Characters That Made My Year – Rider AKA King Iskander (Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Eight)
Keeping things going nicely, today on Day Eight is a character that became a very quick favourite. He only needs to appear on-screen and instantly makes the show x10 better – today let us pay our dues to the King of Conquerors, Rider AKA King Iskander of Fate/Zero.
Ah BROskander! Let me count the many ways you are fecking awesome! Seriously Rider & Waver’s antics are the main reason I’m enjoying Fate/Zero so much – I’m nowhere near as fond of the other Master/Servant duos (although Gil is fabulous as fuck). Fate/Zero has been pretty decent thus far – it’s really remarkable how they can take the same concept as Fate Stay/Night and make it not suck; the wonders of competent writing and pretty animation. However it really is Rider who steals the show with his larger than life personality and absolutely unshakeable conviction – he puts the rest of the characters to shame most of the time.
The moment I’ve chosen to best demonstrate just how fuck amazing Rider is, comes in episode 11, which I’m sure will surprise absolutely no one. Episode 11 sees the three Kings of the show – Saber, Archer and Rider, meet for a big ole chit-chat over some quality beverages. It’s Rider who instigates this unique dialogue which is completely devoid of Masters (Waver doesn’t count, it’s not like Rider ever listens to the boy!) and all three have some interesting ideas on what it means to be a King and why they desire the Grail. Rider is conviction incarnate – the man knows exactly what he wants and he will not compromise if the other party doesn’t give him some damn good reasons. Unfortunately for Saber she lacks the unshakeable belief in her ideals that Rider believes a ruler should have, and thus Saber loses Rider’s respect (but oddly gains Archer’s interest).
However the best bit comes when Assassin gatecrashes the banquet and Rider decides to step up and show just how powerful and determined he is as a Servant and a King. Rider’s Reality Marble and Nobel Phantasm of Ionian Hetairoi is a sight to behold. As befits the King of Conquerors, his Nobel Phantasm summons an army of heroes who have remained loyal to King Iskander even in death, and together they make short work of the swarm of Assassins. This scene just made me grin like an idiot – Rider’s force of personality is impossible to resist, he’s massively charismatic and he deserves every bit of the attention he demands. FUCK YEAH RIDER!