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Hero Overview

Even if you have regrets, even if you have remorse, you must fight. If you have made the decision for yourself to fight, to struggle, then fight with all you have. Do not give up for one second, one moment, or one instant. Cling greedily to the victory you have within your sight. If you can still stand, if your fingers still move, if all your teeth have not broken, stand and fight. You must fight!
~ Wilhelm van Astrea

Wilhelm van Astrea (né Trias), also known as the Sword Demon, is a major character in the Japanese dark fantasy franchise Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World. He appears as a major character in the main 2014 light novel series, as well as its anime television series & manga adaptations of the same name. Outside of the main series, he acted as the titular main protagonist of The Love Song of the Sword Devil and The Love Ballard of the Sword Devil, the second and third volumes of the spin-off light novel series Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World Ex respectively. He also appears as a minor character in Isekai Quartet, a 2019 comedy crossover anime television series that features characters from several properties of the "Isekai" genre.

Wilhelm Trias was the youngest of three boys born into a small noble household in the Dragonfriend Kingdom of Lugunica. As a young lad, Trias became obsessed with swordsmanship. He practiced tirelessly everyday to hone his natural talent with the blade, refining himself into a formidable swordsman. Eventually, after a heated argument with one of his brothers, Wilhelm ran away from home and joined the Lugunican military. Wilhelm, now fifteen years old, participated in the Lugunican civil war known as the Demi-Human War that saw the nation face off against its own marginalized demi-human population. Despite his young age, Trias distinguished himself on the field of battle, becoming a fighting force dreadfully referred to as the "Sword Demon." Alongside his comrade-in-arms Grimm Fauzen, Wilhelm eventually joined Zergev Squadron, an elite squad led by the legendary Captain Bordeaux Zergev. The Sword Demon, who was considered the Kingdom's greatest warrior at the time, was mean-spirited and distant with people in general. Even his closest comrades Grimm, Bordeaux, Pivot Anansi, Carol Remendes, and Roswaal J. Mathers failed to break through his shell. Wilhelm's attitude finally changed however when he met and fell in love with Theresia van Astrea, who helped him take a warmer (if still aloof) approach to those around him.

With his dear friends, Wilhelm defeated the three leaders of the Demi-Human Alliance—Libre Fermi, Sphinx, and Valga Cromwell. After having been saved by Theresia, Trias learned that the woman he loved was the Master Swordsman of the era who had been inactive for most of the war because she hated fighting. For the next two years, Wilhelm trained so that he could free Astrea from her responsibilities by defeating her in a duel and proving that she wasn't the greatest warrior. As he had hoped, Wilhelm was able to take the mantle of Lugunica's strongest from his beloved during the crowded armistice ceremony that was celebrating the end of the Demi-Human War. After the War, Trias and Theresia married, and due to his partner's political importance, Wilhelm took her name and became Wilhelm van Astrea. In the years following his marriage, Wilhelm found an arch-nemesis in the form of the Volakian nobleman Stride Volakia, who was the Sin Archbishop of Pride of the Witch Cult. Their rivalry forged many important notes in history, including a legendary duel between Wilhelm and Stride's bodyguard Kurgan that became known as the Silver Flower Dance of Pictat. Ultimately however, Stride perished at the hands of the Blight Dragon Balgren, freeing Wilhelm and Theresia of his tyranny.

Wilhelm and Theresia would go on to have their first and only child—Heinkel Astrea. Unlike his parents, Heinkel's talent with the sword wasn't superb, although he was still a fairly formidable combatant. The family of three, accompanied by Grimm Fauzen and Carol Remendes who were now employed by the House of Astrea as servants, lived a happy life. Eventually, Heinkel grew into a man and took a beautiful wife of his own named Louanna. Together with Louanna, Heinkel had a child they named Reinhard Astrea. Reinhard was, without a doubt, a blessed child. When Heinkel's son was two years old, Louanna fell into a perpetual coma, never to wake again. Three years later, tragedy struck once again in the Astrea family when Theresia took up her sword for the first time in decades in place of her son to lead the hunt of the powerful mabeast known as the White Whale. Partway through her battle with the Whale, her blessing of the Master Swordsman transferred to her grandson Reinhard, causing Theresia to become overwhelmed and lose her life. Wilhelm blamed his son and infant grandson for the death of his wife in his grief, tearing a permanent rift in the family. The Sword Demon vowed that he would one day kill the White Whale so that his wife could be avenged. Over the next decade, Reinhard became the absolutely undefeatable/most powerful entity to ever live.

Around fourteen years after the death of Theresia, Wilhelm came under the servitude of Duchess Crusch Karsten, a highly-respected if young Lugunican noblewoman. Karsten was one of the five candidates to become the forty-second ruler of Lugunica, and sought the support of the legendary Sword Demon for the upcoming election process. Wilhelm swore fealty to Crusch because she promised to assist him with exterminating the elusive White Whale. Eventually, Karsten briefly welcomed a young man named Subaru Natsuki into her household for treatment. Natsuki, who served an opposing candidate for the throne named Emilia, offered to provide information about the Whale's whereabouts. In exchange, Subaru wanted the Crusch Camp political faction to offer their support in taking down a group of Witch Cultists led by the Sin Archbishop of Sloth Petelgeuse Romanée-Conti that had infiltrated the Emilia Camp territory. Karsten agreed, and a large subjugation force was formed to annihilate the Whale. During the battle with the beast, Wilhelm demonstrated great courage and ferocity. Although the mission was long and the Whale fought hard, the Sword Demon Wilhelm van Astrea eventually landed the final blow on the beast, finding peace at last. In the aftermath, Astrea forged a deep respect for Natsuki who had shown great valour despite his lack of combat ability during the subjugation. As promised, the members of the Karsten Camp including Wilhelm proceeded to assist Subaru with defeating Sloth and driving the Cult out of Emilia's territory.

In all media, Wilhelm is voiced by Kenyu Horiuchi as an old man in Japanese and by Kaito Ishikawa as a young man. Ishikawa's other heroic roles include Professor Oak in the Pokémon franchise, Tobirama Senju in Naruto, Kin'emon in One Piece, Raiden in Metal Gear, Barazō Mankanshoku in Kill la Kill, Toki in Fist of the North Star, Ichiryu in Toriko, and Anson Sioux in The Saga of Tanya the Evil. Ishikawa's other heroic roles include Genos in One Punch Man, Tenya Iida in My Hero Academia, Nero in Devil May Cry, Naofumi Iwatani in The Rising of the Shield Hero, Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd in Fire Emblem, Ledo in Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, Tigrevurmud Vorn in Lord Marksman and Vanadis, Kiawe in Pokémon Sun & Moon, Pipimi in Pop Team Epic, Falcon in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, Pegasus Seiya in Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary, and Gunvolt in Azure Striker Gunvolt.

In English dubbing, Wilhelm was voiced by Marc Diraison in the first season of the anime adaptation and by Barry Yandell in all other media. The late Billy Kametz voiced the younger version of Wilhelm. Diraison's other heroic roles include Ging Freecss in Hunter x Hunter, George Joestar I in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Guts in some installations of the Berserk series, and Roronoa Zoro in the original version of the One Piece dub. Yandell has also voiced Dwarf Shaman in Goblin Slayer. The late Kametz has also voiced Josuke Higashikata in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, Naofumi Iwatani in The Rising of the Shield Hero, Metal Lee in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Ferdinand von Aegir in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Naoto Kurogane in BlazBlue, Kyouya Mitsurugi in KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World!, White Blood Cell in Cells at Work!, Galo Thymos in Promare, male Hakuno Kishinami in Fate/Extra Last Encore, Blue Oak in Pokémon Masters, and Osomatsu Matsuno in Mr. Osomatsu.


Wilhelm Trias had long messy dark chestnut brown hair that partially fell over his face and was chaotically tied into a ponytail at the back of his head. At the time of his debut battle during the Demi-Human War, Wilhelm was fifteen years old and possessed a small stature that meant he still had a lot of growing to do. His sky blue eyes were, rather befitting of a cold-hearted killer, completely devoid of any form of emotion. He had a hard countenance and deportment that presented him as a experienced combatant beyond his years. Over the span of the war, Wilhelm grew into a tall man who stood at five feet and ten inches. His slender frame was adorned with an impressively well-toned musculature and his face was considered rather attractive.

Roughly forty years after the defeat of Stride, the Sword Demon had naturally aged into an elderly gentleman. Wilhelm's peaceful face now had gentle wrinkles carved into it that gave him the look of a kindly old man. Wilhelm's many years as a high-class nobleman provided him with a physical refinement that he sorely lacked in his youth. His perfectly-combed long solid white hair was swept back and tied neatly into a ponytail at the bottom of his head using a black ribbon. Additionally, Wilhelm now sported a small beard and moustache in the Van Dyke style. Despite his natural physical deterioration, Wilhelm still had a well-honed physique and perfect posture that contradicted his advanced age.

Reflecting his role as a butler for the House of Karsten, Wilhelm usually wore a finely-made suit that was befitting of his position. His ensemble consisted of a pair of black shoes, elegant black trousers, a frilly white poet-style shirt with a wingtip collar, a white waistcoat with a set of four black buttons and black lapels, a black bow tie, and a pair of white cotton gloves. Over the top of his ensemble, Wilhelm wore a black tailcoat that had a blue interior, notched blue lapels, a set of three silver buttons down the center of the coat, and three bronze buttons on each cuff. Wilhelm occasionally had a badge depicting the insignia of the House of Karsten attached to the left-side lapel of his tailcoat. During the attack on Pristela, Astrea's waistcoat was light-grey rather than white.


What do you know about my feelings, Brother?!
~ Wilhelm and his eldest brother arguing.

Wilhelm Trias was born a denizen of the Kingdom of Lugunica, the westernmost of the four great nations. The kingdom was ruled by the Lugunican Royal Family and received blessings of ripe harvest and protection from an ancient pact forged with the legendary Holy Dragon Volcanica. Wilhelm was the third son of the House of Trias, a waning noble family with a small territory in the north of Lugunica that had earned its former fame by fighting for the nation in wars.

As the third child, Wilhelm never had to worry about inheriting the responsibilities of leading the family. Instead, he became enamoured with swords and began training with them like his forefathers had before him. Over six years of practice, Wilhelm's obsession began to worry his family who had initially viewed it as a harmless hobby. One day, Wilhelm and his eldest brother got into a heated argument which eventually resulted in the younger brother running away from home and joining the Lugunican Royal Army.



  • Unnamed estranged parents †
  • Two unnamed estranged elder brothers †
  • Veltol Astrea † - Father-in-law
  • Tishua Astrea † - Mother-in-law
  • Theresia van Astrea † - Wife
  • Heinkel Astrea - Estranged son
  • Louanna Astrea - Daughter-in-law
  • Reinhard van Astrea - Estranged grandson


  • Anastasia Camp - Political rivals/allies
  • Carol Remendes - Good friend/rival
  • Crusch Camp - Political allies
  • Emilia Camp - Political rivals/allies
  • Felt
  • King Jionis Lugunica † - Ruler
  • Lugunican military - Former comrades
    • Lyp Barielle † - Superior/rival
    • Razaac Gildark † - Superior
    • Tholter Weasily †
    • Zergev Squadron - Former comrades/subordinates
      • Bordeaux Zergev - Superior and good friend
      • Conwood Melahau
      • Grimm Fauzen - Best friend
      • Pivot Anansi † - Superior and friend
  • Miklotov McMahon
  • Olfe Six-Tongue
  • Roswaal J. Mathers † - Good friend
  • Russel Fellow
  • Yactol Suwen



Felix: I must admit, I was surprised to see you talking with that boy. I always thought you'd rather chop people in half than talk to them.
Wilhelm: That's a grave misunderstanding. I merely took a bit of a liking to what I saw there in that young man's eyes. Those are the eyes of one who has been at death's door, many times.
Huuum, now you've lost me. Either way, if Wilhelm van Astrea, the Sword Demon, says something like that, then I'm sure the boy faces quite a bumpy road ahead.
~ Wilhelm and Felix Argyle talking about Subaru.
Fourteen years. That's how long I've dreamed of nothing but this day. Fall here, and leave your corpse behind.
~ Wilhelm speaking to the White Whale at the beginning of the subjugation.
How wonderfully cooperative of you monster! Coming here to be slain!
~ Wilhelm screaming at the Whale as he ran along its back delivering sword blows.

List of Appearances

Light Novel

The Love Song of the Sword Devil

  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: First Stanza
  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: Second Stanza
  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: Third Stanza
  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: Fourth Stanza
  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: Fifth Stanza
  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: Sixth Stanza
  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: Seventh Stanza
  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: Interlude Stanza
  • The Love Song of the Sword Devil: Final Stanza

The Love Ballad of the Sword Devil

  • The Love Ballad of the Sword Devil: What Became of Them
  • The Love Ballad of the Sword Devil: The Wedding Day
  • The Love Ballad of the Sword Devil: The Silver Flower Dance of Pictat
  • The Love Ballad of the Sword Devil: Lovers' Interlude

The Great Journeys

  • Record of the Days Before the Royal Selection − The Silver Flower Dance of the Sword Saint and the Lightning (Mentioned only)

Volume 4

  • Chapter 1: Return to the Royal Capital (First appearance)

Volume 5

  • Chapter 1: A Decaying Mind

Volume 8

  • Chapter 1: A Beeline Toward Sloth
  • Chapter 2: —Fight
  • Chapter 3: The Meaning of Having Returned
  • Chapter 4: A Crafty Sloth
  • Chapter 5: A Pact Fulfilled

Volume 9

  • Chapter 1: The Gospel Known as Warmth
  • Chapter 3: The Self-Declared Knight and "The Finest of Knights"
  • Chapter 5: —A Tale About That, And Nothing More
  • Interlude: Let Us Feast (Mentioned only)
  • Chapter 6: To Each Their Vows

Volume 10

  • Chapter 1: At the Place of Return

Volume 11

  • Chapter 1: Maid, Maid, Maid (Mentioned only)

Volume 12

  • Chapter 5: Ending List (Appears in vision)

Volume 15

  • Chapter 4: Next Time, I'm Sure We'll Have Tea (Voice only in vision)
Isekai Quartet
  • Episode 13: Join the Fight! Transfer Student (First appearance)
  • Episode 19: Excitement! Physicals Day
  • Episode 22: Rise Up! School Festival
  • Episode 24: The Show Begins! Showtime

External Links


  • Wilhelm's birthday was on the 7th of May.
  • Kaito Ishikawa and Billy Kametz, the Japanese and English voice actors for young Wilhelm respectively, also share the role of Naofumi Iwatani in The Rising of the Shield Hero. Both Wilhelm and Naofumi were characters who were aloof to their allies and enemies alike before making friends and opening their hearts up. They are also respectively being referred as Demon (Sword Demon for Wilhelm and Shield Demon for Naofumi) in their respective world.
  • The flowery field in the capital where Wilhelm and Theresia met happens to be the same location where their grandson Reinhard first met Felt nearly forty years later.
  • The author of the series, Tappei Nagatsuki, mentioned that Wilhelm likely would've died at some point during the Demi-Human War if he hadn't met Theresia.


                    ReZero logo.png Heroes
Anastasia Camp
Anastasia Hoshin · Hetaro, Mimi, and Tivey Pearlbaton · Julius Juukulius · Ricardo Welkin
Crusch Camp
Crusch Karsten · Felix Argyle · Wilhelm van Astrea
Emilia Camp
Beatrice · Emilia · Frederica Baumann · Garfiel Tinzel · Otto Suwen · Petra Leyte · Puck · Ram · Rem · Subaru Natsuki
Felt Camp
Felt · Grimm Fauzen · Old Man Rom · Reinhard van Astrea
Priscilla Camp
Aldebaran · Priscilla Barielle
Archi Elior · Cecils Segmund · Fortuna · Fourier Lugunica · Hoshin of the Wastes · Marcus Gildark · Shaula · Theresia van Astrea · Vincent Volakia · Volcanica
                    Isekai Quartet logo.png Heroes
Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious
Ristarte · Seiya Ryuuguuin
KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World!
Aqua · Arue · Chris · Darkness · Eris · Megumin · Kazuma Satou · Wiz · Yunyun
Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
Beatrice · Emilia · Felt · Hoshin of the Wastes · Julius Juukulius · Puck · Ram · Reinhard van Astrea · Rem · Subaru Natsuki · Wilhelm van Astrea
The Rising of the Shield Hero
Filo · Naofumi Iwatani · Raphtalia
The Saga of Tanya the Evil
Tanya von Degurechaff · Viktoriya Ivanovna Serebryakov