Zeref Dragneel (ゼレフ・ドラグニル, Zerefu Doraguniru), also commonly known as The Black Wizard (黒魔導士, Kuro Madōshi), is a fictional character and antagonist of the Fairy One Piece Tail series. He is considered to be the strongest, most evil Wizard of all time, who possesses extremely dangerous, and powerful Magic. He is the founder and current Emperor of the Alvarez Empire, under the alias of Emperor Spriggan (皇帝スプリガン, Kōtei Supurigan), the older brother of Natsu Dragneel and the father to August.
"I had no reason to come to this age. I'm not an ally to anyone. I'm not an enemy to anyone. But still, if an age is about to end right now... I might awaken once again."
- —Zeref Dragneel.
- Voice Actor: Joel McDonald (English), Akira Ishida (Japanese), Not Known (Italian), Not Known (Spanish), Not Known (German), Not Known (Finnish), Not Known (Korean), Not Known (French), Not Known (Latin American Spanish)
Despite being hundreds of years old, Zeref has the appearance of a young man. He wears high-collared red (black in the anime) and tan robes with gold trim, along with a large, flowing white toga draped around his torso. He has short black hair, dark eyes, and abnormally sharp canines. He also wears a pendant, where he keeps a childhood picture of Natsu and himself. When Zeref returned to the Alvarez Empire, he changed his wardrobe to a black and white outfit.
When angered, Zeref's irises become red and gain a black ring around the pupil, giving him a much more menacing appearance.
- Hair Color: Black
- Skin Color: Not Known
- Eye Color: Black
- Age: 400+
- Height: Not Known
- Weight: Not Known
Zeref is said to have been the darkest, most evil Mage in the history of the Magic World, mastering the Black Arts and creating many Demons, some of which still wreak havoc in the present.
In the modern era, Zeref seeks to isolate himself and is very calm, sincere, and conflicted. He wishes to die to atone for all the sins he has committed, and may commit in the future. He shows concern for others when he warns them not to come near him, knowing that they would die if they did. He is also somewhat emotionally fragile, as when he realizes that Natsu is not ready to kill him yet, he breaks down in tears. Zeref often kills with no prior incentive or knowledge.
In spite of all this, Zeref is very vindictive, and will punish those who he believes to be evil. This was shown when he ruthlessly killed Hades, whom he thinks has committed a number of unforgivable sins. As a result of his immortal life, Zeref has developed a misanthropic loathing for humanity and its repeated idiosyncrasies of hatred, evil, and conflict.
Nevertheless, Zeref is also shown to be a man of the people as the Emperor of Alvarez, and is shown to display good will and friendliness towards his generals and subjects, which is also reflected in their opinion of him, sincerely cheering and welcoming him as he returns to the capital after a long absence. Zeref also compared running the Empire akin to playing a strategy game, making the Curse of Contradictions' symptoms go away while at it, because the people he commands, he treats merely as pawns.
- Natsu's Father (Father; Deceased)
- Natsu's Mother (Mother; Deceased)
- Natsu Dragneel (Younger Brother)
- August (Son)
- Larcade Dragneel (creation)
Abilities and PowersEdit
Black Arts (黒魔法, Kuro Mahō): Zeref was able to master all forms of Dark Magic at a very early age, and brought countless Demons to life. His Magic Power is enormous; so enormous, in fact, that he cannot consciously control his own Magic, though whether this was always the case is unknown. Zeref's lack of control over his Black Arts seems to come from his emotional state. He, himself, has stated that when he cares of the lives of others, his Magic becomes uncontrollable and randomly bursts outward, killing all those around him, but, when he no longer cares about others, he gains complete control over his Magic, and becomes the ruthless, cold-hearted Zeref spoken of in legend.
Ankhseram Black Magic (アンクセラムの黒魔術, Ankuseramu no Kuro Majutsu): It is a powerful, and dangerous, Black Art that allows Zeref to kill any living thing he desires. This Magic seems to be uncontrollable at times, causing it to burst out randomly, killing anything within a certain radius around him. However, when Zeref forgets the value of, and no longer cares about, a human life, he can fully control this Magic. Certain Magic Items can protect people from Ankhseram Black Magic, such as Natsu Dragneel's scarf. This Magic also appears, contrary to the nature of the Black Arts, unable to be learned, as Zeref only gained this curse-like Magic by upsetting the ancient God Ankhseram, who apparently bestowed this upon Zeref due to his making light of the connections between life, death and people in his race to bring his brother back to life. The side effect of this Magic is immortality and the inability to age.
- Living Magic (生活魔法, Seikatsu Mahō): A very ancient, long-forgotten form of Magic that breathes life into an object. Some of Zeref's creations are sentient, and seek to further Zeref's former, as-of-yet unknown, evil desires. Most of the beings that Zeref created were Demons.
- Deliora (デリオラ, Deriora): One of Zeref's many creations, Deliora was a monstrous Demon that attacked the icy villages in the North. Deliora was imprisoned in a block of ice by Ur. Lyon Vastia tried to unfreeze it so he could kill the Demon, however, after years of being imprisoned in Ur's ice, the Demon's life force was greatly reduced, so much, in fact, that simply upon being released from the ice, it died.
- Lullaby (ララバイ. Rarabai): A flute that can transform into a giant, ruthless Demon. Whoever hears Lullaby's song (aside from the caster) will die. Erigor hoped to use this to kill the Guild Masters at their meeting. As Kageyama failed to carry out the mission, Lullaby transformed into its Demon form to feast upon souls. However, Luffy D. Monkey, Natsu Dragneel, Zolo Roronoa, Gray Fullbuster, and Erza Scarlet were able to defeat the Demon flute. It currently is in the Magic Council's possession.
- E.N.D. (イーエヌディー, Ī Enu Dī): or Etherious Natsu Dragneel (エーテリアス・ナツ・ドラグニル Ēteriasu Natsu Doraguniru): The half-human and half-demon hybrid, the strongest of his creations, thought to be able to kill the immortal Zeref.
- Nemesis (ネメシス, Nemishisu): This spell creates Demons from rubble. It can create an entire army of Demons with just a few rocks. This spell was used by Hades while battling Fairy Tail. Hades learned this spell from Volume 4 Verse 20 of one of the Books of Zeref.
- Tartaros (タルタロス, Tarutarosu): Zeref stated that all of Tartaros' members are Demons he created.
- Mard Geer Tartaros (マルド・ギール・タルタロス, Marudo Gīru Tarutarosu): One of his strongest Demons and the founder of Tartaros.
- Immobilization Magic: A Black Art of Zeref's that allows him to freeze time for all except those he specifically chooses to remain mobile. After casting this Magic, the surrounding area and all those affected by the Magic appear inverted in color, whilst those unaffected remain as they are. (Unnamed)
- Law (ロウ, Rō): Although he was never shown to use it, Zeref was the one who taught this supreme type of Black Magic to Mavis, in order for her to fight for her friends.
Fire Magic (火の魔法, Hi no Mahō): Zeref is shown to be capable of using this type of Magic, such as when he used it to burn Mard Geer's tome.
=Ankhseram Black MagicEdit
- Death Predation (死の捕食, Shi no Hoshoku): This usage of this spell creates a dark wave that kills everything in the user's immediate vicinity.
- Death Orb: A spell that, when used, destroys everything in its path.
Orphaned after Dragons killed his parents and injured his little brother, Natsu, an extremely young Zeref became a student at the Mildian Magic Academy, where he researched the connections between life, death and Magic to save the life of his brother. After creating things such as the R-System and the Eclipse Gate, he was expelled from the academy for breaching the sacred teachings of Ankhseram, however he was cursed by Ankhseram and then killed everyone around him with his newfound, unwanted Curse of Contradiction. After this, Zeref wished to die and wandered around, creating the Etherious in the hopes that they would kill him, but instead turned to saving his brother, having preserved his body, as a Half-Human and Half-Etherious, thus fulfilling his goal of bringing his brother back and creating something that could kill him: E.N.D.; Etherious Natsu Dragneel.
One day while out gathering herbs, Zeref stumbled across the Fire Dragon King Igneel, who unlike many other Dragons at the time was not opposed to associating with humans, and after acquainting with one another, the Dragon agreed to teach Natsu Dragon Slayer Magic and raise him. Zeref then became aware of the plan hatched by Igneel, Metalicana, Grandeeney, Weisslogia and Skiadrum to use the Dragon Soul Technique to seal their damaged souls inside young Dragon Slayers that they have been raised and can travel to the future, where the Ethernano-dense air would help them recover enough to kill Acnologia. Zeref helped them do so, and had the Celestial Spirit Mage Anna Heartfilia open the Eclipse Gate to the future, while also four hundred years later having Layla Heartfilia open another version of the Gate to connect the two time periods, allowing the Dragon Slayers chosen (Natsu, Gajeel, Wendy, Sting and Rogue) to arrive in the future on July 7, X777.
Ultimately, the true tale of events became distorted with time, resulting in legends surrounding the now-dubbed Black Wizard. The stories stated that at some point in the distant past, around 400 years ago, Zeref witnessed the deaths of many people. Around this time, he also became cursed, and unintentionally took the lives of all those around him. Zeref was described as having alighted in an ancient land, mastered Black Magic, given birth to tens of thousands of Demons, and thrown the world into chaos.
At least a century ago, Zeref founded what later shaped itself to become the Alvarez Empire, which united 730 guilds of Alakitasia by martial force, but he rarely dabbles in politics unless necessary, preferring to stay beyond the capital, or even the empire itself, while his ministers and generals do the majority of the work.
Sometime later, Zeref is found taking a bath in Western Forest near Magnolia by Mavis Vermilion. He was surprised that someone would want to leave, noting it was a "bad habit" of his own, and unwillingly used his Magic, which robbed the forest of its life force, which Mavis quickly recognized as Ankhseram Black Magic. Zeref was surprised and commended Mavis' knowledge, and told her to not feel bad for him. Nevertheless, he felt joy about his conversation with the girl, but was also worried about himself unwittingly killing her, which he never wanted to do to anyone. Mavis then cast an illusion of wildlife, which initially startled Zeref, because of his lack of control over his powers, but after Mavis explained to him the nature of her Magic, he was happy at the notion and thanked her sincerely. After this, Zeref agreed to teach Mavis and her companions Magic (while keeping a safe distance much to Warrod's chagrin), having noted to Precht in particular that he had an affinity for several different kinds of Magic. After having taught them Magic, Zeref left to seclude himself once more, happy that he made friends.
Six years later, in X696, Zeref happened upon Mavis one more time. In spite of his attempts to remind the girl of his Curse, she ran to Zeref to give him a hug, thanking him for what he had done for them. Zeref then revealed his true identity, shocking Mavis, however, she was unable to believe the rumors surrounding the Black Wizard's name. After a short discussion, Zeref learnt that Mavis had used Law, soon realizing that she had stopped growing. He identified that as the Curse of Ankhseram and when Mavis argued against this, Zeref noted that there had been no casualties yet because of the war era. As Mavis ran away, in tears, Zeref thought to himself that she had the potential to "walk alongside him".
Zeref then undertook a search for Mavis; after one year he found her alone and starving, but remarked that no matter what she did, she would not die. He was then begged to kill her, but refused on the grounds that he couldn't even if he wanted to. He explained that in the beginning, immortality drove him mad and that even now he wants to die, but tried to comfort her by saying that they have time to do whatever they feel, citing his creation of the Etherious to kill himself and his building of a nation as ways to pass time. He went even further, saying that over in his nation, he is the emperor and Ankhseram's Curse doesn't affect anyone there, as they are nothing more than pawns to him; Mavis questioned his reason to build a nation, and he explained that it's preparation for battle, which he stated he hates, though he added that he only lives to die and that he wants to see his brother, though such thoughts began to hurt his head. Zeref was then embraced by Mavis, finding solace in her ability to understand him and her words about trying to break the Curse of Contradiction. He then began to shed tears when exclaimed that they would find a way together, and realizing that he fell in love with Mavis, he kissed her, but Ankhseram's Curse stole away just about all of Mavis' life force while she was in his arms.
Zeref then brought Mavis back to Magnolia and threw her on the ground in front of the onlooking Precht, claiming that he only came to return her body. Over the top of Precht's exclamation, Zeref merely stated that Mavis, whom he referred to as a "thing", no longer moved, even adding to Precht's worry by saying that she will never wake up. As he walked away and bade her goodnight, Precht asked who he was, and he answered that he was the Black Wizard Zeref. He then rebutted his statement, claiming that if Mavis was a fairy, then he was a spriggan. Broken, Zeref resolved to simply go back to Alakitasia to continue building his empire, where none of those that he considers pawns will die to him, regretting that he ever fell in love. Zeref then eventually learned of Mavis' non-living yet non-dead state that created Eternal Magic—Fairy Heart—and resolved to acquire it for his own purposes.
During one of his stays in Vistarion, Zeref revealed to a young Invel what he had been carrying inside the pendant around his neck; a picture of Natsu and himself during their childhood days. Some time after that, however, Zeref eventually found himself on the secluded Tenrou Island, hoping to stay completely cut off from humanity.
- Zeref Dragneel Fairy Tail Wiki
Notes & TriviaEdit