Heroic Spirits (英霊, Eirei?, localized as "Legendary Souls") are spirits of heroes who achieved great deeds in life, having become objects of worship after their deaths.[1]


Heroic Spirits are beings of a higher existence, becoming categorically closer to Elementals than wraiths. Differing from how Elementals are "power" granted form using human imagination as a container, they are entirely woven from the ideals of people all throughout.[1] They are freed from the constraints of time itself and removed from the ring of reincarnation, moved to the Throne of Heroes (英霊の座, Eirei no Za?), a place existing outside of both the World and the time axis.[2] The Throne of Heroes is also occasionally referred to as the Ring of Deterrence (抑止の輪, Yokushi no Wa?), referring to how it is mainly used by the Counter Force. Those that become closer to the planet do not mix well with people, so they fall into the categories of Divine Spirits and Elementals.[3]

They can be classified into five primary categories, referred to as Hidden Attributes (隠し属性, Kakushi Zokusei?), when summoned as Servants.

  • Heaven (天, Ten?) - Heroes who are related to the gods, whether they are Divine Spirits ranked down to becoming Heroic Spirits, children of gods, or incarnations of legends about gods.
  • Earth (地, Chi?) - Heroes who are known as the heroes of the land, known through mythologies and legends of a particular region. Fairies and Magical Beasts are included in this category.
  • Human (人, Jin?) - Heroes belonging to this category are those recognized through common knowledge as great people who contributed to humanity and were regarded as heroes for their actions since the start of the Common Era. They are generally heroes who were deified by the masses after death, but there are those who were truly superhuman in life.
  • Star (星, Sei?) - Heroes of this category, belonging to none of the previous three, are the "hope of mankind" and a "symbol of overcoming hardships." Although close in nature to the Pioneer of the Stars Skill that is given to heroes who became "turning points" in human history, it is an attribute fundamentally given to those that have left behind a great hope in the history of humanity. Simply achieving such exploits is not enough as they also have to be a "shining bright star" among the figures of mankind. It is an omnipotent attribute that possesses no minus towards any other categories. Parody Heroic Spirits from space all get this designation.[4]
  • Beast (獣, ?) - Rivaling the seemingly all-powerful Star, they are the Evils of Man that represent the Seven Sins of Humanity, beings that encompass all of humanity.[5]
This table includes Servants that are not Heroic Spirits. They have been given designations in Fate/Grand Order. For Servants that have unknown attributes, see here.
Human Earth Heaven Star Beast
Alexander the Great
Amakusa Shirou Tokisada
Anatasia Nikolaevna Romanova
Anne Bonny and Mary Read
Attila the Hun
Angra Mainyu
Billy the Kid
Charles Babbage
Charles-Henri Sanson
Chevalier d'Eon
Christopher Columbus
Darius III
Edmond Dantès
Edward Teach
Elizabeth Báthory
EMIYA (Archer)
EMIYA (Assassin)
Eric Bloodaxe
Florence Nightingale
Fujino Asagami
Fuma Kotaro
Gaius Julius Caesar
Gilgamesh (Caster)
Gilles de Rais
Hans Christian Andersen
Helena Blavatsky
Hijikata Toshizou
Hozoin Inshun
Illyasviel von Einzbern
Ivan the Terrible
James Moriarty
Jing Ke
Joan of Arc (Alter)
Joan of Arc (Alter) (Lily)
Katsushika Hokusai
King Arthur (Alter)
Leonidas I
Li Shuwen
Lü Bu
Marie Antoinette
Mata Hari
Mecha Eli-chan
Mecha Eli-chan MkII
Miyamoto Musashi
Musashibou Benkei
Nero Claudius Caesar
Nursery Rhyme
Oda Nobunaga
Okada Izō
Okita Souji
Okita Souji Alter
Paracelsus von Hohenheim
Queen of Sheba
Robin Hood
Saint George
Saint Martha
Sakamoto Ryōma
Sakata Kintoki
Sasaki Kojiro
Shiki Ryougi
Tawara Touta
Thomas Edison
William Shakespeare
Wu Zetian
Xuanzang Sanzang
Yagyu Munenori
Yan Qing
Zhuge Liang

Abigail Williams
Antonio Salieri
Atalanta Alter
Cú Chulainn (Alter)
Diarmuid Ua Duibhne
Elizabeth Báthory (Brave)
Fergus mac Róich
Hessian Lobo
Jack the Ripper
Jaguar Man
Jekyll and Hyde
Kato Danzo
King Arthur (Female)
King Arthur (Male)
Mochizuki Chiyome
Paul Bunyan
Phantom of the Opera
Sakata Kintoki (Rider)
Tamamo Cat
Tomoe Gozen
Vlad III (Extra)
Vlad III (Berserker)

Chloe von Einzbern
Cú Chulainn
Fionn mac Cumhaill
Irisviel von Einzbern
King Arthur (Lancer)
King Arthur (Lancer Alter)
Minamoto no Raikou
Orion and Artemis
Scáthach Skadi
Solomon (Grand Caster)
Suzuka Gozen
Altera the San(ta)
Francis Drake
Joan of Arc
Leonardo da Vinci
Mysterious Heroine X
Mysterious Heroine X (Alter)
Nikola Tesla
Sherlock Holmes
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Kiara Sessyoin (Alter Ego)
Kiara Sessyoin (Beast III/R)


Thrones of Heroes diagram

Heroic Spirits are made up of those who truly existed, those only from legends, and those who were never observed at all.[1] Those who existed had belief of their deeds gathered upon their deaths and were sublimated into beings of higher rank, while those who only existed in myths and legends were born from the gathering of those beliefs even if they didn't exist. Those who were not observed are those who made a contract of some sort with the World during their lives and subsequently became Heroic Spirits and Counter Guardians respectively after their deaths as compensation. Hassan-i-Sabbah is said to be one who existed, Heracles and Medusa are said to be those who existed in legend, and EMIYA and King Arthur are those who became or will become Heroic Spirits after the fulfillment of their contracts.[2] The phenomenon applies to any human, animal, or machine that has left behind great enough achievements, but weapons becoming Heroic Spirits from being worshipped as the "greatest weapon of that era" must harbor a soul to achieve such a status.[6] Those where a human creation gains its own will or those created from the congregation of humanity's fantasies are called Conceptual Heroic Spirits (概念英霊?), including those like Nursery Rhyme and machine Heroic Spirits.[7]

Each Heroic Spirit is a unique existence, "the one and only", who each stood out from the others of their time by performing deeds and possessing qualities that no other possessed. As of the 21st Century, the most recent Heroic Spirits are from one hundred years prior.[8] It is still possible for people to make contracts with the World as Counter Guardians and be summoned from the future into the current age as well.[9] While modern weapons are powerful, it would not normally be possible to summon a "warrior from the future loaded with modern weaponry" because it is difficult for such people to become classified as Heroic Spirits. Modern weapons grant ease of use with the advantage of "anyone can use them as long as they were trained", so those who use them are "faceless heroes" who lack any qualities because they possess "expertise anyone can achieve through sufficient training." Heroes loaded with modern weapons would not become the Heroic Spirit, but rather only the weapon being worshipped so long as it harbors a soul.[6]

Heroic Spirits are also recorded and stored as data recorded from humanity's history within the Moon Cell, but they are identical to those within the Throne.[10] It is unknown if it is limited only to an occurrence within the Moon Cell, but the Divine Spirits stored within are referred to as non-human Heroic Spirits.[11]

The rank of the Heroic Spirit is reflected in the strength they held in life and the popularity they attained after death. While their actions and the weapons they wielded in life will not change from fame, their basic abilities will be affected by the time into which they are summoned. Much like how Divine Spirits require worship and recognition and fall to the rank of Elementals upon it being lost, Heroic Spirits grow stronger with the more people worshiping them to solidify their presence and fall to a state where they do not have much power if they are forgotten. Those that are powerful heroes in their own right will still keep their abilities to some extent even if they were unknown or forgotten. Heroes known by all who also had extraordinary feats, like Heracles, can be considered A-rank Heroic Spirits.[12] Gilgamesh is considered the strongest, Enkidu, while not a regular Heroic Spirit, is considered his equal, Karna is stated to be shoulder to shoulder with him as a servant without equal, Heracles and Saber Alter are at some points called the strongest Servants when summoned. In contrast, Tamamo-no-Mae, Hans Christian Andersen, and Angra Mainyu consider themselves to be the weakest of heroes. Those with only relatively new history will generally be far less impressive in ability compared to ancient heroes of the past and more fragile in their Mystery compared to those with more firm concepts.[13][14]

The exact criteria for becoming Heroic Spirits are unknown. Historical figures said to not be Heroic Spirits include:

  • Charles Nodier - Alexandre Dumas mentions that he was surprised upon learning that Charles is not a Heroic Spirit.
  • Dahut - Dahut is a figure unable to be a Heroic Spirit, so Francis Drake is instead modified to act out the role of Dahut.
  • Michelangelo - After defeating his Wraith, Leonardo da Vinci mentions she is happy that Michelangelo did not become a Heroic Spirit and that he can rest in peace.
  • Oda Nobukatsu - Nobukatsu says he is not a Heroic Spirit and can only manifest as a Servant due to the influence of Demon God Andras.
  • Sasaki Kojirou - Due to being a mixture of various stories, there is no Heroic Spirit Sasaki Kojirou. Upon being summoned as Servant, the system chose a nameless Wraith that was closest to the description of Sasaki.
  • Sei Shonagon - Due to the completion of her singular work being the singular goal of her life, she did not become a Heroic Spirit upon her death. After being summoned as a Servant in an irregular summoning, she embraced new possibilities and joined the Throne of Heroes as a Heroic Spirit.
  • Sengo Muramasa - Lacking the heroic deeds necessary for ascension, he is able to manifest only as a Pseudo-Servant.
  • Various figures that lacked enough fame and instead became Phantoms.


Heroic Spirits are most normally summoned by the World as a power that protects humans, so they cannot be controlled by humans without something like the Holy Grail or a similar kind of power to summon them. Only the World itself can summon the "main body" of Heroic Spirits, so humans can only summon emanations of the heroes, such as through the Servant system, even with something like a Holy Grail.[2] The souls of the emanations, their information, then returns to the main body upon the death of the emanation, and the main body is able to know about the actions of the emanations as records, as if they are reading books.[2]

As beings outside of time, they can be summoned to any era regardless of the notions of past and future, even if summoned to when their human selves have yet to die or when they have yet to be born.[2]

Those who do not fall under the classification of Counter Guardians are normally not summoned into the World by Alaya, simply being treated as "traditions that lend power to the later people."[3]


Counter GuardianEdit

Counter Guardian (カウンターガーディアン, Kauntā Gādian?), also called the Protectors of Balance (抑止の守護者, Yokushi no Shugosha?) is a broad classification of Heroic Spirits made up of heroes who are not worshipped, utilized as a mindless Counter Force. Other Heroic Spirits have a high Divinity and act as existences closer to the planet than humanity, so they are able to avoid being drafted by the Counter Force.[1] Normal circumstances are those where the Counter Force empowers a "normal person" in life to remove the factor that can trigger destruction, eventually causing them to be worshipped as heroes. Those who become heroes in such a manner are then used as Counter Guardians, the "Counter" emphasized because they act with no autonomy of their own and only appear in response to an event.[15] Confirmed Counter Guardians include:

  • EMIYA (Shirou)
  • EMIYA (Alter)
  • EMIYA (Kiritsugu)
  • Okita (Alter)
  • Fujino (Temporary Counter Guardian, weaponized specifically to aid in overturning the incineration of humanity)

Unconfirmed Counter Guardians include:


Anti-Heroes (反英雄, Han'eiyū?) are distorted Heroic Spirits, those who do not fall under description of pure, respectable heroes. Those who are not pure can be considered no different than All the World's Evil, although the degree of such can differ between heroes, allowing some affinity with such curses.[16] They differ from proper heroes who earned their titles in that they were forced to the Throne of Heroes only because of their fate. They can rightfully be called Avenger, the Anti-Hero, the opposite of heroes who were praised as heroes regardless of whether they hated humans or were those that humans hated.[17] They are those who were reviled by the people, but saved people as the result of villainy. As those who "clarify good with evil", they became saviors worshipped and cursed in equal measure.[18] Although evil existences themselves, their actions are considered good deeds according to others, so they become saviors even if they are unwilling as in the case of a human sacrifice. Even should they be evil, those who are sacrificed become a hero once it saves everyone in a village, no matter if the method of sacrifice is to be eaten or buried. With the disgrace being forced upon them saving people, it leads to the birth of a hero instead of a sinner.[19] Differing from something like the notion of a posthumous promotion, their state of being is set by the minds of those who set up the existence of the hero. While proper heroes are created from respect, gratitude, and feelings of guilt of mankind, Anti-Heroes cannot be born from such thoughts. "Heroes" who die as "evil" will eventually be treated as victims more as time passes, so they will not stay as "pure evil." Their state of being requires them to be both "victim and assailant", created by humanity but not part of humanity. They are a contradiction that makes them "the enemy of the World", but allows them to be exempt from all of the restraining forces of the World.[19] Despite this, there are no "pure Anti-Heroes", but rather only those who come as close as possible by "doing good despite being evil."[18] They are something that people only wish to exist, something ideal humans have created to act as "sacrifices to deny the original sin." They can be thought of wishes that will never come true, "a synonym for peace."[19] While not proper Heroic Spirits, Medea and Medusa do not truly fall under the category of Anti-Heroes either.[18]

Anti-Heroes include:


Phantoms (幻霊, Genrei?) are existences that are unable to become Heroic Spirits. They are similar to Heroic Spirits in that they are beings with a legend associated with them, however that legend isn't strong or coherent enough to qualify them for a place on the Throne of Heroes and is insufficient to independently constitute a Saint Graph, the spiritual foundation required to manifest as a Servant. The thresholds for a legend to qualify one as a Phantom or a Heroic Spirit are not fully known, however Phantoms are described as being on the scale of an urban legend at most. Unlike existences recorded on the Throne of Heroes, Phantoms are not permanent and will unravel in time, though the exact mechanisms of the decay are not fully known.[23]

Though Phantoms are normally unable to manifest as Servants, Baal devised a way to fuse them with Heroic Spirits and other Phantoms within the abnormal environment of the Shinjuku Singularity, where the Counter Forces are inactive. Fusing Phantoms together can enable the combination to manifest as a Servant, as in the case with Hessian Lobo, while fusing them to Heroic Spirits, such as Moriarty and Yan Qing, bestows them with abilities relating to the Phantom. In the case of Moriarty, who would normally manifest as a Caster, the Phantom fusion allowed him to manifest as an Archer. Shakespeare and Andersen have been shown to be capable of fabricating Phantoms, though the exact mechanics of the process have yet to be specified.[23]

Phantoms are similar beings to Wraiths, both not present on the Throne of Heroes like Heroic Spirits and both degrading over time in their own ways; however, the two categories are neither the same nor mutually exclusive. The primary differences are that Wraiths are the souls of deceased individuals who actually lived, while Phantoms can be real or fictitious in origin, and Phantoms cannot independently manifest a complete Saint Graph required to be summoned as a Servant while some Wraiths are capable of being summoned as Servants with valid Saint Graphs. The degradation mechanisms for Phantoms and Wraiths also differ, although the specifics are not currently known.[23]

Known Phantoms (most of whom made appearances within the Shinjuku Singularity) include:


Main article: Wraith It is possible for those who cannot become true Heroic Spirits, to instead end up as wraiths. Those who bear the name Hassan-i-Sabbah are Heroic Spirit Candidates (英霊候補, Eirei Kōho?) that have lost their original names, instead taking the form of nineteen wraiths all vying to become the "Leader of the Assassins."[25][26] Within the Holy Grail War system, summoning a hero that does not exist can lead to a wraith whose characteristics match the legend being summoned, such as Assassin filling the role of Sasaki Kojirou. It is unknown where they normally exist, due to not being part of the Throne of Heroes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
  3. 3.0 3.1
  4. 4gamer Interview with Nasu and Shinokawa
  5. 6.0 6.1
  6. FGO - London
  7. Fate/stay night Prologue - Day 3
  8. Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works: Day 14 - Captured Princess
  9. Fate/EXTRA CCC
  10. Fate/stay night Fate route: Day 4 - Contract Established / Saber (I)
  11. Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 1: Chapter 01, Part 04 & Part 05, p.083-090
  12. Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 2
  13. Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel: Day 10 - Distraction
  14. Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works: Day 12 - Search and Lure / Infinite...
  15. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4
  16. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel: Day 4 - Holy Grail War, the Beginning
  17. Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel: Day 15 - Truth - Anti-Hero Angra Mainyu
  18. 21.0 21.1 Fate/Grand Order - Orleans Singularity, Section 5
  19. Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 2: Born due to the fear that persisted even after her death, a serial killer Anti-Heroic Spirit—that was who this girl was.
  20. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 Fate/Grand Order - Shinjuku Phantom Spirit Incident: Malignant Quarantined Demonic Realm
  21. Fate/Grand Order - All the Statesmen, Chapter 3

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