elias makeup

sitting on the fences

sitting on the fences by bbyfruit (@lesbovilde)

Author’s summary:

Sighing, Mikael shoves his hands his pockets. “Doesn’t hating me get exhausting?”

“I don’t hate you. We have a truce, remember?”

“You’re still acting like you hate me,” Mikael says tiredly.

“I don’t hate you,” Jonas repeats. “I just… don’t trust you.”

Yes, we know we’re an Evak library. This is Jonas/Mikael. Sorry not sorry.

We are absolutely loving this new addition to the Jonas/Mikael tag, which is at the time of posting their longest fic. Yay! The author categorises this as ‘enemies to friends to lovers’, which is a pretty good description. The fic is a great insight into both characters, and we love the subtle shift in their dynamic which makes their eventual romance feel incredibly natural. A great intro to the pairing, if you’ve never read it before. 

Unrated, but we’d say it’s teen and up.

What is Elias’ Identity?

Note: I will be using the manga scanslations as a reference since I am not currently in possession of all the volumes.

After seeing the Crunchyroll special preview of The Ancient Magus’ Bride a month ago, I had the sudden urge to revisit the volumes and see if I could pick up anything I missed. Lo-and behold, it was a trove of possible questions, answers, and theories.

Elias’ identity in the manga continues to be a mystery. The majority of the cast regard him as a “magus” due to his vast knowledge of magic, however he doesn’t quite qualify as a magus. In fact, he’s more like a “thing” or a strange entity. In chapter 16, Rahab hints that Elias’ may be of another origin completely. Perhaps something forbidden or intriguing.

Now put that thought on the side.

Back in Volume Three, Joseph/Cartaphilus reveals that he’s in search for an immortal body that is the combination of both faerie magic and wizardry/alchemy. As a result, he creates chimeras and is constantly looking for faerie type of materials to fuse with his creations (i.e. Ruth, dragons, etc.) 

Based on these two hints, I asked myself: “Does that mean Elias is a sort of chimera himself?”  

Of course, not of the Joseph variant where you infuse fae into a human host. But rather, Elias might have originally been a fae, or more plausibly, a demon who tried to infuse a human soul or parts in himself, thus creating the ideal body that Joseph may have wanted. The term demon has been tossed around in the latter chapters of The Ancient Magus’ Bride, but since there’s no actual facts about them, I’m just going to go off my fan reasons why I think Elias is possibly part demon:

  1. Ashen Eyes warns both Chise and Stella in chapter 29 that “It’s not just us (magi and fae). There are those even above my kind… Things that lurk in the earth and the shadows”. Now it can be interpreted that there are malicious beings just hiding about, but since Elias’ magic specialty lies in the shadow, it wouldn’t be that far off that other evil beings share similar powers to him. Plus, Elias is not limited to just melting in the shadows and manifesting, but also shapeshifting into different bone-head forms that certainly don’t look human at all. Lindel claimed that his first meeting with Elias was “as though the night itself stood on two legs before me”, indicating that Elias pretty much doesn’t look/feel remotely human. These sub-abilities of manifestation, shadow walking, and shapeshifting may be considered demonic abilities.

  2. Elias remembers seeing “red” and claims that he might have eaten humans in the past. In some fantasy lore, demons do devour the human flesh to either sustain itself or absorb certain characteristics, skills, and/or memories of the host. Erasing is not so much of a demonic specialty as Ashen Eyes is capable of doing so as a magus and Elias requires the use of his staff.

  3. Now this last part may seem far fetched, but I imagine that demons and the fae are similar in thought if they are going to be antithesis of each other, but still considered “mythical beings”. Both entities are practical beings (i.e. only look out for themselves, will push aside issues that causes them pain, etc.) yet are highly intrigued with the human temperament (i.e. the will to persevere even if you are suffering, being close family/kin, sacrificing oneself, complex emotions, etc.). But how they approach humans is radically different. Demons are the type that like to get really close to humans to the point where they work to understand their target & blend in with the purpose to later tempt, torment, and devour humans. Fae in The Ancient Magus’ Bride seem to be the mischievous type with their pranks, but they become distant once the fun is over or their interests no longer matter. Elias, on the other hand, holds a deep interest in humans. He makes too much of an effort to blend in with them, interact with them, help them out, and understand how their minds work.

So based off these points, it’s likely that Elias used to be some demonic entity who wanted to get as close as he can to being human. He’s no magus yet, but he has an intuitive understanding of shadow magic that allows him to take up whatever form and melt off into the shadows. He doesn’t require extra incantations or a neighbor to help him, which is similar to how the faes operate. Based off Rahab’s theory, Elias must have tried to transform himself into human (most likely to understand them at their core rather than continue to consume them blindly), but botched it up and ended up acquiring attributes of both groups.

This makes him almost the perfect chimerical hybrid that Joseph is looking for since Elias’ body seems to be as sturdy as Lindel’s and is capable of magic. But that brings the question of “Why doesn’t Joseph target Elias then?” Perhaps it may be that Joseph is too blinded by the theory that human body + fae soul/parts + complex wizard formulas = chimerical perfect body. Or Joseph may be already aware of Elias’ makeup, but cannot act on it because Elias’s body doesn’t quite follow the principles of magic from a wizard/alchemy standpoint if he’s originally a mythical being from the start.

Sorry for the long explanation and fan theory. I’m just too excited to see what Kore-sensei has in store for us and couldn’t help but write this BS off the top of my head. If it doesn’t turn out to be canon, that’s fine by me. TBH Kore-sensei probably has something even more interesting up her sleeves that I could’ve never imagined.