|“||Wrath and the like do no exist inside me. There is no wrath, or lust, or sloth, or greed, or gluttony, or envy, such emotions have fled from my father. My name is Pride.||„|
"In this world, humans are of little consequence."-Pride
Pride is one of the secondary antagonists in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and second anime series. He is the first homunculus created by Father (the primary antagonist of the series). He lives with the homunculus Wrath, the ruler of the country of Amestris known by the population as King Bradley, posing as his adopted son Selim to create a facade of benevolence.
Pride is by far the most powerful of the Seven Homunculi and Father's second-in-command. He pretends to be a sweet, nice child, but he is in actuality a ruthless, intelligent and resourceful killer, blindly devoted to Father's cause. Fighting seems to be something natural for him, as he often casually talks with his enemies and smiles at them before attacking, even sometimes feigning respect and calling them "mister" plus a mocking nickname.
Being the incarnation of arrogance, Pride cares only about himself, displaying utter indifference to his many victims and getting rid of his allies as soon as it is convenient. Pride's self-centeredness, cruelty and extreme scorn toward humans mirror that of Father, who shared a great deal of personality with his first born creation. He states that children must listen to everything their parents tells them and dismisses parental love, or thinking for oneself as "flawed human logic". Yet, without really having conscience of it, he is touched by genuine attentions.
The only people for whom Pride seems to truly care are Wrath, with whom he has open-hearted discussions outside their pretence of a family, and his human stepmother, whom he came to see as a real mother after she put her life in danger for him. He gets along with the other homunculi but he lacks the slightest qualm about sacrificing them, cynically referring to Gluttony as a "part of the system", and he blindly obeys Father’s every command.
AppearancePride appears as an innocent young boy with short dark hair and dark eyes, to disguise his true, evil nature. Contrary to the homunculi created after him, Pride lacks the red lines covering their bodies and the Ouroboros mark, and he wears casual clothing instead of the other homunculi's black garments. (This most likely due to the fact that Pride is the first born homunculus)
It is revealed that his child-like body is in fact a mere shell which contains his real shadowy body, which Father created at the image of his own primal form. His shadow resembles a huge, black, shapeless figure with elongated tentacles, tendrils with clawed "hands," grinning mouths and piercing red eyes.
Powers and Abilities
Like the other homunculi, Pride's source of power is the Philosopher's Stone from which he was created, which serves as his core. The thousands of human souls sacrificed to create the Stone, and imprisoned inside it, are linked to his own. This Stone grants him enhanced strength, speed, reflexes and stamina, as well as near-limitless regenerative abilities. Pride also seems impervious to normal weapons, given that the lion chimera Heinkel's claws didn't even scratched him; and that he states than a gun would be useless against him. Being the most powerful homunculus, he has the most dangerous power among them. This power lies in his huge, demonic-looking shadow, which is in fact his real body, is harder than every mineral and impervious to any conventional harm.Pride controls his shadow like his limbs and he can expand or reshape it to form tentacles, tendrils or jaws. The shadow includes many eyes and mouths that Pride uses to see and talk wherever the shadow can expand. A useful ability when it comes to covert observation and to give orders where he isn't actually present; which gives an impression of omnipresence. Pride can slice, cut, and destroy anything that comes in contact with his shadow.
His shadow can also manipulate everything it touches or grabs, as with actual arms, but with incredible strength, much greater than that of Pride's child-like body, and can fill anything empty or entirely cover anyone, in order to manipulate what it holds like a puppet. Despite being large enough to cover the entire nationwide transmutation circle or the whole Central City, Pride's shadow cannot expand infinitely. It also cannot appear without a light source and can be harmed when light becomes too bright.
Pride can also devour people with his shadowy mouths and assimilate his victims' powers and characteristics. When he devoured his fellow homunculus Gluttony, he gained his extraordinary sense of smell, his ability to devour anything, his Philosopher's Stone, his ravenous appetite and perhaps even his fake Gate of Truth. (An eye which fires a huge energy blast, which absorbs anything it touches into a dimensional void.)
When he devoured Solf J. Kimblee, the psychotic Crimson Alchemist, he became able to perform Alchemy and to activate transmutation circles; an ability that expanded when he assimilated the Alchemist Doctor that worked for the homunculi, who was far more knowledgeable about Alchemy and transmutations. However he has never used Kimblee's signature explosive attacks and the actual extent of his newfound abilities is not known.
In more ways than one, Pride's shadow can be regarded as an amalgamation of all his siblings' powers. Indeed, it has Lust's ability to cut through anything, Greed's imperviousness to conventional harm, Envy's ability to assume many form or manipulate others, Sloth's extreme strength, Gluttony's ability to devour and assimilate anything and a highly enhanced eyesight similar to Wrath's.
In the manga and the 2009 anime series
Background and occupationPride was created by Father very quickly after the destruction of the country of Xerxes, around 350 to 400 years ago. Since the foundation of the country of Amestris, he always pretends to be a human boy, who is part of the close family of the country's several puppet leaders (whom Father chooses and gives order to). He seldom appears in public though, in order not to raise any suspicion.
Pride serves as Father's spokesperson and second-in-command, transmitting orders and supervising the homunculi's actions. He also has to watch over the nationwide transmutation circle, forcing the homunculus Sloth who is digging it to keep working and slaughtering any intruder who discovers it.
Role in the story
At first Pride is only mentioned. He is heard scolding Envy and Gluttony for failing their mission and indirectly allowing Lust's death, and orders them to retreat without appearing in person. Later, after Gluttony is captured by the protagonists, he talks to Wrath through a door, but only a black figure is seen. He is shocked to learn another failure and that Wrath enjoys these troubles in their perfect plans, but he promises to keep Wrath's confession for himself.
"Selim Bradley" makes several appearances and even meets the Elric brothers, posing as a nice and friendly child. His shadow first appears after the Elric brothers have discovered the nationwide circle, where he slaughters the soldiers who came to explore it. Shortly after, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye meets "Selim" and senses his evil aura, prompting him to reveal his true identity and to threaten her not to tell anyone, or else he would have all her colleagues killed.
Then he orders Solf J. Kimblee, a deranged alchemist who works for the homunculi to "carve a blood crest" on Briggs, the mountain in the north border of Amestris; as the homunculi need high-scale slaughters in various points of the border, (which follows the nationwide transmutation circle) in order to enact Father's goal. He later engages a short fight against Hohenheim, an extremely powerful human Philosopher's Stone and the father of the Elric brothers, in the nationwide transmutation circle.
Pride later personally enters the fray, helped by Gluttony. He kidnaps Alphonse Elric and possesses his armor with his shadow, and later engages a fight against Edward Elric and his allies (Including Greed, whom Pride resolves to kill). Edward causes a blackout to prevent Pride from using his shadow, but Pride restores the light by causing a forest fire. Edward then uses flash bangs to destroy Pride's shadows and free his brother, but the elder homunculus devours Gluttony to gain his powers and his remaining lives. Pride soon overwhelms all his foes, but Hohenheim ultimately traps him alongside Alphonse Elric in a gigantic dome of earth, where the total absence of light renders him powerless.
Alphonse and Pride then start a conversation in which he confesses a surprising fondness for his human stepmother. (Despite this, he holds his stepmother in much lower regards than Father's cause.) By banging continuously on Alphonse's helmet with a stick, Pride sends a Morse code to Father, who orders Kimblee to free him. Alphonse then fights against both Pride and Kimblee using a Philosopher's Stone. As Pride has just captured Alphonse, his allies defeat Kimblee (whom Prides later devours) and they all manage to flee.
In the latest chapters, Pride returns to the homunculi's subterranean base of operations, joining Wrath in his fight against Colonel Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, who was blackmailed by the Alchemist Doctor to perform a human transmutation that would send him through the Gate of Truth. (The source of all alchemic power and knowledge of the world) Upon Mustang's refusal, Pride uses his shadow to stab the Doctor and assimilate his knowledge, before activating a transmutation circle that sends both him and Roy Mustang through the Gate of Truth. He later reappears with Mustang inside Father's throne room.
However, Pride has been affected by the Truth as well. It absorbed a great amount of his power and put a considerable strain on his child-like container, which is slowly disintegrating, beginning with the right side of his face. The Elric brothers notice it when they engage a short fight against him, before getting captured by Father.Father captures the Elric brothers, their father, their master Izumi Curtis and Roy Mustang; (all of them having been through the Gate of Truth) and he uses their power to activate the nationwide transmutation circle. By doing so, Father absorbs the souls of every citizen of Amestris, which he uses as a power supply to devour the Truth itself and become the new God of the Fullmetal Alchemist world.
Hopefully, Hohenheim manages to free all the Amestrian souls with an alchemic transmutation of his own, rendering Father unable to fully control the Truth inside him. Following Hohenheim's words, Father dedicates all his strength to keep the Truth's power within him, but this strength will soon be depleted, like a balloon on the verge of bursting.
Having figured this out as well, Father goes to the surface to absorb humans and replenish his strength, immediately followed by everyone. Everyone save for Edward Elric, whom Pride captured with his shadowy tentacles. Edward mocks the homunculi for being "brainless zombies unable to think for themselves", and remarks Father's complete lack of regard for Pride's state of near-death, and Pride angrily tosses him on the ground saying that this is but "flawed human logic" (Despite clearly realizing the truth in these words).
Pride then states that his child-like container will soon vanish entirely, and he attempts to take over Edward's body as his new vessel. But Pride is distracted by Kimblee's soul, whose psychotic liking for torment enabled him to retain his self-awareness among the many tortured souls inside Pride's Philosopher's Stone.Kimblee mocks Pride for his desperate attempt to seize the body of a human he so strongly despises, allowing Edward to reverse the process and invade Pride's own soul, destroying Pride's child-like container and shadowy body for good. As the helpless homunculus begs Edward to stop, thinking of his stepfather and stepmother, he is reduced to his basic form: a tiny fetus-like infant with a circular mark on his forehead. Edward lays the defeated Pride, who is calling for his "mama," to rest on his jacket while he joins the final battle against Father.
After Father's defeat, Edward returns the embryo-like homunculus to Mrs. Bradley, who decides to raise him like a real child, despite having learnt about his real nature. He is next seen in the epilogue, two years after the final battle, no longer being named Pride but going by the name of Selim Bradley for real, and with no memory of his former life. Selim is playing in the garden of Mrs. Bradley's house and he rushes to his mama with a wounded bird in his hands, begging her to heal it. He then politely greets general Grumman, Amestris' new leader who came to visit, as he departs.
Selim Bradley has apparently gained a human body, or at least a body more akin to that of a human, able to grow up and to emotionally develop like a real child, but which keeps the eye-like mark on his forehead. The military still keeps a distant eye on him but there is apparently no need to worry.
Ironically it is Pride, the most cruel and ruthless of the Seven Homunculi who survives and gets the chance to live a normal human life, purified from the deadly sin that once constituted his very essence.
In the 2003 anime series
Pride's role in this anime series is almost exactly similar to that of his manga counterpart Wrath. He has the same powers (except that unlike his manga counterpart he does have regenerative powers), swordsmanship skills, Ultimate Eye and ruthless yet playful personality and he does mostly what Wrath does in the manga, serving as the right-hand-man of Dante, the storyline's primary antagonist, staging wars to serve her plans. Pride is eventually killed by Colonel Roy Mustang, the powerful Flame Alchemist, after a hard-fought battle in which Pride has the upper-hand until Selim brings a remnant of his human body that weaken him and enables Mustang to land the fatal blow, but not before he kills Selim in a fit of rage.
Ironically Pride kills the character who is supposed to be his manga counterpart.
- Pride's manga & 2009 incarnation resembles Damien Thorn from the Omen series, as both are portrayed as children of great evil & both their marks remained hidden. It can be also state that he is a homage to the latter.
- Pride in the manga & 2009 incarnation is the eldest homunculi created by Father, though he still remains the appearance of a young boy.