|“||Machines bearing the name "Gundam" have appeared in many turning points throughout our history. They've played a major role in the fate of mankind. If this one serves Ms. Bernstein, an advocate for Mars Independence, who knows what will happen next?||„|
|~ McGillis upon learning that Tekkadan's mobile suit is a Gundam.|
|“||To grasp another person's heart and to control their future actions is rather easy - Just unveil their past. By doing so, you limit their choices and make it easy to predict their next move. Jealousy, hate, disgrace, shame... we are endlessly harassed by days long gone and our supposedly bright future wasted on cleaning up the mistakes of our foolish past. It's something I know all too well. So Tekkadan, do you think that the step you're taking will lead to progress? Because, if you truly believe in your hearts that it will, then show it to me.||„|
|~ McGillis Fareed (as Montag)'s monologue in episode 19.|
|“||I see you well enough, without your prodding. I have pretended not to see you all this time... If I hadn't rejected you and the others, I could never have moved forward... Whenever I found myself around you, all of the ambitions that I'd harbored my whole life seemed to waver. So I looked away... I even promised that I'd make Almiria happy, no matter what the cost...||„|
|~ McGillis's final words to Gaelio.|
McGillis Fareed is the son of the Fareed Family of the Seven Stars of Gjallarhorn and one of main characters of Mobile Suit Gundam IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS, initially appearing as one of the main antagonists before being revealed as an anti-hero.
McGillis is a high-ranking official of Gjallarhorn who seeks to reform the organization's corruption. Though seeking to reform Gjallarhorn from within, McGillis frequently employs morally dubious tactics towards achieving this goal, manipulating his allies and betraying his childhood friends without a second thought in order to further his own seizure of power.
In Season 1, McGillis appears as one of two Gjallarhorn Inspectors alongside his childhood friend Gaelio Bauduin sent to pursue the Tekkadan forces protecting Kudelia Aina Bernstein. Secretly, McGillis provides help to Tekkadan in the alias of Montag, seeking to expose Gjallarhorn's corruption to the world and to reform it.
In Season 2, McGillis has managed to become one of the Seven Stars of Gjallarhorn after ousting his father and strengthens his alliance with Tekkadan in preparation for a coup against the Seven Stars. His main opponent is Rustal Elion, head of the Elion Family and Commander of the Arianrhod Fleet.
He is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai in the original Japanese version and by Steve Staley in the English dub. As a child, he was voiced by Natsumi Fujiwara in Japanese and Johanna Luis in the English dub.
As a child, McGillis was a poor boy living on the streets until he was adopted into the Fareed Family by Iznario Fareed, who had McGillis pretend to be his illegitimate child while abusing him and forcing him to have sex with him. One night, McGillis discovered a book by Agnika Kaieru, the original founder of Gjallarhorn, and by reading through it, became inspired to one day take power in Gjallarhorn and reform it.
Growing up, McGillis was childhood friends with Gaelio Bauduin of the Bauduin Family and Carta Issue of the Issue Family. Carta had a crush on McGillis, though McGillis showed no interest in her romantically.
McGillis Fareed and Gaelio Bauduin were sent to perform an inspection of the Gjallarhorn Mars Branch, headed by Major Coral Conrad. After the two discovered that a company had been sent out but had not returned, the two questioned Coral about it. Coral came up with an excuse and tried to bribe the Inspectors, but McGillis rebuked his bribe.
Later, as Gaelio and McGillis were driving along a cornfield, the two nearly run over the twins Cookie and Cracker and stop their car. Mikazuki misunderstands the situation and grabs Gaelio by the throat, but the misunderstanding is cleared up and Mikazuki apologizes to Gaelio while McGillis gives the twins chocolate. McGillis suggests that the twins see a doctor, and offers to pay for the bill if there is one, telling them to send it to the Mars Branch and give them his name.
When Coral led an attack to intercept Tekkadan as they were transporting Kudelia Aina Bernstein, McGillis and Gaelio took part in the battle, but were unable to stop Tekkadan from leaving Mars.
As McGillis and Gaelio head to Earth to continue their pursuit of Tekkadan, Gaelio appoints Ein Dalton as his subordinate after hearing his desire to avenge his superior, Crank Zent, who was killed by Mikazuki Augus. Along the way, McGillis and Gaelio take a break to meet McGillis' father, Iznario Fareed, and to attend a ball with Gaelio's sister Almiria, whom McGillis was engaged to.
While supposedly staying on Earth to spend time with Almiria while Gaelio continued the pursuit of Tekkadan, McGillis, under the alias of "Montag", provided covert aid to Tekkadan and Kudelia, warning Kudelia of an assassination plot against her being perpetrated by Nobliss Gordon. He would later reveal his true identity as McGillis to Tekkadan and his true intentions of overthrowing the Seven Stars and reforming Gjallarhorn, stating that he believed Tekkadan would be key to that process.
After Ein Dalton was fatally injured in battle protecting Gaelio, McGillis used him as a test subject for the Alaya Vijnana System by hooking his body up to the prototype Graze Ein Mobile Suit and transferring his mind into the suit. While Gaelio was horrified, Ein was grateful to be given another shot at avenging Crank.
After Carta Issue suffered two humiliating defeats at the hands of Tekkadan and was distraught over having tarnished her family's honor, McGillis gave her some words of encouragement to get her to go out and fight Tekkadan again. Her third battle against Tekkadan would be her last, as it ended in Mikazuki fatally wounding and killing her, ending the Issue Family line and tilting the balance of power in the Seven Stars in McGillis' favor.
As the Gjallarhorn forces blockaded Edmonton to prevent Tekkadan and Togonosuke Makanai from making it inside, McGillis showed up in a brand new mobile suit to fend off Gaelio and buy time for Mikazuki Augus to go in and defend Makanai and Kudelia from the Graze Ein. In his confrontation with Gaelio, Montag revealed his true identity as McGillis, along with how he had caused Carta's death and been using Gaelio too, all in order to achieve power within Gjallarhorn. Enraged at his friend's betrayal, Gaelio attacked McGillis' Mobile Suit, but was unable to make a dent in it before McGillis defeated him and stabbed him through his Mobile Suit, promising to take good care of his sister as he seemingly killed him.
After Kudelia arrived in the Edmonton parliamentary building and gave a speech exposing Gjallarhorn's corruption, along with Iznario Fareed's corruption, McGillis used the incident to unseat his father as head of the Fareed Family and have him arrested, allowing him to take his father's position as a member of the Seven Stars.
Now a member of the Seven Stars, McGillis made a move to acquire more power for himself by requesting influence over Gjallarhorn's Mars Branch. He also made an official alliance with Tekkadan, allowing them and Teiwaz to use Gjallarhorn's routes to travel. McGillis made a promise to Tekkadan leader Orga Itsuka that, if Tekkadan backed him in his plan to take control of Gjallarhorn, once the leader of Gjallarhorn he would make Orga the Sovereign Mars and help realize Mars' economic independence from Earth.
Seeking to undermine McGillis' popularity, Rustal Elion attempted to instigate a proxy war within Arbrau first by having Prime Minister Makanai assassinated with a bomb. While the bomb failed to kill him, it did render him and Tekkadan's Earth Branch chief Chad Chaden comatose, allowing Rustal's spy within the Arbrau military, Galan Mossa, to move in and take control of the Tekkadan Earth Branch, using them to carry out attacks against McGillis' Gjallarhorn forces. While Rustal intended for the proxy war to go on for years, McGillis thwarted his plans after only a month by unexpectedly stepping in to put down the conflict himself. After the main Tekkadan forces from Mars arrived at Earth and took command of Earth Branch, they led an assault against Galan Mossa's mercenary forces that ended in Mossa's death by suicide. While both McGillis and Orga suspected Rustal was responsible, they did not have any evidence to convict him on.
After discovering that Tekkadan had unearthed a Mobile Armor left over from the Calamity War on Mars, McGillis went down to the planet himself to inspect it, accompanied by his right-hand man Isurugi Camice and Tekkadan. To prevent the Mobile Armor from being reactivated, McGillis had Tekkadan not bring their Mobile Suits along so the Mobile Armor wouldn't sense them and wake up. However, suspicious of what McGillis was doing, Rustal sent down Iok Kujan to investigate, who got too close to the Mobile Armor in his Mobile Suit and caused it to reactivate. The Mobile Armor began wreaking havoc across Mars, but was destroyed by Mikazuki Augus after tapping into the full potential of his Gundam Barbatos.
McGillis later attended a meeting of the Seven Stars to discuss the incident on Mars. While Iok Kujan accused McGillis of purposefully awakening the Mobile Armor so he could destroy it and gain an Order of the Seven Stars, McGillis refuted his accusations and pointed out how Iok was the one who awakened the Mobile Armor in the first place with his recklessness. While Rustal Elion stayed silent on the matter, the other Seven Stars praised McGillis for his handling of the situation.
Later, after obtaining enough evidence of Rustal's crimes and the unsavory actions being undertaken by Gjallarhorn, McGillis launched a coup against the Gjallarhorn leadership and broadcast a televised speech in which his subordinate Liza Enza further exposed Gjallarhorn's corruption to the world and Rustal's underhanded political plays, including his involvement in the incident in Arbrau. After taking the Seven Stars hostage, McGillis went to room containing the Gundam Bael, which had once been piloted by Gjallarhorn's founder Agnika Kaieru, and, using the Alaya Vijnana system he had previously tested on Ein, was able to control the Gundam and was accepted by it as its pilot. Having been accepted by the Gundam Bael, McGillis proclaimed to the other Seven Stars that, by tradition, they must accept him as their new leader and give him their ground forces. However, Rustal and his Arianrhod Fleet refused to submit to McGillis' claim for leadership and gave a speech vowing to suppress "the traitor" McGillis' rebellion. Besides Iok, who sided with Rustal, the other Seven Stars chose to remain neutral in the matter and did not lend their ground forces to either side.
Meeting the Arianrhod Fleet in open battle in space, McGillis' Revolutionary Fleet and Tekkadan initially were able to push back Rustal's forces. However, the tide of the battle changed when Rustal had a spy he planted in McGillis' forces use a Dainsleif before committing suicide so the Arianrhod Fleet could justify using the forbidden weapon against McGillis' fleet. Despite gaining the advantage thanks to his vast number of Dainsleifs, Tekkadan and McGillis' forces came narrowly close to winning by having one of their pilots fire a Dainsleif-like weapon at the bridge of Rustal's flagship. However, due to a last second intervention by Julieta Juris of the Arianrhod Fleet, the weapon was knocked off course and Rustal survived. Rustal's forces then pushed back the Revolutionary Fleet and Tekkadan, who retreated to Mars to continue the fight.
Despite Rustal's alliance with the new leader of the Mars Branch, McGillis' Revolutionary Fleet and Tekkadan were granted permission to land on Mars by the Mars Branch leader personally, who was impressed with McGillis' penchant for good luck. As the Arianrhod Fleet began their push towards Tekkadan's Mars base, McGillis learned from Orga of his intention to evacuate Tekkadan's members through the Mars base's underground tunnels and wished him good luck in that endeavor, though noted that he would also use that as a factor in his plans to kill Rustal Elion.
After using Tekkadan's final stand as a distraction, McGillis was able to pierce through the Arianrhod forces in his Gundam Bael and move his forces back out into space. After dismissing his crew from his flagship and having them evacuate, McGillis had the ship perform a suicidal run on the Arianrhod Fleet. When the fleet fired on the ship and destroyed it, McGillis rose from the flames in the Gundam Bael and launched a one-man attack on the entire Arianrhod Fleet, destroying numerous Mobile Suits aligned with Rustal's forces before making it to Rustal's flagship. Before he could attack it however, Gaelio, who had become a subordinate of Rustal and assumed a new identity as "Vidar" following his supposed death, appeared to confront McGillis in his own Gundam "Vidar". The two fought fairly evenly in a one on one battle, and though McGillis came close to beating Gaelio, Gaelio was able to cripple McGillis' Gundam and destroy its swords. Not ready to give up, McGillis crashed both his and Gaelio's Mobile Suit into the interior of Rustal's flagship, before getting up, heavily injured, and pressing on to go kill Rustal himself, armed with nothing more than a pistol. Before McGillis could reach the bridge however, he was faced by Gaelio again, donning his Vidar mask. McGillis shot at Gaelio's head, but his bullet was blocked by Gaelio's metal mask. Gaelio, in turn, shot and fatally wounded McGillis.
Gaelio then took the time to exchange some final words with McGillis. McGillis admits that his feelings of friendship towards Gaelio were genuine, but that he pushed him away because they were dampening his hatred towards Gjallarhorn and his resolve towards one day reforming the organization. McGillis laments that he won't be able to make Almiria happy anymore once he's dead and goes on to call Gaelio a true friend to him before a crying Gaelio cuts him off and tells him not to, stating that if McGillis calls him a friend then he won't be able to hate him anymore. Nevertheless, McGillis passed on knowing that Gaelio knew what he meant.
Though McGillis died without killing Rustal, his exposure of Gjallarhorn's corruption forced Rustal to, following the end of the conflict, completely reform Gjallarhorn and remove the Seven Stars from power, restructuring Gjallarhorn to be more outwardly democratic while placing himself as the sole head.