Gilgamesh (�?��?��?��?��??�?��?�, Girugamesshu?), also known as Archer (�?��?��?��?��?�, �?chā?), is the Archer-class Servant of Tokiomi Tohsaka in the Fourth Holy Grail War of Fate/Zero. He later forms a new contract with Kirei Kotomine that lasts ten years later into the time of the Fifth Holy Grail War of Fate/stay night.
Archer's True Name is Gilgamesh, the great half-god, half-human king born from the union between the King of Uruk, Lugalbanda, and goddess Rimat-Ninsun. He ruled the Sumerian city-state of Uruk, the capital city of ancient Mesopotamia in the B.C. era. He was an ultimate, transcendent being so divine as to be two-thirds god and one-third human, and no others in the world could match him. He was a despot possessing high divinity who believed he was invincible. He is not merely a legend, and is said to have actually existed and ruled during the Sumer Dynasty five thousand years ago. He was the King of Heroes (�?��??�??, Eiyū-�??) who possessed all things in the world, whose tale is recorded in mankind's oldest epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh which portrays Gilgamesh as a hero, destined to be king and achieve great feats, who is driven to meet his destiny, facing challenges together with his best friend Enkidu.
His title, King of Heroes, is not meant to call him a king who is a hero, but instead implies that he is the king over all heroes. He is mankind's oldest hero, the origin of all myths and model on which heroes are based, so his story is copied within the mythologies of all the countries of the world. The heroes of various myths are derived from his legend, so his Gate of Babylon possesses all of their Noble Phantasms. Though there are numerous kings with titles such as the King of Knights or the King of Conquerors, he is the only one in all of heaven and earth crowned with the title of "King of All Heroes."
Before his birth, his father, Lugalbanda, made a deal with Sefar, in order to be spared, allowing Gilgamesh to be born.
Born with a body that was of the highest grade by mortal standards and knowledge reaching truth, Gilgamesh was born, designed, as king and the Wedge of Heaven to connect the rising humans and the fading gods. He was sent to ensure the humans and bind the earth slowly leaving the Age of Gods. He was a being embodying the two life sets of life forms, with the blood of those who had ruled and the blood of those who would rule from thereon. He was to be the ultimate neutral party able to discern their respective failings, adjudicating from their respective positions. During his childhood, he loved the gods instead of humanity, but the gods created Enkidu at that time to punish the arrogant king.
Enkidu observed the young Gilgamesh, but could not understand the need to punish such an amiable, ideal king who was praised and lauded by his infatuated subjects. There could be no flaw that required correction, and the only problem was that he did not submit to the gods even if he did respect them. Enkidu was forced to admit that the gods had been correct as he watched the boy grow into a young man. Practicing absolutism, oppression, duress, levies, and the utmost decadence from self-interest, the people of the kingdom lamented the change, and even the gods were perplexed at the extent of the expected transformation.
The reason was simply that he had been born with the conclusion already drawn, existing independently as a being neither fully divine or human. He acquired the characteristics of both, so his field of vision reached even past what the gods were able to comprehend. His overwhelming power bred overwhelming isolation, but his strength of self kept him from abandoning his kingship or fleeing from the mission imposed upon him. Through revering the gods and loving humanity, he decided to follow the path to its conclusion by deposing the gods and loathing humanity.
Gilgamesh encountered Enkidu for the first time outside of the Temple of Uruk, who immediately stated that he would reprimand the King and rectify his arrogance. They entered a battle that spanned several days, and Gilgamesh was forced to use all his strength to match his transforming opponent. He was either angered or surprised at having found his equal for the first time, insulting Enkidu as a clod of mud. He was forced to draw out his treasures that had been carefully stored away, marking the first use of the Gate of Babylon as a weapon, and although it was a reluctant and forced humiliation at first, he eventually began to enjoy it and brought them out without regret.
He eventually emptied the vault, and Enkidu was left with only a tenth of his clay. Rather than continue, Gilgamesh let himself fall backwards onto his back while bursting with laughter, Enkidu following in suit. He remarked that there would only be one chance to strike for each of them, and without any means of defense, it would leave only two foolish corpses. Enkidu was never able to interpret if that meant it was a tie or if Gilgamesh wanted to make it so that there would only be one corpse. Enkidu asked, "Do you not regret the treasures you have spent?" to which he replied in a bright voice, "Why, if it's someone I should use it on, then it's not unthinkable to do him the favor."
Gilgamesh and Enkidu became close friends afterward, marking the one and only story of eternally unchanging worth in all the world. They worked side by side, and Gilgamesh noted that his vault started to become disordered after having begun utilizing weapons as projectiles, calling it a bad habit. Looking towards Humbaba, the guardian of the forest and beast of the gods, Gilgamesh decided to seek out and defeat it. They did so with their combined strength, but Enkidu was left confused by the action. It had not been an order from the gods, and it could not have been for his people who suffered under him.
Gilgamesh told him that it was part of purging the evils of the world to protect Uruk, but Enkidu could not understand why he would care about those he tyrannized. Gilgamesh explained his way of protecting humanity, causing Enkidu to fully realize the source of his isolation. Enkidu stated that Gilgamesh took the path of observation, causing Gilgamesh to smile embarrassedly like in his childhood and speak of it. In response to his passion, Enkidu pledged himself as a tool to Gilgamesh afterward, but Gilgamesh reprimanded him, explaining to him that he was his friend. Enkidu believed it was the only time Gilgamesh had ever shown relief.
He became the greatest and richest king on Earth, who eventually acquired all the treasures of the world. Uruk became unprecedentedly prosperous, and Gilgamesh was considered so powerful that even the gods could not ignore his existence. One goddess, Ishtar the goddess of fertility, even fell in love with Gilgamesh and proposed marriage to the perfect king. He rejected her immediately because he knew her to be a witch who was unfaithful, cruel, and the corruptor of all men. She became furious, feeling that he had insulted her, and went to her father, the god Anu, to get revenge. She begged him to unleash the Bull of Heaven.
The unopposable beast of the gods caused seven years of starvation and destruction on the earth. Working together, Gilgamesh and Enkidu defeated it after binding it with the Chains of Heaven, causing the dark clouds covering the world to fade and saving the land from the flood. Ishtar's reputation was once again crushed, and her fury did not abate. She requested they be put to death for the sin of slaying a beast of the gods with the body of a human. Her request was granted, and Enkidu, created by the gods, was unable to defy the decree.
He slowly weakened and was returned to clay, as Gilgamesh desperately held onto the crumbling clod in his arms. He was angered by this, believing that he was the one who deserved retribution should it be required. Enkidu attempted to assuage him by telling Gilgamesh that he was only one of the many treasures in Gilgamesh's collection, that he would find countless more greater than him in time. Gilgamesh instead declared, "You do have worth. You alone have this worth. I hereby declare: In all this world, only one shall be my friend. Thus---not for all eternity shall his worth ever change." Enkidu returned to his original state afterward, leaving nothing behind but Gilgamesh's thunderous cry.
Up until that point, Gilgamesh had lived by his own standards, collecting riches, bedding women, fighting with his friend, and purging the earth of banes. Enkidu returning to dust, meeting death, greatly changed his views. Death had never inspired grief or fear in him until that moment, and it had never once even been in his mind though he knew that it awaited all. Seeing the one who held equal power to him perish before his eyes let him register the true reality of death for the first time. The despair that Gilgamesh felt was because he saw death as an escape from his duty as the observer of humanity; in order to fulfill his mission completely, he was to observe humanity's path until its eventual end. Falling into depression and with his vigor gone, he sought out the Herb of Immortality, a spirit herb of perpetual youth and eternal life.
He had known of it even before Enkidu's passing, and had planned to obtain it eventually in order to complete his collection. With a reason to search for it, he left for the underworld, Ereshkigal. He sought out the sage, Ziusudra, who had lived since placing a large amount of animals upon an ark before the coming of a deluge that assailed the Earth. He was said to have been the only one of the Earth to escape from death and live until the present.Gilgamesh loathed and feared the death that took away his friend, making him frightened for his own life for the first time since birth. He went on his journey, that he later called a farce, that lasted the same amount of time as he had lived up until that point.
He wandered the wilderness for decades as described in the epic, "grovelling along pathetically" while thinking nothing other than not wanting to die. He had the same motive as all humans, as not even a child of the gods was any different when faced with death. With "idiocy exceeding that of humans", he continued to attempt to overcome death, flinging aside the pride, authority, and power of the king, without knowing a purpose to do so or someone for whom to do it. His fear of death was one of the reasons for his actions, but he also loathed death because he could not forgive himself for abandoning his role of observing the future.
He eventually reached the realm of the dead, and found upon meeting with Utnapishtim that his form of immortality was not special at all. Utnapishtim had gained longevity by joining the ranks of the gods, half-becoming a plant in the process. Gilgamesh rejected such an immortality because he had to be immortal with the desires of a human still intact, rather than simply living eternally in a body with no appetition. He had simply planned to leave the underworld and return to Uruk to bring his vault to completion, but Utnapishtim, having grown doubtful of having his way of existence rejected or possibly wanting to condemn one who had denied immortality from the gods to the same existence, told Gilgamesh a secret.
He told Gilgamesh a method of becoming immortal without seeking the mercy of the gods, the root of a herb that grew in the deep. Though he would not consume it himself, as he would only become a plant, he collected it as a rare treasure to decorate his vault. Stopping within the deep, he jarred the herb and returned above ground. Unable to put words to his state of mind at the time, there was some part of him that was hopeful even though he declared that there was no need of immortality modeled on the gods. He smiled at his accomplishment upon returning above ground, believing that he could overthrow death and avenge his friend.
With the ability to rise above the "death" that had taken even Enkidu, the voices and acclaim of the people of Uruk would have reached unprecedented level upon returning with immortality. Describing himself as being in the "rashness of youth", vanity soon followed and he became bothered by his ragged state to which he had not spared a single thought until that moment. He wished to cleanse himself before returning to Uruk to test the fruits of his labor in perfect condition, so he rested at a spring close by to recover from the fatigue accumulated over decades of searching. He experienced a certain feeling at that point that he believed to be his first true feeling of joy.
As the water healed him, he felt a peacefulness like being released from a prolonged malaise in both body and mind. It was the first time he had been so ecstatic about any of his accomplishments because the act of amassing treasures is like an instinct similar to breathing that does not bring joy to him. The action of obtaining immortality was the first time he was thankful for being born into the world because, despite claiming to have the perspective of humans, he believed he was not human until that moment. He felt free from everything, no doubts, fears, fixations, or duties. Overwhelmed by the sensation of omnipotence, he describes the feeling as élan vital, the reward of his self desire and the belief that he could do as he pleased with that joy for all eternity.
It was then that his carelessness caused it to be snatched away from him, brought down by the desires, simple appetition of "hunger", of a serpent that crawled the wilds. The snake with an empty stomach was drawn by the herb's smell, and although a panicked Gilgamesh emerged from the spring, it was too late. The snake gained the property of shedding, having been the restoration of youth instead of immortality, and all that was left was its shed skin. He then was struck with laughter at the event, the absurdity of the conclusion in all he stood to gain and all he took pride in being "naught." He laughed at his own foolishness until his sides ached.
Though it was not that he was unable to obtain anything, he understood that his sole reward was that not one thing would remain for him. The fulfillment in life and joy that he obtained for the first time vanished instantly, causing him to realize that was the nature of the human world. Realizing that immortality was unnecessary to his duty, he had been born as a human at that moment and died as a human after learning of joy. Though he had been "complete since birth", he also had his times of inexperience. Taking nearly the entirety of his life to complete his development, he reached physical maturity in the time with Enkidu and mental maturity at that moment, marking the end of his youth.
Having laughed away the theft, the sun had risen, and smiling at the fleeting moment of human joy, he returned to Uruk. Marking the end of his adventures, he governed Uruk as the ruler of heroes and brought it to completion. He later also returned to the deep to retrieve the herb once more simply to complete his collection and for the off-chance he would ever be in a situation he could only tolerate as a child. Though he was still severe, he ruled Uruk quietly, entrusting it to the next king before going to his eternal rest without telling the whereabouts of the herb. He became humanity's most ancient hero and the illustrious king who was the first in this world to have "become a story."
It is said that the snake begins its life again in a new body after shedding its skin because it stole Gilgamesh's medicine and drank it. The way snakes went about their life appeared to the ancient people as a kind of perpetual youth and eternal life that was not available to humans. The skin shed by the first snake in the world in ancient times was later fossilized and remained in existence for countless eons before being used as a catalyst by Tohsaka Tokiomi to summon Gilgamesh as Archer in the Fourth Holy Grail War.
As for Extraverse Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh (�?��?��?��?��??�?��?�, Girugamesshu?) is a non-classed Servant available to be chosen by Hakuno Kishinami in Fate/EXTRA CCC. When traversing to the Near Side in Fate/EXTELLA, he gains the same Archer-class classification as his counterpart that appears in Fate/stay night.
Gilgamesh, whose True Name is not concealed by a class designation, is unable to exist on the Near Side of the Moon Cell due to his strength, so he is only able to exist within the Far Side. He simply passes away the time sleeping due to nothing being able to exist there, but his physical body awakens with BB's restructuring of the Far Side.
Unlike the other Servants that travel with Hakuno to the Far Side after having contracted with them in the Holy Grail War, Gilgamesh cannot travel to the Near Side to participate and resides only within the Far Side. Hakuno had been contracted with a Berserker-class Servant beforehand, but the contract was severed somehow before emerging on the Far Side and encountering Gilgamesh.
While drifting in the space of imaginary numbers in the Far Side of the Moon, Hakuno encounters Gilgamesh in a weakened state. Gilgamesh tells Hakuno, who was frightened by the presence of an "absolute being", that he/she does not have the permission to look upon, question, or speak with him. He is, however, impressed by Hakuno's desire to survive despite having nothing left, and tells Hakuno to "offer him his/her wisdom" as a second chance to life. Being completely forbidden to interact with Gilgamesh in every way, Hakuno uses all of his/her command seals to allow each of the above. Amused with his seemingly illogical actions, Gilgamesh decides to become Hakuno's Servant; however, he proclaims himself to be merely an observer in Hakuno's journey, and not an ally who would risk himself for his Master.
In Chapter Sakura: Bad End, Gilgamesh's amnesic half protects Hakuno from BB's program despite having no memories of him/her. He is pleased by Hakuno's pure, brazen desire to reclaim Gilgamesh at the cost of his/her own life, asking who would save such a wretched being if not himself. After he is released from his seal, Gilgamesh easily dispatches the program with his Noble Phantasm and declares Hakuno's fight to now be his own.
Gilgamesh's ending features Hakuno returning to the Near Side of the Moon to take part in the Holy Grail War of Fate/EXTRA, forgetting the preceding events with Gilgamesh and being unable to recall the Servant they have contracted. They find Gilgamesh sitting nude in their room, remembering the Far Side and filled with surprise at his existence because he was supposed to be limited only to the Far Side. He simply says "I broke that rule." It then proceeds to the deletion of Hakuno's data at the end of the Holy Grail War, but Gilgamesh instead insults the Moon Cell, takes Hakuno, and decides to head out for "any planet with intelligent life and an emphasis on consumption and progress." They end up on a planet 1,500 light years away from Earth.