“You dare to oppose me, fool? You must not value your life. Cower before the might of the magic Imhullu: once forbidden, now unleashed!”
—Gharnef's battle quote in Chapter 15 in Shadow Dragon
Gharnef is an enemy character and a dark mage from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, and their remakes. Gharnef's Imhullu spell makes him immune to attacks; however, a magician using the spell Starlight (created by his former master Gotoh) can kill him.
He was once a star pupil of Gotoh, along with Miloah, but due to his lack of a caring heart, he was disqualified to become the inheritor of the Aura spell. Out of jealousy, Gharnef stole the Darksphere, which twisted his soul, and crafted from it the spell Imhullu. Sometime afterwards, he visited an orphanage ravaged by war and used the feelings of despair in Eremiya, the orphanage's bishop, to wipe her memories and bewitch her to put other orphans through brutal training to become assassins. Eventually, he put his plans into motion. He took over Khadein by killing Miloah, revived Medeus and his Dolhr Empire, and manipulated Michalis into killing his father by spreading a rumor that King Osmond was planning to choose Minerva as his successor. He worked with Dolhr and their allies to conquer the world, although he planned to eventually betray them in the end and crush Medeus with the Imhullu spell and the Falchion. He led the attack on Altea (and may have been the one to kill Marth's father Cornelius) in order to gain the Falchion and kidnap Elice, so that he could gain use of the Aum Staff. However, Marth later defeated him and slew Medeus, but Gharnef's soul remained in the Darksphere, allowing his soul to eventually be returned to the land of the living by his heretic followers, albeit without a physical body to inhabit.
When he heard about Hardin's sorrow, Gharnef disguised himself as a merchant and offered him the Darksphere, which twisted Hardin's soul. By using Akaneia's army and Eremiya's assassins, he then gathered four noble sisters, Lena, Maria, Nyna, and Elice, to be sacrificed for Medeus' revival. A member of Marth's army eventually killed him once again with the Starlight spell and thwarted his plan.
Gharnef appears in Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE as a major antagonist. His background is largely based on his background in Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem. After being spurned by his mentor for a rival pupil, Gharnef's jealousy leads him to revive the Shadow Dragon Medeus. In the end, his scheme was thwarted by the Hero-King Marth and his companions. However, rather than die, Gharnef was sealed away.
As time passed and the seal weakened, Gharnef crossed the dimensional barrier, meeting Yatsufusa Hatanaka, with whom he shared a common interest in the resurrection of Medeus. It is revealed that Gharnef was responsible for the Mass Disappearance that kicked off the game's events, and was also the one responsible for erasing the memories of Chrom and his fellow Mirages before enslaving them.
Gharnef's ultimate goal is the completion of the Opera of Shadows, a ritual to resurrect Medeus that requires enormous amounts of Performa. When Itsuki's party learns this, they seek to complete the trials necessary to perform the Opera of Light; a ritual that can counter the Opera of Shadows. Before they can reach the third trial chamber, where the spirit of the Hero-King Marth awaited them, Gharnef and Hatanaka arrive and steal Marth's spirit away. Hatanaka, still seeing Itsuki and his friends as a threat, then offers Gharnef all of his Performa so that the Pontifex can destroy them.
Gharnef's Mirage form in battle takes the physical form of a disembodied bald head within an armored sphere. The sphere is in turn attached to a mechanism that creates a large body with limbs made of energy. He battles Itsuki's party and is defeated, but still manages to send Marth's spirit to Medeus to prevent the Opera of Light from succeeding.
Gharnef is one of three major antagonists from past Fire Emblem titles to appear in Fire Emblem Warriors, alongside Validar and Iago. After being pulled through an Outrealm portal into Aytolis, he becomes allies with Oskar and Velezark, and he takes command of some Gristonne soldiers in their ongoing invasion of Aytolis. He eventually makes his way to the World Tree and blocks the road to the top, intent on stopping the heroes. Defeated, he flees, and with the later defeat of the dragon Velezark, he is returned to Archanea.
Originally Gharnef was thoroughly a man of justice and good intentions, despite lacking compassion and love, and was a highly competent student of Gotoh. However, this changed when Gotoh decided to designate Miloah as the successor of Khadein and the Aura tome, owing to his lack of compassion: Gharnef was twisted by jealousy and rage, which prompted him to steal the Darksphere. The creation of the Imhullu tome sealed his soul in the Darksphere, corrupting him even further into the Dark Pontifex.
From then on, Gharnef was characterised by an almost fanatical devotion to despair and vengeance upon humanity, seeking their end through the revival of Medeus. His preferred method of operation was to remain in the shadows while manipulating other people into his service, such as Jiol, Ludwik, Michalis and Eremiya; in the latter case he even threw it in her face as she died and was released from his control. He delighted in the suffering of others, regardless of who they were, and rumours abounded that he had no intention of remaining subservient to Medeus in the long run, plotting instead to slay and usurp him.
*Drops when defeated
* Drops when defeated
*Drops when defeated
Fire Emblem Awakening (SpotPass)Edit
Tome - A
* Enemy only, joins unequipped.
“Heh heh heh... You dare challenge me, fool? You must not value your life. Cower before the might of the dark magic Imhullu!”
—Gharnef's battle quote in Chapter 23 in Shadow Dragon
“Agh! What... Where did you get...Starlight...? Still, you are a fool...Your power is not enough to defeat Medeus...I shall be waiting in the pits of the inferno...for when he sends you to join me... Heh heh, ha ha ha!”
—Gharnef's death quote in Shadow Dragon
“Haha... It’s already too late... This world is done for...”
—Gharnef's death quote in Mystery of the Emblem Book 2
“Heh heh heh... Perhaps... a taste of Imhullu's might is necessary.”
—Gharnef's battle quote in New Mystery of the Emblem
“Your blade is blunt before me, Marth... I'll smash you and the Shield of Seals into pieces!!”
—Gharnef's battle quote against Marth in New Mystery of the Emblem
“Heh heh heh... Allow me to demonstrate Imhullu's might...”
—Gharnef's battle quote against Avatar in New Mystery of the Emblem
“Heh heh... You're too late... The end is nigh...”
—Gharnef's death quote in New Mystery of the Emblem
“Heh heh heh... Let me teach you the meaning of despair!”
—Gharnef's battle quote as a playable character in Assassins in New Mystery of the Emblem
“Heh heh heh... Maybe I fooled around too much... I'll fall back for now!”
—Gharnef' retreat quote in Assassins in New Mystery of the Emblem
“Ah, a manakete... Heh heh... You'll make a fine replacement for Tiki.”
—Gharnef's battle quote against Nowi in Rogues & Redeemers 1
“Nngh... How...could I...”
—Gharnef's death quote in Rogues & Redeemers 1
“How could I... aah!”
—Gharnef's death quote in Rogues and Redeemers 2
“Join me, and the whole world could be your plaything!”
—Gharnef's battle quote against Nowi in Rogues & Redeemers 3
“Inconceivable! How could my magic be thwarted... Aaaggh!”
—Gharnef's death quote in Rogues and Redeemers 3
“If you dare to oppose me, you are indeed a fool. One who must pay the ultimate price... Cower before the might of Gharnef... I'll be the architect of your undoing!”
—Gharnef's battle quote in Fire Emblem Warriors
- In Rogues and Redeemers 2, Gharnef is the only villain who appears to express any knowledge of their new allies, instantly recognizing Tiki despite her adult appearance and knowing that it would have taken a great amount of time for her to reach such a level of maturity.
- Gharnef's Mirage form in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE appears to be at least partially inspired by YHVH, the final boss of Megami Tensei II and Shin Megami Tensei II. In these games, YHVH appears as a large, disembodied bald head, similar to the appearance of Gharnef's physical form.