Saber (Fate/stay night)

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Saber
'Fate/stay night character
Fate/zero'
character
Saber.jpg
First appearance Fate/stay night
Created by Nasu Kinoko
Voiced by Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese)
Kate Higgins (English, Fate/stay night)
Michelle Ruff (English, UBW)[1]
Kari Wahlgren (English, Fate/zero)
Iris Reinhardt Hassenzahl (German)
Profile
Relatives Uther Pendragon (deceased)
Abilities Magic Resistance, Riding, Instinct, Mana Burst, Charisma

Saber (セイバー Seibā?) is a fictional character from the Japanese visual novel and anime series Fate/stay night by Type-Moon and its prequel, Fate/Zero by Type-Moon and nitroplus.

In Fate/stay night, she is Shirō Emiya's servant while in Fate/zero, she is Kiritsugu Emiya's Servant. An agile and powerful warrior, Saber is loyal, independent, and reserved; she appears cold, but is actually suppressing her emotions to focus on her goals. Her class is considered the "Most Outstanding", with excellent ratings in all categories.

True identity[edit]

Her full name is Arturia Pendragon, a character inspired by the legends of King Arthur. Arturia is the daughter of British King Uther Pendragon and Igraine, a former Duchess of Cornwall. At her nativity, Uther decides to not publicly announce Arturia's birth or gender, fearing his subjects will never accept a woman as a legitimate ruler. She is entrusted by Merlin to a loyal knight, Sir Ector, who raises her as a surrogate son. When Arturia is fifteen, King Uther dies leaving no known eligible heir to the throne. Britain enters a period of turmoil following the growing threat of invasion by the Saxons. Merlin soon approaches Arturia, explaining that the British people will recognize her as a destined ruler if she withdraws Caliburn, a ceremonial sword embedded in a large slab of stone. However, pulling this sword is symbolic of accepting the hardships of a monarch, and Arturia will be responsible for preserving the welfare of her people. Without hesitation and despite her gender, she draws Caliburn and shoulders Britain's mantle of leadership.

Arturia rules Britain from her stronghold in Camelot and earns the reputation of a just, yet distant king. Under the guidance of Merlin and with the aid of her Knights of the Round Table, she guides Britain into an era of prosperity and tranquillity. Caliburn is destroyed, but Arturia soon acquires her holy sword, Excalibur, and Avalon, Excalibur's blessed sheath, from Vivian, the Lady of the Lake. While Avalon is in her possession, Arturia never ages and is immortal in battle.

Despite her immense strength and fighting abilities, Arturia is plagued by feelings of guilt and inferiority throughout her reign; she sacrifices her emotions for the good of Britain, yet many of her subjects and knights become critical of her lack of humanity and cold calculation. Excalibur's scabbard is stolen while she repels an assault along her country's borders; when Arturia returns inland, she discovers Britain is being torn asunder by civil unrest. Despite her valiant efforts to placate the dissent, Arturia is mortally wounded by a traitorous knight, a homunculus born of her blood named Mordred, during the Battle of Camlann. Her dying body is escorted to a holy isle by Morgan le Fay and Sir Bedivere. Arturia orders a grieving Bedivere to dispose of Excalibur by throwing it back to Vivian; in her absence, she reflects on her personal failures, regretting her life as king. Before her last breath, she appeals to the world; in exchange for services as a Heroic Spirit, she asks to be given an opportunity to relive her life, where someone more suitable and effective would lead Britain in her stead.

Personality[edit]

Saber is a strong-willed young woman who always speaks resolutely. She is courageous, determined, and set on winning the Holy Grail. During the events of Fate/Zero, she expresses great hostility towards Kiritsugu due to their differing viewpoints. Believing strongly in the concept of chivalry and a just war, she often clashes with Kiritsugu whose belief is that all war is inherently evil.

On the other hand, during the events of Fate/stay night, Saber insists that she is a warrior first and that her gender is of little importance to her. Her stubborn personality is evident when she frequently explains her purpose to Shiro, despite his objections: achieving the Holy Grail through any means.

She is an exceptionally powerful fighter and is often downright merciless towards her opponents. Outside of battle, she is well-mannered and graceful. Despite this, she appears to become very uncomfortable whenever she is treated as a girl, likely because of her background as a knight. In spite of this, upon first seeing her, Shiro is instantly mesmerized by her feminine beauty.

Saber tends to be rather silent in social situations and unwilling to show emotions, as she has suppressed them so strongly and views herself as a knight foremost. However, even though she attempts to hide them, her insecurities become more and more apparent. Later on in Fate/stay night, Saber begins to open up more and show her emotions more easily, especially to Shiro. A prominent theme in Fate/stay night is that, when she became King Arthur, Saber sacrificed what was most important to her: her humanity. It is implied that during her life before becoming the King of Knights, Arturia was a dreamy, idealistic, innocent young girl. Her developing relationship with Shiro is fundamental to the growth of her character, as he is the first person to view and treat Saber as a fellow human being rather than a weapon or a servant. This is in sharp contrast to Kiritsugu, who only saw her as a magus' tool and refused to openly acknowledge her existence. A comedic aspect about her is that she is shown as having a humongous appetite, finishing large servings of rice within one minute.

Role[edit]

At the conclusion of the prequel, Fate/Zero, Saber was ordered to destroy the Holy Grail by her then-master, Kiritsugu Emiya via use of a Command Seal, but only succeeded in destroying its physical form and was thus summoned again by Shirō Emiya to fight in the Fifth War during the events of Fate/stay night. In both wars, her wish to the Grail is to redo her life so that a better person would take her place as king of Britain.

In the Fate route of Fate/stay night, Saber falls in love with Shirō, who then convinces Saber that she should accept her life for what it is rather than wishing to change her life. She then destroys the Holy Grail with Excalibur and is sent back to her original time, dying on the hill. During the events of Last Episode, this Saber reunites with Shirō after some time in Avalon.

In the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night, Saber is stabbed by Caster's Rule Breaker, and temporarily becomes her unwilling Servant. After Caster is killed by Archer, Rin Tohsaka then forges a contract with her, becoming her new Master; however, despite being under Rin's command, she pledges her loyalty only to Shirō. She then destroys the Holy Grail with Excalibur. In the Good End of this scenario, she lives on in the world as Rin's familiar. In the True End, she disappears, similar to the Fate Scenario.

In the Heaven's Feel route, Saber is consumed by the Holy Grail during a battle with True Assassin and becomes a vastly stronger, corrupted version of her former self, Saber Alter, and a Servant under Sakura Matō. In the Normal End and True End, Saber Alter is defeated and killed by Shirō with the help of Rider. Before she dies, Saber shares a tender moment with Shirou, both apologizing for the pain they've caused each other and Saber promising that, even if Shirou forgets her, she'll remember for both of them and dies after telling him she loves him. In the 'simple' end, Saber Alter is defeated by Shirō in one-on-one combat, at the cost of the latter's mind, despite this, Saber Alter refuses to get up, having lost all will to live now that Shirou is no longer sentient.

In the fandisc/sequel, Fate/hollow ataraxia, Saber continues to protect Shirō, though it seems their relationship has turned more towards Saber having the major control over the relationship with Shirō. She kills Archer when he attacks Shirō in one loop. In another loop, Saber is killed by Bazett's Fragrach when she tried to use Excalibur on Bazett. In the final loop of Fate/hollow ataraxia, Saber aids Shirō/Avenger in reaching the Grail by fending off the mysterious monsters (which were in fact leftover parts of Avenger wishing to continue the loop) with other Heroic Spirits.

Powers and abilities[edit]

As a Servant, Saber has some of the characteristics innate to all Servants. She does not strictly need to eat (although she is capable of doing so), surviving on a supply of magical energy from her Master. Her physical attributes are at superhuman levels, and in practice only other Servants can harm her under normal circumstances. She is also capable of limited self-healing, although it is strictly superficial and any deep wounds must be repaired by her Master. She does not age and is immune to conventional diseases, and like all Servants, holds a vast amount of magical energy within her body.

Servants of the Saber class have inherently high magic resistance, and Saber takes this to extremes, being virtually untouchable by modern magi. She also possesses instinct that comes close to precognition and high charisma, which she can use to command an army. She can also use "Mana Burst", which transfers magical energy into her weapon and body, explosively increasing the power of both, although the weapon must have strong divine protection to withstand the energies. She also possesses the innate ability of Riding, allowing her to instinctively ride both ancient and modern transportation with a high degree of skill, which she demonstrates during the events of Fate/Zero. In battle, she uses magical energy to summon a suit of magical armour around her at any time, although she can also choose to convert this armour into energy to strengthen her attacks at the cost of lowered protection.

She possesses the Noble Phantasm Excalibur: Sword of Promised Victory (約束された勝利の剣(エクスカリバー) Ekusukaribā?), a celestial sword constructed by the world from the collective wishes of mankind and fueled through a conversion of Mana into photoelectric energy, allowing a wave of destructive energy to be released from the tip when swung. Another Noble Phantasm she possesses is Invisible Air: Barrier of the Wind King (風王結界(インビジブル・エア) Inbijiburu Ea?), which compresses and gyrates the air around Saber's blade, turning the blade invisible, making it hard for opponents to judge her strikes, and allowing a one-time release of the air in the form of an intense gust.

Her third Noble Phantasm, the scabbard of Excalibur, Avalon: The Everdistant Utopia (全て遠き理想郷(アヴァロン) Avaron?), bequeaths limited immortality through regenerative stimulation, prevents physical deterioration due to aging, and when activated, is capable of protecting the user from virtually any attack. It was used by Kiritsugu as the catalyst to summon her during the Fourth War, and later implanted into a young Shiro to save his life. She also has a fourth Noble Phantasm, Caliburn: Golden Sword of Assured Victory (勝利すべき黄金の剣(カリバーン) Karibān?), the sword she initially pulled from the stone as a child. This sword is Saber's favourite, being of a more decorative nature than Excalibur, but was broken during her lifetime. It was Traced by Shirō during the Fate route, manga and anime of Fate/stay night to defeat Berserker.

Appearances in other media[edit]

Saber has appeared in the anime and manga versions of Fate/stay night and the movie Unlimited Blade Works. Three of versions of Saber (Saber, Saber Alter, Saber Lily)[2] appeared in the game Fate/unlimited codes, released on PS2 and PSP. A Lion form of Saber also appeared in Fate/tiger colosseum.[3] She, along with other characters from Tsukihime, Melty Blood, and the rest of the cast of Fate/stay night, appears in the 2011 anime Carnival Phantasm. Fate/zero, another anime adaptation of the novel of the same name, has been released in 2011, with Saber acting as Kiritsugu's servant in the fourth Holy Grail War.

Reception[edit]

Numerous figures of Saber has been created, including all three forms of her.[4] A keychain replica of her sword has also been made.[5] In the Type-Moon Fes. 10th Anniversary Event, she was ranked 1st amongst all characters created by Type-Moon.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Saber at the Visual Novel Database