Geass (ギアス, Giasu) is a supernatural ability which certain people can bestow upon others. C.C. is the most prominent character who grants the power of Geass. The Geass manifests differently in each individual, possibly related to their inner desires and personality. The power of Geass increases with use, and should the user lack the willpower, they may be consumed by it, which was the case with Mao. C.C. calls Geass the Power of Kings, and though she is unable to use the power herself, she is immune to the power being used on her. In the final episode of the second season, Lelouch states that the Geass is a form of wish (referring to himself and C.C.). However, people who have Geass are not immune to the Geass effects of others. The Geass is represented by a glowing, bird-shaped symbol.
Every Geass, while powerful, has its own unique set of restrictions, limitations, or idiosyncrasies. These factors allow a Geass to be defeated, or its power limited, by someone who is aware of its characteristics. All Geass abilities that have thus far appeared within the canon of the television series have been related to the mind, influencing such things as will, thought, memory and perception. Geass abilities in the alternate universe manga Nightmare of Nunnally have no such limitations. All Geass, regardless of user, appear in only one eye in the initial stages. Eventually, assuming the user lives long enough, the Geass will eventually begin to grow until it shows on both eyes, seemingly as a result of repeated use, or pushing the Geass to exceed its own limits. However, overuse and/or mental instability can lead to an affliction known as "runaway Geass" that causes the user to become unable to control their Geass, making it become permanently active.
The only case of a person that manifested a "perfect" Geass is Charles zi Britannia, who shows the ability to activate his Geass at will, yet possesses Geass in both eyes. Once the Geass evolves to two eyes, it is strong enough to kill someone who has a Code, and transfers their Code to the Geass-user, making them an Immortal who is immune to all Geass. In both cases shown, the Immortal who was killed is also the Immortal who gave the Geass-user their Geass, making it impossible to tell which event caused the Geass-user to lose their Geass: Activating the Code they received, or having the Immortal they were contracted to killed. The examples shown are when V.V. was killed by Charles after his Siegfried was destroyed, and the unnamed nun in the flashback who convinced C.C. to kill her. It should be noted that C.C. was also giving people Geass with the hopes they would kill her once their Geass reached maximum strength.
Following the assault on the Geass Directorate launched by Lelouch and the death of the other remaining Geass users, Lelouch became the only person still having the power of Geass, other than Rolo, while C.C. became the last human still having the Code after Charles is absorbed by the collective unconscious, and V.V. is killed by Charles. There is only one instance of a person overcoming the effects of Geass, which is the case of Nunnally - Lelouch attributes this to a very strong degree of will power, which may have been helped along by Charles being dead by then, though there is no mention of her recovering the lost memories of her mother's death, which was Charles' "primary" ability.
According to an English edition of Newtype, the power of Geass has something to do with the very existence of humankind, and it may be used to destroy or transform just about anything. This is because the "gods" of the Geass universe are actually a collection of subconscious and will that are always in conflict, and one with a powerful Geass could influence it, as Lelouch does in the series, and Charles seemingly does, and with a proper system, can also influence reality, which is the concept behind the Sword Of Akasha. "Geass" may be an intentional corruption of the word geas or geis, a term for a type of magical contract in Irish mythology.
Geass in Ancient Mythology
Geass originates in Gaelic mythology and is in many ways analogous to the Greek and Roman concept of the tragic flaw. One of the first and best known heroes subject to a Geass is the central character of an Irish mythology Ulster Cycle, Cú Chulainn. He was subject to a 'Geis' of being forbidden to eat dog meat by his enemies. But in early Ireland there was a powerful general taboo against refusing hospitality, so when an old crone offers him a meal of dog meat, he has no choice to break his Geis. In this way he is spiritually weakened for the fight ahead of him.
In Code Geass, Geass is a power given to Lelouch by the mysterious C.C., it allows him to force others to do his will to certain limitations. The similiarity to the Geis concept is evident and presumably the reason behind its name.
A Geass user is a person who possesses the power of Geass. A person acquires Geass by making a contract with an immortal code bearer who formerly possessed Geass. The power of Geass increases with use, and should the user lack the willpower, they may be consumed by it, which was the case with Mao.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (Anime)
Lelouch vi Britannia's Geass
- Lelouch's Geass manifests itself as "the power of absolute obedience," which allows him to plant commands within a person's mind upon direct eye contact. He is granted this ability through his contract with C.C. at the start of the series. Activation of the Geass is visually represented by the manifestation of a Geass sigil in his left eye. Commands dictated in this state are written into the minds of the designated targets once the sigil projects from his eye to theirs. The ability cannot influence the same individual twice, unless the command is removed by a Geass Canceller. Lelouch could initially toggle Geass activation at will, but subsequently loses this control and suffers from a runaway Geass. The specific causes of this are unknown, but may be related to his mental instability in the period leading up to losing his ability, excessive use or a combination of the two. This later extends to the right eye, as a result of pushing his Geass to its limit in attempting to command a massive psychic entity.
Main article: Mao
- Mao's Geass, given to him by C.C. when he was six, allows him to telepathically hear the conscious thoughts of anyone within a 500 meter radius (the seal of absolute sound). It is speculated that Mao has other powers of telepathy such as digging through a person's memories or transferring thoughts into another's mind. Geass sigils light up in both eyes when the ability is active. He does not need to maintain direct eye contact with his victim(s) and, apart from C.C., has no restrictions on who it can be used on. Mao can concentrate on a specific target to probe deeper into their thoughts and memories, but it decreases his effective range. He cannot read something if the target has no knowledge of it or has completely forgotten about it. Like Lelouch, his Geass is permanently active due to overuse, forcing him to listen to the thoughts of all those around him constantly. He masks his constantly-lit Geass sigils with sunglasses, though that may have been a countermeasure against Lelouch's own abilities, and wears headphones that play recorded comforting words from C.C. to drown out the sounds.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
Charles zi Britannia's Geass
Main article: Charles zi Britannia
- The Emperor of Britannia possesses the ability to freely alter an individual's memories at will; he may also seal the ability of another Geass user as well as physical abilities such as eyesight. Geass sigils light up in both eyes when he uses it. The influence of this ability on Lelouch was canceled by C.C., but this may be specificially as a result of her contract with Lelouch, and unable to do so for non-Geass users, or users without a connection to her. Nunnally was also capable of breaking through the block on her eyes left by her father's Geass, but no mention was made of having remembered any of her sealed past, or whether or not this could have been possible had Charles still survived.
Rolo Lamperouge's Geass
Main article: Rolo Lamperouge
- Rolo's Geass grants him the ability to temporarily suspend the subjective experience of time for all individuals within a given sphere of influence, effectively paralyzing anyone within its area of effect (the seal of absolute suspension). The ability does not require eye contact, and can be used on the same person more than once. The weakness of Rolo's Geass is that his heart stops when he uses it, limiting its activation to short bursts. Large numbers of people are also more difficult for him to stop, as Rolo is exhausted when he projects a field that encompasses a majority of the school's campus. Finally, it is unable to stop inanimate objects or physical phenomena such as speed and momentum. Despite gaining his ability at the age of six, and having made quite liberal use of it over the following decade, Rolo does not have the same constant activation problem as Lelouch and Mao. A Geass sigil appears in his right eye when he uses it.
Main article: C.C.
- C.C.'s Geass, as contracted with a nun during apparently medieval times, granted her the power "to be loved," which allowed her to make anyone around her love her. She originally started with a Geass symbol in her left eye, but as she matured, she eventually developed another in her right, and presumably became unable to control it, causing everyone to love her.
- Her Geass's effects may have failed immediately following her transformation into an immortal, as it's shown that she was quickly attacked and executed by the villagers she enslaved, though it's also possible that her Geass needed reinforcement or it would fail.
Marianne vi Britannia's Geass
Main article: Marianne vi Britannia
- Her Geass allows her to transfer her spirit (along with her Geass) into another person's mind, but this is only achieved when her original body dies. Another ability bestowed upon her is that she can return to her original body as long as it is intact. A side effect is that, when her consciousness surfaces, she can speak with C.C telepathically.
Bismarck Waldstein's Geass
Main article: Bismarck Waldstein
- Bismarck's Geass allows him to see a few seconds into the future, which allows him to combat even opponents like Suzaku on even terms. He claims that the only person he ever had to use it on before Suzaku was Marianne. He restrains his Geass by sewing his own eyelid shut, heavily implying that he cannot disable it.
Unnamed Children's Geass
Main article: Unnamed Children
- Unnamed children from the Geass Order display a Geass that allows them to control a person's body.
Code Geass: Oz the Reflection
Orpheus Zevon's Geass
Main article: Orpheus Zevon
- His Geass gives him the power to "become" any person he chooses. When activated, he completely takes on not only the appearance of someone else, but also their voice and gestures. This Geass functions by tricking the brains of everyone who sees him. (Range is unknown, but presumably this power does not work when seen by a camera.) The weakness of this Geass is its 5 minute time limit, after which it will deactivate by itself without any warning, thereby preventing Orpheus from accurately timing how much time he has left. If he tries to activate it a second time in a row, then he will not be able to activate it again until 1 hour later. Despite this, Orpheus believes that these limitations are insignificant in the face of the benefits of this ability. His Geass manifests in his left eye.
Code Geass: Akito the Exiled
Shin Hyuga Shaingu's Geass
Main article: Shin Hyūga Shaingu
- Shin's Geass' complete effect is currently unknown. It is believed that it may have the same power as Lelouche's Geass, but this is simply speculation due to the limited amount of times its use has been witnessed. The effect is similar to Lelouch's Geass when it comes to command usage just like Suzaku has the command "Live" which is a parallel to Akito's command "Die," which can definitely be seen as a parallel. (On a related note: Akito's command was able to influence the other members of the W-0 squad through a "brain raid," leaving Leila unaffected due to the fact that she is not able to synchronize with the others.) It seems it makes the ones it influences take the order given by Shin, as Akito didn't died, but is telling his enemies "Die!".
Canonical Geass Canceler
Jeremiah Gottwald's Geass Canceler
Main article: Jeremiah Gottwald
- A peculiar Geass-related power given to Jeremiah by Britannia's Geass Directorate, Jeremiah's Geass Canceler manifests in his left eye and unlike other powers of Geass is represented by an inverted blue version of the bird-like Geass sigil. As Jeremiah's left eye was shown to be a cybernetic replacement in his final appearance in the first season, it is assumed that this is also a cybernetic eye, raising the question of whether or not Britannia's Geass Directorate had managed to reverse-engineer Geass, or had simply been developing countermeasures. This ability appears to cancel out all other Geass effects within a given range, hence the name "Geass Canceler". It will automatically reverse any Geass used on Jeremiah or anybody else in its range.
Nightmare of Nunnally (Manga)
Nunnally vi Britannia's Geass
Main article: Nunnally vi Britannia
- Upon contract with the entity known as Nemo, Nunnally and Nemo gain the shared ability to read "the lines of the future", functionally identical to precognition. A red, bird-like sigil lights up in Nemo's left eye when the ability is activated.
Alice's Geass, "The Speed"
- Implanted with cells from C.C., Alice obtains a Geass ability referred to as "The Speed," which allows her to hyperaccelerate all objects within a given radius by manipulating local gravitational pull. When active, a Geass sigil appears upon Alice's forehead. A cell-action suppressant limits this ability, as the activity of C.C.'s biological matter tends to strain and overtax the human body. The suppressant can be neutralized to give Alice access to the full power of her ability, enabling movement of such high speed that it resembles teleportation.
- Alice uses this for a variety of purposes. In Code 3 'Evil Instrument Nemo', she protects Nunnally from Ekaterina Sforza's bullying by stealing her skirt (Bandai Manga Volume 1, p.91).
Sancia's Geass, "The Order"
- Sancia's Geass accurately identifies the positions of targets within a given range and precisely calculates their probable movement trajectories based on all known variables. When active, a Geass sigil appears on Sancia's forehead.
Lucretia's Geass, "The Land"
- Lucretia's Geass allows her to map three-dimensional terrain accurately within a given range. When active, a Geass sigil appears on Lucretia's forehead.
Dalque's Geass, "The Power"
- Dalque's Geass augments her physical strength by exaggerating the magnitude of macroscopic forces. When active, a Geass sigil appears on Dalque's forehead.
Mao's Geass, "The Refrain"
- On meeting another's eyes with her left pupil, Mao is capable of reading memories or forcing a victim to relive past experiences, not unlike the drug by the same name. The ability was obtained as a result of an implant of C.C.'s cells, and its use results in rapid cellular degeneration. Massive amounts of cell-action suppressant are required to keep this process in check.
Rolo vi Britannia's Geass, "The Ice"
- Rolo's Geass allows him to freeze anything in his area of effect, even time (probably a reference to his anime counterpart's Geass). He can also use it to directly freeze a target's Knightmare Frame and pilot.
Charles zi Britannia's Geass, "Wired Geass, The Dead Rise"
- Charles Geass allows him to resurrect the dead as his slaves. It is also a Wired Geass, meaning he did not make a contract to obtain it. He first used the Geass when he and his parents were murdered, allowing him to obtain immortality. A Geass sigil appears in his right eye when he was seen using it in a flashback.
Marianne vi Britannia's Geass, "The Soul"
- Marianne's Geass is the same as it is in the anime, allowing her to transport her soul into another person's body.
Lelouch and Nunnally vi Brittania's Geass, "Wired Geass, The Zero"
- This Geass is described by Nemo as "the power that returns all creation into nothingness". Lelouch seems to manifest his as a kind of obliteration attack launched by contact of his hand to something, such as a Knightmare. It causes massive damage and destroys it infinitely. It has only been resisted twice, by Suzaku in the Lancelot and by Bismark Waldstein, since he is an undying warrior brought back by Charles' Geass.
- Nunnally's version of "The Zero" is described as the key to Eden Vital. It can open the "door to heaven", creating a portal to Eden Vital which Charles, Marianne, and C.C are planning to use to collect the conciousness of humanity back into a single entity and kill God.
Castor rui Britannia's Geass (DS Game)
- Castor's Geass is called "Bless". It is "the power to force your own thoughts into others" and can be used both for telepathic communications and to make people have headaches.
Pollux rui Britannia's Geass (DS Game)
- Like his twin brother, Pollux's Geass is also called "Bless". He can persuade others to do his bidding just by saying "God bless you".
Euphemia's Geass? (DS Game)
- Euphemia seems to possess a Geass ability in the alternate story paths.
Rai's Geass (Lost Colors: PS2/PSP Game)
- The protagonist of Code Geass: Lost Colors, Rai possesses a non-optical manifestation of Lelouch's "power of absolute obedience", which relies instead upon the sound of his voice as a medium. The ability cannot influence the same individual twice, but those formerly afflicted by Lelouch's Geass may still be controlled, and vice versa.
- The concept of Geis also appears in "Fate" universe including the Irish Mythology of Cú Chulainn and Diarmuid Ua Duibhne who were Lancer Servants. The use of Geis curse is forming a curse over a target that imposes a mystical restriction over one's action with the consent of both parties. One even more merciless version of a geis is a Self-Geas Scroll.