|“||I'm never angry. Wrath and the like do not exist inside me. There is no wrath or lust, or sloth, or greed, or gluttony, or envy. I left all such unnecessary emotions within Father. All except one. My name is Pride.||„|
|“||No matter where you are, I will be watching...from the shadows.||„|
Pride is a major antagonist in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its second anime adaptation series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. He is the first homunculus created by Father (the main antagonist of the series). He lives with the homunculus Wrath, the ruler of the country of Amestris known by the population as King Bradley, posing as his adopted son Selim Bradley to create a facade of benevolence.
He was voiced by Makoto Tsumura in 2003 series, and Yuko Sanpei in 2009 in the Japanese version, and by Zarah Little in 2003 and Brittney Karbowski in 2009 in the English version.
Pride is far and away the most powerful of the Seven Homunculi and Father’s second-in-command. He pretends to be a sweet, nice and cheerful child, but he is actually a ruthless, sadistic, intelligent and resourceful killer. Fighting seems to be natural for him, as he often casually talks with his enemies and smiles at them before attacking. He likes to feign respect, calling his foes "mister" plus a mocking nickname, and displays a sense of dark humor.
Being the incarnation of arrogance, Pride is a classic narcissist, holding himself in high regards and having a complete lack of empathy for almost everyone else, displaying utter indifference to his many victims and getting rid of his allies as soon as it is convenient. His self-centeredness, cruelty and extreme scorn toward humans mirror that of Father. He is cold, uncaring, calm, and composed, bluntly voicing his opinion. He claims to know only pride as a feeling, though he can get angry and frustrated, and displays strong blood-lust and the desire for vengeance.
Pride is blindly devoted to Father, stating that children must always listen to their parents and dismissing parental love or independence as "flawed human logic". Yet, he can display a contemplative, almost child-like side, fitting the child he looks like. Without realising it, he strives for Father’s approval and is touched by genuine attentions.
Pride gets along with the other homunculi but he lacks the slightest qualm about sacrificing them, cynically referring to Gluttony as a "part of the system".
However, unlike Father, who is Pure Evil and a true sociopath who views even his own "children" as nothing more than ants, Pride does have redeeming qualities. He is truly devoted to Father, even willing to go through the Gate of Truth and be punished by Truth in order to carry out Father's plan, and while he never realizes it he is hurt by Father's disregard of him and wishes Father showed more concern for his "oldest child." In addition, despite his extreme lack of empathy for everyone else, he does care for Wrath, with whom he has open-hearted discussions with, even outside their pretence of a family, and at one point Pride uncharastically promises Wrath he will not tell anyone when he overhears Wrath say potentially treasonous things (and keeps his word). He also cares for his human stepmother, whom he came to see as a real mother after she put her life in danger for him.
Pride appears as an innocent young boy with short dark hair and dark eyes, to disguise his true, evil nature. Contrary to the homunculi created after him, Pride lacks the red lines covering their bodies and the Ouroboros mark, and he wears casual clothing instead of the other homunculi's black garments. (This most likely due to the fact that Pride is the first born homunculus.)
It is revealed that his child-like body is in fact a mere shell which contains his real shadowy body, which Father created at the image of his own primal form. His shadow resembles a huge, black, shapeless figure with elongated tentacles, tendrils with clawed "hands," grinning mouths and piercing red eyes.
Powers and Abilities
Like the other homunculi, Pride’s source of power is the Philosopher’s Stone serving as his core. The thousands of human souls sacrificed to create the Stone, and imprisoned inside it, are linked to his own. This Stone grants him enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, stamina, and near-limitless regenerative abilities. Pride is also immune to normal weapons, as huge claws did not even scratch him and he states that guns are useless against him.
As the most powerful homunculus, he wields the deadliest power. He casts a demonic-looking shadow, which he can expand to cover an entire city, is harder than diamond and impervious to conventional harm. Pride can both spread his shadow on surfaces, or give it physical substance. He controls his shadow like his limbs and he can expand or reshape it to form tentacles, tendrils or jaws.
Pride can see and talk through his shadow’s giant eyes and mouth, wherever it can expand. A useful ability when it comes to covert observation and to give orders where he is not actually present, which gives an impression of omnipresence. Pride can slice and destroy anything with his shadow. He can also manipulate everything and anyone it grabs, with incredible strength, and can fill anything empty or entirely cover anyone, in order to manipulate what it holds like a puppet.
Despite being enough to cover the nationwide transmutation circle and the entire Central City, Pride’s shadow cannot expand infinitely without the correct conditions or containers. It also cannot appear without a light source and can be harmed when light becomes too bright.
Pride can also devour people with his shadowy mouths and assimilate his victims’ powers and knowledge. When he devoured Gluttony, he gained his extraordinary sense of smell, his ability to devour anything, his Philosopher’s Stone, his ravenous appetite (due to Gluttony being a hummunculus as well) and perhaps even his fake Gate of Truth. (An eye which fires a huge energy blast, which absorbs anything it touches into a dimensional void.) When he devoured Solf J. Kimblee, the psychotic Crimson Alchemist, he became able to perform Alchemy and to activate transmutation circles; an ability that expanded when he assimilated the vicious The Gold Toothed Doctor, who was far more knowledgeable about Alchemy and transmutations.
However, he has never used Kimblee's signature explosive attacks and the actual extent of his newfound alchemic abilities is not known.
Pride's shadow can be regarded as an amalgamation of all his siblings' powers. Indeed, it has Lust's power to cut through anything, Greed's virtual invulnerability, Envy's power to change shapes and manipulate others, Sloth's extreme strength, Gluttony's power to devour and assimilate anything, and Wrath’s highly enhanced eyesight.
In the manga and the 2009 anime series
Background and occupation
Pride was created by Father very quickly after the destruction of the country of Xerxes, around 350 to 400 years before the start of the series. Since the foundation of the country of Amestris, he always pretends to be a human boy and close relative of the country's succession of puppet leaders (whom Father chooses and gives order to). He seldom appears in public though, in order not to raise any suspicion.
Pride is Father's spokesperson and second-in-command, transmitting orders and supervising the homunculi's actions. He also watches over the nationwide transmutation circle, forcing the homunculus Sloth who is digging it to keep working and slaughtering any intruder who discovers it.
Pride remains unseen at first. He is heard berating Envy and Gluttony for failing their mission and indirectly allowing Lust's death, ordering them to retreat. Later, after Gluttony is captured by the protagonists, he talks about the current situation with Wrath through a door, but only a black shape is barely seen. He is shocked to learn another failure and that Wrath enjoys these troubles, but he promises to keep it for himself.
Meanwhile, "Selim Bradley" is seen with his family, and even meets the Elric brothers, posing as their greatest fan.
His shadow first appears when slaughtering the soldiers exploring the nationwide circle, which was just discovered by the Elric brothers. Shortly after, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye meets “Selim” and senses his evil aura, prompting him to reveal his true identity and to threaten to have her colleagues killed if she tells anyone.
Then he orders Solf J. Kimblee, a deranged alchemist working for Father to cause a high-scale slaughter in Briggs, the mountain in the north border of Amestris; as Father’s goal requires several of them in various points of the border, (which follows the nationwide transmutation circle). He later engages a short fight against Hohenheim, an extremely powerful human Philosopher's Stone and the father of the Elric brothers, in the nationwide circle.
Pride later enters the fray, helped by Gluttony. He kidnaps Alphonse Elric and possesses his armour with his shadow, to lure Edward Elric. Edward is warned by his friends, and they engage a fight against the homunculus. Edward causes a black-out disabling Pride’s from using his shadow, but Pride restores the light by causing a forest fire. Edward then frees his brother by destroying Pride’s shadow with flashbangs, but he devours Gluttony to gain his powers and remaining lives.
Pride soon overwhelms his foes, but Hohenheim baits him and traps him with Alphonse in an earth dome, leaving him powerless in the dark. Alphonse engages a talk, in which he confesses a surprising fondness for his stepmother.
By banging continuously on Alphonse's helmet with a stick, Pride sends a Morse code to Father, who orders Kimblee to free him. Alphonse then fights against both Pride and Kimblee using a Philosopher's Stone. As Pride has just captured Alphonse, his allies defeat Kimblee (whom Prides later devours) and they all manage to flee.
Pride returns to the homunculi's subterranean base of operations, joining Wrath in his fight against Colonel Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, who was blackmailed by the Alchemist Doctor to perform a human transmutation that would send him through the Gate of Truth. (The source of all alchemic power and knowledge of the world) Upon Mustang's refusal, Pride uses his shadow to stab the Doctor and assimilate his knowledge, before activating a transmutation circle that sends both him and Roy Mustang through the Gate of Truth. He later reappears with Mustang inside Father's throne room.
However, Pride has been affected by the Truth as well. It absorbed a great amount of his power and greatly damaged his child-like container, which is slowly disintegrating, beginning with the right side of his face.
The protagonists notice it during a short fight against him, before Father captures them all and uses the Elric brothers, their father, their master Izumi Curtis and Roy Mustang (who all went through the Gate of Truth), and he uses their power to activate the nationwide transmutation circle. By doing so, Father absorbs the souls of every citizen of Amestris, which he uses as a power supply to devour the Truth itself and become the new God of the Fullmetal Alchemist world.
Hopefully, Hohenheim is able to free all the Amestrian souls with a ritual of his own, rendering Father unable to fully control the Truth inside him. As Father cannot hold the Truth for long, he goes to the surface to absorb humans and replenish his strength, immediately followed by everyone.
Or rather, everyone save for Edward Elric, whom Pride captured with his shadowy tentacles. Edward asks him why he gives everything for Father, who did not care the slightest for his dire state he could have fixed in a heartbeat, mocking the homunculi for being "brainless zombies unable to think for themselves". Despite clearly realizing that Edward is right, he refuses to admit it and furiously tosses him on the ground.
Pride explains that his child-like container will soon vanish entirely, and he attempts to take over Edward’s body as his new vessel. But he is distracted by Kimblee’s soul of all people, whose psychotic liking for torment enabled him to retain his self-awareness among the many tortured souls inside Pride’s Philosopher’s Stone.
Kimblee mocks Pride for his desperate attempt to seize the body of a human he so strongly despises, allowing Edward to reverse the process and invade Pride’s own soul and destroy him. As the helpless homunculus begs Edward to stop, thinking of his stepfather and stepmother, he is reduced to his basic form: a tiny foetus-like infant with a circular mark on his forehead.
Edward lays the fallen Pride, who is calling for his "mama", to rest on his jacket while he joins the final battle against Father.
After Father's defeat, Edward returns the embryo-like homunculus to Mrs. Bradley, who decides to raise him like a real child, despite having learnt about his real nature.
Pride is next seen in the epilogue, two years after the final battle, being called Selim Bradley for real, and with no memories of his former life. Selim is playing in the garden of Mrs Bradley's house, and he rushes to his mama with a wounded bird in his hands, begging her to heal it. He then politely greets general Grumman, Amestris' new leader who was visiting.
Selim Bradley has apparently gained a human body, or at least a body more akin to that of a human, able to grow up and to emotionally develop like a real child, but which keeps the eye-like mark on his forehead. The military still keeps a distant eye on him but there is apparently no need to worry according to Mrs. Bradley, although most are suspicious.
Ironically it is Pride, the most cruel and ruthless of the Seven Homunculi who survives and gets the chance to live a normal human life, purified from the deadly sin that once constituted his very essence.
In the 2003 anime series
See this article:
- Main article: Pride (FMA 2003)
|“||Appearances rarely show the whole truth.||„|
|~ Pride after Edward admits he fooled he before.|
|“||Ah, this should make things much easier, I can practically smell movement you make. I could do without the ravenous hunger, but I suppose I'll just have to secede it. Oh wait...I recognize that scent. You're somewhere close by aren't you? Hohenheim?||„|
|~ Pride, after devouring Gluttony and gaining his strong sense of smell.|
|“||What was it you were always saying? That you wanted to see which way the world would choose? And here you are, dying like a pathetic wreck. It must be humiliating.||„|
|~ Pride to a critically injured Kimblee.|
|“||Really? Is that your plan? Your stature has lead you to prove your worth by always fighting those who are larger than you. So then, you don't exactly have much experience in fighting those who are smaller than you.||„|
|~ Pride to Edward.|
|“||One can be sure, in this world, humans are of little consequence.||„|
- Pride's manga & 2009 incarnation resembles Damien Thorn from the Omen series, as both are portrayed as children of great evil & both their marks remained hidden. It can be also stated that he is a homage to the latter. However, Thorn is a monster and is iredeemable, while Pride redeems himself as a reincarnated child.
- Pride in the manga & 2009 incarnation is the eldest homunculus created by Father, though he still remains the appearance of a young boy.
- In the end, Pride was reduced to the form of the people he was once misanthropic towards.
- Pride is currently the last homunculus still living, though without any of his memories or powers.
- His fate at the end of the series is similar to that of Dr. Forrester in Season 7 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Except, where Pride grows into a completely different person than he was before, Forrester remains the same and is killed by Pearl.