Lancer of Red

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Nasuverse character
Lancer of "Red"

Lancer of red




Japanese name: "赤"のランサー
Franchise: Fate
Appears in: Capsule Servant
Fate/Grand Order
Japanese VA: Koji Yusa
Character type: Servant (Master: Shirou Kotomine)

Servant (Master: Protagonist)

Servant (Master: None (Original design))

Servant classes: FGO Lancer FGO Archer FGO Rider
Gender: Male[1][2][3]
Birthday: Unknown[4]
Height: 178cm[1][2][3][4]
Weight: 65kg[1][2][3][4]
Blood type: Unknown[4]
Place of Origin: India[2][3]
Armament: Spear[3]
Likes: Friendship, Effort, Reconciliation[4]
Dislikes: The word "communication skill"[4]
Talents: Positive thinking[4]
Natural enemy: His third half-brother[4]
Image Color: Sharp gold shining in the dark[4]

Lancer of "Red" ("赤"のランサー, "Aka" no Ransā?) is the Lancer-class Servant of Shirou Kotomine of the Red Faction in the Great Holy Grail War of Fate/Apocrypha. Originally summoned by Feend vor Sembren of the Red Faction, he later becomes one of the Servants of Shirou. He is able to be summoned by the Protagonist in the Grand Orders of Fate/Grand Order.



Lancer's True Name is Karna (カルナ, Karuna?), the Son of the Sun God (太陽神の子, Taiyōshin no Ko?), the invulnerable hero of the Indian epic Mahabharata, as a hero on the vanquished side. The central conflict of The Mahabharata is the war over influence between the Pandava royal family and Kaurava royal family. Karna became famous as the rival of Arjuna, the great hero of Hindu mythology.[3][2][5]


Karna was born from the daughter of a human king, Kunti, and the sun god, Surya.[3][5] Kunti was the wife of the Kuru king Pandu, but he was under a curse that prevented him from producing children, so his queens each had no choice but other methods to bear children. Kunti was a woman who had a Mantra that allowed her to copulate with and bear the child of any god and, by those means, gave Pandu children, but before she became the king's wife, she tested the mantra and bore a single child. That child was Karna, the golden hero who was born from relations with the sun god Surya. Kunti was a determined woman and, afraid of her first birth and anxiety over whether the god would acknowledge his own child.[5]

“I want proof that this child is your son.”

—Kunti prayed to Surya.

Surya heard Kunti's words and gave until the child, as he was born, his own power and attributes. As proof of being the son of Surya, he was given a golden armor and this is the source of the golden armor that made Karna invulnerable. Karna was born to become a great hero. Though she was shown such grace and faithfulness, Kunti abandoned her first son. For her, who was to become the queen of Kuru king Pandu, the existence of her son nothing but unnecessary. This is how Karna, who was thrown away by his owner mother, came to be ignorant of his own birth, but he lived with only the things he had been given by his father, the sun god Surya, held in his chest. Karna grew up with a low social status.[3][5]

The form of Karna, who didn't know his own mother's face and who questioned whether his mother was motivated by dishonesty, couldn't be called beautiful. Though he possessed his father's brilliant authority, his form was stained black. His countenance was cruel, and his every action was violent. Because of his lack of human mother, he didn't learn the subtleties of human emotion and spent his days being considered a nuisance by the people around him. That was how Karna was raised, but he didn't hate his mother or his surroundings. Instead, he accepted everything. His mother and father were the ones who gave him life so he thought that no matter what kind of person his mother was, he did not hold contempt for her, as if there is anything he had to hate was himself alone. In contrast to his appearance, Karna was an exceedingly virtuous and perceptive child. Possibly the cause of that was because, while he was the child of a god, he was also a child without a single relative. Karna was blessed with the opportunity to question the poor, their lives, and their value. As a result, he chose, of his own free will, the path where he persisted in his own fastidiousness. He believed that as he was born with more than people should display a 'proof of my life' greater than those of people, if he doesn't do so, the people without power will not be rewarded. What Karna had was simply the conviction to live without bringing dishonor to his father's authority and without shaming the people who compensated him. "Though he may be relentless and ruthless, he is also full of majesty," is Karna's stance given form.[5]


And Karna, who had grown to be a young man, participated in a conference of the Kuru family. At this conference, the five Pandava brothers indulged themselves in the martial arts they were so proud of and so famous for. The third son Arjuna's skill at the bow was especially magnificent, to the point that he was praised as having no equal. When the grounds were united as one voice looking for someone to equal the Pandavas, Karna leapt up to participate and displayed martial arts of the same rank as Arjuna's. Karna challenged Arjuna to determine which of them was superior. But to challenge Arjuna, a member of the royal family, one must be higher than a Kshatriya (military or royalty) and Karna seemed to be a Vaishya (merchant class) or a Shudra (a slave). Karna, whose challenge was refused due to the difference in status, was a laughingstock.[5] The one who saved Karna in this situation was the eldest of the one hundred princes of the Kaurava clan, who opposed the Pandavas, Duryodhana.[3][5] He became interested in Karna and made him a king at that place.[5]

This is how Karna was saved from disgrace, but his foster father, who had heard of his promotion, appeared and established his origins. The five Pandava brothers further ridiculed Karna, who displayed martial arts superior to their own, saying, "The son of a charioteer should have a sense of shame." These words enraged Karna. If it were about himself, he would accept and be resigned to anything, but he would not allow insults toward his foster father. Even if it was a foster father who announced himself out of greed, to Karna, he was the father who raised him, who Karna should take pride in. The antagonism between Karna and the five Pandava brothers had become something he could not step back from, but sunset had come and the curtain was drawn on the conference.[5] From then again, Karna, as the friend of Duryodhana, who saved him and treated him as a king, lived as a guest of honor of the one hundred princes of the Kaurava clan.[3][5]

Kurukshetra WarEdit

What awaited him beyond that was a cruel battle against the five Pandava brothers, and more specifically, against the great hero Arjuna. The antagonism between the Kauravas whom Karna entrusted his bow as a soldier and the Pandavas that Arjuna led intensified and finally became a war with their territory in the balance. That war is called the Kurukshetra War, and that is where Karna's life came to an end. Karna continued to wield his strength so that the one hundred Kaurava princes, and consequently Duryodhana, would be victorious. On the Pandava side, the only one who could oppose Karna was Arjuna, but even Arjuna could only be resigned to the fact that facing Karna directly was death.[5]

Through several conflicts, pretexts, and mutual hatred, the war between this two camps arrived at Kurukshetra. Things having reached this point, Karna's mother, Kunti, wagered one last gamble: to reveal his lineage to Karna and draw him to the Pandava camp. Kunti told only Krishna, who was a friend of Arjuna in the guise of a normal person, of this situation, and the two of them went alone to meet Karna. Kunti revealed that she was Karna's mother, spoke how fighting with the five Pandava brothers would yield no benefits whilst weeping, and persuaded him that by fighting together with Arjuna, he would attain glory. Karna, without failing to show the friend of his arch-enemy Arjuna, Krishna, thanks, quietly listened to his mother's arguments.[5]

Afterwards he said: "I understand your words. To join hands with the five brothers and return to my proper form. That would be a story filled with light, without a single fault." Then, facing the rejoicing Kunti, Karna continued speaking in an even softer voice: "But I wish for you to answer one thing. Do you not feel that those words of yours were too late?" She was too late in declaring she was his mother. She was too late in looking back upon Karna. "If you do not feel that this is a shame, then please answer. You, who declare yourself my mother, if you yourself have done no wrong, then accept the past without feeling ashamed of yourself."[5]

While Kunti was a selfish woman, that was due to her natural innocence and simple-mindedness; she was most definitely not a shameless woman. She knew her own deeds, throwing away Karna, who had just been born, for her own sake, were full of selfishness and reproached herself for that. And for that reason, she possessed a minimum amount of pride. She could not tell to Karna, who had been raised alone until now, who was grateful to his foster family, who had never once embraced hatred toward another, a horrible lie. Kunti broke off the negotiation without answering.[5]

“That is a deception, a complacent love. The only one your love can save is you. Your love is directed at no one but yourself. But I shall answer that feeling. From hereon, during the war, I will not kill any of the brothers who come to match me. I will only use all my power against my arch-enemy Arjuna.”

—Karna said this to Kunti, who stood with her head hanging.

Karna swore not to lay a hand on the brothers of the Pandava family who were inferior to him in strength. The countless times Karna allowed the five brothers to go after this was due to this pledge. After that he concluded: "Return to the place that you obtained with your own hands. ...Though it was only once, I am grateful that you called me your son." Karna opened the castle gate and escorted Kunti out. That was the love that Karna bore for his mother, Kunti. It was not love for his mother at this late point in time but Kunti's resolution to raise "her feelings as mother" in the end... even if it wasn't genuine... That is what he answered. Kunti risked the danger of having her past come to light. To the hero of generosity Karna, such determination is worthy of compensation.[5]

And so, just before the final battle. Arjuna's father, Indra the Thunder God, who understood that Karna could not be persuaded, took the form of a Brahmin, contacts Karna, and takes his golden armor. Though Karna had lost the property of being unkillable that he received from his father, he never said he would stop proceeding to the battlefield. He did not care that when he had lost his golden armor he had hastened his own death. Indra, who was touched by how gallant a figure Karna struck, asked why. Why did he continue to the battlefield, having lost his armor, but without reproaching Indra, who had hatched this scheme out of love for Arjuna?[5]

“There is no need to hate you. It is simply a matter of being a step ahead. In fact--yes. Though you are a god, you are also a father. Such a thing brings me joy.”

—Karna answered to Indra.

Then why do you advance toward the battlefield, asked Indra, to which he was responded: "To me, defeat is bringing shame upon my father. Even though death awaits me, I cannot run away." That was how Karna always lived. To him, who lived his life with pride in those who gave him life and raised him, his life was not his own.[5]

“I owe Duryodhana a debt. For some reason, that impudent and timid man is so bright to me. It may be blasphemy against my father but, occasionally, I feel that that sweet light is the warmth of the sun.”


It was not the fire of the sun that Karna carried nor the absolute brilliance of Surya; to Karna, the sun was the imperfect charm that humans displayed. Indra, who saw the divinity of Surya himself in that form, gave Karna his spear. He had taken from this noble hero something greater than his life. Unless he gave something as compensation, his honor would be stained; above all—he was charmed with him: if it were this man, he could wield the greatest spear, that Indra had not given even to his own son. After, Karna sent off the Brahmin, having lost his armor (flesh), and headed to the battlefield, as thin as a ghost.[5]


The final battle with Arjuna. Karna was already without allies; his charioteer, whom he trusted with his body, was already an enemy, in collusion with the Pandavas. He had a large number of heavy burdens, his feelings towards his younger half-brothers. Due to his curse, the wheel of Karna's chariot was stuck in a rut. The string of Arjuna's bow was drawn back to its limits. These brothers who, for a long time, were manipulated by an unseen destiny to compete for supremacy, could only in this moment strike one another with all their might and sure enough, Arjuna's bow shot down the sun.[5] However, Karna did not hate anyone and accepted his death.[3]

It is said that after his death, Karna became one with his father Surya. Called "the Hero of Generosity," he was a saint with the creed of not refusing when people came to ask or rely on him. The hero who, while possessing exceedingly high abilities, was within a tragedy where he was the enemy of his brothers by blood, received various curses, and lost his life without showing his true worth—that is Karna. This is a digression, but it is impossible to determine if Arjuna knew the truth that Karna was his older brother or not. It seems the only people who definitely knew that Karna was Kunti's son were Karna and Kunti, Krishna, and the sun god Surya.[5]


He is described as a young man with long and white unkempt hair that almost appear transparent. His gaze is said to be sharp like a steel blade with the red stone buried in his chest similarly projecting an enthralling lustrousness. It is also specified that what draws the eye more than anything else is the set of golden armor that he has become fused with, giving off a divine radiance. While every single part is said to be beautiful in its own right, once combined with Lancer they exude far more ferocity than attractiveness.


His personality is cold and unforgiving. Although conversing with him may give the impression that he is indecisive and somewhat boring, in reality he is always deep in thought and has a loyal heart. He gives an impression of being cold and cruel because he believes that most things and events are “normal”, and therefore he does not interfere. Due to this characteristic, he does not really have negative emotions such as hatred and jealousy. Because his behaviors target people’s “true nature that should not be put to words”, he is disliked by many.[3]

Karna’s strongest weapon was his ‘will’. Possessing a strong will and a strong heart, he was the Hero of Charity who had never resented a single person despite experiencing all kinds of misfortune. He was a man who had given things special than anyone else, but never once was treated special himself. Neither proud nor arrogant, he was a hero who merely carried out a way of life that would not shame the name of his father from the moment he was born to when he was finally shot down.

Lancer would follow the orders of his Master with no particular objections. On the other hand, Lancer is to put in the simplest term: a soldier. When commanded, he behaves as though the very concept of defiance does not exist. To the Lancer of Red, there is no liking or disliking to an order that has been given to him, to the point he will just ignore to consider how said order relates to the situation, as only the fact that he serves the Master who summoned him is what is really important. In other words, he does not raise objections about orders, as those thoughts have already been removed from his mind. Even so, he shows some small doubts regarding the elimination of Ruler given her task to preside over the war, but he convinces himself that as defeating a Ruler would be a very difficult endeavor, that makes all the more reason why would be worth fighting her.

“We are both Heroic Spirits... madmen who walked our respective paths unto the bitter end even as we continued to fight. Not even gaining a second life and taking form in the present era will change our faith!”

—Lancer of Red thoughts while fighting Saber of Black.

Karna holds a mutual admiration with Saber of Black. Through their fight, they both realized that they're both very similar and experienced many trials. When Karna saw Saber's facial expression, he was suddenly filled with reminiscences. He compares Saber's gaze to someone he fought and acknowledged their battle was simply inevitable. Karna saw in Siegfried in the face of a pure warrior trying to carry out his duty even while feeling anguished by something. It seems it was similar to what he saw in the legendary bowman who he fought in the past.[6] In their duel, Karna experienced a feeling of exaltation was drawn, something Lancer had not felt in a very long time. Though Lancer talked mostly, he sensed that both he and Saber were enjoying this battle. Lancer felt he was lucky to encounter his first battle with Saber.

He has no wish for the Holy Grail, but he desires to battle Saber of Black once more and to save his Master.



Shirou Kotomine orders Lancer to eliminate Ruler as he views her to be his biggest obstacle to his plans. Shirou commanded Lancer through his actual Master to follow the guidance of Assassin and annihilate Ruler. While Assassin of Red provided the location where Ruler is heading towards. Lancer stood on top of a motorway sign in his physical form waiting for Ruler to appear. As Ruler appears, she easily identify his real identity. Ruler also understood quite well that Lancer of Red possessed a pure and noble character. As such, it was probably due to the order of his Master that he had tried to kill her. Lancer without hesitation draws out his spear but Saber of Black helped Ruler as Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia orders him to. While Gordes attempts to have both Ruler and Saber to fight Lancer failed, Lancer declared that he had no issue with facing both Servants simultaneously.

“Hmph... so you were attempting to tilt the situation by having me face two opponents? Is victory the only thing you care for? How despicable - though I suppose that is also one form of warfare. It makes little difference to me.”

—Lancer of Red

Gordes believing this to be an insult, he orders Saber to destroy Lancer. Lancer's spear has the advantage in range and he has attacked his vitals seventy-eight times, however thanks to Saber's Noble Phantasm, his wounds were shallow and were regenerated thanks to Gordes. Lancer came to realization that he and Saber are very similar and they both held admiration for each other as worthy opponents in the Great Grail War. In silence, they nod at one another and indulge themselves in the duel once again. They battled until dawn and were hoping to have a rematch before departing.

  • The Red Faction on top of Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The red faction assembled with the exception of Saber of Red and Kairi Sisigou. After returning from his battle with Saber of Black, Lancer unusually whispered with some slight emotion, "I’d like to fight with him again." Shirou had decided to respect his wish. In the first place, the only ones who could fight more than an even match against a formidable enemy like Saber were Lancer or Rider.

Fate/Grand OrderEdit

E Pluribus Unum: Grand Battle of Legends in North AmericaEdit

While Karna and Arjuna were dueling, Cú Chulainn Alter backstabbed Karna. Karna used Vasavi Shakti before fading away.

Arjuna & Karna Trial QuestEdit

Other appearancesEdit

  • Type-Moon April Fools' Day 2015

Fate/Extra CCC feature other incarnation of Karna separate from the version summoned during the Greater Grail Wars. Karna is the Servant of Jinako Carigiri in the Sakura Labyrinth, he also appears in Chibichuki!.

In Type-Moon's April Fools' Day 2015, Lancer is in a group called YARIO and is part of the Imperial Roma talent agency, his class is Farm Idol Unit (牧歌的アイドルニット, Bokukateki Aidorunitto?).


He can be also summoned under the Archer and Rider classes.[3][2] Lancer has four Noble Phantasms, Kavacha and Kundala, Brahmastra, Brahmastra Kundala, and Vasavi Shakti.[3] Ruler considers Lancer to be dangerous beyond compare and by Ruler’s estimation, Rider of Red boasted ability and power that rivaled Lancer of Red. Shirou highly regards Lancer's abilities that can even rival against Lancer of Black, who has a fame boost in Romania. Lancer of Red greatly exceeds Lancer of Black in terms of skill. Based on his strength in life, the great hero Karna was truly exceptional. Even if his fame was equal to zero, as long as his legend existed somewhere in the world, Karna was unmistakably a great hero.

Lancer is a hero of charity, and his Discernment of the Poor (貧者の見識, Hinsha no Kenshiki?) skill is an insight to see through the opponent's character and attribute. He will not be deceived by excuses and deceptions from words. It expresses the power to grasp the true nature of the opponent possessed by Karna, who was blessed with the opportunity to inquire about the life and value of the weak due to being someone without a single relative.[3] Shirou Kotomine personally restrained himself from lying as much as possible to avoid this skill and acted out by manipulating Lancer's real master.


The Heroic Spirit Karna was unmistakably top class. His Magical Energy consumption as a Servant, however, is quite bad as his skills and Noble Phantasms consume an extraordinary amount of Magical Energy, to which Lancer finds it quite troublesome. He can't maintain his Mana Burst (Flames) for more than ten seconds with his golden armor continuously active, along with the divine spear he wields. A normal magus probably wouldn’t be able to move even a single finger while supporting him. Even a first-rate magus would be exhausted to the point that they couldn’t use their own magecraft.

As the son of the Sun Deity Surya and having united with Surya after death, Karna possesses the highest Divinity (神性, Shinsei?) aptitude. This Divine Spirit aptitude exhibits high defensive power in regards to sun deity-lineage's Heroic Spirits of Divinity B or lower.[3] He was the son of the sun, who could not be burned even by flame spirits.

He can instantly bring his spear, a form of bluish-white light appears and it seemed to penetrate through Lancer's right hand. Lancer's spear is a massive length of iron, which he utilizes its sharp tip and immense weight to bring about destruction. Lancer's spear-work does justice to Karna, whose name has echoed in every corner of the world. It is all the more impossible to fully receive the constant attacks of a spearman that has stepped so far into the domain of Gods. His spear roared, cleaving the air apart, and his every thrust was like cannon fire, throwing out roaring gusts. Lancer's destructive force comes from his immense physical strength and his transcendent technique. Lancer's spear possesses power proportionate to an A-rank attack, even without being activated as a Noble Phantasm. It had been stated that in his fight with Saber of Black that Saber should have had his arms torn off and eyeballs gouged out from Lancers strikes had it not been for Saber's Noble Phantasm. It does not even need to be said that Lancer and his spear holds the advantage in terms of range. The head of the weapon alone is easily over one meter in its fearsome length. However, having a wider range naturally slows the speed of attack. A small amount of time is lost with every thrust as the spear must be pulled back.

The armor he wears is an absolute defensive Noble Phantasm that possessed the radiance of the sun, granted to him by the gods. It could protect against stakes, blades, hammers, or any kind of attack, regardless of whether it was physical or magical. In his fight against Lancer of Black, Karna easily matched the thousand stakes. Without paying any care to the stakes that stabbed countless times all over his body, from his feet to his right shoulder to his left flank to his elbow, neither his movements nor his strength changed at all. His Noble Phantasm was negating 90% of the damage from the stakes. They were reduced to mere scratches that he could heal while fighting. However attacks from within his body were a single exception, but he was able to even ignore those by the sheer force of will of his fighting spirit.

Mana Burst (Flames) (魔力放出(炎), Maryoku Hōshutsu (Honō)?) is the power to put magical energy into weapons. In Karna's case, blazing flames become magical energy to dwell in the weapon used. This Skill is usually active and all the weapons that Karna grasps receive this effect.[3] Karna while using this skill calls out “O Agni”. He can use this skill to burn inside his body, the stakes that held him and restrained his body were all burnt away. The scene looked as if the flame god Agni had descended upon the earth. A stream of fire formed around Lancer of Red as if to burn away the ground, yet it didn’t harm even a single strand of his hair.


Magic Resistance (対魔力, Tai Maryoku?): C
Negates Magecraft with an aria of two verses or lower. Cannot defend against large-scale Magecraft such as High-Thaumaturgy or Greater Rituals. However, when receiving the effect of the golden armor Noble Phantasm, it will not be limited to this.[3]

Riding (騎乗, Kijō?): A
All vehicles and all beasts excepting those of Phantasmal Beast and Divine Beast-rank can be freely operated. His figure driving a war chariot and running across the battlefield is depicted in the Mahabharata. Its rank is high enough to have aptitude for the Rider Class.[3]

Uncrowned Arms Mastership (無冠の武芸, Mukan no Bugei?): -
Arms competency that was not recognized by others due various reasons. To the opponents, the rank of his sword, spear, bow, Riding and Divinity appears to be one degree lower than what it actually is. If his true name is revealed, this effect will be terminated.[3]


In Fate/Apocrypha volume 5, Yuuichirou Higashide originally planned to have Karna to act slightly different in the Jumbo Jet Counter-Attack. There were plans to have something like a ‘Massive Jumbo Jet Target Shooting scene where Karna readies himself and sticks his spear in the ground, and when Semiramis asks what he is doing, he says, “Weapons are unnecessary. A true hero kills with his eyes!”’, but it was too much of a ridiculous gag and it ended up being cut.[6]

Creation and ConceptionEdit

He was designed by Kinoko Nasu and illustrated by pako for the original canceled online game project.[3]



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19
  6. 6.0 6.1

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