arc's Big Bad, only for him to end up dispatched by Sting.
  • Reset Button: Ultear uses the ultimate form of her magic to turn back time a few minutes when the battle against the dragons takes a turn for the worst. While she intended to try and go back a few days and thinks she's failed. The magic allows everyone to see the enemies moves in advance once time is rewound, allowing them to make pre-emptive strikes and ultimately save the world.
  • The Reveal: The person inside of the blue bunny suit working for Blue Pegasus is Ichiya's Edolas counterpart, Nichiya.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: A rare heroic example. When Milliana takes on Lyon by herself he tricks her into running away from his ice tiger and straight into a brick wall, knocking herself out.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Eclipse Plan as well as Future Lucy's motive.
  • She's All Grown Up: Several characters that Fairy Tail encountered in the past return more mature than before.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Natsu collides with Lucy while she's naked and accidentally gropes her breasts.
    • Gray teams up with Juvia to take on Lyon and Chellia.
    • Several characters are seen dancing with one another at the grand ball.
  • Take a Third Option: Natsu's group learns from Lucy and Rogue's future selves that there were two ways the timeline would go. Option one was Fiore being destroyed by the dragons emerging from the Eclipse Gate, but Lucy prevented that from happening by going to the Grand Magic Games in X791 and closing it. Option two was when Lucy closed the gate only for Rogue to be corrupted by Frosch's death and Acnologia to rule the world by X798, resulting in Rogue also going back to X791 using the Eclipse Gate to kill Lucy's present self and cause another catastrophe in Fiore. In both options, many people, including the Fairy Tail wizards, are killed. However, since Natsu is against all the lives that were lost in the timelines, he and the other wizards help Lucy destroy Eclipse, so that the disaster never happens.
  • Taking the Bullet: Future Lucy does this when Future Rogue tries to kill the present Lucy. Also Gray does the same for Juvia when the dragon tries to blindside her.
  • Tears of Joy: Yukino's reaction, who a few days previous had nowhere to go, when the best guilds in Fiore start fighting over her.
  • Tickle Torture: Jellal loses his fight when Ultear does this to him through Meredy's Psychic Link.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: The moment Rogue's alternative self murders the alternative Lucy in cold blood while completely brushing off her death is what causes Natsu and his guild to lash out at him without hesitation and destroy Eclipse for good.
  • Time Travel: Ultear saves multiple people by sacrificing her life to rewind time temporarily.
  • Tomato Surprise:
    • Porlyusica being the human Edolas counterpart of Grandine.
    • All Dragon Slayers suffer from motion sickness. It just varies depending on the user.
    • Chelia using Sky God Slayer magic.
    • Princess Hisui is the one behind the Eclipse Project
    • Kagura is Simon's little sister. Also they came from the same village Erza once lived in. In fact Erza was the one who had save her from being kidnapped by Zeref's forces at the cost of getting caught herself.
    • The hooded woman turns out to be a future Lucy.
    • There turns out to be another from the future, Rogue. He came back to kill Lucy and stop her from closing the Eclipse Door as he claims she was the reason the attack on the dragons failed.
    • The alternate timeline's Rogue is actually evil and the Eclipse Gate is actually connected 400 years into the past where dragons were once alive.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Sabretooth becomes a much more noble guild after Sting chooses to reform it.
    • Kagura grows into Erza's friend and admits that she wants her as a sister.
  • Tournament Arc: As the name of the arc suggests, this arc focues on the Olympic style Magic Games where the top six guilds fight to be named the strongest guild in the country...
  • True Final Boss: Future Rogue is actually the real villain.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Hisui opening Eclipse in every timeline imaginable led to some disastrous long-term results even she could not foresee. Not only does it cause the destruction of Fiore in the first place, but it also factors into the alternative Rogue and Acnologia's plans to Take Over the World in the alternate timelines.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The reveal not one but two people came from the future. And the one who warned Princess Hisui about the upcoming danger was actually a man.
    • Lucy's future self being killed by the alternative Rogue in front of everyone.
    • What's more Future Rogue is actually evil and the whole plot surrounding the Eclipse Gate was a gambit by him to have dragons enter into the current timeline and take over the world!
    • Gray takes multiple shots from the mini-dragons pushing Juvia out of the way of them..
    • Ultear, who has been part of the series since chapter 1, has become an elderly woman effectively taking her out of the series.
    • Fairy Tail returns to Magnolia to find a cheering town and a rebuilt guild hall, having finally earned their happy ending... oh, is that Obra running away? and he's meeting up with Zeref who effectively declares war on Fairy Tail
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Ziemma disappears after Sting stabs him and takes over the guild.
    • Minerva mysteriously disappears when the dragons invade.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Quatro Cerberus gets hit with this pretty hard. They start out as one of the most challenging guild entering the tournament, but ultimately end up losing at every turn.
    • Mermaid Heel suffers this in the final battle royale. When Minerva tries to force Erza and Kagura to duel to the death, she tortures Milliana and takes out Kagura the minute her back is turned, perfectly orchestrating their powerful guild to lose badly.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Raven Tail has no qualms about attacking and hospitalizing 12 year old Wendy before the tournament even starts.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: A minor one as after the group come from the Celestial Spirit World, they find that time moves about three months faster in the real world. This winds up costing the group precious training time.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • Despite trying to warn her friends, the alternative Lucy still dies at the alternative Rogue's hands and the first part of the disaster that would have wiped out Fiore still occurs.
    • Despite the alternative Rogue trying to manipulate history and stop her from closing Eclipse, Lucy still closes it with Yukino's assistance.
    • As for Fairy Tail, they stop the invasion of the dragons... but on their own terms.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Fairy Tail fails to stop the dragons from arriving in Fiore.
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