Artoria Pendragon, Class Name Saber, is one of the main characters of Fate/Zero and one of the three main heroines of Fate/stay night. She is the Saber-class Servant of Kiritsugu Emiya in the Fourth Holy Grail War and Shirou Emiya in the Fifth Holy Grail War. She is the Servant of Norma Goodfellow (possessed by Manaka Sajyou) in the Labyrinth Holy Grail War of Fate/Labyrinth. She is one of the Servants of Ritsuka Fujimaru of the Grand Orders conflicts of Fate/Grand Order. Artoria has the appearance of a young girl in her early-mid teens with a slender physique, soft skin, and green eyes. She has "finely textured" blonde hair that seems "as if sprinkled with gold dust." Her face shows some signs of naivety and displays elegance. She is more muscular than someone like Rin, leading her to believe her body is unappealing, but Shirou believes her to be very feminine. She normally wears shining armor with an old styled dress, made from old-fashioned blue cloth, underneath. She is actually older than her appearance would show, as her body did not age from the moment she pulled Caliburn from the stone to the time of her death. Shirou sees her as being a few years younger, and the age of her body is probably a year younger than him. Though she lived as a man most of her life, Shirou and Rin describe her as beautiful instantly upon seeing her. Despite her armor being unrefined and unaesthetic, Shirou describes Artoria as being beautiful enough to make the steel clanking of her armor seem like the chiming of a bell. Due to her inability to dematerialize, she needs to wear modern clothing in order to travel in public. Though she can wear her own dress when not in battle, she needs modern clothing to keep from standing out. With the ability to control the materialization of her armor, she can be ready for battle instantly and return to normal without damaging the clothing. During the Fourth Holy Grail War, Irisviel decides to match Artoria's clothing with her own appearance by dressing her as a man. During the Fifth Holy Grail War, Rin Tohsaka prepares clothes for Artoria, a blue, knee-length skirt (with tights) and white shirt (with a blue string tie), and brown boots originally a birthday present to Rin from Kirei Kotomine. Due to the different variations of Artoria and characters that look similar, she is often called Blue Saber, Saber Alter is called Black Saber, and Saber Lily is called White Saber. Similar characters include Red Saber, Saber of Red, Sakura Saber, Gray, and Saber Lion. Though there is no direct connection to Red Saber, Nero Germanicus, King Arthur's model was said to be the fusion of two individuals including the Roman general Artorius, so it can be said there is some sort of relation between them. Jeanne d'Arc is also often considered similar to Artoria, Gray is a distant descendent of King Arthur and Mordred is a clone who shares her appearance. Artoria is a strong-willed young woman who usually speaks truthfully but will lie if necessary. She is courageous, determined, and set on winning the Holy Grail. She constantly insists that she is a knight and king above all, and that her gender is of little importance to her and her role. She is resolute in following her own morals, regardless of the more viable, yet underhand, tactics being available. Artoria prefers direct, fair confrontations based upon codes of chivalry. Not even her hunger for the Holy Grail can make her abandon her code of honor. This leads to regular conflicts with Kiritsugu over strategy within the Fourth Holy Grail War. While obtaining the Grail is of the utmost importance, rejecting her chivalry is something she will never do, even if it should put her at a disadvantage. If such came to pass, she would require her Master to use a Command Spell as recompense for treading upon her heart. A Master tends to do well with Artoria when they respect her rules, such as Irisviel being closer to her than her true Master, Kiritsugu. She believes loyalty and respect should be shared between Master and Servant. Thus when a Servant kills their Master, Artoria is enraged to the point she may kill as punishment. If a Servant dies protecting their Master, she protects their sacrifice from ridicule, believing they died honorably. She also expects Heroic Spirit to be treated with respect, displaying utter rage and disgust when Zouken Matou turns Medea’s corpse into a puppet or when Shinji electrocutes Rider as punishment for losing in battle to Artoria herself. If a situation looks dire, Artoria will not hesitant to sacrifice herself to ensure her Master and companions can escape. A firm believer in justice, Artoria cannot stand when evil goes unpunished. She therefore strongly rejected Kiritsugu’s decision to let the other Masters kill Gilles de Rais, as she wanted to stop Gilles as soon as possible before more innocent victims were made. Seeing humans reduced to demons who commit countless atrocities when their lives are threatened was something she witnessed all the time in her life. But precisely because of that, humans need to prove they can still live on with dignity no matter the difficulties that surround them. A knight is the one who can testify to that. Illuminating the battlefield by inspiring awe with his justice, a knight lets those reduced to demons to regain their honor and pride, and become proper humans once more. It is therefore the duty of a knight to put aside their feelings to focus on the greater good. One of Artoria’s greatest struggles throughout the Fourth and Fifth Holy Grail Wars is her identity as both a “human” and a “king”. Because of her status as a knight and a Servant, she dislikes being treated as a woman, or even as a human. She tries to keep the notion that she is only a Servant, a tool for her Master, first and foremost in her mind. Normally quiet and reserved, she raises her voice in defense of this non-human identity. This focus is so extreme that she has no obvious reaction to Shirou accidentally seeing her naked, possibly ignoring or not understanding his flustered response. She slowly becomes aware of herself though as her bonds with Shirou and Rin develop, later displaying her true embarrassment when Shirou again accidentally sees her naked. Despite being granted knowledge of the modern world upon being summoned, Artoria is a ‘fish-out-of-water’ in many social situations due to her strong disconnect from her humanity in her past and lack of interaction with others her age and social status. She was unaware of the innuendo of the phrase ‘between my legs’ and didn’t understand why Irisviel was giggling afterwards. She also doesn’t even understand what a date is, as the Grail doesn’t give data on minor modern social structure and phrasing, until Rin explains it to her. Due to always conducting herself as an untouchable king, she is unfamiliar with affection or flirting from others. She is notably sexually inexperienced as a woman, but she is nevertheless knowledgeable about a man’s sexual experiences. Once Artoria becomes more self-aware of herself as a girl, she becomes very self-conscious of her body. She remarks it as “unsightly”, and tries to stay out the center of attention. She is also more aware of others’ physical appearance, envying the voluptuous Rider. Initially, she and Shirou view these experiences as being contradictory to her identity as king, causing strife between them, and internally for Artoria. Through careful self-exploration and support from others, Artoria realizes she can be happy as a woman while still being a king. She also accepts the failures of her past, deciding to stop punishing herself for it. This accumulates in Artoria accepting Shirou’s love, and her declaration to herself and Gilgamesh that she will always be “a king before a woman”. In Realta Nua, Artoria journeys to Avalon and lives as this person she wishes to be. In Fate/hollow ataraxia, Artoria acts to refine that womanhood and femininity among her peers, and Sakura and Taiga help her with this when they go shopping together. She can react violently when others point out her underdeveloped physique as a woman. Such was the case in Fate/hollow ataraxia when she relentlessly chased Lancer with the intent of beating him after he said she should develop more before wearing a two-piece swimsuit. Artoria is loyal, independent, and reserved. She appears cold, but is usually suppressing her emotions to focus on her goals. She is bewildered by Shirou’s “protective” tendencies, and believes his over-valuing of her humanity jeopardizes her chances of winning the Holy Grail War. However, Artoria is secretly deeply insecure, having no real sense of self-worth. As she was born and raised to be a king in service of her country, she has no sense of self-worth past that, and can only feel fulfilled by serving other people. Because of this, she will regularly berate herself as worthless if she ever fails in her duties. Shirou realizes from his dreams of her past that, even though she is a supremely skilled warrior, she would be happier if she didn’t have to fight at all. As king, Artoria put the needs of her people before her own and considers herself a martyr to her ideals. While primarily an idealist, she took a more pragmatic approach when ruling and protecting her people. She understood it was impossible to save everyone, so she would sacrifice a few to save the many. Throughout her rule, though, she was plagued by self-doubt about being a worthy king, and eventually came to hate herself for not giving her people utopia like she promised and the atrocious actions she took to ensure Britain’s protection and future. She feels deep guilt over the eventual destruction of her kingdom, holding herself solely responsible and calling herself an inadequate ruler. When shown her death before pulling Caliburn, Artoria accepted she would die alone, ostracized by everyone for taking many lives. Even though she accepted that, she was horrified to know her kingdom would be destroyed alongside her in the bloody Battle of Camlann Hill. She understood, as Merlin told her, that Britain would fall, but she wanted to believe its end could be more peaceful, like a slumber. As a result of these factors, her wish for much of the Fourth and Fifth Holy Grail Wars is to undo her rule so that someone more suitable can take her place in order to give Britain a peaceful end. Iskandar and Shirou both chastise her for this, saying that to undo her rule would be an insult to all those who died in her name, or that she is selfish for wanting to redo the past merely because she didn’t like the result. Also, because of her past, Artoria blames herself whenever her past enemies reappear. For the most part, Artoria is a serious person who fully devotes herself to whatever task she’s given. This can especially true when it comes to competition, since she’s a sore loser, though truthfully her soreness is directed at her own weakness. Obstinate at her worst she can spend hours on a single task until she’s satisfied, such as forcing Shirou and Rin to let her keep playing baseball because she was losing way past scheduled. Her poor sportsmanship is nothing compared to her fanatic devotion to her kingly duty though. Others find her devotion disturbing, seeing that she is denying herself of everything for the sake of her duty. She so stubbornly adheres to her duty that she ignores, rejects, and/or actively fights against other’s opinions to validate herself. This is most obvious in her fights with Shirou about her past. This tendency to fight others that she disagrees with is compounded by how she is unable to ignore what others say or do. She cares greatly about others’ opinions, and their disagreement hurts her greatly; her brother, Kay, compares her heart to a reed in that respect. If someone makes a transgression against her, Artoria is extremely ready to fight, even physically, anyone for that perceived insult. This most often includes Shirou in both serious and comical situations. Shirou implying that Artoria is a human, and not a Servant, is immediately cornered verbally by Artoria. At another time, Shirou is knocked unconscious for teasing her for playing with her lion plushy in Fate/hollow ataraxia. Underneath her serious exterior that she feels forced to hold, Artoria shows herself to be a kind-hearted and gentle person who wishes to protect those she cares about. She is perceptive when it comes to the others’ feelings and their troubles, almost dangerously so when combined with her low self-worth and habit to overthink. This is best demonstrated in a positive way when she purposely forfeited a competition of best little sister to Illya when she saw her frustration at losing by pretending to be overwhelmed by Illya’s “sister force“, even convincing Sakura (another competitor) to join her. Her ability to perceive others’ troubles also made her reckless in her pursuit to save others during her training with Caliburn, for which she was scolded many times by Kay. Artoria greatly enjoys seeing the happiness of others, even though she doesn’t wish any happiness for herself. This trait is a cause of great concern to those who care about her, thinking she should obtain her own happiness. Artoria herself believes she doesn’t deserve happiness due to her self-perceived failure as king. She rarely smiles for herself but smiles for others upon seeing their happiness and safety. During her reign, she never laughed once, with the last time being during her training with Caliburn. She is still very capable of laughing, such as when she giggled at Shirou’s joke about Rin wanting to use the Grail to rule the world. Her kind heart can also extend to her enemies, such not seeing the Saxons as evil despite being her enemies. Rather, she understood they sought Britain for a land to call home, believing their aspiration to be inherently good. During her younger days, Artoria loved to take care of horses, which surprised Kay when she used them in battle, despite her love for them. But, to her, a horse dying in battle is a different sin than a soldier dying, as a soldier knows why they’re on the battlefield, while a horse does not. This kind-hearted facet of Artoria is seen as her true self for it is a person free from unhealthy, inhuman expectations - Shirou sees it as an Artoria who no longer needs to fight. When Artoria does not feel as though she needs to be inhumanly strong, she is less argumentative and confrontational, for these are traits she developed to make up for her inability to meet her impossible goals. Though she once felt more linked to dragons due to her unique birth, she came to enjoy lions after taking care of a lion cub for a month at some point in her life. She claims that it is not that she "likes" them, but rather the happiness she experienced as he became attached to her brought forth a bond with them. The lion cub in her past was very energetic, often biting or scratching, but she wished to be able to stay with him until the end. She has had feelings for lions since then and remembers these fond memories while holding stuffed lions. Shirou, seeing the memory of her rubbing her cheek against the lion, comments on it being a special time where she truly looks like a girl her age. She is shown to have a voracious appetite, finishing large servings of rice within one minute. Although she can normally eat anything, Shirou's food education is what awoke her gourmet spirit. She originally did not appreciate modern food, as she doesn't actually need to eat as a Servant, and because she had believed that all food was simple. She had very bad experiences with the food in her time, due to being limited to meals like large quantities of potatoes, vinegar, bread, and ale, or even at times simply eating vegetables alone in times of need. She did not concern herself with food much in her life and allowed her cooks to do as they wished. She felt those dishes were unrefined, although she was not displeased by them. She shudders at the thought of eating the food of her era once introduced to Shirou's cooking. She thought it had been made to suit the tastes of the knights, because they acknowledged it as tasting good, but they simply were unable to say it was bad to the King's face. Gawain was an exception, and enjoyed the meals, not noticing the others' distaste for it.