The Heartless feed on other's hearts, and they yearn for that energy core. That thing beyond the door must be a heart, too—the heart of this world. There is no proof, but, having felt that immense energy, I am certain. That was the heart of the world.
~ Terra-Xehanort.
Your body submits, your heart succumbs— so why does your mind resist?
~ Terra-Xehanort reaction against the Lingering Will.
Terra's heart has been extinguished... smothered by the darkness within him!"
~ Terra-Xehanort after releasing Aqua.

Xehanort is a major villain of the Kingdom Hearts video game series. He is the complete being of "Ansem" and Xemnas, whose actions cause the events of the first four games. He is the third incarnation of Xehanort, following Young Xehanort and Master Xehanort

He is voiced by legendary voice actor Richard Epcar.


Master Xehanort's plan

Master Xehanort

As part of his plan to see the second Keyblade War's aftermath due to his late age, Master Xehanort sought a means to cheat death by transferring his body into a young vessel, a prelude to his scheme to divide his being among thirteen beings to create his Thirteen Seekers of Darkness. Terra proved to be an ideal host, with Xehanort manipulating the events to have the young man open his heart to darkness for the transfer to be complete.

However, despite taking Terra's body as his own, Xehanort suffered resistance, both external and internal, a botched attempt to force his heart out caused the confused vessel to lose his memory while in Radiant Garden. He was found by Ansem the Wise soon after, Terra-Xehanort only remembering the name "Xehanort" for which he has been called ever since as he became Ansem's foremost apprentice.

Ansem's Apprentice

Although he was confused about his past, with his previous incarnation's accomplice Braig his sole confidant, Xehanort learned greatly and became quite cunning. Xehanort was described by Ansem as having abilities so remarkable that they could be considered supernatural. Eventually, Ansem began to worry about the darkness that lingers within the hearts of others and sought a way to stop it before it consumed his people. Ansem constructed a laboratory under his castle where he, Xehanort, Braig, and Ansem's other assistants (Dilan, Even, Aeleus, and Ienzo) would conduct experiments on darkness. Xehanort, who Ansem now fully trusts as an apprentice and friend, offered to use himself in the experiments. Ansem also hoped to unlock Xehanort's memories in addition to uncovering a way to repress the darkness within hearts. Xehanort had other plans in mind though and decided to conduct his own experiments to go deeper into the research.

The Heartless

Xehanort and the other five apprentices began to carry out their own experiments. They abducted countless people and locked them in the depths of the laboratory where Xehanort then conducted horrible experiments on the subjects. After using many test subjects, one set of experiments led to the collapse of their hearts. The subjects then went into unrecoverable conditions and were locked up in the dungeon of the castle. Eventually, Xehanort checked on the subjects and saw that they transformed into creatures of darkness, which he named "The Heartless" as they lacked hearts. At this point, Xehanort had taken Ansem the Wise's name as his own and wrote his own report under this stolen name.

Xehanort then presented the Heartless with living and non-living samples; the Heartless only responded to the living. Xehanort witnessed the Heartless consume the living creatures and then multiply into more Heartless. Xehanort deduced that the Heartless seek the hearts of other things, which explains why they only react to living samples, in order to create more of their kind. Xehanort and his associates soon began to slowly accept the darkness, allowing them to have limited control over the Heartless. They, in turn, began to look less and less humane, a factor that Ansem himself realized. When Ansem learned that his apprentices continued with the research, he called them together and ordered for them to cease their efforts immediately, all the while questioning what was happening to his loyal apprentices. Xehanort, however, saw his master as a fool who had no understanding of research and kept the research operating.

After observing the behavior of the Heartless and their responses to living things, Xehanort took one of the Heartless aside and observed its behavior. The Heartless began to move throughout the castle until a door appeared which Xehanort was somehow able to open. Behind the door was a humongous mass of energy to which the Heartless reacted immensely. The opening of this door led to the collapse of the world's boundaries, which was seen in the form of a meteor shower. Xehanort eventually deduced that the door actually led to the heart of that world and that the opening of this door led to the collapse of the walls between worlds. This allowed inter-dimensional travel as all the walls between worlds were now broken and eventually a visitor showed up named King Mickey. He had constructed a Gummi Ship, a spacecraft capable of breaking through world boundaries, out of materials from the meteors and used it to visit many different places in search of answers to recent events. Xehanort and Mickey met and had huge discussions in which Xehanort learned of the Keyblade, a mysterious weapon that Mickey himself possessed.

There were also legends that told of seven princesses with pure hearts and how they have a connection to this Keyblade. The Keyblade can also be wielded by many, as long as their hearts qualify, and it seems there is a legend of one Keyblade bearer who went on a journey of destiny to seal off the doors to other worlds. Since this was not in Xehanort's interest, he sought a way to find this weapon. Mickey eventually met and befriended Ansem the Wise and the two of them exchanged theories and ideas in his office about what the Heartless were after. Ansem decided to resist the urge to test their theories while expressing deep remorse for his actions. However, Ansem had no idea that Xehanort had gone further than he himself even dared. Xehanort entered the office during their discussion, asking Ansem's permission to test an experiment. Ansem forbade Xehanort to conduct it and told him to forget everything he learned from the research.

Even though Ansem had no further urge to research the darkness, the experiments led by Xehanort continued including the creation of a machine that created artificial Heartless, all of which were marked with an emblem created by Xehanort in order to differentiate them from the pure-bred Heartless. King Mickey suspected something odd about Xehanort and told Ansem to check his lab, collect all his data, and see if everything was under control. Ansem did so and learned that Xehanort had taken his name as his own and wrote a detailed report. From the report, Ansem learned of the horrible torture inflicted on people by the inhumane experiments that Xehanort had done. Ansem ordered his apprentices to seal off the laboratory and cease their scheme for knowledge.

The Path to Destruction and Knowledge

Ansem's apprentices did as he instructed them but Xehanort eventually banished Ansem to the Realm of Nothingness and ravaged the world with Heartless. The Heartless under the command of Xehanort began spreading to other worlds and destroyed numerous ones in their mad search for hearts. One side effect of the destruction of so many worlds was the creation of Traverse Town, made up of the remains of the ruined worlds and populated by the few survivors of those said worlds. Xehanort then ordered for the seal on the laboratory to be broken and that a room that he called the "Room of Sleep" be constructed. Once done, Xehanort often went in and spoke as if there was someone else in the room. It is later revealed that the room housed the armor of a fallen Keyblade wielder although it is not known what the purpose of this was. Xehanort then abducted and sent Kairi, a resident of Radiant Garden, to the oceans of other worlds. The reason for this was because Xehanort thought Kairi had a connection to the Keyblade bearer, as she seemed to possess power comparable to that of a Princess of Heart, which is rumored to possess a connection to the Keyblade. He hoped to use her to find the Keyblade master and prevent him from sealing off the doors to other worlds.

Xehanort made the final pages of his report, which outlined his intentions as well as those of the Heartless. The Heartless seek to consume the hearts of all living things. However, they not only seek human hearts but the hearts of the worlds themselves. Their ultimate goal is to collect enough hearts to form the biggest heart of all, the heart in which all that exists are evolved from: Kingdom Hearts. Xehanort decided to use the Heartless' instincts to make his own plans. He would find Kingdom Hearts in order to gain ultimate power, control, and knowledge. Xehanort also learned that the creation of a Heartless can also lead to the creation of another creature called a Nobody, beings that are left over bodies of those whose hearts have been stolen away. They transform into an inhuman state and do not truly exist as they lack a heart to make them truly live.

Xehanort eventually opened himself the darkness to regain the ability to wield the powers of darkness and his previous incarnation's Keyblade, using it on Braig and the apprentices. He then followed their example and divided his being into a Heartless and a Nobody. Due to the willing separation, both halves remained human as they go their separate ways to enact one of their previous incarnation's plans.

A Heartless and Nobody

Xehanort's Nobody took the concept of his original name being an anagram with an X in it and applied it to the name he stole, Ansem. Thus he was called Xemnas who created The Organization, later called Organization XIII, with the other apprentices at its core. Like Xemnas, all the other members rearranged their names and put an X in them in order create a new identity for themselves. They sought to become complete beings again and be whole. Meanwhile, Xehanort's Heartless , still calling himself "Ansem", remained a spirit seeking to plunge all that is in darkness. Both portions of Xehanort sought Kingdom Hearts in order to wield the power it possesses and unleash it into the universe.

Xehanort's Heartless' plans were to control other beings and use them to collect the Princesses of Heart and use them to open up the portal to Kingdom Hearts. To this end, he commanded the Heartless to manipulate the darkness within the of Disney villains Disney villains to serve their needs. Maleficent, being manipulated by the Heartless, led this group of villains to control the darkness by using the Heartless and collecting the princesses to open the path to Kingdom Hearts through an artificial keyhole. This group used Hollow Bastion as a base of operations and used Ansem's reports to help them control the Heartless and the darkness. None of them knew, however, that they were being used by a far greater evil that was residing in the shadows, waiting for the opportune moment to claim Kingdom Hearts for himself.

At the same time, Xehanort's Heartless would use the Heartless to destroy entire worlds and collect the world hearts to form the dimension of Kingdom Hearts itself. He also searched for a host to take control of so that he may regain a physical presence. His choice for a host would later turn out to be Riku.

Exploiting Riku's jealous friendship with Sora, Xehanort's Heartless nearly shattered their friendship and took possession of Riku's body, sending his heart to the dark realm. Unfortunately for him, the goal he sought for throughout his whole life, Kingdom Hearts, ended up destroying him with its light, giving Riku back his body. Kingdom Hearts was soon sealed away by Sora and King Mickey, which destroyed billions of Heartless and the End of the World as well as restoring all the worlds taken by Xehanort and the Heartless. (Xehanort's Heartless would still live on in Riku).

Meanwhile, Xemnas, the Nobody of Xehanort, sought to find Kingdom Hearts by collecting human hearts. His goal was to use Kingdom Hearts to make himself a kingdom, where he would be the ruler forever. Leading Organization XIII (Xigbar, Xaldin, Vexen, Lexaeus, Zexion, Saïx, Axel, Demyx, Luxord, Marluxia, Larxene, Roxas, and Xion), Xemnas controlled all Nobodies and constructed a fortress that would serve as a base of operations: The Castle that Never Was. Organization XIII recruited other powerful Nobodies in their plans to find Kingdom Hearts and use its power to become complete beings again. Xemnas eventually found a fortress known as Castle Oblivion and converted it into a base of experiments where the nature of memory would be experimented on. He was also searching frantically for a room called the "Room of Awakening" and believed it to be somewhere within this fortress.

In the meantime, Organization XIII brought chaos and destruction to many worlds in order to create more Heartless and Nobodies to control. Research was also put into the Keyblade and the Organization eventually learned that it held the literal key to forming and obtaining Kingdom Hearts. And Xemnas, unlike his Heartless counterpart, achieved his goal. But after all of the other Organization members were slain by Sora, Kingdom Hearts was scattered by Ansem the Wise himself in an explosion that killed the former ruler of Radiant Garden. Xemnas, with no other option, absorbed the remnants of Kingdom Hearts and became ultimately. However, in a climactic battle with Sora and Riku, Xemnas was destroyed by the light of the Keyblade and faded, taking Kingdom Hearts with him. This also ended the reign of Organization XIII and the Nobodies and, as Sora stated after the battle, restored the Realm of Light to peace and safety.

By the end of Kingdom Hearts II, it seemed like Xehanort has been ended, but as both his Heartless and his Nobody have been destroyed, his true self has been resurrected, far younger then he was in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.

Kingdom Hearts 3D Distance

After Master Xehanort's return, he revealed Terra's fate as his vessel and possibility of being among the hooded members of the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness although he may have been referring to Terra-Xehanort's Nobody, Xemnas.


           Kingdom Hearts Villains

Thirteen Hearts of Darkness
Ansem | Larxene | Luxord | Marluxia | Master Xehanort | Saïx | Terra-Xehanort | Xemnas | Xigbar | Vanitas | Young Xehanort

Organization XIII
Axel | Demyx | Lexaeus | Roxas | Vexen | Xaldin | Zexion

Disney Villains
Beast | Bo'sun | Captain Hook | Cecil Clayton | Cerberus | Chernabog | Cheshire Cat | Crew of the Black Pearl | CLU 2 | Diablo | Fates | Flotsam & Jetsam | Gantu | Glut | Hades | Hector Barbossa | Hayabusa | Hydra | Iago | Jafar | Judge Claude Frollo | Lady Tremaine | Lock, Shock & Barrel | Mr. Smee | Maleficent | Maleficent's Goons | MCP | Monstro | Neverland Pirates | Oogie Boogie | Pain & Panic | Pete | Queen of Hearts | Rinzler | Sabor | Sark | Scar | Shan Yu | Shenzi, Banzai & Ed | Titans (Lythos & Hydros) | Ursula

Braig | Repliku | Riku | Sephiroth | Sora's Heartless | Dream Eaters | Heartless | Nobodies | Unversed