Zelgadis Greywords is a fictional character from the manga, light novels and anime Slayers. He is voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa in the original version. In the dub, he was originally voiced by Daniel Cronin. However, after finishing episode 10, the production came to a halt, and was resumed only a year later, while the staff has lost contact with Cronin during that time. They hired Crispin Freeman as a replacement who gave the character a darker voice and he continued to voice Zelgadis for the remainder of the series.
Originally an ordinary human being, Zelgadis was the descendant of Rezo the Red Priest, a well-respected blind wizard who did good deeds for the people while being secretly tormented by his blindness and his obsession to find a way to restore the sight he'd never had. Though in the anime he tells Lina that Rezo is both his grandfather and great-grandfather, the creator Hajime Kanzaka later decided that Rezo was just his great-grandfather. (In the original light novels, Zelgadis claimed he was unsure of whether Rezo was his grandfather or great-grandfather.)
As a youth, Zelgadis wanted to be the most powerful being of all, so Rezo answered his desire by turning Zelgadis into a chimera - 1/3 human, 1/3 golem, and 1/3 brau demon (a kind of a lesser demon bearing slight resemblance to a dark elf - drow). It was later discovered that Rezo's blind eyes were housing a fragment of the Dark Lord Shabranigdo, and that the Dark Lord's presence in Rezo's body might have corrupted him and forced him into doing things like cursing Zelgadis.
In the series, Zelgadis is first seen trying to acquire the Philosopher Stone with the help of his servants Zolf and Rodimus, which brings him into conflict with Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev when they happen to acquire it first, albeit by accident (it was in with the treasure Lina had stolen from the Dragon Fangs gang). Rezo is also after the stone, albeit for different reasons (Zelgadis hopes to use it to either destroy Rezo or to change himself back into a regular human). After fighting with one another in addition to fighting Rezo's minions, Zelgadis joins forces with Lina and Gourry to thwart Lord Shabranigdo when the dark lord is released from Rezo's eyes. In the process, both Zolf and Rodimus are killed. After that, Zelgadis initially goes off on his own, but when a bounty is placed on his head by Eris, another of Rezo's followers, Zelgadis once again joins forces with Lina and Gourry and also their new companion Princess Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun, this time to thwart not only Eris but also her clone of Rezo (Copy Rezo as they call him).
Throughout the rest of the series, especially in the NEXT series, Zelgadis's main goal is to reverse his condition, thus he seeks out various objects and spell books of magical importance in hopes that he can use it to cure himself.
Zelgadis is notable for his determination, focus, and strength of will, as well as his obsession with regaining his human form. He is quiet, distant and aloof, very much a lone wolf type. At times he tries to act on his own or leave the group in order to stay focused on his goal when they are either being oblivious to his needs or are just goofing around. He is also the straight man of the group and sometimes the one who either has to be the peace maker or the one who has to calm Lina down in order to get her to think rationally. He can be very commanding and adept at getting people to do what he either wants or needs them to do in order to accomplish the objective at hands, very much an ends-justifies-the-means person. At the same time, he becomes frustrated very easily, especially when his comrades are incapable of focusing themselves long enough to either solve the problem at hand or solve his own.
Another notable aspect of Zelgadis is his arrogance—a highly skilled shaman magic user, Zelgadis is good and he knows it. His confidence and self-assurance often border on arrogance, though not without justification. He also frequently behaves in a selfish, almost holier-than-thou manner, as if the suffering of others does not even begin to compare with his own, and frequently puts his own needs before his friends. This is most likely another factor in his reactions to the absurdity that surrounds him.
He appears to have developed a strong crush on Amelia, as he blushes the most around her and tends to protect her throughout the series, though he still scolded her for acting irrationally from time to time, sometimes even hitting her head. Additionally, in the closing credits of the last episode of TRY, his interest appears to have become mutual since we see him drinking from a canteen with her wristband on it. So far, in Revolution, he is travelling as her bodyguard, at the request of her father, the Crown Prince, hinting that Zelgadis has gone to Sairune sometime between TRY and Revolution. He and Amelia seem to be more comfortable around each other, along with an instant understanding of the others thought process. In the second episode of Revolution, he states he was hired by Prince Phil to be Amelia's bodyguard--and is acting as "deputy king" (which fans believe was left open to interpretation). He also took a bit of abuse from her in Episode 4 without yelling as he would have done in previous seasons, instead grumbling under his breath and has somewhat mellowed out since last time; even enjoying a massage on a cruise ship and firing a spell at assassins before Amelia had the chance. So far in Evolution-R, he has shed tears of joy and awe while watching Amelia (and "Nama") battle a dragon.
Appearance and powers Edit
While the third of him that is human maintains his original human form/figure, the two thirds of him that are golem and demon changed the appearance of his skin and hair considerably. The demon third of his being gives him blue skin and the wire-like, silver/bluish-purple/violet hair (depending on whether you're reading the manga or watching the anime) and possibly the leaf-shaped pointed ears, enabling him to run faster than the eye can see, and grants him great power in Shamanist magic while his other golem third outlines his skin with rock and stone. Though he often complains about his freakish appearance, the stone hide has proved useful to him on many occasions, as the stone hide is virtually impenetrable to ordinary weapons such as swords or bombs - he commented early on that nothing short of the Sword of Light would hurt him - while the combination of stone and demon stamina most likely was the only thing that allowed him to endure being struck down repeatedly by Gaav, one blow of which actually caused him to bleed. In an early episode of TRY, Zelgadis was struck in the forehead by a fired cannonball while protecting Amelia, suffering little more than being knocked out a moment later in a delayed-reaction sight gag. (The cannonball itself broke in half after the impact.) The demon aspect of his body also seems to endow him with a certain measure of superhuman strength as demonstrated by him being able to carry Filia's mace with casual ease.(whereas Lina could not even lift it)
On the other hand, his stone hide makes him extremely heavy - so heavy in fact that he was used as a replacement anchor when the gang was seeking a lake dragon that was key to a very special cuisine.
Physically he is much shorter than Gourry, presumably of average height, with a very slight physical build.
Zelgadis is a Shamanism style magic user, and also a durable swordsman in his own right. He can perform some black attack magic, healing spells, and specializes in earth, wind and spirit Shaministic magic, most noticeably the Ra Tilt. He is also adept at safe-cracking and lock-picking for reasons he'd rather not explain in detail when asked. He seems to have learned many things from Rezo (assumed to be before he was turned into a chimera) including how to plot his whereabouts on a map and possibly even how to pick locks and crack safes.