Fullmetal Alchemist: The 5 Scenes That Changed Edward Elric Forever

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the story of the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are on a quest to restore their mangled bodies and atone for the sin they have committed. But there is far more to it than that. Edward Elric makes friends with the likes of Colonel Roy Mustang and even the homunculus Greed during his journey and faces Father's minions as the villain attempts to conquer the world.

Edward's life is a tragic and exciting one, and he experiences quite a few life-changing moments long before he turns 20-years-old. Ed isn't the type to sit around and smell the roses; he's ready to fight to protect the common people and probe the mysteries of the universe. Here are the five most impactful scenes in his character arc.

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1. When Ed & Alphonse Attempt Human Transmutation

fullmetal alchemist transmutation scene

This is the first major turning point in Edward's (and Alphonse's) life. When the brothers were young, and their father Van Hohenheim was away, Trisha Elric died of an illness. Ed and Al couldn't accept that, so they tried to use their alchemy and scientific gifts to resurrect Trisha by reassembling the raw ingredients of the human body. Surprise: they opened the portal of Truth instead, and the boys lost parts of their bodies as a price for seeing the Truth firsthand.

Ed lost a leg, then gave up an arm so he could bring back Al's soul and bond it to an armored suit. This grave crime launches the entire series -- it's what motivates the brothers to begin their quest to make things right.

2. When Edward Becomes The Fullmetal Alchemist

Edward was in bad shape after the failed attempt to revive Trisha Elric, but he did have hope. His childhood friend Winy Rockbell and her grandmother Pinako built automail limbs to replace Ed's lost ones, and he regained the use of alchemy by having two hands again (he must clap them together). Slowly but surely, Ed regained his physical mobility and agility. Then, he was assessed by both Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye to see if he could become a state alchemist.

At age 12, Edward astonished everyone when he visited Central and easily passed the alchemy test. He even had the audacity to form a weapon and brandish it at King Bradley, who was overseeing the test in person. Bradly was amused by Ed's bravado and made him the fullmetal alchemist, the youngest state alchemist ever. This is when the quest really begins.

3. When Edward Learns The Truth Of The Philosopher's Stone

alphonse and edward staring fullmetal alchemist

At first, Edward and Alphonse were convinced that the fabled Philosopher's Stone held the secret to restoring their bodies, but they were in for a serious twist. Edward met Dr. Marcoh and learned where to find his notes, and once Sheska rewrote the destroyed notes from memory, Ed and Al were looking at cookbooks, evidently. These smart boys soon realized that they were dealing with heavily encrypted notes.

The brothers worked for days on end to decode it all and saw the monstrous truth: that all Philosopher's Stones were made from hundreds of sacrificed people. Ed refused to use the power of such a bloody invention, and he later realized that the dreadful Ishval Civil War had resulted in the creation of many more such Stones. Indeed, everything comes at a price.

4. When Ed Sees Alphonse's Body In The Portal

This was a big scene for Ed in more ways than one. At some point, Gluttony the homunculus had "eaten" Ed, prince Ling Yao and Envy all at once, and teleported them to his infinite stomach dimension. There, Ed found the remains of Xerxes-style alchemy diagrams. After figuring out how to read them, Edward used those runes -- plus the power of Envy's Philosopher's Stone -- to attempt human transmutation and create a portal through which to escape Gluttony's stomach.

Along the way, Ed met the Truth once again and even saw Alphonse's original human body, which was alive but emaciated, with long hair and fingernails. This proved that Al could be restored, and it gave Ed renewed hope in his mission.

1. When Edward Sacrifices His Alchemy

During the Promised Day, Father's plan was coming to fruition, but the good guys fought back. Pride the homunculus fell, and it was down to just Father by now. Edward was cornered, but then he met the Truth once again, and he struck his final bargain with that immortal being. He gave up his alchemy to bring back Alphonse's body, and this was the solution the Truth had been waiting for all along.

With his body restored, Alphonse performed alchemy of his own and restored Edward's long-lost right arm and left leg. This allowed Ed to deliver an incredible beatdown on Father that defeated him once and for all. Ed didn't mind losing his alchemy; in fact, he was glad to put all that behind him, and he enjoyed his ordinary country life with Winry and Al like he always wanted. The fullmetal alchemist retired in every sense.

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