The Greek god Thanatos (死を司る神 タナトス, Shi wo Tsukasadoru Kami Tanatosu, lit. meaning "God who rules over Death") is one of the antagonist deities featured in Saint Seiya. As in Greek mythology, he is the personification of mortality and death, and the twin brother of Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. In Kurumada's mythos, although he is a subordinate of Hades, the Emperor of the Darkness and ruler of the Underworld, he is a deity with all attributes, and as his lord, he is a sworn enemy of the protector goddess of the Earth, Athena.
Kurumada introduced Thanatos in the final parts of the Hades arc of his manga, specifically in vol. 27, and he is portrayed as very cruel, merciless, hateful towards humans, haughty, and non-hesitant to whimsically inflict death. He was sealed along with his brother by Athena after being defeated in her last battle against Hades, in 18th century. Thanatos spent 243 years sealed in a box marked with the Seal of Athena, and only regained his freedom after the box was opened by a curiosity-driven 3 year-old Pandora, to whom he announced that the resurrection of Hades was near, and that she would serve them henceforth.
As described by the Pegasus Saint Seiya when they first encountered, he is identical to his brother Hypnos, the only differences being Thanatos' silver colored eyes and hair, as opposed to Hypnos' golden. A strange looking star is placed in his forehead. Unlike his brother Hypnos, who is more calm and calculating, Thanatos is prone to lose his temper and act without any regard for consequences when influenced by rage.
His dwelling place is the Elysion, and he spends most of his time there accompanied by scores of Nymphs, and his twin brother Hypnos, waiting to fulfill their lord Hades's bidding. Thanatos offered fierce opposition to the Saints of Athena, when they tried to rescue their goddess from certain death and stop Hades's Greatest Eclipse, which was meant to eradicate mankind.
Thanatos duty is to impart death on all living beings when their time has come, or as divine retribution. Before his formal introduction in the anime adaptation, he was featured in the opening of the Inferno stage of the Hades arc episodes (episode 128 and on), standing next to his brother Hypnos, and overshadowed by Hades. His full appearance in the anime adaptation occurred in 2008, in the final episodes that adapt the last two volumes of the manga, in which his participation is contained (vols. 27 and 28), 16 years after Kurumada introduced him in the manga. From episode 142 and on, his silhouette in the opening of the anime adaptation revealed his features fully.
Thanatos, as he appears in the anime adaptation. As shown by Masami Kurumada, Thanatos seemingly doesn't need a human body as a vessel for his soul. When he was freed by the infant Pandora, Thanatos' soul emerged from the box, and didn't materialize, it stayed ethereal. Even so, he seems to possess a physica
l body of his own, in the same way as Athena or Hades, and the ability to materialize, as the Bronze Saints were able to hurt him physically with their attacks.
In Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, Thanatos and his brother Hypnos possess physical bodies. They first appear as human priests with tangible bodies. Thanatos later fights Cancer Deathmask's incarnation in the 18th century, Cancer Manigoldo, who is able to destroy the deity's body so his soul can be sealed by his master Sage.
Thanatos and his brother Hypnos have assisted Hades since the ages of myth, and have fought Athena in several occasions, centuries apart. So far, Kurumada has revealed that Thanatos has fought Athena in the ages of myth, in the 16th (A Holy War in which he and his brother caused tremendous losses to Athena's Army), 18th and 20th centuries.
Abilities and attributes
As the god of death, Thanatos is able to cause death to any kind of living creature, no matter the distance.
He is able to find his intended target, and attack him/her without the need of physical contact, using powerful blasts of energy. He is able to inflict excruciating pain on his victim, and cause instant death. Being a wielder of the "Big Will", the divine Cosmo of the Gods, Thanatos was able to completely smash five Gold Cloths with a single attack, an unprecedented feat.
He is seemingly capable of psychokinesis, as stated by Ophiuchus Shaina, when she, along the Bronze Saints, Eagle Marin and Aries Mu's apprentice Kiki were attacked by the god, and were unable to detect the origin of the attack. The only one capable of detecting his energy blasts was Kiki, because he is skilled at psychokinesis. However, this may be only due to the fact that Thanatos' shots are invisible to mere mortals, as death itself has no visible form.
In Kurumada's canon, Thanatos has but one special technique, known as "Terrible Providence". Indeed, this may be one of the most powerful techniques of the entire series: it takes form of an immensely powerful blast of energy of any form, be it a beam, an explosion or a number of energy blasts. Whatever the form, upon reaching the target the blast cripples their body and mind to the point of completely slaughtering them, annihilating the five senses at once while the mind is made instantly insane and the body is totally dismembered, as shown when the god unleashes this technique on Phoenix Ikki. It is worth noting however that this move's true power is never shown, be it due to Athena's protection or Thanatos' own arrogance.
In Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, Thanatos benefitted from the addition of a new technique, called Tartaros Phobia, during which, he unleashes suffering tortured souls from Tartaros to attack his victim. He used it against Cancer Manigoldo and Cancer Sage, without succeeding in killing them.
XVI Century Holy War
He witnesses the defeat of Hades, then with his brother Hypnos he defeats the seven Silver Saints (except Altar Hakurei) and four Bronze Saints. Hypnos decides to forgive Altar Hakurei and Cancer Sage for their tenacity after that part to the Erebus with the reincarnation of Athena.
Special Yuzuriha Chapter
Before the start of the Holy War in XVIII Century, Thanatos appeared before Tokusa, Grus Yuzuriha's brother, and offered him immortality and eternal life in exchange for becoming a Spectre and sacrificing his entire family.
The Lost Canvas
In Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, Thanatos is able to give a fraction of his own power to other Specters, and has direct command over Nasu Veronica, who shares the pentagram on his forehead. Using Tartarus' Phobia (タルタロズフォビア, Tarutarozu Fobia), Thanatos can summon a large number of souls that attacks the enemy and with Terrible Providence (テリブルプロビデンス, Teriburu Purobidensu), Thanatos creates a powerful energy blast capable of destroying even the Gold Cloths. In his fight against Cancer Manigoldo and the Pope Sage, his host body is killed by Manigoldo, and his soul sealed by Sage inside a Holy Coffer empowered by Athena.
Thanatos was one of the strategists of the third holy war with Hypnos. He is in charge of sending Pegasus Tenma Nightmare through which aimed to topple the bronze saint. Their increased participation occurs when gives some power to the spectrum of Druj Nasu Veronica but was no point because Cancer Manigoldo ends with him. The Golden Ghost continues his trail until he meets God face to face as this and his brother were playing chess. That's when the gold and holy God face in a violent confrontation in which Sage Cancer intervenes, the previous patriarch and turn Manigoldo teacher.
Thus Thanatos does not waste time and displays his art Thartarus Phobia with putting in serious trouble to master and the God alumno. Sage shows that two centuries were not in vain waited for all this time had been preparing a contarrestar technique for the god, Thanatos is when you stop and open a super Dimension games with which to kill Sage and Manigoldo just these the blame falls pisen. Manigoldo opening dimensional losing one of his legs which leaves both warriors complete disadvantage against God.
Sage fights with his students using the Shiki Mekai Seki has to separate the soul from the God of his current body, Thanatos mocks the situation because even achieve his soul out of that body, you can safely back or you can take over the body of either Athena warriors.
Manigoldo then decides to make an act of extreme sacrifice throwing themselves with God's host body disintegrating and killing both current Cancer.Sage holy regrets this loss but not for long because Thanatos takes to take over his body but ugly awaited within the body of the high-priest as within his body was lodged in the chest close the malevolent soul of God but Sage thereby loses his own life.
So Thanatos is locked and must wait another 240 years to be released.
Saint Seiya (1985 manga)
Elysion : Greeted by the fierce
In the final parts of the Hades arc of Saint Seiya manga (vol. 27), after the Gold Saints sacrificed their lives to destroy the Wailing Wall that separates the Elysion from the Underworld, the Bronze Saints Pegasus Seiya, Dragon Shiryu, Cygnus Hyouga, Andromeda Shun and Phoenix Ikki honored the sacrifice of their comrades by trespassing the Wailing Wall to reach the Elysion to deliver Athena's Cloth and to kill Hades, lord of the Underworld, to stop the eradication of life on Earth. Upon arriving at Elysion after traversing the interdimensional expansion between Elysion and the Underworld, the Pegasus Saint desperately looked for Athena to deliver her Cloth. He was eventually spotted by Nymphs, who frightened at the sight of a mud and blood covered mortal, panicked and ran to inform Thanatos of the intruder's presence. Amused, Thanatos abandoned his moments of leisure and went to investigate the scene. He found Seiya indeed, and he was asked about Athena's whereabouts, but refused to provide the Saint with an answer. Enraged, Seiya tried to get an answer by force, and attacked Thanatos, only to be overpowered by the god's might. In that moment, Thanatos decided to impart death to Seiya, but was stopped by Hypnos, who told him that killing the Saint would only serve to taint the Elysion, which had remained immaculate since the ages of myth. Thanatos then replies to Seiya that Athena is dead and that he would kill him quickly, in the same way he presumes his brother killed the goddess Athena. Hypnos replies that Athena is not dead because he chose not to kill her to avoid blood spill in the Elysion. Instead, he induced her into a deep slumber and imprisoned her within the huge Sacred Amphora, that would absorb her blood drop by drop until the life of the goddess extinguished. Upon hearing this, Seiya quickly got to his feet and asked where Athena was being held. Considering the Saint would be unable to do anything to help her, Hypnos told him that she was at the Temple where Hades's true body rested since the ages of myth. Having said that, the god of sleep left the scene heading to the Temple. Very worried by Athena's ordeal, Seiya then rushed to assist her and deliver her Cloth, but was stopped by Thanatos. Seiya fought back, only to be repelled every time by the god, and only managing to rip Thanatos robes, revealing his divine Surplice. Even injured and tired, Seiya renewed his attack on Thanatos, and managed to hold him back for a moment, which he took advantage of and rushed to help Saori. Thanatos tried to stop him with a murderous energy blast, but was unable to do so, for the Pegasus Saint leapt high into the air, and to Thanatos surprise, the holy Pegasus Cloth sprouted wings, granting Seiya the ability to fly. The Saint, making his Cosmo ablaze, attacked the deity with a powerful Pegasus RyuuSeiKen, which Thanatos was able to stop with his hand. Enraged, Thanatos was determined to kill the Saint, and attacked him with energy blasts, which Seiya dodged for some time, until the god hit his target. The Pegasus Cloth wings were shattered and Seiya suffered a heavy fall. Refusing to die without finding his sister Seika, the Pegasus Saint valiantly arose and attacked with a full force Pegasus SuiSeiken, which had no effect on his dreaded opponent.Confidently, Thanatos mocked Seiya's attack and human strength, until he noticed blood was oozing from his fingertips, as a result of Seiya's attack. Even though his hand was merely scratched, Thanatos felt so offended and humiliated, that he lost his temper and swore that Seiya wouldn't live any longer. He launched his attack on the Saint, stomping on his head with murderous rage.
When mortals challenge a god
Unsatisfied with making Seiya suffer physical pain, Thanatos decided to torment his soul as well. Knowing that a few moments ago, Eagle Marin was able to find Seiya's long lost sister Seika, Thanatos decided to kill her before Seiya's eyes. Opening a vortex from thin air, Thanatos allowed Seiya to watch his sister being tortured by his enemy, who attacked her with intense energy blasts at Sanctuary, Greece. But the god of death didn't count on the loyalty of Seiya's friends, the Bronze Saints Hydra Ichi, Wolf Nachi, Lionet Ban, Bear Geki and Unicorn Jabu, with Silver Saints Ophiuchus Shaina and Marin, and the boy Kiki. Not hesitating to risk their life to protect Seika's life to the very end, Kiki, the Bronze and the Silver Saints formed a circle around the girl to repel Thanatos attacks, and allow Seiya to concentrate on killing Thanatos. The god attacked the Saints mercilessly, and was about to kill them, when Seiya, enraged and unwilling to let the cruel deity murder his friends, found new strength and attacked him fiercely. Grabbing Thanatos from the back, Seiya leapt very high in the air, performing his most powerful technique, the Pegasus Rolling Crush. Unfortunately, Thanatos avoided the deadly attack by teleporting. Seiya fell to the ground, receiving the full impact of the attack. It seemed the end for Seiya and the Saints, who all lay half dead from Thanatos attack. At that crucial moment, Thanatos' hand was stopped by the shy Andromeda Saint Shun, who was repelled. Seconds later, Dragon Shiryuu and Cygnus Hyouga, who like Shun had successfully invaded Elysion, arrived at the scene and attacked, followed moments later by Phoenix Ikki. All were repelled, except Ikki who was able to put Thanatos on the defensive with his HouYokuTenShou move, breaking the deity's headpiece.
Surprised by Ikki's strength, the god fought back using his most deadly technique, the Terrible Providence. The Saints, exhausted and nearly dead, were at Thanatos mercy, facing their darkest hour. At that moment of despair, a ray of hope appeared for the Saints: the holy Gold Cloths had arrived suddenly in the Elysion, to assist the Saints once again in their battle for love, hope and justice, as they had done for millennia. The Gold Cloths had been helped to traverse the interdimensional expansion by Poseidon, Emperor of the Seas, who awakened briefly from the slumber Athena imposed on him a few weeks ago, and joined the battle by doing the only thing he could, as Athena's seal held him prisoner in the Amphora, and so he sent the Gold Cloths. Thanatos stood in disbelief as the Gold Cloths of Leo, Libra, Virgo, Aquarius, and Sagittarius enveloped the flesh of Athena's protectors, renewing their strength.
Outraged by Poseidon's daring act, Thanatos extinguished the ray of hope that the Gold Cloths had brought with them. The god shattered the Gold Cloths and reduced them to pieces, something that had never happened in all the millennia the Cloths had existed. Thanatos took Athena's Cloth from Seiya and decided to destroy it.
Exhausted and gravely wounded, the Saints started to lose heart and realized that maybe this time there wasn't any hope left. Knowing about her Saints' ordeal, Athena spoke to them through her Cosmo, encouraging them to go on, to never surrender, that though their opponent was almost invincible, they were still alive, and as long as they remained so, there was still hope of making a miracle happen. At his end, Seiya looked on the vortex one last time, and spoke to his sister Seika. Upon hearing Seiya's voice, the amnesia-struck Seika was flooded by her memories, and full of tears, immediately recognized her little brother Seiya.
Looking forward to reunite with his sister at long last, and finding new strength in Athena's words, Seiya stood up once again. This time, his Cosmo was ablaze, up to the limit. Thanatos, surprised, noticed that the shards of the Bronze Pegasus Cloth on Seiya's body were burning. In a moment, Seiya's body was on fire as something miraculous had just taken place: the Bronze Pegasus Cloth had been revived, by the energy of Seiya's Cosmo combined with the blood of Athena that had been spilled over it a few hours ago. The blood of the goddess had granted the Bronze Cloths divine strength and power, allowing them to reach their Divine Cloth state. The Divine Cloths were immensely powerful, and their power was no longer that of an ordinary Bronze Cloth, but that of the Cloths worn by the Olympian gods, as Zeus himself. Thanatos couldn't believe what he just had witnessed, and enraged, attacked the Pegasus Saint. His brother Hypnos arrived at the scene, after having sensed the immense Cosmo emitted by the Divine Pegasus Cloth, and remembered that the same had happened when they fought Athena's Saints millennia ago, in the ages of myth. Granted new strength by the rebirth of the Pegasus Cloth, Seiya felt renewed power, both in his Cosmo and in his body. Easily dodging Thanatos attack, Seiya stopped him from destroying Athena's Cloth by kicking him in the hand, retrieving the Cloth and leaving quickly to rescue the goddess. Not willing to let Seiya escape, Thanatos attacked once again, being surprised afterward by Seiya's Pegasus RyuuSeiKen, which by the influence of the Divine Pegasus Cloth, had reached incredible power. Thanatos was seriously hurt by Seiya's attack, but refused to accept defeat at the hands of a mortal. Engaging Seiya once again, Thanatos unleashed his Terrible Providence move, which was easily stopped by Seiya with his hands, and caused Thanatos Surplice to shatter, leaving him completely unprotected. Ignoring his disadvantage, the god attacked Seiya once again, who fought back by punching through Thanatos' chest with an incredibly powerful flying punch.
Utterly humiliated and awe-struck at being defeated by a mere mortal, Thanatos stood in disbelief for a few seconds and then collapsed, finally meeting his end at the hands of one of the beings he hated so much.
After Thanatos' death, the other Bronze Saints faced Hypnos' opposition and managed to make their Cloths reach their Divine states. After a fierce battle, Hypnos was killed and Athena was freed from the Amphora. The Saints and Athena finally found themselves face to face with Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and after a bloody battle, were able to kill him also, bringing his Greatest Eclipse and evil schemes to an end.
Once again, the Saints of Athena, the warriors of love and hope, restored justice and peace on Earth.
As the God of Death, his punches are to put the opponent in such physical pain that even his own soul begs for forgiveness, having a vision worse than hell. Manipulate the fabric of people's lives, so you can kill whoever he chooses, at any distance that is. It also has the ability to manipulate the chess pieces that exist within the Twin Gods Palace to create giant monstrocities based on them. and open dimensional portals to a godly dimension, that will destroy anything that is neither a deity or under divine protection. By owning a witty personality and his cruelty, also has the combat power that transcends that of humans. It can be argued whether he is the strongest of the twins, as overall, his fighting style is his like his personality, brutal, aggressive and destructive, the oppossite of Hypnos more subtle and passive means of battle.
Terrible Providence (テリブルプロビデンス, Teriburu Purobidensu): Thanatos concentrates his cosmo releasing it into the hands against the opponent as a dense ball of energy capable of breaking the dimensional planes.This takes gigantic proportions and explodes to the touch in a devastating attack could break ground on the armor of their opponents.You can even destroy the golden armor of Sagittarius, Aquarius, Libra, Leo and Virgo (In The Lost Canvas nearly destroys the armor of cancer leaving her shattered). Thanatos can use their power years real-world lights.
Gate of Hell (Shigen-Shiki): Strike the Death God uses in The Lost Canvas Manigold against Cancer and its master Sage. Thanatos opens a crack that leads to a dimension inhabited by humans or any life, because everything that falls in this dimension is totally trashed, unless you have a divine or divine protection.
Phobia of Tartarus (タルタロズフォビア, Tarutarozu Phobia, the English "Tartaro's Phobia"): The Tartarus is the deepest layer of hell.Here lie only the most cruel and souls so that some can pay for what they did. It is a horrible place of extreme punishment and suffering. The souls are sent to Tartarus at the behest of his own Thanatos. In this technique, he casts many souls in Tartarus, discharging their pain and agony in the designated target for the God of Death.These souls are attacking the opponent's body and slowly taking her soul. When the opponent dies, his soul spends eternity in Tartarus.
- Thanatos' image was engraved on the Wailing Wall, as well as his brother Hypnos'.
- Both deities appear in the still non-canon sidestory Saint Seiya Lost Canvas, assisting Hades in his incarnation in the 18th century.
- In Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, Thanatos battled two previous incarnations of the Cancer Saint, both living in the 18th century, Cancer Manigoldo and 15th century Cancer Saint Sage.
- As Masami Kurumada uses the revered Osamu Tezuka's Star System technique (a stable cast of characters which play a different or similar role in the author's various works, sometimes with the same personality and sometimes with an entirely new one), Thanatos' appearance is very similar to the design he gave to Fou Lafiene, a character in B't X, a manga that Kurumada wrote and drew years after Saint Seiya.
- Saint Seiya manga vols. 27 & 28, by Masami Kurumada.
|Saint Seiya||Athena • Nike|
|Saint Seiya||Poseidon • Hades • Hypnos • Thanatos|
|Animes & movies only||Eris • Odin • Abel/Apollo • Lucifer • Artemis • Loki|
|Saint Seiya: Next Dimension||Zeus|
|Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas||Modeler Morpheus • Portrayer Phantasos • Vision Icelus • Dream Oneiros • Tezcatlipoca • Hakuryu|
|Saint Seiya Episode G||Chronos • Pontos • Gaia|
|Saint Seiya Omega||Mars • Abzu • Pallas (Omega) • Saturn|