The Holy Knights of Liones, a branch of the Holy Knights are an antagonistic faction in the anime/manga series The Seven Deadly Sins. They were an order of knights created to protect the Kingdom of Liones.
- Great Holy Knights
- Holy Knight Grandmasters
- Lord/Grandmaster Dreyfus (demoted)
- Lord/Grandmaster Hendrickson (demoted)
- Grandmaster Zaratras (deceased)
- Holy Knights
- Aldrich (deceased)
- Gannon (deceased)
- Lord Gilthunder
- Gustaf (deceased)
- Marmas (deceased)
- Vivian (discharged)
- Seven Deadly Sins
- Beard of the Mountain Cat
- Weird Fangs
- Roars of Dawn
- Pleiades of the Azure Sky
- Old Generation Holy Knights
- Dale (deceased)
- Apprentice Holy Knights
- Holy Knight Grandmasters
3000+ Years Ago
In the ancient past the Holy Knights and its many branches as part of Britannia fought alongside the Fairy, Giant and Goddess Races to defeat and seal away the Demon Race with the Coffin of Eternal Darkness in the Old Holy War. Hundreds of thousands of Holy Knights and others lost their lives at that time and all sides experienced numerous betrayals.
Though the Holy Knights, with the help of the Goddesses and their Druid followers managed to seal away the majority of the Demons many still escaped: Meliodas, a high-ranking warrior who had fallen in love with a member of the Goddess Race and paid the price for it when his father the Demon King and the Goddess's mother the Supreme Deity rendered Meliodas immortal only to return to life with his emotions stripped away and forced to watch his beloved die and reincarnate within three days of relearning her connection to him; Gowther, a doll animated by a rebellious Demon of the same name who perished helping to bring about end of the war by altering every Race's memories; and Fraudrin, Gowther's "substitute" who had been outraged at Meliodas's actions and swore vengeance upon him; lesser members continued to remain despite any events.
Post-Holy War (700 – 10 Years Ago)
Sometime after the First Holy War an army of Holy Knights attempted to invade the domain of the Fairy King's Forest at the behest of an elderly ruler to acquire the Fountain of Youth at the top of the Great Fairy Tree only to be repelled by its Guardian Saint; much later a squadron of them harassed Giant Race member Diane before being driven off by a wandering Meliodas.
Holy Knights were involved in the arrests and sentencings of Ban, Fairy "King" Harlequin, Diane and Gowther; the first a bandit believed to have caused the destruction of the Fairy King's Forest by burning it, removing the Fountain of Youth and killing its Guardian Saint after a Demon attack during which he gained immortality; the second failing to protect the Fairy King's Forest and his sister and Ban's lover Elaine and stop the deaths of Humans by one of his own subjects due to amnesia; the third framed by a rogue group led by a Holy Knight named Gannon for the supposed death of her friend and surrogate mother Matrona; and the fourth unsuccessfully and fatally attempting to revive now-former Princess of Liones Nadja Liones as she was dying from a terminal illness. All were bailed out and spared punishment by Meliodas, who himself was taken in for annihilating the Kingdom of Danafor after losing another reincarnated version of his lover to Fraudrin. He enlisted the help of a wizard calling herself Merlin, actually an ancient witch from the time of the war over 3000 years ago who had been sought after by the Demons and Goddesses for her incredible power but fooled both of their leaders by taking their respective blessings all at once for which they eradicated her home of Belialuin while she escaped unharmed; they assembled a group also consisting of another spurned outcast named Escanor who was shunned even among his family for his ability to unwillingly alter his personality, physical size and strength depending on the time of day. The semi-independent order of Holy Knights they formed would be called the Seven Deadly Sins and became both respected and feared throughout the lands.
They were originally supervised primarily by the Great Holy Knight and Holy Knight Grandmaster Zaratras before his murder ten years prior when the Sins were framed for the crime. He was replaced by his younger half-brother Lord Dreyfus and his friend Lord Hendrickson; little did anyone else know was that they were responsible for killing Zaratras in the first place, having framed the Sins as a convenient and relatively-plausible excuse. Despite Zaratras's son and Meliodas's apprentice Lord Gilthunder's discovery of these events he was forced to comply via the threatening of his love interest First Princess of Liones Margaret Liones after telling him she had witnessed it and a pair of monstrous creatures hiding in plain sight spying on both of them.
When the Sins were falsely accused of not only killing Zaratras, but plotting to overthrow the Liones Kingdom all other orders of Holy Knights far and wide were dispatched to kill them. In the aftermath of ambushing the Sins at the late Grandmaster's castle numerous Holy Knights were slaughtered attempting to kill them as they still fought their way out as witnessed by Alioni, a junior member of a group under the Holy Knights and an older senior knight. When a girl trying to help them was injured Merlin was forced to temporarily remove Meliodas's true power to keep something like the fate of Danafor from repeating itself.
King of Liones Bartra Liones, although having realized beforehand through his magical power that a predicted New Holy War would soon occur ordered all Holy Knights to lay down their weapons in an effort to avoid it. However, believing the war to be inevitable they captured the majority of the royal family in a successful uprising before Third Princess of Liones Elizabeth Liones (the 107th reincarnation of Meliodas' love interest the Goddess Elizabeth who helped him escape and whose 106th reincarnation Liz had been the motive behind his destruction of Danafor) fled to regather the Seven Deadly Sins to stop the then-depraved Holy Knights.
The kingdom, now under the command of Hendrickson and Dreyfus fell into a state of distress as inhabitants from towns and villages surrounding the kingdom were involuntarily recruited into joining military efforts: men were forcibly trained as soldiers, women and children were forced to amass food and drink for storage and the elderly were sent away to construct barriers and other fortifications. Death became the penalty for insubordination under the rule of the Holy Knights, them justifying their enslavement and other actions with the fact that the war was being fought for their protection to begin with. Hendrickson even began plotting to resurrect the fallen Demon Race so as to provide an enemy worthy of the Holy Knights' attention; he also experimented with the physical essence of deceased Demons, first testing it with the assistance of a forbidden Druid technique on the body of King's late friend Helbram, who was killed 700 years ago for slaughtering Humans after seeing a disgraced Holy Knight named Aldrich rip Fairies' wings off and eventually on Apprentice Holy Knights who had failed after successful Old Generation Holy Knights such as one named Dale proved difficult to maintain control of, hoping to create stronger warriors. To unseal the Demons he needed Meliodas's broken sword called the Dragon Handle (actually a piece of the Coffin of Eternal Darkness) and blood from the veins of a Druid, or "Apostle of the Goddesses" (which Elizabeth ironically had). Despite the efforts of the Sins Helbram was able to acquire the first piece of the puzzle while Merlin's former apprentice and Gilthunder's unacknowledged love Vivian, who was responsible for placing him and Margaret under guard kidnapped Elizabeth and Meliodas's pig companion Hawk to Hendrickson's pleasure.
During the Sins' infiltration of the kingdom and King of Camelot Arthur Pendragon's surprise visit with a disguised Merlin the Holy Knights were divided as several began to question if protection or oppression was their role and eventually turned against each other. An ailing King Bartra was rescued and Dreyfus admitted his crime of helping murder Zaratras with Hendrickson triggering a reaction that caused the Demon blood ingested by the New Generation Holy Knights to run out of control and mutate them into Demon hybrids thus causing chaos and confusion among the kingdom's capital.
After Hendrickson was defeated once by Gilthunder and Meliodas he betrayed Vivian by attempting to kill them both; he was especially able to soundly thrash the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins in battle beforehand, leaving him on the brink of death before Elizabeth reluctantly allowed herself to be taken despite Meliodas's protests. The Holy Knights immediately fought against the demonic New Generation in true defense of the kingdom but suffered many losses among their ranks in multiple skirmishes while some of their comrades and others led civilians to safety while fighting off the demonized Humans attempting to harm them.
However, the Sins came to their aid in time, Ban and King helping pull out and destroy squid or plant-like creatures that were the source of the New Generation's Demon transformations reverting the rampaging knights back to normal and inadvertently stripping them of their magical powers. In the meantime Dreyfus engaged Hendrickson in combat only to accidentally injure Elizabeth and apparently have his body disintegrated by his former friend's Acid technique.
Recovering from the crisis Holy Knights around the capital rallied each other and marched towards the wrecked Magical Research Building the same way they had gone to the previous Grandmaster's castle ten years ago but this time in a twist of fate: they instead aided the Seven Deadly Sins against Hendrickson. The Holy Knights along with the Sins battled their superior only to face his terrifying demonic powers gained from injecting the blood of both the Red Demon Ban had slain in King's homeland and a dead Gray Demon discovered under the Research Building into his body, being almost instantly defeated and suffering even heavier casualties among their ranks despite the great powers all of the participating Holy Knights possessed.
Fortunately, Elizabeth awakened her own Goddess-based Druid powers that healed the surviving Holy Knights and citizens back to full health as well as temporarily pushing back the Demon-influenced Hendrickson. The Holy Knights and Seven Deadly Sins were given and carried out a plan by Gowther to attack Meliodas and Hendrickson with everything they had long enough for the former to build up his Revenge Counter technique to finally defeat the latter.
After the remaining Holy Knight Grandmaster's seeming demise the rest of the Holy Knights present quickly bent down on their knees in shame in front of the king (who recovered thanks to Merlin after being taken to Arthur's home) for the atrocities they committed upon the kingdom they swore to protect and blindly following Hendrickson in his hidden plot to revive the Demon race all in the name of another Holy War, Gilthunder and fellow Holy Knight Howzer in particular demanding heavy punishment for their transgressions but the king forgave them and instead told the Holy Knights to restore the kingdom and rededicate their efforts to preventing the same mistake again in order to avert or prepare for the real New Holy War.
Unfortunately, events over the past 10 years had already soured the reputation of Holy Knights in general throughout Britannia; when Meliodas, Gowther and Fraudrin's former comrades the Ten Commandments were brought back into the physical world of the living many people were easily swayed into turning a few over to the Demons as sacrifices to maintain their freedom. Meanwhile, a rehumanized Hendrickson stated Fraudrin's manipulation of him and his friend following their run-in with the Demon while he was recuperating from Meliodas's attack on him that ended in the decimation of Danafor.