|“||The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed.||„|
|~ Lelouch's philosophy, said several times over the series|
Lelouch vi Britannia is the main protagonist of the anime series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. He is the Eleventh Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire and the son of the 98th Emperor of Britannia, Charles zi Britannia, who was exiled after his younger sister, Nunnally vi Britannia, was blinded and crippled in an ambush that caused the death of his mother, Marianne. After he was exiled he changed his name to Lelouch Lamperouge in order to conceal his identity. He also is the leader of the Black Knights, which he commands under the secret identity of Zero.
He is voiced by Jun Fukuyama in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Johnny Yong Bosch in the English version of the anime.
Lelouch's trademarks are his ebony hair, and violet eyes, which he inherited from his mother and father respectively. Lelouch is somewhat scrawny, having little muscle, and being rather thin. In spite of this, Lelouch is considerably tall, standing at least a head taller than Kallen, and apparently being slightly taller than Suzaku.
Lelouch is a highly intelligent boy who is also calm, sophisticated, and arrogant due to his aristocratic upbringing. While at school, Lelouch conducts himself as a sociable, likeable, and often easy going student. However, in reality, this is a mask to hide his true nature. While as Zero his true nature is expressed. His charisma and beliefs in justice gain him the trust and respect of many soldiers and leaders.
Lelouch is known for having a very stoic personality. He never cared about schoolwork, seeing the entire thing as trivial, even though his intellect would make it easy for him. He enjoys seeking out challenges, often playing chess against nobility. In general, Lelouch takes most day-to-day affairs with open disinterest, often not even noticing the affection of others, especially Shirley, his fellow classmate.
In battle, Lelouch is very cold and tactical, he is willing to sacrifice anyone, civilians and military alike, if that is what it takes to achieve the objective. During a landslide, he wiped out many of the enemy forces, and indirectly, several civilian casualties. Lelouch put it off as a simple "mathematical overestimation." It should be noted that he questioned himself when Shirley said that the incident claimed her father's life, but thanks to C.C., Lelouch is resolved to harden his heart against any more bloodshed. He also saw no problem with collapsing a large portion of Tokyo, resulting in countless military and civilian casualties.
Many characters have noted that Lelouch is quite selfish, as his desire to recreate the world comes from his desire to avenge his mother's apparent death and Nunnally's sake, however in time he realizes that this goal is not just for them, but for the entire world.
Despite his coldness and ruthlessness in battle, he can be a rather compassionate person to his friends and loved ones. To Nunnally, he is a loving older brother, and to Suzaku, a loyal friend despite the fact that the two are enemies. Lelouch, at first glance, seems to have relatively little concern for the well-being of his subordinates, but in reality, he does care about them, seeing them as valuable allies.
Character Planning History
While first designing the concept art design for Lelouch, the series's original character designers CLAMP had initially conceived of his hair colour as being white. Ageha Ohkawa, head writer at CLAMP, said she had visualized him as being a character to which "everyone" could relate to as being "cool", literally, a "beauty". During the early planning stages for Lelouch's alter ego, Zero, CLAMP had wanted to create a mask never witnessed prior in any Sunrise series. While developing the character during the initial planning stages, the series' core staff at Sunrise, director Gorō Taniguchi, writer Ichirō Ōkouchi, and the production team discussed numerous possible influences for the character with CLAMP, such as Kinki Kids and Tackey and Tsubasa.
Lelouch was born on December 5, 2000 a.t.b. as Lelouch vi Britannia the son of the Emperor of Britannia, Charles zi Britannia, and the late Imperial Consort Marianne, making Lelouch the Eleventh Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire. He was in line to be the seventeenth heir to the throne prior to his mother's assassination and his sister's crippling in the same incident. A ten year old Lelouch confronted the Emperor afterwards and accused him of leaving his mother defenseless, even going as far as renouncing his entitlement to the throne. In response, his father banished him to Japan, where he was used as a political hostage in the Sakuradite conflict.
It was during his stay at the Kururugi household that he first met Suzaku Kururugi, with whom the young Lelouch did not interact initially in a friendly manner, before later becoming friends. However, when Britannia finally developed its Knightmare Frames fleet and decided to invade Japan to seize control of the Sakuradite mines, consequently discarding Lelouch's use as a diplomatic tool, Lelouch, fearing for his and his sister's safety, hid their true identities and sought the help of the Ashford family, who were his mother's allies.
His mother's death including his sister being blind, and his father's apparent lack of concern in regards to it were huge blows to Lelouch. He always felt that it was unfair for both his mother and sister, and therefore made it his goal to pursue a better world for Nunnally. He also seeks to discover the true reason for his mother's death, as she was murdered in the Aries Imperial Palace, a place terrorists would be unlikely to penetrate successfully without being noticed, if at all.
Shortly after gaining the power of Geass from C.C., Lelouch assumes the secret identity Zero, a mysterious, masked revolutionary dressed in a black helmet and cloak. The helmet has a retractable plate over the left eye so Lelouch can use his Geass. In this guise, he forms the Black Knights, initially composed of the members of Kaname Ohgi's resistance group. The goal of this vigilante group is a campaign against powerful individuals who oppress the helpless, which he eventually expands into reforming Japan as an independent nation.
Lelouch is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal, even if it means lying to his followers and using people as bait for the outcome he desires. However, he has trouble putting those he is close to in harms way for the sake of his goal, which is a weakness as a commander but a remnant of his humanity and sanity. His feelings for Nunnally in particular often hinders his plans, particularly at the end of the first season, where he abandons a massive war with Britannian forces to rescue her, and early into the second season, when he has trouble believing Nunnally is willingly waging a campaign for peace that interferes with his plans. Gradually, however, he has come to embrace the fact that he has to destroy before reconstruction can occur, even if it means harming those he cares about.
Originally, Lelouch is motivated by the desire to avenge his mother's death and construct an ideal world where his sister Nunnally can live in peace. After Nunnally becomes Viceroy of Area 11, and her wishes conflict with his goals, his friends help him to realize that his rebellion is no longer just for Nunnally, but for all the people of the world.
Lelouch makes his first appearance in the beginning of the first episode of the series, as a child, along with Suzaku Kururugi watching the Britannian Military entering Japan, with the figure of C.C. apparently watching them. After the invasion of Japan, Lelouch vows to obliterate Britannia. He is later introduced to be a student of Ashford Academy where he is a member of its Student Council. He is a brilliant thinker who is quite talented at chess, he lives with his younger sister, Nunnally, and their maid, Sayoko, in the Student Council building of Ashford Academy, where they are looked after by the Ashford Family.
Lelouch and his friend Rivalz enter a room where a chess match was being played, with Lelouch claiming he can turn the situation on the chess table in under 9 minutes. He starts his game by moving the King. He effortlessly crushes him in a short period of time (8 minutes, 40 seconds), while the noble gapes at his own defeat. Rivalz compliments Lelouch on his victory, and is happy that the ego of the nobles will force them to pay, which he notes also make them loose. As they walk out of the casino, they are interrupted by Clovis' "heart-breaking" speech which turns out to be an act. On the road, Rivalz accidentally cuts the way of the terrorists, resulting in their vehicle's crash. People gather, but to Lelouch's disgust, they are more interested in placing the blame and gawking over the incident than helping, prompting him to go and assess the situation. As he inspects the crash, he hears a voice, but is then thrown in the back of the truck, as Nagata, one of the hijackers, puts it in reverse for an attempted getaway. However, Lelouch is soon swept into the conflict between the Holy Britannian Empire and the pockets of resistance which oppose it when he accidentally boards a truck being used by Japanese Resistance operatives. To Lelouch's horror, he realizes that he is trapped in a terrorist getaway. Suzaku, who Lelouch had not met for seven years, finds the vehicle and confronts Lelouch, who he mistakes as a terrorist. Nagata opens the capsule, to which Suzaku quickly puts his own gas mask on Lelouch's face. The capsule opens, instead of gas, as Suzaku expected, a restrained C.C. appears. Before they can get answers, Suzaku's superiors comes and tells him not to question his briefing, and to shoot the "terrorist", Lelouch. When he refuses, he is promptly shot in the back. Lelouch and C.C. takes the opportunity to escape. Just as they seem to have evaded detection, Lelouch's phone rings, giving him away. As they are about to kill him, C.C. jumps in front and is shot in the forehead. A desperate Lelouch now thinks of his impending death, his last thought being of Nunnally. He is grabbed by the hand by C.C., who proposes a contract which would allow him to live and endow him with Geass, the power of kings. He accepts, and stands up reinvigorated, and uses his power to make his pursuers kill themselves. He then retroactively contemplates this moment, noting his life is a lie, but that he accepts it as long as he has the power from it.
Following his actions, Villetta Nu appears in her Sutherland and Lelouch decides to take it and uses his Geass on her as well. After making use of his new-found power, he attempts to crush the rest of the Britannian Military that are wiping out the Elevens in the Shinjuku Ghetto. He uses Ohgi's Resistance Group and gives them orders in eliminating the Britannian Soldiers. He initially gains the upper hand, forcing Viceroy Clovis la Britannia to allow the release of an experimental Knightmare Frame by the Special Envoys, named the Lancelot, which is piloted by Suzaku Kururugi. Suzaku defeats most of the rebel's forces and eventually finds Lelouch's Sutherland inside of a building. Unable to defend himself against Suzaku's attacks, Kallen appears in her Glasgow to buy him enough time to escape, stating that she is returning the favour for helping her. Just as the Britannian Army corners the terrorists, Clovis orders an immediate cease-fire under coercion by Lelouch. Lelouch confronts Clovis at gunpoint about the murder of his mother, Marianne vi Britannia, before killing him.
When he returns to Ashford Academy, he discovers that Kallen Stadtfeld, one of the terrorists he helped in Shinjuku Ghetto, attends the same school. The limitations to his power are also revealed to him when he attempts to question her and unsuccessfully erase her memory. Both him and Kallen attempt to gain information from each other, but he creates a cunning deception, through Sayoko, to ease her suspicions of his identity. When the death of Prince Clovis is announced in the media, it is Suzaku who is accused of the murder.
After finding out Suzaku is being accused of murdering Clovis, he assumes the mantle of Zero and reveals himself, in a disguise, to Ohgi's Resistance Group. He convinces them that he will show his power by rescuing Kururugi. During the scheduled public run of Suzaku heading to the courts, Zero appears on top of Clovis' royal transport that was made by Kallen and Ohgi. Debuting to the whole entire whole as Zero, he reveals the capsule that supposedly held poison gas. In exchange for the capsule he wanted Kururugi, but Jeremiah remains steadfast stating that he can not give him up as he murdered Clovis. Lelouch refutes stating that he was the one who killed Clovis. Knowing that Jeremiah would not cooperate, he uses the codeword "Orange" to instill doubt in the Purist Faction and Britannian Military as some sort of bribe or plan in cooperating with Zero. Using this to his advantage, he uses his Geass on Jeremiah to allow them to escape.
Arthur, a stray cat slips into the Lamperouge residence on campus and takes off with Lelouch's Zero mask. Milly announced that the one who would catch the cat would get a kiss from any member of the Student Council. A massive, comedic chase throughout the school grounds involving the entire student body follows. Suzaku and Lelouch were the ones that got the cat and got a kiss on the cheek from Nunnally. The student council adopts Arthur and builds a cat house in the council room. Lelouch along with the rest of the student body watches Prince Clovis' funeral on live. During the funeral, the Emperor of Britannia, his father, makes a speech on the virtues of inequality and the social battle for evolution and betterment while Lelouch shows an expression of dislikeness.
Unknown to Lelouch, Cornelia had set a trap for Zero at the Saitama Ghetto by simulating the conditions in Shinjuku Ghetto. Despite C.C.'s warnings, Lelouch takes the bait and goes to the aid of the Saitama resistance. His plan falls apart from a combination of Cornelia's superior tactics and the resistance cell's dissimilar motivations. Lelouch is cornered and nearly discovered, but C.C. dons his Zero costume and distracts the Britannian Army, allowing him to escape. Lelouch blames his defeat on the undisciplined rebels and resolves to build something better than a mere resistance unit, first an army, then "people," and finally a nation.
He later forms The Order of the Black Knights during the Japanese Liberation Front Hotel Incident after rescuing the hostages. He leads the Black Knights becoming a revolutionary and gains popular support amongst the Elevens.
The turning point in his rebellion comes when Euphemia li Britannia declares the region under Mt. Fuji, the Special Administrative Zone of Japan, giving the Japanese people their name and country back, albeit in a much smaller area. This effectively destroys any possibility of the Black Knights' rebellion; acceptance would render them powerless and refusal would make them pariahs. Lelouch confronts her at the opening ceremony and tries to have her shoot him, hoping to make himself a martyr. When she says she plans to give up her title, he surrenders and agrees to work with her. However, at this moment his Geass permanently activates, and an offhand comment about ordering her to kill the Japanese forces her to do just that. Lelouch is forced to kill Euphemia to end the ensuing massacre, but in doing so becomes a hero of the people. Using this new-found support, Lelouch announces the creation of the United States of Japan and is able to lead an attack on the Tokyo Settlement. The attack goes well at first, but when Lelouch learns that Nunnally was kidnapped, he abandons the battle, leaving his forces helpless against the much better organized Britannian forces.
On his way to rescue Nunnally, he is intercepted by Jeremiah who is piloting the Siegfried, but is able to lose him after an ensuing battle. Lelouch and C.C. make their way to Kamine Island to search for Nunnally, but Jeremiah appears once more. Being unable to defeat him as the Gawain has taken its toll in the many battles it has participated in, C.C. decides to sacrifice herself and drops Lelouch off.
Using the Gawain's slash harkens and damaging the Siegfried's float system, she drags Jeremiah down to the bottom of the ocean. Afterwards, Lelouch is confronted by Suzaku Kururugi. Kallen appears as well and Suzaku reveals to her that Zero's true identity is Lelouch. Lelouch attempts to broker a truce, but Suzaku is distraught over the death of Euphemia and refuses to listen. An angered Lelouch draws his pistol and both Lelouch and Suzaku attempt to shoot one another. A single gunshot is heard as the screen fades to black at the end of the first season.
One year later, Lelouch is once again a student at Ashford Academy. He has had his memories rewritten by Charles zi Britannia, revealed to possess a Geass power of his own, erasing his memory of him being a prince, being Zero, and that he has a younger brother named Rolo Lamperouge, instead of a sister.
He is seen running away from Villetta Nu who is revealed to be a teacher now in the first episode. He is able to leave Ashford Academy with Rolo to go gamble at Babel Tower. It is here where Kallen and the remnants of the Black Knights attempt to retrieve Zero. After being cornered by the OSI, C.C. appears. Lelouch's memories are restored by C.C. and he uses his Geass to kill all of them. Afterwards, Urabe and Kallen appear in their respective Knightmares and he resumes leadership of the Black Knights. Initially, Lelouch makes his base in the Chinese Federation's consulate, using his Geass on the High Eunuch stationed there so they will be welcomed. They are eventually forced to abandon it, however.
When Nunnally is appointed as Viceroy of Area 11, and announces her plans to re-establish the Special Administrative Zone of Japan, Lelouch falls into depression since he would be impeding her wishes by continuing his rebellion. He nearly begins taking Refrain before Kallen stops him. With the help of Kallen and his friends at the Ashford Academy, Lelouch realizes that his mission no longer revolves solely around Nunnally, but concerns the rest of his friends and the Japanese people as well.
Lelouch engineers the legal exile of the Black Knights by getting the Britannians to agree to exile Zero in exchange for bringing one million participants for Nunnally's new Japan. By having them all dress as Zero, he forces Suzaku to exile them and The Black Knights escape to the Chinese Federation, where Lelouch begins forging an alliance with the other world powers to create a force that rivals Britannia. He starts by destabilizing the Chinese Federation, returning control to Empress Tianzi from the High Eunuchs.
During his time in Area 11, Shirley is killed by Rolo after her memories are restored by Jeremiah Gottwald, an assassin for the Geass Directorate. Unable to retaliate against either, as they are now his allies, Lelouch instead wipes out the Directorate, in the process learning of C.C.'s wish to die and that the Emperor has become immortal. C.C. would have had Lelouch kill her and take on her immortality, but instead spares him by placing him inside her memories while the Emperor kills her. Lelouch refuses to let her die unhappy and convinces her to live on, but her memories of her life after gaining Geass are erased during their escape.
Once Lelouch's new alliance, the United Federation of Nations, is formed, their first act is to liberate Japan. To insure Nunnally's safety, Lelouch meets with Suzaku in an attempt to convince him to help. Lelouch takes full responsibility for all that he has done rather than admit the truth, but Suzaku agrees to help since he recognized what Lelouch is doing. Prince Schneizel's troops, having been ordered to follow Suzaku, then move in to arrest Lelouch, convincing him that Suzaku sold him out. Lelouch escapes with the help of Guilford, having used his Geass to make Guilford see him as Princess Cornelia, and begins his attack on Tokyo. Rolo and Sayoko are sent in to retrieve Nunnally and Kallen.
The battle initially goes well, but the hostilities are cut short when Suzaku fires Nina's F.L.E.I.J.A. bomb under the influence of the Geass command Lelouch placed on him. Nunnally is apparently among the dead, which leaves Lelouch heartbroken. This is only made worse when Schneizel appears in order to speak to the core members of the Black Knights. Schneizel is able to convice them to betray Lelouch using recorded evidence from his meeting with Suzaku, revealing his real identity of being Zero and his power of Geass. Kallen meets up with Lelouch to tell him that Ohgi wants him to come to warehouse 9. In the elevator, Kallen expresses to Lelouch her gratitude for Nunnally's help when she was captured.
They then arrive to see that the core members of the Black Knights are betraying him, stating they know his real identity and Geass power. With Lelouch backed into a corner, he reveals his identity and lies that everything he has done was for his entertainment in order to save Kallen from dying with him telling her that she needs to live. As they are about to gun Lelouch down, Rolo appears in the Shinkirō to evacuate him, but dies in the attempt as he overuses his Geass. Lelouch comes to terms with his feelings for Rolo and buries him properly, as the little brother of Lelouch Lamperouge.
Following the betrayal of the Black Knights, Lelouch focuses on defeating the Emperor, Lelouch confronts the Emperor in the Sword of Akasha, where he learns the truth about his mother and Charles' plans. He denies their attempt to create a new world and kills both of Charles and Marianne. One month later he installs himself as the 99th Emperor of Britannia and appoints Suzaku as his Knight of Zero.
Due to his good looks and charm Lelouch is quite popular with girls, however he does not care much for this due to his focus on caring for Nunnally and changing the world.
Suzaku Kururugi is the first and last true friend Lelouch had ever had. Lelouch trusts and has faith in him more than any one else (excluding Nunnally) in the world. He is even willing to go down on his knees to beg him to protect Nunnally because Suzaku is the only person he could trust and find help in, despite the fact that they were enemies at that time. Lelouch was also hurt deeply when Suzaku decided to turn him in to the emperor and when he thought Suzaku had betrayed him again in the Kururugi shrine.
They had many face offs and Lelouch often could not bring himself to hurt Suzaku after finding out that Suzaku is the pilot of Lancelot and tried time and again to get Suzaku to join his side. Suzaku is also the only person aside from Nunnally whom Lelouch is unwilling to use Geass upon—even when he did, he did not order Suzaku to obey him or join his side, but to "live on."
As Suzaku once said, "There is nothing we cannot accomplish together." They are able complete many impossible missions when they choose to cooperate with each other. The ascension to the throne and the plan to take over the world to complete Zero Requiem was the best proof of how strong they could be when working together. Lelouch eventually entrusts Suzaku with everything, including the final step of the Zero Requiem, the peace of the world afterwards, and Nunnally.
Suzaku has very mixed feeling for Lelouch. He also sees Lelouch as his best friend but he disagrees with Lelouch's methods. He had suspected Lelouch was Zero before their confrontation but chose to trust his friend, thus he was more disappointed than surprised when he finally discovered the truth of Zero's identity. He also could not forgive Lelouch for killing Euphemia and smearing her name as a mass murderer. He is also furious that Lelouch views people as pawns and how Lelouch had forced him to "live on" when his secret desire is to die and the Geass often forced him to do things he has no desire to.
But after the confrontation at the Kururugi shrine, the explosion of F.L.E.I.J.A. and the encounter with the emperor in the world of C, Suzaku completely changes his views and adopts the same approach and beliefs as Lelouch. That results are what matters, and from then on, like Lelouch, he is willing to achieve the desired results regardless of the means. Thus Suzaku chooses to fight side by side with Lelouch as a faithful knight to complete the Zero Requiem they devised together.
His silent tears when executing Lelouch show that despite all that has happened, he still cares deeply for Lelouch and even after all the damage, their friendship was never truly destroyed.
Nunnally vi Britannia
"Everything I've done was for Nunnally's sake." -Lelouch's main motivation for the Rebellion
His younger sister Nunnally was the reason Lelouch began his quest to overthrow the Britannian Empire, and for most of the series creating a world she can live peacefully in is his driving motivation. Lelouch loves his sister over all others and her safety and comfort were always his number one priority to the point of him abandoning his allies to save her when she was captured. He once lost his intention to live after thinking Nunnally was dead. Despite his love for her (or perhaps because of it) Lelouch was willing to do whatever it took to bring peace to the world, even to the point of using his Geass on her and having her hate him in order to bring the Zero Requiem to fruition. The Zero Requiem was actually planned by Lelouch (the enemy of the world) to have him killed by Suzaku disguised as Zero to end the cycle of hatred and to bring peace to the world. Part of the reason Lelouch sacrificed himself was for the dream of Nunnally to make the world peaceful ending all the focuses on war and altering it to reconstruction and negotiation.
Lelouch and C.C. were often paired as the witch and the warlock as being part of a contract. At the start, the two seem to consider each other nothing more than part of a contract with C.C. giving Geass to Lelouch.
This began to change during the Battle of Narita, he whispered her true name, when she had asked. Later on, they began to get along with C.C. often irritating Lelouch with her willful spirit such as being in places where she would be seen in public. C.C. seems to have no guilt whatsoever when using her contractee's credit card for an endless supply of pizza. She also enjoys teasing him in which Lelouch would respond calling her a witch.
As the first person to know what he really desires, C.C. was the closest person Lelouch could share his inner thoughts and turmoil as C.C. could understand his decisions and motivations having lived immortal through centuries of war and suffering. C.C. supports him, while making suggestions where she thinks he is wrong.
In the second season, C.C. kisses him to awaken his memories in the beginning, causing the barriers put up by Charles to be destroyed. When she was about to be granted her wish (to end her immortal life) by Charles, Lelouch stated that he knew her one true wish. He promises her that he would make her true wish come true, and that she would die with a smile on her face. This causes C.C. to seal off her own Code.
When Lelouch finds out how C.C. had lost her memory, he seemed devastated. He treated the amnesiac C.C. more kindly, perhaps sensing how delicate she was at first. He saw her memories and how she came to get her Geass, which gave him a true understanding of her. When he accidentally took his anger out on her, he immediately regretted it and gave her a band-aid.
While in the Sword of Akasha, Lelouch's bond with her allowed him to sense that C.C. had regained her memories. The two seem to know what the other is thinking, even when they have not communicated.
C.C. as becoming close to him feared that Lelouch would hate her for all she had done. However, Lelouch instead was grateful to her for giving him Geass as it allowed him to make his wish come true. He also refused to judge her for her past crimes and atrocities she had commited declaring that if in their contract if she was a witch, he was a warlock.
During the Zero Requiem, C.C. is showing to be praying in a church for all the things Lelouch has done. A single tear rolls down her eye as Lelouch dies under his own orders, grateful to know that Lelouch cared for her.
At the end, she is seen ridden on a haycart with a mysterious driver. She states her little monologue about Geass, then smiles as she asks a question to Lelouch much like she did with his mother.
Euphemia li Britannia
Lelouch and his younger half-sister, Euphemia, were extremely close when they were young. When they met up in the present day, it showed that he still cared for her deeply. He accidentally uses his Geass on her, forcing her to kill the Japanese. As a result of this, Lelouch had no choice but to kill Euphemia in order to end the massacre. It was one of the greatest burdens and sins on his soul and something that he was never able to forgive himself for.
Shirley and Lelouch had been school mates and good friends in Ashford Academy. Shirley stated that she once disliked Lelouch at first but one time she saw a car accident where an elderly couple was being scrutinized by the man who was clearly at fault. Without anyone realising, Lelouch took a tow car's hook and put it on the man's car dragging it away saving the couple. That Lelouch did it without boasting and emotion spark Shirley curiousity to discovering Lelouch's real self. She affectionately calls him "Lulu" that everyone else caught up and made fun of him.
As they became friends she devloped a huge crush on Lelouch, though she disapproved of his gambling habits. She tried to act as a moral centre for the seemingly amoral Lelouch.
As she was too shy to confess, she would often become jealous when Lelouch seems to show interest in other women, particularly Kallen, with whom Lelouch has had a number of misinterpreted encounters. Shirley's crush for Lelouch is explained when she confronts Kallen in what she misunderstands as a romance between the two. Kallen and Lelouch often dismisses Shirley's suspicions as false but she often didn't believe them.
Their relationship became complicated in during the Battle of Narita in which Lelouch's battle tactics killed her father Joseph Fenette, a Britannian army scientist.
A distraught Shirley seeked comfort in Lelouch's arms not realizing he was the one who killed her father. A guilt-ridden Lelouch horrified with his actions comforted her.
However, a Britannian knight Villetta Nu suggested to her that Lelouch might be involved with the Black knights. A horrified Shirley follows Lelouch during the Battle of Port Yokosuka where she attempts to kill Zero until he was unmasked as Lelouch. That the man she loved killed her father devestated Shirley but still she chose to save him by shooting Villetta.
Plagued by insecurities, Shirley was manipluated by Mao, a mind reading Geass user to try and kill Lelouch. In pain of her losses, Shirley almost killed him but her shot caused Lelouch to drop her photos that he had taken and reminded her of her love for him and refused to kill him.
After Mao was defeated, Shirley collapsed in Lelouch's arms tormented by her feelings for him, death of her father and guilt over shooting Villetta. Unable to bear her in pain, Lelouch used his Geass to made her forget him despite his own pain of losing Shirley.
By Season 2, Shirley along with the Ashford Council had been brainwashed by Emperor Charles to forget all the incidents. Still Shirley devoped her old crush on Lelouch and maintains their friendship. She even advise him on love matters stating the love is the most powerful force.
Later she confronted Sayoko posing as Lelouch. Thinking he was a playboy, and in an attempt to distract her from things related to Lelouch's hidden nature as Zero Sayoko kissed him. As a result, Lelouch is incapable of convincing Shirley that he doesn't like her, despite Lelouch's intention to avoid such things, as he is still guilt ridden about the history she has forgotten.
Later when Jeremiah used his Geass canceler on Shirley, she remembered everything she had forgotten. Despite everything he had done, Shirley saw Lelouch motivation for his actions and forgave him. She tries to find him to support and reunite Nunnally and him. Unfortunately, she found Rolo who she reveal her intention. A jealous and wary Rolo murdered her on the spot leaving her to die.
When a devastated Lelouch arrived, he found her dying in a pool of blood. Getting to see her beloved, Shirley confessed her long maintained feelings for him, stating that even after knowing his crimes, losing her memories, she fell in love with him all over again. She told her that she wasn't afraid as she would die loving him again.
A devastated and sobbing Lelouch desperately tries to force her to live with his Geass but she died in his arms.
Shirley's death had a profound effect on Lelouch. It was one of the main motivation for him to wipe out the Geass Order to the last man, woman and child. It also made Lelouch fear of intimacy with others that they would die because of him leading to his obsessive behaviour to prevent C.C. and Kallen from dying during the confrontation in the Sword of Akasha and the Black Knights' Betrayal.
Shirley's memory was amongst those Lelouch saw just before he died.
It is easily noted that both have similar backgrounds and ideals. Characters in the series have called them half-breed, Lelouch because his mother was a mere commoner promote to knighthood with the Emperor as a father while Kallen was born to a Japanese mother and Britannian father. Furthermore both are very close to their siblings. They both have a student persona that was a complete different person from their real personalities as well as their despise for the aristocracy and discrimination.
Kallen despise Lelouch's student persona, seeing him as an arrogant Britannian student who could not be bothered about the world despite his abilities to make a difference while as Zero she saw him with admiration as a symbol of hope against the Britannian Empire and was willing to lay down her life to protect him.
Lelouch, on the other hand saw Kallen as his most loyal follower and held her in high regard due to her abilities as a Knightmare pilot and fierce loyalty to his cause as she share the same beliefs naming her Q-1 as his queen on the chessboard. However, he often threw snide comments and jabs at Kallen in her student persona as she had difficulties pretending to be a sickly Britannian when she became emotional. This behavior may have stemmed from their own frustrations with possessing a double life and a desire to converse with someone who shared more of their opinions than the people they usually interacted with not surprisingly due to their similar background.
Although they continued to bicker in their student persona, they grew closer as Black knights as Lelouch often contact her directly and speak in moment of privacy about the war where Kallen declared that she would follow him all the way leaving Lelouch grateful for her support. Lelouch soon trusts her to the point that he was willing to reveal his identity to her but Kallen declined the offer cementing their trust.
The major turning point came when Kallen found out about Lelouch's identity when she followed him to Kamine Island after he seemingly abandoned the rebellion. She became confused and heartbroken by his true identity being one made from two conflicting views of him as well as his unbalanced and obsessive behaviour that made him seem like neither Lelouch nor Zero when he faced Suzaku, and left him at the Japanese knight's mercy.
After finding out about Geass from C.C. Kallen became conflicted over her deep loyalty to him as whether it was a product of a Geass command or due to her own feelings. In order to find out, she rejoined the Black knights under C.C. to save Lelouch.
When C.C unlocked his memories and as he took over the operation against the Britannians, Kallen confronted him at gun point. Lelouch calmly told her that her loyalty and choices had always been her own but asked if she believed him. In tears, she declared that she wanted to believe that more than anything which made Lelouch guilty for being the source of her sacrifice. However, Kallen stated that she was still angry with him for the lies he told her.
Throughout the rest of the campaign, Kallen began to question which of the two personas did the real Lelouch reflect and tried to keep them as different persons. This led to humourous confrontations between the two where Kallen would switch from being an obedient soldier to snarling and shouting at him depending on his behaviour.
However when Lelouch dispaired over the notion of fighting Nunnally, Kallen repeatedly try to speak to him but Lelouch broke his phone and threw it away. Attempting to forget his pain, the former prince tried to take Refrain only to be violently stopped by an angry Kallen. She declared that he stop fooling around and ask for orders from him.
A depressed Lelouch asked her to comfort him. Kallen snapped at the last minute and slapped him. With tears in her eyes, Kallen screamed at him to be Zero and insisted that he attempt to turn his lie into truth before running away leaving a shamed Lelouch to regret his actions.
Lelouch finally regain his motivation through his friends including Kallen and arrives right in time to save them from a Britannian naval attack.
Lelouch's Geass, bestowed upon him by C.C., gives him "The Power of Absolute Obedience", allowing him to plant commands within a person's mind upon eye contact in a manner comparable to hypnosis. Activation of his Geass is visually represented by the manifestation of a Geass Sigil in his left eye. Commands dictated in this state are written into the minds of the designated targets once the Sigil projects from his eye to theirs. Lelouch could initially toggle Geass activation at will, but subsequently lost this control and suffered from an affliction known as "runaway Geass" near the end of the first series.
In the second season, C.C. gives Lelouch a contact lens that blocks his Geass, but indicates that his Geass will eventually grow powerful enough to render it ineffective. Lelouch's Geass evolves to cover both of his eyes in episode 21 as a result of pushing his Geass to the limit, trying to command a massive psychic entity. He receives a second contact lens to cover it later.
Of all the Geass abilities in the series, Lelouch's has been explored the most, and also seems to have the most restrictions and side effects of any Geass introduced:
- Only affects the nervous system.
- Commands must be issued verbally.
- The victim must make direct eye contact for commands to be issued. The maximum effective distance is 272 meters. Line of sight via a reflective surface is sufficient for the effect to occur.
- Commands may be issued only once to any given individual, but any number of commands may be issued at initial application so long as eye contact is unbroken. Since Jeremiah's Geass Canceller negates all Geass effects, those exposed to it may be commanded once again.
- The victim will not perform any action disallowed by their physical or mental capabilities, though they will try to carry out the command to the best of their ability. For example, a victim will not be able to correctly answer a question they don't know the answer to, but will direct the user to someone who can if they are able. However, commands that affect the mind or consciousness (such as erasing memories or casting a hallucination on a person) will take effect despite the fact that the victim could not normally force themselves to do so. It should be noted that in non-canon appearances, his Geass could be used to unlock memories (Another Century's Episode: R), or put someone into an eternal sleep (Lost Colors).
- An action will be carried out for as long as dictated in its command, or upon the indicated conditional circumstance. Eye contact does not need to be maintained for command execution to occur. No upper limit has been established, but the conditional command Lelouch gives Suzaku is still in effect more than a year later.
- The victim's memories for the duration of command issue and execution are sealed and cannot be recalled.
- As demonstrated in Princess Euphemia's response to the command that she kill the Japanese, a victim may resist a commanded action to some degree if it is utterly repugnant and morally incomprehensible to them.
So long as the above conditions are met, commands may be issued to anybody besides those that had gained an immortal code and to any number of individuals at once. Those under the effect of Geass have a red outline on their pupils, presumably a visual cue for the viewer since the characters never point it out.
Intellect and Chess
Main article: Chess
Even without his Geass, Lelouch is a formidable opponent. His greatest weapon is his prodigious mind, possessing a genius-level intellect, and is capable of devising and executing strategies with incredible speed and precision. As a child, he was a brilliant chess player, besting any opponent who played against him. However, the one person that he was unable to defeat was his older brother, Schneizel. As a teenager, he utilized his masterful skills in real combat, leading a small band of terrorists to victory against overwhelming odds. He could manipulate people and factions with well-spoken speeches and clever deceptions.
The series repeatedly demonstrates Lelouch's mental acuity; ranging from his superb skill in playing chess, to an incident in Stage 14, when Mao says C.C.'s name, Lelouch instantly comes up with fourteen different possibilities for Mao's identity - including the correct one. His intellect is also shown when he was able to program the F.L.E.I.J.A. countermeasure in 19 seconds typing at a incredibly fast speed.
In the audio dramas, Suzaku says that, when they were children, Lelouch devised a secret sign language containing over 500 words. In Stage 17, Lelouch proves his tactical ability by predicting the Lancelot's actions exactly thanks to his study of past battles, allowing Kallen and the Four Holy Swords to almost defeat the Lancelot (only Suzaku's reflexes saved his life). His intelligence is also parodied in one humorous Sound Episode, which has the Student Council members acting suspicious, and Lelouch racing through possible explanations and cover-ups with increasing speed (though it turns out that they were acting strange because he had some rice on his cheek from his lunch).
Physically, Lelouch is underwhelming. He possesses the physical prowess of a teenager who engages in little to no strenuous physical activity. Thus, one of Lelouch's traits is the inability to run very fast or for any substantial period of time. Within the series, this is usually played for comedic effect, as Lelouch is constantly outpaced by his classmates in every situation, and even the most simple tasks requiring manual labor exhaust him before he manages to accomplish anything significant. This joke is taken to its logical conclusion in the second season, where it is revealed that Lelouch is supposed to attend remedial physical education classes, but skips them as often as possible. This creates problems when Sayoko poses as Lelouch: she is a master of martial arts, and hence far more athletic than Lelouch himself. Lelouch laments the problem and decides to have Sayoko attend his gym classes to fix it. By the middle of the second season, Lelouch seems to have gained a bit of physical ability however, as he is able to hold onto Shirley when she fell off the roof of a building.
Lelouch is also shown to be very talented at most domestic skills including cooking and sewing; it has been stated that this comes as a result of his taking care of himself and Nunnally for seven years. He has been shown to be an excellent cook, and is usually the one cooking the food for parties held by the Student Council, both because the others (except Milly) are terrible cooks and nobody else can meet his exacting requirements (such as measuring ingredients to three significant decimals).
Lelouch also has some skill with firearms, usually brandishing a Britannian pistol when threatening someone. His Knightmare piloting skill has been shown only above average. While Lelouch uses Knightmares that have superior specs, he tends to be overwhelmed by Suzaku or other skilled pilots with faster models. When Lelouch pilots a standard Knightmare on the battlefield, he is typically accompanied by Kallen, who is an elite Knightmare pilot and the leader of his personal squad, Squad Zero. After commandeering the Gawain, Lelouch co-pilots it with C.C., controlling the weapons and command functions while C.C. handles navigation and flight. After the Black Knights are exiled from Japan, Lelouch pilots the Shinkirō, which has the most powerful defense of any Knightmare. He also shows a level of ambidexterity as he is able to control either side of the Shinkirō's keyboard-based controls with both hands. Though he could not defeat them, Lelouch managed to hold his own against the Knights of Rounds during the second battle of Tokyo.
Appearances in Other Media
Nightmare of Nunnally
 Lelouch receives a different Geass ability in the Nightmare of Nunnally spin-off series as a result of his near-death during the Britannian attempt to recapture C.C. Instead of the ability to control others, he receives invulnerability granted through a suit of black armour, transforming into a more heavily armoured version of Zero. In the armour, Lelouch can fight on par with multiple Knightmares in single combat. As in the original series, C.C. often serves as his body double, but here is able to manifest the same Geass ability and fight on the same level as Lelouch. With his new abilities, Lelouch forms a different Black Knights and leads them directly in battle instead of planning strategies from the rear, though his fighting ability allows him to achieve the same ends. Lelouch's fighting skills are impressive as his fighting style matches that of Suzaku's. The ability of Lelouch's armor functions almost the same as a Knightmare Frame, such as his cape which can create multiple sharp black whips similar to the Mark Nemo's Blonde Knives. Another ability it possesses is a system called D.O.M. Hostia or the D.O.M. system, which has the ability to control and disable a Knightmare. He also has the ability to summon his own personal Knightmare Frame, Gawain.
This the story continues upon a similar vein anime series until its revealed that Lelouch had a twin brother named Rolo who is the Cardinal of the Geass Order. After revealing himself, Rolo takes Nunnally captive and prepares to burn her as a witch. In order to save her life, Lelouch, Suzaku and Alice join forces to free her. At the conclusion of the story, Lelouch inherits C.C.'s name and immortality, becoming C.C. The Demon King and goes forth to spread Geass and to promote conflict around the world.
- As a child, Lelouch is voiced by Sayaka Ohara in Japanese and Michelle Ruff in English.
- Lelouch was praised for his human like characteristics, as he committed good and evil acts for the right reasons, seeking vengeance against Britannia for what happened to his mother, his love for Nunnally and Suzaku, his remorse for the collateral damage he caused and many other things.
- Lelouch is an avid chess player who likes to gamble with people who play chess also... he is usually the winner every time.
- Lelouch is often compared to Light Yagami from Death Note because they are similar characters. They're both high school boys who suddenly received special powers and decided to uses them to change the world. They both killed many people, except Lelouch felt remorse, while Light didn't. Because Lelouch didn't throw away his humanity, he had allies, but Light lost his humanity very quickly and ended up having no one to rely on, which ultimately led to his downfall. In the end, Light failed and Lelouch succeeded.
- He is actually more similar to Bruce Wayne's alter ego Batman, in which they are both masked characters who show a different personality when they don't wear the mask, but when they put it on, their true characteristics and feelings are shown in perfect clarity.
- He's also very similar to Tatsuya Shiba. Both are 17-year-old master military strategists who rarely show emotion and have a younger sister whom they are painfully protective of (Nunnally vi Britannia and Miyuki Shiba, respectively). They also have wavy black hair and are exactly the same height (5' 10),
- Lelouch can also uses his skills in chess to successfully manipulate an entire army as seen in the episodes when he's leading The Black Knights.