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Note: This page is for theories about the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime. See Fullmetal Alchemist for the manga and the current anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Homunculi aren't necessarily FAILED attempts to bring the dead back to life
...Well if you tried to bring a dead loved one back to life, and got the hideous abomination homunculi look like at first, wouldn't YOU freak out and assume you didn't actually do it? The only reason the homunculi aren't acting like themselves is because of the Red Stones' influence. Case-in-point: Wrath. He seemed harmless enough, if somewhat socially awkward, but that's understandable when you have the memories of an infant and grew up without any human contact. He didn't show any hostility towards his creator, Izumi, or towards the Elric brothers. When Envy fed him Red Stones, though, he turned psychotic - his eyes even changed to signify that he was no longer "Izumi's child" but "Izumi's child with 'roid rage". On the other hand,
the remains of a homunculus' original self are homunculi's weakness because, while it cripples them, it also reasserts their humanity and reminds them of who they really are, which is why Sloth seemed to suddenly revert to Trisha right before Edward basically evaporated her - she had just regained her sense of self. Thus making each of their stories and deaths that much more tragic - they really were people revived by their loved ones, just Brainwashed and Crazy by Dante.
  • Alternatively, it could be that the soul of a homunculus is actually the soul of an alternate counterpart from the multiverse. Not from the Earth they're dependent on for alchemy though, but from a different Earth entirely. Again, the red stones destroy who they are and makes them psychotic or something, however, the reason the remains of the "original" is their weakness wouldn't be because it restored their humanity, but because the soul is reminded that they don't belong there.

Alternately, Hommunculi can gain souls rather than obtain them outright
It's a concept of cosmic equivalent exchange: in and of itself, an act of altruism isn't supposed to have a reward. But in Fullmetal Alchemist, where there is a balance to everything, a Hommunculus choosing to do something selfless can result in them gaining the souls they seek. Case and point, the way Lust's character development makes her more selfless and eventually leads to her Heel–Face Turn. We even see Wrath enter the afterlife in some capacity after he is killed in Shamballa but never see anything resembling that for the others. So, simply put, Homunculi don't have souls when they are created, but can obtain them through their actions.

The animeverse takes place in the same multiverse as His Dark Materials.
The Gate is powered by the energy released when a person's daemon disappears at death. Lord Asriel also harnessed this power to open a gate to another world. The Homunculi are not soulless, but they have been brought back from the World of the Dead and therefore no longer have their daemons.
  • This troper feels silly to draw connections between Full Metal Alchemist and H.P Lovecraft, but because of his unnatural love for the latter, this troper has always believed that the single, giant eye in The Gate belongs to Yog-Sothoth. After all, he is the portal between worlds, and he has that "Gain knowledge, lose something personal" attitude.
    • My obsessive love for Doctor Who lead me to believe it was the Time Vortex. (Some gain enlightenment and some go mad...)

Envy looked like Hohenheim because Envy had a family of his own before he become a Homunculus, and Hohenheim went on to possess one of his descendants.
It would add a whole new level to Hohenheim's pre-series douchery, but it would certainly explain it.
  • Wouldn't it be the opposite? With Envy supposedly being Hohenheim's son, Hohenheim would've had to body jump into Envy's father? Though the latter part still makes sense in that he still could've done that—maybe it'd be easier for Hohenheim to possess one of the family's descendants that way.

Envy wasn't showing Edward his "real" form.
He doesn't remember what it looks like, and he based his "true" appearance off Hohenheim. It was a tactic to throw Edward off so that he would have the chance to impale him.
  • That's the impression this troper always had. Besides, if Envy had really showed Edward his real form - assuming Hoenheim looked different in his original body, as it would seem from flashbacks - Ed wouldn't have recognized him at all, and would have happily kept beating the crap out of him. It was probably just Envy getting his point across symbolically that he's their brother.

Homunculi have souls just like humans
The lack of human souls is propaganda used by Dante to control homunculi.

They all seem to have human emotions and drives. Greed, who is not indoctrinated by Dante, doesn't feel any effect from the theoretical lack of a soul. Wrath acted like a normal human boy until the others got to him.

  • That's not that wild a guess. They just aren't complete. The homunculi clearly aren't normal; but over time, they get their memories back. It's suggested that Shou could have successfully completed his human transmutation had he simply had the strength of will to attach a soul to the chimera. It shouldn't be all that different with the homunculi.
  • The Homunculi have souls and are quite "human" even when they are sociopathic. But their souls aren't the same ones that left the original hosts. Their souls come from something that lives inside the gate, those black, baby-like things. Perhaps they're souls of children who died before they were born or in early infancy, which clung to any life they can find? The memories come from the body's extreme similarity, down to the neural pathways in the brain, as incomplete as they are. (Physically, one can link specific neural pathways to specific memories.)
    • It's flat out shown with both Sloth and Wrath that they have the same souls.

OTL's version of Roy Mustang is Stauffenberg (the man who tried to kill Hitler).
Both of them were career soldiers. Both of them lost their left eye and wear an eye patch (although it didn't happen to Roy until the very end). And, of course, both of them tried to kill (a) Fuhrer, to varying degrees of success. The only problem with this is that Stauffenberg would be much younger than Roy (by at least a decade), but seeing as how Pride has been a Homunculus for at least a decade or so yet Fritz Lang appears to be the same age, exact age correlations don't seem to matter.
  • Actually the Fuhrer was a peculiar homunculus because he could age at the rate of a normal person. He wasn't immortal like the other homunculi, so it makes sense that he and Fritz Lang look the same age.
  • Also OTL's Alfons was older than Ed, and for that matter, Alphonse, so age doesn't seem to need to match up.
    • Actually, he wasn't. Time had passed since the end of the anime, and Ed is now 18 while Alfons Heiderich is 17. Alphonse Elric would have been 17, too, except his restored body was the same age as he was when they tried to bring back their mother, so he was effectively de-aged by about five years.
  • Also guess what Stauffenberg's rank was at the time of Operation Valkyrie? Colonel.

In the Anime, Hohenheim really wanted a daughter.
Hence why Ed wears a ponytail, and why Envy has such an... effeminate appearance.
  • Ed has the same hairstyle in the manga, though, and Hohenheim wears his hair that way, too. Also, Envy's "original" form looks more masculine than his current one. Although, Envy's preferred form could very well be an indicator that maybe he wished that he'd been a daughter?

The Armstrongs are soul-switchers.
Like anime! Hohenheim and Dante. The "Armstrong line" down which talents have been passed for generations is the line of people connected not by birth but by the same souls. Generations refers to a period of time of about 20 years, and not actual generations within the Armstrong family. They were just careful and stayed alive long enough to figure out how to turn their body-necrosis effect into a benign sparkliness.

Colonel Armstrong is Mr. Clean
He's an extremely muscular bald man constantly surrounded by sparkles.
  • He's also a Major

Hohenheim transfers his soul into bodies that he's created as opposed to stealing other peoples'.
He creates the body the regular way, except he doesn't immediately attach his soul to it, which prevents the Gate from opening. It explains why he looks exactly like he did in the flashback, and why his bodies don't seem to rot as quickly as Dante's. Note that Hohenheim seems to have had the same body for about ten years while Lyra!Dante starts rotting about... a week? A month? Anyway, it's in pretty bad condition only a short time after the last soul transfer. The rotting is explained as being a result of their souls being corrupt, so Hohenheim's more 'humane' method of transferring his soul from body to body means that, while he's not the greatest person, he's still not as bad as Dante. It also fits in a little better with Hohenheim's personality, because while he was a douche, he seemed to have at least some morals.
  • Considering how long Old Lady Dante lasted, it may be that the act of stealing a body destroys the soul more than taking an unowned body. Thus, displacing Lyra's soul made Dante's too weak to sustain any body - or maybe Lyra made one last transmutation...

Alchemy is powered by the souls/deaths on both sides of the Gate, because the energy required for a transmutation is so immense. It just so happens that "our" world has a much more substantial population.

The Red Stones don't give alchemists the ability to override Equivalent Exchange.
Rather, it gives an alchemist the ability to fold time, instantaneously summoning whatever matter is required for his or her transmutation from random points in the universe.

The Red Stones don't give alchemists the ability to override Equivalent Exchange.
They're just "worth" more in the exchange. General relativity still holds and matter=energy, it just takes a lot of energy to make matter out of nowhere. That's why creating a lot of matter tends to "use up" the weaker versions of the red stone.

The series is set in the twenty first century.
It is set in an alternate universe, which doesn't have the "modern" technology we have. However, it is set in our century. In the "other" world, our world, you go back in time one hundred years.
  • The modern technology we have is the result of Equivalent Exchange being stricter in our world to the point that it explicitly forbids alchemy unless you use a nuclear reactor. In the series, oldschool Alchemy works and replaced Physics in many aspects of life, hence the steampunkish appearance of everyday life even though they're clearly as advanced as us in some aspects where Alchemy can't be used (e.g. cybernetics).
  • The inscription on the inside of Ed's watch clearly sets the series at the beginning of the 20th century.
    • In whichever episode Ed is shown Hohenheim's love letter to Dante, it is pointed out that the Gregorian calendar has been trashed in their world.
    • To expand, the first episode states that they attempt to transmute their mother back in 1910, presumably by their calendar. The main plot is repeatedly stated to take place 4 years after that. That means the series ends in 1914 by their calendar. However, at the end, in our world, the time is labeled as 1921. Ed hasn't aged at all, and it is strongly implied that this is happening at the same time as the scenes in their world immediately prior. There could not possibly be a 7 year gap given Ed and Al's apparent ages. This strongly suggests that the 2 calendars are about 7 years out of sync. As well, when Ed comes back out of the gate, about the same amount of time has passed on both sides, suggesting that the time flows are synchronous.

The Gate is a facet of Unicron
Every time alchemists use alchemy, souls are consumed, removing them from the cycle of reincarnation, depriving Primus of pieces needed to bring new Transformers into being, as a soul consumed cannot be made into a Spark.

Greed's (age when he was a human): 35.
Uh ... don't look at me. It was in a dream. No kidding.Sounds kinda old, though.

Armstrong can deflect attacks by flexing.

Armstrong sparkles because...
He doesn't, actually. He simply appears sparkly because everyone in the world, including the camera, is in love with him. This mysterious attractiveness has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations, which is why the rest of his family also appears to sparkle.

It's possible to make a chimera capable of human language (not just speech, but conversation) without using a human as one of the components
.By using a gorilla/chimpanzee, a (or some) corvids, and maybe a dolphin and/or parrot/mynah bird. You would have to teach it how to talk, but it would still be capable of passing an auditory Turing Test after a couple of years. The problem is that Shou wanted immediate results, so he gave up any time he made something that couldn't spout out Amestrian as soon as it was "born".
  • Considering the weird parrot-like chimera used as Rose's ex-boyfriend could talk (even if it was just one word), this seems likely.

The world of Pokemon is on the far side of the Amestris of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime from our world.
Asplode your head. The worlds have greater and greater deviation from our idea of entropy and conservation of work as you go further down the line. The reason the Olympus Mons have gotten plot-relevant lately is because (aside from Mewtwo, canonically the strongest pokemon apart from the specific baliwick of creating worlds or making flowers grow) of the Amestrian massacres leading to enough energy raining into their world to justify their awakening.

Dante was originally a man.
First off, "Dante" is a male name. Who would name their daughter Dante? Perhaps "she" started out as Hohenheim's crossdressing male lover until the power of the philosopher's stone actually allowed "her" to transfer into the body of a female.
  • And then the gender-confusion passes on to "her" offspring, right? Then it makes sense why Envy looks the way he does!!

Riza has some sort of link to what happened in Ishbal, other then just being one of the soldiers who fought during the war.
Since Riza's past was never discussed in the first anime, expectantly after deviating so far from the manga, this is my favorite Epileptic Tree. Based more then anything on her actions and what she says in the episodes right before and after Martel dies.

"The Elric brothers have in-tangled themselves in a very dangerous web. The colonel wants them to be under his supervision now. That's the real reason he's keeping them close." Episode 39, when the subordinates are all hanging about, seeming to be on break. Sounds like she knows something they don't to me. Latter part counted as a question-avoiding distraction, or the off chance she might have told Roy part of what happened by now.

The outburst toward Armstrong right after they remove Martel from Al's armor. Something about it made her seem pissed for more then that reason to me.

Why wouldn't she tell? Well, being that the special ops didn't really exist according to the books, she'd have no real proof. Besides, what happened to Hughes should sumup why pretty good.

Why rejoin the military? What better way to pick apart a conspiracy then from the inside out?

After Ed and Al left Amestris forever, Winry got together with Sheska.
She was lonely, and her relationship with Sheska was already close. So why not?

Envy was originally Wrath.
Unlike in the manga, where the homunculi are named after the sin that Father removed in order to make them, the anime homunculi are named by Dante, after the sin that they remind her of the most (or at least that's how it looked to me). Well, Envy wouldn't have been very envious originally, would he? It's only within the last fifteen years that he would have had anyone else (Ed and Al) to be envious of. What he will have been before that, was angry, pissed off, and raging at Hohenheim and the world, much in the same way that animeWrath rages at Izumi and everyone else on the planet. Envy probably changed his name shortly before the series started (after finding out about Ed and Al), leaving the position of Wrath open for the newbie. It makes even more sense if you realise that animeWrath is practically animeEnvy's Shadow Archetype. Think about it: they're both Artificial Humans of Ambiguous Gender, with the same bad taste in fashion, vindictive streak ( watch Wrath kill Lust and tell me there's no sadism there), impulsive tendencies (although Envy's are slightly more controlled due to his greater experience), abandonment issues and fondness of displaying a Slasher Smile in combat. That can't be a coincidence. The difference is that Wrath has people who genuinely care about him, and is eventually able to lose that anger, whereas Envy, after 400 years of nurturing his spite, has nothing but deep-seated rage left to him; all that's left is psychosis and self-loathing. Heck, both of them even have a rivalry with the same character (Ed). Having Envy as the original Wrath would only make the comparison between them that much more obvious: the original Wrath gives into spite, focusses his hate and becomes Envy, while the new Wrath defies his own sin and becomes a better person in the process.
  • That actually makes a lot of sense. If Dante had just been assigning names, which is the impression that this troper got, who's to say that they couldn't be changed?

King Bradley isn't an Alternate Universe version of Fritz Lang; he's an alternate version of Fritz Lang's father.
It's the only way I can rationalize him looking the same, but being about thirty years older.

Soon after The Movie Winry died somehow
And made it through the gate. Ed most likely never met Winry's counterpart, but Winry herself. I like to think suicide but accidental death or an illness seems more likely and in-character/in-show. He is also wearing automail in a post-movie OVA. Who knows how to make automail in our world?
  • Or possibly she made it through somehow, like how Ed and Al did.

Frank Archer had dextrocardia.
Like Dr. No. That's how he survived the side his heart should have been on getting vaped.
  • I thought that was because he was a Time Lord, and the anesthesia from the cyborg surgery kept him from regenerating properly?

Noah was falling for Ed, and by mid-movie she was in love with him
Rose was in love with Ed, and counterparts have the same love interests. Part of the reason she wanted to go with him was because she loved him.

Hohenheim is Nicholas Flamel
Or rather, he body jumped one last time after Envy killed him.
  • Also, the symbol on Al's armor, Ed's coat, and Izumi's tatto is the flamel, the symbol of Nicholas Flamel.

Winry's counterpart is named "Wendy"
It was the mangaka's meaning for Winry's name, but it was misreported as "Winry".

Winry's counterpart is a mechanic, or at least has a knowledge of tools
Counterparts seem quite similar in personality and skill, and Ed was in automail in the "Birthday" OVA.

Selim Bradley was supposed to become the next Pride
Since Pride was the only homunculi who can age I think he would have died of old age. So he adopted Selim and when he gets old enough the homunculi would killed Selim and Dante or Selim mother would have tried to bring him back to life creating the next Pride.
  • Adding to this, this is the real reason King Bradley killed Selim; as far as he was concerned, Roy was about to kill him. So, rather than let himself get horribly killed and leave Dante hanging, he decided to kill Selim (disguising it as a petty act of revenge to give Roy all the more reason to want him dead) and then hope that his wife would be alchemically talented enough (or rich enough) to try and bring him back (or pay someone to do it for her).

Envy's Freudian Excuse was a good justification for his issues. (Warning: spoilers ahoy!)
Okay, so most people don't think Envy's father leaving him was enough to make him into a sadistic sociopath, but that's only part of it. Not only did Hoenheim leave him, but he also left him with Dante. If you watch that part where Dante tosses around Rose's baby, and later shows to have no qualms of killing said baby, it's pretty clear what kind of mother she is. It's safe to say from that assessment of her that Envy's psychotic behavior has a lot to do with her. She didn't treat him like a son after Hoenhiem left, but a servant. After she tried to revive William (Envy's human name at the time), she wound up with a homunculus instead. After that, she no longer considered him her child. One episode has her telling Wrath that homunculi don't have feelings (or something like that...she said something about them not having family or whatever). She could have drilled into Envy's head that he wasn't capable of anything but jealousy and hate, and eventually, he started believing it. When Envy started getting memories of his human past, Dante may have twisted the story to make it sound like Hoenheim was a horrible father who abandoned him, and without any other source to go by, he believed her. However, he still had memories of his father genuinely loving him, so he was confused. He eventually concluded that he rejected him (made all the worse with the arrival of the Elric brothers). When you consider that this has been happening to you for almost 400 years, and possibly the added "bonus" of the Philosopher's Stones (which may wreak havoc on your psyche, if the other homunculi are anything to go by), it would make sense why Envy's a headcase.
  • Hm, sounds like the start of an epic fanfiction!
  • In Shamballa, Hoenhiem says he was the one who attempted to resurrect Envy, and he blames himself for how monstrous he turned out. Still, Dante certainly couldn't have helped things.

The Red Stones wear at your sanity
Think about it. Wrath went nuts after being given them by Envy, and he had memories of the Gate after eating them. You could also say that the older the homunculi, the crazier they are (which might be something of a giveaway as to who's the oldest). And then there's what the stones are made of. That means all those human souls are screaming and twisting inside you all the time, and that can't be good for your mental stability. And then there's Dante. No wonder they're crazy!

Wrath is autistic
Or at least, he has many of the symptoms of autism (more specifically, Aspergers Syndrom). His social skills are pretty poor (an obvious result of growing up past the Gate and away from people), and he seems to be lacking in emotional maturity. Also, he holds a very strong attachment to Sloth, to the point where he fuses his own body with hers so they can't be separated. On top of that, he doesn't really seem to have much sense of personal space on a couple of occasions, and says and does things without regard of how it makes others feel (more or less unintentional). Then there's the hyperactivity.

Fullmetal Alchemist in this adaptation is actually a 'What If?' scenario! (Spoilers galore)
The first series pokes at what would have happened if Dante had reached Hoenheim before Father/Homunculus. Here's what happened: Dante lived in Xerxes around the time when Hoenheim was still a slave. She was very wealthy, and hailed from a high-ranking family, but she wanted to gain power grater than what her status had to offer. When she met Bob the Blob, she had a conversation with him about what he planned to do, where he came from, and how he would use slave 23 to execute the plan. After hearing about this, she dangled him over a balchony, dropping him to his death. Shortly after that, she met Hoenhiem, married him, and started all the crap the first anime gives us.

Envy in the first anime is Father
In the first anime, Envy is technically a homunculus that also happens to be Ed and Al's half brother. In Brotherhood, Father is a homunculus that is also technically Ed and Al's half brother. So, in the first anime, Father!Envy's plan was to use Ed and Al to create a perfect human transmutation circle using Amestris, and attain the power of the Gate to spite Hohenheim. but, due to the differences in the universes, Envy did not end up with the proper homunculi, and was forced to result to a more inferior plan. Also, to spite Hohenheim, Envy made Hohenheim's original body immortal, so that when he was close to his soul burning out, Hohenheim would doom himself by alchemically destroying his own body, regardless of the fact that it was immortal. Also, Envy states at the end that the Gate will take him wherever he tells it, implying that he knows more about things than he lets on.

The First Anime is actually based off of rumors all around in the Brotherhood world.
  • Not everyone knows about the truth of what happened but everyone knows fragments of it. Communication is difficult between countries. Rumors could spread about how King Bradley could be a homunculus or how that Selim died. All sorts of stories could spread through the various countries twisting the truth.

The writers originally intended to include a Whole Episode Flashback detailing the Dante and Hohenheim's past
  • This is admittedly more wishful thinking than actual speculation, but at the end of the series these two characters are the only ones to feel conspicuously underdeveloped, with their motives, methods and histories being defined so vaguely as to be downright frustrating. A flashback episode going into greater detail about their origins and histories would have fit right in, fleshing out the characters and rounding out the series at a nice tidy 52 episodes, as well as answering a lot of nagging questions without sacrificing some degree of ambiguity surrounding them, which is what the writers were aiming for. Furthermore, the removal of the brief flashbacks about their past in the last 6-7 episodes would have granted the writers more time to devote to Mustang's coup, a plotline which felt distinctly truncated in the final episodes. (The last time we see Mustang's crew before the end of the show they're in the trenches fighting against the troops still loyal to Bradley, and Havoc says he wants to "try out his Colonel Mustang impression". The next time we see them is in the epilogue, after Bradley has already been dethroned and Amestris is at peace, with no explanation of how they made it out of the trenches alive. Also, for no particularly good reason we never actually see Mustang lose his left eye - it's merely implied that Archer shot it off.) Really, with just one or two more episodes' worth of run time, nearly all of the problems with the anime's ending could easily be fixed. It's hard not to get the impression that the production became rushed during the home stretch.

Barry the Chopper was telling the truth.
  • There never was an Alphonse Elric. Edward Elric was an only child who fashioned an imaginary playmate he regarded as his brother.
    • I half agree with you. Alphonse was a real person, but Alphonse the Armor was based on Edward's memories of Alphonse the Person. He mentioned missing memories of his life as a person; those were the memories where Edward wasn't there. Likewise, when Alphonse was revived, he had no memory of what he did as a suit of armor.

After the movie, Edward becomes a scientist, but retains his interest in alchemy, never giving up hope of one day returning to Amestris.
When he gets word that Irene and Frederick Joliot-Curie have discovered a way to transmute one element into another, he seeks them out to discern whether or not he can use this discovery to his ends, because he regards it as proof that alchemy is possible on this side of the Gate. Ditto when Enrico Fermi manages to achieve criticality in a nuclear reactor.
  • Well, scientists now do have the ability to turn lead into gold, so in that sense, alchemy is real. It's just that the amount of gold produced is far less than the monetary value of the equipment used to make it.

The Homunculi we see in the series aren't the only ones created, just the only ones who survived long enough to be given their first red stones.
It's more or less stated that all Homunculi are born looking like disgusting mutations and die shortly afterwards if they aren't given the red stones. So, it's quite possible that many Homunculi have been created both before and after Envy was created by Hoenheim, but they were never fed the red stones before they died.
  • This seems likely, seeing as the homunculi in the series flat-out state that there have been others ("the new Lust", etc.). The existing homunculi seem to be merely the ones Dante and the Sins managed to get their hands on.
    • Well, they wouldn't have known about the "old Lust" unless s/he had been fed red stones by Dante and turned into a full homunculus. But I agree with this WMG overall, and I think that's the point of the homunculi there - they're the ones that Dante either created or knew about shortly after they were created. In the case of Sloth, she'd been keeping an eye on Ed and Al because they were Hohenheim's sons. With Lust, well, they'd engineered the conflict in Ishval basically to encourage people to do desperate shit like that. And so on and so forth.

Rick and Leo aren't fully Ishballan.
Most Ishballans seem to have fairly dark skin, and Rick and especially Leo are old enough that their skin tone should have changed to the "correct" tone. Both Rick and Leo have skin that is not too much darker than Edward's. It may just be that they happen to be light-skinned Ishballans, but considering the fact that the war in Ishbal had been going on for several years and what happened to Rose during the attack on Lior, one can't fully rule out the possibility that they could have a father who isn't Ishballan.
  • That's what I always assumed, too. There's a kid who looks like Rick in the manga, too (can't remember off the top of my head if he was named there or not, though), who claims to be Ishballan but is considerably lighter than everyone else. It would also explain why the red eyes are constantly made a big deal of, since a paler person with red eyes would still have proof that they're at least part Ishballan.

When somebody Grand Theft Me's a body, the body eventually starts to look like the body of the original soul
Think about it. How was Greed able to recognize Dante? Or why did Envys original form look so much like the new Hohenheims body? Its because when a soul hijacks a body, the new body eventually takes on the appearance of the very original body.
  • Hey…this actually makes sense of the whole "Hohenheim met Dante instead of Homunculus Father" WMG above!
  • This also might tie in nicely with the whole rotting thing. Changing the appearance of the body is bound to have side effects. Also the body might try to reject the soul that has invaded it. Now with a mostly intact soul you will need less energy to cling to that body, thus the rotting will set in a lot slower and it may die of old age before anything happens. If anything happens at all. Also you can put a lot more energy into changing your features AND fend off any rotting side effects of this change at the same time. In short, an intact soul is critical to prevent rotting on several levels. As established body hopping wears off on your soul. A new body might not be able to recognize it as a soul and will fight harder to get rid of it. So either the rotting is (in part) a side effect of this rejection or of the soul clinging to the body (and since the soul will need way more energy to do so the rotting will happen a lot faster). Same goes with the change of features. It might be something that you can't control and that's simply bound to happen, but it still is a ton of energy input on your body that will speed up the rotting too. And with so little soul left as Dante has she has no energy left of fend off the rotting while changing her features AND cling to that body all the same time. (Hohenheim probably caught on on this very early, hence him trying to get bodies that resemble him (whether by Grand Theft Me or by artificially creating clones of his original body to posess). It would mean that the feature-change would require less energy.

Alchemy is the magical equivalent of Atomic Energy.
Both Alchemy and Nuclear Energy are based on changing the atomic structure of matter itself through applying a lot of energy. The life-force of people on our side of the gate power alchemical reactions in the Amestris side. As a form of Equivalent Exchange, the life-force of people on the Amestris side therefore power nuclear reactions on our side. Also, the story of Fullmetal Alchemist somewhat mirrors the rise of Quantum and Relativistic Physics: the firmly established belief of Equivalent Exchange is gradually overturned, in the same way that the ordered, comfortable world of Newtonian Physics is overturned by the more confusing and uncertain Quantum and Relativistic Theories. In Real Life, the law of Equivalent Exchange itself was formalized and popularized in the modern consciousness by Isaac Newton: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."
  • Jossed by the movie. The whole plot is kicked off by an Amestrian discovering uranium and using it to invent a nuclear bomb.

The reason Wrath and Pride can age.
Is because they were both made using fresh corpses as material. We know for a fact that Wrath was made using the body of Izumi's baby, and it is entirely possible that doing the transmutation that way has a slightly different result than making the body from scratch, such as restarting the aging process. It is therefore possible that Dante made Pride the same way. This doesn't account for the skull that Pride has locked away, but Dante could have made the head from scratch and kept the original as leverage. Grafting a new head onto an existing body to create an aging Homunculus would have been a complicated procedure and would explain Dante's view of him as her "masterpiece"

Hohenheim is Winry's father.
When Hohenheim turns up in Reseembool again, he talks about Winry's mother Sara a fair bit and visits her grave, demonstrating a good deal of affection, but doesn't seem to think about Winry's dad at all. That's what got me thinking there may have been something more than friendship 'tween Hoho and Sara. Then consider that, after visiting Trisha's grave, he sees Sara's and says "My God, I've done it twice." He claims that what he meant was he got Winry confused with her mom again, but that could be him covering when what he really meant was that makes twice he was away while a woman he cared for died. Plus, we see that, while Hoho tells Dante he's still faithful to Trisha even after her death, he's still a shameless flirt with Lieutenant Ross, so his ability to limit himself to one woman may not be as great as he claims.

So that's stuff suggesting Hohenheim might have been intimate with Winry's mom. As for him being her biological father: 1) Winry has bright blonde hair like Hoho and Ed, while the brief flashback we get of them shows her parents were both brown haired. 2) The anime writers took the romance out of Ed and Winry's relationship and made them Like Brother and Sister; maybe it was because the writers were thinking of the two as actual brother and sister. 3) In the Kids OVA, Ed has a great-granddaughter who looks just like Winry; Ed and Winry sharing some of the same genetics might explain that a little.

The Gate is the Time Vortex
From the Doctor Who episode "Journey's End", we know human brains aren't built to handle Time Lord knowledge, and from "The Sound of Drums"/"Last of the Time Lords" and The End of Time, we know that at least some of that Time Lord knowledge comes from the Time Vortex which is why Ed was only able to retain flashes of what he saw in the Gate. Even when applied to a Time Lord, the Vortex causes some to be enlightened, some to go mad, and some to just run away. When Rose Tyler absorbed the Vortex and became Bad Wolf, she actually gained the ability to perform long range, circleless alchemy, which she can't perform afterward either because it never occurred to her to try or memory loss. If the Doctor hadn't sucked it out of her, her body would've been consumed in the same way Alphonse's was, which the Doctor was saved from by regeneration. However, being a Time Traveller and thus having gained some tolerance for the Vortex, she was able to survive it long enough to actually do something. We also know that the Time Lords regulated alternate universe travel, hence the Gate occasionally flinging people to our world.

It's also possible that Hoenheim was mistaken about the source power of alchemy and that, in fact, the Eye of Harmony survived the Time War (Even if the Time Lords didn't) and needs somewhere to pour all that excess energy (Which would also explain where the TARDIS' power is coming from post Time War)

And, just for the hell of it, this would tie in kind of well with my theory on the Avatar The Last Airbender Page page that that Earth is Gallifrey. If that world used Vortex energy to bend the classical elements it makes perfect sense for the Fullmetal world to use it to manipulate the periodic table of elements.

  • Pretty sure looking at the time vortex through the Untempered Schism and absorbing the time vortex into your head are two very different things. Was the former ever stated to have anything to with knowledge about time travel? And isn't the TARDIS' energy post-Time War explicitly said to come from rifts in space and time?
    • Since it's a Time Lord initiation ceremony it probably has something to do with Time Travel knowledge (I believe The Doctor said "Some gain enlightenment, some go mad and some run" or something like that) The Doctor does indeed recharge the TARDIS at the Cardiff rift now, but it was flying around for awhile before that (9 went to the Titanic and Kennedy's assassination, seemingly without Rose) Although it's been awhile since I watched the first Rift episode, so I might be mistaken about that. And it's entirely possible that he'd been using Rifts before that, but it wasn't stated. He may have switched because the damaged/unmaintained Eye was unstable, or may have been unaware it survived. And assuming that the Vortex is the Gate, since The Gate grants the ability to do circleless alchemy (IIRC, by the subject being shown a way to use their own body as a circle, which is why Ed has to clasp his hands) and since remote alkehestry is possible (And presumably possible to do without the dagger circles if you've seen the gate) it's reasonable to assume that one could perform remote alchemy with enough exposure to the Gate, especially if they had the source of all alchemic power at their fingertips. The reason that Time Lords can't do alchemy is either because the Whoniverse isn't being flooded with the energy from the Eye or because anyone who saw the gate from the Amestrian side would've already been an alchemist and gotten there via alchemy and therefore had different groundwork laid in their minds than the Time Lord children, who would've been raised with temporal mechanics and the like from a young age and be expecting looking into the Vortex to have something to do with time travel (Or because, since Time Lords are instinctively temporally aware due to developing in proximity to the Schism, have the necessary groundwork laid that way.)

The 2003 anime series is set in the same universe as Minecraft
And the 'Red Stones' are in fact the same thing as Redstone. The power that players use to move pistons and open doors is alchemical in nature.
  • Either that or Minecraft takes place in a Pocket Dimension of Amestris created by either Dante or Hoenheim.

Edward was going to be Hohenheims next body
It is possible that since Hohenheims soul was degrating that he needed a new body. It would also explain why Envy looked like him, as his sons could end up looking like him so he has a body, and Al is just an exception.

The series is an alternate timeline.
In this one, Father was never made...but instead a different method for creating Hommunculi emerged centuries later.

Amestris has a number of residents who are descended from a Xing-type nation
Xing is never mentioned but we do see Edward easily eating with chopsticks, people playing shogi, you can see kanji underneath some signs early on, and there's a lot of Japanese names in the series. Instead of being China-based this country is Japan-based.

Ed and Al told stories of their adventures, it became popular, and they made a movie on it
The Kids OVA is non-canon but this is Wild Mass Guessing. The manga exists in-series and is loosely based on their stories.
  • Here's one possible explanation: at some point, the Elric brothers (either Ed or Al) decide to let the world know of their experiences and alchemy through fiction. At first however, they could only do this piecemeal, resulting in various Indiana Jones-style serials in The '30s and The '40s that are loosely based on their exploits, which might in turn be followed by B-movies sometime in The '50s or The '60s. As the brothers age however, they find it increasingly important to convey at least as much of the truth as possible (despite knowing how "unbelievable" it would sound to a world without alchemy) without the distortions over the decades. So one day in the early 2000s, they turn to a certain Japanese mangaka in an attempt to start off without the aforementioned clutter. And the rest is history.

Hohenheim's "new" body is actually a recreation of an earlier body.
He's a skilled enough alchemist that it's not far-fetched to believe that he'd be able to create a soulless replica of an earlier form. The body would still decay, but at least he wouldn't have needed to kill anyone new.
Colonel Mustang is Batman in the DC universe.
He's a womanizer, he's about Batman's age, he's a Jerkass, and he uses unrealistic weapons and techniques.

Another alternate version of Alphonse Elric was Mike hawthorn.
He had the same hair color and hair style so why not have a f1 driver be alternate version?

Ed sucks at dodgeball.
Because he can't dodge wrenches.

The Elric brothers in this version represent The Brothers Karamazov
Ed is a combination of the two older brothers, impulsive wanderer Mitya (who also served in the military, natch) and intellectual, atheistic Ivan. Alphonse is the kind-hearted, hopeful, beloved-by-everyone Alyosha. And Envy is Smerdyakov, who is also violent, a bit sociopathic and, most importantly, was spurned by his father in favor of his "rightful" sons. And they both end up killing their despised fathers at the end.

The Furher wasn't evil before he died and was brought back as a homonculous.
All of the other homonculi Came Back Wrong, so why wouldn't the same be true of him?

It's possible for the Elric brothers to return home to their world
After all, alchemy is revealed to be powered by the souls of our world (or an alternate, yet strikingly similar world). This would mean that some sort of connection has to exist between them and it's likely the connection only flows in one direction, i.e. It's easier to travel to Amestris than to Earth. Or at least, it should be. Either way, we can conclude that travel is definitely possible, even if conducting such travel is likely to result with your death or worse. The key to travelling between worlds is figuring out how to do it without being too badly hurt. The reason why it's portrayed as difficult in the film is because they went about it the hard way. There are probably other, easier ways that are waiting to be discovered. Or remain undiscovered...

Dominic is Winry's grandpa
He and Pinako were together once. It didn't end well, which is why Dominic seems so scared of her.

Envy's hatred of his father is totally justified
Think about it from his perspective: You died and came back to life, but immediately after your father worked so hard to revive you, he became repulsed by you. You never see him again afterward. You're left there with your mentally unstable and emotionally manipulative mother who treats you like a tool and, being the liar she is, probably told you all kinds of lies about how awful your father was to make you hate him even morenote . And the more you hear, the more you begin to believe.

In short, there's little wonder that Envy hates Hoenheim so much; for much of his life, he was convinced the man was a heartless jerk who abandoned him and his aging mother when they needed him most note 

In-universe, "Brotherhood" is a Cosmic Retcon of this series
Two points made me think this:
  1. The last opening to the first series was called "Rewrite" and it contained the lyrics "I'll erase it and rewrite it".
  2. The first opening to the second series was called "Again" and it contained the lyrics "I don't know if I want to change or return to how I was".

Dante is/was originally the Fullmetal Alchemist world's version of Dante Alighieri
Simple enough. When she was originally born, she was the FMA world's Dante similar to how Bradley is implied to be their version of Fritz Lang in Conqueror of Shamballa. The difference here is that, in this world, Dante was born a woman (lining up very nicely with Lang's suggestion of an Alternate Universe where a given male person may have been a woman instead, on top of all other possibilities that could imply).

Example of: