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File:Chara 28.jpg Schneizel el Britannia, 27 years old (28 at R2), is the Second Prince of the Britannian Imperial Family and the Prime Minister of the Holy Britannian Empire. He is a strategist on par with Lelouch, and the only person Lelouch was unable to beat in chess as a child. He is also one of the main antagonists of the series, alongside V.V., Charles zi Britannia, and for a time, Jeremiah Gottwald.

Character outline

Schneizel is ruthless and cold as a strategist, willing to sacrifice lives without a second thought to achieve his ends, but is extremely charismatic and caring toward his subordinates. He seems to show disdain for force when it's unnecessary, such as negotiating a peace treaty with the Euro Universe despite dominating them militarily in every engagement. Schneizel has ambitions for the throne, a fact which the Emperor is aware of but does not seem concerned by. Schneizel seems somewhat resentful of his father, remarking that he is not concerned with the present reality. He is also quite caring to his siblings and he refers that Lelouch is the man he loved and feared the most, however he is more than willing to kill them if they get in his way. Cornelia notes that Schneizel has no desires, and in a peaceful world he would be the perfect king.

In the Drama CD, Schneizel is shown to dislike Japan after the supposed deaths of Lelouch and Nunnally, a sentiment shared by Cornelia and Clovis. He seems to have been involved in the murder of Marianne vi Britannia. When questioned by Lelouch, Clovis suggests that Schneizel knows the truth behind Marianne's murder, and Cornelia likewise notes that it was Schneizel who carried the body out under the Emperor's orders.

Schneizel sponsors a number of experimental projects throughout the series. He is the patron of Lloyd Asplund, developer of the Lancelot, funded the construction of the Gawain, Along with developing Avalon, and takes possession of one of the Thought Elevators in Japan to study it. His investments in new technologies result in the development of the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead and, eventually, the floating fortress Damocles, both of which are integral to his plans for bringing the world "eternal peace."

Character history

First season

Schneizel makes his first major appearance in episode 18, where he orders Suzaku Kururugi to restrain Zero while the experimental Knightmare Frame Gawain bombards the area. When Lelouch uses his Geass to force Suzaku to survive at any cost, Schneizel uses his authority to clear Suzaku of the subsequent insubordination charge. He supports Euphemia's idea of creating the Special Administrative Zone of Japan for the Elevens, but fails to mention it to Cornelia when he told Euphemia he would. This is because he believes that the plan would weaken the support for the terrorists' groups in Area 11, thus helping to pacify the region and restore public order, possibly even eliminating the Black Knights in the process. He is shocked and horrified when he sees her acting uncharacteristically and killing the Japanese people, and suspects something is responsible for Euphemia's change.

In episode 24, when his older brother, Prince Odysseus, is too indecisive to act during Zero's attack on the Tokyo Settlement, especially after Euphemia's death, Schneizel steps up and volunteers to go to Cornelia's aid, taking the Pacific fleet to Area 11 to relieve her battered forces and restore order.

Second season

In the second season, Schneizel commands all of the Britannian forces attempting to conquer the E.U.-controlled Europe after he did his most brilliant accomplishment conquering various E.U. controlled territories, yet ending with a peace treaty despite repeated victories. As he explains to Nina, he did this because nothing but conquest invites defeat since it destroys hope. He also attempts to bribe the High Eunuchs of the Chinese Federation into trading much of their land in exchange for being made nobility in Britannia. After the fact is exposed and the people rebel against the Eunuchs, he decides to give up on his plan, noting that leaders who do not have the support of their people cannot be called leaders at all. After the fall of the Eunuchs, Schneizel begins efforts to annex the Federation's fragmented territories.

He is present in Tokyo during the invasion of Japan by the Black Knights and learns the true identity of Zero which is that of his brother Lelouch. During the meeting between Lelouch and Suzaku at the Kururugi family shrine Schneizel sends troops to follow Suzaku in order to identify and arrest Zero and also make it appear that Suzaku has betrayed Lelouch again and obtains the recorded conversation of the confession of Lelouch and states "I now hold all the cards" confident of his victory. During the second battle of Tokyo, Schneizel is aboard the Avalon along with Lyold and Nina, watching the battle of Tokyo unfold before his eyes. He retreats when Suzaku under the geass fires F.L.E.I.J.A. at Zero which misses and obliterates the entire government complex and surrounding area, wiping out units from both sides that were not able to escape the blast. He uses all the information he acquired regarding Zero, in tandem with the devastation caused by F.L.E.I.J.A., to convince the Black Knights to abandon Zero. He begins his plot to usurp the throne after Suzaku volunteers to assassinate the Emperor in exchange for Knight of One status, noting that the Emperor's dismissal of the war as a "trifling matter" as well as his research into Geass makes him unfit to rule. When Lelouch ends up killing the Emperor and taking the throne, Schneizel is content to let his brother have it, placing more concern on a bigger confrontation between Lelouch's Geass and his floating fortress, the Damocles. He uses a F.L.E.I.J.A warhead to annihilate the Britannian capital, then reveals to Lelouch that he plans to have Nunnally, thought to be dead, become the new Empress.

In private, he shows Cornelia his plan to place Damocles in a position to strike every country in the world, enforcing peace through terror and making him "god." By letting Lelouch take over as Emperor, Schneizel makes himself seem like the lesser of two evils and the only hope to Lelouch's reign of "evil," enabling him to convince the Black Knights to work with him for the sake of stopping Lelouch. However, when Lelouch and Suzaku manage to break through Damocles' defenses even as Schneizel prepares to evacuate, Lelouch manages to trap Schneizel aboard the shuttle. He then proceeds to use his Geass on him, forcing him to serve "Zero".

Two months later Schneizel, along with the U.F.N. delegates and the Black Knights, are being transported to their executions. Schneizels method of transport is designed to be far more humiliating than the others as he is chained to the post and he is dressed in rags instead of the standard prison uniform, he also appears to have been beaten. He is saved from his fate when Suzaku, under the guise of Zero, kills Lelouch.

During the epilogue, he is shown to be working with the new incarnation of the Black Knights; as his Geass command was to serve Zero and not Lelouch, he is now loyal to Suzaku.

Personality

Schneizel is charismatic and calculating, able to form complex strategies that can match even Lelouch's. Despite this, he shows a caring side to his subordinates, earning their respect and loyalty. His hierarchy in the Britannian family gives him great power and influence; though he does have ambitions for the throne, a fact the Emperor seems aware of but not concerned by. He also shows a deal of concern for his half-siblings, aiding them in their ventures as well offering them protection in times of adversity(even in the case of Lelouch), however this seems to be nothing more than a ruse as he quickly gunned down his sister Cornelia (who has been one of his closest siblings) without remorse or hesitation.

Schneizel is also strangely honorable; granting conquered people peace treaties instead of merely initiating an all-out invasion. He seems to show disdain for force when it's unnecessary, such as negotiating a peace treaty with the Euro Universe despite dominating them militarily in every engagement. He also firmly hold the belief that those whose followers do not agree with them do not deserve to be called leaders.

Appearances in other media

Nightmare of Nunnally

In the manga spin-off series, Schneizel head towards Japan, and has brought Lelouch's twin brother, Rolo vi Britannia, with him.

Suzaku of the Counterattack

In the manga spin-off series, Schneizel is the series' main antagonist, and has knowledge of Geass and C.C., whom he plans to use for world domination.

After Schneizel arrives at Area 11, he meets Lloyd's assistant Mariel Lubie and discuss the Knightmare combat suit and its connections with Geass. She reveals to him that it involves beings known as "Regulators", who were part of the Geass cult and gained superhuman abilities. Schneizel then meets Suzaku, and decides to appoint him as his Knight, which Suzaku accepts. When Zero and the Black Knights take control over the Britannian Art Gallery with Charles inside, Schneizel confronts Zero, who he knows is Lelouch. In the Emperor's private room lies Charles' dead body, and Schneizel reveals that he killed the Emperor, and that he was the one that killed Lelouch's mother, Marianne, for discovering his plans. Schneizel sent C.C. away, and later set Lelouch up by having him shoot the Emperor just in time for Suzaku to appear and think that Zero was the culprit. With the arrest of Zero, Schneizel manages to catch C.C. and begins his plan to take her code, thus, becoming immortal.

On the same night the uprising of the Black Knight begins, led by Kallen disguised as Zero, Schneizel begins to extract C.C.'s code. However, he is interrupted by both Lelouch and Suzaku, who have discovered and plan to stop his scheme. Schneizel has gained a portion of C.C.'s abilities is able to stop Lelouch from using his Geass (by means of puncturing his left eye) and damages Suzaku's combat suit. As he is about to finish the two off, Suzaku reveals his Geass code and stops Schneizel, who is surprised to find that Suzaku is a Regulator. Before Schneizel is able to fully obtain C.C.'s Geass code, Suzaku kills him.

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