Charles zi Britannia (シャルル・ジ・ブリタニア, Sharuru ji Buritania), known as Charles di Britannia in the English subbed), born on August 4, 1955 a.t.b. (63 years old) was the 98th emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire, the father of Lelouch vi Britannia (and many others) and V.V.'s twin brother. He had a Geass power that allowed him to suppress and alter the memories of those he achieved eye contact with, but lost this power in exchange for V.V.'s code which granted him immortality. He served as the main antagonist in both of the series. He was voiced by Norio Wakamoto (Japanese), and by Michael McConnohie (English).
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 Character Outline
- 4 Character History
- 5 Appearances in Other Media
- 6 Abilities
- 7 Similarities in Other Media
- 8 Known Relatives
- 9 Quotes
- 10 Gallery
- 11 See Also
- 12 References
- 13 Succession and Precedence
Charles is a very large man, towering over nearly all other characters in the series, and appears to be muscular and well-built. He has long white hair (though it was originally a light brown in his younger days) styled into Renaissance-style curls. He has violet eyes and angular features.
Charles is a cold and intelligent man who strongly holds views such as social Darwinism, believing that only the strongest are worthy of rising in society. His philosophy is not reserved solely for his adversaries, however, as he treated Lelouch harshly after the death of Marianne, offering no sympathy to his then-adolescent son. He is also deeply cynical, having no confidence in the good of people and believing that humanity's natural course is struggle and conflict.
He has no moral compunctions in how he deals with his enemies. His rise to power saw numerous political rivals and their allies killed, and even as Emperor, Britannia continued to engage in global conflict with its adversaries. Ultimately, he cares little for the casualties of Britannian military conflicts, be they enemy combatants, innocent civilians, or even Britannian soldiers.
However, his views and ideology seem to have stemmed from his traumatic upbringing. As a child, he often witnessed his family kill each other in pursuit of the throne, thus he naturally came to understand that without power, one cannot survive. However, he wishes for the world to be gentler; indeed he even tells Lelouch, during their final confrontation, that the Ragnarok Connection will ensure the gentle world that Nunnally wants.
Charles had at least 108 consorts. He installed most or all of his children into important positions throughout the empire to see what their true abilities were. Charles saw his children as extensions of the collective consciousness rather than human beings, and showed little concern for their well-being. He plotted to destroy the collective conscious, thus uniting humanity as a single mind.
A large part of Britannia's expansion has occurred under Charles. He publicly supports social inequality as well as competition to promote progress. Ironically, Charles actually planned to make all of mankind equal and truthful by destroying "God," the collective consciousness of humanity, and thus uniting every living being as one mind that was incapable of deceit. In the seventh episode of Code Geass R2, he reiterated that traditional morals of not murdering, deceiving, stealing, and remaining faithful to one's spouse are counter-progressive lies made by the weak to defend themselves, and that this is Britannia's duty to show the world. Above all else, he hated deceit, seeing it as the root of all evil, which was apparently brought about by trauma during his childhood wherein members of the imperial family lied and murdered for the right to succeed the throne.
Charles appeared only occasionally in the first season. In a flashback, a ten-year-old Lelouch questioned why he did not try to protect Marianne. Enraged by this, Charles disowned Lelouch there and then, sending Lelouch and Nunnally to Japan as political hostages. Most of his appearances in the first series were brief, though show that he apparently knew of Lelouch's actions, particularly his use of Geass. In The Stolen Mask, he claimed to be speaking with Clovis even after his death at the Sword of Akasha. He was last shown during the Special Administrative Zone Massacre. Charles was shown to be overjoyed that Lelouch had (although unintentionally), manipulated his own half-sister Euphemia into causing such chaos and bloodshed, saying that Lelouch was now worthy of being called his son.
In a flashback, which occurred in-between the seasons, Lelouch was brought before Charles by Suzaku Kururugi, who requested to be made one of the Knights of the Round as a reward, which the Emperor granted because of Suzaku's willingness to sacrifice his friendship with Lelouch to begin his quest to change Britannia from within. He then used his previously unknown Geass power to rewrite Lelouch's memory and suppress his Geass, which he also did to the students of Ashford Academy. Charles decided to make further use of Lelouch by making him contribute to Europe's annexation until his return at Ashford.
Charles trusted Suzaku enough to lead him to the Sword of Akasha, which hardly anyone else had ever seen. C.C. suggested that V.V. was the one who gave Charles his Geass, though the specific nature of their Code was to destroy the gods.
In actuality, Charles is V.V.'s twin brother, whose process of aging was halted at an early age due to becoming immortal. At the sword of Akasha, V.V. asks Charles why he did not tell Nunnally about Zero's identity and his Geass, and Charles replies that there was no point and that it was unnecessary.
Charles initially possessed a fully matured Geass power, but gave it up in exchange for immortality when Lelouch and the Black Knights attacked the Geass Directorate. Lelouch trapped the Emperor inside the Sword of Akasha, or so he thought, until Charles announced to the world that he was still alive during the formation ceremony of the UFN and declaring that all Zero had done was made it so that whoever won the ensuing war would control the entire world; at that time, the world was literally divided between Britannia and the UFN. During the Second Battle of Tokyo, Charles arrived in Area 11 himself, much to the shock of Lelouch, and entered the Sword of Akasha through the Thought Elevator at Kamine Island. Once inside, Charles was confronted by Lelouch once again and soon after, Marianne, C.C. and Suzaku all arrived. During the time, Charles finally told Lelouch the truth of the events regarding his mother's death and all that had occurred, including his real reason for sending him and Nunnally to Japan as hostages. He and Marianne then explained their one true goal and began to initiate the Ragnarök Connection.
However, despite finally being told everything, Lelouch rejected his parents and all they believe. Lelouch saw Charles' ultimate goal as nothing more than creating stagnation that would doom mankind, rather than save it, and turned the gods against Charles, destroying him and Marianne. Just before his death, Charles warned Lelouch that Schneizel's world would be the one that awaits him on the outside.
Appearances in Other Media
Code Geass: The Manga
Charles' role in the manga is slightly different than that of the anime. He has a brief appearance in the first part of the storyline. Later Suzaku brought Lelouch in front of Charles for promotion of the Knight of Seven as the Knight of the Rounds and as a result, Charles erased Lelouch's memories only that of Geass and C.C. In the second part of the storyline, he altered most of the students memories at Ashford Academy other than the student council during his speech. Instead of him appearing at the Sword of Akasha during the assault at the Geass Directorate, it was V.V and later appears taking his code as well as appearing after Lelouch blew up the Thought Elevator by using the bomb. He reappears again during the initiation of the Ragnarok Connection and is absorbed along with Marianne by Lelouch when he forced upon the will of Gods to stop the march of time.
Suzaku of the Counterattack
He gets killed by Zero in the museum. But afterwards is shown to be actually killed by Schneizel as a trap to make Zero the killer to Suzaku.
Nightmare of Nunnally
Charles announces the declaration of the new nation called Holy Nation of Eden Vital and orders Rolo, the Cardinal of the Order, and the rest of Britannia to arrest the Viceroys throughout the Areas. He begins the initiation of the Sword of Akasha at Eden Vital and Nunnally appears before him. He, Marianne, C.C., and Nemo disappear along with Eden Vital when Nunnally rejected the world that they have built.
Code Geass: Akito The Exiled
During the time after the Black Rebellion, countries along with those that have been conquered as Areas have declared war against Britannia for freedom. Charles this time began making his move towards activating the Thought Elevators so that he can make progress towards the completion of the Ragnarok Connection. Europia United (E.U) is one of those countries that he began taking advantage of at this point and other than that, he sent Julius Kingsley and Suzaku over there to begin E.U's downfall. Euro Britannia higher ups were not happy with the fact that he had granted Julius and Suzaku a higher authority over them and that they were the ones in command. It is revealed that he rewrote Julius' memories as his current identity after his capture at Kamine Island by Suzaku as Lelouch. When Shin Hyuga Shaing briefly took control of Euro Britannia, he intended to kill Charles by bombing Pendragon with W-0's Ultra Long-Range Cannon and kept both Lelouch and Suzaku locked up to use as hostages against him. In the end, after Euro Britannia was brought back under the main empire's control, Charles requested to have an audience with Julius after being informed of Rolo with the aid of the Geass Order escorts.
Super Robot Wars Z2
Charles allies Britannia with the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations to form the Britanian Union. While his goals remain the same, he has Aim as an additional accomplice. In addition to the Black Knights and ZEXIS, he also has to contend with the threat of Dr. Hell and the Dimensional Beasts.
Oz the Reflection
Just like he exiled Lelouch during his time as a prince, he too exiled Marrybell after confronting him about her family's death which was orchestrated by V.V. It is later revealed that he rewrote Marrybell's memories regarding her encounter with Charles and her family's death. Oiaguro told Marrybell about the real truth and that Charles with V.V. ordered him such duties that he could never forgive himself which led to him joining Marrybell to aid Lelouch's quest in Zero Requiem.
Charles is an optional leader for Heavencraft decks.
Code of Immortality
Charles had gained a Code of immortality after taking it from his brother V.V., causing him to lose his Geass. After attaining immortality, his Code mark was placed on his right hand. Like C.C., Charles is absolutely immortal, unable to die, age, get sick, or be permanently wounded, is absolutely self-sustained, and his mind and soul were as immortal as his biological body. Any injuries he suffers immediately heal, even if he is incinerated, blown up, decapitated, completely deleted, or even if he is completely destroyed to the sub-atomic level, he will still return to life. Absolutely immune to all harm, nor can he die of any natural causes.
His existence and soul were completely independent of even the concept of reality, making him not bound to the subjects of life, death and manipulations. As shown with his immunity to Geass.
Charles' Geass in the anime allowed him to freely alter an individual's memories at will, and also seal the Geass of others, as well as physical senses such as sight, though there are ways to break or weaken these seals, such as contact with an Immortal or sheer willpower, though the latter may have only been possible thanks to his death. He can use his power more than once on a person. Interestingly, Charles' Geass Sigils appear in both eyes, a display of his experience with Geass. As shown in Akito the exiled, one can fight the geass if reminded of something that was sealed away by the geass, for Lelouch it was his desire to protect Nunnally. Another reason that Lelouch was able to fight the geass may have been because an alternate personality was implanted into him by Charles in Akito the exiled, unlike R2 where Charles simply altered Lelouch's memories instead of completely changing them.
In the manga adaption, Nightmare of Nunnally, Charles' Geass is known as "The Dead Rise," which he used unconsciously after he and his parent were assassinated; as the name suggests, his Geass allowed him to come back to life and gave him immortality. This ability also extends to Knightmare Frames, which could also be regenerated after being destroyed, and he later used this power to resurrect an older generation of the Knights of the Round to serve as a personal army and protect Kamine Island while he and Marianne initiated Ragnarök.
Similarities in Other Media
- Charles zi Britannia's character is similar to Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. They both work for top secret organizations whose goal is to unite humanity into one through a top secret project. They also abandon their children for their own good intentions. They also lose their wives whom later resurface through hosts that resembles their looks.
- Charles and Marianne's desire to unite mankind into a single body, in order to purge it of its lies and faults, resembles Dartz's Great Leviathan in the fourth season of the second Yu-Gi-Oh anime series. Indeed, this creature is able of absorbing all humanity within itself, feeding on the corruption and evil present in each human being. There are other similarities between Charles and Dartz : They are both monarchs, and immortal, using a supernatural power (the Geass in one case, the Orichalcos in the other). They delegate part of their project, but not the same (the hunt for Zero in one case, the capture of souls in the other) to three underlings who are more or less in the same age range (Gino, Suzaku and Anya in one case, Raphael, Alister and Valon in the other), one of them, the most intelligent and the strongest (Suzaku in one case, Raphael in the other), finally revolting against their authority and their plans. Moreover, they're both defeated in a similar place (a temple-looked place on an island) by what they sought to destroy, namely the Gods : the Egyptian Gods on one side and the Gods of Code Geass on the other. In fact, their projects do not succeed for the same reasons : the willingness of humanity, which manages to make Ragnarök fail (following the order given by Lelouch's Geass) in one case, and to destabilize the Great Leviathan (the souls present inside it revolt by abandoning what obscured them) in the other, thus rendering it vulnerable to the attacks of the Egyptian gods.
- Charles zi Britannia is also similar to Father from Fullmetal Alchemist. Both are beings who control the government with the mysterious organization through the shadows by executing a plan that will eradicate God(s) and change humanity through a supernatural power.
- Charles is above all the most similar to Gihren Zabi from Mobile Suit Gundam. Charles' speech at Clovis' state funeral, and the response of the Britannian troops is an exact mirror of Gihren's more famous "Sieg Zeon" speech at the funeral of his brother, Garma Zabi. Ironically, both Clovis and Garma were assassinated by someone close to them: Clovis by his half-brother Lelouch, and Garma by his best friend Char (in reality the true heir to the Duchy of Zeon, Casval Rem Deikun).
- Odysseus eu Britannia (Son)
- Guinevere de Britannia (Daughter)
- Schneizel el Britannia (Son)
- Cornelia li Britannia (Daughter)
- Clovis la Britannia (Son)
- Euphemia li Britannia (Daughter)
- Lelouch vi Britannia (Son)
- Nunnally vi Britannia (Daughter)
- Marrybell mel Britannia (Daughter)
- Carine ne Britannia (Daughter)
- Euliya mel Britannia (Daughter)
- Lila la Britannia (Daughter)
- Castor rui Britannia (Son)
- Pollux rui Britannia (Son)
- Hannes gua Britannia (Son)
- "All men ... are NOT created equal! Some are born swifter afoot, some with greater beauty, some are born into poverty and others born sick and feeble. Both in birth and upbringing, in sheer scope of ability every human is inherently different; Yes that is why people discriminate against one another, which is why there is struggle, competition and the unfaltering march of progress. Inequality is not wrong, equality is. What of the E.U. which made equality a right? Rabble politics by a popularity contest. The Chinese Federation with its equal distribution of wealth? A nation of lazy dullards. But not our beloved Britannia, we fight, we compete, evolution is continuous. Britannia alone moves forward, advancing steadily into the future. Even the death of my son, Clovis, demonstrates Britannia's unswerving commitment to progress. We will fight on, we shall struggle, compete, plunder and dominate, and in the end, the future shall be ours. ALL HAIL BRITANNIA!!!!!"
- (To Lelouch) "You are dead. You were always been dead to me, dead from the moment you were born. Who gave you the fine clothes you wear and comfortable home? The food you eat and your very life? All of those, I have given to you, in short you are not nothing to me because you have never existed. Yet you dare to speak such foolishness to me?! Lelouch, you are dead, therefore you are not entitled to any rights. I am sending you and Nunnally to Japan, as prince and princess, you will serve well as bargaining tools."
- "The world lies! Thou shalt not commit murder, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not cheat, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife. All of these are lies! Mere illusion, nothing more! They don't want to be killed, they don't want to be robbed. Using the twin lies of justice and morality, the weak endeavor to protect themselves. But the first truth is that the strong devour the weak, so let us feed upon people, upon wealth, upon riches and power! We of Britannia shall feast upon the raw flesh of the world itself! We must crush this deception and bring forth the truth! All Hail Britannia!
- "War has historically been an action favoured by idiots."
- "Lelouch, I will now answer your previous question. Half a century ago, my elder brother and I existed in a Hell on Earth, our family were just rivals competing for the throne. Assassinations occurred with regularity, dealing with betrayal and spawned by lies. Killing each other off, my own mother fell victim to it. My brother and I were sick and angered by the world, we therefore both sworn an oath: to create a world without lies."
- "You're a fool, Lelouch. God cannot be defeated by the power of the King!"
- Season 1 Episode 6
- Season 1 Episode 7
- Season 2 Episode 7
- Season 2 Episode 12
- Season 2 Episode 21
- Season 2 Episode 21
Succession and Precedence
|Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire
a.t.b. 1998 – a.t.b. June 2018
Lelouch vi Britannia