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This Villain has been Headlined on June, 2018, and is considered one of the best articles of the Villains wiki.

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Villain Overview
When you notice an insect on the ground, do you stop to consider it a fool? The life of an insect is so beneath you that it would be a waste of your time to even consider judging it. That would be an accurate summation on my feelings towards you humans.
~ Father's famous speech.

Father (in Japanese: お父様, Otō-sama), originally known as Homunculus or The Dwarf in the Flask (in Japanese: フラスコの中の小人, Homunkurus or Furasuko no Naka no Kobito), is the main antagonist in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its second anime adaptation Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

He is both the original homunculus and a living Philosopher's Stone, created by Van Hohenheim; the father of the series' primary protagonists Edward and Alphonse Elric. Father remains unseen during the first part of the story. He is the secret builder and leader of the nation of Amestris, to sacrifice its population to pry open the Gate of Truth and become the new God.

He was voiced by the late Iemasa Kayumi in the Japanese version, and by Kent Williams in the English dubbed version. 

Appearance

Original Form

The Dwarf in The Flask Begins Tricking The King of Xerxes

Father's original form, "The Dwarf in the Flask".

At the very beginning when he was only named "Homunculus", Father looked like an orb of dark matter, (likely pure, physical knowledge) who could form an eye, a grinning mouth, and some small tendrils. He had to remain in the flask in which he had been created, otherwise, he would have died.

Second Form

When he became a living Philosopher's Stone, he created himself an artificial body to interact with the world, using the blood he received from Van Hohenheim. He now looks exactly like Hohenheim, like a clone or a twin. 

Due to him expending his large supply of souls to create the Homunculi, by the time the story takes place, Father looks like a tall, elderly man with long, platnium blond hair (contrary to Hohenheim's golden blond hair ) and a beard, golden eyes that are rarely seen fully open, and a wrinkled face with a third eye can open on his forehead. Father is dressed in white royal garments which he picked up on the King of Xerxes' corpse.

Third Form

Father's true form

Father's Third Form.

The Hohenheim-like body is in fact an synthetic shell, inside which Father's original form evolved. This new shape-changing form can survive outside a container. It is semi-liquid, semi-solid, and assumes the shape of a tall humanoid entirely black and covered with eyes, with a grinning mouth on his head.

Fourth Form

After absorbing the Truth, Father undergoes a final transformation. Being born from Van Hohenheim's blood, he once again becomes a humanoid identical to Hohenheim, this time resembling his teenage self. He has long, blond hair, golden eyes and a slender, muscular body. He wears casual Xerxes-style clothing and goes shirtless.

Oddly enough, this form retains his old man's voice in the anime.

Personality

I only wanted to obtain perfection. I wanted this world's knowledge for my own! Why should I be punished for that? What's wrong with craving knowledge? What's wrong with seeking perfection?
~ Father’s pitiful justifications only highlight his extreme selfishness
Father (57)

Father, the supreme leader of the Homunculi.

Back when in the flask, Homunculus was observant, witty and sharp-tongued. Even under his friendly facade, he voiced his opinion out-loud, rarely showing respect that was not sarcastic and frequently poking fun at Hohenheim and humanity in general, demonstrating that even in this hapless form, he considered himself superior. This superiority complex increased into a god complex when Father became a living Philosopher's Stone. His immortality, his immense powers and his control over Amestris comforted him in his belief that he was superior to any life form.

As such he regards mankind as insignificant and treats people with extreme indifference. He states that his level of conscience is too different (and much higher) for humans to grasp, demonstrating huge levels of egomania. He caused countless gory slaughters, killed hundreds of thousands and would have killed millions without so much as a qualm, but cannot bear the idea of not being in control of the situation. Ironically, Father who craved for freedom, chose to willingly confine himself underground for most of his life. It must be noted that when confronted to Truth (a higher being he could not subjugate in any manner) after his death, Father lost all composure and began yelling frantic pleas for mercy and self-serving attempts to justify his unspeakable crimes; highlighting the petty, disgusting selfishness hidden behind the high and mighty facade.

Father is serious, merciless, deeply selfish and extremely overconfident, looking bored nearly all the time. As a result of separating himself from seven major emotions (the seven Deadly Sins) to create the homunculi, he became cold and nearly emotionless. However, when close to accomplish his goals or especially pleased, Father loses his calm and demonstrates a gleeful, wicked excitation.

Given his immense knowledge, he is rarely taken aback. As such he often acts as if he was always right and lectures people, even when they disagree or can prove him wrong. Yet, he knows that he is unfamiliar with the way people think and relies on his subordinate's advice to deal with it. (Though said advice never really surprise him.)

Father is also highly intelligent, noted by the author as one of the smartest characters of the series. He is able to orchestrate the entire story to the last event, by planting his agents where he needs and deceiving unsuspecting parties into doing his bidding; (though he left most of it to his homunculi). He is no less adept in gaining the trust of people he needs, mostly by promises and inspiring declarations, playing on their desires and telling them what they want to hear. The very high regards in which the corrupt leaders of Amestris hold him are sufficient proof of it, (though their devotion may stem from his "promise" to make them immortals).

TheoldFather

Even after all those years, Father still cares about Hohenheim somewhat.

The only beings for whom Father seem to really care are his seven "children". Hohenheim even states that he has his homunculi call him "Father" because he desires a family like everyone else, something that irks him but which he does not deny. Father also cares for Hohenheim to a certain extent, as he was very pleased to learn that he was still alive and that the Elric brothers were his children. Upon meeting the Elrics for the first time, he demonstrated a light-hearted enthusiasm and an almost comical side for a brief instant.

Yet, he only cares about Hohenheim and the Elrics because they are useful for his goals. Even his "children" are nothing but tools to his eyes, as evidenced when he did not pay the slightest bit of attention to Pride's highly weakened state, which he could have fixed in a matter of seconds, at the time of the final battle.

Powers and Abilities

Father's primary power is his seemingly limitless knowledge. He came to the world knowing already every existing concept. When he was first confronted with something, he demonstrated said knowledge by giving a dictionary-like definition of it. Since he comes from the Truth itself and was created through Alchemy, he knows everything about it and can put into practice Alchemic rituals of which mankind has never heard of.

However, despite knowing almost everything he needs to experience something in order to recognize it, or at least he needed it when he was discovering the world from within his flask.

As a living Philosopher's Stone

Ourfather

Amestrian alchemy's source of power.

Father is an extremely powerful being, whose mastery of alchemy dwarfs that of the best practitioners to a huge extent (with the exception of the equally powerful Van Hohenheim). He does not need to bother with alchemic rules and limitations and he can transmute matter without even having to move. He can perform virtually any brand of alchemy and his transmutation power toys with the laws of physics. Indeed, he is able to transform anything to anything else, to heal broken bones and ribs with a touch, to transmute back projectiles, to increase the size of any object thousand-fold, to create matter from nothing and objects out of nowhere. He is also able to change the atomic structure of matter to the point of turning a stone floor into liquid, among other things.

Father can create Philosopher's Stones by gathering several of the souls contained within him, producing them from the third eye that sporadically opens on his forehead. He created the seven Homunculi by concentrating a defined emotion into a Philosopher's Stone, which he used as the homunculus' core. He can also absorb Philosopher's Stones and alchemic energy into himself. He absorbs back a homunculus to slowly restore them. (During this process, said homunculus is seen developing within him.)

Like Father like Son

Father takes on a form identical to Pride.

Father is also able to control alchemic energy, as seen when he attacks with electrical discharges or energy blasts of variable size. More importantly, Father can infuse his alchemic energy into the ground by connecting himself to pipes, which he does to provide Amestris with the energy that the local alchemists need to transmute. Father can disrupt this energy flow, which renders alchemy useless all around Amestris for as long as he wants.

Father's evolved form has no defined shape, enabling him to manipulate his size and his figure at will. He can absorb objects and even people into himself, (which renders him fatter when he absorbs big objects or well-built people.) He can also shift his body like a fluid, phase through physical attacks; reshape his body to form tendrils, additional arms or even objects (like a gun and its bullets) and to elongate his limbs.

Moreover, his body expands outside his humanoid shape, as the whole throne room gets plunged into a black void with a gigantic eye, which he describes as "inside his belly" and which appears as a huge dark cloud from the outside. He was also seen growing to gigantic proportions, but it is possible that this was due to him absorbing the Truth instead of his regular abilities.

As the new God

Father's Light

Father's final form, containing a 'miniature sun' within his hand.

After successfully becoming God by devouring the Truth, Father becomes virtually all-powerful. His already incredible alchemical prowess skyrockets to absolute levels, rendering him able to perform several high-scale transmutations at once and to do whatever he pleases with any type of matter, being able to ascend by manipulating molten metal, create tornadoes indoors, and most notably, fashion a sun in the palm of his hand and extinguish it with a gesture.

His control over alchemic energy skyrockets as well, and he becomes able to fire tremendous energy blasts from every direction, to make them last as long as he wants and even to increase their already immense magnitude tenfold, and to absorb human souls without rituals. In his divine form, he is constantly surrounded by a barrier of electricity-like energy that cancels every type of attack, be it normal punches, flame alchemy, rocket barrages, or grenades.

Quotes

Manga

All of you, stop it. A conflict between brothers… do not do that before your father.
~ Father's first line.
My son of which I share my soul, let me ask you one thing: Why did you betray me?
~ Father asking Greed about his betrayal.
Father: Would you work for me again?
Greed: My answer is NO!
Father: I see. I have no choice.
~ Greed turns down Father's offer to serve the latter again.
Go to where you were born and return to my soul, Greed.
~ Father re-absorbs Greed.
For the days to come to your resulote loyalty and respect.
~ Father drinks Greed's essence.
Father: Has everything been taken care of?
Lust: No, I still haven't heard from them. But I'm sure they'll successfully pinpoint the rats' hideout.
~ Father's conversation with Lust.
I don't want to see any failures.
~ Father to Lust.
Father: Wrath... why did you let the Flame Alchemist get away?
Wrath: I kept him alive because he is still of some use.
~ Father and Wrath discussing Roy Mustang's escape.
Father: Will he be useful?
Wrath: Roy Mustang... He's too kind... And while that is his strength it is also his weakness. I will have him open the Gate.
~ Father and Wrath on Mustang's usefulness.
Father: I will leave it to you.
Wrath: Yes sir.
Father: Wrath will be in charge of the Flame Alchemist.
~ Father let Wrath in charge of Mustang.
A person... Something is making a lot of noise. Someone is coming.
~ Father senses someone's arrival.
Now this is a surprise.
~ Father seeing Ed and Al for the first time.
This is a surprise. Humans coming out from his stomach.
~ Father.
Father: Metal limbs... Armor... Are you the Elric brothers?
Edward: You're not him?
Father: Are you mistaking me for someone? Hm? Wait... Hohen... Do you mean Van Hohenheim? What is your relation to him?
Al: He's our Father.
Father: YOUR FATHER? I'm surprised. So he had children. Hahahahahahahahahaha. If I'm not mistaken, your surname is Elric, is it not?
Ed: Elric is the surname from our mother's side! Hohenheim and our mother haven't been entered in a family register! We have no familial connection to him.
Father: I see... I didn't realize it because of your mother's surname.
~ Father recognizes Ed and Al as Hohenheim's children.
He's alive... That's right... There's no way it would die... But to think it's even have children...
~ Father (correctly) assumes that Hohenheim's still alive.
Ling: What joke is this?
Father: I'll ask you the same. What are you?
~ Father and Ling.
"Foolish"? I do not think that. Do you humans see a beetle crawling on the ground and think of it as "foolish"? Even when an insect is struggling, aren't your levels so different that you don't spare any emotion? What I feel towards you humans is the same as that.
~ Father's speech in the manga.
This is a waste of time.
~ Father defeats Ed and Al.
Right now I just so happen to have an empty seat for Greed.
~ Father wanting to insert Greed into Ling.
What are you doing, Greed? Remove the outsiders.
~ Father orders Second Greed.
Hey you. Why can you use alchemy?
~ Father to Scar.
It really is working. Human destruction, no decomposition.
~ Father about to attack Scar.
So, you've exhausted the stone's regenerative power. Do not worry, my child. I shall make you anew. With your memories as they are.
~ Father to a now-powerless Gluttony.
One of the chimeras is gone. Marcoh is accomplished at transmuting flesh and bone. Hmm...
~ Father thinking about Dr. Tim Marcoh's possible escape.
Edward Elric. Alphonse Elric. And... Van Hohenheim. The brothers' teacher, Izumi Curtis, has the potential.
~ Father thinking about his potential sacrifices.
Kid, hey kid. Hellooooo. Anyone home? Ah, you're ignoring me. Come here. C'mon, over here. On the shelf. Here.
~ The Dwarf in the Flask calling Slave 23.
Homunculus: What? Shouldn't you say, act, a little surprised or impressed or something?
Slave 23: You gonna give me something if I do?
Homunculus: Don't scare easily, do you? I like that. What's your name?
Slave 23: Number 23.
Homunculus: 23? I want a name, not a number.
Slave 23: Don't have one. I'm just a slave.
Homunculus: Slave? "Humans with no rights or freedom who are bought, sold, and exchanged between other humans in legal conveynence, right?
Slave 23: What conveynence?
Homunculus: "The transfer of ownership rights to have an outside party".
~ Homunculus to Slave 23.
Why don't you just call me "Homunculus".
~ Homunculus to Hohenheim.
Scared of aging, eh? Fine. I'll teach you the secret of eternal life.
~ Homunculus tricking the King of Xerxes.
You're standing at the true center of the transmutation circle. And I'm going to use the blood that you've given me to open the gate. We stand together at the center of all things. My blood kin, Hohenheim.
~ Father to Hohenheim, as he opens the portal of Truth in Xerxes.
I shall wait, Van Hohenheim.
~ Father promises to wait for Van Hohenheim.
I don't want to be human. I want to become a perfect being.
~ Father tells Hohenheim that he wants to become perfect.
Father: You are an unnecessary human presence. Disappear.
Mei: You may not need me for anything, but I came here for a reason.
Father: I don't care.
~ Father to Mei Chang.
Greeeeeeeeed! Why must you disobey me?
~ Father when Greed is trying to destroy his body.
Why can't I take you for myself, God?
~ Father being sent back to the Gate.
I wanted to become a complete being. I wanted to understand everything there was to know about God. I wanted to learn everything about this world. Why must you hamper me? What are you?
~ Father being sent back to the Gate.
I don't want to go back, please. I don't want to be trapped in there again. No. NO!
~ Father's last words.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Father: Greed. You are both my son and a piece of my soul… So why would you betray your loving father?
Greed: I mean, you know the answer to that better than anyone, Dad… I'm Greed the Avaricious… You were the one that made me this way, after all. I'm just being myself. I simply had larger ambitions than spending my life working for you.
Father: And if I were to ask you to return and work for me again?
Greed: Never!
Father: As you wish.
~ Father offers Greed a chance to return to his side.
Now return from whence you were born… Return to my depths and rejoin my soul.. Return, Greed.
~ Father re-absorbs Greed.
I shall drink to the Promised Day, and to your undying loyalty.
~ Father drinks Greed's essence.
Something is making a lot of noise. Someone is coming.
~ Father senses someone's arrival.
Father: Hohen… The name you said! By any chance do you mean Van Hohenheim? And how is it the two of you are acquainted with him?
Alphonse: Well… He’s our father.
Father: … He’s your father?! I had no idea he had children! Haha! … If you are indeed his progeny, then why is it your family name is Elric?
Edward: Elric is our mother’s last name!
~ Father meets Edward and Alphonse for the first time.
I know that he can’t be dead…
~ Father finds out Hohenheim is still alive.
It would appear that you’re injured. And you’re missing your left hand, aren’t you? There and how’s that for you? Your arm is broken…
~ Father discovers that Ed's left hand is broken.
I would ask who you are, but I honestly don't care.
~ Father to Ling.
This is a waste of time.
~ Father.
You may prove to be rather useful to me after all.
~ Father is going to insert second Greed into Ling.
Yes, I am waiting for you.
~ Father promises to wait for Hohenheim's arrival.
Don't you even want freedom? Are you going to live out the rest of your life as a slave without the rights of a real man? In that case you no different from me, trapped inside this stuffy flask.
~ The Dwarf in the Flask asking Slave #23 a life-altering question.
Blood Brother of mine, Van Hohenheim, right now you and I are at the Center of Everything!
~ Father to Hohenheim, as he opens the portal of Truth in Xerxes.
It's remarkable how weak they are. They have an innate fear of the dark. And how do they handle this fear? They simply pretend that it doesn't exist. They run away from it. How could anyone say humans aren't weak? It's an inherent trait. How about we take advantage of their weakness? They certainly do make a good natural resource. Right? It's all they're good for.
~ Father to Hohenheim about the weakness of human beings.
Humans who dare to play God must pay a steep price for their arrogance.
~ Father hypocritically mocking the human sacrifices.
You can't change reality, just your perception!
~ Father
But why?! I just wanted to understand this world's knowledge. I wanted to experience it, free. I just wanted to be free! FREE TO KNOW!
~ Father before being sent back to the Gate.
Who are you anyway? Do you even have a name? WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
~ Father to the Truth.
Don't do this to me. I can't... I can't go back. Please stop! I can't bear to be bound any longer! WAHHH! AHHHHHHH! No! No no no no!
~ Father's pathetic pleas as he is being absorbed into the gate.
What did I do wrong? What should I have done!?
~ Father's last words.

Trivia

  • Father's image bears a striking resemblance with the image concept of God as an old man with robes in multiple religions. Ironically, the nature and symbolism of his origin, methods, and goals actually make him the closest analog the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise has to Satan.
  • Before meeting the Elric brothers for the first time, Father and Hohenheim's actions are coordinated very specifically to match up in the manga, leaving it ambiguous if he and Hohenheim are indeed the same person. Despite basing itself wholly on the manga, the 2009 anime does not include the scenes of him talking with Lust prior to her death and when he decided to left Wrath in charge of Mustang.
  • Ironically, the punishment that Truth gave Father is quite poetic: By letting the Gate of Truth drags the Homunculus into it, Truth finally allows him to be an absolute God, but at the same time also stripped him from the very freedom he cherished.
  • Father's original flask-bound form was most likely inspired by real-life concepts of Homunculi. Supposedly, if an alchemist was successful in creating such a being, he was to keep it inside of a glass flask for a certain period of time, as it would die in its "infancy" stage outside of it.
  • The Gate that Father appears in front of is completely blank, indicates that he never learned anything, just like Truth stated.

External Links

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           Fullmetal Alchemist Logo Villains

Homunculi
Envy (2003) | Father | Gluttony | Greed | Lust (2003) | Mannequin Soldiers | Pride (2003) | Sloth (2003) | Wrath (2003)

State Military
Basque Grand | Frank Archer | Gold Toothed Doctor | Isaac McDougal | Lieutenant General Raven | Majhal | Shou Tucker (2003) | Solf J. Kimblee (2003) | Yoki

Church of Leto
Father Cornello | Chimera

Crichton Family
Ashleigh Crichton | Security Chief Atlas

Nazis
Adolf Hitler | Dietlinde Eckhart

Other
Bald | Barry the Chopper (2003) | Dante | Mugear | Scar | Truth

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