|“||They don’t call me Greed for nothing! I want money! Women! Status! And power! I want everything this world’s selling and eternity is topping the list!||„|
|~ Greed (reciting his greedy motto to Alphonse Elric)|
Greed is one of the Seven Homunculi and a villain from the Fullmetal Alchemist series. He is notable among his fellow homunculi for his independence, which led him to betray Father and work on his own. He is first introduced as an anti-villain then becomes a full-fledged villain and ultimately an anti-hero, following his rebirth in the body of the Xinese prince Ling Yao.
AppearanceGreed looks like a tall, well-built and muscular man with dark hair, a pointed face and sharp pointed teeth. He wears the black clothing common among the homunculi, plus a black jacket with a white fur-collar and a pair of sunglasses, and most of fellow homunculi has red lines across his body; in his case the torso. Greed has the homunculi's distinctive Ouroboros mark on the back of his left hand. Used to the maximum, Greed's Ultimate Shield ability turns him entirely black and metal-like and the two red lines that run all over his body are expanded all over his face, crossing his eyes.
After being destroyed and re-assimilated by Father, Greed is reborn in the body of Ling Yao. Thus he now has the appearance of his host, though his eyes become red, an Ouroboros mark appears on his left hand and his facial features are altered, looking paler and more akin to that of his previous aspect. When Greed is in control of Ling's body his hair cover his right eye, while when Ling takes it back, his hair cover his left eye. Also contrary to his host, Greed is almost always depicted with his eyes open.
As his name implies, Greed is the embodiment of Father's extreme avarice and unquenchable thirst for all form of possession. He covets "everything that the world can offer", including money, women and political power. However, this also gives Greed a much firmer personality than his fellow homunculi that played into his desertion, since he felt he would never gain anything for himself by following Father's command. This makes Edward Elric describe him as "the only homunculus who has learnt to think for himself".
In spite of his demanding personality, he his very polite, laid-back, chivalrous (he refuses to fight against women). He never lies, he offers bargains to gain what he wants and he acts in a friendly (though sarcastic) way even towards foes. However, he is bent on gaining whatever he has set his sight on, not taking "no" for an answer and fighting ruthlessly to obtain and keep it. When confronting people he dislikes, he becomes clearly insulting and bent on killing them, stating that he is so greedy that he wants their lives.
Being greedy, he values his possessions more than he demonstrates it, and holds those who swear their allegiances to him in very high regards, being seen kind and complimenting towards his chimera underlings. He eventually becomes friend with Ling, though he frequently rants when Ling take the control of their body, which he considers as his own alone.
Role in the Story
The first Greed
Sometime after his creation, Greed ran off to follow his vices and achieve his own immortality. Greed is introduced in the manga and the 2009 Brotherhood series shortly after the primary protagonists Edward and Alphonse Elric come to the town of Dublith to visit their teacher Izumi Curtis; having learned of their arrival from his lizard Chimera underling Bido who had revealed Alphonse's condition.
Greed has his Chimeras Martel, Dolchet, and Roa lure Alphonse into a factory, where they capture him after Martel enters his armour. Greed introduces himself to the youth when he brought to the Devil's Nest bar he had settled in. As Alphonse recognizes his Ouroboros mark, Greed reveals that he was told by his informants that Alphonse's soul was bound to a suit of armour. Greed demands to learn the secret to Al's soul affixation, which he believes to be the key to eternal life, but learns that it was Edward who performed it. Izumi then comes to Alphonse's rescue but she cannot harm Greed, whose Ultimate Shield breaks her knuckles when she punches him.
Edward later confronts Greed, but refuses to listen to his conditions and attacks him. Greed however is unimpressed by Edward's insults and he turns into his Ultimate Shield form, easily overpowering him. Just as Edward figures how to transmute Greed's carbon to undo the Ultimate Shield and harm his enemy, several soldiers led by King Bradley, the Fuhrer of Ametris who is also the Homunculus Wrath, storm into Greed's hideout, forcing the homunculus to flee.
Bradley and his soldiers kill most of Greed's underlings killed as he and Martel escape with Alphonse through the sewer. Upon seeing Bradley murder Dolchet and Roa, Greed attacks the Fuhrer, who easily beats up to submission by striking his weak points and captures him. but is easily beaten to submission. In Father's lair, Greed is informed by his siblings that the preparations for the Day of Reckoning are nearly complete. When Father offers him another chance to serve him again, Greed refuses and is lowered into a boiling vat. Defiant to the very end, Greed gets destroyed while laughing maniacally the Philosopher's Stone that makes his essence is liquefied and drunk by Father.
The second Greed
When Edward, Alphonse and the Xingese prince Ling Yao enter Father's lair, they attempt to take Father down when he attempts to kill Ling for having no use for him, but only to get subdued by Envy and Gluttony. Seeing Ling's remarkable energy, Father reconsiders killing him and injects a refined version of Greed's Philosopher's Stone into his bloodstream.
Normally, Ling's and Greed's souls were to fight for dominance until only one would prevail, but Ling willingly relinquished his body to let Greed possess him, hoping to gain enough power to become the next emperor of Xing (much to Greed's astonishment). Thus there are now two personas in the same body. But although Greed has gained complete control, Ling's soul remains intact and ready to regain control of his body at the first occasion.
To the Elrics' horror, Greed is reborn with no memories of his life before and as a loyal follower of Father. He attacks Edward and defeats him, allowing Envy to take the Elric Brothers to Wrath. Greed is later appointed as Father's bodyguard, acting as a sentinel and killing any intruder who ventures in the villain's subterranean lair.
However, Bido eventually manages to sneak into Father's lair and gets spotted by Greed, who tracks him down to kill him. Bido recognises Greed's laughter and mannerisms and manages to catch his attention by reciting his greedy motto by heart. He feigns to remember Bido to catch him offguard and remorselessly kills him. However, spilling his former friend's blood causes Greed's mind to be flooded by blurry memories of his previous life. He tries to deny them saying that he is not this Greed but Ling berates him, saying that if that was the case he would remember nothing, and suffers a breakdown.
Second DefectionIn a semi-conscious state, Greed storms into the presidential palace, attacking Wrath in a rage and demanding to know why he remembers him slaughtering his team. The two homunculi do battle and Greed eventually flees when he notices Pride is about to team up with Wrath.
Ling then assumes control and flees to a deserted hideout in which he stumbles upon Edward Elric and his two chimera associates Darius and Heinkel. After Ling tells Edward of what he knows, Greed reasserted himself in control and takes his leave, before Edward convinces him to take him, Darius, and Heinkel as his "underlings".
Accepting the proposal, Greed aids the protagonists to make a nation-wide transmutation circle able to counter the one that Father is preparing. From then on, Ling is able to temporarily take control of his body more easily; (though he has to ask for permission at first).
Greed, Edward, Darius and Heinkel later come across Alphonse whose armour is manipulated by Pride. Greed recognises his elder sibling who attacks them alongside Gluttony. Lan Fan and Fu, Ling Yao's bodyguards, then come to their rescue and kill Gluttony several times, while Edward causes a blackout to make Pride's shadow disappear. Pride eventually devours Gluttony to gain his powers and soon overwhelms them all, until Alphonse restrains him, enabling Hohenheim to trap them both in a gigantic dome of earth. Following this, Greed escapes and heads towards Central City, revealing to Ling that he has ulterior motives in stopping Father and wants to be the one in the center of the Nation-wide Transmutation Circle.
The Final Battle
On his way to Father's lair, Greed finds himself facing Wrath again, who was thought dead but has returned. With Ling (who has fought against Wrath once) providing battle tactics, Greed attempts to overwhelm the other human-based Homunculus. Yet, Wrath eventually reveals his Ultimate Eye and gains the upper-hand. The Briggs soldier Buccaneer then aids Greed by letting himself be stabbed with Wrath's sabre and taking it from him, forcing him to fight with a pair of daggers to which he is less familiar with. Greed is then helped by Ling’s bodyguard Fu, who sensed his evil aura.
Wrath kills Fu but gets wounded in the process by Buccaneer, who sacrifices his life to stab Wrath with his own sabre through Fu's body to get undetected. An angry Ling then takes over and strikes him, destroying the Ultimate Eye and pushing his foe into a moat. Honoring the promise Ling made to Buccaneer, Greed turns to his Ultimate Shield form and dispatches the soldiers under the corrupt official who rule the country under Father; who were threatening the troops of Briggs.
Greed reappears in Father's throne room as the latter is about to activate the nation-wide transmutation circle by using the Elrics, Hohenheim, Izumi Curtis and Roy Mustang (five alchemist who have seen the Truth, the source of all alchemic power and knowledge of the universe, which Father plans to absorb to become the new God of the World). Greed attacks Father to kill him and claim the godhood that Father covets for himself, but Father easily subdues him and successfully becomes "God".
Fortunately, Hohenheim manages to activate a counter-ritual he devised, and Father finds himself unable to contain the Truth within himself, prompting him to flee towards the surface with everyone tailing him. As Greed does not master alchemy, he reaches the surface on his own, finding the majority of their allies near Bradley's corpse. He curses the man for having died with a smile and informs them all about the current crisis unfolding, before reaching the surface.
As everyone is fighting against Father, Greed marvels on the villain's incredible power, but he finally admits to Ling that his only actual desire is a friend. Greed attacks Father who lets himself be struck to absorb his offspring back once again, but it appears that Greed was counting on it to allow Edward to strike.
With his supply of souls nearly spent from the damage Edward is giving him, Father attempts to grab Ling to reabsorb Greed. However, despite Ling's attempt to keep him, Greed knocks his host away to be sucked into Father's body. From there, Greed turns Father's body into the frailest form of charcoal so Ed can deliver the death blow.
Enraged of his child's continued defiant act, Father rips Greed's soulless essence out and flings it into the air. (In the manga, Father kills Greed by snapping his teeth shut on him.) In his final moment, seeing Edward and Ling while reflecting on the good they did for him, Greed thanks the two before ceasing to be.
In the 2003 anime
In the 2003 anime series, Greed is the second oldest homunculus, who was created when Dante, the main villain of the series' radically different storyline, tried to revive one of her former lovers. Once again, Greed betrayed his master to live for himself and quench his greed, and established his headquarters in the Devil's Nest bar, surrounding himself with many chimeras.
He first tries to get (the 2003 anime counterpart of) Wrath to join his side but not to avail. He later captures Alphonse Elric to learn how he bound his soul to his armour, as he does in the manga. Once again, his lair his invaded and his chimeras are killed, but this time by Lust and Gluttony. Greed is then manipulated by Dante, so that he would be perceived as her murderer, before getting weakened enough for Edward to kill him. With his dying breath, Greed reveals how to kill a homunculus.
Powers and Abilities
Being one of the Seven Homunculi, Greed has above-average strength, speed and durability, and he is able to regenerate his body even when mortally wounded or partially destroyed. As such, the only way to fully destroy him is to kill him more times than the Philosopher's Stone which serves as his core can regenerate him.
His most prominent power, the "Ultimate Shield" enables him to rearrange the carbon cells in his body to make his limbs or his entire self as hard as diamond. He usually uses this power on his forearms (which then become clawed) to use them for offence and defence, becoming able to impale people with his bare hand and to block sword strikes. When he turns his entire body into this diamond-like matter, he becomes virtually immune to any attack and not even an explosion can hinder him. Greed is also able to rearrange the carbon in his cells the other way around; to make his body as friable and weak as charcoal, but he obviously does not use it often.
- In the 2009 series, Greed has fought Wrath three times. He lost the first two. The final was interrupted when Ling took over after Wrath killed Fu.