Madara Uchiha was born around a century before the start of the story. In these times, ninja were organized as clans of mercenaries hired by the lords of warring nations. The most powerful clans in existence were the Uchiha and the Senju, both descendants of Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki: the legendary Sage of the Six Paths. While the Senju descended from the younger son, who inherited his father's strength and ideals, the Uchiha descended from the elder brother, who inherited the Sage's eyes and power. Through the brothers' conflict for succession after their father's death, the Senju and the Uchiha were bound by conflict throughout history as mortal enemies. (It was later revealed that their feud was manipulated by Black Zetsu from behind the scenes.)

This was an era of permanent war, in which ninja were forbidden to tell their last names to strangers and were forced to fight and risk their lives at a very young age, many of them never going past childhood with many children also dying in the process. As a child, Madara befriended Hashirama Senju, both unaware that the other was their family's mortal enemy at the time. Like Hashirama, Madara hated the senseless slaughter of children forced to fight in the battlefield. Unfortunately, upon learning of the other's identity, they were forced by their fathers to stage an ambush, while managing to warn the other. Seeing that the conflict was inevitable, Madara immediately relinquished his friendship with Hashirama and declared him his enemy, as he valued his family and his last living brother more.

Madara in his Prime

Jeune Madara

Madara in his youth

Madara Uchiha and his brother Izuna eventually awoke their clan's greatest ability, the Mangekyo Sharingan, and became their leaders. As the leader of the Uchiha, Madara had to fight countless times against Hashirama, who had become leader of the Senju. Hashirama repeatedly offered a truce but Madara refused it, as he came to regard their past friendship as a mistake. (Tobi has said however that many Uchiha shared Hashirama’s feelings and tried to push Madara to accept.)

During a battle with the Senju clan, Madara fought evenly against Hashirama, but Izuna was fatally wounded by Hashirama's younger brother Tobirama. Madara refused Hashirama's offered truce at Izuna's request and fled with his brother. Later, as the Mangekyo Sharingan was making him blind, he accepted Izuna's dying request and transplanted his eyes, awakening the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan. After Madara was once again defeated in spite of his newfound power, he finally accepted peace upon seeing that Hashirama was willing to kill himself to prove his resolve. This led to the creation of Konohagakure, the Village Hidden the Leaves (a name Madara chose), the first of the Five Shinobi Nations.

Though considered to become the First Hokage (Lord of Konoha) by Hashirama, Madara was robbed of the title when Tobirama stated that it should be decided via popular vote, a vote that elected Hashirama (as many were wary of Madara's thirst for power). Taking great offense to the act, Madara attempted to rally his kin to stand against the Senjus, but his clan regarded his mistrust as lust for violence and turned their backs on him, incensing him even more. Madara knew that Hashirama would be unable to name him his successor and that Tobirama would become Second Hokage. He rejected Hashirama's suggestion of proving himself worthy of the title to the village and promptly left Konoha, while telling Hashirama that he intends to make his dream a reality.

Madara's Madness

Chef des Uchiha

Madara Uchiha with Kurama

Having studied the Sage of the Six Path's legend, Madara devised the "Eye of the Moon Plan" to create his ideal "utopia" (a world where he would control everyone and everything). This involved gathering the nine demonic Tailed Beasts to revive the nightmarish Ten-Tailed Beast from which they were born, to become its jinchuriki (host). He would then be able to cast a spell called the Infinite Tsukuyomi spell that allow him to alter reality and unite every mind under his control, in order to become a god in every sense of the word.

Madara took control of Kurama, the mightiest Tailed Beast, to destroy Konoha out of revenge. This ultimately led to the final battle between him and Hashirama, which terraformed the area the Valley of the End. Despite Hashirama's pleas, Madara refused to back down.

Hashirama vs Madara

The battle at the Valley of the End.

In the end, Kurama was sealed within Hashirama's wife Mito and Madara was presumed to have died in battle. Since then, the people of Konoha carved two immense statues of Hashirama and Madara in the cliff wall, permanently facing one another at both sides of a waterfall, as a symbol of their never-ending rivalry. However, having obtained a sample of Hashirama's DNA during the battle, Madara could use the Sharingan’s special power Izanagi to cheat death and flee, leaving a clone instead of his corpse and went into hiding.

Madara's Final Years

By the time Madara gained Hashirama's Mokuton power over wood from the DNA he stole, which in turn evolved his Sharingan into the Sage of the Six Path's Rinnegan, he had become too old and withered to use it. Madara brought down the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path on the world, being forced to continuously infusing himself with the Statue's chakra to survive. He also used the Statue to harvest Hashirama's DNA and create plant-like humanoids from it, one of which became Zetsu. (It would later be revealed that the Zetsus were in fact humans merged with the God Tree, source of all creation, and that Madara only thought he created them.) Later, Madara secretly transplanted his Rinnegan to Nagato as part of a scheme to revive himself, knowing that he needed someone to carry out his work.

Old madara

Elderly Madara

During the Third Great Ninja War, Madara saved the life of Obito Uchiha and eventually manipulated events so that the boy would fall into despair and become his apprentice. Unbeknownst to Obito, Madara had planted several mind-control devices inside him to make sure that he would not rebel. Madara trained Obito and passed on his vast knowledge relating to the Sage of the Six Path's legend, eventually turning him into the villain known as Tobi.

Shortly before his death, Madara infused Zetsu with a part of his will that would become Black Zetsu. (In fact Black Zetsu is a manifestation of Kaguya Ōtsutsuki's will, who was manipulating the Ninja World for centuries and faked his "birth" to further his goal.), and instructed Tobi to resurrect him with Nagato's power when the Eye of the Moon plan would come into fruition. Using his mentor's name as his own, Tobi altered Akatsuki from its intended purpose into tools to fulfill the Eye of the Moon Plan; (Although he had no intention of resurrecting Madara, whom he despises).

Role in the Story

Cryptical Mentions

Madara Uchiha is not mentioned in the first part of the series, as Orochimaru serves as the primary antagonist while the Akatsuki only serves as an upcoming threat, but he is cryptically mentioned several times: In Sasuke Uchiha's flashbacks about the Uchiha Clan Massacre; when Itachi Uchiha tells Sasuke about the Mangekyo Sharingan, he says that should Sasuke awake it there would be three to share this "blessing", mentioning a yet unknown wielder. (Although he believes said wielder to be Madara, he in facts refers to Tobi.) Later, when Sasuke defects from Konoha, he and his former best friend Naruto Uzumaki (the series' eponymous primary protagonist) do battle at the Valley of the End, near the two giant statues of the founders of Konoha. If the yet unnamed First Hokage can be recognized, nothing is told about the second. In the second part of the story, when Sasuke and Naruto meet again, Sasuke manages to see Kurama sealed inside Naruto and Kurama states that Sasuke reminds him of Madara Uchiha, mentioning his name for the first time.

Madara's story would later be explained by Itachi and Tobi through flashbacks. Finally, after Nagato sacrifices himself to revive his victims, Tobi lament that this resurrection spell was meant for "him", referring to Madara who he is impersonating. (Tobi used his mentor's name to inspire fear to the Shinobi Nations, in order to further his goals.)

The Fourth Great Ninja War

Shortly after his war declaration to the five Kage, the leaders of the five Shinobi Nations, Tobi is approached by Orochimaru's former apprentice Kabuto Yakushi, who offers him an alliance. As Tobi attacks him, Kabuto reveals that he perfected Orochimaru's Reanimation technique and used it to revive many powerful ninja as indestructible undead, which he offers to add to Tobi's army. Kabuto then forces Tobi to accept by displaying another one of the ninjas he resurrected, who is eventually revealed to be none other than Madara Uchiha.

Later, as the Ninja Coalition is gaining the upper-hand, Kabuto decides to release Madara on the battlefield. Madara quickly realizes that he was not brought back by Nagato as expected, and Kabuto explains the situation to him through another undead. Madara proceeds to utterly annihilate most of the coalition's Fourth Division, but Naruto (acting through one of his Shadow Clones) engages him with back up from Ōnoki, the Tsuchikage (lord of Iwagakure, the Village Hidden in the Rocks) who met Madara ages ago. Madara blocks their attack with Susanoo, but Gaara the Kazekage (lord of Sunagakure, the Village Hidden in the Sand) manages to drag him away from it. Madara then uses the Rinnegan to nullify Naruto's attack, before conjuring a monumental meteor. As Ōnoki attempts to lessen the impact, Madara conjures a second one, wiping out almost everyone in the Fourth Division.

Madara attempts to summon Kurama, only to learn that he was sealed within Naruto as the Nine Tails help his Jinchuriki out of loathing for Madara. Shortly after, A the Raikage (lord of Kumogakure, the Village Hidden in the Clouds), Mei Terumi the Mizukage (lady of Kirigakure, the Village Hidden in the Mist), and Tsunade, the Hokage and granddaughter of Hashirama Senju, are teleported on the battlefield. The five Kage resolve to defeat Madara and they order Naruto to find and get rid of Tobi.

The Kage seem at first to hold their own against Madara through teamwork, but he conjures a forest of flowers with sleep-inducing pollen, and a tremendous fire attack, which they barely escape. He recognizes Tsunade as a Senju and resolves to kill her first, seeing her as a stain on her name, but she attacks him with renewed resolve and they manage to seal him... or so they thought. In fact, Madara used a substitution technique to change place with a wooden clone and attacks her from below. Tsunade then manages to shatter Susanoo's blade and strike Madara with it while Ōnoki's blasts him from behind, but he effortlessly cancels their attacks.

Madara reveals that he was toying with them and creates an army of wooden clones, five for each Kage, to overwhelm them. Against all odds, the Kage manage to defeat Madara's clones and combine their elemental powers to trap him, but he releases the complete form of Susanoo and breaks free from their grasp. Just as he is about to obliterate them, Itachi Uchiha defeats Kabuto and forces him to cancel the Reanimation technique, sending every undead back to the afterlife. Unfortunately, Madara performs the technique hand seals and releases himself from Kabuto's control, managing to remain resurrected.

Now bored, Madara swiftly crushes the Kage to near death and joins the fight opposing Tobi (whose identity was just revealed) to Naruto and his allies, who are trying to prevent the resurrection of the Ten-Tailed Beast. Unfortunately, Naruto's team's efforts end in failure.

Battle Against The Ten-Tails

As Tobi takes control of the Ten-Tails and uses it to brush off all the protagonist's attacks, the remaining troops of the Ninja Coalition barge in and launch a wave of collective attacks to trap the demon into a pit, before attacking the rogue Uchiha... in vain. The Ten-Tails matures into its second form, escapes the pit, and launches several Spheres of Destruction that obliterates random locations across the world, before destroying the Coalition’s Headquarters and every ninja of the Intelligence Squad within.

Madara suggests ending it once and for all but Tobi silences him, reminding him that he needs his cooperation to accomplish his plan (while voicing his disgust at having to die to revive his mentor). Since Madara is forced to let Tobi handle the fight, he oversees his apprentice decimate most of the alliance and commends the breaking lecture he delivers on a grieving Naruto.

However, Naruto is put back on track and he infuses all his allies with Kurama's power, launching a collective assault that injures the Ten-Tails and separates it from Tobi and Madara. Although angry over having lost control over the Ten Tails, Madara continues to fight along with Tobi and launches attacks that would have killed the alliance several times over had it not been for Naruto's chakra. As the coalition struggles to contain the Ten-Tails who has begun to run amok, Madara expresses an insane delight when sensing the chakra of Hashirama, whom a recently resurrected Orochimaru revived as an undead along with the three following Hokage, to give Sasuke the answers he needed. Shortly after, a redeemed Sasuke barges in with his team and the four Hokage to take part in the battle. Hashirama rebuffs his old rival and the four Hokage manage to seal the Ten-Tails in a force-field. He then creates several clones to direct an attack against it, including one to settle his score with Madara once and for all, but the villain is not satisfied with a mere clone and decides to wait until he can engage him at full strength.

After easily defeating the clone, Madara notices that Tobi has been fatally injured. Deciding that Tobi is no longer useful, Madara seizes control of his body using his chakra receiver rods to force him to sacrifice himself and resurrect him. However, Tobi saw him coming and hijacks the process to become the Ten-Tailed Beast's jinchuriki. Although frustrated by this setback, Madara still has a trump card left but in case it fails, fights the now free Hashirama to gain Senjutsu Chakra to be used against Tobi after lamenting that he could have enjoyed watching Tobi humiliate the reanimated Hokage. While he fights his former rival, Madara refuses to allow Hashirama to stop fighting him whenever Tobi has the alliance in ropes, likely as it would weaken the alliance for him to have an easier win. As his Susanoo matches Hashirama's Wood Golem, Tobi finally begins the Infinite Tsukuyomi, which deprives Madara and Hashirama of their ability to use powerful techniques and renders them only capable of fighting in melee. Madara finally reveals at this moment the reasons behind his defection from Konoha: having known how Shinobi came to be, Madara had became disillusioned entirely from Hashirama's ideals, earning him Hashirama's disgust. Madara is eventually defeated and restrained at the same time as his apprentice gets the Tailed Beasts pulled out of him.

Madara's Revival

With Tobi defeated and left weakened, Madara calls Black Zetsu who fuses with Tobi and forces him to once again use the resurrection technique, this time successfully. Given that Hashirama got pierced and incapacitated by Madara's chakra spears; he cannot prevent his old rival from siphoning his ability to use Senjutsu and his healing techniques.

Gaara confronts the villain alongside the seven Tailed Beasts, who pummel him to near death, but a White Zetsu arrives on the battlefield and gives Madara the right Rinnegan, which Tobi had hidden away. Madara is able to summon the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path from within Tobi and seal all nine Beasts, putting Naruto to the verge of death. Tobirama Senju the Second Hokage confronts Madara, but gets incapacitated as well. Sasuke then attacks Madara from behind, only to get fatally wounded. With all his foes disabled, Madara is manages to become the new jinchuriki of the Ten-Tails with surprising ease. (It is later revealed that Kaguya Ōtsutsuki let him absorb it to better resurrect through him.)

Madara makes his way to the place where Black Zetsu is using Tobi to fight Naruto's teacher Kakashi Hatake and Minato Namikaze, the fourth Hokage Naruto's father, spitting back the relics that Tobi used as a substitute to Kurama to resurrect the Ten-Tails. Since Tobi, who starts calling himself Obito Uchiha again, is still able to keep Black Zetsu from taking his Rinnegan, Madara attempts to talk him back into serving him, but he only feigns to accept and manages to steal a part of the nine Tailed Beasts' chakra from him.

Obito then seals the half of Kurama that Black Zetsu stole from Minato Namikaze into Naruto in order to save him. Meanwhile, Kabuto who had a change of heart saves Sasuke's life and Madara is confronted by Kakashi's comrade Might Guy, who manages to heavily hurt him by pushing his body to its utmost limit, putting himself on the brink of death. As Madara is about to finish Guy off, Naruto (who got in contact with the Sage of the Six Paths' spirit and gained half of his power) simultaneously sends him flying and damages the God Tree. Sasuke (who gained the other half of the Sage's power) then joins the fray and they submit Madara to a throughout and well-deserved beatdown.

Infinite Tsukuyomi Activated

Infinite Tsukuyomi Activated

Madara then hear a voice from the God Tree (in fact Kaguya's) advising him to absorb it. Madara steals Kakashi's Sharingan to enter the Kamui Dimension and steal the last Rinnegan from Obito, before casting the Infinite Tsukoyomi, despite the protagonists' best efforts. After Madara successfully catches everyone in the world into an everlasting illusion, save for Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi who were protected by Sasuke's Susanoo, and the four undead Hokage who cannot be affected; the roots of the God Tree (under Kaguya’s control) start encasing all victims of the spell in a cocoon.

As Madara prepares to deal the finishing blow, he gets stabbed in the back by Black Zetsu, who reveals that he only let Madara succeed in his plans in order to use him to resurrect Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, the Sage of the Six Paths' mother and the tyrant of the ancient world. With that, Madara is painfully assimilated by Zetsu the same way Obito was, and serves as the evil princess' new vessel.

Madara is released after Kaguya’s defeat, only to die from having the Ten-Tails extracted. Madara tells Hashirama in his dying breath that in the end, his dream has died while Hashirama's continues to live on, grudgingly admitting having been wrong all along. Hashirama uses this as an example of the merits of unity, before telling Madara that despite all that happened, he still considers him a comrade. Madara concedes -far too late- that it is not so bad, but dies before he can finish his sentence.

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