Merlin (マーリン, Mārin?), Class Name Caster (キャスター, Kyasutā?), is a Caster-class Servant summoned by Ritsuka Fujimaru in the Grand Orders of Fate/Grand Order. He holds the position of Grand Caster (グランドキャスター, Gurando Kyasutā?).
- 1 Profile
- 2 Role
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Development
- 5 References
The Magus of Flowers (花の魔術師, Hana no Majutsu-shi?). The vagrant of the paradise. A prophet and advisor who made his entry into Arthurian Legends as the court magus, he would at times guide, at times torment, and at times help King Arthur as a king so that she could overcome many enemies and hardships. Still, though he is a wise man, he is fundamentally inhuman, because he was born of mixed blood from the union of an incubus and a human. With illusions as his forte, he can transform into various shapes——there was a case where he had changed into the shape of a beast whose insides are not human——and his true form is not certain.
Merlin's life is steeped with mystery. It is said that his mother was a princess of Wales, but it is also said that his father was supposedly a supernatural incubus who lived in the gap between the Earth and the moon.
It has been said that Merlin had performed many prophecies at a young age. Among the many prophecies that caused Merlin's name to become widely known, there was one in which, after correctly guessing about the existence of two dragons, one red and one white, sleeping beneath Mount Emrys, he spoke of how, at the time of having that vision, those red and white dragons would fight against each other upon waking up. Merlin's words, which were transmitted in posterity as prophecies, indicated the red dragon as Britain and the white dragon as the Saxons, and under a great king would Britain finally gather their forces and surely reign over both Gaul and Rome. He also left behind many other prophecies, and amongst them were those concerning wars and even the king's death.
Merlin served King Uther Pendragon. Uther loved Igraine, the wife of Duke Cornwall, so he secured Merlin's assistance in winning her love at the price of leaving his child in Merlin's care. Thus, after he rised up as a magus, Merlin helped arrange the marriage between King Arthur’s father - Uther Pendragon - and princess Igraine, and watched over King Arthur since before her birth. Merlin told Uther a prophecy about his child, who would become his appointed successor during their war-torn times. Under an arrangement from Uther, Merlin helped produce an heir bearing the "essence of a dragon", so Artoria was born as a human infused with a dragon's magical energy. Although the child was a girl who could not officially become the successor, Merlin was delighted all the same, believing that her sex never mattered. Confident that having her separated from the castle until the prophecy was fulfilled was proof that she would become king, when Artoria was five years old Merlin entrusted her to the king's vassal, Sir Ector, and had her raised as the child of a knight. Merlin visited at some point during Artoria's upbringing and swore Sir Kay to secrecy about the matter of her gender. According to anecdotes, Merlin taught many things to the young Arthur and monitored the child's growth, taking on a role akin to that of a foster-father.
Merlin prepared Caliburn for the selection of the next king, but none could pull it out of the stone. As the other participants prepared a jousting match to decide the kingship, Artoria neared the sword and prepared to pull it without hesitation. Merlin appeared before her then, telling her she should think it through and described that to become "king" is to no longer be "human". Warning her that she should stop because she is fated to die a miserable death while resented by all of humanity, he showed her the end she would face. Having prepared for that day since her birth and firmly believing in the smiling people she saw in Merlin's vision, Artoria pulled it without hesitation and became king. As he left her, Merlin said that in exchange for that miracle, she will lose that which is most important to her.
Artoria lost Caliburn at a later point and obtained Excalibur and Avalon from the Lady of the Lake. It is said that in legends, Merlin asked Artoria about which implement was better, chiding her for choosing the sword since the sheath will protect her. Due to Artoria having issues with discussing her gender and producing an heir, Merlin's magecraft was used to solve those issues by making her a pseudo-male for some duration of time, which allowed for the creation of Mordred from her sperm.
Possessing outstanding Clairvoyance, in spite of having foreseen all about the collapse of the Round Table and the crises within Britain, Merlin left Britain without telling anything to King Arthur. Merlin had left King Arthur before her last battle with Mordred due to his love affairs problem. He claimed that the cold-mannered woman had been trying to murder him, so he has taken refuge in the Reverse Side of the World where he'd crossed the boundary and stumbled into a foreign land known as Avalon. Merlin had thought that the evil witch could not reach him anymore, but he encountered a gate that was built with rough stones, resembling the stone circles. The gate was inscribed with "Only those free of sin may pass." Merlin realized that the gate was a trap and he was imprisoned when he had walked into it. Massive walls of stone emerged from the ground in front of him. The walls seem to vertically extend forever, effectively trapping the visiting magus inside; the place is like a tower without a roof.
There are many theories as for why Merlin never told King Arthur about the fate that awaits her, but it is often said that it was because he is not biased towards individuals, instead caring only about fate, or so the story goes. Afterwards, Merlin went to the utopia Avalon and then confined himself within a prison “tower”, called the Garden of Avalon, for all eternity, having transcended death. To ascertain the world of humans until the end of the universe, without being able to even die... as if to say that this is the fate of a foolish man, who playfully meddled with the fate of a single girl.
This also means that there is no possibility of him becoming a Heroic Spirit even if he is worshipped by the masses since he is unable to die in order to have his soul recorded in the Throne of Heroes.
The one who declared Arthur, who pulled out the Sword of Selection, Caliburn, as the "mark of the King of Britain", and later on guided him to the lake and gave him Excalibur as a substitute for the lost Caliburn, is none other than Merlin. He guided, helped, and numerously prophesized for Arthur, who started walking on the path of a king who dreamt of ideals—————
However, Merlin himself cannot continue on walking side by side with his beloved king. Due to the dreadful magic of Vivian, the Fairy of the Lake——some said that it was Merlin himself who had taught Vivian——Merlin was caught within the "tower". And so, even Merlin, who possesses the powerful ability of foresight, in spite of having foreseen all about the collapse of the Round Table and the dangers within Britain, was unable to convey his regrets as King Arthur had approached "that moment." It is said that Merlin, just like that, lost his life as he was trapped within the "tower". A life born in mystery, and died in mystery. However, there is an anecdote that says he is still alive even now, watching over the people... Accordingly, it is said that as Merlin stepped down from the era of King Arthur, he then helped the twelve heroes of the era of King Charlemagne, known as the Paladins.
A hunk of a magus, no matter how one puts it. Just by being there, Merlin exudes a fresh aura, as if flowers fills the surroundings. He was not a really major character in the legend, but all the Knights of the Round Table agrees on this: "Good grief. There's no helping it." He is that kind of character. Even Saber (Artoria) ended up behaving just like a girl her own age. A girl who is at lost when facing his mischievous father.
Merlin's role is the same as Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings, no matter how one cuts it. Add that with a feeling of a fresh young prince. Now we have the gallant entry of a pretty boy of Middle Earth!
Merlin wears a robe woven with the finest fabrics, though he still looks modest, his long hair appearing with the colours of the rainbow under sunlight.
« I like the world of humans very much, but when it comes to each of them individually, I’m relatively, look, well, yeah! Very well, I suddenly feel that some things are better left unsaid! »
Just like this, it is not like he is an ally of humans.
A young man who is like a wind blowing on the grasslands. Before him, anyone would end up letting the tension out of their shoulders - a refreshingly righteous person. Still, due to seemingly being quite lacking in terms of seriousness and such together with a lack of the sense of responsibility, one can see that Merlin may also appear as a shady con man. A rhetorician who, even while perceiving things in an objective manner and accepting the cruelty of the world of humans, turns it into something bright by saying things like: “But, it wouldn’t be fun otherwise, right?”
Despite being a hybrid being, Merlin has never hated humans. Rather, he is fond of them to such a degree that it is beyond natural. He loves the world of humans, loves mischief, and loves girls. Generally, he is the Magus of Flowers who retorts at most things with a refreshing smile and a calm expression such as “now, now.”
Openly like this, he tends to appear as having a perfectly happy personality, a perfectly happy guy, without a single worry, but since Merlin himself is self-aware about the fact that he is a foreign body in regards to human society, he never crosses that last step... the wall called friendship. Ultimately, (just like a child who enjoys tasty food,) he is always watching over and protecting the world so that mankind can reach a happy outcome.
... So, if one is looking only at the end result, Merlin is a good man, and a wise one. But inside, he is an incubus, a being very far apart from humans. He, a being that consume dreams, can essentially understand human emotions, but cannot truly sympathize with it. He is an alien-like, inhuman being, who only rationally excuses himself inside a dream (dream = a human mind activity) and consumes it, and then leaves just like an insect. Due to this macroscopic evaluation criteria, perhaps he just cannot understand the human heart, unable to even know the actions of a person or to sympathize with it. Normally, he would be an identical being with the Beasts, an adolescent life form of a higher order that is certified as an enemy of humanity.
Merlin is very boastful about his abilities as a mage, claiming that he inflicts jealousy and envy on all other Servants, especially Casters, since they are second-rate to him.
It's a given that Merlin could see through the identity of the ringleader behind the Grand Orders incident. It's also a given that he stays silent about it. The human protagonist must struggle with his own power; it is only fate, for otherwise, they would only perceive their enemy as one they cannot defeat. Not even Merlin can surpass the last boss (the King of Magecraft) this time. Actually, on this basis, no Heroic Spirit can surpass him. The one who is destined to be able to surpass him is not a Heroic Spirit, but only a human who lives (now) in the present. Therefore, he shall watch over the Master, just as he had once watched over many kings in the past.
Merlin shall believe in the Master, the hope of human history; he shall lend his power to the utmost; and then he shall entertain himself relaxingly. Merlin's desire is to carve open a path for the protagonist's own destiny, to watch him off as he walks towards the future, to gaze at that kind of "beautiful view".
"After that, I'll just do as I always do; disappearing completely from everybody's memory. Most other things, I can do without much of a fuss. But this alone, I can never get used to."
Merlin boasts of her, his prided girl (king), Artoria, to everybody. However, since he essentially brought misfortune upon her, he is feeling a sense of responsibility now.
To Artoria: "Until the very end, you did nothing but endure and persevere. I should think that it's fine for you to be rewarded now, no?" he said in an obvious tone.
To the group of troublesome oddballs: "Hahahaha. Really, you guys just never change! Until when were you all planning to keep on troubling Artoria? Well, I can't really stop it either because it's so amusing to watch, so I guess I'm not one to talk either!"
Merlin is antagonistic to Solomon, a "magus of the crown position who gazed at both past and future" on the same level as him. If Solomon is the King of Magecraft who regards a high importance of the past, then Merlin is a magus who dreams of the future.
A net idol who, even as the Incineration of the Human Order proceeded and the Earth's network system was gone, is still active for some reason. She supports Solomon, who had turned into a human, from the Internet. Solomon was like "Hey, is Merlin in the backstage or something? I don't feel like helping but I do feel a lot of complaining. Get a ride over here too" as he started a lonesome conversation with Magi☆Mari, although this had become a daily therapy for him. Solomon had never thought that perhaps it was Merlin himself who played as Magi☆Mari.
In the Unlimited Blade Works route, Saber describes Merlin as being still active in the present times even when she is summoned as a Servant. Saber reveals that she shares a common trait with Shirou as they were fond of an immature magus. Saber describes Merlin to Shirou, that he has the bearing of someone unlike a magus, much to the point where it would be hard to believe him when he claimed to be one. Noted to be a "troublesome adult", he is spaced out and clumsy, freely enjoying his pastimes and playing around like a child. More immature than Artoria, he was somebody she "couldn't leave alone", but she respected him greatly as a magus. Despite that, she describes him as the cause of every trouble and mentions that the age would have been better off had he been less mischievous. Agreeing with Shirou that he could be described as a "real bad guy", she describes his worst trait as being "weak against love affairs", or more aptly, "full of love." Although it led to his downfall, she believes he is "still casually talking about love."
In the Last Episode, Merlin explains to Saber that her dream to reunite with Shirou is difficult and near impossible. He informs Saber that two miracles must occur in order for them to meet again as normal people. One must wait continuously, while the other must pursue endlessly. They must realize that it is impossible to succeed, yet at the same time, be capable of enduring patiently.
Garden of Avalon
One half of the story is narrated by Merlin as he was imprisoned in the stone tower within Avalon. The other half resembles the conversations between Merlin and various Knights of the Round Table. The story tells the Fate version of King Arthur's legend from the day she pulls out Caliburn to her demise.
After Merlin witnesses Saber's last moments in the Fifth Holy Grail War, he is pleased with the outcome. He releases Cath Palug from the Garden of Avalon in the Reverse Side of the World. He insists Cath Palug to seek freedom and to play into something really beautiful.
Fifth Singularity: E Pluribus Unum
Merlin projects himself through Fou as Cú Chulainn Alter was about to kill Mash, putting them in an illusion. Remarking that he cannot truly intervene due to him still daydreaming, he declares that he shall meet Ritsuka and Mash properly at the designated future, and requests that they take care of his familiar for him.
Sixth Singularity: Camelot
Merlin is told by the fairies of a human-shaped rock that appeared at the edges of Avalon. This rock turns out to be the Bedievere of an parallel world who ended up in Avalon in his 1500 year search for the Artoria of his world. This Bedivere failed to return Excalibur to Vivian, thus preventing Artoria from dying when she was fated to. With Rhongomyniad still in hand, she wandered and eventually a Divine Spirit. Knowing Artoria manifested in the Camelot Singularity as Goddess Rhongomyniad, Merlin gave Bedivere one last chance to complete Artoria’s last order. He warns Bedivere the Knights of the Round will awaken to the truth of Goddess Rhongomyniad if they discover Bedivere’s identity, and they do they’ll try to stop him from reaching Goddess Rhongomyniad, who no longer remembers Bedivere. To help prevent this, Merlin casts a spell on Bedivere to hide his identity from others. He warns Bedivere he’ll die regardless of the outcome, as his soul is already exhausted. Despite knowing that, Bedivere still wishes to complete his journey. Merlin then disguises Excalibur as Airgetlám, and warns Bedivere it’ll use his soul as fuel with every use. He then transports him to the Singularity.
Seventh Singularity: Babylonia
When Tiamat is freed from the Imaginary Number Space by Solomon, Merlin traps her inside a dream. He utilizes Independent Manifestation to arrange for Gilgamesh to summon him as a Servant, taking advantage of the fact that the era is before his birth. Eventually Gilgamesh sends Merlin to the Cedar Forest to find the Tablet of Destinies. There he meets Medusa, and tricks her into a contract that sealed her Divinity until she's truly ready to face Gorgon.
After three days of being lost in the forest, he and Medusa encounter Ritsuka, Mash, and Kingu whose pretending to be Enkidu. He outs Kingu as a fake when he mentions Gilgamesh just recently returned from his quest for the herb of immortality. Kingu attacks the group, so Merlin has Medusa assist Ritsuka and Mash. Part way through the fight, Merlin traps everyone in an illusion except Medusa, so she can lead Kingu out of the forest. After the illusion is dispersed, he explains Kingu is the leader of the Demonic Beasts, having destroying to many cities while calling themselves Enkidu. Fou soon attacks him; Medusa returns from luring Kingu away. Merlin then introduces himself and Medusa as Ana. He reveals he qualifies for the position of Grand Caster, though his Spirit Origin is that of a regular Caster. Romani Archaman finds it impossible for Merlin to be a Heroic Spirit since he cannot die until the world ends. Leonardo da Vinci deduces Merlin has been providing Chaldea with magical energy resources, as well as using a method akin to Rayshifting to rekindle Chaldea’s reactor, the Fire of Prometheus, without Solomon’s notice. Merlin confirms as much and then explains the method by which he was summoned. He also explains the circumstances under which he and Medusa came to know each other, revealing she is a Rogue Servant summoned by the Grail. Agreeing to lead Ritsuka and Mash to Uruk, Merlin tells Ritsuka it’s their duty to clearly explain Chaldea’s mission to Gilgamesh. He also recommends using Uruk as a temporary base.
Leaving the forest, Merlin explains how Uruk is the only safe place left in Mesopotamia. Northern Mesopotamia is the Demonic Beast territory, while the south is a jungle from which none return. Merlin says it is uncertain what will happen to humanity if Uruk, the first dynasty of Sumer, the blueprint of city-states is destroyed. Egypt’s first dynasty was flourishing during the same period, but they alone can’t preserve the Foundation of Humanity. Merlin therefore recommends first finding and retrieving Solomon’s Grail, and second, defeating the Three Goddess Alliance if possible. He only knows the True Name of one goddess, calling the northern goddess the biggest threat since she controls the Demonic Beasts. However, he calls Ishtar (addressed as the soaring goddess) the most troublesome goddess, possibly even more so than the northern goddess.
Eventually the group to Uruk’s gate. Merlin introduces the others as refugees from Girsu to the guard. He wants them evacuated to Uruk and shows Siduri‘s sigil as proof he works with the Ritual Sect. Upon recognizing the sigil, the guard allows the group to enter. They enter the city after the guard briefly stops them to give Medusa his leftover candies
Heading to the ziggurat, the group are led to Gilgamesh’s throne room. There Merlin reports he didn’t find the Tablet in the forest. Gilgamesh decides to fight Ritsuka and Mash, and orders Merlin not to interfere. Merlin agrees, but has Medusa support Ritsuka and Mash. Gilgamesh loses interest halfway through the fight however. He deduces Ritsuka and Mash are those he foresaw, given that Merlin brought them. He shows he possesses the Grail, but refuses to give it to Chaldea. Ritsuka asks for it in exchange for defeating the Alliance, but Gilgamesh refuses their aid. A soldier then reports Ishtar, a member of the Alliance, is heading for Uruk. Suddenly, Ishtar bursts from the roof. She tries to kill Gilgamesh for insulting her, and Ritsuka to stop any rumors of their first encounter. Following the ensuing battle, Ishtar prepares to destroy the ziggurat. She stops though upon seeing who Medusa truly is, and leaves. Not wanted by Gilgamesh, the group leave the Ziggurat. Seeing Siduri has been put in charge of Ritsuka and Mash, Merlin leaves to peruse the markets.
Merlin later joins the others when Siduri leads them to new lodgings, which Mash dubs the Chaldean Embassy. Even though he has a room in the ziggurat, Merlin goes up to the second floor to pick his room. Later that night, the group eats with Siduri and Gilgamesh’s other Servants: Ushiwakamaru, Musashibou Benkei, and Leonidas. Merlin later confirms Gilgamesh knows there is a fake Enkidu, though he’s never met them personally since he doesn’t leave the ziggurat. Gilgamesh reacted to the reports of a fake Enkidu without anger or sadness, only saying it was possible for a fake Enkidu would appear. Merlin tells Ritsuka to get help from Gilgamesh’s other Servants tomorrow while he’s away for unspecified reasons. Seeing Medusa has fallen asleep, he tells Ritsuka to take care of her, saying she fears humans. He then leaves the lodgings.
After 20 days of Ritsuka, Mash, and Meduasa helping the people of Uruk, Merlin gives them a message from Siduri, saying they have the day-off. He finds it’ll be a good chance for Ritsuka and Mash to go on a date. He recommends going to the gardens in front of Eanna if they want a secret rendezvous before heading to the second floor.
Recognizing the group's recent achievements, Gilgamesh tasks them with investigating Ur in the jungle. Ushiwakamaru and Benkei spare with them before they depart to help Leonidas. After the battle, the group then leave for Ur.
The group eventually reaches the jungle, which is very hot and dense with ether on par with a Reality Marble. Nearing Ur, they're confronted by Jaguar Warrior. They fight her until she retreats, but they don't pursue upon realizing she is too powerful. They then continue onwards to Ur.
Entering Ur, the group finds its people alive and well. Merlin explains to the people that Gilgamesh sent them to investigate, believing Gilgamesh would’ve sent a large-scale rescue party if he knew the people were alive. A woman reveals the jungle protects them from the Demonic Beasts. Merlin deduces they’re banned by the jungle goddess from leaving, lest they’ll be killed by the jungle. The rule also applies to those coming to help. Merlin deduces they sacrifice one person a day, noticing the lack of males. Those chosen are offered once a day to Eridu to satisfy the goddess. Unfortunately, Merlin’s plan to get more information is ruined when Mash's reprimands the people for their decisions, causing them to bar themselves in their homes out of guilt. Jaguar Warrior then appears and fights the group. However, she is far too fast and powerful for them, as Merlin realizes she is a Divine Spirit. She catches up with the group several times as they escape the jungle, but Ana drives her away each time. Returning to Uruk, the group reports their findings to Gilgamesh. Merlin reports the jungle was too dense for him to see Eridu from Ur. But he could sense a powerful divinity, and assumes Marduk’s Axe is still in Eridu.
A day later, Ritsuka's party is ordered by Gilgamesh to retrieve the Tablet of Destinies from Kutha. He also tasks with gathering testimonies from ranchers about Ishtar damaging their ranches along the way. After thde others get ready, Merlin reveals Kutha's population suddenly died when the Alliance was formed. The expedition party sent there saw that none of the corpses had wounds on them.
As they travel to Kutha, the group gather testimonies from ranchers about Ishtar. From the testimonies they learn Ishtar has been attacking and extorting the ranchers. Merlin explains she isn't the normal Ishtar, instead one summoned by the Sacred Temple. Foreseeing the era would turn into a Singularity, they took advantage of the instability of space-time. As Gilgamesh built the Northern Wall, the temple matron summoned a human compatible with Ishtar to summon her. The group then continue onwards to Kutha.
Arriving at Kutha, Merlin suggests they split up to find the Tablet. He’ll go east; Mash north; Medusa west; Ritsuka south. When Mash refuses to leave Ritsuka’s side, Merlin reminds her Demonic Beasts can’t enter the city, and Ritsuka will have Fou and Romani’s navigation. After Mash concedes, Merlin explains the Tablet emits a minute amount of magical energy, so they should feel it if it’s nearby. Merlin, Mash, and Medusa rendezvous after an hour of fruitless searching, and see Ritsuka coincidentally sitting on the Tablet. Ritsuka says Ziusudra rescued them from Kur, giving his message to Merlin. Merlin asks Romani for his records, but Romani finds there are no records from the past few minutes, as if Ritsuka was dead. Merlin interprets Ziusudra’s message to mean that Ereshkigal has materialized. Ishtar then arrives and attacks the group for questioning the ranchers. They fight her, but she flies away whenever they gain the advantage. She suddenly gets drowsy, so Medusa takes advantage of it to knock her down. The impact knocks Ishtar unconscious, and the group tie her up.
Ishtar wakes up later that night, tied up in a rope woven from lapis lazuli and Demonic Beast hides. She explains the goddesses are competing to see who can destroy Uruk first and get Gilgamesh’s Grail. The winner will control the world, while the losers will either leave or become subservient. The goddesses also have a non-aggression pact with each other, and revealing their True Names violates that pact. Ishtar also reveals the Grail summoned the northern and southern goddesses. Skeletons of Kutha’s deceased population, including those from the past, then surround the group. Ishtar helps the group breakthrough the horde, so they can escape, and leaves.
The group return to Uruk, and report what happened in Kutha to Gilgamesh. He orders them to evacuate the surviving population of Nippur to the Northern Wall. He then instructs Rittsuka on how to read the Tablet. After Ritsuka retrieves a vision revealing Solomon's location from the Tablet, the group leave for Nippur.
The group arrive at Northern Wall, and encounter Demonic Beasts that soon attack. They meet up with Leonidas, Ushiwakamaru, and Benkei afterwards. Leonidas explains Ushiwakamaru and Benkei's unit will distract the Demonic Beasts from the east. Ritsuka's group will enter Nippur from the west and rescue the citzens. The operation will be launched tomorrow evening.
Later that night, Merlin plants flowers along the wall to reinforce it. He advises Medusa not to tell Ritsuka the truth of her situation, finding that her distrust of humans is wavering, and her hopes for them are returning. While he considers emotions disposable, he calls it wasteful to not cherish those that were reclaimed. He describes Medusa's fear of being hated by humans if they discover her true identity, describing it as the biggest difference between her and Gorgon, and believes it’d be wasteful for her to discard it. He encourages her to continue hiding her true nature, as he does the same thing. Medusa asks him if he loves humans, to which Merlin confesses he doesn’t. As an inhuman, he has done terrible things for the sake of human society. While he doesn’t like individual humans, he enjoys the patterns humanity weaves. He tore himself trying to justify it to himself, which resulted in his imprisonment in Avalon. He tells Medusa that Ritsuka won’t care if she is hiding something, saying they’re happier to be with her than they would be if they discover her secret. Even if she tells them her True Name, it would only tell them the enemy’s name, not help them fight it. Merlin describes Medusa’s existence as the vital point Gorgon didn’t expect. He tells Medusa to watch for the instant she’ll have to sacrifice herself. But that kind of ending bores him, preferring to trick the enemy, and emerge victorious unharmed. He suggests Medusa to do the same thing, which she agrees to consider.
The next day, the operation is initiated. The group arrives in Nippur, only to find Kingu there. They reveal the citizens were taken to the Demonic Beasts’ lair last night. They also reveal the Demonic Beasts are taking humans and using them as raw materials to create more beasts. “Enkidu” then wounds Medusa since she’s their main target, but Fou teleports her and himself to safety. Suddenly “Tiamat“ emerges from underground and kills the soldiers with a single swing of her tail. The group is forced to fight her when she blocks their escape, but she regenerates too quickly for them to wound her. “Tiamat“ also confirms she has the Grail. Ushiwakamaru then arrives to hold her off while the group escapes. Tiamat overwhelms her and breaks through Nippur’s walls to pursue the group. Merlin tells the others to retreat, revealing his body will return to the world of dreams if it’s destroyed. However, he asks for their protection when “Tiamat“ uses her Mystic Eyes of Petrification on him, saying it would be bad if he lost consciousness. Leonidas uses Thermopylae Enomotia to protect them from her Mystic Eyes, but he isn’t able to avert its petrifying effects. Before completely turning to stone, he reveals the so-called Tiamat is Gorgon. Gorgon prepares to launch a full invasion of Uruk when Kingu stops her. They suggest waiting for the 100,000 Demonic Beasts in the Blood Fort to be born. Gorgon returns to the Blood Fort, warning she’ll return to destroy Uruk in ten days. Kingu reveals they’re the prototype of a new humanity meant to replace the old. They reveal their True Name, though not the original Kingu, instead a new human designed after Enkidu.
After Kingu leaves, the group return to the Northern Wall. As Benkei leaves for the ruins of Nippur, Merlin comments his droupout hurts their combat strength. He says unmotivated soldiers like him aren’t needed, and points to the soldiers who are still willing to fight despite their fears. He suspects Benkei will return in time. The group then rendezvous with Medusa and Fou, and report back to Gilgamesh.
Returning to Uruk, the group report to Gilgamesh on what transpired the previous day. Merlin theorizes Gorgon can create monsters because the Grail granted her Tiamat's Authority, Potnia Theron. Gilgamesh then tasks the group with recruiting Ishtar, so he can use her Gugalanna. He even gives them a portion of his treasury to bribe her with.
The group travels to Ishtar’s temple on Mt. Ebih. Ishtar fights them until Mash shows her the cart of gems Gilgamesh provided them. Merlin explains they want to hire her, with the promise she’ll receive a large percentage of Gilgamesh’s gems. Ishtar eventually gives in to their bribery and flattery, and agrees to join the group. She then contracts with Ritsuka, and returns to Uruk with the others.
Gilgamesh tells the group that Marduk's Axe, which they can use against Gorgon, is in Eridu. Ishtar reveals the southern goddess is Quetzalcoatl. Outside, Quetzalcoatl heads straight for the ziggurat, killing any soldier who dares to attack her. The group heads out to fight her, but their attacks are ineffective. She then rides a pterosaur back to the jungle since she reached her quota of killing 100 humans a day. The group then witness Jaguar Warrior stacking the dead soldiers onto a cargo slab. They kill the were-jaguars she set upon them before leaving.
Back in the ziggurat, Romani demands Merlin to use his clairvoyance to see what Quetzalcoatl is doing now. Merlin replies he can’t overuse his clairvoyance, as he’s currently using his magical energy on other things. He also adds Quetzalcoatl will notice if she’s being observed, noting goddesses react violently to being peeped on. It is then insinuated Quetzalcoatl has a temple in Eridu dedicated to her to increase her divinity. The group realizes they will need to destroy the symbol of her power at the temple in order to lower her divinity. Gilgamesh then orders them to go to Eridu to defeat Quetzalcoatl and retrieve Marduk’s axe. He says they’ll immediately begin preparations for the battle with Gorgon upon their return.
Entering the jungle, Merlin asks Ishtar Gorgon ordered if her and Quetzalcoatl to destroy humanity. Ishtar responds she doesn’t care about the Alliance, and guesses Quetzalcoatl is helping Gorgon because they’re both snakes. Jaguar Warrior then appears, and the group fights her. With Ishtar’s help, they’re able to defeat her. Ritsuka then convinces her to join them through flattery. She guides the group to Ur, where they find the Urukian soldiers alive. Jaguar Warrior explains Quetzalcoatl revived the soldiers right after killing them. She also reveals the soldiers are forbidden to leave because they’re members of Quetzalcoatl’s army.
The next day, the group is guided through the jungle to Eridu. They learn Quetzalcoatl has recently returned from Uruk. Jaguar Warrior says she, Mash, and Ishtar will hold her off while Ritsuka destroys Piedra Del Sol, the symbol of her power. She then gives them a spare of her weapon she made last night for this very purpose. The group then enters Eridu, and they breakthrough waves of winged serpents to reach the temple. They also see Marduk’s Axe behind it. The group then executes their plan. Ritsuka reaches Piedra Del Sol at the temple altar, but Quetzalcoatl has defeated the others and begins approaching the altar. Ritsuka prepares to destroy the stone when they realize Quetzalcoatl wants to see a display of human resolve. At Jaguar Warrior’s suggestion, Ishtar takes Ritsuka high into the air so they can body slam Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl catches them at the last moment, and joins the group, impressed by Ritsuka’s resolve. Due to the sheer size of Marduk’s axe, Quetzalcoatl fastens ropes made from jungle vines to her winged serpents to carry it to Uruk. After preparations are complete, she takes the group to see a cylinder seal in the center of Eridu. Merlin transcribes its inscription into the air to reveal the prophecy of Mesopotamia becoming a Singularity and Tiamat razing Uruk. The group realize Gilgamesh made preparations against the Demonic Beasts because he knew of the prophecy. Thanks to his preparations and the resolve of Uruk’s populace, Mesopotamia was able to stave off destruction for half a year before Chaldea arrived. Quetzalcoatl then orders Jaguar Warrior to supervise the winged serpents carrying Marduk’s axe.
Returning to Uruk, the group learns Gilgamesh has died. Merlin comments on how Gilgamesh promised he’d concentrate on giving orders from the throne room to prevent dying in battle. He then angrily demands to know who killed Gilgamesh, but Siduri says he died from overexertion. After apologizing for his outburst, Merlin asks Siduri if anything strange happened when they left for Ur. Siduri recalls they’re several deaths from weakness, noting they seemed unnatural. Quetzalcoatl attributes this to Ereshkigal, the third member of the Alliance, meaning Ishtar isn’t one. Merlin reveals Ereshkigal was summoned when Ishtar was. She killed the temple matron, and has been using Ishtar’s body without her knowledge since she can’t leave the underworld. Quetzalcoatl suspects one of Ereshkigal’s gallû spirits took Gilgamesh’s soul to Kur. The group head there to rescue Gilgamesh.
At Kutha, The group decide Ritsuka, Mash, and Ishtar will enter Kur, while Merlin and Quetzalcoatl stay behind. This is because a god's powers are nullifed in Kur to prevent their escape after death. Ishtar shoots a large hole in the ground, sending Ritsuka and Mash down into Kur. Ishtar follows in after them.
The group return to Uruk after rescuing Gilgamesh, and convincing Ereshkigal to help them. At the ziggurat, the group immediately begins a strategy meeting for Gorgon. Gorgon’s current forces comprise roughly 100,000 Demonic Beasts gathered in the Cedar Forest. Gilgamesh orders the group to go to the Blood Fort, while the Northern Wall forces hold off Gorgon’s forces. The Blood Fort is in the underground lake deep within the Cedar Forest. Gorgon will lose much of her divinity once the Blood Fort is destroyed. Gilgamesh suggests Quetzalcoatl throws Marduk’s Axe at the Blood Fort from the Northern Wall, where it was relocated. Merlin devises a plan where he and Ritsuka will sneak into the Cedar Forest and head to the Blood Fort. Once they’re close enough, he’ll signal Quetzalcoatl who’ll throw the axe to him. He gives Quetzalcoatl a cloth from his staff to wrap around the axe. As the cloth and his staff are essentially the same, the axe should reach him, even if Quetzalcoatl’s aim is off. The group then travel to the Northern Wall to begin the operation.
At the night before the operation, Merlin decides to answer whatever question Ritsuka wants to ask him. He confirms he was the one who sent Bedivere, revealing the latter appeared in Avalon at the same time Goddess Rhongomyniad appeared in the Holy Land. He had no choice but to send Bedivere, knowing he forced a cruel decision on him. As Artoria’s mentor, he prioritized correcting her mistake despite knowing of Bedivere’s pain. He believes the situation with Bedivere and Goddess Rhongomyniad was resolved better than expected, believing it was impossible to save both. He calls humans flawed, but finds the history they’ve created beautiful. To him, no matter what end humanity faces, their history will be worth leaving. He calls Romani’s evaluation of him correct, saying nothing will stop him from obtaining what he wants to see.
While Quetzalcoatl and Jaguar Warrior stay behind at the Northern Wall, the others pass through the ruins of Babylon to the Cedar Forest. They eventually reach the Blood Fort deeper in. There Merlin signals Quetzalcoatl, who throws Marduk’s Axe to destroy the temple’s entrance. The group enters the temple, and at its center, they face Gorgon. Merlin restores Medusa’s divinity, and the group fight Gorgon, with Medusa offsetting Gorgon’s Mystic Eyes with her own. With Gorgon’s defeat, the temple begins to collapse yet she still lives thanks to her immortality. Medusa slays her with Harpe, seemingly dying in the process. However, the group soon learn Kingu has the Grail when they arrive. After the ensuing fight, spatial rifts suddenly open all over Mesopotamia. Tiamat suddenly injures Merlin as retribution for trapping her in a dream. Merlin realizes Gorgon gained Potian Theron by synchronizing with Tiamat. Gorgon’s death awoken Tiamat, and she found Merlin in her dreams. Meanwhile, outside at the Persian Gulf, the sea becomes the Chaos Tide, and a growing horde of Laḫmu emerge. After Kingu leaves, Merlin urges the others to warn Gilgamesh that a Beast has awoken before disappearing.
Merlin eventually returns when the others are facing Tiamat in Kur, taking advantage of the Earth’s blank state from the Incineration of Humanity to temporarily physically escape Avalon and return to Uruk. He uses his flowers to drain the Chaos Tide of Tiamat’s Authority, stopping it from further encroaching on Kur. As Tiamat tries to fly back to the surface, Merlin describes how everything Ritsuka’s party tried to stop Tiamat failed because she is unfamiliar with he whom he dubs “Death”. He is the ace that Merlin has kept up his sleeve, having been summoned thanks to Ritsuka and will abandon his Grand title to show his gratitude to them. He then points to Ziusdra, who reveals himself to be the Grand Assassin, the First Hassan. Hassan severs Tiamat’s wings while simultaneously forcing the concept of death onto her by reducing her Spirit Origin to that of a normal servant. Recognizing her own mortality, Tiamat unleashes more Laḫmu to protect her while she climbs back to the surface. With Ereshkigal’s blessing, Ritsuka, Mash, and Merlin fly towards Tiamat, breaking through the Bel Laḫmu with Hassan’s help. They reach Tiamat’s head, as it’s where her Spiritual Core is, and try to kill her. She proves astoundingly durable, so she takes down Merlin to remove his negation on the Chaos Tide.
Catching the Grail that fell from the slain Tiamat’s throat, Merlin meets up with the others on the surface. He is shocked to see Quetzalcoatl alive, and she puts him in a joint lock when he tries to flee from her. Merlin demands to know how she’s alive since she supposedly sacrificed herself to kill Tiamat and failed. Jaguar Warrior reveals she rescued her. After Quetzalcoatl, Jaguar Warrior, and Gilgamesh disappear, Ritsuka, Mash, and Merlin start to get forced out of the Singularity. Merlin confesses he likes Ritsuka is an individual, describing them as a traveler who journeys between the books like himself. Yet Ritsuka isn’t a passive observer, instead using those stories to save everyone and weave together a better ending. Once the Grand Order is finished, only Merlin will everything what happened. For that reason, he wanted to help Ritsuka just this once. After admitting he and Hassan could manifest due to the manifestation of a Beast, Merling tells Ritsuka that they’ll fight the evil at the end of the era of humanity. He prays they will have clear skies at end of their journey before they and Ritsuka are returned to Chaldea.
Fairy Round Table Domain: Avalon le Fae
Merlin visits Fujimaru in a dream, telling them a prophecy he heard on the wind about a child of prophecy who would save a kingdom of fairies and unite fairy and human alike. After sharing the prophecy the dream begins to grow distorted, and Merlin realizes he has been spotted by a frightening woman. As Fujimaru begins to wake up Merlin tells them that they will meet again after the battle, and until then he will continue to watch from his tower.
Lostbelt Artoria says that Merlin has been teaching her magecraft in her dreams. However it is implied that it is actually Oberon impersonating Merlin, as the person in her dreams uses Oberon's style of speech instead of Merlin's. Artoria is searching for Merlin when she first meets Fujimaru, and she initially mistakes Oberon for him when she meets Oberon. Oberon is hidden from Merlin's sight. Whenever Merlin uses his Clairvoyance to watch Fujimaru go through the Lostbelt, it just looks like Fujimaru is talking to themselves as Merlin cannot see Oberon.
Merlin projects himself onto the Storm Border to tell Artoria that she must complete her destiny by traveling to Avalon and forging Excalibur. When Artoria and her group travel through the Spiritual Tomb of Albion to reach Avalon, Merlin takes the form of Fou to guide them through the tunnels. Once they enter the Reverse Side of the World he appears in person. He is the Merlin from proper history, and refers to this Avalon as a "shadow" that the Lostbelt has taken in, unaffected by the bleaching of the world.
Merlin made a cameo in the Fate/Apocrypha anime along with the Knights of the Round Table in Kairi Sisigou's dream. Merlin later appears in Mordred's dream of Artoria Pendragon pulling the sword out of the stone.
Merlin is one among the top-ranking Casters and is said to be the most feared magus in the country of Britain, albeit rivaled by Morgan le Fay. Having reached the top of the Caster Class by meeting high standards in both power and legends, Merlin meets the necessary requirements to be summoned as Grand Caster. Due to still being alive trapped in Avalon, Merlin can't usually be summoned to fight in a Holy Grail War except under some circumstances. Should he manifest as a Servant, his Magical Energy consumption would be incredibly high, as supplying him almost drained Gilgamesh dry. Bolstered by his incubus heritage, Rin Tohsaka describes that being able to disguise Artoria's gender or "arrange for a child that should never have been born" should be an extremely easy task. The creation of Invisible Air is attributed to something he could have thought up for Artoria. Merlin has also shown to be able to turn Tiamat's Sea of Life into flowers, draining her power, even though it had spread to the point that it was covering almost all if not all of the Underworld. His magic can also be used defensively as he was able to block Cú Alter's Gáe Bolg to protect Mash even when he was trapped in Avalon in a daydreaming state. Merlin is capable of predicting the future, as he taught Artoria how to do so by reading the stars One of his known limitations is that he is unable to remote control Divine Constructs such as the Axe of Marduk due to them repelling human magecraft. He would only be able to make it levitate a bit and then drop it.
However, Merlin does not treat magecraft as his forte, claiming that he stumbles during incantations and that it's easier to beat people down with a sacred sword instead. Having been Artoria's swordsmanship instructor, Merlin is an extremely skilled swordsman and has been shown wielding Excalibur, as shown when he fought multiple of Tiamat's New Eleven Offspring at once whereas even Ishtar's beams were incapable of piercing their skin.
Just like the legend says, Merlin is really good at running away. Kingu considers that capturing him would be extremely difficult and killing him even harder. The reason he seemed weak during most part of the Babylonia Singularity, is that he was saving magical energy to aid Chaldea. Merlin claims that his only true weakness are the Mystic Eyes of Petrification, and as such, he refuses to fight Gorgon, who had been empowered by the Holy Grail and Tiamat's Authority.
Merlin possesses the proof of the Highest Mage; Clairvoyance: "The Eyes Which See through the World". Eyes that are able to see beyond while the person stands in place. From time immemorial, it is the power entrusted to the lands by the gods and the power shamans needed to guard lives. However profound and capable one's magic circuits may be in performing the strongest forms of magecraft, a mage who does not possess these "Eyes" shall not be given the title of the most supreme. Merlin's Clairvoyance is said to be on par with that of the likes of Gilgamesh and Solomon which both have EX Rank. While most uses of this ability allow the user to see the Future, or even the past as well, Merlin's can only see the Present.
- Territory Creation (C Rank): Creation of a "Workshop" territory that is advantageous to himself as a magus. But since he tends to get tired of it he usually just toss it away halfway.
- High-Speed Incantation (C Rank): The ability to hasten magic incantation speed. All Casters have beautiful pronunciation, though there are one or two exceptions. If he talks fast sometimes he bites his own tongue so the rank is low (C).
- Item Construction (C Rank): Creation of tools tinged with magic energy. The man himself is full of confidence but it's hard to say that he is superiorly talented for it.
- Mixed-Blood (EX Rank): The blood of something inhuman is mixed in. Merlin is a half-blood born from the union of a human and an incubus, and as such, he has perfectly inherited the incubus trait. This skill makes Merlin immortal, so the second his body is destroyed, he'll simply reappear in Avalon.
- Independent Manifestation (A Rank): A Skill that permits unsupported manifestation into reality. Originally, Merlin should not be summonable in the capacity of a Heroic Spirit; for, irrelevant of the future that comes to pass, his death shall not occur. Ergo, to serve a Master in the capacity of a Servant is in essence a fulfillment of his personal desires. To put it in other words, he acts as a Servant merely as a part of his hobby. For the purpose of making his fantasies as reality, he has by personal effort obtained this Skill, even though it would be normally restricted to a certain unique Class (Beast)——making use of it to the end of pretending to be summoned as a Servant.
By use of this Skill, Merlin was summoned by Gilgamesh in the Babylonia Singularity as an irregular Caster. When questioned as to how this was possible when he wasn't yet deceased, he claimed that it may have something to do with his connection with the Singularity; or the fact that the era of the summoning lies prior to his birth——allowing for him to qualify as "not being alive."
After Merlin apparently died following the defeat of the Gorgon, Doctor Roman indicated that the Merlin that had been traveling at Fujimaru's side was merely a projection and that his primary manifestation within the era was occupied with the task of restraining the Goddess Tiamat within her slumber. He suggested that Merlin may have been killed in the process of Tiamat's awakening.
However, in the final confrontation against Tiamat, Merlin was revealed to be still alive——taking advantage of the Incineration of the Human Order to bypass his confinement within Avalon and physically traveling to Babylonia help Ritsuka's party in the Underworld.
- Hero Creation (EX Rank): The techniques and arts to artificially give birth to and raise a "King". Merlin, who can be described as the true father of King Arthur, is known as the most prominent kingmaker in the world.
- Charisma (B Rank): The ability of personal charm. A skill indispensable for kings and leaders, but for some reason Merlin naturally possesses it.
- Illusion Arts (A Rank): A Skill related to Mental Interference, and a magecraft for the use of beguilement. It refers to interference with the psyche, and the projection of illusions into reality. At A Rank, the introduction of nightmares unto the realm of the psyche is a matter of course; and even within reality, an illusion on the scale of a single village may be manifested with ease, to the end of successfully beguiling humans. He was able to trap Kingu without them noticing. Prior to the arrival of Chaldea to the Babylonia Singularity, he was the one responsible for postponing Tiamat's awakening by trapping her in a cage of dreams. Merlin is incredibly proficient in this type of magecraft as he is the teacher of the spirits who taught magecraft to François Prelati.
Merlin's Noble Phantasm is Garden of Avalon which reproduces in the surroundings the tower where Merlin is, even now, being confined. Flowers bloom all around above the ground, and no matter what kind of darkness or hell it is, the daylight shall shine upon it. Even if the area that he is allowed to be is but the gaol of mere 10 meters in four directions, and the view that was granted to him is but a the cut off sky in the faraway horizon, that place will eternally be a utopia. A place where Merlin the Magus of Flower exist is not hell, but none other than land filled with hope.
Due to Solomon using Ars Nova in the final confrontation against Goetia and subsequently removing himself from the Throne of Heroes, Merlin became the current Grand Caster Servant. As a Grand Servant, Merlin has been granted a superb Saint Graph of a rank above normal Servants and stands at the pinnacle of all Heroic Spirits.
Creation and Conception
Comment from Illustrator
"The feeling of a completely unknown age, and the impression of someone inhuman. For the sake of expressing that, I have him wear a white kimono. There is a sword set all hidden weapon-like in his staff, but the man himself doesn't really use it as a weapon, but more like playing it around as a toy-like gadget. That is what the image I'm going for."
- Fate/Grand Order material IV - Merlin, p.396-409, translated by castor212 at Beast's Lair.
Fate/Grand Order - Merlin Profile
o Illusionism : A
A magecraft for the use of beguilement.
Refers to interference with the psyche, and the projection of illusions into reality.
At a Rank of "A," the introduction of nightmares unto the realm of the psyche is a matter of course; and even within reality, an illusion on the scale of a single village may be manifested with ease, to the end of successfully beguiling humans.
o Independent Manifestation : A
A Skill that permits unsupported manifestation into reality.
Originally, Merlin should not be summonable in the capacity of a Heroic Spirit; for, irrelevant of the future that comes to pass, his death shall not occur.
Ergo, to serve a Master in the capacity of a Servant is in essence a fulfillment of his personal desires. To put it in other words, he acts as a Servant merely as a part of his hobby.
For the purpose of making his fantasies as reality, he has by personal effort obtained this Skill, even though it would be normally restricted to a certain unique Class -- making use of it to the end of pretending to be summoned as a Servant.
- Garden of Avalon - Chapter 00: In the Flower Garden, p.004-013
- Fate/stay night - Fate: Day 13 - Saber's contradiction
- Fate/stay night - Saber's Status Profile
- Fate/stay night - Fate: Day 11 - The king's memories
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Saber [Servant], p.063-064 [T]
Heroic Spirit of the sword. One could not qualify for this Class if all his parameters except MGI did not meet a certain threshold.
The true heroine of this story. She was the young girl knight who forged a contract with Emiya Shirou and fought in the Holy Grail War.
She was loyal, faithful, and diligent. The knight's pride covered her femininity.
If we were to remove this facade, then we could recognize that she was no different from a young girl her age.
Saber was peevish and tenacious. She loved games of chance and would focus to the extent of ignoring her surroundings. Saber loved to eat and would be energized by the prospect of having good food. She worried about being defeated in front of her favorite partner. Mmm, Saber was truly a fastidious heroine.
Her true identity was King Arthur.
She disguised herself as male and ruled as the king, but had the misfortune of dying in the subsequent civil war after establishing peace in her empire.
The King Arthur in the story of Fate was an amalgamation of historical facts and legends. Saber's name before becoming king was Artoria.
It must be tough to live in a palace while disguising her gender.
The greatest problem was probably producing an heir, but that was solved by Merlin through magecraft.
In the story, the line "I know how to please a man" was from experience.
Saber's aging process was halted the moment she pulled out the Sword of Selection. The age of her body was probably a year younger than Shirou.
By the way, King Arthur was the Crimson Dragon that guarded Britannia.
Saber's father Uther Pendragon produced an heir with the Dragon Factor according to Merlin's plan. As a result, Artoria was born human but carried the magical power of Dragons.
Magic Circuits were unnecessary, Artoria generated mana just by breathing in harmony with the coursing of her blood. It could be called a "Magical Furnace" that was worlds beyond what mages had to offer.
---Fate/Stay Night was originally her story.
The main theme during early development of Fate was "a story about the Holy Grail and King Arthur", and it had remained unchanged until now.
A young girl knight fighting in the Holy Grail War.
I wanted to believe that the dream at the very end would befit her life.
- Garden of Avalon - "A Tale of Knights: Kay"
- Fate/hollow ataraxia - Sisters' crisis
- Fate/stay night - Fate: Day 13 - The king's memories
- Fate/stay night - Fate: Day 12 - The king's memories
- Fate/stay night - Unlimited Blade Works: Day 10 - Night training
- Fate/stay night - Last Episode
- Garden of Avalon - Chapter 06: In the Flower Garden, p.103
- E Pluribus Unum: The Grand Battle of Legends in North America, Section 19: North American Myth War (Beginning)
- Fate/Grand Order - Camelot: The Sacred Round Table Realm, Section 17: Replica
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 15: Decisive Battle
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 3: Gilgamesh's Calamity
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 2: Humanity's Oldest Fotress City
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 4: Hardworking Citizens of Uruk
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 5: Welcome to the Jungle
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 7: The Tablet of Destinies
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 8: Uruk's Northen Wall
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 9: The Mother of Demonic Beasts
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 10: Good Morning, Goddess of Venus
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 11: Hello, Goddess of the Sun
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 12: Temple of the Sun
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 13: Prophecy of the Heavens
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 14: Goodbye, Goddess of the Underworld
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 21: Absolute Demonic Front Mesopotamia (II)
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: The Absolute Frontline in the War Against the Demonic Beasts, Section 22: Returning to Chaldea
- Fate/Grand Order - Lostbelt No.6: Fairy Round Table Domain: Avalon le Fae - Chapter 1 Section 5
- Fate/Apocrypha - Episode 06: Knight of Rebellion
- Fate/Apocrypha - Episode 23: Going Beyond
 Fate/complete material III: World Material - The Servants of the Fifth Holy Grail War: Saber, p.020-021 [T]
Master: Emiya Shirou
Alignment: Lawful Good
Armament: Armour, Sword
Noble Phantasm: C
Once up on a time, there was a king in England named Arthur Pendragon. He was the legendary king who staunchly defended the land from the invading Saxons for a long period of time.
The name Arthur, written in the fashion of Romans is “Artorius”. Its feminine form is “Artoria”, which is the true name of Saber.
Artoria was born between Uther Pendragon and a Queen hailed from the rival kingdom. She grew up under the guidance of the True Magician Merlin, and became the king after pulling out the Sword of Selection. Later, she led Lacenlot, Gawain, and other famed knights to achieve innumerable deeds. They engaged the King of Saxons at the Battle of Badon Hill and brought peace to the land of Britain. Because the Scabbard of the Holy Sword stopped her from aging, Artoria continued to reign as the ideal king. It was ironic that Queen Guinevere and the serving knights grew more distant from Artoria precisely because she was too ideal. In the civil war that raged at the end of her reign, she crossed blade with her very own son, Mordred. At that instant, she pledged her service as a Heroic Spirit after death in exchange for striking a pact with the World. The one wish she hoped the Holy Grail could realise was “redo the selection of the king”. In legend, the body of King Arthur was transported to the Fairyland – Avalon, where he is healing his wounds in serenity.
Saber’s ability is maximally unleashed while engaging in an honourable face-to-face single combat. It is a method of battle that is full of chivalric honour, and it is also one that suits Saber's sense of aesthetics. However, this does not mean she dislikes strategising. Because she is also a capable military commander, she tends to loath fabricated strategies that have no concrete basis. She fine-tunes her strategy meticulously. While on the battlefield, she further adapts her actions in response to the ever-changing dynamics of combat. Naturally, Saber despises cowardly actions, strategies or not. For this reason, in the Fourth Holy Grail War, her compatibility with the cool-headed, achieving-his-goal-at-all-cost Master Emiya Kiritsugu was the worst.
Magic Resistance: A
Artoria boasts the highest rank of resistance to magic amongst the Servants. She is capable of completely neutralising grand sorceries involving magic arrays and instant contracts. Even modern magi of the highest level cannot wound her directly with sorcery. Artoria is able to resist an action force onto her powered by one stroke of the Command Spell. Such is the extraordinary rank of Artoria’s Magic Resistance, sufficient to shake the very foundation of the Servant System. If the opponent is someone who attacks with sorcery, Artoria will charge without fear and determine the outcome of the battle with a slash.
Also, as her “Pendragon” name shows, Artoria is the holder of the Element of the Red Dragon, charged with the task of protecting the kingdom. She carries the very magical power of the Dragon. This humongous magical power is also the source of Artoria’s Magic Resistance. Due to the characteristics of Dragon, Artoria has much trouble with existences such as Siegfried, who is associated with tales of “Dragon extermination”. If she is targeted by “Dragon-slaying Sorceries”, it is possible that Magic Resistance will not function to its fullest extent.
In the story, Artoria retained her Magic Resistance of A while having Emiya Shirou and Rin as Masters, regardless the two’s differences in power and characteristics. On the other hand, while having Matou Sakura as her Master, her Magic Resistance decreased to B as a result of Blackening.
Since “knights” are soldiers who are proficient in mounted warfare, Saber’s rank in Riding is very high. Chariots can be ridden the same way. Motorcycles and automobiles are treated as “modern mounts”, thus a high rank in Riding is also applicable. It is unclear if Riding is applicable to aircrafts. Saber’s Riding was elevated to A while having Emiya Kiritsugu as Master. However, Artoria can ultimately only control normal mounts. She cannot control Pegasi, Griffons, Dragons, and other Magical Beast, Divine Beast Ranked Phantasmal Species. This is due to her Class not being Rider, as well as the fact that she was a King in the Age of Man, thus did not have the fortune of having “Legends of Riding Phantasmal Species”.
Artoria rode a motorcycle in the Fourth Holy Grail War, but did not have the opportunity to demonstrate her Riding ability in the Fifth Holy Grail War. Provided with the appropriate mount, the battles might have developed differently.
Instinct is the ability to instantly identify “the best personal course of action” during combat. Because this skill allows for the prediction of trajectory, it is possible to avoid attacks from firearms. At rank A, it is essentially in the realm of predicting the future. Through this ability, it is possible to negate the penalties inflicted by visual and auditory interference to a certain extend.
Being able to discern Cú Chulainn’s ultimate technique certainly reflects her skills, but having exceptional Instinct also helped her immensely.
Mana Burst: A
The ability to reinforce one’s weapon and body through the infusion of magical energy. By reinforcing the ability of the body to a great extend using magical energy, the physically fragile Artoria was able to fight head on with monsters such as Berserker. At rank A, even a stick can become a weapon of great power.
Executing large-scale body reinforcement through Mana Burst is only possible with Artoria’s immense magical power.
(Translator's Note: This is basically analogous to Strengthening/Reinforcement Sorcery.)
Artoria possessed high Charisma, and reigned as the king of England. The morale of military forces she commands is extremely high. However, this strong influence is still insufficient to build a vast empire spanning the world, so it remains at rank B (enough to rule a country).
Caption: Artoria, the protector of the British Isles. Even with her Charisma, she could not avert the fall of her kingdom.
Maximum Targets: 1 Object
A barrier that renders the blade hidden by entangling it with layers of wind, and altering the light refraction rate. It is closer to a sorcery than a Noble Phantasm. By using this barrier, Artoria can attack without the opponent recognising the sword’s reach and trajectory. Since concealing one’s Noble Phantasm also conceals one’s true identity, Invisible Air was highly effective at the early stages of the Holy Grail War. It also has other advantages such as increasing attack power and accuracy. Entangling the sword with wind and using the wind as the blade enhances the attack power, while having an “invisible weapon” provides an advantage in accuracy. (Translator’s Note: It is probably more “decreasing opponent's evasion” in RPG terms.) Since the advantage of Invisible Air lies in “invisibility”, the accuracy increase will not occur while engaging opponents who possess Eye of the Mind or do not depend on vision.
In the Fourth Holy Grail War, Artoria unleashed the condensed air and used it as a long-range weapon that mauls down groups of enemies --- “The Iron Mallet of the Wind King”.
Maximum Targets: 1000 Persons
The greatest and most powerful Noble Phantasm of Artoria (Translator’s Note: Not Avalon?). It is the strongest and most majestic holy sword that symbolises King Arthur. The pinnacle of holy swords. Excalibur was not forged by mankind, but crystallised within the Earth, using the wishes of mankind as the basis. It is one of the ultimate God-forged weapons, a Last Phantasm. Originally cared for by the Faeries of the Planet, it was passed into the hands of King Arthur through the Lady of the Lake.
Excalibur converts the mana of the wielder into light, and as the sword is swung, the light is released from the tip of the blade like a laser beam and destroys everything in its path. Of course, the mana consumption is extreme, thus it cannot be fired consecutively. In the Fourth Holy Grail War, the beastly giant sea monster summoned by Caster was completely incinerated by this Noble Phantasm. Excalibur is classified as an ‘Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasm” due to its magnitude and destructive power.
Type: Bound Field
Maximum Targets: 1 Person
The sheath of Excalibur, a Noble Phantasm with its origin in the Fairyland Avalon where King Arthur rests. The wielder will heal from any wound, and the aging process will cease. Unleashing the true name of Avalon will deploy a Bound Field that provides the greatest defence. A Noble Phantasm that annuls the interference of True Magic; its existence is equivalent to True Magic.
In legend, losing this sheath casted an ominous shadow onto the life of King Arthur, eventually cascading to the collapse of the kingdom. In modern times, the Einzberns excavated Avalon at Cornwall and passed it into the hands of Emiya Kiritsugu. Afterward, it was planted into the body of Emiya Shirou to save his life, eventually becoming the link that led to his bond with Artoria. In Fate Route, Artoria learned that Shirou was her “sheath”, which led the duo to emerge victorious in the Holy Grail War.
- Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 1 Chapter 2
- Garden of Avalon
- Fate/Grand Order 5th Anniversary Famitsu interview Q&A
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: Section 4 Hardworking Citizens of Uruk
 Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Noble Phantasms, p.134
Q: What did you have in mind when you created these original Noble Phantasms (“Bounded Field of the Wind King: Invisible Air”, “All-Violating Talisman: Rule Breaker”)?
Q: Though many Servants possess Noble Phantasms that appear in their actual myths and legends, there were some that felt like original creations for the game. What did you have in mind when you created these original Noble Phantasms (“Bounded Field of the Wind King: Invisible Air”, “All-Violating Talisman: Rule Breaker”)?
A: Invisible Air was simply a form of sorcery meant to conceal a Noble Phantasm. I thought that surely Merlin could have managed that somehow! Heroic Spirits that possess overly famous Noble Phantasms have a trick or two to hide their true identities.
[As for Rule Breaker,] I created it from her image as a treacherous archmage. I figured she would be too weak with only her Dragon’s Teeth soldiers.
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: Section 21 Absolute Demonic Front Mesopotamia (II)
- Fate/Grand Order - E Pluribus Unum: Section 19 North American Myth War (Beginning)
- Fate/stay night - Fate route - Day 15
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: Section 15 Decisive Battle
- Fate/Grand Order - E Pluribus Unum: Section 22 Return to Chaldea
- Fate/Grand Order Babylonia Anime Episode 20
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: Section 2 Humanity's Oldest Fortress City
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: Section 11 Hello, Goddess of the Sun
- Fate/Grand Order - Babylonia: Section 9 The Mother of Demonic Beasts
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 6 - Chapter 20: "Fantasy Becomes Reality"
- Fate/Grand Order - London: The Death World in the City of Demonic Fog - Section 8
- Fate/Grand Order - London: The Death World in the City of Demonic Fog - Section 13