Gildarts Clive (ギルダーツ ・クライヴ Girudātsu Kuraivu) is known for being one of the Fairy Tail Guild's S-Class Mages, its Ace, its most famous Mage at one time, and was its Fifth Guild Master. He is also the father of Cana Alberona.
Gildarts is a tall, muscular man with shoulder-length orange hair (usually kept slicked back) and a stubbly beard. His heavily muscular body is without a left arm and left leg, which he initially replaces with rudimentary wooden prosthetics, completed with an armored knee-guard to function as the knee joint. Later, however, Gildarts switches to more functional, armor-like prosthetic limbs. His chest sports scars, two of which are stitched, and his black Fairy Tail stamp; the majority of his torso is bandaged, as is his right forearm and left shoulder.
Gildarts' attire is rather simple; he wears a long, black, high-collared and tattered cloak with shoulder plates; around his waist is a simple belt. Gildarts also wear loose-fitting dark pants, complete with an armored waist-guard bearing plates similar to the ones on his shoulders, tucked inside simple boots.
Gildarts is a laid-back, kind and easygoing person who has great interest and the utmost faith in the new generation of Fairy Tail's Mages. He is rather oblivious, and doesn't pay much attention to his surroundings, as he recognized neither the guild nor Mirajane. He also has a tendency to break through walls with his Crash in order to pass, rather than simply using a door, something which prompted the inhabitants of Magnolia to create the town's rearranging process.
Gildarts is, as pointed out by himself, rather bad at holding back during a fight, though he fights in a particular way, so as to prevent human casualties. He also respects his opponents and, very similar to Natsu, takes his opponents neither too lightly nor holds them in too high a regard. Gildarts also won't refuse an offered challenge, though if something more important arises, he may postpone said event.
Gildarts appears to be somewhat of a lone wolf, as in X781, he left the guild to partake upon a 100-year quest. Upon being declared the guild's Fifth Master, Gildarts quickly re-passed the mantle back upon Makarov and left the guild once more, suggesting a feeling of discomfort regarding leadership positions, or at least a dislike of added responsibility. In addition, he is a womanizer, having been with at least 13 women since leaving his now-deceased ex-wife 18 years ago.
Years ago, Gildarts met and fell in love with a woman named Cornelia. Their relationship blossomed and the two eventually married each other, however, Gildarts was so fixated on his work that Cornelia left him, leaving Gildarts completely unaware that she was carrying his child.
In the past, Gildarts has taken SS-Class jobs, as well as 10-year quests; in X781, Gildarts left the guild to partake upon a 100-year quest. While on said quest, he encountered Acnologia and was quickly defeated, losing both his left arm and leg, as well as an unspecified organ, in the process.
Edolas arcWith the bells signalling his arrival, Gildarts finally makes his return home, without having finished his 100-year quest. With the town shifting itself to accommodate him, Gildarts finds himself at the guild, though he doesn't recognize it and asks Mirajane (whom he also doesn't recognize) where the guild is; she replies that he is at the guild and that she is Mirajane, leaving him shocked. Quickly brushing off Natsu's attempt at a challenge, he informs his guildmates that he failed his 100-year quest, leaving them all utterly dumbfounded. Gildarts then tells Natsu to come to his house later and exits the guild, destroying the wall with his Magic.
Upon seeing Natsu arrive at his house, he instantly asks about his relationship with Lisanna, completely unaware that she died 2 years prior. As Natsu attempts to leave, he tells Natsu that during his mission he encountered a Black Dragon. Showing Natsu his injuries, Gildarts explained that the Dragon attacked him, resulting in the loss of his left arm and left leg, as well as an unspecified organ, before he could react. Gildarts warns Natsu that a human cannot stand up to that Dragon, but Natsu says that Dragon Slayers exist for that exact reason. With Natsu running out of his house, Gildarts encourages Happy to give him the utmost support.
Tenrou Island arc
As everyone celebrates Lisanna's return, Gildarts (with new prosthetic limbs) talks with Makarov about Mystogan's sad departure. Days later, he is seen alongside Makarov as the man announces the up and coming S-Class Mage Promotion Trial, which will take place on Tenrou Island, and those who will participate in it.
After the rules are explained, it is revealed that he, alongside Mirajane and Erza, will be participating in the Promotion Trial as well, all in order to act as resistance to the candidates.
Later on, after the start of the exam, Gildarts places himself along one of the eight available paths: the E Path, which Natsu and Happy later go down. Upon seeing the two, Gildarts greets them and tells Natsu that his luck is rather unfortunate.
With the two preparing to fight, Gildarts tells Natsu that he hates holding back, however Natsu eagerly engages Gildarts, prompting the man to state that he isn't mentally prepared for combat yet. In spite of this, Gildarts' usage of hand-to-hand combat and Crash softens and deflects Natsu's attacks, leaving the latter quite overwhelmed. Natsu then tries to attack him with his Fire Dragon's Roar, but Gildarts uses Disassembly on the spell, which accidentally touches affects Natsu himself, reducing the Fire Dragon Slayer into numerous chibi versions of himself.
Seeing this, Gildarts sadly believes that Natsu has failed, though he is surprised by the fact that he does not give up; all the mini-Natsus intend to continue fighting, holding the belief that they now hold a numerical advantage, something which impresses Gildarts, as he is the first person to challenge him whilst in such a state.
Gildarts starts off by just using his cape to blow away the mini-Natsus, but some manage to sneak up on him and use various comedic attacks, such as pulling on his face and hair or setting his face on fire with a combined Fire Dragon's Roar. Eventually Gildarts becomes annoyed by the mini-Natsus and decides to turn him back to normal. Natsu takes this chance to close the distance and launch his powerful Crimson Lotus: Exploding Flame Blade spell, forcing Gildarts to take two steps back.
Before he is able to pass Natsu for his efforts, Natsu shouts that he desired to properly defeat a real S-Class Mage, something which Gildarts predicted. Appealing to Natsu's wish, Gildarts completely releases his Magic Power, claiming that he will no longer hold back, prompting Natsu to fall to his knees, completely overwhelmed with fear. Having defeated Natsu, Gildarts nonetheless tell the young man that he passed, as the lesson he desired to teach was one on weakness, not strength; He explains that when one notices their own weaknesses it helps them become strong and gentle, which are the requirements necessary to become an S-Class mage. Although Natsu refuses to accept the results, Gildarts reminds him that there are still other trials ahead and that they are the same when it comes to not wanting to lose. He then raises Natsu's spirits by saying that he will fight him once again, whenever he wants.
After passing Natsu, Gildarts, along with Freed and Bickslow, leaves Tenrou Island to return to the guild. In spite of this, Gildarts, visibly enraged, returns to Tenrou Island just as Bluenote Stinger is about to kill Cana, saving her and relieving all those witnessing the happening.
After arriving, Gildarts demands that everyone leave the area and charges towards Bluenote, who sinks the earth beneath his feet and launches it towards Gildarts; the S-Class Mage easily disassembles the earth before proceeding to match Bluenote blow for blow, causing a large explosion. Ignoring Bluenote's disbelief at his overpowering, Gildarts tells the Grimoire Heart Mage that the Promotion Trial was extremely important to the kids, more so than any adult could imagine. Explaining that it was a symbol of their determination towards the future, Gildarts angrily states that he won't forgive Bluenote for stepping all over their dreams.
Gildarts and Bluenote then continue to fight a relatively equal match, until, that is, Azuma uproots the Tenrou Tree, causing everyone with the Mark of Fairy Tail to lose their strength, allowing Bluenote to gain the upper hand. Gildarts is soon forced to the ground and is repeatedly struck by Bluenote, who tells the man that without Magic, he's nothing more than garbage. After their Magic Power is returned due to Azuma's defeat, Gildarts grabs Bluenote's foot when the man tries to stomp on him, jokingly telling him that he won't be able to act as an examiner anymore having taken such damage from him. Throwing Bluenote back, the Dark Mage happily tells Gildarts that the time to become serious has arrived and prepares his Black Hole.
Gildarts starts to get sucked in and asks what it is; Bluenote says it's a point of infinite gravity that swallows everything before screaming for Gildarts to fly. Gildarts then proceeds to crack, and destroy, Bluenote's Black Hole with his Magic; he then subsequently asks Bluenote if he would rather be the one to be sent flying. Hitting Bluenote with his Crushing Evil, Spreading the Truth: Empyrean, Gildarts defeats the Dark Mage and sends him spiraling into the skies above.
Later, Gildarts is seen complaining about how he can't move and that he must really be getting old. He later joins the celebration over Fairy Tail's victory, wherein he teases Laxus over the man's excommunication.
Not long after, Gildarts goes fishing with Natsu, though they are quickly approached by Cana and Lucy, where Cana tells Gildarts that she is his daughter. Although initially spastic and unsure about whose daughter she is, Gildarts hugs her and acknowledges her as the child of his former wife and only true love: Cornelia. After Cana finally warms up to him he hugs her again, asking for the right to love her.
Soon after, Acnologia arrives and Gildarts quickly reacts to his looming presence, identifying him as the same Black Dragon that both mutilated and dismembered him at Mount Zonia during his 100-year quest. He then orders Natsu to stay silent after the latter starts spouting questions concerning Igneel, Metalicana and Grandeeney. After the Dragon starts attacking them, Gildarts cries out for his guildmates to run to the ship. However, he, along with the rest of the Team Tenrou, comes back to help Makarov, though Gildarts remarks that Acnologia is merely playing with them and that he isn't fighting them with the same strength that he received.
After a short battle, Acnologia flies into the air and prepares to release his Dragon's Roar, prompting the entire guild to grabs hands and pour all their Magic Power into Freed so as to protect themselves from the blast; their attempt, however, is in vain and Tenrou Island is obliterated. Despite a great deal of searching, they are never found.
Gildarts, along with the rest of the Team Tenrou is rescued by Bisca, Alzack, Jet, Droy, Max, Warren and The Trimens from Blue Pegasus; he watches as Mavis Vermilion reveals that she was the one who saved them before disappearing. Gildarts, along with the other returning members, returns to Fairy Tail and is welcomed back by Romeo.
Key of the Starry Sky arc
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Grand Magic Games arc
Makarov later leads Gildarts to an underground passage and shows him the guild's greatest secret, Lumen Histoire, and tells him that he will be the next Master of Fairy Tail. As Makarov is announcing Gildarts as the new master, Mirajane appears in his place, explaining that Gildarts left a note for the guild and departed on a journey once again. In his note, he explains he was not fit to be the Master, but since he was given the duty, he wishes for Laxus to become a Fairy Tail member once more, and for Makarov to retake the mantle as the Sixth Master. He also leaves Cana a card so they can keep in contact, though she rips it shortly after. Gildarts ends his letter promising to return to Fairy Tail one day, and hopes by then Fairy Tail will be the number one guild in Fiore once more.
While the rest of Fairy Tail watches the Pandemonium event take place in the Grand Magic Games, Gildarts wanders alone in a hilly landscape. Tired with his journey, he suddenly spots a woman surrounded by three snarling, horned monsters, and moves to assist her, easily scaring the three beasts off. However, his wrath towards them also scares the woman, who runs from him screaming.
Annoyed that the woman didn't fall for him for his gallant rescue, Gildarts grabs his belongings and continues on his way, soon arriving at a large town cocooned in the mountains. Upon entering the town he notices that many of the villagers appear to be saddened and downtrodden. Also in the village is the woman he saved earlier, who upon seeing him thanks him and fetches the leader of the town, who also pays his respects. Speaking to the villagers further, Gildarts learns that the town has been attacked by a vicious monster, being the reason for the townspeople's sadness. Seeing this, Gildarts offers to deal with the beast himself.
Entering the lair of the monster, a large cave, Gildarts soon confronts the huge creature and quickly defeats it. Returning to the village with the beast's giant horn, the villagers cry with relief and gratitude, throwing a party in his honor. During the celebrations, Gildarts is led to a large Lacrima screen, where he is able to view the Grand Magic Games. Upon seeing Erza emerge triumphant from the Pandemonium event, Gildarts appears shocked, however, Erza's triumph is overlooked when Gildarts sees Cana max out the Magic Power Finder with Fairy Glitter. Not being able to contain his excitement and proud fatherly love, Gildarts whoops and runs in circles, much to the shock of the watching villagers. However, as he is running, he accidentally trips and uses his Magic in the center of town, causing huge cracks to split the earth and destroy almost every surrounding building. Getting swiftly kicked from the now destroyed town, Gildarts merely smiles, continuing down the path with his spirits high.
Continuing his solo journey, Gildarts finds a meal in a large animal but before he can kill it, Natsu and Happy arrive on the scene and beat him to it; Gildarts expresses great shock at seeing the two. Gildarts and Natsu then catch up on their time missed by talking, playing, sparring, eating, bathing and sleeping. That night, Gildarts wakes up to find Natsu missing and locates him near a waterfall, where he manages to convince the young man to tell him everything that's on his mind, after which Gildarts gives Natsu a reassuring pat on the head. The next morning, Gildarts accepts Natsu's challenge to test his growth, and shows happiness when Natsu's spell pushes him much farther back than it did during their first altercation. However just then their match is interrupted with Natsu being eaten by a dinosaur; Gildarts angrily punches the dinosaur, which frees Natsu and destroys much of the landscape. He is then denied the opportunity to continue their match by Natsu. Gildarts and Natsu then proceed to part ways; after a while, Gildarts checks his bag, but finds that he and Natsu have accidentally switched. Embarrassed and angry, Gildarts chases after Natsu to get his things back, which include not only dozens of gravure magazines, but also a picture of him and Cana.
Alvarez Empire arc
While the Fairy Tail Mages, and other allies, try to reclaim the guild building from the forces of the Alvarez Empire, and likewise save Mavis from their clutches, Gildarts descends upon the battlefield, breaking Spriggan 12 member God Serena's Magic, which was aimed at his comrades, as he does so. As his guildmates rejoice at his return, Gildarts demands that God Serena step aside and let him through to the guild, as he is starving. The S-Class Mage then stares an angry God Serena down before turning his attention onto Cana, who tells him to focus on God Serena; Gildarts agrees, but points out that God Serena's Magic Power in death is a mere shadow of what it was when he was alive, citing that he is nowhere near as strong as he used to be. With God Serena amused, Gildarts and he clash heads, before doing quick battle. However, Gildarts repeatedly breaks God Serena's Magic, claiming that he always wanted to see which of them was stronger when his foe was at his peak. With that, Gildarts defeats God Serena with his Crushing Evil, Spreading the Truth: Empyrean and clears a path for the guild to move forward.
Gildarts then goes on to disperse Alvarez soldiers by punching the ground with his Crash, which creates fissures that engulf his guildmates as well, which earns him Cana's immediate displeasure.
Magic and Abilities
Crash (粉砕, クラッシュ Kurasshu): Gildarts' signature Magic, Crash is an extremely powerful Caster-Type Magic that smashes everything the user comes into contact with into pieces. It can even be used to both crack Magic into pieces, nullifying its effects, as well as to reduce the Magic's power and to deflect it. Even the most powerful spells are rendered useless when faced with this destructive and highly advanced Magic, which is seemingly difficult to control even for an extremely powerful individual like Gildarts himself.
- Crushing Evil, Spreading the Truth: Empyrean (破邪顕正・一天 Haja Kensē: Itten): Gildarts first negates the spell cast by his foe and then hits them with a powerful strike, imbued with Crash, capable of launching said opponent great distances.
Disassembly (分開 Punkai): Another Magic Gildarts is proficient in using, Disassembly is a Caster-Type Magic that creates a net-like pattern which runs straight through whatever it touches, regardless of its tangibility. However, instead of being destroyed, the objects that are touched split apart and form numerous, smaller versions of the original. When used on a living organism, the recipient gets reduced into small, doll-like versions of themselves, complete with deadpan expressions. In this case, after some time, the target eventually reverts to their original form, though should the need arise, Gildarts can manually revert them back whenever he wishes.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Gildarts is an extremely accomplished unarmed fighter. During the S-Class Mage Promotion Trial, he easily defended himself against, and even overwhelmed, a determined Natsu utilizing nothing but hand-to-hand combat.
Immense Magic Power: Even by S-Class Mage standards, Gildarts has been noted to possess an immense amount of Magic Power which he can release as a thick, potent aura around him. People in the immediate vicinity can be brought to their knees by its power, even potential S-Class Mages, and its force can be felt at great distances. When exerted, Gildarts' Magic Power is white in color.  As a further testament to his power, Gildarts casually overwhelmed the Historia of God Serena, the former strongest mage of Ishgar, defeating him with a single attack and without receiving a single scratch (although it's worth noting that God Serena was a Historia, and not at full power because of that).
Immense Durability: Gildarts has proven himself to be extremely durable, as he was shown taking the full brunt of Natsu's Crimson Lotus: Exploding Flame Blade (which was used to defeat an internally and externally weakened Laxus) and only take two steps backwards afterward, emerging completely unscathed.
Immense Strength: Gildarts is shown to be extremely strong, as when Natsu attempted to attack him, he casually threw him into the ceiling with one hand. He is also shown to be able to not only move, but attack with surprising agility and strength under the influence of Bluenote Stinger's gravitational field, a remarkable feat as Natsu, a potential S-Class Mage known for his physical prowess, wasn't even able to stand. When angered after seeing Natsu get swallowed by a dinosaur, he was able to destroy not only the dinosaur, but also a vast portion of the landscape with a single punch. 
Immense Endurance: Gildarts has proven to have extreme levels of endurance as he survived having his left arm and leg as well as an unspecified organ taking away from him by Acnologia and is the only known human to survive an attack from the self proclaimed Dragon King and live to tell the tale.
Appearances in Other Media
Fairy Tail: Zeref's Awakening
- In the manga, Gildarts is mentioned several times as being the strongest Mage within Fairy Tail before his actual appearance. However, there had been no indications or mentions of him in the anime prior to Episode 74. This was because the anime was initially supposed to stop before his appearance.
- Gildarts was ranked third in Meredy's "Most Important People to Kill" list.
- Oddly, in Fairy Tail: Zeref's Awakening's game artwork by Hiro Mashima, his hair is depicted as brownish-yellow instead of red.
- (To Natsu Dragneel) "I hate going easy, whatever the task may be."
- (To Natsu Dragneel) "Fear is not 'Evil'. It is good to know your own weakness. If you know your weakness, you can become stronger and also kinder. That's what is necessary to becoming an S-class."
- (To Bluenote Stinger) "It was an important test... It meant more to these kids than any adult could ever imagined. This test represented their determination towards their futures... and you've stepped all over it."
- (To Byro Cracy) "You got beyond the frustration of being betrayed and fought for what you believe in. But the thing is, to our guild, there's nothin' more important than the lives of our friends. Even if the fate of the world is in balance..."
Battles & Events
|Guild Master of Fairy Tail|
|Preceded by||Years||Succeeded by|
|← Macao Conbolt||X791||Makarov Dreyar →|