I wouldn’t mind Rider being my roommate.
This is my first journey through the “100 Days of Anime” Challenge, an ambitious project that I’ll be taking. For the full list of prompts, click here.
“Favorite Supporting Male Anime Character?”
Where supporting characters are usually quickly introduced to break from the main focus, the King of Conquerers captured my full attention with the little screentime he got. I only say little because I want an entire show dedicated to him. His crowning achievement as a support character in the Fate/Zero series, however, has nothing to do with the Grail or any of the other servants.
It all comes down to Waver, his master.
I hated Waver in the beginning. Waver starts off as an obnoxious teen, seeming to fall under the “arrogant know-it-all mage” trope. Throwing Iskandar into the mix changes up the entire dynamic, as the supposed King of Conquerors shows that he’s more down-to-earth than the title implies.
Rider’s constant teasing reveals more about Waver. A student mage that’s caught up in a holy war of epic proportions, Waver realizes that he’s the weakest master in the war. A lack of confidence in his own ability, yet desperate to prove that he’s capable of acquiring the grail. Though Iskandar teases Waver about wanting the grail to “make himself taller,” he’s not far off; Waver wants to prove that very point, to mirror that strength and confidence Iskandar carries around with ease. Which is why it’s even more surprising when Iskandar tells Waver that they are equals.
Yes, an inexperienced mage is equal to the King of Conquerors.
Because both of them are chasing a dream, Iskandar’s being to carve a path of conquest until he can see Okeanos, the furthest ocean towards the east. And to lead the men that followed him to that very view. Iskandar realizes that he is only a man, and that his dream will never be fulfilled (dying before he could reach that dream). Instead of encouraging Waver to become stronger by obtaining the grail and reaching that dream, Iskandar tells him that he’ll only become stronger through the journey, not the goal.This father-like advice turns Waver from a boy that complains about almost everything, to a capable and proactive mage, broadening his horizons and eventually allowing him to enjoy the smaller things in life despite his dedication to magecraft.